“Successful” doesn’t begin to describe Penny Southam. The award-winning registered interior designer and TV personality is a creative trailblazer. Owner of acclaimed Southam Design Inc. and founder of Studio S Scavolini, she is also co-host of the Gemini Awardnominated All For Nothing? series on the W Network. The popular Canadian show has caught the attention of powerhouse reality TV producer Mark Burnett, who has bought the syndication rights and is taking it world-wide.
All Penny’s accomplishments merit that sort of attention. As founder and director of Southam Design, she has been creating award-winning interior spaces and residential architecture distinguished by an arresting fusion of modern lines and classic elements since 1992.
Her client list stretches from Vancouver, British Columbia to New York City and her awards will soon require a room of their own, since they number over 27 – including Top 40 Under 40 honours in 2005. At GOHBA’s annual awards gala in 2008, Penny collected a record-setting seven trophies – the most won by a single person in the association’s 25-year history.
The designer’s can-do attitude is just as dazzling. When she fell in love with the worldrenowned line of Italian kitchens, Scavolini, she knew she had to open a showroom and Studio-S Scavolini was launched in 2008. Last November, Denis Villeneuve joined her in partnership as president of Studio S Scavolini, after departing a major kitchen and bath renovation company in Ottawa. “The success and experience Denis brings to the company is invaluable,” she says.
Today, a striking, raw 4000 square-foot loft-like space showcases the polished, Italian line of contemporary kitchens. “It’s eye candy for the soul,” says Penny. “There’s nothing else like it in Ottawa.
She’s driven by a passion for and a love of design and creativity. “I’m always taking on new challenges, growing in different directions, moving forward. Cannot is not in my vocabulary.” She enjoys her television work and prior to co-hosting duties on All For Nothing? she was one of three design “professors” on HGTV’s Design U. You may also see her byline in numerous print publications.
The scope of Penny’s design talent is vast. Her most notable projects range from the design and architecture of a former NHL defenceman and sportscaster’s home on the water to Amica at Westboro Park, an upscale, retirement home. Whether it’s a residential or a commercial project, Penny Southam’s designs are visually arresting, functional and remarkable for their clean, uncluttered aesthetic. “I believe that success follows those with passion and a true love for what they do in life. I’m lucky to have found that,” she says.