What Ellie Mae Waters, the Taylor Swift–approved Toronto designer, is coveting in home decor

What Ellie Mae Waters, the Taylor Swift–approved Toronto designer, is coveting in home decor

Including a chic brass book holder, LA-inspired art and a pastel backgammon set

What the Taylor Swift–approved designer is coveting in home decor
Photo by Vanessa Heins

Designer and self-professed pop culture freak Ellie Mae Waters has been obsessed with fashion since she was a kid in Aurora, fan-girling over the tour outfits of stars like Britney Spears and Stevie Nicks. After working as a stylist’s assistant and a jewellery designer, Waters studied fashion at Central Saint Martins, in London. She returned to Toronto and, in 2015, launched her brand, Ellie Mae, which celebrates bright colours and lush European fabrics with a local, small-batch ethos. Two years ago, Waters opened her flagship store in Summerhill, stocking it with tailored blazers and other fad-proof essentials. She also sources a vintage line—which is where Taylor Swift procured the viral Kansas City Chiefs sweatshirt she wore last fall to cheer on NFL beau Travis Kelce. Immediately afterward, all of Waters’s sports-themed items sold out. “The Taylor effect is genuine,” she says. Here’s what she’s loving in home decor.

Related: What Kenneth Montague, the city’s most stylish art lover, is coveting in home decor


Handcrafted from a slab of marble, this dish from Toronto design studio Montana Labelle can be used to hold keys or jewellery. “You can never have too many catch-all trays,” says Waters. “I’m always throwing things everywhere.”

Jelly bean bowl

Handcrafted from a slab of marble, this dish from Toronto design studio Montana Labelle can be used to hold keys or jewellery. “You can never have too many catch-all trays,” says Waters. “I’m always throwing things everywhere.”


This brushed-brass tablet and cookbook stand is made by Japanese home goods brand Puebco. “I’m getting into cooking, but I hate using my phone or computer to read recipes. I love that this stand looks vintage—I’d be happy to leave it out on the countertop.”

Chic book holder

This brushed-brass tablet and cookbook stand is made by Japanese home goods brand Puebco. “I’m getting into cooking, but I hate using my phone or computer to read recipes. I love that this stand looks vintage—I’d be happy to leave it out on the countertop.”


Australian photog­rapher James Needham creates digitally collaged urban landscapes. This image is part of a series from a California road trip the artist took. “My fiancé, Jeremy, and I lived in LA for a bit last year. I think this piece is so funny—it’s something people in LA would actually say.”

Erewhon art

Australian photog­rapher James Needham creates digitally collaged urban landscapes. This image is part of a series from a California road trip the artist took. “My fiancé, Jeremy, and I lived in LA for a bit last year. I think this piece is so funny—it’s something people in LA would actually say.”


Soho Home, the interiors arm of Soho House, makes this bed frame from mahogany and hand-woven rattan. “Our current bed frame is too masculine for me, so I’ve been searching for something more neutral. I always look at texture, and I love the feel of this piece.”

Rattan bed frame

Soho Home, the interiors arm of Soho House, makes this bed frame from mahogany and hand-woven rattan. “Our current bed frame is too masculine for me, so I’ve been searching for something more neutral. I always look at texture, and I love the feel of this piece.”


Caraway Home makes simple ceramic-coated aluminum cookware that’s non-toxic and comes in a range of playful colours. “It’s hard to find cookware that’s not full of chemicals, so I was thrilled when I found this brand. I love that it looks cute too. I’d go for the green option.”

Cookware set

Caraway Home makes simple ceramic-coated aluminum cookware that’s non-toxic and comes in a range of playful colours. “It’s hard to find cookware that’s not full of chemicals, so I was thrilled when I found this brand. I love that it looks cute too. I’d go for the green option.”


Monogrammed goods brand Mark and Graham makes this raffia backgammon set in two pastel colourways. “I learned to play when Jeremy and I were travel­ling in Italy, and I loved it. I’m looking for activities to do at home that don’t involve staring at a screen.”

Backgammon board

Monogrammed goods brand Mark and Graham makes this raffia backgammon set in two pastel colourways. “I learned to play when Jeremy and I were travel­ling in Italy, and I loved it. I’m looking for activities to do at home that don’t involve staring at a screen.”


Lifted is a BC-based brand making aesthetically pleasing exercise gear that’s nice enough to keep out in the open. “I love to work out, and I agree with the brand’s philosophy that if your workout gear is in your living room you’re way more likely to use it.”

Weights cart

Lifted is a BC-based brand making aesthetically pleasing exercise gear that’s nice enough to keep out in the open. “I love to work out, and I agree with the brand’s philosophy that if your workout gear is in your living room you’re way more likely to use it.”