Designing against the clock

Marnie Kelly - coming soon to your tv screen in a new design series.

There’s not too many people who would take on such a big challenge with a tight deadline, but Marnie Kelly doesn’t let the impossible scare her. She tends to work better under pressure it seems.

Kelly owns and operates Silver Design Group, a local design firm for both residential and commercial projects. She was hired to create a new concept and experience for customers of the new Burger Don Food & Beverage Co. (formerly Gigi’s) on Great Northern Road, which is opening May 1st. It wasn’t just throwing a new paint colour on the walls either. In fact, it’s much, much, more.

“Everything I do starts with design. I design renovation projects large and small. I work on the design and then hire the local contractor, but I follow the job straight through to the end.”, Kelly said while taking a small break from her current job, the Burger Don.

Normally Kelly likes to spend 3 to 6 months in the designing phase, but for this job, she literally had five weeks to transform a well established Italian restaurant into a high end burger pub. Her job is to leave a positive impression to whoever comes through the doors. “I want people who drive by to wonder if you’ve seen a Burger Don in another city.”

But there’s more. Along with the challenge of completing the design and plan for Burger Don, she’s also in the middle of creating and hosting a new TV series surrounding the reality of renovations and design. The locally produced program, set to air in June, will showcase the process of transforming the restaurant and racing against the clock for the May 1st opening.

The show, “Tactical Design”, is being produced by an independent producer to air on Shaw TV. “It’s all about planning. The show is going to focus on the client; what they initially have in mind for a renovation project, how much they budget and the reality of what it takes to complete the project. “Most people don’t realize what it’s going to cost.”

The show will touch on several topics when it comes to big and small renovation projects. From staging a home to big renovation projects that include structural improvements. Like changing a camp into a vacation home.

“We want people to see what an actual reno is like. It’s not like what you would see on HGTV”, Kelly said. “Pretty is one thing, and if a designer is good, pretty is easy. But if it’s pretty and what you expected, you’ve wasted your money. You can spend the same amount of money and get a good job or get an amazing job – with a plan.”

People will be able to see Kelly’s plan on May 1st with the opening of the new Burger Don, then catch all the behind the scenes of the transformation which will air soon on Shaw TV Channel 10.


  1. Marnie has amazing vision! She is doing our second home Reno (2 diffent houses) and what she comes up with is nothing short of inspired. The woman hits the ground running and pulls solutions to design problems out of thin air it seems. She is the only person I would ever consent to give full control to. If you can get Marnie to do your project you are indeed lucky.

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