Kelly graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) with a Masters of Architecture (1988). Prior to UCLA, he attended Ryerson Polytechnical Institute (now Ryerson University) and graduated with a Bachelor of Interior Design (1984).
His internship and professional work experience included several prominent architectural firms. During his graduate studies in Los Angeles, he interned with Moore Ruble Yudell. Upon graduating, he was employed with Barton Myers Associates.
Returning to Toronto, Kelly further his work experience with Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg (KPMB), Quadrangle Architects, and Cecconi Eppstadt Simone Interior Designers.
In 1993, Kelly opened his practice specializing in residential design and commercial interiors. The design office of Lem Design Inc. was incorporated in 1995.