National Blog

And the winner is...

Congratulations to Katherine Porath, of Katherine Joy Interiors, for being the 2019 Pinnacle Award

Winner! The Pinnacle Award was new to this year’s DDA Design Competition and was voted on by the public. It featured the finalists from four categories:

  • Interior Decorating, No Construction, $10 - $45K
  • Interior Decorating under $45K
  • Interior Decorating $45 - $100K
  • Interior Decorating over $100K

Katherine also won Gold for Universal Kitchen or Bath and Silver for Interior Decorating under $45K .

For those who missed our Awards Gala, here are the rest of the winners of the Design Competition:

  • Student, General – sponsored by Budget Blinds & Tailored Living
    • Gold -- Suzanne Chenard
    • Silver -- Vivian Mai Thao
    • Bronze -- Bhoomi Patel

  • Student, Universal Kitchen or Bath – sponsored by Living in Place Network
    • Gold -- Vivian Mai Thao
    • Silver -- Suzanne Chenard
    • Bronze -- Pukar Risal

  • Bathroom under $30K – sponsored by Ceragres
    • Gold – Rotem Golan, Ace of Space Interiors
    • Silver – Kim Purvis, Aurora Décor
    • Bronze – Adolphina Karachok & Leanne Tammaro, DesignTheory

  • Bathroom over $30K – sponsored by BainUltra
    • Gold -- Lisa Frahm, Frahm Interiors
    • Silver – Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design

  • Kitchen under $50K – sponsored by Distinctive
    • Gold – Adolphina Karachok & Leanne Tammaro, DesignTheory
    • Silver – Rotem Golan, Ace of Space Interiors
    • Bronze – Robin Boles, Robin Interiors

  • Kitchen over $50K – sponsored by Caplan’s Appliances
    • Gold – Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design
    • Silver – Nancy Lem, Nancy Lem Design
    • Bronze – Gabriele Pizzale, Pizzale Design Inc.

  • Universal Kitchen or Bath – sponsored by Living in Place Network
    • Gold – Katherine Porath, Katherine Joy Interiors
    • Silver – Andria Cowan & Katie Golec, ACM Designs

  • Commercial – sponsored by ProSource Toronto
    • Gold – Sascha Lafleur, West of Main
    • Silver – Lana McIver, Interior Design Group
    • Bronze – Heddy Bing, Urban Spaces Design

  • Challenging Budget under $10K – sponsored by Glen Dimplex
    • Gold – Elena Gouchtchina, Maison Interiors
    • Silver – Rida Fatima Wasim, Rida Interiors
    • Bronze – Katie Golec, ACM Designs

  • Interior Decorating, no construction, $10 - $45K – sponsored by Sherwin Williams
    • Gold – Marisa Lupo & Luisa Maringola, Lumar Interiors
    • Silver – Marisa Lupo & Luisa Maringola, Lumar Interiors
    • Bronze – Patti Wilson, Patti Wilson Design Inc

  • Interior Decorating under $45K – sponsored by Caesarstone
    • Gold – Gabriele Pizzale, Pizzale Design Inc
    • Silver – Katherine Porath, Katherine Joy Interiors
    • Bronze – Lindsay Wolfe-Assaf, The Home Stylist

  • Interior Decorating $45 - $100K – sponsored by Stylish Fireplaces & Interiors
    • Gold – Gabriele Pizzale, Pizzale Design Inc.
    • Silver – Marisa Lupo & Luisa Maringola, Lumar Interiors
    • Bronze – Margaret Struthers, Margaret Struthers Interiors

  • Interior Decorating over $100K – sponsored by Cosentino
    • Gold – Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design
    • Silver – Sascha Lafleur, West of Main
    • Bronze - Patti Wilson, Patti Wilson Design Inc

Watch for the launch of our M2M Mentoring Program!

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With 25 Years behind us of Members helping Members whenever opportunities arise - whether in Chapter Meetings, teleconferences, or local showrooms; what better time than our 25th anniversary year to structure a program to increase these opportunities? 

We will be inviting all members to offer their expertise in any field of design through a one to one conversation with another member anywhere in the country.   These Mentor Moments could be about products or services, or areas of business operations.  The Mentor and Mentee will be matched for 30 or 60 minute conversations.  Registration for both parties will be facilitated on line and the Mentor Moments will take place by telephone at the convenience of both parties.

Perhaps you are a Student Member with expertise in Sketchup or Instagram Stories?  Perhaps you are a seasoned designer with an aptitude for Client Relations or an Affiliate member with a wealth of knowledge in surface materials or calculating fabric quantities? Everyone could have something to offer and we all have gaps in our own knowledge that we would like to fill. DDA Canada was founded 25 years ago to satisfy the desire of new industry entrants to have a network of colleagues to draw upon.  As Members, we all benefit from that founding principle and we hope you will make the time to support a colleague through the M2M Mentoring Program.

Watch for more details coming later in the summer with Mentor Moments being planned for the Fall.

Joining a Professional Network as a Student

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In my opinion, students should be presented with the benefits of joining a professional network early into their careers. Connecting with experienced professionals puts one smack dab in the middle of a ‘live’ education experience in an environment that is dynamic, supportive and progressive. When I joined the Decorators & Designers Association of Canada as a student, it helped to elevate and expedite my learning curve as a new decorator.

While University programs provided me with a formal platform for increasing my knowledge and earning valuable qualifications, it was connecting with like-minded decorators and designers where I truly felt part of a forward-looking career journey. From the very first meeting, I was welcomed by accomplished professionals who started out just like me and were willing to share their . Not only would it expand my support network, it would become my ‘go to’ resource for how to manage client relationships.

Additional resources with my membership allowed me to attend the product knowledge events which opened the door to new suppliers within the community, learn about the latest technology and marvel at the product innovation currently on the market. The special pricing advantages is a bonus too when starting out in a new business! The events were a refreshing way to exchange ideas, get some constructive feedback and boost my self esteem as a new kid on the block.

Attending monthly meetings started me off on the right foot. These meetings would give me experience in a formal meeting structure as to how the executive and committees were structured within the association both locally and nationally. I felt I could contribute to positively influence the business of the chapter. Serving as a volunteer with this professional organization added more depth to my resume.

One of the largest advantages as a student member is the access to an extensive website that includes both public and member only access. Their monthly newsletter delivered to my inbox reminds me of all the DDA Tools (members only) available on the site. From perks such as sketch-up discounts, to professional, health and dental insurance, to an industry job board, to exclusive articles and tons of continuing education programs - this site is robust! With DDA, continuing education goes beyond the classroom. On the site I learned more about Canada’s legislation that supports or can hinder the industry’s growth and read an excellent blog on by an interior designer who is also a Certified Aging Place Specialist (CAPS).

The site is now a one-stop, reliable resource for me to get all the latest information on industry conferences and trade shows. Most shows also have a student admission and I enjoy being in the excitement of new product launches and hearing from the movers and shakers of this creative industry. It might even be a good place for me to meet my next employer. Then there’s the annual DDA gala where all the best of the best awards is presented. Check out the student category – maybe you’ll see my name there next!

As I begin to build my brand, being part of the DDA just seems to make good sense. But I wasn’t 100% sold until I walked into a retail store and mentioned that I was a student with DDA. It was instant credibility – even as an aspiring student. Now, I use the student logo where I can to create even more visibility. And I hope one day to be able to give back to a new student the same way this profession has given to me.

Written by Lori Bayne, Student Member
Student Sky Topaz