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Recently, a friend posted on Facebook looking for ideas to reduce his footprint with Holiday decorations. I came up with this great idea that he loved and wanted to share with everyone.

I realize a lot of Designers especially love the Holidays because of all that decorating they get to do and often want to change up the look of their tree(s) each year. This means a lot of those plastic ornaments that aren’t great for the environment especially if they get boxed up and replaced the following year with a new colour palette. Ornaments made from fabric or old clothes are an idea but they have to be stored off season. So was there something you could hang on your tree each year and dispose of by New Years and not feel badly about it? And faster than you can say “The Great Canadian Bake Off”, it hit me : COOKIES.


You can make Gingerbread cookies in shapes like snowflakes, candy canes, trees, snowmen, etc. and hang them like ornaments. Simply get your favourite gingerbread recipe, roll out the dough, cut into various shapes and sizes and use a toothpick or skewer to create a decent sized hole near the top (but not too close that the hole will break while baking). Bake them up and after they cool you can freeze until you’re ready to decorate. A couple of days before Xmas, thaw the cookies and frost with icing in whatever colour palette you want for your theme, add glitter sugar, crushed peppermints, etc and attach a ribbon or wire ornament hanger and toss ‘em on the tree. Come Boxing Day, you can eat the cookies or give them out as Hostess gifts or whatever until they’re gone. What’s great about this idea is you can make it a Holiday tradition, change your theme and palette up each year, you don’t have to store them after the holidays and your home will have a nice Wintery spice smell.

One con: this might not be great if you have a large dog.

So if you’re looking for a way to be both Festive AND Eco-Friendly, look no further than your pantry.

Happy Holidays!!

Author Bio:SR2

Steve Ryan is a Toronto based Designer and Home Stager. He is also the Content Creator for the DDA Toronto Chapter’s Instagram Account @ddatoronto. He doesn’t like to brag, but posts of things he’s cooked have been ‘liked’ by Martha Stewart on his own Instagram account (twice). You can follow him @steveryandesigns

Naturally a Holiday Favourite

As we all know, one of the favourite moments of the holidays is picking out the Christmas tree. The cool air nipping at your nose, just like the song, and the smell of crisp pine filling you with nostalgia, as you load the most beautiful tree into the truck to take home with children of your own.

SD1[50 Easy Holiday Decorating Ideas –]

As time goes on, trends come and go, but one trend has always remained; having natural touches throughout the home when it comes to table top and overall décor.

Things like Pinecone centre pieces, hand-knit stockings and napkins made of a material resembling Santa’s original burlap sack, and smells like pine, cinnamon and nutmeg created by beeswax candles and hot drinks made the old-fashioned way.

These centre pieces are easy to make and are highly, if not fully compostable, they take no time at all when preparing a large meal for your friends and family, and they add a touch of sophistication to any holiday tablescape.

[Holiday Kitchen Decorating Ideas – Our Potluck Family]                                                                                                                      [Close to Home Serving Tray – Thirty-One Product Website]

Written by: Selina Daniel – ReFinnish Décor & Staging

Windows, Floors and All The Feels

When an owner or buyer walks into a home, they want to feel a certain way. A sigh of relief, a weight off the shoulders; the illusion of fresh air in a wide open space.

We know that paint colours have a tremendous impact on the way a room can feel, but what else can change the way we feel about a certain space?

Depending on the size of the home, windows and the amount of light they allow in can change a dark, cold cave, into a bright, airy, ambient dwelling. When working with a smaller home, it helps to install windows that are tall and narrow, and face the east so they allow the most amount of light into the room, while still allowing enough wall space for art and furniture placement. Another key point to remember when talking about window installation is to factor in the type of floor you will be using in the room. With east-facing windows, the most amount of light and heat are welcomed in, and this can cause an issue when it comes to hard wood floors and carpet. To prevent your carpet and hardwood from fading, be sure to choose a synthetic flooring, such as Luxury Vinyl or Tile, or a lighter carpet that provides built-in protection from UV rays.

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Photo from Aussie Window Tinting                                                                                                    Photo from

Another factor to consider when choosing windows is the overall size in comparison to the size of the home. People always assume a larger house means larger windows to be able to let the most amount of natural light in.. until you have to cover them. Large windows also have a higher chance of letting in more heat or cold, depending on the season. Choosing double, or even triple-pane glass is a must when living in Canada, and sticking to regular sized windows on a larger home will save on energy and window covering costs, while still providing long-lasting quality.

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Photo from                                                                                                                        Photo from

By Selina Daniel, DDA Canada Accredite Member
Re*Finnish Décor 

Top Surface Trends

Selecting a surface is arguably the most crucial aspect of a renovation. Whether it be choosing floors, countertops, walls, fireplaces, or other interior and exterior finishes, the surfaces are often the focal point and the final step in bringing together an entire design scheme. We like to think of it as saving the best for last, as this part comes with endless possibilities, and room to get creative in any design concept while increasing the value of the space.

The Marble Trend:

            During our 30+ years in the surface industry, the most common trend is the marble trend (and no, we’re not being biased!). Specifically, the most selected marble look resides in the Italian Calacatta family. White marble with subtle grey veining remains the most sought-after stone of choice for its ability to fit into practically any design, combined with its recognition around the world for high quality and prestige. Anyone in the design industry can appreciate a perfect block of Italian Calacatta; the whiter the slab, the more exclusive (and more expensive) the choice!


The Engineered Surface Trend:

With the help of advancements in technology over the years, Italian Calacatta (among almost every other stone or design to possibly replicate) is now available in engineered versions. The typical base surface of engineered surfaces is porcelain or quartz, both featuring different surface printing processes while offering the same outcome: the look of natural stone with the benefits of engineered stone (maintenance, installation and price being the major ones). It can be difficult to find an engineered stone surface that has a realistic print, so we recommend going to your most trusted suppliers when sourcing for this type of surface to avoid getting stuck with a poor quality surface. For the ultimate engineered surface, we recommend looking into high-tech engineered surfaces such as Sintered Stones. Thanks to high-tech manufacturing processes, Sintered Surfaces don’t stain, are scratch, heat and fire resistant, and can withstand extreme climate conditions, offering a surface suitable for any aspect of your renovation.

Whether high or low quality, engineered stone surfaces have saturated the market, and we believe this may be one of the leading causes of the major shift in design trends over the last year.


The Terrazzo Trend:

One of the recent biggest shifts was towards the Terrazzo trend. Although we are seeing this trend infiltrate the market heavily over the last year, this trend is actually not new. Terrazzo has been used for centuries dating back to old Italian traditions as a way to create beauty from leftover marble remnants. In later years it became a common surface choice for large commercial projects like airports, schools and malls for its durable qualities and reasonable price points. Eventually, the rise of engineered surfaces replaced the use of Terrazzo, as porcelains offered the same durable qualities with the ability to mimic luxurious natural stones. We didn’t think we would hear the term Terrazzo so often ever again, until the resurgence of the terrazzo took the design industry by storm, turning terrazzo into our #1 most requested product over the last year.


Of course, terrazzo has adapted quickly to keep up with the hype compared to the traditional blends used centuries ago. From custom coloured resin and cement binders, to coloured stone chips and other aggregates such as recycled glass, sea shells, pearl, mirror, ceramic & metal, terrazzo has become a funky way for creative freedom for any renovation while capitalizing on the eco-friendly surface trend.

We hope this article gives a little bit of insight on popular design trends for your renovation, but we also recommend doing some research before getting started. Using social media to find inspiration images and/or seeking professional assistance through a trusted designer or architect is a great place to start. It is also just as important to make sure you do the research in finding a reputable surface supplier that has a good reputation and will make you feel comfortable finding a surface that fits within your design and budget.

By DDA Canada Affiliate Member Marble Trend Ltd.
(416) 783-9911
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@MarbleTrend #MarbleTrend


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