Tag Archives: Larry Arnal

DDA Canada 2018 Decorating & Design Competition Gala

DDA Canada 2018 Decorating & Design Competition Gala

Latest News

DDA Canada 2018 Decorating & Design Competition Gala

by Liz Teodorini

Decorating & Design Competition gala celebrates excellence in Canadian decor and design.

A high energy gala at Toronto’s contemporary York Mills Gallery was the place to be on April 23rd, 2018. The event, hosted annually by the Decorators & Designers Association of Canada (DDA Canada), attracted decorators, designers and suppliers from across the country. Cocktails and socializing preceded a keynote address by celebrated U.S. designer Richard Anuszkiewicz on infusing inspiration from the world of fashion into interior decor.

The highlight of the gala was, as it is every year, the unveiling of the Decorating & Design Competition winners. The competition receives entries for its 10 categories from DDA Canada’s accredited and student members. Each category’s entries are then evaluated by a jury of industry peers from across the country. They evaluate the projects based on complexity, concept, materials and functionality, among other criteria. Attendees were captivated as a video of each winning project described the planning and thought behind the design. The videos were punctuated by applause as the designers, some from as far afield as Nanaimo and Calgary, accepted their awards. In all, 26 people, including three students, were recognized for their best-in-class work:

Interiors Under $45K

Gold – Gabriele Pizzale, Pizzale Design Inc.
Silver – Leanne Tammaro & Adolphina Karachok, Designtheory Inc.
Bronze – Evelyn Eshun, Evelyn Eshun Design Inc.

Interiors Over $45K, Under $100K

Gold – Lana McIver, The Interior Design Group
Silver – Marion Da Ponte, Bridgemont Properties Inc.
Bronze – Rotem Golan, Ace of Space Interiors

Interiors Over $100K

Gold – Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design
Silver – Charlene Threatful, Lush Interiors Inc.
Bronze – Lorelie Noble, Design Details

Powder Room

Gold – LeAnne Bunnell, LeAnne Bunnell Interiors
Silver – Gabriele Pizzale, Pizalle Design Inc.
Bronze – Evelyn Eshun, Evelyn Eshun Design Inc.

Challenging Budget

Gold – Krista Salter, KMSalter Design
Silver – Katie Golec, ACM Designs
Bronze – Kathleen Casey FitzGerald, Kathleen Casey FitzGerald

Bathrooms Under $30K

Gold – Cara Lawson, Cara Lawson
Silver – Margaret Struthers, Margaret Struthers Interiors
Bronze – Jennifer Costello, Jennifer Costello Interiors

Bathrooms Over $30K

Gold – Linda Mazur Olijnyk, Linda Mazur Design Group
Silver – Lara Kalins, Breathe Interiors
Bronze – Caroline Harrison, Caroline Harrison Designs Inc.

Kitchens Under $50K

Gold – Enza Ricco, Fig Interiors
Silver – Rotem Golan, Ace of Space Interiors
Bronze – Elena Gouchtchina, Maison Interiors

Kitchens Over $50K

Gold – Leanne Tammaro & Adolphina Karachok, Designtheory Inc.
Silver – Sarah St. Amand, Sarah St. Amand Interiors Design Inc.
Bronze – Evelyn Eshun, Evelyn Eshun Design Inc.

Student Project

Gold – Jia Wei Pu, Sheridan College
Silver – Rebecca Aparicio Velasco, Algonquin College
Bronze – Catalina Radulescu, Sheridan College

“This national competition showcases our fabulous members and their talent,” says Mary Dancey, chair of awards for DDA Canada. “There were so many outstanding submissions this year, it’s clear our members are continuing to advance their craft on every level.”

For a practising decorator or designer, a win means peer recognition and increased professional credibility. “Winning a DDA award has been a wonderful experience. The response has been overwhelming,” says Marion Da Ponte, 2018 silver winner in Interiors Over $45 Under $100K. “It’s exciting news to share with friends, family and, of course, my clients — former, current, and new ones.”

The competition, which is supported by sponsorship from several DDA Canada affiliate partners will begin accepting entries again in fall 2018.

Liz Teodorini is Marketing Consultant for DDA Canada.

ONTARIO DESIGN is the official media partner of DDA Canada.


Featured Products


Cover Story : Beauty In Abundance

Latest News

Cover Story : Beauty In Abundance

Photography By Larry Arnal

Sculptural, serene and sophisticated, a layered lakeside garden provides changing and spectacular views all year long.

Some homes have great synergy with the landscape—the plants hug the house, and the ivy nestles in comfortably. When Sarita and Arthur Peltomaa bought this charming lakeside house in 2004, it had lots of curb appeal, but the yard came into its own years later after an extensive overhaul. “It was beautiful, with mature trees and shrubs, but the landscape was old and tired. Our vision was to freshen it up, add some living space and give it a style that better reflected the owners,” says landscape designer Adrian Bartels, who owns Cedar Springs Landscape Group in Oakville, Ontario.


The owners, a creative pair with two teenagers, wanted a place to relax and entertain, and to add curb appeal to their wide corner lot. Sarita is a psychologist who brings a Zen approach to the garden, while Arthur is a lawyer and sculptor, whose work is displayed prominently in the new design. “We integrated a large rock by the archway to display his various pieces,” says Sarita. In fact, a lot of heavy rock was moved in that transformed the space with visual interest and texture. The stone, along with well-placed evergreens, forms the structure behind the low-maintenance garden, breaking up the large lot into smaller, cosier spaces.


It all adds up to a very sophisticated design that isn’t trying too hard—upscale but not ostentatious. “It’s somewhat eclectic—a transitional blend of natural, Japanese and traditional English garden,” says Bartels. First the overgrown shrubs were removed, and then a series of new plantings went in to revive the ailing yard. “The varieties and styles are very much English garden with boxwoods, hydrangeas, and vinca groundcover,” he says.

FRONT EAST SIDE: hills yew hedge with phantom hydrangea trees in between (brunnera and blue hosta in front), begonias (annual), tropical oleander trees, let’s dance moonlight hydrangea, vinca ground cover, little Henry itea, rose glow barberry, and hosta


Sarita found herself very involved in the process. “I grew more interested in plants and became more aware of my own preferences in terms of colour, and the types of flowering plants that I like,” she says. Her input and the family’s personal touches really make the space sing. It’s a reflection of how they live here. “We can sit in the courtyard nestled away, and listen to the pond; we can walk out from our kitchen into a private, gardened breakfast nook that has some lake views; and we can roast marshmallows in the firepit,” says Sarita.

POND AREA AND BACKYARD: sedum in the rocks, bobo hydrangea, hinoki cypress, icee blue juniper, begonias (annual), cascading japanese maple, boxwoods, tricolor beech tree, cedar hedge backdrop behind arbor, and hosta


FRONT SOUTH SIDE: bobo hydrangea flower carpet roses, yews, begonias (annual), dwarf hinoki cypress, little Henry itea, christina source (flanking the side door), blue hosta and japanese maple. Blue spruce, hosta, vinca ground cover and yellow hosta.


To carve out dedicated entertaining space, a new patio was laid. “We used natural square-cut flagstone, which was designed to be quite geometric in shape. We relied on the plantings to soften it up,” says Bartels. “The idea was to create a patio that transitioned from the house to the dining area and also cantilevered the koi pond.” The pond, which was also modernized, is a favourite feature of most people who come here. “Since water is “nature’s laughter,” it tends to be the highlight of many gardens, and I think this one is no exception. I particularly like how the patio integrates up to the edge of the pond,” says Bartels.


Landscape designer Jenna Earle from Bulow’s Garden Centre and Landscaping was also heavily involved as the years went on, adding in new garden beds. Earle used plantings in keeping with a woodland garden. She mass-planted hydrangea for maximum impact and colour all summer, and used hardy yews and versatile hostas, all low maintenance, to great effect. “A really neat gem of the garden is the parade yews against the house in the backyard. They are the perfect evergreen for a narrow space. The form on them is spectacular,” says Earle.

Designer Lou Ward created a serene vintage garden-room using a mix of antiques and a bold Ralph Lauren floral wallpaper. The sunroom also acts as a pass-through to the home’s bedrooms on the other side.


With each season, the garden changes, giving the Peltomaa family beautiful vistas year-round. The house was fitted with expansive new windows with views to the garden from almost every room. A favourite spot is the Frenchinspired sunroom, decorated by local designer Lou Ward to complement the outdoors and to embrace Sarita’s love of French antiques. The elegant and serene space is swathed in a botanical print and drenched in sunlight thanks to a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows and double doors. It’s hard to think of a more ideal spot to sit with a cup of tea in the morning and take in the lush greenery beyond.

Outside, the large yard, divided into smaller “rooms,” works well for moments of quiet relaxation or hosting a louder, larger crowd. And with a stellar lake view, and the bubbling sound of the pond, it’s quite therapeutic. It seems the house isn’t the only thing in harmony with the beautiful new garden. “I just love that it’s peaceful and calm. We can enjoy nature all around us,” says Sarita. “It feels like a sanctuary.”

SOURCES INITIAL LANDSCAPE DESIGN: Cedar Springs Landscape Group EVOLVING GARDEN: Bulow’s Garden Centre SUNROOM: Lou Ward FURNITURE: Petit et Jolis; WALLPAPER: Kravet; CUSHION FABRIC: Bilbrough; MIRROR: The Millionaire’s Daughter; ACCESSORIES: White Pear Studios and Pier 1

Catherine Sweeney is a Toronto-based writer and editor who focuses on art, design and architecture. She has worked for numerous publications including House & Home, Designlines and Azure.


Featured Products

GTA Home & Reno Show 2017

GTA Home & Reno Show 2017 – ReCap

Latest News

GTA Home & Reno Show 2017 – ReCap

This past GTA Home and Reno Show was a great launch to this year’s renovation season.  We were the proud designer of Reno & Decor’s Design Intervention booth that not only hosted many talented designer friends but also many of you seeking design advice for your projects.  We took our cue from small space design for this year’s booth featuring many of the current inspirational trends and colours.

We enjoyed working with the Reno & Decor staff who have made this a fun and rewarding experience.  I’d also like to extend a big thank you to all our sponsors for their dedication and participation:  Casa Life, Quartex Surfaces, Alendel Fabrics, Cardoza Custom Woodworking, Renwil, Eventful PR, Specialty House Manufacturing, Ruth Baker Design, Artistic Stone Design, Benjamin Moore and Bousada Flooring.  

Here’s hoping the home show was inspirational and happy renovating! 

RENO & DECOR booth designer was Linda Mazur. Linda is a nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group. With almost two decades of experience, this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.

Photography by Larry Arnal and Josh Rosset


Design Intervention: We would like to thank the following experts who were on hand for free 15-minute consultations advising on design, decor and reno concerns:

RENO & DECOR would like to thank the following sponsors of Design Intervention:


Featured Products