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Transform your kitchen with Samsung Bespoke

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Transform your kitchen with Samsung Bespoke


For generations, Canadians have customized refrigerators by covering them in magnets and photos, the doors a kind of a blank canvas. Now, new Samsung Bespoke Refrigerators take that instinct to customize to the next level, turning the heart of the home into a showstopper.

Samsung Bespoke Refrigerators offer a unique blend of personalized aesthetics with premium refrigeration. They feature interchangeable outside panels to reflect various personal styles, together with customizable and convertible compartments on the inside, helping create the ideal fridge for any space.

Available in 4-Door Flex and 1-Door Column models, Bespoke offers consumers the opportunity to create a tailored configuration that evolves with their design preferences. With multiple styles to choose from, the 4-Door Flex model features eight colours, including rose pink and navy; and three distinct finishes, glass, matte glass or steel, offering a combination of design options. In addition, the 1-Door Column model features six colours, including an exclusive beige option, with glass or matte glass finishes. Bespoke offers the option to mix-and-match multiple columns and swap them out later for a quick kitchen makeover.

While choosing from various colours and finishes may seem like all the fun, looking inside the new Bespoke lineup, there’s even more to discover and customize. The 4-Door Flex comes with a brand-new feature, the Beverage Centre. Hidden behind the door to maintain the refrigerator’s flat and sleek design, this new addition includes an Autofill Water Pitcher that is always full of fresh water. Plus, the Dual Auto Ice Maker helps cool any beverage with regular cubed or “nugget” ice with smaller, more chewable pieces that cool drinks even quicker.

The Bespoke also features an innovative Flex Zone, allowing users to change the bottom right section of the refrigerator depending on their needs. Consumers can choose between using it as a freezer or keeping it as a fridge and choosing from five pre-set temperatures to help keep food fresh and tasty.

Samsung Bespoke is more than a home appliance. It’s a refrigerator that is a statement piece, a product as aesthetically customizable as a piece of furniture, and as functional as any cutting-edge Samsung device. From its colourful panels to its flexible storage and dispenser options, the Samsung Bespoke line is a variable, show-stopping design for all kitchens and styles.

For more information, or to design your own Bespoke refrigerator online, visit samsung.ca.


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Ciot announces the launch of Geoluxe’s reflection collection

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Ciot announces the launch of Geoluxe’s reflection collection

Inspired by the wisdom of Suiseki, (水石) the Japanese art of stone appreciation, the new Geoluxe Reflection Collection from will take you on a journey of exotic art that is sure to liven your space and heighten your senses.

Geoluxe, a pyrolithic stone material, is the latest addition to the world of ultra-compact surfaces. Geoluxe is manufactured with 100-per-cent mineral-based materials using a revolutionary process known as geomimicry. This technology is the foundation that gives Geoluxe it’s one of a kind, true through body veining. Taking inspiration from nature, studying the 500-million-year long process from which marble is made, the alchemy of minerals and forces of heat and pressure. Geoluxe has spent the past decade accelerating nature’s research and development and has developed a process to recreate and condense the natural stone making process into a space of minutes, assembling millions of years in a matter of moments. Minerals are liquified, poured into a mould and fused together with fire to create pyrolithic stone.

The result is a high-performance kitchen surface highly resistant to stains, scratches, UV, fire and acid. It is so much like natural stone, it could be said that Geoluxe is the closest a manufactured material can be to natural stone. Designed for cooking and entertainment, with veins running throughout, the stone and polished to an everlasting, luxurious finish. Revealing its beauty from all angles, Geoluxe pyrolithic stone surfaces capture the spirit of marble, with none of its flaws.

The first two colours of the Reflection Collection, Wool and Greige, are now available exclusively at Ciot.



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Bathroom budget basics

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Bathroom budget basics

A bathroom renovation is costly, time-consuming and inconvenient on a good day. Still, the results are worth the investment when you consider your return in terms of personal enjoyment and future resale value. And if you carry out the project correctly, it can be a smooth and seamless process. As a designer, here are some things I’ve learned first-hand about bathroom renovations.

Every good design starts with a clear set of priorities

What is your goal for the renovation? What do you want your bathroom to do for you? Separate your needs from your wants. Are there obvious problems that need to be corrected? Moisture issues, outdated electrical and plumbing should be prioritized over the “extras.” Then, consider function. Who will be using the space, and how? Do you need double sinks? Are you a bath or shower person? Next, consider resale value – and for all you “shower people” out there, ensure your home has at least one tub!

Have a budget and stick to it

And, very importantly, be realistic. Bathrooms can be the costliest of spaces to renovate, due to the number of trades needed per square foot. A modest bathroom reno can easily run from $15,000 to $60,000 or more, depending on materials and other scalable selections, greatly influencing the budget.

When drafting your budget, don’t rely on a contractor’s estimated costs. Instead, get a detailed quote to ensure your budget is being allotted to your expectations. Bathroom renovation spending can quickly escalate beyond the original budget, usually due to poor planning and indecision, but sometimes due to unforeseen factors that are discovered only after you’ve opened the walls. For this reason, I always recommend having a 20-percent contingency fund.

Communicate with your team

Don’t just assume that you and your contractor or interior designer are on the same page. Communicate your wants and needs. For example, suppose you’re working with a professional bathroom designer. In that case, this is your single touchpoint for all things reno, from planning and design to material selections, trades, project management, budget and timelines. Any changes to the plan should be communicated immediately to help minimize disruption and costs to the overall schedule and project. With renovations way up this past year, enlist your trades early on in the reno process to give your contractor ample time to book required sub-trades and ensure project materials are ordered and can be delivered on time.

A bathroom renovation has many moving parts, which is why many homeowners choose to engage with a professional designer to manage this project, from concept to completion. When it comes to a significant space, such as a kitchen or bathroom, it is well worth your investment to get the job done right the first time.

Hardware Richelieu Shower walls Blanco Carrara Counter and jambs in organic white. Caesarstone Interior doors in HC-168 Chelsea Grey. Benjamin Moore Tiles in diesel diving in metallic gray. Ciot

Three key areas to consider when planning a reno

  1. Bathtubs act as the focal point and influence the overall bathroom design. Freestanding bathtubs are all the rage, and come in classic or contemporary designs. If you’re seeking style but are challenged for space, consider this: Many freestanding tubs are long enough to soak outstretched, yet they take up far less space than a traditional built-in!
  2. Cabinetry is essential for the storage and function of the room. Once you’ve decided on a single or a double sink, consider how much storage space you need. You may want custom-designed and -built cabinetry; however, stock cabinets are far less expensive and come in a range of dimensions to suit most spaces.
  3. Flooring needs to balance function and fashion. This hard-wearing element can take a beating, so ensure durability is one of your must-have criteria. Due to the nature of the bathroom, flooring materials should be water-resistant. Marble, stone and ceramic are the most popular choices.

Diana Rose is the Principal and Creative Director for Diana Rose Design. Nationally published known for creating tailored interiors that enhance and complement your lifestyle. Servicing Toronto & GTA, Muskoka dianarose.design @dianarosedesign


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Pesto milk buns

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Pesto milk buns

Top Chef Canada: All-Stars winner, Chef Nicole Gomes teams up with Kitchen Aid and their trusty Stand Mixer to create a delicious recipe you can recreate at home.


For the pesto:

  • 3 cups fresh basil
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 1/2 cup parmesan or grana padano, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1/2 cup olive oil

For the Tangzhong (starter):

  • 3 tablespoons (43g) water
  • 3 tablespoons (43g) whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons (14g) bread flour

For the dough:

  • 2 1/2 cups (300g) bread flour
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) dry milk powder
  • 1/4 cup (40g) sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon (8g) salt
  • 2 1/4 teaspoons (10g) instant yeast
  • 1/2 cup (113g) whole milk, slightly warmed
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup (57g) melted unsalted butter (room temp)

For the egg wash: 

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon whipping cream or water

Directions to make the pesto:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Place pine nuts on a small baking sheet. Toast for 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
  3. Place all ingredients except the olive oil in a food processor. Process on high for 30 seconds.
  4. Add the olive oil. Process until smooth. Taste for salt, and season with more salt if desired.
  5. Set your finished pesto aside.

 Directions to make the Tangzhong (starter):

  1. Combine the water, milk and flour in a small saucepan and whisk together until smooth.
  2. Place the saucepan over medium-low heat and cook the mixture, stirring constantly using a heat-proof rubber spatula or whisk, until thickened, about 3–5 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and cool to room temperature.

Directions to make the dough:

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer (or large bowl) whisk together the flour, milk powder, sugar, salt and yeast to combine.
  2. In the medium bowl with the tangzhong, add the milk, egg, melted butter until well combined.
  3.  Pour the milk mixture into the flour mixture. On low speed, knead together using the dough hook until a dough forms (or knead by hand, or using a bread machine). NOTE: the dough will be very sticky when mixing begins, do not add more flour at this stage; the dough will absorb the excess moisture and come together as the mixing progresses.
  4. Increase the speed to medium-low and continue kneading until a smooth, elastic dough forms, about 20-25 minutes. At this point, the dough should feel tacky (a bit sticky, but not messy or loose) and should easily come together in a tight ball when handled with lightly-oiled hands. If not, knead in one tablespoon of flour at a time. NOTE: A good indication your dough is ready: it should be able to stretch between your hands into a thin film, without breaking right away.
  5. Using lightly-oiled hands, shape the dough into a ball, and transfer to a lightly greased large bowl. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, 60-90 minutes.
  6. Turn out the dough onto a work surface (you should not need or use flour). Gently roll the dough into an 18” x 8” rectangle of even thickness.
  7. Spread pesto onto the rectangle, ensuring you get all the way to the ends of the 18” length and leaving 2 inches clear of pesto on the 8” ends. Carefully and snuggly roll the pesto lined dough lengthwise up the 8” length so you get an 18” log.
  8. Spray or grease an 8 or 9-inch square pan. Cut the log into nine 2” buns. Place buns cut side up in the pan evenly spaced apart (3×3).
  9. Cover the pan loosely with plastic wrap and allow the buns to rise for 40 to 50 minutes, until puffy. In the last 10 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 350F.
  10. Prepare egg wash by whisking together the egg and heavy cream.
  11. When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap from the pan, then gently brush the buns with the egg wash. Bake the rolls for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown on top. A digital thermometer inserted into the center of the middle bun should register at least 190F. NOTE: If the tops are browning too quickly, loosely place a piece of foil on top of the buns to prevent further browning.
  12. Remove the buns from the oven, then immediately brush with the 1 tablespoon melted butter.
  13. Allow them to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then gently flip them onto a large plate, then onto a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.
All-Stars winner, Chef Nicole Gomes


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5 tips for a healthy bathroom

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5 tips for a healthy bathroom

1. Lay the right foundation

Bathrooms can be centres for self-care, but they can also be hotspots for health issues if not built properly. Prevent issues with mould and mildew by using a Schluter shower system to ensure a completely sealed envelope for your wet room. Planning for excellent ventilation is another top priority. Further, hire a licensed plumber to ensure there are no hidden leaks behind the walls after your fixtures are installed.

2. Avoid hidden toxins in your building materials

When it comes to the finishes in your bathroom, there are many that contain hidden toxins. Paint and cabinetry are two significant contributors of VOC’s and formaldehyde. To avoid this, seek out formaldehyde-free MDF from a company like Columbia Forest Products, and choose VOC and formaldehyde-free paint from AMF Safecoat. AMF Safecoat also offers a VOC and formaldehyde-free caulking for sealing around showers and tile.

3. Integrate this focus on wellness into adjacent rooms in your home

Your bathroom is not the only room in your house that can be impacted by hidden toxins in paint finishes, flooring, cabinetry and furnishings of all kinds. To ensure that your indoor air quality is contributing to your wellness rather than hijacking your health, integrate a Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde air purifier to remove those hidden toxins. I suggest starting in the bedroom as it’s often the room connected to your bathroom and the space we spend a third of our lives in. The Dyson Purifier Hot+Cool Formaldehyde will measure and remove mould spores that could develop and migrate from the bathroom using UVC light and HEPA filtration. It doesn’t stop there, though, because it will also measure and remove harmful VOC’s and formaldehyde. That means it will actively measure and capture toxins from everything from off-gassing furniture to the hairspray you use every morning.

4. Integrate wellness rituals into your design

If your budget allows, consider how you can design your space to set yourself up to embrace wellness rituals in your everyday life. Adding a steam shower from Mr. Steam is an amazing way to bring the detoxifying and decompressing powers of the thermal cycle spa to your home.

5. Allow beauty to feed your soul

Consider the kind of vibe you want in your bathroom. If it’s meant to be a retreat for you, then think about your favourite spas or vacation destinations and consider using them as inspiration for your colour palette. Generally speaking, quieter, natural colour palettes are more soothing in bathroom spaces. They’re also timeless and thus more future-proof when it comes to resale.

As an internationally published designer and sought-after expert on sustainability and wellness for the home, Sarah Walker combines the visual power of interior design with a deep understanding of how our interior environments can nurture our health and wellbeing.



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New participants at Kitchen+Bath Canada Expo!

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New participants at Kitchen+Bath Canada Expo!

Kitchen+Bath Canada is Canada’s only trade show dedicated to the Kitchen and Bath industry, featuring shows, StoneTech Canada and Illuminate Canada. The following are among the new participants to the growing number of exhibitors and sponsors at KBC 2021.


New-participants-at-Kitchen_b  New-participants-at-Kitchen_c

Sasso Canada (Platinum Sponsor)

For more than 40 years, Sassomeccanica has been designing and producing bridge saws, polishers for marble, granite and artificial stone. Sasso designs and produces automatic machines for cutting, shaping, polishing and carving marble, travertine, granite, stones and agglomerates. Simple to use, they find application in the building sector as well as in interiors and furniture, funerary art and sculpture.

GranQuartz (Silver Sponsor)

GranQuartz is the largest distributor of stone tools and equipment across Canada! GranQuartz Canada is committed to sourcing, developing and distributing the most innovative, cost-effective tools from the world’s leading and most trusted brands. GranQuartz Canada teams up with top manufacturers to maintain an unparalleled sourcing pipeline, providing their customer’s unmatched solutions they need to succeed.

CaesarStone (new exhibitor)

CaesarStone Ltd. manufactures engineered quartz surfaces. The company produces quartz kitchen countertops, vanity tops, wall panels, backsplashes, floor tiles, and other interior surfaces including floors and stairs. CaesarStone offers its products to the residential construction and remodelling markets. CaesarStone will be part of KBC’s featured show, StoneTech Canada.

Rev-A-Shelf (new exhibitor)

Rev-A-Shelf manufactures thousands of innovative storage organizing accessories designed for residential stock or custom kitchen, bath or closet cabinetry.

It offers drawer systems, clothing organizers, baskets, blind corners, pullout shelves, drip trays, ironing boards, and other products. The company caters to kitchen dealers, architects, furniture manufactures, cabinet distributors, and many more.

Through this exciting new participation, these companies will have the opportunity to showcase and provide their valuable products and services to their respective industry on a global scale.

Book your space today, as space is limited:kbcexpo.com

Inquire about Kitchen+Bath Canada sponsorship opportunities: kbcexpo.com/contact-us



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Builder Best Decor Studio Practices series

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Builder Best Decor Studio Practices series

First in a series of six

Our goal with our Builder Best Decor Studio Practices is to provide industry expertise to builders to have the information they need to be successful and profitable when setting up their decor studio.


Your decor studio – 3 ways to unleash its potential

Your decor studio holds an incredible potential on many levels to support your brand, uplift the customer journey and provide essential profits to your bottom line.

Homebuyers who have made the choice to purchase a brand-new home, are looking for value, personalization and choice.


Your decor studio is your greatest opportunity to promote the creation of a home that will match the lifestyle and personal preferences of your homeowners and the promise of your project’s marketing and sales program.

Your decor studio should become a core element of your sales, profitability, and an essential part of your entire marketing cycle.


Here are three specific ways that your decor studio can become one of your best business assets:

Increase new home sales

Getting homebuyers excited early in the buying process is an important aspect of the marketing and sales process. When you give homebuyers an opportunity to become emotionally connected to the options available to them, you establish an understanding of their needs and in turn their trust.

In our experience, when a homebuyer is unsure to move forward with their purchase decision, the decor studio serves as an additional experience that will support and guide them to reach their ultimate vision. Additionally, when it is time to choose their finishes, they will return to the decor studio, arriving prepared and empowered to make confident decisions.

Elevating the selections experience

The personalization of their new home provides an exceptional opportunity to create an inspiring decor studio program that matches their preferences and needs. Add a positive buying experience inside the studio, accompanied by the right amount of knowledge and guidance along with great customer service and you will have provided a wonderful and memorable experience to your customers who will thank you.

A strong design studio sales program will increase per-home revenue.

Increase your profits through curated choices

We have found the majority of builders have missed opportunities to increase their profitability using their decor studio and developing the right environment and program for the site.

Offering value, choice and personalization with a well-planned and managed decor sales program will inevitably add to your bottom line. We have experienced increases in sales by as much as 30 per cent or more per project year-over-year.

Stay tuned for our second installment of our Builder Best Decor Studio Practices series as we explore how to increase upgrade sales with your homeowners.

Yasmine Goodwin is President of My Design Studio


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Hidden air pollution in our home – the importance of ventilation

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Hidden air pollution in our home – the importance of ventilation

Outdoor air has been regulated for years, but what about the indoor air pollutants that have been hiding in our homes for decades? Apart from the bathrooms, even the kitchens have been proved to contain these harmful particles. Cooking, cleaning and other household activities are generating significant levels of particulate chemicals and volatile organic compounds (VOC) inside the home, while hindering the indoor air quality. Frying food on the stove, using a toaster, mopping a floor or even breathing indoors can lead to a major rise in the levels of indoor pollution. According to Environmental Protection Agency, the air we breathe indoors can be five times as polluted as the outdoor air – and that is simply because enclosed areas tend to build up more pollutants than an open space.

In a recent project at Harvard Data Science Initiative, researchers cooked a thanksgiving dinner in a 1,200-sq.-ft. manufactured home, to find out the possible pollutants and particulate matters in the indoor air. They discovered that the levels of fine particulate matter in the home had reached about 285 micrograms per cubic metre. Other research found that these regular indoor activities may give rise to the substances such as volatile organic compounds (VOCs), carbon dioxide, nitric oxide, and fine particulate matter that end up harming the indoor air.

Among of the appliances that require proper ventilation are gas stoves, as they significant contributors to air pollution in kitchens. They emit nitrogen dioxide when the fuel is burned at a very high temperature. When mixed with the air, they produce toxic organic nitrates and nitric acid that can largely cause irritation in the lungs, while lowering the resistance to respiratory disorders such as influenza. According to research by Environmental Protection Agency, frequent exposure to high concentrations of these particles may cause respiratory diseases in children.

Hence, it is of utmost importance that the kitchen is well-ventilated at all times – mainly, during the cooking process and as well as afterward. And just in case if the food gets burned during cooking, it further leads to harmful emissions such as particulate matter, nitrogen dioxide, formaldehyde, and carbon monoxide that may be extremely toxic for the residents to breathe. It may be quite surprising to know that even the basic tasks such as boiling water on the stovetop flame can end up producing high levels of gaseous air pollutants and suspended particulates indoors. Thus, it is crucial to install a high-quality ventilation fan and a chimney or a range hood, or otherwise open the windows wide open during cooking to let out these harmful particles as much as possible.

A 2001 report published by California Air Resources Board (CARB) stated that cooking fried chicken on a gas stove can produce an average of 400 parts per billion of nitrogen dioxide. And this level is significantly higher as compared to the standards that measure around 250 parts per billion. On the other hand, ovens – whether gas or electric – have the equal potential to produce pollutants such as formaldehyde and particulate matter during regular use. A few activities that cause the most indoor air pollution are the deep frying and browning of food products. Mainly, heating ingredients at a high temperature with oil or fat concentration may emit polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAC) and particulate matter (PM 2.5 and PM 10) that majorly cause eye and respiratory irritation.

Do you smell that pleasing aroma from the foods when they’re getting grilled or simply toasted? Well, yes! That is when the compounds such as brown carbon (particulate matter) and VOCs are being released. Moreover, even multi-tasking in the kitchen may seem obviously efficient and time-consuming – but the fact is that this combination may exponentially decrease the potential air quality of your kitchen. For instance, cooking with teriyaki sauce and simultaneously cleaning with bleach may produce toxins such as chloramines that are known to cause respiratory inflammation. Or also cleaning with bleach while using a gas burner simultaneously may produce nitryl chloride that causes coastal smog formation. Some of the common VOCs present in the kitchen indoor air are benzene, xylene, tetrachloroethylene, methylene chloride, ethylene glycol and toluene.

It is crucial to maintaining the air quality of the kitchen, since there is considerable time spent there. So, step by step, no matter how small, make the effort to improve the quality of your kitchen’s air. First and foremost, gas combustion produces PM2.5 which is almost double what an electric stove produces (PM2.5 is one of the deadliest air pollutants). Another major gas found is CO that is caused by gas stoves in kitchens that are poorly ventilated. This gas has been proved to cause cardiovascular diseases amongst the vulnerable populations that have existing coronary heart diseases. To annul this issue, it is important to prioritize ventilation primarily in the kitchens.

Firstly, it is important to use exhaust hoods and fans. Secondly, it is notable to check whether the existing hood doesn’t end up recirculating air rather than completely venting outside. And thirdly, checking the performance for hoods is noteworthy. It should mainly expel almost 98 per cent of the harmful emissions existing in the air. Another way to increase ventilation is by simply running the entire HVAC system while cooking in the kitchen. Hence, it is definitely a given that human health and wellness are primary. And keeping in mind the fact that homeowners tend to spend a lot of their time cooking, it further becomes primary. To prioritize ventilation and efficiently optimizing the use of kitchen equipment is necessary to propagate a healthy indoor environment.

Since 2009, Linda has been a valuable and trusted resource for the residential interior design/build industry. She is an advocate for inclusive age-free design (universal design) and is one of Canada’s leading experts on living in place, accessibility and wellness design for the home. As an accredited WELL AP, Certified Living in Place Professional (CLIPP) and a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS), Linda offers an unparalleled understanding for creating “forever” homes with wellness features for clients of all ages and abilities.


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How to create a financial plan for your interior design business

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How to create a financial plan for your interior design business

Jaime Bako, Business Development Manager at Design Docs, wrote this article on behalf of DDA Canada.


As the owner of an independent decorating firm, you know how important it is to review the business periodically and to set goals and financial plans for the long term. Even though we are well into 2021, it’s never too late to start! Crunched for time, or, have no idea where to begin?

Here are our top tips for to help you achieve financial success:

1. Financial plan: Develop a high-level financial plan for your business. Start by looking at your total sales, cost of goods, total expenses, and net income from last year. Are your numbers where you want them to be? If not, consider where you would like to be at the end of 2021.

2. Fees: Next, it’s time to review a few key reports that focus on your sales. For fees, if you work off an hourly rate look at total hours and dollars by project, including all the hours not billed – if you have tracked your non-billable hours, you can accurately see how much time you are leaving on the table. Doing this will allow you to see what projects work better than others for you, so you can try to target those in the future. It may also reveal opportunities to correct any internal procedures or sourcing decisions that might have led to an excessive amount of unbillable time. This is the time to consider questions, such as, are you really billing all the time you work? What would be the impact if you increase your rates, even a little? Also, look at all the time worked generally in the business that was not billed to clients – this could also include how much time you spend attending seminars, blogging or other activities.

If you charge a flat design fee, ideally, you would have tracked your time, even though you’re not necessarily charging for it on an hourly basis. That way, you can identify how many hours you’ve spent on past projects to gauge how profitable they were for your business. Are you consistently putting in more work than you’re charging your client for? It might be time to consider whether your design fee is accurately representing the work you’re putting in, so you can charge your clients more appropriately for future projects.

3. Goods: After analyzing your fees, have a look at the goods side of the business. Specifically, review your product sales and the cost of those sales. If you are using a business management software, you could also look at your gross profit by project, by supplier, and by product category. Each of these will help you to decide if you want to make any changes moving forward. For starters, it will show you the type of project that has the best impact on your business and that can affect your marketing decisions. It can also reveal plenty about your suppliers which could lead to tightening ties with some and loosening with others.

4. Overhead expenses: Review your overhead expenses to see if anything can be reduced in the future. A key consideration here is whether costs that really relate directly to projects and should be passed on to clients are slipping into your overheads. Some examples could include building permits, printing costs, courier charges and additional freight fees. If you look at all these small expenses, and then multiply them by the number of projects you have, it’s surprising how quickly they can add up. By reviewing your overhead expenses, this can help you identify if your bottom line is being impacted, and by how much.

5. Additional support: Lastly, consider hiring additional support. This may seem a bit counter-intuitive, especially if you’re focused on limiting costs and hitting specific revenue goals. However, by investing more in support for your team, either internal or outsourced, it can have a positive, long-term impact on your bottom line. For example, if you’re spending a lot of your time on non-billable administrative work, you have less time to spend with clients that may be billable. Similarly, if you are attempting to do your book-keeping yourself, you could invest a small amount in a monthly bookkeeper to help lighten the load. That way, you have more time to invest in other areas of your business to bring in more revenue.

A simple plan and an annual review like this can get you motivated to grow the business and realistically meet your financial goals this year. You will be surprised at the impact that these changes can make. Having long-term targets also keeps you focused – so, be sure to keep that up by checking in on your progress throughout the year to see whether you’re on track.

Jaime Bako, Business Development Manager at Design Docs, wrote this article on behalf of DDA Canada.



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Chef Devan Rajkumar’s Guyanese pepperpot wings recipe

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Chef Devan Rajkumar’s Guyanese pepperpot wings recipe

The Home Depot Canada has partnered with barbecue expert, Chef Devan Rajkumar, a judge on the Food Network show Fire Masters, to develop a custom recipe for the 2021 barbecue season.



Equipment needed

  • Large mixing bowl
  • Food processor or hand blender
  • Heat safe spoon or spatula
  • Chef’s knife and cutting board
  • Tongs

Prep in advance

  • Chicken wings should be marinated for a minimum of one hour for best results overnight.
  • Leftover marinade should be reserved for basting.

Let’s get cooking

  1. In a bowl or food processor, add cassareep, onion, garlic, ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Mix well to incorporate then add brown sugar, orange peel, thyme and wiri wiri peppers. Blend in a food processor or with a hand blender to form pepperpot marinade.
  2. Trim the skin on the chicken wings. Toss the wings in the marinade, coating them
  3. Marinate the wings and leave for one hour minimum, for best results overnight in the
  4. Preheat the grill to 300F. Place chicken wings on the grill, reserve marinade left in the
  5. Grill for 30-35 minutes and flip once basting with the remaining marinade. Cook for
    another 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 160F – 165F.
  6. Plate at a height and garnish with thyme leaves and orange zest.
  7. Serve immediately.


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