Monday, November 29, 2010

Delights of the Season

Christmas, Just the mention of it brings such fond memories to me.  I can almost feel myself sitting on top of the stairs with my sister and brothers on Christmas morning smelling the aroma of my Mothers freshly brewed coffee, hearing the radio playing the littlest Angel and all the rustling around in out little kitchen.

We would have to wait on those stairs (and it seemed like forever) until my Mother would say "OK, come on down Santa was here" Her voice I here still in every decoration I lay out, in every cookie I bake and in every kiss I give my children. Christmas will never be the same without her but I try to bring the same comfort and memories to my children as she did for us.....she, is a tough act to follow.

Decorating my house at Christmas is a big deal for me. We never had any riches growing up but my Mother could make something out of nothing and the house was always beautiful. There was never a corner that was overlooked. She would have beautiful little vignettes set around with things she had collected for years. She always decorated on the first weekend of December and I can see her puttering now and singing with her carols in her beautiful voice. My Mother sang like an angel.

I have started decorating my home and I have decorated a business for this Holiday season and would like to share some pictures and give a little advice along the way.  While you view the pictures, I have posted my Mothers favorite Christmas Carol (and mine) "I heard the Bells on Christmas Day"  below this post listen and Enjoy!

1- Groupings: We like to collect Christmas decorations each year, sometimes its Santa's, tree ornaments, table ornaments, whatever it may be it is a good idea to group them in vignettes on a table or a little corner of the room to add interest. Try not to spread throughout the house as this can get to repetitive and gimmicky

2-Urns: When decorating your exterior entry way of your home or business having large dark urns on either side of the door is always a nice touch. Be sure to make them as full as possible, don't skimp on greenery, you need to produce a WOW factor. Make sure you add several different types of greenery in various shapes and colours. Try adding Birch to the center for a exit from all the green.

3- Entry ways: It's not all about whats outside your door during the holidays. Make your guests feel right at home as soon as they come in the door. Decorate a small entry table, add candles for parties maybe leading up stairs. Greenery and lights.

4- Mantels: I always save my favorite things for my mantel. The best greenery I can find. I get the top of the line greenery Christmas specific and then add just your typical everyday greenery for interest. Remember to mix the shades and textures of the greenery. I rarely use a garland on the mantel put instead use the different greenery sprigs in different shapes and shads to create your masterpiece.

5-Dining Table: One of the biggest mistakes people make is to decorate all around their homes but forget the dining table....or just throw a little arrangement on it that just goes unnoticed. This is a big mistake as it it the perfect spot to create visual focal point. I like to use silver containers filled with artificial or real greenery keeping in mind the rule of different shades and textures. I use many different types of glass or silver candle holders in different heights and forms. 


6-Antiques: This is one of my favorite things to use during the holidays. Look for vintage cards, carol books, & ornaments and use in a vignette or to decorate your tree. Look for old paned windows or a hollow frame and hang on the wall with a boxwood wreath hanging on it. Skates and skis are great for a bare corner and Children toys and books make a great display.

Here are some more pictures to grab your ideas from

 All pictures and Designs Sonya Kinkade Design

 Merry Christmas Everyone!

Harry Belafonte - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Sonya Kinkade Design In the News!!


Richmond designer featured in magazine

Her own home plus a cottage project highlighted

RICHMOND - “Ottawa At Home” is a magazine which celebrates home, living and food in the Nation’s Capital. Each issue features a designer at his or her own home. Each issue also features a cover story which in its Autumn 2010 issue was an article and photos about a year-round cottage delight. And what linked these two prominent stories was the designer, Sonya Kinkade of Sonya Kinkade Design of Richmond.
She not only was the featured designer in the issue in a five page story with photos entitled “Country charm plus urban appeal” with a sub-title of “A Little Glamour plus A Lot of Country” but also she was the designer who redesigned the interior space and chose all of the furnishings and fabrics for the cottage renovation project of Keith and Shauna Kirkham and family of Richmond.
Entitled “Mission Accomplished!”, this story told how the Kirkhams transformed a run-down Big Rideau Lake cottage into a four-season vacation retreat. And they did it with the help of designer Sonya Kinkade who made each room truly stunning but still comfortable and user friendly.
This all came about thanks to a Twitter friendship which Sonya developed with Mary Taggart, editor in chief of “Ottawa At Home” magazine and writer of both of these stories in the Autumn 2010 issue which hit the newsstands recently and will be displayed there until November.
Sonya had initially contacted Mary Taggart to seek her help in promoting a course about the business end of the designing trade which she was organizing for Ottawa. This led to a Twitter friendship in which they chatted back and forth and kept in touch with each other.
Mary liked Sonya’s approach to designing and her work and approached her about being spotlighted in the magazine’s Designer At Home feature which shows the home of a designer and tells about the designer’s style and inspirations. This led to a discussion about the projects on which she was working and the Kirkham cottage feature resulted.
Mary says that “Ottawa At Home” magazine features all kinds of designers in its Designer At Home feature.
“We are very eclectic – anything we think will be interesting to our readers,” she says, noting that Sonya Kinkade’s dedication to her style and her talent stand out.
“Her passion as an individual shines through in her work,” she says, adding that Sonya is not only well trained but has a natural, innate talent that adds a wonderful touch to her work.
Sonya Kinkade feels that it is rare for the magazine to feature a designer that is rural based like herself and so she considers it quite an honour to be the featured designer in an issue.
Most of her work involves renovations and re-decorating. She says that homeowners doing a renovation are coming to realize that hiring a designer up front, while increasing expenses, turns out better in the long run because no mistakes are made, work is done properly and the designer does all of the legwork in searching for appropriate furniture and décor.
An initial consultation in which Sonya gets an idea of the likes and dislikes of her prospective clients leads to a proposal from her which describes what will be done.
She says that designers tend to get labeled for a certain style and look. She finds that this has happened to her to a certain extent, an outcome which she blames on the fact that the look that she does is the look that most people want.
Her work has varied from urban country to a French country look to cottage sheek. But she insists that her work need not be limited to these styles.
“I can do anything,” she says, reiterating that she does not want to be labeled for a particular style.
Sonya is also not a trend follower.
“There’s lots of trends,” she says. “I don’t follow them.”
She says that she always sticks with styles that will still be fashionable 20 years from now.
“Just stay as basic as possible,” she advises clients, saying that she will never recommend a trend but that if a client insists, she will do it while warning that the trend will pass soon. She willingly changes colours and artwork but feels that the structure and major items of a room should stay traditional, a look that will last a lifetime.
One of the trademarks of a Kinkade design is the use of an antique or two in a space, not only because she likes antiques and enjoys mixing them with newer elements in a space but because they add interest to a room.
“I always try to work in an antique,” she says.
Most designers have a contractor with which they work and Sonya is fortunate that her contractor of choice is none other than her husband Darryl, a well known Richmond area contractor. Indeed, she and Daryl have branched out just recently, purchasing a home that they are combining their talents on to flip once all the work is done. It will be completely renovated and re-designed.
Sonya operated a store called “Simple Pleasures” in Richmond from 1995 until six years ago. The store featured home décor and gift items. When she ran the store, customers would frequently ask her for advice for their homes because they liked the way that the store looked. She even did some off-site seasonal decorating for special events, parties or holidays.
So, four years ago, she went back to school, taking an interior decorating course at Algonquin College and is now an accredited interior designer.
She says that she can pretty much walk into a space and immediately visualize how it should look. In some respects, this is a gift.
“Either you have it or you don’t,” she says in terms of this ability to visualize what can be done to space in terms of design. And she is glad that she has been blessed with this talent and that she is now able to use it to help others with their designing challenges.
Now, thanks to “Ottawa At Home” magazine, she should be even busier than ever and helping out even more and more people with their design wishes.
Sonya Kinkade Design’s website can be found at

By John Curry
Blog Design by April Showers
Install by Designs by Dana