A Visit To The Toronto Gift Fair

Twice yearly the Canadian Gift & Tableware Association hosts The Toronto Gift Fair, the country’s largest wholesale show for retailers, designers and media to see what new products and trends are coming onto the retail market. The Toronto Gift Fair was a 5-day long event, from January 31st to February 4th 2016 at the International Centre & Toronto Congress Centre in Toronto. It showcased products such as tabletop, gourmet foods, garden accessories, art, home decor and much, much more- over 500,000 products were on display!

This guy looks pretty happy; he’s an exhibitor that one a Best Booth award! Awards were given out by celebrity designers Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander.


I had a great time this year; my VIP visit was hosted by top Toronto designer dreamteam Glen Peloso and Jamie Alexander who acted as ambassadors for the show. These two designers/store owners were very knowledgeable of the show and the latest/greatest products being offered.


Here’s a few things I found at the show. All of these items will be coming shortly to a home decor retail store near you.

A statement piece is always in fashion and what a better way to add some colour and a touch of tradition to a modern space than with a painted clock? I loved this one from Mercano; imagine it standing in a master bath; holding rolled towels and magazines; all while telling you it time to get out of the tub and on to work!

Mercana 1

Retro was hot; and what a better way to greet your guests than with a marquee sign hanging in the kitchen! This one from My Cinema Lightbox comes with many slide-in letters so it would be easy to customize a message and coloured lightbulbs for dinner guests!

My CInema LIghtbox

And I am certainly picking up this baby… the Anchor Clock (from Mercano) as my guest room on the 3rd floor of my townhouse is decorated with a subtle nautical theme.


Here’s a few trends seen at the Toronto Gift Show:

-Lots of grey/beige neutrals.

-Hits of black were coming in to replace the grey.

-Pale, dusty pink was an emerging colour on modern elements.

-Gold metallic tones were taking over the silver metallics.



Toppings On The Tree

I’m not a fan of stars or angels on the top of a Christmas tree; its not a religious thing- I just have’nt found one that I have found intersesting enough. I am racking my brain as what to top my Christmas tree with this year.

Last year I topped it with a vintage tophat and red scarf- for a Dickens effect at the top of the tree. It was easy to do and was very effecive.

How do you decorate the top of your tree? I’d love to know. Also, if you find anything visually interesting, please let me know!

Here’s a cute tree-topper option; perhaps for the newly married couple? Anthropologie’s Owl Couplet Tree Topper, $88.
Owl Couplet Tree Topper, Anthropologie

And while we are on cuteness; these vintage salt and pepper shakers will bring a nod of the past on Christmas morning. Urban Outfitters’ Vintage-Inspired Elf Salt & Pepper Shakers, $18.
Vintage-Inspired Elf S&P, $18 UO

Let the hunt begin- I will report back in a week or two on what I have decided for this year’s tree topper. Happy Holidays, KL

Merry & Bright!


The holidays are all about magical lighting, inside and out, and nothing helps set the tone more than LED lighting. Energy efficient, cost effective and safe, they’re the ideal decorative lighting this season. While at Christmas In November, an annual event held within Jasper National Park at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, I introduced an amazing assortment of lighting from Canadian Tire to an audience of approving “Ooooh’s” and “Ahhhh’s”. Whether you live in an apartment or a house, there are so many magical ways to add some simple sparkle to a balcony, patio, front porch or yard.


IMG_5126Inspired by the wildlife roaming freely at the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (the lodge is situated 50 kms within a protected national park where I’ve seen elk, deer, moose, cougars and coyotes), the popular LED lighted polar bear from last year is being over shadowed by the moose – a majestic fellow adding big, bright and oh-so-Canadian impact to holiday decor. Imagine this 4-ft pre-lit moose wireform on a balcony or standing just outside the kitchen patio doors. Of course, a herd on the front lawn would be a traffic stopper, for sure! I’d even find the perfect spot for this beauty indoors, perhaps beside a fireplace or or poking its head out from behind the Christmas tree as seen here in my #christmaswithkarl seminar room.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.30.10 PMWith “The Peanuts Movie” having made its much-anticipated big screen debut earlier this month, Snoopy is more popular than ever this year. Imagine the nostalgic and new smiles of you’ll spark with this pre-lit Snoopy as guests of all ages approach your front door while an outdoor speaker plays the soundtrack to the classic “A Charlie Brown Christmas”! Imagine the laughter of little ones as this guy greets them inside the foyer? Such fun & so unexpected. I love using outdoor lighting in various spots inside the house.

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 8.43.33 PMWith snowy winter weather upon us in many parts of the country already, Frosty standing familiar guard the front yard is fair game! What I love about this 4-ft pre-lit twinkling snowman is that he only requires a plug to stay alive, not an avalanche of snow. Super easy to assemble, keep him up long after the holidays to enjoy for years and years to come.


IMG_6391The rustic-looking lamp post would be the perfect night light outside a guest room door. The 5-ft pre-lit wreath (it’s hinged in the middle for simple storage and ease of use) would be fabulous on the face of a fireplace or in a room with cathedral ceilings for big impact, and the birch LED trees would be stunning lined up down the dining table – their height creating a gorgeous cloud of lights high above your dinner guests…

Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.25.25 PMCreate a snowy winter wonderland on the front of your house or on the ceiling in a child’s bedroom; is there any better way to fall asleep while anticipating Santa’s arrival? :) I love the big impact achieved with the NOMA projection lights.

IMG_5245The perfect solution to lighting your front door wreath! These delicate LED string lights light run off a light weight battery pack which can be tucked behind the branches and out of sight. I like to use the string lights for fun craft projects, too. Try wrapping fire logs to create a subtle glow in an unused fireplace; fill a glass hurricane with colourful tree ornaments and a string or two of these; or incorporate them right into your garland swag. No extension cords needed!


Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.42.48 PM Screen Shot 2015-11-17 at 9.42.05 PMNothing creates a more relaxing atmosphere than the look of candlelight, and LED candles certainly save the day with safety (no real flame to worry about) and style. Canadian Tire has a fantastic assortment of large-scale lanterns this holiday season; built in are large battery-operated pillar candles offering up a warm glow indoors or out. Use them to greet guests on front porch steps or flank the fireplace (also a pretty and warm way to decorate the hearth). They’re also gorgeous hung from tree branches in the back yard (note: these lanterns have an on/off switch on the bottom for convenience).

May your holidays be Merry & Bright! KL