Design Buzz… news thats happening now!

Every month or so I head to 104.5 ChumFM radio and dish out the latest and great home decor news. On this visit I will be chatting about many things including celebrities and news. If you tune into 104.5FM at 8:20am you will hear all the news. You can listen online at (click to listen HERE: Here’s some news/gossip happening in the home-decor world.

Karl Lohnes
-The Kardashians land the March 2016 cover of Architectural Digest …and not everyone’s happy…

The March cover of Architectural Digest was previewed earlier than the publication date on Instagram. The reactions of seeing two of the Kardashian sisters sprawled in the photo were not good. Not only did thousands of people think having the Kardashians on the cover of the world’s most coveted interior design magazine was SO wrong; so did Anna WIntour. Anna is the former editor-in-chief of Vogue magazine and is now creative director at publishing giant Conde Nast; who publishes Architectural Digest. Apparently, she was not too happy when editor-in-chief Margaret Russell decided she needed to sell magazines and shot the Kardashian girls for in their newly decorated apartment for the cover. Seems it was good enough for Anna Wintour to put Kim Kardashian on the cover of Vogue two years ago, but not good for Margaret to use the old selling tactic that ‘celebrities sell magazines’. The two reconciled and newsstand magazines will feature Kourtney & Khloe on the magazine’s cover while dedicated, long-time subscribers to the magazine will get a revised version with a room-decor image on the cover, not the Kardashians. Just read some of those comments!!!

Karsdashians -Arch Digest Instagram
-The biggest decor trends get highlighted at Canada’s largest buying fair:

The Toronto Gift Fair (Canada’s largest trade market for retailers and designer to shop) displayed half a million products on over a million square feet of floorspace last month. Three of the biggest home trends seen were:
1/Lots of GOLD metallic
2/The colour GREY still dominating as a neutral
3/The emergence of dusty PINK on small housewares accessories.
Look for these big trends in stores beginning spring 2016!
-HGTV designer Samantha Pynn launches a home line with Quebec-based retailer Simons:

Simons has always been one of those shopping-musts when visiting Montreal and now the mainly-fashion department store has rolled out a plan to open department stores across the country with Toronto’s first unveiling at Square One mid March. They have a fantastic home section, and last week introduced a collection of bedding, bath and kitchen accessories by Canadian designer Samantha Pynn. Look for soft pastels, pretty colours and graphic shapes in her collection, which is sure to be well-received by the on-trend shoppers who frequent Simons stores and the website

-Some of the best home deals to look for during the month of March:

1/ Look for 2015 televisions going on sale (25% off) as all the new 2016 models are finally in full stock.
2/ Luggage is always at its best pricing in March (50-75% off). Luggage is bought for 3 seasons: Summer, Christmas and March Break travel. If the old models have not been sold for March break travel then they go on sale.
3/Vacuum cleaners (30% off); new models are introduced in early summer so clearing out the old always happens in the spring.
-Television decor queen Debbie Travis launches a collection of outdoor furnishings:

After a very successful run with home products at Canadian Tire, TV designer Debbie Travis took a couple of years off to renovate and decorate an old villa in Tuscany- a place that she now spend 8-9 months each year. This spring Debbie is launching a collection of outdoor furnishings with Sears Canada. Debbie told me many of the designs for the collection were inspired by the modern designs coming out of Italy. The outdoor furnishings will be launched at the upcoming National Home Show in a few weeks and Debbie will be there to cut the ribbon on the new furniture.

-H&M launches a newly-renovated flagship store in Toronto this morning:

Thats right, another fashion retailer enters the home-decor market! The high-fashion/low-price retailer is launching their new flagship store today at the newly re-branded CF Toronto Eaton Centre (formerly known as just ‘The Eaton Centre’). Good news for home decor enthusiasts: The H&M flagship store will have a home-decor department featuring Euro-influenced bedding, tabletop, decor accessories at affordable pricing that has made H&M a hit with fashionistas around the world. I love shopping for home decor from fashion stores as they are usually ahead of decor trends by 6-12 months. Imagine: high decor at low cost! Here’s a sneak peek at the H&M Home website:

H&M Home offereings
-Just how many houses has Ellen De Generes reportedly renovated, decorated or flipped?

The 58-year old comedian and television talk show host has made millions of dollars from buying and selling homes in the Southern California area over the past 25 years. As of the end of 2015 she had reportedly bought and sold 12 houses- all for large profits. In her latest book ‘Home-’, she features many of the houses, gives lessons for renovating and decorating, plus lists her favourite suppliers local to where her homes were located in California. She is quoted saying: “When I was 14 i wanted to become an interior designer” :)

-Lionel Richie has just introduced a tabletop collection?

Hello! The 66 year old multi-platinum selling artist can now add ‘Lifestyle Guru’ to his resume. The Lionel Richie Home Collection will be hitting high-end retailers and hoteliers throughout 2016. The collection “will feature dinnerware, barware, serving and entertaining accessories and fragrant candles that reflect a look and feel that Lionel has captured as he traveled the world throughout his career.” according to a press release. A special luncheon for 40 people was held 2 weeks ago in the Versailles Suite at the St.Regis Hotel in New York City. Special guests included Martha Stewart, Margaret Russell (Editor In Chief of Architectural Digest), designer Thom Felicia, actor Robert DeNiro, while singer Freddie Jackson serenaded the crowd.

-And… my insider connections tell me George and Amal Clooney have purchased a house in Toronto… I’ll know more about this rumour in a few weeks- stay tuned!


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