CDECA Professional Development Day was a HIT

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I would like to start by saying thank you to CDECA for a great Friday! This past Friday, October 21, 2011, I had the pleasure of spending my day with the best of the best that Ottawa has to offer for Designers and Decorators.

I attended the annual CDECA Professional Development Day held this year at the Southway Hotel on Bank Street. CDECA is a Canada-Wide association that represents accredited professionals – decorators, designers, students and affiliates – in the decorating industry. The professional development days which are held for members and affiliates gives those in the industry a chance to learn how to better their business practices and succeed in the market.

This year the topics were quite interesting. The first speaker was Fawn Chang, an Interior Designer, Colour and Feng Shui Expert. Her knowledge and tips on designs using ancient Feng Shui principles was fascinating. As decorators and designers, we all knew that balance and harmony are important when designing spaces, but to incorporate energy flow using elements of wood, water, fire, earth and metal was a learning experience for all involved!

The second speaker, Jeff Picard from Panoramik Home Improvements Inc. had some interesting advice on how renovators and designers/decorators can work together to achieve the outcome the client will love! He was able to answer all questions that were thrown at him from a room full of women.. pretty impressive Jeff!

After a fantastic lunch (provided by the Southway Hotel), the afternoon began with some updates from the CDECA National Office. There are some great things happening within the organization – and great participation from the NCR (National Capital Region)! Way to go Ottawa Decorators! The biggest thing to look forward to is going to be the new website. It is a great place for consumers to go to find accredited decorator and designer members in their region. Members – check out the member’s only section. It has been updated and is quite a bit easier to navigate now too!

The day closed with an inspirational talk from Andrew Houston – a business coach from Action Coach. Action Coach is the world’s number one business coaching firm. They specialize in small business coaching and mentoring. His discussion went through ideas such as the 6 Steps to Massive Results, 5 Ways of Growing a Business and how applying those 5 ways and increasing them each by 10% will increase your profits by much, much more than 10%. Andrew brought energy and ideas to the room and encouraged everyone to not just listen, but participate and IMPLEMENT the ideas from the day.

A big Thank You goes to Pittsburgh Paints for sponsoring the event, CDECA for organizing the event, Southway Hotel for hosting, and all the speakers for making it a very interesting day! I certainly look forward to next year’s Professional Development Day.

Mandalyn Goodall

Sales & Design Representative – Member Division

Custom Home Interiors & Obvious Advantage Inc.

2202 Thurston Drive, Ottawa, ON, K1G 6E1

T:613-248-1244; C:613-898-1245; F:613-248-8905 Follow us on Twitter @CHIOttawa Find us on Facebook @CustomHomeInteriors

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*Winner of the 2010 Ottawa Citizen Peoples Choice Award*

*Winner of the 2011 Best Showroom of the Year Award*

Fall 2011 Home & Design Show

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The Fall 2011 Home & Design Show kicked off Friday afternoon with a bang.  The crowds filled Landsdowne and the exhibitors were ready!  The CHI booth was well equipped with brochures, magazines and of course, free décor advice!  From painters and designers, furniture suppliers and landscaping experts, the show offered something for everyone!

It was a busy weekend and we were all happy to rest our tired feet Sunday night.  The hustle and bustle was well worth it, knowing the fall season will bring new clients and exciting projects our way!

If you missed the show, here are a few highlights:

• Luc Crawford’s high vs. low rooms were a hit!  Can you tell which one is more budget friendly?

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• Seminars, seminars, and more seminars!  From “The Property Brothers”, Jonathon and Drew Scott, to designer and co-host of “Take This House and Sell It!” Margie Doyle and our personal fav, skilled stager Susan Phillips, the audience received helpful tips and trade secrets!

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• The Algonquin Interior Decorating students showed off their creative sides, showcasing their creations built from a reconstructed Ikea chair.  No surprise Andrew Emman’s fav was the skateboard bookcase! Funky and functional!

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• We added something a little special to the CHI booth for the show; a vignette to showcase our design skills!  No, that is not real wine!  Yes, we wished it was!

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Thanks to all who came out to the show!  A big thanks to Caneast for all of their hard work and the designers who worked the booth with us (Sarah Kidder and Margaret Stuthers).  If you have a fall project on the horizon, you know who to call!

Happy fall everyone!

-Kiersten Lowden (