Fantasy to realityPublished on December 31, 2014

  • Storage crates keep Donnaís office organized

  • Coffee table collections

  • Throw cushions are Santa Barbara fabrics by textile designer Raol

  • Lee Chair, in buttercup fabric from Cadieux Interiors, grape vine wall hanging from Art of Furniture

  • Donna Correy in her kitchen

As the creative talent behind Minto's model homes since 1986 and principal decorator of the Minto CHEO lottery dream home, Donna Correy of KISS Design Group knows how to create fantasy within the décor. 

Model homes appeal to the imagination of visitors, tempting them with the possibilities of becoming a homeowner. But, once a home is purchased and reality sets in, there are many aspects of model home decorating that do not fit into everyday life.

In her own home, Donna is cognizant of the fact that fantasy shouldn't play too big of a role in décor. While it's fun to be creative, too much decorative creativity comes off as quirky and lacks longevity.

Most of the décor in a model home embraces trends. Many trends are passing fads to keep the space looking up-to-date that interior designers try to balance with décor that will stand the test of time.

For Donna, that means looking for trends that involve a way to mix classics within a new project. The savvy designer says, "It's like building a good wardrobe; the classics blend with a few twists every season."

She advises keeping trends to a minimum, never allowing them to take away from a design that already works well. "In décor we usually start with the architecture and work trends in from there. The trends are the manicure," adds Donna, who uses them to enhance what is already happening within a space.

With an eye on many aspects of lifestyle, Donna finds inspiration everywhere, from fashion runways to art galleries, magazines and the Internet. She attends multiple trade and gift shows each year to stay on top of what is current on both the design and building fronts. Her own home is a tribute to her comfortable, relaxed style. She and her husband raised three boys in a Ď60s-style split-level in Ottawa South. Their love of water, as well as the desert, influenced some of her decorating choices, which include colourful accents and easy, low-maintenance fabrics. She has worked to create a West Coast feeling that balances her home environment in Ottawa with her passions and complements the architecture of their house.



- Grey remains the strong neutral

- Pastels, with hits of neon

- Black and white

- Olive to citrus greens


- Sheer

- Less embellishment

- Large-scale patterns

Fixtures and Furnishings: 

- Mixed metals

- Organic with glamour

- Comfort

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