Merry Christmas + Happy New Year { 2013 }

Just here to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

2013 has been a great year here in the office:

  • Our new website was launched in November
  • We all traveled to Greenbuild in Philadelphia to discover the best ways to design more sustainably
  • We’ve worked with some amazing clients and have helped them realize their dream spaces
  • We had another successful summer of Show Homes (16 homes) for the Parade of Homes
  • Elaina got engaged and will be getting married next Christmas 2014!
  • Tracy  passed her NCIDQ exam and is now officially a Professional Interior Designer!
  • Annie bought a new house! We’re still waiting on the house warming party…
  • Carrie has discovered a great love of fitness training (to complement her already outstanding cheer coaching talents)!
  • …and best of all, we are all still happy & healthy, ready to take on another great year together

S3 Christmas Card 2013

We hope you stay tuned to our blog for some great topics and chats in 2014.

All the best to you, our wonderful readers, clients, friends & family. Happy Christmas!

Tracy & the S3 girls (Elaina, Carrie & Annie)

Tracy Signature Photo

Hunger for Hope

If some of you are loyal listeners to the CJOB morning show with Hal Anderson, then perhaps a couple weeks back you may have heard the sound of our lovely Tracy‘s voice grace the radio waves.

You see, every year, CJOB hosts The 12 Days of Christmas Auction. Every hour on the hour a new auction prize is announced and listeners are to call in and make a bid. All funds raised stay in Manitoba and support Hunger for Hope through Winnipeg Harvest, because no child should go to bed hungry!


The packages were pretty fantastic and every year Tracy has her eye on a particular one…a day in the studio hosting the morning show with the ’34th Greatest Canadian’, Hal Anderson.

On December 6th, 2013, at 6 am, the first prize goes up for bid and it’s her package…there’s no stopping Tracy. Until Larry MacIntosh from Peak of the Market comes along and gives her a good run for her money. It’s literally a bidding war until Hal’s boss interrupts the show and makes them an offer they just couldn’t refuse.

Listen to the clip of the morning show below (sorry for the muddled sound):

In the end “this mysterious Tracy” and Larry end up splitting the bid and each giving a generous, well….beyond generous, donation to this very worthy cause. We couldn’t be more proud or our wonderful director.

Stay tuned to an announcement on the blog as to when S3 Interior Design will be hosting the CJOB morning show. Needless to say, we cannot wait! Look out Hal, you have no idea what’s coming at ya 😉

Good on ya Tracy & Larry!

Elaina (along with Carrie & Annie)

Non cropped thumbnail Elaina

*** 12 days of Christmas banner supplied by CJOB website.

Make your White Christmas a ‘Greener’ one!

Are you looking to make your holidays a little more friendly to the environment? Well, I’ve got a few great tips for you to make your home a little ‘greener‘ this year!




Well friends, it seems that factory-farmed trees covered in pesticides, located miles away from civilization, chopped down every Christmas & transported into major cities might still be better for the environment than having an artificial one which uses terribly unsustainable practices to produce.

Fret not, there are some cool alternatives to the traditional tree:

1. Rented Trees:

Say wha?? Yup, rented! If you live on the West Coast, there are a couple of great Canadian companies that offer a rental service for potted trees for the holidays. They deliver a potted Christmas tree to your home, you get to enjoy the ‘live-liness‘ of a real tree, and when you’re done, they come and take it back to either plant it in nature, or store it in a greenhouse for rental the following year. Cool eh?? If you’re in B.C. check out Evergrow Live Tree Rentals or Carbonsync. Anyone know of anything like that here in Winnipeg? If not, I hope this trend makes its way here soon!

2. Potted Herbs:

Ever think of using some of your hearty potted herbs as a Christmas tree? Grab that pot of Rosemary and add a few handmade decorations to make it more festive. Just think of the lovely natural fragrance you’d get out if it too!

3. Alternative ‘Trees’:

I think I can speak for all designers when I say, we all thrive on ‘Thinking Outside the Box‘! We’ve looked around and found some pretty creative ideas some people have done to replace their traditional holiday foliage.

Alternative Christmas Trees




Ok, this is the big one! This is a topic that all of us here love to discuss with our clients when we’re planning their home, so why not bring it up specifically for the holidays. Seems like the perfect time to look into alternative solutions to lowering energy bills.

1. LEDs:

Well, you’ve all heard it before, but LEDs are definitely the way to go at Christmas. They use less electricity & last so much longer. It’s kind of a no-brainer now that they are made in a wide variety of colour temperatures (ie. you can get that warm candle glow from days of yore).

And speaking of candles, have you seen the new LED flicker candles? They actually look pretty good and are far less messy than melty wax ones! They’re also less of a fire hazard with the kids, the pets, or even crazy uncle Bert who gets into the eggnog a little too early in the evening. In addition to the safety aspect, they are much better for your indoor air quality. Look into them! If you’re a traditionalist and would like a wick burning over the holidays, look into more sustainable options like those made from Beeswax. Wolesely Wicks here in Winnipeg is a great place to visit!

2. Exterior Decorations:

Instead of ‘keeping up with the Jones’ or Clark Griswold, think twice about decking your house with a million lights that could in actuality facilitate an airport runway. There is much wisdom to the old adage, Less is More but if you must get a little crazy with the outdoor decorations, perhaps omit the inflatable Santa operated by a motor using constant electricity. Listen, we don’t want to ‘snow’ on anyone’s parade, it’s just a little food for thought when planning your exterior this year. Don’t take our word for it…just check out your energy bills post-holiday (along with all the credit card bills) 😉




Yes!! This is the topic I love the most!

Finding creative, alternative ideas to decorate over the holidays. Best way to go about it: think about using natural materials, or ones that can be reused in many different ways over rest of the year. As a child, did you ever go out and decorate a tree in the forest or one in your back yard with strings of bird-feed and orange slices? I do, and I did, and it was one of the most memorable times I can recall over the holidays. So instead of reaching for that can of fake snow spray or plastic garland, step and back think what else can be done.

  • Stringing twinkle (LED) lights around a tomato cage (from your summer gardening of course)
  • Using pinecones to make garland, as filler for vases, or simply as tree decorations
  • Drawing your decorations on a chalkboard wall
  • Wrapping gifts with recycled paper from books, newspaper, or even with butcher paper & twine
  • Using plants, branches, fruit slices, cinnamon sticks and cloves make wreaths (and reap in the aromatic benefits)

Check out some of these beautiful projects I found on my favourite ‘everything’ site, Pinterest! It’s all on the S3 ‘Green Christmas Board’ :

S3 Green Pinterest Christmas


I hope I’ve given you some inspiration this holiday season to make some more environmentally friendly choices! It’s really not that hard, it just might take a little more effort. Well worth it in the end, I say.

Have you got some great ideas on how to spend a green Christmas? I’d love to hear from you!

Happy Holidays!


Non cropped thumbnail Elaina