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Katie Golec’s Rising Star

It’s always exciting to share success, but we’re feeling a little extra jazzed in this case. If you’ve been involved with ACM, you’ve no doubt met our very own Katie Golec. Katie is the whiz rendering our designs on computer, and our foremost textiles expert. A few weeks ago, Katie is an award-winning designer. She took a silver award in the highly competitive “challenging budget” category at the design competition run by Decorators & Designers Association of Canada. The award recognized the excellence of Katie’s Willow Beach Cottage renovation.

We could not be prouder.

Silver medal project

Located on Lake Kashagawigamog in Ontario’s cottage country, Willow Beach Cottages is a collection of 13 beachside units. Katie’s task was to refresh a well-used 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom rental unit to make it a functional and visually appealing multi-use space. It needed to be durable, versatile and welcoming—all for under $8,000

Though the bones of the unit were solid, like many rentals, everything from the furniture to the finishings was dated and mismatched. With the budget restrictions, Katie knew the best way forward would be to settle on an aesthetic and source new and vintage replacements.

The open concept cottage had a functional flow and an airy feel, so Katie used colour and other visual cues to demark separate zones. Fresh paint replaced fussy wallpaper to create calm, and old, outdated, and uncomfortable furniture was replaced by simple, cozy pieces with an emphasis on raw elements like a wooden trunk coffee table. Katie grew up in northern Ontario, which may have given her “the eye” when it comes to high-impact statement pieces like the wooden paddles used to anchor the bedroom. To tie them into the colour palette of the room where they’re wall-mounted, she masked and painted the paddles with blue and red chevrons. The nautical theme is an understated nod to life on the lake.

The Decorating & Design Competition

Competition entries were evaluated based on complexity, concept, materials, functionality and other criteria. In the end, Katie’s design netted her the silver award—her first design acknowledgement—and made her one of the youngest winners in the competition.

DDA Canada’s competition inspires decorating and design professionals by celebrating the most outstanding Canadian interiors. “This national competition showcases our fabulous members and their talent,” says Mary Dancey, chair of awards for DDA Canada. “There were so many outstanding submissions this year, it’s clear our members are continuing to advance their craft on every level.”

At ACM, we’re delighted to see the industry recognizing what we’ve known for some time—our very own Katie Golec’s star is rising.


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