Sunday 20 October 2019
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What She Said! with Christine Bentley & Kate Wheeler
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Fool Proof Holiday Gadgets: Smart solutions to avoid post-holiday damage


I’m a lady who works in construction.  I could write a book on the importance of good foundation be it your home, wardrobe or beauty routine. Before attempting to layer in the decorations I like to start with great tools, gadgets and basics that will make that job easier.  As the holiday decorating begins I scurry around my client’s homes gasping at the nails they’re putting in the new front door to hold the wreath or the screws being drilled into the brick exterior to keep the string of lights in the perfect position to win best neighborhood decorations.  I’m no Grinch and if you want to glitter every square inch I say have at, but first let’s chat best tools for the job so you won’t need to hire my handyman to fix the post-holiday damage.

Here are my top holiday gadgets that get the job done and disappear with barely a trace come January.

Front Door Hangers

Perfect for a steel door, this gold plated magnetic knob will support up to 3 lbs so you can buy the biggest wreath your heart desires and know come spring you just pop off the magnet and the door is still show ready.  Hanger Knob $9.95, Lee Valley Tools


Tree Stand

Oh the toppled trees and dry needles that have fallen in my house. With this stand, setting up a tree couldn’t be easier. Just set the tree in the base, hold it upright and pump the foot pedal until secure. The claws automatically conform to any irregularities. To top it off, an internal reservoir holds up to 2.5 gallons of water and has a water level indicator so you know when it needs topping up. Fool proof!  Krinner Christmas Tree Stand $129, Lee Valley Tools


Tree Light Controls

Finally a solution to keep us from crawling under the tree to plug in or unplug the lights. Hang this brass ornament in your Christmas tree, and with just a light tap of your finger, its touch-activated circuitry turns the tree’s lights on or off.  Touch Control For Christmas Lights $24.50, Lee Valley Tools


Loop Hooks

I know you’re still going to hang hooks along your porch so I won’t give you trouble, I’ll just offer the best tool for the job.  My advice is to install these hooks cleanly in locations that work for holiday décor but also hanging planters or feeders come spring. Leaving them in place will avoid adding more holes each season.  A quick twist is all it takes to hang items securely on these pigtail-shaped hooks. The overlapping open hook design traps cables or rings, holding them reliably but not permanently, so you can remove items anytime without a fuss.  Loop Hooks Pkg of 20 $17.50, Lee Valley Tools


Forget being the Grinch this holiday season. With these easy suggestions I hope I have inspired you to get your home in festive style this holiday season.  All the gadgets I shared are available at

My top designer tips to help you entertain stress free this holiday season

  • Have a durable and large enough entry carpet that will absorb melting snow.
  • Buy a inexpensive coat rack and avoid the dreaded pile of coats on your bed!
  • If you have an ottoman as a coffee table, remove the tray or flat surface from it to add extra seating, if necessary.
  • Have an assortment of various serving trays
  • Bar Carts –The best thing to have to create a instant bar away from the kitchen area
  • Remove furniture so that people can mingle without bumping into a coffee table or chairs. A full room of people standing is better than a room full of people sitting on all the furniture pushed against the walls
  • Create small seasonal vignettes like on your mantel or coffee table, but ensuring you have enough room to place a glass or plate.
  • Clear away extra pictures and non seasonal accessories on tables so your guests can place down a glass


e6e28480-8e35-499c-b7a7-9943eece8c76Toronto-based celebrity designer and contractor Melissa Davis, is known for her appearances, creative design and reno work produced for various HGTV shows. Her work has been profiled nationally in print publications.  Her firm Melissa Davis Design is a multi disciplinary design firm offering diverse services for residential, corporate, and retail spaces. With almost two decades of experience in design, architecture and construction Melissa also held the position Head of The Art Dept and Series Designer on the award winning lifestyle television series Income Property, on HGTV for 8 seasons. 

Melissa and her firm continues to service clientele throughout Ontario & GTA, specializing in value-adding ROI and resale consultations


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