top of page
  • Writer's pictureAmanda Shields


Updated: Dec 4, 2019

As you may have seen already from my IG stories, Amanda Shields Interiors participated in the Pickering College Holiday House Tours this year. For those who don't know what that is, it's basically a tour of 6 luxury homes in the Newmarket area, all of which are decorated to the nines by local interior decorators and designers for the holidays. Tickets are sold and ticket holders can tour each of the homes, all to raise money for Pickering College and Rose of Sharon ( a local charity that supports young mothers in need). Each designer is assigned a home where they can go to town and really showcase their talents as a designer.

Since this was my first year participating, I wasn't quite sure what to expect - I had never even been on the tour years prior, let alone decorate a home myself. In any case, I jumped at the opportunity and boy was it a crazy, fun ride. The thing that most people don't appreciate is the insane amount of work that goes into these things. I mean, we started having committee meetings dating all the way back to July. The planning that goes into this is incredible, and the hard work and effort by every single person on the team is amazing. Truly a labour of love.

Saying that I'm going to share a bit about my vision, theme and overall design direction. I'm big on design boards so of course in true Amanda fashion, I created a complete design directive for my home on the tour. As you can see from the boards below, I wasn't taking a "less is more" approach. In fact, I was taking a "more is more, is more, is more.....and even more" approach. I know, I'm crazy. The look I was trying to achieve was a cross between hygge, rustic and vintage Lots of natural elements, antiques, buffalo check with loads of evergreens and eucalyptus.

You may have noticed that the colour red was not on the menu here, and anyone who knows me, knows that I hate decorating with red! Now here's the twist, if all that wasn't enough, I decided to layer a "Little Red Riding Hood" theme into the mix. Yes, I realize you can't exactly do a Little Red Riding Hood theme without using the colour red and yes, I had to budge a bit and go out of my comfort zone and into the red zone. However, I choose to designate each room as a specific point on Red Riding Hood's journey. We begin with her house, coined the Red Riding Hood Room, then into the woods, and then onto Grandma's house. I had a very strict rule that there was only to be red in the Red Riding Hood room, no where else, no exceptions!

So, without further ado....


The Red Riding Hood Room

One thing to note about this room is the massive 10 foot Christmas tree adorned with 50 real red roses. Such a stunner! This year was the Pickering College 15 year anniversary doing the Holiday Tours, and since roses are the traditional flower for 15 years anniversaries I thought, what a perfect way to pay homage to this epic milestone.

All the florals were done by Brianna at Sweet Stems Floral Designs


Into the Woods

I was really trying to create a woodland walk feel here. The tree is loaded with all sorts of woodland creatures. Can you believe there are 20 trees in this room? Some big, some small but 20 in total!


Grandma's Bedroom

The original plan was to have the Big Bad Wolf hiding out in Grandma's ensuite bathroom but unfortunately he got sick - I guess even wolves get the flu. If you look closely though, you will notice a strategically placed wolf mask. And yes, that is a Christmas tree in the shower. Why not, right?


Grandma's Dining Room

This had to be my personal favorite room in the house. It just felt so dreamy and it smelled absolutely divine. If you keep scrolling through the photos you'll see some of the goodies we displayed on the buffet. Not only did they smell delicious, they were literal works of art! The gorgeous cake was created by Beth at Ravenhill Custom Cakes. and the cookies were from The Cookie Duchess , located in Schomberg. Yum!

Finally, a massive THANK YOU to my two awesome assistants, Leslie Mead, (tree trimmer extraordinaire) and Elise Trimbee. I've already told them both that I couldn't have done it without them. I truly mean it, I seriously couldn't have. Stay tuned for Leslie's guest blog appearance next week with her pro tips on tree trimming. Until then, happy decorating!


bottom of page