Lorenda Simms
Personal Real Estate Corporation

Sutton Group - West Coast Realty

Office 250-479-3333

Cell 250-217-5787

Email: lorendasimms@gmail.com

Colour can make us calmer, more energized, improve our concentration, create the illusion of space, and even increase our appetites. Homeowners can use colour to highlight features of their home and enhance spaces for relaxation, socializing, studying, creative pursuits, and dining.


First, what is colour?
The Crayola company, which knows a thing or two about colour, explains it this way: “Color is the aspect of things that is caused by differing qualities of light being reflected or emitted by them.” To see colour, you need light. Sunlight contains every colour of the rainbow, so it is known as white light. When it shines on an object, some colors bounce off the object and others are absorbed by it. Our eyes only see the reflected colors.


A white surface appears white to us because it absorbs no color and reflects all color equally. A black surface absorbs all colors equally and reflects none, so it looks black.


Each colour in on a different wavelength. The longest wavelength of light that humans can see is red. The shortest is violet. Colours can look different under artificial light.


Applying the theory
Since colours change depending on the light source, products may look different at home than they do at the store. Request samples of paint, flooring, etc. and try them out at home under natural and artificial light at various times of the day.


How colours affect us
Imagine you are standing in front of a wall of paint chips at the store. You probably like some options and dislike others. What you may not realize is that your preferences are rooted in physiology, cultural, fashion. For example, white is a colour of purity and peace in Western culture but one of mourning in Asian cultures.


Red a fascinating colour. It generates strong reactions, so much so that it can even increase heart rate. In one study, students who waited in a room painted red scored lower on their exams than a control group in an off-white room (Vetter 2019). In many countries, traffic signs are red and signify danger. But then again, red roses are romantic. As well, red (and orange) are known to increase appetite.


Many studies have been conducted on colour; one of the most ingenious and comprehensive of these considered 443 university students living on campus over several months (Costa 2018). Six separate residences were identical except the interior of each was painted in a different colour. Within each building, some rooms were painted in lighter or darker shades of that same colour. Researchers made three discoveries: blue was the most popular; light blue and light green have a calming effect and improve concentration; and white ceilings made rooms seem more spacious.


How we respond to colour


In general, we tend to have specific responses to colours (WebMD 2021):

  • Red: energy, warmth, motivation, and comfort
  • Orange: confidence, warmth, and creativity
  • Yellow: happiness, creativity, mental stimulation, and communication
  • ‌Green: calm, optimism, balance, and problem-solving
  • Blue: tranquility, productivity, and peace
  • Purple: calming yet uplifting, creativity, and inspiration


Using colour in your home
Accessories, artwork, flowers, furniture, cabinetry, and appliances are easy ways to add punches of colour to your home. For wall colour, you may wish to choose pale shades because full intensity can be overwhelming. Strong colours can work well on accent walls. Dark colours can make a space look smaller.


Studying and relaxation: Pale blue and green are good choices for an office, study spaces and bedrooms.

Dining and fitness: Touches of red, orange and yellow are stimulating.


Art and hobby areas: Enhance your creativity with yellow, blue, green, or purple as well as natural light.

With a very small investment of effort and money, you can harness the power of colour in your home.


Sources:

Costa, M. et al. “Interior Color and Psychological Functioning in a University Residence Hall.” Front Psychol. 2018; 9: 1580. Published online 2018 Aug 28. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6120989.

Crayola. Accessed 2021. “Color – What is Color?” https://www.crayola.com/for-educators/resources-landing/articles/color-what-is-color.aspx.

Vetter, Clara. Neurofied Brain & Behaviour Academy. 2019. “The effects of colors on behavior.” https://neurofied.com/effects-of-color-on-behavior.

Clayton, Emily, medically reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS. 2021. “How to Choose the Best Paint for Your Home.” https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/features/color-psychology. 


Main Source of this blog: https://www.sutton.com/blog/home-improvement/the-power-of-colour

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Nothing embodies summertime in Canada more than hanging out on your deck, grilling, sipping cold drinks, and making memories with family and friends.


Like other areas of your home, your deck does need to be cared for regularly to ensure it lasts long enough to keep the good times rolling season after season. Keeping your deck in tip-top condition is another way to maintain curb appeal—just ask a REALTOR®!


In addition to keeping your deck free from dirt and debris, you should consider painting or staining it. The added layer of product protects your deck from moisture, mould, bugs, sun, and other harsh elements. Changing the colour of the wood is also an easy way to revitalize your deck without a total overhaul.


Let’s look at how you can paint or stain on your own (or with some friends!) and end up with a new look you’ll love for the entire summer.


Painting versus staining

Not all decks are made equal. You’ll need to brush up on your knowledge of wood boards, paints, and stains to make sure your deck refurbishing or rebuilding project is a success.


“Making a choice between paint and stain isn’t just a matter of preference. Many factors, including wood type, weather, foot traffic, budget, and style come into play,” says Emmett Wallace, owner of Dub’s Construction, which specializes in indoor and outdoor home renovations.


Below are four key steps to guide your summer deck revival project.

Step 1: Confirm the material

Before you decide between paint or stain, you should determine what material your deck is made from as not all materials can be painted or stained.

Wood types

Cedar, redwood pine, and treated lumber are the most common materials for decks. These woods take paint and stain well, and they are resistant to rot. Cedar and redwood are pricier than their counterparts, so consider using stain on them if you want to maintain the visual integrity of the wood. Painting treated lumber is a more affordable option with more colour choices.

Non-wood types

Vinyl, IPE, composite, and recycled plastic decks are gaining in popularity. These non-wood materials are easy to maintain and come in several colours—though they can often carry a heftier price tag than wood. The con? They don’t accept stain or paint. If you’re unsure about your deck’s material, call in a professional to help.

Step 2: Make a choice

Once you’ve confirmed your deck can, in fact, be painted or stained, it’s time to consider the pros and cons of each product.

Paint pros

  • Best for decks that don’t get a lot of foot traffic, especially since paint can be slippery
  • Hides the wood grain and imperfections
  • Comes in a variety of colours and finishes
  • Easy to maintain and keep clean
  • Can last 10 years or longer
  • More resistant to fading caused by heat and ultraviolet (UV) rays

Paint cons

  • Requires more prep, including layers of preservative and primer
  • Takes longer to cover entire deck
  • Thicker consistency is more likely to blot
  • Difficult to change from paint to stain
  • Must be coated with a clear sealer

Stain pros

  • Great for decks that receive lots of foot traffic
  • More budget-friendly per gallon
  • Gives a natural look and enhances the wood grain
  • Easy to apply
  • Can be easily painted over
  • Lighter consistency applies evenly and is less likely to blot
  • Available in two-in-one stain and stealer formula
  • Can last up to eight years

Stain cons

  • More prone to fading caused by heat and UV rays
  • Colour options are limited
  • More difficult to maintain and keep clean


Step 3: Select a product

By now, you should know what your deck needs, and all that remains is to purchase the paint or stain. In terms of cost, one 3.7-litre can of deck stain or paint can range from $16 to $66, depending on the brand, transparency, and retailer. For a deck about 550 square feet in size, you’ll need approximately two cans to complete the job.


Let’s explore the different types of products you’ll encounter at the hardware store.


Paint types

If you opt for paint based on your wood type and maintenance needs, you should consider a product formulated for outdoor use. This type of paint will usually contain UV protectants and other additives to protect the surface long term. Pick an oil-based paint best suited for floors. Oil paint protects the deck from moisture and has a longer lifespan than water-based paint.


Be sure to grab a preservative and primer to protect the wood, and that you have a smooth base to paint over. You’ll also need a polyurethane sealer to keep the paint intact.


Stain types

Stains come in a range of pigments, from transparent to opaque. The higher the opacity, the more durable the stain. High-pigment stains provide protection from moisture and UV damage. Many stain brands are formulated with preservatives, so you don’t need additional primer. You may require a clear sealer, but opting for a two-in-one product can save you that final step.


Once you’ve landed on a stain or paint to use, you’ll also need to gather:

  • bristle brushes;
  • rollers;
  • a roller tray;
  • a stain pad;
  • a bucket;
  • stirring sticks; and
  • cloths (for cleanup)


Step 4: Do the prep

You’re all set on the product front, but the real work starts now. Staining or painting your deck requires a bit of prep to make the application easier. You don’t want to rush the cleaning, sanding and priming phase of this work because it’s what helps the paint or stain go on smoothly and stay there


“Don’t forget to check the forecast for the week,” advises Wallace. “Always be sure to pick a clear day with low humidity and no chance of rain because moisture is your enemy.”


You should only paint or stain your deck when the moisture level is low. The general rule of thumb is that wood surfaces should have no more than 15% moisture. A great way to test your deck’s moisture level is by pouring a bit of water onto the wood. If it beads up, the wood is too wet to paint or stain. If the water is easily absorbed, you’re good to go. Be sure to wait for days when the humidity outdoors is between 40% and 70%—any higher could affect drying quality and time. As far as primers are concerned, use a shellac-based formula if working with paint. You can skip this step when using stain.


If your deck has surface cracks and other easy-to-fix imperfections, you can fill them with an exterior-grade wood filler before you sand the surface in the direction of the wood grain. If your deck needs more serious repairs, you should schedule an assessment with a professional.


Once you begin to apply the paint or stain, give each coat a few hours to dry. How quickly the coats dry depends on the temperature outside and the size of your deck. In a nutshell, give yourself two to three days to get the job done.


While these tips are for anyone looking to update their deck, they can also be applied to new decks that haven’t been painted or stained. Just keep in mind if you’ve recently installed pressure treated boards “you should wait six months to a year before staining or painting it,” says Wallace. “This is because this type of material is typically installed soaking wet.”


There’s quite a lot of effort that goes into upgrading your deck’s appearance, but it’s a project that’ll leave you feeling accomplished. Add to this all of the warm, sunny days you’ll get to enjoy from your very own backyard oasis and you’ve got a summertime DIY activity that’s hard to resist.



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/painting-or-staining-your-guide-to-deck-revitalization/26128/1367
Photo: pexels.com

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As the steamy month of July begins, a lot of gardeners concentrate their efforts on caring for and maintaining their existing gardens — not adding more plants. But there’s value in continuing your planting into July, and nurturing new, fledgling plants alongside your mature gardens. While it may seem like the plant selection at your favorite plant nursery is dwindling, now is actually the best time to go hunting for plant sales. You’ll find many plants at a discount this time of summer, not to mention seeds and other gardening gear. Don’t fool yourself into thinking the planting season is over after May, or that you’re stuck doing only maintenance rather than planting. There are still options you can get in the ground this month!


Of course, the offerings will vary from agricultural zone to zone, but the plants on this list will thrive in most. Just remember that when you’re planting in the heat of summer, you should try to do your work in the cooler mornings and evenings. Like people, plants don’t like the heat — and they tend to stress if they are transplanted and moved in the full sun of a hot day. (If you’re looking to experiment with planting something delicate in July, be sure to do your research first.) Below, five great picks worth adding to your garden this month.

Pricey Perennials for a Bargain

One of my favorite things to do in July is to go perennial hunting at my local garden center. This is the time that those high-dollar, must-have plants are marked down. At this point in the season most of those plants have been sitting out, day after day, exposed to the elements. They probably don’t look so great because they’re still in their plastic planter’s pots, which makes them even more difficult for the nurseries to move. The general buyer doesn’t want to buy a crispy looking plant — but their loss is your gain.


You’ll be able to find all kinds of perennials marked down, sometimes more than half-price. For instance, last year my mom and I found “Vanilla Strawberry” hydrangeas, which are typically priced around $40, for $10 apiece at a big box store garden center. This is also a great time to get deals on other perennials such as:

  • Rose bushes
  • Grasses
  • Hostas
  • Daylilies

These plants might look a little worse for wear right now, but when you clean them up and plant them you will be rewarded next year! Perennials have a remarkable ability to bounce back the following year after being exposed to stress.


You can also start thinking about picking up spring-blooming perennials, which in some zones can be planted in the late summer or early fall.

Basil and Kale

Basil and kale are both hardy enough to be planted during July. I know gardeners who have had success both planting plants as well as seeds, so it’s definitely worth a try. If you’re looking for seeds, any garden center should still have them. If you’re looking to buy mature plants, you might have to hunt a bit, but they’re likely still out there.


Both basil and kale thrive when planted in the ground as well as in container gardens. They’re wonderful companion plants, no matter when or where you choose to grow them. Each plant is relatively compact, so they might be a great option to replace any annuals that didn’t make it through the start of summer.


Of course, both of these plants are edibles, but they’re also beautiful enough to grow just for show (just in case cooking isn’t your forte).

Succulents

During my gardening career I have found that succulents tend to be the easiest replacement for annuals that didn’t make it in the heat, or for failed seeds that didn’t germinate.


As long as they have part-sun exposure, succulents will be fine outdoors for the summer. You won’t have to worry about watering them as much as other parts of your garden and you will undoubtedly find that they will grow very quickly, which will be quite the surprise for folks who have succulents indoors. Here are some great options for outdoor succulent planting:

  • Sedum stonecrop
  • Echeveria
  • Hens and chicks
  • Haworthia

One of the best parts about using succulents in your garden is that when it starts to get chilly outside, you can transplant them into a planter and take them inside. Really, it’s like a two-for-one!

Quick-Growing Annuals

Get quick-germinating annual seeds in the ground this month and you’ll see blooms by August. A favorite pick? Zinnias, which are the workhorses of the garden. These provide bright, substantial blooms all summer long no matter how hot it is.


The market is also saturated with all different kinds of varieties, from funky heirlooms to bold blooms with large heads. If you want big color and big blooms but are unsure of what to plant, zinnias will not disappoint. They’re also a wonderful cut flower, so once they’ve grown, snip a few stems and bring them inside for your favorite vase. And good news: Zinnias are nontoxic to dogs and cats.


Other quick-growing seeds to plant this month:

  • Cosmos
  • Alyssum
  • Calendula
  • Cornflower

Black-Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia)

Rudbeckia are common perennial wildflowers native to North America. Rudbeckia—often called black-eyed Susans—are extremely hardy plants, which makes them a great option to plant in July. You’re also likely to find options in the plant center this month, waiting to be re-homed.


Black-eyed Susans are great for attracting pollinators like bees and butterflies, and will give you blooms all the way through October. Not only do these blooms provide pops of summery yellow and orange, but they’ll also blend beautifully with your fall mums and ornamental peppers.


The only thing you’ll have to worry about with these plants is their ability to spread over time and take over your garden. You will have to separate them every few years or so —similarly to irises, dahlias and daylilies — in order to keep them from choking out your other plants. Important to note: Rudbeckia is toxic to both dogs and cats.



Source: https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/what-to-plant-in-july-36768117
Photo: pexels.com

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When the warmer weather hits we all want to spend as much time outdoors as possible! Whether you’re a die-hard DIYer or simply looking for ways to get the most out of your backyard space, creating an outdoor kitchen might be the perfect project to tackle. Let’s see what’s involved with this endeavour to get you hosting some epic meals in your own backyard kitchen.

Why a kitchen in your backyard?

Grilling outdoors is one of Canada’s favourite pastimes. Given our temperate climate and the fact summers can get quite hot—requiring a substantial amount of energy to cool your home—one of the biggest benefits of using an outdoor kitchen is keeping the heat outside.


Another benefit is when you entertain outside, you get to spend more time with your guests instead of running in and out of the house constantly. Everything you need to prepare, cook, eat, and drink can be conveniently within reach. Plus, you can’t go wrong with more surface area for food, drinks, and condiments!


For the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) Past Chair Barb Sukkau, a sales representative at Royal LePage NRC Realty, the idea of installing an outdoor kitchen came from a desire to expand their living space outdoors.


“We are so thrilled with our backyard renovation. We grill and entertain around our outdoor kitchen and have a large dining space for our large gatherings,” she said. “In the evening we enjoy the warmth of our outdoor gas fireplace, comfy couches and a little television in our outdoor living room. Honestly we have never enjoyed our backyard so much and are happy with the investment that we feel adds tremendous value to our home.”

Where is the best place for an outdoor kitchen?

Positioning your kitchen close to an entrance means less time carting supplies back and forth at the beginning and end of the season, or when you need to resupply.

While an outdoor kitchen’s function goes beyond a standalone barbecue, it’s important to be mindful of safety. You may build closer to the house for convenience or due to available space, which is fine, as long as you aim for 1.5 metres away from fences, entries, windows, or air intakes (such as for a furnace vent). Too much heat can shatter your windows—not to mention if you’re prone to igniting your food while cooking, you’ll want to keep all that smoke outside. On that last point, always keep a fire extinguisher handy when cooking anywhere.


Some other things to consider when choosing the location of your outdoor kitchen include:

  • proximity to your indoor kitchen in case you need to restock or grab something;
  • available shelter so everything can be covered from the elements;
  • access to power; and
  • proximity to your neighbours.


Note: Check your municipality’s regulations regarding barbecues and propane canisters, as some have specific clearance rules in place for your safety and that of your neighbours. Consult with a certified HVAC technician if you’re moving or installing gas lines to your appliances.

Budget

Depending on your budget, complexity of your plan, and equipment to use, this type of home improvement project can come with a hefty price tag. While a simple outdoor kitchen setup for basic prep and cooking can be accomplished for under $2,000, more complex executions can easily exceed $10,000. Aside from the appliances, things that can impact your price include masonry work, the types of countertops you choose, whether or not you need additional gas and power lines, the overall size of the layout, and any necessary permits. For example, the lower end of the cost scale will get you a functional kitchen with basic appliances and a standard ceramic countertop. However, if you want to add brickwork and stainless steel countertops, you’ll have to spend more.

Outdoor kitchens are often considered a luxury and may add value to your property over and above your initial financial investment.

Fuel source and hookups

If your home is already fed with natural gas or propane, then it might be worth investigating the installation of a feed for your outdoor kitchen, otherwise a portable propane tank is the go-to, and you can incorporate tank storage into your design.


If you wish to include a sink in your setup, then you’ll need to plan for water supply and drainage. You can use your outdoor spigot to supply water to your sink, or run a dedicated line from your home’s water system. Convenience and budget may dictate your approach.


You can hook into your home’s existing drainage system, which can get pricey and may involve a building permit. Alternatively, you can install a dry well for your grey water to drain into your landscape. Just be mindful to stick to biodegradable cleaners.


Don’t forget about electricity, too. If you plan on having a mini-fridge and small appliances like blenders or food processors, or things like sound systems, fun lighting, or other electronic elements, you’ll need to figure out the power hookup for your kitchen. Consider proximity to outlets, and if you require additional electrical work, be sure to contact a professional.

Equipment and appliances

How extravagant you choose to be with your space will obviously impact your budget. The grill, drawers, sinks, and other features you choose will all factor into the overall cost. You’ll also want to ensure the appliances you choose are built for the environment. Most outdoor kitchen components are generally made with stainless steel to prevent rust, which also helps them withstand the elements and makes them easier to clean.


The grill is arguably the most important part of your outdoor kitchen, so it’s a good place to start. If you’re looking to optimize your budget, stick with a basic built-in grill assembly and prep counter with storage underneath. With many options across a variety of notable brands, you can build your own counter structure to accommodate a grill head, assemble your kitchen with built-in components, or go with a full kit for an all-in-one approach.


Stainless steel drawers, shelves, and cupboards are a must to store flatware, cooking utensils, and supplies. If you’re dreaming big, you’ll likely be interested in accessory appliances, like an outdoor fridge, wine cooler, kegerator, or even a sink and outdoor dishwasher for maximum clean-up convenience.

Layout and design

Depending on your space, there are several ways to approach your layout. The most space-conscious option is a basic galley approach, which provides counter and prep space on one or both sides of your grill. It also leaves plenty of room to build guest seating and a dining area around your kitchen. If space is ample, then you may be partial to an L-shaped setup, or get fancy with an angled or curved design.


Creating your own outdoor kitchen will take some planning and commitment, but the prospect of countless delicious meals being prepared by your expert hand for family, friends, and neighbours is hard to ignore. Like all home improvement projects, take your time, do your research, and always seek professional advice to ensure the best possible outcome. If you need help finding a contractor to complete your project, your REALTOR® can provide recommendations.


Bon appétit!



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/your-guide-to-creating-an-outdoor-kitchen/25817/1363
Photo: pexels.com

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In the 17th century, manicured lawns became the new status symbol for wealthy aristocrats in England and France. Today, people still admire expansive lawns, but most of us don’t have a bevy of servants to do the hard work of mowing, weeding, watering, fertilizing and aerating. On beautiful summer days, when the beach beacons, who wants to do yard work?


According to Statistics Canada, the average residential water consumption in 2013 was a massive 223 litres per day for indoor and outdoor uses. A Columbia University report in 2010 found that five percent of America’s air pollution was caused by lawnmowers and each year more than 17 million gallons of fuel is spilled when refilling lawn and garden equipment—that is more than the Exxon Valdez oil spill.


After much effort and environmental cost, sometimes a lawn just bakes in the summer sun. In recent years, municipalities have had to prohibit lawn watering during lengthy dry spells. Parched lawns are becoming a common sight in July and August, which is another good reason to reinvent traditional lawns.


Alternatives to Grass

Groundcover plants spread laterally and mature at a maximum of just 3cm to 10cm, so they do not require mowing. Once groundcover plants are established, they generally require less water than standard lawn grass.


High foot traffic options:

Clover
Used by some farmers as a green cover crop, clover helps to aerate the soil with its deep roots and ‘fixes’ atmospheric nitrogen (a natural fertilizer) in the soil. Some varieties of clover are quite tall (e.g., red clover) but Dutch white clover is the best option for groundcover because it matures at ankle height, is durable and produces attractive white flowers.


Pros: It is soft underfoot, remains green nearly year-round, and can withstand heavy foot traffic.

Cons: The sweet nectar in the flowers can attract deer.


Thyme

Thyme grows relatively slowly, but once it develops, it produces a dense mat of tiny leaves and flowers. The best options for groundcover are non-culinary varieties: red creeping thyme, mother-of-thyme and woolly thyme.


Pros: All three of these types of thyme tolerate high foot traffic, emit a pleasant herbal scent and will not attract deer.

Cons: Thyme grows slowly.


Creeping Jenny

A cascading carpet of small, golden-green leaves and yellow flowers makes Creeping Jenny suitable for all types of groundcover projects from terraced rock gardens to flat lawns.


Pros: In milder parts of Canada, Creeping Jenny will retain its colour year-round and tolerates moderate foot traffic.

Cons: It can require more watering than groundcovers such as clover.


Light foot traffic options:

Scotch Moss
Velvety Scotch moss works best in shaded areas and looks lovely surrounding rustic pathway stones. Moss grows best in regions that receive more rainfall.


Corsican Mint
Fragrant Corsican mint produces small, rounded leaves and tiny purple flowers. Unlike spearmint that can rapidly take over an entire garden, this mint grows more slowly and is not considered invasive. It requires moist, fertile soil.


Artificial turf

Durable and realistic artificial turf can provide the look and feel of grass for patio areas and even a putting green. Turf can be a visual break between plant cluster islands. Another benefit is that Fido will never create a ‘burn’ spot on your lawn ever again. When installed professionally, artificial turf is typically guaranteed for a decade or more.


Modern design

Lawns were in fashion for 400 years. It may be time to replace monochromatic lawns with beautiful modern versions featuring an array of colours, textures and shapes.


The possibilities are endless and will ultimately depend on the size and slope of your lawn, the amount of sunlight it receives and your preferences. Consider some or all of these ideas:


Terraces: Ideal for a sloped lawn, rock terraces can be filled with a variety of plants, cascading flowers and groundcover.


Pathways: From poured concrete to natural steppingstones, pathways help to define the space and allow you to use tender groundcover plants as your lawn.


Ornamental grasses: Add drama and height with clumping grass varieties such as soft feathery Fountain grass, or Little Bluestem, which is bluish green in the summer then turns purple, red and copper in the autumn.


Edibles: The broad green blades of a leek plant and the colourful autumn leaves of blueberry bushes deliver beauty with bounty. How could your favourite herbs, fruits and vegetables meld with your landscape design?


Raised garden beds: A pretty way to grow edibles is in raised boxes, which also make the garden easy to access.



Start small. Instead of ripping up the entire lawn, experiment with a small section to learn what works best for you.



Source: https://www.sutton.com/blog/home-improvement/modern-lawns
Photo: pexels.com

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There’s a harsh reality for plenty of Canadians with green thumbs who can’t indulge in the luxury of a full yard to explore. Perhaps you’re in an apartment or condo, maybe you rent, or it could be you simply want to bring the outdoors inside. 


Tall potted plants use vertical space to help add depth to a smaller residence, and we’ve seen how planters can add to outdoor appeal without hurting your budget. Herb gardens, big or small, indoors and out, are always popular with foodies, and if you play your flora cards right, you may attract some desirable fauna even without a huge greenspace.


To help you ease into some new ideas for your space-friendly garden, we’ve collected some thoughts to share with you. Be sure to add your own tips and tricks in the comments and on our social media pages

Container gardening

While the idea is obvious with more than a touch of cliché, there’s a reason why: containers simply make sense when your space is limited. 


In a large yard, you can replant to take advantage of soil conditions or the sun. Without access to square metres of soil, containers give you versatility, not to mention the easy redecorating options. You’ll also have the ability to move containers indoors through frost warnings, or extend your growing season in both directions—much to the envy of your plot-bound friends. 


When choosing your container, do so carefully. Drainage is a must no matter what style direction you choose. Think both complement and contrast when considering design and, for larger pots, avoid choices that are too bold, since they can’t be swapped out easily. 

The vertical garden

When you’re looking at the limited footprint of a balcony or patio—and wondering how to keep your planned garden out from under foot—take a look around at the amount of vertical space you have to work with. Now it’s time to think up. From hooks and hangers through shelves, to dedicated wall pots, vertical alternatives assure you have maximum room for seating and tables. You can also find vertical tower gardens that grow fresh produce without soil! 


Or, how about a string garden? Kokedama is a Japanese garden artform with a history as old as bonsai. Translating literally to “moss ball,” kokedama starts with the root ball of a plant, surrounded by a clay and peat mixture that gets wrapped in soft green moss. You can place your kokedama on a tray, but the most dramatic way to display these pieces of living art is suspended from string. These are a spectacular addition to your vertical garden. 

Edible gardening

You don’t need an extensive ground plot to grow your own food, so don’t rule out fruits, vegetables, and herbs from your yardless gardening. You can mix container and vertical plantings for grape and cherry tomatoes or climbing strawberries—plants that use cages for upward mobility. 


Strawberry pots are a genre unto themselves and you need not be limited to growing berries. The multiple pockets in a terra cotta urn are a perfect way to keep your herbs organized, with perhaps a few spaces left for new flavours you’ve never tried. 


Can you imagine growing your own potatoes in a visually appealing way? Look no further than the potato grow bag. You can improvise your own solution, but commercial versions with a velcro side flap are handy at harvest time. 

The window box

Inside or out, there’s perhaps no more logical place to add garden space than a window ledge. A sunny kitchen window simply cries out for herbs and an otherwise lacklustre view is perked up with a splash of colourful annuals. 


Though you may start your garden in the spring and summer months, consider fall and winter seasons, too. The cooler temperatures may not support active growth, but a window box out of direct sunlight supports long-lasting seasonal arrangements. Imagine your favourite holiday wreath reassembled horizontally. 


Add some brown and orange elements to suggest fall, or choose a holiday theme when December arrives. Don’t forget to go vertical here, too. A window box can add curb appeal as well as brightening the view from inside.  


When you’re renting or when you have a condo association in place, there may be limits on the sizes and types of planters or fixtures you can use. Be sure to research any restrictions before your trip to the greenhouse to avoid disappointment later in the season. 


Make a budget and a list before you leave for the garden centre, since you know you’ll be tempted to go overboard when you’re surrounded by lush greenery. Otherwise, now is the time to put your planting plans in motion. Happy digging! 



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/patio-growth-landscaping-without-a-yard/25628/1363
Photo: pexels.com

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When it comes to interior design, lighting is often an afterthought, and that seems a bit dull. In fact, it should be factored into the layout and décor scheme as early as possible! This is largely because when you’re outfitting a space, having proper lighting is a sure-fire way to add character and elevate its style.


With the right information, you can easily update a room’s lighting fixtures without breaking the bank or exerting too much effort. We’ve already shown you how to illuminate your home’s exterior, kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, and even those tricky underlit places. Now we share a guide on how to choose lighting for one of the most used spaces: the living room.

Read on for tips on finding the right type of light to fit your space’s purpose, style, and mood.

Pick a purpose

The first question you need to ask before you start picking out light fixtures is “why?” What are you trying to achieve with the lighting in your living room? Maybe you want to liven up the space with a little extra brightness, set a specific mood with ambient lighting, or simply want to add a statement piece of décor. Once you figure out the purpose lighting will serve in your living room, the rest of the process becomes easier.


A good idea when choosing lighting for your room is mapping out the intended layout and creating a blueprint of your current lighting. This will highlight where you have overhead fixtures, potlights, windows, and lamps so you can get a big-picture view of what’s already available to you. It can also help to take pictures of your space in the morning, afternoon, and evening so you know the areas hit with natural light and where you may need to make up the difference. This part also lets you know where you should, or should not, put things like a television or reading chair. Direct sunlight is great if you want to read a book in the afternoon, but not so great if you’re hoping to binge an entire season of something on Netflix!


Keep in mind, lighting doesn’t have to serve a singular purpose. It can be a multi-use fixture that adds to your room in more ways than one. For example, if you have a statement piece of artwork on your wall, using a spotlight or gallery lighting can call attention to this while also providing overall light for the room. Alternatively, you might not want pot lights shining directly down on you if the space will double as a home office, as this type of lighting is not the most flattering for people. 

Know your layers

You’ve likely heard the words ambient, accent, and task in descriptions about lighting. These are the three layers of light you should consider. Layered lighting is key in bringing dimension and balance to a room. 


Ambient, also known as general lighting, is what illuminates the overall room. Overhead lights are the most common fixtures for ambient/general lighting, but depending on the purpose of the room and your style preferences, you can opt for pendant or pot lights, ceiling fixtures, or chandeliers.


Accent, or decorative lighting, is what helps to create focal points in a room (typically this layer is brighter than ambient). Try directional spotlights, table lamps, wall sconces, picture lights, or LED track lights for under cabinets to brighten up underlit areas and place a focus on a specific object or furniture.


Finally, as its name indicates, task lighting is used to brighten spots where you perform certain tasks. Choose floor, desk, table, or sconce lamps for task-based lighting. If you’re using the lamp to read or perform activities that may cause eye strain, get a task light with LED bulbs–your retinas will thank you.

Find the right temperature

There’s more to bulb talk than LED and incandescent. First, you’ll need to determine how you want to feel in your living room. Your answer will help you figure out what colour temperature (measured in degrees Kelvin) you should try.


If you’re pining for soft, warm, and cozy, then you want a bulb with a colour temperature between 2,700K and 3,500K. This type of bulb will soften the atmosphere of the living room and make it more inviting.


For a brighter feel, try a bulb with 4,000K and 5,000K colour temperatures. This type of lighting works best for living rooms with neutral and cooler hues, like whites, greys, blues, and greens on the wall and furniture.


What if you want the “daylight” always radiating through your living room? Go for a full spectrum bulb between 5,000K­ and 6,500K. This type of lighting can be harsh, so it’s best to be used as a task light in areas of the living room where you do most of your work. When choosing the temperature of your light in one area, it’s important to consider the other rooms in your home. If you have an open floorplan where light from one room bleeds into another, try to stay consistent with the lighting colour—using cooler hues in the living room when the adjoining dining room uses warmer tones could appear disjointed. 


Lighting stores are a great resource when trying to decide what colour temperature to choose. They can make recommendations based on your flooring, paint colours, natural light, and overall feel of the space. Those pictures you took during the initial planning stages of your lighting scheme will be of great use here, too. 

Embrace the tech

Being able to control the level of lighting in your living room with the touch of a button is peak control. Whether it’s for aesthetics or functional reasons, installing dimmers can help set the mood, but it will also save you energy. You’ll just need to make sure the bulb you’re using can be dimmed.


You can also opt for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth-enabled smart lights. Once installed, you can control the lights with your phone or tablet from anywhere in and out of your home.


Whatever your purpose is for switching up the lighting in your home, you can find the style, fixture, bulbs, and tech to help you achieve your outcome. Adding lighting is not only a cost-effective way to make your living room look like it got a makeover, but it’s also a great tactic for staging a home. Strategically adding layers of light, including natural lighting, will help enhance key features of your home–and that’s appealing to more buyers if you’re in the market. If you’re ready to sell, but feel unsure about how to stage your space, you should get in touch with a REALTOR®.



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/find-your-light-series-living-rooms/25133/1366
Photo: pexels.com

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The greatest canvas in your home are the walls. And the paint colours you choose are one of the boldest ways you can put your personality on display. But with millions of colour permutations out there, how do you possibly narrow down your favourite shades? Why not start by perusing this list of top paint colours for 2022.


This year’s paint trends are all about serene, tranquil colours that bring nature indoors. They’re subtle, warm, and allow you to be versatile in your design—which means you’ll be able to put them in almost any room for a fresh, earthy atmosphere. And whether your aesthetic is modern, traditional, cottagecore or anything else, these top paint colours will seamlessly fit into your style.


Botanical greens 

Paint brands Benjamin Moore, PPG, Glidden, and Sherwin-Williams have all put forward earthy, natural greens as their top paint colours in 2022. Look for October Mist, Olive Sprig, Guacamole, and Evergreen Fog respectively and apply generously in your bedroom, living room, or kitchen for a harmonious and rejuvenating vibe.


These paint colours will pair well with floors and furniture in blonde and warm wood tones. Decorate with gold and black accents if you like sleek and modern, or for a more organic feel, embrace beige and camel. For your kitchen and bathroom, you can’t go wrong combining any of these botanical greens with white subway tile.

Thalassic blues

Graham & Brown and Behr are both on board for the blue paint trends in 2022, offering you refreshing hues in Breathe and Breezeway, reminiscent of sea glass and sea foam.


These soft blues are well suited to colour drenching, the practice of painting everything on the wall including trim and doors. They’ll be perfect for living rooms and home offices, bringing the outside in, like a breath of fresh ocean air.


Accent Breathe with deeper blues and mustard yellow and Breezeway with terra-cotta, pinks, and earthy tones likewhite, taupe, and soft brown. For a modern and sleek look, opt for a monochromatic palette. These shades will both pair well with natural textures and fabrics, such as leather, rattan and even reclaimed and rough, minimally treated wood.

Warm neutrals

Valspar’s Subtle Peach isn’t quite neutral, but it’s soft, subtle, and a beautiful colour perfect for intimate spaces. But don’t limit yourself to just closets and bedrooms for its use—it’s also perfectly suited to bathrooms and living rooms, especially if you want to feature a bold piece of art or a gallery wall. It blends well into the background and won’t steal any attention away from your showstopping décor.


Also in this category is Valspar’s Gilded Linen, a warm white that will suit open plan spaces, entries, and hallways. According to Valspar, Gilded Linen is an “ultra-clean neutral that organizes and connects spaces throughout the home.” They recommend it for minimalist décor, and to mix it with wood and greenery for a natural feel.

Paint trends for every personality

Whether you’re in the suburbs or the heart of the city, these top paint colours of 2022 will have you feeling like you’re surrounded by nature with wide open sky above you.


Green, blue, peach or white, these paint trends befit the rise in sustainable and eco-friendly living practices, combining harmoniously with reclaimed wood, natural textiles like cotton, jute, and rattan, and vintage furniture and décor elements. There’s simply nothing artificial feeling about these paint trends and depending on personal style, they can be matched with a variety of design aesthetics.


What’s most important is the top paint colours of 2022 promote flexibility so it’s your personality always shining through. 



Source: https://www.creacafe.ca/top-paint-colours-for-2022/
Photo: pexels.com

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Is the roof of your home in good condition? Don’t feel bad if you don’t know the answer—many homeowners are often unaware of the state of their roof. Out of sight, out of mind, right? Unless there are obvious damages, such as cracks or leaks, it’s easy to forget about this exterior part of your home.


Whether you’re buying, selling, or you’re a homeowner who simply wants to know how to keep your roof in good shape, you’ve come to the right place. Here are three of the most asked questions about roofs.


What are the different types of roofs?
Roof materials come in different forms­: metal/tin, asphalt, wood, cedar, slate, and clay are the most common types. With a plethora of options, it gets tricky when trying to choose the best option for your home and wallet. The type of roof installed on your home depends on a variety of factors such as location, environment, style, budget, building codes, and maintenance requirements. In Canada, asphalt, wood/cedar, and metal roofs are among the most popular.

Asphalt shingles

Life expectancy: 15 to 20 years (or more)


Pricing: $2 to $6 per square foot


Pros: There are a few types of asphalt shingles, but the two main varieties are basic or architectural, with architectural being the more durable of the two. Asphalt roofs are the most popular type of roof in Canada because of the material’s ability to withstand the damp and snowy weather. This type of roof is typically the most affordable of all the options. Additionally, asphalt shingles are relatively easy to install and repair, and they’re fire resistant. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of colours and styles (for example, fibreglass and organic asphalt), so it can be customized to fit any home’s exterior aesthetics.


Cons: Harsh Canadian winters can cause chips and cracks on the asphalt. The material is also prone to mildew and can incur granule loss if not properly maintained. Be prepared for repairs before the 15 years are up.

Wood or cedar shakes

Life expectancy: 35 to 50 years


Pricing: $8 to $15 per square foot


Pros: Wood or cedar shakes are extremely durable, not to mention resistant to harsh weather and insects. For these benefits and more, this type of roof can include a warranty of up to 50 years—depending, of course, on who you buy from. For homes in colder climate and heavy rainfall areas, wood or cedar shakes are an excellent choice because they prevent moisture buildup and they’re naturally insulating. 


Cons: In addition to high upfront costs, the material is not fire resistant (Class C rating), so you’ll need to apply additional treatment to get a Class A rating. Moss buildup can also occur on wood or cedar shakes if they’re not cleaned on schedule (usually every two to three years). Another con for wood or cedar shakes can be their appearance, as many people don’t find them as visually appealing as other materials. 

Metal

Life expectancy: 40 to 70 years


Pricing: $6 – $20 per square foot


Pros: Metal roofs, whether aluminum, tin, copper, zinc or steel, can offer unparalleled longevity. Unlike asphalt shingles, metal roofs require little to no maintenance. You may never have to repair or replace this type of roof, providing it’s properly installed. Metal roofs are great in high snowfall areas because the ice can easily slide off, reducing risk of collapse.


Cons: Metal roofs, because of their premium quality, are expensive. They cost slightly more than wood or cedar, and can be 10 times the price of asphalt shingles. They’re also prone to being noisy during some extreme weather conditions, especially if the installation, or your attic insulation,  isn’t top notch. On the curb appeal front, metal is not always favoured because it can be difficult to maintain colour consistency across the entire roof.

Adding solar panels to your roof

Certain provinces and municipalities offer incentives for energy efficiency, which can help offset the upfront cost of installing solar panels on your roof. The cost will ultimately vary depending on the size of your system and equipment you use, but on average, the price of solar power in Canada is $3.01 per Watt. Adding solar panels can help reduce your monthly energy bills, not to mention help lower your impact on the environment by using a renewable source of energy. Curious to find out if adding solar panels will affect your resale value? We’ve taken a look at whether that’s the case, or you can reach out to a local REALTOR® for their insight on what current trends are in your neighbourhood. 

What upkeep is required to maximize a roof’s life expectancy?

Keep it clear

Make sure your roof is always free of debris, including leaves, sticks, branches, and other naturally occurring particles that can, over time, contribute to the roof’s wear and tear. Make sure your roof is also mildew, mould, and moss free.

Don’t ignore the landscaping

If you have trees near your roof or shrubs close to your gutters, make sure to keep up with the landscaping. Falling branches and other parts can cause premature damage, while shrubs and bushes can block the gutters. Also, trees can make it easy for rodents to access the roof and make it their home, so it is important to keep branches trimmed.

Clean the gutters

Keep your gutters clog-free by getting them cleaned at least once a year. This will prevent water (from rain and snow) from pooling on your roof and causing damages.

Inspect regularly

Depending on the type of roof and warranty it comes with, you may need to get your roof checked annually. If you know what to look for, you can do it yourself, but it’s always best to leave it to the professionals with trained eyes and special tools.

How can you tell if your roof needs repair or replacing?

There are a few indicators something is wrong with your roof. It’s time to call a professional if you see:

  • water spots, streaks, or discolouration on ceilings and walls;
  • a sagging ceiling;
  • cracked or curled shingles;
  • decaying or paint peeling from eavestrough;
  • missing asphalt granules;
  • mould or moss growth;
  • spots without snow, which could indicate a leak; 
  • light coming through from outside;
  • damaged roof deck or flashing (the material that directs water away); or
  • loose roof tiles.


In many cases, the above issues can be easily fixed. Problems like leaks can be repaired by sealing the crack or replacing some shingles. However, you may want to consider replacing the roof altogether if the damage is extensive, if it’s more than 20 years old, or out of warranty. 


A roof replacement may be costly (between $4,700 and $25,000, according to Alpine Credits), but it could save your home from further structural damages and even more expensive repairs in the future. A new roof can also help increase the value of your home because of the safety and curb appeal it adds.


“Roofs are a big ticket item, and significant repairs or replacement count as a major renovation that will help increase the value of your home, similar to upgrading of the windows, furnace, etc.,” says Maniza Khan, a sales representative and REALTOR® with Ottawa-based Rasooli Real Estate Group. “You should take into account the age of the roof, the material used to build it, and what direction the house is facing.”



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/over-your-head-what-to-know-about-roofs/24306/1363
Photo: pexels.com

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If your home was built prior to the 1980s, it’s possible you’ve made a surprising discovery beneath your carpet, vinyl, or laminate flooring—a once-gorgeous hardwood floor. The prohibitive complexity and price of maintenance and repair prompted many homeowners, in previous decades, to cover them over with more cost-effective flooring options. Modern technology, along with DIY know-how, means breathing new life into an old hardwood floor is not only less costly, but a fine way to beautify your space and boost the value of your home.


Ripping up carpet

If you’ve just stumbled upon this exciting revelation or are curious to know if hardwood flooring is hiding in your home, our first article in this series focuses on how to properly remove carpet. We look at checking for hardwood floors without causing undue damage, as well as the steps you should follow to remove carpeting on your own and when to call a professional. 

If you’re ready for the next important steps to renewing a hardwood floor, let’s get started. 

Examine and analyze

Before you run off to the store with dreams of gleaming hardwood floors dancing in your head, remove all furniture and wash the floor thoroughly, then carefully examine every part of the floor to determine how to proceed. Remember, this floor can be more than 40 years old, and as old as Queen Victoria if you live in a century home. 

The key things to look out for are:

  • long or deep gouges;
  • rotten wood;
  • cracks and splits in the boards;
  • wide gaps between boards;
  • protruding nails (in case any were missed when removing your carpet);
  • the original wax finish; and
  • stains or deeply embedded dirt that doesn’t wash off.

If any of the above are present, you’ll have to perform some repair work, which could require fillers, sanding, refinishing, and possible board replacement, depending on the type and extent of wear and damage. On the other hand, if the deep clean reveals a floor with only superficial scratches and wear, you can count your lucky stars, because refinishing will be a much simpler task for you.

A simple refinish

Renewing hardwood flooring that no longer has the original wax finish, and no deep gouges or dents, may only require a wood floor renewal kit from your local hardware store to revive it to a luscious shine. Just bear in mind the polyurethane finish requires 24 hours to set, then seven to 14 days to cure—important factors if you have pets or young children. We’ll go over the steps involved with applying finish shortly.

Repairing hardwood flooring

A wood restoration kit will come in handy to address deep gouges in hardwood flooring. If you have squeaky floorboards, now is the perfect opportunity to hammer those down since you’re already in repair mode—unless you rely on this built-in security system for monitoring teenage past-curfew entries!

Where rotten, split, or cracked boards are concerned, replacing affected sections is the best solution. If you’re experienced with a circular saw, this is something you can handle on your own, but if you are unsure, then you may want to call a carpenter or flooring professional for these repairs. The key challenge is properly matching the colour and grain of the floorboards as best as possible, which can be difficult with some older floors. 

Sand the floor

Here’s where things get dusty, so don a respirator and safety goggles before starting. If you need to remove a layer of embedded dirt or the original wax finish, a belt or drum sander is key—just remember to remove any shoe base moulding and use a floor scraper or putty knife to double-check for any protruding nails before sanding.

Begin with a coarse sandpaper between 36 and 40 grit, and work your way gradually to a finer grit with each pass. Use 60 grit for your second sweep, then 100 grit to smooth the surface further. Remove any dust and debris by sweeping and vacuuming (with a shop vac, not your regular vacuum) between each pass, and use a floor edger or disc sander to get all the corners and edges for a uniform finish.

One final sanding step will help give your floor that professional look—use a floor buffer and fine-grit screening pad with broad sweeping motions to smooth any unevenness or sandpaper scratches. Give the floor another good sweep and vacuum, then use tack cloth to collect any remaining dust particles before applying stain or finish.

Stain and finish

If you’d like to re-stain or change the tone of the floor, now’s the time to select an interior wood stain based on the type of hardwood or desired colour. Work in smaller areas and systematically apply with foam applicators, removing any excess stain with a clean, cotton rag or paper towels.

If you don’t wish to use stain, apply a sanding sealer before finishing.

Once you’re finished with either of the above, you’re ready to apply the finishing coats. Oil or water-based polyurethane wood finishes are the most commonly used these days, with oil-based being the more advisable option as it is thicker and provides a smoother coat. Wood oils like teak, cedar, tung, and Danish, are also popular options. Always be mindful of fumes, wear a respirator, and ensure proper room ventilation. 

Using a lambswool roller or applicator, apply three coats of oil-based finish, or four coats of water-based, sanding lightly between each coat using an extra-fine 220-grit sandpaper or #000 steel wool. This scuffs the surface to allow for the next coat to properly adhere. Be sure to vacuum the dust up before applying the next coat.

Once the final finish has dried (at least 24 hours), replace the shoe guard moulding. Apply felt pads to the feet of all furniture, and limit traffic in the room for seven to 10 days, allowing the finish to fully cure.

Caution: Always hang dry oil-soaked rags thoroughly outside and away from any buildings or structures before disposing of them. Wet oily rags produce their own heat and present a serious fire hazard.


There’s no mistaking that even with a simple refinish, this can be a time-consuming undertaking, but the rewards make it worth the effort. What better conversation piece than a gleaming, beautifully-restored hand-finished hardwood floor? Of course, you may decide after reading this to leave this job to a professional, and that’s OK!! The end result is what’s most important, and as long as you’re happy with the outcome, that’s what matters most. 



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/floor-renewal-part-two-how-to-give-new-life-to-old-hardwood-floors/24422/1367%204/1
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Industrial elements tend to appeal to those with minimalist tendencies—the sharp lines and functional philosophies of industrial design are a natural fit if you’re into clean, uncluttered spaces. However, antiseptic interiors aren’t to everyone’s tastes, and there’s no design law that says industrial interiors must equal sterility.

In October 2018, Living Room called industrial design a celebration of bricks and mortar. It’s a style that continues on in new condo and loft construction, though more likely features concrete along with high ceilings and exposed mechanicals.

Warming up an industrial space may be easier than you think, too. The walls, floors, and ceilings of any space are the blank canvas upon which you can paint your personality. Here are a few things to consider as you adapt your personal style to an industrial space.

Colour

Consider the bare brick walls of a vintage warehouse-turned-loft space. Right there, colour delivers warmth, though classic brick walls and are perhaps best classed as factory design–a bit of twist on industrial. It does illustrate how colour palettes can quickly transform design direction. 

Even if you’re working with the neutral tones of concrete or cinder block, large swaths of terra cotta, bare wood, sand, and other naturally warm earth tones make a significant modifier to an industrial setting. Don’t cover all the concrete, though. Ultimate Gray is still in vogue and is one of Pantene’s 2021 Colours of the Year. 

Texture

Steel, glass, and concrete textures are key to industrial design, and each of these tend to lean toward the smooth side of things. Contrast is a powerful tool in design, so adding heavily textured fabrics takes the sterility of an industrial space down a notch. Bonus points when you combine texture and colour to dial down the cool tone of structural components.

Fixtures and furnishings

Colour and texture will also serve you well when it’s time to furnish your industrial home. Consider the impact of a tight, modern black leather sofa versus a mid-century modern fabric version in period-appropriate colour. Both looks work, but the latter adds a warmer impact on the interior space. 

Lighting is another way to add warmth. Try an internet search for “vintage LED bulbs” and marvel at the options. Many of these bulbs fall on the warmer side of the lighting spectrum to give a classic incandescent look, but with contemporary energy efficiency. With a variety of shapes and styles, it’s easy for a bare bulb to shine on its own.

Cross-pollinate

Pure versions of design styles may not exist outside of show homes and design schools. Real living spaces are compromises of family, lifestyle, evolving taste, and the bustle of daily living. We appreciate you might not be thinking about design 24/7. 

Pairing industrial aspects with another design style is one way to alter your course without changing direction. If you like clutter-free, but find minimalism too severe, consider Japanese, Scandinavian, or their hybrid Japandi. Each of these styles retains a minimalist core, but with softer notes that invite comfort. 

Biophilic design elements bring nature and your senses into the same space, adding elements industrial alone doesn’t touch. Natural light, plants, and artwork that echo green spaces connect indoor and outdoor spaces while providing a calm and meditative organic presence. It’s a great way to invite positive vibes into your industrial styled home. 

Plenty of other design styles mesh well within industrial frameworks. Consider Bauhaus, Transitional, Bohemian or Eclectic designs. Upcycling and Shabby Chic can counter the naturally modernist feel endemic to industrial. 

It’s your space and your palette, so don’t be trapped by rigid definitions. Decide what “warm” means to you, and you’ll find a way to bring it to your industrial home! 



Source: https://www.realtor.ca/blog/how-to-use-d%C3%A9cor-to-add-warmth-to-an-industrial-space/24653/1366
Photos: pexels.com

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Picture the perfect cozy afternoon at home: what does it look like? If you’re envisioning a cozy reading nook, a warm blanket and a good book, then you’re in luck – from comfy bedroom reading nooks to elegant reading rooms to multi-functional spaces ideal for daily reading retreats, we’ve rounded up 10 reading nook ideas to inspire you.


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No matter what plants you have in your collection, they all have similar basic needs. Here's how to keep them in tip-top shape.


If you're a new plant parent, all of the care that goes into keeping your houseplants happy can feel a little overwhelming at first. However, most of your plants won't need constant attention to stay healthy. Other than remembering to water, there are plenty of easy-care houseplants that will only need a little maintenance a few times each year. When you need to step in and do some pruning or snip away a few leaves that are starting to turn yellow, these tips will give you the knowledge you need to care for your plants with confidence.

1. Watering Your Houseplants

All houseplants have slightly different watering requirements, depending on how they're grown and changes in plant growth through the seasons. It's best to water on an as-needed basis rather than by a set calendar schedule. In general, plants grown in well-drained soil in an appropriate-size container should be watered when the top 1/2 to 1 inch of soil feels dry. Cacti and succulents need less water; flowering plants usually need slightly more. Overwatering is one of the most common causes of houseplant death. If you're not sure how much to water, it's better to err on the dry side than to give your plants too much moisture.

2. Fertilize Houseplants Periodically

Like watering, there's not an easy rule to know how much to fertilize: It depends on the plant's growth rate and age, and the time of year. Most houseplants put on a growth spurt in spring and summer, so this is the best time to fertilize them. During the short days of fall and winter, most houseplants don't need much, if any, fertilizer. Follow label directions to know how much plant food to use.

Like overwatering, it's important to avoid overfertilizing your houseplants. Too much fertilizer can burn their roots and stunt their growth. For flowering varieties, use a fertilizer in which the three numbers on the label (nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, respectively) are relatively equal. If the nitrogen content is too high, the plant may grow a lot of leaves, but few flowers.

3. Propagate Houseplants When Needed

Several types of houseplants benefit from being propagated by division or other methods once in a while. It helps to rejuvenate an overgrown plant and encourage fresh growth. Plus, it's an inexpensive way to get more plants out of the ones you already have.

Some houseplants, such as bromeliads, send up new shoots at the base of the plant or offsets, which you can divide and put into new pots. Climbing houseplants such as philodendron and pothos form new roots where their stems come into contact with soil, so they're good candidates for starting new plants from cuttings. And you can root new African violets from a single leaf; just put the stem end in a bit of water for a couple of weeks.

Other houseplants, such as spider plant and strawberry begonia, reproduce by sending out runners with new plantlets at the end. It's super simple to root these to start new plants; usually, you just need to soak the base of the plantlets in water for a few days to help them develop roots, and then you can plant them in soil.

4. Repot Overgrown Houseplants

Not sure if your houseplants need repotting? Check the root systems. If the roots are circling the inside of the container, it may be time to repot the plant. If the plant has outgrown its pot, you can transplant it into a slightly larger container. If you'd like to keep it in the same pot, trim off some of the roots with a sharp knife and replant it into the container using fresh potting soil.

As you repot your houseplants, it's also a good time to divide those with multiple stems to create new plants. Spring and summer are the best seasons for repotting your houseplants.

5. Remove Dust From Plants

Almost all houseplants look better with regular cleaning. Dust collects on leaves, so wash them with a gentle shower of room-temperature water or dust them with a soft brush if the plants have hairy leaves (which can hold onto moisture and encourage disease). For plants with smooth leaves, you can also use a cloth to gently wipe away any dust that collects on leaves. Not only does this improve your plant's appearance, but it'll actually help it to soak up more light.

6. Prune and Pinch Back Houseplants

You can prune any time of the year, but fall is a natural time to break out your pruning scissors ($13, The Home Depot) after a summer of growth. The main reasons for pruning houseplants are to make them look better and keep them from getting too large. Similar to propagating, cutting overgrown houseplants back to 4 to 6 inches tall helps rejuvenate them. This technique is effective in encouraging new growth for trailing plants such as Swedish ivy and pothos that may have become bare at their bases. Try to make your cuts just above a set of buds or side shoots on a stem you want to cut back. These are where the new growth will start. Also, remove any dead or diseased leaves and stems to help prevent the problem from spreading.

Pinching means removing stem tips, either with your fingernails or pruners. Pinch out the tip of a stem and the topmost leaves to encourage the growth of side buds. Plants that grow rapidly often look best with frequent pinching to keep them compact and fuller.

7. Deadhead Flowers and Remove Dying Leaves

Trim faded flowers from your plants to encourage more blooms and help prevent disease problems. While you're at it, be sure to remove yellow, brown, or withered leaves. Use a narrow-blade hand pruner ($11, The Home Depot) or sharp scissors to make a clean cut without tearing the plant's stem. It's a good idea to wipe off the blades of your pruners with rubbing alcohol before moving on to a different plant to avoid spreading any pests and diseases.

8. Control Insect Pests

Several insects commonly attack houseplants. Insecticidal soap ($6, The Home Depot) is an easy-to-use, effective treatment for most soft-bodied pests such as aphids and spider mites. A forceful spray of water from the hose helps knock down the population of these pests, too. Rubbing alcohol is effective on insects with waxy coatings such as scale and mealybugs; dab it on with a cotton ball.

No matter what treatment you use, be consistent. For fast-reproducing pests such as aphids and spider mites, you may need to treat plants once a week for a month or so to be rid of the pests

Fungus gnats are tiny black flies that buzz around the soil, and a common houseplant pest, though they're often confused with fruit flies. You typically see fungus gnats in large numbers when plants are overwatered. Allow the soil surface to dry between waterings and make sure to clear away any dead leaves on the soil surface. In extreme cases, you may want to try repotting your plant into fresh soil and a clean container.

9. Watch for Houseplant Diseases

Remove and destroy diseased houseplants or affected leaves or stems as they develop to prevent the spread of the disease. Some diseases spread by insects, so keeping the insect population in check helps prevent these problems. A few common houseplant diseases to keep an eye out for include powdery mildew (looks like powdery white spots on leaves), fungal leaf spots (can be yellow, brown, or black spots on leaves), and root rot (mushy, dark-colored roots usually caused by overwatering).

 
 
 Source: https://www.bhg.com/gardening/houseplants/care/houseplant-care-guide/
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Home renovations should, first and foremost, improve your home and make it a more enjoyable place to live. But, before taking on any home improvement project, you should consider the return you will get on your investment. This is especially true if you're getting ready to sell your home in the near future.


No project recoups all the money you dump into it, but some come close. Let's look at some of the most common home projects and what you can expect back after you invest your time and money.


No Increase in Value From Maintenance
First, keep in mind the difference between home improvements and home maintenance. Replacing your old, broken-down furnace does not increase your home's value. It just makes it possible to sell the home.


However, installing dual-pane windows to increase heating efficiency does add value because buyers can perceive the benefit they'll receive from that improvement in lower heating costs.


Top Exterior and Interior Improvements
Every year, Remodeling Magazine releases a cost vs. value report that examines remodeling costs and the resulting increase in home value at resale to determine which projects offer the best return on investment. Among 22 home improvement projects in the 2020 report, seven out of 10 of the best-returning jobs nationwide involved the exterior of the home.


  • The best-performing project was a manufactured stone veneer, which returned an average of 95.6%. The average cost was $9,357, and the average gain in home value was $8,943.
  • In second place was replacing a garage door, which had an average cost of $3,695 and an average increase in home value of $3,491, for a return of 94.5%.
  • The highest-ranked interior remodeling job was a minor kitchen remodel in a midrange home, which returned an average of 77.6% after costing $23,452 and increasing value by $18,206.
  • A vinyl window replacement was the next highest-returning interior remodel, with an average cost of $17,641 and a return of $12,761 (72.3%).1

Paint Colors
The colors you choose to paint your home inside and out can make a difference in its resale value. Painting goes above and beyond routine maintenance. It increases or decreases visual appeal to buyers and so can result in a higher or lower offer.


The Zillow paint color analysis looked at the effect various paint color choices in different locations throughout the house had on the actual sale price of the home when compared to its estimated value.


The analysis drew some surprising conclusions. For instance, a black front door increased the sale price of a typical U.S. home by 2.9%, while pinkish taupe was the best color for a living room, increasing the home price by 1.3%. A losing color for the kitchen is brick or barn red, which dropped the price of a home by $2,310.2


Kitchens and Bathrooms
Many long-time homeowners feel they must refresh their kitchen and bathrooms before selling if they've remained the same for many years. These jobs, though, seem to pay off more in pride for the homeowners while they're still living there than they do in return on value at resale, especially when it comes to expensive homes.

According to the cost vs. value report, a bathroom remodel in a midrange home returned only 64% on the average investment of $21,377. For an upscale home, the return was even worse: 56.6%, based on an average cost of $67,106.


A similar pattern emerged with kitchens: A major kitchen remodel in a midrange home returned 58.6% on an average investment of $68,490. A major remodel in an upscale home was the worst of the four projects. Its return on investment was 53.9% on average after a typical project cost of $135,547.1


The real value in those types of remodels is the enjoyment you get out of them. If you're not planning to stay long, you may want to think twice about a kitchen or bathroom remodel.



Source: https://www.thebalance.com/repairs-before-home-selling-return-rewards-1799066

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There are events in our lives (e.g., the birth of a child) when we have to ask more from our homes. This can, on occasion, be solved with a short-term solution: a storage unit or a temporary wall. But the inevitable is, well, inevitable. You’ve outgrown your home. Here, we consulted with experts of architecture and interior design—Celerie Kemble, Campion Platt, and Madeline Weinrib—who share when it's time to contact the realtor.

Image may contain Restaurant Human Person Dating Sitting Food Court Food Cafeteria and Cafe


1/7
A New Desire to Entertain at Home
There’s a moment in our 20s or 30s when we start to socialize at home (and not at bars and restaurants). This creates a need for a “real” kitchen as well as an attractive area to entertain. Celerie Kemble says, “This room has to be beautiful for you and gracious for you. It has to be a space that affords you a sense of intimacy with the people of your choosing.”


2/7
You Need a Home Office
There are more and more people who work from home—which means there are more and more people who need home offices (because, it’s hard to concentrate on the couch). Campion Platt says, “More and more people are using technology in their home life in a new and interesting way, which doesn’t necessarily mean that they need more space but they need a differently working space.”

Image may contain Human Person Flooring Footwear Clothing Shoe Apparel Floor People Pants Denim and Jeans


3/7
You Need a Second (or Third) Bedroom
The birth of a child is, perhaps, one of the greatest reasons to add rooms: bedrooms as well as bathrooms and a recreation area. There are, now, new humans (with new needs) at home. Campion Platt explains: “It is more about children, I’ve found, than any other experience. Some people might have kids, and as they grow, they need a bigger play area for them, whether that’s a downstairs playroom or a bona fide playroom in the house.”


4/7
You Want to Celebrate Your Career and Its Success
So what about when you’ve “earned” a new home with new spaces? Perhaps the reward is an apartment with a dream closet—or even a summer house. Madeline Weinrib says: “In my new apartment with my husband that we moved into, I was very excited to have a large, walk-in closet. I think that’s something that a person aspires to have. My closets got bigger as my career went better. It went hand in hand.”


5/7
You've Outgrown Your Surroundings
There are times when a move is about a new area (not a new house). For example, people can “outgrow” the excitement of a downtown scene. Celerie Kemble says, “It’s about a shift in lifestyle where you also need a shift in environment.”


6/7
Your Art Collection Has Grown
Those who collect must have a home that accommodates their collections. Remember: These collections (whether art or, even, china or books) will continue to evolve. Madeline Weinrib says, “We just don’t have enough walls in our New York place for all that art that we have. So we just bought a summer house and the first thing on my list was a lot of wall space. I feel that people who are collectors need more space.”


7/7
Your Closets Are Stuffed (with Old Stuff)
Closets can be a blessing—and, they can be a curse. These extra rooms can soon become an accumulation of old and unused items. A new home can mean a new start. Celerie Kemble says: “Closets can feel like a throbbing headache, an oppressive weight with the detritus of our lives. Sometimes people need a new space to constrain themselves.”



Source: https://www.architecturaldigest.com/gallery/life-events-that-call-for-a-new-home

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Buying and updating an older starter property can feel pretty overwhelming. Luckily, you don’t need to spend a fortune to feel instantly at home in your new digs — these easy painting DIY home projects will get the job done in no time.



Stairway to Heaven 
Jazz up a simple stairway by painting each rise its own bold colour — choose a single colour with varying amounts of white added for an ombre effect, or splash out and turn it into an indoor rainbow. Lugging laundry up and down the stairs just got a whole lot brighter. Tip: A sample can typically holds 8 ounces, which would be more than enough to cover a step or two.




Curtain Call


Update tired wooden curtain rods with a fresh coat or two of scratch-resistant paint. Cleaning, sanding and painting them will take a bit of elbow grease but it’s a way cheaper alternative to replacing them all, and will instantly change the feel of a space.


Show Your Mantle


When noodling over the best living room paint colours, turn to the experts. This year, Behr has selected BEHR Canyon Dusk S210-4 as their 2021 Colour of the Year — its warm inviting tones make it the ideal shade for a mantle refresh. Sometimes pulling out one element in a room to paint is all that’s needed to elevate the design; use a durable on-trend flat paint, such as BEHR SCUFF DEFENSE Interior Extra Durable Flat Paint & Primer for a modern feel.


Look Up, Way Up


When looking for other living room paint ideas, all you need to do is look up. Yep, adding colourful paint to the ceiling — especially if the rest of the room’s palette remains quite neutral — is a fun way to flip convention and inject energy into a space without too much work or investment.


Finding Patterns


Instead of using traditional (and oftentimes, expensive) wallpaper to highlight a specific area, opt for this simple DIY painted-wallpaper alternative. Painting a rainbow riot of colours with a (steady) free hand brings visual interest and vitality to a small space, such as an entryway or powder room.


Out Canvassing


When looking for an easy DIY home project, you can go beyond painting a feature wall and think about what you’d like to put on that wall. Put your artistic hat on and create your own large-canvas…just make sure you protect your “studio” from wayward paint splatters while working on your craft.


Paint Cabinets


When searching for straightforward, paint-based home improvements in the kitchen, look no further than the cabinets. Give these kitchen workhorses new life with a fresh, on-trend colour, such as BEHR Dressed to Impress MQ1-19 and choose a made-for-the-task paint such as BEHR PREMIUM Cabinet & Trim Enamel in the newly launched satin finish. It flows on fast and level, and dries to a durable finish — a must in a hardworking kitchen.


Take a Seat


Another bright DIY paint idea is to give a vintage chair new lease on life with a bright makeover. It may be a piece you found, inherited, thrifted or hunted down online, but putting your own creative stamp via a vivid coat of paint is an easy way to create an instant focal point in any room you place it in.


Blue Moon


White, cream, tan: there’s nothing wrong with bathroom vanities in these neutral shades — but if you want to add a little drama to your space, go for colour. This bright sky blue vanity paired with romantic brass fixtures and accessories is an undeniably sophisticated combination.


Back to It


With the advent of the #shelfie, bookshelves have become so much more than just a place to store your books — they’re now curated displays of taste, from art to personal interests. Painting the back of the bookshelves in deep, rich colour creates a tonal backdrop for these new decor vignettes to shine. Don’t worry: You don’t need elaborate built-ins to get the benefits of this simple DIY paint idea — any bookshelf setup will do.



Source: https://www.hgtv.ca/paint/photos/make-old-house-feel-new-with-paint-1948592/#

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Check out this fun, budget-friendly project that will help update your space with minimal disruption to your home.

It is possible to transform kitchen cabinetry, whether wood or melamine, by simply painting it—the finish options are endless, and you’ll be left with a beautiful space that’s totally rejuvenated.


MATERIALS

  • Screwdriver
  • Painter’s tape
  • Sander or sandpaper
  • Clean cloth
  • Brush or roller
  • Paint primer (for latex paint)
  • Paint
  • Wax or finishing varnish (for chalk paint)


Pro Tip: No primer is needed for chalk paint, but a finishing wax is required.


HOW TO

  1. Remove cabinet doors and drawer fronts from cabinetry and lay them flat.
  2. Remove hardware from cabinet doors and drawer fronts or protect them with painter’s tape.
  3. Sand the surfaces to be painted, then wipe them down with a clean cloth.
  4. Use brush or roller to apply primer if you’re using latex paint; let dry.
  5. Stir paint colour well, then apply with a brush or roller. Let dry. Apply second coat of paint. Let dry completely.
  6. Apply a finishing wax if you’re using chalk paint. Let dry completely.
  7. Reinstall the hardware.
  8. Carefully re-mount cabinet doors and drawer fronts.



Source:https://www.canadianliving.com/home-and-garden/decor-and-renovation/article/how-to-paint-kitchen-cabinetry

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Minimalism is often perceived as an extreme practice, but Joshua Becker, founder and editor of website Becoming Minimalist, says it doesn't have to be. There are no real rules and contrary to what is commonly believed, it's not the practice of going without. "While it is true that you will have less, it’s less of what you don’t need, and more of what you want, like time and money.”


Becker feels that we’ve reached a saturation point with the possessions we've accumulated at which the items don't make us any happier. “Material belongings become more of a burden than a blessing,” he says.

Becker’s own journey with minimalism began about 10 years ago. While cleaning out his garage and watching his son play alone nearby, he realized that the belongings he was organizing were not adding value to, but actually detracting from his life and keeping him from what he really wanted to be doing. His story and subsequent stories he's shared on his website have inspired millions around the world to “find more life by owning fewer possessions.”


Here's how you can live a happier, more fulfilling life by practicing minimalism.


How do you begin?

There’s no need to feel overwhelmed or anxious about minimalism. Remember, there are no rules, and you only do what you are comfortable doing. “A little minimalism is better than none at all,” says Becker. Begin with the easiest space or room by purposefully getting rid of all the items you don’t need or use, like clothes that haven’t been worn for a long time and kitchen implements that you don’t use.


Becker says resist the urge to simply reorganize, which is almost always just a temporary solution, and instead sort your belongings into four groups: trash, give away, keep and relocate. Take your time with this process and carefully consider where each individual item best fits.


Need help? Learn about the infamous KonMari Method and the "life-changing magic of tidying up."


How do you get the kids on board?

Becker says that kids are usually good at embracing minimalism. Among other benefits, the process will empower them to make their own decisions and to learn about living within limits. Demonstrate your own commitment by tackling one of your own spaces first, and give your child a small space like a closet or toy box to sort through. Let them choose what to keep, based on what toys fit into that amount of space.


What should you do with all the belongings you no longer need?

Do your research and donate to a local charity that you believe in. You can also have a garage sale, drop them off at a consignment store, or sell the items online to recoup some of the money spent. For the items that are at the end of their lifeline, check to see if they can be recycled before throwing them into the garbage.


What are the benefits of living minimally?

After making just one small change, Becker predicts your simplified space will feel peaceful. Your home will be easier to clean and keep organized, resulting in more time to spend doing what you really want — and you'll have the money to do so. Plus, you’ll be a positive example for your kids, as they will learn to be less focused on consumption and kinder to the environment.


What do you do after the purge?

Resist excessive consumerism and purchase less. If you're having trouble, consult the above image of the "Buyerarchy of Needs” by Sarah Lasorovic. Make better use of what’s already available to you, prior to making a purchase. Buying should be your last resort.

Concentrate on spending your time and money on pursuing experiences, rather than stuff, and you're bound to feel more fulfilled.



Source: https://www.canadianliving.com/home-and-garden/organization-and-cleaning/article/how-minimalism-can-enhance-your-life

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Homeownership has a way of awakening the inner Bob Vila in all of us—even the ones who know nothing about home improvement. Whether you’re tackling huge renovations or tiptoeing your way into the world of DIY, these tips will help you set yourself up for success.


Have a plan
Renovations rarely go exactly to plan, but that doesn’t mean you should wing it. Last-minute changes are both stressful and expensive, so get the non-negotiable details hammered out first. At minimum, this means knowing what results you want and how much money—and time—it will take to achieve them.


Modeling and design tools like Floorplanner are super helpful in the planning phase. Create a couple different versions of the same project, then add a 10-15% buffer to your budget estimates to prepare for inevitable surprises.


Add value when possible
If you’re not sure where to start with home improvements, it can be helpful to prioritize projects that increase your home’s value. Updated kitchens and bathrooms are pretty much always a safe bet, as are any renovations that increase square footage, like finished basements and decks. But buyer preferences vary from market to market, so

be sure to focus on what’s popular and valuable where you live—not broad national trends.


Tackle quick, time-sensitive projects first
Some home improvements are more urgent than others. If a project will save you money immediately or prevent devastating damage in the future, bump it to the top of the priority list. That goes double for quick, easy fixes, like sealing drafts and replacing filters.


Find your DIY threshold

Even if you’re an experienced DIY-er with a well-stocked workshop, not all home improvement projects are suitable for amateurs. Before starting a project, gauge your interest level: How much work are you really willing to put in? Is that effort worth the money you’ll save? Be brutally honest.


If you have no idea what you’re getting into, don’t commit until you’ve spent, at minimum, a solid couple of hours watching YouTube tutorials and pricing out materials. Remember: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.


Bone up on DIY knowledge
Everyone should know a few basic repair skills, and thanks to the internet, learning them has never been easier. If you can, start with a specific question: Is my garbage disposal broken or just clogged? Do I really need to clean my dishwasher filter? How do you refinish a coffee table? You’ll click with some blogs and video personalities more than others; next time, start with them.


If you’re more of a hands-on learner, try volunteering: You’ll learn new skills and help people at the same time. Many hardwares stores offer free clinics on basic home repair and improvement skills, too, so be sure to check the offerings in your area.


Save money by scrimping—and splurging—responsibly
Major renovations are expensive, but going full Scrooge on every single line item only creates more work later. Instead, identify where you can and can’t afford to be a little stingy. A good rule of thumb: Shell out for anything catastrophically expensive and/or difficult to replace, like hot water heaters and electrical work. For easily replaceable items—shower heads, light fixtures, drawer pulls—cheap is fine. You should also consider how much use and enjoyment you’ll get from an item. If you’re an avid cook, skimp on floor tiles so you can splurge on the stove of your dreams.


Understand your financing options
Unfortunately, most home improvements do not pay for themselves. If you can’t afford to finance the project in full with cash, you should know the different ways you can finance your home improvement without putting your home at risk.


Personal loans and credit cards can be useful for small-to-medium projects, depending on the interest rate and terms, while home equity loans (HELs) and lines of credit (HELOCs) can help finance major renovations and repairs. Improvements that increase your home’s value can cut down on private mortgage insurance payments, but keep in mind you’ll have to pay to get your home reassessed on top of everything else.


Get your tools right
You can’t really improve your home with just your bare hands—most projects require at least a multi-tool. Before you start a project of any size, be sure your toolbox actually contains the tools you’ll need. Keep in mind that some project genres need special equipment, particularly if they involve plumbing or electrical systems. When in doubt, Google it.


Find the perfect contractor

Finding a handyman or contractor you trust is a lot like finding the right dentist or therapist: Harder than it sounds, and with incredibly high stakes. It’s important to vet potential contractors carefully using these criteria:

  • Word of mouth: Ask friends, family, and neighbors for recommendations—especially if they have industry connections
  • Check for complaints: Look up your state’s consumer protection office and your local building inspection office
  • Learn which licenses and permits are required in your area for contractors, electricians, plumbers, and painters
  • Get proof of insurance: Ask contractors to provide you with their insurance details so you can verify it with the provider
  • Ask for references, then actually check them out
  • Meet with every potential candidate so you get a feel for their style
  • Get quotes—and track them with a spreadsheet or other list


For even more specific questions you should ask, check out the Federal Trade Commission’s guide on hiring a contractor.


Always keep your next project in mind
When one project ends, another begins—such is the nature of home improvement. Planning your next move is a lot harder when you can’t remember the good ideas you had while working on something else. Keep a detailed list of your project goals in a spreadsheet, notebook, or even a good old-fashioned Pinterest board so you’ll always know what’s next.



Source: https://lifehacker.com/top-10-home-improvement-tips-every-homeowner-should-kno-1656251243

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Kitchen renovations are not one size fits all. What’s important to one person may not be to another, particularly when it comes to those who love to cook and those who don’t. But when it comes to return on investment, there are certain elements that are essential. Here are a few recommendations on how to get the best ROI in your kitchen renovation.


Neutral Colours
When it comes to kitchens, I always recommend neutral colours. Actually, I insist on it. Bright and bold colours can be a real turnoff to buyers. So, if you want your kitchen to appeal to as many people as possible, neutral colours are definitely the way to go. White, cream, grey, beige and navy are all neutrals and look great in a kitchen. If you want to accent them with bright colours, do it through things like dishes, tea towels and artwork.


Transitional Style
Like neutral colours, transitional style is the safest bet in a kitchen. Overly ornate or ultra-modern styles will turn off certain buyers, so it’s wiser from a financial standpoint to stick with simple paneled doors that are just short of modern; and stainless, chrome or dark bronze hardware. When it comes to transitional style, keep it simple and approachable.


Semi-Custom Cabinetry
Custom kitchens are great for many reasons; but for people looking for great quality without a high price, semi-custom is the way to go. These types of cabinets are available in standard sizes, but offer customizable features such as decorative accents and interior storage options. Remember that cabinets serve an incredibly important function, so don’t cheap out.


Simple Tile
Some people like to make tile a feature in their kitchens; but as a general rule, I advise against it. It has always been my experience that simple tile designs in a neutral colour offer the best return on investment. That’s not to say it has to be boring. White marble tile in a honeycomb, chevron or floral pattern for instance, looks great while still being subtle.


Quartz Countertops
If you have the budget, nothing beats a quality Quartz countertop. They’re durable, offer a great ROI and look terrific. Since countertops take a lot of beatings – dishes clanging, knives scraping, spills – making the investment in something that won’t get damaged is well worth the price.


Stainless Steel Appliances
Every day I hear from someone who says they hate stainless steel. They want white and nothing will change their mind. Fair enough, but it doesn’t change the fact that stainless steel is currently the most popular finish for appliances and it will get you the best return on investment. So if you’re looking for the best ROI, stainless is the way to go.


The most important thing to remember during a kitchen renovation is that a high return on investment will only be achieved when the upgrades match the quality of the rest of the home. For instance, a high-end chef’s style kitchen won’t add much value if the rest of the house looks dated and dingy. However, when a kitchen renovation is done right and is part of a well-maintained, upgraded home, the ROI can be as much as 200%.



Source: https://www.hgtv.ca/renovations/blog/scott-mcgillivray-roi-kitchen-renovation-1922244/

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MLS® property information is provided under copyright© by the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board and Victoria Real Estate Board. The information is from sources deemed reliable, but should not be relied upon without independent verification.