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Punchy and Fun Colours for Summer

7bb4f5a4-b4c4-423d-894c-a282525e3f3bby Annabelle Immega

Feeling left out of the latest home fashions? Fret not, there's still time to punch up your pad with pops of summery colour! MOE'S Home Collection offers its top picks for bold hues to give your interior that extra boost you so desire, from furniture to accessories and everything in between.

Shantou Chair Blue, $229
Breeze Tangerine Accent Pillow, $72.95
Lamb Fur Pillow Blue, $85
Half & Half Vase Small, $72.95
Snapshot Desk Lamp Red, $135
Posta Side Table Yellow, $139
Bombay Ivory/Teal Blue Rug, $1,055
Color Block City Wall Decor, $375
Clear Cone 5 Pendant Blue Chrome, $685
Clear Cone 5 Pendant Amber Chrome, $685

Kitchen Prep

kitchenBy Mark Cooper

The fact is, you want to know what to expect from your renovation, and when. Since the kitchen is considered the heart of the home it’s important to get everything done efficiently and on budget so you can get back to everyday life, so here are some of the main things you should take into consideration when contemplating a kitchen overhaul.

The first step is all yours: figuring out what you want to accomplish and why. Then, unless changes are minor, it’s worth five to ten per cent of your total budget for a professional designer.  You’ll need a week or two to schedule a meeting. Ensure you’ll be happy with the room layout, rather than trying to work around existing doors and windows. In the big picture, they’re not very hard or expensive to move.

kitchen2Much of your cost will be quality cabinets and countertops. Choose cabinetry made locally: the wood has already acclimatized, and  you’ll avoid expansion and shrinkage common with imports from dryer climates. transportation).

Plan ahead. Today’s kitchens utilize deep, full-extension drawers, especially for lower cabinets — you don’t want to be on your hands and knees searching for pots and pans.

Lighting is key. Under-cabinet, pendant and pot-lights will ensure your work surfaces are well-lit and your design is highlighted.

Along with those big decisions, count on a couple of weeks determining special features and design details – styles, colours, locations of cabinets, and types of drawers. Sometimes a minor point will affect something major, and you have to know where the pipes and wires are going to be before you start construction.

This is when you confirm your order for appliances. Don’t delay. You’ll be building around their specs, and it’s costly to rework your design if your expected models aren’t available.

Then expect a week or two for demolition and clean-out. Walls and floors will probably have to be gutted, even if you’re not making exterior changes. After that, assuming no structural surprises, you can begin roughing in ductwork for fans, electrical connections and plumbing. It’s also time to put in audio-visual wiring. Even if you don’t want music or TV now, it won’t be expensive or disruptive when you do.

Cabinets can take six to eight weeks to arrive, giving you time to install insulation, vapour barriers and drywall, as well as getting a coat of primer on and maybe some of the paint.  Once the cabinets are installed, you can complete the flooring and get your countertops cut and placed.

Then some finishing work, and you can stop eating take-out. The biggest delays can be finding and scheduling trades. That’s one of several key reasons to get a good general contractor with a reputation for having expert tradespeople available when they’re needed for your schedule. As you can see overall, it could take 8 to 12 weeks or longer, depending on your scope. So, if you want to cook Christmas dinner in your new kitchen, you’ll have to talk turkey before the end of summer.

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Year-Round Comfort

Dyson-AM04-Hot-and-Cool-Fanby Stephanie MacDonald

Last summer, July was one of the hottest on record, and coincidentally my family happened to come into possession of a Dyson Hot + Cool Air Multiplying Fan. Originally, we were more enamoured with the vacuum we obtained at the same time and the fan just sort of sat there, but as the heat continued to make our home into a sweat lodge the fan was plugged in and our lives were changed. Cool breezes prevailed against the heat, and the quiet, gentle cooling effect made our home habitable again.

In the winter, this fan proves even more indispensable, it can actually heat our main floor in less time than either the gas fireplace or the electric heat, and it's so portable we even take it to the cabin up in Whistler. Like all Dyson products, it's a bit expensive, but worth every single penny - you'll save more in electricity in a year than it costs to buy, so it's a great investment.