Filed under: EDITORS’ NOTES
Pick up our June/July issue Saturday, May 18, 2013! Get ready to summer-ize your home with the latest products, expert advice and inspiring ideas. Plus, don’t miss our interview with the dynamic duo the Kitchen Cousins – who share tips, tricks and trends on kitchen renovations.
May 15, 2013
by Elisa Krovblit
Yes, we do love our moms. For all they do, for all they teach us, and for always being there – we love them each and every day. Seems fair that one day a year we shower her with love, attention, affection – and gifts!
Don’t know what to get mom? Skip the annual box of chocolates and go right for something she will really enjoy. Here are some of HD&R’s favourite finds for mom:
Freshen up mom’s walls with a great frame. Finish it in sentimental form with a photo of you and mom.
IKEA Kullsta and Kvill Frames $6.99-8.99 ikea.ca
How long has she had the same boring glassware? With a new tray, a stay-cold-and-tastey pitcher and some funky glassware, mom will treat herself to a refreshment more often.
Now go make her breakfast in bed!
CB2: Bright double old fashioned glassware $6.95; Acrylic bed tray $89.95; Ceylon pitcher $29.95 cb2.com
Flowers and potted plants a0re a Mother’s Day cliché. Nothing wrong with a cliché – as long as you add your own personal twist. Try arranging your fabulous flora in one of these:
Homesense: Crown planters in various sizes $14.99-$16.99; Aqua glass vase $16.99 homesense.ca
As lovely as they are comfortable, toss pillows are always a great way to make a statement. And this Spring’s statement has wings!
Show her you care, in sterling, 14 karat, platinum and princess-cut.
Tiffany & Co.: Mother’s Day Collection $85-$10,500 tiffany.ca
A rug, why didn’t you ever think of it? A great way to add a little whimsy, this year’s favourite patterns include chevron, stripes and ikat.
Dwell Studio: Rug collection from 2′X3′ to 9′X13′ $98-$1,610 dwellstudio.com
May 8, 2013
Sara Duck chats with Peter Khatami, co-owner of Nostco Construction, for advice on what to consider before you renovate and tips for a planet-friendly renovation.
With the warmer weather coming, many homeowners will be thinking about renovations. What are your top five tips to consider before you think about a home renovation?
A 1 | Assess the relationship you have with your home. Is this a starter home? Something that you will be living in for a few years then moving on, or do you plan on retiring in this home?
2 | Devise a plan that includes all of the changes that you would like to make to the home. Everything from the basement, kitchen, exterior, flooring, and maybe even increasing the square footage of living space (addition) should be included. Include everything that you would like to do now and possibly in the future as well.
3 | Assess the return on investment for what you are proposing to do, unless money is not an issue. Some renovation projects make sense in the heart but not in the wallet.
4 | Get inspired! Visit home shows, research the internet for great design ideas, be creative, find what defines you and inspires you. There is a plethora of choices in materials and finishes out there and some of them are waiting to be mixed and matched together to become a part of your home.
5 | Who will do the work? Renovations take time, experience, tools and patience. If the scope of
work is beyond your DIY skills, hire a professional. Visit renomark.ca for a list of qualified contractors in your area.
Q More and more homeowners are choosing to go Green at home. When it comes time to renovate, does going Green versus a regular reno mean that homeowners need to spend a lot more money to make it planet friendly?
A Yes and no. Initially, the up-front cost of the “Greener” alternative is typically higher across the board. But when it comes to mechanical and insulation components of a home, there is also the operation cost to consider and when you do that you will find that on a long enough time-line (10 to 30 years on average), the cost is
typically off set by the savings incurred by lower consumption costs.
Q Do you recommend energy-efficient appliances? Why?
A Absolutely. As the name infers, efficient use of energy is better for the environment and it is also better for
Q There is a lot of reno waste after projects, is there practical ways a homeowner can get rid of the waste with little or no impact on the environment?
A There is definitely a fine line in there, speaking from experience. It is very convenient to haul in a large dumpster (or a few) and load it up with all of the things that you don’t want anymore and have the disposal company truck it away. But with a little bit of realistic foresight and planning, you can effectively separate the waste into a few basic categories: things that you can sell/give away for free, cardboard, recyclable waste, metals (copper, steel, etc.) and general waste. By doing this, you can effectively save 10 to 30 per cent of the waste that ends up at the landfill from any average renovation project.
Peter is co-owner of Nostco Construction, a design/build, project management and contracting firm serving residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. With more than 10 years of industry experience, Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on behalf of his clients to transform vision to successful reality on every project. nostco.com
May 8, 2013
By Erica Gelman
We’ve all heard of “spring-cleaning” but lets get serious, what’s a good a clean without a little transformation? This spring, don’t just clean and get organized but give your home a new look and freshen up your space all at once. Spring is the perfect time of year to revive your home from the dreaded cold winter, especially the one we just had.
Someone once told me that conquering clutter is therapeutic, and while I believe that to be true we like to think that the real benefit of spring cleaning is the clean slate you now get to decorate with. I know what you must be thinking and you’re not alone. The thought of organizing seems so overwhelming and maybe even daunting. Just remember, it doesn’t have to be completed in one afternoon, let yourself start slow and tackle one room at a time.
If you’re puzzled and can’t figure out where to start I would suggest your most used space; be it the closet, the kitchen, the bedroom or maybe it’s the dining room that has somehow become the storage centre. There’s a “one year” rule that we like to implement with our clients. Often, just before starting a design or decorating project our clients begin by discussing how unorganized their home feels and by starting a house project they feel like they allow themselves the opportunity to re-organize or de-clutter. We suggest that if something hasn’t been used in the last year, its probably time for a new home or possibly the garbage bin.
However, you don’t have to remodel your kitchen to obtain a cleaner feeling in your space. No one ever said this has to be an extensive “project.” There are some fantastic storage solutions that fit right into your current kitchen. For instance, Gliding Shelf Solutions is a local company who can retrofit your existing cabinetry and add more storage, more than you ever dreamt of. I would recommend taking everything, yes, everything out of your cabinetry and really plan on how you intend to use your space. Imagine how beautiful your countertops become once you’ve found a home for all those displayed knick-knacks.
The same rules and principals can apply to your closets. As most of us are tight on storage space, why waste valuable real estate? This type of cleaning may require a purge but trust me you will thank yourself later. Did you know that cleaning your closets could actually save you money? Try separating your clothes into seasons if you intend to keep some in storage. Otherwise, colour blocking your wardrobe is ideal and it will benefit you everyday to know exactly what you have and maybe what you have too much of.
Yet, as I mentioned the real fun behind spring-cleaning is the transformation. If it’s small and relatively inexpensive changes you are looking to make then I would suggest looking at fabric. Imagine sprucing up your dark sofa or bedspread with bright pillows that are light in texture and soft to the touch. If you’re handy or a skilled DIYer maybe a crisp room colour will get you in the spirit of a new season. Imagine how renewed your organized kitchen will look with a fresh coat of paint.
Embrace the warm weather and let yourself translate the essence of a new season in your home. It may take some work but it will also take the weight off your shoulders to rid yourself of clutter and start fresh.
Toronto-based designer Erica Gelman, Principal of Erica Gelman House Of Design. Specializes in both large and small scale residential design projects throughout Toronto and the GTA. Known for enhancing and creating new possibilities in every space of your home. House Of Design ericagelman.com
May 6, 2013
Winter is over. Spring has sprung. Time to dust off the annual chore list. Before you roll up your sleeves and tackle the dirty work, though, you should review (and save) this spring safety checklist, compiled with input from our friends at the Electrical Safety Authority (ESA). It will ensure your seasonal spruce-up is a blooming good time–and not a bundle of accidents waiting to happen.
» If electrical work is in your plans, consult a licensed electrical contractor. They will ensure your spring-renovation projects are completed in a safe manner, consistent with codes, protecting you and your family from electrical shock and fire hazards. Licensed electrical contractors are the only ones who you can legally hire to do such work in your home in Ontario.
» Spring is the perfect time to build something new, but you may be in for a shock if you aren’t aware of underground hazards. Check with your local utility companies to mark underground electrical wires or gas and water mains before you start any digging. Avoid doing any work directly under or beside these areas. Remember: Always call before you dig.
» With flowers soon to bloom, your green thumb is likely itching. Be sure to plant large shrubs and trees at least three feet (one metre) away from hydro poles, powerlines and other utility equipment. Keeping clear access to utility poles allows professionals to safely perform inspections and repairs – and will prevent much bigger headaches down the road.
» Before entertaining in your backyard, make sure
your outdoor recreation routine involves a thorough inspection of your yard. If there are tree limbs within three metres of powerlines anywhere on your property, contact a professional to clear them. Do not attempt to do it yourself.
» What better time than spring to dust off your barbecue, outdoor appliances and garden and power tools? Before you use them, check if any of the electrical cords have cracked or frayed, or if plugs have broken. If so, repair or replace the tool.
» Never stand on wet floors or moist grass when using electrical tools. Wear rubber-soled shoes when using them, as the wet ground can conduct electricity. Keep your outdoor tools unplugged in a safe and dry area when not in use.
» If you’ll be doing any outdoor cleaning or maintenance using a ladder, watch out for overhead wires. Placing any ladder near powerlines is dangerous, even if it’s not metal. Be aware of where powerlines are located–and keep at least 10 feet (about three metres) away.
Once you’ve checked all the items off your spring-cleaning list, sit back, relax and enjoy the season!
For even more tips on how to stay safe around your home visit powerlinesafety.ca
May 3, 2013
Image spring 2013 ready-to-wear Louis Vuitton collection. Photo by Chris Moore, catwalk Getty Images.
by Sara Duck
Checks, floral, ikat, chevron, we adore it all! There is no doubt that patterns are hot this season. So give your space an instant update with a patterned accent chair. We love the idea of adding these hot seats in your living room or one at each end of your dining table.
Avery Accent Chair. $799. Visit urbanbarn.com
May 1, 2013
by Laurence Rosenberg Accurate Technology Group
With the onslaught of technical advances, home automation is becoming mainstream in today’s renovation industry.
There is no doubt that smart homes are becoming mainstream in new-home construction and renovations. In today’s modern age, technology influences practically every aspect of our home environment. However, home automation technology evolves at such a rapid pace that most homeowners are left wondering how to plan ahead in order to include it in their homes.
Many homeowners are not aware of the enormous benefits of home automation, and therefore do not consider it when renovating their existing home or building a new one. The main stumbling blocks when it comes to the installation of home automation are education and misconception of costs. One only has to look at the pace at which technology is being brought into our homes and our daily lives to understand that it would be wise to plan for not only future developments but those that exist today.
If you do not have the budget to invest in a home automation system right away, you can design your home in such a way that you could integrate one seamlessly when your budget allows. One of the optimum times for this is during renovation to ensure the infrastructure (pre-wiring) for home automation is put in place.
A home automation system is a system that provides you with remote or automatic control of things around your home. Home automation systems can give you the ability to control home functions remotely from anywhere in the world using a tablet or smart phone with internet access.
Today’s homeowners are looking at state-of-the art home automation systems as a means of managing their home’s daily functions in the most economical and energy efficient manner with ease of use. Home automation systems can do this by controlling a number of systems and appliances within the home in the most effective and economical way, including lighting systems, audio and visual equipment, heating systems, security and many more.
The main aim of any well designed home automation system is to create a flexible, practical and user-friendly environment – allowing even the most non-technical people to easily operate the most technically advanced systems.
By designing and including an infrastructure that is capable of being readily upgraded, a smart home can easily maintain pace with advances in technology.
The bottom line is that to achieve optimum results, it is essential that your home automation system is designed, installed and programmed by an experienced home automation professional. This will not only ensure that all the electronic devices and control software are integrated seamlessly, but it will also mean that the system meets your individual aesthetic and functional requirements.
April 29, 2013
by Rachael Kalinsky
Spring has finally arrived, and with warmer weather and longer days often comes the urge to purge. Here are five simple steps to help you de-clutter, create a calmer home and let the positive energy flow back into the spaces we’ve been hibernating in all winter long.
1 Prepare your Organizing Tools. Just like any project or recipe, we need the necessary tools or ingredients before we can get started. The same goes for getting organized.
Here are my key ingredients for a successful de-cluttering session:
» Black bags for garbage
» Blue bags or bin for recycling
» Clear bags or recycled boxes for items to be donated » Two large bins or boxes:
• One to act as a “Maybe bin” for those items that you’re struggling to make a decision on
• The other to act as a “Relocate bin” for items that belong in another room – the key to staying focused is to not leave the room you’re working on until it’s complete
» Marker and role of masking tape
• To label your bins or make reminder notes on items such as “replace button” or “return to store.”
2 Keep Only the Items you USE or LOVE. Your possessions should either serve a purpose or reflect who you are, and everything should have its place. As you begin the de-cluttering process, you should unquestionably get rid of anything that’s collecting dust, feels uncomfortable, doesn’t fit, doesn’t work, or creates a negative emotion – leaving only the items you use or love.
3 Start with your Storage Areas. We in the organizing profession often advise our clients to pick an area and start small. While this is very true, I also suggest starting with storage areas such as the basement, garage, or that spare room that’s become the “dumping ground.”
Our storage areas are often the place where things we don’t use or love end up, therefore they tend to be easier items to make decisions on and help us get into the de-cluttering groove.
Secondly, our storage areas are intended for items we don’t use regularly, such as seasonal clothing, sporting gear, luggage and extra household supplies. Getting rid of the unnecessary makes space for the items that should filter into storage as we move onto de-cluttering the rest of the home.
4 Create a place for everything. Now that you’ve gotten rid of all the items you no longer use or love, it’s time to create a “home” for everything that’s left. Install a hook to hang your keys as you walk in the door, use baskets to keep like items together, and dedicate a letter tray to consolidate incoming mail, bills to pay and notices to address. Having a home for everything will eliminate the piles from building up again.
5 Deal with it now. Once you’ve de-cluttered and set up systems for where things belong, it’s important to get into the habit of always putting things back. It only takes a second to hang your keys as you walk in the door, put away the clean laundry, or put the kids books/toys back on the shelf. Doing it right away will save you time in the long run and eliminate that nagging and overwhelming feeling that occurs when things start to pile up.
Rachael Kalinsky, Professional Organizer and Owner of Order in the House, takes pride in helping her clients live a more balanced life through the process of de-cluttering, creating customized solutions and encouraging positive habits to maintain an organized space.
For more information visit
April 24, 2013
Pick up your May issue of HD&R this weekend. Our latest issue is filled with inspiring tips on getting organized for the new season, as well as beautiful spring décor options for your home. Let’s welcome spring in style!
April 17, 2013
by Evelyn Eshun | Photography by Larry Arnal
No matter how large or how small your bathroom is, the basic elements which make a bathroom fabulous are the same. Functionality, easy to clean, lots of storage, and of course, attractive. In this case, I had carte blanche to design a bathroom for two very adorable little girls with the caveat that it had to be girly and timeless.
When clients give me their wish list for the renovation plan of their bathrooms, they usually have a tile or counter in mind, that is more often than not the jumping-off point of the aesthetic plan of the space. This is a good place to start, since it sets the tone for the look, the feeling and the colour of the bathroom. In this case, the client wanted Statuario marble for a countertop. Knowing this fact, it was easy to plug in the other elements which would make this small bathroom bright and fresh for the girls using it.
Choosing the vanity colour or finish is key to creating the mood in the space. Stained and dark tends to be masculine, while white and light tends to be feminine. A perfect white was chosen for the vanity, one of my favourite whites, Benjamin Moore’s CC-20. You cannot go wrong with white vanities in a bathroom – classic, timeless and bright. The crystal knobs gave a finishing touch to the simple lined vanity.
Paint colours in the bathroom should be light and non-obtrusive in order to allow the tiles and stone to take centre stage. Getting away from all the grey and blue which is the trend these days, I chose a soft blushy pink for the wall colour. This imparts a warm glow over the entire bath.
When designing a bathroom on a budget, keep two things in mind: plumbing and tiling. Try to keep all the plumbing fixtures where they are, since moving them can really add dollars to the bottom line. Your tile budget can easily explode – to keep this in check, I like to use a simple white porcelain 3-by-6-in. or 2-by- 4-in. tile as my main tile and add a gorgeous mosaic and bullnose tile as an accent. In this case, we used a mosaic which had glass and marble in a combination of smooth and textured square. The sparkle added the perfect girly touch the bathroom needed.
When it comes to the plumbing fixtures, we often adore the sparkle of chrome or polished nickel in a bathroom. Yes, you have to wipe the water stains away, but the sparkle is what imparts that finishing touch. I often like to use a cool polished chrome in a white, more modern bathroom space, while polished nickel suits a more traditional bathroom with creamy finishes and stained vanities. There are no hard and fast rules in this department – it is much like cooking; all the ingredients have to work together in harmony, the tiles, floor, counter, vanity, paint and plumbing fixtures. My two little clients were very happy with
their bathroom and the open storage in the upper cabinet, which allowed them to display their favourite little trinkets.
1. Save on your budget by planning to keep the plumbing fixtures where they are, work with what you have and you will shave that bottom line.
2. A banjo top behind the toilet will give you ample storage, it only needs to be 6-in. to 8-in. deep.
3. Though brushed gold is the trend for faucets at the moment, choosing the classic polished chrome will give you a timeless look. As a bonus, it tends to be the most cost effective finish.
Choose a dark coloured grout to avoid seeing dirt gather in the grout lines over time. When you do so, you create a more graphic look to your space, which can add to the design aesthetic.
4. Keep in mind that it will take six to eight weeks to get through the process of renovating the average bathroom and it can cost $10,000 to $20,000 for the average bathroom renovation.
Splurge on counters and plumbing fixtures. These elements will be put to the test daily.
5. Install your mirror from the counter to the edge of the vanity and all the way to the ceiling or underside of the moulding. It will double your space visually and brighten up the space tremendously.
Vanity by: Selba Kitchens and Baths
905.660.1614 | selba.ca
Counter: Crown Marble
416.655.8255 | crownmarble.ca
Tiles: Saltillo Tiles
416.441.2224 | saltillo-tiles.com
Sconces: Union Lighting
416.652.2200 | unionlightingandfurnishings.com
Wall Paint: Benjamin Moore : BM OC-71
March 29, 2013