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 Yanic Simard
Generally thought of as a playful background to the home’s interior, wallpaper has been around for many, many years — dating back to the 16th century, and today it is more popular than ever. Wallpaper can inject so much more personality into a space in the form of pattern, texture and colour, which you can’t always get with a paintbrush and roller.
Types of Wallpaper
Wallpaper is available in several different materials, each
with its own characteristics.
Vinyl: The most basic type of wallpaper, easy to clean, hang and remove, and great for moist areas such as bathrooms.
Embossed: Textured paper which can usually be painted and is excellent for covering up walls with imperfections. Easy to install and easy to clean.
Foils: Metallic-looking wallpaper that will add brightness and sparkle to any room. Looks best installed on flat walls with no flaws or damage. Can be difficult to hang, though it is fairly easy to clean.
Grass cloth: Woven out of long strands of grass, this extremely textural wallpaper has an organic quality like no other. Very difficult to hang and tough to remove.
Textile: Fabric type of wallpaper which can be more difficult to both clean and hang, but adds great texture and depth to a space.
Flocks: Velvet or velvet-like raised designs on vinyl type paper. It can add great personality and esthetic to any room however not all types are washable. This paper can be tricky to handle and difficult to hang.
Choosing the Right Pattern
If your furnishings and décor are already complete, then you want to select a paper that complements the existing colour and style as well as the size and shape of the room being wallpapered. If there are already other patterns present in the area then be sure to choose a harmonizing scale. In terms of the room to be wallpapered, keep in mind that horizontal patterns will make a room appear wider, and vertical patterns will make ceilings feel taller.
Where to Wallpaper
In the ‘70s, your house wasn’t quite up to par unless you covered every square inch of every wall with wallpaper. Today that’s hardly the case —however if you’re using it in a smaller space such as a powder room, I still say to go for it. One feature wall is usually all you need to make a room pop, like behind the bed in a bedroom. Also, consider wallpapering the ceiling to create high impact and style.
Measuring for Wallpaper
Measure your walls carefully to calculate the amount of paper you’ll need to cover the desired area. Standard rolls measure 11 yards in length, 20.5 inches in width, and wide width rolls are sometimes available which are the same length but measure 27 inches in width. I always recommend adding one extra roll to the amount you require just in case. The experts where you’re buying the material should be able to assist in the calculations to be sure.
Once you see what paper can do for your walls, you may instantly reach for the paste rather than a brush the next time you need to freshen up a room.
Yanic’s Favourite Wallpaper Lines
›› Trove available through Industrial Storm.
Visit troveline.com, industrialstorm.com
›› Concrete Wall by Tom Haga. Visit concretewall.no
›› Tracy Kendall available through Hollace Cluny.
Visit tracykendall.com, hollacecluny.ca
is the principal designer of the Toronto Interior Design Group. Specializing in residential and commercial projects, Simard often applies his signature high/low and old/new combination design techniques in developing unique designs. Simard has created designs for clients in Toronto, Montreal and Miami, and has appeared as a regular guest expert on Citytv’s CityLine.
For more information visit tidg.ca
April 26, 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
A Special Place
Turning your bedroom into a relaxing oasis begins with the perfect upholstered bed. Whether you go for patterned, textured or plain, A Special Place has a spectacular array of designer fabrics to choose from. Queen size bed as shown, is regularly $2,129 on sale for $1,699 until May 31, 2013.
1280 Castlefield ave., Toronto | 416.481.2077
1755 Pickering pkwy, #18, Pickering | 905.428.6317
For a location near you visit aspecialplace.ca
Adornments on Queen
Mannequins are popularly known as “Judy’s,” and Adornments On Queen has a very special one to offer! A floor-standing model, adjustable in height, it stands a minimum of 52-in-h with a tripod base of 18-in-w. Solid and attractively decorated in script fabric, it is a practical and beautiful addition to the boudoir. Ready for your day’s clothing, an item requiring alterations or simply to display a favourite dress. Regularly $137 but until May 31, 2013 enjoy 15 per cent off.
338 Queen St. E., Toronto | 416.955.4791 Visit adornmentsonqueen.com
Luxurious top-of-the-line vanity designed by Bayden. High-quality finish with self-closing full extension drawer slides and crystal hardware. As shown with Bianco Carrara counter, sink and faucet. Regular price is: $4,499, promotional price is $3,999. Offer valid from April. 20 to May. 18, 2013.
315 Supertest Rd., Toronto | 416.818.8143
Changing up your floors is a breeze with X-Tile’s Easy, Habitat, Serena and Touch series that now come in 17 beautiful colours. This contemporary and versatile look will give the impression you spent a lot more than you did on your flooring. At $1.99 per sq. ft., this is X-Tiles’ best deal to date! Offer valid from April. 20 to May. 18, 2013.
78 Signet Dr., Unit 6, Toronto | 416.749.7111
563 Queensway E., Mississauga | 905.949.8453
For showroom hours visit x-tile.net
Alta Moda Furniture
Choose from hundreds of fabrics and different finishes to customize your very own Brooklyn chair from Alta Moda for $1,150 until May. 31, 2013. Regular price is $1,495. Pictured here in distinguished Herringbone. 680 Rivermede Rd., Concord | 416.636.5495
Unbelievable deal! 65 per cent off of this 80-in TV stand with long nickel hardware and solid wood and veneers in a beautiful blond finish. $299 while quantities last.
For locations visit arrowfurniture.com
April 22, 2013
by eBay Canada
Spring fever has many Canadians ready to spruce up their dwellings, whether they’re prepping their homes for sale or simply looking for a lighter, fresher style this season.
That’s why many of us are discovering that some of the best-kept, home décor secrets can be found online on sites like eBay.ca, which literally allow customers to “shop the world” for the most coveted items of the season – many of which simply aren’t available on home turf. In fact, Canadians spend tens of millions of dollars on home and garden items on eBay annually. And, in a growing trend, we are increasingly making these purchases ‘on the go’: in 2012 smart phones or tablets were used to buy a home and garden item every 2.2 minutes.
Here are some examples of top home décor trends to incorporate into your home makeover for spring 2013:
· Luxe up your living room with elegant evening wear: This season, the runways are all about glamour. Glitz up your home with silk pillows and bold striped patterns to add a touch of elegance to any room. (Did you know that eBay has over 5,000 listings for silk and taffeta pillows at all price points?)
· Be bold: Fashion mavens around the globe are coveting black and white and graphic shapes. Try interesting vases, dramatic throw blankets or easy slipcovers to bring the look home.
· Covet the classics: If you’d prefer a subtle change, embrace lace. Delicate, white lace has made a comeback in a big way. Look at refreshing your curtains or even topping your table with a new runner.
Ultimately, your home reflects who you are, so be sure to fill it with pieces that show your taste and personality. Just don’t be afraid to look beyond local shopping malls to find the items you love online, whenever inspiration hits.
April 17, 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
Models showcasing the Celebricity/VIP Only theme.
By Sara Duck
In its fifth season at World MasterCard Fashion Week, Canadian label KORHANI home debuted its Fall/Winter 2013 home furnishing collection – showing what will be on trend in interior design for the season. With the music pumping and a packed out audience, models showcased unique garments entirely made of rugs in three distinctive themes:
Collection Inspiration: Nocturnal explores the mystery of the unknown: the transcendence into a dream world full of illusion, re-generation and desire. With deep shades of gloomy burgundy and dusty grey highlighted by moonlight pale accents, this collection is reminiscent of the night sky – like hidden secrets written in the stars that reveal themselves only after dark.
Home Furnishing Trends: Velvet cushions in jewel-tones. For the minimalist who wants to update their living or dining room into a sleek and ageless space. A colour palette in cool tones that stands the test of time.
Collection Inspiration: Allure pays homage to the seductive era of the dream factory film divas. The soft colour palette of dusty rose and shaded nude compose a world of glamour and ageless elegance. Art nouveau style formed by flowing lines creates an opulent atmosphere of luxury and seduction.
Home Furnishing Trends: Feminine florals with a focus on antiques. Geometric patterns will be on trend with rosewood-coloured fabrics and touches of gold accents. For the more traditional who want to add subtle, new elements to a room – while still remaining classic.
Collection Inspiration: Celebricity draws inspiration from the exclusivity of a futuristic members-only club in Manhattan, Berlin or Shanghai. Bold prints with expressive and vibrant colours.
Home Furnishing Trends: Jet black and sharp white with bright pops of subdued neon. Iconic images on the walls and playful accents like bean bag chairs. Perfect for downtown condo-living and infusing youthful energy into small spaces.
“My home collection is a reflection of my lifelong passion for design,” said Kirsten Korhani, chief designer and creative director, KORHANI home. “I have always been drawn to the fashion world – it influences everything I do.”
For more information visit korhani.com
March 26, 2013
By Hellen Buttigieg
You want everything to fit away neatly, display perfectly and know exactly where everything is when you need it. That’s what being organized is all about. But is that realistic? Each space, person and system is different. What worked for some may not work for you. You may have limitations on space or be too overwhelmed by stuff for a quick fix. The demands on your lifestyle and your family’s needs may outweigh the space in your home. Being organized doesn’t happen overnight and it doesn’t have a finish line. Getting organized is a process; learn what works for you.
Keeping it real. You’ll never get organized. Read that again. Yes, that’s what I said. You’ll never get organized, because being perfectly organized is not a realistic expectation. Just to be clear, organization is not a destination. You don’t just wake up one day and find that you’ve arrived. It’s a process – a work in progress. So if you are judging yourself against unrealistic expectations, or holding back on pursuing a goal because you are waiting until you “get organized, once and for all,” perhaps it’s time to look at things differently. Instead of trying to get organized, strive to become more organized every day. Doesn’t that feel more attainable? Instead of feeling stuck, you’ll be able to take a step forward.
Use your instincts. Are you surrounded by piles of papers on your desk, your floor and any other flat surface in your office? Don’t fight your instincts, work with them. Rather than trying to adapt to traditional ways of filing, such as using a lateral filing cabinet, use horizontal methods instead. Use stacking trays or literature sorters, which can be placed on your desk or installed on the wall. Now label them with the categories you use most. It will be easier to adapt to filing papers when you don’t have to change your piling habit.
Let go and let it flow. Are you holding on to things that you’ll never use again? People often unconsciously jam their homes full of stuff because the sheer volume gives them a feeling of comfort and security. If you are operating from a need for abundance, remember that your success as a person has nothing to do with all the outdated or rarely used stuff overflowing from your closets. In fact, it’s probably blocking your prosperity. Let go of what you don’t need to make room for new things to come into your life.
Plan before de-cluttering. Before beginning any de-cluttering project, determine in advance how you will dispose of the items you no longer want. If you have valuable pieces and would like to sell them, decide whether you will do this yourself or hire someone to do it for you. If you would like them to go to charity, which one and where is it located? Some charities will pick up, so call them to find out when they will be in your area. It’s not until those boxes and bags leave your home that you will reap the full rewards of de-cluttering. Planning in advance will curb procrastination and ensure you fully complete the task.
Feeling stuck? If you find yourself backsliding when it comes to maintaining your organizing systems, don’t berate yourself, as this will sap your energy and prevent you from doing anything about it. Rather than dwelling on what went wrong, focus instead on what needs to be done. Just say “oops” and move on to taking action.
Hellen Buttigieg, CPO, is a Certified Professional Organizer, life coach, TV host, author and owner of We Organize U. Visit her website, weorganizeu.com, for a free e-Book on how to find more time, energy and inner peace. Contact Hellen at 905.829.2219 or email@example.com
March 22, 2013
We’ve teamed up with paint and wallpaper experts Farrow & Ball to give you an inspiring do-it-yourself headboard project for your home!
01 This headboard is applied directly to the wall, so move your bed away to give you room to work.
02 Choose an outline for your headboard that will complement the design on your leftover wallpaper.
03 Measure the width of your bed and decide on the height of your headboard.
04 Using these measurements, cut enough wallpaper to fill the required space, making sure the pattern matches up. The design in this image took three drops.
05 Lay your wallpaper drops side-by-side on the floor.
06 Draw the left-hand side of the headboard in pencil and cut out. You can now use this as a template for the right-hand side; this technique ensures both sides are symmetrical. If you’re not confident, stick to a simple shape.
07 Paste the central drop of wallpaper and leave to soak for
three to five minutes.
08 Mark a centre point for your headboard on the wall and use this as a guide to hang the first drop.
09 Paste the remaining drops and leave to soak for three to five minutes.
10 Hang the remaining drops either side of the central drop and leave to dry. Now you can put your bed back and admire your handy work.
Tip: For a more complex headboard like the one shown, intricate or completely plain patterns work best.
March 20, 2013