Spring Cleaning Checklist The countdown to spring is on! March 20th marks the first official day of spring, which means you’ve got about 3 weeks to get ready for spring cleaning. It’s always good to be prepared, so this year instead of scrambling once the first sight of spring is here, start booking your spring time jobs now. Closet & Storage Solutions: The first place to start spring cleaning: your closet. An easy first step that’s sure to make a big impact. Put away those heavy and bulky winter items and bring out the lighter and brighter spring pieces. Whether you need someone to help you figure what stays and what goes, or you need a pro to build you the right storage, closet experts can help you finally get that closet organized. These pros can also help when it comes to adding storage and organization to the rest of your home, whether it’s you basement or garage that need some help, book now and start spring freshly organized. Junk Removal: Now that you’ve gone through your closet and home, you’ve probably gathered some items you can kick to the curb. But what to do once all the junk is out of the closet and sitting in your entry way taking up space? The thought of the accumulated junk can stop some people from cleaning all together. But not you! Simply hire a junk removal to come take that old dresser and broken stereo. You’ll feel lighter instantly and won’t have to worry about old couches sitting on your front lawn until who knows when. House/Apartment/Condo Cleaning: Once all the junk has been hauled out and your home is feeling more organized, consider hiring a cleaning company. Have them come once for a thorough clean, or schedule the company to start coming on a regular basis. You’ll save time knowing the cleanliness of your home is in a professional’s hands. Think of all the things you can do with that free time! Carpet Cleaners: Carpets see a lot of foot traffic on a regular basis, but with the winter and holiday season just behind us, they’ve surely seen even more. Just think of all the people you had in and out of your home for parties and get togethers this winter. Who knows what’s now embedded in your carpet fibres. Keep the guess work out of it and simply hire a carpet cleaning company to help make your carpets look and feel fresh and clean again. Alarm System Check-Up: If you haven’t been keeping up, make it a priority this spring to start checking smoke detectors . Safety around the home is important and these easy checks could save your home. Also, make sure to clean the lint trap and vents in your dryer. Lint accumulation causes reduced airflow in dryer vents, and the two combined can create the right conditions for a fire. Be safe and make sure your lint traps and dryer vents are clean after every use. Window & Gutter Cleaning: Windows should be cleaned twice a year, and what better time to do it than now. After a particularly snowy winter, your windows have taken a lot over the past few months. Instead of dreading having to do it yourself, hire a window cleaning company to make them sparkle. While you’re at it, you might as well have those gutters cleaned out too. From falling leaves from the fall to left over snow and ice from winter, your gutters are probably pretty full and that can damage them. Call in a professional and have them cleaned out before those April showers arrive. Exterior Cleaners: Much like your windows and gutters, the exterior of your home gets dirty throughout the winter months. After a heavy winter of snow and rain, you’ll want to refresh the outside of your home to wash away the winter slush. This spring, have your house exterior power washed. It will make a huge difference and you’ll be glad you made the investment. While you’re at it, do a walk around the perimeter of your home and check your foundation and fences after a harsh winter.  


  Door Colours And Their Meaning Colour is a powerful visual tool for expressing a wide range of emotions and impressions. As such, the colour and design of your front door deserves careful consideration. If you’ve been thinking of painting your front door, here’s the meaning of different coloured doors, and what the colour might project about your personality. Red Door A red door traditionally conveys a home that is welcoming and warm for both strangers and family. In North American lore, a red door is signified a safe house along the Underground Railroad, while in Scotland, even today, a red door signifies the status of a paid mortgage. In feng shui, a red door is symbolic of an opening of “chi” or energy. Some Protestant and most Lutheran churches painted church doors red to identify them as part of the Reformation. Apparently, Albert Einstein painted his front door red so he could find his house. Many doors are painted red before the Chinese New Year as it is considered to be a colour that brings luck. Black Door Magic, mystery and elegance hide behind the black door. The inhabitants of a home with a black door are thought to be strong and sophisticated, with all aspects of their lives under control. The mystery of the black door communicate potential and possibility, which are good qualities for a home that is being sold. Pink Door Fearless and fun, the person who dares to paint their door pink loves making statements. It also a colour of health and nurturing, and in colour psychology, pink is a sign of hope. A home with a pink door can be thought of as full of loving energy. Up the drama and sophistication by combining pink with dark colours such as black, dark green or grey. Orange Door Orange represents enthusiasm, optimism, energy, and creativity and is not for the faint of heart. Painting your front door orange expresses positivity to your neighborhood and draws people to your home. This colour has very high visibility and creates lots of emotion, so you use it sparingly to highlight the most important elements of your design. Green Door A green front door signifies that you hold traditional values and are a solid member of the community. Commonly associated with growth and prosperity, green signifies change, development and wealth. Green doors are inviting and invigorating and are used to tie together the earthly elements outside the home with the safe interior. In Feng Shui, green is usually used for front doors that face the south or southeast. It is also believed to attract prosperity and is considered an extremely lucky color in Ireland.


How Lighting Impacts Paint Colours Adding a fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to completely transform a room. While there is much to consider when picking the perfect colour, one crucial element is often overlooked — lighting. Artificial and natural light sources can dramatically change how the paint looks in a room from hour to hour. To ensure the colour you picked ends up looking the way you want it to, read through our helpful considerations before you put colour to wall. Colour and Light If you think back to your early school days, you probably learned that light is a spectrum of colours, made up of red, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Because of this, certain colours are impacted by light more than others. For example, red and orange absorb light, making them seem richer and more saturated. Lighter colours like pastels reflect light, making them seem brighter. The lighter the colour and closer to white it is, the more reflective it will be. This is why considering your light source when choosing a paint colour is so important. Direction of Light It should be no surprise that the direction the light is coming from greatly impacts how your wall colour will look. If your room faces East or North, it probably gets less sunlight than other directions, making paint colours look darker and cooler. For these rooms, opt for colours that are warm and bright to balance the light coming in. If you are leaning towards a light colour, try to avoid anything with a green or grey base as these tones will be amplified and make your room look dingy. If your room faces South you’re in luck. South facing rooms are typically full of warm light all day, so you have more flexibility when it comes to choosing a colour. Due to the warm light from the South, cooler tone colours will stand out against the warm light and your warmer colours will look more enhanced. If you’re unsure which way the light is coming from, you can always consult with a painter who can offer advice for the best colour based on your direction. Weather The weather will greatly impact the quality of natural light your home sees. Do you live in a rainy climate that has few sunny days? Your colours will appear heavier and darker due to the low levels of light that come through your windows. Gloomy colours will look gloomier, so keep that in mind if you’re considering a dark grey for your walls. In contrast, if you live in a very sunny place, your colours will seem brighter and potentially washed out depending on the colour you pick. If your room is flooded with natural sunshine, a soft yellow might not stand out against the light enough and look white. Try going for a bolder colour to stand up against the sun’s rays. Time of Day When you go to paint a room, think about when you will be using this room as the time of day greatly affects the amount and quality of light. As the sun rises and sets, it will affect the paint on your walls.  Think about how light changes throughout the day, from light pink hues at dawn to purple in the evening and everything in between. Try to pick a colour that will work best with the time of day you’ll be using the room the most. If it’s a room you’ll be using all day, try to find a colour that works with the lighting throughout the day and night. It can be tricky finding a colour that works well with your specific lighting throughout the entire day. Luckily, a paint specialist will be able to help you choose the right colour that will look great at every hour. Little To No Natural Light Not every room has a natural light source, particularly basements and bathrooms. For rooms that will be relying on artificial lighting, make an effort to choose light bulbs that will compliment your paint colour and vice versa. LED lights have a blue hue to them and will make colours appear cooler. LED lights might clash if you are trying to create a warm and inviting space. They are great if you want your room to look brighter and make cool colours pop. Halogen and incandescent light bulbs give off a yellow light that will make colours look warmer. Use these for rooms that are trying to achieve a cozy and inviting aesthetic. If you want your paint to look as true to the colour as possible, opt for white coloured light bulbs. If your room requires more lighting, consider bringing in an electrician who can recommend the right additions to brighten up your space. Almost Finished Now that you’ve considered all possible light sources and how they will affect your paint colour, there’s one more thing to decide on: the finish. While you might not consider this as a factor, finish actually plays a big role in how lighting will affect your wall colour. To keep it simple, choose a gloss finish to reflect light and matte to absorb light. Taking the direction, time, and source of light into consideration will help ensure the paint colour you picked looks right. If you’re concerned about finding the right colour to complement your light sources, you can always ask your painter before you get started. Good luck with finding a colour that compliments your lighting! 0


 Bathroom Trends 2019 There are endless options when it comes to bathroom renovations. From simple updates like a fresh coat of paint and new hardware to a complete overhaul of your layout, there’s much to consider when renovating. If you’re thinking about renovating your powder room, ensuite, or main bathroom at all this year, you’re probably wondering what’s trending. 1. Bold Colour Choices Similar to trends we’re seeing in kitchens this year, bold colours are going to be big in bathrooms in 2019. Say good-bye to soft and tame colour palettes like white and grey. 2019 is all about experimenting with bold colours like deep blues, forest greens and even black. Pink bathrooms are also making a comeback, but this isn’t your grandma’s pink bathroom. More mature and modern, hues of pink will be seen throughout designer bathrooms in 2019. If you don’t love the idea of painting your entire bathroom navy, consider going bold with your wallpaper. For the past few years, wallpaper has remained on yearly trend lists and this year is no different. People love experimenting with patterned wallpaper particularly in powder rooms. The small sized room is a great place to experiment with bold colours or patterns without overwhelming the rest of the house. 2. Compact Design As small space living continues to become more common, bathroom designs are embracing less square footage. One key way to fit more into less space is to combine items. We’ll see fewer double sinks and more shower/bath combos than we’ve seen in previous years. While we may be losing space, there’s no shortage of style. Many homeowners are opting to install glass doors instead of using shower curtains to create a more open and modern look in 2019. Others might try embracing a “wet room.” A popular concept in many European countries, a wet room is a bathroom where the shower is not self-contained. Instead, it is open or is behind a single wall, usually made of glass. Wet rooms are great for those who want to create a showstopping look and maximize their small space. Wet rooms can incorporate bathtubs or eliminate them completely, the choice is up to you. 3. Terrazzo Time Terrazzo has been around for a long time and in 2019 it makes its comeback. Terrazzo is a composite material made from mixing marble chips into concrete. The result is a speckled flooring and wall material packed full of nostalgia. Terrazzo made its biggest splash between the 1930s and 70s. Now it’s back with a modern twist. Today’s terrazzo comes in a wide variety of colours and uses an assortment of other materials to get its signature bits-and-pieces look. Terrazzo is a great alternative to stone and marble as it isn’t as expensive. It is equally durable as it is eye-catching. It is so durable that it can withstand heavy foot traffic and often will last longer than the home it is in. Terrazzo also requires minimal maintenance so it won’t impact your regular cleaning schedule. As we continue to incorporate mid-century modern and 1970’s influenced design into our homes, it’s no wonder terrazzo is making a big comeback this year. 4. Statement Mirrors and Art Many people see the bathroom as a functional room and not the place for statement pieces. This year we’re challenging homeowners to think outside the box when it comes to decorating their bathrooms. Your bathroom’s design should be an extension of your home’s decor which is why we’re going to see a lot more interesting art and statement mirrors in 2019. One quick and easy way to change the appearance of your bathroom is to update your mirror. Ditch your current frameless model in favour of something with more weight and visual interest to it. Round mirrors, in particular, are very popular this year. Don’t be afraid to move pieces from other rooms in your home into the bathroom to help achieve a more eclectic look. The same can be done with art. Take a piece or two from other rooms and add them to your bathroom. 5. Industrial Chic Fans of industrial design will be happy to hear it is all the rage this year. Exposed plumbing and hardware are being incorporated into new bathroom designs in beautiful ways. You can either go for an antique look and reference the styles of years gone by or go modern and embrace a “work-in-progress” look. Either way, we’ll be seeing lots of exposed plumbing in sinks and showers this year. The exposed plumbing look also allows for a number of unique metal finishes to be shown off. This year, anything goes when it comes to finishes. From matte black, to copper, to gold, every finish is in. Try mixing and matching in your bathroom this year and don’t worry about everything going together. Embrace the work-in-progress freedom that comes with industrial chic bathroom design.  


 When is Hiring an Interior Designer Worth It? To hire an interior designer or not to hire an interior designer? This is a common question that many homeowners ask themselves when renovating or redecorating their home. Many have the perception that interior designers are just meant for the rich and famous when in reality they serve a very practical purpose for everyone. Take a look at these 6 instances if you are a little confused or unsure of when hiring a designer is really worth it. 1. Looking to Sell and/or Increase Property Value Even if you are not planning on putting your house up for sale in the immediate future, an interior designer can create picture perfect living spaces that are bound to get you a serious return on investment. By showcasing the true potential of the space with a more put together aesthetic, it is more likely that your home will spend less time on the market and will go for more money than anticipated. 2. Too Busy To Do It By Yourself Taking on a home redesign takes a whole lot of time and effort, something that is a luxury for most of us. It is your designer’s full-time job to take on your renovation with every and any obstacle that lies in the way. You can carry on with the rest of your life knowing that your interior designer will have it all covered, completely avoiding any headaches. 3. Open to Suggestions A lot of people have some sort of idea of what they want their living spaces to look like with particular colours or styles, but they don’t have it all figured out. By giving your interior designer some key ideas of what you are looking for, you can leave them to fill in the blanks with their professional knowledge and advice. 4. Looking to Save Money (in the long run) Most people do not look to hire an interior designer for their remodels because they believe that they are too expensive when in reality they will end up saving you money in the long run. You do not have to worry about ordering the wrong materials or the wrong sizes and then having to repurchase everything, or painting the walls the wrong shade of yellow and then having to repaint them 3 additional times. These little mistakes can add up, but hiring an interior designer will allow you to avoid all of these obstacles, and in turn, save some money. 5. Undertaking a Complete Remodel of Your Home If you are doing a complete renovation or reconfiguration of your home, it can be difficult as the homeowner to see the potential of the space in a different way. Maybe you are stuck on your current kitchen layout or the house’s floor plan. Having an outside, professional opinion can really help you see the space in a completely different light. 6. Inexperience with the Renovation Process Many homeowners go into a renovation with little or no experience whatsoever, which can make the process way more difficult than it needs to be. Interior designers have a certain number of contacts for every sort of tradesperson needed for your job so you can rest assured knowing that you won’t be ripped off or lead astray by a contractor. Interior designers know the right questions to ask and the right people to answer them.  


 4 Health Risks of Dirty Ducts There are many benefits to keeping your air ducts clean. Annual cleanings will ensure air is able to easily circulate throughout your home. This means that your HVAC unit will not need to work as hard and as a result, you will see lower energy bills. While these should be reason enough to keep your ducts clean, there is another very important reason: dirty ducts can lead to a number of health issues for you and your household. 4 Health Risks of Dirty Ducts 1. Allergies, Sore Throat, Colds and Coughing Do you find you’re often suffering from allergy or cold-like symptoms? Your dirty ducts may be to blame. Dirty air ducts lower the quality of air throughout your home. This means that allergens and other bacteria are constantly being circulated through your air and are breathed in by you. Some symptoms you might start to notice from dirty ducts include: Constant sneezing Itchy eyes, nose and/or throat Stuffed or runny nose Coughing Increased air pressure Fatigue People who suffer from asthma and dust related allergies are the most likely to become sick from this. Children and the elderly are also at a higher risk of being affected by the dirty air. If you have young children or are expecting, be sure to have your ducts cleaned before your bring your newborn home, as babies are particularly sensitive. 2. Respiratory Disease Over time, constantly breathing in dirty air will lead to allergies and in the long run a number of severe respiratory diseases. If you are a smoker or are already prone to respiratory issues, maintaining clean ducts is essential for your health. When you neglect to clean your ducts, they accumulate pet dander, pollen, dust and other allergens. When it comes time for your ducts to be used, these allergens are blown around your home and you end up breathing them in. Years of breathing in dirty air could eventually lead to respiratory issues. 3. Rodent and Insect Issues Dirty air ducts make a great home for pests. Rodents and insects like spiders and cockroaches will be happy to move into your home and make nests in your dirty ducts. Pests often carry disease, and their dander is full of harmful allergens that can cause reactions. Imagine breathing in rat fur and cockroach droppings every morning as you take your first deep breath of the day. Another issue with having pests in your ducts is that they can leave the ducts and move into other spots throughout your home. Before you know it, you could have an infestation on your hands. Save yourself the hassle of having these pests expand to the rest of your home and stop breathing in their gross and harmful dander. 4. Odours in the Air Leaving your ducts for years without a cleaning gives mould and mildew the chance to grow and spread. If your ducts are full of mould and mildew, your home will start to smell like it. A musty smell will start to take over your home and after a while, you won’t be able to notice it anymore. Although the smell will go away, the harmful effects of breathing in mould and mildew will not. While you might think an unnoticeable smell isn’t that big an issue, it certainly will be to any house guests who visit.   9


  What to Look for in a Snow Removal Company Living in Canada means we’re lucky enough to have 4 distinct seasons that show us all the beauties of nature. It also means we spend half of the year freezing and shovelling ourselves out of several feet of snow. If you’ve had enough of waking up early to dig yourself out of snow banks, then it’s time to call in a professional to deal with your snow removal. Here’s what to look for in a company before you hire. Communicates and Listens Like any good relationship, the foundation between you and your snow removal company should be built on solid communication. If you find that a company has a hard time getting back to you, doesn’t answer their phone most of the time, is always rescheduling or forgetting appointments, these are all signs that they do not have good communication skills. Instead, look for a company that responds in a timely manner and actually answers your questions when you have them. Every home is different and will require different snow maintenance. If a company says they have it covered but do not offer any specific examples or options of how they’re going to help you, this isn’t the company for the job. Find a company that listens to your unique needs and offers a solution. Provides a Contract and Sticks to It It is very important that the company provides you with a signed contract. You’ve made an agreement with the company and you expect them to honour it. Make sure that you get the terms in writing as part of a formal contract signed by both parties. Should the company not uphold their end of the agreement, the contract will be there to help you out should the matter have to escalate. Snow is unpredictable but your contract shouldn’t be. Make sure the contract contains a plan for emergencies or extreme weather. You want to be covered should anything happen, and you want to know exactly what that process will be if and when it does. Having a valid contract also means that there will be no surprises when your bill arrives. Make sure that the pricing you agreed to is correctly reflected in the contract and do not sign if there are discrepancies. Has Professional Working Standards When considering a company, ask about the type of insurance they offer. If they do not offer insurance, do not hire them. You want to find a company with insurance that covers you should anyone fall on your property. Not all insurance is the same so be sure to ask specifically if you’re covered for falls and accidents. You should also ask the company about how its employees are treated. Snow removal is a hard job and workers are often overworked, especially when hit with snow storms. Find out about the company’s policies when it comes to proper safety standards. If they do not want to share this information or it seems vague, that’s a sign the company does not have proper standards in place. Is Well Reviewed This isn’t to say you shouldn’t take a chance on a new company; however, hiring a company with proven results and past customers will make your hiring decision easier. Check out their reviews and pay attention to how people describe their interactions with the company. Were they polite? On time? How was the quality of work? All of these things will be listed in an effective review. Do not just look at the positive reviews; a lot can be learned from negative reviews. Not only can you read about potential problems previous customers have had, you can also see how the company deals with complaints and criticism. A company that provides good customer service on a negative review is more likely to provide good customer service when problems arise. Be sure to read both positive and negative reviews to see the whole picture.   


  7 Frequently Asked Questions About HOME Inspectors Purchasing a house is the biggest investment you will make in your lifetime, so it is important that you are fully aware of what you are putting your life savings into. Hiring a home inspector is a key part of the home buying process and can sometimes even be mandatory if your funding source so chooses. Don’t know much about how home inspections work and what to expect? We have come up with a list of 7 frequently asked questions from homeowners like you. Where can I find a home inspector? The best way to find a reliable and certified home inspector is through word of mouth. Check with your friends and family if they have recommendations and if they do, be sure to check their reviews. Having a recommended inspector takes away from the potential stresses that can come with an incompetent and unknown contractor. Doing your research at this stage will allow you to dodge costly and unexpected issues with your new home. How long does a home inspection take? Home inspections generally take around 2-4 hours. Obviously this question does not have a set answer as the duration of the inspection depends on many factors such as: square footage of the house, the age of the house, the condition of the house, the number of the systems to inspect (HVAC, plumbing, drains etc.), and the ability to access certain portions of the house (roof, crawl space, attic, etc.). It is important that you, the inspector, and the current homeowner set aside a significant chunk of your days for this affair in case it goes longer than usual. Should I attend the home inspection? Yes, if possible. It is very beneficial for the potential buyer to attend a home inspection. By accompanying your inspector, you will have the ability to ask questions as they come up (especially important for first time home buyers), and learn where everything is and how it all works. Solely reading the inspector’s report will not give you the same clarity and insight into the property that being present would. What will a home inspection reveal? The whole point of doing a home inspection is to reveal potential or current problems with a property prior to the purchase of it. During the inspection, the inspector should determine if all of the systems within the house are functioning at full capacity if there are any damages to the property and if there are any repairs that are necessary. A few days post inspection, your inspector will either give you a hard copy of their report or email it to you. This report, usually many pages long, will also advise you if/how to continue on in the purchasing process including suggestions of how to renegotiate the price. What happens if problems with the house are discovered with the home inspection? It is quite likely that at least a few problems will come to light during the home inspection. The seller of the property is not obligated to fix any of these problems at their expense, but you the buyer can negotiate this within the contract. If they refuse, you then have the option to continue on in the purchasing process and pay for these repairs yourself, or completely terminate the contract and back away from the transaction. How much does a home inspection cost? Prices can vary depending on many factors including, the area of service, size of the property, and age of the property, but home inspections generally cost around $500. Keep in mind that some inspectors may include additional charges for inspecting crawl spaces, attic, basement suites etc. What are some helpful questions to ask in a home inspection? Being present in a home inspection allows you to ask as questions, and you might as well get as much as you can out of your money and time, so ask away. Here are a few that we think are beneficial to you as a homeowner. Who should I get to fix this? How do I work this? If this were your house what are the repairs that you would do now, and what are the repairs that you would do later? It is important to ask specific questions as the inspector’s advice is helpful in understanding the condition of the property and its worth. If you do not understand something they are saying to you, do not be afraid to ask them to clarify it. Hiring a home inspector gives you clarity as a homeowner and can allow you to make an informed and confident decision regarding the property, whatever it may be. Although not necessary, doing a home inspection is never a bad idea.  


Winter Warm Ups: How to Heat Up Your Bathroom Some mornings the thought of crawling out of a warm bed and stepping into a chilly bathroom can make us hit snooze repeatedly. Wouldn’t it be great if your bathroom was toasty for you every morning? With these easy bathroom upgrades that dream can be a reality. Here’s how to heat up your bathroom this winter. Heated Towel Rack Who doesn’t love the feeling of stepping out of the shower into an already warmed towel? Talk about luxury. With a heated towel rack, you can have that warm feeling after every shower. Thanks to the wide variety of sizes and designs, a heated towel rack is a great addition to any bathroom. Heated towel racks come both in wall mounted and freestanding units. Wall mounted units will require the help of an electrician to hard wire the unit into your electrical system. Freestanding units just need to be plugged in and they’re ready to go. Depending on the model you purchase, some heated towel racks can actually help to heat up your bathroom. You can expect to pay anywhere from $250 for basic units up to $1400 or more for luxury models. Heated Floors If you’re already thinking about remodelling your bathroom, consider adding heated floors. While the initial cost can discourage some homeowners from taking this step, once installed, heated floors are actually quite inexpensive to run. They will cost you about as much as three 100w light bulbs. That’s a small price to pay for heated floors every day during cold Canadian winters. Heated floors can be broken down into two types: dry systems and wet systems. Dry systems use a series of electric wires to heat the floor above. Wet systems use hot water pipes to heat up the floor. Both types will help to heat up the entire bathroom much like a radiator would. Keep in mind you will require the help of a pro to install both types of heated floor systems. Heated floors are a great option for any size and style of bathroom because all of the components are hidden. The biggest drawback is the fact that you will have to rip out and replace all of your existing flooring to have the heating elements installed. New Bathtub If you’re a fan of baths, you know the uncomfortable feeling of your bathwater slowly turning from warm and enjoyable to cold and unpleasant. If you’re looking for a way to keep your water warmer for longer, consider upgrading your bathtub. Did you know that certain materials can actually help your tub retain heat? Invest in a tub made from materials like copper, brass, soapstone or volcanic limestone for a bath that stays warmer longer. New Wall Colour If a big bathroom renovation isn’t in the cards for you right now, try warming up your space with a fresh coat of paint. It’s common for bathrooms to be painted either white, grey or beige, which can make them appear colder. Add in some stark white tiles and your bathroom can start to look like an icebox. Consider using paint to help warm up the appearance of your bathroom. Think about what colours make you feel warm. Oranges and reds will help conjure images of a roaring fire, making your winter morning routine feel a little bit toastier. You don’t have to go for bold overpowering hues. Instead, find a softer shade to help to create that warming glow. Depending on the size of your bathroom, changing the wall colour is a relatively quick and inexpensive project. In fact, if you booked your painting project today, it could be done by this weekend. Your Monday morning just got a little easier to handle. Add Natural Elements Another way to help visually warm up your bathroom is to add natural elements. Think about incorporating items like weaved baskets, plants, stones and candles. We’re seeing more and more wood being used in bathrooms for items like shelves, mirrors and countertops. Embrace nature in your space through the use of smaller accessories and art. While these items may not actually make your bathroom feel warmer, the visual trick of layers and textures will make it look cozier. Check Your Windows Even with all of these design updates, there’s no use trying to warm up a room that has cold air constantly blowing into it. Just like the windows in the rest of your home, weather stripping can wear down and tiny gaps can form in the sealant around the window. If your bathroom windows are old and shake with every gust of wind, you should consider updating them before next winter. Think how much easier getting up will be on chilly mornings when you know you’ll be stepping into a comfortably warm bathroom.  


 Kitchen Trends 2019 Who can resist checking out the newest kitchen trends? While the hottest trends might not always match your personal taste, there’s likely something that will inspire you to try something new. Whether you’re planning to do a complete kitchen renovation and start fresh, or are just looking to add some trendy touches, here’s what you need to know about kitchen trends for 2019. Fun with Colour Say goodbye to boring all white kitchens and hello to fun colourful ones! Contrasting colours, in particular, are going to be big in 2019. Since the kitchen is the social hub of the home, it’s the perfect place to have some fun with colour and get creative. If you’re not keen on the idea of fully replacing your cabinets, you can always have your existing ones painted. If you don’t want to commit to a completely colourful kitchen, try mixing things up with tuxedo cabinets. You can stay neutral on top but offer a fun pop of colour on the bottom or vice versa. Two-toned cabinetry is also a big trend so combine the two and have some fun with colour! Quartz is King More and more, we’re seeing quartz countertops in kitchens. Quartz is gaining popularity due to its ability to look like natural stone but withstand many of the drawbacks. Quartz is man-made so it is able to come in a variety of colours and patterns you normally wouldn’t see with natural stone. Quartz is nearly indestructible and non-porous which means that it will not retain bacteria, making it easier to clean. Quartz has come a long way and offers many benefits. Consider it if you’re looking to replace your countertops. Smooth Finishes Speaking of countertop materials, we’re also seeing more countertops with straight edges to create a more timeless look. Seamless and smooth is going to be a big trend throughout 2019. Another space that’s being smoothed out is the front of our cabinets. We’re starting to see less hardware on cabinets in favour of a more seamless look. In their place are subtle edge pulls. The good news is that you can take the money you would have spent on knobs and pulls and invest it in other items. Functional Minimalism Clean and uncluttered is the ideal look, but is it practical? We saw a lot of open shelving in 2018, but that left little room to put away our day to day items. In 2019, we’ll see a mix of open shelving for aesthetics as well as hidden or enclosed storage for more practical items. You can achieve this look by having clean lines mixed with natural textures like wood, brick and concrete. Mixed Metals From matte black to brushed bronzed, we’re seeing all of the metals being used kitchens in 2019. No longer do you have to pick one and stick with it throughout your space. Kitchens can now have different metal finishes for their fixtures, hardware, lighting and accessories. While smooth finishes may be on the rise, there are those who still prefer a knob or pull handle. Try updating yours to give your home a little trendy 2019 flair.