SPRING LANDSCAPE


Spring Landscaping Checklist


Spring is a season full of unpredictability. One day can be unseasonably warm and the next is back to below freezing temperatures. While you can’t depend on the weather, you can depend on the help of pros to get your landscape ready for whenever spring really decides to show up. Add these tasks to your spring landscaping checklist and get started now.

Prune Shrubs and Trees


Spring is the perfect time to have your shrubs and trees pruned for two reasons. First of all, it’s easier to prune in the spring because new leaves and bubs have not yet blossomed. This makes it easier for your pro to properly see what to prune away. Secondly, getting rid of dead and damaged branches will help your plants grow better because they will only be focused on new growth. By having dead branches pruned back, your shrubs and trees will be able to bloom and grow and look good while doing it.

Basic Yard Maintenance

There are several small but important tasks that need to be done to your yard in spring. Luckily, a landscaping company can tackle all of these for you over a weekend. Ask your landscaper to rake up any fallen leaves or dead foliage, pull up spent annuals and clean out your flower beds. Taking the time to clear out the debris will help create a better environment for bulbs and flowering plants.

You can also have a landscaper assess your grass to determine how much work might need to be done later on. In cold climates like Canada, grass doesn’t begin to grow until April, so early spring is the perfect time to test your soil’s pH and make a plan. Your landscaper can also work out what is needed if you require new grass or touch ups in spots.

Aerate Your Lawn

You’ve probably heard that it’s important to aerate your lawn, but you may be wondering why that is. When you aerate your lawn, you are perforating the soil with small holes. These small holes allow for water, air and nutrients to better reach the roots of your grass. This results in a healthier lawn because your grass roots are able to grow deeper and stronger. It’s ideal to have your lawn aerated in late spring. Your landscaper will use a special machine to complete the aeration. Once this task is done, your landscaper can start working on adding fertilizer to your lawn to make it look healthy and beautiful.

Refresh Hardscapes

Hardscapes are the non-living elements of landscaping. This includes any rocks, brick, or stones used within your landscaping. You may have found that over the course of the winter these pieces have shifted. Ask your landscaper to rake up any gravel that may have escaped from walkways and patios and fill in missing spots. They can also refill joints between flagstones with new sand. They can also use a pressure washer to clean your walkways and patios, removing any algae spots or dirt. If you need major repairs done to your walkways or patio, it’s best to speak to a pro who specializes in these tasks.

Repair Fence Damage

While you may not consider your fence to be a part of your landscaping, it certainly supports it. Whether that’s physically supporting plants growing on it, or helping separate the perimeter between your yard and your neighbours’, your fence is an important part of your overall landscape’s appearance. Spring is the perfect time to check it for damaged posts, rotted wood and paint chips. If repairs are minor, you can easily have a handyman make these repairs for you.


PEACEFUL HOME

Creating A Peaceful And Rejuvenating Home Through Feng Shui

Feng shui is the ancient Chinese philosophical system of harmonizing structures with the surrounding “invisible forces” that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together. This is known as qi.

While embracing an ancient Chinese art might seem daunting to the average Canadian, getting started with feng shui is a fairly simple process. This ancient art can help you in times of great transition or change, as well as to create a more harmonious and healthy home. Here are a few steps you can take to start letting the energy flow.

1. De-clutter and let the light shine in.

Look around your home and ask yourself if you really need all the stuff you have. Be ruthless. Give away or sell anything that you do not absolutely love.  De-clutter every room of your home, including closets, drawers and your garage if you have one. Ask your the rest of your family to do the same. Small space, pared down living is a thing now, and for a reason.

Throw open your windows and sweep out every corner of every room. Get rid of any heavy, dusty curtains you might have and let pure air and light flow in. It does the soul good to lighten up.

2. Define the energy map of your home.

Feng shui bagua (also known as Pakua or Ba-Gua) is the feng shui energy map of any space. To create good energy in your home or office, define the feng shui bagua of your space and balance its feng shui energies accordingly. (c) Rodika Tchi
Feng shui bagua (also known as Pakua or Ba-Gua) is the feng shui energy map of any space. To create good energy in your home or office, define the feng shui bagua of your space and balance its feng shui energies accordingly. (c) Rodika Tchi
In feng shui, each area of your home corresponds to an area of your life. Map out your bagua areas in order to ensure you have the correct natural elements in place to circulate healing energy. For example, if you are having money issues, focus your efforts on the southeast corner.

3. The entrance to your home.


The entrance to your home is your personal gateway through which good energy, called Chi flows. In feng shui, entrances determine the overall fortune and happiness of a family. For example, a red door attracts good luck, whereas a black door attracts wealth.

The foyer of your home is a special place. The chi you welcome in your home is circulated through your foyer area, so make sure this area is free of clutter and is clean and organized. Avoid keeping items such as shoes on the floor and provide hooks or a closet to hang coats, hats and scarves. A comfortable bench or chair will make your space seem even more welcoming.

Ensure that your foyer is well-lit with an overhead light or wall sconces. Energy may have a difficult time circulating into the rest of the house if your foyer has a wall that is facing your front door. Resist the impulse to place a mirror opposite the door, as this will only bounce the energy right out of your home. Instead, place a landscape facing the doorway to give the illusion of a view beyond the doorway, similar to the effect of a trompe l’oeil painting.

Mirrors are a great way to bring light into a foyer but make sure you place a mirror either side of the main doorway, at a height that reflects the light.

4. Kitchen.

In feng shui, the kitchen is the heart of the home and is also the symbol of wealth and prosperity. Take good care of your kitchen and you’ll be taking the best possible care of your finances, career and the future prospects of your family.

As with all other areas of your home, ensure your kitchen is free of clutter. Move appliances off countertops, clean and organize your cupboards and pantry area. Ensure you have good lighting in the kitchen that helps you cook and is relaxing and flattering. Fix any issues with your stovetop or oven and ensure all appliances are in good working order.

If you are building a new kitchen, consider ensuring that your kitchen footprint is optimized for feng shui.

5. Master Bedroom.

The master bedroom is one of the three most important areas of a home as it is the closest to your own personal energy. As such, your bedroom should be a place of tranquility and calm. Remove all

Perhaps one of the most important rules for master bedroom feng shui is to position your bed in the command position. In this position, you should be able to see the door from your bed, but your bed should never be placed directly in line with the door. This is referred to as the coffin position, and as the name infers, can cause health problems.

Your bed should have a solid headboard and be firmly attached to the bed. This will give you a sense of stability that will ground as you navigate personal and professional relationships. Make sure energy can flow around your bed by keeping the area underneath your bed free of clutter. Use luxurious, natural fabrics that give you a sense of well-being. Keep lighting around your bed soft and focused and do not position a light directly over your bed.

Televisions are a no-no in bedrooms as they distract from the core function of a bedroom, which is rest, rejuvenation and relaxation. If possible, remove anything from your bedroom which does not contribute to this function. Do not use your bedroom as an office. Clean up all clutter, including in your drawers and wardrobes. Use soft, natural tones on the walls and keep artwork beautiful and inspirational.

These basics should get you going with making your home a sanctuary where you and your family find peace and rejuvenation.


ECO CONDO LIVING

Eco-Friendly Apartment & Condo Living
 


If you’re looking to go green in your apartment or condo, you might find it more difficult than your friends living in houses. While they can add solar panels to their roofs and grow their own vegetables in backyard gardens, you might feel like there are fewer options for your smaller space. Fear not, size doesn’t matter when it comes to going green and there are many things apartment and condo dwellers can do to reduce their carbon footprint every day.

Small changes can make a huge difference and positively impact the Earth. We have 5 easy ways you can help make your home greener and friendlier for the environment starting today.


1. More Natural Materials/No More Synthetics

The first step to going green in your home is to start thinking about the materials you’re buying. This can be as simple as your new curtains or bed sheets. When buying new fabrics, opt for natural materials over synthetic whenever possible. Did you know synthetic fabrics release chemicals over time? This is called “off-gassing” and the funky smell that comes from certain fabrics is the result of the chemical treated fabric releasing gas into the air and into your home. In fact, this process can continue after you no longer smell that funky scent, as many dangerous chemicals have no smell at all.

The easiest way to stop off-gassing is to stop buying synthetic materials. When it comes to buying big furniture items like couches and armchairs, to smaller materials like bedding and towels, opt instead for natural fabrics that you can easily wash such as cotton or wool. Be sure to wash any fabrics that have a funky smell and let them dry out in the sun to help with that odour. Area rugs and carpets are said to be the biggest offender when it comes to off-gassing. If you’re looking for a quick fix, get rid of that rug today and replace it with a more natural alternative.

2. Waste Less Water

Did you know that a tap that drips six drops a minute will lose approximately 1200 litres of water a year, that’s equivalent to seven bathtubs worth! If you have leaky pipes or a running toilet, be sure to get them fixed. If you rent, ask your landlord to fix them as soon as possible. It is their responsibility to fix it and this should come at no extra cost to you. Besides leaky sinks, there are other ways we waste water without even realizing it. The first place we waste water is while doing dishes. If you keep the water running the whole time you wash your dishes, you’re doing more harm than good. An alternative to letting the water run the whole time is the Two Tub Method. Buy two large metal containers (or use some you might already have around the house) and fill one with warm soapy water. Fill the other with water for rinsing. This way your dishes can soak without having the water running the whole time. Once you’ve scrubbed them clean in the soapy water container, give them a rinse in the other container and leave them out to dry.

Another big water waster is laundry. When you wash your clothes, make sure you have a full load ready to go as only washing a half load still uses a full load of water. If you’re using a shared laundry room in your apartment, try to do your laundry at non-peak hours, these are usually around 6-8 am and 8-10 pm. Wash your clothes in cold water if you can, and try to air dry when the weather allows for it. These small water changes will have a huge impact on your water consumption and an even bigger impact on the Earth.

3. Apartment-Friendly Plants & Herbs

House plants can do more good for you and your home than you might realize. House plants do a lot of good for the space around them and the air we breathe. If you will remember some early grade school science, plants take in carbon dioxide and put oxygen into the air. They also absorb toxic chemicals and soak up heavy metals deep into the plant tissues and away from us. Adding apartment and condo friendly plants to your home is also a great way to aid in any synthetic fabrics that are off-gassing in your home.

Think about your home before you buy your next plant. Does your apartment get a lot of natural sunlight? No? Then consider buying a spider plant, a snake plant, or a peace lily. If you’re concerned about the air quality in your condo, then try adding an aloe plant, a ficus, or a Boston fern. A quick search online will help you find the best plants for your household needs.

Another easy way to get the benefits from plants is to start an herb garden. This mason jar DIY herb garden is perfect for keeping fresh herbs growing right in the kitchen. Not only do you get the added benefit of plants in your home, you also have fresh herbs ready for every meal, a win-win for you.


4. Compost

Composting has become a popular disposal method for many Canadians in recent years. Environment Canada found that biodegradable materials like food waste make up approximately 40% of all residential waste in Canada. It’s no surprise with a number like that, that more and more Canadians are looking for easy ways to compost. If you live in a condo or apartment, there are now options when it comes to composting. You can make your own indoor compost bin easily, all you need is a bin, soil and some old newspaper. There are many great tutorials online, but we like this one especially. If making your own compost bin sounds like more effort than you would like to put in, you can always buy an indoor composting system, however, these do come in at a higher price point.


5. Power Off and Unplug

Last but not least, here’s an easy rule to follow and start doing today: if it’s not in use, unplug it. How guilty are all of keeping our phone charger always plugged into the wall for easy charging, even when the phone isn’t even charging? While you may not think this is a big deal, simply unplugging it from the wall when you’re not using it makes huge a difference. Did you know that most electronic devices stay on even when they’re turned off? The energy that escapes our devices even when they’re turned off and not in use called “phantom energy.” To stop this waste of energy, simply unplug your devices when they’re out of use or use a surge protector and flip the switch to the off position. Try adding a charging station to your home, this way you only need to unplug the main source of power to stop the phantom energy from escaping. You can find lots of DIYs and tutorials online for different types of charging stations.

Saturday, April 22nd is Earth Day and April is known as Earth Month. With that in mind, start small with one or two tips this week and try to incorporate more throughout the month. Every little change you make adds up, and before you know it, you’ll be living a more eco-friendly, greener, and healthier life. The Earth will thank you!


BATH TRENDS 2019

 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.  


SPRING PROJECTS

 8 Spring Handyman Projects The start of a new season is the perfect time to tackle all the projects you’ve been putting off. Winter is a particularly harsh season on our homes which means spring is an especially busy time for home improvement projects. If you could use some extra help checking off your endless to-do list, enlist the help of a handyman. Not only will they be able to take care of the tasks you don’t want to do, but they’ll also be able to get them done in half the time. Save time and hire a handyman to help you with these 8 spring home projects. 1. Check for Leaks You know how the saying goes, April showers bring May flowers. While those showers are great for flower beds, they can be detrimental to our homes. To ensure you’re not left with a wet basement, have a handyman seal any foundational cracks where water could seep in. Even a small amount of water leaking in overtime can cause mold growth in your basement. When left untreated you could end up with a major problem on your hands. Have a handyman repair these cracks now so there’s less chance of issues in the future. If your home requires more extensive waterproofing, you can always connect with pros who specialize in this task. 2. Clean Out Gutters Now that you’re thinking about preventing water damage, the next task to tackle is your gutters. Over the winter, your gutters will have become full fallen leaves, snow, and other debris. When your gutters are clogged, they cannot properly divert water away from your home. An easy solution is to have your handyman clean them out for you. They can also make any minor repairs necessary. This way you won’t have to worry about rainwater coming down the side of your house and onto your (freshly sealed) foundation. 3. Roof Repairs Roofs take on a lot of damage, especially during the cold winter months. Shingles can become old and brittle and can crack and fly away. When this happens, your roof has exposed spots that are susceptible to those April showers. Have a handyman repair any missing or damaged shingles on your roof. Small preventative measures will help extend the life of your roof. If you find your roof is beyond repair and needs to be replaced, you can always call in a roof specialist. 4. Fence Fix Up As the weather begins to warm up and the ground starts to thaw, you may notice a shift in your fence. Leaning, loose or missing posts are a clear sign winter got the best of your fence. Luckily, if the damage is not too extensive a handyman can easily repair your fence for you. If your fence is structurally sound and just needs some TLC, a handyman can also stain or paint your fence. If winter was too harsh and you find you need a new fence altogether, you may want to enlist the help of a fence installation company. 5. Add New Trends Looking to incorporate the latest trends in your kitchen or bathroom? A handyman can take care of that for you in no time. Since most handymen charge by the hour, a great money saving tip is to group together multiple small tasks to be taken care of in one day. Your handyman can do multiple simple updates like adding a fresh coat of paint, new backsplash or tiles, updated lighting and plumbing fixtures. You might be surprised by how these small updates can completely transform your kitchen or bathroom in no time. 6. Plumbing Tweaks Do you have an annoying leaky faucet that you keep forgetting to fix? With every drop not only are you wasting water, but you’re also wasting money. Did you know that a tap that drips six drops a minute will lose approximately 1200 litres of water a year? That’s equivalent to seven bathtubs worth! Just think about all the money and water being wasted daily. If you’re having a handyman come by for another task, fixing any small plumbing issues is a great task to have them tackle as well. 7. Painting and Staining Projects You know all those little painting projects you’ve been planning to do forever but keep putting off? Have a handyman take care of them once and for all. From repainting a dresser to adding an accent wall, paint is an easy and inexpensive way to completely transform a room or a piece of furniture. A handyman can also take care of restaining your fence or deck. Restaining and resealing should be done once a year to properly maintain your fence and deck. Group these projects together and have a handyman take care of them for you in one weekend. 8. Appliance Repair Should You Replace or Repair Your Broken Appliances? While you have a handyman over, you might as well fix those annoying appliances that just aren’t working right. A handyman can help fix your broken dryer or finicky fridge. No task is too small for a handyman to attempt to fix, but some problems can be too involved. If your handyman finds that your appliance requires more than a simple fix, your best bet is to contact an appliance repair specialist. With so much to do around the house this spring, it’s likely you’ll need a little help getting it all done. Enlist the help of a handyman and see how many of your projects they can accomplish in no time. With your to-do list done, the only problem you’ll have is deciding to what to do with all your free time.  


GET YOUR ZZZ'S

 How to Design Your Bedroom For a Better Sleep Despite what you may think, your bedroom design has a huge effect on the quality of sleep that you are getting. Many tend to ignore and overlook their bedroom decor because of the fact that it is a private space designated for themselves, yet that should be the very reason to give it attention in the first place. It should be a space conducive to relaxation, a place that you want to escape to at the end of the day and feel at peace. The truth is, very few actually feel this way about their bedrooms so we have come up with a few design tips on how best to design your bedroom in order to ensure a better sleep. Include Soothing Colours Time and time again colour psychology has proven that different colours can bring about certain moods and feelings, making your choice of colour in your bedroom very significant. When it comes to designing a space that is meant to encourage a good sleep, it has been discovered that the best colours to include are blue, yellow, green, silver and orange. The trick with any colour used in the bedroom is to use them in a soft and subtle way as bright colours are said to increase energy in a room, making it difficult to relax. Install Window Coverings Most people tend to find it easier to fall asleep in a really dark room, so it is important to find blinds or curtains that are capable of shutting out all of the light outside of your home. In addition to it being a huge annoyance, exposure to light has a way of interfering with the secretion of your melatonin, a hormone produced by your body that helps to control your natural sleep and wake cycles. Reconsider Your Bed Placement The bed tends to be the most important aspect in your bedroom, as well as the focal point. Although not all bedroom spaces are conducive of such a thing, design psychologist Dr. Sally Augustin claims that “placing our bed against a wall where we have a clear view of the door and, if it’s feasible, the window can make us feel safer and alleviate worry that prevents complete relaxation.” Make sure that you can find a space where your bed looks good, and where you can feel good in it. Feel Out Your Flooring It is recommended that you place a comfy area rug beside your bed as it gives the space a particularly cozy feel. Certain materials are more desirable for this space such as a wool blend, shag, or even faux fur. When it comes to the surrounding floor, it is advised that you stick with wood or some other similar material as wall to wall carpeting has a way of trapping many types of allergens that are hard to remove and can affect your ability to sleep. Ban Clutter It’s a fact, no one can fully feel relaxed when clutter has completely taken over your room. Nightstands, desks, and stand alone chairs/couches tend to be where we allow for clutter to build up, so pay extra attention to these spaces, cleaning them regularly. If you find that you are having a hard time managing all of your belongings in such a tiny amount of space, there are so many options for nice and affordable storage solutions to purchase and install. Eliminate Electronics You have been in front of screen all day long, so make your bedroom a space where you can completely unplug. When it is time to go to sleep, stash your cell phone completely out of reach so that you will not be tempted to check it if you are having trouble falling asleep. Attempt to keep the television out of the room, as it will just serve as a distraction from your beauty rest. If that is too much to ask, think of adding some sort of sliding door to your built-ins to keep the screen out of reach and out of mind. Alter the Lighting There are certain rooms in your house where bright lighting is hugely important, but this is not one of them. Include lower wattage lighting in your bedroom offers gentle and soothing lighting that encourages sleep. If you are one to read a chapter or two of your book before bed, install a reading lamp on your bedside table to aid your eyes. Adding a dimmer to your light switches is also another way to install ambient lighting within the space. Add Some White Noise If you live off of a busy road or need absolute silence to get any sort of sleep, look into installing something that will create white noise. Things like ceiling fans, air conditioners, and air purifiers are all great additions to any room because of the jobs they perform, but they also can help you tune out all background noise and ensure a good night sleep.  


SPRING CLEANING

  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

  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.


LIGHT COLOUR

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

 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.