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First impressions are everything! The front door is the first thing to be seen when entering your home and it is the focal point of the house’s exterior. The front door can say many things about the contents of your home and your style, but it also plays a practical role as the main access point into your property. There are many components to consider when choosing a luxury door for your home and we have summarized them below! 


MATERIAL

When shopping for a new front door a good place to start is to choose the type of material you want it to be composed of. There are several different types of materials that entrance doors could be made of.  Timber doors are a great option as they can be laminated, hardwood or softwood, varnished and much more. Composite doors are also very popular for their timber-like style and they are low maintenance. The door material you choose will affect the insulation, the style, and the security of your home, so choose wisely! 


WINDOW

Once the material has been chosen you want to decide whether or not you would like to include a window in your door. This is an aesthetic that is very popular in entry way doors. Including a window allows natural light to pour into your foyer making your front entrance appear brighter and bigger. Despite the benefits to having a window in your front door the major down sides are the security risk and the loss of heat. To retain insulation and low heating costs choose a double-glazed window if this is the style you want! 


HANDLES

You want the style of your front door to reflect the aesthetic of your home. For example, if the door is for a cottage type home you will want to go with a more traditional timber door. If you are working with a newly constructed home you will want to choose a more modern door. To complete your luxury door design, choose a matching handle. For a traditional timber door, you may have double doors with knobs in the center. Or for a more contemporary look, use a long metal handle. Be inspired by your interior design and the architecture of your home when choosing a luxury front door! 

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If being confined to our home with roommates or family members has taught us anything over the last year it is the importance of personal space! Are you looking to create some privacy between yourself and the members of your household? If so, we have just what you need! Keep on reading for tips and ideas on how to create more privacy in your home!  


FLOATING WALL 

Can’t construct a full wall in your open concept space? A floating temporary wall just may be the next best thing! A DIY floating wall using thin wood paneling, plexiglass, or even a piece of art will work perfectly as a space divider! Once you have chosen the materials for your divider the next steps are to install anchors into your ceiling. Then screw hooks into the divider and connect the two pieces. Be sure to use adjustable connectors to customize the amount of coverage you prefer, and voila you have a floating wall! Try this technique between the living room/dining room or between the kitchen/dining room for extra separation. 


CURTAINS/FOLDING SCREEN

Need more coverage than the floating wall? Try hanging ceiling mounted curtains! Curtains are the perfect way to divide your space up and create plenty of privacy. The benefits of utilizing curtains to separate an open concept layout is that they are fairly inexpensive! If you are looking for something less permanent and don’t want to create any holes in your walls or ceiling try a foldable screen! A vintage screen is a chic way to divvy up your space while adding to the style of your home. Create an office nook in your bedroom or living room using curtains or a folding screen for added privacy! 


BOOKSHELF

Need a private space without completely separating rooms? Use a bookshelf to compartmentalize your home! Place a bookshelf in any part of your home to create an office nook or between two rooms to add privacy. A bookshelf adds visual interest to the space while still breaking up the floorplan. Not to mention all the extra storage you gain by adding a bookcase to your home! Add a bookshelf to the end of your bed to separate your sleeping space and working space, or in the living room to create a home office, the possibilities are endless really!  

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Let's face it, the pantry is an easy space to forget about and clutter can build up over time. But there is nothing like a lockdown to get you really questioning the organization of your nonperishable goods. We have gathered three key steps to aid in overcoming that pantry clutter. If you are looking on tips to revamp and reorganize that daunting pantry, then keep on reading!  


STEP ONE: CLEAN-OUT UNNECESSARY ITEMS

If you have been avoiding cleaning out your pantry for some time now then chances are there are many items you no longer need or have even expired. Think of what you use most in the kitchen and separate your pantry items according to staples you often cook with and things you no longer reach for. Anything that is unopened can be donated. Anything that has an overdue expiry date or any dinged up/rusted cans can be recycled. Once you have downsized your pantry items the fun part begins! 


STEP TWO: CATEGORIZE AND LABEL CONTAINERS

The key to an organized “picture worthy” pantry is decanting boxes and bags of food into clear containers. Not only does this give your pantry a seamless look it is also more practical to see the contents in the container than the ingredients on the side of a box. Use matching glass or plastic containers to really have a uniform pantry. If there are cooking instructions or ingredients you must keep, cut them out and tape them to the bottom of the containers. Once your goods are in containers invest in a label marker or hand write labels from your local dollar store to distinguish containers.  


STEP THREE: UTILIZE YOUR SPACE WELL

Now that your goods are sorted, categorized, and labelled you can begin filling up your pantry! You want to utilize the space you have to the best of your ability. Add Lazy Susans for smaller items that you have multiples of, such as spices. Add drawers or trays to your shelfing to store canned goods, and to make items in the very back of the shelving more accessible. Use baskets that match your containers to store items such as fruit or individually wrapped granola bars. When all is organized make sure to leave space for items to be added into your pantry and remember to declutter frequently! 

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Tired of being stuck indoors but need to give your outdoor living space an update? A covered deck is the perfect way to extend your living space and to enjoy the outdoors rain or shine! Covering your outdoor area allows you to enjoy an indoor-outdoor living area while entertaining (when that is permitted, of course). If you are looking to create a covered outdoor space for all year around, despite the weather, then keep on ready! 


CANVAS GAZEBO

A simple metal gazebo with a sturdy canvas cover is an easy and affordable way to turn a wide-open outdoor area into a cozy living space. With the addition of twinkling lights around the inside of the canopy you have the perfect spot to cozy up rain or shine! Add comfy chairs, lanterns and an outdoor rug to complete this living space whether it be on a deck, patio or garden terrace you are set for outdoor entertaining! 


BAMBOO SHADES

Do you already have a covered deck space or a metal gazebo in place? Add privacy to your outdoor living area with the addition of bamboo blinds. Bamboo blinds will allow just enough light to shine into your outdoor space while blocking the view of close by neighbours. The earthy texture of the blinds will give your space a tropical boho vibe. Add paper lanterns and tiki torches to really turn your outdoor seating area into a vacation! 


CHIC PARASOLS

Looking to add a chic cover to your backyard without constructing a permanent structure? Add a classy all black or white parasol to your outdoor living area to provide shade in the sun or to cover your seating area in the rain. A chic parasol is the perfect alternative to a gazebo when you are not looking to take up too much floor space and is an affordable way to add some class to your outdoor space. Add multiple parasols and decorate with matching black and white outdoor furniture and décor for the most glamorous outdoor living area!

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Move over shaker style cabinets because the next big cabinet trend is in, reeded cabinetry! Shaker kitchen cabinets are the most popular style of cabinet doors characterized by their straightforward profile with a recessed center panel. Most shaker cabinets have a very simple and clean look while others may feature detailing around the edges. If you are tired of seeing this very popular design trend in kitchens and bathrooms everywhere then keep reading to learn more about the new trend, reeded cabinetry! 


CHARACTERISTICS

Reeded cabinetry is characterized by the textural front profiles. Unlike Shaker style cabinets the front profile is not smooth and bare but instead is filled with ribbed pieces of wood. The cabinets appear as if dowels (cylinder pieces of wood) have been glued vertically beside each other creating the reeded design. This design trend is one that is very unique and is unlike anything seen in cabinetry! This style of cabinets gives the home a modern and custom feel while remaining functional and chic.  


HYBRID

Reeded style cabinets appear to have a similar shape and appearance as the shaker style cabinets, but with a closer look you will see the textured rippled effect of the front profile. Reeded cabinetry also plays well with shaker cabinetry in sort of a hybrid design. With the classic trim and profile of the shaker cabinets but instead of the centre panel being smooth in a typical shaker style it has the reeded design. In the hybrid style you get the classic look of the shaker cabinets mixed with the unique design of the reeded style, it’s a win-win! 


VERSATILITY

Like shaker style cabinets, reeded cabinetry can be substituted in any part of the home! They work really well in a kitchen layout and can be painted to suit the colour palette of the space. Want to spruce up your bathroom? Try a light wood shade of reeded cabinets to offset an all-white bathroom. Even in the mud-room, storage built-ins can have the reeded makeover! If you love the design and style of reeded cabinets but aren’t up for a major renovation you can even introduce it into the home in the form of décor or accessories. For example, a reeded lamp post or stool. This new design trend is very versatile and this can account for its sudden popularity! 

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Bathrooms can be a tricky place to redesign! Regardless of the sleek minimalistic design you imagine for your bathroom, oftentimes you need to have your necessities on display. Besides from the clutter there are also a few décor items that can make your bathroom feel small and cramped. Keep on reading for the design trends we suggest to make your bathroom feel more spacious and less crowded! 


SOFT COLOUR PALETTE

When it comes to the colour of the walls, the hand towels you display, and the shower curtain you choose keep them simple and use a soft colour palette. Overwhelming Patterns can cause the space to look more cramped and cluttered especially if the patterns are conflicting. Choose a light wall colour to open up the space and decorate with a shower curtain and hand towels that are a solid soothing colour. If you currently have a predominately white bathroom and want to add pops of colour a trick is to only introduce 10% of this colour into the space. 


LARGE MIRRORS

Scale is everything when trying to maximize the space in your bathroom. A small mirror can make even the largest bathroom feel closed in and crowded. There is always room for more mirrors in the bathroom! Mirrors really open up the space and make it feel much more spacious. Add a large round mirror over your vanity or even a floor length mirror if the space is permitted. An over-the-door mirror is an alternative if space is tight. Mirrors bring more natural light into the room helping it feel brighter and larger!

 

OPEN SHELVING

Bulky bathroom cabinetry can make a bathroom feel very crowded and they take up precious square footage! Alternatively, a modern pedestal sink vanity and floating shelves create an open and spacious feel in the bathroom. Display baskets and boxes in open shelving to make the space organized and to hide toiletries and self-care items. If a bathroom renovation is not in your budget and you are looking to free up some space in the bathroom take the laundry hamper out! Hampers also takes up precious square footage and can be placed in the bedroom or laundry room instead! 

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Although there will not be too much entertaining happening in the upcoming weeks you may feel like you need to spruce up your living room for the new year. The living room is usually the focus of the home where families spend the majority of their time and quite often it is the largest room. Whether you are planning a simple refresh in your living room or a complete overhaul we have the inspiration you need! 


A FRESH COAT OF PAINT

If your living room has not been updated in few years then a fresh coat of paint is the perfect place to start! Paint does wonders to a room and will transition your old space into something more vibrant and inviting. Freshen up and neutralize the space with a coat of white paint. Painting your walls some variation of white whether it is a pure white or an off white is an instant way to brighten up a room and make it feel spacious and tidy. A tip to make white walls really pop is to add a darker trim such as black or navy blue.  


THE FLOOR PLAN

To maximize your entertainment space, take the time to map out a floor plan. How many people do you plan on having in this space and what will the seating arrangement be like? Once you have decided on the specifics regarding seating, side tables and coffee tables it is time to choose furniture and decorate! If your existing furniture still brings you joy and can be incorporated into your new floor plan spruce it up with new throw pillows or a new rug. If new furniture is in the budget be mindful of furniture with storage. If you are planning on having games nights in your new space it would be beneficial to have a coffee table or an ottoman that could store your favourite board games! 


INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY

Once you have freshened up the space and created the ultimate floor plan for entertaining, add technology to your living room. For example, amp up the space with a new television or an audio system if moving nights are in your near future. Another option is to invest in the newest gaming console if this is your means of entertainment. In order to avoid the entertainment systems taking over your space,  disguise them within cabinetry or cupboards. Enjoy the bigger television you have purchased but have the ability to tuck it away behind a cabinet to allow for entertaining technology-free if needed.  

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With the new year comes new design trends! I am sure we are all ready to finally say goodbye to 2020 and are excited for a fresh start. To welcome in the new year, we have broken down some of the top design trends in two of the most important rooms in the home, the kitchen and the bathroom. Continue reading for the design trends that will rule 2021!  


WALLPAPER MURALS

We have seen that a feature wall is popular in many rooms in the home but it tends to make an impactful statement in the kitchen and bathroom. Wallpaper has made a comeback and is a staple when creating a statement wall. Wallpaper is a relatively inexpensive option to quickly add some life, colour, and art into a not so lively space. Nonpermanent peel-and-stick wallpaper makes the addition of a feature wall an easy option to spruce up your space accompanied by very little commitment.  


ART DECO

Art Deco is a trend that emphasizes a style of visual arts, architecture and design that first appeared in France just before World War I. Art Deco is making a comeback in 2021 and can be used in both the kitchen and bathroom to take interior design to the next level! Characterized by bold colors, harsh geometry, and decadent detail work, art deco can be added to these spaces using décor pieces, patterned towels or rugs, and elaborate wall art. 


STONE SLABS

Stone slabs are a fantastic way to add elegance and uniqueness to the kitchen and bathroom. As a backsplash or as a countertop, stone slabs enhance the beauty in these spaces be replacing basic neutrals. In both the kitchen and the bathroom, the countertops are the main feature of the space. By choosing a premium quality stone your countertops and back splash will be much more durable and they will increase your home’s value as an added bonus.  

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On November 25, 2020 City Council directed City staff to increase the Empty Homes Tax (EHT) rate to 3%. The rate will remain at the original 1.25% for the 2020 tax reference year. Properties deemed empty are subject to the tax on their assessed taxable value. Keep reading to learn more about the EHT tax rate and what it means for homeowners and renters! 


MOTIVE BEHIND THE EHT 

The motive behind the EHT is to encourage homeowners of vacant properties to place empty homes on the market as long-term rentals. Council is standing up for renters by raising the tax rate in order to increase the housing supply of rental properties in the city. Many homes currently remain empty the additional increase in the EHT tax will hopefully motivate owners to finally put these homes on the rental market.  


HISTORY OF THE EHT 

The EHT launched in 2017 and since then has been raised twice. In 2019 the rate was raised for the first time from 1% to the current rate of 1.25%. From the initial 1% rate the EHT will have tripled by 2021 at the new announced 3% tax rate. Vancouver home owners are required to submit a declaration each year to determine if their property is subject to the EHT. Council has approved a one-time extension for late declarations for the 2017 and 2018 vacancy reference periods to December 31, 2020. 


EHT INITIATIVES 

Net revenues from the tax are being reinvested into affordable housing initiatives. Since 2017, $61.3 million of net revenues from the EHT contributions have been provided to Vancouver’s affordable housing initiatives. Revenue collected was first used to cover the one-time implementation costs of $7.5 million and estimated annual operating costs of $2.5 million. Since the tax was implemented in 2017 the number of vacant properties has decreased by 25%. 

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There are many reasons to make your living space more comfortable and beautiful this holiday season, one being that we are spending much more time indoors than we normally would. Therefore, home décor has become a very popular topic of interest and tis the season to create a cozier living space. Keep on reading for a few décor trends that can help warm up your space for the holidays!


TEXTURED FABRICS

Experiment with different fabrics, textures and patterns to bring more warmth and coziness into your home. Some examples of comfortable fabrics to introduce into your space are boucles, alpaca, sheepskins and wool. Decorate your living areas with a sheep skin rug or boucle covered stool and instantly feel more snug in your space.  


LARGE ROUNDED FURNITURE

Play around with different shapes and sizes when it comes to your staple furniture items. For example, a curved couch, a rounded table or an oval shaped rug will change up the dynamics of your space and increase comfort. Add larger furniture pieces and create seating areas for optimum coziness. Switch out your stiff sofa for a large sectional and add textured benches and lounges to create a warm and inviting space. 


THROW BLANKETS

Introduce large throws throughout your living space and you will instantly feel more comfortable in your home. When it comes to throws, play with different textures and sizes to add to your furniture pieces. Large knit blankets were a popular staple in 2020 and will continue to be in 2021. Play with bold colours and patterns when it comes to decorating with throws, as they will instantly warm up your living area! 

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As the end of 2020 and the holiday season slowly creeps up on us, maintaining an organized home is more important than ever. There are a few bad habits to leave in 2020 in order to organize and declutter your home. Keep on reading for tips to maintain organized living quarters as the holiday season approaches us!  

 

PAPER PILE UPS 

An easy habit to kick to stay organized for the holiday season is do not let cluttered letters and Christmas cards pile up. All too often we are obliged to throwing our mail into a large pile as we enter our home. Try placing a stylish wicker basket by your entry way or in the kitchen to keep this clutter minimal! Having a basket will act as a reminder to shuffle through the holiday cards and letters as they come pouring in.  

 

CLOSET CATASTROPHE 

We are all guilty of piling as much as we can into a utility closet once we need to appear organized in a hurry. Limited guests may be invited into our homes this holiday season, but kicking this habit will help maintain an organized home for the new year. Set time aside before the holidays begin to organize utility closets with shelving, labels, totes, anything to declutter. That way as the holidays roll in you are prepared to store gifts while being able to access all your utility items.  

 

CLOTHING COLLECTOR 

We all have that one chair or surface that collects our unworn or dirty clothing in the bedroom. Clothing can pile up quickly especially during the holidays when events (or zoom calls) will be at an all-time high! If the issue is dirty laundry, a hamper with a lid will aid in organizing and hiding dirty clothing. If clean unworn clothes are the ones to be left behind a simple tip would be to leave empty hangers nearby to entice you to put your clean laundry away. 

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It's been an incredible roller coaster of a year and believe it or not, 2021 is just around the corner! While some things stick around, decor trends are just one of the subjects that tend to ebb and flow with the changes all around us. Check out some of these things to keep an eye out for, you might want to incorporate them into your own home if something catches your attention the next time your're doing some window shopping.


VINTAGE MAKES A REAPPEARANCE

Some pieces are undeniably timeless, whether it be a classic fashion statement or something that conjures up fond memories of the past. Bringing back and reworking that wooden chaise or printed rug is a great way to add a hint of uniqueness to any space, since it's most likely the case that no one else will be able to find it! Weaving in older pieces with contemporary features is also a strategy for creating a hint of contrast.


ORGANIC SHAPES AND CURVES

We're all about incorporating nature into our lives nowadays, and just another one of those ways to do that is by surrounding yourself with those shapes! Think curved sofas, egg-shaped coffee tables, circular rugs, which all contribute a little bit to making any room softer and more inviting. Rounded corners and ergonomic furniture is all the rage, equally good for keeping the small ones safe and providing maximum comfort!


MUTED COLOURS AND PALETTES

While it's hard to forget about the colour statement of the year, it can sometimes be difficult to integrate into an everyday color scheme. No matter your preferred colour of choice, this upcoming year is all about aiming for the softer end of the colour spectrum, and keeping things cool and gentle. Instead of that striking royal blue, play around with a delicate periwinkle, and a rose pink instead of bright magenta. Don't let this subdue your creative flair, but bring together these colours to form an environment that's pleasing for the eyes and comforting for the mind.

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Staying at home might be driving all of us a little crazy right now, but there’s always a way to make things work! Apart from benefitting from home offices and more outdoor space, what are some recent home additions that people are looking for?


SANITATION/PACKAGE ROOM

Online shopping can be quite addictive, and you might be finding that parcels are piling up at your front door or in the hallway. It may be better to keep food deliveries and anything coming in from the outside world separate from commonly used areas. The best option is to keep this storage area close to the entrance so that you can limit the spread of germs and also create some order as those packages build up!


HOME RECREATION/THEATRE/PLAYROOM

Just like how it’s helpful to make a distinction between work and sleep areas, having separate work and play areas are also great if you struggle to unwind at the end of the day. Having one centralized area for relaxation is also a great way to bring the family together into a shared area and get in some quality time together. If you have children at home, creating these boundaries can also help solidify a routine for the youngsters.


POWDER ROOM

Unless you’re limited to one bathroom at home, now more than ever it makes the most sense to separate guest and personal usage of these spaces. If it’s unavoidable to have certain people over, keep in mind that this works best if you and the rest of your household also opt for personal bathrooms instead of the designated ‘guest powder room.” 

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We're going to be spending plenty of time at home for the next couple of months, but that doesn't mean we have to be limited to the indoors! Whether you've got a private balcony or a spacious backyard, there are numerous ways to spruce up the space and make it your own little haven.


INSTALL A GARDEN MIRROR

Usually plentiful throughout the home, mirrors seldom make an appearance outside, which is a shame because they bring plenty to the party. Try a wall to wall mirror on any side of the outdoor space and watch it do wonders when it comes to elongating and brightening the scene. If you prefer to go for something a little more discreet, there's a vast selection of framed mirrors or you could try your own hand at incorporating ivy and other hanging plants.


GROW A LIVING WALL

There's always something incredibly enchanting about a living plant wall, especially in the fall when the leaves create a gorgeous palette of colours. Perfect for a calming backdrop and environmentally friendly, this option is a go-to if you're searching for ways to bring nature into your living space. 


PLAY WITH LIGHTING AND SHADOWS

Light is a surprisingly useful tool with beautifully transformative effects. Depending on the layout and features present in your outdoor space, you can play around with stringed lights, create silhouettes, or draw attention to garden favourites. Tinker around with the angles of the beams as well as the warmth of the lights to create a personalized effect that is sure to catch the attention of your neighbourhood.


Even though we're going to be stuck at home for a while longer, don't let that stop your creativity and home goals!


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Although autumn is a beautiful season to enjoy the vast myriad of changing colours, it's also a reminder that everything is soon to appear just a little too lifeless. Don't fret though, because there are plenty of choices when it comes to decorating your home with houseplants that are both beautiful and simple to take care of.


For starters, you'll want to identify plants that can withstand infrequent watering (just in case you forget), uneven or poor access to light, and varying temperatures. Whether you're working out of a home office or trying to brighten up a small powder room, these are plants that are tough to kill even for the busiest and most forgetful of people.


HANGING PLANTS

Vines or hanging plants are generally grown from a pot that can either sit on its own or hang suspended from an elevated position of your choice. The plant will take care of itself with minimal care, although they can get a little busy crawling up surfaces should you pay them no attention at all. Keep in mind that these can also be placed outdoors, if you'd like to ad a hint of greenery to the balcony, patio, or parts of the exterior wall.


SPIDER PLANTS

These plants are very popular with their ability to easily be repotted and reproduced, often after you find small plantlets on their long stems that generate a rather impressive display over time, all with no additional care! In particular, this specimen is a great choice as they aren't very picky about water, light or temperature.


SUCCULENTS 

When it comes to the variety in succulents, your choices are endless, which means you can pick and choose to your liking! Chances are, there are probably specimens out there you've never even witnessed before! Although they grow at a comparably slower pace, succulents are able to thrive even in neglected circumstances. Very popular today are glass terrariums that you can personally design to hold the succulents for an added aesthetic appeal.

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We might not notice it, but the time you spend in the bathroom often marks the start or end of significant periods in the day, whether that be getting a fresh start in the morning or winding down after bringing your A game. It might not be the centre of attention compared to other parts of your home, but there are plenty of ways to make it just as, if not more, tasteful as the rest of the house!


TILE CREATIVITY

There are thousands of choices to pick from when it comes to tiling in the bathroom, whether you decide to use that for an entire expanse of wall, the flooring, or just as a decorative element. Apart from the various colours that are available, there are multiple options when it comes to layout, such as a basketweave look or floor-to-ceiling look.


METALLIC ACCENTS

This look gets away in just about any other room, from the kitchen to the bedroom, so why not bring it into the bathroom as well? Ranging in choices from mirror frames to door handles, faucets, there lies an amazing spectrum of options when it comes to spicing up particular sections of the bathroom. Be careful not to overdo it though!


MIXED MATERIALS

Although things can start to get out of hand when you try to incorporate everything, having a good amount of contrast in materials can be very refreshing to the eye. A contemporary look is often met by striking a balance between the use of stone, glass, and even wood for different components of the bathroom. 


MINIMALISM

An ongoing trend continues to lean towards the minimalistic use of materials, feature pieces, and colours. Keep in mind that minimalism doesn’t have to contradict with variety, so let your creativity shine while still keeping in mind what the essentials truly are. Simple color schemes on the spectrum of black to white are consistently popular, as well as sleek cabinets that keep everything out of sight.

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The fall season has quickly crept up upon us, which means a mix of chillier weather, hot drinks, and warm sweaters! The transition between seasons is also the perfect time to change things up in your home, whether that be a dramatic switchup or some minor decorations scattered about. If you're looking for some inspiration when it comes to fall decor, look no further.


VIBRANT AND WARM TONES

Just like the leaves sitting at their most colorful stages, this season is a great time to showcase the brighter hues that might've been stowed away for the rest of the year. As it starts to get darker and gloomier outside, displaying that colorful rug right out front, or lighting up a common space with colorful ceramics will do plenty to brighten the atmosphere. 


ONE WITH NATURE

This time of year is traditionally when a bountiful harvest is celebrated, so why not bring in some reminders of nature? Popular items you can easily pick up at your next door market include pumpkins and gourds of all colours and sizes, ornamental grasses, and gorgoeus chrysanthemums. There are endless opportunities to mix and match, with most also faring well outside on the porch or balcony.


PATTERNED PIECES AND TEXTILE ART

When all is said and done, patterned pieces will always be popular go-tos that serve as statement pieces from the living room to the bedroom. In fact, modern rugs and hanging wall pieces are purposely given an older look to deliver an 'erased design.' For a more minimalistic look, opt for black, white or neutral colours that will balance out designs. Alternatively, go all out with extravagant colours and bold shapes.

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The kitchen is an undeniably important element of any home, and particularly so if you've got most of the family at home during these turbulent times. Trends will come and go as needs change, but here are some of the emerging trends that have been identified in this multifunctional part of your home!


TOUCHLESS APPLIANCES

Cleanliness and hygiene are high on everybody's priority list nowadays, which is why touchless appliances have increasingly become less about luxury, and more about sanitation and convenience. There are multiple options to explore throughout your everyday kitchen items, from motion-activated water taps to smart fridges and voice-activated apps for cooking. Especially if you've got a large household, or plan to have the occasional guests over, this can be a great way to bridge the demand for efficiency and cleanliness.


OPEN SHELVING

People fall all across the spectrum when it comes to organization habits in the kitchen, from completely open displays to cupboards and containers for every item possible. Open shelves are growing in popularity partly due to the effect it has on increasing the perception of space, and because it's a great way to display prized possessions and decorate if you find yourself spending more and more time in the kitchen.


ADDITONAL DISHWASHERS

If you're now cooking three meals a day for multiple members of the family, the kitchen sink is likely to overflow much faster than before. Double dishwashers are generating lots of interest when it comes to saving time, keeping sink and countertops clean, and helping keep different food remains such as meat and dairy dishes separate.


Consider what needs your household has and choose wisely!

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Finding a new home can be intimidating for everyone, but it can be increasingly so for homebuyers who are self employed. Common challenges come from proving that you have a steady income, especially when you don't have employment letters or pay stubs on hand. With some careful planning, it can be much easier to navigate an already stressful process and find yourself a new place without breaking too much of a sweat.


ALTERNATIVE EVIDENCE FOR FINANCIAL STABILITY

  • A few years of tax returns
  • Self prepared profit and loss statement
  • A business license
  • Audited financial statements
  • Signed documentation from a CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant) verifying your business
  • Employer's liability insurance
  • Signed documentation from clients including date and type of service provided 

FOCUS ON YOUR CREDIT SCORE

A high credit score can demonstrate your ability to pay off debts and be responsible with money. Aim to already have or establish a consistent track record for prospective landlords and lenders. You can keep your credit in check by keeping credit card balances low, paying accounts in time, and avoiding applying for other credit lines while you're applying for a mortgage.


SEPARATE PERSONAL AND BUSINESS EXPENSES

Keeping your accounts organized and separate helps lenders determine your business expenses and income more efficiently. Business expenses that are paid through a business account might not be held against you, since it's an asset for the business. On the flip side, be careful with deductions on business expenses, as this lowers your overall taxable income, which can hurt your chances when applying for a home loan.


Home buying is never easy, but keep these tips in mind when making your next significant life decision!


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Home transformations are a great way to personalize your home and really make it your own, but if you're thinking about moving around and potentially selling the place, be aware of some changes that might be appealing to you, but not worth the compromise for prospective buyers.


ADDING EXTRA WALLS

Espcially right now, making use of extra space can seem like the smart thing to do, particularly if you have a sizeable, open concept living room or a larger studio. Putting up walls can effectively turn one room into two, creating a permanent work station or playroom instead of constantly reorganizing for different needs. A permanent wall can easily decrease appeal by making rooms appear much smaller than they actually are, disrupting natural lighting, or creating a mismatched overall look.


BOLD ACCENTS AND COLOURS

A splash of your unique creativity may excel at capturing your guests' attention and keep them asking questions, but it can be risky to assume that those looking for a new place to settle will be equally enthralled by the stark colours and unusual styles that made your home your prized piece of art. Opt to stick to designs and tones that resonate with the general population instead of only a select few, or consider having your home repainted prior to listing and marketing the property. Neutral shades and stylish yet classic furnishings are always a safe bet, especially if the buyer isn't interested in doing a complete transformation for themselves.


MISMATCHED RENOVATIONS

Sometimes home projects happen on a whim, fueled by a spontaneous moment of inspiration. Other times, it's impractical to have the entire home renovated all in one go. In these circumstances, despite there being a lag in the overall timeline, it's important to ensure that one change doesn't differ drastically from the next. If you're redoing the flooring in one room before moving on to the next room months later, keep in mind that too many different types of floor coverings can present a disorganized look. The same thing can be said about surfaces, colours, and furnishings. At the end of the day, they should all complement one another!

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