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Home speculators beware! As proposed back in November 2020, Vancouver plans on tripling the vacant home tax this year. The council voted to increase the tax to 3% of the assessed value for 2021. The tax, which places a penalty on underused homes, was put in place to help encourage more efficient use. If you want to know how this will affect you, read on!


Impact.

The City’s vacant home tax appears to be making a big impact, with the total number of units falling. In 2017, the first year the City had a vacancy tax, there were 2,538 homes found vacant without exception. By 2018, that number fell to 1,989, and finally down to 1,893 in 2019. When including the number of exempted homes that transitioned to tenanted use, this added over a year of housing supply. Although the low rate of, or negative, price appreciation also tends to contribute to more efficient use as well.


Why is it Tripling?

The tripling of the tax might seem like Vancouver’s politicians just have big hearts, but it may be the City getting ahead of bigger problems. The pandemic’s acceleration of work from home (WFH) and shuttering of local shops has lessened the importance of expensive urban hubs. So far this has been a big gain for the suburbs, and more affordable cities. Without more incentives, such as more affordable housing, the long-term viability may be impacted. No one wants to live in a City with expensive and hard to find housing, to be next to Starbucks, when they’re paid the same to work anywhere now.


What it means for you.

If you don’t have any vacant properties, this increase will only benefit you as the city will have more funds for city projects. However, if you have empty investment properties, this is a reminder to consider your options. A 3% tax, especially on expensive properties, can be expensive, so if you want to get ahead of the curve and sell your property, contact us and we will help you every step of the way!

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New trends, technologies and styles are always emerging in the kitchen. As one of the most used rooms in the house you want to make sure this space is up to date with new trends! The kitchen is also often a space that needs a quick revamp every once in a while too. If you are looking to refresh your kitchen with some new 2021 trends then keep on reading!


WOOD BURNING STOVES

Wood burning stoves are becoming increasingly more popular in people’s homes for cooking and heating. These types of stoves use wood as a source of fuel rather than gas or electricity. There are many different styles to choose from when incorporating a wood burning stove into your kitchen. For the

most part these types of stoves give the kitchen a vintage look. The benefits to using a wood burning stove is that the fuel needed is extremely renewable and sustainable. Whether you are using logs, wood chips, or lumber yard waste the materials are widely available and eco-friendly!


LARGE ISLANDS

Many people have been finding more uses for their kitchen island than just holding their daily mail and car keys. Now more than ever the kitchen island is multi-functional doubling as a home office or classroom. Many people have been resorting to a larger style of kitchen islands in order to better utilize their space. Islands are a great way to break up the space in the kitchen and they provide extra countertop and storage. Not to mention they're a great spot to socialize with the family!


WOOD FURNISHINGS

Not only are wood stoves becoming more popular in the kitchen so are wood finishes such as cabinets, chairs, plates and islands. This trend gives the kitchen a warm and cozy vintage feel. Add wood paneling to your kitchen cabinets to neutralize your space or wood chairs for a more natural look. Wooden accessories are not just a trendy addition to your kitchen they are also eco-friendly!

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Now that you have decided to sell your home you may want to do a couple DIY updates to some of the main areas. Two rooms that add value when selling your home are the bathroom and the kitchen. If you want to add maximum value to your sale with some quick and easy DIY’s then a great place to start is the bathroom! If you’re looking to sell your home and want to make some bathroom updates then keep on reading!


GROUT CLEANING

When looking at your bathroom does the grout in the shower and on the flooring appear dark and dirty? If this is the case a great DIY grout cleaning will do the trick for those sad looking tiles. Follow this easy recipe: half a cup of baking soda, a quarter cup of hydrogen peroxide, and one teaspoon of dish soap. Mix the ingredients together until you have a paste. Take an old tooth brush and squish it into the paste and onto the grout. Wait about ten minutes for the paste to settle then wipe it clean! 


RE-CAULKING

The shower and bathtub are areas where caulking can appear moldy despite your best efforts to keep it clean. Caulking is installed where tiling meets countertops and around the tub or shower. Often times caulking is initially installed and isn’t replaced. Ensure that when you remove and replace moldy caulking with water-resistant caulking. Apply the caulking with smooth and even pressure with a damp finger or a small sponge. Let it dry completely before starting up your bath or shower! 


FRESH PAINT

If your walls are scuffed and dirty giving them a fresh coat of paint will completely alter the appearance of your bathroom! If you want to get top dollar for your home, remember you are painting for buyers and not for yourself. Choose a soft neutral colour so that a buyer can picture themselves in the space. The only exception to neutral colors is to highlight an accent wall. Add a patterned wallpaper to a small powder room as long as the rest of the bathroom is kept a neutral colour! 

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There is no doubt that the trend to having a minimalistic designed home has been more popular than ever. To achieve this contemporary and sophisticated style use low-maintenance materials when designing your home. For example, concrete has always been a prime material to use for its versatility and durability and this is why concrete polished floors have been a staple design trend in 2021. If you’re looking for a reason to incorporate concrete floors into your home then keep on reading! 


ELEGANT APPEARANCE

Polished concrete floors have a light-reflective property that can vary depending on the home-owners preference. Concrete floors can be finished with a subtle glow or a full-blown gloss. Depending on the amount of shine that is preferred, concrete floors are a suitable option for an industrial looking home or a more modern feel. Regardless of the style you are going for concrete polished floors will complete your renovation and can be incorporated all throughout the home.  


MINIMUM MAINTENANCE

Damaging this type of flooring is virtually impossible. Once your concrete floor is installed you will only have to worry about sweeping and wiping occasional dust and dirt. Any scratches, dents, or chips in the concrete that may have occurred during installation will not negatively affect the appearance of the floors as the polished finish will mask any imperfections. Don’t be afraid to install this type of flooring in any high traffic areas!  


LONG LIFE SPAN

One of the greatest advantages of installing polished concrete floors is that it requires very little maintenance and will last for years. Polished concrete floors are moisture resistant if the installation and sealing is done correctly, making this flooring last a decade! For both the installation and cleaning harsh chemicals aren’t needed for polished concrete floors and if you prefer environmentally friendly products, they can easily be used with this type of flooring. Concrete polished floors have been saved for basements and garages for far too long!  

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Often when we think of a modern kitchen, we are prone to imaging shaker style cabinets and marble countertops. A modern kitchen doesn’t have to be defined by this style! There are many different kitchen trends that can involve lots of colour and functional designs. If you are looking to make an update in the kitchen and need some design tips, keep reading for modern yet unique kitchen inspiration! 


SLEEK AND SIMPLISTIC

Reinvent your kitchen design by going simple and sleek. In this design trend choose cabinetry and hardware that blend in together and embody earthy tones. Less is better! Ditch upper cabinets or even use exposed floating shelves for the extra storage. Choose industrial materials when finishing your kitchen instead of traditional elements such as quartz countertops. Tadelakt and micro-cement are textured options that aren’t porous and don’t stain so they are perfect for the counters! 


TWO-TONED

Let your mood inspire your kitchen design and slap some colour in there! You don’t have to go wild and graphic to transform your spac, try experimenting with two-toned cabinetry. Keep the bottom or top half of your cabinets a natural wood while painting the rest a navy blue, hunter green or even gray to add dimension to the space.  If you have an island, take advantage of this separation and paint those lower cabinets a completely different colour! Your space will instantly become more modern and will be the feature in your home!  


GET GROOVY

All good things come back in style! Give your kitchen a 70’s inspired makeover with quirky hardware and pale coloured cabinetry. Play around with different textures and patterns when it comes to your kitchen design. Don’t be afraid to add in beaded doors with loud handles to stray away from the traditional sleek look. Choose a bold stone for your countertops and use it as the backsplash as well! This design may be inspired by the past but it will give your kitchen a modern and polished look!

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The more time you spend in a space the dirtier it gets! This is especially true for the most loved room in the house – the living room! Think of how much time is spent in your family room or living room and all the surfaces that are touched several times a day by multiple people. Not only does this room need a deep spring clean but it needs to be cleaned on the regular! If you want a quick and easy 3 step routine to tackle that living room mess, then keep on reading! 


WIPE ALL SURFACES

First and foremost, grab an all-purpose cleaner and cloth then spray and wipe all surfaces! Focus on the things you may usually over look such as the door handles and the areas around them too. When you come across a light switch spray your rag and give it a good scrub. Make note of any area that may need a deeper clean for the following steps. The initial clean can be quick so don’t be surprised if you’re moving through the space quickly! 


DEEP CLEAN

Some of your surfaces or areas in your living room may need a bit more attention. For tough stains or built on grime use something a little more tough such as a magic eraser or a scrubbing sponge, anything abrasive. Go back through the space and to the spots you noted in the first step and scrub away any stubborn dirt that wouldn’t wipe away. This step will take a bit more time and muscle power! 


DISINFECT

There is a difference between cleaning and disinfecting! If you used an anti-bacterial cleaner in your first step you still want to go through your space with a disinfectant. Take your wipes or disinfecting spray and give all the surfaces you wiped down in the first step another wipe. Make sure to read the instructions on your particular disinfectant to see on which surfaces and material it is best suited for. Feel free to expand this assignment to the other areas of your home that get touched often! 

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It's very easy to get stuck in our comfort zones and not want to venture out when it comes to decorating our home. But we all can use a bit of colour in our lives! Colour sets the mood in your home and will alter the energy depending on the shade and hues you choose. Whether you just want a pop of colour here or there or really want to make a statement we have the tips on how to add more colour to your home and life! 


CONSIDER THE SPACE

When adding colour to your home, first think about how you want to use the space. For example, if you are looking to repaint your home office you may want to use pale colours and nothing that is too bright that could potentially be distracting. Also, if you’re someone that gets bored easy you won’t want to paint your space a loud and unconventional colour. Also consider the light levels when adding colour to your space. In a home office you want light to pour into the room therefore you won’t want to choose a dark colour that will soak up the natural light. 


LAYER MUTED COLOURS

If you are scared to make the leap into adding bright and bold colours to your home then opt for muted colours. Whites, greys and beiges can be boring when they take up an entire space, but when layered, muted colours create a comforting and interesting environment. Don’t feel as if you need to slap on vibrant paint to your walls in order to introduce colour to your home. Try mixing different coloured and textured fabrics when decorating to quickly and easily add life. Rusty reds and dark blue tones can be added to any neutral space to liven it up! 


START OFF SMALL

If you are ready to make the leap into bright and vibrant paint colours but don’t know where to start its always best to start off small. Paint a common area like the hallway or bathroom then go from there. Another easy way to add colour to your home in a conservative way is to paint a feature wall. Make a statement in the dining room or living room and paint one of the focus walls a vivacious colour. Even opt for colourful wallpaper to transform your room easily and quickly. We suggest to add a statement colour that matches your existing furniture and accessories! 

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Spend the entire spring and summer months outdoors by adding kitchen functions to your garden space. Outdoor kitchens have become ultra-desirable back yard features. With everyone spending more time at home we need to get creative with the space we have! If you are looking to construct an outdoor kitchen and take your cooking and dinning outdside keep on reading for our design tips! 


FEATURES

An outdoor kitchen can replicate the indoor cooking space you currently have.  The number of features you will want to add to this space will really depend on the budget. A basic design will include a BBQ, a dining table and maybe some counterspace with extra storage. If you are looking to elevate this design try adding a pizza over, a sink, a side burner and even a fridge for the ultimate outdoor kitchen space! 


LAYOUT

Get inspired by the layout of your indoor kitchen or switch up the floor plan of your outdoor kitchen depending on your space. Do you prefer a linear shape? Or an “L” shape? You can even add an island if you’d like! Think about the sizing of your outdoor kitchen in terms of seating and counter space. Your outdoor kitchen will most likely be smaller than it’s indoor equivalent so make sure you are maximizing this space! 


STRUCTURE AND DESIGN

For an outdoor kitchen to be successful you must include waterproof features. You want to design your kitchen countertops and cabinetry with the weather in mind. You also want to make sure you are constructing your outdoor kitchen on a sturdy surface that is non porous and avoids staining. Decided whether or not you want walls in your kitchen design or a roof to protect the cooking area. Lastly, add plants and herbs to complete your outdoor kitchen design! 

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As we start to get a glimpse of spring, I am sure we are all eager to get outdoors and get a taste of the sunshine! Try gardening to get your daily dose of vitamin C and to spruce up the outside of your home! We have all the latest gardening trends that 2021 has to offer. If you’re looking forward to the possibility of having a backyard gathering in the near future then keep on reading for our gardening tips! 


DREAMING OF THE COUNTRYSIDE?

Maybe due to the pandemic but there has been a trend to move out of the city and into the country currently. If this move isn’t for you but you want to bring the countryside to your urban city home then this tip will help you do that! Fill your garden and balconies with rustic potted plants and antique accessories as a reminder of that country lifestyle. Create a Zen garden that makes you feel you have escaped from the city and into the countryside! 


THE GARDEN AS AN EXTRA ROOM

Extend your living quarters into the outdoors! When opening your doors and blending the space between your outdoor and indoor living areas the garden becomes an extra room with many purposes. It can be an extension of your living room as an extra seating area. Or an additional play room for the kids. The garden is also often an extension of the kitchen with a BBQ and an outdoor table. However you choose to extend onto your garden terrace take advantage of this extra square footage! 


LIVE OFF THE LAND

A very popular trend that will continue into 2021 is to grow your own produce and herbs! As more people are looking to introduce more vegetables into their diet or committing to veganism fully, growing your own garden has never been more popular! Start off small with easy to grow vegetables, salads and herbs that are suitable for growing in the space you have to offer. The popularity of wall planters and patio containers has risen to cultivate fresh home grown produce! 

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It is almost that time again! Time to start spring cleaning! What better place to start then in the heart of the home, the kitchen. Whether it be the pantry, the fridge or a cluttered countertop we have the tips on how to spruce up your space for the upcoming spring months! If a kitchen clean up sounds daunting and overwhelming keep on reading to make your cleanup simple and productive! 


PANTRY

To tidy up that crowded pantry start by categorizing your items. Some things may be flying off our shelves quicker than others and by keeping everything in its rightful category you can easily decide what to donate/throw away. For the items that are there to stay keep them in clear containers so you can see the contents inside and organize these items accordingly. Once everything is in a container, use labels to keep everything in its assigned spot! 


FRIDGE & FREEZER

When it comes to the fridge or freezer you want to organize your food by zones, and keep these zones labelled! For example, keep all your condiments on one side of the fridge door and all your salad dressings on another. Everyone is working with limited space in these areas and by assigning a certain amount of room for a category of food you will only keep the necessities! For the freezer, make sure that the items you tend to grab the most are right in the front.  


COUNTERTOPS

All flat surfaces become a magnet for clutter! When it comes to your kitchen countertops you want to be very picky about what you leave there. A great suggestion is to organize your counter space by stations. For example, have a station for coffee where you keep your coffee machine and pods or have a station for baking where you leave your mixer. To avoid clutter and chaos, the appliances you are not consistently using on a daily or weekly basis do not need to be left on the countertops.  

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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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