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Just as you drink pure water, isn't it vital to ensure the air you breathe is also clean? It's common for people to spend up to 75 percent of their time in their homes, and the sources of air pollution in a home can be many.


The variation in chemicals and pollutants can produce a range of negative effects in your home, so take a 2 minute read to find out the best ways to reduce indoor air pollution!


1. Ventilation

Open your windows! Creating circulation is so essential. The recent emphasis on energy conservation has caused homes to be constructed in an air-tight, sealed way; this traps pollutants right in your home.


Ventilation can help remove the pollution, and lung function can be improved by ventilation because it reduces the harmful effects of indoor air pollution.


2. Use Organic, Natural Cleaning Products

For people with issues with their respiratory tract or lungs, like asthma, all-natural cleaning products — especially ones you make yourself — provide one of the best defenses for your health.


Try to replace toxic or chemical-based cleaning products with natural, organic alternatives. You'll find these options at many stores, or you can make these amazing DIY cleaning recipes. Also, the classic combo of vinegar and baking soda works great on drains!


3. Invest in Natural Scents

We all want our homes to smell fresh and clean, but before you grab that fragrant aerosol spray can, think twice!


Instead, use essential oils with a diffuser. Lavender, lemongrass, and tea-tree or orange-blossom oil all work great and don't contain any air-polluting chemicals. You can also dilute oils in distilled water and use them with a spray bottle for a chemical-free home or office spray.

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Everyone has advice about the real estate market, but not all of that unsolicited information is true. So when it comes time to list your home, you’ll need to separate fact from fiction.


Below I’ve identified the top three real estate myths — and debunked them so you can hop on the fast track to selling your property.


I need to redo my kitchen and bathroom before selling.

Truth: While kitchens and bathrooms can increase the value of a home, you won’t get a large return on investment if you do a major renovation just before selling.


Minor renovations, on the other hand, may help you sell your home for a higher price. New countertops or new appliances may be just the kind of bait you need to reel in a buyer. Check out comparable listings in your neighborhood, and see what work you need to do to compete in the market.


My home’s exterior isn’t as important as the interior.

Truth: Home buyers often make snap judgments based simply on a home’s exterior, so curb appeal is actually very important.


The good news is that it doesn’t cost a bundle to improve your home’s exterior. Start by cutting the grass, trimming the hedges and clearing away any clutter. Then, for less than $50, you could put up new house numbers, paint the front door, plant some flowers or install a new, more stylish porch light.


Home shoppers can ignore paint colors they don’t like.

Truth: Moving is a lot of work, and while many home buyers realize they could take on the task of painting walls, they simply don’t want to.


That’s why one of the most important things you can do to update your home is apply a fresh coat of neutral paint. Neutral colors also help a property stand out in online photographs, which is where most potential buyers will get their first impression of your property.


Hiring a professional to paint the interior of a 2,000-square-foot house will cost anywhere from $2,000 and up, depending on labor costs in your region. You could buy the paint and do the job yourself for $200 to $500. Either way, if a fresh coat of paint helps your home stand out in a crowded market, it’s probably a worthwhile investment. Get in touch with us if you are thinking of selling and want more advice! We can also connect you with our team of professional tradespeople!

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Temporary modular housing can be constructed more quickly than permanent housing and provide immediate relief to hundreds of people looking for homes. This initiative is not only significant in addressing the needs of Vancouverites, but also creates an opportunity to celebrate the future of diverse neighbourhoods. Read on to find out more!


What are Modular Homes?

A modular home is a home that has been built indoors – basically, inside a home-building factory. Once complete, the modules (or components of these homes) are transported by truck to their new location and assembled by highly qualified tradesmen onto the already poured foundation.


Why Modular Homes?

This cuts builder waste since it allows for bulk materials to be ordered for the pods’ exact dimensions. 


Also, manufactured homes overall typically sell at a lower price point than traditional single-family homes due to their reduced construction costs — currently a major issue restricting home builder activity. Even though lumber futures came down from an all-time high in May, they remain inflated compared to historical norms.


Where are they going up?

This summer, 98 new living units will be completed on 1580 Vernon Drive, as a part of a 10-year, 1000 unit initiative by the provincial government that began in 2018. Currently, there are 660 temporary units and 350 permanent units, and with this finishing, more than 750 temporary modular homes are now available for residents.

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Finding the right art for your space is hard, but hanging art correctly can be even more difficult. In fact, hanging artwork incorrectly at the wrong height is the #1 most common interior design mistake! Read on to find out 3 foolproof tips for hanging art!


Hang single artwork pieces at eye level

I find it’s best to hang single artwork at eye level, and 60 inches from center to the floor is the magic number.


If you’re hanging your art above furniture, it can be 4-6 inches above the piece, and if the art is going above a sofa or console, the piece should be approximately 2/3 width of the furniture. As a general rule of thumb, always consider the scale of your space when hanging art.


I usually prefer to use larger artwork and frames rather than smaller in projects. It’s much more simple to fill in spaces when you have less space to fill!


Treat two pieces as one

When hanging two art pieces, treat them as one and still hang them 60 inches from the floor to the center of the grouping.


This rule also applies to groups of three and four. Make sure they are spaced only a few inches apart, so they look together and not disconnected.


Hang Gallery Walls with cohesive spacing

When designing a grid gallery wall, I use prints and photos with a similar theme and consistent frames. They could be black and white photos, botanicals, sketches, etc.


I go with completely different pieces in mixed frames for an eclectic look. I usually hang large and medium pieces 2-3 inches apart, and smaller pieces 1.5-2.5 inches apart.


Make things easier on your end by tracing the frames on a piece of paper and using painters tape to create a layout on the wall before you have to put holes in the wall.

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We hope that everyone is staying safe in this Vancouver heatwave! The worst is behind us, but we thought we’d advise on some tips for you and your homes to stay cool. There are also 10 cooling centres around the city you can duck into for a respite. Want to know more? Scroll down!


Symptoms of heat-related illness and heat exhaustion

Watch for the following symptoms as signs of heat-related illness and heat exhaustion:

  • Extreme thirst

  • Dizziness

  • Confusion

  • Weakness

  • Fainting

  • Rapid breathing and heartbeat

  • Nausea and vomiting

If you see someone suffering from too much heat, call 9-1-1 and help them cool off by applying water to their face and neck until emergency services arrive. You can also call 8-1-1 to speak to a nurse. Interpretation services are available on these phone numbers.


Tips to keep cool

  • Stay out of the sun as much as possible

  • Plan ahead for where you can spend time in a cool or air-conditioned place, and seek shade when outside

  • Wear a wide-brimmed hat, lightweight, loose-fitting clothing, and sunscreen

  • Avoid strenuous activity and exercise

  • Drink plenty of cool fluids such as water before you feel thirsty

  • Fill up your water bottle at one of our drinking fountains, including temporary fountains that are set up during the summer months


Cool down your pulse points

Pulse points are areas of your body where you can feel your pulse through your skin because blood vessels are positioned close to the surface. Applying ice or a cold cloth to these points can help cool you down from the inside out. Pulse points include the following areas:


  • Neck

  • Wrists

  • Insides of elbows and knees

  • Tops of your feet

  • Insides of your ankles

  • Inner thighs

  • Just in front of your ears

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If you’re looking for a way to enlarge your home without shelling out for a full-scale addition, converting your garage into a living space or home office typically adds about 600 square feet (assuming it’s a two-car garage) of extra room! Read on below for all the details about this cool renovation!


Cost

Because a garage already has a foundation, walls, and a roof, using the existing structure typically costs around half of what you’d spend for an all-new addition. Different needs and features will affect the cost, so take that into account. Quality conversions may cost more, but consider that it’ll add a comfortable 600 more square feet of room!


Tasks Involved

A garage conversion is not necessarily a job to tackle on the cheap, yet it entirely depends on your needs! For example, a quality conversion may take 4-6 weeks and include:


  • Raising the floor height to allow for insulation over the concrete slab,

  • Fully insulating walls and ceiling,

  • Providing heating and cooling for the space, either by tying into the house’s main system or adding an independent one, such as a ductless mini-split system,

  • An electrical service upgrade to accommodate the larger load,

  • Opening up the partition wall between your house and the garage to create an open floor plan,

  • Replacing garage doors with fully insulated stud walls, and

  • Adding windows and doors.


But at the end of it, you’ll receive a whole new part of the house that is built with quality in mind!


What’s the Downside?

Converting your garage to living space means giving up your indoor, weather-protected parking spaces. Sounds obvious enough, but parking outside can raise bigger problems than just needing more frequent car washes.


Exposure to the elements can lead to premature aging of your vehicles, and when it snows in the winter parking outside may complicate having your driveway plowed after snowstorms.


In addition, you may be losing storage space for landscape tools, lawn mowers, and snow blowers.


Is it worth it for you? Comment down below for your tips on converting a garage!

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It’s Wednesday! Summer time means spending more time outside, and where better to do it from the comfort of your own home? Take the time outside during these sunny days to relax and have fun in the sun! Read on below for the top 3 must have patio items and furniture!


Seating

If we had to limit ourselves to just 3 items to have at a patio, the number one most essential feature of a friendly porch or patio is SEATING. If you don’t have a place to sit and rest, the chances you will want to stay for any prolonged period of time is zero. Using multiple sofas in a block creates the feel of an entire outdoor room and would be a great place to entertain.  Even if space is limited, smaller conversation areas with single chairs is still an option!


Shade

In the summer months, even in cooler climates like here in Vancouver, the direct sun of midday can be overwhelming and unpleasant! Therefore, the patio or porch should have some source of shade. Creating a shady spot on your patio can be as easy as installing sun umbrellas or even sun shades. Of course if you want a more permanent solution, a pergola, awning for roof structure is another idea!


Sound

If your home is located in an urban or even suburban area, you may hear a lot of background noise when using your patio. A great way to cancel out the sounds of neighbors and traffic is with a sound feature. Installing outdoor speakers allows you to pipe any sounds or music you want into your backyard. Speakers can be installed into the ground or mounted on your home, fence, or pergola, or they can be even completely disguised!

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It’s the middle of the week! I hope that your start to June has been awesome so far, check out my new block post for the latest events happening this week! Which ones do you want to go to? If you want to hear more about these, read on!


Vancouver Children’s Festival

Reimagine fun at the 2021 Vancouver International Children’s Festival with an extraordinary online line-up of world-class theatre, music, dance and storytelling created specifically for children. The reimagined 2021 Festival will offer a mix of Live Online and Pre-recorded Online performances with an extra 7 days of extended show viewing. Watch a show online from the comfort of home from May 31 to June 13 with Pay-What-You-Can pricing.


Imagine Van Gogh

The immersive exhibition Imagine Van Gogh is a unique tour through the captivating works of Vincent Van Gogh. There are over 200 versions of his art pieces featured at the event, all of which are displayed on massive screens of varying shapes and sizes to create an experience unlike any other. The event is on now through August 29th at the Vancouver Convention Centre!


Darts Hill Garden Park

Darts Hill Garden Park is a 22.5 acre property located at 1633-170th Street in South Surrey just a 10-minute drive from White Rock. It’s a beautiful spot with paths winding through densely vegetated forested-style gardens. Darts Hill is open to the public only at designated times and dates. This includes open houses and special plant sale days. Have a stroll through the park at your leisure!

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Pandemic restrictions are now loosened and indoor dining is back! I wanted to write about some restaurants that really wowed me, and I can’t wait to go back to these places next. What are your favourite restaurants here in Vancouver? If you want to hear more about this one, read on!


Le Crocodile Restaurant

This local restaurant is definitely not cheap but is a must go if you enjoy steak and high end food. Their service is impeccable and the staff are all professional and friendly without being in your face. Their food is also phenomenal, and the last time I’ve been they exceeded my expectations, so give them a try!


Blue Water cafe

This striking cafe contains a dining room that provides active views of the “East meets West” kitchen and Raw Bar. The sweeping main bar leads out to the heated patio and the private dining rooms, which hold their deep and diverse wine collection. If you want fresh seafood and a japanese fusion menu, definitely make an effort to try them out.


Lupo

Last but not least, Lupo is a restaurant situated between Yaletown and the heart of Vancouver’s entertainment district, and if you love homemade italian then this is a must stop. They offer modern Italian cooking in a relaxed atmosphere, and the place does not skimp on quality ingredients. Service is stellar and the ambience is so uniquely cute, like a little house.

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Happy Wednesday everyone! I was at Queen Elizabeth Park recently and thought it would be nice to share my experience. What are your favourite parks in Vancouver? Maybe I’ll pay a visit and write about it next! If you want to hear more about this one, read on!


Quarry Gardens

This beautiful garden is just west of the Bloedel Conservatory, and it is gorgeous when you see it from the railing! It’s home to specimen trees, shrubs, perennials, bulbs, and so much more. There’s even a stream and cascading waterfall in the gardens to add to its beauty. I would highly recommend taking a look over the railing and then strolling through, you won’t regret it!


Arboretum

Did you know that Queen Elizabeth Park was Canada’s first civic arboretum? I didn’t know either until I read up on it! The first plantings were done all the way back in 1949 on the north slopes. First, larger trees such as ponderosa pines, subalpine spruce, and douglas firs were planted, and the most special of all is the coast redwood, which could grow to be one of the tallest trees in the world. It’s along the north and northwest end of the park, so take a visit next time!


Bloedel Conservatory

Last but not least, I headed into the conservatory to take a look at the tropical trees, flowers, and birds. Due to COVID, you do have to purchase tickets online and wait for your time slot, which is a full 45 minutes inside the dome. The staff usher you in and then you are free to explore during your visit. It is totally worth it and the views were a sight to see!

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Summer is approaching quickly! ! You might have a lot more time on your hands, and you’re likely spending that time at home. If you are considering the benefits of fixing up your home to make it more appealing to potential buyers, or just to have a nicer place to live in the era of social distancing, you should know that not all DIY home improvement projects will offer homeowners a solid return on their investment. Here are 3 things that you need to know before breaking out the toolkit, read on!


Painting… Your Front Door?


Believe it or not, a super simple project such as just painting your front door can have big returns. Amanda Pendleton, Zillow’s home trends expert, says “A glossy coat of exterior paint can really amp up your curb appeal.” When it comes to the type of paint though, the devil is in the details. Painting your front door black, in particular, could add as much as $6,000 to your home’s sale price, according to Zillow’s research.


Change Your Lighting Fixtures


Another relatively simple change a homeowner can make is to replace light fixtures with smart lights. “Not only are you going to save money on your power bill, but you’re going to sell your home seven days faster,” Pendleton said, citing additional research from Zillow. Change the light bulbs, as well as the lamp shape and size to maximize your returns as well.


Replace Indoor Flooring


There are also cheaper, easier alternatives to major home improvement projects such as replacing the flooring in your home. A Zillow survey found that 87% of real-estate agents suggest cleaning the carpets before listing a home. Many homeowners will switch out the carpet anyway, so rather than investing in installing new, a homeowner can rent a carpet cleaner from their local home improvement store and refresh their carpets in a cost effective manner.


Have these tips helped you pick your next summer DIY project? Let us know below with a comment and tell us what we should blog about next!

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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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