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Design 101: Light My Fire

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Design 101: Light My Fire

Choose from a variety of fireplace options to turn up the heat this fall

By Cynthia Soda

Being a summer baby, I soak up the hot sun for as long as I can get it. But once our days get shorter and the leaves change colour, it’s time to turn back on the pilot lights on your interior gas units, and warm up those cold hands and feet once again.

HUMBLE BEGINNING

In our first home as newlyweds, my husband and I didn’t have a fireplace; so every year I’d long for a mantel to decorate for the holidays and yearn for the soothing sounds of a fire during dinner or movie nights. Let’s just say that the fireplace channel was a staple when we wanted to create that ambience on a beer budget. Now, even though we have a builder-grade gas fireplace insert, there are so many options out there that make this designer girl long for an upgrade yet again.

THE POSSIBILITIES

In past projects, we’ve used linear fireplaces, see-through and even double- and three-sided units with clear, black or amber crystals, river rocks, or driftwood log inserts–all depending on the style esthetic of the home. In condos where we wouldn’t be able to install a gas unit, but still wanted that cosy feeling, we installed Dimplex units, which use a seemingly magical combination of water vapour and lighting to give the lifelike illusion of flames and smoke, yet perfectly safe with no emissions and a cool flame. Of course, there are a variety of electric units that can essentially be plugged in anywhere, if space and budget are tight.

THE FEATURES

As a designer, we like to push the limits of what’s possible, getting our clients the biggest bang for their buck, all while abiding by building codes and ensuring the health and safety of our end users. Endlessly in search of the next big thing, we get excited about new technological advances being made in design staples like the fireplace. Units that can provide heat, but are cool to the touch, are safe for families with small children, and allow you to get the function you want without having to compromise on style. Valor radiant gas fireplaces use a unique hidden ducting system that draws heat up and recirculates the heat in the room, allowing the use of combustible materials (i.e., wood mantels or surrounds) closer than ever to the unit. This means that the walls around the fireplace are kept cooler so there’s less worry about surface materials and things like artwork, your TV or stuffed animals left by the fireplace of getting hot. This allows us designer-types to be creative with finishing materials and design. Not to mention the fact that these style units burn less gas and provide more heat leaving more in your pocket.

Fully functional without the use of electricity, the installation of a radiant gas fireplace would keep your family warm and safe, especially in the event of a power outage in the middle of winter. The plethora of design options existing today have me re-thinking the possibilities of the fireplace as an art feature, as well as a functional heating unit, and a place to warm up inside as it cools down outside.

Cynthia Soda is owner, principal interior designer of Soda Pop Design Inc., a multi-disciplinary interior design firm providing complete custom renovation and design services for residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Soda Pop Design Inc. focuses on merging the client’s lifestyle, personality and architecture to create customized, liveable luxury. sodapopdesign.ca Instagram: @csodapop, Twitter: @sodapopdesign

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DESIGN: All Fired Up!

DESIGN: All Fired Up!

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DESIGN: All Fired Up!

by Linda Mazur

We all are aware that fireplaces are a great design feature in any space. They visually enhance the aesthetic of a room and create a warm and cozy environment in the colder months. If you reside in a house, adding a fireplace to your home can be a relatively simple process; however, condo-dwellers may encounter a few challenges from space to accessibility, ventilation to finding an electric fireplace that “looks like a real fire.”

Many condos and lofts are outfitted with gas, or even wood-burning fireplaces, but if this is not the case for your particular condo all is not lost, as there are many different possibilities that would still give you the beautiful ambiance a fireplace can create while facilitating any structural or venting limitations you are facing.

Electric fireplaces have come a long way in appearance and functionality since they first entered the market. Today, electric fireplaces can boast designs that use revolutionary ultrasonic technology to create a lifelike flame and smoke effect simulating a real wood-burning fire, as well as designs that create a three-dimensional flame. You can also have an “open flame” electric fireplace, which is a great design should you want to incorporate a more traditional looking mantel and add a lovely fireplace screen to enhance the look. And recently, we have seen the introduction of a two-sided electric fireplace — a fantastic element to add and enjoy in two different rooms. Dimplex is one of my favourite go-to suppliers when I am designing a space that requires an electric fireplace. They have created unparalleled flame technology that is designed to suit any style, decor or application.

Another energy-efficient and “eco-smart” option would be ethanol burners. Ethanol burners do not require a chimney or a flue; there are no restrictive gas connections, which means they can be installed just about anywhere, providing you with endless design possibilities for your home.

Choosing the right design and function for your fireplace is key to maximizing the usage and enjoyment of your investment. As space can sometimes be limited, the addition of a fireplace to your condo should be well-planned. If properly designed, you may find that the fireplace feature can often become a multi-functional element, possibly serving as storage space as well as beautifying your home. With many of the options available today, you may find that incorporating your fireplace into a media console, or a built-in wall unit can facilitate the extra storage space you may need.

Today’s fireplace options and functionalities can vary greatly. Whether you prefer the traditional, formal mantel, or a more contemporary design approach is more your style, whether you need to incorporate added storage, or simply have enough space for a small table top unit – the atmosphere a fireplace can create in your home should not be lost. With the season changing, and the colder days soon approaching, why not consider adding a fireplace to your space and create for yourself that relaxed, inviting place to come home to?

Linda Mazur is an award-winning, nationally publicized designer and Principal of Linda Mazur Design Group.

With almost two decades of experience this in demand multi-disciplinary design firm is known for creating relaxed stylish spaces and full-scale design builds within Toronto, the GTA and throughout Canada.

@LindaMazurGroup


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PRODUCT SHOWCASE: Fireplaces

PRODUCT SHOWCASE: Fireplaces

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE: Fireplaces

by Rise Levy

TIMELESS ELEGANCE

Effortlessly enhancing any room with its timeless elegance, the Jane Television Stand is a stylish addition to nearly any decor. Featuring a versatile Inkwell finish, and contrasting chrome-like hardware, Jane’s classic design stands out from the rest. Constructed of Solid Hardwood, the Jane Television Stand supports TV’s up to 75 inches and displays electronics on an adjustable shelf behind twin cabinet doors with glass panels. Choose to feature a stunning 26-inch Dimplex Electric Firebox or use the included centre shelf for additional storage.

DIMPLEX

AN INDUSTRY FIRST

The Indoor/Outdoor Kit is a revolutionary solution that allows all fireplaces from the Luxuria Linear Gas Fireplace Series by Napoleon to be installed on an exterior wall, and to be enjoyed from both inside and outside your home. The window has been engineered to be a green solution that truly ensures home comfort while preserving energy consumption. An industry first to offer a solution that addresses environmental responsibility and still remains easy to service and clean.

NAPOLEON FIREPLACES

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

Whether your style is modern, country or somewhere in between, Stone Selex has what you need to update the look of your fireplace. Offering manufactured and natural stone in a wide variety of styles and colours to suit almost any decor and budget, you will only be limited by your imagination. Visit one of their showrooms, located in the GTA or Barrie.

STONE SELEX

DO-IT-YOURSELF MASONRY

Fusion Stone is an easy and affordable way to upgrade your home, inside and out. Utilizing a patented system of thin-stone veneer, it is easily installed with the included stainless-steel clips and screws. Available in three distinct types, all backed by a Lifetime Guarantee, Fusion Stone can be installed on both new and existing wall assemblies.

FUSION STONE

REAL FIREPLACES FOR REAL PEOPLE

The Phoenix True view fireplace by Heat & Glo is designed for the convenience of gas without the glass. Providing a large view with an authentic traditional wood look, the TV can be placed 12 inches above the opening without a mantel. With its design flexibility, no chimney is required. Sit back with the comfort control and bluetooth system, and let those memories begin. Set the mood with the sound of a crackling fire and bold flames, or listen to your favourite tunes. Provides mild heat year-round, this Heat & Glo beauty is available through Hearth Manor Fireplaces.

HEARTH MANOR FIREPLACES


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Top holiday gifts from Jo Alcorn

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Top holiday gifts from Jo Alcorn

Gifts that are truly unique and special

Each year I try to go above and beyond what I did the previous year to surprise and please my loved ones. See a few of my top picks below.

I typically go all white with my holiday decor but a great option is black and gold, a trend I’ve been seeing a lot this year. I love the idea of giving someone a tree ornament with a special note attached, or filling a stocking with some of their favourite goodies and hanging their gift right on their mantel using this great marble stocking holder from Lowe’s. These items are part of the Lowe’s Opuluxe holiday trend, which also includes some fantastic black and gold ornaments and lanterns.

In keeping with the trend of gold this year, I found the most gorgeous teacup and saucer and gold-hued coasters from HomeSense. These would pair nicely with a selection of your recipient’s favourite tea.

The Canadian Red Cross has great options to give the gift of two blankets to keep refugees and migrants warm. A warm blanket can help carry them through the cold snap of winter, give their children something to sit and play on and help them get a proper night’s rest. This gift is certainly warms my heart and at $15 if’s affordable yet so significant. See all of their gift options at www.redcross.ca/perfectgifts

I love bubbly water (okay, bubbly anything for that matter). Last year I tried to go a little bit greener and bought a SodaStream Fizzi sparkling water maker. This machine is like magic. It doesn’t require a plugin and all you do it pop your bottle of tap water in the SodaStream and turns ordinary tap water into sparkling water with the touch of a button. It’s the perfect gift for all those fizzy lovers out there like me (and it also keeps cans and bottle out of landfills). The special holiday pricing is $99.99 and available in red for a limited time only.

Having two fur friends myself, I could never forget about pups on Christmas morning. This year I am happy to launch our donut dog bed, which both my pooches have already fallen in love with. This year they will each be getting their very own, super comfy new bed from my Jo Alcorn collection.

Sometimes something cozy is in order for the holiday season. Bouclair has great accessories, candles and throws to choose from for that last minute gift idea.

Mighty power. Mini footprint — the KitchenAid Artisan Mini stand mixer makes up to five dozen cookies in a single batch. This bold countertop staple is smaller than the brand’s classic stand mixer but fits all standard attachments, making this the perfect gift for the foodie on your list.

Set the mood for winter cuddle ups with the cutest plug-in electric fireplace imaginable from Dimplex. It’s not only charming, it can also heat a room up to 400 square feet. This little gem provides cozy ambiance and charm. It’s also small enough that you can take it with you outside on cool summer nights.

Who doesn’t love the look and feel of fresh new bedding? Give your loved one a crisp new duvet and sleeping pillow from my new line this year. My new bedding is hypoallergenic, has dust mite control, is fully washable, is animal cruelty free and feels just like down.

Finally, who can resist the gift of these adorable and comfy socks for the holidays? I know I’d personally love to receive a pair (hint, hint). I can’t even imagine anyone on my list who wouldn’t love these paired with a nice bottle of wine or a gourmet bag of coffee. I found these little sweeties at the online shop of the RJ DAX Collection.

https://joalcorn.ca/

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Product Showcase: Recently Introduced

Product Showcase: Recently Introduced

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Product Showcase: Recently Introduced

by Rise Levy

Award-Winning Design

With several international awards to their credit, GROHE’s new Essence Collection embodies modern, clean lines, with a cylindrical shape. Features include AquaGuide, which adjusts the angle of the water flow, as well as a high-temperature limit to prevent scalding and a GROHE SilkMove ceramic cartridge. Available at The Water Closet.

watercloset.ca
grohe.ca

Visual Ambiance

This Dimplex fireplace creates a realistic viewing experience, as the flames operate independently of the heater, so that it can be enjoyed year-round. The full-spectrum, LED colours create a unique ember bed display in blues, greens, pinks and reds, enhanced by the diamond-like, acrylic glass, ember bed. This model comes complete with floating LED display, a sleep timer, and a remote control for easy operation. Heats of up to 1,000 square feet.

dimplex.com

Use the Good Dishes

Classy meets trendy in this timeless, crenel, platinum dinnerware set. The styling of this bone china, features a minimalist design that makes every meal feel like a special occasion. Upgrade to a Flato lifestyle.

flatogroup.com

Large-Format Tiles

Laminam, large-format, porcelain slabs are a great option for bathroom surfaces and fireplace surrounds. Available in 1 x 3- and 1.62 x 3.24-metre formats, they add aesthetic beauty, as well as technical performance to any room. The tiles are heat- and chemical-resistant, and are easy to clean due to minimal grout lines. Shown here, Laminam Pietra di Savoia Bocciardata slabs on the vanity countertop, and around the mirror.

stone-tile.com

From Traditional to Contemporary

Irpinia Kitchens is an exclusive cabinet manufacturer known for their quality and attention to detail. Over 60 years, they have developed close working relationships with a network of clients on an international level, and in Canada. Irpinia is able to replicate special colour requests and design details on customer cabinetry.

irpinia.com



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Product Showcase: All Fired Up

Product Showcase: All Fired Up

Latest News


Product Showcase: All Fired Up

by Rise Levy

Imagine the possibilities

Whether your style is modern, country or somewhere in-between, Stone Selex has what you need to update the look of your fireplace. Offering manufactured and natural stone in a wide variety of styles and colours to suit almost any decor and budget, you will only be limited by your imagination. Visit one of their showrooms, located in the GTA or Barrie.

STONE SELEX
stoneselex.com

Quality & precision craftsmanship

ErthCOVERINGS is a leading distributor of high-end natural stone veneers in North America. With unmatched quality and precision craftsmanship, ErthCOVERINGS’ 100 per cent natural stone veneers offer the look and feel of full bed stone at a fraction of the price. Available in a large variety of natural stone styles amd colours, the possibilities with these products are endless. Shown here. Silver Fox Strips SFRP by Goodfella Stone.

ErthCOVERINGS
erthcoverings.com

A broad selection of electric fireplaces

Stylish Fireplaces are experts in electric hearth products and have been designing homes and offices around fireplaces for over 20 years. Their new showroom features the broadest selection of electric fireplaces in Toronto and York Region, enabling clients to compare all sizes and shapes. The showroom is arranged by style and how fireplaces are installed, which helps clients to narrow their search.

STYLISH FIREPLACES
stylishfireplaces.ca

Dimplex BLF5051 MSRP. $1299.99, courtesy of TerraView Homes.
Dimplex BLF5051 MSRP. $1299.99, courtesy of TerraView Homes.

Unique ember display and flame effect

The flame effect on this Dimplex fireplace creates a realistic viewing experience with flames operational independently from the heater for year round enjoyment. The full spectrum LED colors create a unique ember bed display — blue, green, pink and red — enhanced by the aiamond-like acrylic glass ember bed. This Dimplex beauty is complete with Floating LED Display, Sleep Timer and remote control for easy operation. Heats rooms of up to 1000 square feet.

DIMPLEX
dimplex.com



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Product Showcase: Fireplaces

Product Showcase: Fireplaces

Latest News


Product Showcase: Fireplaces

by Rise Levy

UNIQUE EMBER DISPLAY AND FLAME EFFECT

The flame effect on this Dimplex fireplace creates a realistic viewing experience with flames operating independently from the heater for year-round enjoyment. The full spectrum LED colours create a unique ember bed display—blue, green, pink and red— enhanced by the diamond-like acrylic glass-ember bed. This Dimplex beauty is complete with Floating LED Display, Sleep Timer and remote control for easy operation. Heats rooms of up to 1,000 square feet.

DIMPLEX
dimplex.com

IMAGINE THE POSSIBILITIES

Whether your style is modern, country or somewhere in between, Stone Selex has what you need to update the look of your fireplace. Offering manufactured and natural stone in a wide variety of styles and colours to suit almost any decor and budget, you will only be limited by your imagination. Visit one of their showrooms, located in the GTA or Barrie.

STONE SELEX
stoneselex.com

A BROAD SELECTION OF ELECTRIC FIREPLACES

Stylish Fireplaces are experts in electric hearth products and have been designing homes and offices around fireplaces for over 20 years. Their new showroom features the broadest selection of electric fireplaces in Toronto and York Region, enabling clients to compare all sizes and shapes. The showroom is arranged by style and how fireplaces are installed, which helps clients to narrow their search.

STYLISH FIREPLACES
stylishfireplaces.ca

QUALITY & PRECISION CRAFTSMANSHIP

ErthCOVERINGS is a leading distributor of high-end naturalstone veneers in North America. With unmatched quality and precision craftsmanship, ErthCOVERINGS’ 100 per cent natural-stone veneers offer the look and feel of full bed stone at a fraction of the price. Available in a large variety of natural stone styles amd colours, the possibilities with these products are endless. Shown here: Silver Fox Strips SFRP by Goodfella Stone.

ERTHCOVERINGS
erthcoverings.com



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Budget Friendly Spring Home Updates

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Budget Friendly Spring Home Updates

By Jo Alcorn

Each year as spring approaches, I typically see a surge of homeowners wanting to spruce up their homes. There are so many easy and affordable things people can do to dramatically update their homes while keeping function, style and budget top of mind.

Consider swapping out some accessories for lighter, brighter options. I love working with white on white (all different tones/shades of white) to create a fresh, bright pallet. Flowers are mandatory too – I cannot live without flowers – and they scream spring!

Feeling the itch for a more dramatic change this spring? I’ve recently launched a new line of Jo Alcorn wall paper in patterns that are guaranteed to give your mood a lift and make you feel like you’ve made a dramatic change with a little DIY magic.

Think you have to turn off your fireplace and forget about it until fall rolls around? Think again! Dimplex has stunning units that operate with no heat; you can keep them on during the spring and summer on cool, rainy days when you want that comfy, cozy feel of a fire but without the heat. This unit that I recently styled is a new type from Dimplex called Revillusion. It can run all summer long with a no-heat option to keep a romantic, relaxing feel going strong in the warmer months

If you have an electric fire place, or even a wood burning unit, you can redecorate it to match your spring décor. HomeSense is my go-to when I want to easily change any décor with very little expense. For mantel décor in the summer months, I recommend light, airy and fun accessories.

Spring is always a great time to organize and make small changes that will add huge functionality to your home. Adding in soft close hardware and drawer organizers can sometimes make it feel like you have a brand new space. GRASS, a manufacturer of soft close drawer and cupboard systems, has a new line called Tavinea which is an interior drawer system that is modularly built so it can easily be tailored to your personal specifications. The days of the junk drawer will be limited after this addition.

If you have open shelving or glass cabinet doors, another option to update your décor is to change your glassware and plates. I love to pull these out early in the season and get them on display – they give my kitchen an instant spring feel. And I’m all for making it feel like the warmer months will be here soon! Walmart has a great selection of outdoor plates and glasses that are sure to please and fit the needs to everyone.

Spring really does inspire us to organize, air out, and freshen up, but a spot that people often overlook is the laundry room – it’s a room that receives very little attention. I assure you, if you spend a bit of time to organize it properly, you can be far more efficient when you’re in there and have the bonus of enjoying that space! I love baskets from Bouclair to hide all the bits and bobs, cleaning supplies and other things that make the household tick.

There is no easily, more stylish way to change up your living space than by adding in pillows. The more the merrier I always say! My pillow collection is fully washable (you toss the entire pillow – cover and stuffing – into the washer!) hypoallergenic and made in Canada. Jo Alcorn Collection

Spring will be here before you know it. These quick and easy updates will make your space more functional, enjoyable, and easier to live in for more than just the season to come.

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Renovation Contractor : Dimplex Pen-Apple-Pineapple-Pen

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Renovation Contractor : Dimplex Pen-Apple-Pineapple-Pen

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