All posts by Dave Gray

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How to make room for guests

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How to make room for guests

It’s easy to see the need for a room for guests, but how does that serve us the rest of the year? This is the case of the guest room versus the built-in.

SEPARATE GUEST ROOM OPTION

What constitutes a suitable amount of space? Well, if you’re satisfied with your office, media or crafts area, and there are enough bedrooms for the people that live there, then you’ve got space. You can still use the guest room closets for off-season clothes and storage, as guests won’t be staying that long, and having it already set up saves you time when guests are expected. You can be sure the mattress is comfortable, the sheets are clean and pressed, the coverlet or duvet are in great condition and comfortable. You have to remember your guests left the comforts of home, to spend time with you. That experience should be pleasant.

If you want to be an extraordinary host, pamper your guests with extra creature comforts: a jug of water, a proper glass, blackout window coverings for optimal sleep, both a feather and non-feather pillow (allergies), and don’t forget to include a robe and slippers, especially if the bathroom is shared.

It’s also wise to make sure there is a clock (set to the right time) and alarm, a power bar and plug converter, for all those devices that everyone travels with. If you set the guest room up like this, the only difficulty you’ll have, is getting guests to go home again!

THE WALL BED OPTION

Most people don’t have enough space to devote a whole room to guests that visit a half dozen times a year. The option is that the guest sleeps on a sofa bed or inflatable bed. They have no privacy and you can’t use the great room, for example, until “sleepy head” is up for the day. A Wall Bed, often known as a Murphy bed, (a brand name of a wall bed) is a great solution. You get to have a fully functional room as an office or media centre, while still being sure your guests are comfortable. With many of the wall beds with a built-in desk top, you don’t even need to remove what’s on the desk as it cantilevers
under the bed.

Once the bed is opened, you know that the mattress is going to be comfortable because it’s an actual mattress. When the Murphy bed is out of the wall, you can set it up then. You will have to spend a little more time arranging the pillows and duvet cover, and you may need to do a little ironing of the sheets and pillow cases if you want the bed to look perfect. You can still have some of those creature comforts, but most of them you will have to remember to re-install in the room. When you consider that the room can be well used 355 times a year and only 10 days of the year are allotted for guests, it’s a pretty great solution. I love this option for any small space and/or a bachelor apartment. The wall bed uses very little floor space while providing more than one function.

In the case of separate guest room vs. the wall bed, I would declare a tie. The space you have, should determine what is best for you.

Extensive experience in residential, commercial and hospitality design. Principal of design firm Grafus Design Build, Glen Peloso is frequently in the media as design expert on the Marilyn Denis Show, and CHCH Morning Live, a contributor to Global Morning News, Breakfast Television Toronto, past series with HGTV and the Food Network, along with Radio and Blogs. Reporting on design trends from around the world, his work has been featured in various print publications throughout North America. Twitter: glenpeloso Instagram: glenpelosodesigner

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Recall roundup – Princess Auto drywall hoist

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Recall roundup – Princess Auto drywall hoist

Model affected: Powerfist 11-ft. drywall hoist with UPC 8690703

Potential problem: A weld on the hoist may fail, causing it and any materials on it to fall. One such incident has been reported so far.

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Sold: About 6,600 units were sold between Feb. 21, 2017 and Nov. 22, 2018.

Contact: Return to a Princess Auto store, or contact them via one of the following; 800-665-8685; mailorder@princessauto.com; princessauto.com.

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Three opportunities to positively impact housing in 2019

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Three opportunities to positively impact housing in 2019

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In 2018, the underlying issues impacting housing supply in the GTA and in turn the impacts on housing affordability, cost of living and its broader societal impact were a defining part of the public debate of the future of our region. Population growth combined with restrictive regulations, bureaucratic red tape, added costs and infrastructure challenges have created a generational challenge for the region. As we look forward, there are three opportunities to have a positive impact on these issues in 2019.

Housing Supply Action Plan

In late November, the government of Ontario announced that it would be developing a Housing Supply Action Plan. The provincial government rightly recognized that strong demand for housing and limited supply in Ontario has resulted in rapidly rising housing costs over the last few years, and that in fast growing areas like the GTA, high housing costs and rents are squeezing families and individuals out of the market. The Province is looking at what can be done to speed up the approval process so new housing can be built at a faster pace, how to encourage the right housing mix to be built, and the impact that high land costs and fees and taxes are having on housing prices. In addition, the action plan will look at home rental and ownership, not simply one or the other. These important initiatives are a great opportunity to begin to address the fundamental causes of housing affordability.

Revisit the stress test

While the issue of housing affordability is firmly on the provincial agenda, pressure is now growing on the federal government to consider the impacts of its mandated mortgage stress test. The program has succeeded in balancing the hot 2017 market, but is having a disproportionate impact on young and first-time homebuyers. The test, in effect, reduces the maximum amount of a mortgage that a home purchaser can borrow by roughly 20 per cent. Young and first-time homebuyers are the most likely to borrow close to their maximums, however, they also have the longest horizons for repayment and are often in the growth phase of their careers and earning potential. A growing chorus of industry professionals are urging Ottawa to fine-tune the approach and perhaps the potential for a one-time, longer amortization period for first-time buyers can provide some relief in 2019.

Lastly, municipalities can no longer ignore the issue or the role they must play as a partner to industry and the other levels of government in finding meaningful solutions to this issue.

Municipal involvement

During the fall municipal elections, voters in the GTA ranked housing affordability as a top priority for new local governments and the need to increase housing supply as a key mechanism to address  affordability was supported by nine out of 10 respondents to an IPSOS poll conducted by the industry last fall. With new councils and mandates in place, now is the time for new ideas.

This must be the year of action on this issue. With the arrival of 115,000 new residents to the GTA every year, and as we fall short in providing new housing at the levels required, we cannot afford to wait.

Dave Wilkes is president and CEO of BILD (Building Industry and Land Development Association), and can be found on: Twitter.com/BILDGTA) Facebook.com/BILDGTA YouTube.com/BILDGTA and BILD’s official online blog: BILDBlogs.ca

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Inspired carpet and wallpaper options at Fabricland

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Inspired carpet and wallpaper options at Fabricland

In our December 2018/January 2019 issue’s feature, “The Finishing Touch,” one of the quirkier items that long-time contributor Jay Somerset included was a carpet modelled on that found in the fictitious Overlook Hotel from the movie, The Shining. (Somerset actually used the carpet in his own basement. No word yet if it’s haunted.)

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Shortly after that issue went to press, we stumbled across a couple more funky finds that might be suitable for clients that are looking for something a little bit different.

First up are these (pleasantly) spooky custom printed fabric and wallpaper designs based on patterns from the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland, available at spoonflower.com.

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For something a little less haunting and a little more mind-bending, consider these wallpaper prints based on the work of artist M.C. Escher who is best known for his mesmerizing repetitive patterns and images like two hands drawing each other. Visit jannellievolpi.it to see the complete collection.

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Renovation Contractor – Feb/Mar 2019

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Renovation Contractor – Feb/Mar 2019

Renovation Contractor is a trusted trade publication written by and for Canada’s small to medium-sized home renovators.

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Sneak peak: Building Code

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Sneak peak: Building Code

RenoRun

After launching in Montreal, the RenoRun materials delivery app expanded to the Toronto area in late 2017. In Quebec they cover Montreal, Laval, and the West Island. In Toronto, their coverage area ranges from Burlington to Courtice along Lake Ontario, and north to Aurora and Richmond Hill. RenoRun promises a two-hour delivery window for fees ranging from $45 to $65. Here’s what one reader has to say about the service:

Working in the core of the city we have limited choices for materials and leaving the site can be costly in terms of time and productivity. RenoRun has filled that void, allowing us to keep focused on building and moving forward with our renovation projects. The app is easy to use and customer service/support has been great. My key guys are hooked up with the app and we have the materials we need at our fingertips.

—Jeremy Stubbs, Craftsman Renovations, Toronto

RenoRun.ca

 

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My perfect living room

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My perfect living room

As many of you know, I recently renovated my kitchen and turned it into the kitchen of my dreams. (You can read about it)

Well, after doing my kitchen, I had to update my living room. There wasn’t anything really wrong with it — I just wasn’t in love with it. I had done a tie-over decorating job, but hadn’t yet tackled making it a space I loved. It had old dark floors and a dark mantel. When I walked into the living room from my new dream kitchen, I really felt the darkness of this room. So, it was time to make it my own!

The floors really drove the direction of this room. I was shopping for new hardwood with Neue Floors and found light bleached-out looking engineered hardwood flooring. I loved the idea of going with engineered hardwood – it’s durable, the colour is amazing and it’s easy to clean. On these new floors I can wear my high heels and my dogs can run and play without worrying about scratching and dinging these floors – they just don’t show wear and tear.

I carried the Neue flooring up the wall on the fireplace and installed a Dimplex electric fireplace. The change over to the electric fireplace was so easy – it just came out of the delivery box and slid into the existing hole left by removing the gas insert. Because this unit is electric, it offers the best options – I can have the heat on, off or set to any temperature I want. As a bonus, I don’t need to have a mantel between the fireplace and the TV so I was able to create this stunning focal point where the hardwood carried up the wall. Plus I ordered an affordable TV mount from Wayfair Canada that I can swing any want I want so I can watch TV even from my kitchen – now that’s a bonus!

Photos By Jason Hartog

Because I so enjoy entertaining, I kept my beautiful Jo Alcorn velvet sectional. This sofa is textured, lighter in tone and offers lots of seating space for guests. It’s the perfect piece to play up the Scandinavian look in this room.

Pillows, you know I love pillows! These ones are from my line as well. They are not only stylish but fully washable. As in, pop the entire pillow into the washer. They’re perfect so my pups can curl right up and enjoy this room as much as I do.

Finally, the privacy aspect. Because I’m a bit off the street level, I didn’t want to cover up my entire windows to get privacy and it was important to keep as much natural light flowing in as possible. I turned to Budget Blinds and chose a top down/bottom up cellular shade that is cordless so that there are no messy strings. This allows me all the privacy I want without sacrificing any style or light. It’s the perfect option for this room.

This room is beautiful, modern, inviting and super comfortable. It’s the perfect place to relax and to entertain.

I always love it when I’ve completed a design job for a client and you see their happiness at getting exactly what they wanted. That’s the happiness I feel right now!

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home.

alcornhome.com

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Top tips for making a home office

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Top tips for making a home office

I recently created a gorgeous bedroom space that incorporated a home office. Here are my top tops when creating multi-use spaces.

All hard working mamas and papas deserve a beautiful bed. After a hard day of raising kids, working outside and inside the home, moms and dads are tired. So invest in a beautiful bed!

This Wayfair bed does not disappoint; it is soft, plush and elegant. I love the tufted headboard and the drama the wingback headboard adds. Plus, this was a great value; I have spent upwards of $4,000 on custom upholstered, storage beds so getting this one for less than $2,000 is just fabulous.

A beautiful bed needs a quality mattress. Here we used the award winning Casper mattress. I also chose Casper’s sheet and duvet set in a crisp white. A bonus, they deliver right to your door and arrive within days of ordering.

Once your bed is taken care of, designate the spot for the office. I opted for custom millwork here to utilize every square inch of storage I could. Going custom allowed us to paint the desk this gorgeous turquoise colour, Benjamin Moore Waterfall 2050- 50.

Photos By Dann Tardiff

Take note of the brass, hand-cast cabinet pulls from Toronto entrepreneur Shayne Fox. They’re like jewellery on this desk.

Every desk needs a chair, and this chair is a game changer. It literally felt like a hug for my lower back and pelvis. The CoreChair is an ergonomic active sitting chair that provides optimal support while introducing movement into your workday. This chair needs to be in homes and offices everywhere.

Add your personality! This is important regardless of the kind of space you are creating; it has to reflect you and your unique personality. Here I just had to add elements like this Metrie door painted Benjamin Moore Yellow Highlighter 2021-40. To ensure this was the focal point, I kept the adjacent sliding closet doors in white to ensure some balance.

Again, to ensure the space didn’t feel too overwhelming with all the vibrant pops, I wrapped the room in Metrie’s tongue and groove paneling and painted it Benjamin Moore Decorate White CC-20. I love interior mouldings — they provide such a beautiful textural element to any space.

Every bedroom needs to feel cosy and comfortable, which is why I added ample blankets and pillows in a variety of textures, all within our colour palette to stay harmonious, and displayed them on this ladder from Bouclair. Lighting also makes a big impact in the room, with a stunning modern chandelier, also from Bouclair, adding an architectural element.

Lastly, the fun accessories. I picked up this tray and yellow pen holder at Bouclair, where it’s easy to come home with a carful of fun, well-priced accessories. I love the painterly element of this tray and on trend rope detail.

Lisa Canning is a parenting, interior design and lifestyle expert in Toronto where she lives with her husband and seven children, ages nine and under.

lisacanning.ca

 

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Modern European design styles from Porcelanosa at IDS19

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Modern European design styles from Porcelanosa at IDS19

Luxury lifestyle brand Porcelanosa brings European design styles to the show, with a glimpse of their collection of bath and tile products. Join us as we discuss the versatility of using porcelain tile and slabs in multiple applications.

To view more of their wide selection of products from tiles and mosaics to their modern bathroom fixtures and kitchen cabinetry, visit their new Toronto showroom at 735 Caledonia Rd or at porcelanosa.ca

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Suzy Magorian discusses Cosentino’s latest colours and products for 2019

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Suzy Magorian discusses Cosentino’s latest colours and products for 2019

Cosentino’s showroom manager, Suzy Magorian, and designer Catherine- Lucie Horber, discuss this year’s latest colour offerings as well as an exciting launch of the Silestone Loft Series.

Visit the website to learn more about these exciting products: cosentino.com

Visit the showroom at 665 Caledonia Rd., York, Ont., M6E 4V8

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