All posts by Regina Gadacz

Stonecroft Community: Nestled in the Nith River Valley

Stonecroft a community nestled in the Nith River Valley

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Stonecroft a community nestled in the Nith River Valley

Situated in the heart of southwestern Ontario, Stonecroft in New Hamburg is a community within a community. Not only does it benefit from the serene country backdrop of the Nith River Valley, but it’s only minutes from Kitchener and from Stratford – both of which offer live theatre, fine dining, exceptional golf (30 courses within 30-minute radius), farmers’ markets, world-famous cultural events, top-rated educational institutions and state-of-the-art medical centres.

Like-mindedness

Industry leader, Mike Schout of Schout Communities, is dedicated to community design. Together, with Ryan Carey of Carey Homes, they combined their talents, as well as decades of expertise in residential construction, to come up with the lifestyle design for Stonecroft. As part of the vision, Carey emphasizes the custom-build model, which allows clients to design and modify their home for specific needs. Both Schout and Carey recognize that this crucial input is often overlooked by other builders.

Emphasizing lifestyle and quality built homes, the community includes trails, recreational amenities, dining and shopping. The Stonecroft community is just steps from the downtown core of New Hamburg. Here, you can stroll heritage streets, poke through local shops, access commercial services and enjoy a meal out on the town. The Nith River winds its way throughout the town. Along its banks are parks for picnicking and fishing, as well as recreational fields for local sporting events. For more urban shopping selections, Waterloo is a short drive from New Hamburg.

It’s all about choice

At the heart of the Stonecroft community is an 18,000-sq.-ft. recreation centre. Residents have the option of organizing their own activities, or enjoying the onsite amenities, such as indoor shuffle board, billiards, water aerobics in the indoor pool, golf and so much more.

At Stonecroft, you can do as much or as little as you want. It’s entirely up to you whether you want to be involved in community offerings, or simply enjoy your home that’s situated in a serene, natural setting.

Checklist-worthy

Undisputed quality, along with exceptional designs and finishes, characterize the homes at Stonecroft. Many new home purchasers arrive with a checklist of their must-haves, and are pleasantly surprised that they check them all off. Homes range is size from 1,460 to 1,838 sq. ft., and decorated models are now open for viewing. Carey Homes builds homes to Energy Star standards, which significantly reduces greenhouse gasses. The Stonecroft project is now in the final phase of development, and home sales have been brisk. Check out this wonderful lifestyle community.

Contact Information

519.662.6621 ext. 263

careyhomes.ca


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AT HOME WITH MEN AT WORK: Big living in small spaces

Big living in small spaces

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Big living in small spaces

Photography by Valerie Wilcox

Living in Toronto holds its fair share of perks; however, the luxury of space is by no means one of them. If you’ve ever been in the market to buy a house in the city, you’ll understand just how valuable real estate here can be. With the average Toronto house running just shy of 1,950 sq. ft., we’re seeing more and more homeowners hold onto their valuable lots who opt to renovate or remodel to create more functional living space and storage, rather than fleeing the city for larger properties.

As a seasoned, Toronto-based design build company, we are constantly on the hunt for innovative and clever solutions to help us utilize every last square inch of living space in our clients’ homes. Whether it be toying around with the reconfiguration of the existing house, or opting to add on a sizeable addition, improving functional living space for urban homeowners is something we are proud to call ourselves experts in.

Here are some small-space design tips to consider when planning your next home renovation project:

Function first

There is no logical way to design a space until you determine its primary function. Identify spatial needs by determining how you plan to use your home. What people and purpose will it serve? Consider your lifestyle. How often will you entertain, or what type of entertaining do you plan to do? Does your job require a home office area to work from? Identifying your living needs—keeping in mind growing children and any future family additions—will allow you to plan with purpose, something that’s paramount to a successful renovation.

Free up the floor plan

Decades ago, homes were designed and built around the idea that every room had a very specific function. The kitchen— often small and shoved in the back of the house —was for preparing food; the dining room was formal and intended for proper sitting meals; and the living room was for relaxing and entertaining. While a traditional-style floor plan might be nice to have in theory, it’s not as practical or desirable as it once was. Cultural norms and lifestyles have evolved to the point where people prioritize convenient, multi-functional spaces that allow individual activities and social togetherness to coexist.

Open-concept floor plans also eliminate the need for circulation areas between rooms, such as halls, stairs and walkways, which pose as major space hogs in the floor plan. Freeing up this space gives your designer much more square footage to play with when designing your new layout.

Build in storage everywhere

When you choose to undertake a home renovation project, you can begin to really customize the storage and organization options that go into the new design. Start with identifying the storage that you find useful in your current home, and from there, make a list of features that you’d want to incorporate into your new home. Most old-Toronto homes suffer from a lack of usable storage, so the extra effort required to iron out the details of a great storage design plan is worth the time and money.

With a growing family comes growing space and storage needs. Before deciding that the only way to meet those needs is to move, sit down with a designer and weigh out your renovation options first. You might be surprised with the degree of improvement that a simple remodelling job can do for your family.

Jessica Millard joined Men At Work Design Build in 2017 while studying at Ryerson University.

The Toronto-based firm offers integrated engineering, design and professional construction services for addition and major renovation projects on old Toronto homes.

Jessica has been involved in various internal departments within the firm, including design, production and marketing.


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Interior Design Show (IDS) 2019

Interior Design Show turning 21 this year

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Interior Design Show turning 21 this year

The Interior Design Show (IDS) is Canada’s premier showcase of new products, furniture, superstar designers and avant-garde concepts. This year, IDS Toronto celebrates the “Power of Design,” and is expanding its current offerings to include IDS Contract, a hyper-curated B2B trade-only exposition and conference focused on all verticals of design. IDS takes place Jan. 17 to 20, 2019 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.

“Now in its 21st year, IDS19 will focus on design across all verticals, including workplace, hospitality, retail, education, public space and government, and extend its trade-focused offering,” says Karen Kang, national director, IDS Canada.

IDS Contract

IDS Contract will bring an additional 100-plus exhibitors and a number of new features areas aimed at B2B trade professionals. With the addition of IDS Contract, IDS is positioning itself as a hybrid event that caters to both trade construction and design professionals and a design-savvy, affluent consumer audience.

New show floor

IDS19 will feature a new floor plan designed to be dynamic and encourage more interaction with exhibitors, increase dwell time at the event, and enhance the overall experience for attendees. IDS has selected FIRM Architecture and Design, an emerging Brooklyn-based practice, which focuses on the intersection of architecture, urbanism and art to redesign the IDS show floor.

Feature Exhibits

Backcountry Hut

Great Lakes Cabin
Great Lakes Cabin

The Backcountry Hut Company was founded as an idea for a simple and sustainable recreational structure that could be easily installed by groups of volunteers in remote locations. Developed as a modular cabin that can be delivered to your door as a flat pack kit of parts, the Backcountry Hut company will be launching its Great Lakes Cabin onsite at IDS19 in partnership with Leckie Studio Architecture + Design. Attendees will have the opportunity to expereicne well-designed, small-space living with access to the full cabin onsite, including full landscape design around the cabin by Flattery Design and skylights by Velux Technologies.

RADO

RADO Star Prize competition
RADO Star Prize competition

Design-driven Swiss watchmaker RADO unveiled its partnership with Canada’s premier design fair at IDS Vancouver 2018, as part of the brand’s global commitment to design. In 2019, the partnership will see RADO host an installation at IDS Toronto and run its famous RADO Star Prize competition in Canada for the first time. The installation will focus on “Design Inspired by Nature,” which is also the theme of the competition.

Monogram Canada brings fashion designer Zac Posen to IDS 2019

Monogram
Monogram

Sophisticated styling meets customized design in the latest collaboration between luxury appliance brand Monogram and celebrity fashion designer Zac Posen. A custom designed refrigeration panel created by the fashion icon will be unveiled at the opening night party in the elevated exhibit.

With intricate craftsmanship from the charcoal mirror finish to the fabric-inspired details, Posen’s door panel exudes sophistication. Inspired by how clothing wraps around the body and how different shapes move around the flat form of the panel, the distinctive design generate an inspiring standard of how unique the Monogram Column Refrigeration can be.

Designing for the human connection

Luxury quartz brand Caesarstone announces its collaboration with award-winning Dutch designer, Marije Vogelzang for their 2019 Designer Program. This year, Caesarstone dives deep into the thoughtfulness of design, food production and consumption, and how it translates into human connection. The company’s IDS19 installation brings experiential and sensory implications to the forefront of the design-packed exhibition and will showcase Caesarstone surfaces through interactive activations.

The 2019 collaboration titled “Seeds by Marije Vogelzang presented by Caesarstone” will focus on the thoughtfulness we should have in our kitchens, whether in meal preparation or conversation shared with guests. This will be represented through the journey of the seed. The installation will take visitors on a sensory experience through memories, human connection, happiness, and the environment. The honeycomb-like exhibit will focus on generating stimulation from all sensory receptors as visitors travel their path eliminating external noise and disruption and imagining themselves as a seed and connecting back to the earth.


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BODY & SOUL: Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder

How to treat the winter blues – Seasonal Affective Disorder

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How to treat the winter blues – Seasonal Affective Disorder

Commonly referred to as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder is a type of depression directly related to the lack of sunlight during the winter months. Researchers believe that circadian rhythms, or the body’s internal clock, as well as melatonin (a hormone which regulates wakefulness) and serotonin (a neurotransmitter linked to feelings of happiness), all play a role in this condition.

According to the Canadian Mental Health Association, between two and three per cent of the Canadian population suffers from SAD, and approximately 15 per cent will experience a milder form of the disorder during their lifetime.

Photo, bigstockphoto.com
Photo: bigstockphoto.com

Vitamin D supplements

Vitamin D is essential in maintaining healthy bones, and helps to support our immune systems. It has also been linked to our moods and cognitive function. Vitamin D is naturally created when our skin is exposed to sunlight. Talk to your pharmacist about Vitamin D supplements, and how they can make up for any deficiencies. For most people, this can be added to your daily vitamin routine. Vitamin D3 is one of the best forms, so check the label carefully.

Light therapy

One of the simplest things that you can do for yourself, which has positive benefits, is to sit near a light therapy box. This small device emits a bright light that mimics natural light. Before purchasing, speak to a health professional to see if this treatment is right for you, and, if so, what to look for. Research has shown that up to 80 per cent of those who suffer from SAD have experienced significant relief with light therapy.

Stay active

Going outside for a walk has amazing healing powers. However, with winter conditions or other limitations, that might not be possible. If at home, keep moving as much as you can by taking the stairs or download an exercise app. Exercise naturally releases endorphins, and stimulates the release of dopamine and serotonin – neurotransmitters that naturally boost, and regulate, your mood. To help motivate each other, commit to an exercise routine with a friend or family member.

Eat nutrient-rich foods

The winter blues can increase cravings for junk food and carbohydrates. Incorporate more fruits and veggies, and opt for healthier carbs. Sweet potatoes have approximately 28 per cent fewer calories than regular potatoes, and contain a plethora of antioxidants.

Talk to a professional

Treatment for depression may include prescription medication, as well as interpersonal and cognitive behavioural therapies. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are the most widely prescribed class of antidepressants. Tri-cyclic antidepressants (TCAs) are also widely used. Talk to your doctor and pharmacist to help create an effective plan.

A pharmacist for more than 20 years, Alan Strashok is also associated with Express Scripts Canada.

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The Landing at Little Lake

The Landing at Little Lake, Waterfront condominium in Barrie

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The Landing at Little Lake, Waterfront condominium in Barrie

Currently underway in one of Ontario’s fastest growing cities, is The Landing at Little Lake. This condominium project is located close to Hwy. 400 and the newly developed North Barrie Crossing.

Waterfront living

Not only do new home purchasers have a lake-side address, but they also enjoy a distinct cottage-like destination to call home. This condominium development is set amidst more than six scenic acres of wooded parkland on the shores of Little Lake. Residents can savour a quiet stroll along the waterfront, or go boating or fishing – all within steps of The Landing.

“Historically, property growth in Barrie and Simcoe County has been in the form of single-family, residential houses that are suitable for growing families,” says Mohamed Kader of The Landing Development Group. “But as the population has progressed from the need for larger homes to downsizing, many residents are eyeing Barrie as an ideal destination. Those looking to live here will love the location and the amenities of The Landing at Little Lake, as well as proximity to restaurants, shopping, healthcare services, golf and so much more in this ever-growing, vibrant community”.

All-encompassing

The Landing’s all steel and concrete construction features a seven-storey building with 137 luxurious one- and two-bedroom suites (many including dens), as well as balconies with unobstructed sight-lines of the lake. In addition to living in a beautiful and peaceful lakefront setting, all residents at The Landing have access to an incredible 3,000-sq.-ft. rooftop terrace. Here, you can enjoy barbecuing, or a cool drink while watching the sun set.

Other amenities include an indoor pool, a hot tub, a fully equipped exercise area, his and her change rooms, as well as a putting green, an outdoor terrace, underground parking, and direct access to the lake and park. Each unit comes with a locker for convenient storage of snow tires, golf clubs, bicycles and the like. Close by, is a lakeside playground that will prove popular when the grandkids come to visit.

“We consulted with would-be buyers, and listened to what they wanted to have on their list when considering the ideal condo purchase,” says Kader. “The Landing embodies all the feedback that we received, coupled with an unparalleled location.”

A complementary team

The Landing team includes award-winning architect, Duff Ryan of Ryan Company Architect Inc., who was born and raised in Northern Ontario. He looks primarily to Indigenous cultures for his inspiration. Coupled with modern technologies, Duff takes a pragmatic approach to architecture, so that it is respectful of the natural surroundings that it shares.

Jones Consulting Group Ltd. specializes in planning services in the field of renewable energy projects, to ensure that any adverse environmental impacts are minimized. From the putting green in the front courtyard and beautifully treed boulevard, to the walking trails, gardens and sitting areas in the new waterfront park, Carrick Design has created a stunning landscape plan for residents and their guests to enjoy for years to come.

Brimanor Construction Services Ltd. is a Barrie-based company that will work on The Landing’s all steel and concrete blueprints. Founded in 1977, Brimanor has a project portfolio consisting of condominiums, apartment complexes and hotels, as well as The Little Lake Medical Centre, which is located only a few minutes from the site.

Condo units range in size from 661 to 1,155 sq. ft., and start from the mid $300,000s. Suite finishes and amenities include nine-ft. ceilings, brand name stainless steel appliances, quartz countertops, limestone flooring, superior sound-proofing, individual climate control and much more.

The on-site sales centre is open seven days a week, or by appointment. The knowledgeable staff at the Landing are available to answer questions, and can advise early buyers of special offers and promotions.

For more information, visit thelandingatlittlelake.com


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Active Life Magazine: January/February 2019

Active Life – Jan/Feb2019

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Active Life – Jan/Feb2019

The award-winning Active Life is your guide to new homes in adult-lifestyle communities across Ontario, with detailed colour-coded maps/charts.

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Robert Redford's Napa Valley retreat for sale

Robert Redford’s Napa Valley retreat for sale

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Robert Redford’s Napa Valley retreat for sale

Superstar actor, director and supporter of the arts, Robert Redford — certainly not one of Hollywood’s Ordinary People — recently celebrated his 82nd birthday and announced his retirement from acting.

In his final film, The Old Man & His Gun — co-starring Sissy Spacek and Casey Affleck — Redford plays a real-life career criminal and escape artist. It was released in September to rave reviews.

For decades, Redford’s permanent residence has been in Utah, home of his Sundance Institute. He and his artist wife, Sibylle Szaggars-Redford, also own a Napa Valley retreat where they enjoy hobbies and hosting family and friends. The Redfords have enjoyed the home for 14 years and have now decided to move back to the Bay Area and put their beloved Napa home on the market. It is priced at $7.5 million.

Redford is one of the few actors who started his career near the top in television, then breaking through to the top as a movie star as the wise-cracking cowboy in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. With every film he made, the awards grew larger and more important continuing to mushroom with the addition of directing and producing. Redford’s long list of money-making and critically acclaimed films rank with the best in Hollywood history: Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, The Electric Horseman, Ordinary People, Out of Africa, The Way We Were and A River Runs Through It.

Redford’s other passions, including working for ecological interests, was to help advance new artists in the film industry and creative arts. After filming Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and Downhill Racer, he put all his proceeds from the two films into buying an entire ski area near Provost, Utah where he started the Sundance Institute. Using the name from the film, he formed related non-profit businesses under its umbrella such as the Sundance Film Festival, the Sundance cable channel, the Sundance catalogue and others as outlets for new filmmakers and artists.

In addition to receiving the highest film industry awards, top international awards and multiple honorary degrees, he has been recognized with the Kennedy Center Honors and the the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

The charming Napa getaway, named Danza del Sol, lies perched on a knoll on 10 ultra-private acres surrounded by woods and vegetation with walking paths. The compound includes the main house, a 90-sq.-ft. artist studio/guest house and two large garages. The 5,200-sq.-ft. main house is modest by film mogul standards with three bedrooms, four bathrooms, a large great room, den, library-office, sunny white kitchen and formal dining room. Multiple wood-burning fireplaces exist throughout the home.

The quaint studio/guest house has a huge open space filled with light from a wall of French doors and a double garage door that rises high into the vaulted ceiling. One of the two garages houses a large workshop and exercise studio. Terraces by the pool, spa and outdoor dining areas offer calming views and are perfect for entertaining.

The Napa Valley estate of Robert Redford is now for sale. Priced at $7.5 million, the listing agent is Steven Mavromihalis of Pacific Union International, San Francisco.

toptenrealestatedeals.com/homes/weekly-ten-best-homedeals/ 2018/11-19-2018/1/


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Make sleep a priority this year

Make sleep a priority this year

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Make sleep a priority this year

Three simple solutions to achieve your sleep resolution for overall good health and beauty from sleep authority Dr. Harvey Karp.

While most people’s New Year’s resolutions tend to be about exercise and weight loss, Happiest Baby has found that many people yearn to become better sleepers. And they can learn from their babies.

Dr. Harvey Karp, sleep authority, best-selling author of Happiest Baby on the Block and the creator of Snoo, a baby bed that can boost sleep by one hour or more, offers these suggestions to achieve your ZZZZZ resolutions – and keep them all year ’round!

White noise

It’s not just for babies and it’s got to be the right kind kind of white noise. There are two types of white noise: low and high pitches. High-pitched noises — like beepers, alarms, and sirens — are great for getting a baby’s attention, but lower-pitched noises — like the rumble of a car, train, or plane — are more soothing and can lull you to sleep, says Karp.

Low pitched noises — like the sound of rain on the roof — that you play all night encourages sleep.

Prep yourself for sleep

Cool down your room and get yourself calmed and ready for sleep. Lower the lights, turn off the TV and your phone, sip some tea, or read a few pages in a book or a magazine — whatever relaxes you.

Swaddle

It’s not just for babies. Grown-ups will feel cozy and safe when surrounded by their best blanket or coverlet. It helps you feel secure and safe.

Beauty benefits

Getting your beauty sleep is real. Remember, your body recovers and repairs itself when you sleep, leading to a long list of benefits for your looks (and your brain). Too little sleep is likely to affect your appearance. Your skin is making collagen while you sleep; puffiness is settling and a good sleep will result in a glowing complexion.

happiestbaby.com


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Engineered for stardom

Engineered for stardom

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Engineered for stardom

Canadian media personality — co-host of Entertainment Tonight Canada — Sangita Patel has been named a spokeswoman for Covergirl’s Simply Ageless Collection relaunch heading to stores this month.

Patel has become a familiar face on Canada’s leading entertainment show, Entertainment Tonight Canada and is the host of HGTV’s Home to Win.

Fearless and inspiring to women of all ages, Sangita embodies what it’s like to be simply ageless and pursues her passions with an unapologetic approach to beauty at any age. She is the latest addition to a diverse line up of women leading the charge in breaking boundaries in beauty that includes 70-year-old model and dietician Maye Musk, international pop sensation Katy Perry, cookbook author and television personality Ayesha Curry and actress and producer Issa Rae.

As a trailblazing TV personality and entertainment journalist who balances her successful career with motherhood and a passion for health and fitness, Patel is thrilled her partnership with Covergirl comes in the same month as her milestone 40th birthday. The new Simply Ageless campaign, which features Patel alongside Musk, celebrates women of all ages with the message that women should be proud to share their age with the world, no matter the number.

“It’s the big 40 and I’m kicking it off by joining the Covergirl family! It is a dream-come-true opportunity to partner with a brand that has always celebrated all types of beauty and that continues to challenge the singular beauty standard,” Patel said. “True beauty is loving yourself, at any age.”

Sangita, who has lived her life in the spotlight for more than a decade, understands the importance of quality beauty products that go beyond the skin’s surface, which made the partnership with Covergirl a natural fit.

Patel is one of the most engaging media personalities in Canada today. Her love for math and science led her to study electrical engineering and earned her P.Eng. Then her career took a turn to live her true passion in television. Named one of HELLO! Canada magazine’s 50 Most Beautiful People, she has also received the Reelworld Festival’s Traiblazer Award, and been named Anokhi magazine’s Television Personality of the Year. She also manages to find time to take on cameo roles in feature films including Arrival, and TV shows like Guillermo Del Toro’s The Strain.

Sangita, a proud mom to two little girls, also believes in a healthy lifestyle and uses her #FitnessTuesday to motivate thousands of her social media followers. Sangita loves to laugh and her mantra is: Smile and surround yourself with positive energy.

thisissangitapatel.com


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SIMPLY TECH: Roomba i7+

Roomba i7+ – the automated vacuum you’ve been waiting for

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Roomba i7+ – the automated vacuum you’ve been waiting for

You may have considered purchasing a robot-type vacuum in the past. While the idea was good, they didn’t seem to be up to the whole job. But, hold on to your cord, as the new Wi-Fi connected iRobot Roomba i7+ Robot Vacuum might be just the one you’ve been waiting for.

With their pervious experience, along with technological advances, iRobot went back to the drawing board. This model has a better understanding of how a robot vacuum can take the latest technology, relate it to how we live and adapt it to our routines.

Follows your floorplan

The newest model, with a companion iRobot Home app and third generation intelligence, is always learning the lay of the land – or in this case, your home. It uses Imprint Smart Mapping, and as it goes on its rounds, it gets better at figuring out the best way to clean each room. Using the latest iAdapt 3.0 Navigation system, along with an array of sensors, it cleverly makes its way around, and under, furniture. It also maps its surroundings, and pegs individual landmarks to keep track of the area that’s already been covered, or that still needs to be cleaned. You can see all of this for yourself via the app’s history report.

Within the app, you can label each room, and create virtual barriers if you don’t have a physical separation between rooms. If you have a smart device such as Google Home or Amazon Echo, you can simply say, “Roomba clean the dining room.”

And, it’s designed to remember multiple floor plans, so you can also map out the layout of your cottage. With the app, you can set schedules, select rooms, and manually start and stop cleaning even when you’re not at home – all with your mobile device.

With advanced smart technology, it cleverly cleans, and empties, even while you're away.
With advanced smart technology, it cleverly cleans, and empties, even while you’re away.

The way of the future

The Roomba i7+ uses a three-stage cleaning system with dirt detection sensors to ensure a decent clean. Instead of traditional rollers, which tend to get tangled, it is equipped with dual multi-surface rubber brushes – one lifts and one cleans. It can handle carpet, tile, vinyl and hardwood. The built-in filter helps to control allergens.

With its deep cleaning abilities, the bin can fill up quickly. Consider the optional Clean Base Automatic Dirt Disposal. Plug it in, and with the the app, you can configure it to return to the disposal base, which contains a vacuum bag, and have it empty itself (up to 30 times), so that you don’t have to.

Roomba i7+ is powered by a built-in lithium-ion battery, which is designed to run for up to 75 minutes, and is recharged when docked. While they’ve come a long way, they don’t do steps – yet. However, it does have a cliff detection sensor.

Available at all major retailers and Amazon.

Greg Gazin is a syndicated tech columnist, blogger, podcaster (host and producer), and contributes to canoe.com, Troy Media and Active Life magazine.

GadgetGuy.ca


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