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Kitchen reno on a budget? We show you how!

Kitchen reno on a budget? We show you how!

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Kitchen reno on a budget? We show you how!

I was consulted to help figure out how to best spend a client’s modest budget, wisely, on a kitchen reno, while accomplishing a new look. She wanted to replace her cupboards for more efficient storage. After an honest appraisal and a critical eye, I could see that it wasn’t, entirely, necessary. We didn’t even need to paint them. What was needed was far less expensive and easier to do. We needed to lighten the space up and be creative with functionality. The overall footprint of the kitchen was good, so just a few adjustments to the cupboards were necessary. By adding gliding shelf solutions within the cabinets, we were able to solve the efficiency issue and added extra storage on a budget. Not having to do a full demolition of the existing kitchen put money back into the budget for what needed doing, and splurging on the key elements.

Changing out the countertops was mandatory. We needed to lighten up the space to make it feel more open, and to balance off the darkness of the cabinet colour. We chose Caesarstone‘s Empira White marble quartz, because of its classical white base with deep grey (almost black) veins to accent and tie in with the cabinet colour. This countertop modernized the kitchen, plus it’s durable and easy to clean.

This kitchen also needed a new backsplash. We chose a simple, white bevelled edged subway tile for its elegance and simplicity. Because it’s timeless and classic, it won’t go out of style. By using larger tiles, we maintained clean lines, but the tapered edge offered deluxe detailing.

The custom range hood became the focal point of this space. We removed the small (useless) cabinet above the metal range hood. By making it white, it pulled the colour scheme together. And, in keeping with the white of the backsplash and countertops, it added to the openness of the space as soon as the valance was removed.

A Whirlpool, black stainless-steel kitchen suite provided continuity in this kitchen. I love to match cabinet colours and appliances whenever I can. By making your appliances blend into the colours of the kitchen gives the illusion of a larger space, because your eye doesn’t bounce to the contrast of the cabinets and appliances. Plus, the appliances are fingerprint resistant, which helps keep things looking sleek and fresh with minimal upkeep.

A counter-depth refrigerator made the space more open and accessible. On top of that, the French door option allowed for more clearance when the door was open, which made it easier to have two people in the kitchen at once.

While the kitchen used to have a microwave stand to the right of the range, replacing it with a custom wine rack to the cupboards, was more visually appealing. The microwave was tucked out of sight and utilized a wasted corner.

Having new appliances instantly updated the kitchen. The bells and whistles on these appliances are amazing, and so functional The refrigerator is one of my favourites. Its pantry-inspired layout, with an infinity slide shelf, which allows for extra room for tall items. The range has a touchscreen. It learns, adapts and suggests customized presets based on your family’s routine – perfect for my client and her family of four. Finally, the dishwasher has a third level rack space, so that they can make extra room for those hard-to-fit items and large kitchen utensils.

Wanting to maintain the visual continuity, I selected an under-mount sink. Coupled with a black faucet, the visual ascetics are modern and clean, and is in keeping with the colour scheme.

I removed the closed cabinets to modernize the look. By tiling that whole wall, and adding the natural wood tone of the shelving, it created an up-to-date, open look. We wanted to replace the tan floor tiles, but the cost, timing and mess didn’t warrant it. Instead, I used the shelves, chairs and accessories to tie in the colour, making the floor seem more purposeful. The addition of natural wood helped to ground the space and add an organic feel to the design.

While we were able to use the cupboards, the hardware had to go. The new brass handles were the perfect accents, along with a matching pendant light over the sink. I would have liked to include pendant lighting all around the kitchen, but the light locations didn’t align with the table.

An ultra-useful stand mixer in blue was perfect for this busy family, and I added accent pieces, including the dishware and a vase in a coordinating blue. Floor runners keep feet warm on cool days, add softness to a space, and can tie in colours. It’s important to buy ones that are machine washable.

This basic kitchen has been transformed into one that suits the family’s modern lifestyle. It’s great that we didn’t have to scrap the old cupboards, and could give them a new lease on life. Don’t be too quick to replace items. Sometimes a strategic update is the better way – and it can save a bundle.

Refrigerator
36-inch Wide Counter Depth French Door Refrigerator – 24 cu. ft.

Range
5.8 cu. ft. Smart Front Control Gas Range with EZ-2-Lift™ Hinged Cast-Iron Grates

Dishwasher
Stainless Steel Tub Dishwasher with Third Level Rack

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home.

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Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s Scott Disick puts his house on the market

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Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s Scott Disick puts his house on the market

Keeping Up With the Kardashian’s Scott Disick now has his own spin-off on E!, Flip it Like Disick. In addition, he recently put this example of his new house flipping business on the market, and listed it at $6.89 million. Apparently inheriting his passion and ability from his attorney-developer grandfather, David Disick, this Hidden Hills contemporary farmhouse demonstrates Scott’s home-design talents.

Scott has been one of the main characters in the Kardashian-Jenner reality show since its beginning in 2007, now in its 17th season – one of the longest running reality shows in the country. Disick began a relationship with Kourtney Kardashian in 2006. The ups and downs in their relationship was aired in front of their fans. Over the years they had three children together, and though separated, they still co-parent and support each other. Marketing-genius Kris Jenner, who has propelled her children into fame and incredible wealth, is also the co-producer of Disick’s new show. Scheduled for eight episodes, each will be one hour in length, and include his team; singer Willa Ford, business partner Benny Luciano, contractor Miki Moor and assistant Lindsay Diamond.

Built in 1973 and undergoing a major remodel in 2007, Disick did an update that brought the two-story house into the 21st century. Having come up with several signature styles that he enjoys in his own home, Disick has used white marble on counters and walls, which in an interview with Architectural Digest, he said that it was classic and would never go out of style. Disick also uses glass pocket doors that recede into the walls, making a seamless transition to outdoor living areas. Two other of his hallmark-design ideas are to recess large televisions flush with the wall and to make use of the under-stair space for wine storage. He has brought these features into this 5,663-square-foot, five-bedroom, six-bath contemporary farmhouse, and he has used reclaimed wood in a pool pavilion as an entertainment lounge area for the infinity-edge pool, spa and outdoor cooking area. Taking full advantage of its 1.33-acre site, the house is filled with windows, light and views of lush greenery. Special features include the large open chef’s kitchen and two large master suites. The attached garage houses six vehicles with plenty of guest parking.

A number of celebrities choose the gated enclave of Hidden Hills-Calabasas, such as Drake, Will Smith, Katie Holmes, LeAnn Rimes, Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears and, of course, all the Kardashians, Jenners and Disick. This popular star haven was also featured in the sitcom Hidden Hills that ran for the 2002-2003 season.

After being involved in many business ventures, Disick has found his own successful niche. He has put this classic contemporary farmhouse on the market. Priced at $6.89 million, the listing agents are Kozet Luciano and Andre Manoukian of The Agency, Beverly Hills.

Photo Credit: The Agency


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Winter-ready maintenance tips

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Winter-ready maintenance tips

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association that represents power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf cart and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI offers maintenance tips for preparing for upcoming seasonal changes.

“Doing good maintenance in the fall means that your lawn mower will be in ready when spring arrives and you are eager to tackle landscaping projects,” said Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI. “As you get ready for winter, now is also the time to do snow thrower and generator maintenance. You should also review safe handling procedures, so you know how to use your equipment and are ready when snow falls.”

  1. Re-familiarize yourself with how to handle your equipment safely, along with any maintenance needs. If you lost your manual, you can usually find it online. Save a copy so that you can consult it when needed.
  2. Before storing equipment that you won’t need during the winter months, clean and service it yourself or take it to a small engine repair shop. Drain and change engine oil, then safely dispose of old oil. Service the air filter, and do other maintenance activities as directed by your service manual. Check all winter equipment to see what maintenance and repairs are required.
  3. Handle fuel properly. Unused gas that’s left in gas tanks over the winter can go stale. It can even damage your equipment. Before you store your equipment, add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank, and then run the equipment to distribute it. Turn the engine off, allow the machine to cool, then restart and run until the gas tank is empty. For winter equipment, be sure that you use the fuel that your manufacturer recommends. Most outdoor power equipment is designed, built and warranted to run on 10 per cent, or less, ethanol fuel.
  4. If your equipment has a battery, remove and fully charge it before storing. It’s important that batteries are not stored on metal shelves or touching metal objects. Store the battery on a plastic, or wood, shelf in a climate-controlled structure.
  5. Store your spring and summer equipment in a clean and dry place, such as a garage, barn or shed. Winter equipment should be kept away from the elements, but be easily accessible for use when needed. Always keep your outdoor power equipment out of the reach of children and pets.
  6. Clear the paths the are regularly used in your yard, especially during the winter months, and put away warm weather items. Clear space in your garage and basement (before the weather changes), so that you have room to store larger yard items, like patio furniture, umbrellas and summer toys.
  7. Familiarize yourself with your winter equipment and make sure that you know how to turn the machine on and off the machine, along with safe handling procedures.
  8. Buy the type of fuel that is recommended by the manufacturer no more than 30 days before required. You should use fuel with no more than 10 per cent ethanol in outdoor power equipment. Also, fuel goes stale and will need to be replaced if you have not used it within a month. Use a fuel stabilizer, if recommended by your manufacturer.
  9. Keep heavy duty, weatherproof extension cords on hand for your generator.

 

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Building or renting out a condo? Call Del Condominium Rentals

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Building or renting out a condo? Call Del Condominium Rentals

By Shanker Narayanan
Del Condominium Rentals

If you’re a condo builder or unit owner, Del Condominium Rentals wants to speak with you.

Indeed, with condo construction and ownership booming in the GTA – with many buyers purchasing them as investment units – there is a definite growing need for professional condo property management.

“There are a million things that can go wrong when managing a condo unit, and most owners are completely unaware,” says Shanker Narayanan, general manager, Del Condominium Rentals.

Del knows this from experience – from managing a portfolio of more than 2,500 condos in more than 280 communities over the last 10 years.

Expert knowledge

“Most owners who self-manage condos have a belief that ‘this won’t happen to me.’ But things get complicated at times, and that’s when expert knowledge comes in handy.”

If the Del name sounds familiar, it’s because Del Condominium Rentals is a member of the Tridel Group, Canada’s leader in condo living. Signature Tridel products include Edenbridge at Kingsway and Royal York, Tridel at the Well at Front and Spadina, Aqualuna at Queens Quay and Sherbourne, and Evermore at Eva and 427.

“We used to focus primarily on providing leasing services for Tridel suite owners, which account for about 78 per cent of our business,” says Shanker. “But we have evolved over the past five years into a leading Toronto condo property management company. We are aggressively trying to grow the non-Tridel portfolio. If this happens, we would look at increasing the overall portfolio to hopefully 5,000 suites in five years.

“Overall, our goal is to the be the most trusted name in rental management, and consistently deliver the best possible customer experience in the markets we serve.”

Rude awakening

About 90 per cent of Del’s clients are first-time homeowners or single-unit owners, who don’t have the time to self-manage their units. So, you can imagine inexperienced investors who think becoming a landlord is easy, and that all they need to worry about is cashing rent cheques and counting their profits.

“If only it were that easy,” says Shanker. “Many owners get quite the rude awakening, whether it’s a water leak from an above unit that’s causing damage in their suite, or dealing with complicated insurance issues that can come with resulting claims. Suddenly, they realize they don’t have expertise, and that’s where we come in. That’s what we provide.”

The advantages for suite owner-landlords are clear, but the benefits for condo builders are just as important – perhaps more so.

Condo builders can take advantage of Del’s comprehensive and experienced team in condo management, sales and marketing, property management and finance, and in turn offer these services to their buyers.

“Developers that may not have such expertise can now include it in their project marketing, thereby making their condos more appealing not only to investors, but also end users,” says Shanker. “Imagine the peace of mind that comes from knowing that units rented out in a building will be done so with best-in-class services across the board. Everything from market evaluation to leasing to property management – and everything in between.”

“Our excellence becomes their excellence. It’s a win-win-win.”

RELATED READING

In Conversation with Shanker Narayanan, General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals

Shanker Narayana is General Manager, Del Condominium Rentals. delrentals.com

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Recycling tiles into ‘clothing’? Ukranian artist Zhanna Kadyrova shows you how

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Recycling tiles into ‘clothing’? Ukranian artist Zhanna Kadyrova shows you how

They say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But Ukrainian artist Zhanna Kadyrova finds it in abandoned industrial sites. For her Second Hand series, she takes pieces of floor and wall tile and recycles them into articles of “clothing” that she then hangs in the location where the material first came from. We think you’ll agree that the results are fascinating.

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Cat machines take Jenga to the next level

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Cat machines take Jenga to the next level

You know that guy on the crew you’re reluctant to let sit down at the controls of the Bobcat or any other heavy equipment because you’re worried his lack of skills will lead to problems? Like these guys. Well, as these guys demonstrate in a promotional video for Caterpillar – playing a giant version of Jenga! – some companies don’t have those worries.

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20/Twenty Townhomes coming this fall to South Mississauga

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20/Twenty Townhomes coming this fall to South Mississauga

Your first home could be your dream home – and why shouldn’t it be?

Nestled between the lake and uptown Mississauga, 20/Twenty Townhomes is a collection of urban townhomes offering inspired living at an affordable price. Ideal for couples, young families, busy professionals or empty nesters, this spectacular development features spacious open concept interiors, private outdoor patios or rooftop terraces, contemporary exteriors and attractive greenspaces where neighbours can relax in comfort and style. Take your kids to the parkette after dinner or walk your dog through well-maintained community spaces. 20/Twenty offers two- to three-bedroom townhome options starting from just $599,000.

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This exclusive development is situated in the prestigious Camilla Park neighbourhood of South Mississauga, just minutes from beautiful Port Credit. Convenience is everywhere you look, from inside your home to the lifestyle this desirable area provides. Walk to shops and restaurants or take a short drive to Square One, the largest shopping centre in Ontario, with more than 360 stores and services. Close to excellent schools, two nearby GO Train stations and the Mississauga Hospital, 20/Twenty offers easy access to all major highways and is just a 15-minute drive from Pearson International Airport. The planned Hurontario LRT system will be just steps from your door, allowing residents to seamlessly connect with downtown Toronto.

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You can take a walk to the waterfront with ease or explore one of the many nature trails nearby. Cooksville Park, Camilla Park and Hancock Woodlands Park are all within walking distance while Erindale Park and the expansive David Culham Trail are just a short drive away. The charming village of Port Credit offers additional lakeside trails, scenic parks and restaurants, great shopping and endless entertainment options – all just five minutes from home.

Enjoy the benefits of a vibrant city lifestyle in a quiet, modern community by the lake. It’s the perfect place to grow your family or retire in style – a great investment in your future.

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20/Twenty has it all. The team at Consulate Development Group, one of the most trusted names in Mississauga, is proud to present this incredible real estate opportunity to discerning buyers.

Live your best life, no matter what chapter you’re in. Register now for your advanced preview at 2020towns.com.

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Toronto ranked No. 4 in the world for Generation Z

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Toronto ranked No. 4 in the world for Generation Z

Toronto ranks in the top five – at number four, in fact – in the world for cities attractive to Generation Z, according to international rental search platform Nestpick.

Generation Z – those born between 1997 and 2012 – is the most digitally connected age group who will be embracing the age of artificial intelligence, the company says. With the first wave of graduates about to enter the job market this year, Gen Zers are becoming more vocal about their expectations for the future, and refuse to settle for homes that fail to meet their needs.

To understand this evolving demographic, Nestpick piloted a study determining which cities are making themselves attractive destinations to appeal to the creators, advocates and pioneers of tomorrow.

According to the Pew Research Center, a non-partisan American thinktank based in Washington, DC, Gen Z share common key social, political and technological circumstances. Born into a post-9/11 world, the climate crisis and a recession, Gen Z-ers are known to be digital natives who value security, diversity and autonomy.

Prominent, international cities were selected based on their reputation as destinations to pursue work and education, as well as those who have shown initiative to act on the demands of previous generations such as Millennials and Generation X. The degree of digitalization was first measured through factors such as e-governance, connectivity and e-banking.

Nestpick says it wanted to find out to what extent a city supports Gen Z principles and scored their social equality, internationalism and climate commitment. Next, a leisure score was determined by measuring the prevalence of e-gaming events and concerts. Finally, a business score was evaluated based on the entrepreneurial spirit fostered by a city through factors such as the strength of the AI industry, social entrepreneurship and affordability.

The final result is an index composed of 22 factors ranking cities worldwide based on their recognition of, and initiatives to prepare for this new, up-and-coming generation.

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