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Drift off into Dreamland at IDS20

Drift off into Dreamland at IDS20

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Drift off into Dreamland at IDS20

Caesarstone Canada’s latest designer collaboration is truly a dream partnership. Caesarstone is thrilled to be working with celebrated potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler. Our dreamy collaboration will debut at Canada’s largest design exposition, the Interior Design Show 2020 (IDS20) from Jan. 16 to 19 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. It’s a deeply engaging and highly Instagrammable installation that transports you into a vibrant fantasy world called Dreamland.

Design forward

Going into its seventh year, Caesarstone’s Designer Program challenges the status quo of the expected uses for our products and celebrates innovation through partnerships with renowned interdisciplinary designers from around the world, who each offer their forward-thinking perspective on this versatile material. Previous collaborations have included Marije Vogelzang, Snarkitecture, Jaime Hayon, Tom Dixon and more, and we’re excited to add Jonathan Adler to this esteemed group.

Jonathan Adler

Potter, designer and author Jonathan Adler launched his namesake brand after leaving his day job to pursue his first love: Pottery. In 1993, Barneys bought his collection of pots, and five years later, he opened his first store in Soho. Adler’s desire to design all of the pieces one needs to create a flawlessly chic home led to more and more. Today, Jonathan Adler is a design company with retail locations worldwide, a thriving e-commerce site, a full slate of residential and commercial projects and a wholesale business boasting more than 1,000 locations globally. It strives to create luxe and livable interiors that are seriously designed, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Fabulous fantasy

Adler describes working with Caesarstone’s premium products and talented team as “fab,” and the feeling is mutual. As he says, what could be better than using dreamy materials to create a dreamy environment? We certainly can’t think of anything better than that.

From dream to reality

The Caesarstone x Jonathan Adler Dreamland installation at IDS20 will transform Caesarstone surfaces into a surreal and ethereal, free-floating fantasy. Visitors will walk through a heavenly cloudscape that showcases the versatility of quartz through a variety of colours and textures. Adler challenged himself to design a soft environment using Caesarstone, a material more often associated with straight lines and sharp angles. Lending an airy, dreamlike quality to the space, the exhibit will feature clouds, faces, ostrich feathers, and a giant rainbow arch, in addition to neoclassical columns inspired by Caesarstone’s headquarters in the old Roman port city of Caesarea.

Redraw the boundaries

This year’s collaboration represents Adler’s impeccable commitment to craftsmanship and luxury that we’re excited to bring to life with his creative and unique take on Caesarstone. Inspirational and imaginative, Dreamland pushes the use of our product into all aspects of the home, encouraging homeowners to discover all that’s possible when you dream in colour.

Follow your dreams

For more dreamy visuals and designer inspiration, be sure to follow @jonathanadler and @caesarstoneca to add colour to your feed.


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New Year's resolution No. 1 – to be organized and productive in 2020

New Year’s resolution No. 1 – to be organized and productive in 2020

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New Year’s resolution No. 1 – to be organized and productive in 2020

It doesn’t really matter when we choose to start a new habit, routine or behaviour, but, historically, the start of a new year prompts greater reflection for the year to come. Sadly, many of us don’t stick to the resolutions that we set out for ourselves.

Sticktoitiveness

As a productivity coach, I work with people who are motivated, and help them to achieve the results that they are looking for. Over the years I have noticed, and studies confirm this, that the more clearly you articulate what you want to accomplish, the more likely you are to do so.

You will have likely heard of SMART goals – specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive. By setting out your goals, and tracking them, helps you to be clear about what you exactly want to do, and when you will do it by.

Be specific, then cut back

Define, and set small, repeatable actions. If you think of the larger picture, it can seem overwhelming, so think about what you want to accomplish, and then shrink it to manageable, almost tiny, actions. If you’re consistent, you’ll get there.

The ABCs of change

When I observe clients who, repeatedly, get stuck, I help them to work through a program that I developed called the ABC’s of Behaviour Change. Being aware of what’s getting in your way is the first step to removing the blocks.

Accept – There is a truth behind any change that has to be acknowledged and accepted. If you don’t buy into the idea of change, nothing is likely to happen.

Believe – Not only do you have to accept the idea, but you must believe that it’s important enough and that you are worth it.

Cultivate – When you create a supportive environment, which includes having positive people around you, you’re more likely to stay on track.

Defend – When you start to change behaviours, you may have to set new boundaries and say ‘no’ to prior activities and commitments. Find ways to do this with grace, and you’ll pave your way to success.

Engage – Whenever you successfully complete a task, take the time to check in with yourself to see how it feels. This deep introspection will help you to be motivated to complete the next task.

Forgive – If you happen to miss a commitment, don’t beat yourself up. Revisit the ABC’s of behaviour change to figure out what went wrong. Learn, adjust and try again.

Tools for change

Top resolutions include better eating, losing weight, exercising more and getting organized. You will also benefit from using the right tools. Staples Canada has a huge variety of stylish and innovative products to help you to meet your goals, including planners and calendars, as well as water bottles to keep you hydrated, and tech tools, such as headphones to keep you focused. The FitBit Charge 3 helps to track your sleep and exercise. If you’re interested in improving your diet, check out a new line of plant-based foods by President’s Choice.

Turn stash into cash

If you’re looking to purge and to get rid of things, invest time and energy to free up space by selling them online. If you’re looking to maximize your reach, list them on ebay.ca. At ebay.ca/sell you’ll find helpful tips about what buyers are looking for, as well as shipping information and more. Take clear pictures, write a simple, descriptive headline, then list it.

If you’re specific about what you want more of, or less of, this year, you’ll be well on your way to getting it.

Sources:

1. Canadians Quick to Make New Year’s Resolutions, But Slow to See Them Through

2. The President’s Choice® Brand Puts a Plant-Based Twist on Beloved Thanksgiving Classics

ClareKumar.com


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Trend watch 2020 – Pantone Colour of the Year

Trend watch 2020 – Pantone Colour of the Year

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Trend watch 2020 – Pantone Colour of the Year

With 2020 marking the 20th anniversary of colour authority, Pantone, choosing the colour of the year, the pressure was on to define and set the tone for a new decade. “We are living in a time that requires trust and faith. It is this kind of constancy and confidence that is expressed by PANTONE 19-4052 Classic Blue, a solid and dependable blue hue we can always rely on,” said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute.

Interesting how the company started the tradition at the dawn of this millennium with Cerulean Blue, the colour of the sky on a serene, crystal clear day connoting restful, peaceful and relaxing times. An antidote, if you will, to calm the uncertainty of the new century and the Y2K scare that predominated the period.

It seems we need the same type of reassurance as we embark upon this century’s version of the roaring ’20s (let’s hope it ends better than that one did!). Imprinted in our psyches as a restful colour, Classic Blue brings a sense of peace to the human spirit, offering refuge. It also aids concentration and brings laser-like clarity, re-centering our thoughts.

After two decades of interpreting the colour culture of the time, Pantone remains loyal to the much-loved blue family, encouraging the human race in uncertain times. It is somewhat poetic that a clear daytime sky blue inaugurated the century, and 20 years later, Classic Blue depicts the colour of the sky at day’s end — dusk — a time of day when we process the day’s events and anticipate what the evening hours will bring. As far as decorating with this universal favourite shade of blue, the options are endless…from large furniture pieces, like a supple velvet sofa to pops of the versatile colour on walls, fixtures, dishware and bedding. The sky is the limit…literally.

1 Coco ARMCHAIR, $1,419.99; maisoncorbeil.com

2 Napoleonic Blue CHALK PAINT by Annie Sloan, starts at $15.95 for a 120 ml tin; anniesloan.com

3 Tertial WORK LAMP, $14.99; ikea.com

4 Mai Blue Floral BOWL 9.5″, $29.95; crateandbarrel.ca

5 Set of two minimalist ESPRESSO CUPS AND SAUCERS, blueberry, $50; lecreuset.ca

6 Blue Stripe Round PLATTER, $39.95; crateandbarrel. ca

7 Organic Luxe Fibrosoft TOWELS, midnight $12 – $129; westelm.ca

8 Dusk Classic Blue Paint Brush Stroke Texture WALLPAPER MURAL from $4.91 per square foot; muralswallpaper.com

9 Single-lever FAUCET, Vola of Denmark, blue $1,135; gingers.com

10 Gurli CUSHION COVER, $4.99; ikea.com


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Small space, big style

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Small space, big style

Photography By Provoke Studios

A brand-new build comes with its pros and cons. On the plus side, developers today are creating some really stunning and efficient spaces that make the most of every inch. And with the rising price of real estate these days, that is a good thing. On the con side, new construction homes sometimes get a bad rap as “cookie cutter.” Fortunately, all a space needs to really feel like home is your own personal touch.

TIP ~ In a small space, opt for light colours to enhance the overall sense of space, and keep them consistent throughout to create continuity between rooms

FUNCTION FIRST

This family of three had a lot to squeeze into this 840-sq.-ft. condo. Our clients, a couple and their newborn baby, required two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a sleek living area, dining area and what’s become the most common ask we get as professional designers: function.

Small spaces come with their challenges, but with some strategic techniques and tried-and-true design principles, we definitely make the most out of every inch.

TIP ~ Who doesn’t love a big TV, right? While it might be ideal for binge-watching weekends, this bulky piece of tech poses a challenge from a design perspective, and this is particularly true in small spaces. Try positioning the TV diagonally in a corner, to help minimize its physical footprint and its visual impact.

PICTURE-PERFECT VIEW

One benefit of high-rise living is the view. The living room is wrapped in floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors that open to a 346-sq.-ft. patio and views as far as the eye can see – an instant focal point. To keep attention where it belongs, we positioned the furniture in such a way that allowed the homeowners and their guests to sit, socialize and overlook the city, or watch television – if they can tear their eyes away from that view.

MODERN MEETS CHARM

This living room is decidedly contemporary, with neutral walls, simple furnishings and a modern light fixture overhead. Offsetting the coolness of the space, vibrant floral artwork and an antique coffee table bring character while telling the homeowners’ story.

NO-FUSS FORMALITY

The modern style and neutral colour palette flows into the adjoining dining room. Originally, this unit didn’t allow for a proper dining area. This is common with the popularity of open-concept spaces, where dining often takes place in the kitchen or the living area. The homeowners really wanted a formal dining area, and were open to tucking the table up to the wall when not in use. In place of traditional chairs, we used two chairs and a bench to add function and versatility to the space. To add further interest to the dining area, personal photos were framed and hung gallery-style above the table, to create a feature wall and conversation piece. Overhead, a chandelier suspended from a millwork ceiling defines the dining space. We chose a style that was mainly clear, so that it wouldn’t be visually “heavy” or overwhelming.

DOUBLE DUTY & STRIKING A BALANCE

The master bedroom was large enough for a king-sized bed, but we had to sacrifice the traditional side tables to make it work. We chose slim-lined, lean and leggy nightstands from West Elm, which were slightly smaller in scale and much airier in their look and feel. The bed came from Mobital and features lift-up storage for hidden function and flexibility. The wallpapered wall is dramatic and strong, balanced with lighter bedding and furniture to give the space light and brightness.

AND BABY MAKES THREE

Last but certainly not least, the nursery was a special focus for these new parents. Even though the room itself was smaller in size, we still managed to incorporate all the essentials of a sweet and functional baby’s room, including a crib, dresser/change table, glider and a bookcase. A jungle-themed wall mural from Lulu & Georgia was a fun accent for the room.

Small spaces can pose some design challenges, but with some careful thought and inspiration, even a small home can be big on style and function.

SOURCES:

Master Bedroom NIGHTSTANDS, West Elm, Bed, Mobital; Nursery WALLPAPER, Lulu & Georgia

Award-winning designers, Phyllis Lui & Aleem Kassam, are the principal designers for Kalu Interiors. For more than a decade, this Vancouver-based design firm has become known for creating thoughtfully curated interiors that enhance and inspire how you live. The firm provides bespoke design services for clientele throughout Canada. kaluinteriors.com

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In praise of pink

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In praise of pink

Photography By Stephani Buchman

Pink is the classic choice for little girls; sugar and spice, and everything nice, right? But why has this precious palette been relegated to nurseries and little girls’ rooms alone? And what do we do with all that pink once they’ve grown up? In my experience, there’s so much to love about this hot hue. The right pink can be powerful, soothing or lively, depending on the shade and tone. Here are a few of my favourite ways to get all grown up, adventurous and even luxurious, and still be “pretty in pink.”

PLAYFUL PINKS

Pink is a highly versatile hue, from the barely-there, whisper-of-pink off-whites such as Benjamin Moore’s 2020 colour of the year, First Light, to the boldest and brightest variation, like Pantone’s 2019 colour of the year, Living Coral. This vibrant variety has become an interior mainstay, adorning everything from paints and wallpapers, to accessories and furnishings. Kick your pinks up a notch by pairing them with modern geometric patterns and edgy accessories. Think Walhol-inspired oddities.

50 SHADES OF PINK

As we already know, pink is a multi-faceted colour, encompassing everything from subtle off-white shades to saturated, acidic pinks and those bordering on burgundy. Try layering different shades and tones of pink for a fail-proof, monochromatic interior. Balance all that pink with black and white, and add further interest with some textural and pattern play.

“The right pink can be powerful, soothing or lively, depending on the shade and tone.”

Benjamin Moore’s 2020 COLOUR OF THE YEAR, First Light 2102-70

NEUTRAL PINKS

Soft, subtle shades of pink are a stunning and unexpected alternative to beige. It’s also a little more exciting, as far as neutral colour options go. Pink can be the picture of sophistication when tinting white, and when paired with white walls, it brings warmth and depth to the design.

TIP ~ Pair white walls with pink pillows, throws and a key piece of furniture. The pink will instantly provide a focal point, without the commitment.

LUXURIOUS PINKS

Pink lends itself well to luxury. It works wonderfully with pops of gold, which has been the trending metallic for a few years now. And the beauty of this combination is you don’t need much of either to make an impression. Pink and gold both land on the warm side of the colour spectrum, and complement each other beautifully. For the ultimate in indulgences, choose pink luxury materials, such as suede, velvet and marble.

Pink is one of my favourite colours, and with its wide range of options, it can be one of yours, too! Few other colours have the scope of esthetics and emotions that pink can invoke, and from a designer perspective, that is a beautiful thing. Almost every room has a place for pink in my opinion, which shouldn’t be thought of as feminine or otherwise. Pink can be soft or strong, powerful or playful, and one thing’s for certain – it’ll always be on my must-have list.

Sara Bederman, Principal Designer for Sara Bederman Design, is known for creating stylish, thoughtfully curated and livable interiors for over a decade. The Toronto-based firm provides residential design services for projects of all sizes. Sara Bederman Design works throughout Toronto, GTA and beyond. For more information, sarabedermandesign.com, follow her on Instagram: sarabstudio

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Brad & Jen’s former newlywed mansion for sale!

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Brad & Jen’s former newlywed mansion for sale!

Few things are worth staying in an inconvenient marriage to hold on to, but in the case of a classic Beverly Hills mansion once owned by Jennifer Aniston and Brad Pitt, the breakup might have deserved a second thought. The A-list couple owned the home from 2001 to 2006, and it is once again on the market priced at $44.5 million.

One of Southern California’s most romantic homes, the French Normandy Revival-style estate includes canyon views, dreamy hedged landscaping and a lighted pool, as well as a meandering stoned courtyard and patios and multiple fireplaces, including ones in the bedroom, the dining room and bar, the outdoor living room and an outdoor bedroom over the tennis court. It was going to be their forever love nest when Jennifer and Brad bought it soon after their Malibu marriage. The super couple immediately started a three-year renovation replacing the kitchen floor with heated marble, designing and installing a pub with floors sourced from a 200-year-old French château and adding a private screening room. They also added a tennis court and pavilion, with guest house on the upper level. In January of 2005, their separation was announced and the home sold in 2006 to a hedge fund executive who completed the renovation and added some features of his own.

The 11,173-square-foot home is nestled on a quiet cul-de-sac (just over an acre) with gated entrances on two streets, five bedrooms and thirteen baths between the main house and the one-bedroom guest house. Formal rooms are large, with the dining room capable of seating 20 guests. There’s an eat-in gourmet kitchen, a gym and the bar room includes the original fireplace. The lower-level living room and bar opens to the swimming pool terrace. Grounds are tropical and thickly planted with mature greenery.

The home was originally built in 1934 for actor Fredric March, one of the first movie star mansions in Beverly Hills. March was as big a star, whose 52-year career totalled more than one hundred films, including such classics as The Best Years of Our Lives and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde.

The former home of Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston is on the market priced at $44.5 million.

The listing agent is Susan Smith of Hilton & Hyland, Beverly Hills. www.hiltonhyland.com

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Bringing an old home back to life

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Bringing an old home back to life

When my clients purchased an older Craftsman-style house, they had no interest in razing the property and replacing it with an infill. They loved the bones of the home and planned to update and improve upon what was already there.

AFTER – The custom vent hood, backsplash and cabinetry are all in white to keep the visual space light and airy.

The chopped-up floor plan had been partially addressed in a previous renovation. An addition in the back created a sunken family room with skylights and a patio door to the backyard. This was the main access directly into the house from the driveway and garage.

BEFORE

THE CONS

The kitchen, perched over the family room, was dated and lacked storage.

Original Craftsman-style gum wood trim and built-in cabinetry preserved at the front of the house, and the open — but dated — back part of the home, conjured up images of a bad ’80s haircut, a mullet. Business in the front, party in the back.

To preserve the original charm and increase the useful square footage, they debated how to work around what they had. Even the dated skylights above the addition negated a second storey extension unless they were removed. Did they want to preserve an older addition or start from scratch?

The new open-concept kitchen moved to the south side of the house to take advantage of the light.

EFFICIENCY RULES

Scratch being the operative word. As soon as they looked behind the walls, the scope of work exploded. Although the plan was to maximize the floor space without harming the integrity of the home, they knew to make the home efficient, they needed to start over. Sadly, that meant most of the original features, like windows, would need to be replaced.

The new mudroom lets in plenty of light and increased the storage 100 per cent from the previous layout.

THE PROS

After gutting the house, they expanded the second floor, adding a master ensuite and walk-in closet to the master. The main floor was levelled out, the floor plan reworked, which also helped gain ceiling height below in the basement for a new laundry room.

They added a bright, open mudroom at the back of the house to access the garage and driveway. This bright, well-organized space is a welcoming entry with heated floors and plenty of storage.

The new family room, located at the back of the house, benefits from being on the same level as the rest of the main floor.
The reconfigured staircase and an overhead skylight brightened up the entry.
The master bedroom suite now expands across the back of the house and includes an ensuite bathroom and walk-in closet.

IMPROVED FLOW & FUNCTION

The family room, now at the back of the house, still feels connected to the now-open main floor. The kitchen, which is in the centre of the home, was kept purposefully light. Although there are few upper cabinets, the kitchen plan functions more efficiently with the added floor-to-ceiling pantry behind the reclaimed, custom-made barn door. A bold swath of navy on the island adds personality without overwhelming the space, it’s also an accent colour throughout the home.

AFTER – The dining room, now at the front of the house, is a perfect place to feature panel moulding. Here it flanks the fireplace and adds interest.

The dining room, now at the front of the home, was made cosy with a new electric fireplace. The marble-like porcelain slab was an indulgence the homeowners couldn’t resist and makes a big statement in blue. The built-in window bench offers extra seating.

BEFORE

CUSTOM STAIRCASE

Upstairs, the staircase was moved to add two new bedrooms with full-sized closets at the front of the house. Unable to preserve the original, my clients vowed to find a beautiful custom solution so the staircase would still be an outstanding feature.

The layout is more practical now and an abundance of custom cabinetry discourages clutter. It’s a testament to the homeowner’s passion for the past that this updated home now offers more space but feels as cozy as it was originally meant to be.

Jane Lockhart

Designer, spokesperson, author and television personality, Jane Lockhart is one of Canada’s best-known experts in the world of design and colour. janelockhart.com

SOURCES:

FLOORING, throughout White Oak Nautilus Vintage Flooring TILES, throughout Cercan Tile CABINETRY, HANDLES, kitchen, bathroom, pantry, mudroom Aya Kitchens STAIRCASE, Deluxe Stair and Railing WINDOWS, Anderson Windows PANEL MOULDING, Estate Interiors CEILING TRIM, Mouldex Mouldings PAINT, Collingwood OC-28 Benjamin Moore KITCHEN COUNTERTOP, Calcutta Gold, Silestone Counter STOOLS, Wayfair LIGHTING, Kitchen and dining room pendants, “Rotterdam” Savoy House MASTER BEDROOM: BEDDING, Pottery Barn.ca SIDE TABLES, Wayfair.ca Lamps and RUG, Homesense DINING ROOM: TABLE, Wayfair CHAIRS, Structube FAMILY ROOM: SOFA AND CHAIRS, Pottery Barn PILLOWS, COFFEE TABLE, SIDE TABLE, Carpet Urban Barn MUDROOM: ACCESSORIES, Homesense

 

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Iconic San Francisco Clock Tower for sale

Iconic San Francisco Clock Tower for sale – for $6 million

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Iconic San Francisco Clock Tower for sale – for $6 million

Photo Credit: Open Home Photography

A rare occurrence, indeed – a repurposed historical clock tower penthouse has recently come on the market in San Francisco’s South Beach neighbourhood. The registered-landmark, four-story-penthouse-loft apartment, with conversation-piece furnished room inside the clock, is for sale at $6 million.

Constructed in 1907, the large building complex that supported the tower became the west coast’s largest printing company by 1921. The owner of the business, Max Schmidt, decided to construct a penthouse level in the clock tower where natural light poured in from all four sides of the clock faces so that his lithographers would find it easier to work. In 1930, the plan for the new Bay Bridge was solidified, which would require tearing down a portion of the printing buildings including the clock tower.

Schmidt would have none of that and used his clout, threatening to move his business to the other side of the bay. The city, unwilling to lose one of their largest employers, gave in and agreed to take the highway around Schmidt’s complex and the tower was saved. In 1992, the old factory was repurposed into 127 contemporary live/work lofts and offices. San Francisco and Oakland commuters on the Interstate 80 have come to depend on the clock as they travel to and from work each day.

The sleek penthouse, with postcard city views, measures in at a spacious 3,000 square feet of living space, including a room actually inside the clock, and large terraces providing outdoor space for lounging or entertaining. The two-bedroom, two-bath residence has been designed to optimize the loft’s spaciousness with hardwood and polished concrete floors and built-in bookcases that become part of the brick-and-concrete structure following the lines of the beams. Built on four levels, the penthouse includes a gourmet kitchen with top-end appliances, living and dining rooms with French doors to the terraces, as well as an office, a game room, a library, a large master suite and the unique clock room.

Options for entertaining in this unique home are almost unlimited and definitely not boring. Pick a terrace for the view that you want for a particular party. Kick back in sleek, modern furnishings in a white painted room, or enjoy a city loft vibe with brick walls and steel structural beams – all with breathtaking views of the city. Start with cocktails in the clock room and work your way down through all the rooms. It’s a home that guests aren’t likely to forget.

With historic roots as the original site of the Max Schmidt Lithography Co. and a clock that San Francisco and Oakland commuters have depended on for decades, the clock-tower penthouse is for sale at $6 million. The listing agents are Rob Levy and Eric Turner of Compass, San Francisco.

Source: compass.com


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Holiday Gift Guide

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Holiday Gift Guide

Are you that person who totally gets stumped when it comes time for gift giving? Does the person you’re buying for have everything already, making it so hard to think of the perfect gift? Or, maybe you just don’t know them well enough. Well, I’m here to help. Here are a few gift ideas with different price points in mind.

Bows & Bowties

From local vendor, The Printed Bow, hand-crafted bows and bowties make for a great gift this holiday season. Evie wore the bow headbands as a baby and now that she has enough hair, she loves having pretty patterned bows to go with her outfits. Jameson just got his first bowtie, so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of opportunities for him to wear it this holiday season. $12.00 to $25.00

Osmo Genius

Give your little ones the latest innovative entertainment and education tech item. With so much technology already in our children’s lives, The Osmo Genius Starter Kit offers something unique. Instead of just staring at a screen, Osmo gets your kids to think, play and see their creations come to life!. That’s why it’s used in more than 30,000 classrooms. Starter Kit $99.00. Available at Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, Indigo or Mastermind Toys.

The Game of Things

The holidays should really be about experiences and this game will leave you with lots of fun memories. I’ll never forget the time I was introduced to the game on CHCH Morning Live. Watching the video still makes me laugh. Great fun for everyone at $30.

Pantene

Seriously THE BEST hair treatment on the market right now (in my opinion). Rescue Shots are a deep conditioning treatment that repair damage in just one use, with no weigh-down. My hair has been extremely dry and brittle so I’m thankful this treatment was able to give me soft, shiny, and more resilient, locks again. I thought that I’d just been to a salon to get a professional treatment done. These are great as stocking stuffers, or in a spa-inspired gift basket. Intense Rescue Shots $7.99.

HP Tango Printer

The sleek design of this printer is simply gorgeous. It actually has different wraps that let you customize the look of your printer so that it blends in with any home decor. HP has more 250 printable activities. My daughter, Evie, loved colouring on some printed snowflakes to hang on the tree. The smart capabilities of this printer allow you to print, scan and copy from any device. It’s the gift that keeps on giving. $179.99

White Terry Sheets

The best set of sheets that I’ve ever owned. They are soft, have a nice weight to them and they look beautiful. And they get softer with every wash – buttery soft. So when the receiver of your gift is curled up in bed on Sunday morning in their new organic cotton sheets, they’ll be thinking of you. Plus, they gift a portion of their proceeds to Sleeping Children Around the World. $149.00

SnowProud Toques

The Canadian Ski Council (a not for profit) is selling SnowProud winter hats to help make skiing and snowboarding more accessible to all Canadians.Growing up in Canada, skiing and snowboarding was something we did as a family every year. As a gift idea, the proceeds of these toques go toward helping underprivileged Canadians experience snow sports in Canada. L$25

Clothes Peg Family

Personalized gifts are the best. This year I’m loving Pegs And Polkadots. These adorable hand painted pegs make great gifts for friends, family and for little ones. My daughter Evie was so excited to open up the individual bags to see which family member was next. Mine even go with our Christmas decor on the mantel.

Happy Holidays Everyone!

Jaclyn Harper is a TV host, interior stylist and new mom living in Burlington, Ontario. You may recognize her from shows like Tiny Talent Time, Morning Live First Edition and The Shopping Channel. She has also worked behind the scenes for the Property Brothers’ Show, Buying And Selling. When Jaclyn’s not on TV or creating beautiful designs, you’ll find her latest projects on her blog jaclynharperdesigns.com. From DIYs, design projects to life as a new mom, her lifestyle blog and YouTube channel give her fans a peek into her family life.

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When bathroom design is a wellness win

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When bathroom design is a wellness win

The idea that the bathroom should also serve as a spa-like sanctuary is reflected in a rise of luxurious finishes, high-end fixtures, and elegant accessories for that space. Now that the language of self-care has become part of the design lexicon, there’s a similar uptick in bath elements that both look good and promote wellness.

There are lots of reasons why bidet seats/toilets are emerging as leaders in the category. Integrated bidet seats can provide a better clean than paper alone, which can cause irritation, spread germs, and exacerbate certain bowel conditions. Conversely, rinsing with water after using the loo is gentle, soothing, and hygienic, and may be especially useful for, says, new moms and those with limited mobility.

Bidets can also reduce by up to 75 per cent the use of toilet paper, each roll of which takes about 140 litres of water to manufacture, and may be bleached with chemicals that release back into the water table. Use of wet wipes, which can clog drains, and may contain polypropylene that ends up in oceans as microplastic, can also be reduced.

American Standard’s Advanced Clean line www.americanstandard.ca offers several options, including the 3.0 SpaLet bidet seat. I installed one on an existing elongated American Standard toilet: it was fairly routine DIY job. I like that temperature, strength, and direction of water flow is adjustable with a small, discrete, wall-mounted unit with easy-to-understand graphics.

There’s also a deodorizing feature and a setting to clean the water nozzle. This model has a heated seat — a nice touch on a cold winter morning — and a drying function that can further reduce use of toilet paper.

The Advanced Clean 100 SpaLet shares many features with the seats, and has automatic flush settings, as well as an auto open/close lid and seat, and sells for around $5,100. The 3.0 seat goes for around $1,990.

That may sound pricey. But given the life expectancy of a toilet — and depending on your budget — either may be a worthwhile investment in comfort and well-being. That, after all, is hard to put a price on.

A soft-close seat adds convenience, especially for those with impaired mobility.

A user-friendly wall-mounted control panel makes it easy to customize preferences.

A bidet toilet saves space by eliminating the need for a conventional bidet.

Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House Having written and talked about home décor/improvement, design, and lifestyle for more than two decades, she has tested almost every home-related appliance known to humankind. For more of her scathingly brilliant insights, go to Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and her column in Reno & Decor.

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