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Building a new backyard deck? Take your time and do it right

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Building a new backyard deck? Take your time and do it right

Whether you’re looking to install a new deck or want to make minor improvements to your existing one, deck building should never be rushed. There are a lot of new products on the market, so it’s important to do your homework and plan for your space to get the best possible outcome for your property.

Achieving the deck of your dreams is an investment that will undoubtedly add value to your property. A new deck becomes the outdoor hub for family and friends to enjoy well beyond the summer months. It will provide a wonderful place to entertain, grill and make cherished memories. The right deck built with quality, long-lasting materials, will endure for decades.

Inspiration

While it’s important to pay close attention to the details and planning of your deck building, the process should also be enjoyable. The first step towards creating your vision is to become inspired. You may already have an idea of what you want, but if you don’t, there are endless possibilities and options to explore. Look at different decks online, in magazines and on social media, or even just walking through your neighborhood. You never know what you might discover.

Layout

No matter your budget, the deck layout is determined by the space that’s available. If you have a smaller backyard or prefer a minimalist approach, you might consider a simple design with clean lines such as, square or rectangle. Popular dimensions for decks include 12’x12′ and 16’x20′ – both create ample space for outdoor entertaining and relaxation.

Homeowners who want a more personalized design often opt for custom shapes, sizes and styles. Multiple levels can offer space for covered sections – perfect for outdoor kitchens, grill corners, hot tubs and water features.

Subtle outdoor lighting enhances the ambience in the evening hours and is a crucial addition for most decks regardless of size.

Simplify the creation of your deck layout by using a deck design tool. Using a design tool will help you visualize your future outdoor space and help determine whether your plan meets your outdoor living needs.

Wood or composite

Wood has long been considered the go-to material for decking, but composite products are gaining in popularity. Composites are developed from a mix of recycled plastic and wood fibres and offer the luxury of low-maintenance and increased durability. Not to mention, there are a variety of unique finishes available, plus new technology geared to circumvent expansion and contraction issues and withstand common water challenges like rot, wear and warping.

Deckorators offers some of the industry’s best warranties, such as a 25-year Structural, a 25-year Stain & Fade, and a 25-year Removal & Replacement warranty to help you feel confident in your decision. Deckorators also has designated Certified Pro contractors available to help you each step of the way.

Decking patterns and colour

Adding a pattern to your deck design can provide a unique style that is sure to stand out. While the shape of your deck is one consideration, the colour options, styles and finishes enable you to customize your outdoor space. Consider incorporating a multi-colour pattern such as: herringbone, hexagonal, V-shaped, sunburst or picture-framed boarder. Even a standard-shaped deck can be made to look like one-of-a-kind, creating an extension to your home while adding some personality.

Playing with colour will also help you find the tone that’s right for your property and surrounding space. To get familiar with what’s available, check out new PANTONEVIEW home + interiors 2019 to identify trends, proven colour combinations as well as timeless shades that will stand the test of time.

Find a builder

When you’ve completed your research and have an idea of what your dream deck looks like, it’s time to contact a local contractor who will implement your plans and achieve the outdoor space you want. Industry leaders, like Deckorators, understand the importance of finding a certified deck builder that can work with your product of choice. Additionally, the established Certified Pro program trains local contractors to work with Deckorators’ products and meet a variety of client needs.

Jase DeBoer blogs about deck ideas on the Deckorators On Deck Blog. He also hosts the bi-weekly Deckorators Facebook Live program “On Deck,” which offers homeowners insight on tips, trends, and products to take their deck beyond ordinary. As senior category marketing manager for Deckorators, DeBoer has extensive knowledge of how deck design elements can work together to create a personalized outdoor oasis brimming with style.

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Saving money, food, and the planet

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Saving money, food, and the planet

Wasting food isn’t just bad for the family budget, it also hurts the planet. According to a national study, co-authored by food recovery program Second Harvest www.secondharvest.ca and Value Chain Management International, www.vcm-international.com, the findings suggest that the 35.5 million metric tonnes of food, which is wasted annually in Canada creates a whopping 56.5 million metric tonnes of CO2 equivalent emissions.

One way to reduce waste in the home is to invest in re-usable storage bags or containers. Etee www.shopetee.com makes reusable sheets and bags out of organic cotton muslin and non-toxic dyes, coated in organic beeswax, tree resin, non-GMO soy wax, organic jojoba, and essential oils.

Estee wraps are easy to store flat in a drawer.

I tested Etee’s bags with cheese, snacks, and nuts, and these bags can also be used for cooked (not raw) or smoked meats. They kept bagels fresh for several days, and were terrific for transporting sandwiches and fruit for work lunches. They are especially effective with fresh herbs: dill, parsley, and coriander- all stayed very green and fragrant for close to a week.

Their tackiness is activated by being rolled into a ball and kneaded for a minute. That’s what allows the sheets to form a seal. Just keep in mind that the wrap sticks to itself rather than to the bowl containing the food. They can also be frozen for up to 30 days.

After use, they should be rinsed in cool water and, if necessary, gently washed with soap that doesn’t contain alcohol — which can degrade the finish — in lukewarm (not hot) water.

Kliin cloths are machine washable; air drying will make them last longer.

Paper towels can be wasteful, so I was eager to try samples from yet another Canadian company, KLIIN, which makes cloths (starting from $5) that are a cross between conventional paper towels and wash cloths. KLIIN cloths proved to be useful for chores like wiping surfaces, doing dishes, and washing outdoor furniture. The manufacturers claim one KLIIN cloth replaces 17 rolls of paper towels. A $15 roll of thinner towels has five, nine-by-nine-and-a-half-inch sheets, and is available online at www.kliin.co or at select retailers.

Kliin towels come in happy colours and fun designs that brighten the kitchen.

Vicky Sanderson is the editor of Around the House www.aroundthehouse.ca. Follow her on Instagram @athwithvicky, on Twitter @ATHwithVicky and on FB at www.facebook.com/ATHWithVicky

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Why wait to enjoy your backyard?

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Why wait to enjoy your backyard?

As temperatures slowly start to warm up here in Ontario, it’s easy to imagine spending more time outdoors. I’m here to give you a few simple tips on how you can create your very own luxurious backyard retreat — no passport or suitcase required. Now is the time to get those projects finished so that you can get the most out of your backyard this season. Are you ready to own a little piece of paradise? If so, keep reading.

CURATED ZONES
By creating distinct zones in your outdoor living space, you create several customized, livable areas. This not only makes your yard more functional, but also more luxurious because you are optimizing the space for maximum enjoyment. Think of resorts where there’s the pool area, the cabana, the outdoor bar, barbecue, the yoga area, the tennis courts… okay, you might not be adding a tennis court but you get the idea. Try using large area rugs to ground these spaces. They will help distinguish one area from another, and make each space feel more pulled together. Lighting can also help with this. Hanging light pendants from above will create a more intimate atmosphere, while placing lights on the ground offer an open and airy environment. While area rugs and lighting are important considerations when creating the type of retreat you want, the most important question to ask yourself is: How will you be using your space?

BODACIOUS PLANTS
Try to incorporate a good balance of hardscape and softscape in your outdoor retreat. Think about those luxurious walkways at resorts that guide you to the pool area. Not only are they colourful, they are also calming and restorative. The stone-work surface surrounded by the lush greenery feels so indulgent. Look to replicate this vibe. By adding plants of varying heights and an eclectic mix of planters, you can create a space that feels beautifully curated. When it comes to plants, the more the merrier. Just ask your local greenhouse which plants require less maintenance, that is, if you don’t have a green thumb.

COOL GADGETS
Of course, nothing says luxury more than cool gadgets that get the conversation started. This summer, I recommend trying out the brand new Space Grill. It’s the world’s very first, full-sized, three-burner, fold-down, gas grill. The space-saving design allows you to mount it on an outside wall, or hang it on a stand so that it takes up as little space as possible. It also looks so stylish. Watch THIS video to see what I’m talking about. It’s available at all three Barbecue World locations.

TRENDY ACCESSORIES
When it comes to accessories, I’d encourage sticking to tone-on-tone neutrals. Think black, white, taupe and navy, as these colours work well together and tend to give a lavish feel to your space. By adding pops of bright colour, you tend to make the space feel more casual. Think of the really high-end resorts – you’d usually find white-canopied beds, black loungers, white towels … you get the picture, right? To create the same luxurious feel in your own backyard, stick with a similar palette. In fact, Airmiles has a brand new rewards catalogue with 200 additions. I used my miles to get the Napoleon Healthy Choice Starter Kit – the perfect accessory for grilling this season. Collectors from coast to coast can select from a variety of barbecues, patio furniture and accessories.

LOW-LYING FURNITURE
In 2019, low-lying outdoor furniture is trending. This comfortable yet stylish look tends to give off a luxe vibe. The good news is, there are some fantastic options that can give you this look without breaking the bank. My favourite this season is Hampton Bay Park Heights this collection set from The Home Depot.

WRAP-UP
So there you have it. A few simple tips on how you can create a luxurious retreat in your own backyard. Now let’s hope we get some warm weather sooner rather than later.

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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Trend Showcase at the Canadian Furniture Show 2019

Furniture trends spotted at the Canadian Furniture Show 2019

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Furniture trends spotted at the Canadian Furniture Show 2019

This year’s Trend Showcase at the Canadian Furniture Show, held at the International Centre from May 24th to the 26th, highlighted some of the hottest trends in the retail industry in 2019.

The ’70s vibes are back in full force, and this funky design era is evident in the pattern, shape, and colour palette of many of the furniture pieces from this year’s showcase. We saw the introduction of curves in furniture last year, and this trend has continued into 2019, making for some gorgeous and interesting statement pieces.

The mixture of bold, rich colour and interesting texture is back this season – with grey and white seemingly becoming a thing of the past. We saw vibrant hues in furniture and accessories, with a more playful feel when it comes to colour, creating pieces and spaces that have a personality while packing a punch of their own.

A common theme amongst much of the furniture and decor for this season will be that of comfort and “sophisticated relaxation.” With Bohemian design and Farmhouse-Chic very on-trend, there is a sense of ‘pared-down luxury’ in everything from light fixtures to furniture and accessories. Comfort no longer equates to a lack of style, instead it consists of unique, effortless pieces where the blending of rustic, traditional, vintage, modern and chic bohemian-styles creates an elevated yet comfortable design esthetic.

Lastly, outdoor living is a focus in the furniture industry again this year, as homeowners are looking beyond the four walls of their home when it comes to design and decor. We saw many inspiring outdoor furniture pieces that are sure to add not only comfort, but also personality to the outdoor spaces this season. Strong punches of colour and pattern, woven furniture, and large-scale, comfortable pieces were all standouts in the outdoor living category.

Whether you’re looking for inspiration for an upcoming renovation, or just want a fresh, new look for your home, this year’s Trend Showcase was the perfect glimpse into what’s on point in retail for 2019-2020.


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L.A. Canal Home with Beatle Pedigree

L.A. Canal home with Beatle pedigree

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L.A. Canal home with Beatle pedigree

California hot spot, Venice Beach, has drawn celebrities, surfers, bohemians and sun worshippers since the beginning of the 20th century. Although it started out as a sedate, seaside-resort town, today it’s a whirlwind of activity, attracting those who enjoy having access to the 24/7 party atmosphere readily available right around the corner. A recent addition to the Venice Beach real estate market is the sophisticated, legendary mansion of Dhani Harrison, the son of Beatles guitarist, George Harrison., priced at $3.99 million.

Fitness aficionados

There’s never a dull moment in Venice Beach. Its wide beach attracts surfing enthusiasts, and its storied two-and-a-half-mile promenade (aptly called the Ocean Front Walk) attracts tourists from all over the world, drawn by its vendors, art, and quirky performers.

While today it’s mostly known for its surfing culture, Muscle Beach Venice was largely responsible for the booming interest in weight training, which began in the 1950s, and the Vic Tanny gym chain was also founded in Venice.

Likewise, beach sports gained huge popularity on Venice Beach from handball courts, volleyball, paddle tennis, a bike trail and a skate-dancing pavillion. After a day spent at the beach, there is a lively Venice nightlife offering an array of upscale restaurants, bars, art galleries and shops for every taste, interest and pocketbook.

Venetian inspiration

Originally called the Venice of America, due to the drainage canals dug in the 1920s by the town’s original developer, tobacco-baron Abbott Kinney, a wide-range of plush residences line the canals today, as was Kinney’s original goal. Many are used as year-round homes and others are used primarily as vacation getaways.

Celebrity home featured in Architectural Digest

Musician Dhani Harrison has recently decided to sell his glamorous canal home, which enjoys sunrise views from the rear balcony, and sunset views from the west, 360-degree views from the rooftop terrace and water views from the canal-side terrace and decks. Measuring in at 2,826 sq. ft., the two-bedroom, three-bath home has an open-floor plan with soaring 15-ft. ceilings. Second-level glass walls and open first-floor ceilings bathe the interior with sunlight, as does the large skylight above the wide spiral staircase. Updated in a crisp contemporary style, the home offers multiple choices for entertaining on all three levels and was recently appeared in Architectural Digest.

Like father, like son

Dhani, the only child of George and Olivia Harrison, has been writing and singing professionally since 2001. He has completed a number of albums, and since 2013 has been composing film scores with his writing partner Paul Hicks. They have written the scores for Netflix’s Dogs and HBO’s four-part documentary series The Case Against Adnan Syed. He has recently decided to sell his Venice home, priced at $3.99 million with co-listing agents, Nicholas Sandler and Bennett Hirsch of The Agency, Beverly Hills.

Photo Credit: The Agency


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