Tag Archives: Eye Candy

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A country estate fit for James Bond

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A country estate fit for James Bond

This thrilling country estate, Black Hole Hollow Farm, isn’t quite as scary as the two James Bond thrillers, that novelist Ian Fleming wrote here.

A New York country estate, Black Hole Hollow Farm, where former British intelligence officer-turned-author, Ian Fleming, wrote parts of his James Bond thrillers, Diamonds Are Forever (1956) and Goldfinger (1959) is for sale. At the time that Fleming stayed there, it was the home of his dear friend, John Felix Charles Ivar Bryce, also a former British intelligence officer, whose wife was an Atlantic & Pacific heiress, Josephine Huntington Hartford. Fleming, joined by other illustrious guests, such as Princess Margaret and Jackie Kennedy, but he was a long-term houseguest on numerous occasions. The farm has recently listed for sale at $2.95 million.

Nestled within 440 lush acres of woods, pasture and flower gardens, the 1770’s-era house of 8,143 square feet includes eight bedrooms, seven baths, multiple fireplaces, formal and family rooms, as well as an office, and a large kitchen and dining room for large dinner parties.

The home is spacious enough to get lost in, but the farm’s crowning glory – and likely where Fleming spent much of his time – is the spectacular greenhouse that opens to a spacious, roofed garden room. With winding paths through the greenery and soothing sounds of the koi pond, it’s tranquil like a cultivated jungle.

Fleming often stayed in guest quarters known as the Yellow Room. He’d take long treks into the woods surrounding the estate. In an old guest register, Fleming once wrote, “Lived here like a king — an uninvited one — in fragrant and luxurious solitude.”

On the property, there is also the lodge and the cottage – each with three bedrooms. The Federal House includes two bedrooms, and the former milk house is now a one-bedroom home. Other amenities include a maple syrup-production facility, an outdoor swimming pool and three stocked ponds.

Few fictional characters have been as accessible to both men and women as Bond – James Bond. Men want to be him and women…? With 12 novels, 24 movies (soon to be 25) and two Academy-Award-Winning songs (Skyfall by Adele and Writing’s on the Wall by Sam Smith), the James Bond franchise has been one of the world’s most profitable, with more than $17 billion in sales. Fleming introduced Bond in 1953, and legend has it that it may have been while he was staying at Black Hole Hollow Farm.

The Bond films continue to be popular, even though Fleming passed away in 1964. Now, for the first time in five years, a new James Bond film, No Time To Die, will hit the theatres in April. The most recent Bond actor, Daniel Craig, will be playing the role for his last time.

Black Hole Hollow Farm, located near Cambridge, New York, is only 30 miles to Saratoga. Priced at $2.95 million, the listing agent is Story Jenks of LandVest – an affiliate of Christie’s International Real Estate, Woodstock, Vermont.

Photo Credit: LandVest | www.landvest.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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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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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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After two years, we reveal our master bathroom reno

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After two years, we reveal our master bathroom reno

Two years ago, when we purchased our home, we knew that ONE day we’d get to our master bathroom. It was dated and needed a good reno, but we felt we could ‘live with it’ for a few years. Well, that one day finally came and we couldn’t be happier with the outcome.

The Plan

When planning out our space, I looked at a few different configurations. Ultimately, I was thinking I’d put a shower at the far end of our bathroom, install a smaller vanity, move the toilet over and put a claw-foot tub where the existing bath was. I think this would have made for a really functional space. The plan changed quickly over the course of a weekend when we bought a new house. Surprise…WE’RE MOVING AGAIN!! With that said, we still wanted to undertake this reno on a tight budget. Things would stay where they were so that we wouldn’t need to move any plumbing and we could get things started right away.

Tile

First off, I fell in love with these tiles from Stone Impressions. They were a quick ship option; I LOVED the pattern and they were unlike anything I had seen before. I started playing with the idea of using the Avery tile as a feature wall and didn’t look back. I reached out to Stone Impressions and was over the moon when they wanted to collaborate on our project. They shipped us the hand-selected Carrara marble tiles all the way from San Diego. When I opened up the package, I seriously couldn’t believe my eyes. The pattern on each individual tile looked so handcrafted and luxurious. I swear, we’re going to miss them in our new home.

Vanity

Next up, the vanity. We went with the 60″ Ashburn Vanity from Foremost available online at The Home Depot Canada. It was the perfect size for our space and the colour is GORGEOUS! My favourite part? That it has feet. It really looks like a piece of furniture. We decided to add an additional sink and it’s so functional for us. Before, we had so much counter space that we really didn’t use. We ordered the vanity online and it was shipped to our door (countertop, sinks and all).

Faucets & Hardware

When it came to our faucets I decided to go with matte black. I really love that the faucets don’t match the hardware on the vanity. The mixed metals work so well in our bathroom. This also allowed me to incorporate a polished nickel showerhead and some polished nickel in our vanity light. We ordered towel racks and our toilet paper holder in the same matte-black collection from Pfister. They’re stunning! The accents of black really work so well with everything else we have going on in the space. The collection is exclusive to The Home Depot Canada and I couldn’t be more thrilled to recommend it. The water ribbons as it pours, the design works with any bathroom esthetic, it came with an easy-to-install, push-to-seal drain, it has a lifetime warranty AND there are other finishes to choose from. Major win!

Saniflo

When planning our bathroom reno, we thought we’d be able to incorporate Saniflo into our project. When they explained to me how it worked, I jumped on the opportunity for a collaboration. In the end, we didn’t end up moving any plumbing and didn’t need to use their system, but I can assure you, we’ll be using it in our new home and I’ll be telling my friends about it. What is it exactly? Let me explain: The Saniflo Sanicompact macerating toilet is the system that I’m referring to. If you’re looking to install a toilet in a trailer, a cottage, a basement, or anywhere else that typically requires you to move plumbing, the Sanicompact allows you to quickly and easily add a new bathroom without any major construction. There is no need to break the concrete or move plumbing lines because the Sanicompact can tie into your existing lines. The best part about this system is the tankless design, which makes it great for smaller spaces, and it looks very modern too. Sounds pretty great right? Well, that’s a wrap. Thanks so much for checking out our Master Bathroom Reno. We love it! Stay tuned for future renos in our new house. I can’t wait to start planning and creating.

Shop my Bathroom:

Tiles: StoneImpressions | Faucet: The Home Depot | Tub: The Home Depot | Towel Bar: The Home Depot | Hand Towel Bar: The Home Depot | Toilet Paper Holder: The Home Depot | Vanity: The Home Depot | Turkish Towels: House of Jude

Jaclyn_Harper_EyeCandy_Aug_1

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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Kids’ bedrooms – a labour of love for the little ones

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Kids’ bedrooms – a labour of love for the little ones

I love working on bedrooms. They come in all shapes and sizes, so a cookie-cutter approach doesn’t really work, especially when the space is small and/or awkward. That sums up my spare room, which I was challenged with turning into a home away from home for three little girls under the age of six.

With toys, clothing and gadgets for three little ones, I had to come up with unique sleeping arrangements and incorporate lots of storage to make the best use of the space.

Creative Space Configuration

Fitting three girls into a small space certainly made making room for beds a challenge. My only option was bunk beds and, with tight space restrictions, I had to take it a step further and have custom beds created. In order to fit them into this small, square room, I had to get really creative. First, I turned the hinges on the bedroom door so it would open in the other direction. Then I built in a wall, creating a pseudo hallway inside the room. That wall was able to serve as a headboard and I mounted the bed ladder right on the wall, making use of every square inch of space.

Smart Storage

Because little girls have A LOT of stuff, I installed drawers on wheels under the beds and added an open-shelving area for additional storage. We also tucked a window seat into the wall and surrounded it with storage as well. I wanted to add texture and a modern twist by changing the closet doors to Masonite’s Melrose Safe ‘n Sound door, from Metrie. I went with their Safe ‘n Sound core option for the weight and feel of the door, and most importantly, to keep the noise down.

A Playful Feature Wall

I added wallpaper in a geometric pattern from Wayfair to create a feature wall. Originally, I was going to wallpaper the entire room with this pattern, but there was limited stock when I ordered it. So, having fallen in love with the design, I decided to use it anyway in a smaller dose – hence, the feature wall. I also used stylish blackout blinds from Wayfair in all white; their soft, cascading design makes the space seem larger and more airy.

Space-enhancing colour palette

I used soft colours in the room by adding a patterned rug from Wayfair and the polka- dot sheets, which keeps the room soft, clean looking and fun, all at the same time.

I added hypoallergenic, dust-mite control, fully washable pillows and bedding from my own line called Alcorn Home. I cannot stress enough the importance of “washable” sheets with little ones! These beauties pop right in the washing machine – cover, filling and all. Finally, I added some pink velvet pillows (also washable), and a black-and-white throw blanket to balance off the wallpaper at the end of the bed.

Personality, function and room to play

The artwork is another source of colour and pattern. By enlarging and hanging cute family photos, it added personality and a sense of belonging for the kids.

A full-length mirror at the end of the hall is functional and created a runway for playtime. There was enough floor space for the girls to get out their doll houses and other toys, and still have room for everyone to enjoy whatever they were doing at any given time.

The biggest lesson to learn from this makeover is that sometimes you really have to think outside of the box – literally! If I had stayed with the square room, as it was, it wouldn’t have the wonderful personality and function this room has now.

I love how this space turned out, and the kids love it too – which is the most important thing. I look forward to many sleepovers here and know this is a space that will easily change with them as they grow up. Just hoping it’s not too quickly!

Jo Alcorn is founder and design specialist at Alcorn Home.

alcornhome.com

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