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Home automation - it's getting smarter and smarter

Home automation – it’s getting smarter and smarter

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Home automation – it’s getting smarter and smarter

Home automation may include such things as centralized control of lighting, HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning), appliances, safety locks on gates and doors, security systems, surveillance cameras and an assortment of other programmable features. And, all of this can by managed by a remote. You have automatic control of a wide range of devices while in your home, from your office or from an entirely different continent.


The advantages are infinite and can be tailored to your specific needs. By entering a personal code, your home can come to life when you enter the door. Disengage the home alarm and close the gate behind you – remotely. Home Automation can also alert you to when someone enters your home, or to a household emergency. You dictate how, and when, a device should react. Set a schedule based on your personal preferences – and the rest is automated.

The Price of Contentment

Home Automation systems are designed to be expandable, allowing you to build your scheme around the features that you require. The size of the property factors into the the cost, and for a comprehensive system, prices can range upwards from $50,000. However, because it is a relatively new technology, the prices are still on the high end. As these technologies become standard in every home, the cost will decline.

Retrofitting an existing home doesn’t cost much more than installing a system into a brand new build, but there may be limitations.

Things to Consider

Once a client has recognized the advantages of investing in an automation system, they need to understand what it can, and will, control. It’s not as complicated as one might think. All of the devices that are connected to the home network are orchestrated to perform functions. The underlying operating system connects devices and systems, such as security, lights, audio, video, heating and cooling, as well as entertainment systems and window shades. The depth of control can vary from one light or a door lock with unique applications, to an all-encompassing system that allows you to control multiple devices through one interface.

Don’t Be Alarmed

Imagine being sent an email if there is motion in your house when there shouldn’t be. Or, perhaps being alerted to a water problem in the laundry room or basement. Remote access through your Android, Apple devices or laptop computer, enables you to remotely control your home’s automation system. If there’s a power failure, you’re still able to open doors or turn on your lights.

Many have privacy concerns as it relates to home automation, or they feel that virus might be unleashed on their system. Reputable automation manufacturers have ensured safety features through password protection and other security steps, and don’t consider it to be an issue. If the company detects a problem, no matter how minor, they will contact the customer.

This is not a phase. Those of us of a certain generation will remember George Jetson’s futuristic abode. Bill Gates spent more than $100 million building his smart home. What was once of interest to the tech-savvy or wealthy, is now becoming the norm, especially in newly built homes.Tech organizations are consistently launching new smart home products. As with most things, demand drives the market place.

Toronto Custom Home builder ROSE BARROSO, of Barroso Homes, has made a career of building and designing homes and, along the way, has acquired a lot of knowledge about all things home-related.

She is very passionate about her work and enjoys sharing her knowledge and expertise.


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NKBA 2019 Design Awards

NKBA 2019 Design Awards – And the winner is …

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NKBA 2019 Design Awards – And the winner is …

This year’s gala event celebrates Ontario’s best and adds a new creative category to the mix

Designing an award-winning kitchen or bathroom is much more challenging than making the space look pretty. It’s about creating an attractive and stylish room while continuing to balance the practical demands of everyday life.

Each year, the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s (NKBA) Ontario Chapter hosts a gala evening to celebrate the entries and reveal the winners of its annual design competition, and the calibre of this year’s winning projects proved to be exceptional!

There was excitement in the air as kitchen and bath designers, along with industry suppliers and leaders, gathered at the much-anticipated annual event, which took place February 9th at the Paramount Event Space in Woodbridge.

Entries to the competition are judged by a panel of certified designers (CKD, CBD, CKBD, CMKBD) and industry experts. Qualifying projects are then scored on various criteria, including: NKBA guidelines, safety and ergonomics, elements and principles of design, design planning, creativity and presentation. With 11 categories, six specialty awards including People’s Choice, plus the revered Pinnacle

Award, a total of 36 awards were presented for design excellence and creativity. A new category of Concept Kitchen was added this year where entrants could push the boundaries and create a space for an imaginary family without a budget to limit them.

This year’s Pinnacle Award Winner was Rose Barroso of Barroso Homes. This prestigious award represents the best of all entries and is selected from all the firstplace place winners.

The People’s Choice Award is given to the winner of a contest run by Homes Publishing Group. Select kitchens from the competition entries are nominated and voted upon by industry peers as well as the general public. This year’s winner was Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design & Ilona Peever, Irpinia Kitchens (Co-designer). The NKBA Ontario Chapter and HOMES Publishing are thrilled to feature this year’s award-winning designers and their respective designs.

Pinnacle Award

Rose Barroso, Barroso Homes

Compact Kitchen

FIRST PLACE Martin deSousa, Designström

Small Kitchen

FIRST PLACE Linnea Lions, Designström

SECOND PLACE Martin deSousa, Designström

THIRD PLACE Benjamin John Ouellette, Bjoid

HONOURABLE MENTION Beverley Binns, Binns Kitchen + Bath

Medium Kitchen

FIRST PLACE Beverley Binns, Binns Kitchen + Bath

SECOND PLACE Leanne Tammaro & Adolphina Karachok (Co-designer), Designtheory Inc.

THIRD PLACE Joleen M Constantis, Volumes of Space, Inc. & Hira Homes (Co-designer)

HONOURABLE MENTION Linnea Lions, Designström

Large Kitchen

FIRST PLACE Glen Peloso & Elizabeth Smith (Co-designer), Grafus Design Build

SECOND PLACE Frankie Castro, Square Footage Inc.

THIRD PLACE Andrea Pannaci, Olympic Kitchens Inc.

HONOURABLE MENTION Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design & Ilona Peever, Irpinia Kitchens (Co-designer),

Concept Kitchen

FIRST PLACE Martin deSousa, Designström

SECOND PLACE Cassandra Nordell, William Standen Co.

Powder Room

FIRST PLACE Andrea Pannaci, Olympic Kitchens Inc.

SECOND PLACE Emma Doucet, Grassroots Design + Build

Small Bathroom

FIRST PLACE Brittany Oakley, Toronto Custom Concepts Inc.

SECOND PLACE Mark Ashton, Ashton Renovations

Medium Bathroom

FIRST PLACE Dvira Ovadia, Dvira Interiors

SECOND PLACE Celeste Pilon, Total Living Concepts

Large Bathroom

FIRST PLACE Rose Barroso, Barroso Homes

SECOND PLACE Emma Doucet, Grassroots Design + Build

THIRD PLACE Natalie Venalainen & Keith O’Brien (Co-designer), Men at Work Design Build Ltd.

HONOURABLE MENTION Dvira Ovadia, Dvira Interiors

Other Room / Outdoor Kitchen

FIRST PLACE Laura Goard, Square Footage Inc.

SECOND PLACE Rose Barroso, Barroso Homes

Promotional Display

FIRST PLACE Yasmine Goodwin, My Design Studio

SECOND PLACE Erica Sibley & Beverley Binns (Co-designer), Binns Kitchen + Bath Design

Best Traditional Kitchen

Glen Peloso & Elizabeth Smith, Grafus Design Build

Best Before & After Kitchen

Frankie Castro, Square Footage Inc.

Best Before & After Bathroom

Alannah Bent, William Standen Co.

Best Budget Kitchen

Emma Doucet, Grassroots Design + Build

Best New Designer

Alex Deelen, Binns Kitchen + Bath Design

People’s Choice HPG

Svetlana Tryaskina, Estee Design & Ilona Peever, Irpinia Kitchens (Co-designer)

The mission of the NKBA is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry worldwide.


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