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open a new style in Canada Page 22-23


SPIRIT OF THE OLD TIMES Antiques are more than just art and more than just objects. They are history – of people, of the times; they are a strong energy of the past. The latter explains why, while for some people purchasing antique items is an expensive but profitable hobby, a way of enhancing their home decor, or just a good investment, for others, t6his is a way of receiving a strong energy charge. Because of its uniqueness, exclusivity, and individuality, because they were handmade without haste, and because there was no such thing as mass production at the time, antiques exude warmth and give



their owners the feeling of being part of something special. Even visiting antique markets, auctions, and shows creates an aura of magic and a feeling that not only we select an item but the item chooses us as well. There is no surprise that we see lover of antiques as someone educated, serious, and intelligent because old things teach us special, respectful treatment of surrounding objects and enhanced attention to them. The antiques we surround ourselves with, including that wise and dreamy rocking chair in the corner or mysterious and whimsical figurines on the shelves, and falling in love with them help improve our temper. Antiques give us inner peace, chaise away vane thoughts, develop our imagination, and stimulate creativity


more than modern art in interior design. Be very thorough in choosing antique items you are considering for your decor. The most important criteria is the feeling of the inner connection. It is not easy to trace the object’s provenance; often we only know fragments of its history. Therefore, trust your intuition to find out whether the item will give you positive charge and fulfillment. Experienced collectors name the necessary invisible stream of energy exuded by objects “mild warmth” that, should it be material, would look like an airy golden shroud of light. Touch the item you like and consider of buying. Try to feel its energy and unravel its mystery. If you are lucky you get a chance to fill your home with unique atmosphere while possibly purchase a historical or cultural masterpiece.

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December 2012




WALLS The texture of wall covering is more important than their colour – this is the opinion of many designers who work to achieve an upscale look of a house or apartment. Smooth steel and cool glass, soft fabric, or rough plaster – all this can find its place in both classic and extravagant interior design. There are unlimited possibilities of wall textures, which enables any design fantasy to become a reality. Wall Panels From ancient Egypt and Rome, through the Middle Ages and up to this moment, wall panels have always been one of the favourite choices, attractive by its decorative and whimsical look. They provide unlimited choices for decorators for implementing their boldest ideas. Details vary depending on the material selected.

Leather Easily found on the home decorating market are prefabricated wall panels with all kinds of leather trim, from noble solid colour to hot animal print. Of course, upscale decor demands only natural materials. In the extreme case, you can cover your complete walls in leather but it is more common to use leather inserts.

Wood This is a classic. Such panels can be either austere or fanciful depending on the kind of wood. The variety of wood suitable for wall panels includes such expensive types as satin wood, eucalyptus, and black wood but the type of finishing is equally important. Whether the panel is painted or lacquered, what kind of decorative painting or antiquating is used – all this defines its look and texture.

Fabric Fabric is one of the oldest and richest types of wall covering. To achieve a desired decorative effect designers use various fabrics, with sometimes-unbelievable texture or pattern. More often than not fabric is used for inserts in combination with other materials. Use of tapestries in the centre of a wood panel in royal palaces around the world has always been a source of inspiration to today’s interior designers.

Techno Some of the most creative designers like the idea of steel or other kinds of metal on the walls.




Decorative Painting Professionally executed paintings on walls look unique and luxurious.

Encaustic This technique uses beeswax-based pigments applied while in their liquid form. These paints have vivid rich tones.

Relief Decorative Painting It is more complicated in execution than encaustic and consists of several layers. Relief wall covering made with this method shimmers in electrical light and gives the wall a very expressive look.

Venetian Plaster Non-standard wall coverings may serve to underscore majestic and stylish features of the decor. Venetian plaster is an elegant and not too standard way of wall decoration. The technique of applying this kind of covering is rather complicated but the result is quite impressive.

Condo, Yonge/16th Ave, Richmond Hill Asking $389,000

Great Location! Bright and spacious CORNER unit, 1100 sq ft., 2bdrs. Large eat-in kitchen with window. New high quality laminate throughout. Large living/dining room with w/out to fantastic terrace. Granit floors in foyer and bathrooms. Freshly painted. Great amenities: indoor pool, gym, sauna. Maintenance includes everything, even VIP cable TV. Steps to Yonge St., Hilcrest Mall, Cinema, Restaurants.

Condo Bathurst/Centre St. Asking $335,000

Luxury ROYAL PROMENADE! Large and bright about 1200 sq. ft., 2-bdr, 2-wshr, condo with balcony and north-west beautiful unobstructed view. Fabulous layout. Upgraded eat-in kitchen with stainless steel appliances. Parking. Amenities: gym, sauna, party room. Maintenance $516 includes cable TV.

This covering consists of fine-dispersed natural mineral particles of marble and plaster of Paris combined with lime and water. The application is done in three layers where the top one is the decorative one having an effect of pearly shimmer. Brush strokes are thoroughly evened out. The colour scale of the venetian plaster has up to thirty five shades.

Natural Stone and Agglomerate Large rooms are the most suitable places to use stone on the walls. In open concept interiors, stone may serve for defining spaces of different functions. Active patterns in marble or granite attract attention and create multilayered colour space. Agglomerate is the product of modern

technologies based on natural quartz and marble with their best qualities enhanced. Agglomerate is a popular product for wall covering due to its durability, water and fire resistance, and convenience in installation and use. When creating decor in your home you strive for a harmonious result where spectacular decor is combined with comfort. The best way to achieve this purpose is to turn to qualified professionals to ensure the highest quality of renovations and decorations.

Condo, Bathurst/Centre

Autumn Hill/Dufferin,Thornhill Woods Asking $798,000

Luxurious, spectacular 4-bdrm, 4-wshrm home, 2440 sq ft in the best part of Thornhill Woods. Fantastic open concept layout. High ceilings. Hardwood floors throughout, even in basement. Lots of potlights, crown mouldings. Gourmet kitchen with granite countertop, S/S appliances. Finished basement in venetian style w/huge entertainment room, wet bar and sauna. Close to great schools, new community centre, transit.

Condo Yonge St/Elgin Mills, Richmond Hill Asking $369,900


Luxury upgraded elegant CORNER suite 1346 sq ft+80 sq ft balcony with perfect layout facing south-east. 9’ ceilings, 3 kingsize bedrooms, 3 washrooms. Upgraded open concept kitchen w/granite countertop, marble floors. High-end S/S appliances, chandeliers, fireplace. Custom draperies. Designer painting, mirrored foyer. 2parking spots. Locker. Fabulous Silverwood condo w/swimming pool and state-of-the-art amenities. Steps to plazas, best schools, public transit.

Asking $289,900

Luxurious Thornhill City Center! 600 sq ft 1-bdr, 1-wshr very bright and impeccable unit. Large balcony with beautiful panoramic view. New high quality laminated floors thoughout. Open concept kitchen with granite countertop and breakfast bar. Parking. Maintenance fee $321. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym. Steps to Promenade Mall, public transit, parks.

Dufferin/Rutherford, Thornberry Woods Asking $799,000

December 2012

Fabulous Greenpark home, about 2900 sq ft, 3-years old in demand Thornberry Woods Community. 4 bdrms, 4 wshrms. Excellent layout. High ceilings. Your dream kitchen with walls of windows in massive sunroom and large eat-in area. Upgraded kitchen with huge pantry, S/S appliances. Exotic granite/marble countertops throughout. Enormous family room and dark rich hardwood floors. Master bdrm with 5-pcs ensuite and large walk-in closet. Close to all amenities.




The colour of your floor plays an extremely important role in the general scheme of your decor. The floor is the element that loses its looks first because it has to withstand remendous workload, with people walking on it all the time. Therefore, the floor needs to not only be good looking but durable as well.



The best colour for the floor is a neutral colour. There is no need to draw attention to a floor, especially if you are planning to decorate your home with beautiful furniture and other objects. The floor has to serve as background for your decor, not as its element.

colour. The ideal and always stylish colour is the colour of brick.

Nevertheless a floor in an upscale material makes the room look more sophisticated. Granite and other natural stone floors look great but are very expensive. In a large room a floor made of large-scale tiles will look spectacular. The tiles should be neutral

If you prefer your floors covered with rugs or use wall-to-wall carpeting, they should also be in neutral colours. This is especially true for expensive carpets and rugs because neutral colours guarantee that the item will always stay trendy.


For a wooden floor the best colour is the colour of dark honey. The older the wood looks the showier the floor is. Yet, for a bathroom white tiles are the best. Free estimate





December 2012




We all dream of our personal space where we can feel comfortable and protected. Acquiring this long-dreamed-about space, many of us are sure that we will be perfectly all right with decorating our “castle”. It is not that simple though! We make plans without even suspecting how many hurdles we will encounter on the way to their realization: inexpertly done layout, disproportional furniture, electrical and plumbing errors, and many others. Even finishes and the colour scheme tend to get out of hand. All this necessitates alterations, unforeseen outlays of funds, and waste of time and energy. The best way to avoid this kind of problems is to turn to a professional interior designer or a decorator. No matter how good your taste is, it is not enough. What is needed in order to achieve a great result is professional knowledge of art, colour rules, proportions, rhythm, and skill in creating compositions. The foundation of any decorating style is a successful colour solution. The same room may acquire a different look - light and airy, cozy and mysterious, or calm



elements, and change the colour scheme of the room.

and relaxing, depending on its colour scheme. Harmony cannot be achieved without correct proportions. Correct rhythm accomplished by a skillful sequence of objects and structures gives the space a defined and vivid look. A professionally designed combination of scale, rhythm, and colour forms a harmonious whole that is indeed an ideal composition. Decorative finishes serve as a tool in the realm of interior decor the same way as pigments, in artistic painting. Selection and combination of these materials defines the beauty of the decor. Knowing the material’s technical qualities is extremely important. Well-planned lighting can perform miracles – move walls without demolishing them, visually change the room proportions, create special moods, underscore certain


Full understanding between the client and the interior designer results in creating a unique space that expresses the client’s vision and style. During the discussion on the subject of the future project the designer needs to bring up all the details and depict the premises up to the last element so that the client can take a virtual “walk” around his future home. In order to implement the approved plan the designer converts it into blueprints that take into account all the technical characteristics of the place. The designer needs to possess great creative potential, technical knowledge, and people skills. A professional interior designer needs to wear many hats, including that of an artist, art critic, psychologist, engineering designer, an estimator and a contractor who controls the actual building process. It is easy nowadays to acquire, with the help of the Internet, videos, and books, theoretical knowledge pertaining to interior design – but theory alone is far from sufficient. What makes a professional designer a master of his or her trade is their extensive practical experience. And it is a Master – and Master alone - who can perform miracles.

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Stunning, sun-filled CORNER unit, 1400 Sq.Ft, 2+1-bdrm, 2-wshr, with two large balconies and unobstructed panoramic views. Excellent layout. Large upgraded kitchen with pantry, window, granite countertop, S/S appliances. Gleaming hardwood floors, marble floor in foyer. Two bdrms have W/I closets. Master has nice ensuite with glass door shower. Large den with window & French door can be used as 3rd bdrm. Locker, parking. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym, tennis crt & much more. Prime location! Steps to Hillcrest Mall, transit, excellent schools.


Very bright & impeccable unit, where you feel warm & comfortable. Very spacious, 1-bdrm, 1-wshr, about 600 Sq.Ft. unit with balcony & unobstructed panoramic view, located in highdemand Thornhilll City Centre. New high quality laminated floors throughout. Open concept kitchen with granite countertop & breakfast bar. Parking included. Very low maintenance fee. Luxury building with superb recreational facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym, party room, etc. Steps to Walmart, Promenade Plaza, park, restaurants, transport.

HOMELIFE VICTORY REALTY INC. Brokerage 10720 Yonge St, #226, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3C9 BUS: 905-737-0033 FAX: 905-737-3132


416-889-9955 Each office is independently owned and operated


TENANTED from January 17, 2013 by AAA-tenant with $1300/month. Luxurious, bright & spacious 1-bdr, 1-wshr unit on 5th floor in a practically new condo. Beautiful terrace. Open concept. 9’ ceilings. Beautiful dark hardwood floors. Upgraded kitchen with tall cabinets, glass inserts, granite countertop, stainless steel appliances. Locker & parking. Very low maintenance fee. Excellent building with great facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, 24-hr security &much ! more. Close to ENT STM shopping, restauE V IN rants, banks, VIVA transit, Markville Mall, 404&407 Hwys.


Large & bright CORNER unit, about 1350 SqFt, 2+1-bdrm, 2 full wshrms, in prime Thornhill location! Very clean, in excellent condition. Beautiful laminated floors throughout. Large kitchen with window & pantry. Large bedrooms. Solarium can be used as 3-rd bdrm or office. Maintenance fee includes everything! Very well maintained building with excellent facilities: gym, sauna, outdoor pool, recreation room, tennis court, 24-hr security gate.

Asking $284,900


Very enjoyable & cozy, renovated & beautifully maintained 3+1-bdrm, 2-full wshrms, 1500 SqFt CORNER unit with amazing unobstr. view of park. Excellent layout. Gleaming parquet floors, moldings, potlights. Nicely painted. Separate kitchen w/window overlooks park. Europ. style kitchen cabinets. KitchenAid cooktop, oven, new water filtration system. Large master with W/I closet & 4pc ensuite. Renovated wshrms. All closets w/organizers. Large ensuite locker & laundry. Solarium can be used as 4th bdrm or office. Parking. Maintenance fee includes all utilities & cable TV. Gym, sauna, whirlpool, outdoor pool, security guard & system. Great area in demand!


Shows like a MODEL! $$ in upgrades! Very bright & modern, open concept, 4-bdrm + den, 4-wshr, 3700 SqFt, in excellent condition. Open foyer w/ granite floors. 9’ceilings, hardwood flrs, potlights, mouldings. Den on main floor w/French door. Large CUSTOM-made kitchen with tall cabinets, granite, b/splash & S/S appliances. Fam. room w/granite mantle gas fireplace. All bdrms have ensuites and W/I closets. Master bdrm has two W/I closets & Jacuzzi. Save energy windows. Custom curtains & designer lighting. Iinterlock. Sprinkler system...& more.


Stunning freehold townhouse in excellent location! 3-bdr, 3-wshr. Great layout. Open concept. Hardwood floors. Nice family size kitchen with S/S appliances & W/O to sundeck. Very large master bdrm with W/I closet. FINISHED W/O BASEMENT. Close to transit, shopping & nature trails!

Asking $489,000



Stunning, bright & spacious, 2200 SqFt, 4-bdrm, 3-wshr townhouse with great layout in excellent area! 9’ ceilings, hardwood floors, oak stairs, mouldings, smooth ceilings & potlights. Very nice kitchen with granite countertop, S/S appliances & W/O to deck. Huge master bdrm with W/I closet, 4-pc ensuite & W/O to balcony. FINISHED basement. Close to everything!

Asking $529,900


3-bdrm, 3-wshrm, bright & cozy, nicely renovated townhouse with finished W/O basement in great neighborhood. Excellent condition. Everything was updated. Laminated floors everywhere. Nice updated kitchen cabinets. All appliances are practically new. Large master bdrm with ensuite & His/Her closet. Direct access from home to garage. Main floor deck & b/yard deck. Close to good schools, park, shopping, transit.


Asking $1650/month


Luxurious executive 4-bdr, 4-wshr. About 2500 Sq.Ft. Situated in the best part of Thornhill Woods. Fantastic layout. High ceilings. Hardwood floors throughout. Potlights. Gourmet kitchen with granite countertop & S/S appliances. Professionally FINISHED basement with SAUNA and huge entertaining room. Too many upgrades to mention... Do not miss!

December 2012



As with many other things, we in North America may expect yet another European innovation to soon find its way to North American markets. What we are talking about is the new brick.


Brick used to be a serious building material up to the middle of the 20th century. Only later the brick became much thinner because it has started being used mostly for the exterior finishing of houses. In Europe however, houses are still built from the fullblown brick but red brick buildings have lately become, in the minds of consumers, tedious and commonplace. European manufacturers realize that their customers want something new, and they have introduced bricks of various colours – from the lightest to the utmost dark tones. A building made of coloured brick looks like a gingerbread house but choose a moderately bright colour and matching decor around the house – and the look will be elegant and trendy. A coloured brick is made the same way as a regular ceramic or silicone brick but with added pigments. It has the same insulating qualities and durability as a regular brick

but looks much more interesting. As of today, the colour brick comes in 50 different shades, so the consumer can choose whatever best suits his decor ideas. The coloured brick despite being a newcomer on the construction market has be-

come extremely popular. Looks like many Europeans prefer coming home after a long day of work to a cheerful and bright place, be it pink, green, or magenta. North American consumers surely will not be far behind.



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December 2012



Commotion in the sheets Fashion that dictates all the trends in both clothing and interior design has not passed over the area of bed linen. Bed linen fashion was born in Italy. The Renaissance not only gave the world famous artworks but supreme work of seamstresses as well. Up to the end of the 18th century fashion dictated that bed linen, table linen, towels, and napkins should be white. White linen was affordable only to the rich and famous and was considered a thing of luxury. Only the 19th century made white linen affordable to the middle class.

Woven decorations used to be all the rage – for example, Dutch masters of the 16th century might have weaved into the item not only the name of their customer but their own name as well, together with the name of their town and even a verse dedicated to the event in honour of which the tablecloth was created. A new trend in the 18th century was decorating bed and table linen with lacy rococo embroidery. Linens of those times became thinner and more refined. Bed sets and table sets always carried the name of their owner in the shape of a monogram or a crest. A bed would be made with at least three sheets and six pillows. The queen from the famous fairytale The Princess and the Pea by Hans Christian Andersen, piling

many pillows and featherbeds on the princess’s bed was just following a trend of the times. The sexual revolution of the 1960s brought in a trend of the rich and, sometimes, even naughty look for the bedroom. Bed sets started coming in most uncustomary colours including carmine red, emerald, purple, or even black. These tones brought with them fabrics of different characteristics – for example, smooth sexy satin. About the same time, within the country style trend small florals and chintz were introduced. Bed linen trends change almost as frequently as fashion trends but we don’t follow these changes because a family usually uses good quality linen for more than a year or two. Therefore we don’t renew our bed linen stock as often. Nevertheless, such patterns as flowers and stripes we have gotten accustomed to in our bed linen are slowly but surely becoming the thing of the past. Designers introduce new textile collections in the lines of the latest trends every year. Periods and countries bring in their own changes into the esthetics of bed attire. Who could have invented a fitted sheet but the Americans who value their comfort and progress above traditions? Americans also tried to introduce disposable bed linen but the idea had flopped. At any place – on a train, in a hotel, or even a hostel, even if you are staying just for the night, linen on your bed will be fabric. Well… Should you happen to be an overnight guest at Karl Lagerfeld’s you may find yourself on a sheet made of natural fur. The fashion guru has repeatedly mentioned his passion for furs: “You can find unusual fur items in my house, including mink pillows or sable blankets,” he says. “My personal favourite is an ermine throw.”





December 2012





North America’s only manufacturer and full service provider of stretch ceilings and related stretch technology products, Toronto-based Canadian company Universal Stretch Ceilings has expanded under the unique new name Laqfoil Ltd. Established in 2010, with more than 300 completed projects, 38 representatives, and over 200,000 square feet of manufactured and installed stretch

technology products deployed in little over than two years, our company is now the leading provider of stretch ceiling technology products in North America. We have representatives in every Canadian province, as well as in key USA markets and overseas, and are constantly expanding The time has come for us to establish our own trademark, Laqfoil, which will become synonymous with fast, premier quality service, careful attention to our customers, dynamic growth, and impeccable taste in interior design for business, residential and professional customers across the world. We have changed our name, look, and web site. Unchanged are our trademark quality, dedication, professionalism, highest quality of service

and attention to the smallest details in the demanding and competitive stretch ceiling and interior design market. After completing the first stage of our development, Laqfoil has become an established company with an expanding customer base and network of representatives. We look to the future with confidence and optimism.

Please visit our newly developed website at: 20 Magnetic Dr., Unit # 2, Toronto, Ont. M3J 2C4 Canada T. 416 663 1708, F. 416 663 1707


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MOVING? Canadians are used to moving from place to place – not many have spent their entire life in the same apartment. In some provinces July 1 has always been considered a Moving day when people change their places of living. Of course, when you own a house you do not move as often, but still, people tend to change their places of residence – either for a more spacious one when the family is growing or to a smaller one, especially if you are an “empty nester”. Many people have become quite skilled in the art of moving, others consider moving to be worse than a fire. Nevertheless, if you know how to organize and plan your move to another place you will make is as simple as one-two-three, and even enjoyable. You just need to follow six important rules.

Rule 1 Make a List Make a list of large items, especially pieces of furniture, indicating which one of them goes to which room of your new place. Draw a map of the place and draw in furniture the way you intend to place it. This way, both yourself and the movers will know for sure what to carry and place where. Make another list, of smaller items, with their names and quantities.

Rule 2 Prepare Packing Materials Beforehand Get a sufficient number of cardboard boxes in various sizes. Also prepare all the bags you have, scotch tape, ropes, and sheets of thick plastic. Large strong garbage bags can be used to pack linens, underwear, and no-wrinkle clothing – they are inexpensive and roomy. You will also need markers to mark your boxes. Use scotch tape to attach sheets of paper with lists of items inside each bag. Prepare a lot of paper, newsprint, or bubble pack for fragile items, If you prefer using clothing and linens to wrap your breakables, mark the package or box properly and list all the fragile items inside it, otherwise in the hustle and bustle you may forget that the packaging contains more than just fabric items.

Rule 3 Start Packing Ahead of Time First, get rid of everything you are not willing to bring with you into your new stage in life. Toss old things, sell, or give away usable ones. Prepare a special bag or box for trash and print the word “Trash” on them in bold large letters. This way you will not move it to the new place by mistake. The dimensions for boxes and bags – be they assigned for moving your possessions or getting rid of them – need to be such as to make it easy to carry, and their weight, no more than 10 kilos.

Rule 4 Everything in its Place and a Place for Everything

Pack plates between layers of newspaper and place them edgewise – this way they are more resistant to impact. Remember to mark the box with the word “Fragile!” Long objects like skis or boards can be made into compact bundles tied in several places. The best way to move clothing and linen is placing them in large travel or garbage bags.

Rule 5 Prepare Your Furniture Many pieces of modern furniture have removable doors. If this is not the case, secure the doors in place using scotch tape or rope. Use good quality tape because cheap one may leave traces. All the shelves, especially glass ones, not affixed inside your furniture, should be taken out and moved separately.

Rule 6 Prepare Your Appliances To move small appliances use their original boxes if you have saved them or use general boxes of the appropriate size, filling the space between the walls of the box and the item with any soft material.

Do not pack items from different closets or rooms into the same container.

It is a good idea to demonstrate to the moving company representative that your audio- and video equipment has been working properly up to the moment of loading it on the truck – this way, should something happen to it, you will be able to claim damages.

Items you will need immediately after moving should be packed last and placed on top of everything or into special boxes.

The best way to move this kind of equipment as well as office equipment is if possible to do it personally in your car.


December 2012




There is no better finish for a bathroom than ceramic tiles. They are good looking, practical, and affordable. Take care of your tiles on a regular basis – and they will stay beautiful and fresh. Look after your tiles on a weekly basis. To avoid cracks and tarnish, you may purchase one of the many cleaners on the market. Of course, not all of us like using chemicals. For such people there are old methods that result in the same great look. The best substances to clean your tiles can be found in virtually any kitchen. Two of them are citric and acetic acids. Pour some of acetic acid into a spray bottle. Sprinkle the tiles and spread the solution evenly over them with a brush. Use a regular brush with a handle but avoid brushes with black bristles since they may fade onto the tile surfaces. You can use a sponge but in this case wear plastic or rubber gloves. If your tiles are in good condition, wash the solution off immediately, if not – leave it for some minutes. Wash with cold water. Vinegar, besides its cleaning ability, also kills germs and mold. Acetic acid is a good alternative to chlorine – it has the same qualities but is gentler on your skin and your respiratory tract. If you don’t like the smell of vinegar use citric acid. Wet a sponge and dip it into the citric acid crystals. Rub your tiles with this sponge, let stand for a few minutes, and then wash with cold water. Baking soda is another good alternative. Pour some of it into a bowl and sprinkle with tap water. Wet a sponge and dip it into the wet soda. Wipe the tiles. Wet soda removes stains without scratching the surface of the tile. Whatever substance you have chosen, after washing it off with water, wipe the tiles dry with a clean cloth. Melamine Magic Eraser cleans painted walls and it is perfect for ceramic tiles as well. It will remove soap, lime, rust and other stains. It even successfully fights the ring around the bathtub drain opening that is so hard to remove. Interestingly enough, the less pressure you apply upon a melamine sponge the better it works.




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December 2012



STEREOTYPES in interior design Stereotypes are real hurdles in life. There are many of those in interior design. Today we will talk about just a few of these stereotypes including the ‘right colour for a bedroom’, a ‘dark interior’ phobia and ‘warm colours’ that allegedly warm up the space.

Myth #1: “Warm Colours Make the Space Feel Warmer” Yes, Canadian climate is not very warm but it doesn’t mean that you can warm yourself up by decorating your living space in warm tones. Walls in many Canadian houses are painted one or another shade of beige, yellow, or peach. Are they going to make the house feel brighter, especially in winter, when sunlight is sparse? Not at all – warm colours in the absence of sunlight look drab and depressing. If you want to “warm up” your living space, use the contents of the rooms rather than their colour – natural wood, soft fabrics. As far as the walls are concerned, use wallpaper in green and blue or cool shades of paint. Cold shades look more sophisticated and they visually enhance the space. They also look fresher and neater than warm tones in grayish natural daylight.

Myth #2: “Dark Colours Make the Room Look Narrower” Yeah, right! And light colours make it look wider, right? Not so simple! Colour affects our perception in a more complicated way. Experienced interior designers suggest quite the opposite: using lighter colours in larger spaces to emphasize their spaciousness while reserving darker and richer tones for smaller rooms. Darker colours turn a small room into a “jewellery box”. It is especially advisable for a bedroom or a den. A dark interior makes the colour more palpable and interesting. Dark decor is ad-



vantagous for small spaces while in a more spacious room it may be lost.

labour-intensive proposition. The only rooms it is definitely required for are the bathroom (otherwise the crookedness will be noticeable at the seams of tiles) and the kitchen (for installing kitchen furniture). No, angles do not need to be right everywhere. Moreover, sometimes their crookedness becomes a design element.

Myth #3: “The Colour for the Walls Should Be Connected to the Room’s Function” “Blue is good for a bedroom because it helps you relax and fall asleep while the kitchen requires orange to make you feel happy and full of pep.” How many times have you heard this? And how true is it? If the colour has a certain connotation with digestion, why have manufacturers not stopped producing kitchens in other colours than red? If this were that simple, paints would be sold with a label definitely stating which room of the house they should be used for. There would be no problems like insomnia or depression. Besides, even if we define the “right” colours for each room, every one of them

has a myriad of shades – and which shade is “right” for one room or another? Choosing colours for your rooms, base your decision on your likes and dislikes – after all, it is you who is going to live there!

Myth #4: “Angles Should Be Exactly 90 Degrees” Not so! Actually, there are practically no right angles in houses, and making them exact 90 degrees is an expensive and


Myth #5: “Before Painting the Walls Make Them Perfectly Smooth” Once again, no need! In many cases, it is sufficient to make the walls more or less even using filler, and then apply several layers of paint. Walls with almost unnoticeable irregularities look livelier than their ideal counterparts. Besides, irregularities may become a design element – just look at textured plasters. The same element can be found in under-the-paint wallpaper.

December 2012



AVOID THE “MONEY PIT” Don’t judge the book by its cover and kitchen are obvious places to look for water damage. Mould spores can pose serious health threats and, although home insurance may cover some of the costs of eliminating mould, it depends on the policy. The cost of mould remediation can run into thousands of dollars, including the cost of replacing any mould-infected materials such as drywall, carpet or ceiling tiles.

Buying a new house is an exciting proposition. Most people naturally focus on the things they love about a property and most real estate agents recognize the selling power of a well appointed home. But superficial design features can belie critical warning signs. As a buyer, it is essential to focus on evaluating the functional aspects of the property. A money pit is nothing less than a home that will require much more money for maintenance and repair and will be a constant drain on financial resources. It is imperative that a home inspection be conducted by a competent home inspector and that an offer to purchase contains a home inspection condition, enabling the buyer to get out of the deal if anything of deep concern is revealed during the inspection. However, no matter how talented the home inspector is, there can be problems lurking in invisible areas like foundations. Knowing what to look for may help prospective buyers avoid investing time and money in a home that is structurally unstable. Firstly, before waiving the conditions on the offer, arrange to go through the home

and open every door and window. Take note whether the door frames are square and notice whether the doors and windows latch properly. Difficulty opening and closing windows and doors can be early signs that the home is significantly shifting. The floors should be level and the ceilings should not show any signs of bowing or slanting. Signs of significant cracks and gaps in the floors, or in the drywall at the corners and at window and door openings, can indicate more serious problems. Whether it’s a new or old home, foundation problems often need costly major repairs and may require existing landscaping, patios, porches, pathways and decks be dismantled or moved to provide access for digging out the perimeter of the house. This is expensive and disruptive and can lead to costs in the tens of thousands of dollars. For this reason, question bowed basement walls, cracks in the walls or floors, or a tilting chimney. And consult a structural engineer if any doubts linger. Small visual clues may indicate much bigger problems. Understanding the implications of the problem will help you decide whether to walk away or negotiate an adjustment on the purchase price in order to offset the anticipated cost of the repairs. Water damage is one of the most critical types of hazards seen in homes. Water can be a source of serious problems and may cause mould and rot. The bathroom


Finally, while contractors will often tell you that a cosmetic issue is easy to fix, be sure to think through the need for any major changes. If you don’t like the basic style of the home, it might be better to look somewhere else unless you have a big budget. Downplaying the cost of cosmetic changes can result in expensive renovations, even if the existing structure is sound.

Peter Khatami - Peter is Senior Project Manager and Co-Owner of Nostco Construction, a Design/Build company serving residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on his clients’ behalf to bring vision to construction reality. December 2012



This category includes pocket doors that are the same sliding doors that roll back into the wall to appear virtually invisible when open. Doors can be made of different materials. Solid core doors are constructed from particleboard or fibre core materials, giving them solid weight that helps reduce noise. They may be made of hardwood, such as oak, ash, beech, or cherry or of softwood – for example, pine. These high-end doors are durable, strong, and stylish. Hollow-core doors are made with interwoven corrugated hollow cells that support the outer face of the door; they are lightweight, affordable, and ideal for lowtraffic areas. The vacuum moulding technology used in manufacturing hollow-core doors ensures their high quality.

TYPES OF INTERIOR DOORS Interior doors are any doors that do not provide access to the outside of the house and include doors found on closets, bathrooms, bedrooms, and any other enclosed area of the house. They are found in any type of dwelling or office and they come in many different types, so it is easy to find one that suits your decor, your preferences, and your budget. In the way of construction, interior doors include hinged doors and sliding doors. Hinged doors, also known as passage doors, are the most commonly used doors in our homes. The one end of the door is mounted on the hinges, whereas the other end swings into or out of the room. They are easy to install, reliable, closely fitted,



Their core is usually made of wood-like materials, including particleboard, or fibre core materials and may be faced with any kind of quality wood. It is hard to tell the difference between solid and hollow core doors offhand because both categories may come in any desirable style.

and have the best temperature and soundproof characteristics. Hinged doors include regular one-panel doors, French doors (or double doors), and bi-fold doors – usually two panels that are hinged together and fold into each other. Such doors are commonly used for areas such as laundry room, pantry and closets. Sliding doors also known as bypass doors do not swing open; instead, you need to slide them on the track. Since these doors do not swing open, they do not disturb other elements of the room and are best for smaller spaces. They also add interest to the room decor. Nevertheless, sliding doors are not as good in terms of temperature and soundproofing as the hinged doors.


Another popular material for facing interior doors is laminate. Laminated panels come in classic or modern design. Laminated doors are resistant to deformation and keep their look for a long time. They are the best for rooms with increased humidity. Today’s building materials market offers great variety of interior doors suitable for all tastes, styles, and budgets.

Aculo doorS тел.: 416-877-0449, 905-910-1124 31 Ritin Lane, Unit 2, Concord



December 2012



Living “Easy” With Your Design Decisions “What a great couch! And it’s on sale! Should I get it? Do I need a 3-seater or a love seat? ... and oh, this is such a beautiful coffee table! Oh, I have to buy this crystal chandelier!” We all know this “sweet voice” that steers us like sail through the aisles of choices. It is called “Buying on Impulse”! Just recently the dwellings the majority of people used to live in were of a similar type mostly single-family homes with limited selection of finishes and resources. Today, we have so many choices of what we can call home: cottages, mobile homes, high-rise apartments, townhouses, as well as of lifestyles – a big city, suburbs, a small town or the country; overwhelming competition of products, design resources, and possibilities. With all these choices, it is quite easy to give in and focus on your “wants” instead of your “needs”. The following scenario happens quite often to the best of us: you saw something you liked in a store, you bought it, and afterwards you are trying to find a place or space for it to fit in, wishing you had waited to see whether it really works for your home before spending the money and the time. Designing your home is a gradual process that should involve all members of your family. Analyzing everyone’s needs and desires, habits and interests, but you have to be honest with yourself regarding your limits and expectations. Knowing how you live will determine your next step which is deciding what you need.

2. Any anticipated changes in the next 5 – 10 years? Yes

Kitchen island



Living room Family room Library or study room Kitchen



4. Do you have guests staying with you? Frequency Long or short visits

10. What daily activities do you or your family like to engage in and where in the home?

3. Do you have pets? Dogs (How many, large or small)

Friends or relatives 5. What type of home do you live in? Apartment House Other 6. What is your lifestyle? Formal Informal Casual Moderate

Read Watch TV Play games Listen to music Other 11. Do you need window coverings that ensure privacy or do you have a beautiful view that you enjoy? 12. What kind of floors do you have? Do you need area rugs? 13. What kind of walls do you have? Do you like paint or wallpaper?

Big or small parties

Large paintings Small framed prints Sculpture

8. Where do you or your family like to eat most of the time? Dining room Kitchen table

14. What kind of art do you have or want?

Mix of the above 15. Do you have or want plants? This is just a general example of questions to write down. The more questions you ask yourself the better since it will help you to avoid the “sale fever” and living “easy” with your design choices. We all love seasonal sales, it is fun and great savings, but only if you really know your “wants” and your “needs”.

Your Own Questionnaire: 1. Who is living in your home? Adults (Number, sex and age, special needs if any) Teens Children

Marina Orlova ARIDO,IDC




7. Entertaining: how often, types of parties, and what room(s) do you use? Formal Informal

Working with a professional consultant you have to fill out a “profile survey” and the process of doing it will help you make the right choices, plan better and maybe even learn something new in the process.


9. Where do you spend most of the time in your home?



Oh how nice to have someone take care of you, to lean on when your furniture needs repairs that are best done by a strong male hand. What if a female homeowner is single or, worse, her “better” half needs a strong woman’s hand to deal with household chores? A woman is a woman and as such can do anything if she puts her mind to it. Remember the line ‘Anything you can do I can do better’ from the musical “Annie Get Your Gun”? Right! So let’s repair our kitchen furniture without expecting too much from the opposite sex.

Advice #1. To fix a jammed drawer. If the jam is not excessive it will easily go away if you rub a candle along the slides or the bottom of the drawer itself. In a more severe case, use sandpaper. Advice #2. To fix cabinet doors. If cabinet doors keep opening all by themselves it can be caused either by loose hinges or uneven floor surface. Try to slide a piece of cardboard or folded paper under the legs to even it out. If this has not solved the problem, check the hinges and tighten their screws. It will not be possible if the materials are too old; in that case fill the opening with wood putty. Advice #3. If your drawers started smelling funny, wash their

insides with weak manganese solution and keep them open until they are completely dry.

Advice #4. If you decide to paint peeling surfaces on your furniture, take the following steps: a. Check your piece of furniture to make sure there are no wood boring bugs in it; b. If you find these pests, blow the bug tunnels through with a vacuum cleaner, after which drip some kerosene into them with a dropper; c. Use wax or wood putty to seal the opening, otherwise your furniture will absorb kitchen smells that will be practically impossible to get rid of;

d. Before painting your piece, polish the surface with sand paper; e. Go ahead – do it! Enjoy both your fixed kitchen and you feeling of satisfaction!

December 2012



Spain and Italy have indeed cut state expenditures including those for RES due to the financial crisis but the EU has increased its goals regarding renewable energy sources. Because of the Fukushima, Japan, disaster Germany has decided to dismantle its nuclear power program by 2022 replacing it with the RES system. German solar power plants produced a world record – 22 Gigawatts of electricity per hour which is equal to 20 nuclear power stations in May, 2012. Europe plans to increase the share of RES-produced electricity to 20% of the total amount of manufactured energy. MYTH 4 At present, renewable energy programs in Ontario are paid for by Ontario taxpayers. Once more, our discussion topic is whether solar energy is affordable for a medium-income homeowner as well as why free and unlimited solar energy is not used universally. Even though solar energy technology has been around and worked successfully for a long time, many people hesitate about installing solar equipment on their rooftops because of erroneous information and numerous myths concerning the use of solar energy. Today, Logitest Solar together with All about Home magazine will try to disprove these myths and persuade you to accept new technologies that are the thing of the future. MYTH 1 Solar energy use is possible only in the places that receive abundant sunlight while it is unreliable in those locations where sunny days are fewer. REALITY Solar cells need ultraviolet rays (UV) Canada receives more sunlight than, say, Germany who leads the world in the number of solar systems and who produces 9.6 gWt of energy, i.e. 145 times as much as Canada. When solar panels are placed in the correct position, they produce electricity year round, even during cloudy and darker winter days. They supply power in times and places of the highest need – for example, during most expensive peak hours of hot and sunny summer days when air conditioning units consume the highest amounts of energy.

REALITY FIT (Feed-It-Tariff ) program allows homeowners to sell electricity back to the grid under 20 year contract at a fixed rate. The rate per kW-hour is established with the purpose of attracting private investors into new projects. The government of Ontario does not pay for equipment and its installation; it only purchases energy from the manufacturer for using it in the electrical networks, while nuclear, coal, large hydro and gas power stations are subsidized directly by taxpayers’ money. Not one nuclear power station in Ontario has ever been constructed on time and without additional costs. You can guess who had to pay for the additional costs– of course you and me, the taxpayers! These are the most important excuses people give for avoiding solar equipment installed on their rooftops. As demonstrated above, the myths have nothing to do with reality. Solar energy is effective, free, and environmentally friendly. Private energy production brings savings to both an individual user and the local community. Even if the initial investment may seem a bit too high, it will be paid off in the long run and save substantial amounts of money for their owners on a yearly basis. We have tried to disprove the most common myths regarding solar energy. If you still have questions and doubts, or would like for solar experts to look at your roof to check its feasibility, please do not hesitate to call Logitest Solar.

MYTH 2 Photovoltaic panels are powerless during freezing temperatures and precipitation.

Sophia Markhevka and the Logitest Solar Team

Logitest Solar Phone: 1-888-382-4779, Fax: (905) 850-8405

REALITY Solar modules do not need maintenance, even during wintertime. Southward-directed panels can melt snow and prevent it from accumulating while producing electricity. Solar panels protect the rooftop from the elements increasing the longevity of the roof. These panels designed to withstand typical kinds of weather, snow, rain, hail, etc. The panels are also easy to clean. Even though many people never clean them because accumulated dirt gets washed off with rains and melting snow. MYTH 3 European countries are abandoning renewable energy sources (RES).





Multi-Purpose Room.. This room is my clients’ only formal living room and also their only every day family room. It was very important to them to ensure it was chic elegant for entertaining and at the same time very casual, washable and durable for their child regarding the fabric selection. It is only a two- colour palette of cream and teal but totally punched up with unexpected bold touches of orange and animal print throughout! Amazing details such as applied mouldings on walls, custom built-in cabinetry, waffled ceilings, stone fireplace, large windows, crown moulding etc. are the added elements that are subtle but that really make a huge impact in the room.

Call us today so we can transform your space! * 416-573-5378 *


ROYAL I N TERIORS Elegant & A ordable designs that suit your lifestyle December 2012




OF YOUR WINTER APPAREL Oh, how lucky are those who live in warm climates! Not only they enjoy sunshine year round but also the weather is easy on their budget because there is no need to buy winter coats and suits. Well, we live in the Great White North so winter clothing is for us the fact of life. Fashion trends change every year but it does not mean that we have to blindly follow them and change our winter wardrobe annually. Moreover, if your style is timeless classic, your coats, suits, and warm dresses will never go out of style. Knowing how to care for things you can extend their lifespan even more. Before spending your money on dry cleaning, try the following tips and see whether they will help keep your winter clothing in great shape. Suits and Coats Winter suits and coats cannot be laundered, they do need dry cleaning. But what you can do is bring your visits to the local dry cleaner down to the minimum. You can keep your things clean and fresh if after each wear you go over them with a clothes brush and air them out before putting them away in the closet. A silk scarf underneath the collar of your coat or jacket being a great stylish accessory will also serve to protect the neckline from skin oils, makeup, and perfume.

Before wearing your leather boots for the first time, apply a layer of protective silicone spray. This kind of protection is worth the money you pay for it because it makes water and salt roll into drops and flow down off your boots or shoes. To clean your footwear stained with salt prepare a solution of one part vinegar with three parts water and, using soft cloth, apply on your boots once a week. Apply protective spray on your suede shoes or boots. After returning home, clean them with a soft brush or sponge. A soft eraser will carefully remove stains.


Lingerie including brassieres, pantyhose, and thin stockings are laundered in the same way as knits. If your washing machine has a “delicates” cycle use it but place your intimates in a mesh bag. Never dry sweaters or intimates in a dryer to avoid ruining them. Knits Knitted items and sweaters are the easiest to care for at home. Almost any sweater, even cashmere, is washable. Before laundering a close-fitted sweater think of the way you want to use for drying it: on a thick towel or a flat drying screen. Before putting the sweater into the wash spread it on the flat surface intended for drying it afterwards, and follow its outline with a cord. When it is time to dry the garment put it flat inside the outline – this will help to keep its original shape intact. Wash sweaters in warm (never in hot!) water with mild detergent or baby shampoo. Leave in the soapy water for a while, then rinse thoroughly. Do not wring out thin fabric. Squeeze out as much water as possible with your hands and roll the garment inside a towel. Then spread on another towel or a drying screen and let dry. You can press the sweater with a warm iron. Hand-washed sweaters serve longer and smell better than dry cleaned ones.

Suede and Leather



Never dry knits on a hanger and do not wash garments decorated with beads or sequins because these decorations could be glued on. They are better off dry cleaned professionally. Handbags Use baby wipes to clean your handbags both inside and out or use soft cloth and mild soap. Do it carefully but thoroughly. Use instant transparent shoe polish on the exterior of your purse. For taking care of your footwear and purses, use various pads and cloth.


ARE YOU FEELING DOWN? ? Y H W W O N K U O Y DO If we believe psychologists, our mental state is directly connected to our living space. Therefore, if you are feeling down, look around and see what you can change in your home to fill your life with light and colour and make you feel happier. Look at the world with new eyes! Windows are the eyes of your room. Take care of them by washing the panes clean, and your surroundings will instantly become brighter. Remove clutter and get rid of obsolete items replacing them with flower pots on your windowsill. If plants are not your thing, decorate the sill with framed pictures, figurines, or other fun things. Wash and iron the curtains. Clean windows will fill your room with light that we miss so much during the winter months, make the place look fresher, and give its inhabitants a charge of joy, optimism, and good mood. The items you have forgotten... Do you remember what is hidden in the many drawers of your desk, closet, under the

take too much space and create a cozy air. Dust the room surfaces often. bed, or behind a sofa? We bet you couldn’t remember offhand. Yet, there are zillions things sitting in there – most of them obsolete. And this junk has collected so much dust that you will not manage to go through it without sneezing. Make it a rule: if you have forgotten about an item and have not used it for two years, chuck it! If the item is still good give it away rather than dumping it. If it has been at your fingertips and you had not found a chance to use it, it will most likely stay unused in the future. Do not clutter your living space - revise your possessions regularly. Try to place them in such a way that they do not


Let it be light! Revise your room lighting. Is it sufficient? Do you feel right at this level of lighting? If lighting in your room is dim or cold, it will make you feel down even if you do not realize why. The lighter your space is the more comfortable you feel and the easier it is to chase away moodiness. Avoid bulbs that shed light of purplish, grey, bluish, or green tones as well as dark lampshades. The best lamps for a living space give bright white daylight keeping the colour of the objects in the room natural. Such lighting is associated with sunlight or the light of a fire burning in a fireplace and as such it makes the room look and feel cozier and warmer.

December 2012




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December 2012



FREE Special Report From Alexey Alekseev Reveals

29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast (And For Top Dollar) The homeseller realized he was trapped. There was absolutely nothing he could do. Without the benefit of adequate preparation and thorough homework, the price he had negotiated for his home sale was lower than he should have received—thousands of dollars lower. In all the years REALTOR® Alexey Alekseev has been helping area residents with their home sales,

how vital a role the information and preparation he provides his clients really is. Information is the seller’s best friend and most important ally. That’s why Alexey decided to put together a special report to help prospective home sellers. This special report, entitled “29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast—And For Top Dollar,” is provided free, as a community service.

What You Will Learn

he’s run into a surprising number of sellers in similar predicaments. But to Alexey’s concern, when it comes to unfortunate sellers like the one above,

Alexey’s special report, “29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast—And

he can’t help after the fact—then it’s too late.

you put your home on the market. It’ll give you information that will help ensure you are the most prepared

Alexey’s Free Special Report Alexey understands all too well

For Top Dollar,” provides 29 important things you should understand before

seller you can be—both mentally and emotionally.

Call 24 hours a day and order your FREE special report!

647/693-7733 Simply dial ext. 100 for recorded message and info on how to order. It’s that easy.

What To Do—And Not To Do In this special report Alexey shares many of the tips that professionals utilize to help maximize a home’s potential and actual worth—and most importantly help you drive up the selling price of your home. You’ll learn many important things you need to do, but more critical may be the things it tells you not to do—things that could cost you dearly at the negotiating table. You’ll find out how your emotional state has everything to do with how well your home sale turns out. This report is essential reading for any serious home seller.

Get Your Special Report Before you sell your home, call Alexey Alekseev for your free special report and read it carefully. You’ll be glad you did.

Homelife\Cimerman Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage* 28 Drewry ave• Toronto, ON M2M 1C8 *independently owned & operated

December 2012  

All About Home December 2012 Edition

December 2012  

All About Home December 2012 Edition