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MARCH 2013

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European furniture boutique in Vaughan!

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We′ve Got The Right Mortgage For You! Within a wide variety of mortgages in TD Canada Trust Bank, there is certainly one that is the best for you. I am a specialist providing you with the consultation in your home, helping you make the optimal choice. If you want to: ● refinance ● switch your mortgage ● buy a house ● obtain a credit line Call me and receive a personal consultation!

March 2013 To advertise in All About Home magazine please contact us

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Natural stone is a superior decorative and building material - strong, durable, and environmentally friendly. It is also esthetically pleasing, with beautiful texture, inimitable patterns, a wide range of tones, and a noble look. Nevertheless or, rather, because of all this natural stone is quite costly. If you are prepared to shell out a considerable sum to use natural stone in your home you need to be aware of main specifics of each type of natural stone used for this purpose. Remember: each type of stone has its place in the decor spectrum!

Marble is one of the most popular, beautiful, expensive, and aristocratic-looking of all kinds of natural stone. It is widely used as floor and wall covering, for bathroom decorating, and door and window frame facing. Marble is a choice material for windowsills and counters, fireplaces, stairs

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and banisters, columns and shelves, and even mosaic pictures. Marble is easy to process and, as such, is a preferred material for decorative elements of complicated and artful shapes. On the other hand, marble is susceptible to the influence of aggressive environments, liable to scuffing, and, because of its porous essence, easily absorbs liquids. Polished marble is not a good choice for kitchen counters because stains tend to be almost impossible to eliminate.

Granit though is a completely different story! Granite and quartzite are superior to marble in their characteristics. They are harder, stronger, more durable, and resistant to aggressive influences. Yet, for these very reasons they are harder to treat and shape into complicated forms. Besides, polished granite is quite dangerous in spaces with increased humidity because it is slippery. This is why marble that is more porous is preferable as a floor covering in the bathroom. Granit, in the meantime, is better used in bars, windowsills, mantles, staircases, and kitchen counters.

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Slate is as decorative as marble and granite, thanks to its varied texture. Slate’s laminated structure creates unique colour and relief compositions and makes the stone easy to shape. Slate is easy to polish; it is not slippery, and it is resistant to aggressive influences. Unlike marble and granite that tend to be perceived as a bit cold and as such suitable for showy interiors, slate is warm and tends to create a cozy feeling in any space. This stone will look great and serve for a long time as a floor or wall covering or a trim for doors, windows, and fireplaces.

Sandstone belongs to the category of the commonest decorative materials. It has a wide colour scale – from white, light-gray, and beige to brown, red, blue, and green. Despite its relative softness, sandstone is quite durable. It is easy to treat and it is affordable. Its drawback is its porous structure that limits the use of this stone – it should be avoided in spaces with increased humidity. Among the recommended uses for sandstone is facing stairs, floors, walls, and fireplaces.

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Dufferin/Rutherford (Thornhill Valley Community) Asking $618,000

Gorgeous quality built new semidetached home. 4 large bdrs, 3 wshrs. Amazing layout features: spacious rooms & open concept design. 9ft ceilings. Mouldings throughout. Gourmet dark kitchen w/valance, S/S appliances. Hardwood floors. Large family room w/fireplace. Direct access to garage. Extended w/interlock driveway – 3-cars parking. Backyard width – 43ft. Minutes to school, park, transit.

Keele/Kirby

Beautiful nearly new 4-bdrm, 3-wshr detached home, about 2200 sq.ft., located on quite Maple Crescent. Excellent very modern layout. 9ft ceilings. Potlights. Dark stained hardwood floors throughout. Oak staircase. Family room with gas fireplace. Upgraded kitchen w/stone & glass backsplash, S/S appliances. Custom tiles in all wshrs. Large bedrooms. Every bedroom has access to wshrs. 2-car garage, no sidewalk, 4 parkings. Close to excellent schools, plaza, transit.

Asking $679,900

Condo Bathurst/Clark Asking $349,900

Bathurst/Rutherford Asking $679,900

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“Promenade Towers”! Large & bright CORNER unit, about 1300 sq ft with balcony. 2-bdrs+large solarium, 2 full wshrs. Huge windows from floor to ceiling. Laminate floors throughout. Large kitchen with window & breakfast area. Parking. Locker. Very well maintained building with excellent facilities: gym, sauna, outdoor pool, rec. room, tennis court, 24 hours security gate. Close to excellent schools, Promenade plaza, transit.

Condo Bathurst/Centre

Beautiful upgraded unit in luxury Centre Park condo, approx 750 sq.ft. 1-bdrm, den, 2-wshrs. Unobstructed East view. Modern kitchen w/ granite countertop, undermount sinks, S/S appliances. Upgraded large full ensuite bathroom. Balcony. Laminate floors. Parking &large locker. Luxury building with superb recreational facilities. Pet friendly. Steps to Wal-Mart, Promenade Plaza, park, transit.

Prestigious Lebovic Campus Area. Detached 3 bdrs, 3 wshrs. Double door entrance w/large 2-storey foyer. 9ft ceilings. Upgraded high kitchen cabinets, granite countertop, custom backsplash, high-end S/S appliances. Updated Berber carpet in bedrooms. Large family room w/fireplace. Closet organizers. Main floor laundry. Updated windows in basement. No sidewalk. Close to school, park, shopping, transit.

Keele/Drummond, Maple

Bright and spacious in excellent location, about 2100 sq.ft. 4-bdrs, 3-wshrs. Great layout. Wooden floors throughout. Nice family size kitchen with granite countertop and W/O to patio. Very large master bdrm with W/I closet. W/ out to balcony in 2nd bdrm. Large family room w/fireplace. 2-car garage. Large extended driveway, no sidewalk. Close to shopping, schools, nature trails, Hwy400, GO train.

Asking $319,000

Asking $548,800

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Undermount is a style of sink that allows the basin to be mounted beneath the countertop. Very common in kitchens and bathrooms, these sinks are popular because they promote a seamless appearance and allow for effective use of space. With its plumbing almost always concealed behind cabinetry, the undermount sink has an advantage favoured by those who like clean and uncluttered spaces. One of the main identifying factors of these sinks that they do not feature decorative rims. In fact, because they are made to be mounted underneath the counter, many of these sinks don’t have visible rims at all. Instead they are positioned either flush with the counter or a few inches beneath it.

Undermount bathroom sinks are a major trend in bathroom remodeling. They have a clean, contemporary look, are easy to clean and come in a wide variety of materials, colours, shapes and sizes that match any bathroom decorative style. Ceramic sinks remain a versatile favorite, but they are in no way the limit. Choosing from the variety of colors and shapes is obviously a matter of personal preference. However, there are some important considerations when choosing between various materials.

Cast Iron Sinks Most cast iron sinks are basically damageproof but, being a great high-end option for the kitchen, they are not the best choice for your bathroom – they are heavy, difficult to install, and their industrial look may clash with your bathroom decor.

Ceramic Sinks China and fireclay ceramic are the standard for bathroom sinks. Basic ceramic sinks are

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non-porous, durable, germ-resistant, and relatively inexpensive. They can be painted and patterned and formed into any shape. Remember that heavy objects may chip ceramic sinks.

cleaned regularly, and it should be wiped dry after every use to avoid water stains and discolouration. Copper also changes colour over time, so it is difficult to predict what the sink will look like in a few years.

Glass Sinks

Stainless Steel Sinks

Glass is trendy, but it may be impractical for some homeowners. Glass needs to be wiped down after every use to avoid ugly water stains. Like ceramic, glass will not rust or stain. Paying extra for tempered glass for a sink in your regular bathroom is a good investment. Of course, you may install a fragile, non-tempered-glass sink in a guest bathroom if it is not used on a regular basis. Also keep in mind that even tempered glass can chip relatively easily.

Similarly, stainless steel is a great option for the kitchen, but may be less attractive in a bathroom. Steel sinks can be noisy, although newer sinks often have an undercoat with sound-deadening finishes.

Copper Sinks Copper sinks bring a classic look to a bathroom, and they have a beautiful and distinctive texture. Copper also possesses a natural anti-bacterial quality. However, copper requires significant upkeep. It must be

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Stone Sinks Granite, soapstone, and other stones can be carved into an undermount bathroom sink. Most of these materials are porous, and may trap germs and stains. Composite undermount bathroom sinks are rare, but they are available. They are less porous and can be formed into a wider variety of shapes. Most are made of quartz, granite or other stone mixed with acrylic binders. Like cast iron, stone sinks are heavy and expensive, and may be costly and complicated to install.

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www.7elementdesign.ca Free estimate

416-822-3023

DRAPERY

CUSTOM DRAPERY ALL TYPES OF BLINDS INTERIOR DESIGN HOME STAGING WALLPAPER All catalogues on our website!

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1950s The machinists followed with a breakthrough development of submersible pumps that opened markets worldwide to Jacuzzi. Factories sprouted in Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Chile and Italy. When Candido’s JacuzziÍs 15-month old son contracted rheumatoid arthritis – a crippling and painful condition - Candido could not stand to see his son suffering between the regular hydrotherapy treatments at local hospitals. He realized that the water pumps Jacuzzi Brothers was making for industrial use could be adapted to give his son soothing whirlpool treatments at home. So, Jacuzzi designed an aerating pump that could be used in a bathtub. The unit sat right in the water and was portable. Over the years, word of these water jets reached sufferers who sought the same home relief provided by the portable whirlpool and Jacuzzi manufactured some for special orders. The portable pump J-300 was sold to hospitals and schools.

1960s This innovative spirit was captured by Roy Jacuzzi, a third-generation family member who had begun learning the business as a teenager. Sensing the American consumer’s interest in health, fitness and leisure activities, Roy invented and marketed the first selfcontained, fully integrated whirlpool bath in 1968. By incorporating jets into the sides of the tub, it became the bath that almost singlehandedly created an industry.

1970s What is a Jacuzzi? It is the most popular brand name in the whirlpool industry. A whirlpool is a tub fitted with piping, an electric pump, and water jets. The pump circulates the water through the pipes using an underwater suction fitting and several underwater jets. Each jet contains a vented constriction near its opening that injects air into the water. In most cases, the ratio of air to water can be adjusted--at a central control, at each jet or both sites. The Jacuzzi is a well-known symbol of luxury but Candido Jacuzzi did not set out to make his name synonymous with laid-back California luxury. Jacuzzi did not invent the whirlpool; it was others that made his soothing-sounding name generic. The company has descended from mechanics who built propellers and industrial pumps. Every success story starts with a dream, and it is no different for this company.

1900s Candido Jacuzzi was born in northern Italy in 1903 and emigrated with his family, fifteen strong, to the United States early in the century. The family settled in Berkeley, California. Candido, the youngest of seven brothers, would never complete grammar school. The first Jacuzzi Brothers, Inc. product was an airplane propeller known as the Jacuzzi ‘toothpick.’ America’s first military planes sported the specialized propeller in World War I. When the war ended the brothers designed the Jacuzzi J-7, an enclosed cabin monoplane that carried mail for the U.S. Postal Service, and passengers from the San Francisco Bay Area to Yosemite National Park.

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As larger units were designed to accommodate several people, Jacuzzi incorporated heating and filtration systems to keep the water warm and clean, thus creating the first spa in 1970. In 1979, the family sold to New York-based Kidde Inc. All the family members left the business or retired, except for Roy, who stayed on to run the Jacuzzi operations.

1980s The 80s were a decade of new designs for Jacuzzi. The Avanza was introduced - a whirlpool bath/hot tub that could be installed inside or outside a house.

1990s In the early 90s, Roy Jacuzzi was inducted into the National Kitchen & bath Hall of Fame, recognizing him for his many contributions in the innovation of hydrotherapy for home use.

Today Jacuzzi has become the world’s most recognized and largest selling brand of jetted/whirlpool baths and spas. In addition to the first whirlpool bath patent, Jacuzzi has 250 worldwide patents for advancements in pump systems, jet technology, air controls, and product design. Today, Jacuzzi branded hot tubs, baths, showers, toilets, sinks, and accessories are commonly found in residential homes, hotels, and aboard cruise ships and have become popular in high-end spas around the world. Jacuzzi products are distributed in about 60 countries worldwide.

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Excellent Work Experience, Professionalism

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Fay Tsatskina

• I’ll find you a home where you will feel warm and cozy; • Bonuses for Buyers; Flexible commissions for Sellers; • I’ll do everything possible for fast and successful closing; • I’ll offer you the best mortgage rates; • I’ll find a solution for any complication; • Free consultations and fast confirmation of mortgage approvals.

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CORNER UNIT! Prime Thornhill location! 2-bdr + den, 2-wshr condo unit, about 1350 Sq.Ft. with unobstructed view from large windows. Large, bright, with great floor plan. Kitchen with breakfast area, window & pantry. Laminated floors throughout. Large bedrooms. Den can be used as 3rd bdrm. Large ensuite laundry room. Presently tenanted with A+++ tenants who are willing to stay. Very well maintained building with gym, sauna, outdoor pool, tennis court. Steps to great schools, Promenade Mall, transit. Do not miss!

BATHURST & ANTIBES

Beautiful renovated 2+1-bdr, 2-wshr unit with unobstructed view (not onto cemetery). Very bright & spacious. Freshly painted. Engineered hardwood floors. Eat-in kitchen with breakfast area & window. Large solarium can be used as 3rd bdrm. Well maintained and updated building. Low maintenance fee includes everything. Bus stop right at the building. Close to schools, park, shopping.

Asking $279,900

DIRECT:

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

DUFFERIN & STEELES

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

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY! Bright & beautiful 1-bdr, 1-wshr condo unit, over 600 Sq.Ft. with gorgeous view from large windows & balcony. Modern kitchen with granite countertop & S/S appliances. Locker & parking. Very low maintenance fee. Currently leased with A+++ tenant willing to stay. Great building with excellent recreation facilities (pool, hot tub, gym, sauna, 24hr concierge service). Steps to all amenities.

Beautiful upgraded 1+1-bdrm, 2-wshr unit in luxury Centre Park Condo. Unobstructed east view. Balcony. Laminated floors. Modern kitchen with granite countertop, S/S appliances. Upgraded large full ensuite bathroom. Parking & locker. Pet friendly building. Low maintenance fee. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, billiard room. Walking distance to schools, Promenade Mall, Wal-Mart, synagogue, shops & restaurants.

Asking $282,000

Asking $319,900

Asking $345,000

BATHURST & CLARK

MAPLE

Prestigious Promenade Towers! Great 2+1-bdrm, 2 full whsr, about 1300 Sq.Ft with SOLARIUM & BALCONY. Practical layout, excellent condition. Laminated floors. Very large bedrooms. Eat-in kitchen with breakfast area & window. Ensuite laundry. Locker & parking. Excellent facilities: gym, sauna, hot tub, outdoor pool. Steps to all facilities & transportation. Just move-in & enjoy!

Bright & spacious two storey freehold townhouse in the beautiful neighbourhood of Maple. This exquisite 3-bdrm, 3-wshr home has been recently updated and painted. Grand foyer opens to above, large living/dining room, family room with gas fireplace. Open concept kitchen. Master bdrm with 4pc ensuite & W/I closet. Close to good schools, shops, transit, highways.

Asking $349,900

Asking $484,000

RICHMOND HILL

Absolutely gorgeous Aspen Ridge home. 4-bdrms, 3-washrs. BACKING ONTO POND & CONSERVATION AREA. Modern & practical floor plan. Hardwood floors. Oak staircase. Large kitchen with granite countertop, central island & S/S appliances. Breakfast area overlooks garden. Main floor laundry room & exit to 2-car garage. Fully fenced b/yard with deck. Interlock walk-way & b/yard. Excellent location, close to good schools, parks, transit.

RICHMOND HILL

Stunning, rare, suitable for any type family 3+1bdrm, 4-wshr BUNGALOW with LOFT. Lots of upgrades. High ceilings. Hardwood floors. Custom made kitchen with gorgeous granite countertop, limestone flooring & central island, Bosch S/S appliances, cook top. Finished basement with full kitchen, family room, bedroom & bath. A must see!

Asking $749,000

RICHMOND HILL

Luxurious 4+1-bdrm, 4-wshr home with fantastic open concept floor plan. 9’ ceilings. Hardwood floors, crown mouldings. Gourmet kitchen with island, extended cabinets, S/S appliances. All designer window coverings. Finished basement with huge entertaining room, office & sauna. Too many upgrades to list.

Asking $669,900

NEW WESTMINSTER & CLARK

Spacious, bright & spotless detached house, about 2800 Sq.Ft, 4+2-bdrms, 4-wshrs, with very practical open concept layout. All rooms are very large. Hardwood floors. Potlights. Family room with fireplace. Finished basement apartment with 2 bdrms, bath, kitchen & separate entrance. Lots of renovations have been done (windows, baths, roof, painting, etc). Close to the best schools of Thornhill, including French School.

Asking $714,900

BATHURST & CLARK

Beautiful family home, over 3000 Sq.Ft, 4+1-bdrms, 4-wshrs in great area, across from park. Very bright & spacious. Hardwood floors, spotlights. Large kitchen with breakfast area & W/O to deck. Large family room with fireplace & DEN on main floor. Finished basement. Newer roof, furnace, windows. Close to excellent schools of Thornhill, parks, community centre, Promenade Mall, public transit, Hwy 7 & 407.

BATHURST & MAJOR MACK

Stunning 4-bdr, 4-wshr, 3800 Sq.Ft house in Upper Thornhill enclave Community. Backing on beautiful RAVINE. Amazing layout. Upgraded 5” Hardwood floors, smooth ceiling on both levels. 11’ in family room, 9’ on 2nd floor, 10’ in master-bdrm. W/O to balcony from master bdrm.Custom kitchen with gorgeous granite countertop. High-end S/S appliances. Too many upgrades & features to list... A MUST SEE!

Asking $719,000

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March 2013

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Marina’s Design File

All About Home magazine is one of a kind. It provides the Russian speaking community and its English speaking readers with an opportunity to learn about home improvement business and issues related to interior design and construction. The magazine also familiarizes its readers with arts and various artists.

Every new issue of All About Home is full of practical advice and creative ideas. The editorial staff and contributing writers are always on top of major events in the design and construction industry. Being a member of the interior design community, I am very

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proud that All About Home magazine now has a column that fills an important niche in our community, Bravo! Each month, Marina’s Design File column will acquaint readers with new trends and styles, and describe their impact on your life. We will run product reviews and talk about using various materials; review projects by internationally renowned and Canada’s most sought-after architects, designers, decorators, and artists, as well as some easy do-it-yourself weekend projects, including advice on where to find great bargains or upscale showrooms and stores. Whether you are single or starting a new family; a recent empty nester or just trying to revamp your existing decor - whatever the case may be, I hope you will find this

e-mail: aahtoronto@gmail.com

column informative, inspirational, and entertaining. There are many design issues and challenges we bump into when we start to renovate or build from scratch. A few years ago, I enjoyed consulting visitors at The National Home Show, by taking part in a What’s Your Design Dilemma? session. I answered questions like “How do I place my furniture in this tunnel-like family room?”, “I like 1950s style furniture, where can I buy it?”, “One floor tile in my kitchen has a huge crack, how do I replace it without cracking the tiles around it?”, “ What kind of countertop is best used in the kitchen?”, and “How should I plan my kitchen to gain barrier-free access to my lower cabinets?”, among many. I will be more than happy to hear your opinions and suggestions. Do you have a question or a design dilemma? Please feel free to contact me directly by email: marina@orlovainteriors.com, or via All About Home magazine.

Let’s talk - because, after all, it is all about home and you! Residential Planning & Design marina@orlovainteriors.com T: 416.520.4595

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ORIT’S DRAPERIES & MORE Exclusive curtains and draperies Decorative covers and pillows Bed sheets and much more Old drapery renewal Large selection of draperies, fabrics and accessories from Europe Interior and fashion designer with 20 years of experience in Israel, Canada and America

416-400-2403 Svetlana

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March 2013

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About microFIT Consider the benefits of generating clean energy from renewable source such as the sun and selling it for a guaranteed price with a fair return on your investment. Join thousands of Ontarians who are already part of the microFIT Program contributing to a cleaner environment.

Solar PV

Description

How did it start? The microFIT Program was launched in 2009 as part of the Ontario government’s efforts to increase renewable energy in the province. The program provides homeowners and other eligible participants with the opportunity to develop a small or “micro” renewable electricity generation project (10 kilowatts (kW) or less in size) on their property. The microFIT Program is a streamlined program for small renewable energy projects under the umbrella of the

Solar energy is a renewable resource that is free, environmentally friendly and readily available. Solar energy can be used in many ways - to provide heat, lighting, mechanical power and electricity. The cells are semiconductor devices, usually made of silicon, which contain no liquids, corrosive chemicals or moving parts. The PV panels require little maintenance, do not pollute, and operate silently, making photovoltaic energy a very clean and safe method of power generation.

Project size

10 kilowatts or less

Contract price paid per kWh

54.9 cents (Rooftop Solar PV) 44.5 cents (Non-Rooftop Solar PV)

Inflation index

0 percent

Typical lead time

1 to 6 months

What is in it for you?

Possible permits and approvals

Under the microFIT Program, you will be paid a guaranteed price over a 20-year term for all the electricity you produce and deliver to the province’s electricity grid. Get paid for the power you produce, with prices that:

Municipal building permit No renewable energy approval required Electrical Safety Authority approval

Location/resource

South, West or East-facing, inclining approximately 20-45 degrees

Feed-in Tariff (FIT) Program. The FIT Program is designed for projects generating over 10 kW of electricity.

Zoning restrictions in residential, commercial and industrial areas

are designed to cover the costs of a typical project allow you to earn a reasonable rate of return on your investment over the term of the contract. Contribute to a healthier environment by: generating electricity from a renewable source – solar photovoltaic (PV) being part of the largest climate change initiative in North America.

What you should know It is important to be aware of your responsibilities as a participant in this program. These include, but are not limited to: researching available products and offers to find the best renewable energy system for you purchasing and installing your renewable energy system meeting all applicable safety standards, including arranging and paying for inspection of your project by the Electrical Safety Authority obtaining permits and other approvals, including municipal building permits if required

Other considerations

Project may affect: income taxes, property taxes Contact your municipality and Canada Revenue Agency

Industry associations

Canadian Solar Energy Association

Logitest Solar Inc. offers home, business and land owners complete turnkey solutions for solar energy harvesting under microFIT program, using the high-quality Ontario-made system components. We oversee the entire process involved, from the initial application to connection of your system. Our PV solar systems come with 25-year manufacturer warranty along with our labour warranty. Logitest Solar Inc. will take your microFIT project through the entire process making it hassle free. To book your free microFIT consultation, contact us today!

working with your local electricity distribution company to connect your project to the electricity grid and paying for all connection-related costs paying your local distribution company for account charges and metering fees paying for any associated insurance costs as well as professional fees for legal and tax advice meeting the domestic content rules set by the Ontario government: microFIT projects for solar PV must achieve a minimally required domestic content level of 60 percent. You are strongly encouraged to review the microFIT Rules and Contract for further details.

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For advertising inquiries call: 416-477-6112

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SMALL BUT BEAUTIFUL Despite the wide choice of advanced materials, ceramic tile have remained one of the most popular types of covering for both floors and walls in spaces with increased humidity, temperature swings, and the possibility of water splashes. Not only ceramic tiles are impervious to such perils but they are also known for their strength, durability, and easy maintenance. Ceramic tiles are the best material for smaller spaces. An added bonus of using ceramic tiles in a small bathroom is that it helps visually enhance the room and create a feeling of space. When selecting ceramic tiles for your bathroom make sure they are not too thick but still sufficiently strong. The thickness consideration is important because the thicker the tile is the more space it takes. The best choice for the walls in a small bathroom is smooth tiles that, by reflecting light, will create an illusion of a larger space, while, for the floor, you should use non-glossy tiles with a rough non-slip finish designed specifically for the bathroom floors. The colour, pattern, and size of the tiles are also important. Tiles for a small bathroom should be light-toned – for the same reason as stated above. To make the pattern more interesting, lay the tiles in a mosaic effect, using lighter tones of different colours. If you feel that using lighter tones alone may create a monotonous effect, introduce striking accents. Avoid laying larger-size tiles in a small space, especially when using many additional elements and inserts. The best size for a small bathroom is the medium-size tile that will not dwarf the surrounding decor elements but will stand out as an additional decorative detail.

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The notion that giving kitchen items as a present is in bad taste has been long outdated. The astonishing variety of curious objects today’s designers have been coming up with makes such a gift a pure delight. Who would not be happy with an unusual coffeemaker, a trivet, or a fun kettle, to name a few? These pleasant trifles have been created just for the purpose of becoming nice gifts for friends and family. One category of such pleasing items is placemats.

few words addressed to a member of the family before going out, only to find that there is no pen and paper available? This problem is easily solved with the help of placemats that can be used, like a school blackboard, for writing with chalk. And it is as easy to wipe, too.

The parental rule that a child is not to play with food or during the meal is the thing of the past. Today’s parents are prepared to forgo the outdated rule. Designers have come up with numerous versions of children’s tableware, cutlery, and other kitchen devices that double as playthings during a meal. Washable placemats made to be used as a drawing pad for markers will find their way to the hearts of children of any age – from one to 101. With winter temperatures dipping to double digits, your wish for a family picnic stays just that – a wish. Wait! Note the placemats that look and feel like fluffy grass. Use them right on your kitchen table and enjoy your little picnic watching the snowstorm behind your window. Table etiquette – what a complicated thing! In order to learn it or to teach your

kids, take advantage of placemats depicting every utensil and a piece of china in its proper place. Your guests will be impressed with your domestic graces!

A placemat looking like a bright and happy sunny-side-up fried egg is capable create a cheery mood in the morning, making a sleepy child smile and suggesting an easy breakfast dish to a sleepy adult. Impatient to get to your computer as soon as you wake up? Your placemat design will prepare the ground if it looks like a habitual file icon on your screen.

Fight (or feed) your nostalgia with placemats in the shape of vinyl records that will remind you of the disco era and your favourite rock groups or sweet-voiced crooners. How often do you need to make a quick note on something important or write a

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March 2013

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IN FRONT

OF THE FIREPLACE

The wood-burning fireplace has become almost a thing of the past in Canada. Due to various hazards and regulations as well as cost considerations, you can find them mostly in older homes while new home builders use a gas or electrical substitute. Of course, no one can stop you from installing a traditional fireplace in your home but it is a good thing to consider all your options. A fireplace can increase a home’s appeal and transform cold living spaces into cozy retreats. During long and hard winter days in Canada, nothing can remind you more of warmer times than the right fireplace. Most fireplaces are located in living rooms, family rooms, dens, and finished basements even though more and more of them have lately been installed in bed-

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rooms, dining rooms, and kitchens. They’re great additions that can help decrease heating costs that have been climbing steadily over the past few years.

Installing a fireplace isn’t easy. When you’re dealing with a potential explosive and CO2 you need to hire a professional who knows what they’re doing. If done improperly, it can be very dangerous and lead to hazards that compromise your health and safety.

If you still insist on having a wood-burning fireplace installed in your home, you will need to decide on one of the two options: prefabricated or traditional masonry. The former is less expensive but not as decorative as the brick-and-chimney traditional one. Traditional masonry fireplaces can last centuries, while metal ones will not last

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more than 25 years. But glass doors and built-in fans increase the efficiency and warm air a prefabricated fireplace pumps out compared to traditional masonry fireplaces. In fact, a traditional masonry fireplace is the least clean-burning and energy efficient fireplace you can choose. Depending on its shape, a masonry fireplace can actually use more heat than it produces. Gas fireplaces require minimal maintenance. This makes them a great option for homeowners who love the look of a fireplace but hate the extra work of a wood-burning unit like going outside to get wood, chopping it, hauling it back home, finding the proper storage, etc. – and the extra cost associated with it all. Once a gas fireplace is properly installed the only thing you need to do is flip

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the switch when it gets cold. Just make sure you hire an experienced professional to do your installation. The third option is, of course, an electric fireplace which is essentially an electric heater that mimics a wood or coal burning fireplace with either light or visual flames. They are often placed inside conventional fireplaces which can no longer be used for fires. They can also be mounted on a wall where there was previously no fireplace. They plug into the electrical sockets in the wall and can run on a “flame only” setting or can be used as a heater. There is a number of advantages to having an electric fireplace. Most obviously they are a more modern and stylish alternative to the bulky traditional fireplaces. Some can be as thin as an LCD television and boast a screen which shows flickering flames to create the effect of a real fire. These heaters can be placed anywhere in the home with no need of a chimney or ventilation system. They are suitable for bedrooms, kitchens, and living rooms and can create a design feature in even the smallest space. They are also easier to con-

trol, with remote controls and exact temperature readings. Even though electric fireplaces are often less efficient than other types, due to the inefficiency of generating electricity, from the cost effectiveness and simplicity point of view it is advisable to invest in an electric fireplace that will provide a safer and warmer environment for your home. If you prefer a more contemporary look, why not install a wall-mounted electric fireplace on your wall, with the TV mounted above? Just be sure to choose a fireplace on which the heat is expelled out the bottom and not out the top. While the heat output is far less than a gas or wood-burning fireplace, you still do not want any heat directly blowing onto your TV. Another great reason to combine your TV with an electric fireplace is the fabulous selection of media mantels that are available. Most entertainment mantels allow you to place your TV on or above the fireplace cabinet, while offering open storage below, for your DVD player and service provider’s ‘box’. There are also wonderful custom cabinets available which offer storage that’s

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completely hidden behind the panels of the mantel, so that no one knows that your DVD’s and components are stored there. These custom units are ideal for homes and condos where the TV room is in the living room, and you prefer to hid all the TV paraphernalia from view.

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VIP Invitation by Laqfoil to Visit Our Showroom Amazing Stretch Ceilings for Homes, Offeces & Showrooms Laqfoil ceiling products can be utilized both at the construction and renovation phase for any residential or commercial project. Our stretch ceilings are already successfully being used in both new and renovated spaces and for redecorating architectural facilities. In terms of design, we have over 280 stock colors and textures, and can create custom shapes, suspended panels, backlit panels, three dimensional and multilevel forms. Custom and print designs create endless possibilities from corporate logos to pictures. In contrast to other ceiling systems, stretch ceilings have a magnificent aesthetic appearance and requires less “ceiling” square, with its ability to qualitatively use the space between it and the main surface, thus hiding all sorts of unwanted communication devices.

printed ceiling in a residential living room We offer rhapsody in design for your home, office and showroom, regardless of their size and scope. Unique and exquisite Laqfoil stretch ceilings and wall prints manufactured right here in Toronto add an elegant classy atmosphere that fits any budget. Laqfoil Ltd. is North America’s only manufacturer and full service leading provider of stretch ceilings and related stretch technology products. Established in 2010, Laqfoil offers premier quality products for residential and commercial purposes, as well as unique print products to use in different markets.

and acoustically effcient technology. Stretch ceilings can hold up to 100 lbs. of water per square meter (in the event of leakage from above), and are resistant to chlorine and vapors. One of the most important facts is that it will never fade, sag, or lose tension over time. Once installed, you won’t have to worry about mold, dust or moisture accumulating on your ceiling. Additionally, it repels odors and bacteria which is really important consideration when choosing the product for your kitchen or kids’ rooms.

Our product selection includes turn-key design, production and installation of stretch ceilings, decorative suspended and 3D panels, boxes for walls, wide format prints on walls or ceilings and stretch ceiling accessories in different shapes and formats.

Furthermore, our clients always achieve unimaginable decor results, because we also print images directly onto the material. Supported by lighting and illumination that we integrate with most of our projects, the stretch ceiling in your home becomes a true state of the art masterpiece!

Stretch ceilings are considered a new technology in the construction, decoration and renovation industry as the ultimate ceiling solution and was created mainly as a solution for damaged ceilings. Today, it is the most versatile, practical and stunning product for interior design. It saves energy, by acting as an insulation for the heat or cold, prevents condensation by creating an air lock buffer within the structure and, of course, there is no need to paint the ceiling ever again. It is the fastest way to finish any room without prior preparation to the ceiling’s main surface. It is an energy-saving, noise-reducing,

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Even though the technology is very helpful and useful in avoiding “common ceiling problems”, it is so advanced, that it can be granted the title of “The Ceiling of the Future”, without even mentioning its advantages in solving all of the uncommon ceiling problems. Drywall or stucco ceilings can be difficult to install or repair, the paint fades, it peels and is messy during renovation because of the dust it creates. If you are trying to avoid all of these problems, we recommend Stretch Ceilings as your ultimate ceiling solution.

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The application range of our ceilings is absolutely unlimited and can be used in any type of houses, apartments, condominiums, offices, showrooms, sanitary, medical and educational institutions, including large retail outlets and small boutiques, fitness clubs and swimming pools, car dealerships and trade shows. We use exclusively non-allergenic, environmentally friendly, non-flammable, waterproof materials, that are certified under National Building Code for Canada S102 and the USA ASTM-E84. Amongst the completed and ‘in progress’ projects so far are: Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, Air Canada Center, Remax Realty Services, Horseshoe Valley Resort, various restaurants, real estate companies and many more. Laqfoil is proud to be a 100% Canadian company. So, the miracle is as pure as our original maple syrup and we make it right here in Toronto! Specialty designs ordered by our customers become the shining jewels of our portfolio and we have an experienced and dynamic team ready to create your new interior design. With these unique products you will convert your existing or future home, office or showroom into an elegant and stylish place to love, to live and work in. Get in touch with our professional staff and experience the magic of Laqfoil Stretch Ceiling Technology. Add the art of living to your home! Contribute a new design feature to the decor of your office or showroom! Own it – and you’ll understand.

Sincerely yours, Laqfoil T: 416.663.1708 e-mail: info@laqfoil.com www.laqfoil.com 20 Magnetic Dr., Unit 2, Toronto, Ont. M3J 2C4, Canada

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COMBINE = SAVE

AN AVERAGE OF

$400

Serge Linskyi Toronto Leaside Agency 939 Eglinton Ave. E Toronto, ON slinskyi@allstate.ca

Mobile.: 416-882-7901

The Trademark速 used under license by Allstate Insurance Company

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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.

BASEMENT INCOME PROPERTY Finishing and renting out your basement can make quite a lot of dollars and sense!

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Nearly all homes in Canada have a basement. The average rental rate for a one or two bedroom finished basement apartment in the G.T.A. is from $800 to $1,300 a month. A basement apartment in one of the trendier parts of town with executive level finishes could rent for anywhere between $2,000 and $2,500 a month. If you are considering becoming a landlord, read on.

Check zoning regulations with the building department of your municipality. There may be zoning restrictions that do not allow for accessory dwelling units. A petition can be made for a minor variance. Once the zoning is cleared, proceed to the next step.

An accessory apartment can be a great source of monthly income for the average

Devise a plan to maximize the rental potential in terms of ROI, considering such factors as demographics of the

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homeowner, especially if you don’t currently use your basement for much and live in an area where population density and competition between apartment buildings tilt in your favour. If you are looking for a long term investment, I recommend the following steps:

1 2

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neighbourhood, comparative rental rates, etc.

3

Design the space. You will typically want to work with a professional designer, preferably one who can also produce the official set of construction drawings that the building department will require for approval.

4 5

Submit all applications to the building department. Once the permit is issued, construction can begin. Hire a contractor to handle the construction project. For a list of qualified contractors, please visit www.Renomark.ca. Once done “right the first time”, a legal basement apartment can become a great source of augmented income for some home owners. And that is a good thing!

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HOUSEHOLD

TIPS

Submerge the coffee beans that have been in an open bag too long in a container of cold water, keep for ten minutes, then dry in the microwave oven. This will return the coffee its lost aroma. Mix a small amount of olive oil with some lemon juice. Sprinkle on your salad…. Oh no, wait – dip a cloth into the solution and rub over the chrome surface of a pot that has lost its sheen. To peel natural casing off a salami stick easily, pour boiling water over it first.

#

To clean your microwave oven, pour half a litre of water over a pinch of lemon rind, place in the microwave, and boil it on “high”

for 2 minutes. Essential oils discharged from the lemon will dissolve all the grime and grease and fill your kitchen with fresh lemony aroma. All you need to do afterwards is to wipe the inside of your oven with a dry cloth. To pick up small shards of glass, roll a piece of plasticine over the spot where you know the shards to be. To polish gold, just smear lipstick over the item and then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Add two tablespoons of starch to your pancake batter to make your pancakes thin and crispy and easy to take off the frying pan. To make your angel cake fluffier, add boiling water during the stage of whipping yolks with sugar in the ratio of one tbsp of water per one yolk. There is no need buying baking powder if you can make it at home – just mix 3 grams of citric acid with 5 grams of baking soda and 12 grams of flour. Wash a dish that smells of oil with a pinch of dry mustard – it will eliminate the odour. When baking an open farmer’s cheese Danish, sprinkle some baking soda over the open part of the cheese to brown it. To prevent multicolour clothes from fading in the laundry, first soak them in a 9% vinegar solution for 10 minutes. To cut onions without crying, shell them, then cut into several pieces and place in the freezer for 40 minutes. To eliminate stains on your kitchen towels, keep them in salted water for a few hours before putting them into the washer. To eliminate the onion or fish odour from a frying pan, heat it first and then add some wet used tea leaves. Use vinegar dissolved in water to rinse the inside of your thermos in order to eliminate any unpleasant odour. If one of your kitchen cabinets exudes an unpleasant odour, put some ground coffee on a paper towel and place it inside the cabinet leaving its door open.

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Jacob Grinberg This photography ART will adorn your home or office www.jgphotographs.com

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THE MATTER OF DOORS ary to imagination and good taste. This article starts a series of professional recommendations on the matter of a balanced approach to matching your interior doors to the general design style of your dwelling. Door Colour and Decor Style The general style of your home decor should become the basis for selecting the right door. Various living spaces in one dwelling are often decorated in different styles, and this fact makes it hard to select the right colour. In such a case base your decision on the style of the entranceway, living room, and hallways. Remember that we buy identical doors for the whole house or apartment with the specific purpose of keeping the visual integrity of the dwelling intact rather than matching them to one or another room style. Dividing the space, protecting from noise and draughts, privacy – these have always been the main functions of interior doors. Their decorative role had been for a long time considered secondary. With a significant widening of the variety of interior doors, their look has become a major con-

cern. Replacing the old interior doors with new ones in a different style can often be sufficient to make major changes in the décor. Important factors to think about are the door design, trim, finish, and colour. The most puzzling matter is what to match the colour of the interior door to: floors, furniture, walls, or windows? What if the floor covering in the adjacent rooms between which the door is going to be installed differs in colours or materials? And if we match the door to the furniture, does it mean that the whole house needs to be furnished in the same colour? Or should we install a different colour interior door in each room? Homeowners, who decide to solve the interior door matters on their own, without professional help, should know that there are no hard and fast rules regarding the door colour. Don’t be thinking that you are making a blunder by breaking a nonexisting rule. In interior design, standards are second-

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Neutral Colour Doors in natural colours go with any interior style, including classic, ethno, country, Provincial, and many others. The only thing to remember is that while warm, yellowish wood tones suit country and ethno style interiors, classic or baroque interiors require either very light or rich dark doors. The darker the wood, the more dignified the look will be. Cool light-tone doors will look their best in rooms with modern and minimalistic style decor, even though minimalistic style can also bear very dark cool tone doors with little or no trim. Neutral light-colour wood is great for any decorative style, except, maybe, the ultramodern spaces. Modern styles call for dark woods or painted doors. The latter can be painted with glossy enamel of virtually any colour, from black or white, to red and metallic. The topic of the next article will be matching interior doors to various floor coverings, furniture, and wall colour.

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

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ROBOVAC A robotic vacuum cleaner is yet another invention aimed at making modern life easier. The vacuum robot is a veritable miracle of advanced technologies, a fashionable gadget, and, well, it is also a good-looking toy. But is such a vacuum effective in real-life housecleaning? Well, let’s admit it – this

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gadget cannot play the role of the principal cleaning device in the house. It rather serves as an additional tool to maintain the floors in a decent degree of cleanliness between major cleanings. The main reason for this is that the robot vacuum is battery-driven which by itself additionally limits its effectiveness, which is not that great in comparison with regular vacuum cleaners to start with. It also limits the length of its functioning. The lower power rate prevents the robot from thor-

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ough cleaning of wall-to-wall carpeting and picking up and sucking in large and heavy debris. Its small dimensions limit the volume of the bag and require frequent emptying of it. The robot cannot clean upholstery and has problems with its sense of direction, especially in overfurnished rooms. Usually they have a container that serves as the dust collector and a small roller that sweeps the floor and places the gathered dust and debris into the container. Robot vacuums come with various functions and are priced accordingly. The most expensive and advanced models can define the direction on their own and create the route of their work based on the space characteristics and given parameters. Such advanced models function almost at the same level of quality as regular bag vacuum cleaners. Therefore, the Robovac is still considered to be a trendy adult toy – not essential but fun.

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After Before

Stunningly beautiful room on a very SMALL budget!

After

This newlywed couple just moved into their new home with extremely tight budget for furniture... they thought it would be impossible but we did it!! We gave them a cost efficient alternative to create impact on a budget... instead of wallpaper accents, do drastic wall colour for punch and transition. Dramatic colour contrasts add bold factor as a punch. It was also very important to marry two spaces - the kitchen and family room - in opposite but complementary accent colours. Great finds in artwork and accessories were the key; handmade cushions and a great layout really give this young couple the entertainment seating and the wow factor they were looking for... Call us today and find out how we can transform your home within your budget!

www.royalinteriordesign.ca

* 416-573-5378 * chorber@gmail.com

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ROYAL I N TERIORS Elegant & A ordable designs that suit your lifestyle March 2013

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PROFESSIONAL SERVICE BOOKKEEPING & ACCOUNTING CANADA INCOME TAX, PAYROLL, HST, WSIB TAX CREDITS, BUSINESS PLAN WE RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF MANAGING YOUR BUSINESS MORE SUCCESSFULLY (416) 602-7691 INESSA SEMERENKO

Furniture Upholstery

Upholstery for home furniture, marines and automotive Alex’s Interior and Upholstery Custom made

(647) 403-7766 (416) 661-7766 Alex

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APPLIANCES

NOBODY NEEDS Fashion does not limit itself by what we wear – it dictates what we use in our homes as well. Some of these trendy things are helpful and easy to get used to, while others, even though widely promoted, are hard to get accustomed to. Do we really use them? Let’s see.

and save valuable space in your kitchen drawers.

ELECTRIC SLICER

EGG COOKER This device can probably win the top place on the chart of useless appliances. While boiled eggs are really nutritious and healthy, it is hard to boil your egg to the exactly right condition. Water tends to get under its shell, or it comes out too (not enough) soft. To avoid these pitfalls, the advertising claims, use an egg boiler. The problem is it is not as simple as the advertisement states. In the egg cooker, eggs are cooked not in water but in steam. To prevent the egg from bursting, you need to prick the large end of it with a needle before putting it into the device. Besides, not many people can master the skill of cooking an egg this way. Therefore, egg cookers often end up in charity shops or resale Internet sites - if not in the trashcan.

EGG SLICER It is a convenient devise that slices an egg inserted in it into even thickness rounds. It is a labour-saving device for those in the catering business but if you need these decorative rounds once a year on a special dish, you can use a regular knife

This gadget is yet another item that is needed for restaurant quantities of meats and cheeses but it does take a lot of space and is rarely used in a regular house kitchen. Another drawback is that washing it takes almost as much time as slicing foods by a regular kitchen knife.

health. Manufacturers of the rather expensive devices designed to cook hot cereals state that cooking your rice or oats in a regular pot is the thing of the past. But will the rice cooker do it better? It is still unclear. Certainly, there is no time saving because the same procedures are required for both methods. The difference is … in washing the vessel: it is more complicated and tiresome with the electrical device than with a regular pot. Thus, after a short while rice and grain cookers follow the other abovementioned devices to charity shops or resale sites.

HOTDOG TOASTER This gadget looks very much like a regular toaster except that its slots are rounded and come in two sizes – bread goes into the larger ones, and sausages, to the smaller ones. Are you really going to go to all this trouble in order to make just a couple of hotdogs? Because this is exactly the capacity of this device. If you want to make two hotdogs for each member of the family you will have to repeat the process as many times as there are hungry mouths. Saving time? We don’t think so.

SPAGHETTI FORK

APPLE PEELER A complicated device for peeling apples has to be affixed to the edge of the counter or table and looks like a long screw on which you have to mount one apple at a time. Crank the handle and see the blade slowly turn around the apple taking the skin off. Looks like too many moves are required to peel just one apple. Besides, the peel is exactly the part where most nutrients apples contain are located – so why bother?

The last but not least in the parade of useless gadgets is an electric spaghetti fork. Press the button, and the fork starts revolving winding your spaghetti upon itself. This show is good for laughs or for having your child get mesmerized into eating the contents of his plate. Besides, batteries are not included.

GRAIN COOKER Rice and other grains are good for your

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