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JuLY 2012

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Royal Luxury Each period in history is characterized by its own ideas of interior design. Modern styles call for convenient functional solutions coupled with utter comfort. Interior design for bathrooms has been growing more luxurious by the year. New houses and apartments treat bathroom space with respect and awe. Freestanding bathtubs have become very popular for spacious bathrooms. Rough-ins hidden in the floor make connecting such an innovative throwback a simple matter. The task of bath manufacturing companies is to offer new models, and this is exactly what they are doing. Lately, they have presented a multitude of new models made



homeowners to find something to their taste and capabilities. Freestanding bathtubs often weigh more than their built-in counterparts due to the denser material used. This makes it necessary to consult specialists to define the place where such a tub will be placed and make sure there will be enough support for it when filled with water. Each model has its own specifics that need to be taken into consideration. For example, most freestanding bathtubs have a space between their bottom and the floor, created by their legs. This means that the pipes underneath the tub will be visible. There are two remedies to this problem: either choose a tub without legs with the bottom flat to the floor or order chromium-plated pipe cover.

of plastic, metal, stone, polished or unpolished wood, in various designs so it enables


Freestanding tubs cost more than the regular models built into the wall but they are usually high quality and more esthetically appealing.

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July 2012

Lina Itelman

Manager, Mobile Mortgage Specialist

Tel: 416-567-6791 Fax: 1888-516-8495 Email:

To advertise in All About Home magazine please contact us 2727 Steeles Ave. West, Unit 307, Toronto, ON, Canada, M3J 3G9 Tel: 416-477-6107, 416-877-0449, E-mail: Website: msf/linaitelman


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July 2012






condo for sale Stunning and spacious condo unit, newly renovated,around 1500 sq. ft., 3 bdrs, 2 whrs, quality upgrades throughout, custom kitchen, wood floors, smooth ceilings etc. 2 parkings, locker. Great location.







BATHURST/STEELES condo for sale Corner unit, spacious and bright, around 1100 sq. ft., 2 bdrs, 2 wshrs, big eat-in-kitchen living/ dining with walkout to balcony. Parking, locker. All amenities. Outdoor pool.

Bright and spacious home in high demand area, 4+1 bdrs, 4 wshrs, hardwood floors. Freshly painted. Finished basement. Swimming pool and deck in backyard. Double garage.



Prime Thornhill Location! Bright and renovated House, 3+1 bdrs, 3 whrs, hardwood throughout, S/S appliances, granite countertop, finished basement, Single garage, upgraded double driveway. Close to school, park shopping.


Stunning Acorn Home, around 2600 sq. ft. on 41.5’lot, 4 bdrs, 3 wshs, 9’ ceilings, mouldings, hardwood floors, large upgraded kitchen, huge master bedroom, ensuite with Jacuzzi. Double garage.



Gorgeous Home beautifully renovated with exquisite finishes, 9’ ceilings, 4 bdrs, 5 wshs, custom finished basement, kitchen and window coverings, wooden floors and more. S/S appliances.


July 2012



THAT FAMILIAR Laminate flooring is the best for those who like experimenting with their home decor. Compared to parquet or hardwood, laminate needs no special installation skills. You can do it yourself if you install it over a cement floor that does not require any corrections. You can start laying laminate from any corner of the room.




Laminate comes in a wide colour range and textures enabling any design solutions. Laminate can create a faux wood or stone, marble or tile effect. One of the advantages of laminate flooring is its practicality- it would not suffer from spike heels as much as a parquet floor. Nevertheless, moving furniture around can greatly damage this type of floor covering and nothing will eliminate the scratches short of replacing the damaged section. Laminate does not get discoloured with age but it gets abraded. Maintaining laminate floors is easier than hardwood ones. All you need is a slightly wet cloth – make sure you have squeezed out as much water as possible to avoid swelling in the seams. By the way, the seams in a light-toned laminate floor may get clogged with dust and dirt which will greatly spoil your floor’s look. Try to avoid walking barefoot on your

laminate floors because it inadvertently shows footsteps. Another drawback is static that is inherent in laminate floors unless you purchase a more expensive laminate covering with antistatic coating. The higher is the class of a laminate the higher is its price. To evaluate the quality of the material you need to have an idea of its manufacturing process. is a multi-layer synthetic flooring product fused together


with a lamination process. Laminate flooring simulates wood (or sometimes stone) with a photographic appliqué layer under a clear protective layer. The inner core layer is usually composed of melamine resin and fiber board materials. Laminate flooring is priced in direct relation of its class. Should you decide on laminate floor covering get the highest class possible – you will save money in the long run.

July 2012



A PUZZLE ON THE FLOOR A carpet in a nursery is not just an element of decor. Thanks to new trends and technological innovations, it has become an important force in a child’s physical and mental development. Designers work to create children’s themes on carpets and rugs, turning them into cartoons or puzzles. Puzzle rugs are usually made of hypoallergenic synthetic fibres. These rugs compete successfully with their pure wool counterparts in durability and comfort. They are also treated with antistatic, which adds to their popularity with parents. Little inhabitants of the room with a floor puzzle as well as their parents love this floor covering. Little people love to try new



things and put together something interesting, and this is exactly an opportunity created by this type of carpets. Carpet parts are easy to join and firmly hold together until taken apart by the little designer who has just come up with a new pattern. There are no preset patterns, the parts can be put together in any order or direction. They are large enough to be handled even by the smallest kids. They are also extremely safe thanks to their softness and the absence of sharp angles. Puzzle rugs come with various themes, including alphabet, numbers, cartoon characters, or nature images. Girls usually prefer rugs depicting flowers, fairies, princesses, butterflies, or ladybugs. Boys, of course,


choose cars, Spiderman, trains, etc. Connecting and disconnecting the pieces of the puzzle rug helps develop motor skills, imagination, and space perception in children. Another advantage of a puzzle rug is that it is easy to fit into any room size. The leftover parts can be used on their own as toys. There is though a minor disadvantage that by no means lessens all the numerous advantages of the puzzle rugs – to transport them from place to place you need a backing, otherwise the pattern will just fall apart. On the other hand this may lead to a new surge of creativity in the little owner of the magic carpet.

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MEMBER OF THE TORONTO REAL ESTATE BOARD MEMBER OF ONTARIO REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION MEMBER OF CANADIAN REAL ESTATE ASSOCIATION email: BUNGALOW! BRADFORD (NORTH OF NEWMARKET) Practically new! Gorgeous, very bright, warm & inviting BUNGALOW, 2 bdrms, 3 wshrs, with open concept library. 1923 Sq.Ft. Excellent layout. High ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors. Potlights. Bedrooms have ensuites. Updated large kitchen with high cabinets, stainless steel appliances, pantry. Large family room with gas fireplace & high vaulted ceilings. 2-car garage. Fenced backyard. Excellent location, close to all amenities.


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

CONDO. BATHURST/STEELES/FINCH Very enjoyable & cozy, filled with natural sunlight, completely renovated & beautifully maintained 3+1-bdrm, 2-full wshrms, 1500 sq. ft. CORNER unit with amazing unobstructed view of park. Excellent layout. Gleaming parquet floors throughout, moldings, potlights. Nicely painted. Living room with antique scones. Beautiful custom made European style kitchen w/KitchenAid cooktop, oven, new water filtration system. Nice breakfast area overlooks park. Large master with W/I closet & 4pc ensuite. Renovated wshrms with nice ceramic & vanities. All closets w/organizers. Large ensuite locker & laundry. Solarium can be used as 4th bdrm or office. Parking included. Maintenance fee includes all utilities & cable TV. Well maintained building w/excellent facilities: gym, sauna, whirlpool, outdoor swimming pool, security guard & system. Great area in demand!! Asking $329,900

RICHMOND HILL (YONGE & BROOKSIDE) Amazing home! Shows like a MODEL! Over $200K in upgrades! Very bright & comfortable, 4 bdrm + den, 4 wshrm, 3700 SqFt, in excellent condition. Intensive use of finest materials. Modern open concept layout. Open foyer w/ granite floors. High ceilings, hardwood floors, potlights, custom made Corinthian columns, crown mouldings. Beautiful living & dining rooms with dropped ceilings. Den on main floor with double French door & large window can be used as a 5-th bdrm. Large CUSTOM made kitchen with tall cabinets, granite, backsplash & S/S appliances. Family room with granite mantle gas fireplace. All bedrooms have ensuites and W/I closets. Master bdrm has two W/I closets & Jacuzzi. Triple save energy windows. Additional insulation. Custom made window curtains & designer crystal lighting fixtures. Stone exterior. Front & back interlock. Sprinkler system... Too many to list.... You’ll be impressed!

BATHURST & RUTHERFORD Beautiful Fernbrook Home in Thornhill Valley area! About 2000 SqFt, 4-bdrm, 3-wshrm detached! Excellent layout. 9’ ceilings. Double door entry, hardwood floors. Ample natural sunlight. 18 Ft family room with gas fireplace. Very nice kitchen with S/S appliances. 2nd floor laundry room. Close to shopping centre & transportation. Asking $689,900

NEW WESTMINSTER & CENTRE Prime Thornhill! Quiet child safe crescent. Bright & spacious 3+1-bdrm, 4-wshrm very cozy home. About 2300 SqFt. Very nice layout. Parquet floors throughout. Potlights. Skylight. Nice kitchen with granite countertop. Family room with fireplace. Finished basement. Extra deep lot. Newer roof, vinyl windows, newer furnace. Close to park, good schools, shopping plazas, public transit. Asking $619,900

RICHMOND HILL (YONGE/BATHURST & ELGIN MILLS) PRIDE OF OWNERSHIP! Stunning, spotless, 8-yr old, 4 bdrm, 3 wshr, about 2600 SqFt. You’ll love it from the entrance with open to above foyer & circular staircase w/art ledge. Excellent layout with 9’ ceilings, gleaming hardwood floors, mouldings, potlights. Nicely decorated. Family room with gas fireplace & decorative insert window. Large upgraded kitchen. High cabinets with mouldings, pantry & custom stone b/splash. Garden door to large b/yard. All bdrms are very large. Huge master with large W/I closet & ensuite w/Jacuzzi & separate shower. Grand office on 2nd floor w/cathedral ceilings can be converted back to huge bdrm with door & closet. California shatters throughout. Additional entrance to 2-car garage from porch. Lots of potential. Westbrook community. Great area in demand! YONGE & FINCH Live or invest! Demand location! Unobstructed East view. Steps to TTC, subway, shopping, restaurants. Recently renovated beautiful 2-bdrm, 2-wshrm unit. 2 split bedrooms. New wood floors, backsplash, rangehood. A+ tenants paying $1850/month, willing to stay. Parking incl. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, etc. Maintenance incl. all utilities! Asking $367,000

YONGE & 16th Award-winning custom designed home in great area! $$$ spent on upgrds. 3-bdrm, 3-wshrm condo townhouse with very low maintenance fee $157.14/month. The most beautiful unit in the complex. Very cozy & great layout. 9Ft ceilings, hardwood floors, potlights. Large kitchen with upgraded porcelain tiles, backsplash. Large bedrooms. Steps to Hillcrest Mall. Do not miss! Asking $428,900


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

July 2012



Beds of the Future As an example, let’s look at the bed designed and produced by the European group LOMME. The abbreviation stands for ‘Light Over Matter Mind Evolution’ and is a unique sleep experience and rejuvenation environment. Lomme is a piece of furniture, a work of art, and a place to rejuvenate. Lomme is generating a wave of interest about the importance of quality sleep and the environment in which we spend a third of our lives. The founders of the company have made it their mission to create the most relaxing, protected and natural place to restore energy levels for the day to come.

A bed is something that has four corners and legs, right? Well, maybe in rare cases, we see a round bed (mostly in movies). In other exceptional cases, people put the mattress on the floor. In any case, the shape of the bed until recently had not changed much. Nevertheless, it has been changing along with everything else affected by new technologies and creative ideas.

Created as a result of two years research into sleep habits, problems and therapies, Lomme skillfully combines natural therapies with the innovative technology. Using light, sound, and massage therapies, Lomme offers an environment to enhance all the senses - forming a place to rejuvenate, meditate, and, above all, sleep. As shown, this so-called bed has a shape of a hollow egg made of plastic. The interior of the bed is illuminated, and the play of coloured lights doubles as an alarm clock. Besides, as mentioned above, the egg-shaped bed can give you a massage. Of course, the most amazing aspect of the beds of the future is their unusual shapes. Looks like in this respect the engineering thought has been developing in two different directions, the first of each is liquid and rounded unusual shapes of beds made like a hammock, a seesaw, or a cradle. The other one emphasizes clean



straight lines and technological solutions in the shapes of suspended, transforming, or folding beds, and compact furniture that easily unfolds from an ottoman-size piece into a full sleeping space.

The location of the futuristic sleeping space may also be unusual - there is no need for a bed like this to be placed on the floor. As more people than ever are moving to the cities, they have to deal with smallspace living. If you keep your mind open to creativity, you can come up with some really ingenious uses of space. French company Decadrages has designed a bed to use in small, cramped spaces. Your bed goes up on the ceiling when not in use. This is really great for studio apartments; you can have a real bed instead of relying on a pullout couch. Designed by the studio of invention Décadrages and marketed under the brand name BedUP, the bed that falls from the ceiling is an innovation that will save 4 m² of your apartment space, and for someone who lives in a small space 4 m² of space is pure gold. By day, the bed is stored on the ceiling; the undersurface becomes ceiling with the possibility of integrated lighting. At night, the bed can come down in the manner of an elevator and stop at the height specified in advance, thus making moving furniture unnecessary. Now, besides being functional, this bed has a clean design that is discreet and elegant. Another example is a bed soaring in space supported by a magnetic field. Even though this bed can bear a load of up to 900


kilograms, it suits those with ironclad self-control and very sound sleeping habits. The only thing more important than the look and placement of the bed is its functionality. Haven’t you ever dreamed of a bed that would make itself without your help after you have got up? Or at least provide Internet access? A good example of such a breakthrough is an entertainment-lovers’ bed. This particular bed is a brainchild of the Italian designer Eduardo Carlino. There’s not much the bed lacks, except maybe a built-in espresso maker. The bed has blinds that can enclose around you, a state of the art sound system by JVC, reading lights, a built-in PC by Microsoft, and a full multimedia complement with game and entertainment console connected to a projector so you can enjoy hi-definition images, games and movies on the screen that slides up and down at the foot of the bed. The bed itself, its mattress and mechanics, is said to be one of the finest. The bed does adjust and all can be controlled by one remote that can be customized to control other appliances in your home as well. And, the Hi-Can bed is available in eight different colors, to boot. Hopefully we will live to the days of beds with other gadgets and gimmicks, like automatic chargers for e-books and computers, tables and drawers just appearing out of nowhere, and many other features that will make our life more comfortable and pleasant.


July 2012



All about curtain rails

The Length Measure the width of your window and add 30 to 40 cm. The resulting number will give you the best possible length of the rod, at which fully open curtains will clear the whole window. Drapery hardware usually consists of the pole, brackets, and two decorative finials, with additional parts like rings, clips, or eyelets. For a rod less than 2 metres long, two brackets will be sufficient; for longer rods you will need the third bracket in the centre in order to prevent them from sagging under the weight of the fabric. When selecting brackets consider the distance they will allow between your rod (and, accordingly, your curtains) and the wall. This is especially important for smaller rooms, for which you need the shortest brackets. Decorative finials present an easy and inexpensive way to introduce some changes into your decor. There is no need to buy a new rod, the new finials will do the trick – just make sure they fit the diameter of the old pole.

Materials The strongest rods are made of iron, stainless steel, or brass. They are reliable and durable thus being ideal for hanging heavy thick draperies. Rods made of wrought iron fit classic decor, as well as the country and Provence styles. Straight geometrical lines in either shiny or matt brass look good in modern interiors. Metal sets can include single, double, or multiple poles to use for hanging several layers of curtains and drapes. Wooden rods are the best choice for a classic decorating style. The most popular of them are made of oak, cherry wood and exotic types of wood. Unlike the metal ones, wooden rods can be single-pole only.



The least expensive rod material is plastic. Its advantages include low price and wide range of colours, while its drawbacks are low durability and strength. Besides the wall-mounted rods, there is a ceiling-mounted type that makes a low ceiling visually higher. In their case there is no need worrying about the rod length.

Choices, Choices‌ The lightweight string consists of a steel wire with metal brackets but because it tends to sag you can use it only for the lightest sheers. The universal version is a hollow round rod of metal, plastic, or wood, with draperies attached to them with rings, hooks, or pocket-style. Wrought iron decorative poles coated with a layer of paint and varnish can be used for any weight fabrics, as long as you choose the diameter in accordance with the weight. Traverse rods consist of a metal, most often – aluminum, shape installed on the wall or ceiling with the help of brackets and covered with a decorative moulding made of wood, particle board, or plastic imitating the material of your choice. When buying a traverse rod make sure the hooks move along it with ease. Combination rods hang pinch-pleated draperies in combination with other styles of drapery for a multi-layered effect. Not all curtain rods are simple straight poles, curved and hinged poles are available from numerous companies, allowing installation in bay windows and around curved walls and corners. Curtain rods can also be of a crane or swing arm design.

Seventh Element Design Group 416-822-3023



Showroom: 4267 Steeles Ave. West, Toronto, ON, M3N 1V7 FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107

July 2012






DECK OR PATIO? To create that perfect outdoor living space in your backyard, you have to decide whether it should be a patio or a deck. Both are great options, but let us look at the pros and cons of each. If you are planning a do-it-yourself job a stone patio will be much easier to create. The vast majority of decks are constructed with pressure-treated Southern yellow pine, but you can also opt for more durable wood species such as redwood or cedar. Non-wood products such as engineered vinyl decking and plastic composites are also available, and they are growing in popularity due to the ease of maintenance. You can expect to spend about $15 per square foot for Southern yellow pine and

about $30 per square foot for redwood, including installation. Composite decking is slightly more expensive at about $30 to $35 per square foot. Do-it-yourselfers can save a significant amount of money. Plan to spend about $1.50 to $5 per square foot for planks and $4-$6 per square foot for joists and posts, This Old House estimates. Now look at the patio. With a relatively simple pattern, making a patio can be much simpler for the average do-it-yourselfer. Obviously, the squarer the pattern, the fewer cuts are necessary. This makes for a fairly straightforward installation process that can be done over a weekend or two. There are several different types of patio materials, including plain concrete (most affordable; requires almost no maintenance); stamped concrete (embedded with a pattern and color to mimic the look of natural stone; affordable); concrete patio pavers (manufac-


tured concrete stones that interlock to mimic the look of natural stone; more expensive). Real stone - most durable and most expensive. Brick - affordable and easy to install. The price of a patio depends on the material you choose. Regular concrete costs about $5 per square foot, while stamped concrete runs $8 to $12 per square foot. Brick costs about $7 to $8 per square foot. Concrete patio pavers cost $10 to $20 per square foot, and natural stone costs $15 to $30 per square foot. All prices include installation so it will be much less expensive if you do it yourself. Also, you will have to pay extra for any leveling or groundwork that is required prior to installation. With a deck, you must first set your concrete footings and then build up from there. For a patio, you do have to excavate in order to level the ground, but concrete mixing shouldn’t be necessary. Just dig down sev-

July 2012



eral inches, add the proper gravel base then compact with a vibrating compactor you can rent for the weekend. Next, top with builder’s sand and compact again. Once everything is completely level and compacted, you’re ready to start laying your patio floor.

Of course, either a deck or a patio will end up with some accumulation of dirt and mildew. However, a patio can take a good power washing or scrubbing better than a wooden deck. With repeated cleanings, the finish of the deck will quickly disintegrate, which leads to increased maintenance.


Below is a concise comparison of the two options:

different heights.



Look: Many people prefer the look of a deck over a patio. It adds architectural interest to a backyard.

Maintenance: Pressure-treated wood needs to be stained or sealed about every two years. Left untreated, the deck could fade and rot. Redwood and engineered vinyl products require less maintenance, but are more expensive upfront.

Resale value: Even if you sell your home a few months after building the deck, you’re likely to get a large chunk of that investment back in the sale price. Ideal for uneven terrain: If your backyard is sloped or uneven, installing a deck is usually a better choice. There is no extensive ground or grading work to do; the posts can simply be cut to

PATIOS Installing a patio is generally less expensive than building a deck that covers the same amount of space. Maintenance: No sanding, staining or sealing is required. Occasional sealing will make a patio more durable, but you do not have to tackle the project on an annual basis. All things considered, patios are continuing to increase in popularity these days, but there are still times when a deck is the perfect option. For example, building a stone patio off a second


Cost: Unless you choose a high-end patio material such as natural stone, decks tend to be more expensive. Permits: Some cities and towns demand that you obtain a permit before building a deck. No permits: Unless you are planning to build a second-story patio (which requires decking anyway) you won’t need a permit.



Speaking of maintenance, wood decking will need sealing or staining at least every other year or so. Even then, the wood will eventually be damaged by water and sun to the point of needing replacement after several years. A stone or brick patio, though, could easily last a hundred years if properly installed.

Cons May require weeding: Weeds will grow between the joints of concrete pavers, bricks, or natural stone. You will have to apply a weed killer on a regular basis and pull any remaining weeds. Prone to cracks: A concrete slab will eventually crack, requiring repairs or even replacement. story or elevated location would pose a severe difficulty, but a deck might work there just perfectly. Whatever your choice, make sure you do thorough planning and measuring!


Welcome to our Doors Boutique International We invite you to use this flyer to help you choose exactly what is needed to enhance the elegance and beauty of your home. Your interior will be a reflection of your distinct personality and a focal point of your home which will appear hospitable, warm and inviting. This catalogue will allow you to choose from a wide variety of glass designs, stain or paint colours as well as many other options. Our decorative interior doors are available in a wide selection of designs to suit almost any architectural style. Each door is available with a variety of pre-finish options to allow you to modify it according to your desired specifications.

om ! o r Show g soon FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107


i open

July 2012

27 Roytec Road, Unit 2A Vaughan, Ontario, L4L 8E3 (Weston Rd. & Roytec Rd.)




Technology of the Future - Made in Canada Stretch ceilings are considered a new technology in the construction, decoration and renovation industry. Having historical roots in ancient Egypt, Greece and medieval Europe, it is the ultimate ceiling solution! Universal Stretch Ceilings is a Canadian company, based in Toronto, specializing in the manufacturing and installation of unique stretch ceiling products throughout Canada and the US. Our signature is exceptional quality of product and service to our clients, combined with knowledge, skills and outstanding results in contemporary and traditional interiors. Stretch Ceilings (both technology and product) was created mainly as a solution for damaged ceilings. Today, it is the most versatile, practical and stunning solution for ‘ceiling’ interior design and is used in the creation of decorative ‘wall’ coverings as well. It saves energy by act-

ing as 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. Drywall or stucco ceilings can be difficult to install or repair, the paint fades and peels and is messy during renovation because of the dust it creates. There is also a long downtime during installation or re-installation. Generally, there is a lack of originality in using stucco, and such ceilings appear aesthetically plain and bare. Furthermore, drywall is prone to water damage, cracks, discoloration, and erosion; it becomes subject to accumulation of dust and mold. If you are trying to avoid these problems use Stretch Ceilings as your ultimate ceiling solution. Application of Stretch Ceiling The application range of our ceilings is absolutely unlimited and can be used in any



Advantages of Stretch Ceilings There are many advantages of stretch ceilings compared to ordinary ceiling solutions. First of all, it is an affordable custom design solution. It is the fastest way to furnish any room without prior preparation of the ceiling surface. It is an energy-saving, noise-reducing, and acoustically efficient technology. Stretch ceilings can hold up to 100 lbs. of water per square foot (in the event of leakage from above), and are resistant to chlorine and vapors. It will never fade, sag, or lose tension over time. Once installed, you won’t have to worry about mold, dust or moisture accumulating in your ceiling. Additionally, it repels odours and bacteria, which is really important to consider when choosing the product for your kitchen or your kids’ rooms. Our local status enables the most competitive prices type of houses, apartments, condominiums, offices and other buildings, children rooms, and sanitary, medical and educational institutions. Our stretch ceilings are already being successfully used in both new and renovated spaces. Some of the completed projects to date are: Trump International Hotel & Tower Toronto, Air Canada Centre, Remax Realty Services, Horseshoe Valley Resort, Modern Golf Arena, various restaurants, real estate companies, and many, many residential locations. Stretch ceiling can be applied in any room of your “home sweet home” Big or small, we can make your home the sweetest and most unique place in the world. So, if your dream is “living in paradise...” we will design the paradise for you and mount it right above in no time. Also, what we do for ceilings is applicable to walls as well to perfectly complete the picture! of our products. Furthermore, our clients always achieve incredible decor results due to our ability to 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! Finally, stretch ceilings meet all Canadian and US safety requirements (i.e. fully certified for Building Permits), they are completely recyclable if discarded and are supported by Warranty and Service by our company. Get in touch with our professional staff and experience the magic of Stretch Ceiling Technology. Tel: 416-663-1708 FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107

July 2012



VENTILATION FANS Bathroom and kitchen fans are an important part of your home’s ventilation system. They remove odours from the house (thus improving indoor air quality) and moisture (thus decreasing the level of humidity in the house). Most exhaust systems consist of an exhaust fan, ducting, and an exterior hood. Some houses have a central exhaust system, in which one fan draws moisture and odours from several rooms of the house using a network of ducts. Kitchen exhaust systems usually have the fan and fan motor in the exhaust hood. Other systems use an in-line fan, which is in the exhaust duct, or a fan outside the house. In-line and outdoor exhaust fans are usually quieter than systems with the fan in the room. Not all the fans are created equal. Research shows that many houses have exhaust fans that: • are too noisy • move very little air • are not energy efficient • may cause backdrafting of combustion to appliances • use high-wattage lighting Usually these drawbacks refer to older models. Now, there is a new generation of effective, quiet, energy-efficient exhaust fans and controls. When making your selection, choose the quietest, most energy-efficient fan in the size range required. Most fan labels have Home Ventilating Institute (HVI) ratings so you can compare noise and energy efficiency. Look for a fan with replaceable parts and permanent lubrication. A fan suitable for continuous use is preferable. Be prepared to pay more for a quality fan. Select smooth exhaust ducting. Seal the joints and insulate sections that run through unheated spaces. And, finally, place the exhaust hood where it will not cause moisture damage on exterior surfaces. Install the proper controls.

size you need. They are often labelled “low noise” or “quiet.” Check for the HVI rating. If it is not rated, there is a good chance that it will be noisy. Energy efficiency does not stop at an energy-efficient fan. Ducting can affect fan performance. Uninsulated, undersized, or droopy flex ducting, ineffective or dirty backdraft dampers and exhaust louvers can cut rated airflow by more than 50 per cent. To check whether your exhaust fan is drawing air, hold a piece of toilet tissue up to the grille. The exhaust air should hold the tissue tightly to the grille. You could also check the outlet to make sure the air is leaving your house. Fans create static electricity which attracts dirt that can encourage mold growth and restrict air movement. Clean fans, housings, backdraft dampers and exterior flaps seasonally.

Kitchen Range Hoods A kitchen range hood must move more air than a bathroom fan. As a result, they are noisier, although they can be relatively quiet on low speed. The best units have a low noise rating, an energy-efficient fan, fluorescent lights, sound insulation, anti-vibration mounts and duct connections. For heavy duty use, select non-corrosive materials such as aluminum or stainless steel. High quality hoods may have heat sensors and a safety shut-off. Kitchen exhaust systems should discharge outdoors. Recirculating range hoods rely on filters to capture some odours and grease. The filters are generally made of carbon and must be replaced frequently to be effective. With recirculating fans, cooking moisture and odours will usually remain in the house. Range hoods usually have washable, aluminum-mesh grease filters. Better quality filters have a smaller diameter mesh over a larger surface area and can be cleaned in the dishwasher. Clean or replace grease traps and filters frequently. The newest range hoods allow you to remove the fan for cleaning in a dishwasher.

Bathroom Fans When selecting a bathroom fan you should know their exhaust capacity. A normal bathroom needs a good-quality fan. A poorquality fan will not exhaust enough air and will be too noisy for regular use. Large bathrooms and bathrooms with bigger fixtures naturally need larger fans. Place the bathroom fan as close as possible to the source of moisture or odour. Some bathroom fans have lights or heating lamps. If you choose a fan with integrated lights, look for efficiency. Any fan installed in an insulated ceiling — for instance, in the attic if it is located right above the bathroom ceiling — must not leak air and must be rated for use under insulation. Many people won’t use a noisy fan. Select the quietest fan in the


July 2012



ZONING AND BY-LAWS What you should know before you plan your construction project! “Zoning” is an instrument used by local governments for urban planning. Urban planners designate the appropriate use of land for which their respective Municipality holds enforceable powers. In other words, it pertains to the restrictions allocated to each parcel of land throughout all territories across the country. Your home is subject to these restrictions and if you are planning a construction project which proposes to either alter the exterior dimensions (e.g. building an addition or deck) or the use of land, your first trip should be to the City Building and Planning department to obtain the pertinent zoning information for your property.

ation of any design concepts which may be affected by zoning restrictions. In the event that such restrictions infringe on the proposed design, there are possible remedies aside from amending the design to “fit” within the constraints set. The Committee of Adjustments is the regulatory body of the planning department consisting of citizen members who review and decide upon applications brought forth by property owners or their representatives who wish to amend or alter the existing constraints of zoning as it relates to their property. Such applications are typically classified under two categories: Minor Variances or Consents.

The purpose of zoning is two-fold. It is foremost used as a means to segregate uses of land that are thought to be incompatible (imagine a nuclear plant next door to your home). Secondly, it is used to preserve the “character” of a community. The second criteria is met by establishing restrictions on density, the height of buildings, the space that structures may occupy, setbacks (the location of the building in relation to the lot), the area of landscaped surfaces, parking spaces, etc.

A “Minor Variance” relates to an application that proposes a small change to the zoning restrictions and a “Consent” typically relates to altering the use of land. Applications can take anywhere from a few months to over a year for processing.

Designers such as Architects use zoning and by-law information to establish the parameters of construction prior to the cre-



Each Municipality is also subject to portions of the Conservation Act, which determines the relationship between the structure of the building and surrounding wildlife and forestry. The Toronto Conservation Authority and the Lake Simcoe Conservation Authority are the two main branches of Government that hold jurisdiction for properties in the GTA. Other typically encoun-


tered by-laws relate to the trees (Toronto Tree By-Law) and Fencing. So if you are planning a construction project for the near future that may be affected by zoning or by-laws, make a trip down to your local planning and building department and speak to one of their helpful representatives who can assist in ensuring that your project is within compliance of City mandate. Remember, your local Municipality holds jurisdiction over your property and holds the power to enforce zoning and by-law restrictions. Once you have all of that information out the way, you are ready to begin the planning process towards a successful construction project. Happy constructing!

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

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July 2012



The Cutting Board The variety of cutting boards on the market is mind-boggling. Various materials, colours, and designs make it hard to select. Let’s look into each variety and decide what suits us most.

Wooden Boards. Professional chefs prefer this kind to any other. These boards are healthy, stable and do not dull the sharp knife edge. Nevertheless, many of today’s cooks decide against wooden cutting boards due to their high cost and the wood’s susceptibility to losing shape when affected by moisture. Besides, there is no way to avoid cracks formation on the wooden board surface, which is hygienically unsafe. Of course some simple measures like rinsing the cutting board with boiling water and having a separate board for raw meat and fish products will eliminate the risk. The



right choice will define the lifespan of your cutting board. In the store, check the board you are considering for the smallest signs of cracking – even a tiny crack along the wood grain will inevitably become wider and deeper in time and will eventually cause the board to break. Discard boards that seem to be out of shape – this is a sure sign of problems with the manufacturing process.

Plastic Boards. Plastic cutting boards have lately become the most popular. Their advantages are durability, light weight, ease of care, and low cost. Manufacturers cover plastic with a special compound that prevents the board from sliding on the countertop during food preparation. This compound also prevents scratching of the board surface. The disadvantage is that, unlike other types of cutting boards, the plastic ones cannot double as trivets. There used to exist another drawback – their instability on the counter or tabletop but lately many brands of plastic cutting boards have been coming with small bumps on


the bottom that serve as stabilizing legs. Make sure that the board you intend to buy is made of food-grade plastic – this will be indicated on the label. If there is no information to this effect on the label do not purchase.

Glass Ceramic Boards. Cutting boards made of impact-resistant glass seem to be ideal. Their surface is not subjected to damage during use, they are heat proof, easy to wash, and do not absorb odours. Besides, they look gorgeous, and the variety of their designs allows choosing the one consistent with your kitchen decor. Unfortunately, this is what most of them become - a decor element. Domestic cooks stop using them pretty fast after purchase because a glass ceramic board will quickly dull your knives. Besides, the scraping sounds when cutting on this type of board may drive you crazy. Yet, for some kinds of kitchen jobs they are indispensible – for example, a glass board is the best for cutting fish because it does not absorb odours.


July 2012



02 | Lutron

To find out more

1 Lutron commissioned simulation by T.C. Chan Center for Building Simulation and Energy of Pennsylvania, September please call Studies, us on University 416-272-5178 or send email2008. to 2 3

Many appliances—like computer monitors—consume energy 24 hours a day accounting for 10% of a typical home’s electricity use.3 Turning off this standby power as part of a total home control system saves energy. Potential energy savings: 10%

Appliance control

Temperature control is the perfect complement to light and shade control because it provides the ability to adjust heating and cooling systems any time of day—even while away from home, saving up to 16% or more of heating and cooling energy usage.2 Potential energy savings: 16%

Temperature control

Controllable window shades can save you 10% on heating and cooling costs by blocking the sun’s rays in summer or letting them in to warm a room during colder months.1 Potential energy savings: 10%

Shade control

Dimming a standard halogen or incandescent light bulb by 25% saves 20% lighting energy. Dim more and save even more. Sensors and a timeclock also help save energy by turning off lights when they are not needed. Potential energy savings: 20%

Light control

The basics of energy savings




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ROYAL I N T E R I O R S Elegant & Affordable designs that suit your lifestyle July 2012



Your Cozy Garden There are numerous ways to create a shady place in your garden the simplest of which is to open an umbrella. With some ingenuity though, you can create a permanent shady area in your backyard. Invest some money and time into creating arches and pergolas – and you will be happy with the result. Not only these structures will provide shade but they will serve as an important decorative element of your garden as well. They will create vertical accents and support your climbing plants. Another advantage is that they can be installed at any place on your lot.



A pergola at the back of your garden will become an excellent intimate spot; closer to the wall or over a patio it will provide the necessary shade. An arch will emphasize a path into the garden. Place it next to the wall or hedge and use it as an art niche, with a statue or a picturesque bench underneath. There is a wide variety of pergolas and arches so when making your selection be sure it matches the style of your house and its surroundings, follows the outline or colour of your exterior walls or flower beds, your outdoor furniture, and garden decor. Wrought iron arches, Oriental style wooden pergolas, natural stone installations with oak ceilings – all of them look great but only if


their style is compatible with that of your garden. Mostly, arches and pergolas are made of wood in combination with brick, stone, or metal. The arch is a narrow structure with a flat, semi-circular, or gabled roof. The pergola is a series of connected arches. Arches with a semi-circular or pointed roof are usually manufactured from steel tubing. The most expensive are arches of brick and wood. Popular Oriental-style pergolas consist of wooden beams with tapered ends inserted into slits in the bearing beams. The ends of these beams are not just tapered but turned up. To ensure this charming structure’s longevity treat all its parts with antiseptic


solution and use only stainless steel nails and screws to put it together. When your beautiful structure is ready all you need is to consider which plants you will use in conjunction with them. The best choice is climbing roses that look especially good on wooden country style pergolas. Besides, they have a prolonged period of blooming. Good shade under an arch or pergola can be achieved with the help of ivies, clematis, gloxinias, grapes, and other climbers. A do-it-yourself project creating these stylish garden design elements requires just basic skills in woodworking.

July 2012



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July 2012



All About Home  

All About Home magazine July 2012

All About Home  

All About Home magazine July 2012