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sides – anyone can participate in the process of food preparation. A central island is possible only in a larger kitchen because it needs additional space around it to ensure freedom of movement and access to furniture and kitchen gadgets.

Many newly built houses have a central island that provides working space not by the wall but in the centre of the kitchen. Often, this section may include a cooktop, work counter, and sink, but quite often it also comprises a dining table.



For gourmet cooks such an arrangement is a great help in practicing their art. At the same time, anyone entering the kitchen may enjoy the look of the culinary masterpiece in progress, which is great, considering how many of us lean toward fast food nowadays. Because the kitchen island is… well, an island, it is accessible from all four


Appliances and communications are placed in accordance with the location of various functional sections. It is crucial to install all the plumbing and electricity connections before the island is equipped with fixtures. It is also very important to install ceilingmounted lighting fixtures and range hood. The kitchen island requires special care. It needs to be kept clean and orderly at all times because this is the first place visible upon anyone’s entry into the kitchen.

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October 2013



Illusions in Interior Design Optical illusions that are often referred to as trompe l’oeil give designers unlimited possibilities. The objects where these illusions are used may be quite impractical and not very functional but they will definitely attract attention and wonder in your guests. Surrealistic Wallpaper German company Surrealien makes oneof-a-kind wallpaper to the customer’s specifications. This wallpaper creates an illusion of distorted space around various objects on the wall.

bathroom. Its design eliminates the necessity for any external pipes – all the plumbing is enclosed inside the wall.

Invisible Table

Unusual Curtains This curtain can create an illusion of spaciousness even in a very small room.

This wine bottle holder in the shape of a chain creates the illusion of levitation.

Landscape Sofa

Frozen Chairs

This is one of the most creative sofas ever designed. Gaetano Pesce has created an illusion of a mountain view right in the living room.

These chairs create an illusion of frozen movement.

Minimalistic Sink This astonishing polished stainless steel sink may become the focal point of any





Asking $579,000

Gorgeous fully renovated family home. 3-bdrms, 3-wshrs. Excellent layout. Hardwood on main, laminate on 2nd & basement. Beautiful kitchen with granite counter, undermount sink, breakfast bar, S/S appliances. Large deck in backyard. Finished basement with 3-pc bath and separate entrance. 2-car garage. Close to schools, transit, shopping, Hillcrest mall.




Brand new basement apartment with quality finishes and practical layout includes great room, 2 bdrms and open concept upgraded kitchen, 3-pc bath with large shower stall. Laminate and ceramic floors. Own laundry and comfortable separate entrance from side patio. Potlights. Nicely furnished. Close to transit, shopping.

Asking $340,000

RENT $1200

Magnificent Home on a premium RAVINE 0.7 acre lot, backing onto Conservation area. Absolute paradise and elegance, about 5200 sq.ft. and 2300 sq.ft lower level. 4 bdrms+2 bdrms+library, 6 wshrms. A fusion of classic and contemporary elegance with impressive architectural details & superb craftsmanship. Luxuriously upgraded including smooth high ceilings (10’,15’,9’), Brazil cherry hardwood, cornice mouldings, baroque columns, custom wrought iron Juliette balconies and staircase with flying cherry wood stairs, stone fireplaces, granite floors. Exquisite dream gourmet kitchen with built-in S/S high-end appliances. All bedrooms have ensuites reverted with tumble marble. Gem of the property are stunning grounds with waterfall, pond, swimming pool, golf, French garden, large greenhouse, spectacular patio and pagoda. Fully equipped home theatre with sound isolation, wainscoting panels, ceilings and Tiffany sconces! 800K spent on upgrades! Too many to list! This home is a true masterpiece!


Vineyard Luxury Condo. Spacious bright CORNER unit w/unobstructed east view. About 1000sq.ft. 2 bdrms, 2 wshrms. Marble foyer, hardwood floors in living/dining. Potlights, track lights. Sunny and spacious eat-in kitchen with window. Balcony. Parking. Locker. Superb facilities: indoor pool, sauna, rooftop terrace, 24hr security&much more. Close to schools, plazas, transit.


Asking $779,900

October 2013

High demand area!! Beautiful detached house with 2-car garage, 4 bdrms, 4 wshrms, about 2300sq.ft. Modern kitchen w/granite counter, central island, S/S appliances. Large master with W/I closet & 5pc ensuite. Family room with fireplace. Oak stairs with metal pickets. Hot tub & gazebo in backyard. Potlights, mouldings. Finished basement w/4pc bath. Close to parks, school, shopping, transit.



working with your local electricity distribution company to connect your project to the electricity grid and paying for all connectionrelated costs paying your local distribution company for account charges and metering fees

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 and contributing to cleaner environment.

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

paying for any associated insurance costs as well as professional fees for legal and tax advice

Solar PV Project size

10 kilowatts or less

Contract price paid per kWh

39.6 cents (Rooftop Solar PV) 29.1 cents (Non-Rooftop Solar PV)

Inflation index

0 percent

Typical lead time

1 to 6 months

Possible permits and approvals

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

Location / resource

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

Other considerations

Zoning restrictions in residential, commercial, and industrial areas Project may affect: income taxes. Contact your Canada Revenue Agency

Industry associations

Canadian Solar Energy Association

What is in it for you? 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: are designed to cover the cost 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 renewable source – solar photovoltaic (PV) being part of the largest climate change initiative in North America.

What you should know

Logitest Solar Inc. offers home, business and landowners complete turnkey solutions for solar energy harvesting under the 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 a 25-year manufacturer warranty along with our labor 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! Logitest Solar Inc:, Phone: 1-888-382-4779, Fax: 905-850-8405, e-mail:

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




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October 2013



Some Smart Design Ideas Change of surrounding is often sufficient for uplifting our spirits. It may mean travel to some faraway place, moving into another residence, full renovation, or replacing existing furniture. Nevertheless, these solutions are not always practical both time wise and moneywise. Another way that involves much less effort and expense is rearranging the existing furniture and adding something completely different from the whole setup.

A very comfortable windowsill

A bed that fills up the whole space of the room




Thousands of designers all over the world day after day come up with curious pieces of furniture, china, light fixtures, and other accessories that add joy and uniqueness to a home. Useful and practical designer items make the place more appealing and living in it, easier.

For those with a habit of hanging their clothing on chair backs

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Markham downtown! Luxurious, bright & spacious 1-bdr, 1-wshr unit with beautiful terrace in great location! Open concept layout, full of light! High ceilings, upgraded hardwood floors. Nice upgraded kitchen with high cabinets & modern glass inserts. Granite countertop, breakfast bar, S/S appliances. Locker & parking included. Excellent building with great facilities: gym, sauna, party/meeting room, guest suites, virtual golf studio, lounge, 24-hr security & much more... Close to everything!


Large & bright, substantially renovated 3-bdr, 2-wshr ground floor suite with large private patio, located in the heart of Old Thornhill. Beautiful & modern open concept. New hardwood floors. Completely upgraded kitchen with granite countertop, undermount sink & S/S appliances. Large breakfast area overlooks beautiful terrace. Renovated baths with new vanities & faucets. Master bdrm has his/ her closets & renovated 3-pc ensuite with separate glass door shower. All closets with mirrored doors. Locker & parking included. Low maintenance fee includes all utilities, even cable TV. Incredibly low property tax.

Prestigious Thornhill City Centre! Gorgeous 1-bdr, 1-wshr unit, about 600 SqFt. with a private patio. Large& bright living/dining room. Modern kitchen with granite countertop & breakfast bar. Desirable building with all luxury amenities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, party room. Steps to Wal-Mart, Promenade Mall & more. Amazing space at a great price!

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

Bright CORNER unit with unobstructed panoramic view! 2+1 bdrms, 2 wshrs, about 1300 SqFt. Practical open concept layout. Large eat-in kitchen with window. Spacious rooms. Walking distance to transportation, shopping, restaurants. Excellent schools around.

Asking $368,800

Asking $279,900

Asking $299,800


Stunning & bright, about 1900 SqFt, 3-bdr, 4-wshr SEMI-DETACHED on premium crescent lot. $$ spent on upgrades. Stylish open concept floor plan. Spacious living room area with gas fireplace & TV niche! Large kitchen with extended cabinets, granite countertop, backsplash, undermount sink & S/S applainces. W/O to 2-tier custom deck. Hardwood floors. Professionally painted throughout. Direct access to garage. Professionally finished basement. Close to all amenities.


Arista ‘Liverpool’ model, 3+2-bdr, 3-wshr detached house, about 2000 SqFt, in excellent condition. Very nice layout. 9’ ceilings. Hardwood floors. 2nd floor sunken family room with gas fireplace & walk-out to balcony. Family size kitchen with S/S appliances. Large bedrooms. Partially finished basement. Direct access to 2-car garage. Very close to schools, parks, shopping, trails, golf, transit.


Absolutely gorgeous 4-bdr, 4-wshr semi-detached, about 2000 SqFt with finished basement. Amazing layout. Double door entrance. Parquet floors throughout. Large bedrooms. Master bdrm with walk-in closet & 4-pc ensuite. Direct access from garage. Great area in demand!

Asking $575,000

Asking $555,000

Asking $495,000


GREAT INCOME POTENTIAL! 3+2-bdr, 2-wshr bungalow with 2-bdrm apartment in finished basement with kitchen, bath & separate entrance. Hardwood floors. Open concept kitchen with S/S appliances. Central vacuum. Quiet area close to local transit services.

Asking $589,900


Location!!! Great 4-bdrm, 3-wshr detached home with finished basement. Extensively renovated. Designer painting. Excellent layout. Skylight. Hardwood floors throughout. Crown mouldings. Potlights. Family room with modern fireplace. New kitchen with custom counters, undermount sink & S/S appliances. All bedrooms very good size. Master bdrm with W/I closet. Two separate walkouts to private backyard. Minutes to hospital, shopping, schools & transit. Great family neighbourhood.

Asking $774,900



Practically new 4+1-bdr, 4-wshr, about 3200 SqFt stunning home with tons of upgrades! Hardwood floors & smooth ceilings on both levels. Separate side entrance for office & basement. Game room with 12’ ceilings. Family room & office (den) on main floor. Beautiful kitchen with granite countertop, b/splash, S/S appliances. Two master bdrms with 5-pc ensuites (one has sitting area & balcony). All bedrooms are very large and all have W/I closets, smooth ceilings & crown mouldings. Iron pickets. 2-car garage. Wainscoting. Shows 10+!! Steps to parks, schools, plazas, future community centre.


Totally renovated top to bottom! Rarely offered “Wellington” model. About 1700 SqFt, 2+1 bdrms, 2 wshrs, with balcony and solarium. Panoramic views looking North, West & East! Large principal rooms. Perfect layout. Hardwood floors throughout. Both bedrooms with walk-in closets. Large master with w/o to balcony. Separate glass door shower. New gourmet modern kitchen with granite countertop, mouldings, b/splash, newer S/S appliances, porcelain floors. Maint. fee includes all utilities. Great facilities with indoor pool, gym, sauna... Must see to appreciate!


Absolutely spectacular 1.3 Acre private estate with large swimming pool, tennis crt, 5+1 bdrms, 8 wshrs, 3-car garage. Over 5,000 SqFt. Spacious & gracious rooms. Extensive use of granite, marble, hardwood, cornice mouldings, French doors, etc. Fabulous finished w/o basement with 2 wshrms, sauna, spa, large bar, gym, etc. Cobblestone circular driveway can park 10 cars. Two furnaces, two air conditioners & much, much more...

October 2013



Designed for a Youngster A child of a preteen age has already a sufficiently defined personality, with its own likes and dislikes, its passions and opinions. Therefore, it is the age of 10 to 11, when the nursery needs to be updated according to the newly emerged person’s specifics.

It is hard to pinpoint the exact time to do it but the reference point can be the time when the child stops being happy with stuffed animals and cartoon characters on the walls. When this time has arrived do not delay – or else your youngster may see the old decor as a sign of being considered a baby, and this could lead to frustration.

done by the room’s occupant. One of the most important aspects is the colour of the walls. Finding comfortable and functional bed, closets, desk, and other furniture is also quite important. The youngster will select accessories and decor elements according to his or her taste, and don’t try to interfere if you want to avoid confrontation.

Difficulties in family relationships with preteens and teens are well known. Children of this age tend to vehemently defend their opinions and their right to do as they please. The youngsters at this stage see their room as their castle that protects them from the “hostile” outside world, and they expect that room to be decorated the way they want it to be. To avoid a conflict, suggest that the youngster chooses the style and colour scheme for their room all by themselves. When the child feels that you approve of his choice, suggest some wellfounded corrections.

If your child has a passion for a certain subject, try to come up with the room design together, after having studied pictures of various looks on the theme. Cooperation on room design may positively influence your relationship with your child, and the most important thing here is to not usurp the initiative and let them make their own decisions.

Coming up with the design for a youngster’s room is not a difficult task. All that is needed from you is some adjustment but in no way full planning because the latter has to be

To make sure you trust his or her opinion, the youngster may try to provoke you offering the wildest schemes of style and colour combinations. One of the most popular answers on the colour question for difficult-to-deal-with youngsters is black. Do not get sucked into confrontation and do not get scared, especially considering that black is not the worst colour for walls – at least, it is much better than, say, red. Besides, children like gluing posters on every free inch of their room walls, therefore, the dark background may become almost invisible after a while. Also, preteens tend to change their opinions often, and you will get a chance to add some white elements – like a fluffy rug, a bedspread, or curtains – to transform the look of the room. So, agreeing to the idea of black walls, offer to apply it to just one or two walls and to buy white furniture. You will have enough time to correct the situation later. No matter how outrageous the colour ideas of your child seem at the moment, stay calm. Let him or her know that you love them, respect their opinion, and support their individuality. This way you will stay on friendly and civil terms – and this is much more important than painting their room your favourite beige. Remember that for youngsters decorating their room is the way of expressing themselves. Let them feel that they are the lords of their small castles.






October 2013



BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME with Miriam Muller, an experienced designer Miriam was born in Moldova-Romania and emigrated to Israel in 1947. She had a very successful career in education and moved to Canada in 1961. She studied interior design and built a very successful business, M.M. Interiors. She has two children and two grandchildren. Her daughter Dorit is a Quick Books consultant and her son Ariel Miller is one of the top designers in Toronto. Recently his designs were featured in a book of Top Designers in North America as well as in the magazine “Rob Report” that features the best of the best. Miriam works with her husband who manages the business. In 1989, she opened the first one-stop design center, Design Concepts, an 18 000 square foot showroom providing design services to the Toronto community. Design Concepts had 8 designers and an architect on staff. Miriam designed and furnished the dream home at the Metro Home Show downtown and a Home Show and designed two rooms for the Cancer Society. She has used her exceptional taste and experience to design homes of many affluent professionals in the Toronto area. She is dedicated to ensuring that a client’s taste is brought into focus with fresh and innovative ideas. With excellent professionalism she completes every design project down to the smallest detail. Miriam helps clients with product selection and assists them in every design that suits their taste, style, and budget. Miriam’s services and professionalism are intended, from start to finish, to free people from stress and to help them avoid making costly design errors.





CLIENT ACCOLADES: “Our new home is a shining example of your unique taste and a tribute to your sense of style.” NANCY AND LLOYD ROBERTSON

“Your splendid designs were truly complemented by exquisite workmanship and professionalism of the trade people you employ.” SUSAN AND GABRIEL EREM

“We found Miriam to have a wonderful sense of colour and to be highly skilled in design and planning. Her excellent taste and her ability to put things together have assisted us in decorating different areas of our home.”

“Our sincere appreciation for the help you provided to us in redesigning our home. We are most pleased with the final result and your excellent service”.

“You are an incredibly talented and creative interior designer and we took great comfort in being able to rely upon your artistic vision. Thank you for creating the perfect living for us.”

“Your exquisite taste, terrific sense of style and your colour expertise are unmatched. We refer to you as “THE QUEEN OF COLOUR!” No one ever comes close.”






October 2013



Winterizing your home Check the heating unit. Give it a test run and replace the filtre (typically every 3 months). Be sure to inspect the heating unit at the source and the distribution networks to ensure that the entire system is operating as it should. Cover the AC condenser unit outside with a breathable waterproof cover. Remember to clean the unit with water and a hose set to “jet” in order to remove any dirt and debris. Inspect the roof. If it your roof looks it may not survive the winter, this is the time to address the issue. While you’re up there, clean out those gutters!

It’s already happening. You have pulled your sweaters out of moth balls and found your mittens in the coat closet. It’s winter, its coming… are you and your home prepared? Before Jack Frost comes nipping at your nose and snow covers your roof, here is my list of common steps to take Check the chimney and make sure no in order to prepare your home for another Great Canadian Winter:

birds, squirrels or other animals have made a home of it. Check the flue damper operation and, if it has been awhile, this is also ideal time to have the chimney cleaned. Although not thought of much while the weather is warm, the wood burning fireplace and chimney can be a major source of cold air leaks and other issues in winter. Therefore, the chimney and the fireplace need a little going over before winter sets in. Inspect the firebrick in the fireplace. If you notice any open mortar joints, have them repaired immediately! A fire can spread into the stud wall behind the masonry firebrick through open mortar joints.

Shut down exterior plumbing (hose bibs) and insulate pipes in “cold zones” if necessary. Plumbing pipes exposed to cold weather can burst and cause a lot of damage (and headaches). Check your windows and replace caulking as necessary. Infiltration of cold air



from air leaks around doors and windows is as significant a contributor to your heating bill as is poor insulation in the walls and ceiling. An easy way to reduce you heating bill is to reduce these drafts with simple weather-stripping. Trim trees if branches hang too close to the house or electrical wires. Seal driveways, brick patios and wood decks. Fill up on fuel. If you have an oil furnace, this would also be a great time to refill and order an inspection of the tank (if necessary). With these straightforward maintenance procedures out of the way, you can relax knowing that your home is ready for yet another Canadian winter, once it arrives.


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.



October 2013



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October 2013



ment. The resulting substance is poured onto the conveyor belt, where it cools off and is cut into sheets of approximately door size. Nevertheless, this description is very simplified; in reality the process of Corian making is complicated, technologically advanced, and labour intensive, which reflects on its quality and, of course, its price. Corian is as good-looking and functional as any natural stone used for surfacing; it is actually impossible to tell them apart. It comes in a variety of colours, sometimes quite unexpected: solid (in red, black, orange, pink, etc.) and in imitations of such natural stones as granite, marble, or slate. There are over a hundred colours in the Corian colour range. Besides, this material is chemically stable and pollution-free. Another unique quality of Corian is that in the fabrication process, joints can be made invisible by joining the relevant pieces with Corian’s own color-matched twopart acrylic epoxy. The pieces are clamped tightly together in order to express any excess adhesive. After the adhesive dries, the area is sanded and polished to create a seamless joint. Corian articles are made individually because this material cannot be subjected to pressing. The best manufacturers can do is make them in small quantities. Corian can be thermoformed by heating, allowing unique shapes to be created. It is so lightweight that a bathtub made of Corian can be installed upon the flimsiest floors.

CORIAN – a Sensible Choice


DuPont has started developing this miracle product as far back as the beginning of the 1960s. By the 1970s this material started gaining extreme popularity. Of course, we are talking about Corian, which is the brand name for a solid surface material created by DuPont. Corian is the embodiment of the adage “I am not rich enough to buy cheap things.”

Yes, Corian is expensive. Very expensive. Actually, it is so expensive that having purchased an item made of it you don’t have to worry about it for the rest of your life. An article made of Corian keeps maintaining its original look as long as it stays in existence. If you scratch a Corian surface, stain it, or leave a burning cigarette on it, just buff it with a Scotch-Brite pad or orbital sander, and it will be returned into its previous state.



So, what is this magic material? It is composed of acrylic polymer and alumina trihydrate with the addition of the colour pig-

Corian is popular in a household use. A kitchen countertop made of Corian is capable of withstanding the heaviest loads. In the bathroom, Corian sinks, vanities, and tubs are extremely beautiful, easy to care for, and look impressively like natural stone. Other uses for Corian are windowsills, upscale furniture, and swimming pool facing and railing. In public places Corian is often used for bars and bank counters. Due to its nonporous quality, Corian is approved for use in specialized environments, such as laboratories, medical and dental offices, and hospitals. So, unless you are one of the homeowners who change their residence often and if you are planning to stay in your present dwelling for a long time, you can safely go for this expensive material because in the long run the expense will be well justified.


October 2013



Under the Down Duvet Just a thought of upcoming cold winter nights awakes the notion of a light, warm, and comfortable alternative to blankets and comforters. Of course this magic solution is a down duvet.

THE DOWN The structure of the goose, duck, and other waterfowl’s down is a series of air pockets that catch the human body’s warmth and don’t let it escape but rather send it back to the source. The advantage of such heat exchange is best appreciated in winter time characterized with a considerable gap between the air temperature outside and that inside the house.

your duvet will serve you for many years. Of course, it is easier to buy a new one when the old one is, well, old. Nevertheless, try taking care of the one you already have: keep it dry, away from excessive pressure and aggressive laundry cycles. Moisture not only ruins the structure of down air pockets we have discussed above; it encourages mould and disease-causing microorganisms. The best way to avoid such problems is to air your duvet regularly – preferably outside but not under direct sunlight. To avoid excessive pressure try to refrain from sitting or lying on top of it. It is not a good place for child’s play either. To help your duvet keep its original shape, store it in a special cover.

Often, a duvet is filled with a combination of down and feathers. It is not done out of economy but rather to have the item maintain its shape. The proportion of feather in a good quality duvet though should not exceed 40%. By the way, an extremely fluffy look of a duvet may suggest that it contains a lot of thick feathers or even synthetic fibres.

HEALTH CONSIDERATIONS Duvets filled with natural down used to be considered not very good for your health due to the risk of causing allergies and creating favourable environment for dust and dust mites. Nevertheless, today’s advanced technologies and multiple treating of down and feathers help make the duvet hypoallergenic as well as protect bed linens from insects. Of course, duvets treated this way cost more but the cost will pay off in the long run. The rest of health characteristics of down-filled items are ideal: they are hygroscopic, breathable, and extremely comfortable.

INSTRUCTIONS FOR USE Down duvets are sometimes thought to have a short life span. Use it correctly – and






October 2013








October 2013



Even though wall-to-wall carpeting has lately been considered passĂŠ, many families select this option even in newly-built homes for obvious reason: it keeps the warmth much better than other types of floor covering, which is especially important for rooms above the garage and in houses with small children who like running around barefoot. Besides, carpeting is a great sound insulation, is relatively inexpensive, and replaces costly floor rugs.

Wall-to-Wall Solutions Many people would be happy to have wall-to-wall carpeting in their homes but are hesitant, being certain that cleaning it is too complicated and requires specially designed tools and chemicals and as such can be done only by professionals. Well, this opinion is erroneous – in reality, taking care of your broadloom is much easier than you think. There are various products on the store shelves to assist you in cleaning your carpet on your own. Among those are creams that eliminate dust and dirt, liquid stain removers, and antibacterial powders. Remember that wall-to-wall carpeting needs to be vacuumed regularly because if dirt has been ground in it damages the pile and shortens its lifespan. An easy way to improve the look of your broadloom is dry treatment done with the help of powders. Distribute the cleaning powder evenly all over the carpeting, let it stay for a while, and then vacuum. Stains have to be removed right away. Wet a sponge or a cloth with special solution and carefully clean starting with the edges of the stain thus preventing it from spreading. Dry the cleaned spot with a hair dryer. Use only solutions designed specifically for carpeting and never, soap or laundry detergent because they will not do a good job while taking too much of your time. Old stains or stains of unknown origin may present a problem even for carpet cleaning professionals. You can try to do chemical cleaning that is performed in several stages using special devices and solutions. Eventually the stains will be gone. One more important thing: rid your wall-to-wall carpeting not only from stains but from microbes and bacteria as well, especially if you have small children in your home. Use dirt repelling antibacterial solutions.





October 2013




Basic Principles of Design? DESIGN : to conceive and plan out in the mind; to have as a purpose; to devise for a specific function or end. The Merriam-Webster Dictionary

The basic rules of proportion and scale are unchanging. They are reinterpreted according to the needs of the time. I like simplicity and I believe in restraint. Above all, there should be harmony-of proportion, line, color, and feeling. The most important element in decorating is the relationship between objects- in size, form, texture, color, and meaning. None of these is in good taste in itself but only in relationship to where it has been placed and what purpose it is to serve. Eleanor McMillen Brown

Remember that a functional and comfortable design is visually more appealing; using and combining design elements such as space, form, light, line, texture and color will bring out the character of your home. An in-depth analysis of each of these elements would go beyond the scope of this article, for now let us just say that they are an integral part of the environment where we live. SPACE - we are surrounded by it, and although we cannot change its physical shape, we can change the functional aspects of it; FORM - is a physical element that has shape and substance; e.g. the shape of your room or of your furniture; LIGHT - we cannot touch it, but without it we would not be able to enjoy and perform the different tasks in our lives, it is mood- and ambience-related;

LINE - can add strong or subtle characteristics to your room; the eye will follow vertical or horizontal dynamics of the room; COLOR - color is the most prevalent element in the space and your choice of color is very important, it can dramatically affect the perception of your space. These elements are the essential components of design and the principles of design relate to how they combine together to bring your vision to life. The basic principles of design can be broken down into the following components: scale and proportion, balance, rhythm, emphasis and harmony. Scale and Proportion – is the spatial relation of objects to each other and their environment.

TEXTURE - everything around us has a surface, smooth or rough, shiny or matte; it’s not only tactile, but visual as well;

Whether you are renovating or designing your first (or... third) apartment or house, it is always very exciting, challenging and sometimes could be a bit stressful. But once you know the “rules”, you would feel more confident to tackle the task and have a rewarding experience at the end.

So...Where Do You Start? You can begin the process by forming an idea or mental image of “What if...?” And you don’t need to worry about finishing the entire space at once. One room at a time or even a small nook at a time, if that is what motivates you to keep going. A floor plan would be a great help, not only to visualize your space, but also to keep track of the progress of your project all the way through.

For example, the way furnishings relate to each other and to the space they are in, and the way texture and pattern define the scale of furniture or accessories used relative to the overall size of the room. This means that if you have a small delicate armchair, you should never put in a room that is disproportionately large or has ceilings above average height; the dining chairs should be well proportioned not only in relation to the dining table, but also to the people that will be using them. You can downsize a wall unit that covers the entire wall of a

It’s always useful to keep this in mind how your lifestyle preferences, activities, budget, expectations and the extent of everyday care required will affect your design criteria and the people who live with you.




Harmony – is unifying all forms, colors, and textures among furnishings and arrangements.

room by breaking it down into smaller-size shelves decorated with various accessories and plants. Balance – is the visual “weight” distribution to create interest and give the space a comfortable feel. Large size has a greater visual weight than small size; warm, bright colors will always look bigger and more powerful compared to cooler ones; rough, busy textures can be played against smooth and plain ones, brightly lit areas against dim ones – these are the subtle ways of creating balance. Architectural details such as fireplaces, pillars, windows have visual weight; natural and artificial light can have an impact on the balance of the space as well. To visualize better how to balance your space, use scotch tape and old newspapers to make an area rug for your room. If it is a square room, lay down the “area rug” in the center, and if it’s an L-shape room, center two “area rugs” in each portion of the space. The outlines are your guidelines for your furnishings. Balance also can be symmetrical, asymmetrical and radial.

Rhythm – is the repetition of patterns in materials, objects and placements. Rhythm in design is about the visual repetition of patterns, shapes, color, texture and arrangements. A circular shape of a coffee table will be reprised by a circular shape of a planter; a pillar at one end will be exactly

the same on the other end; pillows on the couch will match the fabric of an armchair. Rhythm greatly depends on balance and continuity. Be careful not to overdo with too much repetition, it can get monotonous. Interrupt the pattern with empty spaces, a grouping of floor vases in the corner, a freestanding sculpture or a plant. Variety is essential, to keep rhythm exciting and active Emphasis – is establishing a focal point in your space.

Your home may have a built-in fireplace, in which case you can use the fireplace as a focal point to center a sitting arrangement around it, or hanging an artwork above it. The mantel could function as a wonderful visual display for one of your collections, or it can be painted a color that would be in contrast to the walls. If the fireplace happens to be an eyesore for you, then you may want to emphasise a beautiful rug or the wild pattern on a chair. Eye-popping accessories or a flower arrangement will divert or redirect emphasis.

Harmony is easy to achieve when the design elements – space, form, light, line, texture and color – are part of your creative process and are consistent with the look of your furnishings and arrangements. It does not mean that you have to be stuck in “sameness.” Look for unity and variety that complement each other: contours of objects, such as globe lights in the kitchen, will complement a round kitchen table. Natural materials, such as stone, glass, metal, leather, fur, ceramics, have different textures, but they speak the same “language.” There is no set of rules to be followed religiously. Trust yourself more, use your intuition and start small; it will be easier emotionally as well as financially. Gather all the things you like: fabric samples, pictures, paint chips, something from your closet because you like the color and texture, or pebbles from the beach from your vacation. Your space is all about your personality. Do not let anyone pressure or discourage you, hold on to your idea of “What if...?” Residential Planning & Design T: 416.520.4595 Copyright © All Rights Reserved – Marina Orlova Interiors Inc.

October 2013


The Grandmother of Your Kitchen What does one mean when talking about a beautiful and comfortable kitchen? What kind of kitchen is it supposed to be? Actually, it can be any kind as long as it is based on a proven concept of well-planned built-in furniture with conveniently arranged cabinets and shelves, various appliances, and other gadgets placed right at hand. This is the basis of everything else, including the looks, the style, and the school of design, colours and dimensions, simplicity and luxury, creative ideas and decor. This is the area where the imagination of furniture makers, appliance manufacturers, and interior designers has no limits. All this leads to a question: who did come up with this concept? Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky was the first Austrian woman architect who made history as the designer of the famous Frankfurt Kitchen that is considered the prototype of today’s built-in kitchens. Margarete was born January 23, 1897 in Vienna. She graduated from the Vienna school of Applied Arts and started working as an architect designing residential buildings and whole housing developments. The reasons that she came up with an idea to design a functional and space-efficient kitchen that would make the housewife’s work easier were a few.



First, the residential space in the post-WWI Europe was sparse. Therefore, a new kind of kitchen was needed that would be affordable and conductive of better lifestyle. Secondly, the new realities of functional and simpler existence, with efficient housebuilding using ready-to-assemble units justified spaces not encumbered by excessive furniture. Thirdly, there had appeared a new definition of the woman’s role in society, not only as a homemaker but as a self-sufficient and independent integral part of society. The new kitchen was meant to rid women of excessive workload, leaving them more time for realizing their potential and spiritual growth. Fourthly, Schütte-Lihotzky thought traditional kitchens to be taking too much space thus leading to inflated real estate prices. Besides, the design of the old-fashioned kitchen was not conductive of implementing advanced technologies, which, in turn, impeded the effectiveness of housework. The area of the Frankfurt Kitchen was 1.87 by 3.44 metres. Each component there had a specific function. The furniture was placed in a sequence that corresponded to the work process: the sink was located next to the china cabinet, and the spice shelf, right over the stove. A special built-in tray with a removable box served as waste receptacle. The ceiling mounted lighting fixture was movable. One


of the walls had an affixed foldable ironing board. The pots and pans cabinet was supplied with a screen with a tray underneath it to catch the drops of water from freshly washed items. One of the cabinets contained 18 so-called “schuttettes” that represented something of combination of pull-out drawers, food containers, and measuring cups. Because the back wall of a “schuttette” was made in a spout shape, the cook could measure out a needed amount of the product directly into the cooking container. A so-called thermal drawer was an integral part of the Frankfurt Kitchen. Such drawer made it possible to keep the breakfast dishes made the previous evening warm enough to be served next morning without reheating them. Even the colours used in the Frankfurt Kitchen were functional – the beige and grey tiles perfectly matched the ultramarine of the wooden parts. These colours were at the time considered fly deterring. Of course, in a lot of ways the Frankfurt Kitchen is a throwback to the long gone past. Nevertheless, many kitchen items have come into our lives thanks to the innovative ideas of the Austrian architect. Margarete Schütte-Lihotzky had lived a long life that was as unique as the long gone epoch during which she lived and worked. She died in Vienna in 2000 at the age of 103.


For Especially Eccentric What could be more prosaic than toilet paper? Nevertheless, this household staple does not necessary need to be boring and strictly utilitarian. Lately those who like curiosities in their homes have received a chance to buy unusual paper products – for example, toilet paper with printed design. This novelty can even make a nice gift and a fascinating topic of conversation.

This green paper glows in the dark



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October 2013




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All About Home magazine (October 2013)  

All About Home magazine (October 2013)

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