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NOVEMBER 2013

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

Lina Itelman Manager, Mobile Mortgage Specialist

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Solutions for Empty Walls as to how to place objects on the wall. For example, avoid the mistake of decorating a large wall using many small objects distributed all over it. Small decorative elements look better when grouped together in the centre of the wall thus creating a balanced composition. Use larger objects to visually enhance the space. Pictures are not the only way to decorate walls. Living and dining room walls can be adorned by tapestries or hanging plates, nursery walls, by posters and children’s drawings, walls in the home office, by photographs, and those in a country-style bedroom, by a quilt.

The largest surface in most rooms belongs to the walls. Therefore, the process of decorating those needs special care and taste. It is very important to strike the right balance between completely empty walls and walls that are overdecorated. Of course, art in the form of paintings, prints, and photographs is the most common way to embellish walls. Pictures as a decor element help bring out the style of the room. They can be used in any style of interior decor – from classic to minimalist. A picture is not just an ornament; it carries certain emotional charge. Choosing the right theme for a piece of visual art is extremely important but it is no less important to place it correctly. Its correct position on the wall helps reveal its beauty and uniqueness.

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For the bold and determined among you, we suggest experimenting with colours. For example, it is too garish to have all the walls in the room painted vivid rich colours but you can paint just one wall your favourite tone or try brightly coloured stripes. Using different colours and hues, you can create a unique look by dividing the wall into separate rectangular sections of different dimensions. These rectangles can be easily painted in different colours using a roller. Such an unusual wall will become a decorative element all by itself.

In order to place a piece of art in the right spot, draw an imaginary rectangle that needs to be filled. Remember some rules

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Another solution for boring empty walls is the use of stencils, decals, and decorative picture frames of various sizes and shapes grouped into a composition. Stencils are great for any room. Besides, they come in different designs, and using and combining them is just the matter of your imagination.

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PRE-CONSTRUCTION YONGE/EGLINTON

Location! Location! Location! A new design come to Mid-Town! 1-bedroom condo starts at $294,900! Luxury building with superb amenities: fitness centre, swimming pool indoor and outdoor, Jacuzzi, yoga studio deck, outdoor BBQ, fire pit, lounge with bar, private cabanas and much more. Steps to TTC, underground shopping centres, parks and schools. Future Light train connect you to anywhere in the city. Register today. Call me for more information.

BATHURST/KING, RICHMOND HILL

DUFFERIN/TESTON, CITY OF VAUGHAN

Asking $1 200 000

Beautiful bright newly built detached house. About 2400 sq.ft. Open concept layout. 4 bdrms, 4 wshrs. Custom kitchen w/built-in S/S appliances. Large master with 5-pc ensuite & W/I closet. Family with fireplace. Upgraded floor plan, bathrooms, floors, oak flying stairs with metal pickets. 2-car garage. Exterior potlights. Close excellent schools, park, transit.

Asking 759,000

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High Demand Area! Rarely Available 5 bdr. 5 wshr. (approx. 3600 sq. ft) home on a huge lot. 3–car garage. Bright and cozy with open concept layout. Large office on the main floor can be used as a 6th bedroom. Hardwood floors throughout the house, impressive cathedral ceilings. Separate living and dining rooms. Large kitchen with granite counters, extended cabinets, S/S appliances, custom backsplash. Concrete patio on the backyard.

DUFFERIN/TESTON, CITY OF VAUGHAN

Asking $2,588,000

Yonge/Bayview/Old Colony (Richmond Hill)

Asking $669,900

Stunning, suitable for any type of family bungalow w/loft. 3+1 bdrms, 4 wshrs. Excellent layout. 9-ft ceilings. Hardwood&limestone floors. Master bdrm w/ensuite on main floor, bdrms w/semi-ensuites on 2nd. Custom kitchen with built-in brand name S/S appliances, granite c/top. Professionally finished basement w/ kitchen, family room, bedroom, bath. Located in desirable area - lots of parks, lake, ice arena, new community centre.

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 wshrs. 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!

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SOLAR ENERGY LIFE’S ENERGY Would you like to stop paying for electricity? No matter how unreal this idea sounds, it is an attainable goal. Moreover, it is completely legal. Now that we have your full attention, we are going to discuss the way of implementing this idea into our life – life that is unimaginable without electricity.

solar energy systems to encourage the development of solar power production. Thus, making investments in solar energy financially beneficial.As of today, the level of societal development is defined, to a great extent, by country’s concerns for the environment and its investment into building a scientific and technical foundation for support and development of the alternative energy sources. The most progressive countries – Germany, for instance – have the leading amount of energy derived from nontraditional sources.

We wake up to an electrical alarm clock and go to sleep accompanied by a soft murmur of a dishwasher. What is the source of this vital energy? Our electricity is derived from fossil fuels. For the last couple of centuries humanity has pumped out and scraped out of the bowels of the earth everything that has been forming there for millions of years. The fight to retain control over depleting natural resources has been getting ever-deadlier pulling many countries into confrontations and wars. The supplies of oil and natural gas are rapidly coming to an end, while there are natural renewable and low-cost energy sources that have no effect on the environment and give us our own unlimited supply of electricity independent of central power networks. These are geothermal, biofuel, wind, and solar energy sources. They are part of our life. All we need to do is to learn how to harness these energy sources and make them work for us. Solar energy is the most rapidly growing industry in the area of the renewable energy sources (RES). Since the beginning of time humans knew that the power of sunlight gives life to everything on Earth. The Sun is one of the most accessible sources of renewable energy.

There are various program of the same kind in North America. The province of Ontario is a recognized leader in the Canadian solar energy industry. Ontario’s Feed-in Tariff program (FIT) provides profitable tariffs and defines rules, rates, and contracts for the solar energy producers, stipulates specifications for solar energy, and encourages consolidation of the production base for local solar equipment. Company Logitest Solar under the leadership of a group of young enthusiasts of “clean” energy, which has become one of the leaders of the solar power industry in the province, is willing to share with our readers its knowledge, ideas, and experiences in the area of implementation of solar energy into Ontarians’ everyday life. Logitest Solar will help you realize that the use of solar energy is not just a technological issue - it is also the result of increased awareness of the need to treat our environment with care and respect.

It is hard to overestimate the advantages of solar energy: Solar energy is infinite. Our Sun is in the middle of its lifecycle and will stay active for billions of years to come; The amount of energy produced by sunlight is tremendous. Within twenty minutes the Sun sends to Earth enough energy to satisfy the needs of humanity for the whole year;

Logitest Solar Inc:, Phone: 1-888-382-4779, Fax: 905-850-8405, e-mail: info@logitestsolar.ca

Solar energy is accessible practically everywhere, and the method of its production involves minimal losses due to transportation because it is possible to produce it at the point of its consumption; The process of solar power generation has no carbon footprint. Solar energy gives its user full independence – you will receive high-quality electrical power independently of the existing networks’ quality; Countries around the world have introduced renewable energy support programs which provide the incentives for the owners of

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November 2013

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The best TV set may turn out to be wrong for the room intended to contain it. There are certain rules for a TV set placed in the family room, the playroom, or the “great” room for all the members of the family to enjoy. Follow these rules to make sure the TV set matches the rest of the room and is convenient and pleasurable to watch.

size of the diagonal for LCD models and three to four rimes, for plasma models. If you watch television for a considerable amount of time, add one or two diagonals to this distance. For instance, the screen 32” in diameter should be placed 3.25 to 4 metres from the eye.

Often, people base their choice of the family TV set on its size, buying the largest they can afford while the choice should be based on the size of the TV room.

Another problem may come up if your TV set has a small screen. Even a person with 20/20 vision will get tired if the distance between the screen and the eyes is more than five diagonals.

The best distance between the television screen and the eyes of the watcher is the one that allows to see the picture in its entirety without noticing the pixels. There are several formulas to calculate the optimal distance, the best of which is to place the set at a distance that is at least twice the

TV Room

Another important consideration is the angle of viewing, which should be no more than 30 degrees. Yet another important factor concerns wall-mounted sets. The optimal placement is when a straight line connects the centre of the screen and your eyes. If, for practical

reasons, you have to mount the television set higher, make sure the angle does not exceed 30 degrees. Before mounting your TV set, figure out the extent of peripherals that are going to be connected to it, including speakers, a DVD player, cable and digital boxes, etc., and decide, where you are going to hide all the wires. You may prefer, after all, to place the set on a narrow TV stand or integrate it into furniture. From the esthetic point of view, the television set needs to be part of the whole decor scheme of the room. If the television is meant to be the focal point of the room, it can be handsomely positioned within a nice set of furniture. If the room is made in light colours, and the TV set looks against them like a huge black blot, it is possible to soften the effect by repainting the wall behind it a different tone. It can be either a contrasting hue or the same colour but three to four shades darker. Another effective solution for a room painted in lighter colours is to create a handsome setting for your TV set turning it into part of the darker furniture around. A television set may be blended into its surrounding with the help of framed pictures – create a composition with the set being its central element. Another way is to hang several rows of shelves adorned with knickknacks on the sides and above your TV – just make sure there are not too many of them. A modern television set may look like a foreign body in a classic style room. To change this feeling, place next to it a large object that will divert attention from the TV. It can be a tall floor vase or a potted tree. Placing the TV set over the fireplace is the best solution for rooms containing the latter. In this case, the fireplace will be the exact object diverting attention from the TV set. A television set and the seating furniture facing it make this section the most comfortable and relaxing in the whole house. You can make it cozy even when there is not enough space for the sofa and chairs to accommodate everyone wishing to watch TV at the same time. Try to use floor cushions, ottomans, and thick rugs. Give reign to your imagination – and your TV room will be the favourite room for your friends and family.

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HWY 7 & WARDEN

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-hrs 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.

YONGE & 16th

Asking $488,800

RICHMOND HILL

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 appliances. W/O to 2-tier custom deck. Hardwood floors. Professionally painted throughout. Direct access to garage. Professionally finished basement. Close to all amenities.

Asking $495,000

RICHMOND HILL

Elegant detached 3-bdr, 4-wshr house with 2-CAR GARAGE. Excellent floor plan. Hardwood floors on both levels. Open concept family room with gas fireplace. Gorgeous solid maple kitchen with S/S appliances. Large bedrooms. Master bdrm with W/I closet & 4-pc ensuite. Professionally finished basement with laminated floors, bedroom & bath. Large fenced b/yard with interlocked patio, shed & BBQ connection. This house is ready for your family!

Asking $670,000

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

YONGE & WELDRICK (RICHMOND HILL)

EXCELLENT PRICE!!! Immaculate luxury Tridel condo! Spacious 1+1-bdr, 1-wshr, 910 SqFt unit in a well maintained building. Sunny west exposure. Laminated floors. Large master bdrm with W/I closet & large den & solarium. Very clean and ready to move-in. Indoor pool, gym, sauna. Parking included. Steps to Hillcrest Mall, Yonge St, bank & GO bus.

Asking $275,000

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

Tridel luxury Savoy! Large, about 1200 Sq.Ft. 2-split bdrs, 2-wshr stunning, completely renovated unit with beautiful east view! Raised ceilings. New kitchen with upgraded cabinets, granite countertop & natural stone b/splash. Potlights. Custom blinds, closet organizers. Walkout to balcony from living room & bedroom. Parking. Low maintenance fee includes all utilities & cable TV. Indoor pool,gym, sauna, tennis crt, guest suites, library, squash. Steps to all amenities & transportation.

Asking $318,000

Asking $299,800

Asking $278,800

Gorgeous CORNER condo townhouse. 3-bdr, 3-wshr, about 1500 Sq.Ft in high demand South Richmond Hill location! Large & bright living/dining room. Open concept eat-in kitchen with breakfast bar. Potlights. Parquet floors. Oak staircase. All bedrooms are large. Professionally finished basement. Fully fenced backyard. Very low maintenance fee. Close to all amenities.

DIRECT:

DUFFERIN & RUTHERFORD

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 moldings. Iron pickets. 2-car garage. Wainscoting. Shows 10+!! Steps to parks, schools, plazas, future community centre.

YONGE & MAJOR MACK

YONGE & GAMBLE

Gorgeous FULLY RENOVATED detached family home, 3 bdr, 3 wshr with FINISHED basement with SEPARATE entrance & 2-car garage. Very nice layout. Hardwood on main level. Laminate on 2nd floor & basement. Beautiful kitchen with S/S appliances, granite countertop, undermount sink & breakfast bar. Potlights. Basement has potential for a bachelor or 1-bdrm in-law apartment. Very close to schools, parks, shopping, transit, waive pool, library, hospital, etc.

Stunning, fully upgraded 3-bdrm, 4-wshr CORNER townhouse with 2-CAR GARAGE & access to house. About 2000 SqFt. Excellent floor plan. 9’ SMOOTH ceilings & potlights on main level. Hardwood floors. Large family room with gas fireplace. Stairs with iron pickets. Very nice spacious kitchen with breakfast area, granite countertop & floors, S/S appliances. Master bdrm with W/I closet & 4pc-ensuite. Spacious main foyer.

Asking $579,000

Asking $649,800

RICHMOND HILL.

Gorgeous CUSTOM BUILT 4+1-bdr, 5-wshr detached with 2-car garage in Earl Haig Secondary School District! Excellent layout. Hardwood floors, 9’ ceilings, moгldings. Beautiful kitchen with granite countertop, central island. 2 fireplaces in living & family rooms. Iron railings with skylight on stairway. Master bdrm with 7-pc ensuite with Jacuzzi, bidet, 2 sinks. Desired Willowdale location!

RAVINE LOT!!! Absolutely stunning, totally upgraded, about 3500 SqFt, 4+2-bdr, 5-wshr house in high demand Oak Ridges. 9’ ceilings on both levels, hardwood floors throughout, crown mouldings, potlights, venetian plaster, oak staircase with iron pickets, custom ceiling decor. Main floor office. Huge custom made kitchen with extended cabinets, granite countertop, granite floors & granite b/splash, pantry, central island. FINISHED W/O BASEMENT with sauna, kitchen with S/S appliances, own laundry, home theatre. Impossible to list everything. A MUST SEE!

WILLOWDALE/ FINCH /BAYVIEW

Asking $1,239,000

Asking $1,098,000

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SPACE – CHANGING FABRICS Textile is a rewarding decorative element. Not only it is great means of improving the look of our dwellings but it helps hide its imperfections as well. When selecting fabrics for window coverings one has to take into consideration many factors, including not only the dimensions of the room and the windows but also climate and many other particulars. The Rules of Fabric Design Main considerations, apart from the style, when selecting curtains are the room size, ceiling height, the view from the window, location of lighting fixtures, and the fabric compatibility with other textiles in the room. Contrasting colours with horizontal stripes visually enhance the width of the room while vertical stripes create an illusion of increased height. Various hues of blue, gray, and purple create a feeling of cooler temperature while beige, yellow, red and orange, that of warmth. Vivid curtains are dramatic but harder to match to the rest of the room; besides, they get tiresome

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fast. Heavy drapes keep the sunlight away; therefore, they should be used on southward windows. The fabric you choose needs to look good in any lighting at any time of day and night. For example, muslin illuminated by sunlight coming from the outside creates a frosted glass effect. At night, curtains lighted by artificial sources in the room become opaque and create the air of comfort and security. The fabric should not blend into decor – it is better to select one that is a tone lighter or darker than the walls. The colour of the curtains should match the tones of the furniture rather than the walls since furniture gets replaced less frequently than the wall decor. Do not try to skimp on fabrics. Floor-length curtains look better when more voluminous. The missing few centimeters that may seem unimportant can make or break the look – when the curtain is 3 cm short of floor length it will look too short. To give the window dressing dramatic appearance, follow this rule: the panel when fully stretched needs to be 2 ½ to three times wider than the curtain rod.

Trends The adage popular among textile manufacturers states that fashion trends in clothing

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dictate trends in interior design. It is not a fluke that the interior design shows contain the work of such famous designers as Kelvin Klein, Ralph Laurent, Versace, Ungaro, or Laura Ashley, - the best couturiers in the world have serious collections of textile elements of interior decoration. One of today’s trends is tapestry in the 1970s style. Their large, often geometric patterns in pastel tones are great for furniture in simple minimalistic shapes. These fabrics are predominantly synthetic. Another trend of the season is natural fabrics in calm pastel or off-white tones. These perfectly match such materials as wood or metal and set off to advantage avant-garde decor elements. Conservative textiles are perfect for traditional and classic styles. There are definite trends in the texture of fabrics. One of them is for shimmering fabrics in soft colours, with a woven-in fine metal thread as well as rainbow-like fabrics characterized by the play of several different colours. Among complex manufacturing techniques is, for example, a pattern created by interwoven polyester and wool fibres. The ever-popular tulle can come in many styles – for example, two thin layers connected in designated places by embroidery in wool yarn or straw.

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Crystal is this season’s trend in jewellery. Its elegant look adds special charm to necklaces, bracelets, and earrings. You can add the same charming and luxurious look to your home with the help of this wonderful decorative glass.

Decorating with Crystal Of course, the most common way of using crystal in interior decorating is installing a crystal chandelier. Nevertheless, crystal elements can literary brighten up your decor regardless of their size. Even a small amount of crystal may create a heady effect if used properly. Please find below a few suggestions on the ways to add fashionable look to your home. t Replace your old cabinet handles with crystal ones. Crystal combined with other materials creates an interesting and eclectic overtone. t Install shimmering crystal handles on the bathroom taps. Such a small detail draws a lot of attention. t Use crystal finials on your staircase handrails. Crystal balls may be a doubtful object to predict the future but they are an exquisite accessory that will not go unnoticed. t Display any crystal dishes you own. Combined with regular plates and glasses, they will add an interesting eclectic touch. t Consider a towel holder incrusted with crystal. Seemingly unimportant objects can serve as an element that adds interesting touch. t If real lead crystal is outside your budget, consider artificial one. Hang artificial crystal garlands in places that are lacking some lustre, like at the sides of a mirror or over the fireplace. t Use crystal accessories. t You can intensify the impact of your crystal chandelier and other crystal accessories by placing them against a mirror, which will disperse their reflected glitter all over the room.

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This stunning transformation was nothing short of spectacular! Custom built-in cabinetry, unique modern art, eclectic mix of beautiful fabrics in aquas, deep blues, and earth tones. Relaxing yet elegant, perfect for everyday living….

Before

After Customer’s testimonial: We are very grateful to Catherine of Royal Interior Designs for her expert advice and co-ordination of our renovations. Her sense of style, energy, her vision of the final result, elegance, and punctuality made our renovation project a success. Catherine’s accessibility and communication skills make working with her extremely easy and fun. We highly recommend her services to everyone who wants their design projects to be completed with passion and style and on time. Irina and James, Richmond Hill, Ontario

ROYAL I N TERIORS Elegant & Affordable designs that suit your lifestyle Contact Catherine-Lucie Horber TODAY ! 416-573-5378 * chorber@gmail.com * www.royalinteriordesign.ca FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107 November 2013 ALL ABOUT HOME 13


Plan projects like a Pro! As a Project Manager, I spend a great deal of time “planning”. To some, that sounds ridiculous. We live at such a hustle and bustle pace that the thought of sitting down, spending hours, sometimes days, thinking, researching, analyzing, writing, concocting and imagining sounds like an absurd way to go through life. You have to be out there, doing. The truth is, planning is in my highly biased opinion, THE most important step in the life cycle of any project. So whether you’re planning on building a shed, a car, or a nation…a solid plan is your best path to success. We all plan to some degree or another. Some of us have made it a habit to only plan for the next 15 minutes, most plan for the week, and a few of us have mapped out the remainder of our terrestrial existence… and then some. When it comes to planning, I’m sure that most people do not apply academic theories when it comes to personal projects and plans. The serious business of sitting down, analyzing, writing, drafting and finalizing a plan on paper seems to be something reserved for times when you are in school. It’s a hop and a skip away from cruel torture. The process becomes extremely aggravating if someone made you draft a Critical Path Method (CPM) chart outlining some vague personal project such as graduating from College or University, finding new

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friends, or getting married. How do you assess the inherent risks involved in any step of “finding new friends”? What is the earliest likelihood that you could complete the first step in the task quadrant? What is the slip ratio? It seems illogical, impractical and futile to plan and map out EVERYTHING that you do. But I think that using real work management principles can help you plan ANY project that you plan to undertake like a pro. The first step is to always break the project down into its main component parts. Anything can be broken down this way, from the simplest tasks to the most involved. The idea is to organize the tasks by grouping them into logical and manageable parts. For example, if you plan on building a shed, you might break the project down into 5 main parts: Design, Budgeting, Approvals, Materials, and Labour. The next step is to determine the amount of time required in order to complete each step. So to use our example, you should be able to answer how long it should take you in order to have a final design. Next, we should determine the dependencies between these activities. For example, you cannot determine the materials until you have determined the design, therefore Materials can only be known once the design is ready. And finally, we must know our timelines and assign an end date for the project.

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If you take the time to sit down and take proverbial pen to paper on the task of planning your project and following the 4 step path as noted above, you will have taken the most “time tested and true” method for successful planning. So make a plan to be a good planner and remember the old 6 word recipe for success in almost every aspect of life: think it through then follow through!

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.

www.NOSTCO.com

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416-400-2403 Svetlana

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case of fire a glass wall will neither crack nor melt within an hour. As for their photometric qualities, glass blocks can be light permeable (with a smooth surface) or light dispersing and light directing (with a rough surface). When selecting glass blocks for home improvement projects, one needs to consider the function. Usually they are used as an architectural element for building nonbearing walls

For a Sun-Filled House Can you imagine a house so filled with daylight that it reaches even to the darkest, most distant from the window corners? You enter a house or an apartment and notice sparks of living sunlight in a windowless hall. The secret is that the walls are made of glass “bricks”. Today’s glass tiles have gone a long way from the old thick milky glass blocks of the past that were not the best material for interior decorating. They come in many shapes and colours and their use in interior design is widespread.

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The shape of a glass block is similar to a brick except that it is hollow and filled with air. Such brick can have a smooth or rough surface, can be transparent or opaque, and may come in natural shade or in colour. Glass blocks possess the best qualities of their clay counterparts and as such can be used for building interior and even exteriors walls. They are very strong and capable of withstanding drastic temperature swings and even light earthquakes. The air inside the block makes for its excellent thermo- and soundproofing characteristics. They reduce noise with the same efficiency as regular bricks of the same thickness. One of the most important qualities of glass blocks is that they are fireproof. In

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So much said for their practical characteristics, let us discuss their decorative qualities. This trendy material is great for finding unusual solutions in interior design to allow the use of play of light as a decorative element. Deciding on transparent vs. opaque or coloured vs. natural, one can achieve just the right amount of lighting. For example, transparent glass blocks let through up to 80 percent of light while the colour ones, only up to 50 to 75 percent. Glass bricks provide visual obscuration while admitting light. Therefore their use for the bathroom walls is widespread. This material looks great in combination with other finishes: for example, you can use them to make the upper part of a wall where the lower part is made of brick, concrete, or wood – or the other way around. Architects and designers sometimes use them to replace stained glass. Combining various shades, textures, and sizes of glass blocks and interspersing opaque and transparent ones can create beautiful art compositions.

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t s i p a r e h T y l i m a F a s a l l i m d a e r T The health benefits of using a treadmill are indisputable. A home treadmill is a desirable and useful possession. A modern, intelligent, and good-looking device seems to be asking you to take it home from a magazine page. Nevertheless, the list of advantages of such an acquisition does not include a paragraph about family relationships, while there is a direct connection between the two, Probably the reason for most love fairytales ending up in a wedding is that, often, afterwards the romance starts flagging. The cause is not only the rote of the everyday life but also the negative influences both partners bring home from the outside world. Problems and troubles away from home often become a burden that some-

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times gets relieved by taking it off on the loved ones causing family arguments. We may be sorry afterwards but it is too late – we have already wrongly hurt the loved one. Sometimes these misunderstandings build up into a thick wall that divides people. When such arguments come up, our family members try to run away – but they do it emotionally, not physically. This is why psychologists suggest you install at home an anti-stress device named… a treadmill. When you feel especially irritable, get on your treadmill right away. Just a few minutes on the device relax and calm you down. The measured pace helps return your emotional balance. One-two, onetwo – your heart beats evenly, your breath evens out, and your head clears. Jogging is great for concentration and cooling down. In the meantime, your brain processes the information and solves the situation. You will get off your treadmill feeling completely changed. Your rage, distress, and confusion are gone having given way to

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clarity and calm. In this state, you will not take your frustration off on your loved ones and will be able to avoid mistakes that may ruin the family relationship. Therefore, a simple treadmill serves as a family therapist that keeps the family intact, aside from the fact that jogging is a great pastime that awards you with a beautiful figure, emotional strength, good health, and high vitality. Go on and try this unusual approach to the physical and emotional health of your family.

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Russian Doll Style The charming simplicity of the Russian doll concept has always inspired designers all over the world. The number of various items created with the use of the “from large to small� principle has grown tremendously. These include sets of mixing bowls and dinner plates, mugs and cups, tables and chairs, etc.

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Why is this idea so popular? First of all, because of the compactness of such design solution. The problem of limited space has always persisted and is not planning to go away in the foreseeable future; this means that various version of the Russian doll are going to appear again and again.

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

Adults (Number, sex and age, special needs if any) Teens Children

Dining room Kitchen table

Elderly

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

2. Any anticipated changes in the next 5 – 10 years? Yes No 3. Do you have pets? Dogs (How many, large or small) Cats Other 4. Do you have guests staying with you? Frequency Long or short visits Friends or relatives 5. What type of home do you live in? Apartment House Other 6. What is your lifestyle? Formal Informal Casual Moderate 7. Entertaining: how often, types of parties, and what room(s) do you use? Formal Informal Big or small parties 8. Where do you or your family like to eat most of the time?

Basement 10. What daily activities do you or your family like to engage in and where in the home? Talk Read Watch TV Play games Listen to music Other 11. Do you need window coverings that ensure privacy or do you have a beautiful view that you enjoy? 12. What kind of floors do you have? Do you need area rugs? 13. What kind of walls do you have? Do you like paint or wallpaper? 14. What kind of art do you have or want? Large paintings Small framed prints Sculpture Mix of the above This is just a general example of questions to write down. The more questions you ask yourself the better since it will help you to avoid the “sale fever” and living “easy” with your design choices. We all love seasonal sales, it is fun and great savings, but only if you really know your “wants” and your “needs”.

Your Own Questionnaire:

Residential Planning & Design marina@orlovainteriors.com T: 416.520.4595

1. Who is living in your home?

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Living room Family room Library or study room Kitchen

15. Do you have or want plants?

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

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Kitchen island

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OFFICIAL LIGHTING PARTNER OF SWAROVSKI

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The Sparking Beauty $5,000,000 2009 marked the 100th anniversary of the toilet as we know it today. Jemal Wright takes standard toilets and applies a special chrome base infused with dyes over the porcelain to achieve a colorful, glossy look. If that’s just tacky and your tastes run full Vegas, the toilets can be further customized with luxurious extras such as Swarovski crystals. He even uses the crystals to sign his work.

$20 000 Polish designer Lukaz Jemiol created the world’s most expensive vacuum cleaner that is incrusted with 3730 Swarovski crystals. The base for this piece of art is a standard Ergorapido model by Electrolux.

This richly decorated with Swarovski crystals baby’s bath tub costs

$7 000 and is rumoured to have been purchased by the star

couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z.

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Renting? You Can Still Have a Nice Kitchen! The rental you just moved in feels oppressive because the decor is not what you like. Sounds familiar? Of course, you want the whole apartment to feel cozy and personal but as a lady of the house the main area you care about is your kitchen. There are a few ways to make the kitchen in your rental apartment cozy and nice without going into full-blown renovations.

1

It may sound trite but try to start with the simplest and most obvious step – a full-blown cleaning. Not every rental apartment can boast total cleanliness, and to make the kitchen feel closer to your heart and more comfortable it needs to be thoroughly scrubbed. Clean lampshades and windows, cabinet fronts and countertops, kitchen furniture and the floor will change the look of your kitchen.

2

Hide the junk and unneeded objects. The worst rental apartment problem is the abundance of old unwanted things. If you are not allowed to dump them (for

example, if your rental is a furnished flat) you can just put them away. Use highto-reach shelves and balconies to hold unwanted pots and pans, appliances, and other small items.

3

Repair non-functional or broken items. Fix small nuisances like a leaking faucet in the kitchen, peeling wallpaper, or low-watt bulbs. Again, if you rent from a homeowner and not a rental corporation, be sure to discuss all the planned repairs beforehand.

4

New backsplash. The backsplash over the counter and the cook top often makes for the most visible and useful section of the kitchen wall. Nevertheless, installing a new one is a costly proposition and not many want to go into such an expenditure of funds in a flat of not their own. A way around this problem is a temporary plastic panel backsplash.

5 6

when the window is in a bad shape or when the view out of the window is not very appealing.

7

A new good-looking dining set will greatly improve the look of the eating area in your rental kitchen. It will add beauty and coziness even if the rest of the kitchen is not very attractive.

8

Brightly coloured fabrics of oven mitts or pads, aprons, the tablecloth, tea towels, and napkins are an inexpensive but effective decorative touch. If you prefer a coordinated look, buy everything in a set.

9

Such decorative elements as flowerpots or vases can breathe a new life into the look of your kitchen. Add an element that will personalize the look – for example, place some figurines from your collection in one corner of the counter.

10

To hide a worn floor, cover it with a runner or a rug. Its portability is an added bonus when you move.

Your family photos or paintings will easily conceal problem spots on the walls.

The role of window covering is hard to overestimate when improving the look of your kitchen, especially in the case

Of course, it is hard to make a rental kitchen feel like home but the abovementioned steps can add comfort and convenience.

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Saunas

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•"Do-it-yourself" kit (material, stove, accessories)

• Construction

905-553-5358

www.dreamsauna.com

Sale, installation & service Gas heating systems Gas fireplaces Central air conditioning Air filters and humidifiers Gas pipe line for BBQ and stoves Stove Dryer Duct Systems

Quality guaranteed The best prices

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