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Panel Drapes

Japan is a fascinating country with a long history, interesting customs, and huge technological advances that have placed it within a very short time onto the list of the most successful countries in the world. The houses of Japanese are not just the living quarters; each house is an integral part of the live environment. Its best feature is its spaciousness and open concept. You will not find the overabundance of furniture you can find in the West; there is nothing unnecessary in a Japanese house. It is a small but perfect world. One of the popular features in these houses is panel drapes. Japanese – or panel – drapes have been extremely popular due to their simplicity, convenience and originality. They are manufactured from lightweight, in most cases natural fabrics. The whole assembly is installed using fastening at both the top and the bottom. Panel drapes are universal enough to fit with any decorating style. Their pattern usually depicts various images, mainly on Japanese themes like sakuras, animals, flower wrraths, etc. They can be used both as the curtains




per se or as a decorative room divider. The area of use for Japanese drapes is wide and diverse. The ones used in houses, apartments and other living spaces more often than not are made of vividly coloured fabrics or fabrics with printed images while the blinds used in offices and other places of business are usually solid white or calm pastel colours. To darken the room if needed, use dark blue and dark green hues. Japanese panel drapes may have two types of control: electrical or manual. The former allows controlling them with just a push of a button, the latter, using a cord and a handle. The cord seems to be the most convenient way of control. It is made in such a way as to enable moving three to six panels simultaneously as well as shifting them to the centre or away from it. The cord is placed at the side and comes out of the rod cover. The main advantage of this method is that it excludes the necessity of touching the panels, thus reducing a chance to damage the whole structure. The electric drive is a completely automated way to control any number of panels, from five and up. Use the double electric drive for wider drapes. Panels can be moved using remote control, a wall switch, radio control, or any other method convenient for you.

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January 2014



ETERNAL CLASSIC Classic style has always been the mainstay of interior design. When we say “classic” we think luxury, flawless taste, and elegance. This style is so popular and respected that it will never go out of fashion.


of houses, apartments, hotels, restaurants, and other public places.

Classic style goes back to the palatial splendour of the 16th and 17th century. It is based on the ancient rules, simple streamlined shapes, symmetry, grace, solemnity, and affluence that are integral to this kind of decor.

Luxury is the most important feature of this style. It shines through in the materials used. Therefore, plan for substantial expenditures if you decide to decorate your home in classic style. Furniture for it is made from rich kinds of wood like oak, cherry wood, walnut, or redwood that are subjected to thorough processing and treatment and decorated by carving, inlays, and gilding. Every piece of such furniture is a real work of art that enriches the look of the room and becomes a heirloom passed from one generation to the next. Many contemporary admirers of classic style prefer antique furniture.

Today’s decorative style called classic differs from the great rooms in royal palaces but still retains the basic traditions and principles.

Natural high-quality materials are also used for the floors that can be wood or marble. Because they are expensive, today’s manufacturers offer imitations of the real thing.

No matter what other decorative styles have come (and, sometimes, gone) the classic stays popular in planning the look

The interior decorated in classic style has streamlined shapes. The walls are painted light tones, usually whites and off-whites,



with the use of such noble hues as burgundy, navy blue, or hunter green. The colour of the walls has to match the tones used in decorative elements, mouldings, gilding, and other decorative elements that abound in the interiors of this style. A feature that adds grandeur and splendour is columns. These can be made from plaster, marble, granite, or their imitations. Don’t forget that columns are always the focus of attention; therefore they should be impeccable. Another feature to add elegance and luxury is heavy drapes with valances, fringes, and tassels. They can be beige, golden, pale yellow, light blue, or light red, preferably solid or with a light pattern. When creating the interior in classic style, pay scrupulous attention to everything down to the smallest detail. Use old-style vases, paintings, candelabra, and antique accents. Classic style is not very compatible with modern technical devices, so hide the TV set and musical centre inside furniture or in niches.



Beautiful “Beethoven» model home, surrounded by million dollar homes! 4 bdrms, 4 wshrs. About 2300sq.ft. Elegant designer kitchen w/granite counter, custom backsplash, S/S appliances. 9’ceilings. Hardwood floors, potlights, upgraded staircase w/iron railings. Family room w/ fireplace. Large master with W/I closet &5pcs ensuite. 2-car garage. Close to school, park, transit. Thornhill City Centre! Bright and spacious 1-bdrm + den, 1-wshr. About 700 sq. ft. Open balcony overlooking park. Modern kitchen w/granite counters & breakfast bar. Large master bedroom with W/I closet. Open concept den. Built/in cabinets in living room & bathroom. Laminate floors. Superb facilities: swimming pool, sauna, gym, 24-hr concierge service. Steps to plazas, parks, transit.


Prestigious Thornhill City Centre Building w/ unobstructed view of 5-acre park! Gorgeous 1-bdrm+den, 2 wshrs. About 800 sq.ft. Open balcony. Modern kitchen w/granite counters & breakfast bar. Master bedroom has W/I closet and 3-pcs bath. Spacious den can be used as 2nd bdrm. Laminate floors in all rooms. Superb facilities: swimming pool, sauna, gym, 24-hr concierge service. Steps to plazas, parks, transit.


Asking $327,800


Asking $305,000


Great location in heart of Richmond Hill. Brand new, bright and spacious townhome, about 2200 sq.ft. 3 bdrms, 3 wshrs. Upgraded maple kitchen w/granite countertop and S/S appliances. Breakfast area with W/O to deck. Large master bdrm with 5-pcs ensuite & W/I closet. Large great room with fireplace. Hardwood floor on main. Oak staircase. Finished basement w/large recreation room. Walking distance to Yonge St., public transit, parks.

Asking $610,000

Bright and spacious semi-detached home, about 2200 sq.ft. 4 bdrms, 3 wshrs. Very nice and practical layout. Laminate floors throughout. Large kitchen w/breakfast area and w/out to backyard. Large family room. Dark stained oak staircase. Master bedrooms with ensuite separate shower and soaker tub, W/I closet. Laundry on main. Access to garage from the house. Close to schools, park, transit.

GORHAM/LESLIE, NEWMARKET Conservation Area! Fabulous 3-bdrms, 3-wshrs in nice and quite neighborhood. Almost new with comfortable Open concept layout. Hardwood on main. Oak staircase, including basement. Great room w/fireplace and W/Out to backyard facing wooded area. Modern kitchen w/granite countertop, island w/breakfast bar & S/S appliances. Master w/4-pcs ensuite & separate shower. Laundry on 2-d floor. Finished basement w/family room, 3-pcs rough-in bathroom. Close to HWY, Newmarket Go Station. Shopping Center. Energy Star Living.

Asking $499,500

January 2014

Asking $464,900



Seeing Red


Not everyone is brave enough to use the colour red for interior decorating. Red is for the flamboyant and courageous. This king of all colours immediately draws attention to itself. It is one of the three primary colours, and its palette varies from warm orangey red to cool purple.

actions. Usually the colour red is perceived as the colour of struggle and danger even though, in many cultures, it is considered a colour of life and love.

The best complementary colour for the red is green. Red is capable of strong emotional influence; it may provoke both strongly negative and strongly positive re-

With the new technological methods, it is easy to recreate anything from Georgian decorative style, to faded Tuscany frescoes, to Gothic stain glass. The variety of the red


In the ancient times, the red pigment was difficult to produce; it was extracted from insects, plant roots, or minerals. Therefore, items coloured red stayed the prerogative of the rich. Today, any tone of red can be produced with synthetic materials, and the colour has become readily available.


hues in the warmer section of the colour wheel, the rust and terracotta tones, add a warm and happy mood while their opposites, purple and burgundy tones, create a solemn look and may even provoke a feeling of fear and trepidation. To soften this effect, it is sufficient to dilute the red paint with white. Pure red on large surfaces suppresses all the other colours in the room and has a negative emotional effect. Therefore, this colour should be used only for decorative accents, like posters, cushions, candles, etc. This approach gives the place a cheery feeling.


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January 2014



a shower wall or a partition. Photo glass panels used in the bathroom need to be resistant to moisture. For this purpose they are manufactured as a triplex consisting of two panels with the photographic image placed between them. Such panels protect the image from moisture and mechanical impact. They are also low maintenance.

PHOTO GLASS Use of photography in interior decorating has become not only trendy but virtually integral part of any decor. Advanced technologies and availability of materials make it usable in any design style. One of the newest types of decorative photography is photo printing on glass. PHOTO GLASS AS THE KITCHEN BACKSPLASH

electrical outlets, vents, and so on need to be made before the process of toughening. Because no mistakes can be corrected without ordering new glass, it is advisable to leave the job of taking measurements and, if possible, the installation to a professional.

PHOTO GLASS PARTITIONS AND PANELS FOR THE BATHROOM Photo glass can be used in the washroom as well – either as a picture on the wall,

PHOTO GLASS CEILING PANELS Translucent ceiling panels with a photographic imprint help create an impressive and unusual suspended ceiling depicting a sky, tree branches, or other images that visually “open” the ceiling. These panels are manufactured from 3-mm thin glass with a photographic imprint. They are lightweight and as such do not require a reinforced suspension system. Depending on the printing method and the density of the glass it can have various translucencies but in all cases it has a defusing property and can be highlighted. The main advantage of glass panels as compared to plastic ones is that they are fireproof.

This is a modern and practical solution for decorating the kitchen. Glass is an environmentally safe and sufficiently strong medium. Its qualities make it extremely suitable for the kitchen. The backsplash should be made of tempered glass at least 6 mm thick. This type of glass is stronger than its regular version. Besides, it is safer because such glass, when broken, crumbles into small granular chunks instead of splintering into jagged shards. The granular chunks are less likely to cause injury. On the other hand, processing of tempered glass is impossible; therefore all the necessary openings for




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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! A L S O AVAILABLE FOR RENT $1380/month


Bright & cozy 3-bdr, 3-wshr townhouse in great neighbourhood. Nicely renovated. New laminated floors everywhere. Nice updated kitchen cabinets. All appliances practically new. Large master bdrm. Finished W/O basement with laminated floors & 2-pc wshr. Main floor deck & b/yard deck. Direct access to garage (garage door opener & remotes). Nicely landscaped. Close to good schools, daycare, parks, shopping.


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Location! Spectacular 4-bdr, 3-wshr semi-detached, 2105 SqFt. Bright and large! Excellent floor plan. Open concept family room. Wood floor. All bedrooms are large. Master bdrm with 4-pc ensuite & W/I closet. Family size kitchen with W/O to backyard. Main level laundry room. Steps to Yonge St, schools, parks, transit, shopping centre, etc.

Gorgeous 3+1-bdr, 4-wshr SEMI-detached located in prestigious area of Thornberry Woods! Practically new. Double door entry. Beautiful layout. Hardwood floors. 9’ ceilings. Upgraded kitchen with extended cabinets. Large family room with 12’ ceilings (can be converted to 4th bdrm). Professionally finished bsmt with kitchen, sauna, bar. A MUST SEE!

Asking $499,500

Asking $629,900

Asking $1700/ month

Asking $269,900 BATHURST & WELDRICK

Nicely renovated, very spacious 3-bdr, 4-whr detached house on premium lot in high demand area. Excellent layout. Hardwood floors. Potlights. Crown mouldings. Upgraded modern kitchen with granite counter & brand new S/S appliances. Large bedrooms. Custom shower. Large deck in private b/ yard. Finished basement. Close to everything! Do not miss!

Asking $636,900


Simply stunning! Sunny & bright CORNER unit, 2 bdr, 2 wshr, about 1000 SqFt with south-west exposure! Spacious split bdrm layout. Beautifully upgraded. Modern kitchen with granite & S/S appliances. Balcony. Locker, parking. Amazing facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym, party room, guest suites & more.

Asking $415,000


RAVINE LOT!!! Beautiful 3-bdr, 3-wshr, 2687 SqFt home with 2-car garage backing to forested conservation area. Excellent floor plan. Hardwood floors. High ceilings. CUSTOM kitchen with granite counter & S/S appliances with walk-out to patio. Large family room with 3-sided gas fireplace & potlights. 2nd floor laundry. Very deep lot!

Asking $749,000


Gorgeous 1-year home, 4+1 bdr, 5 wshr in highly demanded area! About 3500 SqFt. Amazing floor plan. Hardwood floors, 9Ft ceilings. All bdrms have W/I closets. Family room & den on main level. Beautiful kitchen with granite, S/S appliances. Finished bsmt with sauna, home theater, wet bar, ping-pong, gym space (easy to convert to rental). Must see!

Asking $941,000


New 3-bdr townhouse in the heart of Richmond Hill. Bright, open concept with modern layout. Hardwood floors, high ceilings. Upgraded maple kitchen, granite counter, backsplash, S/S appliances. Oak wood staircase. Finished basement. Have to see to appreciate!


4-bdr, 3-wshr detached with stunning layout. $$ spent on upgrades. Hardwood floors. Upgraded large kitchen. Mid-level family/living room with cathedral ceiling that takes your breath away. High basement with above ground windows. Direct access to 2-car garage. Do not miss!

Asking $610,000

Asking $829,000



Rare on market! Almost new, about 3500 SqFt, 4-bdr, 5-wshr. Unique layout! Office on main level with 3pc ensuite & separate entrance, can be used as 5th bdrm or for home business. Hardwood floors. Potlights. French doors. Family room with gas fireplace & vaulted ceilings. Nice upgraded kitchen with central island, granite, S/S appliances. Close to all amenities!


Exclusive luxury in the Uplands! This magnificent home sits on 100 x 480.5 Ft lot backing onto RAVINE & Golf Club. 5 bdr, 7 wshr, over 5000 SqFt. All upgrades are here! Hardwood, mouldings, potlights. Gourmet kitchen w/island, S/S Thermador appliances (W/O to deck & winter BBQ room). Two master bdrms w/custom closet, heated flrs. Finished W/O bsmt with kitchen, gym, home theater & more... Pool, hot tub, sauna, etc. Impossible to list...

January 2014



Advance technologies used in the textile industry resulted in the emergence of the 3D bed linen. Like regular sheets, duvet covers, and pillow cases, this type is made of natural fabrics but the most frequently used fabric is satin manufactured from a double weaved cotton thread. This characteristic enables the dyes to be more durable and convey a more realistic image.

BED LINEN COMES ALIVE The new method called photo print makes the image look three-dimensional and natural. The image applied to the fabric by photo printing would not fade or change colours. The pigment penetrates the fibre structure deep, thus making the image durable. The picture on the bed linen fabric looks so realistic that it is easy to imagine yourself in a heavenly garden surrounded by unbelievably beautiful flowers and exotic birds or on a safari in a close proximity to a tiger or a lion. The advance technology of the process conveys the brilliance and authenticity of the image down to the finest detail. Besides, this bed linen is characterized by all the qualities of regular one – it is hypoallergenic and hygienic, moisture absorbing and breathable. It usually does not wrinkle and it keeps its looks even after multiple launderings. The most frequently used images on bed linen depict nature or animals, or, sometimes, cityscapes. The selection is wide, therefore, it is easy for anyone to find something to their liking. The colours are vivid and intense. The images look like a real thing. Photo printed linens help to quickly refresh the bedroom decor and make it more romantic or even adventurous. It also makes the comforter or a bedspread obsolete because the 3D bed linen becomes the focal point of the bedroom all by itself.






January 2014



Loft – the City Style

The Loft as style emerged in the industrial part of Manhattan, New York, as far back as in the 1940s. The reason for its birth was the drastic increase in real estate prices.

phenomenon as a style of decorating their expensive apartments. People in other North American cities, including Toronto, soon followed the suit.

The community of young artists and musicians was forced to search for alternative space to be used as both their living quarters and their studios. The best solution turned out to be the attics of industrial buildings, warehouses, and abandoned factories. These spacious premises had good lighting and extremely high ceilings. As a result, as soon as 1950s, loft style became a trend. Soon, upscale companies followed the suit, taking up residence in the spacious attics of central Manhattan. Later still, moneyed individuals took up the loft



Loft is a tremendous space with high ceilings, metal structures and huge floor-toceiling windows looking more like store windows than those of living premises. It is not divided into rooms, except for separated bedrooms and bathrooms. The decor of such a living space is simple but unusual and exquisite, with brick or painted walls, a lot of glass and metal, and cement or wood floors. This is augmented by unusual furniture of odd shapes made of vividlycoloured plastic and stainless steel. Loft style is characterized by the absence of the usual anchoring of furniture to the walls and its ability to be transformed. Fur-


niture in the loft is not abundant yet interesting. These pieces become the focus of attention. Accessories present a special group. Here, one may give rein to one’s imagination and use anything of interest, including road signs, advertising boards, graffiti, - anything that will make the loft stylish and unlike any other space. Lately, this style has ceased to be used solely for living premises. Today, lofts are used as art galleries and exhibition halls, offices and catwalks, night clubs and ballrooms. They are no longer affordable for poor artists and struggling musicians but are popular among the well-to-do from different walks of life. It has also become an inspiration for decorating traditional houses and apartments as the means of their owners’ self-expression and creativity.



January 2014



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 and Consents.

The purpose of zoning is twofold. 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 to be processed.

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 the 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 of 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.



January 2014



Both consumers and interior designers have the warmest feelings regarding parquet floors. Parquet is a live material boasting the widest scope of textures and colours. It is made of natural wood, which means that it has all the advantages and drawbacks of the source material. To start with, the parquet floor is more pretentious than such of its counterparts as ceramic tiles, linoleum, carpeting, etc. Being a demanding and fickle material, it needs special care. Its price is considerably higher than that of artificial materials. When selecting your parquet material, pay close attention to its quality. Knots, fungus, insect damage, cracks, foreign inclusions, and deformations are all considered huge faults. Such defects influence the parquet’s uniformity, lower its durability, affect its

THE FLOOR THAT LASTS look, and create unfavourable conditions for the floor.

result from it are not drastic. It will not warp or develop cracks.

The kind of wood used to produce the parquet has direct influence on the place it can be used. Generally oak is considered the best material for parquet floors. It has many advantages, including handsome texture, firmness, and durability.

The main drawback of the parquet is its requirement for special care. To help your parquet floor last longer you may want to install a special platform at the entrance for eliminating hard particles from the shoe soles. Parquet floors need to be wiped with dry soft fabric every day as well as vacuumed.

Wood tends to absorb moisture from its environment. Even correctly dried-out parquet reacts to extreme changes in the humidity level even though the processes that

Yet, the beauty and uniqueness of this kind of floor covering greatly overweigh those easily overcome drawbacks.

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January 2014




Silencing Squeaky Floors without Floor Replacement be done to fix them. The squeak is typically a result of a hurried construction process, variation in moisture levels in the home, loosening fasteners or a myriad of other contributing factors. When a man built a house in the old days, he ensured that a few of the floorboards or steps are left to squeak, in order to provide an invisible, built-in alarm system to protect his home against burglars and intruders. Nowadays, there surely is no need for squeaky floor alarm systems, yet only few North Americans can boast about the silence of their floors! Silent Floor Solutions, a GTA based company, has found the answer to the age old problem of squeaking floors. The company’s co-founder Lev Remennik notes, people living with squeaky floors in their homes often think that nothing can

Many consider floor replacement to be their only solution. Replacing the entire floor is a hefty financial obligation, not to mention the mess, disruption of daily routine, noise and most importantly, the lack of guarantee that the squeaks will stop. Fans of DIY projects, consider strengthening the floors with screws or nails, driving them through the beautiful surface of their floors or when possible, from below. While that provides a temporary solution, the squeaks return after a short period of time. Once the new fasteners begin to loosen, they become a contributing factor to the original squeak. Sometimes resulting in an even louder noise.

The technology developed by Silent Floor Solutions offers a proprietary process, which has already brought quiet flooring and improved sleep to hundreds of families around the GTA. While the process may look simple at first, the key to success is the accuracy of identifying and localizing the problem areas, the special bonding agent itself, precise application, and most of all the company’s handson experience! For Lev, his European education in mechanical engineering and vast experience in structural engineering and automation, enabled him to develop much of the company’s process on his own. In five years of business, Lev has heard “my entire house squeaks!” countless times from his clients, but he knows this to be an incorrect assumption. A house is a lot like a park, he says, similarly to a park where we walk on designated paths, at home, there are invisible yet established routes as well. Starting from the kitchen to the bedroom and out of the front door as an example. These high traffic areas of a home are typically what owners choose to silence first. Localizing the areas of work is budget friendly, and provides a clean and long term solution to your squeaky floors. Similarly to most other problems, this one can also be prevented! We will talk about the topic of squeak prevention in the next issue. Written by: Anna Berman

) 647-476-4525





January 2014



CHILDREN’S ART – Where Should It Go?

After a child’s day of school or kindergarten you become a happy owner of yet another batch of freshly made art and craft pieces. You show your appreciation, but after a while, you notice that there is no more space on your fridge, walls, and shelves to keep these masterpieces. It is hard to balance the joy of children’s creativity and the order you want to maintain in your dwelling. There are a few ways to solve this problem. CHILDREN’S ART GALLERY Have your child help you select those pieces that are the most beautiful, interesting, or just dear to your heart. Use these to decorate your child’s room. For example, stretch a length of thick yarn or wire across the room and, using decorative cloth pins, attach the drawings and craft pieces. An-



other way is to frame them and arrange over the children’s beds or the desk where your little van Goghs learn to depict houses and flowers or to model animal and human figurines using plasticine.

SCRAPBOOKING The scrapbooking technique allows to assemble different genres of child’s creative endeavours in one place. The idea of scrapbooking is to create a whimsically decorated album for holding various keepsakes that remind of our life events accompanied not only by photographs but by other objects as well. Creating an album that will hold your child’s early artwork is just what scrapbooking is all about. You can make the album look like a little fairytale house, a magic box, or a basket. Be sure that your kids, when they grow up, will be happy to go through these collections, and, together with their spouses and children, will be grateful to you for preserving their childhood dreams and achievements.



They are everywhere – on fabrics and kitchen utensils, on wallpaper and bedding, on tartan skirts and bathroom tiles. Scots have been producing plaid fabrics since the ancient times, with every clan having its own tartan. The largest fashion houses of today, the likes of Valentino and Chanel actively use check and stripe patterns in their creations, and interior design is not far behind. They look great in any place, be it an apartment, a house, an office, or a trendy boutique. Below we talk about some of the “plaid” interior decorating options

A PLAID HOUSE as huge and colourful stuffed animals, oddly shaped vases, bright posters, and unusual light fixtures. In other words, it gives reign to your imagination as to the colours and shapes. Try to buy checkered furniture – or paint solid-colour furniture pieces yourself – and your decor will be amazing.

BACKGROUND BLURRY CHECKS in muted tones can be used in classic interiors. For example, hang curtains with large white and grey checks, use a checkered

throw or comforter on such elements of decor that you wish to conceal rather than draw attention to them. The secret of the background check pattern is its calm, balance and elegance.

COUNTRY STYLE plaid consists of a well-defined checked pattern in red-andwhite or blue-and-white. It looks great with flounces and frills, lacy curtains, cushions, baskets, decorative plants and other country style elements. This pattern will look its best in the kitchen.

CHECKERBOARD is no doubt stylish. It suits a reasonable person who knows what to want from life. On the other hand, it calls for perfect shapes and forbids unnecessary elements. No crystal vases, no granny’s cushions. The best way to use the black and white checker pattern is with streamline design. It looks greatest with high-quality plastic furniture and up-to-date devices. Hi-tech is the best style to go with your checkerboard pattern. PRETTY AND COLOURFUL CHECKS may come in various sizes. They look good in the nursery or the kitchen, unless you are so daring as to decorate your living room or bedroom this way. This pattern goes well with such accents


January 2014




As any part of decor, the trunk should match the general style of the room, and, often, it sets the style for the whole space. Manufacturers, riding on the wave of vintage popularity, now offer these objects in various types, sizes, and shapes. Artificially “antiqued” trunks have gained exceptional trendiness. Yet, contemporary models, unlike their ancient predecessors, have more elegant and less bulky outlines. Therefore, instead of being hidden in a closet they often take their place in the centre of the room. The best place for a decorative trunk is the living room. It can be used as a coffee table or even an extra seat. Being a full-fledged decorative object, it does not need to be pushed against the wall or hidden in the far corner of the room. Its place is in the centre, surrounded by armchairs and a sofa. The trunk can have it proper place in the bedroom as well. Placed at the foot of the bed, it can serve as a linen chest or hold house clothes; in front of the vanity, it can serve as a stool. And you will definitely have it filled with whatever you find necessary. The trunk in the nursery becomes a focal point if you decorate the room in the filibuster motif. Your little pirates will use it to hold their toys and dolls instead of gold and precious gems. Even if the trunk leaves the inhabitants of the nursery uninterested, their Moms will put this spacious chest to a good use, to store the kids’ bed linen, clothing, old toys, and books.

When we think trunk we remember cruel pirates or fair ladies of the past - the former, for pirates’ chests to keep the spoils of their unholy trade, and the latter, for using it to hide the lover’s epistles. The trunk has been a thing of the long gone past but, having gone unscathed through



the many trials and tribulations, this piece of furniture has returned into our homes albeit in a different capacity. Today the trunk plays a dual role: besides being a convenient storage it is also an excellent decor element. Being cabinet type furniture, the trunk has all its typical characteristics. It is usually spacious enough to hide even large objects. The hinged lid makes it easy to keep the contents in order, and the lock helps keep them private.




January 2014



Every woman strives to shorten the amount of time wasted on household chores. Often, we spend our days off cleaning the house and putting it to order, instead of resting and engaging in more interesting pursuits. There are some rules to help manage household work faster and more efficiently. • When you are too wary of the amount of work to be done and hesitate on the starting point of the job, begin with the spot closest to you – for example, your bedside table, and see how long it takes. Often we spend more time making decisions regarding the cleaning than cleaning itself.

P Try to avoid a double load of cleaning; always start with the dirtiest spots. For example, when cleaning the kitchen, start with the stove, oven, and sink, then – cabinets and countertops, and only after all the elevated places are clean, mop the floors. P Have your family take off their footwear when entering the house. 80% of all the dirt in your home comes from the outside at the moment when you enter and make the first four steps. P Put away the footwear you do not use at the moment. No more than one pair per person should be kept by the door. If you prefer not to ask your visitors to take off their footwear, have an extra mat just inside the door.


Dust the surfaces before vacuuming – otherwise crumbs and small debris will make you repeat the job.

P When polishing furniture apply the polish on the towel and not the furniture itself – this way you avoid rivulets and save both time and the polishing product. P In the bathroom, always have a towel or a sponge at hand to wipe splashes of water.


P Have a designated place for papers you

Often, the abundance of papers and documents becomes a bane of today’s dwellings. Nevertheless, solving this problem does not require too much work.

need. It should be a spot you pass often. This trick will allow you to figure out which documents are important. Have a board and tucks to pin current bills and notices. This will help you do everything on time and avoid unwanted scraps of paper all over the place.

P If you don’t have a blue box in your home, use a large bag to collect the unwanted papers, envelopes, and discarded newspapers and magazines. When the bag is full take it to the trash depository.

P If you have a computer or a smart phone, try to keep most information in the electronic form.

P If you need to apply a disinfectant or P Get rid of the habit of writing phone P If you get easily bored when cleaning cleaner in the bathroom, start with this procedure. While the agent works its magic, you will have time to clean the rest of the room.



numbers on scraps of paper – either use the built-in telephone directory in your device or allocate a notebook to be your address book.


your home, invite a friend to just sit there and chat. Or you can engage in a telephone conversation, listen to music or a good audio book.

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January 2014



UNUSUAL RUGS Non-standard rugs are one of the favourite tools of interior designers as an effective and handsome decorative element. Designer Rod Arad came up with unusually shaped rugs that look like large pixels in a bad resolution picture. They are made of different colour squares. In the first rug, the squares are saturated red, orange, and brick, with eggplant colour inserts. The second rug boasts even more contrast in a dramatic combination of grey, black and red. The colours combined in the third rug are light blue, greyish-blue and black. These vividly coloured rugs will look their best in a monochrome white or light-grey decor. Different squares are made of different height pile, ranging from 0.8 cm to 3 cm. This feature emphasizes the 3-D look of the carpet. You can create your own rug from recycled materials using your talent and imagination. This is what a duo from Netherlands Teyo Remi and Rene Veenhousen did when they made a wonderful carpet from pieces of old woollen blankets. This rug has a unique shape and colour combination. What they did was cut the old blankets into stripes, twist these stripes into strips, and stitch them together. Angela Adams is well known as a designer of unique tapestry rugs made of wool and cotton. The rug in the picture is named




Forest Floor Treasure Tapestry. It conveys a complex landscape with authentic colours and textures. Its elements even include moss-covered rocks next to a rapidly flowing creek. Star-shaped plants look like elements of the ocean bottom flora. The base of the rug imitates soil holding all the elements together. Even the classic Persian carpet has undergone unusual treatment in the hands of a clever designer. This one is made of puzzle pieces. Its author Katrin Sonnleitner has used materials made of recycled rubber and synthetics. The carpet can be disassembled and assembled again creating a different pattern each time.

Would you like stepping out of bed in the morning right into a meadow of blooming daisies? This rug was created by a minimalist style designer Gandia Blasco who was inspired by the Flower Power of the 1960s.

Sheers and Bead Curtains. Lightweight semi-transparent tulle is a traditional, if slightly outdated, way of disguising the view from the window. Instead, try something different – for example, use a bead curtain. Curtains made of glass or crystal beads can be easily crafted at home. Roller Blinds. Easily available, these blinds can be either readymade of made to order. Their advantages include easy installation and simple design. Stickers on the Glass Pane. The largest advantage of this kind of decor is that it easily replaceable. When you get tired of this artificial “view from the window”, you can easily replace it with a different one. These can be florals, objects, human faces, animals, etc. This method will work the best with a nursery window.

There are different ways to improve the impression you get when the view out of your window is not too picturesque. Shelves against the Window Background. Not only this solution helps correct the view but it is also practical. But think it through and try to make the shelves removable in order to facilitate window cleaning. Use the shelves to display flower pots as well as ceramic decorative elements.

Hanging Bottles. Decorative glass containers sold in many stores are ideal for our purpose. They can hold either live or artificial flowers or plants. The main rule is to choose a smaller and lightweight vase. To water live flowers try to pour just a little water and change it frequently. Containers made of coloured glass look especially nice. Hanging Pot Holders. These can be used on a window. They will do the trick no matter which side of the pane they are hung –outside or inside.


A “Greenhouse” on the Windowsill. Beautiful plants can be a great alternative to curtains. They are also an excellent way to conceal the unattractive view. This “greenhouse” will bring joy to the eye in any season. The taller the plant, the best is the result. One of such convenient and beautiful plants is the orchid. Stain Glass. Bright images made of glass fragments can become a great decor element while concealing the unappealing view from the window. They will look great in the decor in classic style.

January 2014







Out of the Woods Eco style in interior decorating is for those who love Nature and want to be closer to it. This style is filled with light and air. Its principal components are natural materials, including wood, stone, clay, natural fibres, and earth tones. You can make matching accents with your own hands from real branches, gnarls or tree trunk fragments. It is easy and enjoyable. The result of your labour will give you a unique decorative item because every part of a tree or a bush has its own unique shape and characteristics. These elements may emphasize the style of your decor and become the focus point of your home. You can turn your old bedside table into this kind of an interesting coffee table.

2. Use sandpaper to take the bark off the branches

8. Apply opaque varnish to the whole decorated surface


3. Put aside a couple of smooth straight branches and cut the rest into different lengths

9. Lay the glass on top. Your table is ready!

Dry branches (preferably straight and without snags); “Liquid Nails” glue;

4. Glue on the cuts all around the table

Opaque acrylic varnish for interior use;

5. Cut the saved branches into many discs 1 to 2 cm thick

Glass at least 6 mm in thickness with smoothed edges

6. Sand the cut surfaces and use these disks to create a mosaic pattern on the table top.


7. Glue the discs together as densely as possible. Sand the top if needed to provide a level surface for the glass.

1. Clean the surface of the table


The headboard, banisters, shelves, the coat rack, the curtain rod, room divider, or mirror frame are just a few of many things that can be decorated using this handsome natural material. If you do not dare to create complicated decorative elements with your hands, place good-looking de-snagged and polished (or painted to match your room decor) tree branches into a large vase and – voilá – you have an item in the eco decorating style!

January 2014




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All about Home magazine Jan 2014  

All about Home magazine Jan 2014

All about Home magazine Jan 2014  

All about Home magazine Jan 2014