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FEBRUARY 2014

FREE MONTHLY MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO HOUSEHOLDERS


CHASING REFLECTIONS Decorative mirrors have been replacing traditional ones in the trendiest places. Like mystics who invest mirrors with supernatural powers, interior designers of today involve us in fascinating albeit scary games with our own reflections. A compact round mirror with foggy edges created by Nick Ross recalls the old times when a shallow bowl filled with water used to serve as a looking glass.

When looking in the Fathom Mirror by Joe Doucet you feel like you are submerged into water up to your neck. This mirror has been created to commemorate the destructive hurricane Sandy.

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Patina at the bottom of the mirror from Benjamin Graindorge creates an impression of clouds floating across the heavens. It makes a person looking into it feel like they soar high in the sky.

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February 2014 To advertise in All About Home magazine please contact us

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A VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL

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The bathroom floor covered in expensive and handsome material is imposing and attractive but it does not look complete without a properly selected floor mat. Beside the aesthetic purpose, these mats have a practical one: to protect your feet, warm after the shower or bath, from the cold of the floor tiles and to prevent slipping on the wet floor.

normal humidity level and drastic temperature changes. Therefore, in manufacturing bathroom mats special techniques and materials are used.

To make the mat a harmonious element of your general bathroom decor and have it serve this purpose for a long time, try to follow a few rules. First, decide what your mat should be made of. Remember that the bathroom is a room with the above-

The commonest synthetic fibre used in manufacturing of bathroom mats is acrylic. Acrylic mats are thermoplastic, impermeable to damage from exposure to light, machine washable; they keep their original shape and colour for years, and do not fade.

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The mat can be made either of synthetic or natural fibres. Interestingly enough, the natural ones are less desirable because they are less practical than their synthetic counterparts. Nevertheless, there are exceptions even among natural materials - for example, bamboo fibres are healthy, water permeable, and durable. Besides, they possess antibacterial characteristics.

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Rubber mats are considered a staple. They come in various degrees of simplicity or elegance, design and shape. They are flexible and durable and contain antibacterial components that prevent fungus and mould. Besides, most manufacturers add to the material some components that suppress the smell of rubber. Bathroom mats with incorporated microfibres are water absorbent, convenient, non-slippery and washable. When selecting a mat for your bathroom, be sure to consider the lining. To prevent the mat from sliding on the floor, the lining is usually rubberized or made of jute or silicon. Sometimes the lining is also supplied by rubber knobs to ensure it stays in place. This also helps avoid the formation of mould.

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CONDO, THE EAST MALL/BLOOR/ HWY427

Gorgeous brand new CORNER 1-bdrm + Den, 1-wshr, about 700sq.ft.Balcony with beautiful unobstructed view. Den with window. Wood floors throught. Large kitchen with centre island, granite counter, pantry, S/S appliances. Large master bdrm with W/I closet. Windows coverings. Parking. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, gym, 24hr concierge, etc. Shuttle bus service to TTC, Shopping mall. Close to HWY427, 401, QEW.

RENT $1450

YONGE/JEFFERSON/ STOUFVILLE, RICHMOND HILL

Fantastic stone/stucco townhome backing to pond & park. About 1800 sq. ft. 3 bdrms, 3 wshrs. 9’ ceilings & hardwood on main. Oak staircase. Upgraded kitchen with S/S appliances, granite counter, breakfast area & bar, with w/out to deck. Family room w/ fireplace. Direct access from garage to house & backyard. W/out basement. Close to Viva transit, school, park, Yonge.

GORHAM/LESLIE, NEWMARKET

Asking $455,000

CONDO, BATHURST/ LAKESHORE, Toronto, Downtown

Asking $549,900

RAVINE LOT! Fabulous townhome, 1-yr old, in secluded luxury community. 1860sq.ft living area. 3 bdrms,3 wshrs. Open concept layout. Modern upgraded kitchen w/granite countertop & island w/breakfast bar. Great room w/fireplace, walk-out to patio. Master bdrm with his/ hers closet & ensuite w/separate shower. Oak staircase. 2nd floor laundry. Finished basement w/family room. Close to Hwy 404, Go Train, schools, shopping.

Stunning never lived in 2 bdrms, 2 wshrs in Quay West. Fabulous SouthEast view on the harbour. Bright, with large windows. 9’ ceilings. Modern kitchen w/granite countertop and S/S appliances. Master bdrm with W/I closet, ensuite with glass shower stall. 2 balconies, parking, locker. Visitor’s underground parking. 24hr concierge, gym, sauna, guest suite, etc.

RENT $2200

YONGE/GAMBLE, RICHMOND HILL

Great location! New townhome about 2200 sq.ft. 3 bdrms, 3 wshrs. Excellent open concept layout. 9’ ceilings & hardwood on main. Oak staircase. Upgraded maple kitchen w/granite counter, custom b-splash, S/S appliances. Breakfast area with w/out to deck. Large master bedroom with 5 pc ensuite & W/I closet. Finished basement. Close to school, transit, parks, Yonge St.

Asking $607,000

DUFFERIN/TESTON, VAUGHAN

$2,498,000

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 finished walk-up lower level. 4 bdrms+2 bdrms+library, 6 wshrs. A fusion of classic and contemporary elegance with impressive architectural details & superb craftsmanship. Luxuriously upgraded: smooth high ceilings, hardwood, cornice mouldings, baroque columns, wrought iron Juliette balconies and staircase, stone fireplaces, granite floors. Exquisite gourmet kitchen with built-in S/S high end appliances. All bedrooms have ensuites. Stunning grounds with waterfall, pond, swimming pool, greenhouse, patio and pagoda. Spectacular fully equipped home theatre! 800K spent on upgrades! This home is a true masterpiece!

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g n i t i r W e h t n o Wall You don’t have to airbrush you name on a rock or carve it into a tree trunk to leave your trace in history. From the beginning of times people tried to embellish their dwellings with petroglyphs. Japanese have decorated their abode with hieroglyphs meaning such positive words as luck, happiness, and wealth for many centuries. Drawings and written messages on walls are quite common and even trendy today. This kind of decorating is apt for any room regardless of its general style as long as the size, font, and colour have been chosen wisely. What the pictogram will be is completely up to you - you can decide on popular quotations, poetry lines, slogans, or sayings, or anything else your heart desires. These graffiti will look equally great in both a streamline minimalistic and a light-hearted and avant-garde decor as well as anything in between. The easiest way to decorate your walls with lettering is to choose from the wide variety of stickers on the market. They come in various colours and meanings and installing them is literally a child’s play. Making your own graffito is not much more difficult but may be more satisfying because it will contain not only deep meaning and motivation but also convey something from the depth of your soul.

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DECORATIVE COLUMNS A column always comprises three parts - the base, the body, and the cap. It may be decorated with cannelures (vertical grooves), volutes (an ornament similar to a spiral scroll), or palmette (an architectural element in the shape of palm leaves). Columns as decorating accessories define the style of architectural works. Columns that have traditionally come in granite, marble, or stone, nowadays are often made of plaster, compressed concrete, wood or artificial stone. Artificial stone made of stone or ceramic powder

mixed with a pigment, quartz and a binding agent, is considered the best material for creating an imitation of a classic column. The column was invented and used as a bearing structure but lately it has acquired a purely decorative function as well. Columns as an element of decor may both solve many appearance problems and define the style of the room. A column is an ideal solution for hiding some projecting utility assemblies, an unseemly bearing structure or a badly placed pipe. Columns always visually enhance the height of the ceiling thanks to their ideal vertical shape. Nevertheless, this decorative element is inappropriate for smaller spaces. Often, these structures are used to functionally divide the room - for example, define the space into the kitchen and the dining zone or between the living room and the hall. Columns present a great decorative detail in arches, flights of stairs and fireplaces. Columns may be used for decorating means in many styles but mostly when an emphasis is needed on the grandeur, solemnity, or opulence of the room. In these cases the column as an artistic accent will add charm to your decor. The most appropriate styles where columns are suitable are classic, baroque, and modern. Yet, the masters of interior design come up with a variety of fresh and exciting ideas for the use of columns. Even though this element is considered canonical, in hi-tech environments the column can be silver or gold or even glowing with neon colours, turned into an exotic fish tank or made of metal and glass, with a lighting fixture cap. A column may add attractiveness to any residence, no matter whether it is a dominating accent or just part of the general decorating style.

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www.fayrealestate.ca email: fayservices@yahoo.com AURORA (BATHURST & MCCLELLAN)

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.

CONDO. BATHURST & STEELES

BATHURST & CENTRE

Nice 1+1-bdrm, 1-wshr condo, sunny & bright, about 700 SqFt with unobstructed north view! Great & spacious layout. Laminated floors. Builtin custom cabinets in living room & bathroom. Balcony. Parking. Amazing facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym, party room, guest suites & more.

Asking $299,000

RICHMOND HILL

Gorgeous 3-bdr, 3-wshr stone/stucco townhouse on premium lot overlooking POND! Excellent floor plan. Maple hardwood floors. 9’ ceilings. Upgraded kitchen with granite counter & S/S appliances. Family room with stunning gas fireplace. Master bdrm with two W/I closets. Direct access from garage. Full W/O BASEMENT! You will like it!

Asking $389,000

Asking $549,900

RUTHERFORD & DUFFERIN

RAVINE LOT! Absolutely stunning, totally upgrd, about 4000 SqFt, 4+2-bdr, 5-wshr w/unique layout! Office on main level. 9’ ceilings on both levels. Hardwood & granite floors. Potlights, crown mouldings, venetian plaster, iron pickets, custom ceilings. Huge beautifully upgrd kitchen w/granite & S/S appl. FINISHED W/O BSMNT w/2-bdrms, home theater, sauna, 3-pc wshr. Antique style painting above stairs & much more...

Asking $999,900

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

CONDO. SHEPPARD & BATHURST

Stunning CORNER unit with large designed thermal windows. 2 bdr, 1 wshr, 740 SqFt. Engineered hardwood floors. European designed kitchen with designer b/splash, stone countertop, S/S appliances. Designer ceramic tiles. Designer mirror & soaker tub in wshrm. Added kitchen island w/granite top & breakf. bar. Low maintenance fee.

BAYVIEW & NORTH LAKE RD

Asking $1,028,000/

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RICHMOND HILL

Beautiful well maintained END UNIT 3+1-bdr, 4-wshr townhouse. Perfect layout. Hardwood floors & smooth ceilings on main floor. Upgraded kitchen with W/O to deck. Good size bdrms, office on the 2nd floor. Direct access to garage from the house. Do not miss!

Asking $569,900

HOMELIFE VICTORY REALTY INC. Brokerage 10720 Yonge St, #226, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3C9 BUS: 905-737-0033 FAX: 905-737-3132 CONDO. YONGE & 16th

Stunning luxurious 2 split bdrms, 2-wshr CORNER unit with 9’ ceilings overlooking park, two W/O to balcony. Large eat-in kitchen w/upgrd cabinets, b/ splash, S/S appliances, breakfast area & W/O to balcony. Hardwood floors. Large master with W/I closet. Parking, locker. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna & much more. Desirable location!

Asking$339,900

Asking $314,900

Completely renovated large 2-bdr, 2-wshr, about 1200 SqFt unit in excellent location! Quality craftsmanship throughout. Smooth ceilings, wood floors. Large CUSTOM KITCHEN with limestone floors, granite counter, glass b/splash, double undermount sink & top of the line S/S appliances. Master with large ensuite. A MUST SEE!

Rare on market! Unique layout! About 3500 SqFt, 4 bdrs, 5 wshrs with office on main floor w/3pcensuite & separate entrance (can be used as 5th bdrm or home business). French doors. Lots of upgrades: hardwood floors, high ceilings, potlights. Beautiful upgrd kitchen w/granite counter, S/S appliances. All bdrms have W/I closets & much more...

DIRECT:

YONGE & GAMBLE

NEW Beautiful 3-bdr, 3-wshr townhouse in great location, walking distance to Yonge St. Bright, modern open concept floor plan. Lots of upgrades. Hardwood floors. Upgraded maple kitchen cabinets, granite counter, b/splash, S/S appliances, large breakfast area. Wood staircase. Finished basement. Close to park, schools, transportation.

Asking $610,000

RICHMOND HILL

PREMIUM LOT BACKING TO CONSERVATION AREA! Practically new 4+2-bdr, 4-whsr, about 3500 SqFt with great layout! 10’ ceilings on main floor, 9’ on 2nd. Hardwood floors, iron pickets, potlights, SKYLIGHT! Main floor DEN. Beautiful kitchen w/granite counter & S/S appliances. ADDITIONAL APARTMENT in finished basement with separate entrance. High efficiency furnace, 200 Amp service & much more... A MUST SEE!

RICHMOND HILL

AWARD WINNING DESIGN! Stunning 2-yr old CUSTOM built home, over 3600 SqFt, 4-bdr, 5-wshr. 10’ceils mane flr, 9’ ceils on 2nd flr & bsmnt. Hardwood & limestone throughout. Stunning custom kitchen w/all possible upgrds. Crown mouldings, wainscoting, potlights, iron pickets. Two laundry rms. All bdrms have W/I closets with organizers. Custom chandeliers. Tankless water heater & much more... A must see!

Asking $1,188,000

February 2014

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A Transparent Hint transparent floors installed in them. Since then, glass floors have become an integral element of residential interior design.

Who is capable of walking on water and hover over the Earth; walk along a line of lights and leave no trail on sand? Turns out, not just wizards and sorcerers but all of us can do it. The only thing required is to install a glass floor in your house. Some time ago, upscale night clubs and expensive hotels started a trend of having

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Some adventurous owners of higher-floor condo apartments dare to install a glass floor on their balconies. Step out for a smoke - and instead of a dose of nicotine you will get a healthy bout of adrenaline sufficient to keep you on your toes all day long. Floors/ceilings between floors add elegance to the whole architectural structure. Besides, they lower your need for electric power needed for lighting the premises. Artists can now make an installation right under their feet. Beautiful glass “windows” on the floor are usually filled with decorative sand, knick-

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knacks, seashells and anything you may consider fun and beautiful. A subfloor light show will become a subject of delight for your guests - just have glass installed along all four walls of the room. Such a “strip” visually enlarges the room and emphasizes decor elements. The term “glass field” means that the whole floor surface is made of glass consisting of several parts. Add more interest to it by installing spot lights underneath, a stream, or an aquarium containing exotic fish. Glass floors have to be ordered and installed by professionals. They are the result of joint effort of an experienced interior designer and specialists conversant in the technology of glass manufacturing.

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My home is my castle... but not just - it is also a place where we come to rest and to recharge our life batteries. This creates the need to fill our homes with a special atmosphere, dear-to-our-heart knickknacks and everything else that is a continuation and definition of our precious self. One wants its residence to be stylish, trendy and even luxurious, another, just comfortable and functional. In a word, our approach to interior decorating is fully up to each and every one of us. Psychologists insist that the decor of the dwelling is directly related to the personality type of its occupant. In a residence of an explosive and active person with a bilious temperament, decor may come in any style or in their haphazard mixture. Such a person has its own approach to the place itself and for everything in it - everything needs to be extremely comfortable and usable. This is the place with a Murphy bed that, when lifted, reveals a miniature golf links. The furniture here is streamlined and simple but non-standard. People of sanguine temperament, as well as the bilious ones that are quite similar to them, also like everything in their home to be functional. They prefer warm shades and open spaces. Sanguine persons will not create clutter on their premises; they’d rather give unnecessary objects to friends and relatives. Their home is filled with light, warmth, space and utterly functional furniture. They boldly experiment with design

Home and Personality

ideas and are prepared to use new ideas in their decor. A phlegmatic individual likes everything that has already been acknowledged by the general public. If it is an expert’s opinion that a certain kind of window dressing is the best, a phlegmatic person will definitely buy just that kind of curtains. They like classic styles and are very attached to various souvenirs. Theirs is the place with myriads of photographs and knickknacks placed all over. Phlegmatic people like order and are very reluctant of rearranging the objects that have stayed unchanged for years. They would not let anyone infringe on the order in their home. Try to rearrange furniture or switch two objects, the next time you come there you will find everything in its previous spot because the main characteristics of the phlegmatic temperament are stability

and permanency. Melancholic selves, engrossed in thought, are creators and thinkers. They are much more involved with their inner world than with their surroundings. Therefore, it is often difficult to define an exact decorative style of their homes; it is most often eclectic, full of creative disorder attributed to artists and writers. It is not known what exactly they create there but this is an environment conductive of some world-winning ideas. Each of the four psychological types discussed above is very individual and fascinating, but they practically never come in a theoretically pure form. Each person has some characteristic of all the four types, with one or two prevailing. Probably, this is why our homes look unique and unlike one another.

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said it before but your environment and, more specifically, your immediate space (bedroom, office, etc.) has manifold effects on your mentality and physiology. I’m telling you, the chef inside this kitchen was INSPIRED and could not wait to get in to start cooking. I have to remember to go back this week and see what’s cooking, I suspect it’s going be extremely good. So, if you’re reading this and are planning a construction or renovation project in the future, pause at some point and see if you can answer “why” you’re taking on this particular building project and what it means to you. The answers can get interesting. For the Pastor, amongst other things, the final product set a standard of personal pride and a source of inspiration for the congregation. Once again, your environment impacts you on a deep emotional level. And if you are wise enough to surround yourself with people and things that genuinely inspire you - then you just may have it made! I will leave you with this quote from the Bible to ponder: “For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God”. A special thanks to the Hope Seventh Day Church, Pastor Dr. Floyd Spence, and elders Geddes Blackwood and Pete McKenzie for giving us the opportunity to be part of the project.

Why we build… Last week, my team and I were invited to the grand opening of the newly renovated kitchen at Hope Seventh Day Adventist Church in Toronto. The building is around 60 years old and is nestled inside a residential district along Keele and the 401. We were privileged to work with the Church to design and build the kitchen.

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As a part of the ceremony, the Pastor and a number of elders read prayers and took time to reflect on what this renovation project meant to not only members, but the students and staff of the Montessori school that occupies the building during the week and even the homeless who might now be fed food prepared inside this kitchen. I must confess: by the end of the readings, I was moved. I also took time to reflect on what it means to “build” for me. I know I’ve

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Peter Khatami - Peter is Senior Project Manager and Co-Owner of Nostco Construction, a Design/Build company serving residential and commercial clients throught 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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TRANSPARENT BATHTUB If you strive for the above-trendy, try the new see-through Cristalli bathtub by the Italian design studio Novellini. This tub is an ideal fusion of streamlined look, lightness, and minimalism. The 2-metre long tub is made of glass, with chrome accessories. The bottom comes in either black or white varnish. This luxurious decor element costs ten thousand Euros.

THE LUXURY OF A BATH PLEASURE UNDER YOUR FEET Bathtubs installed on the floor or a platform, have undisputed advantages. They seamlessly integrate into the bathroom decor and save their owners the necessity to perform acrobatic moves for surmounting the high side while all the objects needed for relaxation may be placed on shelves within reach. Of course, these bathtubs need more space than regular ones and more time than a quick everyday shower.

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TV OR NO TV? As long as television has been part of our everyday life the argument persists as to whether it is useful or harmful. Is it OK that millions of people spend long hours in front of the blue screen every day? There have been numerous studies that have come to completely opposite conclusions: some state that watching TV is useful; others - that nothing but harm comes from it. The issue of how watching television influences children often becomes the subject of an especially heated debate. Where does the truth lie? LOVE FOR VIOLENCE The abundance of violence on the screen is due to high demand for action movies and programs. Many scenes shown look real even though we do realize that this is fiction. Our body is fooled into believing that the feelings of fear, rage, or pity we experience watching this kind of programming are real. After a while we get used to watching violence dispassionately, which has a negative effect on our mentality.

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EXCESS WEIGHT Modern television programming is devised in such a way as to hold the viewer’s attention all day, and even night, long. The average three to four hours a day spent in front of the TV set definitely lead to obesity. Too little physical activity resulting from a day in the office and watching TV at night adds a few extra kilograms, assisted by the excess calories consumed while watching your favourite program.

MODIFICATION OF CONSCIOUSNESS It is no secret that people in charge of TV programming do not care about the viewer’s intellectual or moral enhancement. The “box” serves ready-made ideas, thoughts, and images. These thoughts and feelings are not our own; they are instilled in us from without, and, with time, we get used to thinking and feeling exactly in the way we are taught. This is especially true for the children’s mentality. Too much time in front of the screen may inhibit the kids’ imagination and creativity and raise their level of anxiety.

events on your psychological state, omit disturbing movies and programs. Third, introduce parental controls and limit your children’s time watching TV. Up to a certain age, children are not capable of correctly interpreting what they see on the screen, therefore do not look at the TV set as an unpaid babysitter and never leave them alone with the talking box. Rest your selection on educational and family programs and choose movies to watch with your kids carefully. If the child watches TV one to two hours a day and every time the program they watch reveals something new and useful, there is no harm in it. Yet, if the TV becomes your children’s only entertainment and their best friend you will soon see the negative consequences of this pastime.

PROTECTION MEASURES First, never turn the TV on just for background noise. Second, closely scrutinize programs to watch. If you don’t like violent scenes or emotional effect of certain

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DANGER! When doing renovations, try to avoid purchasing supplies boasting of so-called super characteristics. Fast-drying glues, extra supple and extra resilient materials that are impervious to water and fire and other extra miracles fill the shelves of home renovation stores. To achieve such phenomenal result, manufacturers add a lot of chemicals to regular materials. Therefore, think twice before deciding what is more important - your health or the speed of your renovations.

READ THE LABELS Peruse the packaging closely to avoid danger. If it states that the material is intended for external use, do not buy it for interior work. It may cost less but it most probably contains considerably more harmful chemicals.

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If a construction substance has a strong chemical smell it is, most likely, dangerous. If your renovations are over but an unpleasant odour lingers, try to stay elsewhere for a couple of weeks until it goes away.

LESS DANGEROUS The safest wallpaper is the one made of paper. It is double safe because the glue for it is also natural, based on starch. Trendy fabric and vinyl wallpapers will not stay if installed on such glue; they need more serious chemically induced adhesive that contains harmful additives. The safest wall paint is water based.

POISONOUS FURNITURE Harmful substances find their way into your home not only with renovations, but with new furniture as well. If you care about your

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health, buy furniture made of natural wood instead of particle board because the latter is manufactured from sawdust and chips glued together with formaldehyde resins.

THE DANGER OF RESINS Resin vapours are easily inhaled and may affect your health. If you want or have to purchase particle board furniture make sure that the veneer covers the entire surface uniformly. Some less conscientious manufacturers may leave parts of the surface uncovered in spots that are not noticeable at first sight, and resin vapours easily escape through such places. If your particle board furniture has developed chips or cracks, paint or varnish them over. The poison discharged by the particle board may be active up to fifteen years.

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THE CURTAIN ROD

Choosing the right curtain rod needs some consideration. When buying one for your home, try to envisage whether it will match both the drapes intended for it and the general style of the room. Besides, be wary regarding taking measurements: it is best to ask a professional to take them, especially if the window is of an odd shape or the drapes are of unusual configuration.

When selecting a curtain rod, remember some of the most general rules: • A long rod protruding beyond the window opening visually enlarges it while a rod of the exact length makes it look smaller; • It is better not to install rods made of soft metal or cheap plastic in the bedroom and living room because these are the rooms usually fitted with heavy drapes and the rod may get bent under the weight of the fabric; • Hooks, rings or clips have to slide along the rod easily; • Give preference to a double-track rod if you plan to hang sheers; • For a system with valances use a triple rod and install it high, just under the ceiling, so that the valance does not block the top of the window; • There are special rods for blinds; many kinds of blinds and shutters come with their own rod. There are a few basic types of curtain rods, the most popular of which is the so-called round rod that come with brackets and various finials. These may be made of metal, wood or plastic, with various decorative details. They are usually installed under the ceiling. Wooden rods decorated with castiron elements are used mostly in classic and country style places; choose those that match the interior doors, furniture or the floor. Equally popular are cast-iron round rods with decorative details. Metal rods are more suitable for modern style and look great in the kitchen. Plastic is an inexpensive alternative to wood and metal; it often imitates the texture of natural wood. Colourful plastic rods are frequently used in the nursery. The tremendous range of non-round and contour rods can be used in both traditional and modern decor. They come in single, double or triple varieties and are usually made of aluminum. There are various methods of hanging drapes on rods. Such details as grommets and clips not only hold the panels better but are a decorative element by itself. Others, for example metal clasps and plastic hooks, stay hidden from view. The method you choose depends on many factors including the decorating style, the rod type, the fabric used and the general look.

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FONDUE FUN FOOD This dish, once a favourite with Canadians, has now been all but forgotten, ousted from our list of entertaining foods by yet another fad. Nevertheless, not many dishes can boast being both nutritious and fun. Fondue (meaning “melted” in French) has been a staple of the Swiss cuisine since the 18th century when Swiss peasants stored food for the winter, and their cheeses would go stone-hard after a few months. To soften it, they put a chunk in a pot with wine and warmed the mixture until it melted. Dipping stale bread into the mixture was a favourite pastime for the whole family in the dead of winter. Yet, the dish would have never left the country of watches and banks, had the chef

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of Swiss Chalet restaurant in New York Conrad Egley not have included it in his menu in 1956. He also started working on new recipes. The list of fondue dishes now is much more extensive than the cheese mixture that started the trend. No matter where your culinary preferences lie, you can always find something to satisfy them. For meat lovers there is a meat and poultry fondue, with small pieces of flesh dipped in boiling oil or spiced broth. The same method is used for preparing a seafood fondue. Desert lovers salivate over pieces of dry cake, fruit and berries dipped into a boiling concoction containing chocolate, cream and liquor. Besides being delicious, fondue serves as a unifying agent because it unites everyone sitting at the table around the pot where it is made. The food takes time to be ready leaving your mouth free for a friendly con-

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versation. The optimal number of diners to be comfortably close to the fondue pot is six, so, for a larger company two or more fondue sets can be used. Each guest has his own plate, a fork and a few colour coded two-prong forks for spearing pieces of food and dipping them into the common pot. The cooked meat or fish can be then dipped in a sauce that is served in bowls placed on the table around the fondue pot. Spoon a small amount of the sauce you like either directly on your cooked piece or into one of several small compartments on your individual fondue plate. To add to the fun you can follow an old Swiss tradition: if you pull your fork from the pot, only to find out it is empty because your piece of food has slipped off it, you have to walk around the table and kiss each of the people present. Bon appétit and have fun!

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Inspired by Nature People have drawn ideas from Nature since the dawn of time. The modern science bionics is involved in the study of natural forms and the ways everything in Nature is intertwined, its mechanisms and processes, and functioning and interaction of its parts. Thanks to these studies, engineers can design new machinery while architects and interior designers find out again and again that form and function are interconnected because any needed function in a live organism is activated in the most efficient, rational, and optimal way. Since the quantity of such live organisms is tremendous, Nature is a virtually unlimited source of inspiration for interior design.

Nevertheless, using bionics in interior design does not mean mechanically copying the natural look. Modern bionics rather finds a basic principle on which the idea is built. Ross Lovegrove is a designer and visionary whose work is considered to be at the very apex of stimulating a profound change in the physicality of our three dimensional world. Inspired by the logic and beauty of nature his design possess a trinity between technology, materials science and intelligent organic form, creating what many industrial leaders see as the new aesthetic expression for the 21st Century. There is always embedded a deeply human and resourceful approach in his designs that project an optimism, and innovative vitality in everything he touches from cameras to cars to trains, aviation and architecture.

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He uses only what is necessary, trying to save on resources and reduce the mass of his creations with the help of perforation. In his creative process, Lovegrove follows his main principle which is the longevity of his ideas and designs. Natural shapes inspire many designers whose works are trendy and gaining popularity all over the world. Look for instance at the sofa created by a famous Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola, and an armchair designed by brothers Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec. These are just a few examples of the use of bionics in interior design. Once again, the use of bionics in the residential interior design does not mean just copying natural shapes but rather combining and using the principle of a harmonious unity of shape and function, reasonable approach to efficient use of resources, and creating items of simple but striking and memorable expressiveness.

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the bindings or keep your books under glass. Lower humidity and frequent dusting will also help decrease the amount of harmful agents. 5. STUFFED FURNITURE This is the favourite residence for the dust mites. Vacuum your furniture regularly. Leather and vinyl upholstery is less likely to develop allergens on them. Furniture placed in the basement can also become an excellent environment for mould. Use air dehumidifier in order to decrease the level of humidity. 6. BED People stay in bed for eight hours on the average, and all this time they drop dead skin particles on their bed linens. This is where dust mites make their home. The best solution for this problem is to buy hypoallergenic mattresses, blankets, and pillows. Launder your bed linen weekly on the highest temperature regime.

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7. STUFFED ANIMALS These also attract a lot of mites. Try to purchase the washable kind. As with your bed linen, launder the toys your children use most often at a high temperature regime.

SOURCES OF ALLERGIES IN YOUR HOME Do you suffer from allergies? Be careful – allergens are everywhere. Such factors as mould, dust, and animal hair that may cause allergic reactions can be anywhere and too close for comfort. 1. HOUSEPLANTS Be wary around them. The soil in pots may develop mould that could travel to the floor. To avoid this hazard, cut off dead leaves and use saucers to avoid overwatering. 2. PETS Yes, they are our family members but sometimes they may cause trouble. Allergies are often connected to pets even though not always to their hair. The main source of allergies is the protein contained in the animal’s saliva, urine, or dander. This protein

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8. BATHROOM

is easily transported through the air and settles upon carpets, furniture, and bedding. The hair may cause allergies when dust or pollen is collected on it. The way to improve the situation is to vacuum more often and wash your hands after playing with the family pet. 3. CARPETS AND RUGS Rugs and broadloom may carry unsuspected allergens. They collect dust that houses dust mites who are an important cause of allergies. To rectify this situation, vacuum your rugs using HEPA filter or just get rid of old carpeting. Do not allow humidity rise over the 55% mark and ventilate your rooms regularly. 4. BOOKS Your food for the mind is potential food for the vermin. Dust collected on books may hide mites, mould, and other harmful microorganisms. If you suspect books to be the culprit of your allergies try to vacuum

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Your bathroom may harbour mould because this is where the conditions for its growth are the best – warm and humid. Black mould forms in the dark places under the floor. Keep your bathroom clean and dry. Fix your valves and taps to stop leaks that promote mould. Wash surfaces with a disinfectant regularly. 9. KITCHEN The kitchen is the favourite place for mould in your home. Throw out old food without hesitation, cover trash cans, and store food in closed containers to keep pests away. 10. AIR CONDITIONERS Not only they keep your house cool but they also filter out dust and pollen allergens. On the other hand, these same air conditioners may become an important source of allergies because of the allergens that settle on their filters. To avoid this problem, clean the filters regularly. Have service people come in twice a year to treat the air conditioning system with a disinfectant.

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Your pillow is a friend to whom you come at the end of the day to share your happiness and your tears. Choosing a friend is a serious business, and this is true for selecting the right pillow. The pillow is a philosophical category in that it should possess the oneness of the form and the content. A pillow that is not perfect for you may become an obstacle to good sleep, instead of a provider of such. Therefore, before buying a pillow, make sure it fulfills the demands of your ego. Pillows come in various shapes. Besides the traditional rectangle, a pillow may have more than four sides or come with no corners at all, in a round or oval shape. If we stay in the boundaries of traditional, a regular rectangular pillow comes in several standard sizes. Be sceptical about some claims by pillow manufacturers. For example, you may see ads for so-called orthopaedic pillows that allegedly turn your night sleep into a therapeutic process or heal some joint problems.

Your Favourite Pillow You may also see neck pillows in a shape of a bone or roll pillows that purport to relieve your overworked spine. Take all this with a grain of salt. Not only these pillows are very uncomfortable but they also may do more harm than good. As far as the filler goes, the best is dawn or, at least, high-quality feathers, unless you suffer from allergies or asthma. Otherwise a dawn-filled pillow is the best choice because it maintains the right level of humidity, keeps its shape, preserves warmth during cool winter nights and is cool in the summer. The best synthetic fillers are comforel and hollowfibre. Pillows filled with these materials have no odour, are machine washable and possess excellent thermal characteristics. Unfortunately, after a while they tend to lose their shape. Their best alternatives are the new fillers of latex and memory foam that support your neck instead of sagging under its weight. The only obstacle is the relatively high price of these pillows.

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All About Home magazine ( February 2014)