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MARCH 2014

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FIVE DECORATING IDEAS FOR THE FIREPLACE AREA TROPICAL STYLE PHOTO DRAPES NEON - ADD SOME COLOUR AN EVER-CHANGING BEDROOM MOOD DINNER SERVICE IT’S A BOARD! IT’S A DOOR! IT’S A TENNIS TABLE! FREE MONTHLY MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO HOUSEHOLDERS


Five Decorating Ideas for the Fireplace Area The fireplace usually becomes a focal point of any room, the centre around which the relaxation space is arranged. It is customary to arrange the furniture in this space in such a way that it faces this source of warmth and coziness. Here are a few ideas to make the area around the fireplace even more appealing. CREATE A MASTERPIECE AT THE PLANNING STAGE Planning the fireplace area décor beforehand gives you a unique opportunity to turn your fireplace into a real masterpiece. Using unusual elements and surfaces you can turn the area into the most striking element in the room without even the need of adding too many details - if any.

USE MIRRORS

DECORATE WITH PAINTINGS

Mirror surfaces embellish any décor, including that around the fireplace. Install any size reflective panels on the fireplace wall or hang a looking glass over the fireplace. Use a mirror that suits the style of the room; it can be classic or modern, with a 3-D effect or colour sparkles.

Hanging paintings over the fireplace and on the wall surrounding it has always been one of the most popular ways of the fireplace area decorating. You can hang several smaller paintings or one huge one. A painting on an easel standing on the mantle also looks good. Make sure the décor around the painting is harmonious and that it does not obscure the picture. The area around the fireplace can be decorated with family photographs or even good-looking empty frames.

ADD CANDLES Candles are a natural element around the fireplace, both being a source of warmth and light. They can be inserted in handsome holders and grouped together or placed separately. In this case, blocks of 20 or more candles create a striking effect. Use identical candles or at least candles from the same collection, similar in shape and colour.

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USE VASES AND FIGURINES Mantle pieces like figurines and vases create a characteristically cozy décor. Again, it is better to use identical or similar objects to give the composition a feeling of integrity.

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HOLLYWOOD STYLE Hollywood style in interior decorating is largely based on the vision of two famous architects – American John Wolfe and French Andre Arbus. Hollywood style calls for implementation of Bohemian life by maintaining a seeming balance between the silver screen and reality. It is very similar to minimalistic style, with its penchant for light tones on walls, ceilings and floors, lapidary furniture and geometrical lines. The background is one-tone neutral and every décor element looks voluminous and striking. The principal feature of Hollywood style is the combination of showiness and luxury. LAYOUT AND FURNITURE This style is characterized by seating pieces upholstered in brocade, velvet or leather of pastel or dark tones. Preference is given to laconic and streamlined shapes. Quilted bases and armrests and quilted picture frames are customary features in Hollywood style interiors, as well as tiny coffee tables, unfolding armchairs and ottomans.

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A built-in corner minibar can become a focal point. A living room in Hollywood style may be divided into two zones one which is the entertaining space while the other is for personal use. ACCESSORIES AND LIGHTING Try to avoid a central chandelier in overhead lighting for the benefit of a number of spotlights. The lighting has to be soft and understated. Among textiles there are long-pile rugs and draperies in velvet, brocade, and organza. A limited number of lacquered accessories suit this style as well, especially if they are of the same kind. We cannot talk about Hollywood style without mentioning the movie stars of Holly-

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wood. Therefore, black and white images of them will become central to the décor. Alternatively, use printed and handsomely decorated frames from the 1930s movies. WAYS OF DECORATING Hollywood style calls for certain eclecticism. In order to free more space and eliminate unnecessary objects, one may thing of building a walk-in closet. In the bathroom, visually enhance the space by using many mirrors and marble. To create an effect of a loft, so popular in California, widen the door opening as much as possible. In a word, California style of decorating is characterized by lack of clutter and moderate luxury. Using this style for decorating a room you obtain a lot of free space and memories of some undeservedly forgotten movie starts.

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CONDO BATHURST/CENTRE

Luxury new condo in high demand Thornhill location! 1 bdrm+den, 2 wshrs, over 700sq.ft. Balcony w/beautiful west view. Parking. Excellent condition. Laminate floors. Modern kitchen w/ granite countertop, ceramic b/splash, upgraded S/S appliances. Excellent facilities: indoor pool,sauna,gym,24hr security/concierge,etc. Walking distance to Promenade Mall, park, restaurants, transit, excellent schools.

CONDO BATHURST/CENTRE

Asking 329,900

BATHURST/ BLOOMINGTON, RICHMOND HILL

Bright and spacious end unit townhome - like a semi. About 1650sq. ft. 3 bdrs+office on 2nd floor, 4 wshrs. Hardwood floors on main. Large kitchen with breakfast area and walkout to deck & interlocked patio. Large master with W/I closet & 4-pc ensuite. Professionally finished basement with family room, 2pc wshr. Access from house to garage. Interlocked walkway. Close to school, park, shopping, transit.

Asking $569,900

THORNHILL WOODS/HWY 7

Asking $929,000

Gorgeous new condo 1 bdrm+ Den, 1 wshr, about 700sq.ft. Balcony with beautiful unobstructed view. Laminate floors. Kitchen with centre island, granite counter. Large master bdrm with W/I closet. Builtin custom cabinets in living room and bathroom. Parking. Excellent facilities: indoor pool, gym, 24hr concierge, etc.

YONGE/GAMBLE, RICHMOND HILL

Asking $589,900

Asking 299,000 Gorgeous home, spacious & bright in prestigious Thornhill Woods. About 3300sq.ft., 4+1 bdrms, 4 wshrs 9ftceilings on main, hardwood floors throughout. Oak staircase. Large family room w/fireplace and den on main. Large kitchen w/central island, S/S appliances & breakfast area with walkout to large deck and interlocked patio. Master with his/hers W/I closets and 5-pc ensuite. Laundry on main with access to garage. Close to excellent schools, park, shopping, transit.

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.

DUFFERIN/TESTON, VAUGHAN

Asking $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!

Interior Decor Excellence Awards

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There are many stereotypes that make things not better but worse. For example, haven’t we all heard that warm tones make the room cozier? Many people paint their homes in peach, yellow, and pink tones based on this notion. In reality, warm tones only look good in sunny rooms, but drab in rooms that don’t get enough sunlight. If you want to make your décor warm, use fur trims, soft textiles, and natural wood as well as cool greens and blues on the walls. Cool colours visually enhance the space.

STEREOTYPES IN INTERIOR DESIGN Another erroneous notion is that every room needs to be painted according to its function. For example, many people believe that the bedroom needs to be a relaxing shade of blue while positive orange helps to create an upbeat mood in the living room. Never-

theless, favourite colours are very much different for each of us; there is no fast rule for them, so choose your favourite ones. If it is green and not orange that lifts your spirits – by all means use it on your living room walls and if pink is the colour that makes you more organized, use it in your home office. The third cliché states that a small room has to be painted in lighter tones. Many interior designers prefer dark colours – chocolate, purple, royal blue – for tiny rooms. These colours emphasize the beauty of all the décor elements while light ones turn a small room into a veritable box. A bathroom done in dark marble with white veins looks more interesting than one that is done in simple light colour tiles. The notion that a small room needs to be furnished with compact furniture is true but there are ways to get around it – for example, to buy a large sofa if it is upholstered in smooth fabric and has legs. Such a sofa looks less bulky than one with no legs and upholstered in textured fabric. Therefore, forget standard thinking and dare to be different.

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COMFORT IN YOUR HOUSE

Silencing Squeaky Floors without Floor Replacement

Silent Floor Solutions has recently been featured in the Toronto Sun, HGTV.com, Rogers TV, CP24 and now you can find them in person at the National Home Show. 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.

loosen, they become a contributing factor to the original squeak. Sometimes resulting in an even louder noise.

The company’s co-founder Lev Remennik notes, people living with squeaky floors in their homes often think that nothing can 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.

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!

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

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. You can meet Silent Floor Solutions in person, on March 14th to 23rd at the National Home Show, booth #N35. This will be a great opportunity for you to find out about how this process can be applied to your particular squeaky floor and to book a consultation.

) 647-476-4525 www.SilentFloor.ca ALL ABOUT HOME

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

CONDO. THORNHILL. YONGE & CLARK

Bright & spacious 3-bdr, 2-wshr CORNER PENTHOUSE, about 1300 SqFt, with large balcony & beautiful unobstructed view from all windows. Very comfortable & warm! Laminated floors in all rooms. New eat-in kitchen with extended cabinets & ceramic b/splash. Good size bdrms. Large ensuite laundry. Low maintenance fee includes all utilities. Lowest property tax in the area. Parking, locker. Gym, sauna, outdoor pool. Steps to Yonge St, good schools, transit, shopping.

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.

Asking $299,800

Asking $399,800

BATHURST & CENTRE

Nice 1+1-bdr, 1-wshr condo, about 700 SqFt with unobstructed north view! Great & spacious layout. Laminated floors. Balcony. Parking. Amazing facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym, party room, guest suites & more.

Asking $299,000

DUFFERIN & MAJOR MACK

Beautiful detached 3+1-bdr, 4-wshr house in prestigious area. Very bright & spacious. Open concept. Family room w/gas fireplace. Hardwood floors. Designer paint colors. Nice kitchen W/O to balcony. Large bdrms. Finished basement.

Asking $675,000

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

DIRECT:

CONDO. BATHURST & CLARK

FULLY RENOVATED CORNER 2+1-bdr, 2 full wshrms, SOLARIUM & BALCONY. Laminated floors throughout. Large kitchen with window, new cabinets, granite countertop, S/S appliances & custom b/splash. Nicely painted. New baths. Just move-in & enjoy!

Asking $409,900

YONGE & STEELES

EXTENSIVELY RENOVATED & UPGRADED from top to bottom 5-bdrm, 3-wshr BUNGALOW. Over $300K spent: new electrical, windows, plumbing, exterior. New hardwood floors throughout. Upgraded spa-like baths. New kitchen with top of the line S/S appliances. APARTMENT IN THE FINISHED W/O BASEMENT.

Asking $1,080,000

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RICHMOND HILL

Gorgeous renovated 3-bdr, 4-wshr semi-detached with perfect layout. Spacious open concept. New laminated floors on both levels. Family room with vaulted ceilings. Upgraded kitchen with W/O to yard. Good size bdrms, office on the 2nd floor. Finished basement. Direct access to garage from the house & basement. MUST SEE!

DUFFERIN & RUTHERFORD

Absolutely stunning, BACKING TO RAVINE&POND, about 3000 SqFt, 4-bdr, 4-wshr w/unique layout! Lot 93.73x144.27 Ft. 9’ ceilings & 17 Ft in foyer. Hardwood. Potlights, crown mouldings, iron pickets. Gourmet kitchen w/granite, central island & S/S appl. Shows 10+++!

Asking $1,088,000.

March 2014

RICHMOND HILL

Rarely available over 2000 SqFt 4-bdr, 3-wshr SEMI-detached located in prestigious Bond Lake area! Excellent condition. Beautiful open concept layout. Hardwood floors on both levels. 9’ ceilings. Upgraded kitchen with central island & W/O to huge deck. Direct access to garage.

Asking $579,900

ATKINSON & SPRING GATE

Stunning, LUXURIOUS CUSTOM 5+2-bdrm, 5-wshr in prestigious Thornhill! 4,600 Sq.Ft. Magnificient home from top to bottom. Beautiful open concept hallway with stained glass windows throughout. Hardwood on both levels. Large upgraded kitchen. Finished bsmnt with 2nd kitchen. Huge master bdrm, separate formal room. Too many upgrades to list....

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Photo Drapes How often this happens: all of a sudden you experience a longing for a change in your surroundings. You think of moving furniture, replacing décor elements, or just hanging new curtains.

Changing just one thing in your home usually does the trick. And this one trick can be switching to new drapes. If you decide this is the case, think photo drapes. This novelty on the decorating market is a combination of tradition and new technology. These curtains allow you to change your décor and add a new dimension to it with the help of panoramic photographs, landscapes and cityscapes, and make your bedroom cozier, your bathroom, unique, and your nursery, magic.

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Photo draperies are a 3D image transported onto fabric. They are manufactured from a triple-layered opaque “Blackout” fabric made from 100% polyester in satin weave. These fabrics bar even the brightest sunlight, do not fade, fall in soft folds, and keep their shape. Photo curtains are washable, are not afraid of ironing and retain their original characteristics. Therefore it is possible to change your décor style and add some originality to it without going into excessive expenses.

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NEON ADD SOME COLOUR When the weather is gray and somber we crave for something bright and colourful. Bright neon hues, so trendy in the fashion design of the last year can be easily used in interior décor. If you are afraid of overdoing it, don’t worry – as long they are used in moderation and are offset with whites and grays they will look just fine. Neon colours in interior décor add expressiveness to the room. Of course, lighter tones are used as a background to keep the décor from irritating. Small decorative elements in neon tones though create a unique look. When using neon hues, try to keep them solid, instead of choosing patterns, in order to avoid excess. For example, throw a couple of neon-shaded cushions on a sofa and chairs. A more economical way is to paint certain details of modern furniture in neon colours. If you are hesitant about painting your furniture, try vivid dishes or flower pots first. Again, avoid overdoing it lest you want to create an atmosphere of a 1980s disco. To balance the shades of neon, use pastels in earth hues or dark solid colours. Use the play of contrasts by inserting a black and white picture into a neon-coloured frame. Try it and see how these bright spots change your perception of the drab winter world.

ORIT’S DRAPERIES & MORE Exclusive curtains and draperies Decorative covers and pillows Bed sheets and much more Old drapery renewal Large selection of draperies, fabrics and accessories from Europe Interior and fashion designer with 20 years of experience in Israel, Canada and America

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s k c o l B g n i y a l e P r u t i n r u F h wit

Modular furniture consists of various pieces of the same style sold not as a set but separately; so you can buy those you like and can use. Purchase a coffee table and a TV stand or shelving and a cabinet – or pieces that can be assembled into a traditional wall unit. Even if you cannot find the objects you want in a furniture store you can create a

unique dĂŠcor for your living room, either on your own or with the help of an interior designer. Furniture manufacturers offer numerous collections of modular elements in the same style but various sizes. This will help you create an exclusive set. Modular living room furniture comes in various materials, from plastic, steel, and glass, to different kinds of wood. This furniture is easy to move around which is fine for those who like changing the appearance of their rooms without buying new pieces. Besides, modular furniture is economical since it is possible to delay buying an item

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you cannot afford right away to a later time. Nevertheless, remember that the assortment of pieces is constantly updated, and if you wait too long you may find out that the piece you need has been discontinued. It is easy to assemble modular furniture but it is better to have a professional do the job. When the assembly is finished you may place the assembled pieces where you want them. Besides storage and shelving, modular furniture includes sofas capable of changing their shape. Tables and chairs though do not come in a modular form but it is not impossible to suggest that in time something new and unusual will appear on the market, and, with a few deft movements, you will be able to turn a few chairs into a coffee table or a cabinet.

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Residential Basement

FLOORING

If you are thinking of converting your unfinished basement into finished living space, you may be wondering what type of flooring is best for the concrete slab. Moisture has been a major traditional concern for homeowners who are looking to finish their basement. This is because the biggest part of your basement is located beneath the ground, and as we know, that’s where all the rain and surface waters collect. The absence of or a break in waterproofing, damp-proofing and drainage systems around your home can lead to water and moisture entering the finished interior living space. Left untreated, this may cause rot, mould and surface damage to your interior finishes. If your home was built within the last 15 to 20 years you can rest relatively assured that the builder had implemented waterproofing, damp-proofing and drainage systems in the construction and that you should not experience moisture issues, granted that you finish your basement insulation in a manner that will not cause condensation/ moisture build-up. The Ontario Building Code demands that the foundation wall be damp-proofed and that weeping tile be

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Another option would be to repeat the above noted process, but this time on the interior wall (vs. water/damp-proofing the exterior wall). This approach tends to cost less, but your basement concrete slab would have to be broken up around the perimeter in order to accommodate the weeping tile.

installed around the perimeter of your footing/foundation wall, which is then drained away from the building. But this was not always the case. Older homes were typically built without measures of waterproofing, damp-proofing, or drainage, as it was not a mandatory requirement at the time. But construction science has come a long way, and now there are a plethora of systems and products out there that provide sound and reliable long-term solutions. Therefore, prior to choosing a flooring system for your basement, you should perform a sound inspection of the state of moisture in the basement. If you discover that no waterproofing, damp-proofing or drainage exists, then you should seriously consider having a system installed. Typically, that would mean digging around the exterior of your foundation walls, installing a waterproofing or damp-proofing system, and following it with the installation of weeping tile, which is then channelled to a sump pump located in your basement, which will discharge the fluid safely away from the house. The drawback, as you can guess, is that this is a costly option. Furthermore, there are typically a number of obstructions along the side of a house that would have to be removed to allow for the removal of the soil around the foundation wall.

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If these two options seem too pricey, then you should install a floating sub-floor system, which sits on top of your concrete basement slab keeping the finished flooring (carpet, hardwood, engineered, laminate, etc.) safely off and away from the moist concrete slab. “Dri-Core” is a popular product that features a ½” thick plywood surface on top of a ½” perforated plastic membrane, which allows air circulation, thus preventing the “trapping” of moisture beneath the floor. This particular product costs around $2 per square foot but it beats having to waterproof or damp-proof the entire foundation if you don’t have to. Once it has been installed, you can safely install nearly any floor covering of your choice.

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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AN EVER-CHANGING BEDROOM MOOD Bed headboards manufactured by NOYO Home Décor make it extremely easy to change your bedroom’s look as often as you feel like it. They make them to order, and their slipcovers are as easy to change as your bed sheets. The Company offers over 100 designs, from fancy vintage prints and poetic images to modern paintings and hi-tech images, to suit any taste, lifestyle, or age. NOYO uses and promotes advanced modern artists as happily as it draws its inspiration in the times past and faraway places. A simple

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process of selecting what you like can be done on the Company’s website. The founder of NOYO Astrid Oyo is a creative yet practical individual in search of effective solutions. The idea to start her own company came to Astrid when her search for a solution to update the look of her own bed had not brought any results. Then Astrid invented, patented, and manufactured to order a headboard with interchangeable slipcovers to help other consumers with the same problem she had once experienced. The NOYO headboard is attached to the wall with the help of a special frame, in-

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stead of to the bed. This eliminates the need to buy a new bed – the headboard suits any type of bed, no matter whether it has a metal frame, a wooden frame, or no frame at all. Buy a NOYO frame just once, and play with various slipcovers SlipArt, every time creating a new mood for your bedroom.

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STRONG FLOORS IN YOUR HOME The modern solid floor board known as hardwood is a handsome floor covering boasting natural warmth and cozy charm. It suits any, even the most luxurious, premises. This article about advantages and drawbacks of this type of floor covering is offered by the specialists from Hard Wood Planet, a company that manufactures hardwood of the highest quality. Their product is an example of how Canadian practicality can be successfully combines with European elegance. The main advantage of hardwood is its extended life span (a few decades) due to a thicker functional layer, which is very important for possible renovations of the floor covering. Hardwood floors are considerably warmer than those made of other modern materials. Laid boards form a solid wooden “substance� that lowers the noise. The dimensions of hardwood boards visually enhance the room. Each board has its unique pattern, texture and tone. Wood is a fully natural material recommended for places whose inhabitants suffer from allergies.

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It is no surprise that real estate agents emphasize the existence of hardwood floors in their listings for a property as a mark of high quality. Hardwood boards are made from various kinds of wood, including the most exotic and rare ones. Classic hardwood is one made of especially handsome and durable oak. Hardwood floorboards made of maple and ash are also among extremely popular types. This kind of floor covering is not inexpensive because the correct manufacturing process of a board up to 2 metres long is complicated and labour intensive. Nevertheless, for those homeowners who are prepared to invest in the durability and beauty of their floors it means economy in the long run. The price of hardwood depends not only on the type of wood used; it is also defined by the thoroughness used in sorting the boards according to their texture, tone, and the presence of inherent defects showing on the front of the board. What is customarily considered upscale is the product thoroughly selected and pro-

cessed with the use of advanced equipment. The variety of wood used in hardwood floorboards manufacturing provides the consumer with freedom of choice and the ability to achieve amazing interplay of colours and tones and uniqueness of the texture. Use of technologically advanced staining oils and varnishes widens the scope of available hardwood kinds considerably. One of the most interesting processing techniques is the art of artificial antiquating of wood and “wire brush” surface type. This is attained by treating the wood surface with metal brushes, which eliminates softer top layers and reveals a very hard and strong inner layer showing the oneof-a-kind beautiful pattern of the wood texture. Brushed board cannot be spoiled by possible damage because any new scratch only adds to the unique texture of the wood. Hardwood is suitable for any type of premises, be it a house, cottage, a pub, restau-

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rant or a pool hall. In residential places it is commonly used in living rooms, entrance halls, bedrooms and other rooms. The more spacious the room is the better a hardwood floor will look. Requirements for laying a hardwood floor are similar to that of laying a parquet floor, namely, a level, dry and firm surface. Without going too deep into particulars we can only recommend that the matter of hardwood floor installation be left to professionals. As to maintenance of hardwood floor covering, the requirements are simple – create a microclimate good for all the inhabitants, meaning moderate temperature and humidity, and follow the care guide provided by your hardwood manufacturer. The floor is one of the most important décor elements; it sets the style and the mood of the room. To have an always fashionable home that does not depend on fickle trends, choose hardwood - it will become the basis for your décor that will never go out of style.

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r e n n i D e c i v r e S

The French expression “dinner service” means a full set of dishes for a certain number of persons. The history of our modern dinner set goes back to the first ever table items of the primordial humans who used clay and wood and, later, brass and copper. Over the centuries, the art of pottery evolved. Various craftsmen created their unique masterpieces while keeping their methods secret. They used the pottery wheel and kilns to make tableware. It was impossible to find two identical objects; each piece was one of a kind. Sets were small and comprised various size plates, jugs, cups, and pots. The potters of old would have been astonished had they found out that a few centuries later tableware sets would be strikingly beautiful and plentiful, that dishes may become unbreakable as well as heat and chemical impact resistant. In Europe, wealthy people used tableware made to order of metal and clay. The most affluent could order table items decorated with precious metals and stones. Nevertheless, even the most expensive tableware had its drawbacks – it would quickly oxidize and it was extremely heavy. Therefore, craftsmen of the time were in constant search for new materials. In the 14th century, Chinese started making dishes from bone china. The craftsmen of Europe were amazed by the simplicity and exquisiteness of this light yet durable material. They had tried to decipher the secret of this china for centuries. The closest to the solution came German craftsmen who, in the 18th century, invented a material with characteristics similar to the Chinese one. This was the start of the victorious parade of china tableware throughout Europe. It even replaced dishes made of gold and silver in many royal palaces. Later, the material for manufacturing tableware included earthenware and inexpensive pottery. The 20th century saw table items made of impact-resistant glass. Knowing the history of tableware as well as realizing the variety of it in today’s society one can fully appreciate the long and winding road of the dinner set from the ancient times to these days.

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A House with Wings In the hills of Malibu, California, you can find an amazing mansion overlooking the ocean and the nearby islands, mountains and plains. This house designed by David Hertz Architects Inc. is constructed from various parts of a Boeing 747. The mansion consists of several structures and each of them is built with the use of one or another craft part. The heart of the composition is the main house – the Wing – the roof of the living room made of two Boeing wings and two stabilizers from the tail section of the aircraft. The client, the company representative says, is a business lady who is a part owner of a Mercedes Benz dealership chain - and she loves innovations. She ordered a design for

a house with rounded feminine forms. The roof with flowing curves dictated the shape of the whole house. Soon, architects realized that the best thing to use is an airplane wing, and out of all the models a wing from a Boeing 747 turned out to be the best as being over 2 500 square feet, the most visually attractive and having an autonomous structure that needs minimal structural support. Boeing 747 has been the most important achievement in the history of modern aviation but the swift technological advances made it obsolete. A great engineering success, the aircraft flew great distances at minimal material consumption. American consumers and manufacturers discard on the annual basis the quantity of aluminum sufficient to rebuild all the commercial fleet every three months. Putting to use 4.5 million parts of a huge aircraft is a great example of successful recycling .

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It’s a Board! It’s a Door! It’s a Tennis Table!

This door is not just a door – it’s a regular table tennis court. Open, twist, add a net, twist again, close – and stay fit forever. This is a new solution in the world of smaller spaces in homes and offices. The door-come-tennis-table looks like a regular interior door but can be converted into a sufficient-size Ping-Pong table within seconds. It is smaller than a full-size table but spacious enough to have a friendly game during a lunch break or a party. There has been a lot of talk about such transformers as walls, tables, and chairs, and now finallyt we have a transformer door. As shown in the works of Tobias Franzel, besides being a Ping-Pong table a regular door can be converted into a children’s swing or a slide – just make the folding frame narrower for the former or lay a sheet of slippery plastic on one side of it and ensure a certain angle, for the latter. The increase in real estate prices leads to smaller living spaces but nothing can hold back human imagination that allows us to adapt and enjoy all the life’s pleasures regardless the place’s square footage.

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A wooden wall is a great and unusual decorative accent. An accent wall will break the monotony of the room turning the whole décor into something unusual and arresting. Wood is very adaptable in both its natural environment and interior decorating no matter what style has been chosen. There is no other material that is as versatile in both construction and decorating as wood is. There are five major styles that can perfectly accommodate a wooden accent wall.

1. Scandinavian Style Emphasize the difference in textures. Not only such an emphasis will change the geometry of the room but it will underscore the main idea as well. This solution will successfully add to Scandinavian style décor. The best wood to choose is bleached oak or birch that will look great in the whites of the style. If you decide to make your wood wall the focal point of the room, decorate it with a drawing to add movement, uniqueness and colour.

2. Eco Style

An Accent Made of Wood 5. Eclectic Style

ous textures and combinations of different patterns and colours. A wooden wall in an eclectic interior is not the main accent but rather one of unusual solutions.

Actually, this is a style that combines two or more definite decorating styles. Places in this style are usually the most interesting. A wooden wall often becomes a focal point and a unifying element for various styles used. For eclectic rooms use wood of vari-

To match the accent wall with the rest of the place, select wood in the tone repeated in several furniture pieces in the room. Eclectic style does not prescribe a definite kind of wood; its main demand is to combine surfaces of different textures.

is no danger of incompatibility of the accent wall with other decorative items.

Wood is one of the most frequently used materials for ecologically sound décor. A wooden wall will emphasize the style in the living room or a bedroom.

3. Chalet or Rustic Style This style is simple yet exquisite, natural and easy. Wood is an integral element of décor in rustic style. Since the whole place done in this style is permeated with underlined artlessness, simplicity and even crudeness in decorating, the wood used for the accent wall should convey the rough character, like, for example, a combination of boards of various dimensions and colours.

4. Country Style A house in country style also encompasses wood in decorative elements including an accent wall, especially rough unprocessed wood. Since many elements in this style of interior decorating are made of wood there

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A Hotel for the Bravest Pemba Island in Tanzania is now home to an underwater hotel called Manta Resort, 250 metres off the Indian Ocean shore. Its guest rooms are situated at the depth of four metres underwater. Similar experimental hotels exist in the US, Sweden and the Maldives.

while the surrounding underwater world is illuminated with the help of several powerful beams. Various sea creatures are frequent visitors. The middle tier located at the water surface level contains the bathroom and the living room while the top, above water, tier can be used for tanning or star gazing.

The hotel is a three-tier floating structure. Each guest room has eight large windows

The author of the hotel design is the Swedish architect Mikael Genber who has also

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created a similar structure for the Swedish lake Malaren. Nevertheless, he wanted to repeat the design in clearer waters, which he found at the Pemba Island coast in the so called “blue hole” – a cavern 50 metres in diameter surrounded by coral reefs. The 17-room hotel opened its doors on the first day of November. The nightly rate is $1500.

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Free estimates Shingles Flat roofs Skylights Aluminum & Siding Soffit Eavestroughs Cedar Wood Copper

Cell: (647) 892 7400, (416) 247 5695 www.vladroofing.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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All About Home magazine (March 2014)  

All About Home magazine (March 2014)

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