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JULY 2014

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Gold in the Kitchen tones to avoid looking vulgar but rather create a luxury effect that reflects the artistic flair of its inhabitants. This décor is not just stylish and opulent; it is also unique – not many people are bold enough to try it.

The kitchen is the heart of the home; this is where people often have their breakfast and family dinner and where the cook of the family spends a lot of time. These important functions call for warmth and light. Various tones of gold and shiny accents are capable of creating a comfortable and pleasant air in the kitchen.

GOLDEN ACCENTS The new look at the kitchen plumbing. Not everyone wants to turn their kitchen into the Midas’s kingdom but going for light golden accents is not that risky. You can limit this experiment to installing gold taps for the kitchen sink. interior design. Both colours give the décor the air of luxury.

COUNTRY CHARM Golden walls in the kitchen. A muted gold tone capable of creating a happy family atmosphere is excellent for the décor of a cozy traditional kitchen.

SUBTLE CHARM Lighting for coziness. Often, the magic of the décor is in carefully chosen details. Golden light fixtures will add style and comfort to the room.

LIGHT STROKES LOOKING FOR A PARTNER An ideal combination. The combination of gold and black is extremely popular in

The colour gold is the symbol of happiness. Used correctly it is capable of creating a magic décor. Why not invite that magic into your kitchen where you spend so much of your time? Besides, gold does not need to be limited to the kitchen. This warm and shiny colour is capable of producing a sunny feel in any room of your home.

MODERN GLAMOUR Chic and luxury of a modern décor. It is possible for a kitchen done in golden

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You need just a little gold to be happy. Gold doesn’t have to have a striking and loud effect. Sometimes just a few subtle strokes are enough. Such décor elements look their most effective against a beige background creating a warm homey atmosphere.

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These stools used to decorate Chinese gardens many centuries ago. Their functions are unlimited. They can serve as a chair or a plant/book stand; are extremely useful in bathrooms and shower stalls; and can become a valuable ornamental accent. These barrel-shaped ceramic stools have gained extreme popularity among interior decorators and designers all over the world. They always become the focus of attention thanks to their texture, vivid colours, universality and their ability to become a valuable detail in any room. They are just one of those décor elements that always win your heart over. In China, these cute objects have been used for a thousand years, first, as outdoor furni-

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ture and later, for interior purposes. In the West, they have experienced a real boom in the last 10 years, and their popularity has been constantly maintained. Many stores offer the most unusual versions of this small piece of furniture. This décor element, even though it has an unaccustomed look, will add charm, boldness and a spicy feel of the Orient to a place whose owner does not shy away from experimenting with bold ideas in interior décor.

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ORCHIDS Charming white orchids in a graceful porcelain vase will create an exquisite composition that will become a focal point in the living or dining room.

FLOOR LENGTH DRAPERY Luxurious floor length drapes turn any décor into a lavish one. Be generous not only in the matter of the length but in the matter of the width as well; voluminous folds on floor length drapes will give the room an air of grandeur.

A COFFEE TABLE A small round or square coffee table will look great next to a sofa or an armchair in the living room. It is also convenient for keeping printed materials or standing drinks. An elegant structure made of glass and thin legs does not encumber the space.

It is not that hard to make your room look luxurious. Just add a few elegant accents to give your customary décor new and exquisite look. LANTERNS A classic lantern is elegant no matter what style your décor is. For example, you can

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successfully complement you modern interior by an unusual lighting fixture that looks like a lantern.

THE COLOUR SCHEME Colours can serve to completely alter the room atmosphere. To create an exquisite look, choose pastels like mint green, powder blue or milky white. Look into the possibility of acquiring furniture in soft blue and grey tones.

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EXTRA PILLOWS IN THE BEDROOM To create a cozy and slightly ostentatious atmosphere in the bedroom one can add several various size cushions and pillows.

FLUFFY WHITE TOWELS Snow white fluffy towels stacked or hung in the washroom form an impression of spotlessness and freshness.

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within your own personal ability to “keep calm and carry on”. To move, patiently and relentlessly, in the direction of your objectives. Many DIYers get stuck in the quagmire of unexpected problems and lose hope for a successful outcome. I would tell them the same thing that I tell our apprentices and new carpenters: that success of your project will largely depend on your ability to keep calm and carry on in the face of adversity. Don’t be afraid to step away from the project, re-zone, and come back to it with a fresh mind. But most importantly, don’t give up!

THE MOST IMPORTANT TOOL IN A DIYer’s POUCH

Are you tackling a new construction or renovation project? If so, keep this word in your proverbial “back pocket”.

Imagine that the year is 1939 and you live in London England. Your country is about to enter the Second World War. The entire world is predicting MASSIVE aerial bombardment of major cities in England at the hands of the Axis’ forces. And there you are a Londoner reading a poster on a wall along one of your city’s streets that simply reads “Keep calm and carry on”. That was the message the British government wanted to send to its citizens by printing over two million copies of these posters that simply read the notorious, recently popularized and, in some cases, bastardized version of the original statement. Now, you’re not entering a world war, but you may be busy with projects, work and other undertakings. And if Murphy ’s Law holds any water, what can go wrong…will go wrong. The question is, what do you do about it? In this month’s column, I would like to cover a side of the story that doesn’t typically get too much press. Sure, I could tell you about the latest innovations and practices in architecture or construction, but inevitably, you will be setting off on your own adventure to

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Lao Tzu (philosopher, poet and father of Taoism) taught us that our three greatest treasures in life are simplicity, compassion and patience. And if we are still quoting a man that lived nearly 2 600 years ago… I’ll bet the man knew a thing or two. So when your project is threatened by unforeseen problems and it feels like all hope is lost, just remember to heed the advice of wise old men and keep calm and carry on!

design and build your own unique “project”. And if you are like most people, you will initially bite off more than you can chew. All throughout this city, there are projects that got started but have never gone far. Abandoned and neglected projects are strewn everywhere, each with its own unique story of “aerial bombardment”. Lack of funds, scheming contractors, red tape, unrealistic timelines, and a myriad of other factors threatened and eventually destroyed the hopes and dreams of their respective proprietors. It’s a sad story. With over a decade of experience of planning, managing and completing projects, I have come to the realization that the success of any enterprise or project is in a large measure dependent on the patience of the decision makers involved in the project. If you have lived long enough you know how most people typically respond to “stress”. In other words, not very well. When major problems arise, most people lose hope, lose focus, and initiate a negative thought pattern that leads to poor decision making based in a large part by how we “feel” about the situation. But how you feel, at a time when “the Nazi planes are about to decimate your land” is not the key to victory. The key will lie

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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 throughout the GTA. Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on his clients’ behalf to bring vision to construction reality.

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Very spacious & bright 2-bdrm, 2-wshr unit with large balcony in the luxury Del Sol Tridel Condo. 1100 Sq.Ft. Very comfortable & clean. Parquet floors throughout. Painted. Large master with W/I closet & 4-pc ensuite. Large 2nd bdrm. Spacious eat-in kitchen. Large living & dining rooms. Ensuite laundry. Locker, parking. Building with great facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, etc. Steps to plaza, parks, schools, transports.

Stunning south facing 2-bdrm, 2-full wshrm unit, bright & spacious, about 900 SqFt. Lots of upgrades. Laminated floors throughout. Crown mouldings. Upgraded kitchen with granite countertop & S/S appliances. Large master with W/I closet & 4-pc ensuite. Balcony. Locker, parking. Building with great facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, etc. Walking distance to plazas, great schools, transit.

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Professionally designed and fully renovated 3+1-bdr, 4-wshr SEMI-DETACHED surrounded by parks. Excellent modern open concept layout. Hardwood floors. Larde bdrms. Upgraded kitchen with S/S appliances, cooktop, oven. Large breakfast area with W/O to deck. APARTMENT in finished basement with separate entrance (potential income).

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FULLY RENOVATED CORNER UNIT, 2+1-bdr, 2-wshr, about 1350 SqFt. WITH BALCONY in luxury PRIMROSE CONDO! New hardwood floors in all rooms, crown mouldings. Large kitchen with window (new cabinets, new S/S appliances, new granite floors, b/splash). Upgraded wshrms with new designer vanities & much more. 2 parking spaces, locker. Great facilities: outdoor pool, gym, sauna, tennis crt.

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RICHMOND HILL

Extensively renovated detached 3+2-bdr, 2-wshr backsplit in prestigious area of Mill Pond. Hardwood floors throughout. Crown mouldings. Custom designed kitchen with granite, potlights, new S/S appliances. New baths. Fireplace. New roof, windows, new ductwork & electrical, sprinkler system. Professionally finished waterproof basement (apartment) & much more...

Elegant & charming fully upgraded 5-bdr, 4-wshr, about 3400 SqFt detached home with excellent floor plan. All hardwood floors, crown mouldings, potlights. Main floor office. Gourmet custom made kitchen with central island, granite countertop, b/splash & S/S appliances. Huge master bdrm with W/I closet, glass shower & separate bathtub. All bdrms have ensuites & semi-ensuites & W/I closets. 2-car garage.

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DUFFERIN & RUTHERFORD

Spacious & updated, 3-bdr, 3-wshr, about 1800 SqFt townhouse in Dufferin Hill!! Great floor plan with large family room with fireplace. Hardwood floors on both levels. Large master bdrm with W/I closet & 4-pc ensuite. Great kitchen with b/splash & new Samsung appliances. Home automation system. Steps to park. Close to shopping mall, transit.

Asking $549,000

BATHURST & TESTON

STUNNING brand new home, 4 bdrs, 3 wshrs, over 3200 SqFt. on extra deep lot! 9’ on both floors. 18Ft ceilings in living room. Very comfortable floor plan. Hardwood floors on both levels. Gourmet kitchen with granite, custom b/splash. Potlights, mouldings, iron pickets. All bdrms with ensuites, semi-ensuites & W/I closets.

Asking $1,148,800

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When creating a certain decorative style for you home always remember the basics of interior design, especially the one that is called rhyming. Rhyming in the context of interior design ensures harmony and comfort and helps turn the room into a complete space where all the objects match one another, complement one another and emphasize one another’s advantages while concealing faults. There are several ways to achieve rhyming, repeated colours, shapes, textures and patterns among them.

RHYMING INTERIOR DESIGN

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While selecting ornamental objects for your room pay the foremost attention to their colours. Accessories have to match the colour of one or another object in the room. For example, the window coverings will preferably rhyme with the upholstery, cushions, the table cloth or picture frames in colour or texture. This combination looks harmonious and creates a completed image. Whether you will match the colours exactly or allow for a slight difference is not of great importance as long as they are of the same hue, even with a divergence of a few tones.

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The patterns found on various objects in the same room should also rhyme. It is true that by no way you can get identical patterns but try to select décor elements whose style matches. For example, if the fabric of the bedroom drapes bears Japanese hieroglyphs, try to repeat them on at least one ornamental object and avoid let’s say Mexican design on the bedspread.

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OBJECTS THAT YIELD TO RHYMING

Patterned wallpaper can be rhymed with sofa cushions, upholstery, floor lamps or rugs that should be selected based on one of the colours in the wallpaper pattern.

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Sofa cushions rhyme easily with the pictures over that same sofa. Select pictures in such a way that they repeat the colour of the cushions or create a panel of the same fabric and frame it.

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Large décor elements – tables, chairs and armchairs, drapes, etc. - can be easily subjected to rhyming.

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Some decorative elements need rhyming more than others – like golden or silver toned accessories and red or shiny objects.

rhyming more harmonious, it is preferable to place the groups in separate spots and to avoid using more than two rhymes in the same room. Balance is the word.

Flamboyant and fine patterns need to be repeated in several accessories in order to stand out and underscore one another’s beauty.

To give your home a comfortable and trendy look pay close attention to choosing accessories. It is not easy for a non-professional to assess all the aspects of rhyming and interior design. If you find it hard to manage this task on your own, turn to a professional interior designer for help. As a result of this cooperation you will end up with a comfortable, well thought-through, complete and elegant place to live.

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Rhyming in interior design is usually a crosspoint one, meaning that it has to connect separate groups of objects instead of all the elements in the room. For example, draperies should rhyme with sofa cushions and table cloths - with throws. To make such

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Favourite Keepsakes: SOUVENIRS AS DECORATIVE OBJECTS Travel is an unlimited source of souvenirs, from used tickets to the famous world museums and brightly coloured luggage stickers to figurines, plates, spoons and other mementoes from every corner of the globe. Do we need that many small details in our home? They gather dust on shelves and surfaces, take space and turn up in most unexpected places. The atmosphere of a room overloaded with even the most beloved knickknacks is less positive than clear and unencumbered space. There is a vast room between the two extremes: abandoning all ornaments and souvenirs or letting them occupy every single inch of space. Experienced travelers suggest that you decide on just one type of travel mementoes. You can bring home one commemorative plate from each of the cities you have visited or place in a large envelope all the used tickets from various points of interest and keep this collection in your desk drawer. This approach to collecting souvenirs will not only save space in your home but it will save you money as well: you will not have to waste too much of your holiday budget to buy extra items; you will not have to pay for excess weight of your luggage; and you will not have to press those two dozens of miniature Eiffel Towers upon your willing and unwilling friends and relatives. Revise your attitude towards gifts and you will discover that many of knickknacks hogging space in your home are from friends and relatives who didn’t know what to give you in return for your hangouts. If you cannot come up with a better idea than yet another ceramic statue for your best friend’s birthday, better give her some money to purchase whatever she likes; this may well save you from receiving yet another clay flower for your own birthday.

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This popular kind of shelving has a lot of adepts for various reasons, the first of which is that their transparency makes them suitable for any space; they help create a light and airy dĂŠcor; and they make white interiors even brighter looking and strip the dark ones of excessive somberness. GLASS SHELVES IN THE KITCHEN Glass shelves are ideal for the kitchen because they create a light and airy feeling. Transparent shelving units ensure a sufficient amount of space for necessary objects but do not obstruct the view. They can be installed next to the window or inside open cabinets. Besides, glass shelves help divide the kitchen into separate zones while maintaining the feeling of an open space. They are indispensable for separating the kitchen from the eating area. Avoid

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displaying on glass shelves all the dishes and knickknacks you have.

GLASS SHELVES IN THE BATHROOM A bathroom is the place where you will find glass shelving more often than in any other room of the house. It looks great in rooms with a light colour scheme. Placing them at either side of the door will create symmetry. Even bathrooms with a dark colour scheme will look better with glass shelves; their transparent surfaces make an excellent match with the cool shine of dark ceramic tiles.

GLASS SHELVES IN THE LIVING ROOM Some kinds of these are sold over the counter but you will have a wider choice if you decide to order them. They can be separate wall-mounted shelves or the whole shelving unit. There is a reason for most stores to have glass windows because these shelves attract attention to every object placed on them.

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a fountain and many other spots that need illuminating.

HANGING LANTERNS Decorative hanging lanterns are mounted on the walls, vertical structures or trees. They are simple but highly ornamental. If you have outdoor dining furniture, candle lanterns will make your dinner al fresco unforgettable.

Illuminating your backyard is a very important aspect of your general decorating style. Lamps, lanterns and lighting accents look their best when matched in style.

garden visually larger, using various kinds of lighting: cool, to make the illuminated object seem more distant and warm, to create an illusion of nearness. Decorative illumination is just that – decorative.

ON-THE-GROUND LANTERNS Choosing illumination fixtures for the outside should be based on what exactly you would like to bring out. Garden illumination can be functional, purely ornamental or the combination of the two. Lighting can emphasize plants and paths, hide problem zones and underscore the best spots. Functional illumination can be aimed at defining the lot limits, dividing a large garden into zones or making a smaller

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These lanterns are often used to illuminate the garden and its paths. Solar lanterns have been gaining popularity in recent years. They store the energy of sunlight during the day and glow in the dark. Solar lanterns have several advantages: simplicity of installation, portability and the softness of lighting that adds romantic mystery to the illuminated spot. They can be used for lighting paths, backyard, garden, the front,

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Another nice lighting device in the garden is a flood light. These come in either square or round shape. They look better when hidden among plants and are not too bright. The task of a flood light is to emphasize the beauty of the best features of the garden like an alpine garden or a floral border.

GARLANDS Lantern garlands are great for illuminating gazeboes. Bulbs used in these are either regular or LEDs. They are also great for illuminating pools, ponds, sculptures, stairs and bridges. You may want to use LEDs that emit coloured lighting. Simple design lanterns are better hidden in the grass or flowering plants while lanterns of interesting design should be exposed. To illuminate the porch use street lanterns that can be stylized in Hi-Tech style or a vintage lighting fixture.

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Ancestral Manors for the Aristocracy of Spirit Everyone seems to have their own notion of an ideal way of living. This usually implies a flawless, equitable and fulfilled existence. Your life may seem active and ordinary, but often you feel something is missing - as if you are living somebody else’s life. Yet, there is a way to organize your life in such a way as to make it your own. The solution for many people familiar with the work of the Russian writer Vladimir Megre lies in creating so called Ancestral Manors. What are they? The concept is that each family needs a piece of land at least 2.5 acres in size, and with their own hands they turn this land into a living oasis that provides all that is necessary for

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living. In Russia, the followers of the theory of Ancestral Manors have created whole towns focusing on clean environment and healthy living. This idea has found support among authorities lobbying for legislature that would allow families to obtain free land for creating an Ancestral Manor. The idea of Ancestral Manors has found its supporters in Canada. They are people who want to be masters of their own lives rather than being a cog in a machine that satisfies someone else’s interests. These people formed an organization called Colwis, an abbreviation for the phrase “Collective Wisdom”, which reflects the collaborative relationships within the group. Every member of the organization invests his knowledge and skills into understanding and implementation of the collective purpose.

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Canada is a wonderful country that welcomes various peace initiatives. Therefore, Ancestral Manors’ supporters are optimistic about attaining their goals while they do realize the large scope of work ahead of them. A part of fulfilling the dream of Ancestor Manors is to unite everyone who shares the same values reflected in Vladimir Megre’s books. Whether you are familiar with Megre’s books and are attracted to the idea of creating Ancestral Manors in Canada and in North America in general, or whether you hear about this for the first time but wish to get additional information, we welcome you to our fascinating and hopefully fruitful collaboration in Colwis.

Please call us at +1(905)881-6046 or e-mail at

harmony@colwis.ca

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Temperamental Décor THE FRUITS OF TENDER MELANCHOLY

Categorizing people by their temperament goes back to Hippocrates. According to his theory a person can be choleric (or bilious), sanguine, phlegmatic (or lymphatic) or melancholic (or atrabilious). Each of these categories sees their world in a different way and has his own understanding of beauty. No wonder that such different people require completely different surroundings in order to feel comfortable. Décor is a reflection of the person who lives among it and, to some extent, the means of balancing our weaknesses. For this reason, psychologists as well as interior designers recommend that when planning decorating for a place one takes the psychological type of the owner into consideration. Melancholic people are slightly apathetic and hypochondriac but responsive, compassionate and receptive. When thinking of a melancholic, think pf poor Pierrot who dramatically laments his unrequited love for Colombina. This is a typical if exaggerated image of a melancholic person. These

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personalities are prone to sad reflections not because they are pessimistic but rather because they are overly impressionable. They prefer daydreaming, fantasies and reminiscences to reality. They like submerging into their inner selves. This is why the surrounding world is often not comfortable for them. Melancholic individuals are in a dire need of a home/castle that protects them from ups and downs of real life. A person with such tender and romantic disposition will not tolerate a random object in his surroundings. A melancholic’s main concern is to avoid stress; therefore this individual will create for himself an atmosphere of comfort, warmth, and calm. This does not necessarily mean a nest furnished with flounces, cushions and comforters, just the opposite – their inclinations may run quite eclectic, from classic to modern and from Scandinavian style to ethnic one. A melancholic may be crazy for a huge and soft couch but, at the same time, adore simple plastic stools. These persons will experience harmony and mental comfort in their home when it is filled only with congenial objects. A home of an impressionable person prone to frequent blues is characterized by numerous cozy zones and corners. Vast object-

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free spaces depress a melancholic while hidden places that break up the space of the dwelling are the embodiment of comfort to him. Here, the owner can relax in his coveted solitude or enjoy the company of close friends. Melancholics usually divide their space into zones by using shelving, room dividers or curtains. They prefer soft dispersed lighting and illuminated paintings and niches. A real melancholic enjoys a gradual light-to-shadow transformation. The floors of the melancholic’s apartment are usually covered in wall-to-wall carpeting or soft rugs to muffle footsteps and keep feet warm. He will avoid furniture with pronounced corners, being partial to ovals and circles. The colour scheme is something light, with no sharp accents, special preference given to all shades of yellow – from river sand to terracotta. A melancholic person’s romanticism and sentimentality declare themselves in his attachment to mementoes. They are sure to keep tons of photographs, children’s art, toys and dry flowers, even if not displayed on the walls. Therefore, there is always going to be a closet, niche, dresser or any other storage space for these precious keepsakes.

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A SEPARATE OVEN:

Advantages and Disadvantages Today, many consumers prefer separate cooktops and built-in ovens to a traditional one-piece stove. A built-in version looks more modern and esthetically pleasing and is less likely to warm up the kitchen, thus saving money on the power needed for air conditioning and exhaust.

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Besides, a separate oven can be installed at any place you prefer, be it below the kitchen counter, above it, or in a special stand at a medium height. All this makes a separate oven a more convenient and economical solution. Nevertheless, even if you will save money in the long run the initial expenditure is much higher than when buying a full traditional range.

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Multifunctional ovens often have a convection option that makes it easier to roast meat and vegetables and prepare baked goods. Often, these ovens also possess a defrost function, a pizza baking option, and steam cooking. Separate ovens manufactured at a certain month and year are more advanced than their counterparts integrated in a stove. Therefore, should you be looking into buying a good and long-lasting oven, a built-in one is your best bet.

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AN «IDEAL» PALACE OF A FRENCH POSTMAN

This structure is called an Ideal Palace (Palais idéal) constructed by one Ferdinand Cheval and it is a reminder that any human is capable of reaching any target has he sufficient time and patience. An ordinary mailman who had no special skills managed all by himself and with his own hands created a masterpiece worthy of admiration no less than Picasso’s works.

and started lugging various stones to his home. In the meantime he dedicated every free minute to studying architecture of various countries and eras. It took him twenty years to gather all the rocks he wanted, and all the while the locals shook their heads in pity but let him be. For them, he was a town lunatic – this told it all. After having retired from his mail carrier job, Cheval started building his ideal castle. The Palais ideal made of stone, cement and wire is a whimsical mix of various styles, with obvious features from the Near East, China, and

Algeria, all influenced by Antonio Gaudi designs. The palace walls are carved with citations from Christ and Buddha, and the rooms are embellished with mysterious figures and ornaments. In 1969, when Ferdinand Cheval was still alive, De Gaulle’s government declared his structure a protected historical site. By the way, regardless of the rich exterior of the building, there is only one sensible room inside it and the builder and owner used that room as tool storage.

Ferdinand Cheval was born in the vicinity of Lyon, France. Even when he was young, people realized that Ferdinand was an eccentric. He had shown unusual persistence, reserve and dreaminess. Therefore when he became a mailman his choice of trade did not surprise those around him – isn’t this the best occupation for a character like him? On his rounds, Ferdinand used to make up to 30 kilometres a day. And because the area he lived in had been a sea floor centuries before, he always encountered various stones, one more beautiful than the next. Once, making his rounds, Cheval found an unusually handsome rock. This moved him to start looking for more of the same kind, and his search turned to be fruitful. «Since Nature provides me with building materials, I just have to become an architect and a mason», Ferdinand decided wisely

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We are used to homogenous floor covering in one room. There are exceptions to this rule that include long corridors and studio apartments where various functional zones can be defined by different floor coverings – for example, hardwood and ceramic tiles. Nevertheless these are just stereotypes; in reality, combining two or more kinds of floor materials in the same room can be very trendy and interesting.

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Just remember that when using the combination method you have to take care of the seams. Discuss your ideas with floor installers and choose the best looking methods of disguising the seams. When working with suspended floors you will have to cover the seams with 2-cm wide metal strips.

AN ISLAND You can have an island of a stronger and water-resistant material inlayed in a wooden floor. This is a good idea to use in a bathroom, a spacious hall or a kitchen. First, lay ceramic tiles, marble or granite at the desired spot and only after that install the wood flooring.

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INLAYS REPEATING WALL DESIGN If the tiles or other covering material on the walls demand repetition or continuation of their design you can implement it by the same combination of wood and ceramic tiles. Just make sure you use multipurpose tiles that can be employed on both the floor and the walls or purchase matching tiles for the floor and the walls, the floor tiles being thicker and stronger. You can use the same principle with the wood you are using.

RECTANGULAR CERAMIC INLAYS Straightforward hardwood can be interestingly combined with ceramic, stone or mo-

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saic inlays. All you need to make it work is to place at the seams squares whose dimensions coincide with the width of the hardwood planks. Those with a bold streak may want to use contrasting colours; but even if you are against it, you may appreciate a delicate combination of, let’s say, grey oak wood and grey granite with black granules. The difference in textures, colours and materials will look very professional and creative.

STRIPES Interchanged stripes of different dimensions may become one of the most universal solutions for a room of any shape. You can use wide wood stripes intermingled with narrow stone ones or vice versa. It all depends on the room’s function. Just remember that the stripes configuration has to be based on the final layout and the dimensions of the furniture.

FOCAL POINTS Knowing the future furniture layout you can advantageously play with focal points of the room using the combination of wood and stone floor coverings. First, draw a design, select the materials to implement this design and only afterwards, choose the background that will take up all of the remaining space. This method looks striking but there is a risk of revealing a haphazard combination of patterns if the room furniture gets rearranged. As you can see, a combination of colours and textures in floor coverings is a viable solution. Wood and tiles or stone look especially interesting complementing each other and emphasizing each other’s beauty. Experiment but keep technical characteristics in mind. The quality of workmanship is especially important because a slapdash execution can nullify even the most brilliant idea.

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UNCLOGGING THE DRAIN Plumbing has a tendency to clog from time to time. This is a real nuisance accompanied by many unpleasant things, from a nasty odour to the impossibility to use sinks and toilets. Every homeowner needs to know the basics of unclogging drains.

Advice: If there is no commercial unclogging agent at home, try to use regular dishwashing liquid by pouring it into the drain and wait overnight or make your own solution by mixing 200 grams of baking soda with undiluted vinegar.

UNCLOGGING WITH THE HELP OF CHEMICALS

A PLUNGER

The first and most obvious way to clear a clogged drain is using a store bought remedy for clogs. There may be some variances in the use recommendations but most of these solutions have to be poured into the drain with one to two glasses of water added. Usually you have to wait 20 to 30 minutes, then open the tap and run water for several minutes.

Clearing the clog with the help of a plunger requires no special skills. First, close the plughole in order to maintain the pressure in the pipe. Then, cover the drain in the bathtub or toilet with the plunger and fill with enough water to cover the rubber part of the plunger. Pump energetically a few times.

THESE AGENTS CAN BE EITHER ACIDIC OR ALKALINE Acidic agents are the best for clearing hair and soap deposits; therefore they should be used to unclog bathroom drains. Alkaline agents fight greasy deposits and as such are recommended for unclogging kitchen drains.

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Remember that aggressive chemicals may be harmful for both human health and the state of your plumbing.

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If the first attempt has failed, repeat the procedure. A plunger can help only with smaller clogs formed by small particles.

CLEARING THE FLUSH VALVE If your plumbing includes a flush valve, clear it before even starting the process of unclogging pipes and using other, more complicated methods. Often the valve is the very element that causes the clog due to greasy deposits collected inside it.

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Take the valve off, clear it with a degreasing agent and mount back. If the problem persists you will know that the clog is beyond the valve.

A PLUMBER’S SNAKE This is the last resort for unclogging your plumbing when all else fails. A Plumber’s snake or a cable auger is a long, flexible steel cable wound around a spool that’s fitted with a hand crank. Cable augers are available in lengths up to 100 ft., though a 25-ft. model will suffice for almost any household clog. Depending on the piping configuration, the auger is inserted either into the plughole or directly into the drain and is cranked into it until it reaches the clog and dislodges it. Important: when using the auger try to avoid sharp movements, especially when retrieving it lest the pipe is damaged.

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All about home magazine (July 2014)  

All about home magazine (July 2014)

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