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FineHomes SPRING 2015 | VOLUME 2 ISSUE 1

THE GARAGE DOOR IS

“THE NEW

FRONT DOOR” Garage Door Depot

HALIFAX

SCOTT MCGILLIVRAY: THE MAN BEHIND THE SMILE EXPLORING THE WORLD’S MOST BEAUTIFUL CONDOS KEN BEATTIE ON STARTING YOUR PLANTS AT HOME FineHomes

Halifax

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WOOD

Just SoulSatisfying

Wood speaks to people in many different ways, telling a story of timeless beauty and enduring quality. At Amos Wood, we transform humble into extraordinary. What can we make for you?

10’ Matched Plank, Walnut Table

AMOS WOOD design | millwork | furniture

Furniture Countertops Flooring Siding Mouldings

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first word

FineHomes HALIFAX

With Fine Homes editor LORI MCKAY

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he days are getting longer and the promise of gardening and home improvement projects lie ahead as we prepare our spring-inspired stories. Let this issue of Fine Homes Halifax inspire your next home venture, or just help you get in the mood for enjoying warm days on the patio.

In this issue, we are pleased to introduce a new contributor — HGTV’s Scott McGillivray, who many will recognize from the popular show Income Property. Watch for him throughout the year in this magazine, as well as Fine Lifestyles, as he shares his wealth of knowledge in renovations and the housing market. Having a garage increases property values by a significant amount, so it’s no surprise today’s homeowners have a great deal of options when it comes to shopping for a garage door. Gracing the cover of this issue is Sandy Martin, owner of Garage Door Depot, along with his partner and son. Martin offers suggestions on an extensive variety of materials, custom colours and designs that reflect everything from modern to traditional tastes.

www.finelifestyles.ca Spring 2015 Volume 2, Issue 1 Editor Lori McKay

lorim@finelifestyles.ca

Art Direction Amber Moon (Senior), Lisa Redden (Associate) Design Natasha Burkholder, Candace Haiko, Ghislaine Moffitt Staff Writers Trina Annand, Henny Buffinga, Melanie Furlong, Tobie Hainstock, Tonya Lambert, Tori Stafford, Courtney Tait Cover Photography Bruce Jollimore Photography Bruce Jollimore, David Elliott Contributing Writers Lisa Drader-Murphy, Ken Beattie, Katrina Geenevasen, Fran Underwood, Erin Legg, Mike Butler Distribution & Subscriptions kellym@finelifestyles.ca

Creating a dream kitchen often means finding the perfect marriage of function and style. Two elements speak to this kitchen design balance: cabinetry and backsplashes. Find some useful ideas in our dream kitchen story. Also in this issue: columnist Ken Beattie offers tips on starting your plants indoors; find out how old furniture has to be before it’s considered ‘antique’; and discover how to ‘soak in luxury’ in our article on extravagant bathrooms. The following pages offer some of the best resources to get you and your home ready for spring. Happy reading!

ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS

Tracey Wallace Sales Manager 902.441.4456 traceyw@finelifestyles.ca

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Suzana Cabrita 902.817.7897 suzanac@finelifestyles.ca

Jeremy Mott 902.670.9922 jeremym@finelifestyles.ca

finemags

@finemags

FineHomes Halifax is published two times a year by FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. We reserve the right to edit any materials chosen for publication including photographs. We reserve the right to reject or accept any article, photograph, image or advertisement. All contents of FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. publications are copyrighted 2015 with all rights reserved, except for original articles submitted to FineHomes Halifax, where copyright resides with the author. No other part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. or its writers. The name FineHomes Halifax, its logo and material cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. The views and opinions expressed in the expert advice columns herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. or the companies it represents. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. Canada Post Publication Agreement #41818060 Return undeliverables to: 3440 Balsam Grove; Regina, Saskatchewan; S4V 1H1


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200 11th Avenue, Unit 6N, New York 2,391 square feet $9.7 million

K

Exploring the World’s Most

BEAUTIFUL CONDOS 32 By Trina Annand Photos Courtesy of Evan Joseph - Urban Compass, Southerby’s International Realty and Harrods Estates

Condominium living can combine the best of both worlds — opulent luxury and a zero maintenance lifestyle. In this article, Fine Lifestyles takes you on a tour of some of the most luxurious and beautiful condos around the world.

CONTENTS HOMES & PROPERTIES ...................... 8 CONDO LIVING ..................................28 INNER BEAUTY/DESIGN .................. 32 BED & BATH ........................................38 DREAM KITCHENS ..............................41 HOME IMPROVEMENTS & RENOVATIONS................................ 52 OUTDOOR LIVING & LANDSCAPES ................................ 66

COVER: Garage Door Depot ...............16 Exploring the World’s Most Beautiful Condos .....................................28 Antiques: A Treasure Trove of Times Past ............................................. 32 Scott McGillivray: Reno and Real Estate Investing Expert ...............62

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nown for some of the most expensive real estate in the world, Manhattan is home to an exceptional three-bedroom, three-anda-half-bath home designed by the Selldorf Architects, a star in the West Chelsea architectural renaissance. The building’s most famous feature is its ensuite sky Garage — a garage located alongside the home that houses a car transported via elevator to the front door. The building’s multi-dimensional stainless steel and terra cotta façade hints at the modernist designs within. The condo itself features 23-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with light and provide stunning views of the Hudson River and Chelsea Cove Park, as well as the New York City skyline. Rich teak floors accent the entire suite and are paired with crisp white walls and striking black trim, allowing the view to take centre stage. Tucked away like a hidden jewel, a custom designed stainless steel and teak kitchen with sleek stone countertops awaits the true epicurean.


Commitment to Quality We are constantly innovating to bring our customers the highest quality products and service in the industry. Our local, state-of-the-art fabrication facility, largest inventory in Atlantic Canada and latest in design tools allows us to deliver on this commitment.

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SUSTAINABLE BUILDING PRACTICES CONSTRUCTING THE FUTURE TODAY By Tonya Lambert

The demand for more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly building techniques — including materials — is steadily increasing in Canada. As more people become aware of the environmental, economic, social and health benefits to building green, they are searching for options to incorporate into their homes.

O

veruse of fossil fuels has greatly increased the levels of atmospheric greenhouse gases, which scientists have linked to climate changes, including higher temperatures, more frequent and destructive storms and glacial melting. According to the International Energy Agency, buildings consume more than 40 per cent of energy produced and create 24 per cent of overall carbon dioxide emissions. Therefore, choosing green is one way to lower the amount of greenhouse gases in the air.

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Building green means taking into account every aspect of construction, from the way materials are acquired, to building techniques and design to repairs and maintenance. A green-built home uses less water and energy; it may even produce energy. It is utilizing sustainable materials, including recycled materials, and is made to last. Care is taken to select products better for a person’s health, such as low- or zero-volatile organic compound paints and low or formaldehyde-free building materials.


The initial cost of building an energy-efficient and environmentallyresponsible home may be higher than a traditional code-built home. However, a 2012 survey commissioned by Canada Green Building Council found Canadian homeowners who chose to build green recover these costs in just eight years through decreased operating costs in energy use and water consumption. ALTERNATIVE FORMS OF ENERGY Utilizing an alternative form of renewable energy is another way of promoting the health of the planet and its people. Solar, wind, hydro and biomass power are examples of renewable forms of energy. The installation of photovoltaic panels is increasing worldwide, especially in areas where there is lots of sun throughout the year. However, year-round sunlight is not necessary, because energy produced during a hot Canadian summer can easily be stored for use during the winter. A very simple way of gaining maximum benefit from the free heat and light provided by the sun is through the strategic placement of windows, skylights and reflective surfaces. South-facing windows are best for this. Another method being employed by some home builders is geothermal heating and cooling. Underground vertical pipes are placed in the yard. Each is filled with a special liquid that extracts the heat from the earth in the winter and the coolness in the summer. This is then transferred to the home when circulated through pipes. DECREASING WATER USE

Improving Energy Efficiency Energy is used to heat and cool homes, as is the water used to run appliances, electronic devices and lights. The energy used is often a combination of electricity and natural gas, oil, propane and wood. There are a variety of ways to make a home more energy-efficient. • Decrease the amount of energy needed to run the home by installing energy-efficient appliances and LED lights. • Install windows with a high ‘R’ value and energy-efficient doors.

According to Environment Canada, Canadians’ average daily water use has dropped 27 per cent from 342 litres per person in 1991 to 251 litres per person in 2011. This has been achieved through self-monitoring, switching to low-flow showerheads and low-volume toilets, and recycling grey water. According to Statistics Canada, by 2011, 63 per cent of Canadian households had a low-flow showerhead and 47 per cent had a low-volume toilet. Grey water is water that has already been used once for showers or laundry. This reclaimed waste water is then re-used for other purposes, such as irrigation or flushing toilets. Conserving the environment for the enjoyment of future generations is the responsibility of all Canadians. Building or renovating your home to make it more energy efficient and environmentally friendly is one way you can lessen your environmental footprint.

• Build or renovate your home to be an energy-efficient building envelope, ensuring little to no energy is lost through cracks and gaps.

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Welcome to

1040 Ridgewood Drive This spectacular waterfront home located on the city’s exclusive North West Arm could be yours. Recently listed by Bryant Realty Atlantic, this is an opportunity for a coveted address that does not come along often. The architecturally designed four-bedroom, four-and-a-half bath home was built with the utmost attention to detail and quality materials throughout — features that are reflected in its exquisite style. Limestone floors with in-floor heat, majestic stone tile, granite soaker tubs and handcrafted built-ins are just some of the luxurious amenities found here.

ABOVE Sandra Bryant and Ethan Michaels

Tour this home and allow your breath to be taken away by the panoramic views of both the Arm and the picturesque Dingle Tower and Park, with continuous floor-to-ceilingwindows that wrap around the house.


Step into the gourmet kitchen that includes a large centre island and state-of-the-art appliances, such as the sub-zero refrigerator and propane Wolf range or marvel at the magical water views this open-concept space provides. In addition to the amazing one-of-a-kind features inside the residence, the grounds offer a veritable oasis including an infinity pool, private waterfront gym, outstanding exterior stone finishes and stunning landscaping. REALTORSŽ Ethan Michaels and Sandra Bryant, of Bryant Realty Atlantic, look forward to helping you make this ideal residence in one of Halifax’s most desirable family neighbourhoods your own. For more information about this home, contact:

Sandra Bryant 902.830.4545 Ethan Michaels 902.877.0151 bryantrealty.ca


The Agency That Holds the Key to

REAL ESTATE SUCCESS By Melanie Furlong Photos Bruce Jollimore

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fter 35 years and thousands of transactions in the local real estate market, Sandra Bryant believes Halifax is one of the best places to live in the country. She’s watched the city grow and flourish over the years, and attract people from all over the world. “I’ve always had faith in the quality of life here,” Bryant says. “But now it’s truly the place to be.” In a business where location is paramount, Halifax offers it all — country settings on the water in St. Margaret’s Bay, exquisite small town charm in Bedford, car-free commuting in Dartmouth and a vibrant downtown core. To top it all off, gorgeous waterfront views surround this city. “How wonderful is that?” Bryant exclaims. Her company, Bryant Realty Atlantic, is a small boutique real estate agency in downtown Halifax that handles

all its clients needs with grace and skill. “Whether a seller’s home costs $200,000 or $2 million, we treat every client with the utmost respect,” says Bryant. “No matter how big or small, a home is important to everyone.” Bryant says working with people is the most fulfilling aspect of her job, especially helping young families get into real estate, either as an investment or a new home. “When they come back to me years later and thank me for helping them get started, and their children come to me, it’s even more rewarding,” she says.

Children’s Camp, the Friends of Gilda Society, the IWK Foundation for Leukemia Research, as well as many arts, education and athletic organizations. Bryant Realty Atlantic 1470 Dresden Row Halifax, NS 902.423.2769 Bryantrealty.ca

John Bryant, Sandra’s father, instilled in her the pride and passion for the city she loves, supporting the community and helping it grow is really what matters. The team at Bryant Realty has donated tens of thousands of dollars to local charities over the years. These include Brigadoon TOP Sandra and Bryant Realty Atlantic staff ABOVE Sandra Bryant

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GivinG Our Past a Future Established in 1994, Award Winning Forbes Restoration has been involved in numerous restoration and rehabilitation projects in north end and peninsula Halifax, and has contributed design and fabrication services to projects throughout Eastern Canada. The company provides three distinct services:

Design • Fabrication • Installation ¨ Restoration specialist

¨ Colour consultation

¨ Manufacturing of Victorian millwork

¨ Bookcases

¨ Exterior Designer

¨ Fireplaces

Contact us to discuss how Forbes Restoration can make your restoration or rehabilitation project a success.

Forbes Restoration: Celebrating 20 Years in Business 902.830.6667 | halforbes@hfx.eastlink.ca | www.halforbes.ca |

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Integrity – Teamwork – Innovation By Mike Butler

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used to work in a specialty retail lighting shop. Our goal was to provide our clients — from the smallest light bulb purchase to the million dollar home construction — with the best customer service, education and finished product we could.

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One of the many outstanding benefits to working in the world of home construction was getting to collaborate with homebuilders and tradespersons who loved their work as much as I did. I was fortunate to work with Denim Homes on numerous projects. I’d heard

glowing reviews from their clients and other tradespersons, and was highly impressed with Denim Homes’ prep work and finished products. Denim Homes has established a reputation in Nova Scotia and beyond for building


homes of the highest quality and energy efficiency. They’ve become well known and respected as a company fuelled by integrity and knowledge of what clients want in a home and in a homebuilder. Each Denim Home is specific to its client, because all homes built by the Denim team are from custom designs. Denim Homes doesn’t provide the lot in a specific subdivision, so the flexibility for your building location is practically limitless. Contrary to some philosophies, a business’ success should not be measured by the awards, accolades or industry recognition, but by the quality of their work and the positive growth constructed throughout the life of their business. Denim Homes is no stranger to glowing customer reviews, exceptional growth and diversity from the competition, or to continued innovation and quality development. For a moment, let’s pretend it was about the awards and accolades. Denim Homes holds a dozen Peak Awards, including 2012 Builder of the Year and multiple Outstanding New Home

Awards for Energy Efficiency. They also received the 2013 Innovator of the Year from the Annapolis Valley Chamber of Commerce and is a two-time winner of the Canadian Home Builders Association National SAM Award for Green Home of the Year. Denim Homes was chosen to build the QE2 Home in 2012 and 2013. And the list goes on. Denim Homes has succeeded in all levels of their field because their team loves quality and innovation, which keeps them motivated and on top of their game. The group at Denim Homes does not just step in and build your house; they educate themselves about your wants and needs, take that information and transform it into a beautiful home. Owner Caleb Howden states, “We believe everyone deserves a home or place to live in that is affordable, both to construct and to maintain.” It’s not a rare occurrence to find one of the team doing daily research on new ways to make your home better and more energy efficient. The Denim Homes team works to be competitive. They consistently improve

ABOVE Caleb Howden

their excellence, increase their expertise, and maintain the highest levels of homeowner satisfaction. Never do they compromise their personal vision to provide every client with an excellent building experience and the best value for their dollar — right down to the smallest detail. Why would you want to build a house with an amateur when you can build a home with an expert?

902.681.3776 Denimhomes.com |

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COVER FEATURE

Make a Great

First Impression By Melanie Furlong Photos by Bruce Jollimore

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he purpose of modern garage doors can go far beyond functional. They provide both style and a unique aesthetic to every home. Homeowners have a wide range of options available to them. Garage doors are made in an extensive variety of materials — including steel, vinyl, wood, aluminum and glass — as well as in custom colours and designs that reflect everything from modern to traditional tastes.

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Sandy Martin, owner of Garage Door Depot, says one of the biggest trends in the residential market these days is the use of glass garage doors. His company installed nearly 20 of these doors in the last year. Some are full-view glass doors and others are laminated, making the door opaque and giving it a warm glow when lights are on inside. Martin and partner Cathy Gordon established Nova Scotia’s Garage Door

Depot after settling in the province four years ago. Unable to locate a garage door that met their standards, the pair opened a local Garage Door Depot branch. As a leading national distributor and retailer, the company represents the industry’s top brands for garage doors, openers and accessories. The assets of this successful Canadian business, combined with Martin and Gordon’s dedication and integrity, provide precisely the services that had previously been lacking.


Garage Door Depot offers more custom options than any other garage door company around. Carrying products from three manufacturers allows homeowners to find a door that best fits their style and needs. Homeowners should not assume a white door is the best choice. The ubiquitous white door doesn’t always create a pleasing visual effect, Martin notes. “When a house has a white garage door, your eyes automatically go to it. I want clients to put their personality into their door and show their house off, so the garage door complements the house. Colour should not cost more, so we don’t charge extra for solid colours.”

Martin says wood doors, one of the most expensive types of garage doors, are also the most customizable. “They can be made exactly the way you want with any design. If you can draw it, we can build it,” he says. Once the door has been ordered, it takes approximately four to five weeks to come in. Wood doors, which are all handcrafted, can take up to 16 weeks to arrive. Manufacturers will make whatever is needed. As long as customers know what they want and it’s in the budget, it’s doable. Homeowners can spend anywhere from $800 to $12,000 on a new garage door. But what homeowners need to know is they can get a garage door that enhances the look of their house.

OPPOSITE PAGE L-R Brad Martin, Cathy Gordon and Sandy Martin

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COVER FEATURE

“The Garage Door Depot slogan, and it’s very true, is ‘The garage door is the new front door,’” says Martin. It’s 10 to 15 times bigger than a front door and, in many cases, this single or double garage door is situated at the front of your house and property. That means it’s usually the first thing people see when they come to visit. That’s why updating your garage door with a new custom look is a savvy investment if you want to add curb appeal and improve the value of your home. Martin gives the example of similar properties listed for sale at the same price. “If property A has a white garage door and property B has a coloured door with glass, property B will have more curb appeal,” he says. “It’s the outside of the house that makes people say, ‘Let’s go inside and look at this.’ I can assure you, if you put $1,500 into a new garage door, and it’s the right one, you’ll recuperate 80 per cent of that back when you sell your home.” Homeowner Robin Works recently got a new laminated glass garage door, mostly for cosmetic reasons. “We thought we’d

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PHOTO COURTESY David Elliott

add some value to our house,” says Works. “We purchased it through The Garage Door Depot and we’re really happy with the service they provided. We think the door adds a lot of value to our property in addition to looking good.” One thing that sets Garage Door Depot apart is their house call. Martin sits down with all homeowners to go over their options in detail. By uploading a digital photo of the house to garagedoordepot. com, homeowners can experiment with different colours and styles to see which garage door best suits their home. “There are a lot of variables that go into every garage door,” says Martin. “That’s why I don’t do quotes over the phone. It’s really important to be onsite to see the existing garage and house and show homeowners there are options for them to get the best value for the money they’re going to spend.” Continually flawless function of a garage door depends on upkeep; Martin says proper maintenance can preclude not only inconveniences, but also safety concerns. Nova Scotia’s regional weather conditions subject garage doors to plenty of wear and tear — from salt exposure to excessive damp — so he recommends

yearly service visits as a matter of course. He also emphasizes ensuring doors are adequately insulated, prioritizing this quality alongside R-value. Halifax homeowner Patti Davis was very happy with the service she received from Garage Door Depot. “Not only was the woman who answered my telephone call for service cheerful, helpful and efficient, the technician, Brad, was equally as nice and helpful. It was a pleasure to deal with a company that has such friendly and helpful people, and who delivers on service from both a time and quality perspective,” Davis says. Sandy Martin acknowledges that garage door shoppers can face overwhelming choice — from private contractors to multipurpose department-style stores, to specialists like Garage Door Depot. He urges those considering a purchase to remember the impact their garage door will have on their home’s livability and curb appeal. It’s a significant investment; Garage Door Depot can help ensure that it’s also a rewarding one.

Not only was the woman who answered my telephone call for service cheerful, helpful and efficient, the technician, Brad, was equally as nice and helpful. It was a pleasure to deal with a company that has such friendly and helpful people, and who delivers on service from both a time and quality perspective. . — Patti Davis, Halifax Homeowner

Garage Door Depot 902.482.0799 www.garagedoordepot.ca

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AMAZING GARAGES High-End Homes For Your High-End Vehicles By Melanie Furlong  Photos Courtesy tdSwasnburg design studio, Alex Watson Photography and TR Building and Remodelling

Garages are not just places to park your car anymore. Homeowners around the world are finding ways to dwell more comfortably with their vehicles, whether that means creating an amazing showroom around them or hiding them away.

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ake car collection company CEO Craig Jackson who built his Arizona home with a circular 3,600 sq. ft. garage. It displays his muscle and luxury car collection facing centre, like the spokes in a wheel. At the centre, a Bugatti Veyron rotates on a deserving pedestal. If you own a Bugatti, Ferarri, Lamborghini or McLaren, a climate-controlled “Garage Mahal” will definitely be on your wish list. For many car aficionados, the ideal garage shares the same elements as the man

cave. Garages with wet bars, flat-screen televisions, fitness centres, woodworking shops and lounge areas to display autorelated memorabilia are becoming increasingly popular. Las Vegas native and Forty4 Asset Management CIO Francis Wisniewski put a small basketball court and gambling room — complete with a full-size craps table — in his 15,000 sq. ft. garage. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld, who famously collects Porsches, keeps them in an underground garage three blocks from his

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home. The three-storey garage houses his 46 Porsches and features a clubroom with a billiard table, kitchenette and office. A New York penthouse apartment listed for sale comes with an “en suite sky garage” that allows for your car to be transported by elevator to your apartment and parked just outside your door. The idea of using a car lift, or elevator, has gone beyond space-challenged citydwellers. Car collectors who want to maximize garage space by stacking their vehicles also use them, as do those who prefer the attention stay focused on the garden, and not on their vehicle. Swiss company Cardok has created a bespoke parking solution to suit any home or vehicle. Installed under an existing driveway, cars disappear into a hole via a hydraulic ramp. A decorative roof fools passersby into thinking there’s no car parked at home and maintains the decorative appeal of your garden. It becomes impossible to vandalize or steal the car and you don’t have to worry about power-outages

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because every installation comes with a small back-up generator. The same company offers the CarLift, which was developed to enable customers to access their basement garages utilizing a lift rather than a ramp. Turntables can also be provided within the basement garage to allow easier access to every underground parking space. In some scenarios, a garage is more valuable to a property when converted into living space. Some choose to transform their garages into extra bedrooms, home gyms or cinemas, while they move the car underground, as it’s more cost-effective than moving to a larger house. According to the 2011 Avid Design Driver study, homeowners across Canada are increasingly interested in multi-functional spaces. “Homeowners are trying to get the biggest bang for their buck,” says Tim Bailey, president of Avid Ratings Canada. “They prefer great rooms to separate rooms. For example, formal dining rooms dropped off from a must-have for 27

per cent of homeowners to 16 per cent. Now garages are being used for storage, garden items, bicycles, snowboards, and even hosting parties.” Having just returned from the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, Bailey can attest to the trend in luxury garages. “There were so many products and services targeting the garage space,” he says. “There were lifts, many different flooring systems, storage systems, racks and more. You could set up anything from a man cave garage with games room to a NASCAR-themed garage. It all comes down to homeowners trying to use as much of their space as effectively as possible.” About 3.5 million Canadian homes have attached garages, according to a 2007 report on energy use by Natural Resources Canada, and a garage generally increases property values by approximately 64 per cent of its cost, depending on current markets. The kind of garage that suits you and your car perfectly will depend on budget, space and how you will enjoy your wheels best.


Buying Income Properties

1929 Connaught Ave., Halifax, NS

2534/2536 Windsor St., Halifax, NS

• • •

• • •

• • •

14-Bedroom Triplex List $1,399,500 (NOI) $77,000 (on gross revenue of $94,700) (CAP) Rate 5.5 %, (P/R) 14.77 (E/I) 18.7 % on operating expense of $17,700 MLS®#: 00012781

a great number of years, I’d like to touch on some specifics for your consideration, especially if you’re thinking about purchasing an income property.

Terrance Brennan CNE® 902.452.5298 www.terrancebrennan.ca terrybrennanrealestate@gmail.com

W

hile the adage “You can’t go wrong buying real estate, people have to live somewhere” is mostly true, like stock markets, there are specific tools that should be used to “hedge your bet” for a favourable outcome. As a Halifax realtor who has been involved in property development, building, renovation and maintenance for

CAPITALIZATION RATES (CAP) In determining Price to Value, most licensed industry members will look at Net Operating Income NOI (after expenses and vacancy rate deducted) versus price, to arrive at a percent of Return on Investment (ROI). However, it is important to consider other valuation tools that may support the stability of this conclusion. This is akin to hovering (say 1,000 feet) above a subject property and bringing to bear powers of market observation. PURCHASE PRICE-TO-RENT RATIO (P/R) The Price-to-Rent ratio measures the value of a property compared to the income it earns (or may earn), similar to price-to-earnings ratios for stocks. As a real estate investment tool, it is used for everything from consumer rent versus buy decisions (industry rule of thumb, under a score of 15 is typically a ‘buy’ decision) to the potential for earnings for a given property. However, like capitalization rates, there are assumptions built into the analysis. We quantify earnings but rarely qualify the cost variables (the legs) on which they stand.

• • •

9-Bedroom Triplex List $769,400 (NOI) $42,466. (on gross revenue of $54,960.) (CAP) Rate 5.5% (P/R) 14.10 (E/I) 22.7% on operating expense of $12,494 MLS®#: 00144717

EXPENSE TO INCOME RATIO (E/I) Expense to Income ratios perform the critical task of measuring upside potential or lack thereof (higher operational costs exert upward pressure on rents, resulting in higher vacancies) by examining operational costs versus income for a given property. Ultimately, how safe the ROI is depends on the percentage of income eaten up by costs and how much upward rent capacity there is to stay clear of expenses. Below 25 per cent expense to income is considered operationally efficient. In the properties for sale (shown above) I note these variables. While this analysis is simplified and proper building inspections must be done to qualify property conditions, it tells us several important things about these properties. 1) A purchase in either, should supply a stable rate (5.5 per cent) of return against the list price. 2) Income stability is based on these properties generating higher than average rents, with lower than average operating costs. Terrance Brennan (Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE®)) is a licensed industry member with Exit Real Estate Professionals.

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GRANDHAVEN ESTATES Phase 1 Now Open Photos by Bruce Jollimore

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he Grandhaven Estates sets a new standard for extraordinary living. Nestled in the charming and rapidly growing area of Clayton Park West, located on Washmill Lake Drive, Grandhaven Estates has combined tranquility and luxury with a thriving community to make your life a new adventure. This prestigious project of more than 100 luxurious modern suites per building, combines the most up-todate, state-of-the-art quality and design — offering living as it should be experienced. Grandhaven Estates is designed for every age — from retired folks to the many modern professionals whose busy schedules leave little time for running a home. A heated pool and an immaculate

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suite for entertaining friends are just two of the featured amenities. Grandhaven Estates is also just steps away from Bayers Lake Business Park, schools, medical clinics and walking trails. The one-bedroom, one-bedroom and den, two-bedroom and den, and three-bedroom suites showcase sophisticated architecture and elegant interior design. Additional comforts, including state-of-the-art appliances, all-wood flooring, exceptional finish work and panoramic views, are just standard offerings. Now, imagine yourself moving into a haven that reflects your style, desires and values! All that is missing are your

furnishings and your own personal touch to make The Grandhaven Estates your home. Please visit us during our open house, Saturdays and Sundays from 12 pm to 4 pm or call for an appointment. There are only a few suites left!


Below is a list of amenities and services available. Amenities (interior) • Spacious open concept suites • One-bedroom, one-bedroom plus den, two-bedroom, two-bedroom plus den, three-bedroom luxury suites • Four exquisite two level penthouse suites • Two high-speed passenger elevators • Back-up power electrical generator • Superior insulation • Six top-of-the line stainless steel appliances • Porcelain tile and hardwood flooring • High-end finishes • Heat, hot water included • Underground parking with private storage room • Panoramic views

Amenities (exterior) • Tennis court • Garden plots for residents

Grandhaven Residence Clubhouse

(Opening late 2015) Take full advantage of our extraordinary Residence Clubhouse. This facility will be designed to offer the ultimate entertainment, comfort and convenience right at your doorstep. • Indoor swimming pool • Full fitness facility • Cafe/bistro • Library-computer centre • Private function room • TV lounge/media room • Hair salon & spa (not included) discount for residents • Medical clinic

Additional Services • 24/7 Camera surveillance • On-site management

Cosmos Properties and Developments 80 Camelot Lane, Halifax Office: 902.457.5375 Cell: 902.830.2715 Cell: 902.830.3548 Fax: 902.445.9648 www.cosmosproperties.ca

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RE/MAX nova

PROFILE

TOP reAlTor

Jonathan Ladha Find YourselF a Top real esTaTe proFessional The best way to gauge a person’s success is the lasting impression they leave on people. A professional real estate agent makes most of their income from referrals of past clients, especially in a small city like Halifax, so it’s extremely important in this industry to form positive relationships. It is the attention to detail that makes clients happy and a REALTOR® successful. With a thorough process and positive relationship, the results take care of themselves. It can be a risky business to work for hundreds of hours before receiving any income, but I can tell you that no matter how long a transaction takes, and no matter how big or small the deal may be, it’s all worth it when I see how happy people get when their house closes. I can only imagine how happy they are when the mortgage is finally paid off!

JonaThan ladha RE/MAX nova 902.233.7059 www.remaxnova.ca

How do you find that top real estate professional? Consider casually interviewing a few. It’s most important to gauge their character, energy and work ethic. You want somebody who is doing market research while you sleep, has an aggressive marketing plan, checks new listings more than three times per day and brings you that perfect offer you’ve been waiting for. Find yourself a top real estate professional and you’ll also find most of the work you did for your sale or purchase is searching for the best agent.

on The MarKeT 382 Purcell’s cove rd. $4,750,000

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Listing Agent Rick Foster


KW Select Realty

PROFILE

TOP reaLtor

Jerry & Annette Murphy’s Team Jerry and Annette Murphy and their team have been selling homes in the Halifax area since the late 1980s. Their experience, integrity and honesty have earned them numerous awards and the trust and loyalty of their clients and coworkers. Keller Williams Select Realty is home to Jerry, Annette, Melissa, and their full-time assistant, Erin. Melissa Geddes joined the team in 2012; she recently received her Managing Associate Broker’s license, adding to the team’s commitment of education to be the best they can be.

Melissa Geddes, Jerry Murphy & annette Murphy Keller Williams Select Realty 222 Waterfront Drive, Suite 106 Bedford 902.456.3730 murphys@kwhalifax.com www.jerryandannettemurphy.ca

The team prides itself on reliability, accessibility and attention to detail. Their love of the area, and ability to match clients with the perfect home, has resulted in their continued success. Their knowledge, experience and high level of skill make the process of selling or buying homes a pleasant experience.

Not intended to solicit any person currently under contract

On the MarKet 267 Briancrest rd., Windsor Junction Executive bungalow on 1.4-acre lot MLS #41151176 $749,900

Lot FV04 FLeetVieW ciVic #91 driVe, HaLiFax Brand new with heat pump MLS #41364274 $498,000

16 GLenmorren court, FaLL riVer

11 WortHinGton PLace, BedFord

Two-storey with 175` of waterfrontage on Third Lake

Pristine property located in the Shaughnessy area of the Ravines

MLS #40676546

MLS # 41243148

$749,900

$794,500

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Exploring the World’s Most

BEAUTIFUL CONDOS By Trina Annand Photos Courtesy of Evan Joseph - Urban Compass, Southerby’s International Realty and Harrods Estates

Condominium living can combine the best of both worlds — opulent luxury and a zero maintenance lifestyle. In this article, Fine Lifestyles takes you on a tour of some of the most luxurious and beautiful condos around the world.

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200 11th Avenue, Unit 6N, New York 2,391 square feet $9.7 million

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nown for some of the most expensive real estate in the world, Manhattan is home to an exceptional three-bedroom, three-anda-half-bath home designed by the Selldorf Architects, a star in the West Chelsea architectural renaissance. The building’s most famous feature is its ensuite sky Garage — a garage located alongside the home that houses a car transported via elevator to the front door. The building’s multi-dimensional stainless steel and terra cotta façade hints at the modernist designs within. The condo itself features 23-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling windows that flood the space with light and provide stunning views of the Hudson River and Chelsea Cove Park, as well as the New York City skyline. Rich teak floors accent the entire suite and are paired with crisp white walls and striking black trim, allowing the view to take centre stage. Tucked away like a hidden jewel, a custom designed stainless steel and teak kitchen with sleek stone countertops awaits the true epicurean.

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Bremen 28203, Germany 8,072 square feet $13.5 million Those looking for a true taste of historic charm need look no further than Bremen — located 80 kilometres south west of Hamburg — to Frerichs’ Villa by the great German architect Johan Poppe. Noted as one of the most beautiful sights in Bremen, the building was created in the late 19th century. The mansion was not damaged during the war and was last renovated in the 1990s. Previously used as office space, the villa provides a unique opportunity to combine a business and living arrangement for the business mogul looking for the royal treatment. All rooms on the ground level are abundantly decorated with early 20th Century wood panels. Every inch of the space exudes the elegance and pomp of days gone by — the doors, fireplaces, ceiling murals, etc. have retained their original beauty and character. The ceiling decorations, floors and walls have been fully preserved to museum standard so they will last another century. Each floor is ready for new owners to put their personal stamp with furnishings, to make the most of the beauty of the rooms and the views of the river and city. A true entertainer’s space, the vast rooms and lower level catering quality kitchen are perfect for gatherings both large and small.

Hans Road SW3 Knightsbridge, London 3,728 square feet $21 million A unique opportunity awaits the savvy buyer in Knightsbridge, London. Harrod’s Luxury Real Estate is offering an expansive flat on the fourth floor of the elegant Hans Court building — just across the street from the luxury retailer. The flat on the fourth floor allows a true taste of London, close to Hyde Park and all the bustle of being downtown with onsite security and porters. With five bedrooms and six baths, this space has been meticulously refurbished to the highest standards. With an ensuite bath for each bedroom, guests and children are afforded the privacy they deserve. Each room is fitted with custom millwork and seamlessly built-in storage, a must for modern lifestyles. Providing the perfect combination of traditional and modern aesthetics, the home features three large reception rooms, perfect for entertaining, a sleek reflective minimalist kitchen and ornately designed parquet flooring.

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Valor Windsor Arch Gas Fireplace

www.valorďŹ replaces.com

No Power, No Problem During the next power outage ensure your family stays warm with the dependable, radiant heat of a Valor gas fireplace. By zone heating a specific space in your home, you create a central area for the family to remain warm, safe and comfortable. Valor fireplaces are fully functional heaters that don't use electricity. Our products provide efficient warmth, designed to heat your home without a fan or power supply. Engineered to circulate air through natural convection, Valor fireplaces are highly efficient without a fan - providing reliable heat, even during a power failure.

HERITAGE HEARTH

124 Chain Lake Drive, Bayers Lake Park

Where Warm Traditions Begin!

902.454.9512

PRODUC T S L I M I T E D

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A Treasure Trove of

Times Past By Tonya Lambert

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he late actor Broderick Crawford once said, “I collect antiques. Why? Because they’re beautiful.” This is a great rule of thumb to follow when making any major purchase. To be classified as an antique, a piece of furniture must be more than 100 years old. Well-made furniture that is over 40 years of age may be termed ‘vintage’ or ‘retro.’ Some dealers have taken to calling mid-20th century furniture ‘modern antique’ in the hopes that the use of the word ‘antique’ will add to its value — and indeed some such furniture is worth a great deal. For example, a 1949 Chieftain armchair by Danish designer Finn Juhl sold at auction in 2013 for $780,000! Just like with everything else, antique furniture styles are subject to the whims of fashion. The value of a particular piece is determined in part by how fashionable it currently is. Nonetheless, the very fact that a piece of well-made furniture is old will help it to retain its value and generally as its age increases, so too will its worth. The television program Antiques Roadshow, which launched in Britain in 1979 and the U.S. in 1997, and the long list of spin-offs that it has spawned, are largely responsible for the current popularity of antiques collecting. Everyone is hoping to make a big find — whether in grandma’s attic, the local flea market or an antiques store. Not only would such a find help to pay off your mortgage, it would also be a favourite story at parties for years to come.

If you are considering buying some antique furniture, learn about the various furniture styles in the area you are shopping. This will include key stylistic elements as well as popular wood types and methods of construction. You cannot date a piece based on style alone, since popular styles as well as the works of well-known designers will have been copied by subsequent furniture makers over the years. However, if the style, construction materials and craftsmanship all indicate a specific period, the piece is likely a genuine antique. Documentation regarding the provenance of a piece will help you to insure it and to re-sell it later, if you so choose. While unlikely, it is possible for a piece of antique furniture to decrease in financial value. However, if you purchase a piece that also provides you with great pleasure, its aesthetic value will not decrease during your lifetime.

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Let Us BRIGHTEN YOUR HOME

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estled in the heart of Wolfville, is a true gem. You can’t help but notice the eye-catching window displays that are the talk of the town. Upon entering Atlantic Lighting Studio, you quickly realize this is not your usual lighting showroom.

“The technology and innovations are constantly changing and we stay on top by continually updating our training. We use our knowledge to guide clients toward the right decisions.” says Chris MacQuarrie, owner and founder of Atlantic Lighting Studio.

The uncluttered space is open and engaging. Displays invite exploration and the friendly professionals encourage clients to experience lighting effects and techniques. The selection of fixtures offer a wide range of styles and price points — a welcome change from the ordinary.

Lighting can create warmth and welcome a person into a space. It can illuminate a task, where it’s needed, and it can set a mood. Done poorly, it can cause us to dislike a space we would otherwise normally enjoy.

After 20 years in the lighting industry, MacQuarrie is still as passionate about lighting today as she was when she opened her showroom 13 years ago. “Being able to light someone’s home — taking into consideration their visual requirements, lifestyle and dreams — is extremely rewarding!” says MacQuarrie.

The lighting in our homes has a big impact on functionality, ambience, comfort and look. Lighting designers are able to turn a vision into a reality. Atlantic

Deborah Nicholson, the artist behind the window displays, is an ALA certified Lighting Specialist and accredited interior decorator. Her passion for client care and

Once you begin speaking with one of the team members, you realize how much there is to know about lighting.

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Lighting Studio is the only Canadian lighting showroom east of Winnipeg to boast a Certified Lighting Consultant, a designation earned through the American Lighting Association (ALA).


TESTIMONIALS “Without your fantastic contribution to our electric illumination, we could not have created such wonderfully warm and beautiful spaces.” – Tony “The placement of lighting throughout is nothing short of brilliant. We have great task lighting, as well as wonderful ambient light. Lighting in most homes is just ‘there.’ Visitors to our home are always so impressed with our fixtures and the quality of light we have.” – Tia

lighting design becomes apparent as she attentively absorbs every aspect of your project. She then pulls together a creative plan that meets technical and aesthetic challenges, while keeping to a client’s budget and vision. The atmosphere at Atlantic Lighting Studio is welcoming. The team is friendly and honest and they care about each client’s project no matter the size. Whether you’re planning your dream home or simply eager to improve your task lighting, you will be treated to good old-fashioned customer service with a sound knowledge base to back it up. It’s these qualities that draw clients from all over the Maritimes and beyond. Atlantic Lighting Studio 430 Main St., Wolfville 902-542-3431 Atlanticlightingstudio.com

L-R Chris MacQuarrie, Deborah Nicholson

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No Need to Compromise with Opal Interiors

Photos courtesy of Opal Interiors

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here is one question that clients usually ask Tracy Cameron, owner and operator of Opal Interiors, at their initial consultation: “Can I have a really beautiful space that is still practical and comfortable?” The answer is, “Absolutely.” Cameron says there is no need to have the beauty of a room compromised in order to have a comfortable and functional space. “Many times I have heard, ‘I have wasted so much time and money on making purchases only to realize I still cannot get the look I am trying to achieve,’ or ‘It is just not the right piece for our family,’” she says.

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Working with Cameron at Opal Interiors from the beginning of your project can save you money in the long-term. You know the choices being made are going to reflect your wants and needs, and will work harmoniously to create a flow throughout the home. Whether your project is a decorative renovation for one or two rooms, or a new home construction with many huge decisions to be made — such as flooring, countertops, cabinets, paint colours etc. — you can be assured your decisions will be the right ones when working with Opal Interiors.

OPAL INTERIORS OFFERS A VARIETY OF SERVICES, INCLUDING: • Colour consultation and colour scheme development • Product sourcing and shopping services • Lighting, flooring, artwork and furniture selection and placement • Custom bedding • Custom hard and soft window coverings, including installation • Custom rugs • Project management of sub-trades


For a long time, we wanted to update the look of our living room but struggled with where to even begin. We liked what we saw on the Opal Interiors website and decided to give Tracy Cameron a call. During the first consultation, Tracy listened to our ideas, developed an understanding of our style, and made creative suggestions that fit within our budget. Her design concept introduced a fresh and updated style to the space, while keeping the functionality of a busy family area. Tracy proved to be dependable, realistic, and demonstrated the high standard of product quality and customer service we were looking for. I am confident we will call Tracy when it’s time to start planning our next project. — Heather P., Opal Interiors client

AFTER

Opal Interiors 125 Brighton Ave. Stillwater Lake 902.221.5439 opalinteriors@ns.sympatico.ca www.opalinteriors.ca

BEFORE Tracy Cameron (owner/operator)

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SOAKING IN LUXURY By Katrina Geenevasen

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hen an everyday shower simply won’t do, revel in the glory of a sprinkling that boasts a little something extra. Modern, well-appointed bathrooms often boast steam showers — they’re the perfect way to dissolve stress and ease your aches and pains. A vaporous heaven, many of today’s steam showers

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have the added benefit of scented steam. Imagine reclining on the bench of your steam shower while the tranquil scent of eucalyptus fills the air. An added benefit? Steam showers are considered an environmentally-friendly option, since they require very little water. Sounds like a good excuse to indulge.


are the ultimate indulgence. Chicago-based company Lavaka has released a waterfall showerhead that combines luxury and class with their Waterblade model. Priced around $1,200, this artistically-designed faucet is a must-have for a true luxury showering experience. The most extravagant type of showerhead, however, is the multi-spray shower system — also known as a “shower tower.” With a fixed showerhead and additional wall jets, they are the ultimate in luxury, costing anywhere from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Canada’s Hudson Reed has developed the Guise Concealed Thermostatic Shower Panel. This thermostatic shower panel incorporates three round body jets, a fixed showerhead and a shower handset. Jets installed in the walls of the shower can make showering an even more beneficial experience; they mimic the pleasures of a full-body massage in the comfort of your own home. Lighting is equally important — after all, harsh fluorescent light makes it difficult to relax. Chromotherapy, which is the use of coloured lights in your bath or shower, create a soothing shower experience. White light clarifies the mind, while magenta reduces anxiety. Need a more serene shower? Opt for turquoise.

When your steam shower is complete, indulge yourself by standing beneath the cascade of a luxury showerhead. Completely customizable, there are a wide range of options to consider. Do you prefer the classic wall-mounted look or the decadence of a rainfall showerhead? Those who opt for the rainfall shower may want to consider the Hansgrohe Raindance E 240 AIR 1-Jet Showerhead. Featuring more than 140 spray channels, the wide and soft stream of water perfectly mimics actual rain. If you’re switching from a traditional showerhead to a rainfall showerhead, get an addition for the pipe that comes out of your wall — this will allow the water to fall directly on your head, which is exactly what you want for the full effect. If you want to go a step further, consider a waterfall showerhead. Mimicking the wide flow of water that comes from a waterfall, these showerheads

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ABOVE The Le Cob Glass Bathtub. Made of glass, acrylic and metal, this uniquely stunning tub bends to your body for a perfectly relaxing bathing experience.

DREAM TUBS At the end of a long day, there’s nothing like pouring a glass of wine and letting the warm water of a bath soothe your aching back and shoulders. While lighting a few candles and opening a book or magazine is one way to unwind, today’s bathtub manufacturers take bathing to a whole new level. A fully loaded piece of art, the Royal A-512 Massage Bathtub feature both air and water jet massage. Its spray nozzles are based on human acupuncture points — this allows users to benefit from hydromassage. Meanwhile, underwater chromotherapy lighting enhances the overall relaxation. For tech lovers, note the bathtub features a multifunction handheld showerhead, computerized control panel, FM radio and external CD/Stereo hookups. There’s also a waterproof LCD monitor with remote so you don’t need to miss a moment of your favourite TV show.

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If you live by the motto, “Diamonds are a girl’s best friend,” you might want to check out designer Lori Garner’s Diamond Bathtub. Showcasing nearly 50,000 sparkling Swarovski crystals, bathing will never be the same. If you favour something a little more minimalist in your sumptuous bathroom, the Le Cob Glass Bathtub, which retails for $34,000, might be more your style. Made of glass, acrylic and metal, this uniquely stunning tub bends to your body for a perfectly relaxing bathing experience. A bed of pebbles below the tub adds to your luxurious bath time ritual. Whatever you choose, just remember bath time should not always be a utilitarian activity; it should transport you to a world of bliss.


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In an ideal world, the kitchen is a beautiful, relaxing space with sparkling surfaces where meals and beverages are created at leisure. In the real world, it is a bustling hub of people and meal preparations are squeezed into busy schedules — but it can still be a beautiful space to enjoy.

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reating a dream kitchen often means finding the perfect marriage of function and style. Two elements speak to this kitchen design balance: cabinetry and backsplashes. Cabinetry can be fashionable, and today’s drawers, cupboards and pantries create a space that is easy to use and easy to clean. Designed to resist moisture and other residues, backsplashes can also reflect a homeowner’s taste and style.

IT’S WHAT’S ON THE INSIDE THAT COUNTS When it comes to cabinetry, trends are leaning toward simple designs and appearances — but only on the outside, explains Fran Underwood, a Canadian interior designer and past president of the Interior Designers of Canada and the Interior Designers of Nova Scotia. “For the cabinets themselves, there has been a complete shift over the years toward very plain and simple designs,” says Underwood. “Even in the hardware, people prefer finger pulls or grooves to handles and knobs.” The number of kitchen cabinets is decreasing, replaced by the favourable drawers that make accessing stored items faster and simpler, she says. “People want to be able to do the things they do in the kitchen as easily as possible.” It takes far more steps to get an ingredient, item or appliance out of a cabinet than it does to open a drawer and grab it, she explains. To access and use the multiple appliances we all want — but don’t want cluttering our countertops — many people are reviving the concept of an “appliance garage,” and they’re doing so in a 21st century manner, Underwood explains. “It’s so common to have a blender, a stand mixer, a toaster… and all kinds of different beverage machines,” she says. “So something a lot of people like to do is have these items in places where they are accessible, but also usable. You don’t have to get the appliance out, put it on your counter and plug it in; you just open a door or drawer, and there it is, ready to use! It is definitely still simple, with plain, clean lines, but when you get inside the cabinets and drawers, it’s all the bells and whistles you can possibly find and afford to make using your kitchen easy.”

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A BACKSPLASH OF COLOUR While neutral, natural, monochromatic tones and shades of white, black and grey seem to remain the favoured colour themes in kitchens, Underwood says she is starting to see pops and splashes of colour making their way back into the most used room in the home. “I just did a kitchen where the cabinets were all a dark grey, sort of like a weathered wood colour, and the countertop was white granite… and I did the walls orange!” she says excitedly. “The client loved it.” Backsplashes have gained a lot of attention over the past decade, with seemingly endless styles and types of glass, stone and ceramic tile. While neutral colours and tones remain quite popular, many are starting to find the multi-tone or patterned

mosaic styles too fussy in appearance, Underwood says. Today’s kitchens are all about clean lines and simplicity, and clients tend to favour grey-scale or natural colours and shades. A nice way to create a continuity of the streamlined kitchen design, suggests Underwood, is to have tiles placed in a straight lay as opposed to a brick lay. “People seem to always think tile needs to be laid in a brick lay pattern, but it doesn’t,” she says. “Often when I show someone straight lay tiles, they really love it, and they much prefer it… with tile, and especially mosaic tile… it’s just too busy.” With today’s user-friendly, efficient and fashionable cabinetry and backsplashes, you have all the ingredients for a dream kitchen. All you need to add is imagination.

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A One-Stop Shop for

Stone, Tiles & More By Melanie Furlong Photos Bruce Jollimore

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t took millions of years for the Earth to create the magnificent beauty of stone. And when you bring it into your home, that beauty will be yours for a lifetime. Natural stone can be used in an endless array of options. Use onyx to create stunning dining tables, feature walls and even place it in windows where its

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translucence takes on the appearance of stained glass. Consider granite — in a myriad of colours — for kitchens, vanities and fireplace mantels. Marble countertops, back-splashes and showers add luxury and style to any home.

apartment and condominium complexes. Years ago, he began importing different stones from Europe to use in his projects. “I found that very interesting,” says Giannoulis. “I liked it so much it became almost like a hobby.”

Property developer Peter Giannoulis discovered his passion for natural stone products through his work building

It’s a hobby that homeowners throughout Halifax and the Atlantic provinces came to appreciate quickly. This spring, his


European Stone & Marble showroom will expand with a move from 155 Chain Lake Drive to 130 Chain Lake Drive, under the new name: The Art of Stone. Giannoulis purchased the lot where the 20,000-square-foot showroom and workshop is currently underway. “We’re going to have a unique set up,” he says. “We’re going to sell fabricated granite, marble, onyx, soapstone and other stones too, which we will also install.” Beautiful porcelain tiles from Spain and Italy will be on hand, as well as tiles in marble, granite, slate, travertine, quartz and onyx. A variety of stone vanity styles made in onyx, granite, marble and engineered stone will be fabricated

for display in store and ready to install. Stone sinks and vessels, made onsite, will also be available. Custom-made stone sculptures for home or garden can be ordered. The showroom will also have woodworking specialists available to build and consult on all styles of kitchen cabinetry for your project. If you’re having trouble deciding what style and materials would look best in your home, The Art of Stone’s on-staff interior decorator will be happy to give complimentary consultations. Bring in photos, paint chips and fabric samples and discover which stone suits your decor.

“Our store will have a huge selection of colours and high-quality products,” says Giannoulis, “as well as the professionals and craftsmen to select, fabricate and install exactly what you need. We’ll also have great service.” Let your home make a lasting, elegant impression with versatile European stone.

The Art of Stone 130 Chain Lake Drive Halifax, NS 902.406.7338 Open 7 days a week 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

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Portland Custom Millwork: With You Every Step of the Way By Tonya Lambert Photos courtesy of Portland Custom Millwork

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t’s time for a new kitchen or bathroom. This decision can evoke feelings of great excitement, anticipation and anxiety — so much can happen between now and the completion of the project! Whether you are undertaking renovations on your home or doing a new build, it can be a thrilling task with spectacular results or a seemingly never-ending nightmare with a disappointing outcome. What determines

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the type of experience you have is the project manager you choose to hire. With Portland Custom Millwork, you can rest assured knowing you are in good hands. Walking into a Portland room, you will be immediately struck by the superior craftsmanship, as well as the functional yet fashionable design. With their combined experience of more than 25 years, PCM has assembled

a network of top-quality plumbing, electrical and flooring subcontractors who, together with Portland’s designers and cabinetmakers, will construct your dream kitchen or bathroom on time and on budget. First, your PCM designer will visit your home to meet with you and take measurements. After getting a good sense of your needs and wants, as well


One-Stop Shop Portland Custom Millwork offers complete kitchen renovations, including design and demolition. They supply and co-ordinate the installation of electrical, plumbing, flooring and cabinetry. They also offer a wide range of custom cabinetry and millwork. as determining your budget, the designer will put together a 3D rendering of the proposed design. You can make alterations at this time at no extra cost. If you like, the designer will tape out the outlines of the design on the floor to give you a better sense of the dimensions and flow. Once you are happy with the design, PCM will put together a construction timeline, ensuring all the work is done in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

There is no need for you to hunt around for subcontractors; with PCM, one call does it all. Owner Dana Wright will keep you informed on how things are progressing, and will ensure everything is kept neat and tidy. “We hired Dana Wright and Portland Custom Millwork to design and build our new kitchen,” says client Heidi Stevenson. “It was a complete renovation — flooring, cabinets, appliances, everything. It took about a month to do and Dana always let us know what to expect so we could plan accordingly. It was a fantastic experience. The crew from Portland Custom Millwork and their subcontractors were very professional and Portland was bang on target with their estimate.” Portland Custom Millwork also designs and constructs unique walk-in closets, hallways and rec rooms. They will build you a walk-in closet complete with ideal fixtures for organizing your wardrobe in a convenient and easy-to-access manner.

Portland Custom Millwork does commercial cabinetry as well as residential. They build service counters, reception desks and display cases customized to fit your office space. PCM’s sleek lines and smooth finishes perfectly complement any business. Whatever your renovation or new build needs, Portland Custom Millwork is the place to go for dependable service, innovative design and exceptional craftsmanship. PCM manages projects of all sizes in the same efficient and effective manner. There really are no limits to what Portland Custom Millwork can do for you. If you can dream it, they can build it! Portland Custom Millwork Suite 103 101 Thornhill Dr. Dartmouth, NS 902.405.4660 Fax: 902.405.4661 info@pcmltd.ca www.pcmltd.ca

ABOVE Dana Wright

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A Well Designed Kitchen is Like a Well Made Tool:

A Pleasure to Use... Time after Time

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he big question for most people considering a new kitchen or bathroom is, “Where do I start?” Whether you are building or renovating, Cabinetworks suggests that a visit to their showroom is a good way to break the ice. The experienced staff will introduce you to the construction methods, materials and hardware used to build beautiful cabinets. They will also show you a myriad of space-saving and easy-to-use accessories. Cabinetworks produces kitchens locally from its shop in Burnside, which includes a spacious 3,000-squarefoot showroom. “Our aim is to deliver customer satisfaction by meeting or

exceeding expectations,” says founder Glen MacDonald. “Being fronted by the showroom makes it easy to create continuity between design and production. All facets of the job from concept to installation are accomplished in-house, which allows us to keep tight control over the entire process.” Nina Boulanger, Cabinetworks’ resident designer, is an accredited interior decorator and can give complementary advice on aesthetics, colour selection and layout. “Most of our customers are looking for cabinetry that will stand the test of time,” says Boulanger. “They come for the quality, service and expertise that we offer.” ABOVE Norm Patey, Nina Boulanger, Michael Garden and Glen MacDonald

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“Without your guidance, patience and knowledge we couldn’t have dreamed we would be this happy with our new kitchen.” – Homeowner

New homebuilders can bring in their house plans and Cabinetworks will begin sharing ideas, working on design and pricing right away. For those who are renovating, Cabinetworks will pay a complimentary visit to the home to obtain measurements and get input from the homeowner. Work can then begin on the design. If walls need to be moved or tradespeople required, Cabinetworks can recommend contractors or interior designers, depending on the scope of the renovation. Cabinetworks has invested in technologically advanced equipment that helps make better cabinetry at competitive, affordable prices. “We combine new world ideas with old world traditions to make sturdy kitchens of optimal functionality,” says MacDonald. Keeping on top of the latest trends is important in designing a kitchen as well.

“Aging in place is a high priority in new homes these days, especially for aging baby boomers. It is also an important consideration in renovations,” says Boulanger. Trends, overall, are fewer upper wall cabinets, or using drop down accessories to access higher cabinets. Base cabinets are now used to hold dinner plates, for example, to minimize lifting heavy items from above.

Awards and accomplishments garnered by Cabinetworks:

Boulanger advises dropping into the showroom and taking time to browse around and see what is “now” in kitchens.

Cabinetworks 75 Akerley Blvd Dartmouth 902.468.8118 www.cabinetworks.ca

“Best of the Best” from Fine Lifestyles

“Quality Assured” rigorous testing designation from the Canadian Kitchen Cabinet Association

“A+” rating from the Better Business Bureau

“Best Renovation of the Year” (2012) Peter Kohler Peak Award

Industry Supporter of the Year” (2011) Peter Kohler Peak Award

Member of the Nova Scotia Homebuilders’ Association

Supporter of the Nova Scotia Homebuilders Care Program

Member of the Nova Scotia Interior Decorators Association

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AFTER

Turning Your Tired Kitchen Into

A MODERN MASTERPIECE By Trina Annand Photos by Bruce Jollimore and courtesy of Think Kitchens

U

nless you have a brand new kitchen, you have likely considered renovating at some time or another. As the hub of the home, kitchen renovations can be stressful and disruptive, as well as costly. What some people don’t necessarily realize is it’s not always necessary to completely gut the space to get a dream kitchen. This is why it’s important to work with a professional,

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and why Allan and Cheryl Murray chose to work with Think Kitchens. “It’s surprising what a few small changes can do for a space. Our kitchen is the centrepiece of our home now,” says Allan Murray. Offering custom kitchen renovations and refinishing, Think Kitchens has the expertise to completely change the look of a kitchen in as little as four days.

Many people love the idea of a high-end custom kitchen, but there are a number of reasons why it’s not feasible — from a small budget, to not wanting to waste money by creating a dream kitchen in a transitional home. “When there is nothing wrong with your cabinets, but it is time for a change, refinishing is the perfect solution,” says Melanie Irvine of Think Kitchens. “You can continually update them as your tastes change. Refinishing


New Kitchen Highlights • Refinished cabinetry (painted chantilly lace) • New granite countertop (mocha gray), also new undermount sink • New glass tile backsplash • Raised cabinet over stove to fix over-the-range microwave • Raised cabinet over the fridge to accommodate new larger s/s fridge • Removed appliance garage in corner • Added new large crown moulding • Added new light valance • All new hardware • Turned the microwave shelf into a wine rack

AFTER

BEFORE helps you stretch your budget much further than a traditional custom kitchen renovation, you can save as much as 70 per cent.” By saving money on cabinetry, homeowners are able to get those special touches that make a kitchen unique, such as natural stone countertops and beautiful hardware, which help create a feeling of luxury. Reusing existing cabinetry is also environmentally friendly, saving waste from landfills. Recycling doesn’t mean homeowners won’t get the pristine kitchen they desire — by using a professional spray booth the expert Think Kitchens staff makes cabinetry look like new. “People often don’t realize the difference between a spray finish and

BEFORE a hand-brushed finish. There are a lot of do-it-yourself products out there that don’t have the quality or durability that kitchens need. At Think Kitchens, we take the time to prepare cabinets — repairing, sanding, priming — it really makes a difference in the finished product and ensures your cabinets last,” says Irvine. Working with a company that has on-staff experts in design, carpentry, refinishing and installation ensures clients get the best possible service and solutions for their space. When maximizing a kitchen, refreshing creativity is key. “Melanie and her team are very good at their jobs, they really know their stuff,” says Murray. “Melanie came up with so many options to make our kitchen look

brand new; such as the wine rack, raising some of our cabinets and changing the trim.” For the team at Think Kitchens, having a happy customer is the biggest reward. “It’s really exciting to see how quickly refinishing can transform a space. All homeowners need to remember is there is no wrong way to get the kitchen you love, whether it’s a complete custom kitchen or a refinishing and reconfiguring. It’s all about what works for you and your budget,” says Irvine. Think Kitchens 187 Bluewater Road, Bedford 902.830.6660 melanie@thinkkitchens.ca www.thinkkitchens.ca

ABOVE Melanie Irvine

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F R OM HO M E TO

D R E A M H OME 1 By Fran Underwood

These six points are tips for saving time, money, effort and angst during the home renovation process.

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Consider How Long You Will Live There

The decision of what to tackle first or how far to go with a renovation should be based on the length of time you plan to stay in the house. • If you plan to live there more than 10 years, do the big stuff. Don’t wait until year nine. If you can afford it, tackle structural repairs and system efficiencies first, then do everything you want to make the space your own. If the structure is sound, go ahead and renovate the kitchen or bath or create a home theatre. Doing projects early means you can enjoy your house with spaces that work for you.


• If you’ll be there five to 10 years, do any major repair work first — replace roof shingles, install new gutters, add a basement entrance or perhaps a window. You can even open up a wall to create a great room, ensuite or more storage. Address heating comfort and efficiencies that have payback in five years or less. Unless the kitchen and baths are in desperate shape, stop short of gutting and re-doing all of them. Maybe just add an ensuite or powder room. The point of is to do what works for the way you live, based on your budget and the payback time. • If the location is temporary for one to five years, do basic repairs and maintenance to hold the value of the property. You can change knobs, light fixtures or replace worn finish materials such as carpet and window coverings. Even one to two years is long enough to justify repainting to your choice of colours. Along with length of stay, consider building age, condition and previous work. Lifespan and payback of the work you do are key to adding value to the property, but more importantly, to enhancing your lifestyle.

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2

A Realistic Budget Research costs rather than guessing how much to set aside. Basic renovation estimates from the late ’90s of $7,000 for a bathroom and $12,000 for a kitchen have at least doubled by 2015. Also, be sure you plan for 15 to 20 per cent extra, plus tax on everything. It would be helpful to try to establish a high and low range that fits your project and pocket book. Compare costs of different ways to achieve a goal. For example, compare the cost of replacing closet doors that are layers deep in paint versus painting them one more time.

3

The best way to get realistic estimates is to have design drawings done for a contractor to price. Being prepared builds in a cushion for product delivery as well as careful consideration when choosing the right builder.

Who Says? Base decisions on your situation, not someone else’s position, opinion or story. The two worst reasons for deciding something are: • Problem solving • “I heard it’s the most popular thing to do.”

• Different products and procedures

• “I saw it on TV” or “I saw it on the Internet.”

• Colour theory

One is just another sales pitch; the other is usually written as fiction.

4 5

Likes & Dislikes For decorative style, colour likes and dislikes, your first impression is often the best. When a designer translates your requirements into options you can choose from you should go with your gut, because everything else is “second guessing.”

Trust Your Designer Many decisions have to be made long before you get to paint colours. When family consensus isn’t working, your interior designer can guide you through the process.

• Space planning and lay-out options

6

Time & Trouble Early in the planning stage, think of the life disruption a renovation can cause. Be prepared by considering: • The time of year the work can/will be done. • Your lifestyle and work, school, travel schedules, etc. • Hiring your designer as project manager so you can keep doing your day job. • Staying somewhere else or taking a trip while the work is ongoing; people can work faster if they don’t have to clean up for you to live there at 4:30 p.m. every day. • Services (power, water, heat, etc.) will be disrupted. • Murphy’s Law applies 110 per cent in almost all renovation work. Fran Underwood is the past president of Interior Designers of Nova Scotia and is a senior interior designer at Underwood & Moore Interior Designers (www.uandm.ca)

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Building the Future. Restoring the Past. BEFORE

AFTER

Shane Clements

www.jlclements.com | 902.403.5009 | jlclements@eastlink.ca


You Design It, We Build It By Trina Annand Photos Bruce Jollimore

A

lthough there are a myriad of choices to make when building or renovating, it’s often the finishing touches, quality of workmanship and materials that make the largest impact and lasting impression. Custom fine millwork involves more than trims and doors. Modern craftspeople are called upon to make any item imaginable out of wood, and a new generation is discovering the material’s versatility and value. With more than 50 years of combined experience, the experts at Southview Millwork Ltd. can take on any

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job, from the smallest residential work to large-scale commercial projects. With a small, dedicated staff of craftsmen, Southview Millwork uses the highest standards of quality and care to offer their clients the best products every day. “The best costs a little more, but we would rather explain our quality than explain its absence to our clients,” says Dave Ness, general manager. Custom millwork is the finishing touch to a space — providing a unique experience to visitors, whether it’s a custom trim package, a home theatre or an entire suite of office furniture.

“Anyone can go to a big box store and get something off a shelf where there are dozens more just like it. If you’re looking for quality and out-of-the-box ideas, it’s important to go to the right business,” says Jessica Warner, office administrator at Southview Millwork. “At Southview Millwork, we take the clients’ needs and ideas into account to create truly one-of-a-kind items.” From reception furniture and school science labs, to custom staircases and bars, the only limit to Southview Millwork’s creativity is the client’s imagination. “Every space and client is


unique and they all deserve a high-quality solution for their needs. Custom millwork allows people to truly express their style and have a product that will last for generations,” says Ness.

tables. “We have the skills and the tools to build things you simply can’t find anywhere else. We’re truly passionate about what we do and every day presents new challenges and triumphs,” says Warner.

With a slightly higher initial investment, clients are able to see a much better return in quality and durability in custom millwork. Southview Millwork has handled large-scale projects, such as an outdoor dining table that seats 25, a reception desk that serves as home base for 10, and they completely outfitted a science lab with everything from storage cabinetry to lab

The customer is always first when it comes to custom millwork, says Ness. Their vision gives life to every project. “We are not satisfied until you’re satisfied. Your dreams are our abilities and we specialize in making them come true,” he says. With highly skilled employees, the best materials and a dedication to their work, Southview Millwork is the ultimate

in quality and luxury for every space. Whether a client’s taste is ultramodern, traditional, rustic or utilitarian, Southview Millwork can take a boring room and make it an extraordinary space.

Southview Millwork Ltd. 30 Simmonds Dr., Dartmouth 902.468.3818 southviewmillwork.ca

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Transform Your space By Melanie Furlong

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W

Maurice Meagher, owner of Case Design/Remodeling and Archadeck

hether your home needs a functional change to accommodate your lifestyle or an update to better suit your home’s look, Case Design/Remodeling can offer you a turnkey solution. Case Design/Remodeling is a full-service remodeling and renovation company with a focus on kitchens, bathrooms, additions and whole house renovations. Case’s experienced team is comprised of designers, architects, builders, project managers and skilled trades people. Client Karen McKay says her kitchen renovation was as quick and painless as it could be. “I really liked the design process that Case helped me with,” says McKay. “They understood what I was looking for and made it easy and fun. They drew up a schedule and then stuck to it. The guys were all very respectful and understood that I was living with kids and cats and no kitchen while all this was going on.” Case Design owner Maurice Meagher, who also owns Archadeck, has been remodelling homes for nearly 13 years. He has been part of the Case Design franchise, founded in 1961, for six years. “We really leverage the company’s experience, knowledge base, training, processes and systems in every part of the business: design, construction and project management,” says Meagher. The company is clear on project details, providing both solid contractual agreements and project schedules, so clients can expect a well-organized and well-managed experience. During the first home visit, Meagher gets an idea of what clients are hoping to do functionally, their

preferred style and look, as well as their timeline and budget. Next, Case designers will work on proposing solutions for them, even creating photo-real full colour renderings of the designs to bring them to life. Designers take clients through the complete process, to finishing touches such as faucets, a lighting plan, cabinetry selection, tile colours, paint chips and more. “Once they decide which direction they want to go with the project, we provide managed construction that includes all trades work like plumbing and electrical as well as project management, permits and inspections to bring the job to completion,” he says. Client Peggy Carmichael says she appreciated the respectful and professional workers who cleaned up after themselves at the end of each day while working in her home. “The work was completed on time and progress updates were given,” Carmichael says. “The designer helped me pick out the product and colours to co-ordinate with my flooring and to stay within my budget. I am very happy with the results.” The dramatic impact and difference these projects make to the clients’ homes and lifestyles, in a relatively short period of time, is exciting for the Case Design team. “Every project we do has a creative element to it,” says Meagher. “When we see how happy the clients are with the transformation of their home, that’s the most satisfying thing.” Case Design/Remodeling 112 6070 Almon St. Halifax, NS 902.454.2273 halifax@caseremodeling.com

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The Highest Roofing Expertise By Melanie Furlong Photos Bruce Jollimore

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hurches, commercial buildings and homes all over Halifax — both historic and new —have beautiful new roofs thanks to the expertise of Mader’s Roofing. Owner Larry Mader, who has been installing quality roofs in the area since the late 1980s, has grown his business from a one-man operation to a staff of up to 40 during the high season. “My roofing knowledge comes from many years experience, a lot of plant tours, application manuals and brochures,” says Mader. “But it’s a trade I found I’m very good at and I’ve continued with it.”

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The company offers all residential applications regardless of location, height or pitch of roof. They also offer commercial applications in flat roofing, such as built-up insulated modified bitumen roofs. Mader’s Roofing does all types of tar and gravel repairs and replacements, as well as full capovers of existing bitumen roofs. The company offers a high degree of professionalism, starting with the first appointment, which involves a personal evaluation by Mader himself, right through to the post-job follow-up. “When we leave our customers after an estimate, they have an understanding of

what they’re getting and are well-versed in what to expect, the roofing products — their quality and longevity — and installation techniques,” says Mader. Residential and commercial client Ross McNeil has been very pleased with Mader’s work. “Mader’s Roofing and Larry Mader have been doing my personal home and my commercial building for many years, from small repairs to entire roofs,” says McNeil. “They are excellent to deal with on all levels and Mr. Mader takes personal interest in every job and follows through to the finish. He is professional and I highly recommend him and his experience.”


ABOVE Larry Mader, owner

Knowing he’s putting out a quality product daily is fulfilling for Mader. “We please each and every person we work for,” he says. “We strive hard to maintain quality workmanship and our customer follow-up is unprecedented.” If your roof needs an evaluation, call Mader’s Roofing and find out what roofing solution is best for you. Mader’s Roofing Lower Sackville, NS 902.492.2868 902.830.4236 info@madersroofing.com www.madersroofing.com

TesTimonials

“I like the 3-D appearance of the roof and the colour is perfect. Thank you also for the care your team took to protect our gardens. You left the property very tidy! Wouldn’t have known you were here.” —Jim and Beth, homeowners

Mader’s Roofing and Larry Mader have been doing my personal home and my commercial building for many years, from small repairs to entire roofs. They are excellent to deal with on all levels and Mr. Mader takes personal interest in every job and follows through to the finish. He is professional and I highly recommend him and his experience.” —Ross McNeil, residential and commercial client

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Scott

McGillivray Reno & Real estate InvestIng expeRt By Erin Legg

now a Regular Contributor to Fine lifestyles & Fine Homes Magazines

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B

est known for his pearly white smile, honest advice and occasional antics as the host of HGTV’s popular Income Property, Scott McGillivray has built an empire from the ground up. Aside from hosting and producing the longrunning program, McGillivray balances being a family man with a career as a successful business owner, author and educator. But take away his international recognition and would it matter? No. Family is his first and foremost commitment. “Not a day goes by that I don’t acknowledge that becoming a father is the best thing that’s ever happened to me,” states McGillivray. McGillivray married Sabrina in 2008, and since have become parents to two daughters, Myah, three and Layla, 18 months. “Having children is the most amazing thing that’s ever happened in my life. It’s changed my life completely.” McGillivray dedicates everything he can to his family, and that involves strict fashioning of his career and public life. “My primary focus is family and everything else has to work around it. We set up some work rules [and made] hard decisions, but they’ve been the right decisions. I’ve had to turn down opportunities, but I have to be able to just come home and be a dad sometimes.” Although McGillivray easily gushes about his wife and children, he remains modest about himself in the spotlight. Recently, People named him “Sexy Man of the Week,” which he finds humorous. “It’s probably the most awkward thing that’s ever happened to me. My wife [and] my friends thought it was hilarious. No one takes it too seriously, especially me.” At the age of 19, McGillivray was advised: “Life is too short to learn from your own mistakes.” He elaborates, “You’ve got to learn from other people. Lots of people have trouble listening and asking the right questions to people who have already done what they want to do.” Income Property is just one vehicle by which McGillivray educates homeowners on smart investing and renovations. Armed with more than 150 of his own income properties across North America and his B. Comm (Honours), he partnered with longtime friend, Michael Sarracini, and founded the Lifetime Wealth Academy, providing crucial real estate advice and education to want-to-be investors. “Teaching other people is something I always gravitated toward and I was naturally giving real estate and reno advice to my friends and family anyway,” he explains. “I feel my best when people can take something away from the show or a live event. I love hearing when people have learned something or have been inspired to buy a property or take on a renovation because of me. That’s the most rewarding.” In 2015, McGillivray will continue educating homeowners using his knowledge and expertise in real estate as a regular contributor to Fine Lifestyles and Fine Homes magazines. “It’s going to be a good year!” he says with his trademark smile. Check out the new season of Income property thursdays at 9 p.m. & 9:30p.m. et/pt on Hgtv CanaDa. /everythingscottMcgillivray | @smcgillivray @scottmcg | @scott_mcgillivray www.scottmcgillivray.com PREVIOUS PAGE PHOTO Tim Leyes THIS PAGE PHOTOS Richard Sibbald

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INCOME PROPERTY NEW SEASON

FEBRUARY 26 64

HGTV is a trademark of Scripps Networks, LLC; used with permission.

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FRAMING | DECKS | GARAGES

When Thinking About Building a Deck, Think Blue Ridge Builders Specializing in Custom-Built Decks, Garages and Home Framing

For your FREE estimate, call Blue Ridge Builders Inc. at 902.209.9418

70 Karels Drive Fall River 902.209.9418 blueridgebuilders.ca

15 years experience FineHomes

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Starting Your Plants

At Home

By Ken A. Beattie, NPD, Ph.D.

The garden’s neo-natal wards will be popping up all across the country over the next several weeks. Like so many other anxious gardeners, I am also disinfecting, mounting lights to rival even the most sophisticated “grow-op” and sorting through a rather sizeable container of “got-to-have” seed packs.

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here really is something inherently common among all gardeners: the absolute need to get a head start on things and get our private stash of special plants germinated. Germination and the maintenance thereafter can pose some difficulty for first timers, and there are a few tricks of the trade to observe. Cleanliness can’t be emphasized enough; lack of sterile or extremely clean conditions has been the cause of many a lost crop. I prefer to use brand-new containers that I further wipe down with a germicidal moist wipe that would be used in the home just to ensure a sterile area. If you are reusing seeding containers, soak and scrub them in warm, soapy water, rinse with clear water and then dip in a 1:10 solution of household bleach and water or use a moist anti-bacterial wipe

for the final touch. The seeding mix itself will be sterile, so there is no need to re-cook it. Many older garden references, including a couple of my books, suggest a method of home sterilizing media. I would not attempt this now as seedling mixes are common and easy to find. Take care to select a “seeding mix”; they are quite different from standard potting mixes. They are typically light, finetextured, almost dust-like and especially formulated for the rigours of the neonatal plant ward. A very good piece of equipment is a sieve — either homemade from screening, a culinary variety or one designed for the plant lover. One of the most useful tricks is the method of watering the seeding bed. Before that, however, we need to get the germination bed ready. I like to use a pan, which is a squat plastic container with a wide mouth, often referred to as a bulb pan. The seeding mix is poured in and tamped down to ensure there are no air pockets. You can use another clean pan to press the media down; this provides a smooth seeding surface. Smooth is important so that finer seeds can be seen; this helps to avoid oversowing and crowding. Open the seed packet and fold a crease in one end, forming a sort of spout. Aiming your seed packet, lightly tap your holding hand; this graduates the seed flow. Always undersow; never clump and try to fill the container, or this will cause no end of problems later on. Now for the cool watering part! Fill a shallow baking pan with warm water and set the seeding pan in slowly. The seeding pan’s dry media will slowly take up the

warm water and moisten the entire container without disturbing the newlysown seeds. Once you are convinced the media is moist, remove from the watering pan and sift a very little bit of dry seeding media over the seeding pan to cover the seeds. The dry media will absorb the perfect amount of moisture from the pan without further work. Most seeds should be covered. It is wise to cover the seeding pan with plastic wrap or a glass sheet; this will keep the humidity at the appropriate level. Warm conditions are best, so if there is room on top of an appliance such as the refrigerator, set your new seeding pans there until germination occurs. Once the seedlings appear, it’s best to remove the plastic wrap gradually and move the pan into indirect light. Germinating seeds do not require light until they have emerged. Stretching is one of the most common errors post-germination because of lower light conditions. If you are planning to place your crop under artificial light, the adjustable tubes should only be a few inches from the tops of the plants. Fungal problems are common this early in the seedling’s life, so apply a light dusting of cinnamon or sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) as a preventative and increase the air circulation around your tender crop. Naturally, increased air flow translates to drier media, so watch the watering. I strongly suggest bottom watering as suggested for the first saturation. Good luck and “almost” spring!

welcome

to

Ken Beattie is the Horticultural Education Manager with the prestigious Canadian Wildlife Federation.

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GROW YOUR BEST

GARDEN

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Your Partner in Landscaping

The Expert Service of Blomidon Nurseries By Courtney Tait Photos courtesy of Blomidon Nurseries

W

hether you’re a novice gardener or an experienced green thumb, the process of choosing plants at a nursery can be overwhelming. With hundreds of species and endless landscaping options, how do you decide what’s right for your garden? Enter Blomidon Nurseries, an Annapolis Valley business that’s been providing local gardeners with expert service for 45 years. Located less than an hour from Halifax, Blomidon features nine greenhouses, several display gardens, a café and a gift shop on 26 acres of land. The experienced staff — 30 plant specialists are on hand to guide you in growing your best garden —complement the astounding selection, which includes a vast range of trees, shrubs, more than 60 varieties of perennials and some of the best annuals in the province. “There are no wrong questions when you are dealing with plants,” says Andrew Palmer, Blomidon’s general manager. “Our staff offers great service, and people tell us we are very patient and helpful. You are assisted by individuals who love plants.” Almost all of Blomidon’s annuals and perennials, as well as some of its shrubs, are grown onsite. The quality of the nursery’s products, along with its exceptional service, has garnered a following throughout Nova Scotia and the Maritimes. “When we started our landscaping project, although Blomidon Nursery was the furthest away from our home, it was their selection and pricing that sold us,” says customer Mike Gracewood. Customers can visit Blomidon to choose their plants in person or order through its catalogue. The nursery will deliver any quantity of product to your doorstep, from a single plant to a truckload. They also provide a plant warranty up to one year. Considering professional landscaping for your property? Along with plants

and supplies for the do-it-yourself gardener, Blomidon offers landscaping services. Clients can have an at-home consultation with one of Blomidon’s landscaping staff or partners to plan the project, or bring designs and photos of their home and garden space to the nursery. New for 2015, Blomidon is also able to provide financing options on items such as plants and installation to outdoor living accessories. Blomidon provides wholesale pricing for contractors using plant material in their projects. Blomidon’s Annapolis Valley location makes it an ideal destination for a weekend visit. The entire property is open to the public to enjoy, and along with the greenhouses and stunning display gardens, a café and gift shop make the trip well worth a visit. Patrons can indulge in a meal or glass of wine at Stems Café and browse through a range of outdoor wear, artwork, glassware, and other outdoor living décor at Styles gift shop. An extensive range of tools and garden accessories are also available. If you’d like access to expert tricks and tips on gardening, you can sign up for Blomidon’s newsletter through its website or easily at blomidon.info. The nursery recently launched Blomidon Nurseries TV, a video series featuring gardening tutorials, new seasonal products, and Blomidon’s latest offerings. You can check out the videos on blomidon.tv. “Anything you need for your garden, we have it,” says Palmer. “Visiting Blomidon is about having an experience. People invest a lot of time and finances in their yard, so it’s important to take the time to decide how they want their outdoor living space to feel.” Blomidon Nurseries 10060 Hwy 1, Wolfville, NS 855.542.2295 info@blomidonnurseries.com www.blomidonnurseries.com

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A QUALITY

LAWN BENEFITS EVERYONE

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Your Partner in Landscaping

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reen facts are something we all need to keep top-of-mind. The value of a quality lawn offers many benefits that most people don’t realize. Did you know vibrant healthy plants improve water purity, reduce noise and dust, and can produce sufficient oxygen for a family of four (an average lawn of 50’ x 50’)? A healthy lawn and garden are part of one’s health and well-being. Musquodoboit Valley Quality Sod (MVQS) supports partnership programs and discussions toward growing more community awareness. They are here to partner with you on the four phases of outdoor project. WHERE DO YOU FIT? 1. New Project or Reno • • • •

I just bought a house and need to complete the landscape I want to renovate the backyard to best suit my lifestyle I need a dog run I need to finance it. Can you help?

2. Finding Best Product, Do-It-Yourself or Installation • Sod, seed to topsoil, and nursery plants that promote sustainable lawn and environmental practices are important to me • I’m budget conscious and concerned with product longevity • I’m looking for responsible installation 3. Spring Lawn & Garden Tune-up • I’m looking for new and easy ways to get my garden ready for spring and keep it beautiful throughout the entire growing season. 4. How-To Maintenance Recipe • I’m looking for knowledgeable staff and professionally tested seed-tofertilizer assistance to suit my needs THE TEAM MVQS is part of a family-run enterprise that has been in operation since 1966. The company’s goal is to service their customers on an on-going basis. Their responsibility is to present home and garden lawn products that try to address market gap, consumer lifestyle and environmental concerns.

GREEN FACTS Grassy areas can decrease noise by eight to 10 decibels. A 50’ x 50’ lawn produces enough oxygen for a family of four. They understand the importance of maintaining the relationship with a customer in addition to providing great service and product. They offer advice for those looking to do it themselves or for professional installation. The MVQS staff has access to the best product information, which they pass along to their clients. Delivery drivers are there to help, too. Let them know how your project is going after the install. Next day delivery is often available. Their products are also sold at more than 35 locations in Nova Scotia! GREAT PRODUCTS & SERVICES Sod MVQS provides the very best in RTF® Sod, Kentucky Bluegrass and Economy Sod. RTF sod offers a suitable option for professional turf, which helps reduce maintenance costs and provides resistance to insect (chinch bug) and disease. Kentucky Bluegrass is a longstanding, trusted product for beautiful lawns. Economy sod is an option to help service projects in more commercial areas. Hydro-Seeding Perfect for large residential or commercial properties. Mixed Soil There’s an element of science when it comes to soil content. It needs to be ‘alive.’ MVQS offers soil that’s tested bi-annually, blended to perfection to grow sod, seed and gardens. Materials LadyBugBag branded products make your spring tune-ups easy with less mess. A bulk bag is delivered to your door with your choice of top-notch garden soils, premium mulch or aggregates. It’s great to combine as a kit with their professional grade seed and fertilizer.

Musquodoboit Valley Quality Sod 6706 Old Guysborough Rd Halifax 902.876.3337 www.mvqs.ca

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Transform Your Dream Yard into a Reality By Tobie Hainstock Photos courtesy of Xcel Landscaping

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interests of each homeowner. “We take the time to communicate with our clients and find out how much time they have to spend in their yard and what they like to do,” says Eisener.

By encouraging their customers to bring ideas forward, Xcel is able to create a yard that is both functional and beautiful, yet also reflects the personal style and

Eisener and his team conduct an initial visit to a client’s yard and consults with homeowners about what type of work they envision. The team then designs the best plan to accommodate their lifestyle. Whether a client is looking for a rustic getaway, an area to entertain, an exotic

t’s been a long day at the office and all you can think about is enjoying the tranquility of a quiet getaway. Imagine the satisfaction of coming home to your own private retreat. Matt Eisener and his crew at Xcel Landscaping can help you create the yard you’ve always dreamed of having.

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private garden or their own personal golf green, Xcel’s professional landscaping services will bring that vision to life. Since 2006, Xcel has been offering highly skilled, expert landscapers who care about clients’ satisfaction. “Our team is made up of amazing people who work very hard to provide professional and courteous service,” says Eisener proudly. He continues by stating his crew consists of first-rate craftsmen whose workmanship in the field of landscaping


Matt Eisener, PHOTO BY Bruce Jollimore

is impeccable. “They all have a true vision and passion for what they do and it shows in the quality of their work.” The team maintains strong communication skills and establishes excellent rapport with customers to ensure they are comfortable throughout the entire process. At the end of the day, Eisener notes the smile on their customers’ faces and the knowledge they’ve helped create the yard of someone’s dreams, is why they love to do what they do.

He points out a well maintained, landscaped yard is eco-friendly and can increase the value of a property. Curb appeal also entices prospective buyers to inquire further while adding charm and personality to your neighbourhood. Xcel Landscaping offers a wide range of creative landscaping, maintenance and installation solutions that are perfect for every season, and they are fully certified with the Nova Scotia Construction Association. The business proudly serves a number of different property types,

particularly throughout the Dartmouth and Cole Harbour areas. Enjoy the luxury and comfort of coming home to your own personalized escape. Let Xcel professional landscaping services transform your backyard dreams into a reality. Xcel Landscaping Phone: 902.880.9779 www.xcellandscaping.com

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Lawn Watering Made Easy with

Underground Irrigation By Courtney Tait

F

or many Nova Scotian homeowners, the nice thing about spring and summer is getting to see their lawn and gardens flourishing after a long winter. But while having a lush lawn and thriving plants enhances enjoyment of your property, watering them can be a hassle. Have you ever spent time in the summer dragging hoses across your yard and thought, “There has to be a better way?� That was the experience of Wayne Burke, owner of Underground Irrigation Systems (UIS), nearly two decades ago. Tired of

the tedious watering process, the former schoolteacher researched irrigation systems, found an American expert in the industry to mentor him, and installed one on his property. Not only did the system keep his lawn watered with timed, automatic sprinklers, it used less water than the manual hose method, which wasted water when the hose was moved around. Burke launched UIS in 1996 and began installing the systems for other h omeowners. Today, the company installs 30-40 irrigation systems a year in everything ABOVE Wayne and his partner Jan

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from hanging baskets and window boxes to small and large properties throughout the province. “It’s a great investment,” says Burke. “Our clients’ lawns stay nice and green all summer without them having to drag hoses. Many homeowners tell us they wish they had installed automatic irrigation years ago.” So how does underground irrigation work? A property is divided into zones, and a timer tells each zone when and how much to water depending on what you determine your lawn needs. The system’s pipes are installed underground with a pipe puller causing minimal disturbance to the lawn. Sprinkler heads pop out of the ground to water an area, and then disappear below the surface when the irrigation is complete. The system’s rain sensor shuts down the watering if it rains. Burke and the UIS team winterize their clients’ irrigation systems each year, blowing the water out of the pipes to ensure they won’t freeze. The piping and sprinklers are made with plastic and stainless steel, so they don’t rust, and are warranted for five years. The UIS team is available for any maintenance necessary, such as replacing timer batteries in the spring and ensuring no plants have grown to block the sprinklers. “When clients buy or build a new home, they always hire us back to install a new system,” says Burke. “That says a lot about our service and workmanship.” UIS is a member of Landscape Nova Scotia and also the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association. Along with Burke, the team is made up of a longterm three-member crew. Heading into its 20th year of business, Burke says the company will be an excellent business opportunity down the road for the right successor. Interested in no longer having to drag garden hoses? UIS offers a free, no obligation estimate on your property. “We’re very service oriented,” says Burke. “We have over 400 clients, and we know all of them by name. The positive feedback that we receive is very fulfilling.” Underground Irrigation Systems Windsor, NS 902.798.1404 uis1234@gmail.com www.undergroundirrigation.ca ABOVE Blair Burgess, Matt Whitehead, Wayne Burke and Howie Burke

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Lush, Green and 100% Organic Plant It Earth Natural Lawn Care By Courtney Tait  Photos by David Elliott and courtesy of Plant It Earth

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f you’re a landscaper, you likely have environmentally conscious clients who want a lawn that’s lush, green and healthy, without using synthetic products. Though most lawn care programs provide nutrients with synthetic fertilizers and chemicals to deal with weeds and pests, this approach creates a chemical-dependent lawn that requires costly annual maintenance. Over the long term, synthetic lawn care is an unsustainable cycle that’s detrimental to lawn health. So what is the alternative? Introducing Plant It Earth Natural Lawn Care, founded by Dwight and Robin

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Horsnell. The brothers are part of the family-owned commercial composting business Northridge Farms, and in 2006 they discovered the benefits of a product called compost tea. The tea feeds soil organically, providing essential microorganisms that assist in creating a healthy soil environment. After testing the tea on several lawns and seeing impressive results, the Horsnells’ idea of providing an all-natural lawn care program was born. Today, Plant it Earth provides compost, eco-tea, all the materials needed to brew your own eco-tea (including small home brewing kits), earthworm castings, and other organic fertilizers for gardens and

lawns. The company’s most popular lawn care program consists of core aerating, over seeding, eco-top dress, and three applications of eco-tea throughout the season. “This provides lawns with all the essential nutrients and biology needed,” says DJ Keddy, sales manager for Plant It Earth. “Over three to five years, our program creates a nutrient rich active soil that can take care of itself.” While the cost of Plant It Earth’s lawn care program is higher at the onset than synthetic programs, its sustainability makes it far more cost effective over time. “When people understand that within a few years their lawn will require very little attention, they are quick to


L-R D.J. Keddy, Dwight Horsnell, Robin Horsnell, Jason McInnis

sign up,” says Keddy. “As long as the soil has a balanced abundance of microbial activity, the grass clippings you leave when you mow is all your lawn will need for food. If homeowners want to break free from chemicals, it’s an easy, safe, affordable solution.” Eco-tea is applied as a spray application three times per year, replenishing the biology in the soil and on the grass to increase health, strengthen disease tolerance, and establish stronger root systems, which aids in drought tolerance and weed suppression.

Plant It Earth’s Eco-Lawn Top Dressing is applied once per year, providing soil with all the essential organics it needs. Plant It Earth’s products are 100 per cent organic. While many landscapers offer products that claim to be organic, Keddy says the majority of these products mislead the consumer, as they are actually only 15 per cent organic. Landscapers looking to expand their business can benefit from offering clients the option of a 100 per cent organic lawn care program with Plant It Earth products, setting them apart from others in the industry.

Plant It Earth caters to both residential clients and landscaping companies. Supplies can be picked up at the company’s onsite retail shop, shipped or delivered. “We have excellent customer service,” says Keddy. “Once we acquire a customer, we cater to their every need. Our customers are very pleased with the success of their lawns.”

Plant it Earth Natural Lawn Care 2546 Hwy #221 Ayelsford, N.S. 902.847.0494 www.plantitearth.ca

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MBA Landscaping Dynamic, Distinctive and Dependable By Tonya Lambert

M

BA Landscaping is the ideal landscaping company for people who demand perfection. A one-stop shop, MBA Landscaping designs, creates and maintains yards that enhance lifestyles, improve overall wellbeing and increase the value of property. DISTINCTIVE DESIGNS A beautiful landscape starts with an intelligent,

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innovative and inspirational design. At MBA Landscaping, a creative and collaborative approach is embraced for each project. Working closely with clients from conception to completion ensures they capture their clients’ vision while still remaining within budget. A member of the Canadian Nursery Landscape Association and Landscape Nova Scotia, MBA Landscaping

designs and creates a yard that meets the practical and emotional needs of your family. They design family space with lots of room for children to play, timeless gardens for restoring peace and tranquillity, contemporary backyards for entertaining friends, and traditional gardens for growing fruit and vegetables. No matter how big or small the yard, MBA Landscaping maximizes and enhances the space with distinctive designs.


COLOURFUL CREATIONS Owners Mathew Archibald and Brendan Wilton — along with their team of more than 20 highly skilled, trained and talented employees — construct dreamscapes in a timely and professional manner. Adept at both softscapes and hardscapes, they use only the highest quality material for maximum durability and minimum maintenance. Preferring a hands-on approach, all the work is done in-house to ensure minimal disruption and debris. All MBA Landscaping services come with workmanship and product warranties, including a two-year inclusive warranty on all hardscaping. Your driveway, walkways, retaining walls, rocks, patios and pools provide the solid structure for your outdoor oasis. MBA constructs the framework for your yard from interlocking bricks and concrete. They have a wide selection of colours, sizes and shapes of bricks from which to choose. They are even able to tint your concrete to any shade, completing the project with your choice of a traditional broom-sweep, exposed aggregate or stamped finish.

If the hardscape is the framework of your yard, the softscape is the decoration. MBA’s placement of grass, flowers, shrubs and trees is equal parts science and art that will have your yard looking beautiful whatever the season. “If most gardeners have green thumbs, then MBA’s crews are green from boots to ball caps,” says Wilton. PROFESSIONAL PROPERTY MAINTENANCE Your yard is an extension of your home; it’s your own personal outdoor sanctuary. Keep it a stress-free and relaxing environment by letting MBA take care of the day-today maintenance. The team at MBA mows and aerates lawns, trims hedges, maintains edging, weeds and churns

flowerbeds, and applies fertilizer and lime as necessary. As a member of the Snow & Ice Management Association, MBA’s fully-insured snow removal crew plows and de-ices driveways in winter. The team at MBA Landscaping takes great pride in creating timeless spaces of enduring beauty. If you value quality craftsmanship, impeccable service and innovative design, MBA Landscaping is the company for you. Give them a call today. MBA Landscaping 1251 Shore Dr. Bedford, NS 902.877.8189 www.mbalandscaping.ca

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New ENTRANCE New LOOK New SHOW!

Your experience will begin the moment you walk through the doors. Our new entrance has been beautifully landscaped by our partners at Landscape Nova Scotia so get ready to fill your senses with sights, smells and sounds, as you meander through water features, landscape design and a little piece of spring, right at the show. As you continue through our newly floor planned show, be sure to take advantage of a little eye candy, plus a myriad of new ideas to renovate, decorate and build your dream home. With a focus on new products, you’ll have the opportunity to see what’s trending in terms of home products. Be sure to visit our “How - To” stage, where we’ll have lots of informative sessions, and special guests like Damon Bennett, who was a regular on Mike Holmes series of HGTV programs. The dreaming starts the moment you walk through the door. Bring your plans and make a day getting your spring renovations started. See you at the show!

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Art, Beauty & Security Brought Together by Fire Not only can art be beautiful and inspired, it can also function as a protector for your family and home in the form of Scotian Ironworks handcrafted security grates. Decorate your home with handcrafted art, designed with iron and fire and expertly fitted to any size window or door. Local artisan Scott Hamlin will take an image from your imagination and create a sculpture that will stand watch over your family for all time.

Scotian Ironworks w w w. s c o t i a n i r o n w o r k s . c o m

902.689.2470 FineHomes

Halifax

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PAVING THE WAY

TIP

Never give a deposit to a stranger, as “deals” are often a result of poor quality/ workmanship.

A Concrete Reputation For More Than 20 Years

DCT Paving and Concrete has acquired a strong reputation by providing quality workmanship and service. • • • •

Residential and commercial properties Asphalt and concrete Commercial snow removal and salting during the winter months Customers only pay when job is completed

Visit www.dctpaving.com for a list of satisfied clients throughout Nova Scotia.

Contact Dave Trudel, owner, for an free estimate!

902.499.7017 | www.dctpaving.com Fully insured WCB member Bookings: April–September. Book early to ensure your driveway and/or commercial project is completed in season. 82

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Go from Ordinary Cultured Stone to Extraordinary! ®

Nothing transforms a home like the look and feel of stone and for over half a century Cultured Stone® has been taking homes beyond the ordinary. Cultured Stone® is backed by a 50 year warranty and is available in a wide range of colours and styles guaranteed to suit your own personal taste. Visit our website or our Dartmouth Store to learn more!

Go from Ordinary to Extraordinary! www.shawbrick.ca Shaw Brick

Cultured Stone

®

902.468.7429

5 Ralston Avenue

BRICK & STONE

Dartmouth

NS

B3B 1H5

Nothing transforms a home like the look and feel of stone and for over half a century Cultured Stone® has been taking homes beyond the ordinary. Cultured Stone® is backed by a 50 year warranty and is available in a wide range of colours and styles guaranteed to suit your own personal taste. Visit our website or our Dartmouth Store to learn more!

www.shawbrick.ca

902.468.7429

BRICK & STONE

Go from Ordinary to Extraordinary! Shaw Brick

5 Ralston Avenue

Dartmouth

NS

B3B 1H5

Nothing transforms a home like the look and feel of stone and for over half a century Cultured Stone® has been taking homes beyond the ordinary. Cultured Stone® is backed by a 50 year warranty and is available in a wide range of colours and styles guaranteed to suit your own personal taste. Visit our website or our Dartmouth Store to learn more!

www.shawbrick.ca Shaw Brick

902.468.7429

5 Ralston Avenue

BRICK & STONE

Dartmouth

NS

B3B 1H5


We make your property worth it!

PROFESSIONAL LANDSCAPING SERVICES FROM THE GROUND UP. Call today (902) 880-9779 xcellandscaping

@xcellandscape

www.xcellandscaping.com www.houzz.com/pro/xcellandscaping1

Fine Homes Halifax Spring 2015  
Fine Homes Halifax Spring 2015  
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