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celebrity column

celebrity column


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your floor, the canvas Old Wood: Maple Beige

Create your dream space from the ground up with Centura’s wide selection of tile brands.


Jason Cameron Licensed contractor Jason Cameron makes our day as host of DIY Network’s Man Caves and Desperate Landscapes. This time around, he’s staked out that special place where the beer flows freely and doilies are outlawed. You got it. The Man Cave. Check out his awesome brew-inspired hangouts on page 50 – no girls allowed!

Anitra Mecadon A self-described “DIY, eco-friendly kinda chick who is not afraid to get her hands dirty,” Anitra Mecadon is a well-known designer and the host and design/build expert of Mega Dens on DIY Network. Come along for the ride (page 92), as Anitra takes us junktiquing – and we learn how to go vintage without breaking the bank.

Matt Muenster Licensed contractor and designer Matt Muenster turns his clever ideas into eco-friendly designs on hit HGTV and DIY Network shows including Bath Crashers, BATHtastic! and Blog Cabin. In this issue (pg 22), Matt’s ramping up the cozy – underfoot – with a great tutorial on in-floor heating. What you can’t see, does make a difference!

Peyton Lambton Alongside husband Chris, Peyton Lambton provides “entertaining advice wrapped in Southern charm” in their HGTV series Going Yard. Peyton’s eye for style shines through in the stunning outdoor living spaces they create for lucky homeowners. Don’t miss our Downtime Q & A on page 128, where Peyton shares a few surprises. *Spoiler * She is talented and gorgeous!

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contributors page part 2





cover feature


cover feature



in every issue

PRIMER first things first By Cindy McGlynn

Part history lesson, part invitation to dream the impossible dream George Stacey

and the Creation of American Chic is a coffee table book guaranteed to while away many dreamy hours. The 223-page tome by Maureen Footer is a wellresearched biography of the trailblazing American designer who rose to prominence in the 1930s for his colourful, audacious and carefully curated rooms that set the standard in American interior decoration for generations to come. Enjoy stunning photos and illustrations of Stacey’s rooms – and revealing snapshots of the socialites who fawned over him. Note to self: Need more jewel tones. George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic by Maureen Footer $65 Rizzoli New York

Armchair decorators: this one’s for you. is a delicious interactive game/quiz from Benjamin Moore, inviting you to reveal your inner style and assemble your perfect room. Start by picking the room you’d like to work on. Then have fun choosing the perfect dinner guest (Shakespeare? Marie Antoinette?), imagining your dream view and picking your fave furniture. Mix some custom colours, and toss in a few details about your lifestyle. Then, click your way to your personalized room with a view. The results may surprise you. We could play all day! Check it out at


in every issue

For a fancy few, Chinoiserie never goes out of style. And why should it? The east-

meets-west look abounding with delicate florals and flourishes has been pleasing home decorators for centuries. But trend watchers take note – Chinoiserie is back – seen on the fashion runways and now in the design palettes of those who make the world’s most beautiful wallpapers and fabrics. At their finest, Chinoiserie wallpapers are very expensive, but you can still get the look with Pinterest-worthy crafts like framing snippets of fancy wallpaper, or papering over a folding screen.

This is a game-changer.

Semihandmade makes custom doors, panels and drawer faces measured and designed specifically to fit IKEA kitchens. Say what? That’s right. For people who love the sturdiness, versatility and functionality of IKEA cabinets and hardware – but yearn for a more custom exterior – here is your answer. You buy your IKEA cabinets without doors – yes, you can. And order up some custom exteriors from Semihandmade (they design to your specs and ship across North America) and save 30-40% off the cost of typical custom cabinets. Check it out at

Nothing makes a crisp fall evening better than warm, wonderful accent lighting. Bathe

From the bright pop of colour, to the three cool circular surfaces, to its overall vintage-inspired silhouette, this great piece from West Elm will ratchet up the style factor in any living room. Its petite sizing makes it perfect for smaller spaces. Colourful, fun and functional – this piece is a winner. Clover Coffee Table $227 from West Elm.

yourself in warmth with this industrial-chic photographer’s tripod lamp from Pottery Barn, available in an industrial nickel or antique bronze finish. The three-footed design is popular this season and the lamp’s timeless good looks mean you will enjoy this piece for years to come. Photographer’s Tripod Table Lamp $299 Pottery Barn HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


A SPLASH OF PERSONALITY I Hate My Kitchen’s James Young spices up your backsplash


build You’ve picked out cabinets, flooring and countertops and you’re feeling good! This kitchen is going to be great! But let me ask you a question: What does this kitchen really say about you? The perfect way to express your personality is in your backsplash and the possibilities are endless. You can pick any color, material, or texture under the sun. If color is what you’re looking for, glass subway tiles can be a great choice. They come in a rainbow of colors and styles: from plain and clear, to soft turquoise, to brilliant orange. If you’re looking to step out of the box a little bit more, I created a great effect with vintage bottle caps and buttons (purchased online) which we used to give the backsplash color and texture. The project was simple. After installing adhesive mats specifically made for tiling, I applied the buttons and bottle caps and then grouted. Now that’s a one of a kind backsplash. If you like this unique approach, why not think about the things you really enjoy – and add a piece of them to your backsplash. I call that personality! And I can tell you how it’s done. We did a project with a family who spent their summers waterskiing and their winters snowboarding and downhill skiing, and decided to incorporate colorful sections of skis into the backsplash. I bought a bunch of colorful skis at a thrift shop, cut them into small tile-like pieces with a chop saw and surrounded them with simple gloss black ceramic tile. What a great way to add the homeowner’s passion to the kitchen! HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE



one ski“For loving family,

tile-sized pieces of colorful skis make the perfect, personalized backsplash.

Whether you’re getting really personal, or opting for something more classic, budget is always a consideration. Let’s say you want to go big with some serious bling but your budget says “blah” on that. You can get the backsplash you want by using it as an accent in one part of your kitchen: maybe behind the range, sink area or beverage center. Then you can go with something less expensive for the rest of your kitchen. Yes! You can mix two different types of materials in your kitchen’s backsplash. One couple I worked with wanted something glitzy with sparkle and shine. So I worked with the budget and they got the best of both worlds with highend recycled glass, stainless and mirror mosaics, mixed with simple black subway tile. 20

If big is better in your world, slab tiling could be for you. You can get 35 by 70 inch porcelain-based tiles that are created to give the look of gemstone, onyx, crystal and mineral. These slabs can be used as a feature wall or cut down to size with a wet saw to be used as your backsplash. This product is unique because it’s large, comes in 20 different flavors and gives the look of natural stone at a third of the price. There are some very cool options out there to put personality in your kitchen. Adding your personal touch will allow you to enjoy the warmth of your kitchen with family and friends, look around and think: yes, this is me.





HEAT YOUR FEET Bath Crasher’s Matt Muenster warms up to in-floor heating

There’s nothing like unexpected luxury to turn a home improvement project into something beyond a facelift. A good renovation should also change the way a space feels and even improve the way you live. I approach every design with a goal of incorporating a luxurious amenity or two that will really make a space feel special. One of the best examples of this is in-floor or radiant heat. In-floor heating is exactly what you imagine. It’s a product that gets installed beneath the finished flooring material which – when heated – makes that flooring material warm. It’s essentially a system of small wires that are carefully placed underneath the areas where people will spend time standing or walking. The wires are then hooked up to a power source and a thermostat which will control the temperature of the heat. There are many different companies with their own variations of the product. Whatever product you choose, in the end what you have is a floor that is warm underfoot and a space which is warmed radiantly through the floor. Heated tiles – and hardwood and vinyl and… Installation of in-floor heat can be DIY-friendly if you do your homework. There are three basic types of in-floor heat products: mesh-backed heating coils, rolls of low voltage electric mats and tile underlayment systems that allow you to snap the heating wire where you want it placed. Each is set beneath the finish material that you’re heating, which means you have to make


build your decision before you install your final product. Keep in mind, you can heat more than just tile. Wood, carpet, concrete and vinyl can all be heated. Just make sure to heed manufacturer’s instructions on safe temperature settings for the product you choose. When considering whether a space is a good candidate for in-floor heat, remember it is an upscale product with a rather upscale price tag, so you’ll want to use it where you’ll get the biggest bang for your buck. Bathrooms are easily the best candidate. You’re likely spending a lot of time barefoot in the space and, let’s face it, tile can be chilly – especially if the area beneath your bathroom is an unconditioned space like an unfinished basement or a garage. Spot heat for your feet An entryway where you put on or take off your shoes is also a great spot to heat up your floor. Just keep in mind, you don’t have to heat the entire floor. You can choose just the areas where you spend the most time, which saves you money; your kitchen floor between the sink, stove and refrigerator is maybe another opportunity for heat. In the end, comfort is key when trying to decide if in-floor heat is right for you. Pricing can vary greatly, depending on the product and whether or not you install it yourself, but figure on $10 to $15/sq. ft.. Even though in-floor heat doesn’t have a massive visual wow factor, it is an amenity that can make your home a cozier place to live. What could be more valuable than that? ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF DITRA HEAT FINISHED FLOOR BY SCHLUTER SYSTEMS HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


in every issue




Centura Tile’s Stone Mix Inspired by nature, Centura Tile’s Stone Mix collection presents natural-look porcelain tiles that reinterpret the look of quartzite, slate, travertine and limestone. Versatile, hard-wearing, stain-proof and easy to care for, these tiles work well in residential and commercial spaces. Suggested retail $8.70/sq. ft..


in every issue

Macondo Wallpaper from Trove To mark the passing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Trove designers have created a wallpaper to serve as a fanciful resting point for his parrot from “Love In The Time of Cholera.” The monumental Macondo is a tower of foliage, the layered abundance is a salutation for the imaginative riches he has bestowed upon our imaginations. Suggested retail $16/ sq. ft.

Safe & Sound Sliding Door This tough door from Euro Vinyl Windows and Doors is built with sound abatement glass to keep your space serene; a durable and quiet roller system for smooth operation; steel reinforcements; and five locking points. It’s beautifully finished with maintenance-free vinyl, seamless corners and a low profile aluminum sill. Pricing depends on configuration and other options.

Corner Roller Door The Corner Roller Door by Doors and More is truly a frameless, madeto-measure, sleek glass shower door featuring all stainless parts and the smooth “big wheel” design coveted by designers and consumers alike. Doors and More offers custom fit and installation with an excellent warranty.

KitchenAid Sparkling Beverage Maker Echoing the curved, streamlined silhouette of the brand’s iconic stand mixer, the Sparkling Beverage Maker features all-metal construction. It offers four carbonation settings, a onelitre BPA-free plastic bottle and a 60-litre CO2 tank. Available in Contour Silver, Empire Red and Liquid Graphite. Suggested retail $249.99.




THE HEAT IS ON: KEEP IT THAT WAY! Leave it to Bryan star Bryan Baeumler gets the goods on furnaces After a great summer of bunkie building and outdoor work, it’s time for an inside job. Fall is a good time to take a cool-headed look at your home’s HVAC system. That old furnace might finally need replacing – or maybe you’re looking for more energy saving from a modern high-efficiency furnace. Either way, there’s plenty to consider before the job starts. I talked to HVAC expert Bill Wood, president of Appleby Systems in Oakville, Ontario for the details on what you need to know when it’s time for a new furnace. What is the ideal furnace room size or set-up? BW: The size of your furnace room 26

really depends on the equipment you’re installing and any storage space you might need. A typical furnace with the filter and return air drop needs 8 to 10 sq. feet of floor space – you also need to provide 24” of unobstructed access to the front for service and filter replacement. A water heater is approximately 24” round and also requires 24” for servicing. If you have a heat recovery ventilator, it could occupy up to 10 sq. feet of space and it also needs 24” for serviceability. Make sure the furnace room is large enough to include all of the appliances you intend to install, without cluttering things up.

What’s available in highefficiency furnaces? BW: Typically, there are four standard models of high efficiency furnaces, in sizes ranging from 40,000 to 120,000 BTUs per hour. Base units are single stage with a PSC fan motor and are typically used in subdivision homes. The other three models are Energy Star products with energy saving fan motors with single stage, two stage and modulating heating outputs. An energy saving motor usually uses only one sixth of the hydro needed to run a PSC motor, so the savings with the Energy Star furnace can be significant.

build Single stage furnace This furnace delivers 100% of the rated heat output on every call for heat from the thermostat. In cooler climates, the furnace needs to deliver enough heat to condition the home when temperatures are as low as -10 degrees F. Much of the heating season is close to freezing, so the furnace is cycling on and off every few minutes. This can cause temperature fluctuations throughout the house. Two stage furnace This furnace operates at about 65% of the rated capacity and switches to 100% in colder weather, when required. A two stage furnace is 0.5% - 1.0% more efficient than a single stage. The big advantage to the homeowner is improved comfort. Modulating furnace Modulating furnaces can be up to 65 stages and include variable speed fans. These top-of-the-line furnaces deliver precise temperature and comfort levels with the highest efficiency ratings. How do I maximize the efficiency of my ductwork? BW: Duct systems should be designed based on the volume of air to be delivered to all rooms and areas in the house, with enough heating and cooling to make them comfortable. A heat loss and heat gain analysis by a licenced HVAC engineer can determine the correct size of the furnace and air conditioner for your home. From there, he will calculate the volume of air that the equipment requires to deliver the proper volume of air to the whole house. He will then design the duct system to provide the air to individual rooms and areas, taking into consideration the number of twists and turns required to connect ducting to the supply air register. Fewer twists and turns will deliver better efficiency and quieter operation. The straightest route is always the best.

Are there other ways to improve heating and cooling? BW: Keeping obstructions away from the return air openings on the walls and floors is critical to proper air flow. Most branch ducts will have dampers in the pipe below the floor registers that are used to balance the duct system. In rooms that are not heating or cooling properly, you can gradually damper down the runs in the areas where it is comfortable, and force more air to the runs where it is uncomfortable. In the summer, you should shut off the supply dampers in the basement and the bypass damper on the humidifier. Dirty furnace filters mean less airflow through the system and lead to equipment failure and discomfort. Homeowners need to pay attention to filters. It is recommended that the furnace be maintained yearly by a licenced gas fitter, but the filter may need replacing or cleaning every three months. BW: Heat recovery ventilators aren’t mandatory in all new homes yet, but they soon will be. Modern building codes require less air leakage in the structure to ensure efficiency, but this means new houses don’t “breathe” like older homes that had leaking windows, doors and joints. When the house cannot breathe, you will get a buildup of contaminants and gases plus humidity in the air. A heat recovery ventilator solves this problem by drawing stale air out of the house and replacing it with fresh outside air. The stale air passes through a heat exchanger on the way out, where the incoming fresh air picks up 85% of its heat. Heat recovery ventilators will greatly improve the air quality and comfort in most homes.





Talking trends with I Hate My Bath’s Jeff Devlin

People are definitely starting to get colorful in their houses – and in their bathrooms! I’ve seen a lot of teal and even pastel colors. People are also experimenting with texture too, like reclaimed wood on walls and more detailed wainscoting.



Although most people opt for a nice larger shower, there are still those that love a relaxing dip in their bathtub. Many homeowners love a freestanding tub – kind of like the old claw foot tubs but with a modern spin.

Floating vanities give the illusion of more space in the bath and they fit nicely in almost any design. They’re easy to install too - and they’re nice for people who want to try something different.

When it comes to tile, bigger is better: the trend is to use large format tile for both the floors and the walls. Great news! More than ever, big box stores are carrying a great selection of designer-type products, including terrific tile.

Homeowners are starting to treat themselves with better and higher end fixtures – and why not? You’ve got to start the day off right! You are starting to see that spa feel in more homes with beautiful taps, rain shower heads and body jets.



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PAINT LIKE A PRO Top shelf painting tips from Million Dollar Contractor Stephen Fanuka

Paint is the great equalizer. It’s something anybody can do. And it completely transforms any space, from the most luxurious Manhattan penthouse to the coziest beach cottage. I’ve painted a lot of walls and one thing I know for sure: you do your prep work and use great tools to get a great result. Here are my best tips – the things I’ve learned from years on the job – to help your next painting project look like a million bucks. Prepping Prepping the walls is one of the most important things to do prior to painting. I always use .5 part plaster of Paris to 10 parts of compound to make the mix stronger. Mix well. If you want your walls to be perfect, use a handheld light with a 60W bulb to do a better job. Finish with fine sandpaper for the smoothest walls. If you’re pressed for time, use Benjamin Moore Advance primer, which has great leveling properties to get rid of minor indents on the surface. This also works for cabinets. Before you paint, clean all dust and dirt off the walls. Use two buckets: fill one with a mild


build cleaning solution and the other with water. Clean with the solution first using a sponge, then wipe the walls down with water.

Techniques Paint in this order: ceiling, walls, crown moulding, baseboards, casings, then doors. The last thing to paint is the entry point into the room. One coat of a good primer, then two coats of finish paint is generally the rule of thumb. For dark colors like black, burgundy, blue or deep reds, you may require a third coat. Here’s a great roller technique to avoid marks: Roll your roller in the shape of the letter “W” from one end of the wall (Point A) to the other end (Point B), then paint back from B to A – again like the letter “W”. When painting furniture, paint in one direction only so you do not see marks. Paint charts are great but I recommend getting a small sample of your top color choices to try on the walls, so you can see them in different lights. Look at your paint in the morning, afternoon and in the evening with artificial light to confirm your choice of color. Latex caulk not only seals cracks that allow air into a room, but makes trim look perfect. The trick to avoid over caulking is cutting a smaller hole than you think you need, and cutting it on an angle. Use a damp, not wet, sponge to clean the excess caulk. Attach a rubber band to the can and after dipping in the paint, wipe against the rubber band rather than the edge of the can to avoid paint spilling over. Supplies Buy quality paint – you will get what you pay for. A good primer is key. Primer seals the surface for a better quality finish. Never spot prime walls, though you can spot prime ceilings.

Blue or green painter’s tape can be your best friend when cutting in paint or protecting surfaces you don’t want painted. Use a spackle knife when applying the tape – pressing it firmly to prevent paint bleeding. When you’re finished painting, score the edge of the tape lightly with a utility knife and remove the tape at an angle, pulling lightly.


Never leave furniture in the room, unless it’s too big to move – this will save time and prevent damage in the end. Remove all light fixtures, door hardware, etc. and label things so you know where they go. Use good drop cloths to protect floors and valuables that can’t be moved.

How much paint do you need? Add the lengths of the walls and multiply by the width or height. This will give you a square footage. Deduct 20 square feet for every door and five square feet for each window, then divide it by 350. This will give you the number of gallons.

Quality tools give quality results. Nylon brushes 2” to 2.5” are used for moldings and doors. They cost more than a $2 brush but the difference is worth it. The nappier the roller, the more texture (we call it “orange peel”) you will see on the wall. Finer rollers show less peel. Prior to using your new roller, wrap it in painter’s tape then remove the tape to get rid of excess lint. If you’re reusing a roller, trim the edges of the roller at an angle to get rid of any crusty parts. Cleaning and Touch-up Tips Need a break from painting? Place the wet roller in a plastic zip lock bag. Need a longer break? Stick the sealed roller into a Pringles chips container. (Eat the chips first.) You can paint oil-based paint over latex, but never paint latex over oil-based paint. To see if your surface is currently oil or latex, take a cotton ball with rubbing alcohol and wipe the surface. If the paint appears on the cotton ball the paint is latex. If you’re having a hard time cleaning the brushes, soak them in hot vinegar for 15 minutes. It’s a great, green way to clean your brushes and roller. Nothing handy to clean a small latex paint mess? Use pimple pads that have an alcohol base. Use Q-tips for small fine touch ups. To protect hinges or screws, apply a heavy dose of Vaseline then wipe off after painting. Paint doesn’t stick to Vaseline. You can even use ChapStick!



in every issue







in every issue WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ROOM IN YOUR HOME? My absolute favorite room in my house would have to be my kitchen/living area! It’s the best place in the house for people to come together, eat and socialize. The kitchen is open to my living area so the room is one open, large space, which makes it cozy and inviting. WHY DO YOU LOVE IT? Kitchens are such an important room to me because it’s where people always gather. I have been to many parties and, no matter how small or uninviting the kitchen is, people always congregate in that area. My kitchen is large and I have a seating area off to the side, which I always use. I enjoy entertaining and my kitchen is definitely a shared space for the whole family! When people come over, they gravitate towards the kitchen and hang out at our island, talking, drinking and having fun! Dinner parties are a great way to bring everyone together and my kitchen is a perfect gathering space. ARE THERE UNIQUE PIECES OR OTHER DETAILS THAT MAKE THIS SPACE SPECIAL? I have two silver chesterfield chairs in my kitchen, by my window. They are super comfy and I always sit there with my cup of coffee, with my legs draped over the side. I also can view my TV from this area, which is great. Behind the chairs and in front of the window, I have my large collection of Viking glass vases in all shapes and colors. They are simply gorgeous and set the tone for the space.

HAVE YOU RENOVATED THIS ROOM TO TURN IT INTO YOUR IDEAL SPACE? The only renovation done to the kitchen/living area was cosmetic. I had white glass walls installed on my existing walls, which really adds a nice touch to the overall space. Other than paint and furniture, my kitchen/living area was completely live-in ready when I bought my home. WHAT ACTIVITIES DO YOU DO IN THIS ROOM? I love spending time with my partner, the Bromstad team and our friends in my kitchen! It’s a great place to catch up on the day, hang out while cooking, and enjoy time with the dogs. At times it becomes my office and even my painting gallery when I don’t go to my studio. It’s truly universal! HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE STYLE IN THIS ROOM? I would definitely say it’s an eclectic space with whimsical touches.


DOES YOUR ROOM HAVE A VIEW? I have large windows on the entire east side of the home which overlooks a courtyard. Not bad at all! Interior designer David Bromstad is the host of HGTV Star and appears on HGTV Color Splash. His innovative design style blends realism with fantasy. Fun fact: He designed for Disney World and his work appears at the world’s top amusement parks. Find him on Twitter @Bromco



build in every issue Licensed contractor Josh Temple is the host of HGTV’s House Crashers, Flipping the Block and Sold on the Spot. He’s an avid traveler and a daredevil of a contractor. Twitter @JoshTempleTV


JOSH TEMPLE WHAT IS YOUR BEST PROFESSIONAL SKILL? I’d say my best skill is finishing. I can solve problems and I work hard until the job is done.

IS THERE A SKILL THAT YOU DON’T HAVE THAT YOU’D LIKE TO ACQUIRE? Twerking. But nobody wants to teach me. What most people don’t realize – but I do – is how much time and training each trade needs to become a master. I could improve in everything… including twerking, if somebody would just lead the way. WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE KIND OF RENO PROJECT?   I love when I can improve the form and function of a space. Aesthetics are required but sometimes that just means updating – which bores me. CAN PEOPLE WHO ARE ALL THUMBS REALLY EVER LEARN TO BE HANDY? Absolutely!  With today’s tools everything comes with a guide or an aid for operation. But I’ve never actually met anyone with ten thumbs. WORST HOME/RENO TREND EVER? I gotta go with wall carpet. 36

CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT A PROJECT YOU’RE PROUD OF? We “Crashed” a 2800 sq. ft. Veterans’ Hall in Sacramento in just three days. It was a total gut job and a massive team effort for such a worthy cause. WHAT IS (OR WAS) THE BEST HOME OR RENO TREND EVER? LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) building. It’s getting big in commercial building but still has a long way to go in residential building. 

WHAT’S A GOOD STARTER PROJECT FOR BEGINNER DO-IT-YOURSELFERS? I always tell anyone who’s really interested in home reno that flooring is the best starter project. Just make sure you have time and patience.   ANY ADVICE FOR SOMEONE PLANNING TO DO THEIR OWN RENOVATION? I’ll go with the classic adage: CHEAP, GOOD, FAST. You can have any two of these, but not all three. And also, educate yourself to decide whether and when you need to use pros!

celebrity column


Is there anything as good as saying what’s on your mind? Or in your heart? These walls don’t talk. They HOOOOOOWOWOOOOOOOLLLLLLL! Chase lightning in the Moonlight! Sandblast your living room! Mother may not approve. But you are Black Satin; she is Snow White. And Antique Pearl. And there’s room for only one story in this house. For everything that matters there’s a deep, rich, enduring colour. It’s the colour of being what no one else can.

black satin 2131-10

sandblast 2103-50

antique pearl 2113-70

moonlight 2020-60

snow white 2122-70

No other paint can match the colour and quality of Benjamin Moore specially formulated blends. So no matter where you use them, our colours say exactly what you want to say. Find the style that’s yours alone at the new ©2014 Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited Benjamin Moore and the triangle “M” symbol are registered trademarks and For everything that matters is a trademark, licensed to Benjamin Moore & Co., Limited

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5/16/14 10:48 AM

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Decked Out host Paul Lafrance rocks the Backyard Revolution Remember the Apollo space missions to the moon? Anyone I’ve spoken to that witnessed it first-hand remembers how exciting that first successful mission was. We actually stepped foot on the moon! Up to that point in time, that was the stuff of sci-fi novels. Amazing, right? If you remember that, you’ll also remember that in the missions to follow the public excitement seemed to wane… a lot! I think one of the main reasons people suddenly became bored was because when the Apollo astronauts returned to Earth, they came back with the same damn thing every time: rocks! There were stones, pebbles, small boulders. But no matter how they described it, they were all just rocks! Boring! I mean, really, if just once they returned with a three-headed space creature or at least a stick instead of a stone, I think people would have been glued to their television sets. I can understand this boredom. When it comes to transforming outdoor living spaces, the reason I was originally fascinated with carpentry and deck building was because it was far more interesting to me than typical landscaping. Because typical landscaping involves… you guessed it: rocks. It’s true that, for years, I was biased against stone patios over decks because, well, I’m the “Deck Guy” remember? Now don’t get me wrong, I thought that a stone patio was a great addition to a beautiful decking project. I just felt that the wooden deck floor made a stronger statement and gave the greater impression that you were standing on an extension of the home. Over the years, my appreciation for stone, and the many creative possibilities it brings with it, has completely changed. Now, I incorporate stone elements into almost every one of my

designs. I’ve worked with some incredibly talented landscapers to create whole backyard transformations that include all the best elements of the decking world, with all of the creative possibilities from the landscaping world. In the last few years, during the era I like to call “the backyard revolution”, some of the new stone products available have quite simply blown my mind! I now get really excited incorporating stone elements. They’re wonderful in a decorative capacity; as a privacy screen, or as part of a water feature. And now, I can also lay stone directly into the floor of an elevated deck. Using a structural underlayment from Silca Systems that fastens to the joists of the deck, I can combine composite deck boards and stone pavers on the same level. Now that’s cool! I can also bend stone and make it glow. Now we’re talking sci-fi! Using products like translucent flexible stone veneers and onyx panels from Eco Creations, I can create some truly remarkable focal features never before possible. I can also create an entire stone veneer wall in a fraction of the time it used to take. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve thought: “They can put a man on the moon, but they can’t find an easier way to install stone veneer that doesn’t involve huge prep work, expensive labour and a big mess?” Well, now, I can install a stone wall that goes together like siding on a house! 80% cheaper and 80% quicker, using stamped concrete panels like those from Beonstone. Is this the future? These are only a few examples of products that have changed my view of stone. Those Apollo astronauts were on to something. Turns out rocks aren’t so boring after all! PHOTOS COURTESY OF PAUL LAFRANCE & HGTV CANADA. HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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DESILVIA Licensed contractor and Brooklyn native John DeSilvia hosts the DIY Network’s Rescue My Renovation, where he takes care of homeowners who have been let down by unscrupulous contractors. Twitter @JohnDeSilvia

THE TOOL THAT I USE THE MOST IS… If you’re talking power tools I’d say impact driver or circular saw. If we’re talking hand tools then it’s a “speed square”. THE TOOL EVERYBODY SHOULD HAVE AT HOME IS… I’ll pick three: a tape measure, a drill and a circular saw. I WISH THERE WAS A TOOL FOR… How about a tool that would help me hit straight with my golf clubs? THE TOOL I HAVE TO REPLACE MOST OFTEN IS… For general contracting, the reciprocating saw is the tool that I replace the most. It’s used for demo, and demo is very demanding. Personally, I’m constantly replacing my cat’s paw because I lose it once a month.


THE TOOL I USE FOR SOMETHING OTHER THAN ITS PURPOSE IS… My 7ft level. I use it as a straight edge for rip cuts with my circular saw. THE NUMBER ONE TOOL THAT CONTRACTORS SHOULD HAVE IS… The toughest most demanding job as a general contractor is estimating. A really good estimating program can significantly cut your estimating time down. For a carpenter on the run that needs versatility, I’d say an oscillating tool. It cuts any material with a 1 minute change of a blade. It’s small, easy to carry and great just in case you didn’t bring the right tool.

THE MOST UNDERUSED TOOL IS… The laser. If carpenters and contractors stop relying on their eyes and old beat up 4 ft levels that stopped working years ago, life would look a lot straighter. THE TOOL I MOST OFTEN SEE USED INCORRECTLY IS… The table saw. I’ve seen a lot of bad tool operation from DIYers with little or no experience. It’s not as simple as just pushing a piece of wood through. I’ve seen people lose fingers and have watched material get launched from a table saw at the speed of a spear from a spear gun. It’s no joke. THE TOOL I AM MOST LIKE IS… An impact driver, because it doesn’t just spin. It hits. Often and fast until it gets the job done.

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HIGHPRESSURE TACTICS ON THE JOB Blog Cabin host Chris Grundy talks tough on compressors By Lorie Steiner


feature In tech terms, an air compressor is a device that converts power (usually from an electric motor or a diesel or gasoline engine) into kinetic energy, by compressing and pressurizing air that can then be released in quick bursts, on command. In truth, there are enough sorts and sizes of compressors to confound any DIYer and bring up a multitude of questions. Beginning with the basic: Do I really need this beast in my life? We reached out to ‘the guru of tools’ Chris Grundy for the answer – to that – and so much more... WHY A COMPRESSOR? CG: Say you’re doing a framing job, or laying deck boards with a battery-run tool. How frustrating is it when the battery runs out and you have to change it? And the new one hasn’t fully charged, and you need a different battery to match every brand of tool. Man! With a compressor and air-powered (pneumatic) tools, batteries are a no-show, one compressor can plug into the nailer, paint sprayer…you name it. Think of the pit crews at Daytona. Taking off tires with an air wrench in record time! Done! Large projects are completed faster and easier, with a high-quality finish that can’t always be achieved with hand tools. But do your homework, first. Knowing your options will ensure you choose the right compressor for the job. GAS OR ELECTRIC? CG: Gas-powered compressors are more convenient, since they don't need to be plugged

in to operate. They can have large tanks (80 gallons +), for increased staying power on high-production jobs. On the down side, they’re often more expensive than electric models and need proper ventilation when used indoors or in tight spaces. Most electric compressors run on standard household voltages (110V-120V), but could require a higher voltage for heavy-duty work. Electric units don't give off fumes, so they are better suited for indoor or home garage use. POWER UP! CG: The majority of compressor motors range from 3/4 to 6 hp. The higher the horsepower, the more pounds per square inch (PSI) delivered. A compressor with 125 to 150 PSI is usually fine for most tasks. Also, check the cubic feet per minute rating (CFM). Small air tools require between 0-5 CFM, and larger tools 10 CFM or more. To be safe, choose a compressor with a CFM output 1-1/2 times the required amount for the largest air tool you'll be using. SETTING THE STAGE Single-stage compressors are best for light-duty tasks around the house. Two-stage models are mostly heavy-duty, commercial-style air compressors that can power multiple tools at the same time for a prolonged period. CG: If you and your buddies are building a humongous deck, or you’re in the garage going full out, full time with your air tools, you might consider a commercial grade compressor.

GRUNDY’S PICK Compressors come in a slew of styles, including vertical portable compressors; dolly-style compressors; wheelbarrow compressors; and large and small stationary compressors. The type you choose will depend on how much you’ll be moving it around. CG: My favourite is the handy ‘pancake’ compressor. I’ve had the same one for 6 years – it’s oil-free, lightweight (portable) and electric. Go for one with a 5-6 gallon capacity, up to 160 PSI. This is the perfect unit for DIY work – if you don’t mind the noise. I even used it to build an outdoor kitchen; framing the counters. It shoots 25 to 30 nails before it refreshes. If you’re on a more involved job and need something quieter, you’ll want a bigger capacity compressor. Unless, you don’t mind paying your employees to stop and have a snack every few minutes while they wait for the unit to kick in again. MAINTENANCE IS A MUST CG: As with any tool, safety is an issue. Compressors come with an owner’s manual – read it and keep it on hand. My buddy, who is an artist, had a pancake compressor that he used with his air brush for 15 years. One day the metal tank just blew… shrapnel everywhere. Luckily, it was in the other room from where he was working.

ROLAIR Knows Compressors We’re so pleased to have ROLAIR as our exclusive supplier of air compressors for Project HOSS House! Here are just a few reasons why… “The year was 1959. Our goal was simple: Produce the finest compressors known to mankind. Decades later, the goal remains the same. As a third-generation manufacturer located in the heart of Wisconsin, we've built quite a reputation for providing professional contractors with compressors of the utmost quality and craftsmanship. They appreciate our attention to detail, rugged performance and wide variety of options. But above all, they appreciate that our sole focus is compressors – nothing else.” (Visit

My point is: damage occurs with age and everyday use, so regular inspection of your compressor is crucial. Dents in the metal could compromise the tank; harm the motor. Like politics and money, you have to look for every crack in the system. HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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DIY DECONSTRUCTED Easy instructions for installing SMARTWALL in your basement A finished basement is full of possibilities: it’s a great space for a home office, kids’ play room or even dad’s man cave. Whatever your vision, you can get there five times faster with DRIcore SMARTWALL, the all-in-one engineered wall panel structured with its own drywall, insulation and framing system. Here’s a step-by-step plan to install it yourself. 1. Plan the layout • How much DRIcore Subfloor do I need? •  Length of each wall? •  How many blank wall panels do I need? •  How many light switch panels do I need? •  How many electrical outlet panels (1 every 8-10 feet) do I need?   2.  Install DRIcore Subfloor •  Always start your basement project with the proper foundation.  


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3. Install tracks Top track first •  Attach to floor joists – use 2” x 2” lumber. Floor track second •  Attach to Subfloor – use 2” x 2” lumber. •  Leave a ½” space at each bottom corner. •  Offset track by 2 3/8” from the front of the top track to the front of the bottom track.   4.  Install the first wall panel •  Measure the height and cut the top of panel to size – never cut the bottom. •  Secure the panel using 2 ½” screws at the bottom and 5” screws at the top.

5. Install subsequent panels •  Use Wall Plug & Light Switch panels as needed. •  It is recommended to install one wall plug outlet every 8-10 feet, or as required by the local building code.  



in every issue 6. Installing Inside Corners •  Cut the last panel to fit by removing the tongue side. •  When installing first new section of wall, use a bead of PL Premium Glue at the inside corner.  

8. Installation of wiring Wiring should always be installed by a licensed electrician. If possible, it is best to feed the wires through the horizontal channels as you install the panels. However, your electrician must first approve. Otherwise, the wiring can be run after all SMARTWALL panels are installed by using a wire fish. The SMARTWALL system is only rated for 15amp circuits.   •  DO NOT install 20amp circuits or larger in the SMARTWALL system. •  The intended operational voltage of the SMARTWALL system is 120VAC.


7. Installing Outside Corners •  Use an Outside Corner Panel to go around obstacles. •  Run a bead of PL Premium at the front edge of the groove and tongue. •  Leave a ¼” gap at the top and bottom.

9. Finishing the panels One of the many conveniences of the SMARTWALL system is the patented “Micro Bevel” edge detail, which eliminates the traditional taping stage of finishing the drywall surface. The micro bevel also means using much less filler to achieve a finished surface, resulting in far less sanding and, therefore, less dust created. It also speeds up the process of the drywall finishing, reducing to a single day what would normally be 3 to 4 days of much more intense work. It is important to use ONLY the SMARTWALL® Patch Pro for seaming the micro

bevels and inside and outside corners seams. It is specially formulated not to crack in normal use applications. 10. Seaming the Panels Ensure the panel seams are clean and free of dust, dirt and debris. Using a 2” putty knife, force the compound into the seam and when the seam is completely filled, scrape off the excess from the surface. 2 coats are recommended, a minimum of 2 hours apart. Once the seams are filled, sand lightly to remove any excess. The panels are then ready for paint.

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“George to the Rescue” Oliphant wants you to play it safe

It should be common sense to put on safety glasses before you cut or smash something. Or to make sure you have ear protection before you fire up a machine which makes it impossible to hear anything. And, of course, before you go to work outside, you lather up with sunscreen. Even if it’s overcast. Right? These protective measures should be as routine as buckling your seat belt when you drive a car, or putting on a bike 48

helmet before going for a ride. However, I find that taking safety precautions on the job site is too often the exception – not the rule. This is crazy! They’re called accidents because they are unplanned and happen quickly without warning. Before you start any project, it’s imperative that you take the time to protect yourself. Protect your eyes, ears, lungs and skin. It’s easy and the alternative is nothing you want to deal with.

The eyes have it Use proper safety glasses that fit and are comfortable. Sunglasses won’t do the trick. Trust me, I’ve been in the labs and seen the tests. When regular glass gets hit by debris, the outcome is ugly. As with any project, you want to use the right tool for the job. Say what? There are many different types of ear protection: from ear plugs, to ear bands, to WorkTunes that combine ear protection with a built-in radio. Just make sure


you use something. Once your hearing is gone, it’s not coming back. You’d be surprised to know how many tools we use every day that can do damage to our ears. Breathe easy Most of the dust you inhale on a job site is filled with microscopic par ticles that can potentially do serious damage to your lungs and respirator y system. Whether it’s sanding, or cutting or demo, you’re going to be kicking up harmful dust that you need to protect yourself from. Use a respirator that catches at least 95% of all airborne par ticles, if not 100%. The packaging will inform you as to how protective the respirator is and where & when to use it. I personally swear by anything made by 3M. Lather up Melanoma is the most preventable form of cancer, as long as you protect yourself from the sun – even on cloudy days. Make sure you use SPF 30. Put it on 15 minutes before getting to work and reapply ever y two hours. If you follow these 4 commonsense safety tips, you’ll most likely live a longer, healthier, happier and more productive life.




BUILD THE MAN CAVE OF YOUR DREAMS Man Cave’s Jason Cameron tells guys how to get ‘er done



build A man cave is a special place, where the beer flows freely and doilies are outlawed. The design choices in here are as unique as a guy’s collection of beer mugs, but there are some universally popular choices in the man caves I’ve worked on. Colour Man caves are personal spaces, so they’re less trend-driven than other parts of the house. We start by finding out the theme of the room. If you’re a sports fan, we’ll choose team colours to accent the space. If we’re making a cigar lounge, we’ll go with earthy colours. Brights or neons tend to be no-nos. Along with doilies. Which should go without saying. Furniture When it comes to furniture, leather is a popular choice. It’s all about comfort in the cave. Guys are more practical. So, big comfortable sofas with very few throw pillows. No afghans. Just the couch. And gaming chairs. We do love gaming chairs. Fabrics and Finishes Guys love rugged finishes on the walls, like exposed bricks and beams. There’s a great product called Brick-It, which is a real brick veneer that you put up on metal grids, with some glue and some grout. It’s very DIY friendly. For beams, we like to use reclaimed lumber and also a product called Faux Wood Beams. They’re super realistic and very, very light. It’s a great product. Lighting Lighting really helps set the mood and gives the room a relaxing vibe. We use a lot of high hats (also called pot lights) and we’ll always figure out a really cool way to light the bar. LED lighting works well. There are tons of choices. Walls Reclaimed lumber makes a great wall finish. We’ve also used hardwood flooring on the walls and even different types of cork – perfect for a feature wall. These days you can also get really masculine wallpapers, some of them with real leather finishes. We’re also big on murals… if somebody has a picture they love, we’ll go big with it on a wall. Underfoot You can go in a lot of directions with the floor. We’ve used everything from tile, to hardwood, to carpet tiles. We once did an epoxy “hockey” floor that looked exactly like ice. You need to figure out what’s comfortable for you and what look or feel you’re going for. Finishing touches We’ve rarely done a man cave without a bar. And beer dispensing is a must. We often use a product called the Bottoms Up Beer Dispenser, which everybody loves. It actually fills the beer from the bottom of a cup without leaking. Surround sound, of course. And obviously multiple televisions. We actually have a kind of unwritten rule, which I think most guys will agree with, that you need to be able to see the TV from everywhere in the room. We’ll install as many screens as it takes. HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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HOSS HEROES DARK DREAM Choose your weapon and buckle up with the HOSS dream team in an after-hours fantasy



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Heroes are strong, courageous and sexy. They lead us. Help us. Save us. Here at HOSS magazine, we’re in awe of the superpowers we see in our uber-talented team of celebrity contractors. For millions of TV viewers – and thousands of families across the continent who are literally saved by these folks – they are true superheroes. From repairing disastrous renovations, to chasing down unscrupulous contractors, to

making dreams come true for humble community builders, these heroes save people all day long. We brought together a home reno dream team and invited them to let their inner heroes loose. With a little help from green screen technology, great tools from Ryobi, Milwaukee and Gerber Gear and a dark industrial playground courtesy of Roxul, we proudly present: HOSS Heroes in their Dark Dream. HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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HOSS Heroes turn up the heat and take their adrenaline inside the dark, industrial confines of the Roxul Plant, flexing their muscle to see who’ll come out on top. Kayleen “ICE ANGEL” McCabe locks fists with Alison “PHANTOM BLADE” Bedell; while hubby Skip “THE HAMMER” Bedell stares down Jeff Devlin. Who’ll fix your bathroom? I’ll fix your bathroom! James Young wants to know how far Anthony “SAW DOCTOR“ Carrino will go for clients (he’s a bleeding heart) as Damon Bennett and Chris Grundy duel it out over the top job on the site. Meanwhile, Tyler Wisler backs away from Sarah “FIRE CAT” Bendrick’s wicked forearm.



isn’t one to shy away from trouble. The reallife private investigator is also the stealthy co-host of Catch A Contractor on Spike network, along with husband Skip Bedell and Adam Carolla. She relishes tracking down contractor hacks who’ve left their customers high and dry: leaving behind piles of rubble, dangerous unfinished work or sometimes no work at all. The affected families have heart-breaking stories to tell. “We get very emotionally attached to these people,” says Alison. And what about the snake oil salesmen-turned-contractors who think they can take the money and run? They’ve got another thing coming with Alison and her heroic team around. Alison tracks them down and sets up a covert meeting where Skip and Adam wait to confront the cad. It’s not unusual for Alison to stake out an unmarked hangout with her telephoto lens, waiting for the right moment to casually approach the target and reel him in to the sting house. Alison showed off her inner and outer badass on our HOSS Heroes photo shoot! She can wield a blade with the best of them and has a rock and roll high kick that would bring David Lee Roth to his knees. Not bad enough? She’s a biker chick too! But with a soft side. She rides her Harley with hubby Skip and also plays mama to a houseful of cute, furry pets.




is the kind of guy you want to have on your team. It’s not just because he looks like a superhero without going anywhere near a cape. (But the cape is a good look, too!) As a licensed contractor, Skip spends his days tracking down bad apples from his own trade who have left homeowners high and dry. Skip calls it like he sees it. And relishes the moment he drags unscrupulous contractors to justice on his show Catch A Contractor. “This really affects people’s lives,” says Skip, clearly moved by families whose homes – and lives – are left in the rubble. “When you tear their house apart and leave them without a kitchen or a place their children can come home to, it’s a big thing,” says Skip. “So, to be able to help them. It’s a great opportunity. I think we’re these homeowners’ last resort. We’re there to find some justice for them.” Skip’s been using tools his whole life and has been running his own contracting business for the last 14 years. In short, he knows his way around a box of power tools. (And his Harley!) He brought his A-game to the HOSS Heroes photo shoot: rocking the cape like nobody’s business, swinging his mighty hammer, gamely defending himself against his own wife’s super nova high kick, and proving himself a first class hero.




It’s a tag team effort as “FIRE CAT” Sarah Bendrick teams up with Alison Bedell aka “PHANTOM BLADE”. The dazzling duo kicks and conquers the big boys on the Roxul Plant conveyor belt. Damon Bennett and Skip Bedell don’t stand a chance as the ladies set out to put a few more notches in their belt. 58




ANTHONY “SAW DOCTOR” CARRINO’s menacing stare Don’t be fooled by

and double-scoop of power tools. When we asked him to come to our HOSS Heroes cover shoot, he certainly brought his passion – and a side of intensity! But tough-guy Carrino gamely took it on the chin with the HOSS dream team; shedding (fake) blood at the hands of that beastly James Young. And submitting to the highvoltage laser of the angelic but deadly Kayleen McCabe. You can’t keep a good man down.

In real life, Carrino takes his passion and intensity and uses it to shine the spotlight on other heroes. Together with his cousin John Colaneri, Carrino scouts out local heroes in communities across the country and secretly joins forces with neighbours to complete a dream renovation for the well-deserving local. Carrino lives in Jersey City and is a principal with Brunelleschi Construction, the company he started with his father a decade ago. He didn’t expect to find himself on TV – his show happened when a friend casually commented that Carrino and his cousin had a terrific rapport that would probably make a great reno show. One thing led to another and his first HGTV show, Cousins Undercover, was born. Carrino’s delighted to share his passion with fans. “The fact that I get recognized for my work. For what I’m passionate about. It’s a very gratifying experience. I never thought I’d be able to share my work with this many people.”

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CHRIS “THE GROWLER” GRUNDY Did someone shout

“yeaaaaaaaah?” Or was it just a dream, starring the electric host of HGTV’s Blog Cabin and Cool Tools? The hearty affirmation is a regular mantra for Grundy – who is not a man to do things by half measures. And the HOSS Heroes photo shoot was no exception. You could argue that a guy who gets to play with the hottest tools in the industry every week has an advantage over the rest of the dream team. Especially when it comes to the advanced tool handling they got into in this shoot. Grundy didn’t shy away from a powerful duel with Damon Bennett. And he merrily showed an airborne Jeff Devlin that he can handle a Gerber axe. Cool tool, indeed! When he’s not HOSSing around with other network personalities, the Denver native really is an avid DIYer in his spare time. And Grundy also puts in a lot of time doing good deeds with a rock-solid charity called Rebuilding Together that does free renovations for Americans in need. Chris Grundy is all “on”, all the time. He’s proud of his work – and pleased with the possibility that he’s leading the way for more African-Americans to consider a future working in the trades. A true hero! Even his mom is proud of him. “I don’t want to get all mushy with it. But it is a proud thing for me,” he says. A hero through and through.



reno “It’s my way or the highway,” Anthony Carrino informs Damon “COOL THUNDER” Bennett, who seems to disagree. Meanwhile, Chris “THE GROWLER” Grundy uses extreme force to stand his ground against Jeff Devlin’s devilry.



JEFF “THE RECIPROCATOR” DEVLIN scared us. So strong,

so enthusiastic and so game, Devlin’s inner hero is barely contained by his latex shirt! On his DIY Network show, I Hate My Bath, Devlin gives homeowners awesome and innovative bathroom fixes that get done right and don’t bust their budget. He’s a creative and dedicated craftsman who wants to please his clients – and empower them, too. A homeowner’s vision is valid, and Jeff likes to make sure his renos don’t just look fab. They need to be fabulously functional too – and tailored to the unique needs of every family he works with. He says communication and really listening to the client is key. “I mean, I could see a great kitchen design. And I might agree that it’s great. But for the person who’s using that kitchen, it might not be functional.” If that means making a built-in cabinet for your beloved microwave oven, Devlin will make it happen. In his downtime, Jeff flexes his considerable muscle as a deeply experienced professional carpenter and a fine craftsman. He has a keen appreciation for history and design and has lovingly renovated two historic Pennsylvania farmhouses. Jeff still runs his own custom woodworking company when he can squeeze it in between TV shows and specials. And when you give the man a hero costume, you just step aside and enjoy the show! Between his ninja moves and his airborne kicks, let’s just say “game over.”


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looks innocent, all right. Don’t be fooled. The tough-as-nails general contractor and host of DIY Network’s Rescue Renovation showed her mettle during our HOSS Heroes photo shoot, performing aerial gymnastics (with a little help from a green screen), laser blasting Anthony Carrino and generally lording her ability to fly over our other HOSS heroes! Kayleen has happily been setting herself apart from the crowd her whole life. She grew up doing construction with her father and grandfather and is a licensed contractor who pulls more than her weight on a job site. “I’m very competitive,” says McCabe. “I want to be an equal opportunity player. If the guys are going to carry stuff, I want to be an equal part of the team.” She also spends time encouraging girls to focus on math in school – and opening doors for women to work in the trades. On Rescue Renovation, Kayleen really is a hero. She swoops in and saves in-toodeep homeowners from renovations that have gone off the rails. She troubleshoots the situation, shows the clients exactly what went wrong and organizes a sevenday action plan to turn the mess into a masterpiece. She’s learned more than a few tricks along the way and says the key to a great reno is advance planning: “Don’t take a sledgehammer to your wall, thinking that’s going to inspire something and you can figure out your measurements for your cabinets once everything’s gone. Oh – and no moats.” HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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celebrity column Tyler Wisler’s explosive personality doesn’t sit well with “ELECTROMAN” James Young, while Alison Bedell’s catcalls have Jeff “THE RECIPROCATOR” Devlin fuming. Kayleen McCabe has electrifying tastes that are sure to shock the “SAW DOCTOR” Anthony Carrino.



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DAMON “COOL THUNDER” BENNETT is a household name

in renovation television. And one awesome, scary dude at the HOSS Heroes photo shoot. Don’t let his cool demeanor and stylish trench coat fool you. Bennett brought his steely passion to the set and dove into our fantasy photo shoot like a master. Most everyone knows Bennett from his 10 terrific years as Mike Holmes’ right hand man. Bennett was the leader of the Holmes pack, rallying and mentoring the troops, making sure the job got done and ensuring quality workmanship. Bennett always insisted the job wasn’t about supervising co-workers – it was more like “taking care of his family.” As a general contractor who specializes in carpentry and structural reinforcement, Bennett is a heavyweight on any job site. After that gratifying, game-changing experience, Damon is launching his solo flight – and bringing his hard-hitting talents to steer the HOSS House flagship project. You’ll read about the exciting build elsewhere in these pages – but suffice it to say, Damon is leading the way on the massive rebuild of a fire-ravaged country house and returning the family home. Heroic indeed, and guaranteed to be an epic experience for all. Meantime, look out for the man with the steely gaze, the stylin’ trench coat and the big axe. Whether fighting off an aerial attack from The Reciprocator, or taking it on the chin from Ruby Thunder, Damon “Cool Thunder” Bennett means business.


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JAMES “ELECTROMAN” YOUNG needs no high-flying

Real-life hero

green screen action to make his mark. Though it turns out he’s more than able to mix it up superhero style, if asked. No cape required. His steely gaze – and big knife – were enough to let us know he means business. Young’s real-life list of accomplishments is impressive: he is a US Army veteran who received two Army achievement medals for his service. He’s a licensed contractor and electrician. But most of us know him as the beloved host of DIY Network’s I Hate My Kitchen. He loves tearing up kitchens and is known for his innovative ideas and his ability to keep a project on track and on budget. As an electrician, as well as a contractor, Young is a heavyweight when it comes to getting the job done. He’s no stranger to full-scale commercial projects, either. When giving advice to homeowners, it’s Young’s experience as an electrician that speaks the loudest: If you’re working on anything electrical in the house, turn the power off. Just turn it off. But the power was definitely “on” during the HOSS Heroes shoot – as Anthony Carrino quickly found out, meeting the dark side of Electroman’s temper and the sharp side of his blade. OK, OK, the blood is fake. But it was a mighty duel, we assure you. So mighty that Skip Bedell came in to take Electroman down himself, with a swing of his mighty hammer.



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cover feature Sarah “FIRE CAT” Bendrick doesn’t pull her punches when trading blows with “ICE ANGEL” Kayleen McCabe. And Skip Bedell isn’t messing around either, as he pins “ELECTROMAN” James Young to the ground. Meanwhile, “THE GLAMINATOR” Tyler Wisler schools the whole team with his ninja moves, dodging dual attacks with ease.



cover feature

SARA “FIRE CAT” BENDRICK is all action when the heat is on. The host of DIY Network’s I Hate My Yard is known to most as the smart, helpful landscape artist who can turn a pile of dirt into a backyard masterpiece. When we asked her to bring out her inner hero, who knew she’d dive right in and take on the big boys? Tyler “The Glaminator” Wisler reeled against her nasty forehand with a great big blade. And Damon “Cool Thunder” Bennett took a giant step back when the Fire Cat came calling. She even mixed it up with Kayleen “Ice Angel” McCabe. The woman is utterly fearless!

In Bendrick’s real life, of course, heroics are measured in backyards transformed. Bendrick’s skills are inspiring. She’s got a passion for creating functional, beautiful outdoor spaces that are game-changers for the clients she works with. Many of them are at their wits’ end, convinced their outdoor living is doomed to be a dusty, dry experience. Bendrick teaches as she goes, helping people discover their own green thumbs and educating them about eco-systems and the benefits of native plants. She’s a one-woman green team. “This is my passion,” says Bendrick. “I really enjoy taking these terrible backyards and helping the families create spaces that they love. When everything comes together, it’s a beautiful thing.”


celebrity column

If being awesome is a super power,

TYLER “THE GLAMINATOR” WISLER is the man with the most.


Creativity flows from this New York Design Guy, who is the principal at international design company Tyler Wisler Home. He’s a frequent flyer on TV as a design expert and has appeared on friend and HOSS regular contributor George Oliphant’s NBC show, George to the Rescue. Innovative designs are Wisler’s signature. Does he think outside the box? For Tyler, there is no box and he has the unique ability to take clients to places they never dreamed. He’ll be flexing his design chops as the Design Principal for HOSS Magazine’s flagship project: the HOSS House build. Wisler will lead the interior design for a stunning modern country house - to bring a family back home a year after their house had been gutted by flames.

And when it came time to call up his inner hero for the HOSS Heroes cover shoot? What’s this “inner hero” talk? Tyler wears it all on his sleeve and had no trouble summoning up his crouching tiger, Matrix-style badassery. Fun fact: Interior design may be his beat, but Tyler is obsessed with fashion and hair. He regularly swims in a sea of fashion magazines – inspired by feats of artistry that defy explanation. All of it comes together to fuel his passion for innovation and creation that perfectly suits the needs of the homeowner. “The measure of a great room,” says Tyler, “is the amount of happiness you feel when you are in it.”



celebrity column

The HOSS Celebrity Dream Team cools off and poses for a class photo. Looking fine and ready for work. And play. And just about anything in between! To see more of the HOSS team and many others, follow us on twitter @hossmagazine and visit




celebrity column


celebrity column

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BOSCH DLR130K DIGITAL LASER DISTANCE MEASURER The laser beam does both pointing and measuring in the world’s smallest laser distance measurer. Featuring four measurement systems, two measuring reference points, ergonomic soft-grip area, and length, area and volume measuring capabilities. $129

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MILWAUKEE 10-1000 V DUAL RANGE VOLTAGE DETECTOR 2203-20 Delivering professional accuracy and functionality, the new voltage detector can be positioned near any wire carrying a current, and the user will be notified automatically if it delivers 10-49 V or 50-1000 V by different colored LEDs and audible beeping. Available October 2014.




Top five tips from Property Brothers Drew and Jonathan Scott to prep your house for market


feature Your home has probably seen a lot of good times and been the setting for many personal milestones. However, when it comes time to sell, remember that those fond memories of your kids growing up, or the amazing gatherings you’ve had here, aren’t as sentimental to others. So put your memories aside and take an objective look at your home through the buyer’s eyes. With that in mind, here are five key things to do to make your home market ready.

1. Look atyourhousewith critical eyes Correct flaws you’ve overlooked or learned to live with. Ironically, this can mean maximizing your home’s livability just before you move out of it! Replace cracked tiles, worn or damaged flooring and fixtures and burned-out light bulbs. Repair holes and cracks in walls, fix leaky faucets, pressure-wash dirty decks and patios. Swap out dated door and window hardware and light fixtures for more stylish ones. These are simple, highvalue fixes. Your house is only as strong as its weakest link. 2. More substantial improvements help your home stand out Kitchen and bath improvements tend to be worth it, if done well. Painting or replacing cabinets, putting in stone counters and upgrading toilets, showers and tubs can pay off in greater appeal and a higher selling price. It may even be worth changing the structure. For example, combining two small rooms into one, or removing a wall to improve the flow of space – but only if it will boost market value as much as, or more than, the added expense. Knowing what buyers in that neighborhood would expect will help educate you on where to spend so that you see returns.



feature 3. Go green Eco-friendly design is more than a fad – many buyers value it for its long-run environmental and money saving benefits. If you haven’t already done so, make your home more eco-friendly by adding insulation, using caulk and weather-stripping to eliminate leaks and installing new energy-efficient appliances or HVAC equipment (look for Energy Star-rated products, which may earn you tax credits). Potential buyers will want to see copies of utility bills, so pull those together, along with repair and maintenance records and household operating manuals. It’s a big plus if buyers see energy savings from your improvements reflected in utility bills. 4. Declutter It’s hard for someone to imagine themselves living in a new house, if everywhere they turn there’s a portrait of your family. Depersonalizing your home makes it easier for others to see themselves in it. That means removing family photos and other memorabilia. Be ruthless about decluttering; rent a storage space if necessary, which not only reduces your presence but also makes the home feel more spacious. Organize closets and drawers and don’t fill completely – buyers love orderly, roomy storage. Tone down wild colours and patterns with neutral paint hues and fabrics. But don’t make it too bland – flashes of colour add appeal and can give a more positive lasting impression. 5. Increase curb appeal This is the first and last image of the house people will see and remember. Make sure exterior walls and trim look fresh and walkways are inviting. Repair or upgrade your driveway, walks and front steps (say, with new landscape lighting or a stone or brick border). Trim overgrown landscaping and add or expand flowerbeds. New flowers and other ornamental plants, in the ground or in goodlooking containers, add allure at little cost. Even minor things like new house numbers, a new mailbox or repainting the front door in a catchy colour can make a big difference. Outside and in, the house should look well-kept and inviting – in other words, ready to market. You want it to say, “Welcome home.”


celebrity column


SMALL YARD: BIG IMPACT Critical Listing’s Carson Arthur is big on small spaces

Selling your home but worried that your small yard or balcony won’t show well? The adage “size doesn’t matter” clearly has nothing to do with the outdoors – especially when you’re trying to sell your property! The good news is that there are lots of tricks and tips to maximize even the tiniest outdoor spaces. If you own a small backyard or even a condo balcony, take all the rules for indoor rooms that you think you know and throw them out! Ideas like using small furniture in a small space, or limiting yourself to light colours and palettes to make the space feel airy don’t really apply outside. Here are my favourite tips that do work outdoors. Choose the ones that work for you. 82

Maximize the empty spaces Take a look at the areas that aren’t being used and make them work for you. My favourite ‘unused’ space is under benches. Built-in seating in a small backyard is a great way to add storage and hide all of the toys, tools and even extra pillows and blankets. Remember, clutter in any small space is bad because it visually makes everything seem crowded. Be careful though, outdoor storage needs to be waterproof, otherwise you’ll end up with mold or even unwanted guests. Finish the floor or ground with a single surface I’ve heard experts say that small paving stones make a space look bigger. I disagree! I’ve used small pavers, large slabs

of natural stone, wood planks, pea gravel… you name it. They all work just fine. The key is to keep it consistent throughout the space. One surface defines a small backyard as one room, even if the room has multiple purposes. One of the biggest trends for 2014 is the new type of pressure treated wood called MicroPro Sienna. By using a stain with smaller molecules, they are able to get the rich brown colour deeper into the wood. Not only does it last longer without re-staining, it makes every space feel warm and look expensive like indoor hardwood. Add some cozy throw rugs Add outdoor area rugs to really enhance the feeling of being in a room and also to visually


Choose containers over plant beds Never think that having plants in a small space is a bad idea. If you look at a well-balanced flowerbed, you should see some space between the plants, which prevents overcrowding. By using containers, you can squeeze the plants closer together without actually crowding them because each plant doesn’t have to compete for resources. Using containers also lets you bring plants that are in bloom to the

front and move other plants to the back, maximizing the visual interest in the space. Think vertical! Walls are often wasted space in small yards. Make the most of yours with outdoor artwork or even vertical gardens. I find that vertical walls in a small space or a balcony are the perfect spot to add character without cluttering the rest of the area. One note of caution: beware of the line between a vertical wall and a horizontal one or the spot where the ground meets the wall. It’s a pet peeve of mine because that line always draws the eye to an area you don’t want to highlight. I always try to break up these lines with furniture or pots.

Create a central focal point Drawing the eye to the centre of the room serves one important purpose; it visually pushes the walls away. Just make sure that your focal point doesn’t overpower the whole space. I’ve used large planters, water features and even mosaic patterns to create an impactful focal point. Whether you’re buying or selling a home with a small backyard, there are always options that can help you make the space work. Just remember, when designing, pick one or two purposes for the space but try not to make a small area do too much; otherwise it won’t really deliver on anything.

Never think that having plants in a small space is a bad idea


break up the space. If you’re going with more than one rug, choose different sizes. Two rugs of the same size will divide a small space, whereas two different sizes visually complement each other.





LOVE AT SECOND SIGHT Older condos have lots to offer, they just need a facelift! By Ralph Fox


design With home prices soaring and square footage shrinking, people living in big cities are starting to give older condo units a second look. Granted, it’s been about 30 years since the big condo boom of the 1980s, so many of those older highrise buildings are starting to look a little dated. But don’t let that stop you! The benefits of buying an older unit are significant – starting with the increased space. Many decades-old units feature larger bedrooms and a separate laundry area, something that’s hard to come by in an age when 300-square-foot micro-condos have become the new affordable housing alternative. I’m all for the idea of spending $20,000 to $30,000 to restore the interior of a 20-year-old unit, instead of buying a brand new suite. Not only will renovating an older space improve its resale value, but it’s also a much easier and less intimidating undertaking than remodeling a single family home. Think of it this way: instead of having to worry about foundation repairs or installing new plumbing, revamping a condo unit is purely aesthetic. You can channel your interior design skills by replacing unstylish stucco ceilings (also known as popcorn ceilings) with smooth ones, which will instantly modernize your space. Then, trade in old carpet for new hardwood flooring and update the kitchen area with clean white cupboards instead of traditional wood, matched with highquality granite countertops. There’s also the option to spruce up your balcony with bold light fixtures and decorative patio furniture, like modern wicker chairs dressed up with bright outdoor pillows. Big on plants? Wall-mounted planters will

add life to your walls, and make the outside space feel like your own personal retreat. Another tip: if the base colour of your balcony is dark, always aim for contrast. You can’t go wrong with a dark deck paired with crisp white furniture. While making renovations to an older condo unit is much less daunting and more affordable than updating a detached house, there are still a few important things to consider. Older buildings have higher maintenance fees than newer ones, since they require more repairs in general. Be sure you’re aware of those costs and balance them against your budget before deciding to buy a unit with the intent of giving it a facelift. It’s also smart to review the condo’s rules and regulations prior to sealing the deal, to ensure there aren’t any reno limitations (some buildings won’t let owners make changes to the common areas, like the main entrance and exterior facade). But unless you plan on tearing down walls, updating your space with basic cosmetic features like the ones mentioned above are generally always fair game. So, before you scan new condo listings in hopes of finding your dream home, don’t discount the option of refurbishing an older unit – especially if you’re on the hunt for a suite with plenty of space. Once all the renovations are complete and the last piece of furniture is placed, the only overwhelming feeling you’ll have will be the sense of contentment that hits you every time you walk through your front door. Ralph Fox is a real estate broker in Toronto Canada. Visit




PROTECT YOUR INVESTMENT, EURO-STYLE Rolling shutters offer security and energy savings By Sarah B. Hood

Every European city dweller knows about a home feature that would solve a host of problems for North American cottagers. Motor-controlled rolling window shutters, typically made of foam-filled aluminum, steel or plastic slats that lock together, have long been standard fixtures in Italian homes and businesses. They are also common in Switzerland, Germany, France and other European countries, but they’re still not well known in North America.



Rolling shutters are a great way to protect your biggest investment – your home or cottage – from animals or people trying to break in, according to trend and design expert Frank Turco of Turcof Designs in Toronto. “They’re great for windows and also for patio doors,” says Turco. “They lock in place; each blind essentially snaps into every other, so you’re getting two layers of metal with space in between. It’s pretty secure.” Eva Konrad is vice president of Rollac Shutters of Texas, Inc., the only North American company

that manufactures aluminum rolling shutters from scratch. “It would really take some time for a thief to get through,” she says. “We have tried it here. To break through a shutter is very hard; a baseball bat just makes some dents in the slats.” Rolletta Canada is a Canadian manufacturer that imports materials from Italy. Company owner Kyle Leite has also carried out his own tests to see how well his blinds would stand up against intruders. “I have some friends in law enforcement. They came out with the special tools they use, and they were surprised at how resilient the blinds were. As long as they’re mounted to something solid like brick or wood, it would take hours to get through them,” he says. Since these motor-controlled units require the installation of a track and a wall-mounted control switch, they’re not cheap. “If it’s a picture window, you’re probably looking at the $1,000 to $1,500 mark,” according to Turco. However, along with security benefits, rolling shutters offer several other advantages –

feature energy efficiency among them. “Here [in North America] they’re installing the shutters in their homes not only for security, but also for the insulating factor,” says Leite. Since all his Rolletta shutters are constructed of aluminum, and each slat is injected with foam insulation, Leite says it does add an insulating factor. This is an important consideration in reducing winter heating costs and saving on home cooling bills in summertime. “With green buildings, energy efficiency is becoming more of an issue in the United States – finally,” says Leite. “In Europe, they have been thinking about this for a long time, but here we’re only starting to think about it.” Because rolling shutters can be adjusted to keep out direct sunlight, “you are not letting in that hot, burning sun, which can heat up the home and create shading on the wall, as well as damaging furniture,” Turco points out, referring to the fading effect that can leave shadow outlines behind pictures or shelving units. “They are great weather protection and also save on energy consumption, keeping your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.”

“There are some tested to the Miami Building Code up to 110 miles per hour,” says Konrad. “So they are – we would not say hurricane-proof – but they are hurricane-resistant.” High quality rolling shutters have a very long life. Occasionally one slat may break or become stuck in the retracted position, but single slats can be replaced. In cases where the damaged slat is in an easy-to-access position, this can even be the type of repair that a handy homeowner could undertake without calling in a technician. The somewhat industrial look of these shutters may not appeal to everyone, but Turco says they come in a range of colours, which improves the visual appeal: “You can match the colour of your brick, or you can choose a contrasting colour.” For most North Americans, security is the top reason for installing rolling shutters. “That’s why many cottage owners call us,” says Leite. “When they come back in three months, there won’t be any break-ins.”

Apart from heat and cold, rolling shutters provide significant protection against strong winds and falling branches. “I’m very familiar with them from the standpoint of Florida, and it’s basically a requirement that you have rolling shutters on the outside of each window,” says Turco, who owns a home in the state where residents are all too familiar with the threat of hurricane damage.



in every issue


A nation-wide network of home renovators is rebuilding America – one community at a time By Jennifer Febbraro



in every issue The ever-widening gap between rich and poor has left thousands of Americans living in conditions of abject poverty. This has not gone unnoticed by Rebuilding Together, a charitable organization working to restore dilapidated neighbourhoods to their former glory.

profile people like Grundy can bring in thousands of dollars – and every cent is needed. Rebuilding Together’s clientele is mainly composed of lower-income families, veterans, the elderly or the disabled. The renovations and upgrades are offered up completely free of charge.

For the past 25 years, Rebuilding Together has brought together nearly 100,000 volunteers across the U.S. to work on renovations – an impressive 10,000 projects each year. Kathryn Arbour, President and CEO of Rebuilding Together Metro Denver, explains the company’s structure and community focus.

How does it work? Arbour says specialized contractors such as electricians and plumbers often donate their ser vices for reduced fees, but the charitable organization depends on corporate and private donations to stay afloat. Many of the corporate donors roll up their sleeves and get to work on-site, too.

“Rebuilding Together works almost like a franchise,” she says. “Each affiliate assesses the needs of that particular community and also determines how fundraising can happen most effectively. However, I’d say the lion’s share of our support goes towards helping an aging or sick population.”

“Once we have experts do the bulk of the structural work, such as wiring or flooring, we can bring in volunteers to complete the finishing touches.” Corporate volunteers do ever ything from putting up smoke alarms to painting exterior walls. Their time and effort is truly the backbone of an agency run by compassion.

Arbour says she’s thrilled to have DIY Network Star Chris Grundy, host of Blog Cabin and Cool Tools, on board. A Denver resident himself, Grundy has contributed his time as a national partner by hosting fundraiser concerts, attending golf tournaments for the cause or talking up Rebuilding Together on TV. “We feel lucky to have him,” says Arbour of the celebrity endorsement. “He does a lot of maneuvering of his schedule on our behalf. He’s passionate about the cause and has been a dedicated spokesperson for years. We love him and he loves us!” She says the backing of high-

Judy and Odis Redwine are an elderly couple in the Denver area who experienced this generosity first-hand. “There was a pamphlet left in our mailbox announcing that a company would be doing free repairs – and I was absolutely thrilled,” exclaims Judy, who takes care of her disabled husband and was struggling to pay the monthly bills by herself. The Redwines live in a neighbourhood of aging baby boomers who barely survived the recent recession. “We’re not like the new kids these days, you know, coming in with money in

their pockets,” laughs Redwine. “The older you get, the harder it is to maintain a home.” Her voice speaks for thousands of others struggling to meet their daily needs and to live in a riskfree, healthy home on a reduced budget. Sometimes, providing an air conditioner or fixing a faulty wire can mean the difference between life and death. Redwine says the Rebuilding Together team were a godsend and she can’t say enough good things about them. They installed a new furnace and air conditioner, built a new kitchen floor, painted the outside of her house, put up drywall, installed handrails at the front of the house and grab rails in the bathroom for her husband’s safety. Safety is a recurring theme for the organization. For the Denver branch, Grundy appeared on the local television show Colorado’s Best to promote National Safety Month. In a coordinated effort on behalf of all Rebuilding Together affiliates to promote home safety, Grundy reviewed some easyto-achieve safety upgrades for summer, including how to put a temporary strip of vinyl down over a damaged floor (to avoid tripping) and how to apply tread or abrasive paint on both indoor and outdoor stairs. (Slipping on stairs causes 40% of at-home injuries.) As Rebuilding Together Denver reaches its 15th anniversary, they are launching a campaign to get 15,000 residents to donate $15 to the organization. It’s a small price to pay to make a huge difference. Then again, if you’d rather volunteer your time… the door is always open – and ready to be painted! HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE



TREASURE OR TRASH? Mega Dens’ Anitra Mecadon helps sort the chic from the shabby I am a firm believer that you don’t have to spend a fortune to create a killer room: you just have to get creative! Going vintage is the perfect way to add style to your space without breaking the bank. The question is, how do you know if it’s a great find or a piece of junk? Here are some of my go-to tips and tricks to turn you into an expert thrift store hunter!

to find out, a little too late, that it smells. Trust me, I learned the hard way so you don’t have to. If it smells, keep on walking. When I’m interested in buying a secondhand piece of furniture or vintage rug, I get on my hands and knees and smell every single inch of it! I may look a little crazy to a passerby, but at least my house won’t smell funky!

If it has good bones then it has potential, end of story When out hunting, always pay attention to the overall shape of the piece: the “bones” if you will. You’d be surprised how many people will pass right by an incredible piece of vintage awesomeness, just because of its current state of disrepair. Silly hunter! You can change the color, fabric or hardware later. It’s amazing what a little elbow grease and a bright coat of paint can do to that secondhand reject!

Keep an open mind It’s not always about what it was made to be, but what you could MAKE it be. This trick alone will keep you ahead of the pack. Your grandma’s old rug may not be too cool to look at now, but what happens if you have it over-dyed an indigo blue? I’ve used factory parts as table bases; doors as tables; trash cans as bar stools; rugs as upholstery; car parts as art and pretty much everything as light fixtures – from old farm equipment to vintage decanters.

Know your limits Does it need work? We can’t all be contractors or upholstery experts: make sure you know what you’re getting into before you buy something. Fabric costs money and an upholsterer costs money. If you don’t have a truck, even the delivery costs money. All I’m saying is, have a rough idea of what you’ll need to put into it, financially and physically, to get it in shape, before you bring it home. The nose knows Does your treasure smell? No I’m not joking! There’s nothing worse than getting all psyched up about a fresh hunt, only 92

What I’m saying here is: be open to the possibilities. You never know where your next treasure lies. Going vintage can be fun and a great way to save some coin, if you know what you’re doing. Don’t become a #DIYfail by passing over that cool piece just because it’s an ugly shade of brown. And for the love of all that is holy, remember this: color is your friend. That piece that you would otherwise glide past without a second look will become an absolute showstopper once you hit it with a hot coat of paint! (As long as it doesn’t smell!) Who’s the star? You’re the star!






RAMSIN KHACHI Owner of the Khachi Design Group, Ramsin Khachi is an established design/build contractor and popular industry expert, making regular appearances on The Marilyn Denis Show and CityLine. Visit


in every issue How would you describe your personal style?     Classic yet contemporary, with a sense of elegance.  

 Who are your style icons? Frank Lloyd Wright and my father.  What city in the world best exemplifies your personal style? Chicago – it’s a great mix of so many things that I love.   What is your favourite era – fashion and style-wise? In fashion, I love the1920s to the 1940s. The Gatsby era was highly detailed, with rich, high-end fabrics (furs & feathers) and lots of accessories like eyewear, watches, headpieces, gloves & walking sticks, jewels and very detailed, stylized shoes. It was an eclectic style that combines traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials. The style is often characterized by rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation. Art Deco represented luxury, glamour, exuberance, and faith in social and technological progress. This era also had amazing cars!   What are your personal style essentials? I love a great espresso machine in a well organized kitchen. I also can’t live without a well-designed closet – I love it when everything has its own place. Technology has to exist in my home to keep me connected to my favourite things in life. A few statement watches, a variety of shoes with character and

complementing belts, nice fitting jeans and no ties. Life essentials include my clean diet, Crossfit, motocross, and time with my kids, girlfriend and family. What style elements from other eras do you wish would make a comeback? I love the era we’re in. There are no rules and it’s an era that embraces eclectic design. It’s all about expressing who you are. 

 What is the worst  style trend ever?  Sunshine or “Florida” ceilings! This 1980s trend featured a series of suspended plexiglass panels lit by fluorescent tubes to mimic natural sunlight, and was found in many “designer” kitchens of the time. Instead, the horrible light managed to make even the most elegant kitchen look like an office lunchroom, and turned the most beautiful meals an eerie shade of greenishgrey. I’ve pulled so many out.  What fabrics and colours are you drawn to?   I love chenilles… such texture and elegance. I also love men’s suit fabrics and that beautiful tailored look they bring to any space.    What’s on your style  wish list? I think I need to be dressing more daringly, to start. And I’d also like to explore the world and experience more culture and style. 



in every issue

A Day in the life of john colaneri T

The Cousins Undercover lets us walkhaost day in his sho es

John Colaneri is the co-host of HGTV’s Cousins Undercover and Kitchen Cousins. The Jersey City resident is a Senior Project Manger at Brunelleschi Construction and is passionate about his family, his city and his profession. Find him on Twitter @colanerijohn & Facebook: CousinsTV ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF JOHN COLANERI


in every issue Wake up at 5:30am and shake up at 6:30. Bring on the kale!

7:25 am Off for the day. Bye bye honey! My lovely wife Jenn and I are expecting our first baby!

“I love my office.

“ 8:00 AM Arrive to the Brunelleschi Construction office in Jersey City for a project meeting. Our office is an old Firehouse built in 1896.



in every issue

“ Beautiful Telco Lofts in Jersey City “

11:00 AM = Meet my cousin (and co host of Cousins Undercover), Anthony Carrino down at the Telco Lofts to see his LaCantina door being installed into a shipping container he custom designed. 4:00 PM Meeting at Stevens Institute of Technology with faculty and students from the solar decathlon team. I’m their mentor for the 2015 Solar Decathlon Competition. I can’t give away any secrets, but this is going to be one amazing house and of course will be net zero.


6hr. celebrity column


celebrity column




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TERRIFIC TABLE IS A DIY DELIGHT Vintage trays do double duty as pretty table toppers By Louise Johnsen My latest craft project came about when I found myself having way too many pretty trays and nowhere to put them. I decided to turn one into a table. You can do this very simply by mounting the tray on a pre-existing table base. I decided to make the simple base too – it was quite easy to do, though it does help to have a friend nearby. Here’s how you do it: TABLE BASE: You will need to buy wooden sticks from your hardware store. I found mine in the molding section – make sure they are square, not round. Measure your tray to define your stick lengths. Remember: a bigger table will need sturdier and bigger wood sticks. You will need: • Four longer pieces of wood – about the same length as your tray. • Eight shorter pieces of wood - about the same width as your tray. • Nails or screws • Paint or gold leaf The shorter pieces are used to create the frame and they hold the table base together. Since my table is on the smaller side, nails were strong enough to hold it together. If your table is bigger, you might have to use screws.



design MAKE THE TABLE BASE: 1. Take four of your small pieces and assemble them into a square frame. Nail the pieces together in this shape. 2. Repeat this step with the remaining four short pieces. (Note: Be sure to assemble both frames the same way to ensure they are the same size before you nail number two!) You now have two matching square shapes. 3. Have a friend help hold things together for the next step where you’ll fit two of your longer pieces inside the bottom corners of the square frames. (See photos) The long pieces form the long side of your table base, running from one frame to the other. Tuck the long pieces INSIDE the corners of the square frames. Hammer or screw these length-wise pieces into place on one square frame – and then the other. 4. Repeat step three, placing the remaining two long pieces inside the remaining two inside corners of the square frames. 5. To make sure your piece is sturdy, you might have to add a nail or two. 6. Use spackle to fill in any flaws and nail heads and then use sandpaper to polish it. 7. Now to the fun part: painting! I chose a light gray and liquid gold leaf – which is like magic in a tiny little bottle. You can choose any colors you like! MAKE THE TABLE TOP For the table top I used an old tray I purchased for $1 at a thrift store. It looked a little plain so I decided to use an epoxy liquid clear resin to dress it up. You can choose how thick you want the resin to be, but I

chose to just make it thick enough to cover a couple of fern leaves. You can put almost anything flat in this resin and it will be protected when the resin hardens. Flat, thin objects work best. I used almost one litre of liquid resin for this project and it is about 1/2” thick in my tray. VERY IMPORTANT: Please carefully read the instructions on mixing and handling the liquid resin, which is toxic and can be harmful if used incorrectly. Always wear latex gloves and eye protection, along with a construction face mask. STEPS: 1. Choose a tray 2. Pick your decorative objects to be placed in the liquid resin. Glue the objects down if needed. 3. Mix the resin (this will take a few minutes) and pour it into your tray immediately. I used a stir stick to make the surface even. After 15 minutes (read instructions in package) blow on the resin to clear it from bubbles but do NOT inhale the resin fumes. Do this outside or in a well-ventilated room, taking care to keep debris out of the resin while it dries. 4. Wait for the resin to dry. This step takes several hours. Once your tray is dry, you can put your table base and table top together! I just placed my tray on top of the table base since I made my tray and base fairly small and low. You can attach your tray to the table top with glue or silicone, if you like. This pretty project has vintage flair and is sure to be a conversation starter! Enjoy!





Bryk House’s Danielle Bryk creates fab and functional work-from-home spaces Everyone knows there is a business to running a household. But that doesn’t mean bills have any business hanging out on the dining room table. Whether you work from home or you need a spot to do the “work” of running the household, carving out home office space is crucial. No matter how small, a dedicated work space will make any home function more efficiently. Know what you need The first thing to do is identify the purpose of the space. Are you working from home and using the space eight hours a day? If so, you need to be serious about the ergonomics of the space. Your chair should be comfortable and have proper lower back support. The seat height should allow feet to rest on the floor and knees to bend slightly more than 90 degrees. Keyboard surfaces should be roughly the same height as your elbows when they are bent slightly more than 90 degrees. If your space is used less frequently, you can be a little more creative with furniture choices. For example, I turned a little alcove on my main floor into an “office” space for my design business for less than $300. I simply needed a surface to place drawings and samples and to work on things when inspiration strikes. I used an IKEA Torsby dining table ($169) with white glass top to keep things airy and blend seamlessly with the decor in the rest of the open-concept space. A replica Panton chair from Morba in Toronto makes a stylish, sleek desk chair that’s fine for occasional use. Light up your life I painted a section of the wall with chalkboard paint to define my mood board, and used an Umbra magazine rack to keep the latest design mags handy. This space is great because natural light floods in from the bay window. Proper lighting is essential for any office, and I find that natural light is where my mind functions best. This simple space is one of the busiest places in our home. Countless art projects and homework assignments are completed here. More involved writing is done in our other home office space, which I carved into the upstairs hallway. For this space, I splurged on custom cabinetry to take advantage of every square inch and to create proper storage, along with a keyboard slide to avoid aching wrists and neck! The tall cupboard houses the printer and all the art supplies, as well as a dedicated area for taxes and important documents. These used to be stuffed into a dining room console – which is not only bad Feng Shui (never mix bill paying with relaxing and gathering) but it interferes with dinner!



Home Office Check List STORAGE It’s hard enough to manage all the bills, taxes, passports (oh, and where are those paper clips that your kid needs for a school project?), if you continually have to search for them in different corners of the house. Give everything a space, and organization becomes less of a chore.

The whole family loves this easy breezy work space. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF DANIELLE BRYK HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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HONEY, WE SHRUNK THE HOUSE! Yard Crashers’ Matt Blashaw on when to build on and when to say “bye-bye”



Build on? Or move on? These are questions many families ask themselves at some point. Maybe there’s a new bundle of joy in your home. Or maybe you’ve reached the tipping point, where the kids seem to get bigger and bigger while the house somehow gets smaller and smaller. At some point, you might need more space. There’s no easy answer and there are several things to consider before you make a move or do a renovation. Have a long term plan Do you love your neighbourhood, love your house and plan to stay put for many years? Maybe forever? Can you afford or finance the renovation? If you answered “no” to any of these questions, then building on may not be the right choice. Renovations are timeconsuming and expensive. It may be simpler and cheaper to find a different home for your family – one that already has the space you need. If you do love your home and your ‘hood and plan to stay long-term, then it’s probably OK to consider renovating. Proceed with caution! (And keep reading!) Do your homework Have a realtor come in and assess the current value of your home. Then assess some comparable properties that have the extra

rooms you’d like to build. See if the numbers make sense. Additions cost an average of about $200$300 per square foot, so you’ll want to know what your property will be worth when you’re done. If the renovation is going to cost more than the appraised value of the new addition, you’ll have to ask yourself if it’s worth it.

of your project before they’ll give you the loan. One way or another, you’ll need to make sure these funds are available if you need them. Don’t assume.

Don’t overbuild in your neighbourhood Ultimately, your housing value is based on comparable properties in the same neighbourhood. If you build something that’s too out of character with the area, then you have a resale problem. This doesn’t mean you can’t add a bedroom or two on a two-bedroom house. But you shouldn’t have the only six-bedroom estate on a block filled with three-bedroom homes.

Moving is stressful. Renovating is too! For a full addition, I typically allow two to three months if I’m on a really good schedule. It can get tricky very quickly and a lot depends on the type of foundation we’re working with. I really think the best step to take is to have a contractor and an engineer advise you. If you’re trying to build up on a single-storey house, you’ll need proper beams and footings. An engineer can advise you about ensuring structural integrity. Get several quotes from different contractors and make sure if you’re going to do it, it’s permitted and done safely.

Building on is expensive Consider the costs carefully. If you have enough equity in your home, you can refinance – and put the money you’ve freed up back into your renovation. Remember that the interest on construction loans (the type of loan the bank will give you if you can’t refinance your mortgage) is much higher than mortgage interest. Construction loans can be hard to get – the bank essentially has to approve

Add some luxury If you’ve done your homework and decided that you’re going to open things up for a major reno, you should really think about adding a bathroom or an ensuite while you’re at it. It will make the whole property more marketable. Bathrooms and kitchens have major impact on resale value – and a new spa bathroom will help you soak your stress away after living through the renovation! HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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NY Design Guy Tyler Wisler declares war on beige

I don’t know when, why or who proclaimed beige to be “the” wall colour of choice for the world. It’s so boring. Yes, I understand beige doesn’t offend and it can go with countless colour palettes. But why be safe? Why not live a little? Embrace the dark side!



The beauty of using dark tones when designing is that it can transform spaces from sterile to sexy. It can make bland into bold with very little effort. Everyone knows that paint is a powerful medium, mostly because it covers such a great deal of visual square footage in a room. Try this: Imagine your typical safe, inoffensive, bland beige room.

It’s fine. It’s inoffensive. It’s boring. Now, picture it in a gorgeous charcoal grey! Many of you are probably thinking I’m completely crazy, but when you think about a starry night sky, you’re enveloped in a shadowy blanket of ebony. That’s when all the twinkling happens! Think about the moon’s glow and the way the other elements in the sky come to life. This is the magic of darkness! The same thing happens in a room – when the surroundings become dark, the other goodies in the space pop into the forefront!




This doesn’t mean you should paint everything black, throw in black furniture and call it a day. The key is to balance the depth of one element with the lightness (or contrast) of another. For example, when I go dark on the walls, I tend to keep the floors light, or use a material that reflects light. I love using rugs made with silk or even metallic yarns because it provides a little shimmer underfoot, which creates great movement with the eye. Benjamin Moore’s Flint AF-560 from their Affinity Collection is a few steps back from black, but really one of the most well-balanced greys on the market: meaning it isn’t too blue, or too red or even too green. Give it a try! Working with my buddy George Oliphant on an episode of George to the Rescue, we painted three out of four walls in a kids’ playroom with Benjamin Moore’s Black Chalkboard paint! It doesn’t get much darker than that, but the room was light, bright and fun. A dark wall means artwork really catches the eye. Again, it’s about balancing light with dark! If darker paint tones on the wall feel too severe to you, there are amazing wallpapers that use both

light and dark tones. This might work for someone who’s seeking the darkness, but can’t fully commit. I love the wallpapers from Trove because they understand how to balance colours, tones and forms. Look for selections that give texture and movement, which can help your dark room feel like a castle and not a cave. These few paragraphs might not bring me thousands of converts, but it’s worth a shot to encourage you to give darker colours a chance in one of your spaces. If only to break free from the monotony of beige. Why not celebrate one small, special area in your home, like a powder room. Or better yet, your bedroom! So many times I’ve been with people as they walk into an old paneled library or dramatically dark entry way – invariably, they proclaim their love of the space and rave about the coziness of it all, but insist they could never do it! Why not? Design is there to help you change and evolve! Are you still rocking the same jeans from 1989? Then why should your walls wear the same shade of beige you painted them all those years ago? Join the dark side! Trust me, you’ll never go back! GROTTE 002 WALLPAPER COURTESY OF TROVE HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE




PLAY SPACE Design maven Janette Ewen creates cozy spaces where kids can learn and grow PHOTO BY CANVAS POP

Children need a space of their own to learn, play and let their imaginations soar. A playroom or creative space with defined activity zones is a great way to encourage creativity and learning. It doesn’t have to cost a fortune and you don’t need a lot of room. I’ve put together a list of tips that will help you create a wonderful space that grows with your child and their needs. Colour me calm Decorate your child’s creative space with neutral, calming colours – try soft blue or green. With so many toys and accessories, you’ll need to bring calmness in wherever you can. Paint should always be semi-gloss (it’s easy to clean with a magic eraser). Try painting one wall with chalkboard paint! For older kids, change the look of the room with the addition of wallpaper – all washable of course.



Easy peasy flooring Vinyl is great and easy to clean, as are some hardwoods. Always bring in a super soft carpet made from natural fibres so the kids can comfortably sprawl on the floor. Avoid shag though – it’s hard to clean! Space for work and play Create distinct spaces that meet the child’s many needs. These areas should include the following: craft/art space, learning/ homework space, play/toy space, display space and a reading space. •    Craft spaces for little ones should always include an area for drawing and painting standing up, a small table and chairs and plenty of accessible supplies. •    For younger children include an “imagination station” for dressing up and playing make believe. Tickle trunks can go here, as well as a puppet theater. •    Creative spaces can become more mature as kids grow. Cater them to your child’s specific hobbies (sewing, fashion, guitar, etc.).


Store the stuff Storage solutions for the little ones should be low to the ground and easily accessible. Clearly mark the boxes so the kids know what goes in them and can help with clean up! Clear bins work well, as do colourful cardboard boxes with labels. As kids grow, storage can move upwards: bring in taller book cases, and filing cabinets to store homework. Teach your children a filing system to keep homework assignments organized. Post a large calendar so they are aware of their schedule and can look at an overall view of the month. Have two types of storage systems, one for play, one for fun stuff like crafts and art supplies.

Cozy furniture Play furnishings should be lightweight and easily moved. Heavier furniture like sofas and desks should be sturdy and solid. Shop for furniture that grows with your child and is ergonomically designed to prevent headaches, back pain and poor posture. Most children use laptops and move around the room when working, so an ergonomic laptop stand or tray is a must. Look for desks and tables with adjustable legs and height, and well-designed chairs. Consider a larger desk (where two children can sit) or two desks face-to-face. With so many collaborative projects, kids will need a place to work with partners. HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


design I love a chalkboard painted wall. It just feels so good to let loose with a piece of chalk and “tag” the wall with my favourite quotes, notes and, of course, some doodles too. It’s fun and functional and certainly not just for kids anymore! For many big and small projects I have used Benjamin Moore’s traditional black chalkboard paint, but now that it can be tinted to ANY colour it’s even more enjoyable and can adapt to the style of any room. It’s easy to let your creativity go wild with chalkboard paint – here are a few ideas to get you started… In the kitchen: Create a menu board to map out your meals for the week, or paint one small wall to track your grocery list. Paint the edging of shelves to note your fresh herbs or other kitchen items.

Chalkboard Paint Grows Up Fresh, fun and not just for the kids’ room anymore By Sharon Grech

In the pantry: Keep it neat and organized by labeling areas where cleaning supplies, laundry supplies and dry goods are stored. Write inspirational messages to keep people whistling while they work. In the bedroom: Dressers can be labeled to keep clothes organized. Or add a functional accent colour to the outside or inside of closet doors. In the basement: An old dresser in the craft room, or tool drawer in the garage can be painted and labeled with the contents for easy access. In the front entrance: Paint an accent wall and chalk up some warm salutations and doodles to welcome guests into the home. The best part is the versatility. You can add chalk when desired for a playful feel, or simply wipe clean for a more sophisticated look.



In the home office: A full wall to write on makes sense – or create a decorative wall-mounted board with a blend of two or more chalkboard colours. This is an easy DIY project that is mobile and allows you to keep the to-do list front and centre.

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HUNG UP ON NATURAL BEAUTY Handyman Chris Palmer shows how to build a beautiful birch branch coat rack

High winds often leave broken branches scattered amongst the leaves at this time of year. But with a little creativity you can take those broken limbs and turn them into a great birch tree coat rack! There’s nothing better than bringing a little of the outdoors inside.   Here’s what you need to start: Birch tree branch offcuts, 1.5” diameter min. for the points of connection 1” x 6” boards to create the frame (recommended: clear pine if you want to paint it) 2” wood screws Wood glue Sandpaper (various grits #120 – 320) Paint or stain of choice Polyurethane (satin finish) Staples or brad nails Drill and impact driver Saw (hand or power) Stapler or nailer Branch pruner Clamps (6”, 12” and 24”)

Chris Palmer is a Canada’s Handyman Top Finalist, Designer and Craftsman, who loves health & fitness and the great outdoors. He is also a big supporter of Diabetes research. For more clever DIY projects be sure to visit


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Directions STEP 1:

To start, find at least 10 very dry, decent branches with diameter no smaller than 1.5” and no larger than 2.5”. Tip: Make sure your branches aren’t fresh – the dryer the better. Before you start cutting anything, you’ll first have to figure out how long and how tall this coat rack can be. Once you’ve decided on your size, take the 1x6 boards and cut to the desired lengths to make your frame. Two long boards for the length – two shorter boards for the sides. Tip: Cut one extra short piece to use as a template for the branches – this piece will give you the perfect marking device to make sure each branch is the same length and cut on the same angle.

STEP 2: Now it’s time to assemble your frame. Don’t complete the whole frame – assemble it with the base and two sides. It’s easier to install the branches with the top off. Once the three pieces are attached, paint, stain or clear coat your frame (including the fourth side which is not yet attached), before the branches are in place. Note: sand the areas where the branches will go, otherwise the wood glue won’t adhere to sealed wood.

STEP 3: Next come the branches. Take your branches and pick away any loose debris or unsightly pieces you don’t want. You’ll need a fairly thick central base, with a smaller branch growing off the base – the smaller branch will serve as your “hook” for hanging coats. Using your templates, lay the branches down, clamp them in place and cut with your saw to match the templates’ height. Cut or prune “hooks” to an appropriate length, too. Using all of your cut branches, arrange them on the partially assembled frame. Use your eye for the spacing, branches are irregular so it’s not a perfect science – it’s all about the look.

STEP 4: When your branches are arranged, add wood glue to the bottom of each branch – then pin them in place with the nailer or stapler. With all the branches now glued and pinned in place, add glue to the tops of the branches and fix your top board into place. Now pin the tops in, as you did for the bottoms, and let dry. To really secure it, wait an hour and then come back and pre-drill holes into the branches (top and bottom) and then put a screw into each end of every branch for added strength. Tip: Add a clear coat to seal the cut ends of the small branches that are still exposed – it keeps the wood fresher looking and prevents further splitting.





BRILLIANT TRENDS TO TURN YOU ON Cool, contemporary twists on classic lighting By Frank Turco It’s all about cozy indoor spaces at this time of year – and nothing sets the mood more than the perfect lighting. Here are some of the season’s brightest trends:

All about organics This trend is about combining elements of wood with lighting for an organic effect. Whether it’s a chandelier with wooden arms or a lamp base, wood is a hot trend in illumination.

Cluster it



The idea of taking several pendants and/or other lights and hanging them together in a cluster creates a great look. Typically, the lighting has a clear or coloured glass shade to create the illusion of shine and glimmer when grouped together. My pick for this trend is a hand-blown glass shade – clear or in a soft colour palette. Hung in a cluster, this is a perfect addition to any room.

LED lights the way

Float away

LED lighting has evolved over the years. From a simple bulb to unique rope lights and more, the use of LED in every room of the home is very popular. One of my favourite things to do is to take an LED rope light and incorporate it into the edge of a countertop – this is ideal for someone trying to create a modern look in their kitchen; it gives a bit of shine to the counter area. It is especially perfect for the front of an island and looks great when paired with high gloss cabinetry.

Floating bubble glass is the hottest trend in chandeliers for homes. This look is cool, modern, yet sophisticated and has multiple applications; from dining rooms, to living rooms to foyers. The floating bubbles create a unique conversation piece that not only provides functional lighting, but is like a piece of art that your guests will talk about long after they leave.

Grey lighting The colour grey is not only a hot trend for walls and furniture, but also for lighting. My pick for this colour is in the use of industrial lights, where the metals are pewter, brushed or nickel grey. Because industrial lighting typically exposes the bulb, my recommendation is to use Edison bulbs to complete the urban industrial look.

Metallics shine on Copper has a sleek, contemporary feel to it. Whether it is used on the base or arm of a fixture or forms the shade, copper is the hottest trending material in lighting today. Frank Turco is a trend/design expert and President and Creative Director at Turcof Designs. Visit

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Husband and wife team Chris and Peyton Lambton transform backyards, one house at a time, in their HGTV series Going Yard. Combining Chris’s professional landscaping skills with Peyton’s flair for styling, the couple creates fab outdoor living spaces and features, including patios, arbors and water features, for deserving homeowners. (Visit PHOTO COURTESY OF CHRIS SHORESHOTZ PHOTOGRAPHY.


in every issue WHEN I’M NOT WORKING, I LIKE TO… Chris: Enjoy nature – whether it’s at the beach, working in my garden or walking my dog with my wife. Peyton: Spend time with my husband, play with our new puppy, cook and do yoga and pilates.  MY FAVOURITE THING TO EAT IS… Chris: Anything fresh off the grill. Peyton: Mexican!! I lived in Texas just long enough to crave Mexican all the time, specifically queso and guacamole.  MY FAVOURITE HOME RENO SHOW IS… Peyton: HGTV Cousins on Call... I love the work Anthony and John do and the way they are changing lives for so many families!  Chris: I love watching Cousins on Call and Fixer Upper I LOVE TO SPEND TIME WITH… Chris: My wife, my two brothers and their spouses, my dad and my puppy. I am a big family guy. Peyton: My husband and puppy, Summitt. Nothing better than having the family at home!  MY BUCKET LIST INCLUDES… Chris:  I would love to travel to Argentina and complete a triathlon. Peyton: Learning to sail and going on a sailing trip, traveling to all 50 states, driving across the US, and hiking part of the Appalachian Trail.  MY IDEA OF A PERFECT DAY IS… Chris: Making a big breakfast, reading a great book on the beach, going for a relaxing run, cooking dinner on the grill with friends and

family, and ending the day by the fire pit with some good, cold beers. Peyton: Sleeping in and going to the beach to relax on a sunny day. I LOVE TO READ BOOKS OR MAGAZINES ABOUT… Chris: I love reading and am constantly looking for great books to read. The last two books I read were based on true stories: The Boys in the Boat and Unbroken. Both are amazing reads and I highly recommend them. Peyton: My guilty pleasure is, of course, celebrity gossip but I also love home design magazines right now, as we are renovating our home. I am constantly tearing out pages for my vision book.  MY FAVOURITE MOVIES ARE… Chris: Love all Star Wars movies. I am a sci-fi geek! Peyton: Beaches, Steel Magnolias and Love Actually THE MOST RELAXING ROOM IN MY HOME IS… Chris: The sunroom. Big comfy couch and lots of windows. Great place to take an afternoon nap or watch my favorite teams on TV. Peyton: The sunroom. It’s full of windows and a huge comfy couch. Perfect for a nap with the windows open and a breeze blowing through.  THE ONE THING NOBODY KNOWS ABOUT ME IS… Chris: My dad is a Canadian citizen and we have lots of relatives all over, from PEI to Vancouver.  Peyton: I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up! 




PREP, DRAIN, MAINTAIN The complete guide to fall & winter care of water features By Jennifer Marquese of Marquis Gardens

Your water feature looked beautiful all summer long, and you want it to look the same way next year. Here are the steps you need to take, starting in late fall, to prepare and maintain the beauty of your water feature for years to come! ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF MARQUIS GARDENS

FOUNTAINS A fountain is most commonly made of concrete, plastic or stainless steel and is situated above ground with open, running water. BEFORE FROST/FREEZE Remove your pumps and bring them indoors. For best results, keep in a container of water to prevent seals from drying or cracking. There are some circumstances where the pump is too difficult to remove from the fountain. In this case we recommend you fully drain all water from the pump and ensure the pump is completely dry. Wrap the pump in a plastic bag and seal it off from moisture. 130

DRAIN & MAINTAIN Remove all water and protect your fountain using a fountain cover. Campania Fountain Covers are a great choice for two reasons: the unique material allows no moisture in, but allows all trapped moisture to get out. As well, they come in a muted taupe colour that sure beats a bright blue tarp! These Fountain Covers come in a range of sizes, with a handy drawstring to accommodate most fountains. TIP: Avoid salting near your fountain, as this will cause damage to the finish and could cause crumbling.

landscape PONDS A pond is an in-ground body of water that is either lined or natural. A pond can have fish and plants. PREP


Before the leaves begin to fall, place a net over your pond to prevent leaf debris from entering.


Trim back lily leaves and marginal plants and remove all floating plants.


Move aeration discs to 2 feet from the water’s surface.

BEFORE FROST/FREEZE Remove pumps just as you would with a fountain – keep them in a container of water to keep the seals from drying or cracking. Remove filters and clean them thoroughly. Bring them indoors where they will not freeze. Now is a great time to review your filter and pump manuals and to replace or clean up your seals, UV bulbs, quartz tubes, ionizer probes and filter pads or filter media. If your pond does not have an area that is 3 ½ - 4 feet deep (minimum), then fish should be removed and brought indoors to a filtered tank. MAINTAIN No need to drain any water from your pond – it’s better to have the pond full to maintain the integrity of the surrounding structure and the depth for fish and hardy lilies. Float a de-icer towards the middle of your pond to allow for a small opening in the ice for proper gas exchange through the winter months. Keep an eye on the de-icer’s LED light in the winter to ensure that it is working. Do not attempt to make a hole with blunt force, as this is harmful to the fish and can be a dangerous task.

WATER FEATURES A water feature can be dug in-ground or above grade. Examples include: Bubble Rocks or Bollards, Water Walls or Weir Feature. BEFORE FROST/FREEZE For features with above ground reservoirs, drain water from the reservoir, bring in the pumps and store in a container of water. The reservoir basin can be covered to keep most of the moisture out, however, it does not have to be waterproofed completely – the main goal is to prevent the basin from filling entirely with water. If your feature has a reservoir that is in-ground or below grade, we recommend that you do not drain. Keeping the reservoir full of water will prevent it from caving in from the pressure of the surrounding soil or aggregate in the freezing months. Pumps should be taken out the same way as with any water feature. Remember: When water freezes, it expands. This is why we don’t want any water to remain in above grade basins, HOSS | THE HOME RENOVATION RESOURCE


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Cool Weather Cozy Extending the patio season when the temps go south By Lorie Steiner

Ah, the joys of autumn. Closing the cottage, packing up the trailer and settling in at home for the long, cold winter ahead. STOP THE PRESSES! The days may be getting shorter and the nights a little chilly, but that’s no excuse for giving up on the pleasures of patio living! In fact, HOSS has been talking trends with the experts in all things backyard cozy and it seems the outdoor season is getting a whole lot “hotter” this fall. Let’s have a chat Josh Malcolm owns three Classic Fireplace locations in the Toronto area, and is often asked by designers and renovators to share his industry knowledge. “This year,” he says, “many manufacturers are showcasing ‘chat tables’ – essentially, an outdoor coffee table with a fire pit in the middle.” These tables have a built-in, self-contained insert that runs on propane or natural gas, giving off an even, gentle heat, but no smoke or odour. Unlike a woodburning campfire where the flame comes right at you, a chat table creates a lovely ambience – perfect for sitting around with friends, having a drink and conversation. With the warmth and light they provide, you can stay outside and be comfy long into the evening. There are a wide variety of styles available in the $1000 to $2500 CAN range. 134


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landscape Talking Tradition “The classic outdoor fireplace is still a popular backyard attraction, especially in cooler weather,” notes Josh. “Most often, it’s centred in front of a cozy seating area, like a traditional living room setup.” It’s not unusual to see show-stopping brick or stone fireplace “feature walls” gracing the grounds of luxury properties. The more elaborate the build, the more expensive, of course. But simpler, affordable styles have their place as well. “More and more, people are making their backyards an extension of their homes,” says Stephen Schroeter, Senior Vice President of the Napoleon Group of Companies. “The installation of an outdoor fireplace takes that a step further, and allows you and your guests to sit under the stars, even when it gets a bit chilly. Fantastic memories are made sitting around a fire and enjoying the evening air.” Free-standing patio heaters are also popular. Some bring a more commercial feel to your deck or patio space; others are elaborately-designed models with a stylish vintage look. PHOTO COURTESY: BULLFROG SPAS

Making a splash If you’ve never had the pleasure of soaking up the season in an outdoor hot tub while the autumn leaves shimmer in the trees, you’re missing a real treat. David Riding, Marketing Coordinator for IPG Canada, (Independent Pool Group) says, “For hot tub enthusiasts, it’s a true lifestyle thing. Come fall, many people are just opening up their tub after the cool pool season. At our house, we use it every night from September to March, sometimes longer.” To gain an insight into consumer trends, David says his company

asks the question: How would people integrate a hot tub into their everyday lives? Answer: In every way possible! “It’s not just about the romantic couple you see in hot tub ads. In reality, it’s more often a group of four, having drinks or whatever. Friends and family getting together and relaxing, making full use of the backyard, even when it gets cooler.”

perks, having a hot tub in your own backyard has huge health benefits. Hydrotherapy is well known for rejuvenating sore muscles, stimulating circulation and creating an overall relaxed mind/body experience. What better after a hard day renovating, or running in a fall marathon, than to slide into the warm water and let the jet massage take over.

The latest, greatest tubs actually have built-in stereo systems and televisions – that you control from your smart phone. Rock on!

Whether you’re into romance, rock & roll or relaxing under the stars (or all three!), there are plenty of ways to extend your patio pleasure this fall. Don’t forget the blankies and a nice bottle of wine!

Along with the obvious party



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Fall maintenance tips fresh from I Hate My Yard’s Sara Bendrick



landscape As the weather turns crisp and cold and autumn leaves fall, most people don’t have gardening on their minds. But the truth is, a little hard work and planning in the fall can really pay off for the rest of the year. Here are a few landscaping tips to keep you ahead of the ball and to help ensure a great garden in the spring and summer to follow. Go on and get outside for a little exercise and sun. You won’t regret your efforts and your spring garden will thank you! Show your shrubs some love For most of the northern hemisphere, fall is one of the best times to plant shrubs and other woody plants – when plant growth moves away from leaves and flowers to root strengthening and growth. Developing healthy strong roots is essential for the long term health of your plants, so get those new shrubs in the ground in the fall to take advantage of the cooler weather root growth opportunity. You’ll also bypass the summer heat that can stress a new plant. Fall is an excellent time to transplant shrubs and trees, too, for the same reasons. Mulch much? Think of it as a winter blanket for your plant’s roots: adding a couple of inches of organic mulch will help regulate the temperature of the soil and keep some heat in the ground when the temperature starts to drop. Organic mulch decomposes every year and adds nutrients to the soil. So... go refresh it! Create a donut look instead of a mountain around the base of your trees and shrubs. The extra breathing space discourages root rot and helps keep pests from nibbling on the ‘neck’ of your plant.

Let it breathe This is a great time of year to start pulling out plugs of dirt and sod to create voids in your lawn that give moisture and decomposed material a place to settle. You can do this with small hand tools or with pushbehind machines that you can rent. I use a simple hand/foot tool that you can carry around and press into the soil by transferring your weight on the crossbar. It takes a little more labor, but sometimes yard work is my exercise! It’s important to leave the plugs on top of the lawn so they can decompose. Make sure your soil is not bone dry – watering it makes it so much easier to work with. And while you’re tending to your lawn, fall is a great time to feed it, too – especially if you have cool season grasses, such as Kentucky bluegrass, perennial ryegrass or fescues. Cool composting Take advantage of the leaf fall by recycling leaves into nutrient-rich compost for your garden. Place your leaves in a pile or compost bin and rotate the pile from time to time. The leaves might not contain enough nitrogen by themselves for the pile to start heating up, so consider adding some high-nitrogen supplement (such as manure) to feed the bacteria that will transform your leaves. A mix of 80% leaves and 20% nitrogen product works well. If your lawn is not overrun by fallen leaves, consider just running a lawn mower over the top to shred them up; then leave them on the grass to recycle back into the soil. (Make sure this process doesn’t completely blanket the lawn, though.) Let your leaf waste work for you!



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BACK STORY WITH ANTHONY CARRINO WHAT DID YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU WERE GROWING UP? I knew I wanted to own my own company. Watching my father run his business and seeing the amount of freedom he had to coach my sports teams and come to school events made me see that I wanted that freedom in life. I also love the pressure and responsibility of being in charge. I always loved playing on machines, getting dirty and helping my grandfather on his construction sites, so I guess I just figured out how to marry the two together. Incorporating design came later, as I discovered my creative side… I don’t have a formal design background, I am all self-taught.   HOW DID YOU GET YOUR START IN THIS BUSINESS? My father and I started Brunelleschi Construction together in 2004. Growing up, I had always worked for various uncles and my grandfather on construction sites, and my dad and I always GC’ed our own projects (we built an extension on my parents’ house and built the entire beach house). We finally decided to turn it into our own company. WHAT ARE THE BIGGEST HURDLES YOU’VE OVERCOME? The biggest hurdle would have to be the real estate bubble burst in 2007. We had just finished our largest project to date, a 35,000 sq. foot restoration with 22 condos, and we had a seven million loan to repay. Suffice it to say, I learned what a sleepless night was. But we never stopped fighting or being creative and always stayed true to our core values. WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT WHAT YOU DO? I love a lot of aspects of my job, from the crazy pace to the varied skill sets needed to get through any given day; the fun of starting new projects and tackling new challenges. But my two favorite aspects are having the chance to restore Jersey City’s most architecturally significant and historic buildings, and watching clients take back the keys to their home after we have realized our collective vision for the space. Pure joy. WHAT IS YOUR DREAM PROJECT? If I’m being honest, I am quite fortunate to be working on it right now. We are restoring the first NY/NJ Bell Telephone Switching Station in the state of New Jersey, located in Jersey City. The building was originally built in 1890 and is a masonry masterpiece. We are putting 16 rental lofts on the top two floors, one of which will be my home, and we have brought in an incredible restaurant team for the street level to run two amazing restaurants that we are also designing. Anytime we can make something old new again, I’m smiling! 138

Anthony Carrino, co-hosts HGTV’s Kitchen Cousins and Cousins Undercover with real-life cousin John Colaneri. Carrino is also the principal and designer at Brunelleschi Construction. Visit

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Bare Feet


Schluter®-DITRA-HEAT Electric floor warming system with integrated uncoupling Floor warming systems have become very popular. Heating tiled floors increases the need for uncoupling to prevent cracked tiles and grout. Use DITRA-HEAT to get both – warm floors and uncoupling – in a single layer. • Heating and uncoupling in a single layer • No self-levelers required to encapsulate heating cables (no need to wait for curing) • Place the heating cables exactly where they are needed, without clips or fasteners • Combines the flexibility of loose cable with the ease of installation of a mat system • 120 V and 240 V options • Programmable and non-programmable thermostats available

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Tyler Florence, Culinary Artist — and — Lisa Switkin, NYC High Line Designer Landscape Architect Watch them talk form and function on

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HOSS September/October 2014  

Home Reno Heroes.

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