Lifestyle Magazine: January - February 2013

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LIFESTYLE I N S P I R AT IO N F OR HO M e , G A R D E N & l e i s u r e











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Doug Tarry Homes is excited to announce that we are now building in Ingersoll in the Harrisview subdivision found just minutes from the 401. Harrisview is just another great addition to the already growing community. This site offers you woodland and pond lots as well. Harrisview is within walking distance to parks, trails, schools and local shopping. Doug Tarry Homes strives to continually be a leader in the growing home building market. The Doug Tarry difference starts right from the foundation and can be seen with the homes finishing touches. Visit a model home today!!

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I N S P I R AT IO N F OR HO M e , G A R D E N & l e i s u r e


PUBLISHER Lana L. Breier



Judy Liebner



Beth Stewart Heather Toskan Ellen Ashton-Haiste


MARKETING ASSOCIATE Wilma Van Vaerenbergh 519-476-5571


ACCOUNT MANAGERS Beth Moyer 519-686-0951


Jan McGrath 519-243-2932 Barb Houston-LeClair 519-317-8482 Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676

GRAPHIC DESIGN Editorial Design: Mary Johnston Graphic Design Advertisement Design: Bill McGrath Nancy Greenfield





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L I F E S T Y L E I N S P I R AT IO N F OR YO U R HO M E , g a r d e n & l e i s u r e JANUARY/FEBRUARY






Maybe it's the longer days or the mild winter, but I can't help feeling that spring is just around the corner. The New Year also brings with it a sense of renewal and anticipation of the 12 months that lie ahead. Many homeowners will be using the winter months to explore the possibility of a new home, a renovation or even a fresh backyard design. Many trends, such as outdoor kitchens, that started a few years ago have become firmly entrenched as we spend more time at home and seek ways of improving our enjoyment of our indoor and outdoor living areas. In our special section in this issue of Lifestyle, we've given readers a sneak peak at new ideas and products for renovations in 2013. Writer Ellen Ashton-Haiste has explored everything from window treatments and lighting to maximizing storage opportunities in the garage and landscaping with stone. One trend that's here to stay is our fascination with improving our backyards. As the workday lengthens, leisure time is becoming increasingly important to all of us. Waterfalls and ponds, as well as outdoor kitchens, bars and fireplaces help us to escape stress and enjoy time with our friends and family in a setting that is visually appealing. Garages are another area that many homeowners are using for entertainment purposes. Many are opting for televisions and sound systems so they can take their parties indoors to the garage when sunny skies change to rain. High-end cabinetry and hooks also provide extra storage and a place to organize sports and gardening equipment. No issue of Lifestyle would be complete without stories that focus on homes. We've featured a story about the cabinetry in a new home in Grand Bend that blends fine craftsmanship with state-of-the-art technology. The owners' inspiration was a tour of Europe that persuaded them to reproduce an ambiance of timeless elegance in their own home. And in Dorchester, a model home is now open at Village on the Thames, a new adult lifestyle condominium community. The homes include many accessible features, as well as two bedrooms and laundry facilities on the main floor, which allow owners to remain in their homes until full-time care is required. If a backyard redesign is in your plans, you'll want to attend the Stratford Garden Festival's 13th annual show, “Reflections.� A plethora of reflective water features will be incorporated into the designs for the show, which takes place from Feb. 28 to March 3 at the Stratford Rotary Complex.



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By Ellen Ashton-Haiste When Steve and Halyna Doherty began to plan their new home in Grand Bend, they knew they wanted a style reminiscent of the French provincial chateaux that had inspired them during a European tour. “We wanted a timeless, old-European look, something that has been around for centuries, endured the passage of love and care and is still being used today,” Halyna says. Integral to that ambiance was the cabinetry. So the Dohertys set out to find a cabinetmaker who could share their vision and manifest it in the woodworking. “We chose Woody's (Custom Cabinetry) because we thought they really knew how to listen to what we wanted,” she says. “Other cabinetmakers just couldn't understand what we were looking for. They couldn't interpret it (and) it's the interpretation of a client's ideas that is what makes a true artist in this field.”

Left: Emulating the style of French provincial chateaux, the gas cooktop features an oversized walnut hood and an open display space below. Right: The white cabinetry incorporates hand-fitted inset doors and drawers. Below: The working island flows into a curved eating bar, mirroring a turret-shaped dining area and fireplace alcove.






“You need to get to know the customer’s personality, get a feel for what they want and then provide the best quality and an authentic look with complete functionality.” - Shawn Fentie

That's how Doherty sees Shawn Fentie and the team of craftsmen at the London family business. “He's truly a master of what he does.” For Fentie, creating the client's dream is what it's all about. “You need to get to know the customer's personality, get a feel for what they want and then provide the best quality and an authentic look with complete functionality.” Throughout the home, he says, this combination has been achieved with old-world craftsmanship and state-of-the-art technology, including doors and drawers hand-fitted and inset into the cabinets. This melding of old and new is readily apparent in the kitchen. The gas cooktop forms a focal point with its massive walnut hood and lower open display area, which was designed to hold decorative seasonal arrangements. The range and hood created the character the Dohertys hoped for. “It does look very provincial-chateau-like, very European and traditional, which is what we wanted,” says Halyna.

Top: The expansive windows in the dining area offer panoramic views of the natural landscape surrounding the home. Right: The warm wood tones of the countertops and trim counterbalance the white cabinetry.

Left and Above: A simple wall to divide the kitchen and great room was transformed into a four-sided unit. Storage and appliances are built-in facing the kitchen and French cabinets open to the great room. A bi-level counter with an illuminated china cabinet completes the piece.





Above: Cabinets were constructed for several bathrooms, such as this ensuite bathroom off the master bedroom.


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The warmth of the dark wood surrounding the range and the engineered quartz countertops – black and tan swirls with subtle white touches and a gold shimmer – offset white cabinetry. The combination also co-ordinates with the dark wood trim in the adjacent dining area and fireplace alcove. The island's work area, with a double sink and built-in dishwasher, flows into a curved eating bar that mirrors the turret shape of the dining area and alcove. “We wanted a timeless, old-European look, something that has been around for centuries, endured the passage of love and care and is still being used today.” - Halyna Doherty

A wall dividing the kitchen from the great room was transformed into a foursided unit. The kitchen side houses built-in appliances, including an espresso maker, side-by-side refrigerator-freezer, full oven, speed oven and warming drawer. Facing the great room, Woody's constructed a French cabinet, top-lit with central glass doors. “That was exactly what we wanted,” Halyna says. “I got a picture from the Internet of French cabinets. Shawn basically copied them, but also made them better.” The unit is finished with a bi-level engineered quartz counter ending with an illuminated china cabinet. As well, bookshelves – side-lit with LED strips – flank the raised, oversized gas fireplace in the two-storey great room. Woody's cabinetry is found throughout the home, but a feature that especially delighted the Dohertys is an

BASEMENTS…are much more than a TV room or the beloved term, ”man cave“; these multifunction rooms are home to the office, the in-law suite, the teen hangout, family game nights and more. Planning is everything and even in a smaller space you can accomplish all of your families activities and storage requirements. This basement takes advantage of the space under the stairs for a desk area, additional lighting is hidden in a floating shelf, the wall unit/murphy bed doubles as the spare bedroom, and the benches provide additional seating for parties and storage. Exposing the stair railing gives an effective entrance to the rooms and the warm engineered wood flooring balances the bright space. Beautiful and cozy! PROJECT HINT: Stained stairs are difficult to get the finish just right so the cabinet shop sprayed these stairs. It was a multistep process but the hardened finish will wear best over time.

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Above: One of the Dohertys' favourite features is their son's Superman closet, modelled on a British telephone booth, with an old-style working payphone inside.

addition to their son's suite. His passion for comic superheroes inspired a Superman closet. Double doors were constructed to resemble the sides of a British red telephone booth, with the Superman logo carved into the crests. The Dohertys even located an old-style working payphone to install inside the closet. “It's unique and our son loves it,” Halyna says. “It's one of a kind and you wouldn't see that kind of work anywhere else.” Also on the home's upper level, Woody's built an office for Steve, with walnut cabinets and a walnut desk with a solid cherry top and a black quartz inset for writing. A nearby craft and sewing area was constructed for Halyna, a “girls' hangout” that includes a craft counter, a desk/sewing centre, and a bar with white cabinetry, a pale quartz countertop and a built-in ice machine and wine cooler. A lower-level entertainment oasis features blue accents, including cobalt basins, counters in sparkly blue quartz that resembles crushed beach stones, and an island anchored by cobalt crystal ice buckets illuminated from below with LED lights. From top to bottom, the Dohertys' vision for their home has been skillfully incorporated into the woodworking, Halyna says. “It's turning out to be exactly what we dreamed.” 12



Get more out of life. When location means everything, there’s no better place to live along the 401 than HarrisView in Ingersoll. Imagine spending less time driving and more time doing the things you enjoy. A home in HarrisView allows you to do just that – with more value for your dollar, surrounded by nature, great amenities, excellent schools and small town values. And being just 20 minutes from London means you still have access to everything you love about the big city. Woodstock INGERSOLL London 402

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Success results from having a passion for what you do, Bob DiFruscia believes. And he's nothing if not passionate about Bertoldi's, the downtown London restaurant he opened a decade ago, now managed by his daughter, Jessica. While he is at the helm of other city eateries, such as McGinnis Landing which he also founded, opening an Italian restaurant that was both authentic and affordable had long been his dream. A true family enterprise, the restaurant's name is his mother's maiden name, the pictures on the walls are old family photos, and the concept was inspired by his grandparents, “who cooked the true Italian way,” everything made from scratch using the freshest ingredients possible. And, that – everything authentic, everything fresh – is exactly what's done at Bertoldi's and what sets it apart, DiFruscia believes. All the dishes are prepared onsite, from sauces to desserts. Even the bread is baked daily in the restaurant's own ba-


kery. The only thing not made onsite is the dry pasta, because of the volume the restaurant uses. It's imported from Italy to maintain the authenticity of the dishes. Authenticity is important to DiFruscia, and many of the ingredients come from Europe. The pizza crust is made with “double zero” genuine pizza flour imported from Naples, “the pizza capital of the world.” Bertoldi's olive oil is from Sicily and is branded with the restaurant's name. Wines are also imported Italian and none is available in LCBO stores, although they may be purchased through the restaurant. For local ingredients, DiFruscia searches for freshness and quality. Flour comes from the Arva Flour Mill and meat is purchased from Metzger Farms in Hensall, which specializes in locally grown and antibiotic-free meats. The salami is made by a husband-andwife team in Toronto and fresh fish is delivered six days a week from Toronto's St. Lawrence Market.

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste Fresh doesn't apply only to the ingredients. Menu offerings are also changed up regularly. The complete menu is reworked twice a year and feature dishes are showcased each week. DiFruscia and chef John Fisher take frequent trips to cities such as New York, Los Angeles and Montreal to keep abreast of trends and bring home new ideas. “We talk about new menu items every week,” the restaurateur says. “You can never rest on your laurels. We're always moving forward with new things.” Another hallmark of Bertoldi's success, DiFruscia says, is friendly and helpful customer service. Considerable effort goes into training the servers and staff, and the turnover rate is extremely low. “We have people working in the kitchen who have been here since Day One,” he says. Chef Fisher has been him for 15 years. “You have to love what you do,” DiFruscia says. It's evident that he and his Bertoldi's staff do. JANUARY/FEBRUARY





By Ellen Ashton-Haiste




Big cities beckon with bright lights, glittering attractions and mega shopping opportunities. But, at the end of the day, smaller towns often exude a friendly charm and a more laid-back lifestyle. Now Sifton Properties, in partnership with Doug Tarry Homes, is offering the best of both those worlds with HarrisView, a new community in Ingersoll. It's a location that will appeal to home buyers at both ends of the age spectrum, says Phil Masschelein, Sifton's vice-president of neighbourhood developments. “The site is perfect for growing families and empty nesters alike,” he says. Surrounded by natural areas, with a creek to the north and two elementary schools within a five-minute walk, it's well suited to growing families. The fact that it's also the closest new residential development to Hwy. 401, just a two- to three-minute drive away, makes it ideal for commuting, Masschelein says. It's 15 minutes to the edge of London, less than 10 minutes to Woodstock and within a half hour of Kitchener-Waterloo and Cambridge. “Many commuters have one family member working in Cambridge or Woodstock and another in London. Ingersoll is right in the centre of this employment corridor along the 401,” Masschelein says. The bonus, he adds, is an opportunity to “spend more time with the family and less on the highway.”

As well, the allure of a smaller town appeals to many empty nesters. There's no lack of recreational and cultural opportunities to fill leisure time, including sites such as the Creative Arts Centre or Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Museum and year-round festivals, including the winter Festival of Lights, summertime Canterbury Folk Festival and autumn Harvest Festival. HarrisView also connects to the 2 ½ kilometre Thomas Ingersoll Scenic Trail, which crisscrosses the town from the Cheese Museum to the downtown gazebo, passing Centennial Park, the arts centre, community centre, and picturesque Smiths Pond. Yet, Ingersoll also boasts many conveniences of larger centres – a hospital, the arena, Victoria Park Community Centre with activities from aquatics to squash, and the Fusion Youth Centre, where young people can hone skills to define their futures. In addition, Sifton has recently gained approval to build a 140,000-square-foot shopping centre on a 20-acre site adjacent to the community. Phase One, launched in July, will comprise 54 single-family homes, 10 of them built by Doug Tarry Homes in its first venture into a neighbourhood outside the St. Thomas/Aylmer area. It's a bit of an experiment, concedes Suzie Dennis, assistant sales manager.

Above: The site plan for the HarrisView development. Top Right: The Victoria Park Community Centre and, below, the Cheese & Agricultural Museum. Right: The Ingersoll Creative Arts Centre. Below: The beautiful Elm Hurst Inn & Spa.





Above: Many events are held throughout the year in Ingersoll including the Canterbury Folk Festival in July, shown above.

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“We are getting our feet wet, just putting out feelers to see how it goes,” she says. For example, the logistics of scheduling local tradespeople to work at a distance further than they have been used to has been challenging. These are the types of problems the company will be working out with this venture. However, this neighbourhood will allow the builder to showcase its homes further afield. “Doug Tarry Homes is an outstanding a n d a w a r d - w i n n i n g b u i l d e r, ” Masschelein says. “They have a successful track record of building excellence in and around St. Thomas.” And they have considerable experience building for the empty nester as well as family homes, he adds. Both builders will construct homes to Energy Star standards. These are up to 30 per cent more efficient than those built to minimum Ontario Building Code standards, which translates into lower energy bills and fewer greenhouse gas emissions, says Angela Siewert, new homes marketing co-ordinator with Sifton. The homes in the first phase will include bungalows, back splits and twostorey designs on cul-de-sac, crescent, walkout and wooded lots with 40- to 50foot frontages. The range of lot sizes means “we have a bit of an option to hit some different price points for folks,” Siewert says. “There are some really great lots, backing on to existing trees or on to the storm water management pond.” Another plus for the Ingersoll area, Masschelein says, is that the home prices – from about $270,000 to the mid-$300s – are 10 per cent lower than in other regions. “Municipal taxes and new development 'hidden costs' in the price of the home are much less here. There is a lot of value,” he notes. And the cost of living is lower, too. Sifton's model home is expected to open early in the New Year.

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By Ellen Ashton-Haiste In the dark, dreary days of mid winter, what everyone craves is a breath of spring. And that's just what they'll get at the Stratford Garden Festival, Feb. 28-March 3 at the Stratford Rotary Complex. “People come in the doors and they smell the mulch. It's winter and it's cold and it's a lovely thing to walk in and smell spring,” says Deedee Herman, area manager of the Lung Association, which hosts the festival as a major fundraiser. “I think that's just such a treat for people.” Some 9,000 visitors each year wander through nine themed gardens, created by local landscapers. This year's theme is “Reflections.” It's a simple but multi-layered word, Herman says. A garden can be a place of reflection, a quiet oasis. And it can be a place of physical reflections, with ponds mirroring nature. While there's certain to be plenty of reflective water features incorporated into this year's designs, at least one landscaper is taking a somewhat different approach. Helena Luyten, of Helena's Gardening, is manifesting gardens past. “My interpretation this year is taking it back and reflecting on how we used to do things,” Luyten says. Her design will harken back to the early 20th century, tying in with the 100th anniversary of the International Plowing Match held in Perth County this year and resonating with her own passion for things historic. “It's going to be really rustic and rural looking,” she says of her design. “I'm going to bring in an old plow. There'll be a lot of barn board. I'm going to build a cedar rail fence.” She will have a patio area and a cutflower garden as well as a vegetable patch, “probably more of a herb garden because I don't know if I can get many vegetables at that time of year.” In addition to the large garden areas, Herman says the festival is bringing back an element introduced last year – planters by local florists. “Garden people can do something quite dramatic in a small container and it has quite a bit of impact.”

And there's more to the show than the elaborate gardens. A Speaker Series, featuring leading experts, will have the latest facts and hot tips for novices and seasoned gardeners. Toronto Botanical Gardens' Paul Zammit, with “Lessons from the Garden,” and Frank Ferragine from Breakfast Television, sharing “Tips and Tricks from the Weird and Wacky World of Gardening,” are “always bursting with enthusiasm,” Herman says. There are some intriguing new trends highlighted, as well. Natural swimming pools, for example, are popular in Europe but are relatively new to Canadians. Johnathan Riehl, from John's Pools and Ponds, will talk about how to create these fresh-water, chlorine-free swimming areas using the magic of plants as lush aquatic filters. Stephen Biggs, a life-long urban gardener and author of No Guff Vegetable Gardening, will discuss “Edibles in the Urban Landscape” or “how to have a visually stunning garden and eat it, too.” And, in the wake of the hot, dry summer of 2012, the topic of xeriscaping – designing gardens to reduce the need to irrigate – presented by Sean James, of Fern Ridge Landscaping and Eco-Consulting, is timely. The Marketplace has everything gardeners might dream of, from plants and seeds to garden accessories, whimsical bird houses, hand-crafted pottery, bird baths carved out of rock and Fair Trade woven mats from Thailand, made with recycled pop and milk bottles. The 13th annual festival, sponsored by Orr Insurance, last year netted about $70,000 for Lung Association programs and research, “a substantial amount for a non-profit,” Herman says. This year, a fundraising bonus is an original watercolour painting (pictured above) by local artist Philip Yielding, created for the promotional material and now part of the Opening Night Garden Party auction. “We needed a graphic and we wanted something soft, the look of a Monet, that would work well with 'Reflections,'” Herman says. Yielding came through with the work and then offered it for the auction.





AT HOME IN THE VILLAGE By Ellen Ashton-Haiste


As we get older, we should have better things in our lives, says London-area builder Barry Wade. Walking through the model home at Village on the Thames, his new adult lifestyle condominium community in Dorchester, it's easy to see how that philosophy is manifested in the standard home features and the available upgrades. The homes are designed to provide easy living for older adults throughout their independent retirement years.

Top: Homes at Village on the Thames feature manufactured stone and fibre cement siding with covered entries and higher roof pitches. Centre: Nine-foot ceilings and windows with transoms allow plenty of natural light into the great room. Below: The homes feature open-concept main levels with kitchens opening to the dining area and great room.




Right: The gas fireplace and mantel are an upgrade available for the great room or for a finished lower level. Below: Kitchen cabinetry is available in a variety of styles, colours and woods. Bottom: A gas stove and granite countertops are among the upgrades available for the kitchen.

“The biggest thing about the homes we've designed is accessibility,” Wade says. “We're trying to create a home where they (owners) can remain until such time as they can't take care of themselves anymore. Many people are forced to move because of accessibility issues. We're trying to eliminate more moves before the time comes when full-time care may be needed.” To this end, there is a level transition between the interior of the garage and the entry, which eliminates the need for stairs. Standard features include extra-wide doorways and hallways, and easy-to-manoeuver lever door handles. As well, all units have two bedrooms and laundry facilities on the main floor. “So all essential elements of the home are on one floor,” Wade notes.

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There are four floorplans available, ranging from 1,303 to 1,991 square feet, including one two-storey unit, although it's not drawing much interest, he says. “The way people seem to be going is to the one-storey home.” All plans have an open-concept main level with the kitchen opening to the dining area and great room. The accessibility features are complemented by upscale touches. “We've tried to create a little more high-end product,” Wade says. The exteriors combine manufactured stone and maintenance-free fibre cement siding. Covered entries include fibreglass columns and front doors of painted fibreglass with pewter hardware. Driveways, walkways and patios made of paving stone are standard features, as are the double-car garages with insulated doors and electronic entry systems. Inside, standard features include ninefoot ceilings with transoms above the windows, ceramic tile flooring in the kitchen, bathrooms and laundry/mudroom, and higher-grade carpeting in all other areas. As seen in the model home, numerous upgrades add to the ambiance. These include a gas fireplace in the great room, granite countertops and a gas stove in the kitchen, and custom shelving, which transforms the hall leading from the master bedroom to the ensuite bathroom into a walk-in closet/dressing room. The model home is also equipped with a Below: The ensuite bathroom features a double vanity.




Above: The hall leading from the master bedroom to the ensuite bathroom can be transformed into a walk-in closet and dressing room.

stereo sound system throughout. The finished basement, incorporating a bedroom, bathroom and office, is an upgrade. Wade points out that the lowerlevel windows are egress accessible, which allows a bedroom to be included in the floorplan. Just about anything the purchaser wants can be provided, he adds. “We are a custom home builder so we can customize plans to meet anyone's needs. We even have the option of putting in elevators if the client wishes that.� As condos, the lots come fully landscaped with lawn maintenance and snow removal provided. Furthermore, Wade says, the site itself is favourable for retirement living. The enclave of 55 homes is nestled on 35 acres along the Thames River, with landscaped gardens and trails throughout. The property has been home to a number of aboriginal villages over the centuries and Wade says prospective homeowners are intrigued by the history and find the rural setting appealing. Yet, all the necessities for a retirement lifestyle are close at hand, he notes. Dorchester has a seniors centre and recreation complex with an indoor walking track. The town also offers a variety of shops and healthcare providers. And London, with its shopping centres, cultural attractions and premier healthcare centre, is just 15 minutes away.

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Two-toned crinkle tunic and tie Capri with cuff shirring from the Spanner Spring 2013 Malibu Collection.

Intarsia pullover sweater and everglade jean Capri from the Spanner Spring 2013 Lagoon Collection.


All fashions featured are available at Studio Style in Port Stanley.

Tunic sweater, versace green Capri and linen scarf from the Spanner 2013 South Beach Collection.

By Heather Toskan If you're setting off on a cruise or planning a warm-weather getaway, cast off the winter woollies and sail full steam ahead in colourful, light-weight clothing. “If you're vacationing down south this winter or planning March-break travel, now's the time to load up on style with some of the early spring clothing resort wear that's fresh in store,” says Kim Ariesen, proprietor of Studio Style in St. Thomas. “Even if you're not going south, you'll be well prepared for spring weather here at home when it arrives.” Ariesen says many of her customers who travel south tell her that they want to look casual, although chic and comfortable, while on the go. “I recommend taking along some brightly coloured Capri pants and ankle-length cigarette-style pants with co-ordinating and patterned tunics to create various looks that can be easily dressed up and down,” Ariesen says. Pants may be plain or patterned and some styles have drawstring details at the hem that can be let down to convert the pants from calf length to ankle length. 26



Blue, particularly azure and turquoise tones, are among the most important colours for resort wear and the coming warm weather ahead. Bright shades of coral, hot pink and green are also stylish and it's hard to go wrong with neutrals such as sand and white. “This year's tunics tend to be more streamlined for a bodyskimming, figure-flattering fit. Some styles feature multicoloured, swirling soft geometric and floral prints which can make them especially easy to co-ordinate with more than one colour of pants,” Ariesen notes. Wear your tunic as is or add a belt to emphasize or create the look of a shapely waistline. When travelling, it's often wise to keep accessories minimal and in neutral go-with-everything colours, such as pewter. “A pewter chain belt that looks like jewellery can easily dress up your tunics and other clothing you may take along, such as crushable linen separates,” Ariesen says. Pewter is also a stylish and versatile choice for other accessories, including jewellery and shoes.


Open Thurs - Sun 11am-5pm 209 Main Street, Port Stanley 519-782-7467 Asymmetrical sleeveless blouse and lace-print Capri from the Spanner Spring 2013 Allure Collection.

Open-stitch patterned sweater and leaf-print Capri from the Spanner Spring 2013 Rainforest Collection.

Fashions and Accessories from Canadian and European Designer Collections

A pair of metallic ballet flats or low-heeled sandals are good travelling companions, which work well with casual and dressy clothing. You may also want to take along a pair of running shoes or a pair of deck shoes, whether you'll be boating or not. “Deck shoes are a strong style item, especially in newer, more feminine-looking, streamlined versions,” says Patti Mugford, general manager of Mugford Shoes. “This year’s tunics tend to be more streamlined for a body-skimming, figure-flattering fit.” - Kim Arieson

A dress is another must-have item for a trip to warmer climes. “For dressier occasions, take along a sundress or a patterned maxi dress that can go from the beach to a night out on the town, with a change to dressier accessories,” says Kim Cross, co-owner and buyer at Durkee's in Aylmer. “Trendy details on sundresses and tops include one-shouldered styling and high-low hems.” Other items you may want to pack include clothing with sunscreen protection built into the fabric and cooling, moisture-wicking properties. Of course, you'll want to be certain to take along your sun block, a crushable straw hat, your sunglasses and perhaps that favourite book that you haven't quite had time to finish reading!

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Valentine's Day, that annual celebration of love, romance and pleasure is just around the corner. Whether you're shopping to give yourself a break from the winter blahs, or are a gentleman looking for a gift for your sweetheart, why not pull out all the frills with the gift of some heartwarming new lingerie? “If you're buying lingerie for your special lady for Valentine's Day, I recommend buying her something that she wouldn't necessarily buy herself. Some feminine, sexy lingerie or some elegant silk sleep wear are among the many beautiful possibilities,” says Darlene Sharpe, manager of Susan J, in London. Wellness Spa & According to Sharpe, lingerie in shades of red and fuchsia are always appropriate Studios opening in for Valentine's Day as they represent the signature colours of love, but white and St. Thomas! black lacy underpinnings are popular year round, as well as for Valentine's Day. Natural healing treatments, workshops “If you're not quite certain what to buy, we're always happy to take the time to and classes of a wide make suggestions and suggest items that are sure to strike your sweetheart's fancy, variety offered by skilled based on what you tell us about her personal taste and style,” says Sharpe. “If your professionals. Visit our website to sweetheart already shops here, we likely have her sizes and preferences on file view all the wonderful which makes shopping even simpler.” services we offer! Stretch lace and lace-trimmed bra and panty sets, teddies and Merry Widows in solid colours and classic leopard print motifs are just a few of the many 519-520-1128 possibilities that make sweet Valentine's Day gifts. If you're looking to start the New Year by treating yourself to some new lingerie, why not consider some modern, streamlined shape wear that combines popular features such as tummy control with a sexy cut and stylish lace trim to enhance OwlintheTrees_12th_ND12.indd 1 your shape? Left: Red lace bra, panty and necklace from Lise Charmel. Below: Black lace body suit from Ulla Dessous.

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Take in the beauty of







Ontario is a beautiful province, yet we often fail to appreciate its abundance. Sometimes we need a little nudge to see what is right in front of us, and that is where artists come in. Artists show us the world through different eyes. They have the ability to tease unique details out of the totality of what is there, making the ordinary extraordinary and the extraordinary spectacular. That is what Paint Ontario, an annual art show and sale which is now in its 17th year, is all about. Originally conceived as a way to celebrate the beauty of Lake Huron, Paint Ontario expanded its scope to include the entire province several years ago in a bid to “grow the show,” says founder and organizer Barry Richman. He believed that approach would make the show more interesting for artists and their patrons. The juried show is unusual in that it accepts only representational art – no


abstracts and no installations. Nor does the show accept photography, prints, fabric art or sculpture. “That doesn't mean people don't push the envelope,” Richman says with a chuckle. The reason for the restrictions, Richman says, is to provide representational artists with the opportunity to show their work – an act that is almost subversive in today's post-modern art world. That they get to do it in such a spectacular venue as Lambton Heritage Museum is a huge bonus. Paint Ontario not only offers the artists' work for show and sale, it also offers artists professional recognition. Richman explains: “To win Best in Show, Second Place or Honorable Mention looks great on their CV, not to mention the cash awards.” Competition is fierce. While the show receives well over 300 entries, only 200

By Beth Stewart are selected for hanging. “The biggest change that I have seen over the years is the professional growth in our artists' work. Many enter every year and they continue to raise the bar,” Richman says with pride. Why does he do it? “I simply want the public to be aware of the great talent that is all around them,” Richman notes. “Plus, I'd feel awful guilty if I stopped; it means so much to the artists.” Paint Ontario always kicks off the second Saturday in March. This year it runs from March 9 to 31. In addition to the juried show there is a “Host's Gallery” where Richman, an artist in his own right, and a number of other hardworking artist-volunteers can strut their stuff. Lambton Heritage Museum is located eight kilometres south of Grand Bend on Hwy. 21 and is definitely worth the drive.

Right: Paint Ontario founder and organizer Barry Richman





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BANISHING THE EFFECTS OF AGING CO2 & Filler Procedure All photos below are of actual patients of Dr. Cumberland

Before - 67 years of age

After - Four years after CO2 UltraPulse laser and ongoing filler

Before - 50 years of age

After - Two months after CO2 UltraPulse laser

Before - 70 years of age

After - One year after CO2 UltraPulse laser and filler

Process of Aging

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SEVERAL MEDICAL TREATMENTS HELP TO IMPROVE LINES AND WRINKLES AROUND THE LIPS By Heather Toskan If you've started to notice those little lines at the edge of your lips, you're likely in your 40s or 50s. You'll be happy to know that the appearance of these lines can be improved and removed with medical treatment, regardless of your age. There are several types of treatments that banish these often deeply entrenched wrinkles. Options vary, according to the depth and severity of one's lines, and which treatments are best suited to each individual's situation. “Lines and wrinkles around the lips are a very common concern for many women, and one which I frequently treat. These lines form naturally as we age and are worsened by sun damage and smoking,” says Dr. Penny Cumberland, of the Cumberland Laser Clinic, in London. There are several reasons why this issue affects women more than men. According to Cumberland, most women have thinner skin that wrinkles more easily than men's skin. Women also usually have smaller teeth and less muscle mass, meaning that there's less sub-skin structural support to help keep skin smooth. Over time, the skin's natural collagen and elastin fibers decline, and lips flatten with age. The loss of lip volume and skin slackening around the mouth contribute to the development of vertical wrinkles around the mouth that deepen with age. “An ideal time to treat wrinkles around the lips and mouth is when they're barely there, which is often when one is in one's 40s. Minimal lines are often corrected with injectable fillers such as Juvederm and Selphyl,” Cumberland says. Juvederm contains hyaluronic acid molecules combined with lidocaine, a localized pain reducer. Hyaluronic acid is a carbohydrate substance that occurs naturally in the skin. Effects from its injection are immediate and it's widely used to treat many types of facial lines and issues. Selphyl is another product that Cumberland sometimes injects into lines around the lips. It also works well under the eyes to relieve a sunken undereye appearance, and on the neck to soften “ring” lines. JANUARY/FEBRUARY




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Younger Skin

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“Selphyl treatments are unique. A small amount of your blood is collected and, from it, we extract a concentrate of your own platelet-rich plasma filled with your own natural growth factors,” Cumberland says. “Selphyl gradually works to increase your skin's natural collagen, which gradually softens and fills wrinkles. It typically takes three weeks to start seeing results.” Selphyl and Juvederm produce extremely natural-looking results in the hands of an exper-ienced practitioner and may last as long as a year. “Some patients are concerned that injections may be painful or that the effects will appear artificial. I've had patients tell me that they don't want to look fake, like the ladies in The Real Housewives of Vancouver,” says Cumberland. Pain or discomfort from injections is generally recognized as minimal and Cumberland further ensures this by applying anesthetic numbing cream to the skin before injection and using the finest needles possible. Prescribed creams may also be employed in the battle against lip lines. “I sometimes prescribe creams like Retin A and Retisol to reduce fine wrinkling and encourage collagen growth in the skin. They can be possible options when treating lines around the lips,” Cumberland says. Below: A 46-year-old patient following Fraxel repair and filler.




Older Skin


Dermis with collagen fibres

Hypodermis Subcutaneous fat

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Various forms of laser facing also work well to banish wrinkles around the lips. “For those with fine vertical lines around their lips, fractional laser resurfacing with a Fraxel laser or a Fractionated Erbium laser are excellent, extremely targeted forms of restorative treatment. These treatments are repeated three times, one to two months apart,” Cumberland notes. Skin will be a little pink following Fraxel and Fractionated Erbium laser treatments. Makeup may be applied the next day, if desired. “For those with deeply established lines, full ablative laser resurfacing with a CO2 Ultra Pulse laser is necessary to help banish vertical lines around the lips. This form of laser requires just one treatment and creates a superficial, controlled deep peel on the skin. You should expect some redness and oozing following surgery and to be off work completely during the seven days it takes the skin to heal,” advises Cumberland. “An ideal time to treat wrinkles around the lips and mouth is when they’re barely there, which is often when one is in one’s 40s. - Dr. Penny Cumberland

During a CO2 Ultra Pulse laser procedure, skin is frozen to prevent pain. After the freezing wears off, it's common to feel a tingling and a prickly sunburn-like feeling. Results can last for many years, as wrinkles are literally removed by this intensive form of laser treatment. Once any treatment is complete and your skin is healed, maintaining your new look involves some personal care. “I recommend the use of antioxidant topical Vitamin C, glycolics and retinoids, as well as year-round use of full sun block for optimum skin care and maintenance,” Cumberland adds.

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Commenting on interior design, Oscar de la Renta once said: “The most important thing? Perfect lighting at all times.” “I couldn't agree more,” says Cynthia Rowse, interior design consultant with Guildwood Lighting and Fireside. It's an element of the design plan that often doesn't get the attention it deserves, she adds. But with the current economic climate and emphasis on greening the environment, today's consumers are paying more attention to how they light up their lives. One company that has consistently been ahead of the trends is Vermont-based H u b b a r d t o n F o rg e , w h e r e a r t i s t entrepreneurs George Chandler and Reed Hampton and their team have been creating hand-forged iron light fixtures, using tools from a bygone era, for more than three decades, Rowse says. “They have long believed that saving energy, preventing waste and reducing our environmental footprint are vital.” An example of putting this belief into action is the company's manufacturing process, which uses a high percentage of recycled material – up to 100 per cent – in its raw steel. The recent economic challenges have encouraged consumers to focus on quality over quantity, Rowse says. They're thinking of lighting not only as functional but also as an art form. “There is a trend in sculptured lighting, truly making it a focal point, similar to art,” she says. “Lighting fixtures can be as varied as art itself. An elaborate fixture can be a focal point whether it's hung over a kitchen buffet or in a foyer.” Here again, she says, Hubbardton Forge has kept abreast of changing customer tastes. Its aesthetic has evolved through the years to explore transitional and contemporary directions. “This exploration, in both understanding and pushing the limits of form and materials, has inspired their creation of industry-leading designs that beautifully meld the artistry and functionality of lighting,” Rowse says. As these trends emerge, Guildwood professionals, during in-home consultations, are noticing customers making innovative changes in some of their lighting preferences.






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Above: The “Wren” adjustable pendant fixture has a dark smoke finish with opal glass bells.

They're mixing and matching fixtures and rooms in novel ways. For example, Rowse says, chandeliers – once seen primarily as an overthe-dining-room-table fixture – have “gone mainstream,” and are now found in unexpected spaces. “Try a restoration-style chandelier in a child's playroom, mini chandeliers over bedside tables, a sassy one to spice up the bathroom,” Rowse suggests. The cool look of metal finishes is warming up. While variations of polished nickel and antique bronze have been popular choices during the last decade, “we are seeing a movement to warmer tones,” she says, adding this trend is reflected in the fashion industry. “Flip through the magazines and you'll notice bronze and brushed gold being shown.” There's increasing interest in energy-efficient sources – LED and CFL options – as consumers realize that lighting makes up 11 per cent of an average home's energy consumption. As well, there's a growing recognition of the importance of layered lighting, combining ambient, task and accent lighting, to make spaces feel warm and inviting. In this area, dimmers are increasing in popularity, Rowse says, as they provide individuals with the ability to control that combination by adjusting the light levels.



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WINDOW TREATMENTS A well-dressed window can make a room. It can add warmth and intimacy, open up a view, evoke a sense of the past or create a contemporary ambiance, says Phil Canon, owner of London's Drapery Man and Co. Canon and interior decorator/designer Anne Monteith have been dressing Ontario's windows for more than two decades. The pair never tires of finding just the right fabric, the right texture and the right treatment to reflect the character of a home and its inhabitants. But, like any style, window fashions evolve with the times. Canon's roots lie in creating the sumptuous draperies and elaborate swags that graced windows in the past. These are less in demand today, although owners of heritage homes often choose them to preserve an historic ambiance. Working in these older homes, with their challenges of “higher and taller (windows), different angles and nothing being really even” can be “a real pleasure and a joy,” says Monteith. “They really allow us to use all our design talents.” She recently collaborated with the owners of a turn-of-the-century home in Old North London where she blended past and present styles to create somehing “unique, a little bit more authentic and yet original.” The owners wanted the drapery to blend with their contemporary furnishings, to be light but still elegant. Their windows, being smaller than the large picture windows common in many new homes, made it necessary to find fabrics that let the light in. For the living room, Monteith chose a creamy pintuck silk, “a voluptuous fabric that looks heavy but is not,” above a lower band of solid grey textured silk, creating contrast and an overall casual impression. For the dining room, she selected a bronzy champagne organza, a fabric that lets in the light and is “a little bit opulent,” with a taupe taffeta underlay. The taffeta gives body to the sheer organza.




Right: For the living room of an Old North London home, decorator Anne Monteith chose a creamy silk drapery that tops a grey textured silk band. Dark hardware coordinates with the trim on the furniture. Below: Alustra® Duette® Honeycomb Shades by Hunter Douglas. The soft, organic appeal of natural texture offered by Angel Hair fabric harmonizes the relaxed style of this comfortable living room. Bottom: The dining-room window was dressed in bronzy champagne organza with a taupe taffeta backing.

While working with older homes is a treat, the bulk of today's demand is new homes and, there, the evolving trends are increasingly noticeable, Canon says. One area where this is most evident is in blinds. When he started in the business, Canon says, the norm was older-style Venetian and vertical blinds. But in recent years, options have mushroomed. He says today's drapery and blinds are meeting and overlapping. While drapery takes on new shapes and forms, with novel valances and hanging styles, blinds are becoming softer and use more fabric, imitating the drape. Drapery Man is a showcase dealer for Hunter Douglas, one of the best-known names in window blinds and one that pushes the envelope of innovation. The company invented the Silhouette shade and Luminette sheers, “some of the most attractive and advanced decorative shadings on the market,” Canon says. Options that are available from a variety of manufacturers include blinds that roll down from the top, open side to side like drapes and Roman shades that can stack up to resemble a valance.

Above: Hunter Douglas’s Alustra® Woven TexturesTM roman shades are available in a collection of distinctive weavings. Each filter light and offer an innovative alternative to solar screens.

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An effort to move away from dangling chords, for a cleaner look and increased safety, has inspired manufacturers to incorporate technologies from roll-up mechanisms that respond to a light touch to motorized and automated systems, and even sophisticated remote controls. Today's consumers are also concerned with energy efficiency. Companies are responding with materials and designs that control temperature and filter harmful UV rays. These include sun meshes that enhance the view while reducing heat and Hunter Douglas's patented honeycomb-within-a-honeycomb construction that creates a high degree of insulation. The choices for window treatments today are almost limitless. Canon carries an extensive fabric library of 20,000 samples, as well as custom bedding and upholstery products that allow furnishings to tie in with the window treatments for a harmonized ambiance. There's also a varied selection of shutters in wood, vinyl and metal. And, the outlet features a vast assortment of hardware in a wide range of styles, from classic to ultra modern, and colours and finishes from chrome to hand-painted wood. While the Hyde Park showroom is a starting point for customers to explore ideas and options, Canon and Monteith also provide in-home service, guiding customers in choosing their dream treatments, at no extra charge.

GRANITE When John Lockhart set out to plan the decor for his new London home, he was looking for something special for the kitchen and bathrooms, and he knew that included stone. He shopped around, even contacting an American company, but finally found just what he wanted at London's Stone Mansion. He was looking for affordable luxury and says “they priced it right and they nailed what I was after.” In the kitchen, his vision was a black-and-white colour scheme. Stone Mansion created a striking combination with Black Pearl, a solid black granite with a subtle pattern, for the counters topping white cabinets. Black Flowers, a lighter-coloured granite with bold black patterning, crowns an island with black cabinetry. “I like the combination,” Lockhart says. “It's a little different than what I originally imagined (but) I'm glad now that it worked out this way.” For the main bathroom, Lockhart wanted “something exciting,” says Christine Woolard, design consultant with Stone Mansion. The choice of Rain Forest marble, a veined pattern in warm brown shades, sets off the black cabinetry. “It's gotten a lot of looks and comments,” a pleased Lockhart says.




The white vanity in the ensuite bathroom was topped with the same Black Flowers granite used for the island, complemented by marble tub and shower surrounds. The desire for stone accents, particularly in kitchens and bathrooms, is a burgeoning trend, says Woolard. “We're taking out a lot of laminate counters and replacing them with stone.” In addition to providing a superb finish that fits well in both contemporary and traditional kitchens, she says granite is a practical, durable material that's scratch-and-stain resistant and is available in diverse colours. “Scratches can be buffed out. You can chip off a piece and it can be replaced so you don't even see the seam,” Woolard says. It can be cleaned easily with a mild cleanser; an annual resealing is the most common maintenance required.

GRANITE As a natural product, it's environmentally friendly and is more reasonably priced than many synthetic materials. But customers often need some education, she adds. There are many options, such as price differentiation depending on where it's from, how rare it is, or the natural minerals it contains. Brazilian granite, for example, has extra natural quartz, giving it a bit of sparkle. Woolard says customers often bring in a sample tile, thinking it's what they want. But when they see it in a large slab, they discover it's quite different from what they envisioned. Marble is also popular but is not used as much as granite, Woolard says. It's a higher price point and is not as durable. Less practical, therefore, for kitchens, it's used more often in bathrooms where it receives less wear and tear. Stone Mansion works with builders of new homes, as well as individuals, and has an installation team of technicians with more than 20 years' experience.

Stone Mansion Granite & Marble Ltd Premier fabricator of kitchen countertops, bathroom vanity tops, jacuzzi and fireplace surrounds.

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Top Left: A patio made with Bradstone Old Town Series Circles, Squares and Flagstones. Above: Global Arch rock-cut edge steps. Left: Pergola-covered patio with a retaining wall structure using the Fortress Collection by Santerra Stonecraft.

Above: Patio walls and fire pit made with Custom Coastal Ledge by Eldorado Stone with a dry-stack grout technique. Left: Walls constructed of Coal Canyon Cobblestone and Architectural Accents Chiseled Edge Column and Wall Caps in Smoke by Eldorado Stone.

Left: A patio made with Global Arch Cobbles add the beauty of European cobbles to your home. Pg. 5: A fireplace constructed with Coal Canyon Cobblestone by Elorado Stone with a standard grout technique.

Ontario homeowners are increasingly bringing the indoors out, as they create alfresco living spaces ranging from barbecue patios to open-air kitchens and bars. “The landscaping is really like another room of your house,” says Scott Horlor, comanager of London's two Ferrell Brick and Stone locations. In the past several years, there's been a noticeable growth in companies building such outdoor spaces. A major trend, he says, is outdoor kitchens. Whether it's a basic garden patio, or a space that includes pond or water features, fireplaces or dining areas, a key ingredient is stone. This is what Horlor calls the “hardscaping” part of the landscape. The vast range of options here can make decisions confusing for consumers as they start to plan their space. Natural stone or manufactured? Which is better? Is natural more expensive? What's important to realize, Horlor says, is that there is no right and no wrong. There's just “the look.” It's all about the homeowner's preferences, the colours, the textures, and the vision for how the space will be used. And there's also no need to be “hung up on dollars and cents,” he says. With the number of products available in all types of stone and at a variety of price points, it's eminently possible to get “the right product at the right price and create the desired look to fit the budget.” As an example, he notes, natural stone imported from India is available in a massive selection of colours and textures, and is less expensive than stone from Northern Ontario, offering “more choice for less cost.” Factors such as weight can also make a difference. Natural armorstone is attractive but a manufactured version is available that has the same look. It's also considerably lighter, making it easier to work with. Going into this process, many people need some help and Horlor advises enlisting the services of a landscape designer. “It's worth every penny,” he says. A landscape designer provides a starting point and a plan. The plan can be executed in stages, if necessary, but in the end the resulting space should be everything that the consumer initially envisioned.







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When Joseph Branco was approached about carrying Parador, a line of German and Austrian laminate and engineered flooring, he was hesitant. “We offer a multitude of services and I didn't know if I wanted to get into physical hardwood or laminate or engineered wood,” says the owner of Quantum, a home lifestyle and interior design store in London. However, he decided to travel to Germany to check out the product. “Once there, I was a hundred per cent blown away with the quality,” Branco says. “It is, bar none, a lot better quality than what we sell in North America and, to top if off, the pricing was just as good as what we can get here.” Quantum is now carrying the flooring, imported by the London distribution company TAMM Interior Design Products. It's a high-quality and extremely durable product, says Akeela Rabley, TAMM sales and marketing manager. In North America, the quality of the laminate is measured by its thickness, but the German product is rated by its durability, Rabley says. Laminate flooring is created by applying a digital image to a wood material and coating it with a clear natural resin. If the coating is not protective enough, the image will be worn down. Rabley says Parador is tested extensively by being exposed to a variety of abuses to ensure the wearability of the coating.

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Branco witnessed this first hand. When he heard about the durability rating, he admits to being skeptical. “I honestly thought they were feeding us a line until I saw it being tested. I thought, 'Oh my gosh, they are 100 per cent correct!'” He says the product is also “a lot more avant garde as far as colours and design and textures go. Their laminate floors truly look real.” An additional advantage, Rabley notes, is Parador's patented click technology that makes installation simple. And, the lack of adhesives makes it environmentally friendly. In fact, she says, the company is committed to environmental conservation. It uses all-natural wood products and is certified by the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) and PEFC, the world's largest forest certification system. Branco says he's thrilled to be offering the product. “That's where I get excited, when I can offer clients awesome quality and I can offer them good prices and, at the same time, I can offer something extremely unique.” In addition to carrying the Parador flooring, he's importing a line of German furniture – Now! by Hulst – and has created what he calls his “German gallery” in a 600square-foot section of the store. The additions, he says, “are taking us one step further to get back to old-fashioned customer service (where people know) they can come in and speak to qualified staff. We'll get their questions answered, get them samples, work with them to make sure everything is lined up. I think that's the way retail is going today.”


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Above: Metal cabinets by Hayley are Canadianmade and 100 percent modular for expandability. Right: StoreWall walls and hooks keep accessories and parts organized and off the floor.

Left: Swisstrax garage flooring is a popular workshop and garage flooring where an attractive, non-slip, solid surface is desired. Easy to install and remove. Below: Another image of metal cabinets and racks made by Hayley.

What's in your dream garage? Everyone has a different answer to that question. Whether it's extra storage space, an entertainment centre, a workshop or a showroom for vintage cars, there's an emerging trend by homeowners to consider the garage as an extension of their living space, says Gary Couckuyt. And whatever they want it to be, he's prepared to help make it happen. He has the expertise and he has the product. The owner of FT Garage, Couckuyt is the Southwestern Ontario authorized dealer for Canadian-made Hayley garage cabinets and accessories, a line that includes virtually anything needed for a garage makeover. Couckuyt is a full-service dealer, taking the project from idea to installation and he's hands-on throughout the process to ensure the finished product is picture perfect. Hayley is a quality product that will last for years, so it's important that the end result be something the customer will enjoy for the long-term. “We really want to trick it out, to make it a cool place where they want to hang out, a neat place to socialize,” he says. This includes not only installing cabinets, but walls and floors as well. Couckuyt will paint or cover the walls to complement the rainbow of available cabinet colours. He also coats the concrete floors with polyaspartic, a long-term finish available in a variety of colours and patterns. He'll even install computer screens, televisions and sound systems. It all depends on how the customer wants to use the space. “The sky is the limit when it comes to what we can do with it,” Couckuyt says. The biggest demand is for storage. “The storage options are tremendous. The cabinets are beautiful and versatile and we've got all the stuff, the slatwall, the baskets, the hooks,” he notes. People are also using the garage essentially as a summer rec room. “It's another area to entertain,” Couckuyt says. “They would rather be outside than in the basement in the summertime. Even if it's slightly raining, the doors can be open and they can be barbecuing. Many people are putting in stereos and TVs for that reason.”





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While the weather outside is frightful We can make your view delightful! We are the proud owners of a family-operated home improvement business. We specialize in replacement windows and doors from North Star, Pella and Bonneville. Our father, Grant Stephenson started the business in 1959. We grew up working for him and eventually sons Carl and Marvin took over the business. It is still totally run by family with the exception of our employee Art Maloney who looks after the shop. We take great pride in the fact that we not only sell the windows or doors ourselves, but we also do all the labour and installation. This fact means you will not receive a quote on your job from a high-pressured salesman, but from someone who has done the work before and knows the best, most economical way to do it. We are willing to work with your ideas or to offer you our own ideas in order to come up with exactly what you want, at a price you can afford. We are a team of professionals that will service your job from start to finish. We can proudly say that we do an efficient job and everything is cleaned up when we are finished. Yes, the products are superior but the business is based on service to you, our customer. We are so confident that you will be happy with any job we complete, that we offer a LIFE TIME WARRANTY on our workmanship. We have made some great friends over the years through our business! Back Row L to R:

Ken Stephenson, Art Maloney, Brian, Grant, Carl and Marvin Stephenson, Front Row L to R: Drew, Mike, Matthew and Clay Stephenson

Window Shopping? Winter Specials Now On! 56 Stephenson_HH_JF13.indd LIFESTYLE JANUARY 1 /FEBRUARY 2013

11/15/12 11:46:47 AM

By Beth Stewart


ADULT STEP-BY-STEP PAINTING EVENINGS From the start, the Art Gallery of Lambeth has been community focused, offering original work by local and area artists as well as innovative programming designed to entertain, educate and entice. As the business moves into its third year, it adds another initiative: Adult StepBy-Step Painting Evenings. The idea arose in response to a rhetorical question gallery curators Vivian Tserotas and Brenda Colley asked themselves about night life in London: “What is there to do?” Says Tserotas, “We thought, 'Hey, what if?' And this is what we came up with.” Adult Step-By-Step Painting Evenings will be held, on a twice-weekly basis to start, after regular gallery hours. The atmosphere will be fun and social, and participants will be able to take home a finished painting at the end of the night. “There are people who want to try something out, but don't want to invest a lot of time and money,” Tserotas says. For these people, this is the perfect opportunity. The materials are provided and an instructor walks participants through the process step by step. As Tserotas points out, “It's only one night of your life.” Tserotas and Colley did a trial run of the concept in November at the Elsie Perrin Williams Estate. “The ladies that partici-

Artwork by Barbara McKnight and other local and regional artists.

426 Richmond St., London 519-645-0607

pated had a hoot,” Tserotas says. “They absolutely loved it!” Each one took home their own eight-by-10-inch landscape Artworks_JF13.indd 1 painting featuring snow and a tree. The duo has an unlimited number of ideas for different theme nights. They include a “date-night” where a couple is given two canvasses upon which they each create half of a painting that will come together at the end of the night. Completed pieces will range in size from eight by 10 inches up to 16 by 20 inches. The sense of pride participants are Original art and gifts. NEW step-by-step painting nights. bound to feel with the creation of their very own work of art will be immeasurable. “We are educating the community at large about art,” Tserotas says. “Some people are almost too timid to come into a gallery. We want to take that fear away.”

12/26/12 1:22:50 PM

Below: "Trillium" is an example of an adult step-by-step watercolour painting.



Parties Private & corporate painting parties and “Date Nights” with wine available. 519.652.5556 JANUARY/FEBRUARY







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12/13/12 11:13:01 AM

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste When St. Thomas residents walk into Antoine's Furnishings in downtown St. Thomas, they may see more than sofas, chairs, beds and tables. Their minds may be superimposing images from the past – rows of cushioned seats and sloping aisles leading to the big screen. The furniture store opened its doors a year ago in the building that had been home to the city's movie theatre since the 1930s. “They come in and they're looking up (at the ceiling),” says owner Antoine Trad. “They want to see what's been done.” He hears lots of stories.



“They'll say 'I had my first kiss, sitting right about here.'” Trad, who has been in the furniture business in St. Thomas since 2004, most recently as Trads Furniture in the Elgin Mall, purchased the theatre building in 2010. He hoped to preserve as much of its heritage as possible but found “there wasn't a lot that could be salvaged.” The walls were literally falling apart. However, there is still some of the old theatre intact. The ceilings are original, as are the mirrors and chandelier that preserve the ambiance of the lobby. In fact, Trad has three more of the original seven chandeliers that will eventually be rehung. As well, two partial brick walls at the rear of the showroom are original pillars that once flanked the stage and screen, although they were mostly enclosed. The piece de resistance is the original street facade, a two-toned grey arch etched into the concrete surface. When the siding covering the facade was removed, Trad was amazed at the condition of the concrete beneath. “I thought it would be falling apart,” he says. It has now been sealed and preserved for future generations.

While the conservation of city heritage buildings is important to Trad, he finds added value in his new environment. It's a more quiet and relaxed atmosphere than the bustling mall. And his overhead is less than a third of what it was, by virtue of owning the building and rental revenue from four adjacent storefronts and some upper apartments. This translates to more quality time with his family. Closing Sundays – “that's for my wife and kids” – and reducing his weekday hours (10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Wednesday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday-Friday, and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday), allows Trad the opportunity to take his daughters to school in the morning and tuck them into bed at night. “You can't put a price on that,” he says. JANUARY/FEBRUARY




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11/30/12 9:15:58 AM

Left: Modern Masters Sachet Red gives this cabinet a whole new appearance. Below: This armoire was painted in a custom grey colour and clear waxed for a contemporary sheen.

Below: This Gibbard mahogany dresser was updated with a number of techniques, including texturizing the drawer fronts, dry brushing them and highlighting the piece with Modern Masters Silver.



“Everything old is new again,” is an adage that takes on fresh meaning at Annie Thingz in downtown St. Thomas. Owners Wendy Shattler and Maggie Curtis take vintage furniture and, using a combination of paint, imagination and inspiration, give it an artistic makeover. “We're furniture artists,” says Shattler. “We have a passion for transforming second-hand furniture to create wonderful pieces of art. And, when we do, it's a piece of us.” They put considerable thought into the character of each piece in order to determine how to renew and reclaim it, to make it distinctive. Working with furniture and paint is something Shattler has always done as a hobby. But she had long wanted to open her own store and, a couple of years ago, took the plunge, naming the store after her grandmother. The venture, however, was almost doomed before it got off the ground. Shattler found the volatile organic compounds in the

paints were causing her breathing problems. The saviour was her discovery of CeCe Caldwell, a natural chalk and clay water-based paint that's non-toxic and odourless. It's available in 36 base colours that can be mixed and matched for numerous variations. “It's also fun and easy to work with,” says Curtis, who partnered with Shattler earlier this year. It doesn't get sticky as quickly as other paints, allowing more time to work with it and create the desired effect. They also use water-based Modern Masters metallic paint, often to provide decorative highlights. Last June, the business expanded from a smaller storefront to the current Talbot Street location. It's also at London's Western Fair Farmers and Artisans Market on Saturdays. Since the move, business has been growing exponentially. Furnishings stream in from auction and estate-sale searches as well as from customers with pieces to sell. “(But) we don’t buy junk,” Shattler is

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste quick to stress. “It's all good-quality furniture.” As an example, she points to a solid mahogany corner cupboard, yet to have a facelift. Not all pieces are reclaimed, she says. But the transformed furnishings definitely do draw attention. There have been instances where Shattler and Curtis hesitated to paint wood furnishings in good condition. However, when they didn't sell over time, they were spruced up with some paint and then sold immediately. Customers sometimes bring in their treasures to be made over with a new look. Annie Thingz offers “Paint Made Easy” classes for do-it-yourselfers to learn to create their own masterpieces. The furniture is complemented by a selection of gift items, from handmade soap or vintage jewellery to cards and even the occasional piece of clothing. “You never know what you'll find here,” Shattler says. “But it's always something different, something unusual.” JANUARY/FEBRUARY




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P. 8 Timeless Elegance Contact: Woody's Custom Cabinetry, (519) 473-7338, 1491 Fanshawe Park Rd. W., P. 15 Bertoldi's – Passion for Italian Contact: Bob or Jessica DiFruscia, (519) 438-4343, 650 Richmond St., P. 16 HarrisView – A New Community in Ingersoll Contact: Angela Siewert, Sifton Properties, (519) 850-0756, ext. 243,; Suzie Dennis, Doug Tarry Homes, (519) 637-6819, ext. 30, P. 21 Stratford Garden Festival – Reflections Contact: The Lung Association, (519) 271-7500, Tickets cost $9 (children 12 and under free). The festival, held at the Stratford Rotary Complex, 353 McCarthy Rd., Stratford, is open on Feb. 28 from noon5 p.m.; March 1, 10 a.m.-8 p.m.; March 2, 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; March 3, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. P. 22 Village On The Thames The model home at 4700 Hamilton Rd., Dorchester, is open weekends from 1 p.m.-4 p.m., and weekdays by appointment; For an appointment, contact Gary McMillan, Assist 2 Sell, (519) 268-8304. P. 26 2013 Resort Wear Contact: Studio Style, (519) 782-7467, 209 Main St., Port Stanley,; Durkee's, (519) 773-3941, 29 Talbot St. E., Aylmer,; Mugford Shoes,

11/27/12 9:18:41 AM

Address and website information for the companies and/or retailers featured in the articles in this issue are listed by order of story below.

P. 29 Romantic Styles for Valentine's Day Contact: Susan J, (519) 679-8511, 252 Oxford St. E. P. 31 Paint Ontario – Celebrating the Land Contact: Barry Richman, (519) 238-6213, Paint Ontario, P. 33 Banishing the Effects of Aging Contact: Cumberland Laser Clinic, (519) 432-7546, 219 Oxford St. W., Suite 301, P. 39 Lighting Contact: Guildwood Lighting and Fireside, (519) 438-6161, 5 York St., P. 42 Drapery Contact: Drapery Man and Co., (519) 472-3052, 1579 Hyde Park Rd., P. 46 Granite Contact: Stone Mansion, (519) 649-7000, 125 Bessemer Rd., P. 49 Landscaping with Stone Contact: Ferrell Brick and Stone, (519) 472-6360, 1510 Fanshawe Park Rd. W., P. 51 Flooring Contact: Quantum, (519) 438-5944, 487 Richmond St., P. 55 Garages Contact: FT Garage, (519) 983-3708, 540 Clarke Rd., Unit 1, P. 57 Adult Step-by-Step Painting Evenings Contact: Art Gallery of Lambeth, (519) 652-5556, 2454 Main St., Unit 6, P. 59 Antoine's Furnishings Contact: Antoine Trad, (519) 633-8090, 560 Talbot St., St. Thomas. P. 61 Annie Thingz Contact: Wendy Shattler or Maggie Curtis, (519) 207-5600, 495 Talbot St., St. Thomas,




Though large, the original kitchen lacked connectivity. Sightlines to the backyard were minimal and a wall blocked access to natural light from the living room.

THE CREATIVE SOLUTION Removing the load-bearing wall was accomplished with a new structural beam. The real challenge was breaking up the now 22’ x 28’ space to provide a sense of scale and increasing views to the backyard. Two flooring materials help distinguish the two areas while the new 8’ picture window provides the focal point in the kitchen and a dramatic fireplace anchors the living space.

DUO’s team became part of our family, since we had to live in our house during the renovation. We highly recommend DUO for a stress free project


Fred and Cyndi Grossman 519-434-0960

For more innovative renovation ideas, please visit our online renovation gallery.

Our Trusted Trade Partners





The White House

Make everyday special with a gift of lingerie THE

BRA BAR GIFT CERTIFICATES Always a special treat!

256 Oxford Street E. 519-679-8511 Open Thurs. & Fri. ’til 8

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