Lifestyle Magazine - Nov/Dec 2021

Page 1

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021

HOME RENOS

INTERIORS

NEW HOMES

BEAUTY

FASHION

FOOD

TRAVEL

HEALTH

AUTO

SHOPPING

winter white Soothing home decor

FEELING FESTIVE Holiday fashions Make merry your way

ON THE HOME FRONT Parade of Renovations Dream Lottery Homes

Celebrating

21

years

red carpet treatment GRAND THEATRE’S NEW LOOK

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elgin county THIS HOLIDAY SEASON SHOP

AV O I D L O N G L I N E S A N D S H O P S A F E LY I N T H E IDYLLIC TOWNS AND VILLAGES OF ELGIN COUNTY. The main streets of Elgin County’s towns and villages are the perfect places to pick up gifts that are truly one-ofa-kind and are sure to please everyone on your list. Explore quaint boutiques for trendy clothing and jewellery, select fine local wines, pick up handcrafted home décor, natural skin care products, local honey, artisan candles and more!

Deck the halls with a ceramic art sculpture or stained glass window, or choose an expertly framed piece of art from one of Elgin’s many galleries and studios.

A round of golf at one of Elgin’s picturesque courses or tickets to a live theatre performance are always appreciated gifts.

For those that prefer to be catered to, try a gift A culinary gift is a perfect certificate to one of Elgin’s choice for that hard to buy for quality restaurants or person. Help the chef in your bakeries that offer everything life spice up their cooking from sweet treats to hearty with locally grown herbs or country fare – all using local delicious jams and jellies. ingredients.

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EDITOR’S note BUILDING ORIGINAL HOMES FOR ORIGINAL PEOPLE We’ll make your next home as original as you are Why settle for a run-of-the-mill custom home when you can have an entirely original one? With a planning process that starts with nothing more than your dreams and a blank sheet of paper, you can be sure your Riverstone Original Home will be every bit as unique and remarkable as you are. We’ve been building original homes for well over 20 years now, and each one has been entirely different than the one before it. And that’s exactly how it should be.

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8 Lifestyle November/December 2021

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands; if you’re happy and you know it stomp your feet; if you’re happy and you know it, your face will surely show it . . . AUTHOR UNKNOWN

I

remember singing this song so many times in nursery school and Sunday school, ad nauseum. It was the song that never ends before ‘The Song That Never Ends’ became the song that never ends. But as we age, we appreciate things on new and deeper levels. Books we read years ago bear another reading; movies we watched as teens gain new meaning; songs we’ve heard a thousand times become more poignant. That is the case with this time-worn tune. The holiday season – with its merry making, decorating, songs of the season, cookie baking, secret shopping, special-occasion foods, gathering with friends and family – can usually evoke a grin for most people. Some are ‘bah humbugers’ but most can find at least one thing on this list of festive favourites that brings them joy. So, if you are happy and you know it, then your face will surely show it. Go ahead and sport a big old, ear-toear, face-splitting grin. Let the words of this ditty from days gone by echo in your head. According to several sources I found, smiling – even a fake one – helps us feel better by releasing endorphins, which actually has a beneficial effect on both our physical and emotional health in the moment. So as winter closes in on us, with the days becoming shorter and the weather more inhospitable, a smile can lift the spirits. Winter also tends

to be flu and cold season, so having a physiological boost from smiling can’t hurt either. Go and spread this good feeling because it will make everyone’s hectic run up to the holidays a little brighter. If you’re wearing a mask, others may not be able to see your mouth; however, they will be able to see a smile in your eyes, in the crinkle of your forehead and in the positive energy you exude. Continuing to have to wear masks, showing vaccine passports to enter and hearing Covid numbers go up and down every day can cause us to smile less, be less merry and feel less bright. Counteracting this negativity becomes increasingly important as the pandemic wears on. Our second holiday season affected by Covid-19 will be better than the last one with fewer restrictions, so let’s clap our hands, stomp our feet and let our faces show the joy of the season. And if you see me out and about, please stop me, so we can smile at each other under our masks. Wishing you and yours the best of the holiday season.

Jill Ellis-Worthington lifestyle.editor@writedoton.com


LIFESTYLE

magazine PUBLISHER Lana L. Breier

contents N OV EM B ER | D EC EM B ER 202 1

HOMESTYLE

EDITOR Jill Ellis-Worthington

25 Wonderful white

EDITORIAL ASSISTANT Ellen Ashton-Haiste

Calming décor

32 Tough choice

WRITERS Ellen Ashton-Haiste Clare Dear Nishtha Paryani Jill Ellis-Worthington Janis Wallace ACCOUNT MANAGERS Annette Gent 519-200-0283 annettegent537@gmail.com

Dream Lottery homes on display

40 Turn back time With a reno facelift

50 Casting a wider net

32

Virtual Parade of Renovations

54 Ensconced by nature

53

Lorraine Lukings 519-520-7676 lorrainelukings@hotmail.com Jan McGrath 519-243-2932 jm@lambtonshores.com

Phase two of new development

60 Wise up Time to save energy

CULTURESTYLE

EDITORIAL & AD DESIGN Wendy Reid

10 It will be grand

AD DESIGN Nancy Greenfield Bill McGrath

A new day for theatre

YOURSTYLE

PRODUCTION Nancy Greenfield

16 Dressing up

PHOTOGRAPHY BAIN IMAGES Richard Bain / Jesse Bellringer

Luxe holiday fashions

45 Face it Remedies for mascne

WEB ARCHITECTURE Redding Design Inc. www.reddingdesigns.com

BESTLIFE

54

Lifestyle is published six times a year by 2251632 Ontario Inc. c.o.b. Lifestyle Magazine 108 Tuyll Street, Bayfield N0M 1G0 519-873-0989 lifestylemagazinepublishing@gmail.com

30 Celebrate the season Entertain your way

53 Nature’s lens Grand Bend artist’s perspective

BIZLIFE

Copies are distributed to selected homes, magazine stands and local businesses in London and area.

39 Bridlewood Homes 62 Muscat Jewellers

Canada Post Agreement #41277015 No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the written consent of the publisher. The publisher accepts no responsibility for unsolicited material. All rights reserved. Printed in Canada.

30

EDITOR’S NOTE: All information is correct at time of publication. Because pandemic safety guidelines and allowable activities are rapidly changing, we urge you to confirm limits before undertaking holiday entertaining and other activities. November/December 2021 Lifestyle 9


culturelife

GRAND

reset

R

By Janis Wallace

THEATRE ROLLS OUT THE RED CARPET FOR IMPROVED DIGS

ed is symbolic of many things: love, passion, energy, warmth and good luck. The Grand Theatre’s signature colour of red is splashed throughout its extensive renovation, celebrating all those grand qualities. “The renovation is hopeful. It’s rebuilding. It’s transformational,” says Deb Harvey, executive director. “Those things are important.” When plans for the work began, nobody realized how important.

10 Lifestyle November/December 2021


The renovation is hopeful.

It’s rebuilding.

It’s transformational.”

OPPOSITE PAGE The Spriet Stage, with its historic proscenium arch, is still a distinctive part of the Grand Theatre. TOP Vibrant red defines the new energy birthed by this extensive renovation. ABOVE The front lobby and entrance now provide better access and better security for the box office. 

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 11


O

riginally, the work to update and upgrade was scheduled from May to October 2020, between seasons. But when the pandemic hit in March, “everything shut down, including construction,” says Harvey. “COVID impacted so many things. Every three months there was different legislation. Are we on or off?” That stop-and-go reality affected timelines and costs, ballooning from three to 10 months and from $3 million to $9 million. But Harvey thinks people will be impressed when they see the results. “It was a huge project. Top to bottom everything was touched.” The Spriet Stage (the main stage) was renovated in 2010, but the rest had been untouched since 1977-78 and was showing its age. The Grand needed a redo that was practical, purposeful and, it turns out, prescient. They had no way of knowing that many of the improvements would go from nice to necessary for 2021 and the future. These included large, open areas that allow for greater spacing, private cubicles in all-gender universal washrooms and better access to elevators. The front lobby and entry have been reconfigured to provide better traffic flow, better access to the box office at all times and better security. A wood wall cascades from the second level to the lobby. There are spots to see and be seen, such as the small balcony on the second level.

The new glass and aluminum stairway draws visitors to the upper levels. The new glass and aluminum stairway draws visitors to the upper levels. In the BMO London Proud Lounge, on the second floor, the expanded bar spans the front window area and allows for more gathering space. The third floor’s Drewlo Lounge boasts a dramatic view of the streetscape. Removing the centre wall on this level created a completely open space with a small stage, drink ledge along

ABOVE LEFT A new glass and aluminum stairway provides access to the second and third floor lobbies. ABOVE RIGHT Removing the third floor’s centre wall created an open space with a small stage and room to mix and mingle.

12 Lifestyle November/December 2021

the windows, expansive bar and separate catering room – a great place to meet and greet artists and friends. The Auburn Developments Stage and Lounge (formerly McManus Theatre), also glows with red accent penny tile walls and LED lights. Inside the theatre, the walls are painted to resemble concrete. New swing doors to backstage add flexibility. The bar is relocated to open the space, adding a convenient ledge where people line up. Patrons won’t see the new fly system for the Spriet Stage, but they will see the results. The ropes, pulleys, counterweights and ladders that operate scenery and lighting are a complex system. “Our system was full of friction,” says Steve West, head stage carpenter. “It came from the old bearings. You had to get down on the floor and reach down to lift 40-50 pounds.” He says the new system is much safer. “It’s state-of-the-art.” On the Grand’s website, Jared Whitty, head of flys, says, “The addition of automation gear will also enhance what we are able to do and what the audiences see.” Project manager Paul Fujimoto-Pihl talked to staff to determine how spaces would be used. This resulted in doubling the wardrobe area and improving shops for props and wigs, the fly floor, rehearsal halls and dressing rooms. For example, the fitting room was transformed from a tight, dark, utility closet to a purposebuilt room where an actor and fitters can easily work. A glass sliding door lets 

INSET Formerly the McManus stage, it is now termed the Auburn Developments Stage and Lounge on the lower level.


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GRAND RESET ~ Continued from page 12 light flow between rooms. Part of the props room was converted for the wardrobe area. Shelving organizes fabric with improved visibility and more table area creates additional working elbow room. The administration floor also received improvements to add efficiency. Throughout, new flooring, ceilings, paint and tile give everything a lift. As with any renovation, working with or around existing space can present challenges and discoveries. Challenge: flooring was poured through a second-floor window to get it quickly to where it was needed. Discovery: a Grand Opera House program from 1891 was unearthed. In September, regulations were still fluctuating, the future still uncertain. But the Grand planned a re-opening festival for October featuring local artists Summer Bressette, Richard Gracious, Alexandra Kane and Mark Uhre. Harvey and artistic director Dennis Garnhum posted a statement on the web: “Throughout the last 16 months, we’ve said that we will be back, that the theatre will return, and when we do, we will be even better than before. And today, we are following through on that commitment. Not only have we used this time of being closed to public performances to renovate our physical spaces, but as a company we’ve embarked on a journey to grow, learn and work through a renewed Anti-Oppression lens, and we can hardly wait to welcome Londoners into the gorgeous space we have created, both inside and out.” Garnhum created and directs Home for the Holidays: A Grand Concert Celebration December 1 to 24. “This year we celebrate the holiday season with an original concert bursting with songs, laughter and joy. I cannot wait to welcome you into our Grand home for this musical event as we celebrate this magical time of the year. Home for the Holidays will be a true family celebration with one goal in mind – to uplift your hearts.” The Grand’s grand opening was a red-letter day with welcoming new spaces, new works and new voices. n

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● FOR MORE INFORMATION GRAND THEATRE 471 Richmond Street 519-672-8800 www.grandtheatre.com November/December 2021 Lifestyle 15


festive fashion

yourstyle

FEEL FABULOUS THIS HOLIDAY SEASON By Jill Ellis-Worthington

Great for a house party, this shimmery grey sweater, featuring a braided treatment on the dolman sleeves, is paired with grey camouflage reversible denim jeans.

16 Lifestyle November/December 2021


S

atins, velvets, silks and chiffons – these are what holiday dream dresses are made of.

“Even if it is a smaller group of people at a (holiday) event, you just want to dress up and to wear those heels and bright lipstick,” says Sharon Lehman, of LifeStyles Women’s Wear. She adds that while lounge wear will still be a wardrobe staple due to the legacy of lockdown living and working from home, customers do not want to keep wearing casual clothing during the holidays. Rachel Ryan, of Hangar9, agrees: “With more than a year without events, no one wants anything casual, and they are done with sweatpants.” So, when shopping for a festive frock or fabulous gown, you will see high-end fabrics and designer clothes on display. “People want luxury,” says Ryan, “so they’ll see lush, rich colours and some sparkle.” Deep jewel tones and rhinestones will be on display. She also predicts that “velvet will be big.”

Navy is the new black, and this jersey dress is party-ready with mesh revealing a bit of skin at the neckline.

Though Lehman cautions that many will “not go over the top out of respect for the times. We’re not out of this yet.” But she acknowledges that “getting out at all is fun,” since we haven’t experienced ‘dress-up’ events for a year and a half. Feel festive, dress up and kick up your heels; it is party season. 

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 17


festive fashion LBD now means ‘little blue dress.’ Worn alone or with the embellished mesh overlay, it is perfect for a party and versatile enough for a future cruise. ~ Continued on page 21

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FESTIVE FASHION ~ Continued from page 18

F OR A L ONE STOP

SHIONS L YOUR FA

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Apropos FOR MEN Shades of aubergine are big this season and this midnight-coloured gown’s sparkly overlay gives it a fluid, flowy look.

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Lifestyle 29


beststyle

GOOD TIMES COME IN SUNDRY PACKAGES By Janis Wallace 30 Lifestyle November/December 2021

HOLIDAY your way

A

fter a restrictive holiday season last year most people were looking forward to a return to revelry in 2021, but plans to celebrate are as variable as the weather. Some people will go ahead and party hearty; others prefer small gatherings. Many want to show off their new cooking skills; others opt for the laid-back style of a potluck. Nostalgic for something grandma made, the full traditional spread will be the priority for some; others want to break free.


BIG OR SMALL, YOUR HOLIDAY SEASON WILL BE FUN FOR ALL.

GO TRADITIONAL Picture yourself in a proper English tearoom, marking the holiday with an afternoon cream tea or full turkey dinner. Sparta House provides eat-in, take-out or delivery options. You can do tea for two, a staff party, or a family celebration surrounded by an international teapot collection in an historical building. If you’re dreaming of a Dickensian holiday, this British tearoom may just hit the spot. “I decorate the tearoom for Christmas,” says Norma Roberts, co-owner with her husband Ken. “I do go a little mad on the decorations. I think it’s an English thing.” The menu is traditional, ranging from pastries, scones and sandwiches to high tea with pot pies, quiche and scouse (a stew). For the holidays, Roberts stays the course with turkey, gravy, stuffing and dessert. “You can pick up or we offer local delivery, and you can set it up at home,” she says. “We have quite a few customers who feel this is like a second home. I’ve noticed people want to sit and have a visit more now – enjoy their friends’ company.”

You can’t go wrong with rosé. Ever. A good rosé drinks like a red at room temperature and like white when chilled. It’s something that can pair across the board.” JAMIE QUAI, QUAI DU VIN ESTATE WINERY

COZY ESCAPE Slip away for a meal or a weekend to Port Stanley. “We have very cozy suites,” says Jean Vedova, owner of Kettle Creek Inn. Large living rooms with fireplaces and balconies, queen-sized beds and two-person whirlpool tubs can wash away the stress. There are plenty of culinary temptations as well, says Vedova. The menu features local produce and Lake Erie fish. “Everything is done from scratch. Fish dishes, steak, burgers, pizza – we’re all over the road map with what we cover.” One of two dining rooms is completely private for those who want an intimate gathering without all the fuss at home. The parlour holds 10, and the English pub offers a casual setting. “This village has magic at all times. You can walk on the beach or explore the stores. You can feel safe about escaping.” Vedova says there is something for all holiday gatherings. Or you can curl up with a good book by the fire and recharge. “One day is not enough. You have to calm down, unwind.” Celebrate the season with a romantic getaway for two, a stress-free family dinner or a friends’ weekend.

more bottle than people right at the beginning. It gets the conversation going: "Have you tried…?” He’s not a fan of BYOB because the host knows the menu best and can choose accordingly. “You can’t go wrong with rosé. Ever. A good rosé drinks like a red at room temperature and like white when chilled. It’s something that can pair across the board.” Quai du Vin’s signature reds and whites are blends that offer more complexity, making them partners with more flavours. “People are trading up in quality and price spectrum. They're not travelling, so they're looking for affordable luxuries," says Quai, adding “Don't stress about it. Everyone wants to throw a great party. Be responsible.” n

BE CREATIVE AND FLEXIBLE Food analysts say prepared food is a more important component to entertaining than ever. Hosts are looking for interesting specialty products – food and beverages to please the palate, create conversation and save time. “When it comes to holiday entertaining (with wine), my suggestion is to buy a little extra,” says Jamie Quai, co-owner of Quai du Vin Estate Winery, referring to party wines. And don’t just buy your favourites. “Everyone assumes their tastes are the average.” He recommends a broad selection and open several bottles. “Open one

● FOR MORE INFORMATION

KETTLE CREEK INN 216 Joseph Street, Port Stanley 519-782-3388 or 866-414-0417 www.kettlecreekinn.com QUAI DU VIN ESTATE WINERY 45811 Fruit Ridge Line, St. Thomas 519-775-2216 • www.quaiduvin.com SPARTA HOUSE TEA ROOM 46342 Sparta Line, Sparta 519-775-2313 • www.spartahouse.com

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 31


homestyle

A TALE of two houses WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE DREAM LOTTERY HOME? By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

T

he winner of the Dream Lottery will have a tough choice: to pick either the upscale townhome – built by Wastell Homes in one of London’s most sought-after neighbourhoods – or a spacious family home, built by Bridlewood Homes and overlooking Warbler Woods.

ABOVE Described as a ‘showstopper,’ the twostorey great room, and adjacent kitchen, is the focal point of this prize home. 32 Lifestyle November/December 2021

The homes are just two of the grand prizes in this fall’s version of the biannual joint venture of three London hospital foundations that has raised millions of dollars, over two decades, to fund technology, equipment and research at St. Joseph’s Health Care, London Health Sciences Centre and Children’s Hospital at LHSC.

INSET Set in the Warbler Woods area, this spacious residence – built by Bridlewood Homes – is one that “will stand the test of time,” according to Carmine Gargarella, company president.


CITY MEETS COUNTRY The Wastell townhome is in the builder’s Montage neighbourhood, a development of 94 French-inspired condos in North London’s Sunningdale community. “It’s an affordable home in one of the city’s top-selling neighbourhoods,” says Sue Wastell. According to Wastell, it offers an ideal blend of the serenity of country living, with access to trails connecting with Medway Valley, and city living, with nearby amenities: shopping, dining, education and health care. The home’s curb appeal grabs attention with its Parisian-inspired exterior of stone and stucco in cream with black accents.

There is also a cash component included with this prize. The Parisian influence is carried through with the bronze and wroughtiron light fixtures and charcoal-coloured cabinetry, with quartz counters, says project manager and designer Allyson Switzer. Oversized windows, vinyl plank flooring and ceramic tile - with a stone appearance - add to the ambiance. The three-storey dwelling’s entry level includes a family room with access from a covered front porch, as well as the double-car garage. The second floor is the main living space, incorporating an open-concept great room and kitchen, with a sundeck at the back. The kitchen features a large island/breakfast bar, walk-in pantry and convenient office

ABOVE A comfortable environment to come home to after venturing out to hike nearby trails.

area tucked off to the side. The third level incorporates three bedrooms and two bathrooms. The master suite includes a generous walk-in closet and an ensuite bath with tile shower. The décor for this dream home was provided by interior designer Jillian Summers.

CRAFTSMAN STYLE MEETS MODERN ESTHETIC The two-storey Bridlewood home - in the Avenue at Warbler Woods community – brings a traditional appearance to today’s modern streetscape. “It is a home that will stand the test of time, span decades and still turn heads,” says company president Carmine Gargarella. 

INSET Part of the Montage neighbourhood, this French-inspired townhome – built by Wastell Homes – is in the Sunningdale neighbourhood. November/December 2021 Lifestyle 33


BRIDLEWOOD HOME TOP A sleek contemporary vibe is established in the interior of this fourbedroom home, softened by Craftsman touches. MIDDLE The full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows ensures that this is a bright, welcoming space for family living, as well as entertaining. BOTTOM Relax in this luxurious spa-like bathroom, with a free-standing tub, separate shower and double vanity.

34 Lifestyle November/December 2021

WASTELL CONDO TOP A Parisian influence is displayed in bronze and wrought iron light fixtures and charcoal cabinetry. MIDDLE With the main living area on the townhome’s second floor, the open concept allows for flow throughout the great room, kitchen and sundeck. BOTTOM Décor for this dream home was provided by interior designer Jillian Summers.

~ Continued on page 36


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A TALE OF TWO HOUSES ~ Continued from page 34

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With its Craftsman style, the home showcases details such as the exterior Arriscraft Adair limestone, new to the London marketplace, and a distinctive swooping roofline over the covered front entrance. It also features a tandem triple garage, which is double at the front with an additional rear bay. It accesses a glass-rail deck that stretches across much of the back of the home, affording panoramic vistas of an adjacent trail system. The interior focal point is the two-storey great room and its soaring floor-to-ceiling fireplace, with a catwalk overlooking it from the upper floor. “The great room (and spacious adjacent kitchen) is really a showstopper feature for the home,” says Victoria Morphy, designer with 12/26 Design Co. A full wall of floor-to-ceiling windows also contributes to her vision of “an easy relaxed and bright space designed for family living, with ample space for gatherings.” Part of this vision is an extra-large eating area. Complementing it are details that provide a feeling of spaciousness, such as an extension of the island counter and a counter-to-ceiling backsplash in the butler’s pantry, which connects the kitchen to a front dining room. Morphy says the home’s exterior style is carried through the interior with “bits of Craftsman combined with touches of modern.” She cites examples such as black hardware and accents of black in the lighting fixtures, offset by light neutral wall colours and white oak cabinetry and flooring. The upper level has four bedrooms, including the master suite that extends along the entire side of the home, with its own covered outdoor balcony. The ensuite bathroom features oversized onyx tile, plus a free-standing tub, shower and double vanity. A large walk-in closet also accesses a convenient laundry area. Two additional bedrooms are joined by a shared bathroom and the third bedroom has its own ensuite with shower. Virtual tours of the homes, as well as details of additional prize packages, can be viewed on the lottery website. n ● FOR MORE INFORMATION

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ABOVE AND INSET One of this year’s Dream Lottery prizes by Bridlewood Homes.

IN IT TOGETHER IT IS MORE THAN JUST A HOUSE TO BRIDLEWOOD HOMES By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

B

uilding a home is much more than assembling wood and bricks. It is an emotional journey taken by builder and homeowner. This philosophy, espoused by Carmine Gargarella, president of Bridlewood Homes, is one that has contributed to the company’s success as a premiere custom home builder in the London region. “Home is very emotional, and it’s a big investment,” Gargarella says. “Given all the other things going on in a person’s life, that home becomes all-encompassing for them. We really try to do everything we can to make the client happy, to bring them the design and floor plan they aspire to. I think we’ve become really good at that.” It has been a 30-year journey for Gargarella, who launched the business in 1991, after graduating with an MBA

from the University of Windsor. Not inclined to go into the corporate world, he chose new home construction, based on a long-time affinity for architecture and housing. “That’s always been with me, and it allowed me to move in a direction to something I thought I’d love to do, and I was lucky enough to find that,” he says. In addition to offering clients a quality product, Gargarella says Bridlewood can also offer a diversity of choice locations. Over the years, he’s built strong partnerships with many developers, affording him the opportunity to build in various neighbourhoods throughout the city and region. “So, we’re able to give our clients options, with product and design and also with the communities we’re building in.” he says. Current building sites include Heath-

woods at Lambeth; Fox Field North and Sunningdale West Phase 2 in north London; Byron’s Warbler Woods; Siverleaf Estates in southwest London and Edgewater Estates in Kilworth. Bridlewood Homes has also developed a long-standing relationship with London’s Dream Home Lottery, which raises funds for London Health Sciences Centre, Children’s Hospital and St. Joseph’s Health Care. The company has built homes for a dozen lotteries since the mid-90s, including the current one. “We love being part of it and helping support the hospitals,” Gargarella says. “There’s a lot of time and effort that goes into it. And it also showcases our brand, our innovation and leading-edge design.” n

● FOR MORE INFORMATION • BRIDLEWOOD HOMES • 4379 Colonel Talbot Road • 519-652-1455 • www.bridlewoodhomes.ca November/December 2021 Lifestyle 39


homestyle

The new owners love the changes that updating a 30-year-old condominium to contemporary standards made to their home.

Update rejuvenates By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

CONDO FACELIFT TAKES 30 YEARS OFF 40 Lifestyle November/December 2021

F

rom the outside, the early 1990s-era bungalow condo looks exactly like its neighbours in this Lambeth area community. But the interior is quite a different story, with an all-new 21st-century flair thanks to a transformation by Millennium Construction & Design.


“It was an interior cosmetic upgrade all the way through,” says Mark Vaandering, Millennium’s director of sales and design. “Everything was redone: kitchen, fireplace, flooring, master bedroom and ensuite, main bath, guest room, office, foyer and great room.” The clients were looking to downsize from their two-storey home to one-floor living, while remaining in their community and retaining the amenities they were used to. The two-bedroom condo fit the bill, but, while nicely detailed, it was not up to modern standards, Vaandering says. “So virtually the entire interior was remodelled to 2021 styling.” The renovation included all new trim, doors, hardware and flooring. The original 

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP Wide plank engineered oak hardwood was used throughout common rooms for visual flow from room to room. • Ceramic tile was installed in the foyer, as well as the mudroom and bathrooms. • Built-in storage met the homeowners’ goal of minimizing visual clutter. • Both of the condo’s bathrooms were modernized. INSET Updating the fireplace was part of the living room renovation.

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 41


UPDATE REJUVENATES

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~ Continued from page 41

flooring was a combination of laminate, hardwood and carpet. All of that was torn out and replaced with wide-plank engineered oak hardwood throughout the house to provide consistency. Ceramic tile was used in the foyer, mudroom and bathrooms. The kitchen and family room received a major makeover, eliminating an eating area between the rooms to allow for a larger 10-foot island. Granite countertops were added, a light grey on the island and black on the perimeter counters, complemented by white cabinetry. The family room was updated with a new fireplace and mantle. Both the main bathroom and master ensuite received facelifts. In the ensuite, a corner tub was removed. This created space for a double vanity and a larger glassed-in shower with a seat. Millennium also transformed the home’s mudroom by adding a pantry and laundry facilities. The stacking washer and dryer, as well as a laundry sink, are concealed behind doors that slide open and retract. When closed they blend in with other storage cupboards. “The clients wanted everything built in, so you don’t see any of it,” Vaandering says. The main entrance foyer, office, great room, dining room and guest bedroom were upgraded with new paint and trim. Vaandering says one of the biggest challenges was completing the renovation during the COVID-19 pandemic, with issues of product availability and lead times for ordering. For example, when they were choosing tile, only two people were allowed to be in the showroom, which necessitated the husband and wife going in separately to make choices. Some of the other selections had to be made online. But everything worked out well in the end, he says. “We needed to get the clients in by a certain date and we were able to meet that deadline.” n ● FOR MORE INFORMATION MILLENNIUM CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN INC.

141 Wortley Road, Unit 2 519-850-7830 • www.mcadi.ca

42 Lifestyle November/December 2021


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SKIN DEEP D

NO NEED TO LIVE WITH MASCNE By Jill Ellis-Worthington

ealing with nearly two years of pandemic-necessary accommodations has made an impact on our lives in many ways: working from home, curtailing social lives, restraining ourselves from international travel. But one of those mandates affects our everyday lives – wearing masks.

And it looks like the need for face coverings is going to be an ongoing thing. Even with vaccinations and social distancing, masks continue to be necessary to enter buildings, work in congregated settings, attend worship and go shopping. Skin conditions arising from mask-wearing have caused a variety of issues for some, including aggravating acne flare-ups in areas of the face covered by masks. 

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 45


SKIN DEEP ~ Continued from page 45

Three steps to defeating mascne Wear a clean mask at all times Clean face with gentle cleanser Use quality moisturizer

46 Lifestyle November/December 2021

Often called mascne (or maskne), this condition is more prevalent in tweens, teens and young adults who already had bouts of acne breakouts, but mask-wearing aggravates it, according to Dr. Wei Jing Loo, of DermEffects. It has also been afflicting those in their 30s and early 40s, who had ‘outgrown’ it but now are experiencing mascne, in addition to adult hormonal acne. Those who must wear a mask for eight or nine hours during the workday – which is anyone who works in the restaurant or retail sectors, those in healthcare, factory workers, and many more – are most affected by this phenomenon. Both men and women are struggling with mascne. They are experiencing congestion of the skin, which appears as slightly raised patches on the face that seem roughened from the tiny white bumps just under the surface. This clogging of pores is what causes both pimples and blackheads. Besides having bacteria-induced eruptions, acne also can impact mental wellness. “We see more parents bringing in teens because acne is

becoming a serious issue with teens’ mental health,” says Charlene Jones, of Artistic Esthetic Spa. Preventing and treating mascne starts with clean skin. Having several masks that can be changed out and washed regularly is the first step. Keeping the face clean with a quality gentle cleanser, followed by using a quality moisturizer (non-acnegenic and noncomedogenic) is a good second step. For more serious mascne, Dr. Loo recommends “topical medications that contain antibiotics, Vitamin A acid (retinol) and benzo peroxide.” When these are not enough, she prescribes oral antibiotics or Accutane. A different approach is taken at Artistic Esthetic Spa. There, hydra facials are popular with both male and female clients for deep cleaning the face. The treatment starts with the client lying on a facial bed and the specially trained esthetician uses medical-grade products to cleanse the skin. Then the HydraFacial machine’s largest wand is used to do a lymphatic cleanse by moving the fluids toward the lymph nodes to be released from the body. This feels like a vigorous face massage.


We see more parents bringing in teens because acne is becoming a serious issue with teens’ mental health,”

For the next step, a smaller wand is used to exfoliate the skin, removing skin cells and sending them into a clear receptacle. At the end of the facial, the client is able to see the detritus that was removed during the process. Next, another head is attached to the smaller wand and a salicylic acid peel is used to further exfoliate the face. The suction of the wand and the softening Beta-HD serum continue to remove dead skin cells and prepare the face for the extraction wand, which is the next step. Clients appreciate that suction cleans out the pores. Unlike usual facials, the skin isn’t manipulated to extract blackheads. No painful pinching or prodding. After covering the eyes with protective goggles, the esthetician uses either a red or blue powerful LED light on the face. The red is used for clients who have rosacea, fine lines and wrinkles. It soothes the skin. Blue light is

CHARLENE JONES, OF ARTISTIC ESTHETIC SPA.

employed to kill acne-causing bacteria. At the end of the treatment, medicalgrade serum, moisturizer and zinc-based sunscreen are applied. It is important to protect the newly revealed skin from the sun, as it will burn more easily. Unlike other abrasion treatments, there is no downtime. Not applying makeup until the next day is recommended and sun exposure must be avoided for 48 hours. According to Jones, an equal number of male and female clients opt for this acne treatment. Dr. Loo also sees an uptick in patients who have pressure and friction injuries from mask-wearing, like bruising or hyperpigmentation. She adds that the extra heat from masks can aggravate rosacea (redness and/or pustules that look like acne). Perioral dermatitis ruptures around the nose and mouth area are on the rise. Some of her patients who are being

treated for dermatitis or eczema are experiencing issues with the skin of their hands because of frequent hand washing and the use of harsh hand sanitizers. For these skin issues, Dr. Loo recommends “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.” For more extreme cases, steroid and nonsteroid topical creams may be prescribed. Though we long to put pandemic measures behind us, masking and hand sanitizing are here to stay, so treating resulting skin conditions effectively will continue to be important. n ● FOR MORE INFORMATION ARTISTIC ESTHETIC SPA 191 Central Avenue 519-433-6245 • www.artisticspa.ca DERMEFFECTS 1560 Hyde Park Rd. 519-900-5668 • www.dermeffects.ca

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November/December 2021 Lifestyle 47


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homestyle

Spreading the word By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

W

ill the show go on? That has been the question on every event organizer's mind concerning in-person functions since March 2020. The London Home Builder's Association was no different when deciding on how to move forward with the annual Parade of Renovations. Celebrating its 30th anniversary year, LHBA chose to take the 2020 tour online, offering videos on social media sites like Facebook (facebook.com/LondonHomeBuildersAssociation) and Instagram (londonhba). It is a format the association repeated this year, with videos being debuted in October and remaining on social platforms for viewing. While missing the opportunity to meet faceto-face with potential clients, local renovators applauded the virtual alternative and some new advantages it offered. “It’s a fascinating way to do the Parade,” says Peder Madsen, from CCR Build + Remodel. “It made the best of the situation and created something special.” “The feedback from social media was fantastic,” says Riverside Construction’s Greg Hassal. “Viewers have a chance to look at things more in depth than they otherwise would. They can pause the video, fast forward, rewind and watch again if there’s something that really stands out to them.” One of the big advantages is the ability to reach more people. “We had about 4,000 views where typically we might get about 500 people through,” says Mark Vaandering, from Millennium Construction & Design. Along with that is the opportunity to showcase projects further afield. This year’s Parade featured homes in Port Stanley, Port Franks and Union. But there’s definitely a down side to the virtual presentations, the builders maintain. “On a screen, you don’t get the full effect of the renovation,” says John Relouw, from DUO Building. “People get a better feel for it when they’re able to go in and touch and actually see the work done. Unless you can see the details up close, it’s not the same.” So, while they hope for an eventual return to in-person events, some are leaning toward combining the best of both worlds. “It could be a good use of funds to have these videos as a supplement to the Parade,” says Hassal. 50 Lifestyle November/December 2021

VIRTUAL PARADE OF RENOS REACHES WIDE AUDIENCE


the renovations Brodco Construction

Dynamic Kitchens

The renovation of an infill home in London's SOHO district included a rooftop patio and glass mosaic cladding. Random-sized and placed windows add to the unique design. Large rear windows and doors provide abundant interior light.

Working with Anden Design Build, an early-1980s home was updated. Kitchen details included increased workspace with quartz countertops, a bar nook and large cooktop. The ensuite’s walls were reworked to create a walk-in closet. A large shower and corner tub were also added.

Brodie Watson

CCR Build + Remodel Peder Madsen

A basement renovation, to create a fresh, modern family space, involved the addition of a guest suite, fully equipped gym and library/office. Unique details included a fish aquarium built into wall panels, a wet bar and a Jacuzzi in the guest suite. CCR's second offering on the tour is a Port Franks riverside cottage rebuilt from the foundation, adding a front entry, music room and mudroom. The interior features nine-foot ceilings vaulted to 13 feet at the centre. Patio doors and a covered patio across the back provide river views.

Covenant Construction Nicole Ruthardt, design manager

The renovation of a Port Stanley cottage turned into a total rebuild, creating a modern hillside home. On the open-concept main floor, expansive windows and patio doors that open to a deck offer lake views. A walk-out lower level incorporates a recreation room, second bedroom and bathroom. The second entry for Covenant is an early-1900s Old North London home that received a transformation to 2021 style and functionality, while maintaining its historic character. The homeowners consulted with designer Myra Tuer, in addition to Covenant's design team. The project involved a kitchen makeover, including custom island with built-in butcher block, and expansion of the master ensuite, with larger shower and double-basin vanity.

DUO Building Keelan Malloy

Updating a 1960s-era home with small rooms involved opening the kitchen by removing a wall and a fireplace that divided it from the living room. A large new island accommodates family gatherings. To achieve a more spacious feeling, the ceiling was vaulted.

Alison Dudek

Millennium Construction & Design Mark Vaandering

A two-storey addition expanded a country home near Union, Ontario. The basement walk-out features a cathedral-ceiling great room above. The original great room became the kitchen, while the kitchen was converted to a laundry/mudroom. A second-storey family room was renovated to create two additional bedrooms.

Riverside Construction Greg Hassal

The complete renovation of an Old Hunt Club area home included a rear addition to accommodate an expanded kitchen, with a large dining island and an adjacent butler’s pantry. Four second-storey bedrooms were reconfigured to three, creating an expanded master suite. The two others are joined by a shared bathroom.

The virtual Parade made the best of the situation and created something special. ● FOR MORE INFORMATION – PARADE OF RENOVATIONS 2021 London Home Builders’ Association • 519-686-0343 • www.lhba.on.ca

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 51



The artist’s eye

travelstyle

JOSY BRITTON FINDS HARMONY IN NATURE

A

By Janis Wallace

rtist Josy Britton looks at the world differently. When she walks into a forest, she gazes up at the canopy. When she looks at the bark, she sees purples and oranges. When a viewer sees her paintings up close, they appear abstract. From farther away the details form a realistic landscape. This perspective has won Britton many awards and accolades across Canada and the U.S. It’s also the reason she keeps her camera close while canoeing on the Sauble River or in Algonquin Park. It all started in kindergarten. The class was instructed to create a tree with a brown trunk, a circle of blue and coloured paper for leaves. When the results were displayed, Britton’s was not like all the rest. She’d added branches and varied shapes. Her conclusion: “Mine’s the best. I’m an artist.” Her creative path continued when a Grade 7 teacher recommended private lessons and art courses through secondary school and university. In her final year at the University of Waterloo, she chose watercolour as

the medium for a theme of 12 paintings based on the seasons. “I have a minor in math. I like watercolours because planning is part of it. I do a lot of drawing to know where the whites are. So it takes a lot of planning. I like its transparency, the white of the paper shines through.” Britton added encaustic to her technique, finding the fluidity of the wax a new challenge. “It’s harder to control than watercolour. You want to move the wax around. You add layer on layer, but you have to fuse them. If you hold the heat gun too long, it puddles. There is always an element of surprise.” Britton works in series, creating trees and waterlilies inspired by Monet. Like the French Impressionist, she says her paintings look realistic from a distance. “When you come close they are blobs. That play of different up close and far away is my favourite part.” Her focus on the world around her is by design. “When I look at nature it gives me hope for the world. I see things living in harmony, that live forever.” We can all take hope and share this perspective as we look forward. n

TOP A Place To Stand - encaustic, 48x48. BOTTOM The artist standing with One Last Kiss.

● FOR MORE INFORMATION • WWW.JOSYBRITTON.COM

W 74 AREHOUSE Custom Furniture & Decor

1737 Richmond St - Unit 101 - warehouse74.com November/December 2021 Lifestyle 53


homestyle

NATURAL

nirvana S

pace to breathe, places to play, natural expanses to explore. These are just some of the benefits attracting home buyers to Talbotville Meadows. “With a need for a deeper connection to nature, prominent across today’s market, as well as outdoor amenities and more space, we felt the time was right to create a community with spacious lots and nature at the doorstep,” says Jim Bujouves, president of Farhi Developments. The neighbourhood, nestled in the village of Talbotville just northwest of St. Thomas, is bordered by a natural creek and ravine, with mature trees and trails. It will incorporate more

54 Lifestyle November/December 2021

than 28 acres of parkland and open spaces. Two baseball diamonds and two soccer fields, open to the community, are now being finalized. A 3.4-acre nature pond will foster native flora and fauna. The 118-acre site will see 333 single-family homes and 138 street and cluster town homes constructed over four phases. The single-family lots are spacious at 55 feet wide on average and a minimum 140 feet in depth, Bujouves says, noting that most exceed that with many ravine lots more than 170 feet deep. The oversize lots allow for the construction of good-size homes, says

PHASE 2 IN 2022 By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

Andrew Dawe, owner of Halcyon Homes, one of seven builders in the development. “That’s what people want these days – bigger homes with offices and gyms and larger back yards.” Bujouves says Farhi Developments was “very strategic” in choosing its building partners. “We wanted to be very eclectic and thoughtful in the selection of the builders we are promoting as part of our brand and marketing strategy,” he says. “They each showcase a unique style and differentiate themselves by design-build form and craftsmanship best-in-class, innovative layouts, use of new materials and emergent technologies. We work with each one to let


Seven builders offer a wide range of sizes, types and styles of homes in the Talbotville Meadows development. their creativity shine.” “It is a great privilege to be part of this team and community,” says Phillip Alves, president of Woodfield Design + Build. “We are a custom builder with a passion for creating homes that make a statement and beautiful, functional spaces that are highly personalized.” These distinctive styles are integral to another key feature of Talbotville

Meadows – its diverse façade. “We want to stay away from cookie-cutter homes,” Bujouves says. That goal was exemplified by the process of allocating lots. “We chose not to allow builders to have more than two adjacent lots so that we had a highly differentiated look and feel.” Halcyon’s Dawe appreciates this and even takes it a step further. “Our goal

is to make every one of our homes look different,” he says. “We don’t want to put the same siding or trim package on the exterior. We have a lot of options to choose from.” Bujouves says that Talbotville Meadows is attracting buyers at all stages of life. It appeals to young families – who are excited about the spacious lots, amenities, trails and ponds – as well as 

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 55


the builders

TALBOTVILLE MEADOWS SINGLE FAMILY HOMES DON WEST CUSTOM HOMES 519-633-0691 www.donwest.ca HALCYON HOMES 519-933-2226 148 Fullarton St, London info@halcyonbuilt.com www.halcyonbuilt.com KARIM DESIGN & BUILD 519-808-6449 6725 Crown Grant Rd, London karimdesignandbuild@gmail.com www.Karimdesignandbuild.com

DON WEST CUSTOM HOMES

PATZER HOMES

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PATZER HOMES 519-652-3988 7073 Longwoods Rd, London www.patzerhomes.com PINE TREE HOMES INC. 519-521-3252 1234 Main St, London pinetree@execulink.com www.pinetreehomesinc.com Rendering not available at time of publication.

VARA HOMES INC. info@varahomes.ca www.varahomes.ca WOODFIELD DESIGN & BUILD 519-909-6599 rick@woodfielddesignbuild.ca www.woodfielddesignbuild.ca ~ Continued on page 58 56 Lifestyle November/December 2021


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BACKYARD OASIS BeachcomBer London

• Hot Tubs • Pools & Saunas • Charcoal & Pellet Grills • Pizza Ovens • Outdoor Kitchens • Gazebos

St. Thomas, Ontario • 519.494.0787 alexelleslipcovers.com alexelleslipcovers@gmail.com GINETTE MINOR

Certified Sewing Specialist

Best of

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754 Wharncliffe Rd. S., London 519-681-0249 • beachcomberlondon.com

BeachcomBer London

• Hot Tubs • Pools & Saunas • Charcoal & Pellet Grills • Pizza Ovens • Outdoor Kitchens • Gazebos 754 Wharncliffe Rd. S., London 519-681-0249 • beachcomberlondon.com

Chris Hawken

Dan McFadden

Sales Representative

Sales Representative

Sutton Group Select Realty Inc. 519-200-5812

Sutton Group Select Realty Inc. 519-630-7288 November/December 2021 Lifestyle 57


NATURAL NIRVANA ~ Continued from page 56

Wow,

We chose not to allow builders to have more than two adjacent lots, so that we had a highly differentiated look and feel.”

I really feel like I've been doing this for a long time...

JIM BUJOUVES, PRESIDENT OF FARHI DEVELOPMENTS

Sarah c. 1976 NEW LOCATION

371 Horton Street (West of Colborne)

519-438-2534 CUSTOM FRAMING

ARTWORK

JEWELLERY

UNIQUE GIFTS

retirees, who want a peaceful retreat from the city. For the latter, he says the location offers the best of two worlds, big-city benefits and small-town serenity. It’s just a 20-minute drive to London and five minutes from St. Thomas, with close proximity to major highways. The response has been so positive that most Phase One lots are taken. Servicing is being initiated for the planned launch of Phase Two in spring 2022. This phase will include construction on a commercial block, with businesses designed to meet the needs of the development and the Talbotville community. Bujouves is confident that attracting new residents will result in general business growth for the town and surrounding area. Both the township and local residents have welcomed the new neighbourhoods, and Farhi Developments has fostered ongoing communication with neighbours. They have even created an exclusive web portal to allow them to keep up with the community’s evolution. “In every community that we build, we strive to maintain cordial and transparent communications,” Bujouves says. “At the end of the day, a development does not work without community engagement.” n ● FOR MORE INFORMATION FARHI DEVELOPMENTS 620 Richmond St., Suite 201 519-645-6666 • www.farhi.ca www.talbotvillemeadows.com

58 Lifestyle November/December 2021


ADVERTISE IN OUR

JANUARY/FEBRUARY

2022 ISSUE HOME RENOS INTERIORS • NEW HOMES BEAUTY • FASHION • FOOD TRAVEL • HEALTH • AUTO SHOPPING Celebrating

22 years

magazine

The Difference Is In The Details LANDSCAPE | DESIGN-BUILD | CONSULTATION To view our impressive photo gallery visit mckinnongardens.com 519.854.3368 STRATHROY

November/December 2021 Lifestyle 59


homestyle

GREENING YOUR HOME CAN ADD GREEN TO YOUR WALLET By Janis Wallace

M

aking your home more comfortable and affordable while improving the planet’s health is an appealing offer. Throw in up to $5,600 in rebates and the federal government is hoping plenty of people apply for the Greener Homes Grant.

60 Lifestyle November/December 2021


This program puts money in people’s pockets upfront and year after year in savings.” PAUL GAGLIARDI, FOUNDER OF NRGWISE CONSULTING

The program, announced last May, offers rebates for retrofits such as insulation, air sealing, windows and doors. The process starts and ends with an audit by a certified energy advisor. “This program puts money in people’s pockets upfront and year after year in savings,” says Paul Gagliardi, founder of NRGwise Consulting. Eligible houses must be the primary residence and an existing building, not a new build. Homeowners register online, then book a pre-retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. “We provide detailed instructions about how to register your home,” says Gagliardi. “Once registered, we book the initial assessment before you start any upgrades.” “Every house should have it,” says Peder Madsen, vice-president and co-owner of CCR Build + Remodel, referring to the energy audit. “It is awesome information.” To determine how airtight your home is, an energy advisor will check it inside and outside and from attic to basement. “You receive the results of the assessment within a couple of weeks,” says Gagliardi. “You will see the current energy rating, the potential energy rating and opportunities for upgrades.” He suggests improving insulation first, then heating and cooling, followed by doors and windows. Think about exposed floors, bedrooms above garages and attic hatches. Even small changes, such as foam gaskets under receptacles and switch plates and programmable thermostats, can make a difference. “The biggest area in the basement is the perimeter joists, and the air conditioning, power and water lines. Air seal around those and insulate. People don’t usually think of them.” When the program was announced NRGwise experienced a spike in calls, but that has leveled off. Madsen says he’s surprised there hasn’t been more uptake on the offer. “I’m

actually pushing it out to people. The money is one thing. I stress the benefits of comfort, durability and longevity of their home.” He says if a customer is doing a main floor kitchen and bath renovation that changes three windows, he suggests doing the rest of the windows or adding insulation and air sealing and applying to Greener Homes. “It’s the contractor’s duty to enlighten the homeowners. They can enhance the project thanks to this program.” Madsen has always put energy at the front of his approach to building and tries to educate owners. “People still think quartz countertops and the hottest colour. I ask them to think: ‘What is the design I want to see and how can my house stand the test of time.’ You can always redo countertops but not insulation. If you’re going to invest that kind of money insulate properly.” He applauds the program’s mandatory energy audit. “As a contractor I love it. It shows where air is leaking. It is a report on the structure, insulation values, mechanics and window components. You get a current report then another at the end. It grades the project on how well it improved – where you started and where you ended up.” Once the renovation is complete, the second energy assessment is done and a new rating provided. “When you’re getting the job done, this provides guidance,” says Madsen. “It gives all the information owners need to do the right things in the right places at the right time.” Some improvements may cost more initially but will pay for themselves in time. “Keep all receipts to submit to the government as proof,” says Gagliardi. “I hope it takes off,” says Madsen. “In five years or more, you’ll receive 200 per cent worth of investing in the energy values of your home.” Being energy wise makes sense – and dollars, up to $5,600. n

ENERGY REBATE INCENTIVE Buildings, including homes, account for 18 per cent of greenhouse emissions according to the federal government. To motivate owners to improve the energy-efficiency of their homes, the new Greener Homes Grant offers up to $5,000 in retrofit rebates and up to $600 for expert advice and evaluations. TYPES OF UPGRADES ELIGIBLE INCLUDE • windows and doors • insulation, such as exterior wall, attic, exposed floor, basement and crawl space • space and water heating • air sealing • programmable thermostats • renewable energy, such as solar panels STEPS TO QUALIFY 1. Register on the government website. 2. Book your retrofit EnerGuide evaluation. 3. Plan, document and complete your retrofit with a qualified contractor. 4. Book your post-retrofit assessment and apply for reimbursement. 5. Receive your rebate. The government site provides eligibility guides, information, documents and registration at https://www.nrcan.gc.ca/ energy-efficiency/homes/canada-greener-homes-grant/23441. The site also warns about scams, saying no third parties are authorized to solicit by phone, email or at the door. “EnerGuide home energy evaluations are performed by licensed service organizations only at the request of homeowners.”

● FOR MORE INFORMATION • NRGWISE CONSULTING • 519-914-5472 • 866-296-9473 • www.nrgwise.ca • CCR BUILD + REMODEL • 519-472-7461 • www.ccrbuilding.com. November/December 2021 Lifestyle 61


bizlife

Sparkling in St. Thomas REIMAGINING AND REPAIRING AT MUSCAT JEWELLERS

T

hose with a vision for a special piece of jewellery for a special someone might consider checking Muscat Jewellers in St. Thomas. Owner Dan Muscat has built a reputation for creating custom jewelry. When he opened his store 34 years ago and offered custom design as a service, it wasn’t something most other jewellers were doing. Today he’s still just one of a handful doing custom work. “I think I was one of the first to use the phrase (custom-designed jewellery) and it certainly has been my forte – remodeling or making something to a customer’s taste, style and budget,” he says. “I’ve made a lot of one-of-a-kind pieces over the years for people looking for something unique.” It is a skill that has been largely self taught. Muscat got bitten by the jewelry bug as a 19-year-old helping a friend at his London store and learning the basics of repair work. That evolved into design and custom creation that set him apart when he opened his St. Thomas storefront. In fact, repair work is another specialty for Muscat. “I don’t think too many things have come across my bench that I couldn’t fix,” he says. “Many customers have come in over the years and said ‘I’ve gone to other places and it can’t be done,’ and I say, ‘Let me see what I can do.’ A week or so later they’re walking out of the store on cloud nine.”

By Ellen Ashton-Haiste

It might be a family heirloom or something that is sentimental, but whatever it is, Muscat says “we can refurbish it and make it like brand new again.” Of course, it is also necessary to have inventory on hand for customers looking for special gifts for birthdays, anniversaries and various other special occasions. There are many showcases to peruse in the showroom. Muscat also has a large cohort of suppliers from which to draw. He relies on first-rate customer service to keep his regular clients coming back and says their good rating on Google and positive reviews result in a steady stream of new customers coming into the store. n

Reimagining heirloom pieces, creating new ones or repairing a much-loved item are Muscat’s specialties. ● FOR MORE INFORMATION • MUSCAT JEWELLERS • 721 Talbot St., St. Thomas • 519-631-3692 • https://muscatjewellers.jewelershowcase.com

62 Lifestyle November/December 2021



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