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Tips and trends to help you cosy your nest for fall.


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A-22 AT HOME A22 - North Shore News - Sunday, October 24, 2010 A D V E R T I S E M E N T


“With rich History and a fashion forward approach we have focused on style and simplicity,” says Mary, “with bold geometric shapes, clean crisp lines, natural and organic appeal, easier designs and many Over the last two decades accessories that meet the needs of we have been committed north Shore home owners.”

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“In Europe, we use many transitional aesthetic ensembles, achieved by blending subtle design elements found also in North America- simple striking combinations of curves and design lines that add refinement and distinctive impact to both kitchen and bathroom.”

“Over the last two decades we have been committed to providing our customers with the best overall solutions to their kitchen and bathroom problems. I have been asked if people could do just one thing this year in their kitchen or bathroom to add value to their homes, what would it be? Without any hesitation I would say the whole thing.”



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“We decided to expand our creativity into the European market,” says Mary, “and since 2004, when our daughter Christina joined the family business after finishing her certification, we have been spending many months each year in Europe building luxury villas with executive elegance.”

Their product selection, knowledge and expertise, combined with their understanding of European and North American aesthetics are just some of the reasons Bathrooms Plus has earned the respect and business of people from across the Lower Mainland.

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“We at Bathrooms Plus believe in wellness in the European sense, which means having a healthy balance of the mind, the body and the spirit resulting in an overall feeling of well being. With our in-depth plumbing knowledge, we also offer the latest flush-mounted showerheads with air induction systems- as well as chromatherapy and body jets with thermostatic control valves widely used in Europethat deliver water at the desired temperature to awaken your senses and turn your bathroom into a haven of well being.”

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3 Sunday, October 24, 2010 - North Shore News - A23

Reclaim YOUR HOME Your kids are out the door to school, but your home is in shambles from a summer of Popsicle drips and muddy footprints. Now is a good time to tidy up and get organized before the snow flies. Here are some tips from Sure Fit Slipcovers and Home Solutions (

■ REVAMP YOUR FURNITURE: Buying a new couch is not a cost-effective solution. Instead, consider a bright or patterned slipcover for an instant update.

■ CLEAN YOUR CARPETS: After a summer of spills, fall is a good time to call in the pros to shampoo your carpets.

■ DESIGNATE YOUR SPACE: Kick the toys out of the living room and into the playroom.

■ ADD SOMETHING NEW: No, not to your wardrobe ... to your furniture. A throw blanket or pillows in fall colours will help you greet the new season in style.

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4 A24 - North Shore News - Sunday, October 24, 2010

5 Steps To Style! photo courtesy of HGTV

HGTV star designer Genevieve Gorder’s top decor advice. Ban the beige! That’s the message from designer Genevieve Gorder for do-it-yourself home decorators this fall. The star of HGTV’s popular Dear Genevieve makeover show (and the new Battle on the Block), Gorder has been transforming the homes of desperate design-deprived viewers for four seasons. In her 19-year career, (her fans also take the plunge into turning their homes remember her previous stint on TV’s from blah beige boxes into stylish havens. Trading Spaces before she “Everyone seems to live in beige and joined HGTV) she has cream,” Gorder says. “They think worked her “before” that it’s safe and that their homes and “after” magic “Everyone seems will have more resale value. on everything from to live in beige and But it’s one of the biggest the kitchen floor mistakes you can make. cream,” Gorder to the bathroom Paint is one of the least sink. She’s turned says. “They think expensive ways to transform a dingy laundry a house, and it’s very that it’s safe and into an elegant easy to change if you that their homes foyer and created don’t like it.” a happening family will have more room out of a dark Indeed, this year, grey is resale value.” basement. And she Gorder’s new go-to neutral. “It’s has lots of advice for a great alternative to everyone’s homeowners who want to beige,” she says.

But how does the Dear Genevieve host suggest one go from boring beige to gorgeous grey?

nothing but sabotaging themselves.”

“Don’t over-think the design process,” Gorder says, adding fear is one of the biggest obstacles most homeowners face when it comes to starting design projects in their homes.

She admits the process should be much more personal. “75 to 80 per cent of decorating is emotional,” she says. “But it’s not rocket science. It’s the one environment in our lives that we can control. Hey, you can always return that sofa if you don’t like it!”

“They think that if they don’t have a room that looks like it came from Page 16 of a Pottery Barn catalogue, it won’t look right, so they get scared and end up doing

Above: HGTV’s Genevieve Gorder makes over a room on her series, “Dear Genevieve”.

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Here are her top five tips to get you started on those projects around the house: Ask questions Before you open that first can of grey paint, stop, look and listen to your room, says the designer. “Ask yourself a series of questions,” she says: “How do I want to feel in this room? How do I want to move through this room? Where is the light coming from? What are the problems with this room?”

“Look for architectural salvage pieces to incorporate into your designs with newer furniture for a very eclectic interior.” On a recent Dear Genevieve episode, Gorder “repurposed” an antique dresser for use as a bathroom sink.

“Accessories are very inexpensive and can give you instant impact with just a change of a wonderful piece of sculpture on a table or a $10 bouquet of fresh flowers in your kitchen or a few new throw pillows for your sofa. Accessories are like last-minute additions of jewelry to your outfit.”

Keep evolving your style

Perhaps her most important home improvement tip of all? “Concentrate on making your home a beautiful place,” she says. “After all, it’s a refuge.”

“There are lots of things you can do to update your rooms,” Gorder says.

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Then, she says, it’s time to get creative. “All it takes is a little time and more effort,” she says. “But you have to look past the home improvement stores and give your home your own personal touch. It needs to make you feel good and reflect the things you care about.”

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Keep it personal “Create what I call ‘pauses,’“ she says. “Put together vignettes of personal items that make you stop and pause to look at them, whether it’s a group of family photos on your front entry table or a piece of art under a glass cloche in a bookshelf. Tell a story about yourself.”

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6 A26 - North Shore News - Sunday, October 24, 2010

Have a seat! Whether you want to update your living space or start from scratch, make sure to have fun but don’t forget about function.

When you’re looking to outfit a living or family room, it’s important to ask yourself a couple of questions: How is the room going to be used and how many people do you want to be able to accommodate. “A lot of it is determined by function,” says Lower Mainland interior designer Sarah Gallop. People with kids and pets will want to choose furniture for its durability; those with a larger family or who entertain frequently “Adding a few will want to ensure there’s plenty of seating. smaller unique “Think about you live and how you’re going to use it,” Gallop says.

elements to your living room can help change things up without breaking the bank.”

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7 Sunday, October 24, 2010 - North Shore News - A27

Both Gallop and redesigner Eleanor Hunter recommend starting with the largest piece of furniture when looking to change things up. In most cases that’s going to be the couch, which is also usually the most expensive piece of furniture in the room. Both advocate playing it a bit safer when it comes to the fabric and colour of the couch. Sticking with a neutral tone in a more durable fabric will give the piece a longer lifespan.

She does, however, warn people to stay away from putting a couch in front of a window as it tends to block natural light and is not the most aesthetically pleasing view from outside.

“Have fun with it ... don’t stay in a rut. Just try moving a couple things and that usually creates a domino effect.”

“You want it to be longlasting,” Gallop says. “That makes more sense with the bigger piece.” It also makes the most sense to start with the couch when deciding the layout of furniture in the room. Hunter, who is also a home stager, recommends finding, or creating, a focal point in the room. That could be an architectural point, such as a fireplace or a window with a fabulous view, or one that you can create and move, such as a TV or a piece of art. The couch, she says, should be placed facing the focal point. From there, the other pieces - a loveseat, chairs or other seating elements - should be placed along diagonal lines throughout the room.

For those on a tight budget, you don’t have to shy away from change. Sometimes even just moving the furniture around can make a big difference. Adding new accent pieces, such as chairs, throws or cushions, to an existing couch can also make a big difference in a room.

Gallop recommends considering reupholstering an existing couch or chair if it has “good bones.” A new slipcover or fabric and stuffing can give an aging yet good quality piece a new lease on life. Whatever you choose, in the end it comes down comfort. “If things are comfortable and inviting, people are going to use it,” Gallop says. BY JESSICA KERR

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“Have fun with it ... don’t stay in a rut. Just try moving a couple things and that usually creates a domino effect.”

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8 A28 - North Shore News - Sunday, October 24, 2010

Stay right where you are Peter Simpson had never thought too much about where the plugs in his house were located until he had a hernia operation. “Just a simple thing like bending over to plug in my battery charger in my cell phone, I had to take my time doing it,” said Simpson. “If that power receptacle had only been about six inches or so higher, it wouldn’t have been nearly as challenging.” For Simpson, president and CEO of the Greater Vancouver Home Builders’ Association, it was a perfect example of why his organization is pushing to educate homebuilders on how to build houses where seniors can age in place. For Simpson the problem was temporary, but for many others, the location of electrical outlets can mean the difference between independence and relying on others.

photo Mike Wakefield

certified aging in place specialist John Friswell looks over plans for a major renovation which will include improvements to make the house more usable for seniors.

“The only reason they’re at the height they are today is it’s the height of a hammer. It was easy for them just to get their hammer there and draw a line,” said Simpson. “Old habits die hard, I guess.”

Seniors’ accessibility is also a concern being raised more and more by customers, said John Friswell, owner of the North Vancouver-based CCI Renovations.

municipalities to investigate the idea of laneway homes in back yards, so seniors could live with family while maintaining their independence.

“A lot of (homeowners) have had homes for “I think more municipalities should jump on a long time and they’re now looking board with that, but of course we’ve at their house and saying ‘Wow, got some resistance to that,” I’ve got a two-storey house said Simpson. “I know my that’s 5,000 square feet, parents, if I could have had The location of how am I going to stay a coach house in my back electrical outlets here?’” yard where my parents can mean the could live, they might have Friswell took a four-day considered living there, difference between Certified Aging in Place but they sure as heck Specialist (CAPS) course independence and weren’t going to give up provided by the home their house for a nursing relying on others. builders’ association a home.” few years ago so he could advise clients, and said he Michael Geller, who is the incorporates many of the ideas into principal developer on a project every house he renovates. in West Vancouver that involves laneway houses – what he also calls “granny flats” That includes making sure wood backing is – said they also allow for much smaller installed behind shower walls so grab-bars homes that are just one-storey, and thus can be screwed in later, as well as lowering have no stairs. the height of light switches. He also can install contrasting materials so visually “To my mind the ideal solution is usually a impaired have an easier time navigating or single level unit, which can be at grade with wider doors and larger bathrooms for easier a private outdoor space, which is separate wheelchair access, among other changes. from the main space of the principal dwelling,” said Geller, who is also president He also said they try to install houses with of a company that builds laneway homes deep closets directly above one another and has advocated for them since 1974. in case homeowners decide to install a residential elevator when they’re unable to Still, he said they’re often too expensive for use the stairs. many seniors, which is a major stumbling block for some. Simpson said some seniors are also finding they want to live closer to family, By Tessa Holloway which has prompted several North Shore

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GOOD FENCES MAKE GOOD NEIGHBOURS DIY, if you dare! Time to repair or replace your side of the fence? Follow this advice from the experts at Windsor Plywood, and you’ll be “staking your territory” on the way to a beautiful completed project. Before you start your wood fencing project, here are a few tips to help you save time and cost overruns: ■ The hardest part of fence building is digging the holes; after that, the structure takes shape quickly. Besides a rented posthole digger, you’ll need only a circular saw and basic carpentry tools. ■ Designs vary widely, but just about all fences consist of the same basic elements: A series of posts sunk into the ground connected by top and bottom rails. Before proceeding, check community building and zoning codes. Many specify maximum fence height, distances you can build from property lines and the street, and even the materials you can and can’t use. (Take extra care with

pressure-treated lumber. If you are using wood that has been treated with wood preservatives, proper fasteners and hardware must be used.) ■ Call before you dig. It’s important to know what lies underground before digging or using boring equipment. Contact BC One Call at 1-800-474-6886. Once you’ve chosen a design and established a location, stake out and measure the site. ■ Plot your post spacing for the most efficient use of lumber. Sixor seven-foot spans usually work well; never set privacy-fence posts more than eight feet apart. If you are building your fence on a slope, plan to step the fence down the hill, setting each section lower than the one preceding it. Only if the slope is slight, and the fence design won’t suffer, should you follow the contour.




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10 A30 - North Shore News - Sunday, October 24, 2010

Freezing out bed bugs

Chilly technology allows for a pesticide-free alternative when ridding homes of pests They feed almost exclusively at night, make their best effort to hide during the day and prey on people when they’re least suspecting it. Their primary food source? Human blood. Taking all that into account, it’s fair to say bed bugs share a lot in common with your everyday vampire, but one Lower Mainland company is at the forefront of new technology to eradicate the household pests.

Brett Johnston demonstrates a bed-bug eradication technique that’s new to Canada: Cryonite. It freezes the bugs without the use of pesticides.

Photo Kevin Hill

Canadian Pest Control Ltd. is set to roll out a natural combatant in the war on bed bugs, called Cryonite.

the process can be completed quickly without masks, respirators or the use of any pesticides. In fact, those having their properties treated with Cryonite can remain in their homes while the process takes place.

“Cryonite is a freezing process. It turns CO2 in a gas canister, the same as you have in the back of a restaurant to turn pop into “The great thing about fizzy pop, into super cold Cryonite is that it’s “The great thing snow, which is blown immediate. With about Cryonite is that out under pressure,” the vast majority of it’s immediate. With said Brett Johnston, pesticides, it takes general manager of several minutes, if the vast majority of Canadian Pest Control. not hours,” Johnston pesticides, it takes “The super cold said. “The real kicker particles of snow hit with Cryonite is that it several minutes, the bug, shock the bug, kills eggs. Pesticides if not hours,” and they cannot adapt don’t kill eggs; eggs are to the massive drop in quite well protected from temperature — and they their environment, but the die from shock.” super cooling is something that penetrates the egg and kills the egg.” Though used in Europe and the U.S. for decades, Cryonite Bed bugs have enjoyed a worldwide was only recently given the resurgence since the late 1990s and regulatory green light by early 2000s and a number of theories the federal government. exist as to why that’s happened. In the Johnston’s company Metro Vancouver context, Johnston said will be the first in Metro the bug’s proliferation is likely due to the Vancouver to roll out the new multitude of cultures that use Vancouver technology, and he expects as their starting point before scattering to be offering it to customers across the region and province. this month. Given that bed bugs are human parasites, Other methods used to kill bed they have conditioned themselves to bugs have traditionally involved adapt to any situation. pesticides, heat treatments, By John Kurucz steamers and vacuums. Cryonite, however, is more efficient and

How to banish bed bugs In the world of bed bugs, cleanliness is next to godliness. Reducing clutter and keeping your home clean are two of the best ways to keep bed bugs out of your life. “Bed bugs love clutter; clutter really is the key. It doesn’t matter if you’re super loaded and have got a house in West Vancouver or if you’re down and out and you’ve got a unit in a private hostel in the Downtown Eastside — if your unit is full of clutter, the bed bugs have tons of places to hide,” said Brett Johnston, general manager of Canadian Pest Control. Awareness is also paramount. Check underneath mattresses, bed boards and box springs for dried blood spots or dark, pepperlike materials, which are often the bed bug’s entrails. “You need to be aware that bed bugs are an issue. Bed bugs can be an issue when someone comes to stay with you. People don’t just bring them home themselves; someone can bring them home for you,” he said, adding that those living in apartments and townhomes are more susceptible to infestations. Johnston also suggests that your bed and bed sheets not touch the floor. He added that encasements can be purchased for both mattresses and box springs — the two most preferred homes for bed bugs — that prevent the insects from getting into those spots. If you’ve already noticed the bugs in your bed or in your clothes, running them through the dryer should kill them off.

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