Living spaces spring 2016

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spring 2016

HomeStyles welcomes HGTV’s

Damon Bennett Paul Lafrance


Custom wine rooms in demand

BEING GREEN is easier than ever PRESIDENTIAL


table of contents the Official Magazine of the SASKATOON & REGION HOME BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION



11 AT HOME: Evergreen home is the perfect fit for this family


19 Universal design meets family’s need for accessibility

32 ASK AN EXPERT: Fresco Interiors Design Group

26 SUNSHINE STATE 29 DISCOVER SHANGRI-LA: Car-free living in downtown Saskatoon 56 REAL-TIME BUILD: The new home journey continues 71 FUTURE HOME: What’s app with that?

HOMESTYLES 2016 35 DREAM. PLAN. BUILD: Define your style at HomeStyles 38 CURIOUS PAUL: Curiosity drives the creative genius of Paul Lafrance 42 Damon Bennett talks green building at HomeStyles 44 POUR! Custom wine rooms in demand 48 SMART. GREEN. BEAUTIFUL: Building for energy efficiency


58 ASK AN EXPERT: Sheila Ashdown Century 21 Fusion 62 TRAILBLAZERS: Superior Cabinets 68 ASK AN EXPERT: Maison Fine Homes 69 COMMUNITY: Aspen Ridge – Saskatoon’s next generation neighbourhood 74 ASK AN EXPERT: New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan 78 ASK AN EXPERT: J & H Builder's Warehouse



52 PRESIDENTIAL STYLE 66 WISH LIST: The ultimate back yard 2





38 79

EDITOR Jeannie Armstrong ART DIRECTOR Lesley Cockburn PHOTOGRAPHY Hilary Klassen Elaine Mark Vireo Productions CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jeannie Armstrong Jennifer Jacoby-Smith Tom Eremondi Ron Janson Hilary Klassen Ashleigh Mattern James Romanow







19 42

HomeStyles welcomes HGTV’s

Damon Bennett

&Paul Lafrance POUR!

Custom wine rooms in demand

BEING GREEN is easier than ever Home elevators are


Living Spaces is published by The StarPhoenix on behalf of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association To reserve your advertising space in the upcoming edition of Living Spaces, contact (306) 657-6357 or email:

2016 | spring


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Define your HomeStyle!

Welcome to this special ‘HomeStyles’ edition of Living Spaces! F

rom humble beginnings nearly 25 years ago, when a few dozen Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association member companies came together to market their products and services, HomeStyles has grown to become a ‘destination’ event for consumers, featuring 460-plus booths representing over 250 companies and attracting close to 18,000 attendees annually. HomeStyles continues to attract exhibitors not only from the local market, but from all across Canada. Each and every year, the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association has responded to consumer demand for a home show that not only offers building and renovating products and services, but also home furnishings, décor, design and lifestyle offerings. We are constantly researching new ideas, themes and latest trends to ensure that we are on the leading edge of what will draw consumers and exhibitors to attend our show and create an amazing experience for everyone! What started out as a forum for consumers

to find builders, renovators and designers has transformed into a one-stop experience for all things related to housing and lifestyle. These “transitions” are intentional, driven by the needs of an ever-changing marketplace and by our passion for providing the most up-to-date information on emerging technology and housing-related products and services. Merriam-Webster defines transition as “a movement, development, or evolution from one form, stage, or style to another,” and this perfectly describes all that HomeStyles has to offer. Whether you are planning a renovation or redecorating project, or perhaps transitioning in your life and looking to downsize, answers and resources are all close at hand at HomeStyles. First home? Fourth home? Condo, single family, acreage? Upsize? Downsize? Maybe you are considering upgrading your home with energy efficient features or just wanting an updated look. Whatever you are dreaming of, you’re sure to find

everything you need at HomeStyles! Among the many exciting areas we have planned this year are: MarketPlace, EcoStyles, the Learning Lab Main Stage and the ever-popular Decora Homes Bistro. And don’t forget – we are pleased to have Paul Lafrance and Damon Bennett from HGTV Canada with us this year to share their creativity and their passion! You will find everything you need to know in this issue of Living Spaces… so read on! Come on Saskatoon! We hope to see you all at HomeStyles, March 10 – 13 at Prairieland Park. “A HOUSE is built from boards and beams, but a HOME is built with love and dreams.”

Karen Kobussen Director of Operations Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (306) 955-5188 2016 | spring




elcome to this special edition of Living Spaces, your sneak preview to the biggest building and renovation event of the year: HomeStyles 2016. Presented by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association, HomeStyles takes place Thursday, March 10 to Sunday, March 13 at Prairieland Park. Look inside for more show details! Join us as we chat with the HGTV Canada stars taking the stage at HomeStyles: Paul Lafrance and Damon Bennett. Making his first appearance in Saskatoon, Paul will talk about creative ways to personalize your home, indoors and out. Always a crowd pleaser, Damon returns to HomeStyles for


a third straight year. Green building technologies will be just one of the informative and entertaining topics Damon will speak about. Concern over climate change has renewed interest in environmentally-friendly building and renovation practices. Living Spaces takes our readers inside two exceptionally stylish local homes that draw energy from renewable sources. While at HomeStyles, visit the new EcoStyles exhibit area, featuring fascinating displays of sustainable materials and green technologies. The 2016 Bridges Awards were handed out last month, recognizing excellence in Saskatoon’s housing industry. Living Spaces checks out two of


the homes honoured at this year’s Bridges Awards, including a unique barrier-free home designed by Westridge Homes and a one-of-a-kind family residence designed by the Presidential Custom Homes division of North Ridge Development Corporation. Enjoy!


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Evergreen home is the perfect fit for this family of eight by Jeannie Armstrong Photos by Elaine Mark, D & M Images


hen working with clients on a customdesigned home, Ryan Gay, sales manager of Campbell Custom Homes, likes to ask, “What do you like or not like about your existing home?” Ryan and his wife Aimee asked themselves the same question after deciding it was time to custom build a new home that would better accommodate their family of six kids, who range in age from five to 18. “Aimee and I spent the better part of a year designing our new home,” says Ryan of their distinctive new 2,707 square foot two-storey residence located in Evergreen. “When you have six children, you need functional space.”

Supplied photo A custom-designed home by Campbell Custom Homes is the perfect fit for Ryan and Aimee Gay and their six kids. Pictured from left to right are: Sydnea, Brooke, Aimee, Hayden, Ryan, Portia, Ireland and Jazmine. 2016 | spring


The couple started by identifying the ways their family had outgrown their previous house. “We made a list of all the things that we wanted to change in our next home. We did a lot of research online, finding snippets of ideas here and there. We also drew inspiration from Campbell Custom Homes’ own show homes,” says Ryan. “We opted for a contemporary style, with a few traditional touches.” “It was important for our home to be beautiful, but also liveable and practical,” says Aimee. Their previous home had an entryway that just wasn’t large enough for a family of eight that’s constantly on the go. When designing their new floor plan, Ryan and Aimee made sure sufficient space was devoted to the foyer. “We wanted the foyer to be larger and on a grander scale. Now when the kids come in with their friends, they’re not all bumping into each other,” says Ryan. A mudroom was also incorporated into the new home’s design, offering direct access to the home’s triple car heated garage. A powder room is conveniently located adjacent to the mudroom. “We had a mudroom in our last home, but it was tucked away and not large enough. We wanted to make sure that our new mudroom had lots of space. We also added a window to ensure it would be nice and bright,” says Ryan. Can a family of eight ever have enough storage space? “When it came to closets, our old house was bursting at the seams. We made sure our new


“It was important for our home to be beautiful, but also liveable and practical”

Ryan and Aimee's home strikes the perfect balance between contemporary and homey.


house had plenty of storage space. We made the closets oversized. Five of our six kids are girls, so they’ve got lots of clothes and shoes,” he laughs. The couple also wanted to ensure their new home would have an abundance of natural light. “Everywhere we could, we maximized or added

windows to brighten each space,” says Ryan. The home’s high volume of traffic influenced the couple’s choice of flooring throughout the home. An eye-catching yet durable ceramic tile was selected for the foyer, kitchen, bathrooms and mudroom. For the spacious great room, Ryan and

Aimee selected a high-end plank-style laminate flooring that replicates the look of weathered wood. A contemporary linear gas fireplace is the focal point of the inviting living room. The fireplace is surrounded by elegant built-in shelving extending the full length of the wall. The built-in shelves create ample room to display family photos, personal mementoes and striking décor accents. “We wanted a nice contemporary look, but we still wanted it to be homey,” says Ryan. The open concept layout of the living room, dining area and kitchen allows family members





CAMPBELLHOMES.CA (306) 477-2267 2016 | spring


to be busy doing different things, yet still feel connected and together. “When we have company over, this is where family and friends gather. After moving into the house at the beginning of December, we had people over at Christmas and the space worked really well,” says Ryan. Understandably, the kitchen is one of the largest rooms in the home. “The majority of the time we spent designing the home was focused on the kitchen,” says Ryan. Three walls of the kitchen are lined with finely crafted Shaker-style maple cabinets, complemented by seemingly endless quartz countertops and a high gloss ceramic subway tile backsplash. A large quartz-topped island is the centrepiece of the kitchen. Aimee chose not to interrupt the island with a sink or cooktop so she would have more prep space when cooking, as well as a large serving counter when entertaining. The kitchen can be accessed from either the great room or through the walk-through home office adjacent to the front foyer. “The extra pocket door opening to the office was my suggestion!” laughs Aimee. “I use it all the time. If I’m in the kitchen and have to go to the front door or take out the recycling, I always take the short cut through the office instead of walking all the way around.” Aimee also became the home’s lighting director, personally selecting the signature light fixtures that add sparkle and personality to each room. “I wanted lighting that was a little more unique and funky so I really shopped around,” says Aimee. Another must-have in the design of the home was having a sufficient number of bedrooms. The spacious second floor not only accommodates four bedrooms and an upstairs laundry room, there’s also a cozy bonus space that’s a perfect retreat for reading or watching TV. The master suite is generously sized, with a stylish ensuite and a spacious walk-in closet. Two more bedrooms and an additional bathroom are located in the fully developed basement, ideal for the couple’s two oldest daughters. “There’s a family room down there where they can watch TV, with built-in cabinetry and a mini-fridge. The younger girls refer to it as their sisters’ ‘condo’,” he laughs. While the home is visually impressive, what’s behind the walls is even more important, says Ryan. Campbell Custom Homes is Saskatchewan’s first official ‘Holmes Approved Homes’ builder, earning the stamp of approval from trusted celebrity home renovator Mike Holmes. “One of the things that really set us apart is that our homes are constructed using PinkWood


building products, which are moisture-, moldand fire-resistant. With every house we build, the foundation is wrapped with a water-resistant Dimplex membrane.” Campbell Custom Homes also conducts thermal imaging on every house. This infrared testing ensures proper installation of insulation, infloor heating and electrical components. “Any builder can put lipstick on a house,


but Campbell really puts a lot of extras into the construction process itself,” says Ryan. Campbell Custom Homes currently has two show homes open for viewing in Evergreen: 922 Evergreen Boulevard and 407 Salloum Crescent. The builder has lots available for custom builds in Evergreen, Rosewood, The Meadows, Stonebridge and Kensington. For more details, visit LS









SHOWHOMES OPEN Tuesday to Thursday 4 - 8 PM Weekends & Holidays 1 - 5 PM Or by appointment

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Universal design meets family’s need for accessibility by Ashleigh Mattern


n the Nataraj family’s open-concept living room and kitchen, abundant shelving displays photographs and mementos. Big windows face west over a linear park, giving them a full view of the sunset each day. The custom-built home is gorgeous, and it also happens to be barrierfree. Westridge Homes designed the house not only for the comfort of parents Crystal and Richard, but also for their daughters Georgia and Charlotte, who have spinal muscular atrophy. “We consciously made all of the windows low enough so somebody in a chair could still see the view,” Crystal Nataraj explains. They also chose to use open shelving throughout the house in order to avoid hard-to-open drawers and cupboards. Most of the universal design details are so

Photos by Tara Lefebvre & Vireo Productions 2016 | spring


subtle, if no one pointed them out, you might not even notice. “That was something we really tried to do, was make it not look utilitarian,” says Tara Lefebvre, a designer with Westridge Homes. To accommodate the use of wheelchairs, there are very few floor transitions throughout the house. The light switches are lowered and the plug-ins are raised. Of particular help to people with spinal muscular atrophy, which weakens the muscles over time, are the automatic faucets in the kitchen and bathrooms. When designing the kitchen, Westridge didn't use the popular softclose drawers because they’re harder to open. The blinds are all powered to make them easy for anyone to open and close. “They’re also quite fun!” says Crystal. The benefits of a barrier-free design extend beyond their family, too. Through this experience with their daughters, they’ve met new friends who are also in wheelchairs. Having a universal home allows them to invite friends over with no worries about accommodating them. “We have a friend who has the same condition as my daughter, and she bakes all the time, so she can come here and bake with us, whereas normally she can only bake in her home. It’s nice to be able to welcome anybody into your house,” says Crystal. The microwave and oven are set lower in the cabinetry, and the oven opens sideways to make it easier to access the contents from a sitting position. Similarly, the fridge has French doors on the freezer as well. The cooktop and sink have space underneath so someone in a wheelchair can pull right up. Georgia and Charlotte will be able to cook up a storm – when they're old enough. Georgia is four years old and Charlotte is only two. “They’re not cooking yet!" says Crystal. “It’s more for when they get that age; we don’t want to be doing renos.” An incredible amount of thought went into every decision involved in the design and construction of the home. They’ve futureproofed the house against anything they might have to tackle. The ceilings of the girls’ bedrooms and bathroom are reinforced for installation of a ceiling lift; the bedrooms are set up to accommodate hospital beds if need be; and the house is wired for automation, such as voice activation, automated doors, or intercoms. Both the Nataraj family and Westridge did a lot of research before designing the home, prior to construction. They spent about a year in planning mode, though building the house took about the



same amount of time as it would for any large, custom-built home. The builder’s dedication to customer service recently earned Westridge Homes the prestigious Customer Choice Award, sponsored by the New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan. The award was bestowed on February 6 at the Bridges Awards, presented annually by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. They moved in at the end of September 2015. Crystal says coming from a three-level home in Varsity View to this spacious bungalow in Evergreen was a shocking change. “Georgia was never able to discover anything on her own,” says Crystal of their old house. “Before, I was always carrying her everywhere.... Anything she wanted to do, she needed my help.” In their specially designed bungalow, Georgia can brush her teeth by herself, she can use the elevator to go upstairs or downstairs. Even the neighbourhood is more accessible, with safe paths connecting their home to the nearby schools currently under construction. “She’s gained so much independence.... Her being able to motor around in her devices is pretty amazing,” says Crystal. LS

Barrier-free features include: ■ Gentle incline to the front door ■ E xtra large garage to accommodate a large accessible van or bus ■ S pace in the mudroom to store walkers, standers, wheelchairs and power chairs ■ S afety gate on the stairs to protect against accidental tumbles for those in power chairs ■ P ot filler on the stove ■ High toe kicks in the kitchen and kitchenette so people in a chair can get close to the counter ■ A lot of space in the dining room so someone in a wheelchair can easily move around ■ Five-foot wide hallways ■ Three-foot wide doorways ■ P ocket doors slide into the wall instead of swinging in or out, creating an obstruction ■ T he girls’ washroom is a wet room with no curb on the shower and includes a raised tub ■ H idden laundry chute sends clothes to a cupboard in the basement laundry room ■W alk-out basement for easy access to the backyard and the therapeutic swim spa For more details, visit

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Go2Guys offer roof-to-basement renovation services by Tom Eremondi


n six years, Go2Guys Inc. has grown from a roofing and odd jobs start-up to a company offering an extensive slate of services, says Jeff Talloden, operations manager for Go2Guys. “Shane Regush, the owner, started the company in 2010. I came to the company in 2012, just shortly after I graduated university,” Talloden reports. “Shane noticed many roofing customers were also asking for eavestroughing. He decided to purchase an eavestroughing machine for Go2Guys. He brought me on to run that.” With a B. Comm. and business background, Talloden eventually took over the day-to-day operations of Go2Guys. This freed Regush, former site manager for a home building company, to continue doing the more hands-on work for the company. “Once we expanded from roofing to eaves, picking up soffits and fascia was the next step,” Talloden says. “It was natural for Shane to expand because he had done much of this work in his previous job.” He says Go2Guys kept growing and now offers full interior and exterior renovations. “We feel this is very convenient for our customers because we’re basically a one-stop shop.” Talloden notes an innovative service they offer. “We noticed some customers were coming to us with insurance claims. They would get an adjuster and then get a contractor to do the work. We decided it would be easier for them if we offered both the adjusting and the repair service. It also provides a more accurate quote for the customer.” Talloden adds that Go2Guys has tried to grow only as they were able. “We took our time expanding because we wanted to be able to do everything right and also to make sure we have the right contractors working for us. We only want to do what we’re good at.”


Supplied photos

The Go2Guys continue to expand their range of renovation services. Pictured (L-R) are: Nicole, Jeff, Danica, Shane (back row); Jason and Chris.

For the future, he says Go2Guys would like to start doing commercial work such as repair and renovation of apartment buildings. Depending on the time of the year, Go2Guys has seven to nine staff working full-time in the office. The company also will have a half-dozen to 12 or 14 contactors crews working on site, employing another 50 to 60 people. Talloden says Go2Guys’ philosophy focuses on the customer. “Anything we do to a house is the way we’d want it done to our own houses. If the customer is happy, then we’re happy.”


This is why the company sought out certification by becoming a member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. “Shane looked into joining the Home Builders’ Association before I started so I took over the process. We participated in the HomeStyles Show one spring that was really good for us and then decided to join the Association.” Being a member of the Home Builders’ Association has helped the company, he says. “They’ve been especially helpful when it comes to safety compliance by providing us with information.

“Their website also has lots of great resources we can use as a member. We’ve been able to network and build relationships with other contractors. If we weren’t members, we couldn’t access this information. “I think it’s also important that the Association doesn’t take being a member lightly. When you join there are certain responsibilities you have as a business.” Membership in the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association has also expanded Go2Guys’ customer base. “Customers will call us and tell us they saw our truck at a job site and looked us up. They say that Go2Guys belonging to an organization such as the Home Builders’ Association gives them the reassurance that we’re a good company. By becoming a member, it says to them that we take pride in what we do – that we’re not just showing up to do some work and make some money.” For a complete listing of services or for more information, visit www. LS

After Supplied photos Go2Guys now offers full interior and exterior renovations.


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Photos by D&M Images


BY Jennifer Jacoby-Smith


rom the outside, it doesn’t look much different than any other luxury house in The Legends neighbourhood in Warman. But the $1.5 million ROCY-built show home at 424 Nicklaus Drive is very different on the inside – particularly in the mechanical room. For one thing, there is no furnace. What looks like conventional heating and cooling equipment is actually a nine-ton vertical loop geothermal heating and cooling system, designed and installed by MiEnergy. Two solar edge inverters on another wall convert direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC) power generated from the 13kW PV netmetering solar array located on the roof, designed and installed by Sound Solar Systems. Any excess power that the home does not consume is returned


The solar array on the roof provides enough energy to power the entire 2,172 square foot home. The Saskatchewan government is offering a 20 per cent rebate on the cost to install solar power technology to encourage homeowners to look at alternative energy sources.


to the SaskPower grid via a bi-directional meter and credited to the home’s account. The goal is that the solar array will produce as much power as the home consumes, resulting in a net-zero power utility cost. ROCY President and owner David Dyck says there’s about $100,000 worth of renewable energy equipment in the house. The nine-ton system (four-ton forced air unit, plus five-ton water to water unit) features a vertical loop installed adjacent to the house. The back yard has 18 holes 120 feet deep. These holes have continuous pipes going in and coming out, which are then fused together five-feet below the rear yard surface with two lines coming into the house and two lines going out. “These pipes capture energy in a heat transfer process which heats the liquid brine in the pipes and through a series of pumps brings it back into the house at 105 degrees Fahrenheit in winter and summer. The equipment in the house then distributes heating and cooling throughout the house,” Dyck explains. At 424 Nicklaus Drive, the geothermal system provides forced air heating and cooling as well as in-floor heating for the entire basement, all tiled areas and the garage. The geothermal system can eliminate a home’s

The nine-ton geothermal heating and cooling unit transfers heat from below ground to keep the home warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

reliance on natural gas completely. However, the ROCY show home has two natural gas fireplaces, rough-ins for a gas stove or range, gas clothes dryer, barbecue, fire table on the deck and patio heater on the lower patio. Contributing to the home’s minimal utility

Investing in your future with a sustainable way of life

bills are other energy efficiencies such as 1.5-inch exterior rigid insulation, triple pane with Low E + argon windows and upgraded R-value insulation. The custom-built house is also a very functional and well-designed family home. Using renewable energy sources only minimally impacts the design

Solar & Geothermal Systems accessing “renewable” source of energy

306-242-8600 2016 | spring


A more sustainable source of energy doesn’t have to impact the design of the home. The ROCY show home at 424 Nicklaus Drive in Warman has all the features of a luxury bungalow with a stylish design.

of the home. With 2,172 square feet of space, the home proves that pragmatic doesn’t have to mean plain. The fully developed lower level includes a walk-out basement with a custom-built bar, fireplace and additional living spaces. Dyck says the orientation of the home is critical to getting optimum southern exposure for the solar PV panels to produce as much power as possible. “Lot location, shading from trees, neighbouring structures and roof pitch are factors as well as designing a solar array with maximum production.” Still, for many, the most compelling feature of the home will be the next-to-nothing utility bills. Dyck says the first question he gets from prospective owners is how long it will take to earn back that investment. “For me, it’s about more than just payback,” says Dyck. “Homeowners need to think about the fact that we should consider investing in renewables as an option.” That’s something the Saskatchewan government is hoping to encourage as well. In 2015, the Saskatchewan government announced a commitment to getting 50 per cent of its power from renewable sources of energy by 2030. That’s more than double the current percentage the province gets from renewables. The government has several wind, hydro and geothermal projects planned, but to encourage small projects (like homes) the government has offered a 20 per cent rebate on the total costs of installing a solar power system. Despite the upfront costs, it’s the long-term savings and the sustainable legacy that is important to Dyck.


“There is no doubt that utility costs will increase in Saskatchewan in the future. Anything we can do to offset these increases will be a benefit to homeowners, not to mention the significant impact on a cleaner environment by accessing renewables,” says Dyck. Currently, Dyck has built a few select homes with renewable energy sources, but he hopes to do more. At the moment, the high-end custom market seems to be the only market that can easily afford the significant costs of installing these systems. Unfortunately, according to Dyck, they are


often the least likely to have conversations about alternative energy or renewable energy sources as they can more easily absorb the higher utility bills. It is up to home builders like ROCY to educate them on their options. “Moving forward with more education and homes like 424 Nicklaus Drive in Warman providing great statistics, I think more homeowners in all markets will give serious consideration to investing in our future and renewables as a sustainable way of life,” says Dyck. For further details, visit


Shangri-La! Car-free living in downtown Saskatoon by Jeannie Armstrong Photos by Elaine Mark, D & M Images


orth Prairie Development’s new downtown condominium residence, Shangri-La on 4th, is indicative of the cultural shift that is taking place in many urban centres across North America, including Saskatoon. “Car-free living” is rising in popularity, particularly among Millennials, ages 18 to 34. While learning to drive and buying a car was once considered a rite of passage for most teenagers, a growing number of Millennials are instead choosing to walk, bike or take public transit to their jobs. Their choice of housing locations also reflects their pedestrian-friendly lifestyle; they prefer to live in mixed use, high-density neighbourhoods – close to their places of employment, social and leisure activities. Shangri-La on 4th invites its residents to experience the excitement of downtown living, located on the corner of 4th Avenue and Queen Street. The nine-storey tower’s contemporary architecture and urban style make it an attractive addition to the downtown skyline. “North Prairie Developments is excited to be a part of the vitality of downtown Saskatoon,” says CEO Andrew Williams. “City centers are an important cornerstone of a vibrant cityscape. We are dedicated to be a leader in innovative infill developments in the downtown area for many years to come and have several other projects in the design phase. With Saskatoon maintaining a strong level of growth and development, it is important as builders to not only be a part of Saskatoon’s new neighbourhoods but to also have a strong presence downtown.” Shangri-La features 94 apartment-style condominium suites, including three penthouse

units, offering spectacular views of beautiful downtown Saskatoon. Residents can also enjoy the breathtaking vistas from their own unique hanging glass balconies or the building’s fabulous rooftop deck and amenity/fitness centre. Featuring concrete and steel construction, Shangri-La is the first new apartment-style condominium project to be constructed in downtown Saskatoon in the past seven years. Not only is Shangri-La answering the pent-up demand for new condo units in the downtown core, it is also attracting attention for its innovative green initiatives, including a unique car share program. “This is the first car share program to be offered by a residential development in Saskatoon,” says Krista Nakonechny, marketing and events coordinator with North Prairie Developments. The car share program means that Shangri-La residents will have the ability to easily get around town for errands and appointments without the extra cost of owning and operating a vehicle. 2016 | spring


Shangri-La on 4th is Saskatoon’s newest downtown apartment-style condominium residence, designed and built by North Prairie Developments. The nine-story condo project is the first residential development in Saskatoon to offer a car share program. Five lifestyle-themed show suites are now open for viewing.



North Prairie is facilitating the program through the lease of a 2016 Nissan Versa, which will be accessible in Shangri-La’s underground parkade. Explaining how the program works, Nakonechny says, “The car share program will be accessible through an on-line booking system. You go online to schedule the time when you want to use the car. The system activates your swipe card, allowing you to unlock the car, get in and drive. When you return the car, you swipe your card again to lock it. The system automatically calculates the time you used the car and adds the nominal fee to your account.” Those residents who have their own vehicles shouldn’t fear they will be left out in the cold. The luxury condominium residence features a generously-sized heated underground parkade, with parking stalls available for purchase with select units at very reasonable prices. Indoor bike storage within the parkade is also available. Shangri-La’s green theme extends beyond car sharing, says Nakonechny. “The building features LED light fixtures in common areas. Each unit is equipped with ENERGY STAR® windows, low flush toilets and reduced water flow shower heads. There is also an on-site recycling program.”

North Prairie’s design team has created seven outstanding open concept floor plans for Shangri-La, ranging in size from 583 to 1,190 square feet. Buyers can select from one- or two-bedroom units, priced starting in the low $200,000s. “Not only does Shangri-La qualify for the Head Start on a Home program that provides purchasers with down payment assistance, buyers also benefit from the tax abatement program offered by the City of Saskatoon. Condo owners at Shangri-La enjoy tax-free living for five years, representing $10,000 in savings, subject to assessments and mill rate adjustments,” says Nakonechny. “Saskatonians have really responded to Shangri-La. Fifty per cent of our 94 units are now sold! The building’s appeal extends across all demographics – from young professionals working downtown to empty-nesters and investors.” Shangri-La’s high-style design features – including high gloss laminate cabinetry, rolling barn doors, designer islands and artistic tile backsplashes – are unexpected at this price point. Buyers can select from a dazzling array

of professional interior design packages, with stylish standard and upgraded options. Those who buy early can also customize their colour selections and choice of flooring and countertops.

Exploring Shangri-La’s five different lifestylethemed show suites is the best way to envision the excitement of downtown living. For more details on Shangri-La, including show suite hours, visit

JUST ANOTHER CASE OF WINDOW ENVY. Visit to find out why we stand out from the crowd. Together, we can end window envy.



ask an expert

style & decor Charlene Schumacher

Fresco Interiors Design Group #40-710 Cynthia Street •306.933-3200 • top three designer treatments would you Q What suggest to transform my master bedroom?


Your master bedroom is a private space where you can really express your creativity and personality through design. My top three design treatments for a master bedroom are as follows:

1. Vertical Glam View your space from your entry point. What do you see? Are all of your decorative elements positioned at 50-inches and lower? Is the tallest item on your feature wall your headboard? Inject Vertical Glam by hanging platinum oval starburst mirrors above each table lamp. The trick here is positioning and scale. To achieve proper scale, ensure the mirror is no wider than the width of your end tables and twice the height. When positioning the mirror, it should dip 30 or 40 per cent behind your lamp shades to establish a connection. Add a wall of shimmering crystal sheers for the ultimate Vertical Glam.

2. Balancing Act Humans are naturally drawn towards symmetry. It allows us to feel calm and comfortable. Balance your bedroom sanctuary with large-scale, burnished gold sculptural table lamps. The designer trick to bedroom table lamps is contrast and size. To achieve contrast, use an elegant black shade when the lamp is featured against a light wall or glimmering sheer, or a large white drum shade against a dark accent wall. Most people select lamps that are too small. The perimeter size of the shade should be approximately 50 to 60 per cent of the width of your nightstand, For example, select a 15- to 16- inch shade if your nightstand is 30 inches wide. My new favourite style of bedroom lamp has a sculptural gold knot base that is 36-inches high with a 15-inch wide black silk drum shade. Instant drama!

3. Signature Style What feels more luxurious than crisp white sheets, layers of down-filled pillows and elegant custom bedding? To create that luxury hotel look at home, start with a simple white sheet treatment. Purchase a series of three down-filled accent cushions in the exact same color. Then purchase upholstery fabric that complements the colours of your cushions and have a statement bolster fabricated along with a bed runner. Layer the fabrics with accent bindings and pipings. My favorite combination is platinum gold, vanilla, espresso and royal navy. It only takes a few select pieces to create a sophisticated elegant bedroom you would love to come home to. Exclusive Furniture- Custom Drapery- Designer Wallpaper



Love where you live! LS

Define your HomeStyle. March 10-13

Prairieland Park 2016 | spring


HomeStyles Check List

New this year...

Planning a renovation? Fill this out before you go to HomeStyles and bring it with you to make sure you get the most out of your HomeStyles visit!

Before you go: Prioritize your projects: 1. 2. 3. Measurements of rooms that need renovating:

HomeStyles is an innovative show and we understand that today’s consumers want to see the newest trends in home building, renovation, and design. EcoStyles has been designed to educate our nearly 20,000 attendees and over 200 exhibitors in making cost-effective upgrading and operating decisions that reduce their homes’ impact on the environment.

The EcoStyles Exhibitor is a company or organization wanting to:

Stoon Home Builders to an eco-friendly housing industry 00342998 Contribute that uses innovative ways to reduce the

Top 3 “must-visit” HomeStyles Booths: See our online exhibitor directory at 1. 2.

Help consumers live economically by saving energy and money

ecological footprint of a home

While you’re at the show: Gather contractor contact information:

Don’t miss EcoStyles in its debut year, March 10-13, Prairieland Park Hall A

INTRODUCING THE... Start the contractor conversation: How will this renovation affect the operation of the rest of my home? How might this renovation affect the operating cost of my home? Do you hold a business license and insurance?

runs March 10 - 13, 2016 Thursday: 3 pm - 9 pm Friday: 12 pm- 9 pm Saturday: 10 am - 9 pm Sunday: 10 am - 5 pm

Prairieland Park 503 Ruth Street West Saskatoon, SK

We can’t wait to see you there!



Featuring unbiased, educational presentations by experts on topics like... Kitchen Design

What to know before getting a mortgage Home Maintenance Making your home more accessible Top Design Trends

Visit for the most up-to-date speaker schedules and all show information!

Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

DefineDefine your HomeStyle. your HomeStyle. March 10-13

Dream. Plan. Build. Define your style at HomeStyles

by Jeannie Armstrong


very spring, thousands of Saskatonians make a date with HomeStyles, one of western Canada’s largest home and lifestyle shows. Presented by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA), HomeStyles will usher in spring a little earlier than in past years. The event takes place Thursday, March 10 to Sunday, March 13 at Prairieland Park. Whether this is your first visit to HomeStyles, or you are an annual attendee, doing a little advance planning will help you to maximize your enjoyment of the show and enhance your experience. “We’re inviting the public to use the handy checklist on page 34 of this edition of Living Spaces to plan their visit to HomeStyles. We’re encouraging people to think in advance about the renovation or build projects that they’d like to tackle. Take some room measurements and jot them down or bring along your blueprints. Go online and check out our list of HomeStyles exhibitors, and prioritize three ‘must-visit’ booths. It’s an easy way to make your visit to HomeStyles really purposeful,” says Karen Kobussen, SRHBA Director of Operations. Be sure to check out the online schedule of featured guest presenters – including HGTV Canada celebrities Paul Lafrance and Damon Bennett, as well as local design, renovation and construction experts. Choose your favourite speakers and topics, and plan your HomeStyles visit around those presentations. Jennifer Lamontagne, SRHBA Marketing and Events Coordinator, says HomeStyles’ visitors will discover some exciting changes to the speakers’ stage this year. “We’ve structured our Main Stage as a Learning Lab, where you can learn about everything from the latest design trends to the how-to's of renovating your home,” says Lamontagne. After each presentation, you can go directly from the Learning Lab to Halls D and E to ask additional questions of exhibitors who are expert

on that topic. Over 200 different exhibitors are participating in the HomeStyles trade show. Look for exciting displays from new home builders, renovators and home supply companies. You’ll find everything from windows, doors and floors to the latest home automation systems. If it’s innovative and exciting, you’re sure to find it at HomeStyles. “We keep our fingers on the pulse of home shows right across North America. We look at what they’re doing in Toronto, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton. We even look at what they’re doing at the International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas, to ensure that HomeStyles continues to be fresh and exciting,” says Kobussen. A new addition to HomeStyles 2016 is the new EcoStyles exhibit area, located in Hall A. “EcoStyles really covers being environmentally friendly as well as being economically conscious of what you’re putting in your home. Among our exhibitors are builders who specialize in green building technologies, as well as companies offering eco-friendly and sustainable materials,” says Lamontagne. EcoStyles is unique in bringing together ecological and economic considerations, says Kobussen. “We not only want to look at being 2016 | spring


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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

environmentally friendly and energy efficient, we also want to look at the economics of these green building features and how they are going to save us money, now and in the future. That’s what people can look forward to learning about.” Of particular interest at EcoStyles will be the new Upcycle Challenge, presented in partnership with the Habitat for Humanity ReStore. “We’ve invited local designers to source and upcycle selected items from the Habitat ReStore. We have no idea what they’ve discovered or how they’ve transformed it,” says Lamontagne. “Each item will be one-of-a-kind and truly unique.” The upcycled creations will be on display at EcoStyles. The public will have the opportunity to purchase these items by placing silent auction bids at the exhibit. “The silent auction winners will be announced Sunday at 3:30 p.m.,” says Lamontagne. The HomeStyles Marketplace, located in Hall C, boasts a new look and feel this year, says Kobussen. “This year, The Marketplace will have that boutique retail experience, focusing on the comforts of home, whether that is food, wine, décor items or personal products.”



The Marketplace will be much bigger than last year, with twice as many booths. “It will really be like strolling through an outdoor marketplace,” says Lamontagne. The Decora Homes Bistro will be the glamourous backdrop for The Marketplace. “We have partnered with Co-op Wine Spirits and Beer, as well as a local bartending school, to offer


Last Mountain Lake, as a result of its location, is rapidly becoming one of Saskatchewan’s premier lake communities. Recharge on the water; swim, fish, ski, sail or go out on the boat and explore nearly 200 kilometres of shoreline looking for that secluded cove.

seminars on wine collecting and mixing cocktails. There will also be exciting cooking demonstrations by local chefs,” says Lamontagne. “We’re really emphasizing ways that people can make their home their own, a destination for themselves. That’s the essence of our theme, ‘Define your HomeStyle,’” she adds. “How many times have we heard, especially in today’s economy, of a staycation. Let’s make your home a place that you want to stay in!” HomeStyles’ hours have been extended for 2016. Show hours are from 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Thursday, March 10; 12 noon to 9:00 p.m. on Friday, March 11; 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 12; 10 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, March 13. Daily admission at the door (cash only) is $12.50 for adults; $10.00 for seniors; children 12 and under are free. For complete details, visit www.homestylesonline. com. On each day of the show there will be themed give-aways and promotions. Check out HomeStyles on Facebook and Twitter (@homestylesshow) for the latest updates.

Visit us at the HomeStyles Show March 10 to 13, 2016 Sunset Acres Resort is located on the east shore of Last Mountain Lake. Waterfront, marina and water canal lots are available, as are full lake home packages. All lots meet or exceed the province’s 1:500 year flood grading standard. Sunset Acres Resort is located near to Saskatoon, Regina, Moose Jaw and Yorkton. Waterfront and Marina Lots starting at $119,900 + GST Water Canal Lots starting at $74,900 + GST Lake home packages starting at $299,800 + GST


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DefineDefine your HomeStyle. your HomeStyle. March 10-13

Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show



Curiosity drives the creative genius of Paul Lafrance by Jeannie Armstrong


aul Lafrance is upfront about his child-like, inquisitive nature – a curiousity that borders on the insatiable. “There’s a lot of Peter Pan in me,” he laughs. “When you’re a kid, you can’t wait to grow up, but the minute you enter into the world of adulthood, you wish you were a kid again. I tap into that side of people when I do what I do.” Lafrance is best known as the high-energy, rock ‘n’ roll-style host of numerous HGTV Canada hit shows: Custom Built, Decked Out, Deck Wars, Disaster Decks and Canada’s Handyman Challenge. He is also the creator, owner and CEO of the international design and build firm, Paul Lafrance Design. Lafrance is currently in front of the cameras filming a new series for HGTV Canada: Home To Win. The new series, premiering this spring, brings together 20 HGTV Canada stars to completely remodel a run-of-the-mill home into one of the hottest properties in the country. The star-studded series includes such HGTV Canada talents as Scott McGillivray, Bryan and Sarah Baeumier, Sarah Richardson, Tommy Smythe, Samantha Pynn, Kate Campbell, Carson Arthur, Mike Holmes (Sr. and Jr.) – just to name a few. Lafrance and the rest of the celebrity crew have been busy transforming the Toronto area farmhouse. “Obviously I’m doing the deck, but I’m also doing interior portions of the house. Samantha Pynn and I are scheduled to do the upstairs mezzanine and bathroom.” What makes Home To Win different from other TV reno shows? When the project is complete, one



supplied Photos

HGTV Canada celebrity designer and renovator Paul Lafrance promises to entertain and inform Saskatoon audiences when he makes his first appearance at HomeStyles this weekend.

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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

Canadian will win the keys to this ultimate dream home – on live TV. In July of this year, Lafrance wrapped up filming of the second series of Custom Built. “It was my first break from day-in and day-out filming of TV shows in six years. It was a much welcomed break, because it gave me the time to focus on some of the construction build projects that I’ve been doing privately.” The hiatus gave Lafrance the opportunity to expand the scope of his firm, Paul LaFrance Design, including building a new design studio and showroom. Across the street, Paul and his wife Janna (a talented novelist in her own right) are also opening a new art and photography studio called L’Artisan, which will promote the works of talented Canadian visual artists. Famed for his unconventional designs and renovations, Lafrance’s work is in demand across the country. “I’m doing crazy exterior and interior private projects, as well as some wonderful high profile commercial projects where I get to be my regular Peter Pan self.” He’s currently designing a hotel property in British Columbia and transforming the outdoor playscape for Ontario’s Talisman Resort. A unique project on Lafrance’s drawing board is

BEFORE YOU BUILD... a permit e ir u q re ou y , et rg fo ’t on D h, or is ol em d t, c ru st on c to er d in or ty. er p ro p r ou y on s g in d il u b renovate For information on Building Permit requirements or to obtain a permit, contact City of Saskatoon Building Standards at 306-975-2645 or visit


continued on Page 50 2016 | spring




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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

DefineDefine your HomeStyle. your HomeStyle. March 10-13

Supplied photos

Damon Bennett, formerly Mike Holmes’ right hand man, says the future of building is energy efficiency. His current project is a passive house in Etobicoke, Ontario. He returns to HomeStyles this year to share his wit and wisdom with audiences.

Damon Bennett talks green building at HomeStyles BY Jennifer Jacoby-Smith



e’s back and he’s got lots to talk about! HGTV star Damon Bennett returns to HomeStyles again this year and he’s got a lot on his mind. He’s also got a lot on his plate. In addition to building and renovating houses with Bennett Construction, Bennett still champions the hiring of military veterans, women and youth in the construction industry. He’s also launched a new website which he says will be “really interactive”. The site is intended to keep his fans up-to-date with all of his projects, as well as helping homeowners who are looking for advice on their home renovation questions. “We will be doing videos. There’s going to be lots of content on it and possibly doing little webisodes on my Youtube channel as well,” explains Bennett. The 42 year-old contractor continues to work on a possible return to HGTV Canada with his own show. While he awaits a decision on that, he’s not


slowing down. Recently, he took on a new challenge – building passive houses. His current project is a $1.3 million passive house in Etobicoke, Ontario. A passive house is a house that is constructed to an extremely high standard of energy efficiency and uses little to no energy for heating and cooling. “The one we’re building now has a furnace room the size of a closet. You don’t need a corner of the basement anymore. That’s how energy efficient these homes are,” Bennett explains. Bennett admits he’s always looking for a new challenge and building energy efficient homes is a way to creatively solve problems. After all, building energy efficient homes – whether it’s LEED Platinum, net-zero or passive homes – is costly. “Building energy efficient homes is still pretty expensive,” notes Bennett. He cites the cost of materials and the newness of many technologies in

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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

keeping the price high. But he maintains it’s worth it to find a solution and make energy efficient homes more affordable for everyone. “The amount of money we spend on energy these days is only going to go up. It has to stop at some point,” Bennett says. “So how do we build an energy efficient home without killing the homeowner with costs?” That question, he says, drives him to the build site just outside Toronto. The 4,000-square-foot home isn’t a typical build. Only a few people could afford the hefty price tag. But he’s determined to take the lessons learned from this passive house and find ways to reduce the costs in future projects. “It’s an experiment,” he acknowledges. Bennett continues to get more questions from contractors and homeowners on how to handle the impacts of climate change. A recent email from a contractor asked how the increased snow loads would impact the spans on his roof line. Bennett

suggested 24-inch spans on centre might not be not enough. With questions like these becoming more commonplace, the construction industry will have to come up with creative ways to adapt. There seems to be no shortage of challenges for him to take on. Bennett says he always looks forward to his trips to Saskatchewan. This time he plans to spend a lot of time engaging the audience to see what they’re dealing with. He’s willing to talk about any renovation issues they might be experiencing, but also hopes to explore the future of sustainability and affordable homes. “I’m going to have fun with the audiences. I’m coming in with a plan to talk about energy efficiency and talk about the future of the construction industry in general, but we’ll see what they want to talk about. They’re the boss, not me,” says Bennett. “We’re looking to be the builders in Ontario for passive and energy efficient homes. It’s the future.

It’s coming right now. If I don’t start building them, someone else will.” Plan now to see Damon Bennett at HomeStyles; check out the speaker and event schedule at www.

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DefineDefine your HomeStyle. your HomeStyle. March 10-13

Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

Pour! Custom wine rooms in demand By HILARY KLASSEN


ho can resist the allure of a wine room? With beautifully textured finishes, bottles artfully displayed and the promise of shared libations, the wine room extends to unforgettable moments with glasses raised in friendship and camaraderie. This is the wisdom of the wine room and the reason custom wine rooms are growing in popularity, something Decora Homes knows very well. The Saskatoon home builder recently completed a custom wine room for a client, replete with all their resonant wishes. It was a collaboration enlivened by Decora’s design consultant, Whitney Nordstrom. Nordstrom had noticed an overabundance of wine rooms set up in a rectilinear fashion, with everything in a row and lining up. Her creative vision led her in a different direction. “The home in question has a series of contemporary arches. I wanted to play off the curves in the architecture of the home,” she says. Nordstrom found a company that could create a template of what she had in mind – wine bottles stored in an arched configuration. After installing the plywood template, they attached 132 sinkers or pegs acquired from a local steel manufacturer, two for each of 66 bottles. Metallic wallpaper created a superb background for the room. “It’s beautiful, says Nordstrom. “It looks like somebody cut a slab of marble but with metallic colours.” Decora worked with a local millwork company for the cabinet and added a bulkhead as an attractive finish to facilitate accent lighting. While most of the flooring on the main floor is hardwood, inside the wine room Nordstrom switched to a marble mosaic, for a variation in texture. The room itself is about five feet by 10 feet with glass on three sides, and a large, full height glass door on the narrower wall nearest the kitchen. Being centrally located in the living


area, the wine room doesn’t stray from design elements around it. “This wine room was so much a part of the main floor, it needed to make sense with the aesthetics of the kitchen and living room, the built-ins, the fireplace. It relates to everything SHEET # DECORA HOMES PORTER RESIDENCE around it,” says Nordstrom. TheWINE room forms & EVOLUTION HOMES ROOM an essential part of the social ambience JULY, 2014 of the 3/8" = 1'-0" main floor. The wine room’s relationship with the rest of the house is a key design decision. Whether to blend with existing design elements or create a theme room is an individual choice. Themed rooms may be easier to create in a basement where separation from the rest of the home allows for deviation from the overall style. Walking into your wine room can be like Photos: Decora Homes walking into another country, or the room can Designed by Whitney Nordstrom for Decora Homes, take on the feel of a downtown restaurant. The this wine room is visible from most of the main floor options are endless. Of course, visiting other and relates beautifully with surrounding design countries like Italy, France or the Napa Valley elements. It forms an important part of the social in the States can provide plenty of inspiration ambience in the living area of this home. for wine rooms. In addition to deciding how many bottles the room will hold, homeowners need to consider a cooling system, humidity controls and any technological features they want to include. Wine cataloguing systems with labelling and scanning features allow serious wine collectors to keep track of their wines. Lighting is another factor to consider. For expensive wine collections, controlling the amount of light is important to preserving the PROJECT TITLE






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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

collection. For those who drink their wine sooner rather than later, lighting is less of a factor. Ricky and Rhonda Iula, owners of Decora Homes, included a wine room in the basement of their own home. The space maintains a satisfactory temperature for their needs without a cooling system. They simply chose not to heat it. While a wine room that offers tasting opportunities has considerable appeal, it can be difficult to accommodate since the room is usually chilled. The Iulas got around the temperature issue by designing a bar area with seating in front of their glassed-in wine room, along with adjacent storage for wine supplies. Nordstrom says for their clients, including a wine room isn’t necessarily a choice between that and a home gym or home theatre. “It’s just a matter of preference.” In Nordstrom’s hands, a wine room can become a piece of art instead of just an organized display of bottles. “It’s not merely a collection, the collection becomes art.” With Decora Homes, clients don’t need to outsource their wine room or any other aspect of construction. “As a company we’re all very creative and we

can do unique rooms like this. We work with local businesses and we can design a room that you’ve never seen before,” she says. For an up-close, in-person look at another of Decora Homes’ wine room designs, visit the Decora Homes Bistro in the Marketplace at HomeStyles,

March 10 to 13 at Prairieland Park. The marketplace, with its delightful Tuscan ambience, will feature seminars on wine collecting and storage as well as chef-inspired cooking. For more details about Decora Homes, visit www. LS




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for all your travel information to WATROUS-MANITOU BEACH THIS SUMMER



2016 | spring




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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

DefineDefine your HomeStyle. your HomeStyle. March 10-13

SMART. GREEN. BEAUTIFUL. Building for energy efficiency by Ron Janson


onn Lepage, the founder of VerEco Homes, calls his retirement passion of helping homeowners to build green energy-efficient homes equivalent to having a “hobby on steroids.” There are three basic areas where homes consume energy – the biggest in our cold Saskatchewan climate is space heating, followed by hot water, then lights and appliances. With VerEco's innovative designs, householders are realizing “savings of 60 to 80 per cent in total,” says Lepage enthusiastically. With some projects, they’ve trimmed spaceheating consumption down to 10 per cent of a standard built home. But as much as the savings are startling, his biggest satisfaction comes from how comfortable homeowners are when they start living in their homes. “I think the surprise is how comfortable these homes are to live in and I hear it over and over again,” says Lepage. “Making these homes energy efficient removes all the drafts. Because of the additional thermal mass, they’re really stable and temperatures don’t fluctuate in them.” Special windows enable the winter sun to naturally heat the home. Owners also rave about the quality of the indoor air, attractive lighting and the quietness of their homes. Building a green home involves familiar materials such as insulation, but other concepts may be new to the average homeowner. Building compact is one of those ideas. Through efficient open concept design, wasted space such as hallways can be minimized. An efficiently designed 1,400 or 1,500 square foot home can deliver the same amount of living space as a traditional 1,800 square foot house. At an average construction cost


of $200 per square foot, efficient design can save the homeowner $40,000 or more in building costs. That’s before energy savings start to accumulate. “The second thing we’ll do is take advantage of the sun,” says Lepage. “With passive solar design, we’ll try to get most of the windows on the south side of the house.” This will generate approximately 25 to 40 per cent of the heat required to heat a VerEco home in the winter. Not surprisingly, putting in extra insulation generates big benefits at a very modest cost. “Typically in a home heated with natural gas, we’ll put R-40 insulation in the walls and R-80 insulation in the attic,” says Lepage. “It’s like having a thick sleeping bag vs. a thin sleeping bag.” The final important aspect is air tightness – eliminating drafts that allow warm air to escape from the home. Lepage thinks that Canadians’ interest in energy efficiency is growing, enough so that he has a lot


Supplied photos/Lisa Landrie Ronn and Gwen Lepage’s gorgeous home, located at Sarilia Estates, is a model of energy efficiency.

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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show


306.934.1733 819 - 2ND AVENUE NORTH SASKATOON, SK ( 2 blocks North of SGI )



of “hope we’re on the verge of something really important here.” Last year, the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, through AVID Ratings Canada, surveyed over 12,000 new homeowners about their home buying preferences, and more than 89 per cent identified an energy efficient house as a priority. That’s not surprising since the demand for energy efficiency cuts through several different markets. There are environmentally-conscious consumers who want a “green” house, cost-driven consumers who are looking to save a dollar and the emerging comfort market who want to live in a home that feels great. VerEco itself isn’t profiting from the phenomenon. While Lepage has designed some 50 homes in the last four years, VerEco isn’t a building company and operates completely as a non-profit. “Any money we do make goes back into public education and research. People laugh at my rates because sometimes I’m making $10 an hour. I’m doing this to promote green research.” Lepage works with the local building community to certify VerEco-approved builders. He will also work with home buyers from design to completion of their building projects. VerEco’s services include preliminary design (which includes visioning, floor plans, elevations, 3D modeling, energy modeling and detailed specifications), working with home buyers through an intensive builder selection process, and then doing a quality control check both half-way through and at the finish of the build. Although it’s not his central focus, he’ll also work with buyers on construction plans as well. There are about 15 approved VerEco builders doing new homes, pre-fabs, ready-to-moves and retrofits and Lepage is looking to add more to the VerEco team. “Clients are ecstatic,” says Lepage. Ronn and his wife Gwen live in a VerEco home. The energyefficient design has made them both believers. " My wife designed our home with her architect and then I applied all of the VerEco tools to reduce energy costs without changing the design of the home. Last year, we paid about $500 in total for space heating and it’s a 3,800 square foot house,” said Lepage. “Our home is at Sarilia Country Estates, so it has lots of glass to take advantage of the incredible river views. If we had built it to standard construction, it probably would have been $300 to $400 a month for heating.” To learn more about green building technologies, visit VerEco’s display at the EcoStyles exhibit area at HomeStyles, March 10 to 13 at Prairieland Park. For more details, visit





Check out our website!

306.934.1733 WWW.SASKATOONFURNITURE.CA 2016 | spring


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Saskatchewan’s Premier Home Show

continued from Page 39

Canada’s first primate sanctuary located at Toronto’s Story Book Farm, home to Darwin, the monkey found wandering outside of an Ikea store. “The sanctuary will house over 100 monkeys. It’s designed completely from shipping containers which will be pieced together like Lego blocks. It looks like a nice version of Jurassic Park for monkeys,” says Lafrance. Fund-raising efforts are currently underway, with numerous celebrities like Ricky Gervais jumping on board. Every project that he tackles is accomplished in unmistakeable Paul Lafrance style. “It’s a style that absolutely avoids trends. I’m very much inspired by people’s stories. When I can incorporate personal elements into the project, the design has more meaning,” says Lafrance. On his hit series Custom Built, those personal stories inspire amazing home renovations and oneof-a-kind furniture pieces. In a recent episode, Lafrance was asked by a couple to build a walk-in closet in their master bedroom. Trying to personalize the project, he persistently questioned the couple. He failed to make a connection until he asked, ‘Where do you love to travel, and why?’ “That’s when the wife revealed the story of a special weekend trip she made to New York with her father when she was growing up. Her father was always working and had little time to spend with the family, so this trip was a rare and cherished memory. He had taken her to a Fifth Avenue jewelry store and asked her to pick out something special that would be a memento of their trip. “She got very emotional just telling me about it. The walk-in closet we created had a very New York theme to it, right down to the glass case that resembled the jewelry counter she had visited with her father,” says Lafrance. “People often ask how I maintain my creativity. It’s easy when you’re drawing your inspiration from human beings. Every human is different; everyone has a story. When you can tap into those stories, the creative potential is endless.” Lafrance is making time in his busy schedule to appear as one of this year’s guest speakers at HomeStyles, presented March 10 to 13 at Prairieland Park by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. “Audiences can expect to see a combination of the deep and the ridiculous,” laughs Lafrance. “I’ll be talking about what’s personal to people; how to personalize their indoor and outdoor worlds. I’ll also talk about trends and why to avoid them.” While appearing on the HomeStyles Main Stage


Learning Lab, Lafrance looks forward to answering questions from the audience. Questions can be asked in person or sent via Twitter to HomeStyles organizers. “It’s my favourite thing. I love talking to people and having the opportunity to connect with somebody, even in the space of two minutes,” says Lafrance. Plan now to see Paul Lafrance at HomeStyles; check out the speaker and event schedule at www. LS







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Photos: North Ridge Development

Presidential style by Ashleigh Mattern


hannon and her husband knew they needed a new home. With three kids between two bedrooms in their old house, they were ready for more space. “We decided if we were going to do it, we were going to do it right,” Shannon says. They decided to have a custom home built by North Ridge Development Corporation’s Presidential Custom Homes division. A previous experience with a different builder had left them wary about the process, but Shannon says the Presidential team was fantastic from the first phone call. “They answered all our questions and were very open and transparent.” North Ridge started out as a custom home builder, but over the years expanded into


North Ridge Development Corporation’s Presidential Custom Homes division received the 2016 Bridges Award for “Best Custom Home over 2,200 Square Feet” for this outstanding home in Arbour Creek.


building production houses and multi-family developments. With the launch of the Presidential Custom Homes division a few years ago, the 34-year-old company was getting back to its roots. Presidential Custom Homes offers a small team approach, working with individual customers to build a home that’s just right for them. The process starts with their salesperson, who will help figure out what your budget is and what you’re looking to build. Once you’ve agreed on a design concept and a price, then signed a contract, business manager Adam Bradley and site supervisor Tim Young become your main points of contact. For a project as big and time-consuming as building a custom home, communication is essential. Bradley says with a team as small as theirs, it’s easy to keep in touch with the homeowners throughout the whole process. “Part of the reason we were created was to give homeowners easy access to the people building their homes. We’re always talking to the customer. If something arises, we let them know what’s happening and how to resolve it.” Each staff member with Presidential Homes has an important role to play in building your home. In fact, Bradley describes the relationship that is forged as a partnership: the builder and the homeowner work together to see the vision through. “It is ultimately their home,” he says. “We’re not able to see into their minds, so it takes some work on their part to decide what they’re looking for. When they come to us, they generally have an idea of what they want, and it’s up to the person designing that home to pull that out of them, to visualize what they’re thinking about.” In Shannon’s case, one of the must-haves on her family’s list was a swimming pool. Could this be accomplished on their lot without limiting the size of their house? The architect managed to meet all of their needs through clever design choices

without sacrificing anything. With a custom home, you have full control over what’s going into your house, but that also means you have to make a lot of decisions, from selecting plumbing and light fixtures to paint colours, flooring, and more. Shannon says having a custom home built is more work in the sense that you have to go look at products and make decisions at specific times, but with North Ridge, these chores were not difficult. “Adam reminded me when I had to make decisions and that kept me on task. And they have such good business relationships with suppliers. All those connections were so positive that it wasn’t difficult.” She adds that Bradley and the other Presidential Homes staff often went the extra mile, too, taking the time to help hunt down specific products they wanted for their home. The Presidential team’s commitment to go beyond expectations continues beyond possession, Shannon says. “We were and remain completely satisfied with the excellent Presidential service. We would not hesitate to recommend Presidential to anyone considering building a custom home.” And to the excitement of the Presidential Custom Homes team at North Ridge, this family’s home located in Arbour Creek was named “Best Custom Home over 2,200 square feet” at the Bridges Awards, which were presented on February 6 by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. For more details on North Ridge Development’s custom homes division, visit www. 2016 | spring


y y t t i i l l i i b i b s i s s o s P Po Dwell in

- Emily Dickinson

Within Within the the four four walls walls of of your your house house exists exists unleashed unleashed potential potential for for greatness. greatness. The The possibilities possibilities are are endless! endless! It can be challenging to see beyond the everyday routine of life. We become distracted by the hectic pace of living and pay little attention to our surroundings. In our homes, we ignore signs of wear and tear, make vague promises �� �� ���� ����� ������ ��� ���� ������ ���� ����� ������ working any more. All the while, our sense of personal dissatisfaction grows and we wonder why. Have you ever considered, it’s not you – it’s your home? ������� ���� �� ���� ��������� ������ �� ����� ���� ��� living space can elevate our mood, boost our productivity and improve our outlook. How can you make your home a happier place and space? The Design and Renovation teams at Centennial 360 have the answers. They can open your eyes to your home’s true potential, suggesting ways to make it more functional, pleasing and attractive – whether you want to improve just one room or launch a whole home renovation! ��� ������� �� ���������� ��� ��� ������ ��������� ���� too-cramped, tiny kitchen into an open concept hub of family living. That empty basement can be brought to life – home to an awesome playroom for the kids or a family room that’s perfect for movie and game nights.

The clutter that drives you crazy can be tamed with the addition of smart storage areas throughout your home, from walk-in closets to a butler’s pantry. In her book, The Happiness Project, New York Times bestselling author, Gretchen Rubin, suggests that making your ��� ����� ������� �� ��� ���� ���� �� ����� ������������ Think how much happier you would be waking up and making that bed in the serene splendour of a re-designed master suite! We can become the architects of our own happiness! It all starts with a visit to Centennial 360’s design inspiration centre, featuring samples of the latest paint colours, ���������� ���������� ���������� ��� ������� �������� Centennial 360’s 12,000 square foot retail showroom is �� ���������� ������� �� ����������� �������� �������� faucets, cabinets and accessories, sourced from leading manufacturers in Canada, Europe and the U.S. Centennial 360 even ensures the renovation process will be a happy one. They look after every detail, from design to completion. Because Centennial 360 has its ��� ������������ ���� �� ����������� ������������� electricians, plumbers and carpenters, you can be sure the work will be done on time, on budget and to your satisfaction. Dwell in possibility… Check out Centennial 360’s on-line portfolio to see the dazzling array of awesome kitchens, bathrooms, family rooms, basement developments, additions and whole home renovations they’ve completed for Saskatoon families. Then call or visit to arrange for your complimentary renovation consultation. Happiness is just a phone call away!

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real-time build


new home journey continues



or the past two editions of Living Spaces, we have followed the progress of the new condominium townhome being built by Boychuk Construction for Judy Guenther and Reg Aupperle. The 1,253 square foot bungalow-style townhome is one of 27 units located in the gated community of Rosewood Estates, Saskatoon’s first ENERGY STAR™ certified multi-family development. Boychuk Construction is the lead developer of the Rosewood subdivision. The site Boychuk reserved for its innovative condo project is one of the most scenic in the entire southeast subdivision, overlooking a unique 65-acre wetland preserve and linear park system. Over the past three months, the Rosewood condo has been a beehive of activity. Reg and Judy took advantage of the opportunity to customize the interior of their unit, making adjustments to the floor plan and selecting their own finishes and décor elements, using generous design allowances provided by Boychuk. When we last checked in at Judy and Reg’s unit, the drywallers had finished installing the wallboard on the main floor and had begun to work in the lower level of the home. The couple has opted to have Boychuk develop the basement of their unit, to accommodate a family room, guest bedroom, home office/fitness room and a four-piece bathroom. Boychuk’s marketing consultant Joanne Stanton


Hassler reports, “Our painter has come in to prime and paint the walls. The electrical wiring has been completed. The plumbing fixtures are in place. The cabinets and granite countertops have been installed. The flooring has gone in. The basement ceiling has been mudded, taped and sprayed. The natural gas fireplace has been installed in the basement family room.” Much of the work at this stage of construction is meticulous and painstaking. “The finishing carpenter, for example, has many details to look after. She has trimmed out the windows, set and milled the doors and installed the casings. The railing has been installed and then stained,” says Joanne. “After that, the painter comes in and gives the walls a final coat. The finishing carpenter will come in and she will do the baseboards, hang all the doors, and install things like towel bars and toilet paper holders. The tile backsplash will also be installed in the kitchen,” says Joanne. “After the trim carpenter has finished, the painter goes back in to see if any patching needs to be done. The electrician will come back to install the light fixtures as well as the electric fireplace in the living room. The plumber will return to connect all of the fixtures and make sure everything is working correctly.” Final touches include the installation of bathroom mirrors and shower doors. Having so many different tradespeople working


in sequence on the home calls for precise and exact scheduling, a task handed with ease by Boychuk Homes’ long-time construction manager Ken Redekopp and site superintendent Evan Klassen. Judy and Reg have visited their condo weekly to observe the progress being made on the build. “It’s been so exciting to watch everything evolve,” says Reg. “Every week when we walked in, we would see big changes. One of the high points was when we saw the tile floor in place. It was like we had died and gone to heaven!” says Judy. “It’s hard to really know what everything will look like together, when you’re dealing with samples and swatches. You think it’s all going to go together, but until you see it, you don’t really know. We’re really happy with all of the choices we made,” she adds. Joanne encouraged the couple to contact her whenever they had a question or concern. “For example, they noticed last week that the tile baseboard around the shower in the basement hadn’t been installed yet. They sent me an email enquiring about that and our site superintendent followed up,” says Joanne. While work was proceeding on their condo, Reg and Judy were busy preparing to sell their existing home in Lakeview. The summer months were spent

“purging and de-cluttering” and repainting the home they lived in for 28 years. They also took the extra step of using a professional stager, a service provided to them by their real estate agent. The couple is excited to report their home sold in nine days, far sooner than expected. “We were both thrilled. The offer was very close to our asking price,” says Reg. Both Reg and Judy feel that working with a professional stager contributed to the quick sale of their home. “It made a huge difference. When she was done, our house looked like a show home,” says Judy. Over the Christmas holidays, Reg and Judy moved out of their home and into a short-term rental property. They’re eagerly counting down the days until they meet with the Boychuk team to do the final walk-through and take possession of their beautiful new condo. In the next edition of Living Spaces, join us for the exciting finale of Reg and Judy’s journey, as we tour their completed home. In the meantime, you can explore the show home at Rosewood Estates, located at #14 – 315 Ledingham Drive. Show home hours are from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m., every Saturday and Sunday. For further information, visit LS

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We intend to buy a home this year, but are unsure what price of home we can afford. Who should we see first? I recommend you meet with an accredited mortgage professional who is referred by a real estate professional such as myself. Ensuring that you are enlisting the help of professionals who put your interests first is imperative. The professionals need to have the time and expertise to help you navigate through your home purchase. The accredited mortgage professional can help you decide about things including how much of a down payment you need for your home purchase. They can also determine what level of mortgage payments you can qualify for, by assessing your gross debt and total debt service ratios and considering other determining factors such as a credit history assessment.

We would like to purchase a home, but are unsure if we should buy a resale property or a new home. What would be the pros and cons of each?


An existing resale home offers potential benefits such as a developed and mature neighborhood with trees and sometimes parks, existing area schools and usually fully developed homes with completed yards, fences, driveways and finished basements. In resale homes, choices may include properties that are dated and possibly not well cared for, meaning that the buyer will have to spend dollars and time to renew and refresh the home. A new home built by a reputable builder with new home warranty can give buyers the opportunity to build the home they want with the finishes to their tastes. When building a new home, buyers need to consider budgeting in the finishing costs and time to complete the basement development and landscaping (including driveways, decks, fences, underground sprinklers, grass and trees.)


Why should we enlist the services of an individual real estate agent such as yourself to acquire and/or sell a home?


Professional real estate agents with years of experience and local market knowledge are invaluable in helping assist you in your real estate investment. The information provided by experienced professional real estate agents should be honest and factual, to aid you in making good real estate investment decisions. Experienced real estate professionals can help protect you in your purchase or sale by providing well-written and detailed legal documents to forward onto the lawyer for title transfer. We also want to be sure you are well cared for so that you will feel comfortable in referring our names to others. Real estate agents are generally paid on a commission basis, so loyalty and honesty between agent and client is important when executing and finalizing a professional real estate transaction.. LS LIVING SPACES | THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE SASKATOON & REGION HOME BUILDERS’ ASSOCIATION

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2015 WINNER OF BEST PRODUCTION HOME UP TO 1300 SQ.FT • 2014 Renovator of the Year • 2014 Best Design • 3 design options • Specific to Saskatoon’s Narrow lot plan • Prices starting at $349,988 (with specific lot allowance) delonixhomes • 306.341.2184 •

trail blazers | superior cabinets

Superior Cabinets: making dream kitchens a reality for over 35 years by Ashleigh Mattern


uperior Cabinets has been manufacturing and installing cabinetry in Saskatoon for over 35 years, helping thousands of homeowners realize their visions. “We’ve been fortunate to have been able to hire talented, highly professional designers over the years, who are great at taking our clients’ vision and transforming that into the kitchen of their dreams,” says James Neufeld, General Manager of Superior Cabinets in Saskatchewan. “All of our designers have been designing with our product for a minimum of five years, and our first employee, Murray Lowe, is still designing beautiful spaces 35 years later.” Neufeld says their most rewarding projects have been the times they’ve been able to make dream kitchens a reality, giving families an opportunity to create a space that fits perfectly with their family and their way of life. “When we are successful at doing that, it’s a very satisfying feeling for our designers and our entire team.” Also satisfying to the Superior Cabinets team was receiving this year’s Bridges Award for “Best Renovation – Kitchen.” The gala awards night took place on February 6 at TCU Place, presented by the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. In addition to helping their clients, they’re committed to improving the wider community as well; over the years, Superior Cabinets has


Supplied photos

A long-time member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association, Superior Cabinets received this year’s coveted Bridges Award for “Best Renovation – Kitchen.”


supported many causes, most notably Habitat for Humanity. “Habitat for Humanity has been a great fit for our company, providing safe, decent, affordable places to live, and a sense of belonging, to many Saskatoon families,” Neufeld says. Established in Saskatoon in 1980 by Charles Larre, Superior Cabinets started as a four-person operation working out of a garage, and has grown to locations in the four major markets in Saskatchewan and Alberta: Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary and Edmonton. Approximately 190 employees work at Superior Cabinets’ headquarters in Saskatoon. Between all five of their locations in western Canada, Superior Cabinets employs a total of 250 staff members. “In each of these locations, we have a great team that really understands our company’s vision, which is simply to ‘be the best’ and create the best experience for our clients that we possibly can. In the end, we also have to have a great product that provides great value, but the thing that has really helped us grow is focusing on our customers and the experience we provide from the moment they enter our showroom until the last handle is installed in their new kitchen,” says Neufeld. Neufeld says their success stems from both their

In addition to helping their clients, they’re committed to improving the wider community as well; over the years, Superior Cabinets has supported many causes, most notably Habitat for Humanity.





focus on continuing to improve the experience they provide to their clients and their ability to be innovative and cutting edge. The industry has changed immensely over the 35 years Superior Cabinets has been in business, but they’ve always remained current and stayed on top of trends. Looking to the future, Neufeld says they are currently growing the dealer end of their business in both western Canada and the United States. Superior Cabinets is a long-time member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders' Association. They've also joined sister organizations in each city they’ve expanded to, so are also active in the Regina, Calgary, and Edmonton associations. “Membership has given us the opportunity to grow long-term business relationships with many of the finest home builders, trades, and suppliers in the building industry. It’s also helped to set us apart as a professional company that consumers can buy from with confidence,” says Neufeld. Three of their employees have chaired the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association board over the years, including the current chair, Superior Cabinets President and CEO Scott Hodson. They also make it a priority to attend Home Builders’ Association events, including

general meetings and networking events, and they provide sponsorships and leadership to help the Association continue to grow. “It’s been a great benefit to our company over the years,” Neufeld says. He also has advice for companies considering membership: “If you do join the Association, it’s important to become involved and participate. It

doesn’t happen overnight, but over the long haul, the relationships you build within the industry are rewarding and will pay dividends down the road – as long as you participate and contribute.” To see some of the amazing work Superior Cabinets has done, visit their website at, or find them on Houzz at

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Wish List

The ultimate backyard 66


Story & Photos



olden days, nights that bewitch, and the warmth of a thousand suns. Summer is the long exhale. It spells relaxation more than any other season. Our fondest wish is for summer itself. After that, our summer hangs on wishes for beautiful experiences of outdoor living. The back yard is the ultimate relaxation zone and it is here that we enhance and extend the outdoor experience. Rob Keep, owner of Beachcomber Hot Tubs enjoys enhancing people’s quality of life every day. Here is his take on the ultimate back yard wish list.


Gorgeous and comfortable outdoor furniture is priority one. Head outdoors on a warm day and the first thing you want to do is flop into a comfortable chair or sink into a sofa. The most popular item on the wish list these days is soft seating around a chat height fire table, says Rob Keep, owner of Beachcomber Hot Tubs. “Chat height is more popular now because you can sit around it, you can put your drink on it and your food on it,” says Keep. Whether it’s a sectional or chat set, the goal is to create a gathering place, a zone that brings people together in a casual easy-living atmosphere. All outdoor furniture at Beachcomber is aluminum frame. “Some is all-weather wicker; there’s different options,” says Keep. He suggests getting a cover for the patio set versus regularly removing and replacing the cushions.



Chat it up.

Light the fire.

Having a heat source outdoors is essential as blissful evenings cool down. “We do a lot of fire pit sets,” says Keep. “They throw a good bit of heat. You’re going to get a pretty high flame.” Some are sold as sets, and some can be bought separately. Beachcomber carries mostly propane fire pits, although about 80 per cent of that inventory comes with a little adaptor for those who prefer to run natural gas. Propane as a fuel source offers some flexibility, allowing you to rearrange your patio furniture if you wish. If you’re hooked up to natural gas through the ground, that pit has to stay in its fixed position.


Grill ‘n’ Chill

Dining al fresco begins with outdoor cooking. The 8-in-1 pellet grill at Beachcomber does almost anything, according to Keep. The fuel is hardwood pellets that come in different flavours – mesquite, cherry or apple – selected to suit whatever you’re cooking. The pellet grill offers incredible versatility. It can be used as a smoker, an oven or a grill. Cooking temperatures can range from 180 degrees for smoking, to 600 degrees for searing. The grill has a smoke cabinet on one side, all digital controls and a built-in meat probe that allows you to see where things are at without lifting the lid. Pellet grills come in many different sizes. The 8-in-1 is a higher end model and the ‘Pit boss’ is mid-range, but both use the same process. Beachcomber carries no propane or natural gas grills. A pellet grill simply needs to be plugged into an electrical outlet.

Patio heater

Fire pits are high on the ‘must-have’ list. But if your chat set or sectional doesn’t have one, or if your fire pit is in a different area of the back yard, you can still keep the patio warm with a patio heater. One option is the flame heater with a tube up the middle to create an attractive centerpiece. Another is the round-top heater which Keep says provides a little more heat than the flame heater. Beachcomber also has an infrared heater head on a pole which he says likely gives off the most heat.


Hot tub

The ultimate backyard ensemble doesn’t always include a hot tub, but it’s high on many people’s wish list. There are some compelling reasons to consider adding a hot tub to your backyard ‘room.’ “The hot tub is bringing the family back together,” says Keep. “It’s getting away from the computer and the TV and the cell phone, and the iPad. You’re looking at each other in a circle, you’re comfortable, and you’re talking.” Hydrotherapy offers many health benefits as well. Beachcomber covers the whole price spectrum of hot tubs, but they’re all built the same. The difference is in the features included, such as the number of jets, contoured seating, LED lighting, blue-tooth surround sound, and UV sanitizing. Beachcomber can help you maximize your outdoor experience and make your back yard unforgettable. Visit and start wishing. 2016 | spring


ask an expert

home builder ANDREW & JILAIRE WAGNER MAISON FINE HOMES 118 Sinclair Crescent • (306) 242-3653 • building a new home, but don’t Q We’re want it to feel like every other home


Luxury + Living = Dream Home Maison Fine Homes and Interior Design is a boutique builder specializing in design-driven homes. We are passionate about timeless design and dedicated to precision quality construction.

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in the neighbourhood. What are some simple things we can do to give our home some character both inside and out? Adding character to your home is about paying attention to the architectural details. In terms of the exterior, the biggest influence is the architectural style of the home. Even though homes are being constructed with modern techniques and materials, paying attention to architectural styles of the past can really add dimension to your home and curb appeal to the neighbourhood. Popular styles include Craftsman, Prairie, Modern, Tudor and Colonial styles. Choosing consistent elements from these styles to influence your home, whether it be roof pitch, window shape or gable details, can dramatically improve the uniqueness of your design. Once the style of your home is cohesive, it’s time to focus on decorative elements like window trim, wall and gable treatments like stone, brick, board and batten, panelling, shakes and architectural details like corbels or pillars. On the inside, adding interest through trim work like crown moulding, panel moulding, ceiling coffers, wainscotting and baseboards are effective ways to create character. Choosing decorative lighting is another easy way to change the feeling of your space. Lighting comes in many styles such as Arts & Crafts, Modern, Vintage/Retro/Industrial, Crystal/Glamourous, Art Deco, Nautical, Old World and Country Cottage. LS

IN THE community

aspen ridge

Photos: City of Saskatoon

Aspen Ridge: Saskatoon’s next generation neighbourhood by Ashleigh Mattern


ore than 10,000 years ago, receding glaciers carved a river valley into the prairie landscape, setting the stage for a grasslands ecosystem teeming with wildlife and rare plants. Today, more than 80 per cent of native grasslands in Saskatchewan have been lost, but miraculously, the Meewasin Northeast Swale remains untouched. The City of Saskatoon is working to keep it that way as they develop the new neighbourhood of Aspen Ridge, bounded on the northwest by the swale. “In terms of development, it’s a place we're not going,” says Frank Long, Director of Saskatoon Land. “We’ve basically taken that ancient river channel scar, identified the boundaries of it and backed off.” The City has been working with the Meewasin Valley Authority since the beginning to find ways to incorporate the swale into the neighbourhood while protecting its integrity. One of the biggest efforts they’re making to minimize the impact

of the neighbourhood is to build a transitional zone between the swale and the houses, called the Greenway. “We are taking an active approach to provide a transition area between the swale, which is this great amenity, and our development,” Long says. The Greenway is a 23-metre buffer that will back single-family lots, collecting drainage from the lots and redirecting it to a settling pond, which will help to clean up the water before it enters the Swale. Eventually, Long says the City would like to see the Greenway and swale connected to the riverbank via pathways. Home to birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles, insects and more than 200 plant species, the swale is the heart of Aspen Ridge. The new neighbourhood is being built around this natural gem. The City had originally planned for McOrmond Drive to cut through the swale at a different point, but plans changed when they learned that this particular area of the swale had some of the most rare native grass plants in

the province and was home to a lot of the area’s wildlife. “We wanted to make sure that when we crossed the swale, we did it in the area where we were causing the least disturbance.” In addition to the attraction of having 750 acres of untouched prairie and wetlands next to your house, the neighbourhood will feature the newto-Saskatoon “complete street” along McOrmond Drive. “We have an arterial road that we have basically turned inside out,” Long says. “Instead of backing houses onto it, we’re turning it into a main street. We’re trying to bring that Broadway feel into our suburban projects.” The road will include central lanes designed to move significant volumes of traffic, as well as secondary roads with access to store front parking, sidewalks and bicycle lanes. “We want this to be a very comfortable place for pedestrians. It’s like a little mini-downtown that will serve Aspen Ridge and Evergreen residents, 2016 | spring


and also trips by passers-by." The extension of McOrmond Drive will be complete in time for the opening of the North Commuter Bridge in 2018, and with nearby neighbourhoods already well into development, it’s possible commercial ventures may spring up along the road sooner than in some developing neighbourhoods. Most of the neighbourhood’s multi-family housing will be concentrated around McOrmond Drive to give residents easy access to transit options and the complete street amenities. The neighbourhood will have one of the highest densities in Saskatoon with eight to nine units per acre, comparable to City Park. In 2015, for the first time in the City’s history, building permits for multi-family starts almost doubled those of single family dwellings. Long says the City and development partners Victory Majors are increasing the amount of multi-family housing available in Aspen Ridge to keep up with demand for that type of housing. Also a first for a City-developed neighbourhood, there will be architectural controls, with the City reviewing house plans and giving them the green light before they can be built. They stopped short of dictating specific styles, but they do want to see

neighbourhood will be driven by demand, they do have inventory available now for the first phase of development. The first lots in the neighbourhood were released in fall 2015 and the first Aspen Ridge residents will be moving in this spring. LS

houses that improve the look of the streets; homes with plain vinyl facades need not apply. “The controls aren’t that hard to meet,� Long says. “We want to give our builders flexibility.� While the timelines for completion of the

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future home

What’s app with that? by Tom Eremondi


ne of the most common sayings of the last five years is likely: “There’s an app for that.” This is especially true when it comes to home automation – and one that will become even truer in the future. Research firm Gartner Inc. says that, by the year 2022, the average family home could contain more than 500 ‘smart’ devices. Paul Williams, vice-president of Lighting and Comfort for Utah-based Control4, says that’s just the start. “According to our estimates, there are more than 9,400 whole home automation devices currently on the market that can be controlled by apps.” While apps promise to make your home easier to manage and automation systems easier to control, it’s also true that many consumers are confused by the sheer number of available apps and technology protocols. Control4 recognized this problem early on and began working on its solution, Williams says. “What Control4 has worked to do over the last

Photos courtesy of Control4 This smart home located in Nanaimo, B.C., features a Control4 automation system that seamlessly integrates lighting, music, video, motorized shades, climate control and security through a single intuitive interface. Access is provided through a combination of iPads, iPhones and Conrol4 wireless hand remote controls.

2016 | spring


10 years is to build a platform − or what we like to call an ecosystem − for all of those whole home automations. In the midst of having all these products, we wanted to find ways to simplify how people live with technology.” When Control4 was launched, he says home automation was serving “one per cent of the one per cent income bracket. They were very expensive to install and meant the number of people using them was very limited. “Control4’s goal was to bring that technology to a much broader demographic by making it more affordable – both in terms of the equipment but also in terms of the amount of time it takes to install. We’ve also made the software easier for installers to use. In the beginning they’d have to understand C++ but now it’s all drag-and-drop and much more simplified. You don’t have to be a computer programmer to be able to install home automation.” For smart home systems, Control4 offers controllers that Williams says “are the brains of the system and keep track of the rules. The controller sends out commands to all of the devices in your home, so it’s basically the coordinator of all of your automation.” Homeowners communicate with the controller

While Control4 offers a complete home automation package, it also offers subsystems, he adds. Home owners can opt for systems that control just the lighting, home audio or video, security or heating and cooling systems.

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via what Control4 calls ‘user interaction devices.’ “These can be a touch screen that’s mounted to a wall, or a portable touch screen that’s carried around the house, but we also have a growing number of people using the Control4 app on their mobile devices – be it IOS or Android, tablet or phone. This is because it allows users to control their home automation from not only inside the home but also from outside the home and even from anywhere in the world.” While Control4 offers a complete home automation package, it also offers subsystems, he adds. Homeowners can opt for systems that control just the lighting, home audio or video, security or heating and cooling systems. Williams points out, too, that Control4 doesn’t have to be exclusive in your home. “We have a lot of ‘co-opetition’, meaning our system works with competitor systems. We’ve left our ecosystem open to other competitors because that will make it easier for homeowners to control all of their devices the way they want.” He adds, though, that Control4 is not a doit-yourself project. Because of its intricacies, the company says its system is only installed by professional dealers. The Control4 website identifies at least a half-dozen companies in the

province that sell and install its home automation products. These include Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association members Audio Warehouse and SuRe Innovations. “Once the professional installation is done, though,” Williams says, “homeowners can find the app store on the devices, download it, enter their credentials and then the Control4 app automatically reads their system and sets it up for them.” He says the app uses a dynamic user interface that only shows homeowners the systems they’ve installed. “It will do this room by room. So,

if I’m in a room that only has lighting, the app knows that and that’s the only thing you’ll see on the interface. Users are only presented with the systems that they control in that space – it makes it much more simplified.” While adding convenience to the home, he says consumers installing home automation systems are adding resale value to their homes. “How much depends on each market but we know that wherever you are, a home automation system will at least make your home stand out from other homes on the market at the same time.” For more information, visit LS

Reinvent Your Home





ask an expert

about Third Party New Home Warranty Denise Mildner, CEO

New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan Inc. 306.373-7833 •


I am considering the purchase of a new home from a local builder. The company offers its own warranty, in addition to third party warranty coverage. Are all third party new home warranties the same?


New home warranty companies offer third party warranty, independent of the home builder – but the coverage they offer is not all the same. In Saskatchewan, the government has not regulated warranty and what each company offers may vary. Brokerage type companies are backed by insurance companies whose mandate is to make a profit. It is recommended that you always read the fine print to know what is covered. The New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan (NHWP) is the only non-profit third party warranty company in the province. NHWP was established in 1976 by a group of local home builders to increase consumer confidence in the industry and protect the investment made by both the homeowners and the home builders. With offices in both Saskatoon and Regina, the New Home Warranty Program is also the only company that is headquartered in Saskatchewan, increasing its service and availability. The Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program offers one of the most extensive coverage plans of all warranty providers. Furthermore, Saskatchewan New Home Warranty Program provides warranty for a specific unit which automatically transfers from owner to owner. The program takes pride in the fact that their mandate is to provide solutions for both the homeowner and the home builder.


Who chooses the third party warranty?





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The home builder enters into an agreement with a specific warranty company and can provide you with all the information about what that includes. Quality home builders want to ensure that they offer the best protection for the home buyer. They are in the industry for the long haul and realize that customer service is key to their success. A reputable home builder understands that home buyers want to proceed with confidence, knowing their interests are going to be protected. When choosing a home builder, look for those traits and ensure that they are covered by the most comprehensive and effective third party warranty. The only website to list its registered home builders is The website is kept up to date and has further information helpful to the consumer. LS



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in the cellar

Wine cellaring is easier than you think by James Romanow (a.k.a. Dr. Booze)


Photos: Saskatoon co-op



here is a group in Saskatoon, The Companions of Good Cheer, which recently held a tasting of three different years of Sassicaia, the famed Super Tuscan. The collection dated back into the 1980s, when nobody much had heard of or was paying for Sassicaia. I doubt the bottles cost $50. If you were to buy these wines today they would set you back up to $8,000 a bottle, if you could find them. The best way to enjoy great wine is not to buy what the Wine Spectator recommends, but to buy good bottles that can age and then wait. When I tell people this, they assume great wealth is involved. Not true. You can easily start and keep a cellar for your entire lifetime and never spend more than $50 a bottle. (And if you should have the great misfortune to die before drinking it all, your heirs can send the stuff to auction and get a great rate of return, typically better than the stock market.) It’s helpful to begin by obtaining some expert advice. Spend some time talking to the staff at Coop Wines Spirits Beer in Saskatoon and you will likely end up with several wines in your cellar that will become the subject of future Wine Spectator articles. The Spectator after all didn’t discover Sassicaia until some 15 years after the Companions of Good Cheer did. There is a team of sommeliers at Co-op and they are responsible for tasting and selecting the 2,400 or so different wines stocked. What’s more, if you ask for their thoughts on any given wine and its probability of aging, they will be more than happy to talk to you for as long as you are willing. (And probably longer unless you are a bona fide cork dork.) While most serious wine collectors pride themselves on their in-depth knowledge of wine, I have yet to meet a single collector who does not seek information from sommeliers. You can do this formally by making an appointment to sit down and discuss which wines interest you, or informally – just drop by the store and pick their brains. The sommelier team at Co-op has several

advantages over the more casual buyer and collector. Firstly, they are constantly in touch with suppliers, so they know details about up and coming (which is to say future Spectator cover) wines and vintages. Secondly, if you want to source a particular wine, the team can try to hunt it down for you, through their network of suppliers. Got a thing for Nova Scotia bubbly? (Good pick! Congratulations. You’re way ahead of the curve on this one.) The Co-op team would be happy to bring it in for you. How about more obscure Gascon wines? Yep, they know suppliers in France. And Spain. And Italy. And Greece. And Portugal. And, and and… But the biggest reason you should be considering starting a cellar is it doesn’t have to cost the earth. A friend of mine has been cellaring Castillo de Almansa − a $15 wine − for a decade, with phenomenal success. It is without a doubt the cheapest way to drink great wine. Yes, it requires a couple of years of patience and a small footprint in your house. But I know you’ve got both. And by the way, in my opinion, adding a nice wine cellar adds more value to your property than any other single improvement. LS

start here Launch your wine collection with these suggestions from James Romanow: Wynn’s Black Label Coonawarra Cabernet Sauvignon 2012 $30 This is a top pick from the sommelier team for structure, beauty and aesthetics. If you love fine wine and want to know the beauty as it ages, this is a great pick. Best around vintage plus 20 years.

Black Hills Nota Bene 2013 $65 A luscious Bordelais-style blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot, Nota Bene combines a great sense of the earth with fruit flavours and ages gorgeously. Best around years 15 to 20. Zenato Amarone 2010 $55 Amarone goes with everything from scrambled eggs on, but especially with old hard cheese. It also keeps almost forever. If you’ve never had a ripe old Amarone, you need to start stashing some now.

Beronia Reserva Rioja 2010 $30 Rioja ages almost forever, producing an elegant lighter red that pairs with everything. Where the sommeliers found this one I don’t know, but this wine is a tremendous value. Best around vintage plus 10 to 15 years.




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2016 | spring


ask an expert

all about windows & doors J & H Builder's Warehouse 2505 Avenue C North • 306.652.5322 • want to start replacing my existing windows Q Iwith more energy efficient windows. What options do I have?


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You can’t beat the look and feeling of natural light pouring into a room, especially in the middle of a long winter. Unfortunately, glass is a horrible insulator and, as such, windows can cause heat loss and high energy bills if not designed and installed properly. Old windows are typically replaced with double or triple pane windows. The panes in double and triple pane windows are separated with argon gas, which is denser than air, and keeps cold air from getting in and warm air from getting out. The “Low-E” (or low emissivity) coating applied to energy efficient windows reflects interior heat in winter and reflects exterior heat in summer, providing comfort inside the house regardless of the temperature outside. The energy efficiency of windows is rated by U-factor/R-value. As the U-factor/R-value decreases, both the energy efficiency and the financial investment increases, so for most consumers, the choice is based on a balance of efficiency and cost. Regardless of new window technology and excellent energy ratings, it can’t be understated that professional installation is key. An improperly installed window will negate all the benefits of your investment so be sure to speak with an experienced professional before you buy.

noticed condensation between the panes of Q Iglass in my garden doors. How can I get rid of this?

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Unfortunately, the short answer is, “you can’t.” You may hear suggestions to drill a hole in the glass to allow the condensation to evaporate but this does not work and will more than likely end up in shattering the glass, which is dangerous and messy and makes an annoyance turn into an urgent problem. Please don’t try it. Insulated windows are manufactured with a seal to keep moisture out and often also have a desiccant strip to absorb incidental moisture. Time, exposure to water and excessive heat can cause the seal to break and the desiccant strip to become saturated, creating a fogging effect. When you decide to replace your garden doors, pay attention to the manufacturer’s warranty as many will warranty against this problem. The general rule is: buy good quality windows and doors with a 20-year warranty on seal failure. If you plan to tackle installation yourself, check the installation guidelines to ensure full warranty. Since installation is key to the performance of windows and doors, professional installation is recommended. For more expert advice on windows, doors and home renovations, see the team at J & H Builder's Warehouse. LS

in the kitchen



“I truly believe you can taste the difference between food prepared by someone who cared and someone who was just slapping it together.”


hef Chris Corkum is going to be doing some intense training this summer. But it doesn’t involved any heavy lifting. Last fall, Corkum took first place in a World Association of Chefs’ Societies (WACS) competition in Ecuador. This September he will represent Canada, North America and South America in Thessaloniki, Greece at the WACS World Chefs’ Congress and Expo. Preparing for such a prestigious event requires a lot of planning, experimenting and practice runs. The event involves a list of specified ingredients. The chefs must create three courses for six plates using the required ingredients, plus a surprise course that will be thrown at them at the last minute. The chefs get to bring one assistant and have six hours and 45 minutes to wow their international panel of judges. Corkum credits his team at the Saskatoon Radisson Hotel’s Aroma Resto Bar for allowing him to pursue such a challenging and rewarding endeavour. Aroma’s Executive Chef Scott Torgerson has become his mentor and trainer. Initially hired as the pastry chef de partie, Corkum quickly became indispensible in the busy hotel restaurant when it was discovered he could also cook savoury dishes. He admits he and his wife, Melissa, came to Saskatoon in what was going to be a short stop before spending their time travelling the world. Five years later, they’re still here and feel they have both found their niche. Corkum’s first foray into cooking involved a smoky surprise for his parents one morning when, at just two years of age, he ventured into the kitchen to make them breakfast. As a teenager, Corkum never thought he would pursue a career in the culinary arts. He started cooking in a restaurant,

but didn’t look at it as anything more than a stop-gap job. “Cooking was the first thing that happened. At that time, it wasn’t a passion or a career,” Corkum says. “It was just a paycheque.” At college, he began to study paleontology and religious studies. He said it was through the encouragement of some of the chefs he was working with that he decided to change his focus and pursue cooking. He abandoned his study of fossils and took a one-year pastry program at Holland College in Prince Edward Island. Corkum spent the next two years working in Bermuda as a pastry chef at a busy hotel. He eventually returned to Canada and found work in Jasper at a friend’s restaurant doing mainly savoury cooking. While he loves to cook both savoury meals and desserts, he feels it is his skills and training in desserts that will serve him best at the competition in Greece. The recipes he shares with readers in this issue of Living Spaces showcase his ability to turn basic comfort food into a fresh culinary experience. Originally from Nova Scotia, Corkum serves up local pickerel, offering a delicious twist on traditional fish and chips. Try his recipes for the fish, chips and tangy caper vinaigrette in your own kitchen. He then shares a sneak peek at a new item from Aroma’s dessert menu that elevates the lowly carrot cake to a gourmet creation with a few elegant touches: charred pineapple gel, coconut crumb and cream cheese ice cream. “I truly believe you can taste the difference between food prepared by someone who cared and someone who was just slapping it together,” says Corkum. “The best seasoning in the world is in the chef ’s finger tips.” 2016 | spring


Fish & Chips Pan-seared Pickerel ■ As much fish as you need (depending on how many people you’re feeding) ■ Salt and pepper for seasoning ■ Butter for searing Season the fish with salt and pepper. Over medium-high heat, add the butter to a frying pan and allow the butter to brown. Sear the fish to a golden brown on one side before turning. Once turned over, remove from the heat and allow the residual heat to finish cooking the fish. Plate the fish and garnish with the caper vinaigrette, crispy Brussels and potato crisps. Note: I used pickerel for this feature (we have some of the best right in our back yard after all), but feel free to use any white fish you like.

Crispy Brussels Sprouts ■ 15 Brussels sprouts ■ Kosher salt for seasoning

Caper Vinaigrette ■ 30 g capers ■ 5 g Dijon ■ 50 g white wine vinegar ■ 150 g olive oil ■ Salt and pepper to taste Place all ingredients in a processor and blitz. Reserve in a squeeze bottle for service.

Potato Crisps ■ 2 Yukon Gold potatoes Peel potatoes. Slice lengthwise into 1-inch sections. Using a 1.5-inch ring cutter, cut tubes out of the potatoes. Reserve the excess for a later use. A mandolin is best for slicing the potato tubes but if not available a knife will be fine. Slice the tubes into 1/16-inch chips. Follow the same process as the crispy Brussels.



If you have a deep fryer, wonderful. If not, a small pot of canola (about a litre) and a thermometer will do the trick. Most deep frying should be done around the 360° F. mark but in this case I keep my oil at 300° F. Trim the bottoms of the Brussels sprouts. Remove the outer leaves and reserve the centers for a later use. Have a pan lined with paper towel ready. Fry the Brussels sprout leaves. Be cautious as when they first hit the oil they have a tendency to splatter a bit. Only doing a few at a time will help keep this to a minimum. A good sign they’re ready is when the bubbles subside. Using a slotted spoon place them on the paper towel and season with a bit of salt.

Carrot Cake

Coconut Crumb

■ 475 g flour

■ 100 g shredded coconut

carrot cake

■ 22 g baking powder

■ 100 g flour

■ 10 g cinnamon

■ 100 g sugar

■ 10 g baking soda

■ 100 g butter

■ 5 g kosher salt ■ 2 g nutmeg ■ 360 g white sugar ■ 200 g brown sugar ■ 6 eggs ■ 350 ml Three Farmers Camelina oil ingredients and mix just until combined. Finish with the grated carrot and crushed pineapple, again, mixing just until combined.

■ 1 vanilla bean ■ 420 g grated carrot ■ 370 g crushed pineapple Preheat oven to 350° F. In a medium sized mixing bowl place the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and nutmeg. Whisk to combine. Set aside. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl place the eggs, the vanilla bean, brown sugar, white sugar, and camelina oil. Whisk just until smooth. Add the dry

Pour into prepared pans. Bake at 350° F for approximately 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. A fully cooked cake should spring back when pushed on the top. Note: This recipe makes three large loaf pans. If camelina isn’t readily available vegetable oil will work just fine.

Preheat oven to 275° F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blitz until the butter is well incorporated. Spread evenly onto a parchment lined sheet pan and bake. Make sure to stir every 10 minutes or so to ensure even baking. This should take about 30 minutes. Once the crumb is cooled return it to the food processor for one last blitz and it’s done. Note: You can use this stuff on anything you like. Try throwing it over a scoop of ice cream.

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Charred Pineapple Gel ■ 1 pineapple ■ 4 g. agar agar

Cream Cheese Ice Cream ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■ ■

225 g cream cheese 250 ml milk 1 lemon 140 g sugar Pinch of salt 125 ml heavy cream 1 vanilla bean

Place all ingredients except the heavy cream in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Add the cream last and mix just enough to incorporate. Process in an ice cream churn.



Peel, core, and slice the pineapple. Grill the pineapple until it has a heavy char on both sides. If you think you’ve burnt it, it’s perfect. Allow it to cool slightly and give it a rough chop. Place in a food processor and purée. Pass the purée through a fine sieve. You should have around 400 ml of purée. Place the purée in a small saucepot over medium heat and whisk in the agar agar. Continue cooking for about a minute, whisking constantly. Pass through a fine sieve into a small pan or bowl and refrigerate. After 20 minutes remove from the fridge. (It will resemble a very dense Jello). Cut into cubes and place in food processor. Process until smooth. (A Magic Bullet works great for this.) If it’s too thick you can adjust the consistency with a little bit of pineapple juice or even just water. Place in a squeeze bottle and reserve for service. Note: agar agar is a derivative of seaweed and is available at most health food stores. It acts like gelatin but has a finer mouth feel. Don’t let this recipe scare you. Once you get it your friends will think you’re some kind of culinary wizard. I promise.

TRUE OUTDOOR LIVING Transform your outdoor living space into a fully automated extension of your home. Control4 is the only premium all-in-one home automation system that makes you the true master of your domain. When it comes to entertaining, it’s usually the little things that make a big impact. By adding sound, video and lighting to your outdoor living space you will be the envy of your neighborhood. No matter what the application, come in and see one of our Home Automation Consultants and let them help you plan your Smart Home. The experience is unforgettable and you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

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