Living Spaces Winter 2015

Page 1







features 10 AT HOME Condo designed to fit owners’ present and future needs 16 HAPPINESS IS A RENOVATED HOME 20 SEVEN WAYS TO TAKE YOUR HOME FROM DRAB TO FAB 28 WISH LIST: The ultimate kitchen 35 REAL-TIME BUILD The new home journey continues 41 CAREER FRONT Blue Seal contractors stay ahead of the curve 42 GOLD IS THE STANDARD FOR 2016


design & renovation 26 SCAM ALERT How to know if a renovator is on the level 32 WHAT INSPIRES YOU? 48 GLASS AND TILE ARTISTRY TURN UP THE WOW! 53 INNOVATION Right-size your heating equipment

departments 19 ASK AN EXPERT Sheila Ashdown Century 21 Fusion 24 COMMUNITY The Meadows reminiscent of a by-gone era


30 ASK AN EXPERT The Mortgage Architects 34 ASK AN EXPERT Maison Fine Homes 40 ASK AN EXPERT New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan 44 TRAILBLAZERS Rempel Brothers Construction 54 ASK AN EXPERT Fresco Interiors Design Group 60 NEW MEMBER PROFILE Butler Byers brings century of expertise

food & entertaining 51 IN THE CELLAR Holiday wines and spirits 60 IN THE KITCHEN With Simon Reynolds 2


10 EDITOR Jeannie Armstrong


ART DIRECTOR Kelle Cloutier, CGD™


PHOTOGRAPHY Jeff Lyons Elaine Mark Vireo Productions Bill Hamilton CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jeannie Armstrong Jennifer Jacoby-Smith Blair Braitenbach Tom Eremondi Jesse Green Jonathan Hamelin Ashleigh Mattern PROJECT COORDINATION Karen Kobussen PUBLISHER The StarPhoenix


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:

2015 | WINTER




| Montgomery Place | 1033 to 1244 sq ft | 1 + den & 2 bedroom options | 2 bathrooms | single or double attached garage | Immediate possession available starting at

306.242.2434 | *Price subject to change without notice



| | | |

315 Ledingham g Drive, Rosewood

A gated community you’ll be proud to call home.

• security fenced and gated townhome community • fully landscaped with automatic sprinklers • preselected exteriors, paving stone driveways

ONLY NINE UNITS LEFT! Robert • 306-260-9145

Joanne • 306-260-3122

Saskatoon’s Choice for New Home Builder, 6 years in a row!!


Beautiful oors. Naturally. DW A VINYL TILE & PLANK


a message from



elcome to the Winter Issue of Living Spaces! At the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association office, we are always excited when winter arrives, as that brings us one step closer to the arrival of spring and the HomeStyles Home Show (March 10-13, 2016)! We are on track to sell out booth space again this year, offering consumers more choice, more products and more services than ever! It truly is a “destination” event that you won’t want to miss. While HomeStyles has traditionally appealed to people who are planning to buy new or renovate their homes, in recent years a whole new group of consumers have grabbed our attention, those looking to simply “love where they live.” We’ve noticed and we’ve responded! With the addition of areas like the Decora Homes Bistro, consumers can come out to experience wine tastings, food demonstrations and learn from local culinary experts some amazing tips and ways to entertain like a pro. Maybe you’re looking for a new piece of unique furniture, a backyard play structure or a new pillow… anything you can dream of for your home you’re sure to find at HomeStyles.

I love trade shows. This is no secret among my friends, family and colleagues. Nearly every day, I burst into the office breathless with new ideas streaming from my mouth – some good and some just plain crazy! I truly believe that there is no better way in the world to experience such a vast array of goods and services than by going to a trade show. It is our goal to ensure HomeStyles is an amazing experience for everyone. I recently attended a conference (yes, there was a trade show, too), where I was able to participate in a number of education sessions. In one session, we were placed into random groups and our task was to engage the group in discussion using only open-ended questions (in other words, we did not want a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer). In my group, the question was, ”Where is your favourite place to be?” to which many responded: Mexico, Europe or some other exotic destination. When it was my turn to respond, I said, “Home.” Everyone at the table just stared. No one nodded in agreement, like they had when someone exclaimed “Jamaica.” There was a moment of silence (which I guessed was because they were trying to decide if I was joking or just crazy), after which the facilitator said, “Wow, that’s a great answer!” Then, all of the questions started coming: “What is your favourite room in your house?”, “What makes your home so special?”, “Why do you love your home so much?” It was pretty neat, actually. Of all the places people had mentioned where they loved to be, of anywhere in the world, everyone in the group was fascinated that I could love my home so much. This is such a simple thing – to be happy where you live. And, if you’re like me, you may find yourself at HomeStyles talking for hours to one of the many designers, renovators, home builders or other industry experts about your vision. The next thing you know, you are implementing what you have learned and making your home not only livable, but lovable! LS

BY KAREN KOBUSSEN Director of Operations Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (306) 955-5188

2015 | WINTER


from the editor


“Why Wait for Spring? Do It Now!” Do you remember that catchy advertising jingle, urging Canadian homeowners to use the winter months to launch home improvement projects? According to “The Canadian Home: From Cave to Electronic Cocoon” by Marc Denhez, the campaign was initiated by Prime Minister John Diefenbaker’s government in the early 1960s. The motivation was to boost construction and renovation activity during the slower winter months. Some consider it to be the most successful campaign ever launched by the Canadian government. The jingle has long since faded from the airwaves, but the catchphrase continues to be used today. Winter is indeed a great time to renovate or build, and get all of those home improvement projects crossed off your “to-do” list! This edition of Living Spaces is sure to inspire and inform as you start planning your reno projects or consider making the move to a brand new home. Our winter edition of Living Spaces offers exciting new ideas for every area of your home. As celebrity real estate expert Sandra Rinomato points out, renovating should be about creating a space that expresses your personality and makes you happy. Sandra even offers our readers a peek into her own recently renovated home. We’ve also launched an exciting new feature in this edition of Living Spaces: In The Cellar. Wine rooms are surging in popularity in Saskatoon, and guest columnist James Romanow (a.k.a. Dr. Booze) begins this series of articles with his top picks for the festive season. Enjoy!




A new level of


an innovative leader in creating expert & timeless kitchen design ~~~~ Monday - Friday 9-5

Saturday 10-4 ~~~~

kitchen centre


2639 Faithfull Avenue • 668-6177

at home



hen planning their transition into retirement, Annette and Jules Calyniuk looked far into the future. The Calyniuks, along with business partners Wally and Colleen Mah, are co-founders of North Ridge Development Corporation. The company actually got its start 33 years ago in the basement of the Calyniuk’s family home in Lakeview. Convenience was a motivating factor in the couple’s decision to relocate to a condo where exterior maintenance and yard work would not be a concern. Jules and Annette also enjoy travelling, so the ‘lock-and-leave’ security of condo living was also appealing. The location of their future condominium home had been determined over 14 years ago, when North Ridge purchased a coveted parcel of land along the riverbank near the Labatt’s Gardens. “When Wally Mah and I were looking at this land, we realized that it was one of the few remaining sites in Saskatoon with this kind of river view. It truly is a one-of-akind property,” says Jules. After purchasing the property in 2001, North Ridge began constructing a series of four condominium developments on the site: Landing I, Landing II, Water’s Edge I and Water’s Edge II. “We knew it would take over ten years to complete all four projects. At the time, Annette and I said, ‘In ten years, we’re probably going to be ready to move into a condo’,” says Jules. “We knew this was where we wanted to be.” The couple moved into Water’s Edge II in November, 2014. The luxury condominium development is located on Saskatchewan Crescent West, adjacent to Gabriel Dumont Park, offering incredible views of the South Saskatchewan River valley. While Jules and Annette were initially attracted to the project’s incomparable location, they were also happy they could customize the interior of their new condo. “It’s an advantage that all buyers at Water’s Edge enjoy,” Jules points out. “I would say that 95 per cent of the sold units at Water’s Edge have been customized by the purchasers. It wasn’t something only available to us because of our ownership in North Ridge. People can finish their units as they like, so every unit is unique.”


BY JEANNIE ARMSTRONG Photos by Elaine Mark, D & M Images


Annette says their design and customization process took about two years. “We took our time. We weren’t in a rush. We worked closely with North Ridge’s site superintendent Travis Pool. He was fantastic about the changes that we made and worked with us, even when we were away travelling.” Getting the interior layout and design just right was very important, says Annette. “We aren’t people who relocate a lot. We lived in our last home for 32 years.” One of the couple’s main objectives was to accommodate aging in place and meet their future mobility needs. The bathroom in the master suite was designed to be universally accessible, from the barrier-free custom shower to the wheelchair-accessible vanity with removable cabinets. “Hopefully we’ll never need it, but if we do, it’s there,” says Annette. “We also had extra bracing incorporated into the walls to allow for the installation of handrails and grab bars if we need them down the road.” The Calyniuks also wanted to ensure that moving to a condo would not cramp their style of entertaining. “We’re lucky that all three of our kids live in the city. On Sundays, we’ll have a minimum of eight or nine family members, plus invited friends over for a regular Sunday supper. It was very important to us to have the space to entertain,” says Annette. The open concept floor plan of this 3,200 square foot condo unit easily accommodates even large gatherings, with space for a second dining table if needed. On warm weather days, guests can enjoy the magnificent wrap-around balcony overlooking the river. Here, Jules presides over his super-sized gas grill. A three-season screen room, equipped with a natural gas space heater, adjoins the balcony and extends the outdoor living season. Annette loves to cook for her guests and her elegant white painted maple kitchen serves as a busy hub for their frequent get-togethers. The extended granitetopped island/table combo is multi-functional, serving as a prep area, serving counter and eating bar. She loves the adjoining butler’s pantry, which is equipped with a second dishwasher and a prep sink. “It’s so handy! It was definitely on my wish list,” says Annette. 2015 | WINTER


While researching ideas for their condo, Annette collected photos, articles and information from magazines, the web and other sources, in a binder. “I had pages and pages of ideas. There was a wish list for every room!” A third factor influencing the design and layout of the couple’s condo unit was their passion for antiques. Their collection of antique furnishings is quite extensive. “Most of the pieces are Flemish, dating back to the 17th and 18th century,” says Annette. Others are cherished family heirlooms, such as the antique doorknobs that Annette salvaged from her grandmother’s home, built in 1910. “My mom kept the doorknobs when my grandmother sold the house. I wanted to do something different with them, so I used them to hang up and display my collection of aprons.”

One of the couple’s main objectives was to accommodate aging in place and meet their future mobility needs.

To ensure that their favourite antiques would fit into the layout of their new condo, Annette had paper grid room planners drawn up. Then she created scale templates of the antique furnishings she wanted for each room. “The North Ridge drafting department made many revisions to the floor plans to accommodate the furniture sizes,” says Annette. “It was really helpful to have those templates.” One of the adjustments that comes with condo living is having multiple neighbours, close at hand. Thanks to North Ridge’s use of superior sound barrier solutions to reduce noise transmission between common walls and floors, residents of Water’s Edge II seldom hear their neighbours. “We never know when our neighbours are at home, because we can’t hear them at all. The building is very soundproof,” says Jules.

Water’s Edge II also offers its residents the comfort of an advanced mechanical system. “A unique zoned heating and cooling system is in place. Every room has individual climate control,” says Jules. All units have both in-floor heat and forced air heat, as well as HRVs. Giving up the three-car garage at his previous home hasn’t been a hardship, thanks to the heated underground parkade, he adds. Each of the 18 units at Water’s Edge II comes with two underground parking stalls as well as a storage stall. Ten of the 18 units at Water’s Edge II are now sold; eight remain, priced starting at $634,800. Remaining sizes range from 1,297 square feet to 3,021 square feet. Two show suites are open for viewing at Water’s Edge II, Monday through Thursday from 3 to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays and holidays from 1 to 5 p.m. To view by appointment, call marketing agents Steve Little at (306) 361-3900 or Trish London at (306) 227-7471. LS



This is why you Love Coming Home! or call 877 FLOFORM 10-710 Cynthia St., Saskatoon Canada


Wanting to add colour to her kitchen, but not wanting to do a feature wall, Rinomato used the “fifth wall” – her ceiling – to add a dramatic pop of red. The result is a kitchen that is truly her own.

BY JENNIFER JACOBY-SMITH Photos courtesy of Sandra Rinomato

A RENOVATED HOME More to home renovation than ROI 16



ot many people have a red ceiling in their kitchen. But Sandra Rinomato does. The HGTV star and Toronto real estate expert says putting her personal stamp on her latest house makes it the perfect retreat for herself and her family. She also has a black ceiling in her dining room. And in another recent project, Rinomato created a dressing room with an extralarge walk in closet and a makeup room. It’s like a man-cave, only for girls. And girls only – not even her husband is allowed in. The space is peaceful and relaxing for the busy real estate agent. “It makes me happy,” says Rinomato. Sometimes, it’s smart to start a home renovation for the return on your investment. For instance, if a house was built in the 1920s, it probably doesn’t suit modern family lifestyles very well. Creating a more open space might increase the property value and boost the home’s salability. Often, to make a home more attractive to buyers, a major renovation of the kitchen or bathroom may be required. But there are times when renovating your house has nothing to do with return on investment. It’s about creating a space you love – a place to escape the stresses of the world. “I think people are really nesting. They’re really taking the time to make their homes more comfortable or more appropriate for the things they do,” says Rinomato. “It’s really important to consider your mortgage, your taxes and everything else. You’ll

despise that part of it less if you enjoy the home. So definitely I encourage people to renovate for themselves.” Renovating for yourself will look different for every individual. Whether it’s creating a craft room or a walk-in wine cellar or a media room for watching movies or, yes, even a man-cave – putting your own personal stamp on your home will mean more than monetary returns. It’s about the emotions you feel. It took years to get a house she could personalize so completely. “I renovated my house three or four years ago and I did it for me. I did things in my kitchen that I know are not good for resale, but I did them for me,” explains Rinomato. “And I waited all those years, all those houses I purchased and sold, I waited until this one. I knew I was staying here for a while and I knew I wanted certain types of appliances and a certain feel in the kitchen and other parts of the house.” Don’t start ripping out walls the day after you take possession. Rinomato advises to live in the house for a year before making wholesale changes. You may find you use the space differently than you first thought. To prevent major regret, it can be beneficial to take your time and carefully plan out your renovation. Rinomato does have some cautions when it comes to personalizing your space. Make sure you are able to change the renovations to something more appropriate for selling – such as repainting that red ceiling.

If looking at resale alone, painting your dining room black (including the ceiling), might not be a wise choice. But in the meantime Rinomato loves it. When it’s time to sell, she’ll paint it a more neutral tone.


Solid Legal Advice SASKATOON: (306) 653-2000 REGINA: (306) 565-6500

2015 | WINTER


“Selling is completely different from decorating. Staging is completely different from decorating,” says Rinomato. “You decorate for your soul and you stage for the sale.”

As well, you might want to reconsider reducing the number of bedrooms. This can have a huge impact on your ability to sell your house. If there are already a lot of bedrooms in the house it might not matter. However, changing a threebedroom home into a two-bedroom property in a familyoriented neighbourhood might make it very difficult to sell later on. Changing that extra bedroom into a more usable space without taking out any walls might be a better option. If you still opt to do a re-sale risky renovation, Rinomato says it’s important to understand the consequences. “Enjoy your house. Just recognize that it could take a lot longer time to sell your house and you may get less than you think it deserves,” Rinomato says. “But your years of happiness, how can you quantify that? You can’t put a dollar figure on that.” LS

HGTV’s Sandra Rinomato says there’s more to renovating a home than increasing property value. There’s an emotional component to putting your personal stamp on it, even when there’s no perceivable return on investment.

The Difference is Clear

We sell and install windows, doors and hardware for both new construction and renovation projects. In-home quotes and consultations available. Experienced, knowledgeable staff always on site. Visit us at our NEW location - 2835A Cleveland Ave (North of Boston Pizza on 51st Street). SASKATOON DOORS & MORE (1986) INC.

2835A Cleveland Avenue, Saskatoon, SK S7K 8G1 Ph (306) 242-7550

ask an expert


basement has a musty smell. What Q My might be the cause of this problem? A

If there is a musty smell in your basement, you most likely have a moisture issue. There are three steps you can take to help resolve the problem and avoid potential mold and mildew. 1. Your eavestroughs should be cleaned regularly. If an eavestrough is blocked with leaves or debris, rainwater will overflow and could damage your house. Also, make sure that your downspouts extend at least eight feet away from the home at all points. In the winter, be sure to shovel snow away from the exterior of the home. A dry perimeter around the home is important for basement longevity and dryness. 2. There may be a lack of good air flow through the basement. You may have to improve the home’s ventilation. This sometimes can simply be done by opening windows, turning on fans or running the fan on your furnace. Good air circulation in a home is important. 3. A sump pump may need to be installed to help reduce the level of the water table under and around the perimeter of the home.

listing my home, what should Q When I look for in a real estate agent? A

Look for a realistic and honest agent with excellent communication and negotiation skills, as well as one with plenty of local area experience. Do not base your choice only on the agent that gives you the highest price and compliments your home the most.

is accurate pricing when Q Why listing my home so crucial? A

With the large volume of actively listed product that is on the market in Saskatoon and area today, it is important for your home to be accurately evaluated and priced. The listing price should be based on what has recently sold in comparable areas. This will help you gain as many showings and as much offer activity as early in the listing as possible. Remember, the longer a property sits on the market, the less it generally attains for price. LS

AWARD A AW W WINNING W WIN N Experienced Expe xp Knowledgeable K Knowl now n wl w Timely T Ti i Honest H Respectful R es Accommodating Acc A ccom CALL C CA ALL ALL ME FOR ALL A LL L LO OF YOUR REAL R EAL AL ESTATE NEEDS! N E


306 281-3410

For listings and testimonials go to: 2015 | WINTER



ways to take your home from

drab to

BY JESSE GREEN Photos courtesy of North Prairie Developments

Is it time to shake things up in your home? Interior design consultant Peggy Bedo tells us how to make the biggest impact without spending a fortune. Bedo works with the award-winning North Prairie Developments Ltd. in Saskatoon. 20


1 START BY DECLUTTERING YOUR POSSESSIONS Rescue those special pieces from a sea of trinkets, make them the focal point and they will shine. “I’ve often asked to see what’s been shoved away in the corner of the basement. New eyes can see possibilities in what you’ve taken for granted over the years,” Bedo says. Perhaps it will be the rescue of a mid-century modern piece from the back room, a new furniture arrangement or adding a few new toss cushions, but a fresh eye can lend great perspective.

2 WHAT’S DRESSING YOUR WINDOWS? “If your drapes are old and dated, take them down. No drapes are better than tired ones,” says Bedo. Many stores carry ready-made drapes, and you can dress up a window for less then $100. They should be long enough to skim the floor and be at least two times as wide as the window, allowing for enough fullness when closed.

3 SMALL TOUCHES WITH BIG IMPACT Don’t overlook bedding and towels for a fresh look; a new duvet set can run as little as $80. Area rugs are a simple update and can add a whole new feel to a room. Likewise, toss cushions can be wonderfully temporary and bring a splash of colour or interest to a familiar piece of furniture. Cushions can be new or sewn from interesting fabric, a repurposed tablecloth or fabric napkin.


Follow these guidelines to make the most of your artwork, whether a fine oil painting, a vintage mirror or framed children’s art: • Never hang pictures too high, unless in a hallway or stairwell and then fix it at eye level when standing. • Group small pictures together for a gallery effect. • Never hang a small picture on a big wall by itself. • Use mirrors for sparkle and to add visual space by reflecting light.


Colour is at the essence of decorating. “Greige” (grey slash beige) and off-white are great neutral choices. However, more adventurous souls will paint in a brighter or darker colour, keeping in mind that it is just a coat of paint. Be warned: this splash-out can’t just be a random colour. “It has to be a colour you can live with. It also has to coordinate with what you have, or it doesn’t make sense and you’ll always wonder what went wrong,” Bedo says. She recommends shopping with colour swatches, noting that colour schemes really do start with something as small as a napkin or a favourite dish or painting. When you get to the store with that swatch, ask for help! Designers or experts at the paint store are your best friends when it comes to choosing paint.


The backsplash and countertop can be show-stoppers. While quartz and granite are the cadillacs of countertops, the thicker, neutral laminates lend a fresh and edgy look. Hexagonal and herringbone patterns are current design faves, and they lend well to tilework. A grout that blends with the tile colour lends a subtle look, while a contrasting grout may make things look busy and overwhelming. Use patterns sparingly and note that big patterns mix nicely with smaller patterns in the same colour palette. A final tip for decorating your home is: mix your styles. Pick a colour palette and then let your personality guide your choices. Don’t be afraid to mix fabrics, fixtures and styles to make your home a retreat. Show homes are a great source of design inspiration. Check out the latest offerings from North Prairie Developments at LS


“Remember, lighting is a major contributor of the glam in your home,” says Bedo. Use lamps, dimmers and indirect lighting to create ambiance. Light fixtures are showing in mixed metals, and the new “gold” finish is mixed with copper, chrome and brushed nickel. Fixtures in the foyer, dining room, kitchen and master bedroom have the most impact. If your budget doesn’t stretch to the rest of the home, you can choose a simple fixture that blends in with the ceiling and focus on the remaining décor.

Pick a colour palette and then let your personality guide your choices. 2015 | WINTER


If you can Dream it,





EHOR HRYCAN: 306-361-2430





community PROFILE


rbutus Properties’ Susanne Carrillo says driving through The Meadows just feels different. They hear it all the time from those who tour the southeast Saskatoon development. Located between Highway 16 and Taylor Street and east of Rosewood, when complete The Meadows will cover 420 acres. Of that, 65 acres will be green space, parks and walking trails. Whether it’s the extra room between houses, generous boulevards or large front porches, The Meadows feels like a more traditional neighbourhood of generations past – and according to Carrillo – that’s by design. The goal was to create a traditional streetscape with craftsman-style homes, reminiscent of a by-gone era. “Arbutus is really into building communities. It’s not just homes – like a square box to live in – it’s really about the look and the feel and the quality of the community,” says Carrillo. The Meadows’ uniform design theme is the result of strict architectural controls. Each home must be constructed with a craftsman-style front porch to foster what the company calls “front porch living.” They are dedicated to creating a community where you can go next door to borrow a cup of sugar or sip a cup of coffee on your front porch while chatting with the neighbours. The craftsman style utilizes details such as gabled roofs, decorative brackets and stonework. Front yards are

landscaped, including a tree. Partner home builders are also held to these architectural commitments. Builders such as Lexis, Maison Fine Homes, North Prairie Developments and Montana Homes participated in The Meadows Parade of Homes earlier this year. Arbutus’ own latest offering – Harvest Townhomes – completes the entire range of lifestyle offerings. There’s also a selection of starter homes, which Arbutus calls laneway homes. For home buyers seeking custom-built residences, larger lots are available. Sterling Gate offers gated townhome living for professional couples who want to downsize to a maintenance-free yard while still having a luxuryworthy home inside. Its turnkey convenience is perfect for snowbirds. Harvest Townhomes offers a more affordable entry to The Meadows. Each townhome offers three levels of development – including an attached garage. The development will have a clubhouse for residents to use for watching movies, working out and – in the winter – skating on an outdoor rink. “The Meadows has so many conveniences, everything that people are really looking for – like the new marketplace. You don’t really ever have to leave, because you can do your recreation here, you can do your shopping here and you have your friends here,” Carrillo explains.

Laneway homes or starter homes feature the Morris plan by Arbutus Properties and showcases the developer’s commitment to landscaping the front yards, including a tree and keeping the homes farther apart to create a feeling of space.




Arbutus recently announced the addition of a villagestyle marketplace to the neighbourhood. From small cafés to commercial services such as dental offices and banking, the marketplace will offer convenience and a place to gather. The area will be anchored by the future Costco location. “It has that feeling where people can actually hang out, have coffee, do a little bit of shopping,” Carrillo explains. Families looking to relocate will be happy to hear about the sod-turning for the new Rosewood School earlier this year.

Front porch living is the theme of The Meadows development by Arbutus. Each home is designed with a generous porch, to encourage neighbours to connect and share in creating a dynamic community.

The Meadows will also be unique from other new developments in Saskatoon in another way – it won’t be as densely populated. Only two apartment-style multifamily developments are planned for the whole area.

The Meadows Market will be a place for residents to do some shopping or grab a cup of coffee. In addition to a variety of boutiques and cafés, the entire marketplace will be anchored by the future Costco.

Again, the goal is to create a tight-knit community with a focus on green space and recreation. To promote that feeling of community, the developer has organized seasonal special events such as the annual Halloween Pumpkin Carving and Trick or Treating. “When you’re both the developer and the builder, the happiness of the people that live here is really equal to your success,” says Carrillo. “That’s the most important thing. You can’t just build a few houses and sell them and then run away.” LS

Enhance your garage and de-clutter your home.

Come See our 6300 sq. ft. Showroom in Saskatoon

6300 sq. ft. Showroom

3122A Millar Ave


M-F 9-5 | Sat 10-4 Evenings by appointment




ou see it in the news all too often: a homeowner has been taken for a ride by a fraudulent contractor, resulting in untold mental stress and financial loss. To avoid becoming another statistic, Gary Sharp, Director of Renovator Services for the national office of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association (CHBA), emphasizes the importance of doing one’s homework prior to setting any renovation wheels in motion. Regardless of the contract service a homeowner requires, there are several ways to ensure a professional is on the level. First and foremost, Sharp urges homeowners to enquire about references – and follow up on them. “By all means call the references and ask the questions,” Sharp says. “Was the project done on time and in a satisfactory manner? Was it done on budget? And most important, would you hire this contractor again?” Seeing is believing when checking references, he adds. “Ask about their history and the other projects they’ve done. Then take a drive and see what those projects look like,” Sharp says. He also advises taking the time to interview prospective contractors in person. “One of the main things about any renovation is you want to feel comfortable working with that contractor. It means someone is in the house from the time you leave for work until you get home or the kids come back from school. You want to have a good feeling about them and the only way to tell is by spending time with them and interviewing them.” The CHBA website highlights four significant attributes to be aware of when looking into any contractor: • Presentation: How organized is the individual and does he or she respond to inquiries in a prompt fashion? • Communication abilities: Does the person listen to your goals and thus develop a satisfactory plan? • Skills and experience: Can this person competently execute the agreed upon plan?

Consumers can be confident that a renovator who belongs to the Association is up to date on the latest building practices and technologies, thanks to the extensive education and training programs offered by the SRHBA. Once a renovator has been selected, the next step is to draw up a contract that defines the agreement between the homeowner and the contractor. Ensuring that all necessary information and binding agreements are in writing is vital, according to Sharp. The written contract should include a detailed description of the work to be done by the contractor, as well as cost estimates, warranties, materials required and the final price tag on the customer’s end. “The contract is really the key,” Sharp says. With a properly executed contract, there is “no grey area,” Sharp stresses. Say a homeowner is redoing the kitchen, but is debating whether to ultimately go with granite countertops. If it is mutually agreed upon, the contract could provide the option to upgrade or downgrade during the renovation process at no additional cost to the client other than what has been previously negotiated. “Each job is individual and you have to look at it and decide what makes sense,” Sharp explains. “Make sure you have a contract and that everything is specified.” Further to contract matters, Sharp says it’s a red flag when someone asks for payment in cash. When a homeowner agrees to pay a contractor in cash, and something goes wrong, there is no way to hold the contractor accountable. When there is a written contract and a receipt has been issued upon payment, there is consumer recourse if the job is not completed to the homeowner’s satisfaction.

When looking to hire a contractor, the CHBA recommends that you begin your search by consulting the membership directory of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA).

Sharp also encourages homeowners to verify a contractor is on top of employment and liability insurance, workers’ compensation and licenses as required by the province. The last thing any customer wants is to be on the hook for damages that might happen to a neighbour’s property, or be stuck paying compensation if a work-site injury occurs, Sharp warns.

“Typically if people are members of the Home Builders’ Association they are serious about the industry and taking an active role in it,” Sharp says.

For more information on hiring a renovator, and drawing up a renovation contract, visit www. LS

• Professional reputation: Does he or she provide references, and what do industry peers have to say about him or her?


To be accepted for membership in the SRHBA, a business must agree to adhere to the Association’s Code of Ethics, which is based on fair and honest business practices. The company must also provide the Association with proof of licensing, insurance and warranty, as well as references.


Sunlight everywhere Beautiful sunlight brightens the entire home - upstairs and down - making every space your cozy space.

Livable Luxury Homes built with a touch of class, while totally comfortable for your family.

W W W . S A S K R O YA LT Y. C O M 306.229.9687

The ultimate kitchen BY ASHLEIGH MATTERN Photos by Vireo Productions


efore kitchen designer Denise Graves meets with clients, she always tells them, “Make your wish list!” It turns out daydreaming is actually an important step in finding the style that suits you and determining your budget. “You’re probably not going to be able to achieve everything on your wish list, but it’s going to help you weigh what the most important things are,” says Graves, with Tait Kitchen Centre. She recommends her clients save ideas, and then her job is to sift through those ideas and find the common threads. While every client is different, certain kitchen items are on everyone’s wish list.

People are dreaming of kitchens that are easy to maintain, and the kitchen designers are happy to oblige. 28




The number one item on everybody’s wish list all the time is an island, says Graves.

Countertop surfaces are an area of obsession in home decor, and the wish list item these days is quartz.

“The kitchen is the heart of the home, so when there’s an island, it means everyone can congregate around the island. It means that also the cook can be in the kitchen and somebody can be on the other side of the island and participate without being in the way. It’s helpful especially for family, getting kids involved.”

“We’re recognizing the value of spending the money on a countertop that’s going to last. It’s not just going to look good now, but it’s going to perform for you.” Quartz gives you more options than a natural stone: You can choose a quartz that looks like the man-made product it is, or you can choose designs that mimic natural marble or granite.

Many new homes plan for an island from the first, often giving homeowners the opportunity to customize their island down to the last detail. In renovations, Graves said it’s one of the first things people want to discuss, asking, “What can we do in this kitchen to accommodate an island?”

This is a product made to last, says Graves, which does tend to dictate the style home owners choose: “They’re usually less-trendy colours. They’re usually something neutral that’s going to stay on trend.”


With the move toward open concept homes, kitchen designers are having to think outside the box in terms of storage. Space for hidden recycling bins is being worked into the kitchen cupboard design. Extra pantry storage can be incorporated in clever ways. Deep drawers that might have been traditionally used for pots and pans are finding new uses.


Wine has a certain je ne sais quoi about it. A wine rack displaying your collection gives a space an air of sophistication that’s second to none. “Wine in all forms has become a big thing to accommodate in kitchens, both in refrigeration and visibility,” says Graves. “We have a lot of clients who make their own wine, or taste as a hobby.”

Drawers especially are a popular wish list item, says Graves, with some people planning to have only drawers. Soft-close drawers barely make a sound when they slip open, and much can be done to customize drawers for different purposes. “A drawer is always going to be the easiest function-wise,” says Graves. Drawers and other storage decisions may be the item to consider first on your wish list, as the decisions you make can end up being more expensive.

While every client is different, certain kitchen items are on everyone’s wish list.

Some of Graves’ clients are requesting room for a second fridge to be used as a wine cooler and many more clients insist that a wine rack be built right into the cabinets. “Accommodating wine, number one, is functional, and number two, is aesthetic,” says Graves. Put the empties back into the wine display, and it becomes decorative.


Few people find joy in cleaning, and today’s kitchen wish lists reflect that. “Many of our clients are requesting that we take the kitchen all the way to the ceiling. More so than aesthetics, I hear my clients say, it’s because they don’t want to clean it. So that’s a valid request – you’re going to gain extra storage, functionally, and it will be very aesthetic.” Ceiling-high cupboards eliminate dusting; quartz countertops require no special care; under-mounted sinks make wiping up a breeze. People are dreaming of kitchens that are easy to maintain, and the kitchen designers are happy to oblige. For more great kitchen ideas, visit www. LS

2015 | WINTER


ask an expert

MORTGAGES From the Desk of:

Jackie Hendrickson & Kristi Knippel

Accredited Mortgage Professionals


Accredited Mortgage Professionals Jackie Hendrickson

Sk Broker #316653

p (306)717-1843

Kristi Knippel

Sk Associate #316469

p (306)227-7051 SK Brokerage #316566



What is an Accredited Mortgage Professional (A.M.P.)? AMP is a designation for those in the mortgage industry that have passed a national proficiency standards test. The AMP designation is intended to ensure a high level of professionalism, education and training within the mortgage industry in Canada. The designation A.M.P. provides consumers with the assurance that the individual mortgage professional or firm has met the highest standards of professionalism in the mortgage industry. AMP’s are members of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals (CAAMP).

all Mortgage Brokers in Q Are Saskatchewan AMP’s? A

“No” it is not mandatory as part of the licensing process for Mortgage Professionals in Saskatchewan to obtain and hold the AMP designation.

would I use an Accredited Mortgage Q Why Professional and not just go to my bank? A

Not only is an Accredited Mortgage Professional licensed with the Financial and Consumer Affairs Authority (FCAA) and held to the highest standard in their industry, he or she is an independent specialist with extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry. An AMP has access to all of the top lenders, is an expert in the extensive list of product offerings, their features and benefits, and has contacts throughout the lender community to ensure competitive rates and exceptional service. An AMP does not work for any particular lender; they work for you. An AMP looks for the best solution for your particular situation, based on your individual needs.

will it cost me to use an Accredited Q What Mortgage Professional? A

The good news is that there is no cost to you to enlist the services of an AMP. Your AMP is paid a finder’s fee by the lender that your mortgage is placed with. LS

In every issue we explore where local builders find inspiration. This issue we talk to several local builders known for creating beautiful environmentally-friendly homes. What inspires these builders to build green in Saskatoon?




he focus for Maison Fine Homes and Interior Design is to build homes that are functional as well as beautiful. Integrating green practices is an important part of that strategy. Some of the environmental initiatives include an effort to reduce construction waste by recycling wood, drywall, shingles, cardboard and metal. The company is also an ENERGY STAR® builder using green products such as advanced insulation materials and techniques, HVAC systems, water conservation and LED light bulbs. In addition, some of Maison’s homes are powered by solar electricity. To improve indoor air quality, they also employ zero VOC (volatile organic compounds) paints and other low VOC products, such as water-based lacquers. “We see building with environmental practices as a huge opportunity for increasing comfort in the home for our clients,” says Jilaire Wagner, co-owner of Maison Fine Homes. “There is also the financial benefit of a seven to nine per cent rate of return for owners. We take a life cycle approach to the cost of a home – it’s not just your cost to build but also your cost to operate.” When it comes to must-haves when building green on the prairies, Wagner says they focus on the outer shell and reducing heat loss before investing in other environmental features such as an efficient heat furnace. Reducing construction waste also requires a concerted team approach. They choose trades who are innovative and thoughtful in selection of materials and installation methods. Building green doesn’t have to be complicated, but it does require a commitment. “We want our environmental focus to be seamless with the design. There are no compromises in building this way,” says Wagner. “Our inspiration comes from a lot of the same sources as any other home – a beautiful painting or fabric, a space that has been really well done that we can draw elements from, the use of a special material, or the feeling that a client is wanting to achieve in their home.”

The 2015 Kinsmen Home Lottery show by Maison Fine Homes is 25 per cent more efficient than its counterparts and will save $600 per year in operating costs - creating a seven per cent return on investment. As you can see, the beauty of the home has not been compromised in any way.

Photography by D&M Images, courtesy of Maison Fine Homes & Interior Design





s their name suggests, Innovative Residential takes an innovative approach when it comes to building. The company utilizes a modular building system to construct multi-unit homes in a sterile environment before transferring completed sections to the construction site. The entire process, according to some studies, reduces the carbon footprint by 50 per cent compared to regular stick-built construction. With modular construction, all tradespeople are working in one location on multiple projects at once. And there is no need to transport materials to multiple build sites. This leads to a reduction in waste and reduces the chances for materials to get misplaced or stolen. “Who wouldn’t want a better quality of life, reduced repairs and maintenance, and savings on your utility costs? Because that’s what it gets you,” explains Alex Miller, founder and CEO of Innovative Residential. Every home by Innovative Residential is ENERGY STAR® certified. Recently, the company got another seal of approval. The company is now part of the Holmes Approved Homes network. Mike Holme’s “thumbs-up” acknowledges Innovative Residential’s commitment to integrating the right building products with the right technology and best building practices. Miller points to the latest Avid Ratings’ survey for Saskatchewan which shows home buyers are deeply concerned about the environmental footprint of their home. These consumers are looking for home builders who share their concern for the environment. “For us, regardless of the market conditions, we will always build to our core principles – which are quality and energy efficiency,” says Miller. “We focus our time on working with professionals in the industry to better ourselves and our homes.” He also cites personal satisfaction as the inspiration for building green. “We’re determined that what we build is to the highest standard of quality and energy efficiency that we can achieve. It continues to inspire everyone in our company and those that we work with to commit to building a better product. Why wouldn’t we build a better home if homebuyers want to live in it? Let’s take it to the next level.” LS

Saskatoon’s Innovative Residential uses a unique modular construction method when building affordable multi-family units. The company is committed to using quality materials and reducing their carbon footprint as much as possible. When complete each home is ENERGY STAR rated.

SP file and supplied photos

2015 | WINTER


ask an expert

HOME BUILDER ANDREW & JILAIRE WAGNER MAISON FINE HOMES 118 Sinclair Crescent • (306) 242-3653 • can I make sure I’m choosing the Q How right builder for my project? A

Choosing a builder is a big decision. Not only are you trying to ensure that you will receive the quality that you want in a home, you are also trying to get the most value for your money. There is no doubt that you will want to conduct an in-person interview to give you a good idea of the builder’s fit, but we also recommend a bit of behind the scenes research to help make your decision. First, check to see if the builder is a member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association. Being a part of a professional organization shows the builder’s commitment to the industry and to the community they work in. Ask if the builder has successfully completed the Certified Professional Home Builder Program. Completion of this program demonstrates proficiency in construction technology, warranty management, customer service and business management. Check the builder’s new home warranty status. Every home built in Saskatoon requires third party new home warranty. By checking the status of claims against the builder, you will have a very good indication of their commitment to both quality and to servicing their product post-construction. See if the builder is a registered ENERGY STAR® builder and ask to review air tightness certifications on their past homes. ENERGY STAR homes are built to a higher standard than typical construction methods. ENERGY STAR builders will pay more attention to the types of materials being selected for the home as well as to the home’s envelope.

2014 Home Builder of the Year 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. | 306.242.3653 |



Ask about the builder’s safe work practices, WCB registration and whether they have attained the Safety Certificate of Recognition (COR) or have other safety credentials. This certification proves that they have demonstrated proficiency in running safe job sites and taking care of their employees and sub-trades. Make sure you like the style of homes the builder builds. Most builders have a signature type of home they specialize in. It helps when that style lines up with the type of home you want to build. You should always ask for both past client and trade references, and then be sure to contact them. Another great indicator is if your builder has won awards, or been publicly recognized for their work or great customer service. Winning an award from a reputable industry association or business group means that your builder has taken the time to submit an entry, or has been independently nominated by someone. Either way, the value of an award is a tangible factor that speaks to the credibility and standards of the company you choose to deal with. Make sure you have good rapport with the builder. Building a home is a longterm relationship. You want to select someone who you have a good connection with and whom you believe understands your needs. LS

real-time BUILD


n our previous edition of Living Spaces, we began to chronicle the progress of a custom home build, in real-time. Homeowners Judy Guenther and Reg Aupperle have invited our readers to follow their journey which began with the purchase of a condo at Rosewood Estates, from Boychuk Construction. The gated community of 27 bungalow-style townhomes is Saskatoon’s first ENERGY STAR® certified multifamily development. At Rosewood Estates, buyers can choose from seven open concept floor plans. Each layout can be customized to suit the buyers’ individual needs. Rather than choosing from a limited number of pre-selected finishes, Boychuk customers receive design allowances that enable them to select their own décor elements, says marketing consultant Joanne Stanton Hassler.


new home journey



The opportunity to personalize their new home appealed to Reg and Judy. “We’ve never worked on a project like this before. We were kind of worried that we might have really different tastes but it didn’t turn out that way. It was fun,” says Judy. Visiting the Rosewood Estates’ show home was a great starting point, says Reg. “It’s very representative of what we will receive upon completion. If everything in a show home is an add-on, it’s very difficult to visualize what you’re actually purchasing.” With construction underway at the couple’s 1,253 square foot condo, Reg and Judy have been busy selecting materials, finishes and trims for their new home. “We ask them to select their cabinets first – for their kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room and any built-ins. This allows us to adjust the plumbing and the electrical plans accordingly,” says Joanne. “We give our homeowners the opportunity to go to any supplier they want, although we do have a preferred list of suppliers. Generally, I ask everyone to go to Superior Cabinets first and meet with Shanna McDonald, for three reasons: Superior is an excellent supplier; Shanna is a very good designer; and they offer very good service.” “We appreciated Shanna’s practical approach to kitchen design,” says Judy. “She was open to our suggestions and ideas. We ended up with what we think will be a really practical kitchen, but very beautiful too.”

The electrical walk-through is an important step in the construction of a custom home. Here, homeowners Judy Guenther and Reg Aupperle, along with Boychuk marketing consultant Joanne Stanton Hassler, discuss the placement of outlets and light fixtures with the electrician and Boychuk site superintendent Evan Klassen. Photos: Jeff Lyons

2015 | WINTER


The couple opted for two-tone cabinets from Superior’s Fusion line. The island’s elegant alabaster white finish will contrast beautifully with the black olive upper and lower cabinets, topped by silver pearl granite countertops from Calsask Granite.

With many of their design decisions made, Reg and Judy can now sit back and watch their new home continue to evolve.

“We also decided to change the shape of the island from the one we saw at the show home. We told Shanna we wanted as much functional, usable space in the kitchen as possible, so she suggested a rectangular design,” says Judy. “It meant we could have cabinets on both sides of the island – front and back,” says Reg. The front cabinets of the island have invisible touch-latch hardware, for a clean, seamless look. Next on Reg and Judy’s shopping list was a fireplace — two to be exact. To maximize window space in the living room, the couple opted to have a contemporary style electric fireplace installed on an interior wall. A natural gas linear fireplace will be the focal point of the downstairs family room. Both were selected at Northern Fireplace. “We hadn’t shopped for a fireplace in 25 years, and a lot has changed in that time. We talked to Derrick at Northern Fireplace and found him to be extremely knowledgeable,” says Reg. Knowing that the condo’s electrical walk-through was coming up, Joanne advised the couple to select their lighting package. “Lighting has a major impact on the electrical plan,” says Joanne. “We went to several suppliers, but ended up choosing our lighting package at Richardson Lighting. We really liked their selection,” says Judy. The couple opted for contemporary chrome fixtures in keeping with their modern décor. All lighting choices for homes at Rosewood Estates must be ENERGY STAR-rated. “Trying to understand the differences between LED, halogen and traditional lighting can be quite confusing. We found it a real learning experience,” says Reg. “Sandra at Richardson Lighting was very helpful in guiding our choices,” says Judy. Another important decision that awaited Reg and Judy was their choice of flooring. “We needed to get the flooring established early because there will be infloor heat in both the ensuite and the basement bathrooms,” says Joanne. “We started out at Western Carpet One and didn’t go anywhere else. We really liked the selection that we saw,” says Judy. “We told Ryley Haskins what our ideas were and he helped narrow down our choices.”

Judy and Reg selected all of the flooring and tile for their condo at Western Carpet One, with the help of sales consultant Ryley Haskins right: A visit to Superior Cabinets’ showroom gave Reg and Judy lots of ideas. Design expert Shanna McDonald helped the couple achieve their goal of a beautiful, yet very functional kitchen. above:

Photos: Vireo Productions

Reg adds, “Ryley’s eye for matching different flooring materials is really good. Before making our final choices, we took home numerous samples so we could compare them under natural light.”



Flooring not only needs to be stylish, it needs to be functional. The couple selected sleek ceramic tile flooring for their front entry, bathrooms and laundry room. Oak engineered hardwood in an elegant grey-brown shade was chosen for the main floor great room, kitchen and adjacent office. Plush carpet will complete the master bedroom and downstairs family room. Western Carpet One also supplied the tile for the kitchen backsplash. “It’s a mosaic of glass, stone and metal tile, in shades of black, grey, silver and white, bringing our whole colour palette together. It’s gorgeous!” says Judy. The railing system from BP Banister harmonizes beautifully with condo’s décor elements. “We chose the same railing profile and spindle style that is in the show home. It’s a stained maple with pewter spindles,” says Judy. In customizing their condo, the couple wanted to facilitate aging in place. They chose to replace the standard jetted tub and separate shower in the ensuite with a large 48-inch walk-in shower. This also allowed more space to be allotted to the ensuite walk-in closet. The jetted tub was designated for the downstairs bathroom. The couple opted for stylish square vessel sinks in the main floor powder room and downstairs bathroom. Throughout the custom design process, Joanne asks her clients to keep their choice of paint colours top of mind. “The paint colour is the hardest and most emotional decision any customer has to make. Clients will have an idea of what colour spectrum they want, but choosing the exact shades can end up being a very lengthy process,” says Joanne. Once the paint colours are finalized, the information is relayed to Boychuk’s long-time painter, Kenny Parenteau.

“The drywall has been finished on the main floor and our painter has started priming the walls. The downstairs has been framed and wired. The garage has been completely drywalled, taped and mudded. Even the deck is installed,” says Joanne. “The exterior of the unit is pretty well finished and the paving stone driveway has been completed. A lot of progress has been made in the past three months. Our site supervisor, Evan Klassen, is extremely organized. He’s very hands-on and good at what he does.” The couple visits the construction site often to view the progress of their new home. “It’s really exciting to watch everything taking shape,” says Reg. “Watching the stonework go up on the exterior was very cool. It’s really beginning to look like the home we envisioned,” says Judy. In our next edition of Living Spaces we will continue to learn more about the finishing details that will distinguish Reg and Judy’s new home. In the meantime, you can visit Rosewood Estates’ new show home 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

Reg and Judy are looking forward to trying out their maintenance-free deck next spring. left: Drywallers have finished boarding, taping and mudding the main floor of the condo. below: The condo’s attractive stone-trimmed exterior is almost finished. Photos: Vireo Productions above:

Judy really liked the paint colours in the Rosewood Estates’ show home. “I wanted a colour palette of warm greys and ended up selecting shades that are just slightly darker than the colours in the show home,” says Judy. “What we’re doing that’s probably completely different than anyone else at Rosewood Estates is painting our den yellow. It’s my favourite colour. I love the combination of grey and yellow.” Next up on the couple’s ‘to-do’ list is to finalize custom shelving for their closets. “This involves a walk-through with Boychuk’s trim carpenter,” says Joanne. “We customize every closet for our clients. There are so many options to choose from. It’s a process that requires a lot of thought.” With many of their design decisions made, Reg and Judy can now sit back and watch their new home continue to evolve.

The staff at Boychuk Construction has helped Saskatoon families’ new home dreams come true for close to 70 years. Photo: Vireo Productions 2015 | WINTER


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!

The EcoStyles Exhibitor is a company or organization wanting to: Help consumers live economically by saving energy and money Contribute to an eco-friendly housing industry that uses innovative ways to reduce the ecological footprint of a home

Think you’d be a good fit for EcoStyles? Email Jennifer at

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.

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

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

While you’re at the show:


Gather contractor contact information:



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!

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!

ask an expert


New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan Inc. 306.373-7833 • winter was so cold! Although my newly Q Last constructed home is more energy-efficient than my previous house, what can I do to winterize it and save even more money?


With winter just around the corner, now is definitely the time to prepare your home for the cold months ahead! These important tips can prevent problems and save you money throughout the long winter that lies ahead:

DOORS: The seal around your exterior door can let a lot of cold air in, even

through the smallest hole! Check the weatherstripping to make sure that it is snug against the door and not damaged. Check the bottom sweep as well. You should not see any light between the door and the frame. It is also very important to adjust the striker plate on doors if possible. During the summer it can become loose from usage which will affect the seal and result in frost buildup around the door.


WATER: Often homeowners forget about the outdoor water taps which

could freeze and burst in the winter. Every fall, check to make sure that they are off. You may need to turn off the valve inside the house that leads to the exterior water lines. Also, if you have underground sprinklers, it is a good idea to blow out the water from the system using a compressor, or have it professionally done. Lastly, it is very important, as the ground settles around a new house, to ensure that it remains sloped away from the house in all areas, so that come spring thaw, the snow melt does not create a problem.

FURNACE/HVAC: Always change your furnace filter every three months Choosing a builder who belongs to the New Home Warranty Program ensures your new home is protected from problems that can occur with new buildings. You’ll be covered for*: • Your initial deposit up to $25,000 if the builder defaults • Defects in workmanship or materials for the first year • Exterior water penetration for two years • Major structural defects for five years Plus, you can get even more comprehensive coverage with the optional extended coverage for single family homes. To find out more, visit our website, or contact us today. This is not a complete description of coverage. Contact the New Home Warranty Program of Saskatchewan for warranty details.

* #4 - 3012 Louise St. E, Saskatoon


(306) 373-7833


and have the furnace and HVAC professionally cleaned as well. It should be done once a year. Now is an ideal time to get started so you can go into winter with everything working at peak performance. Check your manual on your HVAC for proper winter settings.

SNOW: During the winter months, once the snow has arrived, ensure that

your exhaust and intake pipes, usually located on the side of the home, are free and clear of snow and ice. Otherwise, if they are blocked, the furnace could go out. In the event of a heavy snowfall when the snow has built up on the roof, it would be prudent to remove excess snow to avoid the possibility of ice damming in the spring. And the best advice for winter in Saskatchewan – DRESS WARMLY!! LS



n the near future, businesses will be smaller and more agile, bringing experts together for a particular project and then dissolving, says Monica Kreuger, President and CEO of Global Infobrokers and Praxis School of Entrepreneurship. “In the building industry, there’s a movement toward the self-employed tradesperson versus the employed tradesperson,” says Kreuger. “Tradespeople understand and master their particular set of skills, but it’s becoming more important to also understand and master business skills.”

competing with a lot of people that are in the trades,” says Kreuger. “If you can be presenting yourself to a contractor or builder, but also say, ‘I’m Blue Seal certified,’ you have a leg up. They can be more confident that you understand the business.” Kobussen adds that being a great tradesperson does not necessarily equate to being a good businessperson.

To prepare tradespeople for this entrepreneurial shift in the industry, the Saskatchewan Apprenticeship and Trade Certification Commission is offering the Achievement in Business Competencies – Blue Seal Program. The program aims to encourage journeypersons to gain business skills, and to continue to learn after they’ve achieved journeyperson status.

“Entrepreneurs need education, resources, and sound advice to run a successful company,” she says. “To become a member of the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association, as well as other trade and industry associations, the minimum requirements are that a company be incorporated, have a GST number and carry all applicable licenses required by law. The Blue Seal Program teaches entrepreneurs how to set up their businesses properly and takes that tradesperson to the next level.”

Several schools and universities in Saskatchewan and Alberta have programs that result in a Blue Seal certificate, including the Praxis School of Entrepreneurship’s startSMART program.

People from all sorts of backgrounds and expertise take the startSMART program. This networking opportunity exposes participants to new ideas and ways of thinking. Kreuger says this can be especially beneficial to tradespeople.

The startSMART program is aimed at start-up businesses and consists of three phases: business development, business implementation and business operation, supported by coaching from practitioner entrepreneurs. People apply to the program with a business idea, and Praxis will give the budding entrepreneur helpful direction.

“We have tradespeople come through our program, and their perspective completely changes; they start thinking way outside their trade.”

Kreuger says she’s excited about the Blue Seal program because it’s an innovative way of looking at the trades and ongoing education for tradespeople. “A Blue Seal is a way of certifying their knowledge without going to necessarily take a four-year degree at a business school that doesn’t give you the entrepreneurship training anyway. There are other methods of getting recognition for the work that you do.” Kreuger says she sees Blue Seal certification as a way to build networks, grow your knowledge, and stay competitive, much like belonging to a professional or industry association.

The program is taught by entrepreneurs, all of whom are also alumni of the program. Mentorship and peer coaching are woven into the process as well, to ensure that participants have lots of feedback and guidance. “It’s not the level of formal education that a participant has when they start the program, or their career backgrounds in terms of their capacity or abilities, it’s their willingness to shift their mindset and think about possibilities,” says Kreuger. The startSMART program teaches hard skills – like marketing, business planning, communications and risk management – but it also teaches personal development, including how to deal with failure and how to make the transition into the entrepreneurial lifestyle.

Karen Kobussen, Director of Operations at the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association, agrees. “Red Seal tradespeople involved in the residential construction industry are more likely to start their own companies, especially plumbers, electricians and carpenters. A Blue Seal designation takes those companies to the next level, where they are serious about their trade and serious about their business.”

The startSMART program has been Blue Seal certified for journeypersons for about a year now. They also have a distance program available, which is more geared to people who already have clients.

Tradespeople are often impacted by swings in the economy – when the economy is doing well, tradespeople can hardly keep up with demand, but if there’s an economic dip, more tradespeople are competing for fewer jobs.

“If you think of yourself as an entrepreneur, it gives you a broader perspective about what you could be doing,” she says. “Part of fully engaging and growing into the entrepreneurship mindset is realizing there is always a myriad of possibility.” LS

“Coming back into the market when times are better, you’re

Kreuger says certification is important in the trades to prove you can do what you say you can, and learning the entrepreneurial skills that lead to a Blue Seal certificate are even more important to success.

2015 | WINTER



is the standard for 2016



he colour gold is more than just a shade of yellow. Gold has deep connotations to fortune, beauty and superior quality. The colour and the metal have always been used in design and decorating to one degree or another, but you can expect to see a surge in the deep lustrous yellow in the coming year. “Gold does not need to have a shine to qualify,” says Mathieu Hamel, assistant brand manager for Sico paint. “The new gold can be shiny or matte, and is being used everywhere in home décor.” Sico Paint’s colour of the year, Buckwheat Yellow, is a nature-inspired, warm golden yellow, and earthy golds like it are popping up in interior design everywhere, including dining rooms, bedrooms and bathrooms. “We see an increasing number of consumers looking to find peace and refuge at home,” says Hamel. “In their effort to move away from today’s fast-paced world and return to more natural living, people are choosing more nurturing colours.” While the colour is appearing in nearly every room in homes, Hamel still suggests taking a bit of colour psychology into consideration when making your choices about how to incorporate this year’s trendiest colour. “Knowing where to use a specific colour can make a difference in the mood that your house delivers,” he says. “Since yellow tones – including gold – are known to stimulate conversation, we recommend using it in the living room. Yellow creates warmth and connection between people and will encourage those in the room to sit around and talk. Yellow is also known to stimulate appetite, so another option is to use it in the kitchen.”



The trend is toward natural golden yellows, but metallics are still receiving the Midas touch this year, gracing furnishings, accessories and hardware, in hammered, punched and tooled finishes, says Hamel. Is it possible to go overboard with gold? Hamel says that’s a matter of taste: “Gold can be painted on all four walls or on just one accent wall. With the right accessories to tie the golden theme together, anything goes.”

Sico Paint’s colour of the year, Buckwheat Yellow, is a nature-inspired, warm golden yellow, and earthy golds like it are popping up in interior design everywhere.

Yellow is a bright and daring colour, and some homeowners may be understandably hesitant to splash it all over the place. Hamel says that for those looking to update a room, but who do not want to paint the entire room gold, an accent wall is the way to go. “Painting an accent wall with gold will still add a wow factor to the room,” he says. He notes that gold can also be used to highlight attractive architectural details of a room and recommends colour zoning or blocking to create a wow effect. “If you have an item or accessory that you wish to spotlight, colour zoning can make that piece of furniture or art stand out. If you use gold on that item, you may want to paint another design element with the same colour to add a recall elsewhere in the room. You can also use a golden colour taken from a painting on the wall and paint a portion of the wall behind that painting with this colour to create an eye-catching effect.”

Golden accent walls and colour zoning are especially easy to incorporate when using warmer, more natural golds because there are a lot of colours that pair well with those shades of yellow. Hamel recommends using muted brights – hues that are toned down with an infusion of grey. “Other nature-inspired colours, such as earthy greens, warm browns, rustic reds, easy-going blues and soft neutrals, are all colours that pair well with golden yellow, delivering a grounded, livable and spa-inspired décor.” Two Sico Paint colours Hamel suggests pair particularly well with Buckwheat Yellow are Fried Rice, a warm brownish-grey, and Tea with Milk, a dark creamy off-white. Yellow is a versatile colour. In a children’s playroom, a bright shade can be just the colour to spark imaginations and create a sense of play. Earthy yellows in a kitchen can magnify the warmth and welcoming atmosphere of the space. Metallics in a living room can add a touch of class and luxury even paired with subdued tones. How will you incorporate the colour of the year into your space? For more paint ideas, colour schemes and inspiration, visit LS 2015 | WINTER



REMPEL BROTHERS CONSTRUCTION Well-built homes begin with a good foundation BY BLAIR BRAITENBACH Photos by JEFF LYONS


he story of Rempel Brothers Construction is one of hard work, dedication and, above all, integrity. After more than half-acentury of doing business in Saskatoon and area, it’s clear these principles continue to support getting the job done right. Rempel Brothers’ lengthy history began in 1963 when three carpenter-by-trade brothers – John, Jake and Sam – responded to the area’s increasing market demand for basement foundations. At its peak, Rempel Brothers employed more than 120 people and was excavating and pouring over 1,200 foundations per year. In fact, throughout their 52 years in the community, Rempel Brothers has been involved in 60 per cent of homes built in Saskatoon and surrounding area. A family business from day one, Bruce, along with his brother Gord (sons of John) and cousin Bev (daughter of Jake), purchased the company in 1998. Learning from the ground floor up (literally), Bruce’s experience with the company started when he was in high school shoveling and preparing foundation sites. The core of the business throughout the two generations of Rempel ownership has been to provide the highest quality product and service to their clients within the neighbourhoods they serve. “We were taught by our parents that you can run a business and make a living by having values and integrity,” explains Bruce Rempel. “Sometimes that’s not as common as a lot of people think. We started that way and we continue that way, and we know the community is why we are where we are.” As time passed, Rempel Brothers has expanded its operations to offer additional construction services, including bobcat work, residential demolition, consultations and more. However, the locally-owned and operated business maintains its focus on where it all began. “Over the years, Rempel Brothers has added a few services and eliminated a few, depending on market opportunities,” says Rempel. “But our bread and butter has always been residential foundations. We know the terrain, we know concrete and we know the expectations of the industry. And at the end of the day, we know that homeowners expect their house to rest on a quality foundation. That’s what we do.”



With their long-time dedication to honesty, high production standards and community involvement, the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association recently recognized Rempel Brothers as one of the longest-standing members within the institution.

While Rempel is confident in the skilled workmanship his company provides, he emphasizes it’s the core values that truly set them apart from many other construction operations. These principles not only relate to their clients, but also to their employees by providing a healthy and secure work environment. As such, three of Rempel Brothers’ staff members are celebrating 35 years with the company – and the average length of employment is 16 years. “As a family business, we appreciate that our employees are what carry us through, and we work hard to ensure loyalty, commitment and strong performances are rewarded,” Rempel stresses. “These people know our business and take great pride in their work. As owners, we look for employees and subcontractors who share our commitment to hard work and getting the job done right. When we find them, they stay.” By acknowledging the role Saskatoon and area residents have played in their success, Rempel Brothers is dedicated to giving back. Through this commitment, Rempel Brothers founded and operates the local charity Help One – an organization focused on providing sport and cultural programming grants for disadvantaged youth. Some of the many projects they have

helped fund include a band trip, basketball and art class fees, shoes, winter clothes, hockey equipment and more. “Our biggest initiative right now is focusing on the community we’re in,” Rempel says. “We want to help kids by building their self-esteem and we’re hoping to make a difference with that. We wanted to own something and to direct a grass roots campaign. We’re thankful for the other businesses that have rallied around us and helped support that particular charity.”

collaborative partner and for standing behind our work. We look forward to doing business with Saskatoon home buyers and builders for years to come.” For more information on Rempel Brothers visit To learn more about their charity, visit LS

With their long-time dedication to honesty, high production standards and community involvement, the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association recently recognized Rempel Brothers as one of the longest-standing members within the institution. “Being involved in our local business community through associations like the Home Builders is an important part of building the relationships that make a business like ours sustainable. It also helps reassure customers of our commitment to maintaining a high standard for the residential building industry in Saskatoon,” Rempel says. He concludes, “We continue to be trusted by builders, engineers and individuals as a supplier of choice for residential foundations, as a

For all of your new home, addition, & renovation design/drafting needs. Trained Professionals. Experienced. Recognized. Award Winning.

CADvantage Design #110 - 4002 Arthur Rose Ave Saskatoon, SK S7P 0C9 373-3805 • 2015 | WINTER




Offering over a century of expertise to homeowners and home builders

BY TOM EREMONDI Photos by Hamilton Photographics


askatoon-based company Butler Byers has been making insurance easy for more than a century. One of handful of local businesses to mark a hundred years in 2007, Butler Byers began its long history by investing in real estate and selling insurance in the early days of Saskatoon. The company was established by brothers Ivan and Newt Byers along with Jim Butler. In the 1930s, Butler Byers changed directions and became a retailer of insurance and related products. Ivan’s son, Jack, eventually joined the business and then the Byers family became sole owners in the 1950s. Today, Jack’s son, Drew Byers, and Drew’s children, Scott and Amanda, are the third and fourth generations involved in the business. The ownership team is completed by Barry Slowski. “Good fortune is the key to Butler Byers longevity,” says Drew Byers. “But I think it’s also the way each generation has got along and been involved. My dad worked with his dad, I worked with my dad and grandpa, and my children have worked with their father and grandfather.” “I think our ability to constantly re-invent ourselves while staying true to our core values is another reason for our long-term success,” Scott adds. The Byers say those values include integrity, maintaining the trust of clients and community involvement, both from the business itself and individual staff members. Those employees are another key component of Butler Byers’ success, Scott continues.



“We’ve been fortunate enough to have the right people on our team and to have been surrounded by very knowledgeable people.” He notes that many of those employees have been with the company for 25 to 30 years.

Butler Byers offers residential, auto, commercial, travel and group insurance. “Our motto is ‘insurance made easy’ and that’s our goal every day,” says insurance broker Colin Rooke. “We want to make it easier for the end-user – our customers – to understand what it is they’re buying and why. We can do that because of our staff expertise.” The company has many residential retail clients but also has a strong base of commercial clients. That includes some large manufacturers and dealers, according to Drew. “We have people in each area who have the expertise to deal with all of our many differing clients.” While the company is 108 years old, membership in the Saskatoon & Region Home Builders’ Association (SRHBA) is something it only decided to do recently. Butler Byers joined the SRHBA in 2014. “We deal with many homeowners and joining the Association was just a natural move,” says Drew. “Housing is a large part of our local economy and we want to be an active part of it.” “On the commercial side, we work with many of the home builders,” Rooke adds. “We’ve developed expertise in the area when it comes to matters such as contracting, renovations and others. We’re glad to be able to offer the advice that we can.”

He notes, though, that the relationship is mutual. “As a salesperson, I’ve attended meetings, seminars and events such as the annual Bridges Awards. We’ve also been able to network through the Association, meet new people and learn new things about the industry. It’s beneficial, too, because we’re one of a few businesses like ours to belong to the Association.” “It’s allowed us to stay on the leading edge of the home building industry in the city,” Scott says. “We get to learn what home builders are doing and can adapt our business practices to it.” The firm employs more than 40 people and has two branches in Saskatoon. The main branch can be found just north of City Hall at 301 Fourth Avenue North while a second location is at 3311 Eighth Street East – in the JYSK mall across from the Centre. There is also a crop insurance division located in Deloraine, Manitoba. For more information, visit LS

The employees are another key component of Butler Byers’ success.

JEFF STEWART 1.306.222.3233

VISIT US! NEW Saskatoon location: If you are interested in a new build and you have questions please call me directly

2606 KOYL AVE S7L 5X9 Proud to be a representative of

306.552.0907 1.800.817.2079


2015 | WINTER


Glass and tile artistry turns up the

BY JESSE GREEN Photos by Vireo Productions


ncorporating one-of-a-kind artwork into your kitchen is easier than you think. Using ancient techniques to form and refine slumped glass can create a showstopper of a backsplash, walk-in shower, door inserts or custom artwork. Zel Countertops & Designer Glass has been in operation for 35 years, and until recently they focused mainly on countertops. Saskatonian Brandie Allan was searching for a backsplash material for a display when she stumbled across a local company that specialized in slumped glass. Not only did she find the creative glass work she was searching for, Allan discovered that the business was for sale. Her family followed up on the opportunity and Brandie’s father Lanny Dyck purchased the business. Brandie Allan manages the family-owned company and is the artist/operator on the glass side of the business. Brandie’s husband Brent Allan does all of the installation work. “It’s been a really cool adventure so far, and the best part is every piece is different. It is unique and it is very functional,” says Allan. The process of slumping involves carving a design into a powder, placing the glass on a heat-resistant material and bringing the glass to a specific temperature in a kiln. The powder is Allan’s secret, but her design techniques are an open book. “I tend to play a lot with the design; when I have extra pieces of glass I just try to get the creative ideas out there,” she said.



Incorporating oneof-a-kind artwork into your kitchen is easier than you think — creating a showstopper of a backsplash, walk-in shower, door inserts or custom artwork.

The showroom features many examples that display the versatility of the designer glass products and spark the imagination. Once the glass is removed from the kiln and allowed to cool, Allan hand-paints each piece. In painting the glass Allan can incorporate colours from a favourite piece of art, the flooring or walls; the designs are endlessly versatile. “You get to create something new every time; even if it’s the same design you’re never going to get the same exact piece twice,” said Allan. Using three different kilns, Zel Countertops & Designer Glass can produce sheets of glass in a large range of sizes, with the largest measuring 109-inches by 44-inches. These larger panels have the advantage of no grout lines along with the interesting texturized, water-like look. The mention of hand-painted product can have customers clutching their wallets, but the slumped glass offers longevity, customization and a fair price. “I think people are pleasantly surprised when they find out the pricing,” Allan said. “For less than what you’d pay for a stone countertop alone, you can have an amazing show kitchen with a laminate countertop and glass backsplash.” Well-taken care of laminate countertops can last for decades, and their reasonable prices mean customers don’t have to make that ultra long-term commitment. Though the backsplash is often in the spotlight, Zel’s countertops are not to be overlooked. In their showroom is an acrylic countertop with built-in LED lights that bring bling to the work surface. “Acrylic tops are the ‘bee’s knees’ when it comes to non-porous surfaces. They are incredibly food safe and great for commercial applications,” said Allan. Zel is responsible for the reception counters at a number of popular Saskatoon restaurants, in both laminate and the almost glass-like solid surface materials. Solid surface countertops are offered in many colours and patterns. They are very durable, require little maintenance, are resistant to stains and scratches, and are easy to repair. The product offers endless possibilities with its range of patterns and shapes available. Their laminate countertops come in more than 60 different colours with finishes ranging from crystal finish to gloss. While adjectives like designer and hand-painted often signal soaring price tags, it isn’t so with slumped glass. Zel Countertops & Designer Glass is online at, or visit the showroom at 2957 Miners Avenue. LS 2015 | WINTER


Build Your Home From Our Home

Design with purpose. As winter makes its frosty return, now is the best time to renovate your home into a warm and inviting living space. When creating the ultimate home environment, Co-op customers don’t have to choose between style and function – they can have it all. From basement designs to taps and toilets and luxurious laminate flooring, Co-op can help you achieve the home you’ve always desired.

Come get your quote today! Our service makes the difference Welcome to Saskatoon Co-op Home and Building Supplies Centre. We offer personalized services that will enhance your project-planning experience.

Visit us online at Saskatoon Locations: Co-op Home Centre 311 Circle Drive W (306) 933-3838

Saskatoon Home Centre 2010 8th Street E (306) 933-0346

Store Hours: Sunday Monday-Friday Saturday

9:00am - 5:00pm 8:00am - 9:00pm 8:00am - 6:00pm

Statutory Holiday Hours may vary, see our Home page for details. CO-OP® ® Registered trade-mark of TMC Distributing Ltd., Saskatoon S7K 3M9

in the CELLAR

TIS THE SEASON FOR HOLIDAY CHEER BY JAMES ROMANOW (a.k.a. Dr. Booze) Photos courtesy of CO-OP Wine Spirits and Beer


n the course of a few decades of buying wine I have developed considerable affection for a handful of specific wine retailers. The Banff Wine Store (small but not to be missed), The Liquor Warehouse in Syracuse, Gosling’s in Bermuda, and most recently Co-op Wine Spirits and Beer in Saskatoon’s Blairmore area. If you haven’t yet visited, this is a great store, with a huge selection that is expanding all the time. Most liquor vendors are content to bring in a line-up of the usual suspects – the best-selling brands that can be relied on for steady traffic. But every now and then you come across a store that is determined to offer something for everyone. Beer drinker? The beer cooler at Co-op offers 500 or more different brews from around the world. Scotch or Canadian whisky fan? Check out the Co-op Whisky Wall. Can you find a better selection of either elsewhere? Yes. Can you find both in one place? Hmm. Not so easy to find. Frankly the selection of both is not what makes a good liquor store. (Although the buyer’s goal is to have the best selection of Single Malts and Bourbon in the province.) The difference is in the more cutting edge products. Gin is probably the fastest growing segment and certainly the trendiest at the moment with boutique distillers springing up all over the world. You’ll find a pretty interesting selection of gin on the Co-op shelves as well. Tequila is also coming on strong and a quick glance at Co-op’s tequila section reveals bottles you won’t see anywhere else in the province. How about bubbles? Champagne is no longer the only game in town. Quality sparkling wine is made from Australia to Italy. Can you find more interesting bubbly from say Ontario… or even Nova Scotia? (Don’t laugh. Perhaps the best bubbly made in Canada comes from the Annapolis Valley. See sidebar.) For many people the greatest frustration of living here in the past was an inability to get specific wines for their cellar and large format bottles. All of this and more is now available at Co-op. Another category coming on strong is Bourbon. The production in small batch Bourbon is growing daily. As the market shifts and products become available, the Co-op is on top of listing and stocking new labels.

2015 | WINTER


And speaking of Bourbon, while you’re in the store, check out their comprehensive line-up of bitters. In days past, my wife couldn’t sleep on a plane, worrying as she did about the sundry little bottles in my suitcase. Finally, a store in the province has realized the key to a great cocktail is the bitters. There are other reasons to shop here. For people too busy to shop or those looking to enhance their wine experience, the Co-op has instituted a locker program. If ever there was a gift for the person who has everything, this is it. The cost to participate is $150 (or more, according to the individual) every month for a minimum three-month membership. (Most of the whisky drinkers I know can do that in four bottles.) According to locker member’s personal specifications, Co-op sommeliers load the lockers at the beginning of every month. To top it off, Co-op Wine store is rapidly becoming the center for wine tasting here in town. They schedule a series of wine, spirits and beer tasting events that occur in the afternoons and evenings in their large tasting room at the back of the store.


HOLIDAY WISH LIST? Here’s a rare Single Malt for the whisky lover you love. Really love. Really really love. Tomatin is one of the rarer malts of the world and Tomatin 40-year-old is the nectar of the gods. It’s enough to make an old man fling off his kilt and jump in the nearest highland spring.

92/100 • $1,189 If you’re a true whisky connoisseur you will collect all versions you see, to savour occasionally or to treat friends. Buffalo Trace Distillery has broadened their line-up to include all manner of Bourbons. Sazerac Rye is intended to be a copy of the whisky that made the eponymous cocktail famous in the 1800s. An affordable, interesting and well-made whisky.

The program is on hold through December, as the room has been transformed into The Holiday Shop. “People have enough to do during the holiday season, so we are converting the room to a great little boutique area with some seasonal products, gift items and hard-to-find wines,” says marketing manager Dawn Wreford. During the regular tastings season, visiting winemakers and industry professionals stop by and discuss what they’ve got and why you should try it. If you’re looking to increase your wine/beer/spirits knowledge or just have a fun evening out, you need to take a look at Co-op’s tasting event calendar. So there you have it. The Co-op has all these features and probably some I take for granted (wine knickknackery? Quality tonic?). Now you know why it is on my short list of favourite stores. LS

Gin is probably the fastest growing segment and certainly the trendiest at the moment with boutique distillers springing up all over the world. 52


84/100 • $60

How can you not be a homey when faced with a bottle of bubbles? The best sparkling wine in Canada is currently being made by Benjamin Bridges of Nova Scotia. Citrus and slightly herbal this is an extraordinarily fine wine. It is also seven years old. If you’re a fan of older Champagne, this is a must-try at a great price.

98/100 • $52

Everybody likes a deal. If you serve as much champagne and sparkling wine as I do, you buy the stuff by the case. Cuvee Jean Louis Blanc de Blanc is a product of a variety of white grapes including Chenin and Ugni Blanc. The price makes it a tremendous deal for fans of brisk, fruity bubbly. And you can afford to make it your all-occasion sparkler!

88/100 • $14

James Romanow, AKA Dr. Booze, is a Saskatchewan wine and spirits writer, best known through his columns in the StarPhoenix, Leader-Post, and appearances on radio and television.



RIGHT-SIZE YOUR HEATING EQUIPMENT The large, traditional furnace has “almost become a cliché” according to one industry expert. “Large furnaces use a lot of fuel and take up a lot of space. I’m not sure how builders even get those large furnaces down to the basement,” says Dettson Industries General Manager Marc Chénier with a laugh. “These monsters are a thing of the past.” Chénier noted that the biggest problem with traditional furnaces can be witnessed during a typical winter evening in Saskatchewan. The thermostat will read the temperature and when it gets too chilly outside, the thermostat will tell the furnace to turn on and start blowing hot air. The furnace keeps blowing hot air until the house reaches the desired temperature. But according to Chénier, therein lies the problem. “Since not all of the rooms in the house require the same amount of BTU and CFM – meaning heat and ventilation – some of the rooms in the house get really, really hot. This is what is known as an overshoot,” he said. “The furnace eventually turns off and the house cools off, but the furnace doesn’t turn on again until the whole house reaches a certain temperature.”

of days straight at very low cubic feet per minute,” Chénier says. “The Chinook runs a lot slower, for a lot longer.” Chénier compared the process to driving in a roundabout, a type of circular intersection or junction in which road traffic flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island. “Starting and stopping your car’s engine will use your gas up. However, when you’re in a roundabout, you may slow down but you never stop, so your fuel efficiency goes way up, sort of like a Chinook,” he explains. “With houses being built tighter and more energy efficient with less air infiltration from outside, there is little need for these big furnaces in the basement.” When sizing a central heating system for a new home or even for an existing home, Chénier says it’s also imperative that you size your duct systems. HVACs contain a fan that forces heated or cooled air into supply ducts leading to the rooms of the house. Chénier says that as loads in high performance homes go lower, the volume of required conditioned air drops,

causing a decline in performance for traditional duct systems. Companies such as Dettson have released smarter duct systems. Dettson’s Smart Duct System, for example, focuses on providing customers with the right airflow and a much improved air mix potential for comfort to the homeowner. “The right airflow is as important in considering the load per room as the BTUs. The Smart Duct System provides a leakage of five per cent or less when properly assembled which allows for small ducts to be used and offer a better throw,” Chénier says. “Our vision behind this system is called HVAC in a box, allowing the builder to eliminate bulkheads and added expenses, while providing the builder the ability to optimize their floor plan designs. The High Performance homes’ environment appreciates the longer cycles that are offered by the lower airflow in combination of the right BTUs. This also benefits the environment.” When it comes down to it, Chénier says homeowners need to condition their homes with the proper HVAC solution, which means straying away from traditional solutions of the past. LS

For this reason, customers are starting to seek out smaller, more efficient heating units – which run for a longer period at a smaller rate – and companies such as Dettson are leading the trend. Dettson’s line of Chinook gas furnaces are a perfect example. With the Chinook compact measuring only 10-inches wide and 22-inches high, it’s easy for those in apartments, condos or simply smaller spaces to store these heaters. The heaters offer a very small footprint, providing a BTU as low as 15,000 that modulates down to 6,000 – compared to the over 100,000 BTU of a traditional furnace. Dettson refers to its philosophy as “right-sizing” your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning system (HVAC).

Designed By Atmosphere Design

Designed By Atmosphere Design

“If it’s minus-20 in the winter time, instead of having your furnace coming on every 15 minutes for five or 10 minutes, you will end up with a furnace that will run for hours or even a couple Locally owned & cust om desi gned with you i n m i nd. The Chinook Compact offers inputs from 15,000 to 120,000 BRU/h for both new customers and the replacement market.

511- 45th S t r e e t E . S a s k a t o o n

306-934-0660 w w w. ma j e s t i c c a b i n e t s . c a Designed By Studio 2.0

2015 | WINTER


ask an expert

STYLE AND DECOR Charlene Schumacher

Fresco Interiors Design Group #40-710 Cynthia Street •306.933-3200 • just purchased a 1982 home to renovate and Q We make our own! Unfortunately the kitchen features dated golden oak cabinetry and geese wallpaper borders. Help! Where do we start? What will provide the best investment for our new home?


Say goodbye to the golden geese and hello to your new kitchen! Statistics show the best room to invest in is the kitchen, offering the greatest return value. If you are renovating for resale, calculate your budget for each room according to the square foot percentage of your completed renovation and in relation to the value of neighbouring property. For example, if your renovated home will be valued at $500,000 and your new kitchen occupies 10 per cent of the square footage, consider setting a budget of $50,000 for your kitchen reno. Now let’s have some fun and talk about the delicious new trending concepts for kitchens! For resale value, it’s best to invest in products that will stand the test of time and be appealing to all buyers. Think of luxury modern elements that buyers will love 10 years from now. Here are a few suggestions:

Marble -

layered in polished or honed surfaces. Marble is both timeless yet trending! This classic surface is modernized by using large scale format tiles (16 x 36 inches) for seamless streamlined floors. For backsplashes, think texture! In this kitchen renovation, we applied a backsplash in a honed marble chevron pattern.

Fireplace Focal Points - Think ambience. Consider a vertical tower fireplace – yes, in the kitchen! It exudes luxurious warmth. Our homeowner loves the way it creates an intimate feel in her new kitchen. Combine this with a custom banquette seating area. Your company may feel so comfortable, they’ll never want to leave.

Wrap supporting walls with architectural features - If you’re working with a supporting

wall, incorporate it into the design, so it becomes an integral part of the space. The supporting wall in this kitchen was positioned to act as a feature privacy wall between the front door and kitchen. We designed our CAD drawing to extend the size of the wall to the width of the island peninsula and created interesting focal points on either side of the tower with a combination of polished marble and matte porcelain tiles on the living room side and custom cabinetry floating shelves on the kitchen side.

Starting your renovation project -

Exclusive Furniture- Custom Drapery- Designer Wallpaper



Consider having someone create a CAD floor plan, encompassing all of your elements. It’s also a great idea to have perspective drawings done. It allows you to see what your finished room will look like, allowing you to make inexpensive changes on paper rather than midstream during the renovation. A well designed space will not only look incredible, it will function beautifully and provide you with exceptional resale value.

Love your space! LS

in the kitchen



riginally from Norwich, England, chef Simon Reynolds of Simon’s Fine Foods, says he avoids the kitchen as much as possible during the holidays. He calls himself the “lazy chef.” Despite this trait, he says it’s still possible to impress guests with flavourful dishes made with simple ingredients. He shares four recipes you can wow your guests with this holiday season. Reynolds grew up on the coast of England and admits as a child he was more interested in fishing than cooking. But when a friend got a job working at a hotel, Reynolds was intrigued by the chefs in white coats bustling about in the kitchen. He applied for an apprenticeship and was accepted. “There was no foodie background as far as family. So it was sheer luck that I could cook, or at least that I was trainable,” he jokes. The young Reynolds was immediately hooked. And the bonus was getting to eat and explore culinary delights he’d never experienced. “I could eat all these different foods that I’d never had before,” he explains. “It was 1988 so all this stuff – kiwis and mangoes – all those things were new (in England). So I would work and eat and get paid.” Growing up on the coast, he was used to fresh fish and seafood on a daily basis. He still misses the time he spent fishing when he was a child. Now, 27 years later, living on the prairies Reynolds enjoys culinary exploits of a different nature. He only caters occasionally. It’s now limited to small intimate events with a three or four course restaurant-style meal served at a private home. Most of what keeps him busy is teaching cooking classes in all culinary styles. “It’s unique. It’s just something different to do when winter hits,” he notes. He adds, the cooking classes have become a popular activity for a stagette or team building activity. To get you prepared for the holidays, Reynolds has graciously cooked up a menu of four recipes to share with your family this Christmas. The first is a mulled wine, which will make your home smell warm and inviting. “Mulled wine is a perfect way to warm up during the long prairie winter with spices, citrus and your favourite wine,” says Reynolds.

It’s still possible to impress guests with flavourful dishes made with simple ingredients.

Next is the quintessential Christmas side dish – Brussel sprouts. These aren’t your grandmother’s Brussel sprouts. The earthy vegetable gets a citrus boost and a little crunch as Reynolds dresses them up with walnuts, lemon and fresh thyme. The beautiful Boxing Day brunch offering of smoked salmon, served with sautéed potatoes topped with dressed arugula, a poached egg and lemon sauce, will make you want to forgo the presents and Christmas turkey. And for New Year’s – or any time you need an easy and flavourful appetizer – Reynolds offers an invaluable time-saver for making mini quiches: puff pastry.

2015 | WINTER


• 1 bottle Shiraz (use a good bottle) • 1 lemon • 1 orange • 2 cinnamon sticks • 3 star anise • 5 cloves • 1/2 tsp. fresh grated nutmeg • 3 bay leaves • 100g white sugar Prepare this the night before you use the wine. In a stainless steel pot place the peel of the lemon and orange removing any white pith which will make the wine bitter. Slice the peeled fruit and add to the pot. Next add the cinnamon sticks, star anise, cloves, grated nutmeg, bay leaves and sugar. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavours to develop. The next day place the wine on the stove and heat on medium for about 10 minutes. Ensure you don’t boil the wine or the alcohol will evaporate.

• 2 lb. Brussel sprouts • 1 small red onion, diced • 6 oz. chopped walnuts • 1 tsp. fresh thyme leaves • 4 oz. butter • 4 oz. extra virgin olive oil • 1/2 fresh lemon


Trim the sprouts and cut a cross in the base. Bring a pot of salted water to boil. Plunge the sprouts in and cook for 5 to 7 minutes until the sprouts are just tender. Remove and place in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain then cut the sprouts in half. In a sauté pan, add the olive oil and butter and warm. Add the onion, thyme leaves and sauté for a minute. Now add the sprouts and walnuts, season with salt and pepper and sauté until the sprouts caramelize (about 8-10 minutes). Squeeze fresh lemon over the sprouts to taste.


WITH SAUTÉED POTATOES, SOFT POACHED EGG & LEMON BUTTER SAUCE • 1 lb. Atlantic or wild sliced smoked salmon • 1 lb. cooked baby potatoes, sliced • 4 oz. butter • 4 oz. olive oil • 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced • 2 Tbsp. chopped chives • Two handfuls arugula, dressed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar

• 1 packet frozen puff pastry • 2 eggs

4 eggs

• 12 oz. 35% cream


• 2 zucchini, finely diced

• Juice of 1 lemon

• 1/2 small red onion, diced

• 1 glass dry white wine

• 1 red pepper, finely diced

• 2 shallots diced

• 3 cloves garlic, chopped

• 12 fl. oz. 35% cream

• Canola oil

• 8 oz. diced cold butter

• 8 oz. goat cheese

Lay the smoked salmon on four plates. Sauté the onion and potatoes in butter and olive oil for about 6 to 8 minutes. Add chopped chives and season with salt and pepper. Make the lemon butter sauce by placing the shallot, white wine, and juice of one lemon in a saucepan; boil until reduced by half. Next add the cream and again simmer until reduced by half then whisk in the diced cold butter. Pass through a sieve and keep in a warm place while the plate is assembled.


Poach the eggs to the degree you prefer. Place some sautéed potatoes on top of the salmon then some dressed arugula, and a poached egg on top. Drizzle with lemon butter sauce.



Sauté the onion, garlic, peppers and zucchini in 2 Tbsp. canola oil; place in the fridge to chill. Butter a 24-hole mini-quiche tray. Roll out the pastry thinly (about as thick as a crepe). Cut out disks slightly bigger than the holes and carefully line the holes in the tray. Whisk together the egg and cream and a 1/4 tsp. salt. Add 1 tsp. vegetables per mould; with a spoon fill with custard just below the top. Add 1/2 tsp. goat cheese. Bake at 375° F. for about ten minutes. After ten minutes, carefully remove and place on a cooling rack. Top with a little chutney of your choice. LS

We’ll get your claim going in 30 minutes. Protect your home with Prestige.

Meet Prestige: Customizable protection for the things that mean the most to you, higher coverage limits, dedicated around-the-clock claims service and standard features you won’t find in your typical home insurance policy. Mix and match options to protect your distinctive lifestyle: Whether you’re a home business owner or a specialty interests collector; a savvy investor or have a yard full of boats, bikes, pets and machines. Ask your SGI CANADA broker about Prestige.

2015 + 16+ years experience + Saskatoon’s leading builder of Quality Homes +

We m a ke i t s i m p le !

YOUR PERFECT WINTER GETAWAY cozy gas fireplaces, inviting hardwood floors, stone countertops and more... Email, text, or call our sales team for information on your dream home or 306.370.7323