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JANUARY 2013

open a new style in Canada Pages 26-27 FREE MONTHLY MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTED DIRECTLY TO HOUSEHOLDERS


Shabby Chic During the past few years All About Home has been out here for you dear reader, we have talked about various styles of interior decor, including eclectic style, Art Deco, Steampunk, and a number of others. Today, we wish to introduce yet another bold design style called Shabby Chic. The name Shabby Chic is actually an oxymoron combining two mutually exclusive concepts – something scruffy and something trendy. This style is a form of interior design where furniture and furnishings are either chosen for their appearance of age and signs of wear and tear or where new items are distressed to achieve the appearance of an antique. At the same time, a soft, opulent, yet cottage-style decor is emphasized to distinguish it from genuine period style.

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The term was coined by The World of Interiors magazine in the 1980s and became extremely popular in the US in the ‘90s with a certain eclectic surge of decorating styles with paints and effects and with heavy influences from Mediterranean cultures such as Provence, Tuscany, and Greece. Shabby Chic is also a general term that may refer to a person who keeps her own style rather than following the latest fashion trends. Vintage, with its tendency to combine modern with old or, sometimes, antique objects, has become a great influence upon the newly emerged shabby chic style.

History

Shabby Chic Design

The Shabby Chic style originates from Britain and evokes the type of decoration found in large English country houses, with worn and faded old chintz sofas and curtains, old paintwork, and unpretentious ‘good’ taste. The end effect of Shabby Chic is overall elegant. Recycling old furniture and fabrics is an important aspect of the look. It is harmonious with the ideas of modern Bohemians and artisans that created a counter-culture movement during the 1980s as opposed to expensive quality decor that became very fashionable during that decade with the upper middle “yuppie” class. The original Shabby Chic interiors were usually works of art on their own.

Shabby Chic items are often heavily painted through the years, with many layers showing through obviously timeworn areas. Isn many instances, when really old items are not accessible or affordable, they are often imitated in faux painting using glaze or by painting then rubbing and sanding away the top coat to show the wood or base coats. This process is known as “distressing” the finish of the furniture. Furniture pieces that are not genuine antiques are usually selected for their resemblance to older furniture styles and may be reproduction furniture with a distressed finish. Often appliqués depicting flower swags and garlands, cherubs, and other motifs are added.

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Fabrics are usually cottons and linens inspired by old French linens. Pure whites, as well as ecru and worn or bleached-out pastels are favorite. For imitations, fabric is often stained with tea to give it the look of old fabric. Bleached and faded are terms often applied to the style. Besides white, the Shabby Chic style also includes soft neutral colors, such as sky blue, rose pink, and beige tones. Popular decor items are pillows made of vintage fabric, vintage linens, chenille bedspreads, vintage chandeliers, and anything with roses in the design. It is a soft, relaxed, feminine, romantic style of decorating that looks comfortable and inviting. Shabby Chic is not for everyone – it most suits creative people. If you are sensitive to what other people think or say of you, think twice before selecting this style because not everyone will appreciate it. The most difficult task when creating decor in the Shabby Chic style is to make it “living” and not to turn your home into an antique store. With this purpose in mind, it is customary to enliven the room or the house decorated in this style with brighter colours, fresh flowers or a fish tank, vivid fabrics, or an artistically thrown blanket – anything to show that the house is livable while the decor is just this – a decor.

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January 2013 To advertise in All About Home magazine please contact us

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Manager, Mobile Mortgage Specialist

Tel: 416-567-6791 Fax: 1888-516-8495

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T he scent of home

Various scents help eliminate unpleasant odors, freshen the air, make your home cozy, and create the right mood. Some are best for the bedroom, others, for the living room, the kitchen, or the nursery. There is a vast array of aromatizing products on today’s market. Choosing the most suitable for your purpose is very important.

Essential Oils Over three thousand of essential-oil-producing plants grow in different parts of the world. Why not use a couple of them to fill your home with a beautiful scent! Cypress scent in your entrance hall is considered to protect the home from negative outside influences. Essential oils recommended for the living room include ginger, bergamot, rose, and grapefruit, among many. Ylang-ylang rose, jasmine, verbena, patchouli, cinnamon, and sweet orange, as well as sandalwood and frankincense possess aphrodisiac qualities and as such are ideal for the bedroom. Citrus scents and the smell of pine improve atmosphere in the

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nursery. Just refrain from using essential oils during meals because they are incompatible with food aromas. Fill a diffuser with 3 to 5 drops of the essential oil dissolved in water.

Scented Candles If you wish to use a new candle, light it at least half an hour before your guests’ arrival – while the surface of the candle is intact the scent is going to stay “sealed”. Scented candles are perfect for bedrooms. Their hypnotic flame awakens trust, intimacy, and seduction. It creates cozy atmosphere for intimate conversation or for meditation, relaxes and lulls to sleep. Try the utmost bliss of a bath surrounded by scented candles. A house where smoking is permitted may use stronger floral, wood, or spicy scents that help neutralize cigarette smoke smell. Another home that can benefit from strong aromas is a place filled with upholstered furniture and fabrics – draperies, carpeting, and cushions absorb any scent.

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Houseplants

Houseplants containing essential oils have positive effect on people and places. Rosemary, for once, improves memory. The smell of eucalyptus, laurel, or rose rids of chronic fatigue while the aroma of citrus plants fights high blood pressure. The scent of geranium helps against neuroses and insomnia, and myrtle serves as a mood-improving agent. Besides, houseplants clean the air. For example, one full-grown tuli plant may clean 80% of the air in a 100-square feet room. So, now you know which plants to place on the windowsill in your kitchen. Do not forget herbs that fill the air with beautiful scents and are quite easy to grow.

Perfumes for Home This is the latest trend favoured by such celebrities as Cameron Diaz, Madonna, Elton John and many others. The market offers aromatic sprays, sachets, candles, and reeds for every conceivable situation and season. You can even buy travel sets or expensive perfumes made the 16th century recipes.

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Condo, Bathurst/Steeles Great area in demand!! Large CORNER Asking $324,000

unit, very bright, completely renovated, with amazing unobstructed view of park. Excellent layout, 1500 sq.ft, 3 bdrs+large solarium. Renovated washrooms w/nice ceramic and vanities. Eat-in kitchen with 2 windows, w/KitchenAid cooktop, oven. Parquet floors, mouldings, potlights. All closets with organizers. Parking. Indoor gym, sauna, outdoor pool. Security guard and system. Maitenance fee includes all utilities and cable TV.

Dufferin/ Major Mackenzie(Eagle Hills/ Thornberry Community) Gorgeous quality built Fernbrook semi. Asking $569,900

3 large bdrs, 3-wshrs. Amazing layout features: spacious rooms & open concept design. Loaded w/upgrades: 9’smooth ceilings, kitchen w/granite countertop, undermount sink, S/S appliances, oak staircase with Berber runner, hardwood floors. Master bedroom with W/I closet & 5pcs ensiute w/double sinks and glass shower stall. Large family room. Minutes to school, park, transit.

Dufferin/Rutherford (Thornhill Valley Brand new quality built Remington Community) 2,240 sq ft End Unit Townhome!

Yonge/Major Mackenzie Very and

Condo Bathurst/Centre St.

Bathurst/Shaftsbury-Westbrook

Asking $628,800

Asking $349,900

FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107

Asking $439,000

Faced w/stone. Deep lot backing onto backyards. Fully open concept design home. 4 bdrs, 3 wshrs. Columns, cathedral ceilings, oak staircase. 9 Ft ceilings & hardwood on main. Large kitchen with tall cabinets, granite countertop & S/S appliances. Garage door access to home and b-yard. Close to schools, shopping transit. “Promenade Towers”! Large & bright CORNER unit, about 1300 sq ft with balcony. 2 bdrs+large solarium, 2 full wshrs. Huge windows from floor to ceiling. Laminate floors throughout. Large kitchen wth window & breakfast area. Parking. Locker. Very well maintained building with excellent facilities: gym, sauna, outdoor pool, rec. room, tennis court, 24 hours security gate. Close to excellent schools, Promenade plaza, transit.

Ask $649,000

January 2013

enjoyable & cosy, renovated beautifully maintained semidetached bungalow on a huge lot (38х121ft). 3+2 bdrs, 2 full bathrooms. Custom gourmet kitchen open concept w/granite сountertop & S/S appliances. Hardwood floors, vinyl windows, new roof. Renovated basement apartment 2 bdrs, 4 pcs wshr w/separate entrance: new laminate floors, new S/S appliances in the kitchen. Very private landscaped backyard. Walk to pool, school & park.

High demand Westbrook Area! Very bright and spacious with excellent practical layout detached home on a huge lot 35x128ft. 4 large bedrooms, 4-wshrs. Large eat-inkitchen with walkout to deck. New roof, new windows, new ceramics with heated floors in kitchen & foyer(2009). Professionally finished walkout basement: great room, family room w/fireplace, kitchen, full bathroom. Potential for daycare. 2-car garage. Steps to excellent schools, parks, Community Centre, trails.

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ABOUT TEDDY BEARS AND THE MAGIC CARPET There are so many kinds of upholstered furniture manufactured today that no matter what your taste is you can find something that suits it. Choose a compact sofa with some additional functions or smart furniture fitted with various technological elements to allow it to be turned into workspace. Or buy a one-of-a-kind unusual couch thought up by a designer who loves experimenting with furniture. Let us look at the latter.

Bocca Sofa The iconic 1970 lip-shaped sofa is based on Salvador Dali’s famous Mae West sofa of 1936. The erotic lips of this great Hollywood actress inspired Dalí. It is available only in red, of course.

Stuffed Animals Sofa This fun couch is made of toys! It is fully upholstered in soft teddy bears who are hanging off the edges, crowding one another. Kids just love this piece of furniture but who can vouch that they will not try to tear away a couple of plush animals they like

The Cactus Sofa

The Flying Carpet Sofa Really creative people manage to design unusual objects based on everyday concepts. One example of this trend is the Flying Carpet Sofa – a model made of a carpet spread upon a bent metal frame that looks a bit like a cot. Lie down – and the magic carpet will feel like it is about to take off. It is not very comfortable to stay on for a long time though because of its hard surface and lack of armrests.

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Would someone really want to sit on it? It is unimaginable what its designer was thinking of creating a seating furniture piece out of huge and prickly cacti! Who could think of rest or comfort among prickly thorns? No problem – the idea of using it for rest and relaxation has never come to the authors’ minds – the sofa was created as a prop to attract potential buyers into a store specializing in these beautiful plants.

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The Eggs Sofa This is yet another sofa created as an advertising piece. A couple of years ago, a TV channel used it to demonstrate to its viewers that their programming is the most interesting, entertaining, and spectacular. Looks like they have succeeded – not many viewers can forget a couch made completely out of real eggs. As you can see, not all the furniture that is supposed to be soft and inviting is such. It is suitable for decorating a space or for advertizing purposes but it is devoid of its principal function of providing a cozy and comfortable seating for its owner. Nevertheless, it attracts interest and is in everygrowing demand.

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IRREPLACEABLE

The crazy pace of life dictates the conditions of our everyday existence. Identical foods, identical cars, identical boring hi-rises, and high-density areas of identical one-family dwellings where the only view from our window is the brick wall of the neighbouring house – all this often makes our home life lacking warmth and calm to make us really happy. We need something to fight depressing white walls and monotonous plastic interiors. No matter where progress takes us it is always nice to come back to traditions, and the most traditional decorative material is of course wood. Wooden stairs, decorative columns, and exquisite furniture take us back a couple of centuries, to slower and happier times. They also create unique atmosphere and make our dwelling look more dignified. Of course, there is no point installing wood wall panels in a regular rental apartment - they are great for spacious rooms where no design concept will be lost. Nevertheless, even in a small apartment high-quality furniture and a parquet floor will look fabulous. Even better wood will look in a spacious house where you can implement your own design ideas. Unique qualities of wood make it ever more popular for finishes. Wood is a warm and mild material and it imparts these qualities to the dwelling it decorates. Talking of warmth we mean not just the sensation we experience when we touch a wooden wall or floor but also the positive energy exuded by natural wood. For example, ash or bleached oak seem to be glowing. Rooms with predominantly dark woods create a feeling of comfort and strength. Different kinds of wood help create various moods and styles of decor, from classic to country style. Wood is warm, clean, and durable. It fills your home with exquisite natural scent, purifies the air, and adds vitality. All this is essential in the everyday hustle and bustle and more important than all the technological advantages of the modern world.

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Have You Decided To Buy A Property? • I’ll find you a home where you will feel warm and cozy; • Bonuses for Buyers; Flexible commissions for Sellers; • I’ll do everything possible for fast and successful closing; • I’ll offer you the best mortgage rates; • I’ll find a solution for any complication; • Free consultations and fast confirmation of mortgage approvals.

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www.fayrealestate.ca email: fayservices@yahoo.com CONDO. BATHURST & CENTRE

Very bright impeccable unit, where you feel warm & comfortable. Very spacious, 1-bdrm, 1-wshr, about 600 Sq.Ft. unit with balcony & unobstructed panoramic view, located in high demand Thornhilll City Centre. New high quality laminated floors throughout. Open concept kitchen with granite countertop & breakfast bar. Parking included. Very low maintenance fee. Luxury building with superb recreational facilities: indoor pool, sauna, gym, party room, etc. Steps to WalMart, Promenade Plaza, park, restaurants, transit.

MARKHAM DOWNTOWN

INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY! TENANTED as of January 17, 2013 by AAA-tenant at $1300/month. Luxurious, bright & spacious 1-bdr, 1-wshr unit on 5th floor in a practically new condo. Beautiful terrace. Open concept. 9’ ceilings. Beautiful dark hardwood floors. Upgraded kitchen with tall cabinets, glass inserts, granite countertop, stainless steel appliances. Locker & parking. Very low maintenance fee. Excellent building with great facilities: indoor pool, gym, sauna, 24 hrs security & much more... Close to shopping, restaurants, banks, VIVA transit, Markville ! Mall, 404 & ENT M T 407 Hwys. S VE

IN

Asking $284,900

CONDO. BATHURST/STEELES/FINCH

Very enjoyable & cozy, renovated & beautifully maintained 3+1-bdrm, 2-full wshrms, 1500 SqFt CORNER unit with amazing unobstr. view of park. Excellent layout. Gleaming parquet floors, mouldings, potlights. Nicely painted. Separate kitchen w/window overlooks park. Europ. style kitchen cabinets. KitchenAid cooktop, oven, new water filtration system. Large master with W/I closet & 4pc ensuite. Renovated wshrms. All closets w/organizers. Large ensuite locker & laundry. Solarium can be used as 4th bdrm or office. Parking. Maintenance fee includes all utilities & cable TV. Gym, sauna, whirlpool, outdoor pool, security guard & system. Great area in demand!

DIRECT:

416-889-9955 Each office is independently owned and operated

RICHMOND HILL (YONGE & BROOKSIDE)

Shows like a MODEL! $$ in upgrades! Very bright & modern, open concept, 4 bdrms + den, 4 wshrs, 3700 SqFt, in excellent condition. Open foyer w/ granite floors. 9’ceilings, hardwood flrs, potlights, mouldings. Den on main floor w/French door. Large CUSTOM made kitchen with tall cabinets, granite, b/splash & S/S appliances. Fam. room w/granite mantle gas fireplace. All bdrms have ensuites and W/I closets. Master bdrm has two W/I closets & Jacuzzi. Save energy windows. Custom curtains & designer lighting. Interlock. Sprinkler system...& more.

RICHMOND HILL

Very nice 4-bdr, 3-wshr fully detached house on huge corner lot. Practical layout. High ceilings. Wood floors. Modern family size kitchen with S/S appliances (walk-out to backyard). Family room with gas fireplace. Potlights. 2nd floor balcony with unobstructed view of park. Interlocked driveway. Great family neighbourhood. Good schools, recreation center.

Asking $545,000

RICHMOND HILL

Stunning freehold townhouse in excellent location! 3 bdrs, 3 wshrs. Great layout. Open concept. Hardwood floors. Nice family size kitchen with S/S appliances & W/O to sundeck. Very large master bdrm with W/I closet. FINISHED W/O BASEMENT. Close to transit, shopping & nature trails!

Asking $489,000

BATHURST & RUTHERFORD

Stunning, 1-year old Remington home in prestigious Valleys of Thornhill. 3+1 bdrms, 3 wshrs, great layout, very modern & open. 9’ ceilings, hardwood floors, oak stairs, family room w/gas fireplace. Very nice kitchen with upgraded cabinets, S/S appliances & W/O to garden. Every bedroom has access to the washroom. Close to everything!

FOR ADVERTISEMENTS CALL (416) 477-6107

Asking $729,900

BATHURST & RUTHERFORD

Spectacular 4-bdr, 3-wshr home overlooking RAVINE in prestigious Lebovic Campus. About 2900 Sq.Ft. Amazing open concept floor plan with huge family room. Upgraded tall kitchen cabinets, granite countertop, S/S appliances. High ceilings. Hardwood floors on both throughout. FINISHED WALK-OUT basement. Double door entrance. Close to Community Center, School, Park & fabulous amenities.

Asking $739,900

HOMELIFE VICTORY REALTY INC. Brokerage 10720 Yonge St, #226, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3C9 BUS: 905-737-0033 FAX: 905-737-3132 BATHURST & CLARK

Large & bright CORNER unit, about 1350 SqFt, 2+1 bdrms, 2 full wshrms, in prime Thornhill location! Very clean, in excellent condition. Beautiful laminated floors throughout. Large kitchen with window & pantry. Large bedrooms. Solarium can be used as 3-rd bdrm or office. Maintenance fee includes everything! Very well maintained building with excellent facilities: gym, sauna, outdoor pool, recreation room, tennis court, 24 hrs security gate.

BATHURST & STEELES

Fully renovated, about 1250 Sq.Ft, 2+1-bdr, 2-wshr unit in prestigious PRIMROSE complex! Excellent layout! Modern high quality laminated floors throughout. Crown mouldings. Potlights with dimmers. New custom made beautiful kitchen with Lazy Susan, wine rack, granite countertop, breakfast bar, glass/stone backsplash, double undermount sink & S/S appliances. Den can be used as a 3rd bdrm. Large laundry room with storage. Lots of closets. Maintenance fee includes everything.

RICHMOND HILL

Gorgeous open concept home with 4 bdrms + loft (can be converted to 5-th bdrm), 4 wshrs with 9’ ceilings and excellent floor plan. Wood floors throughout. Potlights. Beautiful kitchen with granite countertop, backsplash, gas stove. Beautiful b/yard with interlocking patio. Professionally finished basement with above grade windows, 2 bdrms & bath. Close to transportation, parks, shopping, schools.

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You know for sure how your home will look when you have your own house or apartment. But in the meantime you are forced to rent, and the apartment you rent is neither the coziest nor the most beautiful place. Try a few of the following ideas and the place will look different and feel a little bit more like home. Landlords prefer white walls that make the flat boring. You do not have to repaint the whole apartment. Use vinyl. Their advantage is that if needed you can easily take the sticker off and replace it with a new one or else leave the wall pristinely blank – these, available in any home hoods store, do not leave traces. Does the used-to-be-rich chandelier look shabby and gives out glaring white light? Use light sources placed on the floor or furniture tops. Fill up your rental with wall sconces, reading lamps, and floor lamps. Add personal touches to your decor with the use of your family photos. Create a gallery on the hallway wall, place frames with your childhood pictures on tables and hutches. The only expense is a good-looking frame but even these can be achieved by decorating plain ones, which you can do with inexpensive materials and a little imagination. Live plants always add to ambience. Buy at least one plant. Doesn’t matter whether you buy a rose or a cactus – the effect on the general atmosphere will be just the same. Convert a section of a hall wall, an old, peeled door, or the front of one of the kitchen cabinets into a slate board. This can be done with paint, a removable film, or a magnetic board. Buy coloured chalk and use the board to write short messages to your family members, make a shopping list, or create projects.

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e-mail: aahtoronto@gmail.com

Decorate the hallway by a gaily coloured rug that depicts something fun like a manhole cover. Hang unusually shaped mirror or non-standard coat hooks. If you or someone in your family is handy create items for your hallway out of some unexpected materials – for instance, make a hat hook out of a snag found in a park. The easiest way to freshen up your decor is changing textiles. Hang new curtains, add a soft blanket, throw a couple of bright striped rugs (they are inexpensive and easy care) and cover chairs with brightly coloured slips. Even one thing on this list will change the appearance of your flat. Replace a drab shower curtain with a vivid one. Use a matching cup for toothbrushes, and a saucer from the same set, for soap. If your rental flat is furnished, try to change the look of the old cupboards and desks. Replace the handles with the type you like better and hang large pattern wallpaper on the interior walls of cupboards and closets. Hopefully, you will move to your own place soon but before that time has come enjoy your life in this apartment the way you have made it look!

www.aahtoronto.com


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The rise of electricity bill The price of electricity, already triggering shock from consumers and businesses in many parts of Canada, will rise rapidly through the end of the decade, according to an analysis by CBC News. A study of provincial utilities’ power-purchase agreements and financial statements indicates the average cost per kilowatt-hour countrywide will rise more than 50 per cent by 2020. The numbers CBC’s analysis of electricity prices is based on our database of current and planned power plants, research by the MIT Energy Initiative, provincial power-purchase contracts and provincial utilities’ financial statements. “Electricity prices have run up very substantially since 2003, but the increases that we’ve seen so far are just a warm-up for what we’re likely to see over the next four or five years,” said Tom Adams, an energy analyst and former head of Energy Probe. The average Canadian household currently pays about $100 a month, before taxes, for electricity — though the national range is wide, from $68.75 in Montreal to $161 in Charlottetown. Between now and 2020, however, more than 100 new power plants are slated to be built and thousands of kilometres of new transmission lines to be erected across Canada. The costs will be borne by consumers, and the average household electricity bill will rise to more than $150. (Since 2000, by comparison, electricity rates have only nudged up 12 per cent after adjusting for inflation.) Customers in Ontario are already feeling the pinch. The government of Ontario declared last fall that the province’s rates will rise 46 per cent by 2015.

Regardless of fuel type, the new plants being built, plus the copperand aluminum-heavy transmission lines to reach them, will cost a lot more, for which ratepayers are footing the bill. A 2009 MIT study found new nuclear plants cost twice as much to build as they did only eight years ago. Coal-fired plants, once a cheap source of energy based on an abundant fuel, cost far more because of emissions restrictions. Altogether, it seems to mean inexorable price hikes for a commodity that’s already 30 per cent more expensive than in 1990, after adjusting for inflation. Homeowners in Ontario can save on their electricity bills by participating in renewable energy programs such as Net-Metering and Feed-In Tariff programs. Ontario government introduced Net-Metering regulation in 2005 which allows Ontario homeowners to send electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar energy to the province’s grid for a credit towards their hydro costs. In 2009 the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) has created the Feedin Tariff (FIT) program under Ontario’s Green Energy Act, which allows a homeowner to sell the electricity produced from renewable sources back to the grid at attractive rates ranging from $0.549 per kw to $0.347 per kw depending on the type and size of a solar PV system. We will discuss these two exclusive solar energy programs in more details in the upcoming issues of All About Home magazine with the help from our solar energy experts – Logitest Solar Team. Source: CBC News

Cheap power a thing of the past Canada’s electricity prices have historically been low — among the cheapest in the 34-member OECD (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development )— because the majority of the country’s power comes from hydroelectric plants that were built and paid off years ago. But those power plants are aging and no longer able to meet the country’s needs, with the National Energy Board predicting power consumption will rise 23 per cent by 2020.

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Small indents on the surface of drywall can be easily repaired. There are two ways to do it.

REPAIRING

DRYWALL Method 1

Method 2

to 6 cm of the cardboard facing intact.

Install additional screws next to the damaged spot. Then remove the old screws from the damaged part and use a utility knife to cut out all the loose and damaged parts of the drywall.

In cases when the damaged part is too big to be repaired with the above method, cut out a cardboard stencil of a square or triangle shape and the size a bit larger than the spot you need to fix. Apply the stencil to the drywall and outline in pencil. Use a utility knife to cut out a piece of drywall inside the outline.

Using a 19-to-12-cm patty knife spread a thin layer of patty around the opening on the drywall surface, inside the opening, and along the edges of the patch. Insert the patch into the opening and press the projecting cardboard facing into the patty spread around the edges of the opening.

Find an unused sheet of drywall and cut out a patch 4 to 6 centimetres larger than the stencil. Apply the same stencil to the back of the resulting piece and make an outline using a pencil. With the same knife, make an incision all along the outline deep enough to allow breaking the unwanted edges off but keeping the 4

After making sure that the patch is even with the surface of the rest of your drywall, even the patty out with a 15-to-25-cm-wide patty knife and leave for 24 hours to dry after which sand and rub with a wet sponge to remove any stains left by the filler. Apply the second layer of patty and repeat.

Using a 15-cm patty knife spread a thin layer of patty or plaster on the part you need to repair and then even out the surface. Leave for 24 hours to dry after which sand and rub with a wet sponge to remove any stains left by the filler.

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A STYLISH AND CREATIVE… REFRIGERATOR

Today’s refrigerators are light-years ahead of their counterparts of the past. The features they may contain are unbelievable; they include electronic calendars, calorie tables, TV sets, and even the Internet. And this is not the final stage at their evolution. Since the familiar fridge stopped being just a mere appliance, it is expected to possess not just superior technical characteristics but advanced design as well. The mammoth sizes of today’s refrigerators lead to quite unexpected solutions. Up to just recently, our refrigerators had very few decorative elements if we do not count a fancy handle, the manufacturer’s logo, a few magnets, and a crayon masterpiece your child made in Grade 2. No wonder – white or grey are the best colours to match no matter what your interior colour scheme is. Nevertheless, many sophisticated consumers of today are not happy with such monotony. Even though

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manufacturers produced the first colour fridges in small batches and painted them by the means of car enamels, the advanced technologies of today allow for much more creativity. A fridge in black and beige, in gray or metallic yellow is not an unusual thing in appliances showrooms. But spend some more time, and you will find a blue or red model, wood imitation, or subtle pattern. The neon-coloured models are the thing of the 1990s; today, designers let their imagination fly wild. On their refrigerators, they depict skyscrapers and airplanes, monuments and sculptures, seascapes and landscapes, etc. The doors are painted in Delft and Wedgewood colours and patterns or decorated with high-quality copies of famous artworks. It is possible to order a personalized refrigerator door depicting a family photograph or your own drawing, although this will be more expensive than choosing a picture from a catalogue. You can go as far as ordering a fridge looking like a phone booth or a well-guarded object with a wrapped-around chain – great idea for those on a diet! For more modest taste and budget, there are refrigerators faced with textured steel

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imitating wood, fabric, or leather or even less expensive way of covering the door and walls with film imitating stainless steel or wood. The latter option is very popular. Consumers who like frequent changes can order a fridge with removable decorative panels that slide into special slots. Some upscale models come not only in unusual colours and patterns but unusual shapes as well, like a penguin, a puppy, or a polar bear. Of course, such a unique model will be very, very, very expensive. It is thought that colours can affect our appetite; for example, the yellows, reds, and beige awaken it, while greens, grays, and blacks have quite the opposite effect. Do not place too much weight on these theories – your appetite is much more affected with the contents of your fridge than with its colour. If you are thinking of having a fridge of an unusual colour or shape – go ahead but only because you like the idea! Have accessories that will either match or contrast the colour of your fridge and make sure all this fits the style of your kitchen, your taste, and your family’s lifestyle.

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Jacob Grinberg This photography ART will adorn your home or office www.jgphotographs.com

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DECORATING IN GOLD There used to be times when affluent people preferred palace-style interiors every square centimetre. Gold matches any style of decor, be it classic or modern, but most of all, eclectic. The modern trend called “golden decor” means not gilding everything in sight but exclusively in the details. This precious metal has time-honoured value; and true luxury comes from exquisite taste, balance, and moderation.

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Gilded Furniture Classic use of gilding on the surfaces of wood furniture is still valid even though a darker and quieter shine that can be conditionally named “old gold” has replaced the bright yellow one. This tone may be either shiny or dull. Small distressed spots on the surface of gilded furniture, be it a modern or antique piece, are the signs of the fashionable Shabby Chic style. Picture Frames If the decor is almost complete and only lacking some details, add paintings, posters, of photographs in gold-colour frames. You can even hang frames without any

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contents. Prints and black-and-white photos look their best when framed in gold, especially on a solid black wall. Gilded Mirror Frames Gold and mirror have their own unique ability to reflect their surroundings. Their combination is classic, so try to experiment with it – for example, enclose a mirror in a gold frame and hang over a mirrored-surface vanity or place a gilded mirror in the shape of the sun over the fireplace. Gold Chandelier Gilded chandeliers hung in luxurious rooms of old used to be huge. They are not as

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elaborate now but they come in very interesting shapes and forms. For example, a chandelier made of golden glass beads strung over dozens of gold threads or a minimalistic shade painted gold on the inside so that the colours and lights are interestingly refracted. Trendy Combination of Gold and Other Colours

An unusual combination of gold with turquoise is plainly perfect Gold is very good for the monochrome decor by softening the contrast between black and white and attracting attention.

The gold and gray combination is one of the trendiest because gray always creates an uneven space against which a few gold elements look very elegant no matter whether we are talking a classic floor lamp, the base of a table lamp, or a heavy mirror frame.

Some modern artists work with gold-colour canvasses and paints.

The magic phrase “chocolate-and-gold” is associated with comfort and warmth. This combination is suitable for a private room – the den or the bedroom. Gold reflects various shades of chocolate, either black or milk, adding spots of light.

Use fabrics of golden-brown, light yellow, and ochre tones with light metallic sheen or add golden tone accessories, like cushions, curtains, bed linens, coverlet, and furniture upholstery.

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Gold as an Objec-d-art

Gold Textiles

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Casual elegance

munication and pleasant mood. Unlike our grandparents used to do we do not tend to hoard. When we need something, we just go out and buy the thing we need, be it a newly made item or an old one. Not many prefer heavy furniture sets now – most people buy pieces separately, and this does create a foundation for the casual style.

Try to generate casual ambience in your living room by placing a vintage coffee table over an animal skin or ethnic rugs, display an old basket, and see how perfect this combination is! This is your casual decor that was created within a very short time. You can use this principle to decorate any place in your home. When we are talking casual interior decoration style, we think of comfort, freedom of choice, and coziness. To decorate your room in this style, use soft natural fabrics. Other characteristics of the style are straight lines, minimal glitter, predominance of pastel shades, and eclectic mix of details - for instance, wrought iron combined with old-time flee market finds, handmade items and vintage objects, ceramic and glass accessories, and so on. What is the most important are taste and balance, common sense and modesty. This doesn’t diminish the esthetic value of the decor and, on the contrary, very often creates a stronger effect. Unique Decor Every customer who wants modern decor expects the designer to add a unique dimension to their homes. Nevertheless, uniqueness needs to be balanced because your home is the place where you spend most of your free time and receive friends and family. You want your surroundings to be conductive of friendly com-

Lighting for casual interiors is unassuming. Spot lights in wood or brass holders add additional volume to the space. Romantic Bedroom The bed has always been the queen of the bedroom, so keep it the central point of your decor. For your casual look choose an oak shaker bed or, if you prefer, a wrought iron bed with whimsical curly details. Hang draped and flounced fabrics over the bed. Light curtains hung on decorated rods create special atmosphere. Add candles in candleholders, photo frames and any other element that will make the room feel cozy. Try to use old trunks or suitcases to keep your possessions. Practical Advice If you are not sure of your own ability to create casual yet harmonious decor hire a professional designer.

ORIT’S DRAPERIES & MORE Exclusive curtains and draperies Decorative covers and pillows Bed sheets and much more Old drapery renewal Large selection of draperies, fabrics and accessories from Europe Interior and fashion designer with 20 years of experience in Israel, Canada and America

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Photographer/Photojournalist. www.mikeivaninphotography.blogspot.com

Michael Ivanin 647 403 8941

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CUSTOM HOMES Is it right for you? If you are in the market for a new home, you may want to explore the option of designing and building your own “custom” home. In this article, I will provide you with a brief breakdown of what is involved. IS IT RIGHT FOR YOU? The process of designing and building a custom home is quite different from what around 95% of homebuyers will ever experience. That’s because most homes are built by large scale developers who typically purchase a large property and build anywhere between 20 and several hundred homes in a typical development. Most developers will offer purchasers a “line up” of home models to choose from (typically 4-10 designs) and each model will feature an appropriate set of features that cater to most buyer’s needs. Luckily, there are no shortage of residential developers in North America, so you will find that different developers cater to different demographics of purchasers. So even if your tastes are discerning, you can find a developer that builds homes that have a starting purchase price in the several millions of dollars, with a variety of designs. Building a custom home on the other hand is all about YOUR particular dream or vision. You will work closely with a builder who will capture your vision and translate that vision into reality. This means that you can decide WHERE the home will be built and WHAT it will look like, down to the most minute detail. WHAT STEPS ARE INVOLVED The typical first step is to choose a location. Herein, you have two options: You can either find and purchase the property yourself (sometimes there will be an existing home on the property), or you can work with a builder who already owns the property and is willing to custom design and

build the house for you. Choosing a location first is important because zoning and By-law regulations can hinder the scope of design (you don’t want to change the design to “fit” the property). The second step is to design the home and this is done either with an Architect/ Designer or the builder themselves. Nearly all custom home builders can assist with the design. The design is very important, so ensure that you are working with a builder that you feel comfortable can capture your vision. There are a lot of details that need to be covered, from structural, mechanical components to fit and finish options. The final step, once the design is finalized and all of the regulatory considerations have been taken care of (this can take anywhere from 3 months to 1.5 years on average) is to build. Building a custom home will typically take anywhere between 9 months to 1.5 years. So all in all, be prepared to wait 1 – 3 years before you can move in, with an average turnaround from beginning the process of 12 – 16 months.

WHERE DO I FIND A BUILDER If you think that building a custom home is right for you, I strongly suggest working with a professional and reputable builder. Building a custom home is not cheap, and with those kinds of dollar figures flying around, you want to make sure that your hard earned money is in the right hands. Start with the Greater Toronto Home Builder’s Association (BILD), where you can find a long list of reputable custom builders. Take the time and get to know the company and what they can offer you, as they are not all the same. You want to be able to have a good, strong relationship with the builder and ensure that their firm can truly grasp and understand your vision. The best of luck!

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? The first thing to acknowledge about a custom home is that it will cost MORE than the average production home from a construction cost perspective, even if all of the materials are exactly the same. That’s because you do not benefit from the economy of scale that production homes offer. With that being said, many home owners are able to turn a considerable profit in the market come time to sell, IF they have designed with cost considerations in mind. Average cost of construction for custom homes in Toronto will be around $250 $350 sq/ft. So a 4000 sq/ft custom home, will typically cost $1,000,000 - $1,400,000 to build. Bear in mind, the very nature of the word “custom” betrays the fact that you can also build at $150 sq/ft (typically the very bottom end of the spectrum), all the way up to above $1000 sq/ft, for the very detailed, finely crafted “upper end”.

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Peter Khatami - Peter is Senior Project Manager and Co-Owner of Nostco Construction, a Design/Build company serving residential and commercial clients throughout the GTA. Peter prides himself in working tirelessly on his clients’ behalf to bring vision to construction reality.

www.NOSTCO.com January 2013

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Get Cozy Not Cluttered in Your Home in the New Year!

November issue 2012). According to psychologist Randy Frost of Smith College, some people are born “hoarders” and are genetically predisposed to live the life of a packrat. In his book “Field Guide to Pack Rats: Closet Cases”, he explains the psychology behind hoarding.

The holiday season is all about music and ornaments, glitter, snowflakes and candle lights, presents and laughter.... all our favourite things!... and when the time comes to put all decorations, china and linens away until next year, it is a great opportunity to purge your home of some extra “stuff” so you can enjoy a fresh, clean and clutterfree year ahead! You will not be alone at your task. There are quite a few interesting traditions observed around the world before New Year’s. The 28th day of the 12th month in the Chinese lunar calendar is known as the “Dirt Cleaning Day”; in Japan it is called Oosouji. On this day, people give their homes a thorough cleaning, sweeping away the dirt, and the bad luck of the previous year with it. So, how do we create a cozy space without making it feel cluttered? Do those magazines, books or kids’ “art” piled around your living room give you a cozy feeling and make your home more inviting or does it feel more like an untidy mess collecting dust? Do you feel relaxed or anxious? Or maybe it helps to fill an emotional void in your life? Whatever it is, the goal is to purge, to separate, to donate and to recycle - Just Let It Go! And by the way, you don’t have to go to extremes, making your place look like a sterile hospital ward or furniture showroom! Whether your home is a large house or a tiny bachelor pad, you can create a comfortable and inviting space by using it more efficiently and applying the basic principles of design: form, light, color, texture, balance, scale, and proportion (“All About Home”

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Here are some tips ON OVERCOMING these tendEncies: Give yourself permission to get rid of things that clutter your home and mind. As Martha Stewart would say: ”It’s a good thing!” Don’t go through your home all at once and throw everything out; start with one space at a time – closet, desk, entrance hall. Personal memories like the kids’ artwork, greeting cards, vacation postcards, etc.- choose a few that are special to your heart, frame them and recycle the rest. If donating is not your thing, consider consignment. You’re not only getting rid of clutter, but even getting paid for it. Try to “actively” indulge in a hobby of your choice before spending more on the subject, i.e. cookbooks or books about gardening – these are called “aspirational clutter”. Get yourself a “timeout box.” If in doubt, place an item in the box and keep it for 3-6 months (depending on the item), and if during this time you have not used it, it’s time to let it go.

Create storage space for seasonal things apart from items for everyday use. Choose furniture that does double duty. Make a new rule “One In, One Out” - if you buy a new t-shirt, make sure an old one is out (or maybe even two!) Be creative and have fun doing it! ”Keeping things “just in case” indicates a lack of trust in the future. You create your own reality by the thoughts you have, so if you worry that you will need something after you have thrown it away, then, sure enough, very soon afterwards, your subconscious mind will create a situation where you need that very thing, however obscure it may be. ....or you save absolutely everything “just in case” someone else needs it. Now you are saving things on behalf of people you may not even know yet and the situations that will probably never happen... Letting go of clutter leaves you free to be you, which is the greatest gift you can ever give yourself.” Karen Kingston, writer.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.” William Morris, writer and designer.

Make this your new tradition! Marina Orlova ARIDO/IDC

Avoid the tendency to keep things”just in case” or “for now”; trust yourself more and make a decision on the spot. Hire a professional to help you. Invest in a good storage/closet system (it can be movable.)

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FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY January 2013

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SOPHISTICATED KITCHEN INTERIORS used to face buildings and boardwalks, as well as sculpture material. It is easy to polish and it keeps its luster for a long time. It is resistant to friction and pressure. The hardest granite is mined in Northern Europe, Africa, and Brazil.

Natural stone has become ever popular in today’s interior design. New technologies of stone treatment made this material less expensive and as such more affordable for an average homeowner. Most people prefer marble and granite as their decorative option. Natural stones are worthy of admiration because of their texture and colours. One of such stones is granite. The word granite comes from the Italian word “granite” meaning “granular” – because this stone contains granules of volcanic rock in various colours and sizes. This hard stone con-

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sisting of quartz, mica, and feldspar looks great in the kitchen. Granite counters add additional style and chic even to the most sophisticated interiors abd are extremely durable – a dream for the chef of the family. Granite comes in a wide variety of colours to facilitate your choice. Mother Nature made this stone in black, great, red, and even pink but its main feature is the specs of various tones that a lot individuality to the decor. Granit has high durability against exterior influences and is so hard that it is widely

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Despite its extremely practical qualities, granite requires correct care, especially in such high-traffic areas as the kitchen. The kitchen provides an aggressive environment for granite. Watch out for acids, like wine or lemon juice, coffee, oils and fats, and eliminated them from the granite surface as soon as possible. Even water may damage the luster of granite if left there for a few days. Avoid knocking on the stone, using it as a cutting board or a trivet for hot dishes, and do not apply metallic sponges to clean it. There is a wide choice of store-bought chemicals for everyday care, prevention, and polishing. Use them to keep your sophisticated kitchen in the best shape possible.

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Bachelor Pad Downtown This beautiful spacious suite was designed for a very lucky young bachelor. He wanted inviting, masculine, modern, neutral with a punch... and that was what he got. A big dark accent wallpaper feature really ties the wall into ONE unit by combining fireplace and furniture together... the dark colours and soft grays and creams are punched with a beautiful teal blue picked up from the original abstract artwork that is also carried through in the accessories of the rustic urban dining room setting. This pad just raised the bar for a lot of bachelors out there!!!

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* 416-573-5378 * chorber@gmail.com

ROYAL I N TERIORS Elegant & A ordable designs that suit your lifestyle January 2013

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Glass doors

Interior doors are an important element of interior design, and the most interesting and attractive of them are glass and glazed doors.

Glass doors make ideal interior doors. Glass that is used in doors is tough and durable and therefore doesn’t break or crack easily. Glass is resistant to mould and mildew and helps create a clean and hygienic environment within the interiors of a home. Glass interior doors are easy to clean and maintain. Another advantage of glass interior doors is that they allow a lot of natural light to come through, giving you a greater feeling of space. It is especially important for small homes that are made visually more spacious with the use of glass doors. Glass doors come in many different styles and designs. Glass can be clear, frosted, obscure, patterned, or textured, and coloured. The designs of glass interior doors can be simple, classic, modern, rustic, playful or elaborate, depending on one’s taste and interior décor style. One can choose the finishing touch and style of the interior doors to create the look that one desires to achieve. Glass interior doors give an additional dimension to any decor. Glass itself looks elegant and expressive in home decor. Patterned and textured glass is one comparatively inexpensive way to achieve a luxurious and unique look for the room. This kind of decoration is accomplished by applying the design on the back of the glass. Real stained glass is more expensive because it is a piecework done by a real artist. A door composed from various wood elements with glass inserts also of various types will make your decor totally unique.

Aculo doorS тел.: 416-877-0449, 905-910-1124 31 Ritin Lane, Unit 2, Concord www.aculo.ca

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MAKE SOMEONE happy In the case of the Cat Tunnel Sofa the someone you may make happy will be your cat as well as yourself.

preciate the main feature of the sofa which is a long pipe integrated into the experimental piece as a tunnel. This double-function tunnel acts a support and armrest for the human and a hole for the domestic pet.

Korean designer Seungji Mun is the author of the extremely cute ottoman Rabbit Chair that comes in the form of a fluffy bunny rabbit and is a favourite with romantic and affectionate women from 5 to 55 years of age. Not a long time ago, the designer created a more substantial piece of furniture – a sofa that may be promoted to the same target group as cat food. The piece named Cat Tunnel Sofa will please both the owner and his cat (or should we rather say, the owner and his human?) regardless of the latter’s (or the former’s, as the case may be) age and gender, breed and colouring, pedigree or the absence of such, awards or any other honours and titles. The only

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Even if your cat is a bit on the heavy side, don’t worry: the tunnel is wide enough to make it easy for its inhabitant to get in or out. Besides, the Cat Tunnel Sofa may please not only a cat but a small dog as well – many Maltese dogs and Chihuahuas are in the same weight and size category as fat and self-important cats.

qualities a cat needs to fall in love with this unusual couch is playful nature and curiosity – otherwise it will not be able to ap-

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Therefore, now you have a chance to spend a quiet family evening together with your favourite pet with the human being above and the pet, below and out of site but giving away its presence by rustling, huffing and puffing, scratching, and other happy sounds of domestic bliss.

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A BOX WITH A SECRET

A jewel case is a small box for keeping small but often valuable items and jewelleries. Nevertheless, they have not always served in this customary role. These boxes are often shrouded in legends and mysteries – for example, devious Cleopatra used to keep in her boxes not only gems but her daggers and poisons, too. Jewel cases go back for many centuries. Egypt was one of the first countries to have cases, and women who had them took pride in their possession. Two thousand years ago craftsmen in Japan and china would create wooden boxes of vari-

ous shapes and sizes and decorate them with wood resin. In their battle of skills they came up with ever-novel methods of decoration, including wood carving, fabric and leather inserts, and use of bone and gems for adorning their creations. There have not been many changes in the concept of case manufacturing but there have been improvements in technological methods, materials, and machinery. Before the era of the industrial revolution, boxes were custom-made and rather expensive. Therefore, they were manufactured for rich and famous and used mostly for keeping jewelleries and other valuables. Often, a made to order boxes with silk lining and decorated with gems would cost more than the jewelleries it contained. An ancient box made of wood, onyx, or marble, ivory or ebony, was often supplied with a secret mechanism that would prevent theft

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and revealing one’s possessions to strangers. They may also contain a false bottom or two, secret compartments, or complicated locks. Music boxes were born with the invention in Switzerland of the carillon – the musical mechanism inserted in a case. Since the Swiss are the unsurpassed masters of clockwork it is no wonder that they have come up with unique boxes with automatic winding that would play a pleasant tune when opened. When hunting for a music box, open the one you intend to buy and listen to the tune at least five times in a row. If it does not stop pleasing your ear, you will sure love the box. Buying a box as a gift prefer simple and straightforward ones for younger people and something more complicated and interesting for mature recipients. A box with a secret will always make a beautiful and desirable gift.

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FREE Special Report From Alexey Alekseev Reveals

29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast (And For Top Dollar) The homeseller realized he was trapped. There was absolutely nothing he could do. Without the benefit of adequate preparation and thorough homework, the price he had negotiated for his home sale was lower than he should have received—thousands of dollars lower. In all the years REALTOR® Alexey Alekseev has been helping area residents with their home sales,

how vital a role the information and preparation he provides his clients really is. Information is the seller’s best friend and most important ally. That’s why Alexey decided to put together a special report to help prospective home sellers. This special report, entitled “29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast—And For Top Dollar,” is provided free, as a community service.

What You Will Learn

he’s run into a surprising number of sellers in similar predicaments. But to Alexey’s concern, when it comes to unfortunate sellers like the one above,

Alexey’s special report, “29 Essential Tips That Get Homes Sold Fast—And

he can’t help after the fact—then it’s too late.

you put your home on the market. It’ll give you information that will help ensure you are the most prepared

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For Top Dollar,” provides 29 important things you should understand before

seller you can be—both mentally and emotionally.

Call 24 hours a day and order your FREE special report!

647/693-7733 Simply dial ext. 100 for recorded message and info on how to order. It’s that easy.

What To Do—And Not To Do In this special report Alexey shares many of the tips that professionals utilize to help maximize a home’s potential and actual worth—and most importantly help you drive up the selling price of your home. You’ll learn many important things you need to do, but more critical may be the things it tells you not to do—things that could cost you dearly at the negotiating table. You’ll find out how your emotional state has everything to do with how well your home sale turns out. This report is essential reading for any serious home seller.

Get Your Special Report Before you sell your home, call Alexey Alekseev for your free special report and read it carefully. You’ll be glad you did.

Homelife\Cimerman Real Estate Ltd., Brokerage* 28 Drewry ave• Toronto, ON M2M 1C8 *independently owned & operated


All About Home January