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The poster has become an integral part in beautifying space that surrounds us. Walking city streets, rushing to our destinations, we always notice the printed matter attached to building walls and bulletin boards or jumping at us from the advertising panels. We are so used to the look of posters that rarely realize that, besides their informative value, they also have the esthetic one. We may – but not interior designers who often use such seemingly uncomplicated accessories as posters to add bright finishing touches to spaces.

onto a flat surface. From that point on, it was developing rapidly and, by the beginning of the 20th century, acquired its characteristic features translated into a bright spot in the centre that represented the depicted object. New technologies made it possible to transfer photographs onto the poster thus

Children’s posters are extremely popular due to the fairytale characters depicted in them. Any child is happy to see his favourite characters on the wall of their room. Vinyl posters are vivid and colourful and, most important of all, washable, which makes them an excellent accessory for any child’s room.

Posters have always been the least expensive but a very effective tool to colour your world according to your own taste.

The art of the poster was born when humans learned how to transfer an image


In time, the poster became also a work of art because, in their creation, an artist often adheres to a certain style of visual arts.

Framed posters have become a necessary object in the room of a modern and stylish person because it helps add individuality to the room. Young people have started using posters for decorating before their older counterparts realized their ornamental value. A poster depicting your friend’s favourite actor, musician or a rock group can become a valued and memorable gift.

Quality posters as an interior element have been gaining popularity among teenagers as well as adults and children because they offer a simple but effective way of changing the look of a room, office, apartment, or even the whole house. The poster as we know it today has come a long way since its humble beginnings.


increasing the industry capabilities. Soon, the advertising poster was born.


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December 2013



You can find granite countertops in many upscale houses. They are the most expensive countertops on the market. Nevertheless, even their high cost does not guarantee flawlessness. Besides, there are certain granite hybrids that may fool even a professional. One of the main disadvantages of granite is its susceptibility to cracking that may happen due to external circumstances – for

example if your new house has sagged. It may also crack if your countertop has not been properly supported or if it has been installed in such a way that its width exceeds the parameter recommended by the manufacturer. Another fact that cannot be ignored is that granite is a porous stone and as such requires a periodic application of a sealer to prevent permanent damage caused by oily and acidic substances. Apart from the high price per a linear foot of granite, it is also costly in terms of finishing; this stone is difficult to work with, therefore it can be handled only by experts. The advantage of this stone is the relative ease of fixing small damage or cracks unlike laminated countertops that are not subject to repairs. Even more serious damage can be fixed by an experienced specialist.

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But if you really like the look of granite and you think it worthy of an extra expense, make sure that your countertops have been installed correctly. After all, you are paying for something that will serve you for many years! In the next issue of our magazine you will learn about the proper maintenance of granite and marble.

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Asking $739,000

Beautiful “Beethoven” Model Home, surrounded by million dollar homes! 4 bdrms, 4 wshrs. About 2300 sq.ft. Elegant designer kitchen w/granite counter, custom backsplash, S/S appliances. 9’ceilings. Hardwood floors. Potlights, upgraded staircase w/iron railings. Family room w/ fireplace. Large master with W/I closet & 5-pcs ensuite. 2-car garage. Close to school, park, transit.


Asking $941,000

Gorgeous 1- year-old home in high demand prime location! 4+1 bdrms, 5 wshrs (approx. 3000 sq. Ft.) Amazing floor plan. 9-ft ceilings, hardwood. All bedrooms with w/i closets and exit to bathrooms. Large upgraded kitchen w/granite countertop, central island, S/S appliances. Potlights, crown mouldings. Finished basement w/rec. room, sauna, theatre, wet bar. Close to school, plazas, HWYs.




Prestigious Thornhill City Centre building w/unobstructed view of 5-acre park! Gorgeous 1 bdrm+den, 2 wshrs. About 800 sq.ft. Open balcony. Modern kitchen w/granite counters & breakfast bar. Master bedroom has W/I closet and 3-pcs bath. Spacious den can be used as 2-nd bdrm. Laminate floors in all rooms. Superb facilities: swimming pool, sauna, gym, 24-hr concierge service. Steps to plazas, parks, transit.


Great location in heart of Richmond Hill. New bright and spacious townhome, about 2200 sq.ft. 3 bdrms, 3 wshrs. Upgraded maple kitchen w/granite countertop and S/S appliances. Breakfast area with w/out to deck. Large master bdrm with 5-pc ensuite & w/in closet. Large great room has fireplace. Hardwood floor on main. Oak staircase. Walking distance to Yonge St, public transit, parks.


Asking $610,000

Newly built beautiful bright house, about 2300 sq.ft. 4 bdrms, 4 wshrs. Open concept layout. High ceilings. Custom kitchen with built-in S/S appliances, gas cooktop. Oak staircase with metal pickets. Dark hardwood on main. Large family room w/fireplace. Upgraded bathrooms. 2-car garage. 4 security cameras included. Close to school, park, transit.

Asking $$759,000

Asking $999,900

December 2013

Stunning builder’s model home! About 3500 sq.ft. 4+3 bdrms, 5 wshrs. Marble floors on main, 18-ft ceiling, gas fireplace and hardwood in family room. Crown mouldings, potlights. Modern kitchen w/granite countertop, centre island, breakfast bar, S/S builtin appliances. Huge master w/5-pc ensuite & W/I closet. Oak stairs w/iron pickets. 3-bdrm basement apartment w/separate entrance. Close to parks, schools, transit, restaurants.



The Smallest House Such is the name of the smallest apartment located in Rome, Italy. It is only seven square metres. This extremely compact dwelling was designed by the Italian architect Marco Pierazzi for his own use. First, he renovated the building constructed in the 18th century, than he added modern elements without destroying the original structure. Even though Pierazzi has since then moved his family to a larger residence, he decided to keep the tiny dwelling for his friends who come to Rome for a visit. The flat includes a kitchen equipped with a modern cooktop, sink and cabinets, and a dining table that can sit up to four people and, when not needed, can be folded and stored flat to the wall. The exposed old bricks left over from the ancient building create a cozy atmosphere of a small European cafe. A narrow staircase leads upstairs to the combined bedroom/living room, and has a trap door that can be closed as prevention against the danger of slipping and tumbling down the stairs. The room on the second level is fitted with a bed that can be folded into a sofa for watching TV. Its ancient beams and bricks are dramatically offset by modern furniture and decorative elements. The tiny bathroom offers enough space for taking a shower and other morning ablutions. Compared to this charming dwelling any modern small apartment feels like a spacious palace.




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December 2013



Who says beds and chests can come only in the shape of a rectangle? Today’s furniture, being extremely functional, also comes in the most unusual shapes. The Sofa Softies The more functions a sofa has, the better. Just a couple of motions will turn a modestsize sofa into a spacious and comfortable sleeping place. If the sections are equipped with wheels, they can be joined, detached and even moved to another room. The ends can be extended by a coffee table or an ottoman from the same set. Among the cushions you may find a concealed bar, and the backrest can be a base for a light fixture.

Up in Arms Functional furniture turns an armchair into an easy feat – just stretch white fabric over a metal frame, throw a large cushion on top – and a modern and handsome seating piece is ready. Such a chair, when devoid of armrests, is a trendy piece of furniture and,



in many cases, can even convert into a daybed.

Animal House The fashion for wall-to-wall carpeting has become the thing of the past. Even throw rugs are now considered outdated. The “thing” today is throwing natural or fake printed animal skins on the floor.

Well Rounded Gone are huge metal frames and carved wooden headboards. The traditional bed has been replaced by various unusual pieces, like a huge leather ottoman 1.5 metres wide and two metres long. It can also be a futon or a sleeper consisting of several soft cushions. The coziest of the bedroom furniture trends is a huge round bed.


The Colour Wheel The top of the list of the popular colours for the season belongs to Scandinavian blue. Powder blue or navy blue combined with white is also a top trend, as well as any combination comprising of brown tones. Exotic red is very popular for the winter season, recalling the atmosphere of the Orient and the gay 1950s. This colour is not for the larger pieces though but rather should be used in smaller components like stools, shelves, and lighting fixtures. Green is trendy in combination with white and brown while all tones of yellow are played against black. Nevertheless, the most classic and always in fashion is furniture in black and white – especially in Italy-inspired room designs.

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MARKHAM DOWNTOWN! Luxurious, bright & spacious 1-bdr, 1-wshr unit with beautiful terrace, in great location! Open concept layout, full of light! High ceilings, upgraded hardwood floors. Nice upgraded kitchen with high cabinets & modern glass inserts. Granite countertop, breakfast bar, S/S appliances. Locker & parking included. Excellent building with great facilities: gym, sauna, party/ meeting room, guest suites, virtual golf studio, lounge, 24 hrs security & much more... Close to everything! ALSO AVAILABLE FOR RENT $1380/month


Large & bright, substantially renovated 3-bdr, 2-wshr ground floor suite with large & private patio, located in the heart of Old Thornhill. Beautiful & modern open concept. New hardwood floors. Completely upgraded kitchen with granite countertop, undermount sink & S/S appliances. Large breakfast area overlooks beautiful terrace. Renovated baths with new vanities & faucets. Master bdrm has his/her closets & renovated 3-pc ensuite with separate glass door shower. All closets with mirrored doors. Locker & parking included. Low maintenance fee includes all utilities, even cable TV. Incredibly low property tax.



RAVINE LOT!!! Beautiful 3-bdr, 3-wshr, 2687 SqFt home with 2-car garage, backing to forested conservation area. Excellent floor plan. Hardwood floors. High ceilings. CUSTOM kitchen with granite counter & S/S appliances with walkout to patio. Large family room with 3-sided gas fireplace & potlights. 2nd floor laundry. Very deep lot!

Asking $749,000

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


Bright & cozy 3-bdr, 3-wshr townhouse in great neighborhood. Nicely renovated. New laminated floors everywhere. Nice updated kitchen cabinets. All appliances practically new. Large master bdrm. Finished W/O basement with laminated floors & 2-pc wshr. Main floor deck & b/yard deck. Direct access to garage (garage door opener & remotes). Nicely landscaped. Close to good schools, daycare, parks, shopping.


New 3-bdr townhouse in the heart of Richmond Hill. Bright, open concept with modern layout. Hardwood floors, high ceilings. Upgraded maple kitchen, granite countertop, backsplash, S/S appliances. Oak wood staircase. Finished basement. Have to see to appreciate!

Asking $610,000


Bright & spacious 4-bdr, 3-wshr, around 3300 SqFt home with excellent floor plan. 50 x124 professionally landscaped lot with interlocked walkway. Cathedral ceiling entry hallway. Family room with gas fireplace & office on main level. Wood floors, crown mouldings. Excellent area with great schools, community centre, park. Just minutes to Yonge/Bathurst.

Asking $798,000


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


Absolutely stunning, the biggest 2+1-bdr, 2-wshr unit in the building. About 1300 SqFt. South facing view. Professionally renovated and custom finished top to bottom! Nothing to do but move-in and enjoy! Bright & spacious. Laminated floors throughout. Eat-in kitchen. Parking & locker. Pool, hot tub, gym, tennis, squash & more. Close to GO train, parks & schools.

Asking $294,000

Asking $1700/ month

Asking $289,900

Asking $269,900

Prime location! Well-known Primrose complex! Gorgeous 2-bdr, 2-wshr unit completely renovated in style with lots of stunning extras. Quality craftsmanship throughout, carpet free, flat ceilings. Large custom kitchen with limestone floors, granite countertop, glass b/splash, double undermount sink & top of the line S/S appliances. Numerous potlights, stone accent wall with art niche. Master bdrm with ensuite. Large 2nd bdrm with study area. One bus to Finch Subway, York University. Close to parks, good schools, etc.




FULLY RENOVATED 3+1-bdr, 4-wshr detached. Double door entry. New hardwood floors throughout. New kitchen with granite countertop, b/splash. Family room with gas fireplace. APARTMENT IN COMPLETELY FINISHED WALK-OUT BASEMENT (additional income). High demand area!

Stunning, fully upgraded CORNER 3-bdr, 4-wshr townhome. About 2000 SqFt. Very functional floor plan. $$ spent on upgrades. Smooth 9’ ceilings, hardwood floors. Family room with bay window & gas fireplace. Granite floors in foyer & kitchen. S/S appliances. Direct access to 2-car garage. Professionally finished basement. Steps to Yonge St.

Asking $639,900

Asking $649,800



Designer show piece! Newer luxury custom built 4-bdr, 5-wshr on cul-de-suc, park like setting. 4,000 SqFt of living space, including finished W/O basement. 10 Ft ceilings. Oak hardwood floors throughout. Gourmet kitchen with central island, marble countertops, S/S fridge & gas stove. Office & family room with gas fireplace on main level. Stunning master bdrm with heated marble floors & Jacuzzi. Steam room in bsmt. Much more...

Location!!! Stunning, luxurious CUSTOM 5+2bdrm, 5-wshr in prestigious Thornhill, 4600 SqFt. Plus large finished bsmt with 2 bdrms, bath & kitchen. Stunning open concept with stained windows throughout. Family room & library on main level. Hardwood floors on both levels. Huge master. Large kitchen with granite & b/i appliances. Magnificent & impressive house from top to bottom!

December 2013



Curtains are probably the most visible part of textile decorating. This means that the matter of choosing the right window treatment is not supposed to be taken lightly. Base your selection on the general style of your decor. Before starting shopping for curtains define the decorating style prevalent in your room. Take into consideration the colour scheme and the function you expect from your curtains – purely esthetic or practical. Should they guard the premises against too much sunlight, emphasize some special features of the room or hide some imperfections? After the issue with the window treatment design has been solved, the next question is whether the drapes need to be made to order or you will be better off buying a readymade product. Remember that, should you stop your choice on the readymade version you have to be prepared for the difficulty finding the exact design you have in mind. It is very important to make sure that the style you found in the store complies with your dimensions. Readymade curtains are popular because of their relatively low price in comparison with the individually made ones. Another advantage is their ready availability while filling your individual order takes a considerable amount of time. Having bought and installed readymade curtains you can see the immediate result of the decorating job, asses its quality, etc. It also gives you a chance to “try them on” and return them to the store if something is not to your liking. It is very important because readymade curtains may look different in the showroom lighting from the lighting at your home. As mentioned before, obtaining your madeto-order curtains may take a considerable amount of time – up to one month. Among the advantages of this option though is the virtually unlimited selection of styles, textures, and colours. Besides, having your window treatment made to order eliminates the problem with wrong dimensions. And last but not least is the individuality of the details and trims, which reduces the risk of seeing exactly the same window treatment in someone else’s home.





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December 2013



The practice of embellishing balconies with wrought iron guard screens, widely popular in Europe, helps add special and unique charm to each building. Looking at ancient European cities with their exceptional architecture, one may study the stages of such a practice. Most of the old streets in these cozy cities and towns are filled with structures boasting various balconies and porches decorated with diverse forms of metal rails that always match the general architectural style of the building. In every architectural period these balconies played an exceptional role. The Gothic and Classicism periods are characterized by heavy banisters. During the times of Baroque and Art Nouveau, the trend was cast and wrought iron balconies. Luxurious handsome patterns of their screens created a superb sight. The “balcony architecture” of French masters in Paris is an exceptional phenomenon. Generally, Paris is unique

in terms of using cast and wrought metal for decorating building fronts. Virtually every construction of old is decorated by magnificent masterpieces created by various masters of “hot iron”, and most architectural styles – mostly Baroque, Historicism, Classicism, Neoclassicism, and Art Nouveau - have been transferred onto metal works. It was Paris that has begotten the French Balcony – a fake balcony guarded by a wrought iron screen. Numerous beautiful streets and boulevards of Paris boasting superb balconies guarded by incomparable iron screens create that famous feeling of eternal Parisian feast. When visiting Paris, take a special note of Parisian balconies or even sign up for a special walking tour called “The Balconies of Paris”.






December 2013



As a Project Manager, I spend a great deal of time “planning”. To some, this sounds ridiculous. We live at such an overwhelming pace that the thought of sitting down, spending hours, sometimes days, thinking, researching, analyzing, writing, putting together, and imagining sounds looks like an absurd way to go through life. You have to be out there, doing things.

Plan projects like a Pro! In truth planning is, in my highly biased opinion, THE most important step in the life cycle of any project. So whether you’re planning on building a shed, a car, or a nation… a solid plan is your best path to success. We all plan to some degree or another. Some of us have made it a habit to only plan for the next 15 minutes, most plan for the week ahead, and a few of us have mapped out the remainder of our earthly existence… and then some. When it comes to planning, I’m sure that most people do not apply academic theories when it comes to personal projects and plans. The serious business of sitting down, analyzing, writing, drafting, and finalizing a plan on paper seems to be something reserved for our school years. It’s a hop and a skip away from cruel torture. The process becomes extremely aggravating like if someone demanded that you draft a Critical Path Method (CPM) chart outlining some vague personal project such as graduating from College or University, finding new friends, or getting married. How do you assess the inherent risks involved in any step of “finding new friends”? What is the earliest likelihood that you could complete the first step in the task quadrant? What is the slip ratio? It seems illogical, impractical and futile to plan and map out EVERYTHING that you do. But I think that using real work management principles can help you plan ANY project that you intend to undertake like a pro. The first step is to always break the project down into its main components. Anything can be broken down this way, from simplest tasks to most involved ones. The idea is to organize the tasks by grouping them into logical and manageable parts. For example, if you plan on building a shed, you might break the project down into five main parts: Design, Budgeting, Approvals, Materials, and Labour.




The next step is to determine the amount of time required to complete each step. So, to use our example, you should be able to answer how long it should take you to get the final design. Next, we should determine the dependencies between the activities. For example, you cannot determine the materials until you have determined the design, therefore Materials can only be known once the design is ready. And finally, we must know our timeframe and assign the due date for the project. If you take the time to sit down and take the proverbial pen to paper on the task of planning your project and following the four-step path as noted above, you will have taken the most “time tested and true” method for successful planning. So, make a plan to be a good planner and do remember the old six-word recipe for success in almost every aspect of life: think it through then follow through!

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.



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December 2013



A Miniature Home Office A niche in the wall, an alcove, or even a walk-in closet can be turned into a comfortable and handsome home office. The only requirement is a skillful approach to organizing your workspace. First of all, plan carefully. Think out every detail leading to creating a compact, convenient, and esthetically pleasing workspace. Carefully take all the measurements. If there is enough space, all the necessary furniture can be purchased. Of course, many alcoves

and niches are too small or have unusual configuration. In this case show some creativity. The office design, the number of shelves and their placing, the dimensions of the desk – all this should be based on the purpose of the workroom and the type of work you are going to do in it. Avoid stuffing your new office with every single object that may ever be needed for your work. Fill it only with the most necessary items that will be used on a regular basis. Deep wall niches can be turned into a sta-

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tionary office while the ones that are not deep enough require that you place your work chair outside their bounds. Therefore, when planning your home office do not forget to consider the room where it is going to be arranged, and pay special attention to the chair. Ideally, the entrance into your home office should be barred by a door, a panel, or a curtain, so that it is hidden and does not encumber the rest of the room. Nevertheless, it is possible to integrate it into the room decor and leave it open to view. In this case you need to make sure your miniature workspace matches the rest of the room.


December 2013



Creating personal space is hard. Being able to have all that is needed is a task sometimes. If you are searching for solitude and seclusion in this busy world, the Quiet Chair, designed by Londonbased Studio TILT, will give you your own quiet and private space. The chair intentionally resembles a cocoon, making the user feel shielded and comforted, like in a personal haven. Quiet Chair is pentagonal in shape and was designed in collaboration with staff and patients at the Whittington Hospital in London. The chair has six padded surfaces. Tilt designed an enclosed form which can be either a chair or a booth depending on need. The prototype chairs are made out of spruce plywood and felt. You can use the chair for reading, a short nap or just some downtime.

The OpenBook Chair design by Tilt is a chair that creates a comfortable area for quiet moments. The OpenBook is a chair design with storage space incorporated into the sides for the storage and display of books and magazines. The interior is fully upholstered with a side panel for added comfort and sound insulation. These OpenBook units could make going to the office a little more fun, especially if this was the cubicle designated for work. Check out gallery after the jump to see the chair from all angles.

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December 2013



wool, resulting in a sumptuously textured imitation of cut velvet. In the 18th and 19th centuries, wallpaper was an increasingly popular decoration, with designers exploring different kinds of patterns, including chinoiserie, flocking, scenic papers, etc. Wallpaper designs were often topical: some American and French wallpapers celebrated the revolutions of 1776 and 1789, respectively, and the Great Exhibition of 1851 inspired several commemorative designs.

There is a rumour that Oscar Wilde said shortly before his demise, “Either wallpaper or I, but one of us has to go.” Historically, wallpaper was not popular in the area of decorative arts because it was difficult to work with, fragile, for once. Nevertheless, in our everyday life the wallpaper plays a major role in interior design and may influence both the colour of furniture and the style of the room decor. Hopefully, discovering the history of wallpaper will change the way you feel about it. The history of European wallpaper begins in the 16th century. The first European wall decorations were textiles. In the Middle Ages, luxurious wool and silk tapestries were used not only as décor and artwork, but also as insulation. These tapestries were incredibly costly to produce, and as such were only available to the wealthiest consumers. The Renaissance was the golden age of the textile, with expensive,



beautifully woven fabrics used as decoration on walls, tables, and doorways. That was when wallpaper was developed as an inexpensive alternative to textiles. The earliest surviving wallpapers are from early 16th century England. These were block-printed and then coloured by hand. These early papers usually mimicked fabrics like damasks and brocades and were used not only as wallpaper but also as liners for chests and armoires. By the 1600’s, wallpaper was common in Western Europe. A paperhangers’ guild was started in Paris in 1599 and a historian from the era, Savary des Brusions, wrote about “a type of tapestry on paper … which is used by the poorer classes in Paris to cover the walls of their huts or their shops.” It was also in the early 17th century that the Chinese began printing rice paper panels with flowers, birds and landscapes, a genre that became known as chinoiseries and were soon imitated by European designers. Flocked wallpaper was developed in the 17th century, as well. This involved printing a background color onto paper, then applying adhesive in a pattern, and sprinkling the paper with the dyed trimmings of sheep


The 19th century was an age of massive technological development in every aspect of life, and wallpaper was no exception. The first machines for printing wallpaper were developed in the late 18th century and refined in the 19th century. It was during the 1800s that steam power was applied to the printing process, allowing papers to be printed much faster and cheaper than ever before. Inventors also developed industrial methods for printing multiple colors. Cheap industrial production methods meant that wallpaper was available to a wider population. It also, unfortunately, meant that the design phase of the production process was often neglected. Nevertheless, a number of designers created flat, twodimensional patterns based on abstracted flora and fauna, derived from pre-industrial prototypes and using pre-industrial methods. During the 19th century, walls were often divided into three sections vertically, and the late Victorian era often saw walls with different complementary patterns for each section and borders between them. Wallpaper was very popular during the first third of the 20th century, though the influence of mid-century Modernism soon led to a lot of white walls. Advances in technology led to more durable papers, more lasting dyes, and easier application and removal of wallpapers. Recent developments in digital printing have brought a new generation of artists and designers to the medium, yielding large-scale murals and unexpected patterns, and ensuring that wallpaper’s long history marches on.



December 2013








December 2013



Clean and white grout between tiles turns grayish with time or, in especially bad cases, dirty gray with black spots. This can spoil the look of even the most nicely decorated and spotlessly clean bathroom or kitchen. The reason for the change in the grout colour is lime, mold, humidity, grease, and smoke, as well as the residue left by household cleaners. To eliminate unsightly deposits on the grout, you need certain cleaning agents and a lot of patience. First, use a small brush to apply some cleaner between the tiles – any cleaner, actually, even dishwashing liquid. Leave for 10 to 15 minutes, and then wash off thoroughly with clean water. Soda diluted with lemon juice is a very effective agent, as well as mustard, vinegar, ammonia, and fine table salt. But avoid using regular soap because it promotes mold. One of the most effective ways to clean grout is the use of any agent containing chlorine. Of course, it has unpleasant odour but the smell will go away in a short time while all the dirt, microorganisms, and fungi will be destroyed. If the stains are contained to small areas, you can paint them over with a water resistant white marker sold at any household goods store. In the same store, you can buy latex-based paint to use in several layers for larger areas. Another potentially successful way to clean grout is to use steam cleaner, after which to wash with clean water and wipe with a dry cloth. If only the top layer of the grout is affected by fungi, the stains will go away when rubbed with fine sandpaper. However, if, after all your efforts, grout still looks grayish, it means that it is fully affected by fungus. In this case the only way is to replace it. Remove the old grout using a special drill attachment and then apply new one. To have the colour last longer, treat the dry surface of the grout with car wax. This will prevent water from sticking to the grout thus preventing the appearance of mold. Repeat every year.




Kitchen Sink When selecting a kitchen sink, it is important to consider its material, shape, and size. As convenient for kitchen work as a large sink is, it may be all wrong if your kitchen is not very spacious.

A wide sink underneath a narrow window or vice versa looks incongruous.

TRY TO MATCH YOUR SINK TO YOUR KITCHEN. Buy a smaller sink if the kitchen is not big, in order to balance components correctly and keep them in harmony.

KEEP WITHIN YOUR BUDGET. It is so easy to fall in love with an extravagant sink, only to find out later that you cannot afford it. If your budget is limited, plan ahead by deciding where you can splurge and which objects are the best to economize upon.

BASE THE SIZE OF THE SINK ON THE DIMENSIONS OF THE WINDOW. It is customary to install a sink in a house underneath the kitchen window, especially, a window with a nice view. Make sure that the sink matches the window over it; it has to be the same width.

MAKE THE SINK THE FOCAL POINT OF YOUR KITCHEN. Because a wide sink is not easy to conceal, try the opposite approach: make it the focal point of your kitchen. For this, chose a brightly coloured sink or one made of unusual material, for example, copper.

CONSIDER YOUR NEEDS. A large sink with several compartments is suitable for gourmet cooks who prefer washing dishes under running water. Such a sink makes it


possible for several people to work in the kitchen side by side, but, of course, it is suitable for spacious kitchens only. Another way – also in a large kitchen – is to install two sinks. The large one under the window is great for washing pots and pans; the smaller one, built into the kitchen island, is convenient for washing food items and for other cooking chores. FUN SINKS. Give reign to your imagination to make your sink interesting. For example, install a small sink on one corner of the kitchen counter or island. Of course, it is not fitting for washing dishes, but it looks cute, can be used to dump unfinished drinks, or, filled with crushed ice, can replace the fridge for holding bottles during a party. The most important feature of this sink is that it takes very little space.

December 2013



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

scale, and proportion. 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,



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! Residential Planning & Design T: 416.520.4595 Copyright © All Rights Reserved – Marina Orlova Interiors Inc.

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.)


EVERLASTING TRENDS MARBLE STONE GRANITE ONYX CERAMIC QUARTZ MOSAIC montreal toronto vaughan mississauga quebec brossard detroit

December 2013


Choosing the Best

Frying Pan

Finding a good quality frying pan is not as easy as it seems. Nevertheless, any kitchen needs at least one or, better still, several pans. There are certain rules to consider when choosing among the wide range of materials, shapes, and prices of various frying pans.

be ribbed or with spiral grooves, for electric ones, smooth surface fire-resistant coating, which will enable food to cook through.


It is a known fact that heavier frying pans are more stable and conduct heat more uniformly.

The inner surface of your frying pan has to be extremely smooth. Bumps and dimples are obvious defects. The outer surface is usually coated in enamel or varnish. Varnish is very attractive but is not very durable. Enamel is more practical and resistant to scratches. Frying pans with a non-stick surface are very practical and convenient but they require certain caution when used. The best coating is thermolon but cookware with this kind of coating is very expensive.


Remember that the diameter of the pan bottom cannot be smaller than that of the burner.

MATERIAL Aluminum frying pans heat and cool within a very short time and safe but they cannot be used for storing food. Aluminum is a soft metal; therefore it is advisable to avoid metal spatulas on it.


Traditionally frying pans have been made of cast iron. If your decide on this kind, before using your new cast iron frying pan condition it by oiling and placing in a hot oven.

First of all pay close attention to the thickness of the bottom – it should be at least 3 mm. For gas ranges the best bottom will

Titanic frying pans are lighter than the cast iron ones and they are corrosion resistant.



Stainless steel fry pans have some drawbacks including uneven heating and high possibility of burning.

TYPES Before buying a frying pan, think what type you need and what kind of food you want to use it for. Universal pans suit any kind of food. Grill type pans require very little oil while meat or fish cooked in such a pan look like they have been grilled. Crepe pans have very low sides and are suitable for frying pancakes, crepes, omelets, and buns. For frying fish you can purchase an oval pan; for cooking sauces use a long-handled high-sided pan. VOK lets you quickly fry foods all over without extra cooking that could lessen their nutritional properties. Thanks to the conical shape and high sides food continuously falls to the bottom where the temperature is the highest.


Young people just about starting their life together first of all take care of such obvious objects as tableware, cutlery, and pots and pans. Salt shakers and sugar bowls often end up on their table by chance – given by someone who had an extra one, bought accidentally second hand, purchased as a souvenir when travelling, etc. Many do not give a second thought to using a cardboard container of salt or sugar right on the table. Nevertheless, the salt shaker and sugar bowl have certain importance, and even mystic significance. For example, a sugar bowl in a dream is a symbol of a beautiful and gentle woman while salt in a shaker has always been considered a symbol of constancy and eternity. Therefore, when taking the steps to create a cozy and warm atmosphere in your home, apply some time and effort to choosing these important objects – especially considering that they are for your everyday use. Chinese feng shui philosophy insists that salt and sugar need to be kept in opaque containers with lids because their crystal formation easily absorbs negative energy. In ancient times, salt had extremely high value and the dish containing salt was always placed by the plate of the master. When

the meal was shared with a welcome guest, the host would move the salt dish closer to this person, if the guest was unwelcome, the dish stayed by the host’s elbow. For a long time, salt served as currency. In the homes of the rich and powerful, salt and sugar dishes were made to order by professional masters, and their price equaled the price of jewellery pieces. One of the oldest salt dishes that is still around is a dish made by famous Benvenuto Cellini for the king of France, in the 1540s. It is appraised at 50 million Euros.

And don’t we, in the English-speaking world say to take something with a grain of salt? What it means is that the information in question is hard to swallow and that food tastes better and is easier to swallow if you add a little salt.

There are a whole slew of superstitions referred to salt and sugar, often with conflicting meanings. For instance, it is thought that spilled salt is a harbinger of an argument, while spilled sugar is a good sign of upcoming wealth. When you have put salt into your coffee instead of sugar it may mean that good news is coming your way. The countries of the East practice “salt unions” and “salt oaths”. For example, a man who has betrayed a friend is called a “salt traitor”. In Arabic countries in alliance negotiations a dish of salt was present on the table, and each participant had to put a few grains of salt into his mouth. In Ethiopia travelers who have met on the road let each other lick a piece of salt. The Dutch and Russians, in the meantime, say “Before you make a friend, eat a pack of salt with him”.


December 2013




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