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CapitalHOME HOW VICTORIA LIVES

THE

EDITION

Before Afters

&

Renovation Primer

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Three Home Makeovers

Delicious Fall Dishes

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{ In this issue } 34. Wireless Wonder Streaming the new normal for home entertainment

39. Man Cave Essentials Must-haves for your most private spaces

41. Return of the turntable Vinyl comeback and the top 10 must-have records

10 p.

SO YOU WANT TO RENOVATE

44. Broadmead Beauty Revival of 1980s home required innovative plans, bold moves

56. Making room for the family Ambitious renovation makes a dream home a reality

67. Let there be LED

22

p.

FUSION OF TWO CENTURIES

Light-emitting-diode technology changes the way we light up our lives

82. Getting cozy Throws can add warmth, colour and texture to a room

90. Alive with art Paddy Stewart opens his Uplands home and personal gallery

73 p.

94. Keeping the cottage all in the family Plan ahead if you want to pass your summer sanctuary to your children

96. Curb appeal Some timely tips to sprucing up your home for the market

CLASSY CASSEROLE

87

p.

2 | Capi Capital Cap ap api piitta al HO HOME H OM ME E

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AN OASIS OUT BACK

On the cover: Use Your Imagination p. 60 Capital HOME | 7

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Editorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s NOTE

Roll up your sleeves Y

ou love your home. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s close to schools. You have great neighbours, big trees and a handy store just down on the corner. But itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a tired house. It could use some paint. The linoleum and tiles in the kitchen are from the 70s and thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a beautiful ďŹ r ďŹ&#x201A;oor under that well-worn carpet. Maybe a wall could go and the staircase should be moved. It would open up the layout. Should we refurbish the bathrooms? Add a sunroom out back? And what about a basement suite? A renter would help offset the mortgage, and it would be a lovely place for mom or dad to live in their later years. Sooner or later, we all think about renovating our homes. Some are small doit-yourself jobs, but others take time and considerable money.

Welcome to our latest edition of Capital Home, this one with a special focus on renovations. Inside, you will ďŹ nd a comprehensive starterâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s guide to remodeling your home, with tips from experts on some of the detailed planning you will need and the joys â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and pitfalls â&#x20AC;&#x201D; of doing a major project. We also take you inside three major renovations in the Greater Victoria Region. All were challenging, but all had stunning results. You will also ďŹ nd ways to outďŹ t your home in the latest technology and there are ideas about art, lighting and gardens. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s natural for us to improve our surroundings. As styles and living trends change, so do our homes. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to make informed decisions.

Based on the Appraisal Institute of Canadaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s latest Home Renovation Survey, the home renovations with the highest and average return potentials are:

AVERAGE RETURN:

HIGHEST RETURN: s"ATHROOM2ENOVATIONS  s+ITCHEN2ENOVATIONS  s)NTERIOR0AINTING  s%XTERIOR0AINTING  Capital C Capit ital tal HO 8 | Capi HOME HOME E

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CapitalHOME DAVID WHITMAN / DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING JASON SCRIVEN / SALES MANAGER WENDY KALO / ADVERTISING OPERATIONS MANAGER GORDON FALLER / GRAPHIC DESIGN - PRODUCTION DARRON KLOSTER / EDITOR DAVE OBEE / EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

s2OOFSHINGLEREPLACEMENT  s&URNACEHEATINGSYSTEM  s"ASEMENTRENOVATION  s2ECREATIONROOMADDITION  s&IREPLACEINSTALLATION  s.EWmOORING  s#ONSTRUCTINGAGARAGE  s7INDOWDOORREPLACEMENT  s$ECKINSTALLATION  s#ENTRALAIRCONDITIONING 

Capital Home is published by the Times Colonist, a division of TC Publication Limited Partnership, at 2621 Douglas St., Victoria, British Columbia, Canada V8T 4M2. Canadian Publications Registration No. 0530646. GST No. 84505 1507 RT0001 Please send comments about Capital to: Editor-in-chief Dave Obee dobee@timescolonist.com To advertise, phone: 250-995-4464, or email Sales Manager Jason Scriven at: jscriven@timescolonist.com.

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a  turn in a new direction

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IF YOU REALLY WANT TO DO A HOME RENOVATION,

So ... You want

to renovate BY BILL CLEVERLEY

Y

ou’ve been watching HGTV for so long that, when you finally decide to do your home renovation, you almost expect TV contractors or Bryan Baeumler to drop by to give you a quote. It would be nice if they did. After all, television contractors do amazing work for even more amazing prices. They can gut your tired kitchen (including knocking out a wall or two) and then install a high-end replacement — including appliances — for around $20,000. Or they can miraculously transform 1,400 square feet of unfinished basement into a furnished, threebedroom executive rental suite for about $60,000. (Willing owners apparently shave thousands off the costs by acting as labourers — swinging sledge hammers and hauling broken up drywall and old fixtures to the dumpster.) The project might run into a snag or two — like water seeping through a foundation or the discovery of partially sawn off floor joists — but usually the contractors quickly make it right and the project is generally done within the estimated four or six weeks (which zip by through the miracle of editing). Finally, the happy home owners return for the big reveal complete with assurances that the money they’ve spent has boosted the appraised value of their home so much, they can’t wait to start looking for their next project. >12

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CONSIDER SOME CAREFUL PLANNING.

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So... You want to renovate Unfortunately, major renovations are seldom that painless and the show’s costs generally are misleading, according to local experts. “It’s television. It’s not the world that I live in,” says Casey Edge, executive director of Victoria Residential Builders Association. Blaise McDonald, MAC Renovations operations manager, suspects the television shows probably have material donated and some trades working just for the exposure. “It’s fictional. Like most TV, it’s entertainment,” he says. So, if you really want to do a home renovation, consider some careful planning:

Before you hire a contractor, Research, Research, Research Strange as it may seem, most people spend more time researching what kind of toaster or television they should buy than they do researching what contractor to hire for a renovation, says Edge. Many people end up hiring someone who a friend used and recommended — something he cautions against. “There’s no substitution for doing your own due diligence,” he says.

ANYONE CAN HANG OUT A SHINGLE AND CALL HIMSELF A HOME RENOVATOR

Unlike new home builders who have to be licensed through the Homeowners Protection Office, anyone can hang out a shingle and call himself a home renovator, he says. Edge says he’s regularly forwarded files from the Better Business Bureau about renovations that have gone sideways. Often, the homeowner doesn’t even have a contract to fall back on. The best bet, he says, is to get several competitive bids. VRBA has an expressions of interest form on its website that people can fill out and which is forwarded to VRBA >14

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THE VRBA RECOMMENDS HOMEOWNERS TALK TO BUILDERS FIRST ABOUT THE PLANNED PROJECT AND THEN LOOK TO DESIGN IT.

members. Interested contractors will then contact the homeowner about a proposed renovation project. The VRBA recommends homeowners talk to builders first about the planned project and then look to design it. “Often, the builders work with designers and, if your builder and designer are on the same page, it can be more affordable and more efficient,” Edge says. Don’t forget that you’re going to be turning over your biggest asset to a contractor for a period of up to several months, so it should be someone you trust. McDonald recommends interviewing representatives from at least three companies. Talk with the customers who provided references, check their affiliations with various home builder associations and then go with someone who you trust. “It’s going to be a close personal relationship for three to six months. These people are going to be in your house. You have to be able to trust one another or it’s going to make the experience worse than it already will be,” he says.

Timelines and Budgets: When the contractor says four to six weeks, bank on more. There’s a lot of moving parts in a renovation

“IT’S GOING TO BE A CLOSE PERSONAL 14 | Capital HOME

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So... You want to renovate “ONCE YOU GET INTO THE WALLS FOR AN EXTENSIVE RENOVATION, JUST BE PREPARED THAT YOU COULD HAVE ISSUE. JUST BECAUSE IT LOOKS OK, DOESN’T REALLY MEAN IT IS OK.”

and often unforeseen issues that can cause delays. It’s not unusual for a renovation project to run twice the original estimated time period and 20 per cent or more over budget. Edge advises to expect the unexpected. “We live on the West Coast. If you’re doing a significant renovation and for whatever reason they get behind the walls, you might find wood rot, powderpost beetles or whatever, it is because that’s just the nature of living on the West Coast,” Edge says. “Once you get into the walls for an extensive renovation, just be prepared that you could have issue. Just because it looks OK, doesn’t really mean it is OK.” Of course, another big factor is scope creep — people deciding mid-job they really do want a door punched through a wall off the dining room or changing their minds about tile in the bathroom that wasn’t in the original quote. That’s not only expensive, but it can lead to delays if materials have to be ordered. There could be additional labour costs as well. If changes are made, it’s important to get a signed change order so additional costs are clearly spelled out and there’s no surprises, Edge says. Delays can easily add to project costs and can also affect availability of trades, many of whom work for several contractors and are often lined up like dominoes for a job. An interruption in

the construction schedule for whatever reason might see a tradesman move to a different job. “The way the residential construction business works now is a lot of those trades are independent business owners. They work for multiple contractors. You can’t find them in the Yellow Pages. They just have their business model,” Edge says. “Construction delays can be pretty complicated because there’s so many moving parts in a construction project, especially a major one. Things can get compounded. We call them critical-path items. So, if something is delayed at the start of the project, it will delay the finish date,” McDonald says. A lot of projects go over budget because not enough time was put into preparation or design, McDonald says. For a major project, a free estimate is worth pretty much what you paid for it, he says. “You need to look at all the variables, like hazardous materials, and open stuff up to take a look. You don’t know what’s been done before or if it’s been done right,” he says. “We always recommend to consumers get a few prices,” Edge adds. At the end of the day, even if a project has gone over budget, the real question that has to be asked is whether you think you got value for your money, says Edge.

RELATIONSHIP FOR THREE TO SIX MONTHS.” Capital HOME | 15

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So... You want to renovate Doing it yourself:

EXPERTS SAY UNLESS YOU’RE PARTICULARLY HANDY, DOING IT YOURSELF MIGHT JUST END UP COSTING YOU IN THE LONG RUN.

There’s no question there’s money to be saved by doing some work yourself, but the experts say unless you’re particularly handy, it might just end up costing you in the long run. “It can be a real buyer-beware situation. I see people buying houses and when they go to get a building permit, all the stuff that was done without permit, they either have to tear out or re-do up to code. So you could be finding yourself with unforeseen costs because you don’t know,” says McDonald. “That can be improperly insulated walls, electrical or plumbing upgrades that were done without permit. It can be a little scary.” Improperly installed plumbing, for example, can actually damage a home. Handyman renovations can be fine as long as the person is relatively proficient and records are kept, says Morley Bryant, a Realtor with Royal Lepage Coast Capital. But permits provide the assurance that work was done to code. “There’s lots [of issues when work has been done without permit]. “There’s no guarantee that the codes were followed for one. The work could be questionable and shortcuts could have been made. Part of the problem is: What’s behind the walls?”

Permits: Permits can be a two-way street. According to Victoria’s website, city building permits are required when you are building a house, garage, any accessory building more than 10 square metres; replacing existing structure such as stairs, deck, garage; renovating a residential or commercial space; changing the legal use of the premise or space; converting unfinished space to finished space; changing or installing any electrical wiring or upgrading of your electrical panel; changing or installing any plumbing fixtures or equipment; changing

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or installing signage; or paving a driveway (drainage required). Edge says his members often speak of “enormous delays” caused by municipal permitting and inspection services. “It depends on where you’re working. In a place like Langford, you can get a building permit in a week. In Saanich, that building permit could take six to eight weeks,” Edge said. Once you get a permit, it’s certainly not the last you’ll see of the city. Major projects such as building a basement suite will require several inspections along the way for components such as wiring, plumbing, framing and insulation. Again, it’s not uncommon for issues to arise causing delays (and additional costs). It’s also not uncommon for one inspector to approve an element of a job only for a subsequent inspector to come along and say it has to be redone. “It’s really frustrating for both consumers and for the contractors. [There’s] different interpretations of the building code and it’s really challenging and really expensive,” Edge says. Still, not getting a permit might not only result in unsafe living conditions, but could lead to difficulties in selling a property down the road. Someone wanting to buy a house where work has been done without permit may encounter difficulties both with financing and insurability, especially if the work involves plumbing or electrical changes, says Colleen Flynn, a mortgage broker with Select Mortgage Corp. “It depends on the extent of the work.” Property disclosure statements ask if work has been done without permit. “If there is, then generally we get asked for information about it,” Flynn says. She recalls one instance where a client wrote an offer on a house that had undergone extensive renovations. The contract included a three-page list of qualified tradespeople who had done the work, but no permits had been issued. “Very qualified people did the work and I’m sure it was done according to the criteria for permits, but [there were] no permits. No one would touch that from a financing standpoint.”

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THE BIGGEST BANG FOR YOUR RENOVATION BUCK IS SPENDING MONEY ON EMOTIONAL IMPACT ITEMS — FLOORING, PAINT, KITCHENS AND BATHROOMS.

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So... You want to renovate Financing:

Where to put your money:

Flynn says ďŹ nancing renovations at the time of purchase is quite easy to do and quite common in Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s current hot real estate market. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We call it purchase-plus improvements. So even if they have only ďŹ ve per cent down, they can ďŹ nance 95 per cent of the improvements as long as we get quotes saying how much the work will be.â&#x20AC;? And while lenders used to look only at income from legal suites when qualifying purchasers, in many areas they are now willing to look at a percentage of income from illegal suites, Flynn says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s good to have it legal, though, from an insurance perspective,â&#x20AC;? she said. CMHC advises talking to a ďŹ nancial adviser before beginning any major renovation, so you understand all the options. And there are several options, ranging from self funding to credit cards to pay for materials for smaller projects (keeping in mind credit card interest rates of 18 per cent or more). Other options include: s!PERSONALLOAN WHICHCARRIESANINTERESTRATETHAT is typically less than that of a credit card. Unlike a line of credit, once you pay off your loan, you will have to re-apply to borrow any new funds needed. s!PERSONALLINEOFCREDITOFFERSLOWERINTERESTRATESTHAN credit cards and charges interest only on funds used each month. And, as you pay off your balance, you can access remaining funds, up to the line of creditâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s limit, without reapplying. s3ECUREDLINESOFCREDITANDHOMEEQUITYLOANSOFFERTHE same advantages of regular lines of credit or loans, but are secured by your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s equity. They offer preferred interest rates, but initial set-up costs including legal and appraisal fees usually apply. Lines of credit and home equity loans are usually limited to 80 per cent of your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s value. s-ORTGAGERElNANCINGLETSYOUSPREADREPAYMENTOVERA long period at mortgage interest rates, which are usually much lower than credit-card or personal-loan rates. This can allow you to borrow up to 80 per cent of your homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s appraised value (less any outstanding mortgage balance). Initial set-up costs including legal and appraisal fees may apply. s&INANCINGIMPROVEMENTSUPON PURCHASE)FYOURE planning major improvements to a home youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re about to buy, you may consider ďŹ nancing the renovations at the time of purchase by adding their estimated costs to your mortgage. Buyers should be aware that if their ďŹ nancing includes certain renovations, those improvements have to be done.

The biggest bang for your renovation buck is spending money on emotional impact items â&#x20AC;&#x201D; ďŹ&#x201A;ooring, paint, kitchens and bathrooms, says Bryant. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They have the most emotional appeal that will resonate with buyers,â&#x20AC;? she says, adding that from a structural point of view, newer windows and a gas furnace and/or ďŹ replace can get buyers excited. Of course, she said, while itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s important to have fundamentals such as drainage tiles done, structural repairs are not as sexy as new kitchens,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It depends on the year of the house. A 100-year-old house youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d like the electrical upgrade, but a 50-year-old house, itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not going to make a difference [to a purchaser].â&#x20AC;? Bryant notes that a home purchase is an emotional decision for most people. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Most buyers cannot see past the existing decor of a home, so purchasing a renovated property is attractive,â&#x20AC;? she said. Further, buyers may be intimidated by a renovation. They might not know where to begin or who to call, have time to stick-handle upgrades, or have the ďŹ nancial ability to make further improvements. They may also be afraid to make decisions, People looking to increase the value of their home shouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget landscaping, she said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;A well landscaped property with attractive can add huge value,â&#x20AC;? she said.

Donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t forget you will need a place to stay: Unless you like living with no heat, showering at the gym and using the workersâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; port-a-potty parked in your driveway, a major renovation will probably see you forced to relocate for several weeks or even several months while your home is torn apart and put back together again. The bottom line is you really donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t want to live in your home during a renovation, says McDonald. â&#x20AC;&#x153;People have no idea how invasive itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s going to be to

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So... You want to renovate their life,â&#x20AC;? he says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s terrible. Renovations are dirty. You never get clean. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s noisy. You get sick of people showing up with dirty boots and so on.â&#x20AC;? Finding short-term, furnished accommodation in Greater Victoria can be a challenge and will likely set you back between $1,200 and $2,400 a month or more. Or, if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re lucky, a family member might have a vacant basement. Others plan to take an extended vacation. Regardless, you may be tempted to move back during construction â&#x20AC;&#x201D; possibly as soon as you have a working bathroom. That can be done, but be forewarned, the noise, dust and disruption associated with living in house under construction is extremely stressful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have people that go on vacation or go out of town so the communication lines have to be open,â&#x20AC;? McDonald said. Thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s no getting around the fact that renovations are stressful. â&#x20AC;&#x153;They are glad to see us go,â&#x20AC;? McDonald says with a chuckle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;But this is a relationship business. You have to swallow your pride and leave your ego at the door. At the end of the day residential construction, weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re in the customer service business. Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re not a factory in the ďŹ eld.â&#x20AC;? CH

!'$&* '$ )"$&% Soak in the placid surroundings VICTORIA V VIC TOR OR RIA

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$

THE RENOVATION ADDED 1,600 SQUARE FEET TO THE 3,300-SQUARE-FOOT HOME, AND ALSO INCLUDED A COMPLETE FACELIFT FOR THE MAIN FLOOR AND TOTAL REDESIGN OF A FORMER DARK DUNGEON OF A BASEMENT.

THE FORMALLY LANDSCAPED FRONT GARDEN HAS AN ITALIANATE FEELING WITH TINY HEDGES AND PAVERS OUTLINING PLANTINGS.

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S Oak Bay home gets a modern makeover GRANIA LITWIN

“WITH ALL THE NEW ADVANCES IN ARCHITECTURE AND EXCITING POSSIBILITIES, WHY NOT DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT?” Capital HOME | 23

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B

lending traditional and contemporary building styles is nothing new in Europe, where designers have long championed the concept of preserving the past while integrating older homes with the latest in modern architecture, construction trends and technologies. Whether updating a Tudor cottage, an 18th century chateau or an ancient stone barn, continental experts are masters at honouring history while leaning into the emerging future. >26

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HIGH POINT ESTATE IN VICTORIA, 10 ACRES. Enjoy living in this New England Estate style residence with over 5200 sq. ft. of living space and spacious rooms with too many extras to list. With picturesque views over the Mount Newton Valley and beautiful wonderful western sunsets from the over 1,700 sq. ft. of patio and decks. The equestrian centre of over 4,000 sq. ft. of space has to be seen to be appreciated with large stalls and shower area for your favourite horse. Includes two 2 BD accommodations. Exceptional country setting and yet close to Victoria and a short drive to the airport and ferries. $2,849,000

DRAGONFLY HILL VINEYARD & HOME 13.3 Acres fully fenced, with 2 acre vineyard. 5 ponds, 3 artesian springs, creek, winter waterfall. 9 zone irrigation system, 1 drilled well & 1 cistern. 4,400 sf home 6BD, 5BA. Can be 3 suites or 1 home $2,988,000

FATIMA MACPHERSON CHOSE A CONTEMPORARY, WHITE LEATHER SOFA FROM ROCHE BOBOIS OF FRANCE FOR THE GREAT ROOM, WHICH HAS A VAULTED CEILING AND OILED OAK FLOORS.

WESTCOAST COUNTRY ESTATE Old West Saanich Road is a meandering country road, that could be taking you on a quiet journey home. Starting down the driveway, one is pleasantly surprised with the promise of peace and tranquillity in the beautiful views across the vallley to the Malahat. Enjoy the country lifestyle in this spacious Westcoast residence of over 4,700sq ft, with the benefit of a legal suite above the barn.This home has views from every room and deck, vaulted ceilings and skylights. A wonderful home to entertain friends and family. The 5.63 acres of fully fenced southwest exposure, with a barn for horses, hay storage and trout filled pond is an exceptional country property. Call for an appointment. $1,598,888

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THE KITCHEN FEATURES BOTH A LARGE PENINSULA AND AN ISLAND, WITH A MULTIFUNCTIONAL L-SHAPED BANQUETTE AROUND THE KITCHEN TABLE OFFERING STORAGE BENEATH, INCLUDING FILE DRAWERS ADJACENT TO FATIMA’S DESK.

THE NEW GREAT ROOM BOASTS A HIGH VAULTED CEILING AND SKYLIGHTS WITH REMOTE BLINDS. INTERIOR DESIGNER LORIN TURNER CHOSE PENDANTS THAT OFFER GOOD LIGHT WHILE ENSURING THE SPACE DOESN’T FEEL TOO VAST OR COLD. COFFERED CEILINGS WERE BUILT IN THE LIVING, DINING AND GREAT ROOMS, ADDING TO THE HOME’S STATELY VIBE.

This kind of fusion is alive and well in Victoria too, and a prime example can be seen in a 1930s Oak Bay residence, where home designer Rus Collins and interior designer Lorin Turner have harmoniously merged two different centuries. From the outset, owners Dr. Nicol and Fatima Macpherson were adamant about retaining their home’s historic values while seeking to expand and create a new living environment. The result is an urbane yet relaxed home that’s perfectly suited to its surroundings and the young family that lives there. “There are so many gorgeous homes being built in Victoria, but people seem to do the same thing over and over again,” said Fatima. “With all the new advances in architecture and exciting possibilities, why not do something different? We love old houses with modern additions.” She and her husband, a Scottish-born internal medicine and oncology specialist at the B.C. Cancer Agency, often travel to the United Kingdom where they appreciate

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THE EXTENSIVE RENOVATION WAS ENVISIONED BY ZEBRA DESIGN’S RUS COLLINS AND BUILT BY MARTIN WHITEHEAD, OF ZEBRA CONSTRUCTION.

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THE SPA-LIKE MASTER BATHROOM FEATURES CALMING EARTH TONES. IT HAS A FREESTANDING TUB, SEPARATE VANITIES ON EITHER SIDE OF THE ROOM AND A WAVY-PATTERNED MARBLE FLOOR REMINISCENT OF THE OCEAN.

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A NARROW, ENCLOSED STAIRCASE WAS REPLACED BY FLOATING STAIRS AND A THREE-STOREY WALL OF GLASS THAT OPENS UP THE HOME’S INTERIOR AND BRINGS IN LIGHT.

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FATIMA MACPHERSON LOVES TO COOK THAI AND INDIAN DISHES IN HER NEW KITCHEN.

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THE HOME’S FURNISHINGS ARE A MIXTURE OF MODERN AND TRADITIONAL STYLES, WITH A NEWLY COFFERED CEILING AND TRADITIONAL BAKER MAHOGANY TABLE IN THE DINING ROOM.

FATIMA ENJOYS EXTRA STORAGE IN THE MASTER BEDROOM THANKS TO LARGE DRAWERS UNDER THE CUSTOM BED. THE MASTER SUITE WAS RELOCATED TO AN AREA ABOVE WHAT USED TO BE THE GARAGE, FAR AWAY FROM THE BEDROOMS OF TEENAGERS, AGED 15 AND 18.

this kind of architectural synthesis. “Renovators in Europe will take an 18th century house and modernize to an amazing degree — and it works.” The couple spent several years looking for the right house in Victoria and eventually found one designed by architect P. Leonard James, an associate of Francis Rattenbury. It oozed old-English charm, had good bones and was well cared for, but the rooms were tiny and the basement and garage had below-height ceilings. It had been on the market for a couple of years, likely >30

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THE DESIGNER ADDED DETAILS SUCH AS COFFERED CEILINGS IN THE LIVING AND DINING ROOMS AS WELL AS THE NEW GREAT ROOM, BUT WENT ULTRA CONTEMPORARY WITH CABINETRY.

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THE DOUBLE OAK BAY LOT ALLOWED SPORT COURT CANADA TO CREATE A MULTI-PURPOSE COURT. FATIMA SPENT TWO YEARS PLANNING THE GARDEN AND BRANDON SPLASH DESIGN OF VANCOUVER DID THE INSTALLATION. “I STUDIED LOTS OF BOOKS AND WANTED A VERY STRUCTURED, FRENCH-ITALIAN LOOK WITH ROSES, HYDRANGEAS, MAGNOLIAS, AZALEAS, MIXED IN WITH RIVER STONES AND BIG BOULDERS.”

THE OWNERS LOVE THE EXQUISITE FRAGRANCE AND DELICACY OF DAVID AUSTIN’S OLD ROSES AND PLANTED MANY VARIETIES IN THEIR SUNNY GARDEN. because buyers couldn’t see past all the necessary renovations, but the new owners liked the house, the southwest-facing garden — “very hard to find in Oak Bay” — and loved the double lot. Nicol, having grown up around old stone houses in Scotland and seen their reincarnations, was able to envision the potential and sought to retain the home’s charm and warmth while creating a modern, minimalist look. The Macphersons are delighted with the results: a home which boasts a traditional exterior and modern interior with some surprise elements, such as a three-storey, glasswalled, floating staircase that creates a column of light like a beam-me-up transporter on Star Trek. “The staircase is one of the features I like most,” said Nicol. “I love looking at the wooden stairs behind the glass, and the basement exercise room backs on that wall, so it’s a really bright space now.” Using classic materials in new shapes and treatments was one of the ways interior designer Lorin Turner seamlessly mixed old and new. “This project was a challenge and, to be honest, a bit of a surprise for us,” she said. “The house is quite classical and traditional, so the owners threw us a bit of a curve ball when they showed us the kind of contemporary, modern, minimalist imagery they liked. We had to find a way to make the two come together and seem logical.” Luckily, as Turner was trying to wrap her head around how to make it happen, she came across a picture of a stunning, 150-year-old townhouse in London with beautiful mouldings and architectural details, yet contemporary and clean interiors. It became their inspiration.

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The designer added details such as coffered ceilings in the living and dining rooms as well as the new great room, but went ultra contemporary with cabinetry. She honoured the classic architecture by using traditional materials such as marble and travertine, but applied them in sleek modern ways such as in elongated, 12-by-36-inch tiles for the entry floor and master ensuite. It was the same metamorphosis for fireplaces, where she used traditional shapes for mantels, but formed them in concrete. She agrees with Nicol that one of the home’s most exciting aspects is its new staircase, which was previously tiny and ho-hum. “Staircases are very prominent features so we always aspire to make them more significant,” and so they came up with the idea of making it eye catching by adding a sleek, glass wall and floating treads. “It was extremely challenging, as the stairs are only attached on one side and the three storeys of glass had to be perfectly aligned, and stabilized.” Colour palettes were kept light and neutral, with layers of depth achieved through texture and by combining elements such as Mare Nero travertine in the ensuite, a watery representation of the ocean with its blue and grey veining, blended with Calacatta marble in the shower and vanity countertops. (The latter premium marble is sometimes called the Ferrari of marbles.) Cabinetry finishes were repeated throughout the home in a natural-fir veneer, with white accents, and the same treatment was used for a feature and storage wall in the master bedroom — “It was important to have a reading area and place for Nicol’s books” — opposite which is an upholstered custom headboard of rectangularpatterned, faux suede. The bed is custom, too, with deep drawers underneath. “That was imperative as the bedroom has a fairly small footprint and Fatima is a beautiful fashionista who needs the extra storage. We had to do a lot in a small space, and also needed to create a sanctuary, as the owners have two teenage boys.” Fatima was “overwhelmed by Lorin’s talent” and especially loves her new, high performance kitchen with its three sinks, huge fridge freezer, two dishwashers and space

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for teenage sons to do homework and hang out. Earth-toned Caesarstone countertops are patterned with flecks of pearl and white to give it movement and lightness, and at last she has loads of room. “The former kitchen was very small and there was not a lot of working space. I love to cook and am constantly baking so I need plenty of space,” she said with a chuckle. Zebra Design and Interiors principal Rus Collins confirms she is a fabulous cook, saying she was constantly making him and his crew

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RUS COLLINS DESIGNED A SPACIOUS DECK WITH COVERED BARBECUE, OUTDOOR EATING AREA AND TWOWAY GAS FIREPLACE.

delicious treats. “And she needed more room. Her kitchen, before the reno, was really terrible with a silly little add-on at the back, a kind of sunroom used as a laundry room.” The master bedroom had an addition on the back as well, built over the top of a low garage, which has now become a storage area, as its headroom was well under two metres. “We brought in an arborist and luckily there was not a single tree root in the way so we created a new double garage next to the house,” said Collins. A room at the back of the former master bedroom, which had a sunken hot tub enclosure added in the 1970s, became the new master bedroom. The former master bedroom became

an ensuite, and the former ensuite morphed into a closet. “The home now has a semi contemporary interior with tweaks to the exterior, and is a really great house,” he said. It’s also a prize winner, having received a gold VIBE award for best residential renovation over $350,000 in 2015, and a gold CARE award in 2013 for best residential renovation over $750,000. Fatima said people often stop as they walk by, to look at the garden or the house, “and they are constantly shocked when we tell them the house has been renovated and added on to. That’s because Rus did such an amazing job.” CH

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Jamie Gill's home is state of the art, a leader in home automation and theatre where he can control everything from his iPhone

W

ireless wonder TEXT BY MIKE DEVLIN

PHOTOS BY BRUCE STOTESBURY

S STREAMING THE NEW NORMAL FOR HOME EENTERTAINMENT, FUNCTIONALITY, SECURITY.

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IF YOU’RE GOING TO DREAM...DREAM BIG

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ow we listen to music and watch television and movies in our homes is changing. “It’s all about technology and it’s all about integration,” says Newport Realty agent Brett Jones. “Everything is going wireless, and everyone wants to be able to control everything remotely.” Costs for such features in a home have dropped considerably in recent years. Take flatscreen TVs. A decade ago, a 42-inch screen ran upwards of $2,000. Today, the equivalent

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can be had for half the cost. If that. Television prices — which are currently dropping at a rate of 30 per cent each year, according to experts — are only going further south, says Austin Mayo, marketing manager for Yates Street retailer Atlas Audio Video Unlimited. “There’s always better product that comes in to replace it.” Where home media is concerned, innovation has a way of keeping things topsyturvy. As technology adjusts, so do consumer needs. “As iTunes dominated the CD, the physical medium is now being dominated by streaming services of the world,” Mayo says. Streaming audio and video over a wireless connection is the new normal. And while media rooms are the primary areas where audio and video converge, the key ingredients of those designated areas are changing, Mayo says. In-ceiling speakers, smart TVs and intuitive receivers are just the beginning. Mayo believes

it will take between $4,000 and $5,000 to gather a room full of devices and equipment for the traditional “man cave” approach, which is beyond the budget of some. But options are at your disposal. “Because there’s a lot of tablets and smartphones around, there are a lot more audio devices in a home. In the old days, you might have one system, maybe two,” Mayo says. “Now, every room has maybe one or two systems in it. Content delivery, now being streaming-based, has changed a lot of that.” House-wide streaming audio systems are more prominent in the new-home construction market, Jones says. But with the upcoming wireless revolution, everyone will eventually turn to the technology. “I’d call it a movement. It’s bigger than a trend. It definitely adds value to a home. People really like it.” Jamie Gill, co-owner of Seba Contruction, lives in a Beach Drive home that was

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streamlined by The Onetouch House, a Victoria company that specializes in home automation and home theatre installation. Gill’s home is outfitted with Control4, a central system that controls everything from lighting and entertainment to security and heating through a smart panel. Blinds can be opened and closed and heat turned on and off through Gill’s phone, no matter how far away he is from his residence. Remarkably, Gill managed his settings and operated elements of his home while recently overseas in England. Control4 does so by connecting devices through a centralized source. “The key is having everything integrated into one system,” Gill says. “When we build these for clients, people want more than just audio and video. It does lighting. It does security. And as more people do it, the costs come down a little more.” Even customers not interested in onetouch comforts are going with a specific media center, Gill adds. Located somewhere central in the home, these panels house the traditional wires and equipment necessary to

run audio and video cables to each room. “It keeps the house clean,” Gill says. “In every room, you’ll have just a flat screen on the wall, and your components are elsewhere in one area.” The after-market cost of outfitting a house with wireless audio and video is more budgetconscious. Atlas Audio Video Unlimited is one of the top dealers in Canada of the Sonos brand of wireless audio products, which are surging in

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Wireless WONDER “ON SOME OF THE BASIC [SONOS] MODELS, YOU’LL SPEND MORE TIME UNPACKING IT FROM THE BOX AS YOU WILL SETTING IT UP.”

GILL’S HOME IS OUTFITTED WITH CONTROL4, A CENTRAL SYSTEM THAT CONTROLS EVERYTHING FROM LIGHTING AND ENTERTAINMENT TO SECURITY AND HEATING THROUGH A SMART PANEL.

popularity. Sonos, which is relatively modest in price, has become the industry leader in mutli-room audio simply because it is so easy to integrate into a home, Mayo says. “On some of the basic [Sonos] models, you’ll spend more time unpacking it from the box as you will setting it up.” The popularity of Sonos will only grow as technology becomes better understood. To date, the familiar knock on video streaming services such as YouTube and Netflix and music streaming applications such as Spotify and Rdio has always been their inferior quality. That isn’t the case anymore. Premium-quality audio now streams at the same rate of a CD, and at five times the rate of an mp3 file. TV is sure to follow, as technology allows. “You can’t build a new house without some kind of technology integration anymore, at any price point,” says Jones. “It’s part of infrastructure, so it’s every bit as important as plumbing and electrical.” CH

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TIME TO TAKE CONTROL

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Man Cave ESSENTIALS Cool tools for your home bar or bar cart 1. JIGGERS Update your collection with elegant bellshaped and gold-plated models. Why not show off while you’re doling out the spirits? 2. MIXING GLASS This etched, crosshatched mixing glass adds some elegance to your cocktail setup. 3.-)8).'30//.3 Go beyond utilitarian with these handsome spoons in gold and silver. 4. COBBLER SHAKER How stylish is this one with its etched, crosshatched glass bottom and stainless steel top? .

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odern bartenders have all sorts of complicated gizmos to create cocktails. But you can make some great drinks with some basic tools for your home bar kit:

5. COCKTAIL SHAKER This ultramodern shaker in mirrored stainless steel has a nifty lock on top and includes a strainer. 6. HAWTHORNE STRAINER This strainer has supertight coils, eliminating double straining. Japanese double-mesh strainer: Not your typical conical strainer, this one is rounded, more like a bowl. 7. CUTTING BOARD Made specially for bartenders, it’s just 8 by 12 inches with an extra deep well to catch juices and a slot that fits a paring knife.

8.)#%4!00%2 This nifty tool used to be common in the 1950s and is now back. Made of plastic and stainless steel, it’s perfect for breaking ice with a whack right in your hand. 9. THE ORIGINAL SWIZZLE STICK It comes from Mauritius and is made from a special tree that grows branches perfectly perpendicular to the trunk. It’s used mainly for tiki drinks. 10. MUDDLER Give up that plastic nonentity in favor of a sleek bamboo or a fluted walnut one.

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an caves require a few must-have items. But the shopping list above and beyond the core essentials — TV, stereo, couch — varies depending on the owners’ personal style and interests. Here’s a few awesome acoutrements that would put any man cave over the top.

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11. BUDWEISER RED LIGHT, $159.99. ONE NEEDS ONLY A SMARTPHONE, ACCESS TO CABLE, AND A WIRELESS INTERNET CONNECTION TO ENJOY BEAUTY THAT IS THE BUDWEISER RED LIGHT. WITH EACH TELEVISED HOCKEY GOAL SCORED, THE GAME-SYNCED GOAL LIGHT (WITH FOG HORN, NATCH) MAKE HOCKEY CELEBRATIONS SOMETHING THE WHOLE ROOM CAN ENJOY. THEY ARE CURRENTLY ONLY AVAILABLE IN CANADA, WHICH IS AN ADDED BONUS.

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12. NUEVO LIVING FOOSBALL TABLE, $4,998. SURE, YOU COULD CHEAP-OUT AND GO WITH A PRESSBOARD-AND-PLASTIC VERSION, BUT WHAT’S THE FUN IN THAT? NO EXPENSE WAS SPARED ON THIS BEAUTY, WHICH IS MANUFACTURED FROM RECLAIMED HARDWOOD. THE PLAYING FIELD? NATURAL VOLCANIC BASALT STONE. THE BASE? CAST IRON. THE FIGURINES? CAST ALUMINUM. END RESULT? ON AND OFF THE FIELD EXCELLENCE.

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Man Cave ESSENTIALS 13

14. MARSHALL BAR FRIDGE, $449.99. MARSHALL GUITAR AMPLIFIERS ARE KNOWN FOR THEIR QUALITY, SO IT MAKES SENSE THAT A MINI-FRIDGE BEARING ITS LIKENESS (AND WITH GOLD-PLATED SIGNATURE BY FOUNDER JIM MARSHALL, NO LESS) IS OF COMPARABLE STANDARDS. BLACK FRET CLOTH, CLASSIC WHITE PIPING, BRASS RIVETS, AND VOILUNE KNOBS THAT GO TO 11 ARE ONLY THE BEGINNING.

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15 15. WOODSTOCK POSTER, $10. FEEL FREE TO SPEND $1,200 FOR AN ORIGINAL PRINT THROUGH EBAY; MAN CAVES ARE NOTHING IF NOT THE PLACE IN WHICH TO DISPLAY YOUR HIGH-PRICED PASSIONS. THE SMART SHOPPER, HOWEVER, SHOULD HAVE NO PROBLEM PICKING UP ONE OF THE MOST ICONIC POSTERS IN HISTORY ON THE CHEAP. MEMORABILIA FROM THE 1969 FESTIVAL THAT IMMORTALIZED THE HIPPIE MOVEMENT IS A MUST-HAVE FOR ANY MUSIC FAN.

13. X-ROCKER SOUND CHAIR, $263.99. U.S. THE TENDENCY IN A MAN CAVE IS TO GO BIG. HOWEVER, WHEN IT COMES TO A MODERN-DAY MUST-HAVE — GAMING OR SOUND CHAIRS — RESIST THE TEMPTATION TO SPLURGE. GAUDINESS ABOUNDS, SO YOU’LL WANT SOMETHING BETTER-SUITED TO EVERYDAY USE. X-ROCKER FITS THE BILL AS THEIR CHAIRS HAVE ALL THE KEY FEATURES (WIRELESS TECHNOLOGY, SIDE FACING SPEAKERS) WITH NO SKIMPING ON STYLE.

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Turning the Tables MIKE DEVLIN

AUSTIN MAYO, MARKETING MANAGER FOR ATLAS AUDIO VIDEO UNLIMITED WITH THE UNION JACK RP1.

THE PREPONDERANCE OF OPTIONS WHEN PURCHASING A TURNTABLE IS EVIDENCE THAT VINYL HAS OFFICIALLY COME BACK TO THE MAINSTREAM. >

-B

RU

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SB

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“A LOT OF PEOPLE SPECIFICALLY WANT THEIR SYSTEM TO BE THE ANTITHESIS TO NEW.”

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ecord players have undergone significant twists and turns o of late, from the creation of a floating turntable ((which hi h plays records vertically, so that the vinyl is displayed as art while it spins) to a 100-pound monster made from cast iron and bronze that retails for $6,000. No matter the size, price tag or performance, the appeal of analogue audio is too big for most music fans to pass up. “A lot of people specifically want their system to be the antithesis to new,” said Rob MacMillan, co-owner of Q-Lectronic Sales and Service on Douglas Street. “That’s part of it. It’s a backlash against the digital age.” Q-Lectronic, which stocks and repairs vintage turntables, caters to a growing segment of the music-buying public that doesn’t mind the relative hassle of playing music on vinyl. The store stocks a wide range of turntables, but Q-Lectronic is hardly the only game in town. Among the many options available is Sound Hounds, which caters to a high-end market, and Atlas Audio Video Unlimited, who caters to the mid- and upper-end of the spectrum. Even commercial retailers, such as London Drugs (the first large retailer to stock vinyl in the modern era), are well into the turntable game nowadays. The preponderance of options when purchasing a turntable is evidence that vinyl has officially come back to the mainstream. Younger fans are experiencing vinyl records for the first time, while older fans who grew up on vinyl LPs have rediscovered them. “You can get a table anywhere now,” MacMillan said. Q-Lectronic began stocking records in 2009, to meet customer demand. Today, it isn’t unusual for someone to walk in and spend between $250 and $500 on a turntable and $100 on records, MacMillan said. “That is really common. Incrementally, people are wanting better and better.” CH

FLOATING TURNTABLE (ABOVE) (WHICH PLAYS RECORDS VERTICALLY, SO THAT THE VINYL IS DISPLAYED AS ART WHILE IT SPINS) TO A 100-POUND MONSTER MADE FROM CAST IRON AND BRONZE THAT RETAILS FOR $6,000.

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TOP 10 BY MIKE DEVLIN

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ore people than ever are experiencing music through streaming services such as Spotify and YouTube, which have far surpassed the once-dominant CD as the format of today. In fact, more than 10.5 billion songs were streamed in Canada during the first-half of 2015 alone, dwarfing the 6.3 million CDs sold during the same period. Coming up fast, however, is the old standby — the vinyl LP. Recent reports compiled by Nielsen Music show a substantial increase in vinyl sales. An impressive 207,000 pieces of vinyl were

1. PINK FLOYD, DARK SIDE OF THE MOON. NO ALBUM WAS BETTER-SERVED BY THE VINYL FORMAT THAN PINK FLOYD’S EPIC ODYSSEY. SPREAD OVER TWO SIDES OF CONTINUOUS MUSIC, THE SONGS ARE AMONG THE MOST INSTANTLY RECOGNIZABLE IN ROCK HISTORY — BUT THAT’S ONLY THE BEGINNING. A CULTISH FASCINATION HAS LED TO ALL SORTS OF SPECULATION, INCLUDING THE THEORY THAT IT WAS WRITTEN AS A STONER SOUNDTRACK TO THE WIZARD OF OZ. IT ALL ADDS UP TO THE NO. 1 MUST-OWN PIECE OF VINYL.

6. NEIL YOUNG, HARVEST. NOT ONLY IS NEIL YOUNG’S MOST POPULAR ALBUM ALSO ONE OF HIS BEST, IT CAN ONLY BE APPRECIATED WITH THE WARM, ANALOGUE SOUND THAT THE VINYL PROVIDES.

2. JACK WHITE, LAZARETTO. THE VINYL RESURGENCE CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO JACK WHITE AND HIS LABEL, THIRD MAN RECORDS, THROUGH WHICH THE FORMER WHITE STRIPES FRONTMAN DELIGHTS HIS FAN BASE WITH VINYL-ONLY TREATS LIKE HANDETCHED HOLOGRAMS. 2014’S LAZARETTO SET A RECORD FOR THE MOST VINYL SOLD IN A SINGLE SALES WEEK SINCE 1991.

7. CHEECH AND CHONG, BIG BAMBÚ. THE SECOND ALBUM BY THE REVERED COMEDY DUO WAS MADE TO LOOK LIKE AN OVERSIZED PACK OF ROLLING PAPERS, WHICH MADE PERFECT SENSE. THESE POT-FRIENDLY COMICS WERE A SENSATION DURING THE HAZY DAYS OF THE ‘70S — HENCE WHY ORIGINAL COPIES OF THE ALBUM ORIGINALLY CONTAINED A GIANT, GATEFOLD-SIZED ROLLING PAPER.

sold during the first two quarters of 2015, up 40 percent over last year. Has vinyl officially come back? It would appear so. But at the same time, aficionados would argue that it never left. While a new generation discovers the beauty and warmth of the spinning black disc, those who never gave away their LPs are now reaping the rewards. Either way, everybody wins. Here’s a handy primer on what fans should have in their collections:

3. LED ZEPPELIN, LED ZEPPELIN. THE SECOND SIDE OF LED ZEPPELIN’S OFFICIALLYUNTITLED FOURTH ALBUM FEATURES NEARLY 20 MINUTES OF BLUE-RIBBON ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, FROM MISTY MOUNTAIN HOP TO WHEN THE LEVEE BREAKS. AND, OF COURSE, THERE’S STAIRWAY TO HEAVEN

8. BEASTIE BOYS, PAUL’S BOUTIQUE. PRODUCTION DUO THE DUST BROTHERS WENT FOR A WIDESCREEN SOUND ON THIS GROUNDBREAKING RELEASE, ONE OF THE LAST TO MAKE LIBERAL USE OF SAMPLES IN THE PRE-COPYRIGHT PROTECTION ERA. THE RESULT TOOK THE TRIO OF MCA, AD ROCK, AND MIKE D TO NEW HEIGHTS AS ARTISTS, A PERCH THEY NEVER ABANDONED IN THE YEARS THAT FOLLOWED. THE VINYL VERSION IS NECESSARY TO EXPERIENCE THE RADICAL, TRIPLE-GATEFOLD COVER.

4. FLEETWOOD MAC, RUMOURS. SPIN IT FRONT TO BACK AND REDISCOVER WHY IT IS ONE OF THE MOST POPULAR ALBUMS EVER. ON VINYL, THE GUITAR OF LINDSEY BUCKINGHAM AND MYSTERIOUS MOODS OF STEVIE NICKS COME ALIVE.

9. THE BEATLES, YESTERDAY AND TODAY. THE CHEEKPINCHING MOPTOPS SHOCKED AUDIENCES IN 1966 WHEN THEIR YESTERDAY AND TODAY COLLECTION HIT SHELVES WITH ITS INFAMOUS “BUTCHER” COVER. THE LESS SAID ABOUT THAT THE BETTER, REALLY. HOWEVER, IF YOU WERE ONE OF THE 750,000 PEOPLE WHO OBTAINED ONE BEFORE THE COVER WAS RECALLED, YOU ARE NOW JUMPING FOR JOY. IN 2013, A MINT VERSION SOLD FOR MORE THAN $15,000 US ON EBAY.

5. THE ROLLING STONES, STICKY FINGERS. ARTWORK IS A KEY PART OF EVERY PIECE OF VINYL RELEASE FROM THE ROLLING STONES, FROM SOME GIRLS TO EXILE ON MAIN–BUT THE REAL SHOWSTOPPER IN THEIR CATALOGUE IS STICKY FINGERS, WITH ITS ANDY WARHOL COVER SHOT AND REAL-LIFE ZIPPER.

10. KISS, DYNASTY. A GENERATION OF IMPRESSIONABLE TEENAGERS PORED OVER THE IMAGES OF KISS THAT ADORN ONE OF THE BAND’S 1979 ALBUM, RELEASED WHEN THE MEMBERS HAD YET TO REVEAL THEIR IDENTITIES IN PUBLIC. THE COVER SHOT EMPOWERED THOSE WHO HAD BEEN TRYING IN VAIN FOR YEARS TO MAKE NOTE-PERFECT RENDERINGS OF THE BAND’S ICONIC MAKE-UP, WHICH WAS A BOON COME HALLOWEEN TIME. STILL COMES IN HANDY TODAY, IN FACT.

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After living in their home for 15 years, Mirjam and Peter decided to make major changes.

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$

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roadmead eauty

REVIVAL OF 1980s HOME REQUIRED INNOVATIVE PLANS, BOLD MOVES GRANIA LITWIN PHOTOS BY BRUCE STOTESBURY

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THE OWNER DEVISED THE IDEA OF PUTTING A SUPPORT POST IN THE MIDDLE OF AN ENORMOUS NEW DINING TABLE AND THAT WAS MORE THAN A LITTLE NERVEWRACKING FOR THE BUILDER

WHERE THE DINING TABLE NOW STANDS, THERE USED TO BE A WALL WITH EATING AREAS ON EITHER SIDE

W

hen a determined and confident homeowner comes up with a creative if slightly offbeat idea for their renovation, it’s up to an equally confident and experienced builder to determine first if it’s feasible and then how to make it work. In this case, Dusty Delain was shocked by the request. “As a contractor you’re constantly looking for innovative things to add to a project, something unique or a little different to include in a building,” said the owner of Amity Construction. “It’s usually the builder who suggests things and owners who take a little convincing, but in this case it was the other way around.”

“WE LOVED THE VIEW, THE PRIVACY [DOWN A LONG, HEDGED DRIVE] AND THIS AREA IS SO MUCH MORE.”

>47

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DESIGNER SAMANTHA WEEKS ADDED A SECOND GLOSSY COLUMN TO THE END OF A BAR ATTACHED TO THE ISLAND, SO THE STRUCTURAL POST WOULD NOT LOOK LIKE A ONE-OFF. SHE THEN ECHOED STAINLESS ELEMENTS IN APPLIANCES AND OTHER KITCHEN DETAILS.

Homeowners Mirjam and Peter had removed several walls during their total-house makeover, and needed to install a support post to carry the load. Mirjam devised the idea of putting it in the middle of an enormous new dining table and that was more than a little nerve-wracking for Delain: “Mirjam was gung-ho and I was thinking: Right, so you have just bought this brand new, beautiful, Restoration Hardware table, the biggest you can possibly get, and now you want to cut a hole in it? It was one of those times where you really want your expertise to kick in,” he said with a chuckle. The trestle table had a middle bracket underneath, so he positioned the post slightly off-centre and admits he remeasured more than a couple of times before cutting. “I lost track after about the fifth or sixth time. The most intense cuts are always the ones done for aesthetics.”

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BR He then installed a four-by-eight inch post, which had been wrapped in stainless steel, welded closed and given a brushed ďŹ nish at United Engineering. For aesthetics only, and a much needed sense of harmony, designer Samantha Weeks added glossy columns to the end of a bar attached to the island, so the structural post would not look like a oneoff. She then echoed stainless elements in appliances and other kitchen details. Mirjam is delighted with the results and said Delain and Weeks always delivered on time, on budget. The owners had previously built a house on Wedgewood Point, but found it too big, even with four children, and while it had spectacular views they felt isolated. >51 THE DESIGNER COMBINED TWO STANDARD, BACK-TO-BACK BATHROOMS ON THAT LEVEL, CREATING A LARGE ENSUITE AND A SMALL GUEST POWDER ROOM.

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ALL THE FIREPLACES ARE NEW, AND DELAIN ADDED NEW GAS LINES, PLUMBING AND ELECTRICAL SYSTEMS WITHOUT RIPPING OUT DRYWALL OR TAKING DOWN CEILINGS.

The two didn’t like Broadmead initially because they thought it was too dark, but 15 years ago they changed their minds after touring this house on the hill, facing the city. “We loved the view, the privacy [down a long, hedged drive] and this area is so much more central than Wedgewood,” said Mirjam. The couple liked the four-level split design and knew the 1982 house needed work, but kept delaying the inevitable. “I was terrified of the idea of renovating. The costs seemed overwhelming, we didn’t know who to hire and had heard horror stories. But then we met Dusty and he was so in touch with what we wanted, so available, so precise. He had great ideas >53 Capital HOME | 51

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BROADMEAD BEAUTY and everything was done right. He’s also into green building and when I talked about air conditioning he suggested a skylight that would open and ventilate the house, while bringing in more light. It works perfectly.” Weeks said the owners had done nothing to the home since moving in 15 years ago and as it had been a spec house originally there were lots of generic products and not a single interesting architectural element. “It was very chopped up feeling with a lot of walls on the main kitchen level. I ditched three and a half them,” said Weeks. All the flooring was replaced and they carried vaulted ceilings in the living room and den right through the kitchen, which previously had a dropped ceiling. All the false beams and textured ceiling finishes were removed while they were at it. Where the dining table now stands, nds, there used to be a wall with eating g areas on either side, in both kitchen and d dining rooms. Now there is just the one, spacious table that seats a dozen and its expansive surface suits the owners’ lifestyle, as they also use part of it as an office. “It’s very multi-purpose,” said Mirjam, who would never have thought stainless ss steel could be an accent colour. “But But everything fell into place after the posts were installed, the hanging lamps,, the stainless appliances and stair railings.” gs.” Her kitchen is now a joy and thee entire home works well for everyone including luding their dog and four grandchildren. “Peter says we’ll stay here till we go into care.” One of her favourite areas is the new master suite. The ensuite become a spacious, spa-like retreat after Weeks increased its square footage by stealing space from an adjacent bedroom that has now become a large dressing room. She also combined two standard, back-to-back bathrooms on that level, creating the large ensuite and a small guest powder room. All the trim, baseboards, doors and windows are new throughout the house, and the designer removed every bi-fold door

separate it from the new kitchen, giving it a and the extended the openings to full height. defining break and feeling of security, while “Simple things like that can elevate the keeping the open concept.” design,” Weeks explained. Delain said redesigning All the fireplaces are the “vintage” staircase It is not uncommon new, and Delain added was a key part of the new gas lines, plumbing transformation. “They were for clients to have and electrical systems sloppy and dated, and a wish list that without ripping out drywall Peter wanted a nice solid BORDERSONLA LA or taking down ceilings. upgrade.” While stressing land initially. “After the carpets came the stairs were not unsafe, out we accessed the space Delain noted they were between the joists from not up to the new code — above, by cutting into the plywood. We later “They were see-through, wrapped in carpet, patched it up and topped it with a whole new uneven and bouncy” — and lacked a wall on sub floor. This helped with the budget quite the kitchen side. a bit,” said the builder, noting every dollar “We demolished all the stairs and built counts on such an aggressive reno. a partial wall on the main level to

“WE DEMOLISHED ALL THE STAIRS AND BUILT A PARTIAL WALL ON THE MAIN LEVEL TO SEPARATE IT FROM THE NEW KITCHEN, GIVING IT A DEFINING BREAK AND FEELING OF SECURITY, WHILE KEEPING THE OPEN CONCEPT.”

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THE ENSUITE BECOME A SPACIOUS, SPA-LIKE RETREAT AFTER THE DESIGNER INCREASED ITS SQUARE FOOTAGE BY STEALING SPACE FROM AN ADJACENT BEDROOM THAT HAS NOW BECOME A LARGE DRESSING ROOM.

“We were so impressed with the builder,” said Mirjam. “At the beginning, we had a $450,000 estimate from him and Sam, which was well above what we wanted to spend. But my comfort level increased because they came back with a lot of cost saving ideas and a budget much more in line with what we wanted, around $350,000. Delain said it is not uncommon for clients to have a wish list that borders on la-la-land initially. “At the beginning, everyone is in dreamland and the budget is a huge moving target. You want to accommodate all your client’s wants, but from my experience: If a budget feels out of control, it’s because it is out of control. “My motto is always: Give people an accurate budget. I don’t sugar-coat anything, which means clients can start to make decisions based on facts. “I can’t emphasize enough how much this house came up to a totally new standard. It was a nice project, too, with nice clients and it went smoothly because Mirjam was completely in control and knew exactly what she wanted.” CH

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]fiX >ifn`e^ =Xd`cp

PHOTOS BY DARREN STONE

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endy Huibers and Tim Avery loved their neighbourhood, a block of mostly mid-century homes just north of Hillside Centre and a short walk to Browning Park. The trouble was, Huibers was pregnant with their second child and they were living in a tiny 800-square-foot 1937 cottage. They knew they would need larger quarters, but their options were limited by Avery’s desire for a separate workshop on the property. After six months of searching, however, a solution appeared, and it was right next door. Their longtime neighbour, Jack Court, had died about a year before. Back in the 1930s, Court had built Huibers’ and Avery’s home with his father. Later, after the Second World War, he and a partner built several houses on the block, including his own home, constructed in 1950. Now he was gone, and his widow, Alice, had decided to sell her bungalow. In some ways, it was the perfect solution: They could stay in the neighbourhood and the home had a separate two-car garage that was perfect for a workshop. It also had 1,100 square feet on the main and basement levels. But there were problems, too. It had only two bedrooms, one bathroom and a tiny eight-foot-square kitchen. The kitchen and living room were in the front, with the two bedrooms in back. To get to the deck from the kitchen involved a circuitous route through the dining room, entrance and living room. Downstairs was a laundry area and an aviary that extended outside. “Everything needed to be updated,” Huibers said. They decided to go ahead and buy the home anyway, and deal with the layout issues down the road. Down the road ended up lasting five years, which gave them plenty of time to dream up a new layout.

DREAM HOUSE NEXT DOOR NEEDED BIG RENOVATION TO MAKE IT WORK NENDY HUIBERS, TIM AVERY AND THEIR DAUGHTERS.

Initially planning to only renovate the downstairs, they enlisted the help of designer Matthew H. Smith of Inner Vision Design, who came up with an ambitious plan to gut the house and start over. “Right from the start, he totally understood what we needed,” Huibers said. “We had enough space. We just needed to utilize it.” It took six months, which the family of four spent crammed into a bachelor rental suite in Huibers’ mother’s home, all their belongings in storage. A landscaper who specializes in water features, Avery dedicated the winter months of the reno, which began in January of 2012, to working alongside contractor Grant Parbery of Sambuilt Construction. Even when he went back to work later that spring, Avery headed to the reno every day at 4:30 or 5 a.m.,

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ONE SIGNIFICANT CHALLENGE WAS MOVING THE STAIRS: IN THE OLD LAYOUT, THE STAIRS TO THE LOWER LEVEL WERE OFF THE KITCHEN. HUIBERS WANTED THEM TO BE MORE CENTRAL.

then returned after work to labour late into the night. Once the job reached the finishing stage, he took over from the contractor. Extended family members were enlisted to help paint, insulate and install trim and flooring, to help offset some of the costs of the project. One significant challenge was moving the stairs: In the old layout, the stairs to the lower level were off the kitchen. Huibers wanted them to be more central so the downstairs felt more like part of the house, especially since they’d decided to build their girls’ bedrooms downstairs, leaving the master as the only bedroom on the main level, in order to

maximize common space. They found the perfect spot for the stairs between the entrance and the new great room, formed by turning the two back bedrooms into an open dining room and kitchen. Now the blond maple stairs are visible right when you walk into the home, providing a gradual descent to the lower level. The girls’ rooms aren’t large, but that’s OK, because just down the hall is a large family room that opens to the back garden via French doors. There was space left over downstairs for a laundry area as well as a zig-zag-shaped flex room that they use as an office and sewing space, but is wired to become a kitchen if they

ever want an inlaw suite. A full bathroom with shower and double sinks completes the space. After they decided to install in-floor heating throughout the house, they had to take out the basement floor, so they opted to dig down a foot, which gave them an extra six inches of headroom. On the main floor, when they moved the kitchen to the back, and put the master in its place, they also turned the home’s sole bathroom into a powder room. The extra space became a large master ensuite and a walk-in closet, both accessed via pocket doors. Originally they had hoped to save money by keeping their old appliances, storing them in

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AT THE DESIGNERâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S SUGGESTION, THEY INSTALLED TWO COUNTER-LEVEL WINDOWS ON EITHER SIDE OF THE RANGE

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the backyard through the reno, but that plan went out the window when they saw their brand-new space. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I thought, â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;They are not coming back in,â&#x20AC;&#x2122; â&#x20AC;? said Huibers, who sourced all the new appliances, ďŹ xtures, ďŹ&#x201A;ooring and other materials herself. They also ended up re-stuccoing the house and buying all new doors and windows. Summerhill Kitchens custom-made the kitchen cabinets, a chocolate-brown maple, but the extra expense for the cabinetry meant no money for stone countertops, so they ended up with an easy-to-clean white laminate. At the designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s suggestion, they installed two counter-level windows on either side of the range between the upper and lower cabinets, which allow in light ďŹ ltered through green leaves. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a nice touch, one that required a little more work but was worth it, Huibers said, since the wall would otherwise be dark. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I love the extra light.â&#x20AC;? Because they were ripping out all the old electrical, plumbing and insulation, they did an energy audit to determine what to do to improve their energy-efďŹ ciency. With new insulation, windows, doors, gas ďŹ replace insert and high-efďŹ ciency gas boiler that runs the in-ďŹ&#x201A;oor heating and hot-water system, they raised their rating from 48 to 81, which is gold class. Theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re thrilled with how it all turned out â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they say they wouldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do anything differently. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We really have no layout regrets at all,â&#x20AC;? Huibers said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Weâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re really happy with it. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s nice to know itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done really well. Tim doesnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t do anything unless itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s done really well.â&#x20AC;? CH

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he way many homeowners now want to live has redeďŹ ned how interior designers and architects create space, with openconcept designs becoming popular. Instead of having sight lines blocked between the living spaces of a home, such as the kitchen, living room and dining room, Kyla Bidgood says homeowners prefer to have their spaces reďŹ&#x201A;ect their lifestyle. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The way we socialize has dictated openconcept spaces work best,â&#x20AC;? says the Victoria interior designer. For entertaining, open concept means the host can be involved in the event while still preparing food and drinks. For people with smaller square footages, open-concept spaces also help create the illusion of more space. Amanda Hamilton of Amanda Hamilton Interior Design believes the trend toward openconcept spaces is a reďŹ&#x201A;ection of how family life has changed. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Family structures are more dynamic,â&#x20AC;? says the Calgary designer. â&#x20AC;&#x153;I know

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INTERIOR DESIGNERS CAN CREATE THE BEST FURNITURE PLAN FOR A ROOM, BALANCING PRACTICAL CONSIDERATIONS AND CREATIVE RISK-TAKING. “CHANGING UP THE PLACEMENT OF YOUR FURNITURE CAN MAKE A MASSIVE DIFFERENCE,” SAYS DESIGNER BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN. ADDING, SUBTRACTING OR RELOCATING FURNITURE, AFFECTS “HOW NATURAL LIGHT PLAYS IN THE SPACE AND ALSO HOW FREQUENTLY THE ROOM GETS USED. BY SIMPLY ADDING A BENCH TO A WALL, A ROOM CAN BECOME MORE OF A HANGOUT.” AND REMEMBER, YOU DON’T HAVE TO PLACE FURNITURE ALONG WALLS. “FLOATING FURNITURE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROOM HELPS HIGHLIGHT ARCHITECTURAL FEATURES AND ALSO AIDS IN PROPER MOVEMENT THROUGHOUT THE SPACE,” FLYNN SAYS. PLACING FURNITURE AWAY FROM THE WALLS ALSO WORKS WELL IN SPACES THAT HAVE LOTS OF DOORS, OR SOARING WINDOWS THAT SHOULDN’T BE OBSTRUCTED.

— MELISSA RAYWORTH

with a lot of our clients in their homes they have really blended the living room, dining room and kitchen together. ” While there are many benefits to open spaces in a home, Hamilton says there are two big things homeowners should keep in mind if they are considering opening up their house — storage and privacy. “You have to come up

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with clever ways to provide storage and hide things,” she says, noting baskets on shelves closed cupboards and a platform bed with storage underneath. “There are times when you may want privacy or to partition off a part of your space,” Hamilton says. “Screens are an easy way to create privacy.” — MEGAN COLE

COLOURS CREATE ATMOSPHERE, A GOOD STARTING POINT FOR ANY ROOM DESIGN. COLOURS AFFECT MOODS AND EACH ROOM SHOULD HAVE A COLOUR THAT REFLECTS HOW THE HOMEOWNER WILL USE THE SPACE AND INTERACT WITHIN. THE RANGE — FROM MUTED, COLORFUL NEUTRALS TO BOLD, CARNIVAL SHADES – IS COMPLETELY UP TO YOU.

COLOUR

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IMAGINE...

LIGHTING

DESIGNERS SAY LIGHTING SHOULD DIRECT YOUR COLOUR CHOICES, A FURNITURE PLAN AND WHAT TYPE OF CABINETS AND FLOORING YOU CHOOSE. IS THERE A LOT OF NATURAL LIGHT OR WILL YOU NEED PLENTY OF LAMPS? WILL THERE BE THERE BUILT-IN SCONCES OR A CENTRAL CHANDELIER? DESIGNERS SUGGEST USING LIGHTING TO CREATE MOOD IN CERTAIN AREAS OF THE SPACE, WHICH CAN DEFINE A SPACE WITHOUT DIVIDING IT UP. HOMEOWNERS NEED TO ASSESS THE SPACE AND SELECT FIXTURES THAT MATCH THE STYLE THEY ARE ATTEMPTING TO ACHIEVE AND ALSO FIT THE SCALE OF THE ROOM.

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IMAGINE...

PAINT

THE MAJOR PAINT COMPANIES HAVE ALREADY RELEASED THEIR COLOUR FORECASTS FOR 2016. THEY USUALLY CHOOSE FOUR THEMES TO REFLECT THE TRENDS AND THEN PULL ONE STANDOUT COLOR AS THE STAR. CHECK THE WEBSITES OF MAJOR COLOUR PRODUCERS SUCH AS SHERWINWILLIAMS, PPG PAINTS AND ARCHITECTURAL COATINGS, BENJAMIN MOORE, DUTCH BOY, BEHR, FARROW & BALL AND OTHERS. WHATEVER DIRECTION YOU CHOOSE, DON’T BE AFRAID TO STROKE ON SOME COLOR.

FLOORING

CREATING COSY GATHERING PLACES WITHIN THE LARGER OPEN AREA IS IMPORTANT IN EFFECTIVELY DECORATING AND LAYING OUT A SPACE. “A GREAT WAY OF DELINEATING SPACE WITHOUT USING PARTITIONS IS WITH FLOORING,” SAYS VICTORIA DESIGNER KYLA BIDGOOD. “USING AREA RUGS OR MAYBE AN INLAY OF A DIFFERENT FLOORING HELPS DIVIDE A SPACE.”

RUGS:

CONSIDER THE SIZE AND PLACEMENT OF RUGS IN YOUR LIVING SPACE. “I CANNOT IMAGINE DESIGNING A LIVING-ROOM SPACE WITH A RUG ANY SMALLER THAN AN 8-BY-10,” SAYS DAN FAIRES, HOST OF HGTV’S DANMADE. THE RUG IS MEANT TO UNIFY THE ENTIRE SPACE AND CONNECT FURNITURE PIECES TOGETHER, SO A GOOD RULE OF THUMB IS THAT AT LEAST THE FRONT LEGS OF ANY SOFAS OR CHAIRS IN THE LIVING ROOM SHOULD BE ON THE RUG. FOR A LARGER AREA RUG, ALLOW AT LEAST 18 INCHES FROM THE EDGE OF THE RUG TO THE WALL.” IN VERY LARGE ROOMS OR LOFT SPACES, RUGS CAN HELP DEFINE SMALL AREAS AND MAKE THE SPACE FEEL ORGANIZED. “TO KEEP EVERYTHING BALANCED WHILE VISUALLY SEPARATING EACH ZONE, USE AREA RUGS IN CO-ORDINATING COLOURS WITH SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT TEXTURES AND PATTERNS,” SAYS DESIGNER BRIAN PATRICK FLYNN.

HARDWOOD:

WHAT IS THE DESIGN LOOK THAT YOU PICTURE FOR YOUR ROOM? THE SPECIES AND FINISH OF THE HARDWOOD YOU SELECT CAN SET THE ATMOSPHERE FOR YOUR WHOLE ROOM. IF YOU PREFER A MORE TRADITIONAL STYLE FOR YOUR SPACE, ASH AND OAK FLOORS ARE POPULAR PICKS. THEIR GRAINS ARE CLASSIC AND TIMELESS AND THEY COME IN A VARIETY OF STAINS AND FINISHES. THOSE WHO GRAVITATE TOWARD MODERN OR CONTEMPORARY STYLES WILL APPRECIATE THE SMOOTH, ALMOST MONOCHROMATIC LOOK OF MAPLE OR THE UNUSUAL PATTERN OF AN EXOTIC HARDWOOD LIKE TIGERWOOD OR SAPELE. IF YOUR STYLE IS MORE COZY AND RUSTIC, YOU MIGHT WANT TO CONSIDER HICKORY OR CHERRY HARDWOODS. FOR A WORLDLY APPROACH TO A SPACE, WALNUT IS A GREAT WOOD-TYPE TO CONSIDER. — ARMSTRONG.COM

TILE:

THERE ARE MANY EXCITING TILE PATTERNS AND COLOURS TO CHOOSE — AND SO MANY WAYS TO USE THEM TO A ROOM’S BEST ADVANTAGE. IF YOU WANT TO ALTER THE APPEARANCE OR SCALE OF A ROOM, THERE IS NO END TO THE POSSIBILITIES. COVER THE ENTIRE FLOOR OR USE THEM AS ACCENTS.

CORK:

CORK FLOORING IS A PRODUCT MADE FROM THE BARK OF THE CORK OAK TREE. IT IS GROUND, PROCESSED INTO SHEETS AND BAKED IN A KILN TO PRODUCE TILES. ONE OF ITS CHARACTERISTICS IS ITS RESILIENCE TO PRESSURE AND IMPACT. BECAUSE OF ITS CELLULAR NATURE THAT FEATURES MILLIONS OF MICROSCOPIC AIR POCKETS, CORK FLOORING HAS MEMORY THAT ALLOWS IT TO WITHSTAND FOOT TRAFFIC AND THE PRESSURE OF FURNITURE LEGS. IT’S ALSO CONSIDERED A GOOD INSULATOR.

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BALL CLUSTER LIGHTS AT MCLAREN

Let there be LED LIGHT-EMITTING DIODE TECHNOLOGY IS CHANGING THE WAY WE LIGHT UP OUR LIVES TEXT BY PEDRO ARRAIS PHOTOS BY BRUCE STOTESBURY

P

repare to be dazzled the next time you step into a lighting-supply store looking for that perfect light fixture to cap off a successful renovation. The advent of light-emitting diode (LED) lights has energized a whole industry with new, innovative products. Lighting manufacturers have evolved rapidly to embrace the trend, driven by legislation and consumer demand. “It’s the first question everybody asks and what everyone wants to know about,” says Mike McDougall, building designer at Mclaren Lighting. LED’s advantages over incandescent light sources include lower energy

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LED

LIGHTING DESIGNERS HAVE BEEN ABLE TO SHOW GREATER CREATIVITY. consumption — up to 90 per cent less energy — and last up to 25 times longer — 25,000 hours versus 1,000. But when first introduced a few years ago, LED fixtures for the home were both limited in selection and pricey. But over time, prices have fallen and the consumer have myriad choices in sizes and light output. Without being encumbered by the shape of an incandescent light bulb, lighting designers have been able to show greater creativity, says McDougall. “We now see clusters of pendants, where none were possible before. It has opened up the market with whimsical designs and fixtures with flair.” The sheer number of new products has helped drive down the cost of both bulbs and fixtures over time. Adoption of the new standard has also been helped by the discontinuation of manufacturing and

importation of 40- and 60-watt bulbs earlier this year. This follows the same demise of 75- and 100-watt bulbs a year earlier. The ubiquitous light bulb invented by Thomas Edison more than a century ago is largely fading into black — although there will still be a few specialty bulbs available. One of the major complaints of LEDs — of how “cold” the light looks — has also been addressed. “There was a rush by manufacturers to get the new product to market as quickly as possible,” says McDougall. “People, who are used to the warm glow of incandescent light, just didn’t like the stark white of early LEDs. They also couldn’t be dimmed.” Lights are measured by colour output, usually displayed as degrees Kelvin — a typical interior incandescent bulb is around 2,700K,

ASSORTED LIGHTING FIXTURES HANG FROM THE CEILING AT MCLAREN LIGHTING.

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“Light is like the jewellery on top of a black dress,” says Lisa Dunsmuir, principal interior designer at Step One Design. “Unfortunately, it is also the most overlooked area in a house. “Light sets the atmosphere of any room. Not adequately illuminating it is a disservice to the costly renovations one has undertaken.” Barring a media room, where the absence of light is desirable, most homeowners these days try to bring the outdoors into the house as much as possible. The task is much easier if the rooms in question have banks of windows facing south, as nature will bless them with abundant light in all seasons. But be careful of what you wish for, as the intense sunlight can damage furniture, floor coverings and artwork. Not everybody can relocate a room to take advantage of optimal light, so strategies to introduce light where necessary must be considered in advance. Strategically placed skylights are one answer to dark spaces, but they look better on a vaulted ceiling, not at the end of a long shaft. “It’s all about striking the proper light balance,” says Dunsmuir, who co-owns the design studio with her husband, Mike. “Proper placement of the light source is the key.” She recommends homeowners spend time considering three basic types of lighting a room — ambient or general lighting, task and accent. “Between the three, one can create various light levels to suit all circumstances,” she says. It is especially important to eliminate as many shadows — or too much glare — for people considering aging in place, as people’s vision invariably deteriorates with age. “I advise people to put as many dimmers as they possibly can to get the level of light that is comfortable for them.”

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MANUFACTURERS HAVE GIVEN THEIR BULBS A PHOSPHOR COATING TO GIVE THE LIGHTS A WARMER TONE.

and is usually called “warm white.” When shopping, look for a colour-temperature rating of between 2,700 to 3,000K. Bulbs labeled “cool white” or “daylight” develop a more cooler light and operate in the 5,000K to 5,600K range. “Manufacturers have given their bulbs a phosphor coating to give the lights a warmer tone — one hue that most people are used to for artificial light.” Along with the introduction of dimmable bulbs, switching over to LEDs has become easier on the eyes as it is on the pocketbook. When LED first came out five years ago, bulbs cost $50 to $60 each. People can now buy them for around $10, and prices continue to fall, making a whole-house change-over to the more efficient bulbs a lot easier to justify.

MIKE MCDOUGALL OF MCLAREN LIGHTING

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Let there be LED WHEN LED FIRST CAME OUT FIVE YEARS AGO, BULBS COST $50 TO $60 EACH.

Hand in hand with the evolution of the new bulbs has been a similar revolution emerging in lighting controls. Some new fixtures can now be controlled with a smart phone over the Internet. Tech-savvy people can easily control their home’s lights to come on and turn off remotely from a hotel room halfway around the world or just before the car turns up the driveway. Updating the exterior lighting for comfort and security is easier as well. “A sconce beside the front door just doesn’t do it anymore,” says McDougall. Increasingly, designers with an understanding of curb appeal are painting a house with light, accentuating architectural details of a home. As the technology matures, more products are constantly coming to market. “It’s only going to get better.” CH

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AN ALTERNATIVE TO TURKEY FOR THANKSGIVING DINNER?

y s s a l C serole s a C BRING IT TO A POTLUCK OR SERVE IT FOR THANKSGIVING. HEARTY, HOT CHICKEN DISH TOPPED WITH NUTS, CRANBERRIES AND SAGE IS PERFECT FOR AUTUMN. ERIC AKIS

W

hen some hear the word “casserole,” a baked, bubbling and cheesy pasta dish strewn with flakes of canned tuna and frozen peas is often what first comes to mind. Yes, that is a casserole, and I certainly do love that style. But a casserole can also be much more adventurous tasting and even be something you serve for a festive occasion, such as Thanksgiving dinner. My chicken casserole recipe meets that standard, but before I tell you about it, let me first provide a definition of a casserole.

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Casserole is a French term for a stew pan or saucepan. Culinary guides describe it is an ovenproof dish that traditionally comes with a tight-fitting lid. These days, though, casseroles come in all shapes and sizes and, if it didn’t come with a lid, it can simply be covered with good oldfashioned aluminum foil. Casserole is also the term for a dish that’s cooked in a casserole. I couldn’t find any restrictions on what that dish should be comprised of, which in turn explains why you will find thousands of different casserole recipes in cookbooks, magazines and online, for everything from side dishes to entrees that use every type of ingredient imaginable. That said, one thing casseroles usually all incorporate are a generous amount of liquid or sauce, whose roles are to keep the food cooked in the casserole moist and inviting. That was certainly the case with my autumn chicken casserole recipe.

To make it, I coated pieces of chicken in cornstarch, seared them in oil until golden and then set them into two casseroles. I needed two casseroles to accommodate the 16 pieces of chicken I used in my recipe designed to serve eight. The chicken was then topped with a simmering mixture of stock, apple juice (or cider), balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, onion, garlic and ginger. Strewn on top of that was sage, cranberries and walnuts. When the chicken bakes in the casserole, the cornstarch thickens the liquids surrounding it forming a sauce. Because of the ingredients used, that sauce infuses the chicken with a beguiling sweet and sour taste enhanced with earthy sage and richness from the nuts. It’s a splendid casserole you could bring to a potluck or serve to a table full of guests, perhaps as an alternative to turkey for Thanksgiving dinner. Once cooked, depending on how formal you want to be, you could serve the chicken right from the casseroles, or more arrange it on a large platter.

CASSEROLE POTS COME IN A VARIETY OF COLOURS

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Classy CASSEROLE

Autumn Chicken Casserole with Sage, Cranberries and Walnuts This inviting chicken casserole braises seared pieces of chicken with tastes of autumn, such as cranberry, apple and nuts. Serve it with the brussels sprouts and rice pilaf recipes that follow. Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time: About 80 minutes Makes: Eight (two-chicken-piece) servings 8 large chicken drumsticks 8 medium chicken thighs sSALTANDFRESHLYGROUNDBLACKPEPPERTOTASTE CUPCORNSTARCH

4BSPVEGETABLEOILDIVIDED MEDIUMONIONS HALVEDANDTHINLYSLICED 4BSPCHOPPEDFRESHGINGER LARGEGARLICCLOVE MINCED CUPSCHICKENSTOCK CUPMAPLESYRUP CUPUNSWEETENEDAPPLEJUICEORCIDER CUPBALSAMICVINEGAR CUPSFRESHORFROZENCRANBERRIES CUPWALNUTHALVES 4BSPCHOPPEDFRESHSAGE sSPRIGSOFFRESHSAGE FORGARNISHOPTIONAL Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place the cornstarch in a bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat with cornstarch. Heat two Tbsp of the oil in each of two large skillets set over medium-high. Shake the excess cornstarch off the chicken. Divide

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and add the chicken to the skillets and brown on all sides. Once browned, divide the chicken between two, 13- x 9-inch inch casseroles. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Pace the remaining oil in a medium pot set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about ďŹ ve minutes. Add the ginger and garlic and cook one minute more. Add the stock, syrup, juice and vinegar, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Divide and pour this mixture over the chicken. Divide and set cranberries and walnuts on and around the chicken. Sprinkle the chicken with the chopped sage. Cover and bake for 60 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked and deliciously tender. Serve chicken from the casseroles, or arrange on a platter as shown in the photo, garnished with sage sprigs, if desired. Ericâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s options: If you are only serving four, this recipe could easily be halved and cook in one casserole, not two.

Rice Pilaf with Lemon and Parsley The tangy lemon and clean and fresh tasting parsley in this pilaf make it a nice side for the rich and robust tasting chicken. Preparation time: 10 minutes Cooking time: About 20 minutes Makes: 8 Servings 4BSPOLIVEOIL MEDIUMONION lNELYCHOPPED GARLICCLOVES MINCED CUPSLONGGRAINWHITERICE TSPlNELYGRATEDLEMONZEST CUPFRESHLEMONJUICE CUPSCHICKENSTOCK sSALTANDWHITEPEPPERTOTASTE CUPCHOPPEDFRESHPARSLEY

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Classy CASSEROLE Heat the oil in a pot set over medium to medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook until softened, about three to four minutes. Mix in the rice and cook and stir two minutes. Add the remaining ingredients, except garnish, and bring to a boil. Cover the rice, turn the heat to its lowest setting, and cook 15 minutes, or until the rice is tender. Fluff the rice with a fork and then mix in the parsley. Transfer the rice to a serving dish and enjoy. eakis@timescolonist.com Eric Akis is the author of The Great Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook (Appetite by Random House). His columns appear in the Times Colonist on Wednesdays and Sundays.



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Classy CASSEROLE Cider-glazed brussels sprouts The brussels sprouts in this simple side dish are blanched in advance, cooled, refrigerated and then reheated in the cider/butter mixture when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s time to serve. Preparation time: 15 minutes Cooking time: About 10 to 12 minutes Makes: 8 servings LBSSMALLTOMEDIUM SIZED BRUSSELSSPROUTS TRIMMED LOOSELEAVES DISCARDED SHALLOW8CUTINTOEACHSTEMEND 4BSPBUTTER CUPNON ALCOHOLICAPPLECIDER 4BSPCIDERVINEGAR 4BSPCHOPPEDFRESHPARSLEY sSALTANDFRESHLYGROUNDBLACKPEPPERTOTASTE Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the brussels sprouts and gently boil until just tender, about four to six minutes, depending on size and desired doneness. (Remember that the sprouts will cook a little further when latter simmered in the cider.) Drain the sprouts well, cool in ice-cold water, and drain well again. Place the brus br brussels u us sprouts in a bowl, cover and refrigerate until needed. (Sprouts can be prepared to this point many hours before needed.) pre pr When ready to serve, place the butter and cider in a large skillet and bring tto a simmer over medium-high heat. Add the sprouts and simmer until heated through th h and the cider has reduced and starts to very lightly thicken to form ag glaze around the sprouts. Toss in the vinegar, parsley, salt and pepper. Spoon Sp po into a serving dish and enjoy. CH

Wondering W Wo nd what wine to serve with the chicken? Ame De Paoli, a wine expert expe ex p rtt fr from BC Wineguys in Oak Bay, suggested the three styles below. St Stop top op in in att the t store, 2579 Cadboro Bay Rd., to ďŹ nd a wide selection of each. VIOGNIER: This robust white pairs very well with chicken in a light sauce, but it has the weight to stand up to the spicy ginger and sweet, rich ďŹ&#x201A;avours from the apple and maple syrup. Viognier also has enough acidity for cleansing the palate. Serving it with the recommended brussels sprouts and rice pilaf would work perfectly.

ROSE: A dry-style, clean, crisp rose would also work with chicken, and the cranberries, sage and garlic that ďŹ&#x201A;avour it. PINOT NOIR: A soft tannin, good acidity, light-weight Pinot Noir would also pair well with the casserole. It will work nicely with the rich ďŹ&#x201A;avours of the dark chicken meat and go smashingly with the cranberry and walnuts.

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Food ENCORE Zucchini Basil Soup BY SUSAN GREER

If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know someone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s trying to give away zucchini right now, you probably donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t know anyone who is growing it. This summer squash grows easily and in great abundance, and if itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not picked when itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s relatively small â&#x20AC;&#x201D; 15 to 20 centimetres â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an individual zucchini can grow as big as your arm. And the thing is, the big ones are just as edible as the little ones, although they may be a little more ďŹ brous. Fortunately, there is almost no end to the culinary uses of zucchini, including a delicious appetizer soup. This is a tasty soup thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s ideal in summer when the main ingredients are plentiful. It can be served hot or chilled and freezes well.

Grilled Peaches with Raspberry Butter and Cookie Crumbs ELIZABETH KARMEL

Start to ďŹ nish: 20 minutes Servings: 4 RIPEPEACHES HALVEDANDPITTED 5N TOASTEDWALNUTORHAZELNUTOILOR OLIVEOIL TABLESPOONLIGHTBROWNSUGAR TEASPOONKOSHERSALT TABLESPOONSUNSALTEDBUTTER SOFTENED TABLESPOONAMARETTOLIQUEUR TABLESPOONSEEDLESSRASPBERRYJAM 6ANILLAICECREAMORWHIPPEDCREAM TO SERVE AMARETTICOOKIES CRUMBLED Heat the grill to medium-low. Brush the cut side of each peach half with the oil. Set aside. In a small bowl, mix together the brown sugar, salt, butter, amaretto and jam until smooth. Spoon a bit (about 1/2 tablespoon) of the mixture into the centre of each peach half. Place the peaches, cut side up, on the grill. Cover the grill and cook until the skins begin

to pull away from the ďŹ&#x201A;esh, about 5 minutes. About halfway through the grilling time, brush the melted butter mixture at the centre of each half all over the cut side. Remove the peach halves from the grill, being careful not to spill the butter mixture from the centres. Set aside to cool slightly, then serve warm or at room temperature topped with a scoop of ice cream or whipped cream and a sprinkle of amaretti cookie crumbles. Nutrition information per serving: 360 calories; 170 calories from fat (47 per cent of total calories); 19 g fat (9 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 120 mg sodium; 46 g carbohydrate; 3 g ďŹ ber; 37 g sugar; 4 g protein. â&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x201D;â&#x20AC;&#x201D; EDITORâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;S NOTE: Elizabeth Karmel is a barbecue and Southern foods expert. She is the chef and pitmaster at online retailer CarolinaCueToGo.com and author of three books, including â&#x20AC;&#x153;Taming the Flame.â&#x20AC;?

ML4BSP OIL MEDIUMONION CHOPPED CLOVESGARLIC MINCED MEDIUMZUCCHINI CHOPPED LCUPS CHICKENORVEGETABLESTOCK ML4BSP LEMONJUICE MLTSP GRANULATEDSUGAR MLCUP CHOPPEDFRESHBASIL ML4BSP 'REEKYOGURTORSOURCREAM "ASILSPRIGSANDPAPRIKA FORGARNISH In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, for seven minutes or until softened. Add garlic and zucchini, stirring occasionally, for three minutes. Stir in stock, lemon juice and sugar. Increase heat to high and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for about 15 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Stir in chopped basil. Simmer for one minute longer. In a blender or food processor, puree soup in small batches until smooth. Return to saucepan to heat through. Spoon into serving bowls. Add 15 ml (1 Tbsp) of the yogurt to centre of each serving. Garnish with a sprig of basil and a sprinkle of paprika. Makes 4 servings. Source: â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thyme in the Kitchen: Cooking With Fresh Herbsâ&#x20AC;? by Yvonne Tremblay.

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ENCORE

Getting cozy THROWS CAN ADD WARMTH, COLOUR, TEXTURE TO A ROOM

LISA A. FLAM

I

f you’re not up for big projects such as repainting the walls or adding insulation to the attic this fall, consider stocking up on throw blankets for an easy, low-commitment way to change the look of your rooms — and keep cozy. Whether turned out in luxurious cashmere or a soft synthetic, a throw is a snuggly alternative to zipping up another sweatshirt or cranking up the thermostat when the temperature dips. “People just love that soft, extra-cozy feeling to wrap up in them,” says Jami Supsic, style director for Country Living magazine. “Nothing would be better on a winter night than having a chunky

throw to wrap up in while reading or watching TV.” Available in a huge selection of colours, patterns and materials, including flannel, wool and faux fur, the throw is a versatile accessory that can help create a new look, add interest and warmth to a room and tie the colours of a room together. “They bring so much to the composition in a room without being the focal point,” Supsic says. Throws can add whatever is missing from a space: a splash of colour, a bit of texture, a rich pattern. Conversely, a neutral throw, think khaki or ivory, will help tone down or minimize a statement piece or print that is dominating the space, Supsic said. >84

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Cozy ENCORE “If something’s not right or bright enough, you could add a throw to the foot of the bed and it will give it that pop of colour or pattern you need without necessarily taking over,” Supsic said. The right throw can highlight a standout element or colour in the room, like a painting behind the bed or an accent colour in the living room, says interior designer Hillary Cohen. “It’s not going to be the star of the room,” she says. “It can make whatever the star in the room is pop.”

WHERE DO YOU THROW THEM? Throws are commonly draped over the arms and backs of chairs and couches, and put on ottomans and across beds. Don’t forget spare be drooms (who wants chilly houseguests?), window seats and perhaps out on the porch swing. They can be folded or tossed. For a relaxed look, Cohen tousles a folded blanket a bit “so it doesn’t look like it’s too perfect.” The blankets also can become art. Display a stack on a shelf or hang a favourite on the wall, Supsic says.

WHICH ONES TO CHOOSE? Experts suggest throws in autumn shades such as burnt orange, mustardy yellow, brown, navy or bold royal blue, deep olive or pine green, grey and burgundy.

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EXPERTS SUGGEST THROWS IN AUTUMN SHADES.

Chunky knit and sheepskin throws are popular, along with throws with pompoms, buffalo check, plaid and pinwheel quilt patterns, Supsic says. You can mix and match patterns, but pay attention to scale and shape. â&#x20AC;&#x153;If you have a small check on the sofa, maybe get a bigger plaid to contrast that, or a stripe to complement the plaid,â&#x20AC;? Supsic says. Avoid patterns that almost match but donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t: If you have a circle pattern on the couch, donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t choose a throw with a scallop design, said designer Tenecia Harris. Try stripes instead. If monochromatic is your thing,

choose a throw that stands out for its texture. For a cotton twill sofa, Supsic suggests a chunky chenille throw. Cohen likes a light-colored, faux fur throw atop a beige wool couch. If your furniture is ďŹ&#x201A;oral, Harris recommended going geometric, with squares and diamonds. For an ikat print, Cohen suggests a solid or a small-scale herringbone pattern. Throws that look and feel great come in all prices. â&#x20AC;&#x153;You deďŹ nitely donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have to spend $1,000 to get the style,â&#x20AC;? Supsic says. But if you want to, â&#x20AC;&#x153;Thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a nice splurge.â&#x20AC;? CH

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ENCORE

An Oasis Out Back

GRANIA LITWIN

A VICTORIA COUPLE TRANSFORMS THEIR YARD AND DOUBLES THEIR LIVING SPACE.

BEFORE PHOTO FAR LEFT: THE MURRAYS TRANSFORMED A CLUTTERED, RUNDOWN BACK YARD INTO THEIR OWN SPICE OF PARADISE.

I

t’s wonderful to travel around the world. But as Dorothy once said as she clicked her ruby red slippers together, there’s no place like home. That is especially true when a home has a sensational outdoor entertaining environment like the one created by Mike and Cheryl Murray. “We hummed and hawed about doing something in the garden for a long, long time, and lived here for 23 years,” says Cheryl.

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DESIGNER TURNED ALL THEIR IDEAS INTO A BEAUTIFUL REALITY

VARIOUS VIEWS OF THE NEW OUTDOOR ENVIRONMENT CREATED BY MIKE AND CHERYL MURRAY. FIREPLACE WAS CREATED BY IAN WYNDLOW, OF LIQUID STONE STUDIOS IN LADYSMITH. HARD LANDSCAPING WAS DONE BY SEAN GREENFIELD.

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Then one day she and her husband sat down and wrote a serious wish list that included features such an outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen with a bar and a herb garden beside the grill. They hired Sean Greenfield of Greenfield Design Landscaping — “who was just brilliant.” He managed to turn all their ideas into reality, custom designing and building most of the structures. They removed a rotting wooden deck they had been staining for 20 years and replaced it with a zero-maintenance patio of stamped concrete, which includes a feature area of white slate laid beside the hot tub that they had bought five years before. One of the highlights is a new classiclooking, concrete fireplace that is perfectly integrated into the stone wall which wraps around the patio —so it doesn’t take up space on the terrace. The fireplace heats the seating area and

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Oasis ENCORE

THE CONCRETE FIREPLACE IS PERFECTLY INTEGRATED INTO THE STONE WALL WHICH WRAPS AROUND THE PATIO —SO IT DOESN’T TAKE UP SPACE ON THE TERRACE.

there is a hanging gas heater over the bar which also has a glass roof that is almost invisible. “You’ve got keep the cook cooking,” said Cheryl with a laugh. The renovation has doubled their living area and they are outdoors almost year round now. “People can spend a lot of money on holidays and expensive vacations, but now all we have to do is just open the back door… and we especially enjoy it in the evening,” says Cheryl. “The night lighting makes all the difference. I wouldn’t even consider renovating a yard without it. That was Mike’s thing. He carefully placed every light after doing a lot of reading to see how light casts. It brings the space to life. “We go out there even on a cool evening with blankets, pillows and popcorn to watch TV,” which they have put on the fireplace mantel. CH

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Visitors also notice the silhouette -style sculpture of a moose on the roof.

Al ive with art PADDY STEWART OPENS HIS UPLANDS HOME AND PERSONAL GALLERY GRANIA LITWIN

PADDY STEWART IN HIS YARD WITH THE SWALLOW CHAIR, A SCULPTURE BY WAYNE NGAN.

T

he art of dramatic living was unveiled this month when a variety of theatrical homeowners flung open their doors so the public can make a grand entrance. A highlight of the annual Art Gallery of Greater Victoria home tour was the 1932 Tudor-inspired Uplands home of Belfry Theatre board chair emeritus Paddy Stewart. He and the other five homeowners are all connected to the performing arts in some way, making their personal settings all the more intriguing. Tour visitors were visually entertained by arrangements created by members of the Victoria Floral Artists Guild, and artists working at each of the homes. Stewart bought his house more than 40 years ago and one of the first things he did was take off all the doors on the main level to create a gallery-like space. He also tore up all the grey shag carpet, painted over

pink walls and hired architect John Keay to design a conservatory and guest suite over the carport. Stewart, a bachelor, acknowledges he needs to replace some furniture and carpets, but who will notice that when the walls are alive with extraordinary canvases and sculptures are found in almost every corner, as well as throughout the garden, where visitors were welcome to wander. Inside the front door is one of Charles Pachter’s pop icons, a large canvas from his Canadian flag series, and the kitchen alone has paintings by Jack Wise, Bruno Boback,

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ONE OF THE CANADIAN FLAG SERIES PAINTINGS BY CHARLES PACHTER.

THE LAST BACCACHNAL BY JEFF BURGESS.

A WYNDHAM LEWIS PORTRAIT OF MARY MCLEAN 1940.

Catherine Moffat and Frankie Miller, as well as sculptures by Paul Burke and Wayne Ngan. At the top of the stairs, visitors will see one of two crucifixion triptychs by Jeff Burgess, whose works are in the collections of Microsoft, Fairmont Hotels, the Alberta Art Foundation and more. Influenced by historical European painters, it’s an understatement to say he explores an alternate religious universe. Visitors also notice the silhouette-style sculpture of a moose on the roof. “We have quite a variety of wonderful homes this year,” said event co-chair Pieta

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HALL SCULPTURE BY DAVID ROBINSON.

      

          

VanDyke. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We have a large contemporary home designed for its site on Arbutus Cove, a smaller waterfront retirement home with views of Mount Baker, two small homes â&#x20AC;&#x201D; one with a contemporary dĂŠcor and the other a restored Victoria cottage â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and a contemporary home recently built in FairďŹ eld.â&#x20AC;? CH

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PLAN AHEAD TO DEAL WITH TAXES IF YOU WANT TO PASS YOUR SUMMER SANCTUARY TO YOUR CHILDREN

 

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Selling your cottage to your children for a nominal amount that WOULDNOTOTHERWISEINCURACAPITALGAINWONTAVOIDTHETAX

Keeping the cottage ALL IN THE FAMILY CRAIG WONG

S

itting by the lake and watching the grandchildren cannonball off the dock might be the dream of many cottage-owning baby boomers. But handing down the cottage to those grandkids so that they might one day do the same can trigger big tax bills that could force the sale of the property. A lakefront cottage purchased for a few thousand dollars decades ago may now be worth hundreds of thousands, perhaps even more. And while you canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t avoid the tax bill, there are ways to make it more manageable. Mike Laughton, a ďŹ nancial planner at Royal Bank, says one option is to sell or gift the property to your children today. While that triggers a tax bill now, it puts any future capital gains in the childrensâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; hands. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The sooner you can get it into the beneďŹ ciariesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; names, the less future tax liability youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re going to incur upon yourself,â&#x20AC;? Laughton says. You can even structure the sale so that you loan the money to your children to buy the property from you. By holding the mortgage, you will be able to spread the capital gains and the associated tax bill over ďŹ ve years and you can forgive the debt in your will if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re feeling generous. Other options can also include adding your child as a joint owner or transferring it to a trust that could help avoid probate fees when the property is passed through an estate. To help minimize your tax bill, youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ll also want to be sure that youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve included all the eligible costs when determining your capital gain. In addition to the purchase price, real estate commissions, legal fees and other costs related to the purchase of the property can be added. Ongoing maintenance costs cannot be included, but building improvements such as new rooms or expanding the deck may also be added when calculating the adjusted cost of the property. Jamie Golombek, managing director for tax and estate planning at CIBC, says you might also want to consider declaring the cottage your principal residence to shelter the capital gains from tax.

â&#x20AC;&#x153;However, most people have a home in the city and they also have a cottage and thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s where the issue comes,â&#x20AC;? he says. If you decide to use the primary residence exemption for your cottage, it will mean that you would be unable to use it for the sale of your home in the city for the overlapping years. Golombek notes the decision to use that exemption will depend on a number of factors, including the average annual gain on each property, the potential for future increases in the value of the unsold property and the anticipated holding period of the unsold property. If you donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t like the idea of giving up ownership of the cottage while you still live and breathe, you can pass it down as part of your estate. But when you die, it will trigger a tax bill as if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;ve sold the property. If there wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t be money in your estate to pay the tax bill, you might want to consider taking out a life insurance policy that can be used to pay the tax bill. You could even have the children who will inherit the cottage pay the insurance bill. However, such a life insurance policy may be prohibitively expensive depending on your age and how much coverage youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re seeking. Selling your cottage to your children for a nominal amount that would not otherwise incur a capital gain wonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t avoid the tax. The Canada Revenue Agency will calculate a capital gain based on the fair market value even if you sell the property to your children for just $1. And if or when your children eventually sell the property, the tax man will use the nominal price they paid you to calculate the tax bill when they sell. Laughton added that while the ďŹ nancial aspects are important, you also need to consider the â&#x20AC;&#x153;softâ&#x20AC;? issues when it comes to a cottage. If you have more than one child, splitting ownership can be a source of conďŹ&#x201A;ict between siblings, so Laughton says you need to talk to everyone involved to ensure a plan that works on all fronts. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It is not just the tax liability, it is also making sure that the familyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s happy and that ultimately your goals get accomplished,â&#x20AC;? he said.

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“THE MOST IMPORTANT IS THE FRONT DOOR, THAT’S THE FIRST THING ANYONE SEES AND THE FIRST IMPRESSION YOU GET OF A HOUSE.”

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CURB APPEAL

FIRST IMPRESSIONS ARE EVERYTHING

a landscaper to give the yard a full once-over to give it a clean and wellmaintained look. â&#x20AC;&#x153;And junk should be cleared away. It has to be moved anyway if youâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re moving, so why not do it now,â&#x20AC;? she suggests. Other easy ďŹ xes include washing driveways, weeding the cracks in driveways and paths, cleaning all windows and refreshing paint on trim and doors. It may take a few dollars, but adding landscape lighting, new beds with ďŹ&#x201A;oral colour, outdoor art such as birdbaths or sculpture, arbours and fencing can also easily improve the curb appeal of a home. If the home owner is willing to spend a few more dollars to help attract buyers, then improving the state of gutters, downspouts

CHECKLIST

A

nyone who has ever gone on a blind date knows ďŹ rst impressions are everything. They can make or break a potential relationship. Well, the same holds true when it comes to selling a home. That ďŹ rst impression can be the difference between hooking a buyer and sending them onto the next property, according to real estate agent Nicole Burgess of Pemberton Holmes. â&#x20AC;&#x153;That ďŹ rst impression is the ďŹ rst indication of how the house is maintained,â&#x20AC;? she says, noting thereâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s always time for home sellers to improve their homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curb appeal before putting it on the market. Burgess said the kind of work and budget required to improve a homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s curb appeal depends on the property, but there are several common-sense, simple and easy things that can be done at any time. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Maybe the most important is the front door, thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s the ďŹ rst thing anyone sees and the ďŹ rst impression you get of a house,â&#x20AC;? Burgess says. It should be clean, well-maintained and in good working order. That could mean new hardware, paint and accessories such as lighting and plants at the entrance to the home. That same advice goes for everything a potential buyer might see. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It should be clean and tidy with no cobwebs and access to the front door should be easy ... no overgrown shrubs,â&#x20AC;? she says. â&#x20AC;&#x153;It should be welcoming.â&#x20AC;? That goes for the yard as well. Burgess suggests getting your hands dirty and weeding plant beds, cutting the lawn or hiring

or the roof, adding shutters to windows or even giving the entire house a fresh coat of paint can add value and make the home much more appealing. And all that before a potential buyer has even crossed the threshold. CH

W Dress up the front door with a blast of new colour. W Replace old door hardware. W#REATEFRONT STEPSYMMETRYWITH plants, lighting. W Install outdoor lighting. W Create container gardens. W$OAMAILBOXMAKEOVER W#UTTHEGRASS WEEDmOWERBEDS W Rake and dispose of leaves. W)NSTALLWINDOWBOXES W Add arbour and fence panels. W Add outdoor art. W Add shutters or accent trim.

W Replace damaged gutters and downspouts.

W Renew paint on siding and trim. W Tile your doorstep. W Dress up the driveway, walkways. W Upgrade railings. W Remove any mold and mildew on the house, sidewalks, roof or driveway.

W Store away unnecessary garden implements and tools.

W Clean windows and gutters. W0RESSUREWASHDIRTYSIDINGANDDECKS W Trim tree limbs that are near or touching the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s roof.

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NEXT ISSUE OF CAPITAL HOME Join us for the next edition of Capital Home in November, where we’ll bring you some of the finer things in life with our Luxury Edition. Explore some beautiful homes and spaces, delicious dining ideas from Eric Akis and items and places to pamper yourself. Watch for it in early November.

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Capital Home Fall 2015  

Fall 2015 - the Renovation Edition. Capital Home is a publication of the Times Colonist, Victoria, B.C., Canada