Page 1










Spring Inspiration



Renew the functionality of your home.

Refresh your surroundings with new design.

Rejuvenate your lifestyle.




cover story


Kitchen makeover

comes with big rewards by heaTher ryan

outdoor escapes by bonny Dann escapes inc.

32 Backyard bliss by aDene lucas

36 Garages that go the distance 37 Backyard landscaping for you and your dog by jackie swarTz



40 Top trends in

kitchen makeovers by heaTher ryan

44 2012 Trend report

tips & tricks 10 24-hour kitchen facelift 22 Kitchen improvements by vanessa gash

42 Decoding the code by Michael nyikes

50 Ask a pro by shell busey

52 Building Green, cover photo supplied by ultiMAte renovAtions

11 32

30 Relaxing and

by sabri ThabeT

08 Editor’s notebook

April - MAy 2012

spring inspiration

24 Kitchen area

in every issue

volume 10 issue 2

living Green by paul golini jr.

by Mickey foulDs

48 Harmonious design‌ by laura le

business profiles 16 Rusco Industries by heaTher ryan

20 N-Hance Revolutionary Wood Renewal

by sirkka vanDergraaf

23 The Design Studio by heaTher ryan

43 Assured Communities Ltd. by sirkka vanDergraaf

APR - may 2012 home dĂŠcor and renovations 5

Calgary’s exciting home improvement & design magazine Expert design advice for free! Featuring the newest and hottest design trends for your home, inside and out





Transform Your House Into The Home You Desire. 6 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012







Anita van Breevoort, 403.461.5518 PRODUCTION MANAGER


Mohammad Haidarpour GRAPHIC DESIGNERS

Spring inspires us to refresh our homes both inside & out What better time is there to rev up your home’s landscaping and interior than the spring? The April issue of Home Décor and Reno will get you and your home into warm-weather mode in no time. It’s all in the details! Inside and out, there is no end to the number of ways you can use the ideas, tips and advice that you’ll find on the pages ahead to update your home’s look both inside and out. Plus, we’ve got the latest design news, trends and products from across the province and beyond. In this issue, you’ll get the latest looks in outdoor furnishings, plus great accessory ideas and ways to make your backyard a true oasis. Also in the issue:

›› Michael Nyikes on what happens when contractors don’t follow the building code ›› Top trends in kitchen makeovers ›› Laura Le’s gorgeous staging of a home in Wildwood ›› Mickey Foulds’ 2012 trend report Our spring Inspiration section includes dog-friendly landscaping tips and ways to create bliss in your own backyard. Let us know what you think of this issue of Home Décor and Renovations. We’d like to start publishing letters from our readers beginning next issue in this space, so let us know your thoughts and favourites features.


Shell Busey, Bonny Dann, Paul Golini Jr., Vanessa Gash, Mickey Foulds, Laura Le, Adene Lucas, Michael Nyikes, Heather Ryan, Sabri Sallam, Jackie Swartz, Joe Vaccaro, Sirkka Vandergraaf DISTRIBUTION

Bill White 403.255.3898 x2304 Home Décor and Renovations magazine is published six times a year. Home Décor and Renovations magazine is distributed throughout Calgary and Greater Calgary area. This publication has been designed for the renovation market as a guide. Home Décor and Renovations magazine carefully inspects all ads for accuracy, however, the publisher and the printer shall not be responsible for any mistakes, design errors or incorrect information which is provided by the advertiser or their representative. The advertising herein, including the photographs and all artwork is the property of Home Décor and Renovations magazine and not that of the advertiser. The advertiser has purchased the right of reproduction in Home Décor and Renovations magazine only and does not have the right to reproduce the ad in whole or in part in any other place or publication without the consent of the publisher. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright and are intended for the sole use of the public.

WE’RE LISTENING! Send us your comments, questions, renovation stories, pictures and great ideas! HOME DÉCOR AND RENOVATIONS

Thanks for reading,


Debbie Loo Daniel Mera Caroline Wassef Alexander Yakubovich

2891 Sunridge Way NE Calgary, AB T1Y 7K7 T 403.461.5518 PUBLISHED BY

Become a fan of Home Décor and Renovations on Facebook Wall2Wall Media is a trademark of Yellow Pages Group Co. in Canada.

8 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012



24-hour kitchen facelift » Fabulous Fixtures Start by upgrading your faucet, especially since an old or broken one can age your kitchen by decades. Pulldown faucets have become one of the most popular choices for their convenience and high-arc styling, and the Boutique pulldown kitchen faucet from Moen is an attractive example. It combines functionality and style, allowing users to easily switch between several water flow patterns, including spray or aerated stream, or Moen’s pause button. Boutique is also available in the today’s most popular finishes for an added level of sophistication. » Walls that Say Wow Spice up boring kitchen walls with a bold new hue. Not sure where to get inspiration? Take a cue from the colour experts and designers at Pratt & Lambert paints, who recently released their 2012 colour trends with a palette titled “Echo” that features classic, bold colours.

» Luxurious Lighting Shed new light on your kitchen by forgoing the fluorescents and replacing them with pendant-style fixtures above task areas, such as the kitchen island or countertops. A chandelier can be an ideal addition above table areas to create a focal point and dress up the entire room’s décor. » Add Storage and Style with Shelves Installing shelves in your kitchen is a great way to add more space, as well as to create a new look. Install shelves over your sink or around the perimeter of your kitchen to keep countertops clear and uncluttered. » Customized Cabinets With just a few materials and hours, you can refinish or reface your kitchen cabinets. The process is quite simple; just remove the old finish by sanding the fronts of the cabinets. Then either stain or repaint them to achieve your desired look. » Update Appliance Appearances A stainless steel finish can instantly transform and upgrade the look of your kitchen. If purchasing new kitchen appliances isn’t in the budget, a coat of specialty paint may be just what the doctor ordered. While it may seem like a daunting task at first, these easy, one-day kitchen pickeruppers can provide a refreshing expression that you and your family are sure to love. More information is available online at NC

Don’t Move Improve

Specializing In Complete Kitchen Renovations

403-703-4830 10 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012


kitchen makeover




hen it comes to doing renovations in your home there’s no doubt a kitchen makeover comes with big rewards. From adding storage options and crafting new workspaces to creating a more functional space, your newly renovated kitchen will reflect your personal style and better suit your needs for years to come. “The kitchen is absolutely the hub of your home,” says Corinne Gill, senior renovation consultant with Ultimate Renovations. “It’s the focal point where friends and family gather and a lot of people want it to make a statement.”

She notes the majority of homeowners renovating their kitchens favour an open concept design. “We’re seeing people getting rid of their formal dining room in order to open the kitchen space, or some who want to keep a formal dining room are moving it by giving up their sitting area or living room, so they can make a bigger kitchen with enough seats to make it comfortable for both regular meals and entertaining.” Huge islands that offer a large flat surface for food prep at one end with the other end dropping down to create a table that can easily accommodate four to six people is becoming a popular choice, she says.


The new kitchen is sleek and zen with the warm cabinetry and horizontal tile accents. The tile backsplash brings in the colours of the cabinets, appliances and counter tops while also adding a touch of sparkle. PhoTo sUPPLied By aLBi Renova



This Ultimate kitchen in Lake Bonavista features contemporary cabinet design including large custom island and bulkhead sun tunnels to provide natural light. PhoTo sUPPLied By ULTimaTe RenovaTions PICTURED RIghT

This Ultimate kitchen backing onto Lake Bonavista features stained cherry cabinetry with heated granite countertop and integrated custom clock. PhoTo sUPPLied By ULTimaTe RenovaTions

“People want their islands to be as big as they can, because the kitchen is where people hang out, it’s where they cook, have wine and socialize and they want space for that,” says Brian Maurer, president of Albi Renova. “They also want level surface islands rather than the raised two-tiered eating bars we used to see because they provide more space to work and gather round,” he says. One of the biggest requests when it comes to kitchen makeovers is creating more storage, so people are looking to add organizers and larger pantries. “People want functionality, that hasn’t changed for years,” Maurer says, “But what we’re seeing now is all kinds of really neat accessories that make the best use of the

12 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

space from knife racks for the drawers to pullout spice racks.” Upgraded lazy Susans, corner pantry cabinets with tiered shelves, garbage recycling centres, upgraded under sink storage baskets and pull-outs are among the popular choices for kitchen organizers, Gill says. She also encourages homeowners to try organizers for storing plates in drawers – “it’s a lot more convenient and better than stacking them in the cupboard.” “Pull-outs and drawer organizers can really increase the storage,” she says, “and people are digging deeper and spending their extra pennies on functional bells and whistles because they know they’ll get the longevity out it.” Another way to increase storage is adding

pantries. Maurer says a number of the renovations they’re doing involves adding a butler’s pantry with a second sink, oven and dishwasher and a coffee station. He’s also seeing more people removing corner pantries in favour of stand-up pantries with rollouts, “it’s better use of space and better organized.” When it comes to countertops, granite is still the most popular choice for a kitchen makeover. “People like the look of granite because every slab is unique and has its own character,” says Stuart Young, owner of The Granite Shop. “And there are a lot more exotic

stones with more colours and variations available today than 10 years ago.” “Granite had always been considered a luxury item that homeowners wanted because it boosts that wow factor in the kitchen,” he says, but notes that with the cost being more affordable now than ever “it makes it a popular choice when renovating.” As well, with changes in manufacturing making cutting granite slabs more precise, “we’re able to create different looks, there’s more flexibility in designs and we can do a wide range of edge profiles, even matching the edge to the cabinet design.”


Furniture style cabinetry provides interest and detail to the quiet neutral palette. a glazed antique finish on the cabinets softens and warms up the white finish. hardwood fl oors and classic subway tile backsplash add timeless accents. PhoTo sUPPLied By aLBi Renova PICTURED boTTom lEfT

Custom kitchen design by Rock Creek builders, showing a Titanium Granite with a mitered edge profile. PhoTo sUPPLied By The GRaniTe shoP




This Ultimate Parkland kitchen features rich stained maple cabinetry with an elegantly tiled splash and beautiful exotic Batu hardwood flooring . PhoTo sUPPLied By ULTimaTe RenovaTions PICTURED boTTom lEfT

Playing up the yellow and orange tones in the wood cabinetry created a warm relaxed theme. dark countertops provide depth and contrast with the warm palette. Textured tile backsplash showcases the sleek lines of the stainless steel appliances. PhoTo sUPPLied By aLBi Renova PICTURED boTTom RIghT

Recessed-panel doors stained an espresso brown are sophisticated without being fussy. The dark countertops set off the copper hood fan and balance the traditional elements with a slightly elegant feel.


PhoTo sUPPLied By aLBi Renova

There are even different finishes available, so rather than just the high-gloss shiny surface, people can choose finishes such as brush, honed and a leathered look to reflect their personal style, he says. When choosing colour, however, Young notes that Calgarians are “still more conservative. Whites and darks are very strong, as well as neutral tones, but we don’t see a lot of the wild colours – greens, blues and reds.” Homeowners are also moving away from the darker woods in the kitchen, Maurer says. “We’re seeing a lot more grainy and lighter tone woods, and people mixing them. We just did a renovation where we took dark cabinets and did a strip through it with light, grainy wood, which created a really nice accent.” As for appliances, stainless steel is still tops, although some homeowners are choosing appilances that blend into the cabinetry. Maurer says there seems to be a trend going back to the oven/cooktop combination as oppose to countertop

cooktops with wall ovens, and “built-in coffee stations are becoming very popular.” “Steam ovens are slowly making their way into kitchen makeovers,” Gill says. “And microwave drawers, induction cooktops, and if space allows, wine fridges are all being added. Dishwasher drawers are definitely becoming popular because you can put a lot in them, do a small load rather than waiting to fill the dishwasher, and you have the option of one drawer rather than two.” Backsplashes with glass mosaic tile inlays, hood fans surrounded in stone, cabinets being built to the ceiling, flat screen TVs that show like a picture when not in use, are also among some of the fabulous additions people are making during their kitchen makeovers, say the renovation experts. “People are really paying attention to details, the quality of the cabinets, products and materials being used because they want it to last,” Gill says. “And they’re definitely leaning towards cleaner, simpler lines.”







Visit us at 403.235.5224 • • 3656 61st Avenue SE, Calgary Monday to Friday 8 am – 5 pm, Saturdays 10 am – 4 pm, Closed Sundays & Holidays APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 15


rusco industries

Rusco IndustRIes

been a successful exterior renovator for 59 years by HeatHeR Ryan


omeowners considering exterior renovation projects will want to hire a company that offers longevity, quality, skills and product to ensure outstanding results. Rusco Industries Calgary Ltd. has been meeting all that criteria and more for the past 59 years and its successful completion of more than 100,000 renovation projects is testament to its exemplinary work and customer satisfaction. “Ever since my father John founded the company we have been focussed on quality,” says owner Dave McDonald, not just on craftsmanship, but on products as well. “You have to have products that stand up to Calgary’s weather and will last long term. Many products look alike, but the quality is just not there. It may cost more, but the value you add is worth it.” Rusco specializes in exterior renovations so it can supply and install new windows, exterior doors, fascia, soffit, window capping, siding and insulation and more. “Most of our renovations are windows because people want to increase the energyefficiency in their homes and they can save 15 to 25 per cent on their heating bills by installing new low-E, Argon- or Kypton-filled windows,” McDonald says, noting Rusco is Window Wise certified. McDonald says fibreglass insulated exterior doors are more popular than steel. “They come in solid colours or can look like wood, are maintenance-free and energy efficient.” Rusco installs insulated vinyl siding, cement board siding and arcylic stucco, but McDonald recommends PVC-coated steel siding. “It’s durable, fire-rated and energy efficient. The steel siding we installed 30 years ago looks as good today as when we put it on.”

The company also does outdoor design rooms – three season sunrooms, patio covers, awnings and porch enclosures – allowing homeowners to extend their enjoyment of the great outdoors. Rusco’s knowledgable staff will meet customers at their home to discuss products and provide a free cost estimate. All of Rusco’s installations are completed by qualified, experienced crews who provide guaranteed professional workmanship, so it’s not surprising that many customers are referrals, some are even third-generation customers, and the company has won the Consumers Choice Award for Excellence in Renovation for 11 consecutive years. Contact 403.250.9951 or visit

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250-9951 16 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

1953 2012


Advice From Our KITCHEN KITCHEN Experts Experts Coren Jones Senior Design Consultant Superior Cabinets 7 years of Design Expertise What do you recommend regarding using the latest design trends when planning a new kitchen? Most elements in design have trends. When planning a new kitchen, determine which current trends appeal to your design style and functional needs. Steer away from daring trends that are not easy to change in a year or two, such as bold coloured countertop or cabinets. If you want to make a statement, use a daring paint colour on your walls as this can be easily altered to adapt to changing fashions. Kitchens are personal and unless you are thinking of selling your home within a year or two, plan your kitchen to suite your taste, and your lifestyle and not necessarily the latest trend. Get others’ opinions and use them as a guide for your own kitchen, but make sure you include pieces of yourself in your decision. Look through magazines to get ideas. Gather pictures and make a list of what you like. Sometimes a list of things you do not want can be helpful to a Kitchen Designer as well. A Kitchen Designer can be a great help in your kitchen planning process as they will guide you through the decision making stages and assist with the details that can sometimes be overwhelming. When I am meeting with a Kitchen Designer should I let them know what my budget is right away? Some are uncomfortable revealing their budget on the first visit because they feel their Designer is also a sales person and may utilize the entire budget even though the kitchen may have been designed more economically. Designers are bound by a code of ethics that guides them to work within your budget instead of working to meet the budget. Your Designer will use the budget constraint to provide the most efficient and viable solutions to your kitchen needs. If you are unsure of what your budget is, your Designer can also help you through the budgeting process. We will discuss your needs and wants and determine a final budget that you are comfortable with. By providing a budget you are giving your Designer an added level of understanding of your project which will help create the perfect kitchen for you.

Trish Howden Senior Design Consultant Superior Cabinets 5 Years of Design Expertise How do I decide where to focus my budget? If you are selling your home then you should gear your selections to what will sell your home. Don’t go too modern, or too traditional, try and keep it somewhere in the middle. You want to create a wow factor visually. This will get the most market appeal and help you maximize your profit. If you are planning on staying, you have to remember that this is YOUR home and you’re the one who will be living in your kitchen. Make a wish list. Write down what is most important to you and what you definitely don’t want. This will help you to prioritize as there are so many options available. You will still want to create a visually appealing kitchen, but you may focus some of your budget on functional features like corner drawers and interior organization. Your Kitchen Designer will help you determine the best options to create a kitchen that is unique to your needs, and will fit within your budget. What suggestions do you have to help keep my kitchen neat and organized? By including some key accessories in your kitchen plan you can create the perfect spot for every item in your kitchen. Some options I like to include for my customers are 2-bin garbage/ recycle pull out in a base unit to keep waste and recycling out of site and SOS tip out tray in your sink cabinet to keep scrubbers, etc. off the counter. Pull out spice racks organize and keep your spices handy, and pull out tray dividers in base cabinets are ideal for storing cookie sheets, cutting boards and serving trays. Both units take up very little room. Cutlery trays and drawer dividers are a wonderful remedy to keep drawers orderly. Innovative corner storage solutions include corner drawers and new pullout, non-slip shelves. Drawers or roll-out shelves are the best choice for full access to cabinet contents. These are just of few of the many options available.

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n the last two years Doug Brittain, owner, N-Hance Revolutionary Wood Renewal, has transformed Calgarians’ kitchens and hard wood floors to rave reviews. This latest eco-friendly concept has grown in leaps and bounds since its inception 10 years ago, and continues to gain strength as home-owners are thrilled with their renovation results. The idea of renewing kitchen cabinets and floors without extensive sanding, tearing down, or investing multiple thousands of dollars is a concept Calgarians love, and are they’re eager to learn more. Brittain renews older wood floors and cabinets by using NHance’s environmentally safe water-based products to either change or revitalize cabinets and floors. Three amazing change options are available. BASIC RENEW If you are not looking for a complete change in colour, but rather a refreshing and renewed luster to your cabinet surface, then this may be the option for you. The Basic Renewal process involves a deep clean to remove builtup grease and grime, and then a colour touch-up is applied to areas that may be worn down to bare wood. The process is then completed with three coats of finish for a result that will satisfy the most discerning of clients. This one-day process is offered at a fraction of the price of a new kitchen renovation, ranging in price from $1600 – $2600, depending on the size of the kitchen. COLOUR SHIFT This application is typically chosen to remove the aged yellowing look of older oak cabinets and replaced with a darker colour alternative. This process (as with all three) involves a deep clean, followed with a coat of finish, and completed with tinted polyurethane handapplied to the surface. The cost for this two to three day process ranges from $2500 – $3500, depending on the size of the kitchen. COLOUR CHANGE The colour change choice provides the most striking transformation, and is completed in five to seven days. For those who desire their whitewash or golden cabinets to be a dark cherry or walnut, this is the option for you. There are multiple colour choices to choose from, and the result will leave you thrilled to have chosen the colour change. Step one and two remain the same as the other choices, however, a complete colour change may require up to 10 coats of colour spray to ensure long lasting look and performance. The price for this package ranges from $4,000 - $6,000, again depending on the size of the kitchen.

20 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

For floor renewal, two options are available. A Basic Renewal to bring back the beauty and life of your original floors; and a Hammered Floor Renewal, for floors that have been heavily used and tread upon, down to bare wood. Both options eliminate surface scratches, leaving a smooth shiny new-floor appearance. A typical living, dining, hallway, and bathroom, can be completed within one to two days, depending on which treatment is chosen, at a cost of $2.00 to $3.00 per square foot. No sandy mess, and no weeks of work for a beautiful new finish. If you are looking for a cost-effective green solution to your cabinet and floor renovation, NHance may be your answer. “Our customers typically save one-third the cost of re-facing, and one-fifth the cost of replacing cabinets and floors,” says Brittain. “People are impressed with the colour change effect, and I am an affordable option.” For more information or to call for a free quote, view the website at

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Kitchen improvements by vanessa gash

Kitchen improvements maKe great spring projects

while the weather outside is still less than predictable. Aside from allowing us to work inside where it is warm, it is one of the most effective ways to update our home and change its inside appearance. Newer homes tend to focus a great deal around the kitchen and living areas. Most implement an open concept floor layout. These usually include open spaces from one room to another with lots of cabinetry and spacious islands for preparing food while entertaining simultaneously. The shift in style from older homes has likely occurred for multiple reasons. Lifestyles in general have changed over the last 100 years and accordingly so have our house styles. Additionally, construction advancements such as engineered wood products allow us the opportunity to span greater distances without the need for as many load bearing walls inside the structure. When contemplating your upcoming renovation it is always good to know which jobs require permits and which do not. Generally speaking, maintenance items such as installing new cabinets, replacing flooring, wall tile and painting can be done without a permit. If the installation of new cabinets means the moving of electrical or plumbing, you will need permits for this work. For the do-it-yourself home owner, you may obtain a home owners’ electrical and a home owners’ plumbing permit. The requirements are that you own the property, live there and will be doing the work yourself. Otherwise you will need to have a registered tradesperson obtain a permit and do the work. Any work involving the moving or installation of gas lines requires a registered gasfitter obtain your permit and conduct the work. When installing new cabinets and microwaves over top of gas, propane or electric ranges, the Alberta Building Code has special requirements for minimum clearances. Above the range you are required to have a minimum distance of 750mm to the underside of combustible cabinets and at least 600mm to the underside of your microwave hood fan. You are also required to protect the area of the wall within 450mm above the level of the burners, both back and sides, with 9.5mm thick gypsum board unless they are protected by splash board or back-plates. It is always important to consult the manufacturer’s literature for any clearances or required construction surrounding your particular unit. Certain gas and commercial style ranges may stipulate requirements that are over and above those required by the Alberta Building Code. A question we often get from home owners when they undertake kitchen renovations is whether makeup air will be required for new kitchen exhaust. When a kitchen exhaust fan is installed to remove food odours and grease laden air, 22 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

the amount of air being exhausted from the space needs to be replaced. Unless this is accommodated by the ventilation system of the home, by what is known as makeup air, the air will naturally be drawn from within the wall assemblies or through any available source. As houses become more tightly built and exhaust fans become more powerful, this can potentially cause such serious issues as backdrafting of gas appliances. If you have general questions about ventilation requirements and whether this is likely to be an issue for you, a senior HVAC inspector may be able to answer your questions. If undertaking this type of work you can contact a licensed sheet metal contractor to assess your specific ventilation needs. These trades will need to obtain the required permit and perform this type of work. The type of kitchen renovation that tends to have the greatest ‘wow factor’ once complete is removing walls between existing living areas and the kitchen in older style homes. Before engineered trusses and beams were widely available or used, the sizes of rooms were much smaller. When we open up these spaces in older homes and implement some of this newer technology, the end product can feel like a whole new house. If this is the type of project you will be embarking on, your first stop will be to consult with a structural engineer. This individual will make a site visit to determine what modifications need to be made structurally to accommodate your renovation wish list. Most often the engineer will provide you with a letter describing the scope of work as well as stamped details or drawings of what you will be changing. Two copies of this documentation must accompany your proposed floor plan to obtain a building permit. Information on permit requirements is available online at the website. As always, if you have specific questions about permits and Alberta Building Code requirements a residential plans examiner will be happy to discuss them with you by calling 311.

vanessa gash, LEEd aP safety codes officer - residential Building regulations division development and Building approvals

Vanessa Gash is a Residential Plans Examiner with the Building Regulations division at the City of Calgary. She is a graduate in architectural Engineering Technology from College of the north atlantic and spent a number of years with various architectural firms and homebuilders in Calgary.

The design sTudio


The Design sTuDio inC. a “one stop shop” for InterIor desIgn by heaTher ryan


f you’re looking for a company to consult, design and complete your home renovation then The Design Studio has it all.

Who is The Design Studio? The Design Studio Inc. is a family-owned business operating out of a creative studio on High Street S.E., in McKenzie Towne, offering a “one stop shop” for interior design and, with spring around the corner, it also provides complete landscape design, planting plans and construction. Janet Farnham is the principal owner behind The Design Studio Inc. With her 20-plus years of experience she has assembled a design “team” with some of the most skilled and reputable professionals in the industry offering clients a pleasant and stress-free experience. Her services include space planning, colour co-ordination,

accessorizing and selection of finishes, materials and furnishings, including those from some of the world’s leading manufacturers. Stephanie Coyston brings to The Design Studio, seven years of cabinetry design, specializing in custom kitchens, bathrooms and custom cabinetry. She has designed more than 100 kitchens and bathrooms. Rob Farnham co-ordinates the management of each project to ensure minimal disruption to the homeowner during the construction process. He also manages the Hunter Douglas window covering component. OK, The Design Studio team is good at what it does, but will this cost too much? Many people think that a designer won’t work with them unless they are doing a complete renovation – and have an unlimited budget. The Design Studio understands this and will work within your budget to help you meet your goals. The most integral part of a renovation is to develop a concept and execute it with promised time lines and seamless quality with the end result showcasing the finest quality of workmanship for the most discriminating clients. To achieve this, the company is fully supported by trades of professionals, and projects are supervised and managed by The Design Studio. Whether it’s a bathroom or kitchen renovation, custom built-ins or creating a whole new space, The Design Studio is able to help with all your design needs. For more information, visit, schedule a consult, or stop by and have a coffee.

Renovations Interior Design Landscape Design Hunter Douglas Kitchen Design Re-Upholsery Colour Consultation

60 High Street SE Calgary AB

403.453.2083 APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 23


kitchenarea by SABRI THABET



area for sharing great food with family, friends and are where memories are made. Over the past few decades the kitchen has evolved more than any other room in the home. It has become a multi-tasking environment that’s part food preparation and consumption area and part communal space for everything from homework and hobbies to hosting dinner parties. When you look at kitchens within manufacturer’s websites, you’ll find that it’s easy to get seduced by a look — great cabinets, gorgeous floor tiles, love that granite or quartz — and hard to stay on terra firma and pay attention to the practical details. In the end, though, function will matter much more than looks. If the kitchen in your new house is not well laid-out and there’s not enough counter space or cabinets, you will hate it every day you live there, even if everything looks terrific.

24 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Kitchens truly are the hub of the home and the best kitchens are those that meet the particular needs of their owners. Serious cooks will want a vastly different set-up from those who simply eat to survive and the kitchen for a busy family will barely resemble that of a professional couple without children. In fact, in some major American cities now there is even a trend for designing new homes without full kitchens because eating out is an everyday occurrence. Here in Canada, though, we love a good kitchen. Because it’s a room we use to the full, art and other decorative features are finding their way into a once sterile environment and, for some, appliances are becoming investment pieces. Such kitchens can be standouts, but they shouldn’t stand apart from the style of your home “Whether it’s a renovation or a rebuild, a kitchen needs to fit in well with the flow of the rest of the house, and meet the demands of both today and tomorrow. Storage needs vary with lifestyle, but this will be another sore point if there isn’t enough. From study of your current kitchen you should have an idea of how much you need. If the base cabinet storage in the model kitchen appears to be inadequate, can you hang some pots and pans on the wall? If there isn’t enough wall cabinet storage for dishes and plates, can you store the special occasion plates in a dining room buffet? Adequate food storage depends on both your shopping and eating habits. Do you go food shopping once a week or every few days? Are your food preferences simple or do you prepare meals with many pantry ingredients? Just as satisfying as a well-stocked pantry, a well-equipped kitchen will ensure it fulfills the needs of its owners for years to come. Market leaders are always looking at new technologies and it’s impossible to list all the exceptional products out there. Rather, here are some of the most important aspects to consider when planning a delicious new kitchen.

Appliances Good-quality like “Miele”, good-looking appliances will enhance any kitchen. Many appliances are a statement in themselves. Chunky stoves and fridges have been replaced by a far more streamlined look. Modern, space-saving designs mean that they can now be installed flush with cabinets and bench tops. And homeowners still look to integrated appliances for a seamless look. Lighting Kitchen lighting is often overlooked because most buyers visit the model during broad daylight, when windows can flood the room with light. At night, however, you still need to see what you’re doing. Even if there is adequate general lighting, the counter areas can be dark and hard to work in. Under-cabinet lighting will eliminate this problem. Flooring In such high-traffic area flooring must be durable. And, as in the rest of the space, it should suit your way of living. Tiles remain the most popular option and are available in a wide variety of colours, styles and sizes, which provides plenty of freedom of choice. Stone, marble and concrete are incredibly durable but, as with benchtops, these materials do require constant maintenance with special sealants. And don’t forget under floor heating for cold surfaces.

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s our lives become faster paced and more complex, as traffic becomes more congested, as we have longer and longer work days and weeks, as the cities we live in become more noisy and crowded, the more we need the sanctuary we call “home”. With all the time you spend indoors at work and travelling in your car or by public transportation, you may find yourself craving outdoor living spaces or escapes in your own backyard. I always recommend thorough planning before starting any landscaping project, so before you call in the professionals or begin a DIY outdoor escape, think about what best helps you to decompress. This will ensure that you plan appropriate outdoor relaxations rooms for your lifestyle and personality. Do you need some areas for solitude and contemplation? Do you want to cook? Entertain family and friends? Would you enjoy a putting green? Would you like a recreation structure for your children? Do you require a workshop or studio? We all relax in different ways and the options for outdoor escapes are endless, limited only by your imagination. Outdoor escapes for relaxing can be as simple as a big comfy chair on your front veranda or a hammock or lounge chairs under a pergola. These spaces can also become much more complex if you would love to relax by floating casually in a pool or sitting back in a hot tub. Whatever you choose for your relaxation area, be sure to include space for drinks, snacks and your favourite books or magazines. Including electrical outlets in your outdoor space will allow you to add lighting, which will enable you to make use of your space after dark. Outlets for music or television may also help you to achieve maximum enjoyment of your relaxation space. 30 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Personally, I like to add the sound of moving water. I find that it helps me to relax, help to drown out traffic and other distracting sounds and also attracts birds. Adding a water feature can be as simple as purchasing a portable fountain at your local garden centre or big box store or as complex as calling in professionals to add water falls, ponds and streams to your outdoor escape. If you relax by cooking and entertaining family and friends in an alfresco setting, you will be delighted with the options available these days. Where we once had the simple portable grill, we now have outdoor grilling or cooking stations, some of which are complete outdoor kitchens. A grilling or cooking station can be created in a fairly small space by having an entertainment island or bar built around your existing gas or propane barbecue, with counter space for food preparation and a


raised area with bar stools, for dining. If you have the space and resources, your outdoor kitchen could contain many of the conveniences of your indoor kitchen! Once you have planned your outdoor cooking area, which should be located as close as possible to your indoor kitchen, be sure to plan for comfortable dining and entertaining areas. Again, before starting the project or purchasing furniture, think about how you will use the space. Do you want a large dining table and chairs where guests will be comfortable spending the whole afternoon or evening? Would you prefer seating more like a living room or family room? Do you have room for both? Designers and manufacturers are creating wider and wider ranges of outdoor furniture, carpets and accessories every year, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find the perfect items for your space. When including play structures


This outdoor escape has it all! A fully equipped cook area with plenty of bar or island seating, a comfortable dining table and chairs, and then just a few steps away, a lounging or entertainment area. PICTURED LEFT

Surrounded by a low hedge and wall this cozy retreat with beautiful plantings is the perfect spot to unwind at the end of the day!

for children, I try to place them where they could be easily replaced with a pergola or other garden structure when they are no longer needed. Keep in mind that any garden structure, such as potting sheds, workshops, studios or the aforementioned play structures, should compliment the architectural style and detail of your home. If you would find it relaxing to practice your putting skills and you have the space available, by all means incorporate some synthetic turf into your outdoor escapes!

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Spring inSpiration

bAckyArd bliSS by adene lucaS


fter a long, somewhat mild winter, we are all ready to head outdoors and enjoy our yards. Typically lawn furniture is dusted off and placed on the deck with some candles and a few side tables. The yard is now ready for the entire season. This year imagine what your ideal backyard would look like. Create a wonderful backyard oasis following these few tips: Think in terms of how you want to use the deck space. It could be for entertaining family and friends or hosting BBQs and intimate parties. You may enjoy a lounging area complete with a heat source for those cool summer evenings. Perhaps you want to focus on a hot tub area and create a more private enclosure. 32 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

If you are struggling with a vision, find inspiration by flipping through decorating magazines or participating in local home and garden tours. You may also recall a commercial patio setting that you have enjoyed as another source of inspiration. Once the vision has been determined and the area of focus has been narrowed down, it’s time to create a list of what is required to achieve the look you want. Decorating an outdoor space is very similar to what you would do inside the home. For an eating or lounging area think about the furniture you will require. You need durable, practical furniture that is made to withstand harsh sun and cool temperatures. It must be easy to maintain and have a timeless appeal since outdoor furniture can cost just as much indoor! Also be honest with yourself and think about how much maintenance and upkeep you are prepared to put forth. Outdoor furniture is a large investment and like anything for the home, it takes a bit of time and research to find a suitable product. Wood, wicker, fabric, aluminum, wrought iron and steel are all very common for outdoor furnishings. To highlight a few of the more popular choices, let’s start with wood. Teak is a beautiful wood impervious to water, mildew and wood-eating insects. The cost reflects that but with minimal maintenance teak can last a lifetime. Resin wicker, or all weather wicker as it is commonly referred to, is made to look like wicker but is a synthetic that is resistant to the sun’s UV rays as well as humidity and water. The frame is made of aluminum which keeps the furniture lightweight. One of the largest selections of medium- to high-end resin wicker is Wicker Land Patio. They have

Spring inSpiration

on opposite page pictured left

made with high quality virgin aluminium with state of the art manufacturing techniques, will not absorb moisture. will give you longevity for your outdoor enjoyment. photo supplied bY macarthur's fine furniture & interior design pictured right

palm harbor all weather resin swivel rocking conversation set photo supplied bY wicker land patio

on this page pictured below

pushing the fashion boundary, brown Jordan is the leader in outdoor design. photo supplied bY macarthur's fine furniture & interior design

You need durable, practical furniture that is made to withstand harsh sun and cool temperatures. it must be easY to maintain and have a timeless appeal... been in business for 30 years and guarantee their products for three years. They carry a wide assortment of all weather fabric from Sunbrella and at no extra cost you can select any style or colour. The foam is made in Canada and it’s outdoor foam so there will not be an issue with mold or mildew. The great thing about Wicker Land is you can select individual pieces and create your own set rather than buying an entire set that you won’t use all the pieces in. Fabric furniture such as hammocks and cloth chairs are the least durable as the elements break down the fibres over time and the colours fade. Wrought iron furniture has a much defined style, and is great for windy areas, due to it's heavy nature. Another option if you are in the market for a higher end product that is very streamlined and contemporary is MacArthur’s Fine Furniture located in Airdrie and south west Calgary. They carry a beautiful line that resembles indoor furniture made by Brown Jordan. It almost looks too pretty to use outside but with its aluminum frame and outdoor fabrics it can withstand the elements. The frame will not rust and cushions will not take on moisture. MacArthur’s prides itself in quality products and exceptional customer service and they have been in business since 1938. Now is the time to have a look as some products need to be ordered from Texas and the lead time is four weeks. They also have stock on hand but it is always good to get a jump on the season and start planning now. Great places to look for all different styles of patio furniture are Wicker Land Patio, McArthur's Fine Furniture & Interior Design, BBQ Supply stores and Garden

centres. Also the big hardware stores throughout the city, Costco, Home Sense and Pier 1. Once the style and colour of furniture has been determined, it is time for the fun stuff, the details that create the space. Select an outdoor rug that fits under the table and chairs. If the rug is for a lounging area make sure it is large enough to group the furniture together. If a rug does not appeal to you, then try painting the deck with a faux rug or stencil with a pattern in the centre to create visual interest. Add a few outdoor accent cushions in a bright summery print and tie the colours in with an umbrella for the eating area. Lighting is important in a backyard and you can do it in a very costeffective way. Solar lights that easily APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 33

Spring inSpiration

Wicker Land Patio

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34 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Spring inSpiration


pictured left

tribeca all weather cast aluminium deep seating set

SINCE 1945

insert into the ground are an effective way to evenly distribute light in a yard. Another alternative is oil torch lamps, or lanterns mounted on a fence that illuminate certain areas. Hurricane vases with real or battery-operated candles are nice for the dinning area since we all look way better in candlelight! If sitting around the fire with family and friends in the backyard is appealing you may be wondering what the options and costs are. The first thing to research is what the city bylaws are with respect to self- contained fires as there are many codes in place for safety and to ensure that you are being a considerate neighbour! A firepit can sit on the ground with raised walls that secure the logs or be sunk into the ground. Not much is required in terms of materials making this a cost-effective option and something you could do yourself on a weekend. An alternative is a portable firepit. They are made out of metal and can be wood or gas burning. Since they are portable, they can be moved around the yard easily and are fairly inexpensive. Conversely, a built-in fireplace with a chimney made of brick or stone can run you a few thousand to upwards of $10,000 for a custom unit. Privacy is a concern for a lot of homeowners in Calgary. It is nice to sit on the deck in the evening and watch your neighbour’s television from afar. If that sounds less than appealing, there are ways to create privacy in a backyard that is surrounded by onlooking neighbours. Landscaping is the typical line of attack but aside from planting huge trees, try adding a pergola. It is a free-standing structure with vertical posts and rafters across the top. Typically they are made of cedar that ages beautifully. Another alternative is to add a trellis made of latticework which can support plants. Once the plants fill in it provides a stylish barrier. Awnings that are retractable also provide privacy and shelter from the sun. If all else fails, build a high fence, within city bylaws of course, and position your furniture around a focal point and not the neighbour’s window. The final touch in any yard is flowers and a few pieces of sculpture, maybe some pottery vases or a small water feature. Personalize your outdoor living space just like you would indoors by adding a few things every year and fine tuning it until you are happy with the outcome.

adene lucaS adene lucas is the owner of accent on design, a consumer’s choice award winning firm since its inception in 2005. | 403.651.7491


photo supplied bY wicker land patio

141 Gateway Dr. NE. Airdrie Dr. NE 403.960.1030 67 Glenbrook Place. SW 403.246.6266

APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 35

Spring inSpiration

GaraGes that go the distance


arages do a whole lot more than protect your family’s vehicles from the elements. According to The Calgary Foundation, Calgary has one of Canada’s highest vehicle ownership rates per capita. As a result, Calgary’s CarShacks, recommends a two-vehicle garage, even if your family has just one vehicle. Since 1999, CarShacks has built thousands of garages in southern Alberta, where in Calgary a basic double-vehicle garage averages close to a 100 per cent return on the investment at resale. According to the Appraisal Institute of Canada (AIC), a garage will typically offer a 50 to 75 per cent on the investment although it doesn’t specify the size of that garage. CarShacks suggests a two-car garage is worth the additional cost because some Calgary homebuyers will see a single-vehicle garage as a teardown. Calgarians are typically multi-car families and prospective buyers may automatically take the cost of tearing down a single-vehicle garage and building a twovehicle garage off the asking price. Typically, each vehicle requires 10 feet in width and 20 to 22 feet in depth but if, like so many Calgarians, you love your oversized pickups, you’ll need at least 12 feet in width and 24 feet in depth, as well as a door that’s eight feet tall versus the standard seven feet. The building code requires both a vehicle and a person door, and CarShacks always makes the person door at least three feet wide, although some builders’ doors are 24 to 30 inches wide. Homeowners don’t think to ask for the extra-wide door until they’re trying to wrestle a snowblower, wheelbarrow or patio furniture through it, so CarShacks made it a standard feature. When determining the size of your garage, ask yourself how much of your backyard space you are willing to sacrifice to the garage. While storage is typically the most common secondary need, some homeowners also create an additional finished heated room. A Calgary piano teacher even had a small studio installed in the garage to free up the family living room and give her family more privacy and quiet time. “True living spaces are increasingly common, but still relatively rare," because of restrictive building codes. Make a wish list, then use it to plan your garage based on your family’s needs and the return-on-investment that makes sense for you.

36 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Spring inSpiration

BackYard LandScaping for You and Your dog by Jackie Swartz


ackyards are homes for lots of dogs. A backyard is a dog’s exercise field, activity area and shelter. It’s nice to know that you can have an outdoor space that is functional and relaxing and be a dog owner at the same time. Landscape designers can assist you with creating a happy medium for you and your dog. Dogs need to move around and they have necessities too, including a potty chore area, sheltered area, shade area, and a play area for your dog. Some of your wants and needs from your dream list may include a flower garden, vegetable garden, deck, pergola, and a water garden. Before you start dogscaping your back yard, make sure to hire a professional landscape designer. It is essential to have a professional landscape/dogscape design plan to follow because this will save you oodles of money, but most importantly; your designer will cover things that you may overlook. You can design your yard for your own taste, but make it dog-friendly. Flower gardens are beautiful in any landscape. Depending on the amount of sunshine you receive in your yard, this will dictate what kind of flower garden you can grow. You may end up with a shade, partial-sun or a full sun flower garden. Your flower garden might be a place in your back yard or it may be in a pot on your deck. Where ever you plant your flower garden and whether you plant annuals or perennials, please keep in mind that some plants are toxic and poisonous to dogs. Here is a list of some of these toxic and poisonous plants to stay away from: Azalea(Rhododendron), Baby’s Breath, Begonia, Calla Lily, Caster Bean, Carnation (especially the bulbs), Chrysanthemum, , Clematis, Crocus, Daffodil, Daisies, Daylily, English Ivy (some varieties), Foxglove, Garden Chamomile, Geranium, Gardenia, Garden Hyacinth, Garlic, Gladiola, Hops, Iris, Larkspur, Lily of the Valley,

Morning Glory, Peony, Primrose, Rhubarb, Star Gazer Lily, Tiger Lily, Tomato Plant, Yarrow and Yew. A lot of time is spent taking care of your flower and vegetable garden(s) weeding, feeding and pruning. So you do not want a rambunctious dog running through it or digging it up. I suggest building pathways through your gardens. Dogs love to use pathways and they love to run through gardens, however; if this is not possible, here are a few inexpensive ideas that you can use: you can raise your beds so your dog cannot get into them, fence your garden area by using chicken wire or small picket fencing or you could invest in invisible fencing around your garden area. A potty area is essential to have, especially if you do not have the time to walk your dog. Usually, one side of your house is considered an un-usable space because it is not the main thorough-way to your back yard. This area should be fenced-in. While you are training your dog to use this area, you can have it gated so your dog learns that this is the potty chore area. Training your dog as a puppy is a lot easier than training an older dog. Repetition is essential in training. If the potty area is on the side of your house, I would suggest that you use a high-quality landscape fabric and a small 1” or 2” washed rock (river rock). River rock is round-shaped and won’t harm your dog’s paws. Stay away from jagged and sharp edged stone. This can hurt your dogs’ paws. Washed rock is very easy to clean by hosing it down during the spring and summer months. If a side of your home is not possible, you can always purchase a portable dog pens. You can make these as big as you need them to be, according to the size of your dog and place it on a grassy area away from your garden. It is important to create a play area for your dog and keep toys within this area. When you are playing with APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 37

Spring inSpiration

your dog and fetching, always use this area. Your dog will learn that this is the play area and will tend to stay out of the garden. When your dog wants to jump into an off limit area, call your dog and reward your dog with one of its toys or a treat. By doing this, you are practising positive reinforcement and the more you do this, your dog will learn to stay away from the off limit areas. If you leave your dog outside for long periods of time, please remember that they need shelter, food and water. A simple doghouse could be enough shelter for a dog. Position your dog house in the back yard so it is out of the cold, wind, rain and the hottest part of the day. Dog houses are inexpensive and can be coordinated to match your decor. A new trend for dogs is using a pergola. Pergolas are usually constructed over decks and patios to help shade an area. Many people build these for aesthetics and for their dogs so they have a place to go when it’s really hot outside. Planting leafy shrubs and trees are another way to create shade for your dog. Water bowls are essential for dogs, but mediumto-large breed dogs tend to overturn their water bowls or drink them dry on hot days. If you had a patio water garden, fountain or pond, this would guarantee that your dog would never run out of water. Your water feature

38 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

should always contain potable drinking water for your dog. Fencing is imperative for all dogs. You can use a four foot high fence for smaller breeds, however; larger breeds will require a six foot fence. Ensure that your fence boards extend all the way to the ground to discourage crawling underneath. Also, make sure that your gate(s) close properly and latches should be placed high so that your dog doesn’t escape. If you have an existing deck or planning on building a deck, keep in mind the spacing between the rails. Small breed dogs can fall through or get caught in between the railings. The backyard is a perfect place for you and your dog to relax, play and rest. Your backyard can be beautiful and still meet your dog’s needs at the same time. Safety and security are the main concerns when planning your dogscape design plan. Be mindful of your plant selections and enjoy your dogscaped backyard.

Jackie Swartz Jackie Swartz has a Bachelor of applied Horticulture Technology degree (BaHt) from olds College and owns and operates YardShaper. Jackie’s specialties are landscape design, landscape maintenance and landscape construction. You can contact Jackie at 587-352-0950 or at

APR - may 2012 home dĂŠcor and renovations 39


Top Trends

in kitchen makeovers by heather ryan P h oto s b y m a n o r r e n o vat i o n s

ClassiC Warmth

sParkle With Glass

Kitchen maKeovers go beyond creating a space to cooK meals, they

organizers “There is a huge trend

address style, function and organization, says Tammy Kremer, interior designer with Manor Renovations. “A lot of people are starting to pay more attention to smaller details and rethinking how they use their kitchen and dining room space to suit their needs and create better traffic flow,” she says. To help homeowners with their makeovers, Kremer shares some of the top trends.

toward having multiple organizers that are very specific in their use, such as pantry pullouts, spice pullouts, tray dividers and the infamous troublesome corner organizers.

Colour “A lot of people are opting for dual color kitchens, mixing it up by going

with a colour for the island that is different from the rest of the kitchen,” Kremer says. “Albertans are getting a little braver with colour – still not as much as in other parts of Canada or abroad – but they’re adding colour with funky small kitchen appliances such as juicers, blenders, and coffee makers.” 40 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

natural stone “People are still using a lot of natural stone in the kitchen from countertops and backsplashes to flooring because it’s longer lasting, durable easy to clean and is timeless,” Kremer says.

Manor Renovations would like to thank our proud business partners 4527 6A Street NE 403-770-7489

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lighting “Every makeover we’re doing uses low profile recessed lighting in the kitchen,” Kremer says. “It’s functional and looks great. You can strategically place the lights so there are no shadows over the work surface and they can be on dimmer switches so you can create ambience when you’re entertaining.” She notes that under cabinet lighting and pendant lighting are also mainstays in kitchens. glass “There has been a resurgance of glass in the kitchen

from cabinet doors to backsplashes because it provides a clean look, smooth surface, and is easy to keep clean,” Kremer says. “It’s even being used on countertops as accent pieces that are etched and carved for a pretty funky design.” green “There has been more interest among homeowners

to add recycling organizers in the kitchen,” Kremer says, and this trend will likely grow if Calgary adds green boxes in the future requiring composting storage as well. Cabinets “Shaker doors are still one of the top choices and

will continue to be because they cross over well between traditional and contemporary styles so there is an element of flexibility,” Kremer says, noting that generally people are moving away from the traditional style because they want something that is easy to clean and a simpler look applianCes “Stainless steel is still a popular choice; it’s

been around for a long time and people love the clear lines and sleek look,” Kremer says. With more people entertaining at home, there is also a growing trend towards larger ranges, warming drawers and two wall ovens. sinks & FauCets “Silgranite sinks are becoming more

common because they are extremely durable and are available in a variety of colours. They lend themselves nicely to blending in with the counter tops. Adding a prep sink is also a growing trend. For faucets, she says, buyers often choose a stainless steel finish to match their appliances, but a brush finish is a popular choice.

N N Love Where You Live


nesta Tile Supply was created to off er high quality natural stone and expand the usage of these materials in residential use. Our staff has a true passion for this beautiful material. You will receive personalized care to help with your selections and leave your visit with a better understanding and appreciation for this durable and classic product.

Floors “Hardwood is becoming more prevalent in the

kitchen as people are running it through the entire main living area of the house, but natural stone such as Travertine and slate are also being used frequently,” Kremer says. APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 41



the code by MichAel Nyikes


I regularly receive emails from readers asking what the ramifications are for contractors that do not follow building code requirements.


This is a subject I happen to know a lot about as I have worked very closely with the provincial government and the construction industry on this topic for many years. Depending on which municipality or district of the province you live in, there are a series of mandatory inspections required for new construction or renovation projects. Large municipalities such as Calgary, Edmonton, Lethbridge, etc have quite extensive inspection schedules established throughout the construction process. Smaller towns and rural locations tend to be much less heavily regulated. Generally speaking though, if an inspector finds a contractor to be non-compliant with a building code item then they would be required to go back and correct the work so it adheres to the code article in question. The big challenge for most homeowners is when the problem is discovered “after-the-fact” because it seems as though no one wants to take accountability, liability or costs associated with the repair. There are some interesting developments currently occurring via the Alberta government that are addressing this latter issue. During the housing boom leading up to 2008, the provincial governments Ministry of Municipal Affairs received a number of complaints from homeowners concerned with the construction quality of their recently built homes. Municipal Affairs looked at a sample of 20

42 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

residences that had experienced failures with their building envelopes (a home’s outer walls and ceiling). This survey of the homes was intended to gain a better understanding of the reasons for these types of building failures, which can lead to mould growth in homes and be costly to repair. The homes surveyed were all found to be non-compliant with the Alberta Building Code. Although the results indicated that Alberta Building Code requirements remain appropriate, the survey demonstrated a need for provincial and municipal governments, and the residential construction industry to take steps to safeguard the quality and integrity of construction practices in Alberta. With this in mind, the Minister of Municipal Affairs established a committee to examine the broader issues facing the residential construction industry and in the summer/fall of 2008, the committee led a series of consultations with stakeholders from the construction industry, warranty companies, and the Safety Codes Council to gather input. Together they discussed the topics of accountability of the construction industry, consumer protection and recourse, appropriate worker certification and skills development, and appropriate inspection and enforcement processes. A number of recommendations from the committee’s work were suggested, and from these the Alberta government announced proposed changes to improve the standard of building in Alberta in order to better protect new home buyers and hold builders more accountable. These changes include: » Mandatory new home warranty: The province has consulted with key stakeholders to develop a regulatory framework for mandatory new home warranty programs to enhance what is available to consumers and set minimum provisions and standards. Work on this framework is underway. » Fines and limitations period: The Alberta government is proposing the length of time charges may be laid for building code offences be increased from 6 months to 3 years. It is also proposed the maximum fine be increased from $15,000 to up to $100,000 for a first offence and from $30,000 to up to $500,000 for subsequent offences. More information on this initiative can be found by contacting the Safety Services division of the Alberta Government at 1.866.421.6929 or Future Decoding the Code columns will continue to answer readers’ questions about how the provincial building code affects their projects. Email your questions to me at Be sure to include which city you live in, as well as your phone number in case I need to follow up with you.

MichAel Nyikes B.coM., M.Arch., A.T., M.B.A., PhD.

Michael is a nationally recognized speaker, columnist, and leading industry expert on building codes, residential construction, building envelope science, and environmental design. He can be reached at

assured communities ltd.


Assured Communities Ltd:

professional and solution-foCused by sirkkA VAndergrAAf


ongratulations to Assured Communities Ltd. for their recent award from the Alberta New Home Warranty Program for the Platinum Award of Distinction. “This award is hard to achieve and few builders have done so. It signifies that we have not had any unresolved service claims for our new homes and condominiums for 20 years,” says Gene Fabro, president, Assured Communities Ltd. With such an exceptional track record in hand, Calgarians looking for professional and solution-focused renovation help, can turn to Assured’s renovation arm, Assured Custom Renovations. Unless you have a specific vision for your home, it can be difficult to know how to renovate your home, and receive the best value for your dollar. This is where Assured can alleviate confusion and frustration by bringing in their strong solutionfocused team to help guide and direct the project. With so many years of experience in the building industry, Assured is

well prepared to handle all large scale renovations and any construction difficulties that could arise. “The older the home the more the challenge, and it requires multiple years of experience to know what to do,” says Fabro. Having a qualified and knowledgeable company such as Assured overseeing the renovation is paramount to success. As members of RenoMark, BBB, Canadian Home Builders Association, and fully licensed with the Province of Alberta, Assured ensures professionalism in every aspect. Their longterm qualified trades, design specialists, and engineering consultants, are committed to each project: and their workmanship is backed with an extensive and thorough warranty for all clients. Assured’s professional attitude and pride of workmanship not only puts their clients at ease, but leaves them more than satisfied, and delighted with the renovation of their home.

* We offer: • Free estimates and consultations • Innovative design solutions • Supreme craftsmanship and enduring quality • Satisfaction guaranteed Extensive warranties: • 2 year workmanship and materials, mechanical • 5 year against structural defects • $25,000 deposit security • Up to $200,000 total warranty Call for references

*Part of the Assured Group of Companies, building quality homes in Alberta for over 20 years.

403.282.7120 ext. 210 APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 43





by Mickey Foulds

lAs VeGAs ReceNTly HosTed THeiR

Las Vegas Market 2012 – the major trade show showcasing furniture, accessories, gifts, lighting, home textile, rugs, floor coverings and so much more – three buildings each housing 16 floors of booths, with vendors and their wares from across the globe. We were there in search of the latest trends and products, excited to see a world of creativity and vibrant colour, eco awareness and technological innovation. Some major themes soon

44 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

became evident, many of which have started to appear in stores in Calgary. Colour is back, with Tangerine Tango being the front runner as Pantone’s colour of the year. A rich, warm and dynamic orange-red, it promises to infuse any space with energy and friendliness. Saturated colour such as aqua blues and apple greens were present in abundance, as were combinations of orange and pink. For those looking for a more muted colour palette the mix of yellow and grey was also prominent, especially as a softer cream with light greys – elegant, understated and exquisitely harmonious. Lighter colours and light walls also contributed to the feeling of brightness and offered a quiet backdrop to vivid fabric and accessories. Saturated colours were to be found in artwork, accessories and soft furnishings. Graphic patterns dominated, influenced both by the continuing trend of mid-century design and ethnic patterns such as ikat. Lattice work designs incorporating vibrant colours together with bright white as a contrast were evident in textiles, as were




coLouR IS BacK, wIth tangeRIne tango BeIng the FRont RunneR aS Pantone’S coLouR oF the YeaR. a RIch, waRM anD DYnaMIc oRangeReD, It PRoMISeS to InFuSe anY SPace wIth eneRgY anD FRIenDLIneSS.

softer more complex stylised patterns inspired by Turkish architecture and iron gates. Where design and pattern were not evident, texture takes over. Natural textile products (wool, felt and silk) and raw wood lend visual interest After many years of espresso browns and dark wood tones ruling the markets, lighter shades and mid browns are back, as well as the greyed wood tones as seen in much of Restoration Hardware’s collection continuing to hold their own. These washed out wood tones are often seen in tradionally styled pieces with vibrant contemporary upholstery designs. Rough-hewn and live edge furniture pieces received a great deal of attention, for example in the form of table tops with contemporary chrome bases. Similar products can be seen in the inventory carried by Domaine Fine Furnishings in Calgary. Interest remains high in eco influenced design and sustainable manufacturing processes, such as fabrics created from recycled polyester. Lighting products have

also been undergoing a revolution in recent years and LED lighting is currently the way of the future. The old light forms such as incandescent and compact fluorescent lighting that have limited the design of fixtures are a thing of the past, and extremely compact LEDs are enabling the creation of fixtures in new shapes, configurations and sizes hitherto unseen. Anyone wishing to purchase light fixtures for their home is well advised to visit one of the professional lighting stores

APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 45

FuRnItuRe LIneS IncLuDeD contInuIng RetRo DeSIgn tRenDS whIch aRe cLaSSIcS In theIR own RIght

in town and explore the fabulous new products on the market. Simultaneously styles from the past continue to be reinvented with “steampunk” industrial type lighting remaining popular. Metals have become warmer after the long run of chrome and brushed nickel of the past years, and glitz and glamour continue to delight with crystals and crystal accents seen in abu ndance. Furniture lines included continuing retro design trends which are classics in their own right. Clean and compact condo style designs and furniture for smaller spaces were also showcased with multifunctional pieces featured prominently. High end exquisitely designed and produced furniture from vendors such as Christopher Guy deservedly enjoyed a great deal of attention. These pieces are more than just furniture and instead have a sculptural quality which infuses the space they inhabit with elegance and beauty and will no doubt become sought after classics in years to come. Overall the Las Vegas Market 2012 display was an interesting reflection of our world today – environmentally and tech savvy, bright and hopeful and with a touch of nostalgia harking back to simpler times. Beauty, innovation and fun in abundance. 46 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Mickey Foulds MSc cID cRSS Metamorphosis Design Ltd. phone 403.651.3462 email



Urban Renovations



Harmonious design… by LAURA LE



48 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012


Wildwood. This home was built in the 1950’s and luckily had retained only the best features of this particular decade. The features of mid-century design are clean architectural details and long, low lines. Usually the fireplace is a large wall of lengthwise brick or stone and the rooms are open and spacious. Windows are large and lower to the floor. The furniture and accessories ideal for this type of design has the same feeling as the architecture. The back and arms of the sofa are very linear and the cushions are tight, the tables and accessories have the same simplicity and can be either wood or chrome and glass. Large, graphic and abstract art work very well with this type of design. The “look” is minimal. The sellers of this particular property had renovated the kitchen and the washrooms and had done an amazing job keeping with the design of the space.

matter!” This is so far from the truth as the majority of the buyers will not be able to look past your “stuff” and will probably put their sofa where you had yours. A potential buyer may come in and love the property but not be able to commit to the purchase. They may walk around and around or come back for second and third showings and still not be able to recognize why they are having a difficult time making the final decision. Design is often very subtle and you often hear the word “flow” thrown around. Flow is essential to design not only between the architecture and the furniture but with furniture placement as well, especially when selling. It makes everything feel calm and relaxed so when anyone walks in they instantly feel “at home.” Most potential buyers are attracted to a specific style of architecture so the above comments are transferable to whatever the style of the property is. Most people are very consistent with choices in what they like and don’t like whether it is property, furnishings or art. The property they choose to purchase will also be in accordance with their likes. Whatever your preference is make sure everything has cohesiveness to the design and both the seller and the buyer will be happy.

We all know from the television shows that kitchens and baths sell the property! The first time I saw this house a family member had very kindly lent them furniture for their living room. Some of the rooms were empty as the sellers had moved already, they had taken what they wanted and left what they no longer needed. Some of which was great for the staging of the property. The borrowed upholstered furniture was heavy, rolled arm with a camel back and the side tables were curly and ornate. The dining room was mostly empty except for a couple of small cabinets. As a stager, I often see these types of properties where the architecture and the “stuff” are competing. If you are live there, are happy and love all of your possessions this is not a problem at all. But, if you are selling the largest investment most of us make in our lifetime there should not be a disconnection between these features. I have heard many, many sellers say “my stuff is not staying so it will not

LAURA LE CREATIVE ENHANCEMENT INC. Laura Le has owned Creative Enhancement for about 7 years. Laura completed courses with Accredited Staging Professionals(ASP), Canadian Staging. Professionals(CSP) and Canadian ReDesign Association (CRDA). Creative Enhancement has been a member of the BBB since 2005. phone 403 807 8591 email

APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 49


Shell BuSey: aSk a pro

The Low down on low-e window coatings by Shell BuSey and duraBuilt windowS & doorS

of all the optionS and acceSSorieS to conSider for your windowS,

the most important is really the most obvious, the glass. Accounting for up to 80% of a window’s real estate, glass can make or break the overall performance of your windows and home. The windows you select should have a Low-E coating. Low-E glass works by reflecting heat back to its source and the “E” stands for “emissivity”, which is the relative power of a surface to emit heat by radiation. Low-E coatings are made up of microscopically thin, optically transparent layers sandwiched between layers of anti-reflective metal oxide coatings. Without getting too technical, these coatings provide optimal year-round energy savings by filtering the suns energy in summer and reducing heat loss in winter. In the summer months, Low-E glass lets in visible sunlight and blocks infrared and ultraviolet solar energy out so you don’t have to tolerate high air conditioning costs and damaged interior elements such as curtains, window treatments, carpeting and furnishings. In winter, low-e glass allows more of the sun’s rays to enter a home as solar energy to be converted into usable heat in winter. 50 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Obviously, the closer the glass temperature is to the actual room temperature the less convection there will be near the window. Today, because of the energy efficiency of low-e glass, we as homeowners have the freedom to incorporate larger windows and glass areas into our home designs. The prospect of enjoying beautiful natural light into a home via large windows doesn’t have to be nixed due to concerns about excessive energy costs. When considering new windows for your renovation or new home construction, you’ll have many high performance Low-E Glass solutions. An important point to remember is that lower U-values and higher R-values are an indication of greater performing windows. Another consideration is that triple pane windows also provide an additional layer upon which low-e glazing may be applied. Low-E glazing reduces heat transfer through your window and combined with the insulated pockets of air, aid in substantial cost savings, energy efficiency and comfort year after year. The BenefiTs of Triple pane WindoWs Triple pane windows, also referred to as triple glazed windows are simply windows with three layers of glass – outer, middle and inner, sealed into one unit. The middle layer is generally surrounded by an inert gas such as argon, which is trapped by the outer and inner panes. Because of this, triple pane windows have greater insulation abilities than their dual pane counterparts.

Another consideration is that triple pane windows also provide an additional layer upon which Low-E glazing may be applied. Low-e glazing reduces heat transfer through your window and combined with the insulated pockets of air, aid in substantial cost savings, energy efficiency and comfort year after year. During the Prairie’s spring and summer months, triple pane windows will seal your comfortable cool air in your home and will prevent heat from entering. In fall and winter they will prevent heat from escaping from your home. The dual seal combination keeps the entire glass surface warmer/cooler, especially on the inside, which helps retain energy. As a result, triple pane windows can insulate significantly better than their dual pane counterparts. Triple pane windows are an affordable upgrade for your home, whether you are renovating or building new. It is however important to keep in mind that simulated dual pane windows that claim triple pane performance can never equal the real thing. While double pane windows are also energy-efficient, triple pane windows provide the greatest energy efficiency of any window in the market. Noisy neighbours, loud vehicles and unwanted distractions can be an uninvited nuisance, however triple pane windows are equally as effective at blocking unwanted noise as they

are in retaining energy. By trapping sound waves in the first chamber and keeping cool drafts outside, your home will become the tranquil and comfortable haven you long for. Triple pane windows will also improve your relative humidity levels by almost double due to warmer window surface temperatures. They are not as susceptible to as much interior condensation in your home. Triple pane is highly recommended in a cold dry climate such as Calgary and if you wish to increase more moisture and humidity in the home. for more home improvement information contact Shell Busey’s houseSmart home Services. Go to


Visit for helpful tips to improve your home including: renovation trends, new products, maintenance and repairs, do-it-yourself tips and grants and rebates for energy upgrades.

Shell BuSey For more home improvement information, or to sign-up for Shell’s FREE online HouseSmart E-newsletter visit

Ask us about... » Certified home energy audits » Grants for energy efficient upgrades » Energy efficient windows & doors by Durabuilt » Heating & Air Conditioning » Roofing installation & repairs » Gutters installation & repairs

It’s just that easy!

» Insulation & draft proofing

» Basements, crawlspaces & drainage » Flooring » Electrical services » Decks and exterior renovations

Visit our website or call 1.888.266.8806 APR - may 2012 home décor and renovations 51


building Green,

living green by paul golInI Jr.

In late January, the federal government of

Canada announced that it will prematurely end the ecoENERGY Retrofit program – a $400-million initiative offering homeowners up to $5,000 to undergo a green renovation. At first, I felt upset as I thought of all the renovators who depended on this program to help sell the idea of a green renovation – a challenging task, even when dealing with environmentally conscious clients. But later, I managed to look at the situation from a more positive side. Since the program’s inception in 2007, about 250,000 homeowners have taken advantage of the rebate and improved the energy efficiency of their homes, according to Natural Resources Minister, Joe Oliver. That’s quite the accomplishment, especially considering the tough economic times we experienced in the 2008–2009 stretch, particularly in the building and renovating industries. To me, this speaks volumes about the way homeowners in this country view energy efficiency. “We used it on the lion share of the projects that we do,” said Brendan Charters of Eurodale Developments, a RenoMark renovator and BILD’s 2011 Renovator of the Year. “Most of our larger renovations involve eco-energy type upgrades. It’s not just finishes and the sexy stuff you see on the outside. It really becomes something that’s paramount in the larger renovation discussion and it’s because of the success of programs like this. It’s part of every discussion we have with every homeowner.” I’ve written before that one of the biggest challenges communicated to me by our members is selling green features over pretty upgrades. Charters explained that this program made that process a lot easier as homeowners were excited to be rewarded for thinking green. “When they see that they get some money back, homeowners spent more time and energy and focus on all their options versus spending money to get that countertop,” he said. 52 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

Would it still have the same effect if the program didn’t have an expiry date? I like to think that people enjoy taking advantage of limited-time offers. There is a sense of accomplishment when you beat the deadline and get a great deal. Perhaps this was the push that incited a quarter-million people to retrofit their homes over the last five years. According to the program’s website, the average federal grant has been about $1,400 per dwelling. Homeowners currently registered can receive post-retrofit evaluations and apply for grants until June 30, 2012. Just be sure to have your retrofit completed by March 31. Here at BILD, we are strong supporters of Green building and are always looking for ways to educate our members and the consumers about the benefits of energy efficiency in the home. Our Association is currently involved with several green initiatives, including LEEP-TAP, microFIT, a Green Leadership Committee and an annual Green Builder of the Year award in both lowrise and highrise categories. “Every day we pull up to the pump and complain about the price of gas, but you’re spending a lot more heating your home,” Charters said, adding that while there’s not much you can do to improve energy consumption in your vehicle, there are a number of options available for homeowners. I trust that our government partners have another great idea lined up to help home builders and homebuyers make the GTA a greener place to live, work and play.

paul golInI Jr. Paul Golini Jr. is chair of the Building Industry and Land Development Association (BILD) and can be found online on Twitter (, Facebook (, Youtube ( and BILD’s official blog (

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WE OFFER FOLLOWING SERVICES TO OUR CLIENTS: • Custom homes • Renovations • Custom cabinets • Custom millwork SoHo Developments is a licensed general contractor specializing in custom home building, full service renovations and custom millwork. We manufacture custom kitchen cabinets, vanities and other project related millwork in our own millwork shop.


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From conception to cleanup! Doing it right the first time! 54 home décor and renovations APR - May 2012

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Quality, Transparency, Value

Winners Again!

Thank you Calgary for selecting Trademark Renovations once again as the recipient of the coveted Consumer Choice Award for 2012. Of all awards that we have won, the Consumer Choice is extra special to us because it is you the consumer who made it happen. We are very honored and continue to strive to exceed your expectations. Thank you once again!


*On renovation projects $100,000 and up, we will match and better a recognized competitor’s quote by 10%. At Trademark Renovations, we are constantly reviewing and negotiating preferred pricing arrangements with our supplier & trade partners to get you the best value for your money. We are so confident about our pricing that we guarantee you the lowest price for your overall renovation project while delivering our unsurpassed level of quality, service and transparency.

(403) 277-5600 TERMS & CONDITIONS: This Best Price Guarantee applies to projects based on identical scopes of work, specifications, products, levels of finish, service, and quality. Best Price Guarantee applies to overall total project price and not the individual components contained therein. All recognized competitor quotes are subject to verification by Trademark before honoring this offer. Trademark will not accept screenshots or other purported evidence of a lower price that cannot be independently confirmed by Trademark personnel. Nor will Trademark verify any request that it believes, in its sole discretion, is the result of a printing or other error or is made fraudulently or in bad faith. All original documents from recognized competitor quotes must be presented to Trademark prior to verification, execution of any contract or commencement of work. This Price Guarantee excludes insurance claims, free offers, gifts with purchase, gift cards, gift certificates, rebates, clearance or close-out prices, credit or financing programs, used, damaged, or display merchandise or products. Discount applied before taxes and environmental stewardship fees or other levies, if applicable. This price guarantee cannot be combined with any other offer. Trademark reserves the right in its sole discretion to modify or discontinue the Best Price Guarantee or to restrict its availability to any person, at any time, for any or no reason, and without prior notice or liability to you. The failure by Trademark to enforce any provision of these Terms & Conditions shall not constitute a waiver of that provision.

Before SSR

After SSR

Have Calgary’s #1 Stair & Railing company renovate your stairs today!

Calgary showroom 6423 - 30th Street SE (403) 294-0555 1-866-936-0555

Calgary Home Décor and Renovations - APR/MAY 2012  

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