Want To Be In The Know With Next Year’s Trends? Here They Are!

Seven 2017 Home Trends You’re Going To Want Now

We know what you’re thinking: New year, new style. But if you’re getting ready to make some updates to your home or incorporate some stylish new pieces, how do you know which way to go? Trend forecasters have been hitting the interior design, furniture, and furnishings shows, and we’ve got our edit of the hot, upcoming looks right here.

Get colorful

Could gray be on its way out? The go-to color for walls and more walls and also kitchens and flooring and furnishings and everything else for several years running may have hit its peak. Paint companies like Sherwin-Williams have a few gray hues in their 2017 Color Forecast, mixed among bold jewel tones, global shades, and confident pastels. Industry insiders are embracing the rich colors, especially when juxtaposed against white.

“Color, color, color. Those boring grays are on their way out,” said Gates Interior Design. Instead, they’re seeing “fresh whites with pops of color…along with rich colors for walls.” Their top five colors are: Navy, pink, coral, teal, and emerald green.


Rose gold

Now that we’ve cycled through most of the other metal options in the past few years, it’s rose gold’s turn. “One of the biggest fashion trends over the past year or so has been rose gold,” said PURSUITIST. “The pinky hue has become popular not just in jewelry and watches but also in clothing, shoes, and beauty products. It’s even been spotted on phones and sunglasses.”

And what happens in fashion often comes to interiors, which we’re seeing in everything from fixtures to lighting to textiles. “No offense to silver, yellow gold, and brass, but there’s just something special about rose gold—a warmth and uniqueness you don’t get with other metallic,” said Glamour. “Bring instant luster to a boring kitchen with industrial bar chairs in a high-gloss finish.”


Donnbracht has released a new line of luxury bath and kitchen faucets called Cyprum that features a rose gold finish.


You can even DIY the finish on “surfaces including metal, ceramic, wood, and glass” with rose gold spray paint.

Furry accents

Texture is a great way to add layered interest to a space, and you can expect this trend to take your look next-level. “It’s official: Furniture with fur accents will be huge in 2017. We’ve noticed sheepskin and Mongolian fur chairs in the latest fall collections, said MY DOMAINE. “Faux-fur chairs saw the most dramatic increase in searches this year, with a 487% uplift. Our word of warning? Tread carefully when trying this trend at home. Invest in one statement piece to take center stage in your apartment, and look for quality materials.”


Industrial décor

“Industrial décor is here to stay,” said MY DOMAINE, so why not use it in a standout way, like on these gorgeous bathroom lights.


The faux look

Love the look of marble countertops but don’t want the upkeep? There’s great news x two: Quartz materials are more realistic than ever, allowing you to get the appearance of marble with a practically indestructible finish, and faux looks are in.

“Luxury homeowners are warming to fake marble, faux barn wood and other imitators, which are often less expensive and easier to install than the real deal,” said the Wall Street Journal.

According to designer Nicole Gibbons, “clients love the timeless look of Carrara marble, but may not be able to maintain the countertops, which can’t get acidic foods on them, in their own homes,” said Elle Decor. “People aren’t coming to me and saying, ‘I want fake marble,'” Gibbons says. “They’re saying, ‘I really like the look of marble, but it’s too high maintenance,’ or, ‘I cook too much for that to be able to hold up. What do you recommend as an alternative?'”


Black and white stripes

It’s a new graphic pattern to obsess over, and in a classic color combination that plays well with practically everything! “After years of chevron, we’re eager for stripes to make a comeback – especially if they’re simple and black-and-white,” said Elle Decor. The look is part of their article on, “13 Scandinavian Trends About To Take The States By Storm,” so get ready to spend a lot of time at IKEA.


Cork walls

Goodbye, reclaimed wood, hello cork. “Sustainability and practicality are popping up in home decor all over the place,” said BRIT + CO. “Cork walls are not only a visually compelling choice, but they’re awesome when it comes to blocking out sound and posting to-dos on the go.”



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Want To Make Your Home Shine This Holiday Season?! Here’s How!

6 Great Holiday Decor Ideas To Amp Up Your Curb Appeal

Stumped about how to make your home stand out at the holidays for all the right reasons?

You don’t have to clean out Home Depot’s inflatable character aisle to make it festive. A few tips can take it from plain to just plain amazing.

1. Highlight your architecture

Have some great architecture to work with?

“Edging the roof, windows and doors makes your home’s own charming features stand out big time,” said House Beautiful.


2. Take advantage of your landscaping

Net lights make decorating so easy your little kids can do it, and when laid out over hedges, they bring a festive look with minimal effort and expense. If you have trees in your front yard, wrapping the trunks in net lights brings the beauty without the pain of having to weave lights around individual branches. Hanging icicle lights or snowflakes from random branches is a great finishing touch.


3. Spread the love

Gates, fences, front porches, and walkways are great opportunities to extend your décor and call attention to the property’s features.


4. Don’t forget about your front door

A simple wreath is an easy way to set a welcoming holiday tone, and the choices are endless, whether you go with store-bought or decide to make your own. But, it’s just the beginning of the inspired ideas for your front door.

“Give your front door the city glam you love by filling lanterns with shiny ornaments, and adorning with a black and white polka dot ribbon (how very Kate Spade of you), as in this outdoor vignette from Dimples & Tangles,” said Elle Decor.


5. Christmas trees aren’t just for indoors

How about bringing a Christmas tree up to your front door…and then leaving it there. Just be sure to use weather-proof ornaments.


If you don’t have room for a full-size tree, this mini-version – replete with wrapped gifts (wrap empty boxes if you’re worried about theft) creates a charming vignette, especially when paired with the ribbon-wrapped garland surrounding the door.


6. Have a ball

How fun are these lighted chicken wire balls? They’re a surefire way to make your home stand out at the holidays. “Placing various size balls of light across the lawn is an innovative Christmas yard decoration idea everyone loves,” said Christmas Lights Etc. “By wrapping Christmas lights around chicken wire balls, you can create a whimsical scene in your yard that leaves everyone’s jaws dropping. All you need for this DIY Christmas decoration is chicken wire, strings of LED mini lights, and wire cutters. HGTV has an easy DIY tutorial so you can make them yourself.


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A Quick Downsizing Quiz For The Undecided

On the fence about downsizing? We help you decide whether that fencing should encircle a mansion or a mini trailer.

We all consider downsizing for different reasons. Maybe we’re sick and tired of the maintenance and upkeep of a large home. It could be that we’re weary of the financial burden, or of being tied to a house and yard. Perhaps we want a smaller footprint for greener living. But is downsizing really for you?

If your circumstances make downsizing a necessity, go for it and decide to love it. But if you have a choice in the matter, take a few minutes with what I call the Knee-Jerk Reaction Test to see if downsizing is really for you. Gather a pencil and paper, look at each picture below and write down the number next to the response that most closely matches your own.

Ready? Here we go.



1. This is my dream home!
2. Lots of roof there to maintain.
3. All I see is time and $$$$.

Fredericksburg Cottage


1. I don’t think my grand piano will fit through the door.
2. Must be nice having time to sit on the porch.
3. When can I move in?

Tiny Tea House


1. Is this the garage?
2. I’d have to get rid of a lot of stuff, but maybe it’s time.
3. We could live on the road and visit the grandkids whenever we wanted!

Coastal Retreat


1. Where’s the kitchen?
2. It calls to me. But where am I going to put the Cuisinart, the KitchenAid mixer, the coffeemaker, the espresso machine and the countertop rotisserie?
3. As long as I can find the microwave, I’m good.

Award-Winning New Home in Cazadero


1. This is a bedroom I would love to live in.
2. I could probably get along without the fireplace.
3. How many people sleep in this room?

Beach House


1. I am so not ready to give up my king-size bed.
2. At least there’s room for a chair to throw my clothes on.
3. All I do is sleep there, anyway.

Locust Hills Drive Residence


1. Finally! A laundry room that fits my family!
2. Hopefully I’ve outgrown the need for multiple machines.
3. Looks more like a Laundromat than a laundry room to me.

Minneapolis Center Hall Colonial Addition and Classic Whole Home Remodel


1. And just where am I supposed to fold the 15 loads of washing I do each week?
2. Maybe this would discourage my son from bringing home his laundry.
3. Compact, functional, no piles of clothes … I like it!

Master Sweet Blue


1. My partner and I both work from home, so this shared office is a good idea.
2. This office makes me tired.
3. Just give me my laptop and a Starbucks!

Cole Street


1. How can you expect me to accomplish anything in such a ridiculous space?
2. This could work if I culled my files …
3. Genius use of closet space.

Stephanie California Closets


1. This closet might work for my partner. But where’s mine?
2. I wish my closet looked like this.
3. Anything I haven’t worn in the past year gets donated, so this is perfect.

Forster road house


1. Cleaning gutters and working all day in the garden is my idea of a good time.
2. I am seriously getting too old for this.
3. I’d rather golf, read, drink, watch TV, shop or travel than work in my yard.

Cottage Update


1. Where would I play croquet?
2. Wow, I could weed this in five minutes.
3. Someone pour the wine!

OK. All done? Now add up all the numbers you wrote down. If you scored:

13–21: You are definitely not a candidate for downsizing, and can totally ignore my next several ideabooks.

22–30: Brace yourself – there is a move in your future. You are definitely showing signs of being bitten by the “maybe it’s time to downsize” bug.

31–39: Call the moving company! And watch for the next installment in this series on the secrets to successful downsizing.


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Have You Been Giving Your Home Enough Attention?

Home Maintenance: Taking Care of Routine Services Before They Become Costly Issues

Your home is your castle. You want to make sure that it looks great on the inside and out. Just like an automobile, a home requires a great deal of maintenance. However, most people think that if it’s not broken, then they don’t need to fix it. You can save a great deal of money by doing preventative maintenance on the home. Here are some items you need to fix or maintain before they break.

Your home’s heating and cooling systems are of the utmost importance. You rely on this unit to keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter. However, few know that it requires a yearly inspection. If you have a gas powered unit, an inspection could save your life. As a unit begins to age, rust holes form in the heat exchanger. A technician can identify these holes and keep carbon monoxide from leaking into your home. Additionally, you need to make sure that you change your filter once a month. Maintaining your unit will extend its longevity.

Did you know that a home warranty program doesn’t have to cover an HVAC unit if it has not been maintained?


When a drain is not allowing the water to exit in a timely manner, people grab the plunger and head to the hardware store for a chemical drain cleaner? However, the real problem is a clog. Drain cleaners can get some minor issues resolved, but you could have an issue deep in the pipes. It is imperative to call for professional help when you have toilets and sinks that constantly are clogged.

You could have a problem with the main sewer line. The last thing you want is sewage filling up in the yard. Consequently, it never hurts to have your system inspected and ensure that things are running well before the winter season.



The electrical components of a home are vastly important to your fame being able to live in the home. If you have an older home, you may have knob and tube wiring. Older homes may also have a fuse box system rather than the new breaker box type. Additionally, a breaker box may be ill-sized for the home and cause breakers to flip off constantly. The electrical system in your home should not be put off.

If you wait until it’s too late, it could result in a fire that causes great damage to the home. If any part of your electrical system is not functioning properly, you need to call in for professional help at once.


The roof shields the home from the sun, wind, and rain. It allows your home to retain heat and it gives your abode a stylish look. However, the average roof only lasts about 20 years, if you have asphalt shingles. When a roof gets close to the end of its lifespan, shingles may become brittle and start blowing around your yard. You may or may not even notice that your shingles are starting to drift off.

However, it leaves empty spots where rain and debris can get to the sheeting. People get leaks on the inside of the home when the sheeting is damaged. Unfortunately, this allows the rain to slip through. Never wait until your roof is leaking in the house to do something about it. Make sure you have a great roof and it is within its lifespan. Waiting until the last minute could cost you thousands more in unnecessary repairs.

Routine maintenance is as important as paying the mortgage each month. The longevity of your systems and the home’s structure depends on it.


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Wishing Everyone A Happy Thanksgiving!


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Preparing Home For Winter For People With Mobility Issues

It’s the time of year when people winter proof their homes — caulking, adding insulation, checking roofs, gutters and downspouts, putting lawn tools away and bringing snow blowers and shovels out of storage. However people with mobility issues need to take extra precautions when preparing for winter.

“Dedicate some extra time to go over all mobility care equipment, including wheelchairs, walkers, vehicle lifts and vertical porch lifts and ensure everything is working properly,” says Rose Titus, owner/rehabilitation specialist of MEDability Health Care Solutions in Markham, Ont.

Ask if your mobility company has an annual maintenance plan, where service techs will check to make sure everything is in working order, says Justin Fox, owner of The Mobility Shop in Toronto.

Hire a professional medical equipment company to do preventative maintenance on equipment such as vertical porch lifts. It’s important that they specially rated grease be used on the acme screw, which is what moves the lift up and down, says MEDability’s owner/accessibility consultant Don Titus.

Vertical lifts should be parked above ground and the motor should be warmed up before using. Before you board the lift, run it down then back up again to warm it up, Don says.

Have a back-up manual wheelchair or a secondary power source for electric medical equipment, Rose says. “Your motorized wheelchair battery will lose 60 per cent of its charge as soon as the temperature drops below zero.”

Preserve battery life by wrapping the battery in a blanket. When the battery is not in use, leave it plugged in to keep them warm, she says. “Batteries under perform in colder weather and it will take them longer to charge,” Fox says.

When not in use for extended periods, he recommends scooter batteries be kept inside. It’s also of utmost importance not to let the batteries drain completely because that could damage the battery, he says. “People come in and say the battery was fine in September or October, and in April they wonder why the battery is dead. If batteries drain completely, they lose their ability to recharge, which can lower their functionality. You may have been able to go 10 to 15 km and now only get two to three km.”

Try to take the scooter out when the weather is nice and go to the mall and drive around, then come home and recharge it. If you can’t get out, at least turn the scooter on, let the battery drain a bit then recharge it, Fox says.


If you must go out, “modifications can help you avoid getting stuck in the snow or sliding on the ice. You can create your own wheel grips with some nylon cables,” Rose says. “Wrap the cables 25 to 30 times evenly around your wheels, being sure to point the buckles to the inside of the wheel. You will have additional grip during the winter months.”

Lighting and surfaces should be next on the checklist. Any surface you will be walking on should be kept clear of ice and snow, so you may want to hire a neighbour or snow-clearing company before the first flakes fly so you’ll be prepared.

Special paint, which has a sandy grit in it, can be applied to porches and decks to make the surface less slippery, says Fox.

Ensure concrete surfaces are textured for a better grip. If using stamped concrete, don’t choose a high-gloss finish, Don says. Again, use a melter specifically designed for the surface and keep plenty of sand in a handy spot to help keep ramps and sidewalks slip-free.

“Having a homemade de-icer on hand will be beneficial. Mix 50 per cent vinegar and 50 per cent water in a spray bottle, and watch the icy pathways vanish,” says Rose Titus, adding another de-icer recipe calls for mixing two-thirds rubbing alcohol and one-third water in a spray bottle.

Metal ramps usually have a non-slip surface. If you choose to use a melter, do not use salt because it will corrode the metal.

For wood ramps, it’s a good idea to apply fresh strips of non-slip tape to wood planks each year. The tape can be stapled down on alternating wood planks. If you are not replacing all of the tape, check it to make sure it is usable for the upcoming season and replace strips that are not. Staple down anything that has come loose, Don says. “It’s not expensive and it’s good to do annually. It’s no different than putting on your snow tires.”

Fox recommends using lighting with motion sensors near entry doors. It’s common sense, but “it makes it easier to navigate if you can see.”

You may also want to have an emergency kit, whether you have special needs or not.

The Government of Canada offers information on its Public Safety Canada Website.

Public Safety Canada recommends that people be prepared to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours, with items such as food, water and a battery-operated flashlight. The website also has instructions for those with special health needs, including keeping information such as medical conditions, medications and emergency contacts in their emergency kits.

“Talk to your doctor about preparing a grab-and-go bag, if possible, with a two-week supply of medication and medical supplies. Include prescriptions and medical documents. Remember that pharmacies may be closed for some time, even after an emergency is over,” Public Safety Canada says.

Other tips for people with a disability or special medical needs include making sure all emergency kit items are organized in one place, special needs equipment is tagged and includes instructions about how to use each device during an emergency and having a list of food/drug allergies and current medications.

Service animals should also have an emergency kit that includes a minimum 72-hour supply of bottled water and pet food, as well as medications with a list of medical conditions, dosage and frequency and medical records including vaccinations.


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Feeling Cramped? Make Small Rooms Feel Larger! Here’s How!

How to Make a Small Space Feel Larger

Pages of glossy magazines are often filled with immense rooms and oversized spaces full of grandeur and twelve-foot ceilings. But the truth is that most of us live in houses, apartments or townhomes built on a much smaller scale. When faced with the size of some of these tiny rooms, it’s easy to get frustrated when you’re trying to decorate.

But what if those rooms could feel even bigger? What if you could visually add space with a few small changes? What if there were tips and tricks and ideas to make a small room appear larger?

Good news! There are.

If you’re tired of feeling crowded in your home, all you need is a new direction. If you have a small space that you want to grow, here are a few ideas and a little inspiration to get you started.

1. Pick a Light Wall Color

You can visually change the size of a space with color. Darker colors are often used to make a room feel cozier and smaller. By contrast, lighter colors go a long way in helping to make the walls of a small space appear larger to the eye. Select light grays, whites, khakis and neutrals to help expand the visual impact of a room, like this small office space. Light floors, neutral walls and simple, classic decor give the eyes a place to rest.


Another space-expanding tip is to paint moldings the same or similar color as the walls. Contrasting molding can actually visually reduce the height of the ceilings in a room. By painting moldings to blend in with the existing walls, the room appears much larger. Here, the floor molding is painted white and the raised panel molding on the walls is painted to match the gray wall color, extending the expanse of the wall even further.

2. Keep Upholstered Furniture Neutral

Sometimes neutral walls can seem a little boring when designing a room. An accent wall might be the answer if you keep the larger pieces of furniture and accessories in more neutral hues.


To add depth to the space, draw the eye toward the accent wall by surrounding it with neutral furnishings. For example, the gray couch with white piping and the two adjoining accent chairs in a khaki linen help to balance out the pop of color on the accent wall. The pieces are in scale with the room and blend into the background, making the room appear bigger. In addition, the curtains, accessories and flooring are neutral as well, providing a visually large framework for this tiny living room.

3. Draw the Eye Upward

One of the simplest ways to make a room appear larger is to draw the eye upward. Giving the eye something to focus on in the upper part of the room creates the illusion that the space is actually bigger than it is. An easy trick is to paint a design on the ceiling, add a decorative medallion or install a beautiful light fixture.

A tone-on-tone painted wall treatment can also give the illusion of space in a room. A vertical pattern on the walls, such as harlequins or vertical leafy branches, helps to elongate a room. For example, in this small entryway, the painted gray and white stripes help to create the impression that the walls are actually taller than they are.

4. Don’t Overlook the Flooring

Creating a focal point with rugs and decorative flooring also helps to open up a space. A floor with texture or a light color often creates the impression that the room is visually grounded. A small space can appear much larger with a simple design placed strategically on the floor.


Here, the floor tiles laid in a diamond pattern and the contrasting design of the decorative area rug help to establish a foundation to build the room upon. This small butler’s pantry opens up with neutral walls and accessories, textured baskets, a decorative light fixture and the patterned color on the floor.

When planning smaller spaces, it is important to remember a few key points. Make sure to consider a neutral color when painting the walls. If you want to add a colorful accent wall, the rest of the larger furnishings and accessories in the space should be neutral. Keep it simple with patterns, textures and decorative flooring. Lastly, draw the eye upwards with a creative accent on the ceiling. Then, sit back and watch your room truly live large.


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