Home & Garden

The Home Owner’s Guide To Energy Saving in the Living Room

The living room is a popular place for families to spend quality time together. Review these energy efficiency tips to ensure your living room isn’t costing you.   Program your home In the Summer, program your thermostat to cool less while you’re away on vacation, and in the Winter program it to heat less while you’re sleeping or away from home. Use A Powerbar The theme here is controlling how much energy is used in your home. A powerbar is a great option, especially if it has a timer. Use a powerbar with a timer or an auto shut-off option to eliminate wasted electricity. Tip: put your lamps on timers so you won’t have to worry about forgetting to turn them off when you go to bed. Go LED Replace your light bulbs with LED bulbs. These high-quality light bulbs last longer than incandescent bulbs. Turn Your Devices Off It’s always a good idea to turn your devices off and unwind at the end of a hectic day. Turning your computer off at night can help conserve energy. Many electronic devices, including a PVR, will use energy will on standby. Shut them down to be most efficient with your energy use. Seal The Fireplace You have less control over the air temperature and your bills if air is escaping through your fireplace. Ensure it is properly sealed and not letting outside air in. This goes for your windows and doors as well – check for any air leaks. Having control over …

The Home Owner’s Guide To Energy Efficiency In The Kitchen

Saving Energy in the Kitchen Use an Electric Kettle An electric kettle with an automatic shut-off feature will use only the necessary amount of energy to heat your water. It’s also a safety feature in case you walk away and forget about your water. Check Your Taps You would be amazed how much a little drip can add up (especially on your water bill). Check the taps in your kitchen to make sure they are properly sealed. Air Dry Dishes The drying system in a washing machine can use a lot of electricity. Let your dishes air dry over night to help lower your energy usage. According to Save On Energy, “letting your dishes air dry instead of using the heat-dry option will save you up to 50% of your dishwasher’s energy consumption”. Heat Efficiently Need to heat something up? Your microwave will use less energy than your electric stove. Put A Lid On It When using your stove top to heat water or food, cover the pot with a lid. This will keep the heat in, heating it quicker and using less energy.   Stay tuned for more Home Owner’s Guide To Energy Efficiency in the Home.   To learn more about how you can be more energy efficient, visit www.saveonenergy.ca.

The Smart Seller’s Guide: Preparing A Home To Sell

This Smart Seller’s Guide will walk you though 5 important ways to prepare you home to sell. If you’ve been thinking about selling or are in the process of getting your house ready, these steps are extremely relevant to you. When buyers are touring multiple properties, first impressions can make a big difference. Take some time to get your home ready to ensure it stands out and makes a lasting impression. Seek Advice As a smart seller, the first thing you should do is talk to a REALTOR®. Your REALTOR® is an experienced professional who can help guide you to the areas of your home that need some attention. Clean Regardless of your timeline, cleaning your home is one of the most important things you can do to prepare you home to sell. Imagine yourself as the buyer in your home. What would you want to see? Spotless bathrooms and kitchen, swept floors and vacuumed carpets show buyers that the home is well cared for. Remove Clutter Your photos, possessions and decor accents are important to you, but these items may be distracting to potential buyers. Smart sellers understand that it’s important for a buyer to be able to visualize their family in the home. Removing extra decor and other items is the perfect place to start. Renovate Renovations can help add value to your home, but it’s important to choose renovations wisely. Again, this is a great time to consult with a REALTOR®. You can work with your REALTOR® to determine which …

Spring Cleaning Hacks

We’ve been sharing weekly Spring Cleaning Hacks on our Facebook page over the past few months to help you hack your way through your Spring cleaning list. In case you missed any of these great tricks, here is a recap. Spring Cleaning Hacks Clean your cutting boards with lemon and salt. 1. Cut a lemon in half 2. Sprinkle some coarse salt on the cutting board 3. Using the lemon (flat side down) scrub the board. Add a little pressure to the lemon so some the lemon juice is mixed in with the salt 4. After you’ve scrubbed the entire board, let it sit for about 5 minutes 5. Wipe off the residue. Tip: you can use a pastry scraper to easily get everything off the board 6. Lightly rinse the cutting board off with a damp sponge or cloth Your sofa can be home to many things; dirt, coins and crumbs. This year, try cleaning your sofa with baking soda. (Note: this is for cloth sofas) 1. Remove any large items from the sofa (coins, big crumbs, etc.) 2. Sprinkle baking soda and let it sit for about an hour. Baking soda is great for absorbing odors. 3. Use the host attachment on your vacuum cleaning to suck up all the baking soda Cleaning the oven can be a daunting task. Many have a built in cleaning feature, but if you’re up for the task, here are some tips: 1. Scrape out any large residue left in the oven …

2016 Chair Trends

Accent chairs are a great way to update any room in your home. This year, these styles are heating up and giving you great options for comfortable and trendy seating options. This guide for 2016 Chair Trends will help you figure out which chairs will work for your home. Mid-Century There are so many possible combinations of colours and textures with this mid-century styled chair. Its clean lines will bring a modern flare to any room. Perfect for: Stylish Dining Room. Brighten your colour scheme by adding four different colours around your table, or stick with classic neutrals and play up your table setting. Scandinavian This molded chair is possibly one of the most popular chairs of the year, which means there are options for any price point (these chairs start as low as $49!). By adding a chair with three visible materials, it’s easy to tie this style into your existing decor. The plastic molded seat comes in a variety of colours, so you can always find the perfect fit for your home. The most trendy right now is the classic white. The dark steel rods add contrast to the piece, while the wood legs provide a more natural tone. Perfect For: Your living room! Add one or two of these chairs to your living space for a pop of colour or a use the white chairs to contrast your upholstered furniture. This is the perfect accent chair. Think about adding a throw blanket or accent pillow for extra comfort …

New Home To Do List

When you’re creating your new home to do list, make sure you include these 7 important tasks. Become familiar with your new home and make it a place you and your family are comfortable in. 1. Change the locks When the keys are handed over to you, you can never be sure that you have all the copies. In any case, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Change the locks on all exterior entry points to your new home, then get rid of the previous keys. 2. Become familiar with your circuit breaker It’s likely that in your first few months in the home you’re going to be updating lighting fixtures, so it’s a great idea to become familiar with the electrical wiring and circuit box. Take some time to check the labeling and confirm which switches control each area of your home. 3. Find the main water valve You’ll want to know where the main water valve is located in your home. In some cases it’s in an obvious spot, but other times it can be outside or hidden somewhere in your home. Find it now, rather than searching for it in an emergency situation. Once you find the knob, turn it off and test your faucets to make sure no water comes out. When you’re heading out on your next vacation, you can turn the water off and be on your way! 4. Wipe out the cabinets Before you start unpacking your dishes and filling your kitchen cabinets, …

DIY Upgrades Under $200

DIY Upgrades Moving into a new home can result in a long list of to-dos; tasks you want to complete to increase your home’s value, functional upgrades to make your day-to-day tasks easier, and décor changes to increase your home’s aesthetic appeal. This list can become a taunting lineup of time and expenses, so why not start with a few little changes that will make a big difference in your home. These do-it-yourself home upgrades won’t break the bank but they will give you an updated feel. $30 Bold Front Door Give your front door a bright coat of paint to impact your home’s curb appeal. A gallon of house and trim paint should do the trick. You can go with a muted colour for a subtle yet fresh update, or go bold and make a change no one will miss. A semi-gloss or high-gloss enamel paint will have a durable finish and be a good option for the outside elements. Prices range from $20-$40 per gallon. $190 Crown Molding Add some flare to the edge of your ceiling with crown molding. There are a number of colours and cuts to choose from so you can find the design that best fits your style. Keep the DIY simple by adding crown molding to one room, or expand the project and install it throughout your new home. The cost of this project will vary depending on the size of the room. 8 foot pieces start at $25 and corner/edge molding is …

Support Beams: Finding Balance

With any home, finding the balance between function and aesthetics can be a challenge, especially when it comes to the structure of your home. Open-concept living spaces are a popular choice in new homes adding great open rooms, bright spaces, and inclusive areas to a home. But what about the support beams? We’ve scoured the online world to find great solutions to support your roof and meet your design needs. Here are some great ways to display load-bearing beams in your home. Room Dividing Support Beams Family Room by West Hartford Home Builders Advantage Contracting   You can still maintain an open-concept living space with divider beams. They help to define and separate the different functional areas of your main floor, while maintaining the light airy flow. You can build out the wall for a more defined divider, or use the beams alone to outline your living spaces. Consider playing around with the textures of the beam to add contrast with colour or texture.   Reclaimed Wood Farmhouse Kitchen by Cambridge Media & Bloggers CustomMade.com   Using reclaimed wood can instantly make a space feel more laid back. This type of support beam has no shortage of character, adding history and mystery to your home. Stone Column Contemporary Living Room by Seattle Architects & Building Designers Paul Moon Design   Don’t try to hide support beams. They are a great opportunity to add accent textures and colours to any room. Bring in rich stones and draw eyes to the beams. Pleasant Textures Eclectic Living Room by New York …

Storage Solutions For Small Spaces

Staying organized in a small space can be challenging, especially if you’re used to a larger space or have a lot of possessions. We’ve outlined some storage solutions for small spaces to help you stay organized. 1. Let It Go Living in a small space will teach you how to let go of items you’ve become attached to. Take a few minutes to look around each room, and pick of the items that don’t fit…or that you don’t really need. If it’s not contributing to your life (either function or decor), it’s just taking up space. Get rid of it! 2. Every Item Should Have A Home If you don’t have a place for something, think about whether you really need it. If you can’t find a home for an item, then you’re probably going to have to get rid of it. Think about this when you’re out shopping as well. Don’t bring more pillows into your home if you don’t have room for them…or use the “one in, one out” strategy. 3. Organize Your Cabinets You’ll be surprised how much room there is in an organized kitchen cabinet. Buy inexpensive solutions like shelving dividers, uniform shaped containers, and a lazy Susan. You’ll double the cabinet space you thought you had. 4. Store Items In The Logical Place Think about it; if you’re storing a new waffle maker under your bed, then you’re probably not going to be making waffles. Each item’s home should be where it gets used, otherwise it’s going to take up …

Psychology of Colour Infographic

Psychology of Colour In Your Home Red Red is a very stimulating colour. It brightens up a room and increases energy levels and even appetites. The increased energy can add excitement and stimulate conversation. Although, too much red has been known to make people feel irritable and has even been associated with high blood pressure. Where to put it in your home: Red is a great colour for your kitchen.Consider using it as an accent colour for cupboards or decor accents. Orange Like red, orange is a bright, bold colour. It increases a room’s energy, adds excitement and can stimulate enthusiasm. Where to put it in your home: Orange is the perfect choice for a home gym; the room where energy and enthusiasm is welcome. Yellow Bright colours create the illusion that a space is bigger than it actually is. Yellow can be used to create space. It’s a very optimistic colour, encouraging creativity, happiness, and communication. Yellow can also help activate your memory. The setbacks of too much yellow are that it can become irritable, bringing on frustration, tempers and emotions, so it might not be the best option for a baby’s room. Where to put it in your home: Do you want to make a small room feel bigger? Use a light yellow to brighten the space. Green Let’s call this ‘The Many Moods of Green’. Green is a very versatile colour, bringing with it balance, concentration, and rest. This harmonious colour can be brought into a room …