2018 colour and design trends

(NC) Your home is a treasured place for living, relaxing and hosting guests. Give it new energy with these trending looks. Lovely lavenders. Move over, millennial pink — this soft shade of violet is the “it colour” this year. Lavenders and lilacs are an evolution of the popular pink, and lend an air of royal sophistication to any space while bringing out beautiful, deeper tones in surrounding accents and furniture. Statement lighting. Overhead light fixtures make for gorgeous focal points and help you set the ambiance for the room. Choose a stand-out piece that complements your décor, like an artisan chandelier or vintage sconces or pendants. Warmer metals. Golden brass is becoming a surprisingly warm and subtle substitute for stainless steel and polished nickel. Stay on-trend with brass accents and décor, or dive in with faucet fixtures in your kitchen or bathroom in this unexpected tone. Bold patterns. Big and bold is the way to go for patterns right now. If you want something more fem…

Your first home may not be your forever home

(NC) Home ownership is a goal for most of us, and millennials appear to be the most optimistic group. According to an RBC poll, two in five millennials said they intend to buy a home in the next two years. But the cost of home ownership and things like regulatory changes can make saving for a downpayment more difficult and, for many, put the dream of homeownership out of reach. Sometimes, however, first-time buyers may not be looking at all their options. A little flexibility and compromise can help make ownership more accessible when considering the following: Begin with a starter home. Few people spend 50 years in one home these days. Think about your lifestyle for the next five to 10 years and make a decision based on that. Your dream home in your dream neighborhood may still be yours, just a bit later in your life. Get a renter. Could you afford the home you want if you rented out part of it? Many people create a basement apartment or rent out the second bedroom as a way to offset …

The 7 Things You Need To Know About Duct Cleaning

The 7 Things You Need To Know About Duct Cleaning Published - January 16, 2018 How much do you really know about the importance of maintaining the ducts in your home? For many Canadian homeowners, the answer  is “very little”. That’s why sat down with duct cleaningextraordinaire Dave Reyes of Dave’s Duct Cleaning, a GTA industry leader in duct maintenance. We asked Dave seven questions on the most pressing topics in duct cleaning to make sure that everyone leaves today’s article feeling educated and empowered on a topic that often goes under the radar. All question responses courtesy of Dave Reyes – Dave’s Duct Cleaning. 1. What is the #1 reason why someone should have their duct cleans? What are some of the secondary reasons?a)  Prevention – The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says if not properly installed, maintained, and operated, components of forced air systems may become contaminated with particles of dust, pollen or other debris. When mois…

These 4 Mistakes are Costing You Vital Storage Space

These 4 Mistakes are Costing You Vital Storage Space Published - January 10, 2018

5 ways to prevent break-ins during the holidays

(NC) A season filled with travel both near and afar makes a prime time for home break-ins. To minimize your home's risk, follow these security tips.
1. Out of sight, out of mind. Wherever you choose to gather your gifts this holiday season, make sure that they are out of any sightlines to the street. Showcasing the goodies stocked under your tree will easily pique the interest of a potential thief. 2. Time your lights. If you're proudly displaying your outdoor lights all season, one sure-fire way to compromise your home security is to turn them off. Put your lights on a timer so they go on and off at the same time each day, giving the illusion you're at home. 3. Stop the presses. Nothing screams you're not home more than a bursting mailbox. Plan to suspend your mail service while away, or ask a trusted friend or neighbour to collect it while you're gone. 4. Take to technology. Invest in home security accessories such as a video doorbell or an outdoor light with a buil…

10 easy tips for holiday safety

(NC) Don't let the hustle and bustle of the holidays lead to distraction and accidents. Whether you're hosting a holiday bake-off or an adults-only cocktail party, it's important to remember that safety comes first. To safeguard your home from potential fire hazards, follow these tips and protect your family and guests: 1. Test your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms regularly to make sure they are working. Replace the battery as needed. If the alarms are more than 10 years old, replace them. 2. Have an exit plan in case of fire, and make sure you identify multiple exit points. 3. Check all of your lights before hanging them on the tree or around the house. Throw out any sets that have been damaged or frayed. When purchasing new lights, look for the certification mark so you know the product complies with applicable standards for safety and performance. 4. Use a timer for outdoor lights so they aren't left on overnight. 5. Don't overload power strips with too many a…

How to get your home holiday-ready

(NC) Prep your home for a flurry of activity with these simple steps. 1. Incorporate magical seasonal scents. Fill your space with holiday-scented aromas from candles, or simmer your own potpourri with ingredients like vanilla, cinnamon, pine or bitter orange. 2. Build a fire to create a warm and comfortable atmosphere. Keep fuzzy blankets and pillows on hand for both decoration and functionality and bring out a board game for a little entertainment. If you need extra warmth, cozy up in a Denver Hayes fleece robe from Mark's and make some hot chocolate. 3. Be the best host and stock up on supplies that guests will use if they stop by. Essentials include towels, sheets, pillows and shower supplies. Make sure you keep these items accessible close to where guests are staying. 4. Make a grand entrance. Welcome your guests at the door with a fresh wreath and add holiday touches such as an entrance table with lighted tinsel trees, candles and ornaments. These details make a great first imp…

Radon is a threat all homeowners should know about

CREA > CREA Cafe > Federal Affairs > Radon is a threat all homeowners should know about Radon is a threat all homeowners should know aboutSabrina Grover - Federal Affairs - December 5, 2017

While it may sound more like a villain from the Transformers movie, radon is a threat you won’t see on the big screen. Radon is a naturally-occurring radioactive gas, produced by the breakdown of uranium in soil, rocks and water. It is present in all homes across Canada but at different concentrations. Radioactive gas in a home can pose serious health risks if left untreated. However, the good news is radon testing is simple and accessible for all homeowners, and fixing the problem is generally inexpensive. How do you make sure your clients are effectively testing for radon? The most important thing is selecting the right type of test. Long-term testing, a test that occurs over a three-month period during the fall and winter months, is the

How to peak appliances for your dream home?

(NC) With so many options to consider, shopping for appliances can sometimes feel overwhelming. Function, size and design — it's about finding the right model for your lifestyle. Here are a few helpful insights from The Home Depot Canada to consider before making your next appliance purchase.


The sky's the limit when it comes to configuration — top-mount, bottom-mount and side-by-side are just the beginning. Review your daily needs and consider special features such as easy access doors, multi-tier freezer sections, icemakers, second refrigerator drawer options, convertible freezer sections, wine chillers and even smart home-connected capabilities.

Think outside traditional white or stainless-steel finishes. Instead, bring a contemporary feel to your kitchen with slate, glossy or matte black stainless or even a warm, gold-hued veneer.


 New designs have a host of convenient options available, like double ovens that cook at tw…

Get older trees inspected before ice storms

Get older trees inspected before ice storms (NC) In many Canadian neighbourhoods, older trees add character and a sense of heritage to streets and homes. But during severe weather, these trees often show their age and can break or fall, causing damage to property and even injury to people. Don't wait until after a major ice storm hits to inspect your trees — use this guide to spot signs of trouble and protect your family and neighbours. Inspect. Check your trees for dead branches, peeling bark, cracks in the trunk, fungus near the roots and cracked or raised soil. Take a step back to look at the tree as a whole to see if it's leaning; trees leaning towards the East are more likely to fall because most winds blow from the West. Prune. Tackle damaged limbs and branches to help balance leaning trees and distribute their weight more evenly. Pruning also opens up tree canopies to let in more light and air for a healthier tree. Brace. Add some support to weaker trees with cables or bra…

Products to stretch your small space

by Clare Kumar Clare Kumar, founder of Streamlife ( and co-creator of the Pliio ( ) line of organizing products, is a Productivity Coach and Professional Organizer. She speaks, coaches and consults on how to live with greater productivity and peace of mind.

08/12/2017Products to stretch your small space When space is tight, it pays to be selective about what you fill it with. Here are five favourites to help you make the most of your small space. Music to my ears

Is it time for a new furnace?

Is it time for a new furnace?
(NC) Sooner or later, every furnace dies. Ideally, you don't want to wait for the unfixable breakdown to happen in the dead of winter before shopping for a replacement. Begin your research before you've got an emergency and you'll have time to choose a furnace and service company wisely. Here are some factors to consider. Age. If your furnace is over 15 years old, it's unwise to trust it for more than a few years longer; repair costs are also more expensive for older models. If your 10-year-old furnace needs repairs that cost half of the installed price of a new furnace, then a replacement can make more sense. But if your 20-year-old furnace needs work, then even a small repair bill can mean it's time to replace the old clunker. Heat exchanger. This is the heart of the furnace and it's impractical to repair it. Furnace replacement is often the only option if the heat exchanger is at the end of its useful life. Efficiency. A new high-…