Design & Decor
Design and Decor Advice... The experts speak out!
Where are leaves a benefit?
Fall – LEAVE IT?
Fall a time of falling temps and falling foliage. Over the next few weeks if you live in an area with deciduous trees (they lose their leaves) you’ll be seeing your fair share of leaves. My property is surrounded by leaves and my lawn is covered. This week’s wet weather combined with windy weather of the next few days leaves are in need of removal.
Why remove leaves?
The main reason: To get them off the lawn. If you don’t and the snow flies leaves will matt down and work as a blanket over the grass restricting sunlight and oxygen and finally suffocating and killing your lawn. If leaves are diseased leaf removal will help to reduce the chance of diseases reoccurring next spring. Leaves left in areas around your property not only provide shelter but breeding grounds for insects. Removing leaves will reduce places for insects to hide and thus reduce the chance of them making a home in your garden. Leaves on left on sidewalks and driveways are very slippery and dangerous. If you want to reduce your liability and risk of injury get rid of them.
In perennial gardens where plants are newly planted or divided a mounding of leaves will provide extra insulation and protection from hard frosts during periods of lack of snow. Shredding leaves makes wonderful leaf mulch that can be used in the garden. Leaf mulch will break down during the growing season meaning it needs to be re applied the upside as the leaves break down they add nutrients. (Note clean diseased frees can only be used). Compost them. Dried leaves are the carbon that all composters need to work effectively. Removing them: The options are endless: Of course traditional leaf rakes are the staple, then there are the testosterone filled leaf blowers (some city bylaws restrict when these can be used), new this year is Yardworks lawn vacuum:
http://www.canadiantire.ca/AST/browse/2/OutdoorLiving/2/PowerEquipment/LeafBlowersVacs/PRDOVR~0603877P/Yardworks%2BLawn%2BVacuum.jsp#reviews (Note: this only comes as a plug in, I recently said there was a battery option but I was misinformed…sorry)
But my favorite way to remove leaves is to mow them. There is a fine line where mowing is ok. If some areas where your mower struggles to cut through them you’ll still need to rake as even the layer of shredded leaves will be too thick for the lawn. However in areas where you can set the mower to greatest height and mow with easy you’ll find the leaves are cut into small enough pieces that you don’t even notice them. Overtime the fine particles of leaves will break down and disappear while at the same time adding nutrients back into the soil. Finally: Always take the time to run through them. Often in our adult life we forget what it feels to run through a pile of leaves. Well my son Gavin says it best “leaves are fun daddy”…well he doesn’t have an afternoon of removing them in his schedule does he!!!
FALL DIVIDING: To divide or not divide that is the perennial question and here are some answers to help you along the way.
Why should you divide?
Dividing perennials will promote healthier plants and for plants that are producing fewer or weaker blooms dividing is just the slice they need to rejuvenate their life. Dividing is also a technique used to keep invasive perennials under control and dividing is a great way to create more plants and help fill ever expanding gardens.
When should you divide??
The easy rule to remember is to divide spring and summer blooming perennials in the fall and fall blooming perennials in the spring. Dividing in fall should happen at least 4 to 6 weeks before the ground freezes to allow healthy root establishment. In the spring the earlier you can divide the better, the goal is to divide and allow the roots enough time to settle in before hot weather arrives. Spring divided perennials will suffer from minimal shock meaning they often bloom a little later than usual. Dividing should never happen on hot sunny days. The ideal condition is on a cloudy day with several days of cloudy rainy weather in the forecast. In fact one of the best times to divide is during a day of light rain. Perennials should be divided every three to five years, the exception are bleeding hearts and peonies. These beauties can go years without division that is unless you want more of them. When dividing peonies be careful not to plant the eyes of the peonies too deep or they just will not bloom.
Rules of the road:
Water perennials deeply a day or two before dividing. Prepare the area that you plan on moving divisions to. Use a sharp spade or folk to dig down and lift the parent plant. Use a spade or sharp garden knife to remove a natural division from the parent plant. Natural division are easily found and appear as separation within the plant itself. Never allow division to dry out and trim all broken or damaged roots before replanting. Replant divisions immediately into the garden or containers, placing them into the soil at approximately the same depth they originated. Firm soil helping to remove air pockets and water deeply. Finally for those perennials divided in fall I suggest mulching to provide some insulation. This will further help with root establishment and will prevent heaving created from the frost and thaw cycle of winter weather.
What’s stopping you from getting organized? Time? Energy? Not enough space? Often, it’s not knowing where to start. I’ll bet there’s been a day when you didn’t plan on organizing your stuff, but you couldn’t take it anymore so in you jumped right in, sorting, piling, spreading, until you created even more chaos than you started with. I know – I started that way.
It doesn’t have to be complicated
Or, you’ve been out shopping, found the most adorable containers and brought them home only to find they don’t fit. They sit in a corner for the next three, no, six months until the ability to return or even exchange them is a long lost opportunity, and they eventually add to the clutter.
The good news is that I’ve simplified the path to an organized lifestyle into four simple steps. If any of these steps isn’t given its due attention, the opportunity it’s quite possible for mess to manifest.
Here is a quick outline of the four steps in what can be your P.L.A.N.™ to Get Organized.
Figure out what you want to accomplish in any given space. No matter whether it’s a room, a closet or a drawer, it must have a purpose. Limit a room to three to five activities. Identify the furniture, storage and tools you need to support your activities…the needs vs the wants. Close your eyes and picture the room with these items. Hang onto this vision.
Remove things that do not support your vision. This is a stumbling block for many as it can be challenging to choose between competing interests. Consider this in a less black and white fashion - perhaps not ‘yes and no’, rather, ‘now and later’. Then, it’s a matter of trusting that you’ll be able to bring into your life what you need in the future, instead of storing it all now.
The process of liberating includes:
- Sorting – to learn what you’ve got
- Editing – to figure out what to keep
- Divesting – to let go of items that don’t belong
Ok – this is the fun part, I admit it. For each activity you’ve identified, you’ll want to create a zone to house furniture and storage related to it. If we’re talking about a closet or a drawer, it means dividing the space into discreet areas for like items. You’ll want to place items in your space so that they are relatively easy to access and are kept in good condition.
To create an organized space that works and feels good to use, consider:
- The space itself – size, shape and architectural features
- The item – size, weight, fragility, perishability, transparency
- Your preferences – do you like fold vs. hang, pluck vs. rummage, hanger vs. hook
- The other items you need to keep
Remember science class and talk about the fact it is natural for things to become chaotic. To restore order requires energy and time. Develop habits to make sure the organized system you have worked so hard to create actually stays that way. The more people using your system, the more communication and coaching may be required. Be open to tweaking it as you go if it’s not working for you.
If you find things getting out of hand, or if you experience a life transition, it’s a good time to revisit the P.L.A.N.
Catch Clare Kumar on the Main Stage presented by HGTV daily at the Toronto Fall Home Show. For scheduled dates and times, check website for more details.
Live Large with Less, with Lisa Canning
Small spaces are more and more common with the increase in condo living and making these spaces work can be a challenge. With careful space planning and ingenious multifunctional products you can have all the function and style in any square footage.
TIP #1: START WITH A CONDO SIZE SOFA
The sofa is often a great place to begin when planning a small space as it usually takes up the most mass- and it is also the easiest piece to purchase incorrectly. A sofa that is too large in a space can feel cumbersome, conversely a sofa that is too small can feel like dollhouse furniture. Luckily, many retailers make it easier to make the right choice. Many retailers carry apartment sized, or condo appropriate pieces, which are often smaller scale translations of their most popular lines. And of course, many condo size sofas can also be purchased with a sofa bed option to give you the flexibility of creating a guest room in your small space.
TIP #2: USE CLEAR FURNITURE
What's great about furniture made out of glass, or acrylic, is that they don't take up much visual space. A ghost chair or a waterfall table will give you an instant modern update and provide great function while keeping the space feeling light. In condos that have gorgeous large windows, place pieces that are clear directly in front so you don't obstruct the view.
TIP #3: WALL MOUNT YOUR LIGHTING
A layered lighting plan is something I always recommend to clients, but in a small space this approach is quite advantageous. Rather than opting for a floor lamp that takes up mass, weight and floor area, sconces give you ambient lighting while saving space. I love the architectural detail sconces provide and often use them on either end of a gallery wall or on either end of a sofa.
TIP #4: WORK WITH PIECES THAT ARE MULTI FUNCTIONAL
In a space that might be too small for a home office, or a formal dining room, I have some great innovative products to share. The first is the Functional Coffee Table from BoConcept. At first glance, it looks like a sleek, minimal coffee table. But with an easy lift it reveals a desk height table and ample storage. Storage will always be an issue in small spaces, so anything that will serve a function and provide storage is a great addition.
Another incredible product on the market is the Lacuna table by VNO Designs. This innovative product begins as a piece of customizable art on the wall. With the release of a latch the art piece lowers to reveal a concealed leg and becomes a dining table for 5. For people who don't formally entertain often, or for those living in really limited space, this is a really unique space saving solution.
TIP #5: WORK WITH SMART STORAGE SYSTEMS
Great interior storage is just as important as utilizing multifunctional storage. Drawer dividers, shelf dividers and small storage boxes are great tools to use to increase your storage space. The more levels you can create within a drawer, the more items can be stored and easily found. I love using small stackable acrylic storage compartments to divide my drawers. Style doesn’t stop at the exterior of a piece- allow your furniture to function at their best by investing in interior organization.
Catch interior stylist Lisa Canning presented by Budget Blinds on the Main Stage presented by HGTV at the Toronto Fall Home Show. For scheduled dates and times, check our website for more details.
Cool off this summer with a hot blue!
Colour & Design Spokesperson, Benjamin Moore Paints
If you are looking for a hot new hue for your space this summer, why not try a cool splash of fashionable blue?
Blue has universal appeal. Think of your favourite blue jeans….. is there anything more versatile?! Blue, like green is another of Mother Nature’s neutrals – so it coordinates beautifully with many colours and many styles.
Although blue is a classic, it’s especially on the style radar this year in home fashion with various tones and unexpected pairings. Wythe blue is Benjamin Moore’s top of the charts blue this season.
Pair it with a warm storm cloud grey and creamy white battenberg for a classic combo that offers comfort, stability and a sense of nostalgia.
Or to bring the temperature down, try on a cooler blue like nimbus gray and pair with gypsy love and reflective surfaces for a refreshing, contemporary spin.
“You have five minutes to create summer WOW
on your back deck – what do you do?”
We asked Vicky Sanderson for her input on creating a WOW impression on any back deck in five minutes or less.
Take a small framed mirror off the wall and place it on a table outdoors. Put tea-lights in mismatched crystal glasses, or mason jars of various sizes and place on the mirror. Light them when entertaining after dark — the flickering candles will be reflected by the glass and in the mirror. The next time you have five minutes, consider adding word tattoos to each jar, so each one is adorned with words such as dream, relax, and smile. Or haul house plants outside, group them together and string low-voltage LED fairy lights through them for even more summertime shine. (Picture credit – www.walltalk.ca)
Spring 2012 is all about comfort and style while combining colour, vintage looks that are modernized, minimalistic textures and softening modern decor to create an everyday casual living that is comfortable and luxurious.
|Colour & Design Trends 2012
By Jackie Morra
Blue remains strong in dark tones and serene in tones of aqua and teal
Orange emerges as a top trend colour with a burst of energy and punch
Yellow adds warmth and happiness in shades of golden camel
Green represents stability in fresh forest tones and drama with lime green
Gray maintains dominance with clean & calming approach
Purple continues to add drama and luxury to any palette
Inside & Out Living
Indoor and outdoor living is inspired by chic animal skins, cool geometric patterns, vibrant stripes and solids. This palette features brights in canary yellow, fushia, sunburst orange, apple green and turquoise blues paired with neutrals. It combines durability, low maintenance, style and comfortable living spaces with personality
Art Deco Influence
Graphic patterns come alive in vividly contrasting colour combinations or look elegantly subdued in chic neutrals.
Beautiful blooms is vintage inspired that combines modern colour with tradition floral patterns creating a fresh and feminine look with an updated shabby-chic feel.
Modern Global Style
Inspired by current ethnic trends these patterns are culture and history based while rich in texture, colour and blends old world looks into a modern statement from all around the world
Designer / Guest Speaker
Your bedroom is the place where you begin and end your day; it’s a refuge from the daily grind, and a retreat to enjoy a little “R&R”….and “R” (rest, relaxation, and romance). So with Valentine’s Day right around the corner, here are a few simple ways to spice up your décor and add a little extra romance to your room.
Romancing Your Home
By Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault
Colour is an easy and inexpensive way to invigorate any space, and in a bedroom, choosing an enveloping, moody hue such as “Stardust” 2108-40 exudes a feeling of coziness and sophistication. Contrary to popular belief, dark colours do not make a room look smaller…in fact, dark colours recede adding depth and a sense of mystique.
Create a Canopy of Colour
Now when it comes to personalizing your private sanctuary, I love adding a canopy of colour overhead. Utilizing the ceiling as your 5th wall will allow you an opportunity to introduce a rich accent colour such as “Farm Fresh” AF-360, highlight any architectural details like crown moulding, and create a customized look.
Strike a Balance Between Comfort and Luxury
A romantic room is one that looks sumptuous, but also invites you in to relax. Layers of luxurious fabrics and textures such as velvet, faux fur, and silk create a sense of opulence, but when married with casual woven linen, weathered wood, and muted gold, the look becomes more comfortable and liveable. Including a cozy spot to lounge such as a tufted chaise or oversized armchair and ottoman creates the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine, or lose yourself in a sultry romance novel.
Indulge Your Senses
For a space to truly exude a sense of romance, it’s important to indulge the senses. Whether your style is more ornate or simplistic, adding a chandelier on a dimmer is a great way to add impact and set the mood in the bedroom. Incorporate a discreet stereo system into the space, introduce fresh fragrant flowers bedside, and pamper yourself with crisp, luxe linens to create a space perfect for a little “R&R”…and “R”!
Inspired by her surroundings, the National Home Show’s celebrity guest and top Canadian stylist, Janette Ewen knows that a little colour can go a long way. Living in Santa Monica part time, she has grown passionate about beach colours and pigments inspired by the California landscape.
Spring Ready Your Small Space
Janette Ewen's simple tips to freshen up and de-clutter your small space
An inexpensive way to give any space a major overhaul is to paint one feature wall in a bright shade. There’s no need to recreate your home’s entire colour pallet. Colours like leaf green, sand, sky blue and ocean blue may be all it takes to spring your small space into the season. Add an extra pop by introducing accent colours like citrus orange and lime green, two of Ewen’s favourites this spring.
You can also consider mirrored and Lucite furnishings and accessories, she says. “They’re weightless, don’t block space and will work with any style of furnishings and all shades of wood.”
Here are a few other must-dos to help you maximize your small space:
1. Let There Be Light: Overdone drapes don’t let in as much natural light. Instead keep window coverings chic and simple, or if you want something grander, consider drawing the eye out and up with a single ornamental swag drape.
2. Embrace Wallpaper: Wallpaper can make a room look more complete – bare walls close a room in. Especially great for small spaces like bathrooms, you can wallpaper all of the walls and ceiling to achieve a jewelry box interior.
3. Go to the Dark-Side: Black walls or ceiling can create visual space in a room. Use black matte paint to create drama and offer the illusion that the walls disappear.
4. Go Glossy: Glossy kitchen cabinets reflect light and make a small space look modern, stylish and roomy. Keep all cabinets simple (no detailing), to allow them to blend into the wall.
5. Decorate Every Space: Although many people assume that minimal décor will make a small space feel larger, it’s actually the opposite, Ewen points out. “Think of all the gorgeous tiny apartments in Paris and NYC. Wallpaper, textiles, rugs and tons of accessories will complete a small space and fill it with life and character.”
You can catch Janette Ewen, along with several other design experts, at the 2012 National Home Show from March 16 – 25, Direct Energy Centre, Exhibition Place. This year’s first-ever co-located show will bring together the National Home Show and Canada Blooms – the flower and garden festival – to create North America’s single largest home and garden experience.
While I have often said that the details are in the planning and that if you fail to plan, you plan to fail nothing can really prepare you for the actual event of the renovation. It’s a bit like having a child. The labour is certainly painful but the results can be the most beautiful thing you have ever seen!
The Renovation Process
Tips for Planning by Glen Peloso
Here are a few quick tips to help you through the process:
Plan plan and then plan some more. Make sure that you have considered the dimension of each of the items that you have bought. Smart idea to either hire someone to help pull your ideas together However if you choose to work alone use graph paper and draw the room where one square equals on foot. Then draw in the things you have bought in the same scale and see if everything fits
Check out your contractor. When you are looking at general contractors be sure that you get references and make sure that you check the references. People will tell you how the experience was both from the point of view of the final product as well as the process. It can also be a good idea to drop in to see the work if some of his previous clients will let you drop by his or her job sites. Also make sure you get a written quote that spells out exactly what is included and what is not. When you ask for ‘a couple of little additions’ make sure you ask how those things will affect the over all price. Ideally, get it in writing, even if you have to write it up yourself and you both sign off.
Create a budget that is realistic. Once you have decided what you are going to tackle in the renovation it is important that you determine what you have to spend on the project. This is when you have to be very careful when you shop. It is very easy to see all kinds of things that you love that are simply not in budget. I call it the “I always wanted to have” syndrome. If it isn’t in the budget then leave those items as something you still want to have but for another renovation with another budget. If you go over budget the renovation that is supposed to make you life better will only cause stress as you try to understand how you will pay for it all.
Reserve fifteen percent of they budget for the “oh crap” list. Those are the things that simply can’t be planned for. Sometimes something behind the walls will have to be repaired or replaced so that you can go forward with your plan. It is impossible to know what those things are until the job is underway and when you find out that the sub floor has to be replace, you say “oh crap!” Have some reserve budget will allow you to pay for the materials and labour for those unexpected ‘list’ items.
Prepare for some mess! No matter how often we tell people that the process is going to be messy they always seem to be surprised. I promise you, it will be dusty all through the house. It is important to pack up or cover any electronics that can be damaged. Sometimes the contract will do this but don’t’ rely on it. Wrap those precious things in plastic or take them out of the house if you can, you will be happier when the job is done. Also plug the air vents in the spaces you are working on to avoid having your furnace distribute the dust to the rest of the house, you can just use newspaper or rags. If you can afford to hire an industrial cleaner for the end of the project it will save you the ‘big’ job of cleaning yourself.
If you are going to live in your house while you renovate then you have to plan for a slightly frustrating, inconvenient time but only for a short time. Keep your eye on the destination and keep reminding yourself that it will all be over soon
Catch a cozy vibe just in time for fall, thanks to these easy tips from our dynamic duo
- Introduce a warmer colour palette. Think pillows, accessories and throws in rich browns, golden tones, warm greys and yes, even black.
- Layer your interiors with lots of patterns, colours and textures. Wools, silks, and wood tones will really help you achieve this.
- Change up the artwork in your space. Don't be afraid to try different combinations of artwork and photographs on your walls – mix and match the two for a more casual look.
- Start from the ground up. Add area rugs to your space to keep hard flooring warm. Layer several smaller handcrafted rugs with different patterns and colours for an eclectic and unique look.
- Unpack the pillows and blankets. Create a comfortable and inviting space by layering toss cushions in rich fall tones with knit throws in neutral greys. Natural materials like wool always keep you the coziest.
- Bring the garden inside. Bring life to your interior space by filling it with plants. Choose one that will flower in the winter months as a reminder that spring is right around the corner.
- Add a new coat for fall. Whether changing the color throughout or adding a feature wall in a gorgeous eggplant, a new coat of paint will help you fall in love with your space all over again.
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2012 Fall Favourite Finds
Last year our Fall Favourite Finds showcased plenty of innovative products and great decor solutions that inspired a wide array of projects for the home. Be sure to check out the latest ideas and hot new products with this year's Favourite Fall Finds. Show Manager Tina Holmes has selected a few of her favourites. Click here to read about last year's Fall Favourite Finds.
The Main Stage,
presented by HGTV
From home décor to renovation, local experts and celebrities will offer
insight, inspiration and advice on all home improvement needs on the
Main Stage presented by HGTV.
In partnership with