Kitchen Confidential: Go Bold on a Budget

Screen Shot 2015-05-18 at 12.24.47 PMDiscover 5 ways this black and white beauty broke the mold but not the bank

Looking like a million bucks doesn’t have to cost it. This design philosophy helped guide Lori and Dennis Kroeker’s approach to their kitchen makeover. The Kroekers wanted a kitchen that was sleek and modern, but one where they could restore many of the Victorian period details that had been lost over the years as a result of past remodels to their 1880 home. Toronto interior designer Kirsten Marshall made many clever choices to craft a kitchen that makes a bold statement on a family-friendly budget. Here are five of our favorite features.

How to Choose the Right Bathroom Sink

Screen Shot 2015-05-13 at 2.33.00 PMLearn the difference between 8 different styles of bathroom sinks and how to find the perfect one for your space

“Eight,” I hear you say. “She can’t possibly be serious. Isn’t a sink just a sink?” But yes, I am serious — and my clients are often baffled when trying to choose from the available options. The truth is that choosing one can be a bit overwhelming, but only when you’re not sure what you’re looking for. First, you need to consider which room you are shopping for (master en suite, family bathroom, powder room), who will use the room and how much space you have.

So before you head off to choose your new bathroom sink, grab a coffee, have a read and then go out armed with the information you need to help narrow down the best options for you and your space.

Top tips on how to use technology to change your space

When there is greater natural light? Have you ever considered how you could modify your generated lighting to improve or enhance your living and work space? Research supports ever more subtle ways that lighting can affect us and how lighting products, including light therapy and color changing light systems, can significantly enhance our environment to promote learning, productivity and relaxation…

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8 Inexpensive Ways to Decorate Your Room

A variety of furniture in the room greatly affects the style of decoration as well as appearance the rooms. Move it or make a few changes to some of the furniture by repainting using our favorite colors are smart way to decorate the room as well as inexpensive. If you do it right as a whole will give a new look room decor and refreshing atmosphere. Including repainting some photo frame also makes viewing your photos look charming in the room…

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Ask an Expert: What to Do With an Awkward Nook

Screen Shot 2015-05-12 at 1.04.06 PMDiscover how to decorate and furnish rooms with oddly shaped corners and tricky roof angles

Sloping ceilings and oddly shaped nooks are the focus of this installment in a series on how to decorate rooms with difficult shapes and sizes to minimize their flaws. Not sure what to do with that low-ceilinged attic room, angular alcove or dead space under the stairs? Three designers share their ideas and tricks of the trade.

10 Rules for Your Next Painting Project

Screen Shot 2015-04-29 at 3.44.15 PMTake your next painting journey from ‘argh!’ to ‘ta-da!’ with these designer tricks

Color has always held a special place in my heart. When I was about 9 years old, my parents came up with the great idea that they would let my brother and me redecorate our bedrooms. For me, a young, creative and somewhat excitable child, this was the equivalent of being let loose in a dream world. Off to the paint store we went to choose our new hues. I remember this moment vividly, because I ran around picking out swatches and making color combinations I thought were fantastic. Had my parents known that they would walk out that day with a can each of Sunflower Yellow, Lime Green and Wedgwood Blue, they may have thought twice about giving us the ultimate creative control. Sorry, Mum and Dad!

A little knowhow can go a long way when painting, whether you’re choosing neutrals, pastels or brights. Follow these rules to help guide you to your next color triumph.

What to Know About Using Reclaimed Wood in the Kitchen

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.07.54 PMOne-of-a-kind lumber warms a room and adds age and interest

Everyone is buzzing about reclaimed wood. But why, how and where should you use it? In the kitchen, there are plenty of fantastic opportunities, from floors and cabinets to island accents and floating shelves, all the way up to ceilings and ceiling beams. You can also add the material in furniture, accessories and light fixtures.

Why choose reclaimed wood in the kitchen? For one thing, lots of these woods are no longer available — today’s lumber comes from much younger, less dense trees. “The warmth from the natural colors from the reclaimed wood’s patina is remarkable, and the integrity of the wood due to the tree’s age is unmatched,” says Malachi Milbourn, who creates furniture from reclaimed wood. “We enjoy uncovering the character, texture and beauty that salvaged timber has to offer.” And so should you. Reclaimed wood will bring warmth, rustic charm, character and a sense of history to the heart of your home.

What to Know About Controlling Dust During Remodeling

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.04.07 PMYou can’t eliminate dust during construction, but there are ways to contain and remove as much of it as possible

Dust is everywhere, all the time. But during a remodeling project, it’s particularly abundant — and potentially hazardous. All sorts of nasty stuff gets kicked up while demolishing walls, taking apart cabinets and removing tile. And it’s not for the faint of heart. Waste from bugs, mice, spiders and bats; silica from drywall; lead particles from old paint — if it was in your walls or subfloor, it’s probably going to be in your home (and lungs). Unless, that is, your remodeling crew has a solid strategy for containing and removing the dust from your home.

“Construction can produce inhalable respirable particles that are regulated pollutants; they’re unhealthful, so it’s entirely appropriate to do some kind of mitigation when doing construction activities,” says Brett Singer, an indoor air quality scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. There are several strategies for doing this, and if dust is a concern to you, it’s important to have a conversation with your contractor when taking bids to determine how they plan to contain construction particles. Here are some things to think about before having that talk.

6 Strategies for Making Color Work for You

Screen Shot 2015-04-17 at 11.14.51 AMColor can play up or play down architecture, create a positive experience and more. Here’s how to put it to work for you

We all want our homes to provide comfort and ease. And something instinctual tells us that color — whether a can of paint, a bright new patterned rug, maybe that sun-drenched painting you saw at the last art opening you attended — can change our world for the better.

Springtime home maintenance offers a new opportunity to add the color we crave. And picking the right colors for our homes is not magic. The process simply requires that we look at the physical qualities of our home’s architecture and apply color that will put the focus where we want it. Here’s how.