Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Spring Projects - Backyard Decks



Decks are one of the most popular in home improvements. They are a great way to add value to your home while providing an extra space for outdoor activity and entertainment. Get inspiration for your spring project from our featured decks which incorporate the elements of great design and functionality.

Before you make any decisions about decking materials or style, you need to think about your home and the area surrounding it. First, you need to determine how much space you have for a new deck. The size of your deck is greatly influenced by the amount of space you have for it. Also think about any obstructions in your yard that may interfere with the construction such as trees or boulders. If these cannot be removed, then you must build your deck around them. If you have enough space to build a deck of your desired size, think about what you will be using it for. If you plan to use it for entertainment, hot tub or pool you may need more space than if it is just meant for family relaxation and leisure.

When determining where to build your deck think about how much privacy you want. If you are surrounded by neighbours and privacy is limited, plant some high trees around your deck – this will help block the neighbours’ view. Also, different locations provide different amounts of shade and sunlight – placing your deck in a location where you have both is preferred. Decks can be dangerous, especially for younger children, so you will need to think about safety as well. You can either choose an open deck or an enclosed deck. The enclosed deck is preferred by families with young children and will help to keep them better supervised. Railings are also important, especially if your deck is high off of the ground.

Since your deck is outside 24/7, it is subject to all of the weather elements from sun to snow. If you live in areas with heavy snow or ice, your deck may need extra support to hold the extra weight. As a general rule, you need to choose materials that will withstand all weather conditions.

When it comes to the look or style of a deck, most people want something that will match their home. For instance – if your siding is made of vinyl you may want to choose vinyl decking to complement the style of the house. Remember to keep the size of your deck relative to the size of your home – a deck that takes up the entire backyard will look disproportionate and unattractive. You can add personal style with railings and stairways, and once it is complete, your own deck d├ęcor.


Featured Homes:

Top Left: Kenna Whipple-Erkelens, Sales Representative. 630 South Townline Road, Stoney Creek. View Property.

Middle Left: Marsha and Jay Brandes, Sales Representatives. 14 Deerview Avenue, Ancaster. View Property.

Bottom Left: Rob Golfi, Sales Representative. 3669 Carver Street, Stevensville. View Property.

Right: Tracy Dmetrichuk, Sales Representative. 75 Stonegate Drive, Ancaster. View Property.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

New Year's Resolutions - Make Small Changes for the Greatest Effect


As we step into a new year, we are inspired and motivated to makes changes for a bright future.

New Year’s resolutions are fresh on our minds and we think of ways to improve and enrich our lives. What better place to start than our home sweet home!


Your Kitchen - Healthy Eating

You don't need to make major, life altering changes all at once to succeed at weight loss. Nutrition experts point out that you're far more likely to stick to a change if it's small and manageable. Here are some easy changes that can give you maximum impact:
  • Take small steps to healthier eating - add a piece of fruit to your lunch or package up your whole grain cereal as a snack. Focus on choosing healthy alternatives whenever you get the chance.
  • Drink more water - resolve to drink a single cup more water today than yesterday.
  • Look for color in your produce - all those rich golds, reds and purples signal foods that are packed with good-for-you plant compounds. Try adding a new fruit or veggie to your diet each week.
  • Fight mindless munching - by popping a piece of gum or a sugar-free mint in your mouth instead, brush and floss your teeth after you eat, and try to pay attention to each piece of food you're putting in your mouth as you watch TV. You can also keep your hands busy with a glass of water or a cup of tea!
Your Bedroom - Rest and Relaxation

Life is busy and it seems each year it just gets busier. Work, family, school, and other commitments consume the day and leave you with no time to sit back and relax.  However, rest and relaxation is very important. In fact, getting enough rest is imperative to living a healthy lifestyle and when you do not relax and get enough sleep you are putting yourself at risk for illness.

The amount of rest each individual needs every night differs, however the average adult needs approximately 7-8 hours of sleep each night to restore their body with the energy it needs to handle all the demands of daily life.  Most individuals cut back on their sleep to pack more activities into their day. Unfortunately, this runs the body down allowing more viruses and diseases to attack the body because the immune system is not functioning as well as it should.  Create an ambience of tranquility in your bedroom with candles, soft pillows and linens, and remove all distractions like TV or paperwork!

Your Dining Room - Family and Friends

Make dinner time more than just a time to eat.

There is a whole list of positive things that can happen when a family carves out time to eat dinner together.  Eating together encourages communication!  Allow each member of the family to discuss any achievements or challenges they may have encountered during the day.  Engage the children in conversations that lead them to discuss school work, sports and other things that excite them.  The most important thing is to keep an open line of communication for each member to share ideas and stories.

Sitting down for a family meal can provide real quality family time and be fun!  Pull up the chairs, serve the casserole and have a laugh with everyone.  Mix it up and have a picnic in the family room on the floor or when the weather is nice outside, have a family dinner on the patio!

Good Luck with your New Year Endeavour’s. Happy 2012!

Featured Homes;

Top Left: Mauro Pezzelato, Sales Representative. 113 Magnificent Way, Binbrook.

Top Right: Bernadette Amalfi Bean, Sales Representative. 376 Old Guelph Road, Dundas. View Property.

Bottom Right: Cathy Erskine, Sales Representative. 2047 Country Club Drive, Burlington. View Property.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Happy Holidays and Festive Dining!


Wandering through the stores this time of year often makes us overwhelmed with all the holiday items we need to purchase. Your holiday dinner table isn’t immune from it either. There must be a million different ways to decorate centerpieces and dinner plates. There are table linens, napkin rings, holiday-themed dinnerware, table runners, candlesticks and chair covers. It’s a lot to store in the basement that’s for sure!

Take a look at some of our current listing’s gorgeous dining rooms. These areas can quickly be turned into festive dinner parties for the holidays! Here are some simple ideas to give your dining room an atmosphere where you will feel comfortable sitting around the table in good company and create lasting memories.

1. Start Neutral: Take a neutral dining room, add in a few basic furnishings (white, beige, or wooden tables and chairs), and take this room to holiday levels by layering in bright accents, textured accessories, and various textiles from around your home.

2. Embrace Vintage Pieces: If you have Grandma’s wedding china, go ahead and embrace these vintage pieces. A pop of color from a vintage plate can make a stunning and inexpensive centerpiece.

3. Add Silver and Gold: Silver and gold touches from ribbons add shimmer and sparkle to your holiday table. Metallic shades can heighten drama and turn basic whites into a glamorous statement.

4. Go Outside: Grab some greenery from the great outdoors (pine cones, evergreen branches, flowers) and turn them into holiday decorations with a little wire and ribbon. Easy to make decorations from nature can bring a fresh, organic vibe to your dinner table.

5. Use Ornaments: Colorful baubles and glass Christmas tree decorations can have a place at your table. Pick a single color, or make it vibrant and colourful for the kids.

Look past the so-called traditional holiday trappings by exploring your home for colorful everyday pieces that can be spun into a festive feel. Open your kitchen cabinets, peek into your linen closet, and rummage through the storage room! Now that you’ve got your holiday goods, it’s time to turn them into something special.


Featured Dining Rooms;
Left: Frank Lostracco, Sales Representative. 9860 #20 Highway, Grimsby. View Property.
Top Right: John Stewart Allan, Sales Representative. 420 Rossmore Boulevard, Burlington. View Property.
Bottom Left: Vincent R. Formosi, Broker. 132 O'Leary Drive, Ancaster. View Property

Re-Posted from RE/MAX Escarpment ( www.remaxescarpment.com ) with permission.

Fireplaces - Stay cozy, warm and trendy!




If someone was asked to describe the perfect winter scene, it's likely that a cozy room with a warm fireplace would be mentioned. It’s a place to gather with friends or family and enjoy the season.

In addition to providing warmth, fireplaces these days have become a fashion statement. The emphasis is not merely on functionality but more on form and expression. In this blog, we feature beautiful and trendy fireplace designs from some of our agents current listings.

Whether it’s a new build and you are starting from scratch, or an older home with a fireplace in need of some updating, a fireplace is often a strong focal point in a space! One of the first things to do, is assess the style of the rest of the room and the direction you want the it to go. There are so many options these days, that any style will work if done correctly. You have choices of what is inside your fireplaces, such as traditional logs, rocks, crystals or just simple flames. You can do tile surrounds, mantles, hearths, or a clean modern look with just a simple trim kit. Even if you don’t currently have a fireplace, there are electric fireplaces that can be hung like art.

Once you know the type of mantel that will suit your home, you can go ahead with the artwork and the color scheme. The design and artwork depend on the material used for construction.

Fireplaces are often built from iron, bricks, marble or stone. Black or iron fireplaces are an excellent way to express different patterns and colors. The black backdrop becomes an almost blank canvas to build on. A red vase will pop on top of a black mantelpiece. Brick patterns, which usually include red, grey and white tones can have a very rustic feel. If you want to liven up the colors, add reds and yellows to make the existing brick color stand out. If you are working with a marble or stone fireplace, neutral colors and warm tones can add a spa feel to your surrounding space.

The color scheme should complement the interior design of your house. You can opt for either light shades (blue, rose, off white, etc ) or bold shades that would blend well with the material of the fireplace mantel. A pure white mantel built with marble looks brilliant, or try modern hues of poppy orange, muted green and saffron. Ethnic crafts, artifacts, travel souvenirs, wall sconces, mirrors, framed family portraits and of course the flat screen tv, look wonderful on a mantel! Don’t forget to dress your mantel up for each season! It’s a fun and easy way to alter your decor!



Featured Fireplaces:

Left: Doug Folsetter, Sales Representative. 2 Cottage Avenue, Hamilton. View Property.
Top Right: Lori Bolton, Sales Representative. 27 Playfair Court, Ancaster. View Property.Middle Right: Abby Ozaltug, Sales Representative. 4205 Fuller Crescent, Burlington. View Property.
Bottom Right: Pat & Karen Lilja, Sales Representatives. 77 Creighton Road, Dundas. View Property.
Re-Posted from RE/MAX Escarpment ( http://www.remaxescarpment.com ) with permission.