How to Start a Remodeling Project

When the itch to remodel hits you, create a plan that works. The first step in all remodeling projects, large or small, begins with careful planning to ensure you get the most out of your budget.

From designing many projects over the last decade on HGTV and with my firm I can confidently state that you really need to stay focused on your design style and direction. Being consistent and following your path will ensure your project is seamless and less stressful.

1. Begin with Inspiration

Even your favourite travel destination might inspire you to remodel. Create a stylebook and fill it with photos of your favourite kitchen, decor and artwork. I often have design sessions with clients who just want some ideas, inspiration and rough sketches. This is a great opportunity to hone your style and colour palette while picking your designer’s brain for reno tips.

2. Define Your Goals and Priorities

Think about what you want to achieve from your remodel. What are your goals? Create a list and prioritize all the projects to complete and any major repairs. No matter what size your reno is, you have to consider all the details – from plumbing and electrical to HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning). If your renovation includes any of these elements, ensure that you have a game plan for relocation and contingency.

3. Create a Budget and Timeline

Determine the money you have to spend and define a timeline for completion. Knowing this will help you stay on budget and ensure you reach your goal without steering down a path you didn’t plan for. I always tell my clients to put aside 15% for a contingency fund, not to be confused with overspending, it is used for unpredictable construction costs. Make sure to work and consult with a designer, and invest in floor plans.

4. Find a Contractor

Interview at least five contractors, and look for ones that work regularly in your area. This will avoid having them travelling across the city to get to other job sites and possibly abandoning your project for days at a time to complete others.

5. Set Your Plan in Motion

Allow your vision to take shape by researching paint colours, furniture, lighting, accent pieces and anything else you would like to incorporate into the design of the space.  Sometimes, choosing the right decor can be overwhelming. I often get called-in to help make colour suggestions and the right choices to match your budget and vision. A short design consultation can take a lot of stress of your plate.


Toronto-based celebrity and award-winning designer Dvira Ovadia, principal of Dvira Interiors, is known for her appearances and design work on various HGTV shows. Dvira and her team uses their profound understanding of design to create stylishly smart spaces. Servicing clientele throughout Ontario and Greater Toronto Area.

www.spray-net.com  @DVIRAdesigner

Orange is the New Black

Ok – so maybe tangerine! But man this brazen, fire-licked hue has been popping up everywhere this summer.  Garden and home accessories, clothing and sunglasses, I even saw a cute bike in happy creamsicle.

Adding a dose of 70’s style to your home with a mid-century modern piece will be sure to wow your friends and family.  This colour is like adding a hit of spice to your summer. It’s hot, hot, hot!

Best Advice

“Add visual interest with bold pattern. Your main pattern should have no more than two colours. Then, bring in a multi-coloured patterns that harmonize without being too matchy. And don’t just think fabrics; pattern can come from accessories like lamps of vases” Richard Ouellette

Savour la vie en…mandarine!

Bringing Home the Trends

People often ask me what trends I’m seeing in home decor. Here are my thoughts (for whatever they are worth)

One of the biggest things I have seen this spring is mixed metals. Yup, I’m as shocked as you are. I always thought you wanted to stick with one, but nope – platinum, gold, copper and steel – as long as they’ve got a metallic sheen they go together.

Pastels, which we knew was coming from the Pantone colours released last fall, but they are all over! Whether it’s accessories or the wall colour, there are so many ways to bring these colours into your home. Don’t be nervous, start with the accents and build from there into a warm and energetic space.

We have been seeing this trend for awhile, but WHITE! Clean, crisp and fresh – white is making a name for itself this year.

Bringing the outside in with plants and greenery. Nice pops of green in rooms like kitchens, bathrooms and bedrooms – choose whatever fits your home decor.

As always, I encourage to support local! So get out there and shop, adding these trends to your home today.

Basement Windows : What you need to know!

Are you thinking of renovating your basement?

Before you start, you should be aware of all of Alberta’s safety code requirements.  You will require a Building Permit if your alterations are more extensive than cosmetic upgrades. A Development Permit may be required if your proposed renovations do not meet Land Use Bylaws requirements.

There have recently been building code changes to basement window wells. A window well is a space maintained partially or fully below the adjacent soil for a window – also known as below grade.

Basement windows can come in many shapes and sizes. If you are developing a recreation rooms, games room or office, the size of the window is not a matter of building code concern. However, if you decide to develop a bedroom, the size of the window is very important!

The Alberta Building Code requires that bedroom windows have at least 0.35 m2 (3.8 sq ft) of clear opening that a person could crawl through, with no dimension less that 380mm (15 inches). This requirement ensure that there is an alternative way to escape in case of fire or emergency.

Where basement windows are located partially or fully below grade, a window well is also required. These requirements have been in place for many years. In the 2014 Alberta Building Code, which became mandatory last November, the clearance in front of the bedroom windows increased from 550mm to 760mm. This requires a larger window well. These clearance also applies to any obstructions around the window, like overhead hazards that prevent a safe exit.

Any time code changes, it can present new challenges for the home building industry.  So I recommend that you used a trained professional for your installation and to ensure you are meeting these codes.  Check out 5.0 Stucco for your window and exterior needs.

Excerpt from Home and Renovations – April 2016 (By Vanessa Gash)

 

Hidden Beds

An Old Trick Made New Again!

By: Christina Guerrero

Whether you live in a small apartment of you want to make the guest room into something you can use more than on special occasions, a wall bed just might be what you are looking for to transform that area in a multi -use space.

“Traditional beds can occupy a large percentage of the available pace in a bedroom,” says Martin Tardif, vice-president of sales for Bestar, a wall bed supplier for Costco. ” A  wall bed allows someone to fold the bed out of the way when it’s not being used to reclaim the space for other purposes”

Wall Bed Origins

Known as Murphy beds, closet beds, disappearing beds, fold-down beds and pull-down beds, wall beds, which fold up into a wall or a cupboard, were traditional furniture pieces sold through department store catalogues in the early 1900s.

Wall Bed Appeal

Wall beds appeal to people who live in small apartments and need to use their traditional bedroom for several purposes. They likewise have fans among owners of larger homes who want to turn an extra bedroom into an office or an exercise, sewing, music of craft room. People are also using wall beds in vacation properties to maximize the number of beds, while not restricting the living space.  Also, families with multi-level houses where none of the bedrooms are on the first floor are using wall beds for family members who can’t go up and down stairs easily.

Old Idea, Modern Features

While the functional and space-saving benefits of wall beds have remained constant, the materials, ease of assembly and safety features have improved. This all aids in raising and lowering of the bed, as well as preventing the bed from springing close. And along with opening in the traditional orientation, many wall beds are now build with attached storage, desks and entertainment centres and in a sideway-oriented design, which reduces the bed’s height so that it can be used in rooms with a restricted ceiling height.

Property Brothers : 10 Must Haves

Based on their experiences with clients on their hit TV show Property Brothers, here are the Scott brothers’ top 10 dream home must-haves:

  1. Open living plan with clear sight lines
  2. Ample kitchen counter space
  3. Separate pantry
  4. Kitchen island
  5. Mega-storage everywhere
  6. Master suite with master bath and walk-in closets
  7. Deck or patio for outside entertaining
  8. Energy-efficient fixtures and appliances
  9. Two-car (minimum) garage
  10. Low maintenance landscaping

Excerpted from Dream Home: The Property Brothers’ Ultimate Guide to Finding & Fixing Your Perfect House

Colours for Spring

Mostly calm and cool colors – with a little bit of pop — will be on-trend in spring 2016. Pantone recently released its 2016 Spring Fashion Color Report, a forecast to which colors will gain traction in the new year. Expect these on-trend colors to not just pop up in fashion but also expect to see these hues in more home furnishings and accessories.

Here are Pantone’s top 10 colors for spring:

1. Rose Quartz

 Rose Quartz

  2. Peach Echo

Peach Echo

 

 3. Serenity

 serenity

4. Snorkel Blue

serenity blue 

 

 

 

5. Buttercup

buttercup

 6. Limpet Shell

 limpet shell

 7. Lilac Gray

Lilac Gray

 8. Fiesta

fiesta 

 

 

 

9. Iced Coffee

 iced coffee

10. Green Flash

 green flash

 

 
By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Spruce up Your Interiors with a Houseplant

A houseplant is a hardworking piece of your décor. Not only does it enhance the appearance of your home, but it also improves your indoor air quality. Here are a few houseplants to boost the look and health of your living spaces.

 

Boston Fern:

Known for its sword-shaped fronds, the Boston Fern is one of the most popular houseplants due to its hardiness.

Potted Orchid:

Although orchids require more care than the average houseplant, their graceful flowers make them the center of attention in any room.

 

Snake plant:

Known by many names, including mother-in-law’s tongue, snake plants are sturdy plants that can tolerate low light and little watering.

Freshen Up Your Bathroom— No Demolition Required!

If you want to make over your bathroom, but don’t want to undertake a full renovation, here are five things to do to make it look almost like new.

1. Paint. Go classic with white, create a spa retreat with soothing blues or energize your space with orange or yellow tones. Look online or through décor magazines for a surge of inspiration.

2. Lighting. See yourself in the most flattering light with new light fixtures. New lighting is an easy way to update and modernize a space without gutting it. Just be sure to hire a professional if your plans involve any rewiring.

3. Fixtures. As with lighting, new faucets add style to your space with minimal effort. Although silver-toned faucets are the finish of choice among homeowners, brushed nickel and polished chrome are also popular choices.*

4. Window treatments. Tie the look of the room together with blinds, shades or curtains—or a combination of these options. Choose bold shades to add a pop of colour to the room or keep it neutral. Whatever you choose, make sure that it complements the overall theme or style of the room.

5. Accessories. Add style and function with new accessories. If you’d like more storage, add a wall cabinet or storage tower, or repurpose an unused storage unit from around the home. Install a new mirror or towel rack to enhance the look of the room. Buy new rugs to complement the new colour scheme, and add colour or texture with vases, wall décor or similar items.

 

Top Trends in Bathroom Renovations

The bathroom is the second most popular room in the house to remodel, after kitchens.

The master bath takes center stage. 60% of homeowners who are renovating their bathrooms are renovating their master bathrooms, with 61% choosing to start from scratch after gutting the existing room.

Who needs a bathtub?

The older the homeowner, the more likely they are to skip a bathtub in master and other full bathrooms.

• 59% of homeowners aged 65+ plan to skip a tub in the master or other full bath.
• 36% of 25 to 34 year olds plan to skip it in the master.
• 39% of 25 to 34 year olds plan to skip it in another full bathroom.

Top 3 types of tubs for bath lovers:

1. Freestanding tub
2. Drop-in tub
3. Spa or jetted tub

 One sink or two?

  • 91% of homeowners are replacing their master bathroom sink.
  •  45% of homeowners aged 25 to 44 are installing two sinks
  • 58% of homeowners aged 45+ are installing two sinks.

Glass rules the master bath.

• 79% of homeowners prefer glass shower doors over a shower curtain.

Greener flushing.

• 91% of homeowners are installing high-efficiency toilets.

White cabinets are the top choice for renovations. However, dark and medium wood tones are also popular.

The top 3 wood choices:

1. Cherry
2. Maple
3. Oak