Buying November 25, 2022

7 Signs It’s Time to Upsize

 

 

Have you ever thought about upsizing your home and being unsure when to go for it? 

Upsizing your home can be intimidating, but there are a few telltale signs it’s time to do so.

 

Your Family is Growing

 

Your family is growing quickly, and your current home is overflowing with stuff! That two-bedroom home may work for children who are okay sharing rooms, but they may want their own space once they grow up. Not only do children (and pets) take up space in our homes, the garage and backyard can quickly become full of stuff too. 

 

Even if you aren’t busting out the seams of your house, but you plan for kids or many pets, it could be time to upscale before you run out of room.

 

Being Able to Afford It 

 

One day you will be in a better financial position, and buying a house might be a significant next step. After all, as they say, a home is an investment. Perhaps you finally got a better-paying job or that promotion you have been working towards—if you have weighed the pros and cons, and feel you can afford a new home, now is the time to go for it!

 

Needing More Space

 

Even if your family doesn’t grow with kids or pets, there is still that basic human instinct of accumulating stuff—whether you have started a new hobby or just existing daily, things seem to pile up continually. Upsizing would allow you to spread out more throughout your home and possibly have better storage solutions.

 

More space in your home can also provide more room to get that trampoline you have always wanted or a hot tub—inside, perhaps you want more luxuries, such as furniture or appliances.

 

Bigger and Better Furniture and Appliances

 

Lifestyles changing is one thing, but what about just wanting everyday luxuries, like a larger couch or dishwasher? I would love a dishwasher in my kitchen. A finished basement is also on my list to entertain guests easier in a separate space with a wet bar and projector screen.

 

Making Room for Pets

 

If there is a reason to up-size one’s house, it is to allow for additional pets or provide a great space to take care of them—whether that be room to have their bed and food in or even an indoor pet bath and foyer. 

 

Entertaining Guests

 

One of the reasons I want to have a larger house is to entertain guests easily and have bigger groups come over. The responsibility of gatherings usually falls on a few people in the group—but being able to host from time to time sounds excellent too.

 

Having a bigger home will finally allow you to comfortably invite over all those people you couldn’t have over before in your smaller accommodations.

 

Relocating

 

Relocating to a new area or another town will allow you to get more bang for your buck. We all have relocated at least once, which can open up an excellent opportunity to upsize your home.

 

Some homeowners might want to stay in the same home because of the memories made there, but sometimes running out of space might be a more significant reason to change houses. If you notice these signs, it might be time to upscale your home. Make sure all your finances are in place, and make a list of needs and wants before searching for the perfect house.

 

Your Local Realtor® can help you discover the best-upsized home for you!

 

Lifestyle November 18, 2022

How to Build the Perfect Snowman

Making a snow person was my favourite pastime when I was a kid. I used to create families of snow people, including pets, and a home for them to live in. There is a bit of science behind the snow consistency and the success rate of building the perfect snowman.

 

The Right Snow

Proper snow consistency is key to making a snowman. Look for dense, wet snow that falls or is already on the ground on a warmer day. Stay away from cold days or blizzards like snow falls for snow person building—nobody wants to be out there anyways.

Location, Location, Location

Make sure you find a perfect location for your snowman to show it off. When I was a kid, I used to build my snow person in front of our living room window, so I could gaze upon it and say hello! The best spot to build a snowman for longevity is in a shaded part of your yard and/or in the center area where you roll your snowballs.

Best Structure

Build your snow person like a “pyramid” with a large ball at the bottom. Medium-sized for the tummy and a smaller one for the head! The smaller the snowman, the more structure it will have. As you increase the size, it becomes less stable. Once in a while I would make a 6ft snowman with the help of my dad or grandpa to add the finishing touches.

Rolling it Up

Start by making a larger-than-average snow ball (you know, the kind you throw at someone)…then start rolling it around in the snow and watch it magically become larger. Roll it around until you can’t physically push it anymore or until you are happy with the size. Once the main snowball is ready, pack snow around the base to make it extra secure to the ground. 

Flatten Each Ball

While rolling each ball, make sure you stop from time to time to pack it down and ensure it’s a solid ball. Remember to do this for building the actual snow person—pat down a flat area between each ball to strengthen the structure.

The Perfect Accessories

My mom always had an old box of too-small hats and gloves for us to use for our snow person. That way, if they blew away or someone needed it, we wouldn’t be sad to let them go. We also had a gravel driveway that provided many rocks for the snowman’s eyes, nose, and buttons—and a garden for a carrot for the nose. Deer would often come into the yard and eat the nose! 

If you are going for a certain aesthetic, try matching the snow person to the scheme of your home or outside decor. Try an ugly sweater on it or an old jacket for an extra bit of whimsy. Don’t forget to add branches for the arms!


Building a snow person or a snow family is a lot of fun for the whole family or alone. Plus, being outside is a great way to boost your mood and get active.

Contact your Local REALTOR® today to find the perfect home and yard to build a snow person in.

 

Lifestyle November 11, 2022

Surviving Winter Blues

 

Here in Saskatchewan, winter is a drag, the snow, the ice, and the overall coldness. It is hard to leave your house, and being cozy is the ultimate goal. However, here is a helpful list of fighting off winter blues that can boost your mood and improve your mental health.

 

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder?

 

Often referred to as seasonal depression, it’s a type of depression related to the change of seasons—mainly in the colder, darker months, like winter. Some symptoms include:

 

  • Depression
  • Low Energy Levels
  • Mood Changes and Social Problems
  • Changes in Sleep Patterns
  • Changes in Appetite or Weight

 

If you already experience depression year-round, these symptoms tend to worsen in winter.

 

What can you do?

 

There are a few key things you can do to help curb seasonal depression and improve your mental health during the long winter months. Even if seasonal depression doesn’t affect you, the suggestions below will boost anyone’s mood.

 

Get a Light Therapy Lamp

 

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, can be a great way to stave off winter blues. If you are working at a desk or need a few minutes of stress relief, try buying a bright light lamp that imitates natural sunlight. 

 

There is a proper combination of light therapy based on timing, light intensity, and duration. Consult a doctor or the manufacturer’s guidelines to ensure you don’t hurt your eyes and have the best results. It is most effective early in the morning for at least 30 minutes—keep a light schedule to have the most impact.

 

Exercise

 

Exercise releases endorphins and is an excellent way to boost energy. Even moving your body 20-30 minutes daily can have tremendous benefits.

 

Taking up a winter hobby might be nice to get outdoors and get a little fresh air. This season I bought a complete winter gear kit to do winter walks and try snowboarding. If you want to try snowboarding, I recommend Optimist Hill, right in Saskatoon! Walking down the Meewasin trail amongst all the birds and trees is a surefire way to enjoy the outdoors. Having a friend to do these activities with is also a great way to get a chat in and boost your mood. 

 

Pick one winter activity that you love or at least can tolerate, and try to do it a few times or more this winter season! If you feel like -20C is too cold, prioritize activities on good weather days. Sometimes it can be hard to take advantage of these if you work full-time, but if they fall on a weekend, there’s no better time to get outside!

 

Prioritize Social Activities

 

Staying inside all winter sounds like the best course of action but remember to prioritize socialization. The roads might be bad sometimes, but plan fun activities with friends and family when it’s safe. Having a close social group and having connections with various people will enrich your life in ways you can’t imagine. My favourite winter activities with friends are going to a cozy cafe, going to the art gallery, walking outside, and skating at a rink near my house.

 

Remember to Get Enough Vitamin D

 

We have already touched on the Light Therapy lamp. Still, real vitamin D is also required to regulate the amount of calcium, Magnesium and phosphate in your body, which is vital for healthy bones, teeth and muscles. The research on vitamin D and your health is limited, but it can’t hurt to try to get more in regularly.

 

Low sunshine throughout the winter months means less vitamin D from the sun, and luckily there are supplemental vitamins. Food can also be a great source of vitamin D, such as juices, milk alternatives, oily fish, red meat and eggs.

 

If you can, taking a vacation to a warm climate can be a nice break from winter blues and an excellent way to gain more vitamin D!

 

Be sure not to let winter halt your life entirely, and try something new this year to keep yourself active and healthy. These tips will hopefully get you out of that slump and encourage you to get out there.

 

Contact your local REALTOR® to find a wonderful home for those shopping endorphins this winter!

 

Lifestyle November 4, 2022

Saskatoon Winter Activities to Try!

 

Outdoor activities don’t need to stop because winter has arrived. Saskatoon has a lot of exciting things to do as it gets colder. Below is a short list of ideas for keeping you active throughout the winter.

 

Skating

 

I enjoy skating as a winter activity and try to do as much as possible. Some great ice rinks are the Cameco-sponsored rink by the Bessborough Hotel, rental skates and ice time by donation. You don’t need to be a speed skater to enjoy the Clarence Downey Speed Skating Oval on Dudley Street. It is a smooth and fast surface, my favourite rink. Outdoor rinks and ponds are all over Saskatoon to skate on. Crossmount Cider is just outside the city and has a lovely skating area. After a cold day of skating, warm up in the chalet with a cider or two.

 

Kicksledding

 

A new fun winter activity to try with friends, alone or with your dog. Rentals are available at Escape Sports. The kicksled has two thin runners and a handlebar about waist height. The runners have rubberized pads for your feet to keep balance, and some have seat upfront for a child. If you feel like bringing your pup, they can be harnessed to the kicksled and pull you along—there is a brake if you are going too fast.

 

Walking

 

Walking is a fantastic way to stay in shape all winter long. There are a few perfect spots to walk in Saskatoon. My favourite is the Meewasin trails, located all along the river, sheltered from the elements with wooded areas—birds are plentiful and have panoramic views. The zoo is entirely free in winter, and they have paved pathways. While walking around the zoo, a few animals will sometimes be out and about. Beaver Creek is just outside of Saskatoon and has fantastic wooded trails to wander around with tons of wildlife—hand-feeding the chickadees is surprisingly delightful.

 

Snowboarding/Skiing/Tubing

 

Located right in Saskatoon on the east side—only a couple of years old, Optimist Hill provides an excellent experience for beginner snowboarders and skiers, with one dedicated side for tubing. There is also a free hill for toboggans! It has ski and snowboard instructors if you are interested in learning from a professional and full rental for equipment, including helmets. Very affordable.

 

Winter Birding

 

Birdwatching is fun for the whole family and a fantastic low-key activity to enjoy. Living Sky Wildlife Rehabilitation offers private guided birding tours in and around Saskatoon in various parks. Many bird species native to Saskatchewan are worth learning about, such as woodpeckers, finches, nuthatches and various other songbirds that live in wooded portions of Saskatoon’s naturalized parks.

 

Tip: Add a birdfeeder in your backyard and watch all the birds flock there. If you want to go one step further, buy a Saskatchewan bird species book for extra fun!

 

Whatever your fitness level, hopefully, you have found at least one activity to try out this winter from this list. Enjoying time outside can boost your mood and relieve stress.

 

If you need to find a great home, contact me today!

Lifestyle October 28, 2022

Halloween Treat > Caramel Apples

 

Since Halloween is coming up this Monday, I wanted to share my all-time favourite Halloween treat. My mother and I made them when I was a kid, and we gave them out to trick-or-treaters. Those days are gone, but the nostalgia still lives on.

 

Caramel apples are a super versatile treat. They are crunchy, creamy and delicious. Eat them plain or enjoy them with various toppings, like peanuts, melted chocolate, cookie crumbs, marshmallows or other delectable treats.

 

Before we begin, I want to warn you that making these can get quite messy and be prepared for a complete kitchen clean-up, but trust me, it’s worth the mess.

 

Apples that work best for this recipe are crunchy, firm apples, like granny smith, fuji or even my favourite honey crisp! Choose a small to medium-sized apple that is firm and round, with no soft spots.

 

After your apples are selected, you will need:

 -a candy thermometer

– a heavy-bottomed saucepan

– a wooden spoon

– strong wooden sticks: we will be stabbing these into the apples, and they will act as the handle for the apple

– a pastry brush: to push the sauce down into the pan and remove the excess caramel from the apples 

 

Ingredients:

 

8–9 cold apples

1 and 3/4 cups (420ml) heavy cream

1 cup (240ml) light corn syrup

2 cups (400g) packed light or dark brown sugar

1/4 cup (4 Tablespoons; 60g) unsalted butter, at room temperature

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

 

Instructions:

 

Prep:

 

  1. Wash the apples thoroughly. Scrub them to remove as much wax coating off as possible to help the caramel stick better. (organic apples with no wax coating might work nicely for this too). 

Remove the apple stem so that the stick can be inserted into the apple easily later.

 

  1. Line a baking sheet with a silicone mat. Or grease the baking sheet with butter. 

DO NOT use wax paper or parchment paper, as the caramel will stick to it.

 

Make the Caramel dip: 

 

  1. Combine the heavy cream, corn syrup, brown sugar, butter, and salt in a 3-quart heavy-duty saucepan over medium heat. 

Do not turn the temperature up or down– keep it at medium the entire time the caramel cooks. 

Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the butter is melted. 

Once melted, brush down the sides of the pan with a water-moistened pastry brush and attach a candy thermometer to the pan, making sure the bulb is not touching the bottom of the pan (as you’ll get an inaccurate reading).

 

  1. Without stirring, let the mixture cook and bubble until it reaches between 235°F – 240°F. 

Reaching this temperature should take about 15 – 20 minutes, though don’t use time as your guide because it depends on your stove. 

Don’t be alarmed if your caramel is taking longer. Just use the candy thermometer as your guide. 

The temperature will heat up slowly, then move quickly, so keep your eye on the pot. 

Once at 235°F – 240°F, remove the caramel from the heat and stir in the vanilla. 

Avoid over-stirring, which can create air bubbles in the caramel (and then on the apple). 

Allow caramel to cool for 10-15 minutes until slightly thickened. 

If caramel is too thin to coat apples, let it cool and thicken for 5-10 minutes longer.

 

Dip the Apples: 

 

  1. Holding the caramel apple stick, dip the apple into the warm caramel, tilting the pot as needed to coat all sides of the apple.

Lift the apple up and swirl it around or gently tap it against the pot’s side to let excess caramel drip off. 

***After dipping the apple in the caramel. If using extra toppings, place toppings on a shallow pile on a plate and roll the apple around in the toppings.

Place coated apples on the prepared pan. 

Repeat with remaining apples. 

Enjoy immediately or allow caramel to set about 45-60 minutes. 

If you want to wrap the caramel apples in cellophane treat bags for travel/gifting, wait until the caramel has been completely set.

 

  1. Once completely cooled for displaying or serving, place the apples on wax paper or another nonstick surface. 

Even when the caramel has been completely set, caramel apples may slightly stick to a serving dish.

To eat a caramel apple, you can bite right into it or sit it upright on a cutting board and cut slices around the stick. (Or pull out the stick and slice.) These are great for sharing!

 

  1. Loosely cover and store the leftover dipped apples in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Bonus Tips:

 

How to clean a sticky saucepan: 

It’s not always easy or fun, but I have a helpful solution! When you’re finished making sticky caramel, simply fill the dirty saucepan with water until the water covers all of the candy residue. Place the saucepan on the stove over low heat. Let the warm water simmer and melt the sugar off the sides of the pan. Pour out the warm water, then let the tools sit until cool enough to handle. Rinse clean.

 

DO NOT double Batch: 

I don’t recommend halving, doubling, or tripling candy recipes, especially this caramel.

Increasing or decreasing the quantity may work for baking, but the extra or decreased volume could prevent the candy from cooking properly. 

Make separate batches instead.

https://schmidrealty.com/

Selling October 21, 2022

6 Tips for Selling Your Home

Do you plan on selling your home soon? Whether you are selling to accommodate your growing family or retiring and downsizing to a smaller home. This helpful guide will give you a few hints and tips to make selling your home a breeze.

 

Should You Hire a Real Estate Agent?

 

Whether you sell your home privately or with a listing agent is entirely up to you. Both choices come with various pros and cons. 

 

If you choose to sell privately, there are no real estate agent fees, but the time and energy needed to try to sell your home this way might not be worth it. A realtor will have many connections, experience and knowledge that you, as a homeowner, lack. They are an excellent liaison between the two parties, know how to fill out paperwork and will have a network of buyers and the best inspectors and lawyers.

 

Whether you choose a real estate agent or sell privately, these tips will still be helpful.

 

Tip 1: Know the Market

 

The real estate market fluctuates a lot. It can be hard to know the climate of the market and who has the advantage if it’s the seller or the buyer. Check real estate reports to know if the market favours the seller or the buyer. If the market favours the seller, there will be low inventory and the quick sale of homes. If the market favours the buyer, there will be an abundance of inventory and a slow sales rate, with homes sitting on the market for weeks to months. This depends on the economic situation, national interest rates, location, and other factors.

 

Tip 2: Decide on a Listing Price

 

One of the best tips before selling your home is evaluating its worth in the current market. Your realtor can provide a Comparative Marketing Analysis at no extra cost. This analysis will look at a combination of factors, including features of your home, upgrades or renovations, the tax-assessed value of your property, and the selling price of comparable homes in your area.

 

Tip 3: Pick the Right Season

 

The season when you sell your home is equally as important as picking a listing price. There are pros and cons to selling in winter and warmer months.

 

Winter has lower inventory overall, so attracting buyers and offers is easier. There are a few drawbacks to selling in winter, though. Snowfall can make it hard for buyers to view your home and hide important features such as foundation and landscaping—let’s face it, moving also sucks in winter. Try to list in autumn before the first snowfall to avoid this issue.

 

Spring and Summer usually have the highest amount of inventory to hit the market. An active market with more competition for you as a seller. This might be the ideal time for you to sell your home. Consider listing your home at a competitive price to attract more offers if that is the case.

 

If you are not looking for a quick sale, try listing your home in autumn. It is a great time to list because summer is winding down. It is easier for your home to stand out as fewer homes are on the market. There is changing leaves everywhere in autumn to enhance the beauty of your neighbourhood.

 

Tip 4: Staging & Marketing

 

Staging is not only a great way to show off the potential of your house to prospective buyers but also makes the home very appealing in the listing photos. 

Start by decluttering things you don’t need every day and de-personalize the space. If this seems overwhelming, there are many home staging businesses out there that can help you.

 

Click here to open a comprehensive guide to staging your home.

 

To market your home, include these details in your listing:

 

  • Good quality professional photos
  • Photos of your home’s exterior and yard in various seasons–focus on exciting features like a tiered deck, pool, etc.
  • Drone aerial Photography and videography of the property and neighbourhood. This can significantly improve the potential for a sale by up to 70%.
  • Showcase interesting details and wow features of your home. (fireplace, finished basement, kitchen upgrades, etc.)
  • Provide information about amenities, schools, shopping in the area, and walkability to these places.
  • Bonus if you can have a video virtual tour or 3d tour of your home created for you.

 

Tip 5: Showing Your Home

 

Most interested buyers want to see a home in person. There are a few ways to accomplish this: an open house for multiple showings at one or scheduled showings. 

Before viewers arrive, try to put things away and deep clean them beforehand.

 

Tip 6: Offers

 

In an ideal world, you would get multiple offers on your home, and you can select the best one for you. You can accept, counter or reject any offers you receive. Look out for offers that have unappealing conditions or contingencies that must be met before the sale goes through. The buyer’s conditions could be various asks, the most common being a home inspection, secured financing or the sale of their own home. 

Review the paperwork with a lawyer when you get the right offer and are ready to accept it. There might be additional requests before the buyer agrees to close, such as including all appliances or requesting a repair. Your lawyer will ensure the paperwork goes through to the transfer of ownership.

 

Now that you have read through this selling your-home guide, I hope you feel a little more comfortable starting the process yourself. 

If you are looking into selling and/or buying a new home enlist the help of a trusted REALTOR® to help you through the process.

 

BuyingSelling October 14, 2022

5 Ways to Write a Winning Offer

The real estate market currently has more sellers than buyers, however, homes are still receiving multiple offers.

 

Here is a quick guide to help you write a winning offer.

 

Demonstrate Solid Financing

 

Seller’s favour offers that have a higher odds of closing. The truth is, no one gets paid if the home sale falls through.

 

The most solid financial offer is an all-cash offer, but the chance for this kind of offer is realistically low. 

 

The second most ideal offer is to have the financing in place and get pre-approved for a mortgage before the house-hunting process begins. A pre-approval letter shows the sellers that you are able to and are committed to purchasing a home.

 

Another thing to consider is the reputation of your lender, whether it be a private lender or a financial institution. Sellers won’t consider your lender’s reputation, but realtors often do. In general, some lenders are a lot more efficient than others. If you are finding it difficult to choose a lender, your Realtor can help you choose the best one for ease of business.

 

Put Down a Sizeable Deposit

 

A sizable deposit can also increase your chances of standing out as a serious buyer. A deposit is different from a down payment, so make sure you don’t get the two confused.

 

The brokerage or lawyer holds a deposit in trust until the purchase goes through. Once the purchase goes through, the deposit will is applied to the down payment and closing costs. Putting down a larger deposit is risky because you can partially or fully lose the deposit if the sale falls through. Check your contract terms.

 

Deposits can vary in amount, but offering an above-average deposit can show sellers you are serious about the property.

 

Ask for Few or No Conditions

 

Conditions are set in place by the buyer, a series of clauses that the buyer and seller must complete, or they can back out. These conditions appear in the purchase agreement and are legally binding once agreed upon by both seller and buyer.

 

Two of the most common conditions are:

Financing: A financial condition is a financing window of time the buyer has to gather funding for the home purchase. If they can’t meet the financing requirements, they can withdraw their offer, and the seller can move on to other buyers.

Inspection: An inspection condition requires a home inspection to be completed before purchasing the home. Usually, they are meant to discover pre-existing issues with the home, such as structural, electrical, plumbing, etc. Sellers can choose to fix the problems before the buyers move in, or sometimes re-negotiation of the final purchase price can occur, depending on the financial cost and work to be completed. If an agreement is not met, the buyer can choose to withdraw from the contract.

 

The more conditions that need to be met for the contract to go through, the offer becomes less desirable and weaker. In a competitive market, oftentimes, buyers are encouraged to voluntarily waive certain conditions to have the request go through easier.

 

Fewer conditions mean that there is less “red tape” to go through to complete the transaction, but missing things like a home inspection comes with a risk. Perhaps the home has many hidden repairs that will come out of the new buyer’s pocket, as they were not caught beforehand. 

 

Offer a Flexible Closing Date

 

When an owner is selling their home, money isn’t everything. Sometimes having a flexible closing/moving date is appealing because it can create the lead time needed to move into their next home. 

 

A flexible timeline can provide an excellent advantage for first-time buyers. If you are currently renting and can extend your month-to-month lease, this would be ideal for offering more flexibility on the closing date.

 

Doing so might edge out the competition or have no impact at all. Confer with your Realtor to see if this is an impactful move.

 

Work With a Skilled REALTOR®

 

In this competitive real estate market, the most significant advantage you have is to hire a knowledgeable realtor. They will have the skills and know-how to guide you through home buying/selling.

 

Realtors write up offers daily and will know what works well and what doesn’t. 

 

Once your offer is accepted, the Realtor will also be the liaison between you and the seller/buyer. They can write up the paperwork and lead fair negotiations. They should have your best interests in mind and the knowledge to make your home-buying journey lovely.

 

A competitive offer in today’s market doesn’t necessarily mean the highest bid or the one with no conditions. These tips should help you sweeten the deal and hopefully get you in the house you want.

Now that you have all the information to write a winning offer, try it yourself or with the help of a trusted local REALTOR.

 

HomeownershipLifestyle October 7, 2022

7 Fall Decorating Trends

 

 

Autumn is a beautiful time to slow down, reflect and wear a scarf. Your wardrobe is getting cozy, and your home is also a place to add warmth. It’s time to change your summer decor for bold, dark colours, rich woods and textured blankets. Refreshing your home for fall doesn’t have to be expensive. Here are a few inspirational trends to help you get started.

 

1. Fall Porchscapes

 

Porchscapes are forecasted to be the hottest trend of the season. The easiest way to bring the fall to your doorstep is with pots of mum flowers and a scattering of pumpkins. To elaborate on this trend, try a mixture of lanterns, wooden signs and twinkling lights. Other than adding a lot of curb appeal to your home with porch arrangements, it also is the time when people get together outdoors.

If you have an oversized porch, you can quickly add a table and chairs, invite guests, and have an instant setting to entertain.

 

2. Earthy, Nature-Inspired  Colours

 

Oranges, reds, and yellows come to mind when thinking about Autumn, but if these colours are too vibrant for you, there are a few other colours to consider. If neutrals appeal to you more, try decorating with browns and tans. For a more rich colour palette, explore navy, greens and chocolates. Using these colours will elevate your space and add a sense of luxury. While these tones aren’t classic fall colours, they are worth trying. 

 

If you still prefer the classic colours for Autumn, try one or two earth tones to mix things up. Experiment with pillows in navy or greens, or line your table with a bold runner to contrast with the orange and yellow decor. Try integrating metals like gold and bronze to add more flare to your space. 

 

3. Entertaining-Ready Spaces

 

Following almost three years of enduring a pandemic, people are looking forward to the holiday seasons again by preparing their homes for entertaining. Living rooms and dining rooms should be the primary focus for autumnal decorating. This season engages all five senses by experimenting with textures, like comfy blankets and pillows, candles or oil diffusers, visually pleasing decor like pumpkins and fun place settings. Get all things cozy this fall and winter!

 

4. Textural Fabrics

 

Try laying out some throws and textured pillows for the ultimate cozy vibes as it gets colder. Think chunky knit blankets and pillows in velvet materials or with tassels, and incorporate rich colours to welcome the fall season. Refreshing your sofa or bedding can be as easy as adding a layer of bold-coloured pillows and throwing on various textures.

 

5. Cozy Sanctuaries

 

In the past few years, most of us have been at home longer than usual and are seeking coziness over style—why not achieve both? Take the cooling of temperatures as a sign to create a comfortable place to rest after a long day. Outfit a chair or a window seat with a lush pillow and a textured throw, and add a few books next to it and a candle for the ultimate comfort.

 

6. Dark Kitchens

 

Dark kitchens are slowly returning in the last year or two, which is exciting. White kitchens have had their moment, but it’s time for a change. Autumn is a great time to renovate or experiment with bold colours in the kitchen. It’s time to update your kitchen with warm earth tones and deep jewel tones.

 

If you want a simple and inexpensive kitchen renovation, install a new dark tile backsplash in various colours or textures. Additionally, you could change out your faucets and lighting fixtures for bronze or gold tones to usher in those fall vibes.

 

7. Bold Patterns that Add Personality 

 

Bold patterns are a great way to add personality to any space. Start by adding patterns to smaller rooms such as mudrooms, bathrooms or even hallways to spark happiness. Adding a stunning texture wallpaper with bold colours and patterns is a surefire way to liven up any space. If hanging permanent wallpaper scares you, trying a vibrant paint colour will also do the trick. Add an accent rug to a hall or mudroom to bring coziness and a pop of colour.

 

Enjoy these autumnal ideas and decorating tips inside of your home this fall. It’s as easy as adding an earth-tone colour, various textures and a sprinkling of coziness.

Don’t forget to maintain the outside of your home and prepare it for fall.

Contact your local REALTOR® to find a fabulous home to decorate for fall.

Lifestyle September 30, 2022

How to Make Your Bookshelves Shine

 

I have often thought about having wall-to-wall bookshelves and a library, but then there is the issue of trying to fill up the shelves thoughtfully. Careful curation of objects and books can add charm and personality to your space. Here are a few great ideas to mindfully decorate without cluttering up your bookshelves.

Stack Books Horizontally and Vertically

The secret to styling a bookshelf is to create areas of interest. Start by stacking your books horizontally and vertically to engage the eyes. If you plan on adding objects around the stacks of books, leave gaps. A few well-placed items or artwork give the bookshelf a flare of your personality and break up the visual cues.

Pro tip: Mix and match the colours of books in the stacks to add an eclectic flare, or if that isn’t your style, format the books with like colours for an organized look.

Lean Art

Artwork is a fabulous way to style your bookshelves like a pro with added visual interest. Create a bookshelf design moment by placing framed art and ornate objects amongst your books. Place taller artwork and objects on the top shelf for added drama. Try to layer different art and frames to create a relaxed multi-layered look.

Create Vignettes on the Shelves

To prevent over cluttering your shelves or having it look like a thrift store, try to create vignettes (curated style statements) on each shelf. Focus your efforts on creating cohesive vignettes one by one to not overwhelm yourself. Start by adding books vertically and horizontally, then consider adding complementary objects and artworks—be careful not to overfill the space and keep some blank space to visually break things up.

Hot tip: Arrange your vignette books and objects in different ways, changing up the colours, style, textures, heights and shapes. A great rule of thumb is to arrange in odd numbers.

Add Greenery

Plants bring a lot of beauty, life and freshness into a home. When paired with a matching decor pot, they add vibrancy and colour to your shelves with little effort. Plants are ideal for creating height or adding a stunning trailing plant to cascade over a ledge. Check out fake plants or statement vases with twigs/dried grasses if you are worried about keeping live plants.

Use Bookends

Bookends are not only art pieces but also functional to showcase books in various ways. Unique bookends can add a lot of style and texture to your vignettes. If you aren’t keen on bookends, using heavy potted plants to prop up books is a great alternative. 

 

I hope these tips have given you an idea or two on how to style your bookshelves with purpose. If you feel overwhelmed, take a step back and carefully select your best pieces and books to display. My all-time favourite shelving units are from String Furniture.

Contact your local REALTOR® to find a great house to create your little library!

 

HomeownershipLifestyle September 23, 2022

Basements, More Than Storage!

 

Basements are a waste of space to some people, but they don’t have to be. They can serve many different purposes than just a storage facility. If your basement is finished or you’re thinking about finishing it, consider some fabulous ideas below!

 

Home Theatre 

Take that extra living room and turn it into a home theatre. It is a perfect option for those cold winter days. There is nothing like cozying up with loved ones and watching a movie or binging a tv show. A basement is the perfect open space to have a projector on the wall and a comfy sizeable sectional couch. If you want to splash out, install some home theatre chairs with cup holders to make the viewing experience truly unique.

Personal Gym

A basement gym would allow you to pump the tunes and drop weights without disturbing the neighbours or other floors. A one-time single investment in gym equipment is all you need to get started. The convenience of having a home gym would put money back in your pocket and help you lead a healthier lifestyle. The excuse of travelling to a gym would be a thing of the past, and the whole family could get into a fitness routine.

Playroom

A playroom is another excellent option for all that extra space. Kids toys can quickly take over the whole house, and creating a dedicated playroom would keep the clutter downstairs. Brighten up this semi-hidden home area with a bold colour paint choice and install wall decals for an added flare.

Library 

We all have books scattered around the house—imagine if they were all in one place in a library-like space. Some ideas would be to install custom built-in shelving (or a wall of bookshelves), oversized rugs, cozy chairs, pillows and lots of soft lighting. Create a special place to read, enjoy, and relax after a long day.

Home Office

A designated workspace might be your ticket to being more productive overall. The basement is separate from the rest of your home, making it the ideal location for a quiet home office. Since the basement is a wide open space, there is a lot of room to get a large desk and chair then you normally would have. Plus, your body will thank you for going up and down the stairs during the day for added movement.  

 

Basements are blank canvases and can be used in many different ways. Try maximizing the extra living space and make a perfect escape for you and your family.

Contact your local REALTOR® today to find the perfect space!