Save

Office: 306- 652-2882 |

Wish you could wave a magic wand and change up your décor? Well, the wand trick may not work, but reimagining things you already own in fresh and exciting ways can breathe new life back into lackluster interior designs. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of switching things up. Chances are you already have what it takes to refresh your décor. So stop taking your once-coveted finds for granted and have them speak to you again. Start by reconsidering where decorative items and furniture can relocate within your home – big change begins by making simple yet strategic moves.


Picture ThisHow many times have you passed by that painting on the wall without taking a second look? Then it’s time to let it live somewhere else. Imagine your art, framed pictures and mirrors in different rooms of your home. Try them out in areas of the house with corresponding color palettes. Soon you’ll have a newfound appreciation for those familiar – now repurposed – favorite pieces that will once again engage your attention.


Presto Chango. A little to the left … now to the right. Play this game of musical chairs and sofa for a fresh new take on your furniture placement. By simply moving key objects around most any room, you’ll discover a brand new outlook on your interior design. A fresh perspective is sometimes all it takes to shake things up.


Pillow Talk. That cushy little bundle of comfort may not get much attention, but if you swap out your throw pillows for ones in a fresh pop of color or pattern, you’ll be amazed at the impact they can create. It’s an inexpensive way to introduce a renewed sense of aesthetics into a room and enliven all-too-familiar furniture. Accent pillows and throws can be the common thread that runs throughout an interior design to tie the color scheme together.


When it comes to design, not everything should stay the same forever. So be open to the possibility of change and start moving a few things around – you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how things take on a fresh new look when you switch them up.




Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

The popularity of Do-It-Yourself home improvement projects has gone through the roof in recent years. You can find step-by-step instructions on YouTube for every conceivable DIY project – and they make it look so easy! Many DIYers discover it’s often not as easy as it looks and end up calling in professional help to finish the job.


Renovations and upgrades are crucial if you want to maintain or increase the value of your home. The key to successful DIY projects is being realistic about your skills, tools, time, and budget. Some DIY projects turn out just fine. Some turn into disasters. Let’s start with those that seem to work out well.


The Best:


These are projects where homeowners report a high degree of success and satisfaction. Most don’t require special skills or tools.


Painting


This is the most common home fix-up project because it’s relatively easy and inexpensive. But experts say doing it right involves prep work such as cleaning, edging, filling nail holes and cracks, and priming. Rolling on the paint is the easy part – but will usually require at least two coats. Homeowners report their greatest DIY successes involve painting projects.


Replacing fixtures


This can be a quick-fix update. Home improvement centers abound with fixtures in every style and price range. Putting up new light fixtures normally doesn’t require an electrician. Replacing faucets and showerheads requires minimal plumbing skills, and updating cabinet hardware usually involves nothing more than a screwdriver. Just be sure to measure for holes before you buy.


Making your home smart


This is a surging trend as more products hit the market. Smart lighting, security cameras, and voice-controlled gadgets continue to be the rage. These are normally easy installations. If you get into trouble, just call in a teenager.


Adding storage


Closet organization systems are easy tasks, as are rollout under-the-cabinet storage units. Many people are also paying more attention to the space in their garages by adding organizers and shelving. Usually, only basic household tools are required.


The Worst:


These are projects where homeowners report the least success and highest frustration.


Flooring projects


Installing floor tiles and wood floors, refinishing hardwood floors, and laying carpet can be exasperating. Most homeowners rank these as their least favorite DIY projects. Chalk up floor projects to those that look easy – but are not.


Replacing ceilings


A lot of homeowners admit frustration and disappointment with self-attempted ceiling replacement. Maybe this is because you spend so much time on a ladder with your arms above your head. The project is invariably messy and requires you to remove all the furniture from the room. Ceiling replacement may also require drywall skills. “Dropped” ceilings are popular because they are suspended on grids and wires below the original surface. They make for less mess and require less skill.


Refinishing cabinets


It seems refinishing is not as simple as wiping on stain and brushing on varnish. A large number of DIYers say they forgot to sand the doors and drawers first. Some report failing to remove all the sanding dust or staining against grain. Most report dissatisfaction with the results.


Installing baths or showers


The rule of thumb is measure twice, cut once, then call a plumber. Installing bathtubs and showers requires plumbing skills and often involves carpentry. You’ll need a full arsenal of power and hand tools for this undertaking.  Make one mistake and tubs and showers will leak around the edges. Install the tile incorrectly, and you could be dealing with mold for years to come.


Drains are also difficult to install. One wrong move, and you’ll have drainage problems throughout the house.


Installing a new roof


Roofing requires a little skill – and a lot of hard labor. Often that labor is done under a broiling sun. Roofing an entire house can take days. It’s better to leave such a critical project to the professionals.


Adding or expanding a room


This is a major project and can involve demolition work. In addition to carpentry and tearing down or building walls,  it may require the skills of an electrician and/or plumber.



To make DIY projects a rewarding experience, always check local codes and ordinances before undertaking major projects. This will help you avoid fines or costly makeovers.


DIY projects are an area where discretion is the better part of valor. Be honest with yourself about the time, skills, tools, and budget you can devote to your projects.






Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter









Read full post

Help your kids get ready to make the grade by giving them all the tools they’ll need


It’s been a page-turner of a year and time once again to start hitting the books. With school being back, help your kids

get ready to make the grade by giving them all the tools they’ll need to rock their school days.


High-Demand Supplies. Stock up on all the essentials that will help them ace their classes – keep their focus on schoolwork instead of searching for paper, pens and pencils, pocket folders and printer ink. Create a school supplies station in a file cabinet, fill it with all the necessities for the new season and clearly label each drawer’s contents so your student will have easy access to all the tools they need to start out strong.


Carve Out a Niche. Set aside an area in the house exclusively devoted to concentration and contemplation. Whether that means a single desk in a solitary spot, or a remote corner of a room where traffic never treads, a place of quiet and calm will enhance their ability to learn and stay on task. Outfit the book nook with a comfy computer chair, second-screen monitor, wireless computer mouse and a power strip to avoid storm blips. Then sit back and watch the As roll in.


Ramp Up the Resources. Keep a list of invaluable learning sites on hand where students can get up-to-date information for specific classes, reference materials and resources to aid them in their studies and elevate their learning quotient.


Give your kids the opportunity to hit the ground running this school year. With a little preparation and outstanding support from you along with a good amount of determination from your student, success is only a report card away.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Fall is the best time for lawn care, so when it comes to planning your autumn projects, add these to the list.


By the time fall comes along, and you’ve tended to your grass every single week, pleasant springtime memories of fresh-mown grass smell have long passed. Still, you must get the yard grass ready for winter, especially if you’re planning to put the house up for sale next spring. Fall is the best time for lawn care, so when it comes to planning your autumn projects, add these to the list.


1. Adjust the Lawn Mower Blade


When cutting the grass in late September or early October, set the mowing blades a bit shorter than usual. Lower the blade to the shortest recommended height for your variety of grass. That will help keep grass from matting underneath winter snow, but the turf will be high enough for the roots to stay firmly planted in the soil. Preventing thatch and matting allows snow-covered grass to remain healthy, and leads to a thick, full lawn in March, April, and May.


2. Fertilize


The leaves are changing, and that means it’s time to fertilize the grass. If you haven’t done it this year, test the soil to determine its acidic balance; this lets you know what type of fertilizer to use. The pH scale is from 0 to 14; anything less than 7.0 is acid, and anything above 7.0 is considered alkaline. Whether you choose soil amendments, organic or chemical fertilizers, they must be the proper types for the grass in your yard.  You can buy a soil testing kit at your local hardware store.


3. Aerate


Speaking of soil, it needs to breathe. Soil compaction occurs in areas where kids are playing, dogs are running, riding lawn mowers are sitting — you get the idea. Compacted soil stops air and water from reaching the roots. (Even those squirmy earthworms can’t get very far!) Fertilizer won’t soak in very well. In short, compacted soil is bad for grass.


Aerating the lawn provides air that lets grassroots thrive. You can do it yourself by hand, but really, the best way to aerate the yard, especially a large one, is to hire a landscaper with the right kind of equipment. Hundreds to thousands of small, cork-like plugs of dirt are removed from the ground, allowing the grass to spread, thicken and breathe. 


4. Reseed 


The type of grass and condition it’s in determines reseeding requirements, but in any case, this project is better for autumn than in spring.  September is ideal for overseeding cool season and warm season grasses. Because we live in an area prone to snow, you’ll want to reseed the entire lawn before the first frost.


5. Weed Control


The first thing to remember is that weeds will never completely go away, so don’t make yourself crazy over it. But you can control the first outset in spring by applying a pre-emergent herbicide in the fall. It can give you a head start on next spring’s weed-reducing efforts. Follow directions carefully.


As if this weren’t enough, here are a couple more autumn yard projects for you.  Rake and remove fallen leaves so they won’t create a thick mat that will suffocate your lawn over the winter. Continue to water the lawn if you’re not seeing enough rainfall — if it hasn’t entered dormancy, grass should get an inch of water per week.


One thing to note: If you start a project too late in the season, your efforts are wasted. The grassroots will need time to absorb the nutrients from fertilizer. Tender plant seedlings from reseeding won’t survive the cooler temperatures. For a healthy lawn in spring, develop a fall schedule, and stick to it.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


 

Read full post

Has your garage been left abandoned and unloved for far too long? You’re not alone.


A home organization study from Moen found that the garage was the most cluttered space in homes. Join us today in exploring 4 tried and tested methods you can use to show your long-forgotten garage some much-needed TLC, revamping your cluttered space into one fit for function.


Reconsider your storage 


When was the last time you saw your garage floor?


Garages far too often serve as a dumping ground – a place to keep those countless boxes full of sentimental keepsakes and, let’s be honest, junk you can’t bring yourself to throw out!


Luckily, revitalizing your garage space doesn’t mean you have to begin a clearout and start planning your next yard sale. Instead, reconsider your storage solutions to achieve a more optimized and efficient means of storage.


The best way to do this? Utilize vertical space! Purpose-built garage shelving units are your best bet here. They’ll clear up valuable floor space and enable you to implement a logical organization plan. Regardless of whether your garage is merely practical or purpose-built for a specific use, increasing your storage capability is a must – trust us, you’ll thank us later!


Get decorative


One of the biggest appeals of a garage is that the possibilities really are endless. From workshops to games rooms, the purpose of your garage is completely up to you. But of course, in order to revamp it successfully, you’re going to want to breathe a new lease of life into the space. So, it’s time to get creative!


Your options here are twofold:


Option A


Option A entails decorating based on purpose. For example, no games room is complete without arcade machines, pool tables and the likes, but don’t forget about trendy extras like beanbags, mini fridges and gadgets. Ultimately, it’s all about decorating the space with you in mind.


Option B


Alternatively, a general interior update will be equally as effective in revamping your garage space, and is often a great way of boosting your property’s value in the process.


Never underestimate the power of a new lick of paint. Opt for clean and crisp colors to make the space look polished and better organized, being sure to consider interior cohesion by matching your aesthetic with any features and appliances you may have on display. As a potentially damp space, to ensure functionality in the process, we recommend using moisture-blocking paint.


Evaluate your lighting


What use is a trendy new garage interior if it’s hidden by dingy garage lighting? Look to re-evaluate your garage lighting to bring a little extra shine, both figuratively and literally, to your garage interior.


Again, there’s a whole range of options at your disposal, and picking the right one will depend on how you intend to utilize your space. As a rule of thumb, lighting should always be bright, efficient and easily accessible – particularly if your space is functional and prone to hazards.


Think about more than simply overhead lighting. Lighting above doors, on walls and beneath storage systems can be an effective way of ensuring practicality and style.


If your space is being used for entertainment, consider bringing an extra dimension to your space through snazzy features such as voice-activated colored lighting. Not only will this do wonders for your garage’s aesthetics, it’s also sure to become the envy of any friend who comes to visit! 


Alternatively, functional garage owners should focus more on their lighting’s practical properties. For example, opt for lighting fixtures with electronic ballasts to ensure a more reliable performance than traditional fluorescent lighting, which often becomes temperamental in conditions below 50 degrees.


Strengthen your security


A slick new garage interior deserves protection – particularly if it’s housing valuable items, whether that be in monetary or sentimental value.


An automatic garage door with remote sensors is a good place to start, providing you with both convenience and peace of mind.


For added reassurance, pair with a CCTV system – there are plenty on the market right now at cost effective prices. What’s more, contemporary systems are even compatible with smartphones, allowing you to stream the feed directly to your phone through an app. Again, convenience and peace of mind guaranteed.


Revitalizing your garage interior might sound like the mammoth task you’ve been putting off for years, but with the right know-how, it’s not as tough as it sounds. We hope the above tips give you the inspiration you need to turn your garage into the space you’ve always wanted.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter



Read full post

Summer is the ideal time to invite friends and neighbors over for a get-together. Here are six tips to guarantee your summer gatherings will be a hit.


1. Break out the party games

If some of your guests don’t know each other, set up a few backyard games to help break the ice. Croquet, badminton, bocce ball, spike ball and horseshoes are all good choices. For an easy DIY project, paint a wood pallet and cut a circular hole in the middle for a fun beanbag-toss game, also called cornhole. 


2. Fire up the grill

Nothing says summer like a casual barbeque in your backyard. Be sure to include classic fare like burgers and hot dogs, but feel free to get creative with salads, side dishes, appetizers and other fun bites. Try to prepare as many dishes as you can the night before your get-together — you want to enjoy the party too.


3. Host a luau

Treat your friends and family to a night in the tropics with a Hawaiian-themed luau. Set up some tiki torches, sport your best Hawaiian shirt and serve tropical drinks. Make a playlist of island-themed music to set the perfect mood for the evening. For an additional treat, wrap up your get-together with a blazing bonfire.


4. Hit the pool

A pool party is a great way to stay cool and comfortable when you’re entertaining in the summer. Light foods, like salads, chicken and fish are perfect choices when guests will be doing a lot of swimming. Always keep plenty of water bottles and other refreshing drinks on hand to keep guests properly hydrated. Pool floaties are always fun to have on hand when you want to relax and get some sun in the pool!


5. Show a movie

The days of drive-in movies are in the past. But, it’s still possible to enjoy an outdoor movie on a warm summer evening. Get some sturdy wire and a blackout shade and set up your own DIY screen. All you need is a standard film projector and you’re ready to screen your favorite movies in the comfort of your own backyard. If you’re feeling really creative, you can serve snacks that match the theme of the movie.


6.Set up a popcorn bar

Between food allergies, picky eaters and other dietary restrictions, it can be tough to come up with a menu that pleases a crowd. Popcorn is a low-calorie, gluten-free and budget-friendly treat that’s likely to work with most people’s diets. Set up a variety of seasonings and toppings and let your guests create their own savory combinations.


Conclusion

Summertime entertaining doesn’t require a lot of work to be successful. With these easy ideas in mind, you’ll be ready to plan fun get-togethers all summer long

Read full post

Whether on television, at an open house or on the pages of a magazine, we’ve all seen stunningly outfitted estates that deliver a true wow factor – and listing price – that properties without staging just cannot match. Buyers quickly fall in love with homes that have a strong character while wordlessly conveying the lifestyle they would enjoy if they lived there. Before listing your property, consider that proper staging is one of the most important factors in enhancing your home’s appeal and most flattering features.


First Things First


In order to entice potential buyers, you must think outside the box – but to start, examine what needs to be done to get your home in showplace shape. Check under older carpets for lovely hardwood, survey the ceiling for cracks or leaks to seal, and focus on boosting your curb appeal. Once your home is a clean slate, you are ready to begin.


Neutral Rules


When using achromatic tones on painted walls and furniture, ensure that the staging pieces do not distract from the form of the home. When staging for luxury, colour psychology can signal buyers that they’re working with a discerning seller who has elevated the home to its full, indulgent potential.


In the world of interior design, fashion and luxury vehicles, neutral colours have always made a recognizable statement of power, sophistication and confidence. Once you’re prepared to stage your home, you’ll want to highlight those qualities with the crème de la crème of design – blacks, greys and whites.


While buyers will always notice houses with splashy displays, that doesn’t necessarily mean they will find them appropriate for their tastes. Staging experts often use furniture, rugs and paint in neutral hues (also consider beige and pale, cool colours) to help buyers overlay their own creations onto the scene and more easily discover the home could be the perfect fit.


Character Is King


Often, a seamless introduction to the home involves pairing décor with architectural personality. Envision how Old-World pillars and stonework are beautifully complemented by gold-framed art and Turkish rugs, and contemporary interiors effortlessly show off leather, wool or velvet furnishings and unique accents as statement pieces. When hiring an interior designer to get the job done, seek out a professional with not only expertise, but also an imaginative mindset.


Now to address spatial issues. For smaller sitting rooms, offices or charming nooks, instead of cluttering the area to make it appear as if much can be done with the layout, ensure that each piece has room to breathe and directs attention to the space itself.


On the other hand, if you have a cavernous room, think about creative ways to section it off and separate it into more manageable areas with rugs or furniture in unique arrangements.


Attractive Accents


While a visually busy room is an easily avoided faux pas, keep in mind that going completely neutral is not the answer either. In order to strike that oh-so-delicate balance between sensible furnishings and handsome décor, decorate with stylish accents that lend a perfect finish to any lifestyle.


Any artwork should be minimal and tasteful, so buyers can picture how they will customize the space, and personal items like family pictures or sports memorabilia should be stored.


When a buyer enters your front door and explores the home room by room, they’ll be thinking about how they will personalize it with their own touches, and how much of a transformation might be needed to get it suited for them. With beautiful furnishings in place and just the right level of flair, they won’t have to work very hard to visualize their new life – and that gets them one step closer to making your house their new home.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

If you’re house shopping, there’s probably one question that’s been on your mind often: “What size home should I buy?” At a glance, the answer seems obvious: as big as you can afford! But that’s only a small piece of the puzzle. Home size matters on many levels from personal preference to resale value, future plans, your budget, and more.


How do you find the ideal home size for you and your family? Here are three things you need to consider:

The Truth About Square Footage

A foot is a foot, right? When it comes to the square footage of your future home that may not be the case. Measuring the size of a house isn’t incredibly precise. More often than not, the size will change depending on which appraiser is measuring and what mechanism they’re using to determine the square footage: measuring tape, laser measure, or eyeball. The reality is that there are no universal standards when it comes to measuring your home size.


What does this mean for you? You need to choose your home size not by the numbers but by the feel. Don’t put too much stock in the listing size on paper, but instead find out in person if each room, bathroom, and living area is large enough for your needs. It’s not about how other individuals answer the question, “What is a good sized house?” It’s about you, your family, and how big a place feels in person.

Your Budget

While your budget isn’t the only thing you should consider, it needs to be one of the critical factors in determining your ideal home size. And that may be little more complicated than you think. What matters when it comes to your budget?

  • Loan Size: The larger the house, the more expensive—most of the time. Make sure the average house size of your real estate listings fits with your pre-approved loan budget.
  • Monthly Budget: Large houses are expensive to keep up. As you increase your square footage expect to pay more in electricity, water, gas, cleaning, and more. If you have a tight allocation for monthly expenses, don’t go overboard on a large house without factoring in these other costs.
  • Your Future: Are you planning to have more kids? Do you need a new car? Are you counting on getting a raise at work? If you’re expecting your financial situation to change, make sure your home budget fits the modifications.

Your Preferences and Needs

Your particular wants and needs should have the most significant impact on the home you choose. Make sure you’re truthful and honest with yourself about your expectations and needs. For example, if you eat out regularly and hate cooking, there’s no need to spend on a gourmet kitchen! You’d be better served looking for a home with a smaller kitchen and a bigger living room.


To help you determine your preferences, here are ten questions you should ask yourself:


1. Do you like small and cozy or do you need room to spread out?

2. How many people are in your family and how much space does each person need?

3. Do you have any hobbies or jobs that require extra space? (If you work from home, you’ll need an office. If cars are a passion, you’ll want a more substantial garage)

4. How often do you have visitors over? (If you have parties every few weeks and relatives visit a few times a year, you might want more space for guests)

5. Are you planning to have more kids or have an elderly relative move in with you?

6. What size of house have you been excited about in the past?

7. How much storage do you need? (Closet space and built-ins can be a big space saver)

8. How large is your furniture, and how much do you have? (If you have a king-sized bed, you want a big master bedroom)

9. What’s your five-year plan? (Upgrading your home to a larger size can be difficult; make sure the home you choose can last for years)

10. How much outdoor space do I want?


The key to purchasing the right-sized home for you is being realistic. Make sure you really sit down with your family to discuss what you need, want, and can afford.



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Hurrah it’s 2021! I don’t think anyone is sorry to say goodbye to 2020. A new year brings a new start. Normally, we have our list of resolutions; our promises to get to the gym, not to procrastinate on our projects, and spend more quality time with friends and family.  Instead of just making a list of resolutions, set up your home so you can actually keep them; even during the pandemic, no excuses.

  

Our homes continue to be our everything space – workplace, school, gym, restaurant and more. The good news: we don’t have the outside world to distract us this year. No lunch dates. No office parties. No outside interference. If we create a mindful home, it will support our resolutions.


Take a good look at your list of resolutions and compare it to how your home is actually being used in our new stay at home lives. Perhaps, your work has swallowed up the dining room table. Sit down meals with the family have turned into eating in front of our individual devices. Or, your kids are taking online classes on their bedroom floor and on the kitchen counter. Set them up for success by carving out a quiet distraction free study nook. It’s time to create a mindful solution to make your home support your vision for a successful new year. 


To lead a more organized and inspired life, the space around you must function to meet your new needs. It’s empowering: if your home is organized, your mindset will be too.


Here are some simple steps to help transform your home space into a comfortable and functional place suited to your 2021 needs:


– Set Goals: Sit down with each family member to determine what their 2021 at home needs are. What type of spaces will support their daily goals? If you’re wanting a fit and healthy life: Do you actually have a place to workout set up in your home or garage? Is your kitchen stocked with what you need for healthy meals? Have you donated the rest to the local food bank?


– Make a Plan: Based on the daily goals of each family member, determine what room or space fits with their goals and desires. You can either restructure a portion of a room, or you can actually swap rooms!


For instance, does your child need better study habits? Have them swap rooms with a sibling for a new fresh space with a new desk to inspire focus. Also, take a look at shared spaces. Is the living room unused for most of the day? Change a portion of it into an office or workout space.  Make a detailed plan of how and when you’ll use each room.


Arrange the new layout to actually function for your new goals and inspire work, study and workout habits. If a space has multiple functions, be sure you’ve arranged ways to quickly transform the space from one use to another. Think trays and baskets to whisk the old use out and the new use in.


– Measure: Save yourself major headaches by using a measuring tape. Make sure all the furniture will actually fit in the new layout. You can make drawings of each room to scale and use scale cut-outs of each piece of furniture – ala paper dolls. Move your new design layout around with your fingertips a few times before you actually do the heavy lifting.


– Design: Here comes the fun part! Each person gets to design their new space. The designs can be full room swaps, or just moving specific furniture pieces from one room to another. Or, perhaps, it’s as simple as adding functional accessories. The “game show” challenge is to design the space with the furniture and accessories that you already own. Maybe Jack’s desk is really the right size for Bella’s homeschooling now? She can make it her own by sanding it down and painting it her favorite colour. Has mom’s work taken over the dining room table? Place trays on the table for mom to keep her work stuff in, that way she can easily remove it at the end of the day. Wala! There’s actually a clear table when it’s time for dinner.


– Swap, Move & Clean: Okay, brace yourself for a little bit of chaos, but it will be so much better on the other side of the transformation. Move everything out of the chosen room. Clean each room until it sparkles.


– Decorate & Move In: Once clean, it’s time to add all of the chosen design elements, decorate and rearrange the furniture. From the full room swaps to adding functional accessories and furniture to portions of rooms. Don’t forget to hang wall art. Handle every detail down to hanging the new occupant’s name on the door. You’ll all fall in love with your home all over again. That night, your child gets to sleep in their new room that they helped design! Or, you get to read a book in your new, QUIET, office. Each new space is now clean, organized and its new design will inspire you to turn your resolutions into habits.


Your 2021 transformed & functional home will give you the gift of peace of mind. You’ll emerge satisfied that you and your family were able to stay on track and make those resolutions realities.  When your space functions as you need it, you feel more organized and supported. Bonus: you’ll get to go somewhere new without leaving your home!



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

With many gyms closed or operating at minimum capacity, a home gym has never sounded more appealing. You can even find affordable home gym equipment that gets the job done just as efficiently as a commercial gym can.

The Rise of at-Home Fitness

Some people are just simply bored and have replaced pre-Covid outings with working out safely from their home. This healthy decision does come at a cost but includes overall savings compared to a gym membership. To help with your home gym efforts, we’ve gathered some resources and low-budget products that will help you get fit without breaking the bank.

Space Saving Ideas

We all don’t have a dedicated fitness room in our home, so it can be beneficial to find compact home gym equipment and dual-purpose products. Try a door pull-up bar or punching bag that’s discreet and doesn’t need any complicated installation. You can also take advantage of mini steppers that help you meet your cardio goals while taking up limited space in your home, and resistance bands can adjust the difficulty of workouts while being applied to numerous types of equipment and exercises. 

DIY Gym Equipment

If you’re feeling handy, you can build your own workout equipment from the comfort of your own home. You can use pipes to create a pull-up bar, squat rack, gymnastics bar, weight rack, and even monkey bars if you want to turn your home into a home gym playground. If you have carpentry skills, you can make a dip station or pull blocks out of plywood.

Digital Personal Trainers

The modern digital era has made it easier than ever to receive fitness training from home, and even on a budget. We’re not all familiar with the proper workouts for our particular goals, so training sessions are a great way to receive instructions on how to safely and effectively achieve the results you’re looking for. 

Personal trainers can cost a lot each month, but now you can access free Youtube videos, affordable online training subscriptions, and technology products that keep track of your activity and health. More and more people are purchasing fitness watches such as Fitbit and the Apple Watch, and these devices are great at helping you stay on track with your fitness goals. 

Get Active From Home

Technological advances and the rising market of home gym equipment have made it easier than ever to create a home gym. You can use this time in quarantine to work on some DIY projects to create your own equipment, and also find some great deals on compact and dual-purpose products that can safely be delivered to your home. Take advantage of your time at home to improve your health and wellness, and save some money too.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

Ever wonder what magic tricks interior designers have up their sleeves? There’s no secret. It’s just an understanding of what’s aesthetically pleasing to the eye, and why. And like so many things in life that work well, it’s all about balance. Considering where you place objects – your favorite things – is key to pulling off a professional looking interior design.


When hanging artwork, first look at the big picture. Make sure the scale of the piece doesn’t over- or underwhelm the wall where it will live. Ask yourself if the content and colour of the art complement the room as a whole. Typically, artwork should hang at eye level. But don’t discount the occasional element of surprise by positioning an eye-catching picture above a doorframe, or running an elongated series of images over a desk, serving as an exaggerated architectural element.


When creating a collage of artwork, find a common denominator that runs through the collection such as similar framing, matting or subject matter. A connecting thread may be the collective uniqueness of the featured items – some of the most dramatic statements are made this way. A smart plan is to lay out your vision for the wall on the floor first, or have a friend hold up your artwork before nailing away. Then stand back and see what you think. If it feels right, it probably is – if not, the composition may need small tweaks here and there. Take your time to get it right. After all, this is the part of the room that expresses your personality and adds the wow factor.


Think twice about the amount of colour. Stick to one main hue in the room and a complementing accent colour or two – anything more can overly complicate the overall design. Another simple, yet ultra-sophisticated, approach is to introduce one single colour in varying shades for quiet impact.


However you decide to leave your signature stamp on your interior design, remember that properly placed artwork and an oh-so-right aesthetic is well worth your while – and one that may even turn out to be sheer bliss.


Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter

Read full post

With shorter days and more hours of darkness in autumn and winter, turn to the power of indoor lighting as a solution – never underestimate its brilliance. Clever lighting can transform the look and feel of your home with the flip of a switch. While natural sunlight streaming inside is ideal, sometimes the clouds and snow rain on our sunshine parade. When that happens, rely on a variety of lighting sources to brighten things up. You’ll notice, it’s not a one-bulb-fits-all sort of situation.


General lighting is the workhorse of illumination. For the most part, it’s utilitarian in nature but an essential and practical starting point. It brings uniformity and functionality to a room. This is a direct form of light, typically found from a ceiling pendant or chandelier and increases in versatility with the addition of a dimmer control.


Ambient lighting works alongside general lighting but is more indirect, more intriguing and fools the eye with magical illusion. It helps soften harsh shadows and brings major impact through light sources such as wall sconces, voluminous upturned torchieres and hidden coffered ceiling lights.


Mood lighting comes on soft, but its subtle effects make a bold statement. Never glaring or harsh, it brightens otherwise shadowy corners and makes unexpected appearances in ways like hanging, amber-lit Moravian stars. It lends high-style and a certain je ne sais quoi. For an exceptional interior ambience, you must include mood lighting, darling.


Task lighting puts a lot of voltage into getting the job done and doesn’t need to look like its hard at work. Whether it’s a sleek chrome arm lamp over a desk, hidden under-counter kitchen lights or spot-on overhead pendants, task lights should always be offset by companion lighting to soften the contrast of their high-intensity brightness.


Accent lighting is the drama queen of the bunch. It takes centerstage and spotlights key artwork or decorative elements and draws the eye in. It works harder to steal the show than mood lighting, so it requires brighter light at the point of interest.


Treat lighting as an art element. Let it conjure atmosphere and breathe life into an otherwise uninspired room. Try uplighting and lowlighting, spotlighting and strategic lighting. Whichever way you turn up the wattage on the illuminating possibilities in your home, enjoy basking in the power of beautiful light.

Read full post

Fall is a critical time for yard maintenance because the manner in which you care for it in the fall determines how well it bounces back in the spring. Follow these imperative yard-care tips and you’ll have the nicest lawn in the neighborhood come spring.


Tip #1: Keep Mowing


Many homeowners assume that with cooler weather comes a reduction in the growth of grass. While this is partially true, it doesn’t mean you should skip mowing your yard. The arrival of fall weather might mean that your grass takes longer to reach a height that requires trimming, but it will continue to grow until the first frost of the season. Keep mowing and watering your yard as necessary to keep it healthy in the fall. Also, be sure to lower your mower’s deck height to a low setting for the final two cuts of the season.


Cutting your grass shorter the last two times you mow for the season allows more of the sunlight to reach the soil. Just remember not to go too low and scalp your lawn.


Tip #2: Aerate the Soil


Fall is the best time of year to aerate the soil on your property. You can rent a gas-powered, walk-behind aerator from your local Home Depot or Lowe’s for roughly $70. Aeration enables more water, oxygen and fertilizer to easily reach the roots of your grass. One of the reasons it is critical at this time of year is because most northern grass varieties have their greatest level of root growth in the fall. Feeding that growth now powers a better bounce back in the spring.


Tip #3: Fill in Bald Patches


As we just mentioned, fall is the most potent time of year for root growth, which makes it a great time of year to fill in those bald patches in your lawn. Depending upon the size of those bald spots, an all-in-one lawn repair mixture is the ideal option because it combines grass seed, lawn fertilizer and organic mulch all in one bag that you spread over the bald spot. Simply water the mixture and it will germinate in the coming weeks for full coverage and a healthier yard in the spring.


Tip #4: Fertilize for Spring


Speaking of healthy grass in the spring, now’s a good time to fertilize your entire yard. There’s never a bad time of year to fertilize, but if you are only going to do it once a year, fall is the time. Again, remember that your grass roots are growing at their fastest rate in the fall. Also, the rhizomes — horizontal planes below the soil that sprout your blades above and sink roots below — are growing quickly at this time of year. The best time of year to add fertilizer is late in the fall.


Tip #5: Kill Weeds


Broadleaf weeds grow quickly because of their ability to capture water and quickly go to seed.  This makes fall the best time to apply a weed killing herbicide because the weeds will drink it in thinking it’s a nutrient.


Tip #6: Clear the Leaf Falls


Last but not least, don’t forget to clear the leaf falls from the trees on your property. It might not be fun, but it’s important to get out as frequently as you can to remove the leaf fall from your grass because the longer it sits there, the more problems it can cause. The thicker your leaf cover gets, the more moisture it holds in from rains and morning dew. The additional moisture not only suffocates your yard, but it also breeds fungal diseases. 



Source: Coldwell Banker Blue Matter


Read full post
The Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) IDX Reciprocity listings are displayed in accordance with SRA's MLS® Data Access Agreement and are copyright of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA).
The above information is from sources deemed reliable but should not be relied upon without independent verification. The information presented here is for general interest only, no guarantees apply.
Trademarks are owned and controlled by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA). Used under license.
MLS® System data of the Saskatchewan REALTORS® Association (SRA) displayed on this site is refreshed every 2 hours.