A Family That Works Together Stays Together - The Benefits of Building a Family Home Office

Don’t Sacrifice Family Time for Work Time

With a space built for not only yourself but your spouse and children to work on on business, bills, homework, hobbies and art means work at home can be a shared experience, and more time together is never a bad thing.

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Motivate and Inspire Each Other

Seeing others work encourages you to get started and to keep going. Discussing your projects in progress can spark ideas for 'other family members’ projects. Sometimes even the most dissimilar project can become relevant in some small way.

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Editors-In-Training

Sometimes a pair of fresh eyes is what is most needed. Having people around to ask quick questions, bounce ideas off of or solicit quick proofreads from can help you polish and improve your work.

Setting an Example

When your kids see you working and focusing, it can encourage them to complete their homework. Kids are always watching, even you think they’re not; they are absorbing your habits. If they see that you value hard work they will value it as well.

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What To Include

A HIGH TOP TABLE - This makes for a great desk to use both with bar-hight chairs or stools, or as a standing desk. Standing can improve circulation and alertness, and is generally better for your health than sitting. You can alternate between standing and sitting, or stand at the desk to complete quick tasks without a chair to pull you in for longer than is required.

LOTS OF STORAGE !! Storage for your kids’ stuff, storage for yours and your spouse’s stuff, office supplies, art supplies, printer supplies; everything you need should be right there, this way there’s no excuses for getting things done. Having everything organized and at your fingertips prevents procrastination. You can also consider not putting everything away. Leaving out the items used most often can encourage you to work on your project. Getting out all your materials can become just another excuse to justify putting off getting to work.

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HEADPHONES - Even though working together is nice, sometimes outside noises can become distracting. Together in silence is still together. Sometimes one member needs to watch a video or listen to to an audio file but does not want to disturb the others. Headphones are a great way to work side by side without breaking each others’ concentration.

WINDOWS - The sun can be invigorating, keeping you energized and alert while working while also providing light.

What Not to Include

A TV! - TV’s are distracting and aren’t required to get down to business!

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A Family office is more than just a space, it is a lifestyle; supporting and encouraging each other as a unit. It means getting more done and spending more time together.











Railings without Barriers

Railings without barriers - barriers to design that is. The often underappreciated, understated deck railing dos not have to go unnoticed. Vertical wood beams are not your only option. Here are a few alternatives

Garden Wall

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Use a landscape retaining wall as your deck’s railing. A Thick wall filled with dirt to expnds your garden space and provides beautiful decor for your deck.

Tree Branches

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Use found tree branches as spindles, or even in the construction of your entire railing to create a sense of variation. It compliments our biophilia; that innate tendency to connect with nature by creating a fluidity between what is man-made and what is natural.

Privacy Screen

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Adding a privacy screen to the top of your railing, or continuing all the way to the deck floor not only provides privacy but a place for vines and flowers to grow, and twinkle lights to be hung. It also lends to other design possibilities such as hanging decor, and the light reflections created by the shape of the negative space. Horizontal slats, vertical slats, lattice pattens and other wood designs, as well as metal are available for creating a unique privacy wall.

Bar Rail

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Add some functionality to your railing by transforming it into a bar rail to enjoy burgers and beers on the deck. It also provides an opportunity to select stools to contribute to your aesthetic.

Sunburst & Criss-Cross

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There are endless wood patterns that can be created with the spindles of your deck. The farm-like criss-cross pattern can often be found on the decks of beach houses but can, of course, be used on any deck. The sunburst design is bright and cheery. It breaks away from the rigidity of horizontal or vertical lines allowing for a sophisitcated playfulness.

Bench

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Use flat, horizontal slats to create a backrest for a built-in bench. You can also create a backless bench with built-in flower boxes as your posts. A bench creates additional seating, extra space and provides design opportunities for pillows and throws and other decor.

Glass

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Glass, or plexiglass, provides the greatest view, undisrupted by spindles and designs. You can also get an opaque or tinted glass which lets in light but allows for more privacy while also preventing birds from accidents with birds flying into glear glass. If you are using glass rather than plexiglass, be sure to select tempered, shatterproof safety glass.

Metal

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Rock on! Powder-coated aluminum is rust proof and incredibly easy to maintain. It is available in a number of colours and designs.

Cable

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Cable railings, like glass, make for excellent views. They often contribute to a modern aesthetic.

Chippendale & Craftsman Styles

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More wood designs! The list could go on forever, but these are just another couple common wood railing designs. The chippendale design is on the left, creating amazing light patterns and energizing effect. The craftsman design is on the right, adding interest but remains calm and conservative.










Green with Sustainability Envy

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Incorporating sustainable principles into your home’s design has become increasingly important to consumers. Taking care of our planet is just as important as taking care of ourselves and our homes. Homeowners aim to design using products that reduce energy, pollution and waste without compromising on functionality or aesthetics

Energy Efficiency

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Homes with high energy efficiency are not only good for your wallet, but help to reduce greenhouse gasses and conserve resources.

Using high quality insulated windows and doors can help regulate the rooms temperature without letting in unwanted cold and heat. The same is true for quality curtains. They make a surprising contribution to not only keeping light out, but heat from the sun as well. They also help to prevent heat from escaping during the winter.

The use of alternative heating, such as underfloor heating can be used to heat a room in a way that is often more energy efficient than other heating systems. The use of solar panels, unlike power plants, produce energy without any waste or emissions.

Smart homes are another great way to precisely control your home’s temperature and lights to ensure only what is required is on and in use. This ease of use and precision prevents wasted energy.

Choosing Materials with Low Environmental Impact

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When selecting materials for building during your homes renovations, or looking at the materials of items you purchase, materials from renewable resources, such as bamboo help prevent the depletion of non-renewables. But it is not just the materials themselves but how they are exrtacted, the process through which which they are manufactured, packaged and shipped. The FAC label found on wood, for example, is used to identify wood that has been harvested with little impact to the environment.

Local items require less transportation which reduces, for example, vehicle emissions. Handmade items, unlike those manufactured in a factory, do not affect the environment in the process of their construction. With the ubiquity of the internet and social media, it is easier than ever to get our hands on handmade items and local businesses and craftspeople in the process.

Upcycling

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Upcycling is a modern day term for what our grandparents called recycling. The idea is that if something goes out of fashion, or is about to be thrown out, we can not only give it a new life, but a better one. Recover your sofa, paint or stain a piece of furniture, add new hardware to your cupboards, turn an old chest into a coffee table. You can upcycle your own items, or purchase items that have been upcycled by somebody else. There are also a number of products made completely from recycled materials. Wth the emergence of trends such as ecclecticism, maximalism, and a growing number of other design trends that pull inspiration from the past, someone else’s junk can become your beautifully antique feature piece.

Durability

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Choose durable items that will withstand the intensity and messiness of everyday life in order to prevent waste. Consider the lifespan of your materials and choose quality over quantity. Design your space with easy maintenance; if it’s easy to maintain, it is less likely to be neglected and will last longer.

Air Quality

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Our personal environment, inside our home, is just as important as the earth’s environment as a whole. It is all one in the same. The quality of air, heating, ventilation, lighting and acoustics should all be considered as they can all affect our health, negatively or positively. it’s not only outdoors and in cities where this pollution collects and is created. There is such a thing as indoor air pollution as well. It is caused by products with high levels of toxic emissions. Items treated with harmful chemicals can release those toxins into the air. To determine this, look for items with low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) when selecting materials. Proper circulation keeps the air fresh, as well as oxygen-producing plants. Natural light exposure is also important for mental and physical well being and should also be considered when designing a space.









I never thought to do that...

We "Sais" the "Je ne sais quoi" that gives a home its spark. Here’s a few less than obvious trends you may not have thought of.

Double Trouble Islands

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This functional and beautiful use of two kitchen islands is displayed in this kitchen from our recent project in Aurora. It provides extra storage, seating and counter space, & makes use of the generous kitchen layout.

A Touch of Wallpaper

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Patterns and bold design are often found in pillows, throws and rugs but often neglected on our walls. Inject a little extra interest with a wallpaper piece, used as a feature wall, to fill a niche, or an entire room. Even your washer and dryer should have a little pizazz.

All Brass All the Time

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Chrome and brushed nickel are not the only finishes. Brass, especially, is an elegant way to feature your piping and plumbing.

Moulding Walls

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Wall mouldings bring three-dimensional texture and depth to something as vast and plain as your walls. It’s a subtle, yet creative way to transform a wall into a low-relief sculpture.

Mix it Up - Fabrics & Textures

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A collage of textures and fabrics bring life to your sofa and chairs. Sometimes the details can bring a room together and make it feel like home. Mix leathers, velvets, furs, rattan, canvas & cotton for a more dimensioned look.

Shiplap Walls

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Shiplap panels are peel and stick planks with a real wood veneer for a wood-look textured wall that’s easy to clean. Available in a variety of colours and appearances, such as a more notched and grainy rustic wood or a smoother white wood as pictured here. A simple way to create an excellent feature wall in any room, including the bathroom! We love the Wallplanks brand.

Industrial Sliders

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Inside outside, outside inside. These industrial sliders are more than sliding doors. They disappear into the wall, or fold for a dramatic entrance / exit to your room. With a black frame and grid, its industrial design turns a door into a bold art piece.

Colour of the Year

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Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year, Metropolitan AF-690 is a cool grey. It’s neutrality is a great canvas for some of the other bolder choices listed here.

Flat Finish Paint

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It’s not just the paint colour to be considered, but the paint finish. “Flat”, which is an ultra matte finish, is a minor, yet modern “finish” to the room. No one does flat better than Farrow & Ball, with their Estate Emulsions finish, featured above.

Slab Porcelain Walls

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Tiles have been increasing in size, but they have gone beyond the usual tile sizes to a large slab for a grand and luxurious appearance with minimal grout lines. For feature walls, showers, fireplaces & more.

The above ideas you might not have thought of, but will bring that extra piece of finish and style to your home.

But now…..you’ve thought of them.

Sink Your Teeth In

Kohler Artist Adition sink in Imperial Blue

Kohler Artist Adition sink in Imperial Blue

Bathroom sinks are often overlooked when envisioning the design of your space due to their assumed boring and generic nature. But this should not be so! There is amazing variety, personality and style that can be found in the shapes, colours and materials used to create insta-worthy bathroom sinks.

Texture

Kohler Derring sink

Kohler Derring sink

Subtle and elegant textures added to the surface the sink bring intrigue and a sense of quality to the sink. Try white on white for something more subdued , or the high contrast of a bolder colour such as above.

Derring pattern

Derring pattern

Sartorial Pattern

Sartorial Pattern

Copper

Copper

Copper

Copper is a bold and colourful natural material that makes for a fantastic statement sink. Available in a shiny finish to bring some glam to your bathroom, or a more serious and masculine antique copper as shown below in this unique rectangular drop-in sink.

Antique Copper

Antique Copper

Tempered Copper

Tempered Copper

Tempered copper, especially in a vessel installation type, is rustic, earthy, and natural. It pairs great with a reclaimed vanity as shown above.

Artist Edition

Kohler Caravan Persia Artist Edition sink

Kohler Caravan Persia Artist Edition sink

Artist Edition sinks are a beautiful amalgamation of aesthetics and practicality. Companies such as Kohler, have collaborated with painters, photographers and artist to bring unique patterns and designs to their bathroom sinks. These sinks are a work of art and can become the focal point of your bathroom’s design.

Kohler Dutchmaster Artist Edition sink

Kohler Dutchmaster Artist Edition sink

This pattern comes from the “florography” (Floral photography) of artist Ashley Woodson Bailey.

Nickel

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Another beautiful metal that can bring harmony to your chrome and brushed nickel faucets with it’s corresponding shiny and brushed finishes for a cohesive look.

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Glass

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Glass

Glass is a material that can be both modern and classic; creating fun and interest but also sophistication. It can easily be paired with all colours and finishes and creates a unique effect as it displays the motion of the water. It is available in a number of patterns and shapes as well.

Glass

Glass

Concrete

Cement and natural jute fibre

Cement and natural jute fibre

These concrete sinks are made of a breakthrough combination of cement and natural jute fibre. They are bold and unapologetic in their design, bringing a substantial presence to your bathroom.

 

These are only a few of the unique materials, shapes and designs available for bathroom sinks. In additional to a number of installation types, colours and finishes, your sink can be just as stylish and intriguing as the rest of your design elements #sinkyourteethin to sink design.

Let There Be Light!

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White cabinetry and light countertops are often used for the fresh and airy qualities they bring to a kitchen. 

But what is fresher than fresh air itself?

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Expanding your window space from counter to ceiling, or even ceiling to floor provides an expansive feeling and an exceptional amount of light and fresh air.

With the possibilities available for custom cabinetry, the loss of cabinets in exchange for windows can easily be accounted for in the efficiency of modern cabinetry design. 

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Your connection to nature can become even greater with the inclusion of large sliding and collapsable doors. Unlike average sliding doors with several divisions and thick frames, these doors can create a seamless threshold between interior and exterior to maximize nature’s positive effects.

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Increasing the amount of exposure to daylight you receive brings a number of health benefits such as improved mood and increased vitamin D, which can help prevent depression and SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). Keeping your mental health in check can in turn lead to improved physical health.

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Large doors and windows not only blur the lines between indoor and outdoor but create both the illusion of a larger room, as well as maximize all available space by encouraging use of outdoor patios and decks. With the removal of physical boundaries we can also remove mental boundaries, allowing greater freedom and possibility.

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How will you redefine your kitchen space? How will you bring the outdoors inside?

Don't Be A Square

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Be a chevron, perhaps?

A square grid is not your only option when it comes to your tile layout.

There are a number of interesting shapes and patterns that can be created with your tiles, and even unique locations they can be placed, such as between stairs on your staircase.

Use the images below as inspiration for new and exciting ways to style your tiles!

Unfinished Edge with an assortment of colours.

Unfinished Edge with an assortment of colours.

In a randomized pattern.

In a randomized pattern.

As a backdrop or feature wall.

As a backdrop or feature wall.

As a work of art, and as a shelf.

As a work of art, and as a shelf.

To separate your shower.

To separate your shower.

On your staircase.

On your staircase.

In a heart shape as wall decor.

In a heart shape as wall decor.

As colourful flowers.

As colourful flowers.

On your cabinet to match your wall.

On your cabinet to match your wall.

More chevrons with varying patterns and solids.

More chevrons with varying patterns and solids.

Bathroom Therapy

Transform your bathroom into an oasis of healing and relaxation through heat, light, sound, smell and massage

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Thermotherapy

Tubs with heat zones, such as those that include Bain Ultra’s WarmTouchShell technology transmit and circulate heat to specific areas of the body to promote healing and total relaxation. 

Once you emerge from the tub, continue your thermotherapy by stepping onto a floor heated with underfloor heating to remove the chill of tiles, and wrap yourself in a towel heated with a towel warmer.

It can’t get much cozier.

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Aromatherapy

Placing candles and essential oil diffusers throughout the bathroom can affect our psychological well-being in a number of positive ways, including reducing stress and anxiety. 

This can also be achieved with an integrated solution, such as BainUltra’s AromaCloud. It disperses a mist of water and essential oils and affixes directly to the tub deck.

The inclusion of plants and flowers in the bathroom can also contribute to scent, air quality and aesthetics.

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Chromatherapy

The colour and brightness of lights in the bathroom, or even  in the tub or shower itself can energize or calm your senses, or even regulate the production of serotonin and melatonin.

BainUltra’s Vedana is essentially a lightbox that can be installed anywhere in your bathroom, even directly in the shower, to alter mood and regulate circadian rhythm. 

Bathtubs, such as Kohler’s Underscore tub or BainUltra’s Illuzio tub include integrated LED lights for mood altering colour.

A similar chromatherapy effect can also be achieved with Smart LED colour-changing bulbs that can be controlled through your phone or Google Home. You can even created a number of different palettes by setting each bulb to a particular colour that when grouped together create a specific aesthetic or mood.

Even simple light switch dimmers can contribute to the ambience of the room.

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Hydrotherapy

There are a number of different jet tubs available with various massage techniques for muscle relaxation, and stress-release.

Kohler’s Bubble Massage tubs include zones of control to target specific areas of the body. 

Neptune’s Mass-Air system creates the experience of floating on a gentle could of bubbles, while their Activ-Air system has a more intense full-body effect.

BainUltra’s Geysair tubs emulate the Earths’ natural geysers for a stimulating massage effect.

Hydrotherapy can also be found in the shower with the inclusion of various body sprays, and rain heads for an all-encompassing shower experience. 

Even waterfall faucets and tub fillers can illicit a calming feeling.

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Sound therapy

Certain sound vibrations and frequencies can energize or calm your body and mind. 

Include a comfortable pair of wireless headphones or bluetooth speakers to help your mind focus and drown out distractions. Music can alter your emotions and states of mind. Waterproof speakers can allow you to place them directly in your shower or tub for total emersion.

The VibrAcoustic tub from Kohler is another great option for sound inclusion. Listen to a number of built-in compositions through the hidden speakers, or use their Bluetooth technology to sync your phone or other device for a personalized sound experience. 

The bathroom is not solely a place for hygiene, but a spa for mental and physical well-being. 

Tiles That Look Like Hardwood?

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Wood - look tiles can be porcelain or ceramic and are designed to mimic the appearance of hardwood, including wood grain, finish and plank size. 

The use of tiles over hardwood is beneficial in a number of ways, and it is now possible to attain these benefits while keeping the style, warmth and elegance of a hardwood floor. 

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Tough

Tiles are much more durable. They are less prone to the scratches, scrapes and gouges, especially in a home with children, pets and high-heeled shoes. 

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Water - Resistant

Tiles are the best option for damp areas such as bathrooms, kitchens, mud rooms, basements and entryways. They do not warp and expand with moisture as hardwood does, but with wood-like tiles you can maintain the cozy look of hardwood. 

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Easy To Clean

Messes and spills can be washed or wiped with soap and water, no special hardwood cleaners are required. They are also less likely to stain. 

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Grout

Create a unique look with the variety of grout colours available, or use minimum grout joint sizes to maintain a more authentic wood look an reduce overall maintenance.

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Endurance

Tiles last longer than hardwood and can increase your home’s resale value.

Budget

With the numerous tile options available, there is something for every budget. Less maintenance and damage and increased endurance means less cost in the long run. 

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Warmth

With the availability of underfloor heating systems, the issue of cold tiles is not longer relevant 

Wood-look tiles are a durable, stylish option that expand the possibilities of your home’s look, feel and functionality. 

















Tech Stuff for your Bathroom and Kitchen

Have you ever wanted to listen to the news while on the toilet?

Check out some of this Tech Stuff to make your life easier, and turn your day-to-day into an experience

Touchless Faucet

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A faucet such as the Kohler Sensate kitchen faucet allows you to turn the faucet on and a wave with a wave of your hand - or pot or spatula. When your hands are full, or covered in something messy, you have quick and easy access to your faucet. Not having to put that thing your holding down, just to turn on the water, streamlines your cooking and baking experience. It also keeps your kitchen and faucet cleaner and contributes to a more hygienic environment.

The motion sensor is precise in noticing your movement, but also in recognizing when you are simply working in the faucet area and not intending to turn on the faucet, preventing false activations. The faucet’s temperature memory maintains the temperature set during prior usage, whenever the faucet is turned off and on. Keep your hands free and your actions seamless with a touches faucet.

Toilet Seat Air Freshener

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Replace aerosols, toilet sprays and other odor masking solutions with a deodorizing toilet seat. A selection of scent cartridges are available, which fill your bathroom with a fresh, clean scent whenever the toilet is in use.

Digital Shower

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Kohler’s DTV+ is a complete shower system controlled by a touchscreen, eliminating manual levers and knobs. This multi-sensory shower experience, includes light, sound and steam. It includes pre-programmed spa experiences based on hydrotherapies which target different body parts and involve different sequences and temperatures, controlling every shower component. Start your day with an energizing experience and end with a relaxing one. Your shower is more than just a place for cleanliness, it is an experience for your body and mind.

Tech-Intelligent Toilet

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The Numi tech-intelligent toilet has a number of spa-like features and personal settings for a comfortable and tailored bathroom experience. It includes integrated Bluetooth speakers to keep up-to-date on news, enjoy a podcast, or relax with your favourite music playlist; all controlled with a convenient remote. The heated seat and foot warmer remove any chill, while a selection of eight ambient lights set the mood. The motion-activated seat cover keeps your hands clean and germ-free, while the self-cleaning wands keeps the toilet’s interior clean. The Numi provides a luxurious bathroom experience.

Shower Head Speaker

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The Moxie shower head with wireless speaker pairs with any enabled Bluetooth device for you to sing your heart out in the shower. The speaker pops out for recharging, and you can take it with you into any room to continue your morning karaoke.

Touchless Toilet & Kit

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Not only are touchless toilets available for your home, but touchless toilet kits can enable you to transform your existing toilet into a touchless one. This is a cost-effective way to minimize the spread of germs without replacing your toilet.

Renovation Realities - Golly!

How to be fully prepared for your home transformation

Decibal

It will be loud. There will be hammers and voices, furniture moving, people walking, and just when you think there’s silence…there won’t be. Relaxing will be tough, but its nothing a solid pair of wireless headphones can’t solve. Use them to drown out the noise while watching tv, listening to music or catching up on your favourite podcast.

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Day-to-Day

Your daily routine will be pushed around by contractors in your kitchen when you go for your morning brew, to tradesmen in your bathroom when you’re about to take a shower. Communicate with your project manager about which rooms they will be occupying and what their daily start and end times will be.

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Delays

Despite the project schedule you have been given, people are not robots, and even robots break down, so prepare to expect a few delays. Inclement weather, a broken down truck, a sick worker, are just a handful of unforseen dilemmas handed down by the fates. Be patient and expect a timeline longer than anticipated so you won’t be disappointed.

Drafts

Keep your coziest attire on hand. With contractors coming in and out, walls disrupted and windows changed, there will constantly be a draft from somewhere or something. After a few days that hideous snuggy will be looking extra good.

Dust

All the tarps and drop clothes in the world will not prevent all the mess. Expect dust and dirt, even where you don’t expect it. Try to store your clothes in bags or bins and prepare to wipe down even the most unusual surfaces once the reno is complete.

Dogs

Your daily life has been disrupted and so has that of your dog - or cat or bird or fish or tarantula. This can be distressing for them, so be sure to monitor their appetite and provide them with plenty of water to combat the dust. With people going in and out be sure they don’t escape. You may want to contain them in a single room or leave them with a friend.

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Done!

On the final day of your reno, after enduring all the inevitable side effects, you will appreciate it’s completion that much more. you will appreciate a working faucet, a clean house, a washing machine, more than you ever have. You’ll take in the magnificence of your new home and it will all be worth it!

Is there life beyond Homesense?

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As maximalism and eclecticism explode, it’s the perfect time for artisans to shine.

Rather than picking up that Ikea dresser that everyone owns or turning to Wayfair to find your next lamp, look to unique and custom designed textiles and home decor pieces.

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Heres why:

1. With countless patterns and and colours available, and the possibility to customize, you are guaranteed to achieve precisely THE LOOK YOU ARE LOOKING FOR.

Bettencourt Manor

Bettencourt Manor

2. ONLY YOU (and maybe a just a few others that are just as design-savvy as you) will have this amazing wallpaper or table which will make your space feel personal and unique.

Lulu and Georgia

Lulu and Georgia

3. SUPORT LOCAL ARTISANS by allowing them to do what they love and contributing to your local economy.

Rifle Paper Co

Rifle Paper Co

4. Every handmade, specially designed and vintage item is not just aesthetically pleasing but is IMBUED WITH A STORY of how it was made or came to be. This adds life and personality to your room.

Made by Madrigal

Made by Madrigal

5. A more INTERESTING, VISUALLY STIMULATING space will emerge!