Festive Flooring Upgrades For Your Holiday Home

Tis the season to put your best foot forward…literally! Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring is just what you need to upgrade your holiday home. Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring (LVP) is the perfect solution because it’s so realistic yet it can take all the wear and tear holiday homes can bring. Whether it is a mountainside chalet in Whistler or a cottage in Muskoka, you need to select flooring that will stand up to snow, sand, mud, and salt.

Holidays are when memories are made. Canadians are investing more and more in a vacation property, so why not make your holiday home a place to relax and enjoy.  Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring means never having to worry about your flooring, as the kids run in and out from building a snowman, racing down the slopes, or simply sitting by the fire as big fluffy snowflakes make magic outside.


Interior designer Fiona Roeske, is the Specification Specialist for the 4 Corners brand of LVP, www.4Corners.ca explains why Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring is so popular with designers. “Not only are the colours beautiful, but the textures make this flooring so realistic, you think it’s real wood.  It’s also water-resistant and dampens sounds. The best part: LVP is super durable and able to withstand all kid and pets’ activities, all at an amazingly affordable price,” explains Fiona. “My clients absolutely love this product!”

Over four hundred retailers across Canada carry the 4 Corners brand of Luxury Vinyl Plank Flooring due their exceptional selection and service, so chances are there is a dealer near you. Each LVP plank is comprised of several layers with an antimicrobial coating and is water, scratch, and stain resistant, making 4 Corners LVP flooring the perfect flooring option. The high standards of their mill in South Korea, also ensure the 4 Corners brand of LVP flooring satisfies Green Building Standards.

DIY enthusiasts find it easy to install. It is versatile; easy to clean and maintain. Not only that, it will last longer than other flooring choices without the high price tag. It can quickly transform any home by being able to go over other floors such as hardwood or even ceramic. The floors are flexible too; you can easily pull up one plank if needed rather than having the nightmare of undoing click together flooring.

“I’ve been installing vinyl flooring in the Greater Toronto Area for 16 years. For the last 2 years, I’ve been installing 4 Corners Luxury Vinyl Plank flooring. The contemporary colours, ease of install, makes this economically positive. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend this product,” says Shawn Daley of Generations Flooring.

So as you light the fireplace this holiday, enjoy entertaining your family and friends on your beautiful LVP flooring.

Written by Lesley Diana and Fiona Roeske

Interior Designer Fiona Roeske is the founder of Isabella’s Haus www.isabellashaus.com and the Specification Specialist for the 4 Corners Flooring www.4Corners.caworking with designers across Canada for their flooring needs. She has spent much of her life traveling to Europe developing her love of European art and architecture. Fiona divides her time between her homes in France and Canada, importing fabulous European antiques from chateaus and castles across Europe for Isabella’s Haus.

fiona@4Corners.ca or Fiona@Isabellashaus.com

Lesley Diana
is a publicist and freelance journalist. She has worked on many high profile feature film projects and TV series for Sony Pictures and eOne and many others. As a personal publicist to some of Canada’s most talented actors she also works with HGTV’s ‘Worst to First’ and host Todd Talbot. Lesley is the author of a nationally published book and writes articles for Drift Travel and Niche Magazine. www.thepromotionpeople.ca, lesley@thepromotionpeople.ca

What are the Benefits of Waterproofing your Basement?

Water is the source of life, but it can also be your home’s biggest enemy. From the slow spread of mold and mildew to the sudden appearance of a swamp in your basement, there are many ways that moisture can seep in and destroy your home from the foundation up. You may not always be able to predict a leak or flood, but professional basement waterproofing in Toronto will go a long way toward preventing the need for foundation crack repair and other structural fixes.

Strong Homes Begin With a Solid Foundation

Your basement is more than just bonus space under your house. It’s also the foundation upon which the entire structure stands. Depending on the depth of your basement, your basement or crawl space may be more susceptible to moisture buildup. Even if it never floods, mold can develop on walls, flooring, and ceiling support beams, which are the elements responsible for propping up the rest of your home.

If your basement is unfinished or you haven’t committed to basement waterproofing, wood, stone, and cement construction materials can begin to crumble slowly over time. Your indoor air quality may also become affected.

Most homeowners in the GTA don’t even think about their foundation until there’s a major problem and they need to find a basement foundation repair specialist. However, there are signs that indicate that your foundation is vulnerable, including:

l  Soil buildup near the foundation. Even if your yard is level, the soil around your house should slope away from the foundation by about 6 inches for the first 10 feet.

l   If you stand some distance away from your home and look straight-on, do any of the walls or the roof appear to be bowing or curved? That might be a sign of settling.

l  Are there cracks in the foundation that are wider than 1/16th of an inch? These will only become bigger if you don’t get the foundation repaired and sealed.

Signs That Your Basement is in Trouble

You don’t necessarily need a soaking wet basement to see there’s a problem present. Basement leak repair may be required to address an issue that’s been festering for a while. There are five tell-tale signs that there’s a problem in your basement before flood waters pour in, and they can be easy to miss.

l  Damp walls or floors—Even if there is no standing water or moisture stains and the rest of your basement is dry, damp patches on the wall or floor can indicate tiny cracks in the foundation. You might notice that some areas are darker than others or feel cold and damp to the touch. Left unattended, the area will become weaker over time and lead to major flooding in a heavy rain.

l  Stains—Water comes and goes in small amounts. There may be issues with sweating walls when the air is humid that you don’t see at the time. The water will evaporate, but it will leave a subtle stain behind.

l  Humidity—If you notice that the air feels heavier in your basement than the rest of the house, you probably have a lot of humidity. Many people also house their laundry room in the basement, which can add to the problem. This won’t lead to major flooding, but it’s the perfect environment for mold and mildew to set in.

l  Efflorescence—This a white powder or crusty substance that might appear on basement walls and floors. It’s caused by minerals that are left behind after water evaporates.

l  Musty smells—If you’ve ever been in a basement or crawlspace that has a damp, musty odor, you’ve been in the presence of a moisture problem. This is usually the first sign that mold or mildew are present even before you can see them.

Your home is more vulnerable to moisture damage and flooding if it’s an older home, if it sits below the water table, or if your property has improper drainage. Professional waterproofing in Toronto is one of the most reliable wet basement solutions there is. You should also have your home inspected once a year from roof to foundation to look for issues like:

l  Missing or broken downspouts and gutters

l  Cracked foundations

l  The presence of mold and mildew

l  Excessive settling

The Benefits of Waterproofing

There are no benefits to having a leaky basement, but there are plenty of advantages to waterproofing your basement! The benefits of crack repair and waterproofing can be divided between aesthetics, health, and cost-effectiveness.

l  Waterproofing will get your basement ready for remodeling.

l  Fixing your wet basement will avoid health problems that result from toxic, damp air.

l  Floors that have been waterproofed are easier to clean and maintain.

l  Your foundation will be stronger.

l  You’ll add bonus space to your home.

l  A finished waterproof basement adds to your home’s value and marketability should you decide to sell.

l  Waterproofing your basement lowers the humidity in your house and improves energy efficiency.

What is Underpinning?

Underpinning your basement is a go-to solution if the structural damage has become severe due to shifting or instability. This usually happens if the soil in the area has changed or if the original foundation was inadequate for the conditions. Basement underpinning adds height to your foundation to prevent flooding and improve function.

Finding the Right Contractor

The cost of waterproofing your basement is negligible when you compare it to the price of underpinning your basement or the costs of fixing basement leaks. Your waterproofing contractors should be licensed and certified and appear to have a deep knowledge of problems and possible solutions, and they should also be able to answer your questions directly in a way that’s easy to understand. The best ones will offer a free written estimate that’s accurate for time and total cost.

Noreen MacRae
GJ MacRae Foundation Repair

905 824 2557 Mississauga, ON
Since 1975 – The original full service foundation repair people.

Add Drama to your Powder Room!

Think of your powder room as the perfect place for a new, experimental design project. This compact space can be as dramatic as you’d like, where you can explore the latest in décor and design without busting the budget.

Here are just a few ways to add some drama.

Go to the dark side

Choosing rich, dark shades of charcoal grey, navy blue, chocolate brown or black will create the perfect base for a dramatic palette. Coating ceilings, walls, doors and door frames in the same colour reduces contrast and the room’s edges almost disappear, leaving you with the jewel box ready for its gems.
Since it’s a small room, consider splurging on some expensive wallpaper in the same dark shade. You can find patterns that have a hint of glimmer, a subtle reflective quality. It’s on trend right now and just needs some light to make it shine.

Lighting? Bring on the bling!

I’m a firm believer in layered lighting, especially in the powder room. Lighting can change everything—from functional to glamourous. Installing pot-lights (even just one) in the ceiling is a good upgrade for the room. That crisp, downlight is a good way to light surfaces. Avoid the flycatchers, those upside down “dishes” that light up the ceiling instead of what’s below (and are a good source for dead flies). Chandeliers add sophistication and set the reflective surfaces shimmering. In addition, add cross-illumination or side lights like pendant lights that hang on either side of the mirror, or choose show-stopping sconces. Some bathroom vanities now feature under-mounted lighting to reflect the floor—great for a night light. Choose the prettiest, shiniest, most glamourous lighting you can handle. The blingier the better.

Mirror, mirror…everywhere!
Mirrors offer three wonderful things; style, shine and a perfect reflection of you. Whether an entire wall is covered in smoky subway tiles, or it covers the vanity, mirrored surfaces add double the drama in the room. Make sure there is always something interesting for the mirror to reflect, like framed artwork.

Add dramatic flair to the floor

When it comes to flooring, tile in the powder room is a great choice. Because of the limited floor area, you may want to go all out on your choice. Go for a glossy or reflective surface for a rich dramatic look. Since you’re covering a small area, it’s also an opportunity to add a personal touch by creating your own pattern.

From soap to knobs

From the vanity to the soap dish, there are lots of choices for powder room upgrades. Today, the dresser-as-vanity trend continues, you can find a great selection of styles at Decorating Details in Mississauga (www.decoratingdetails.ca)

We’re seeing more custom-made cabinetry that looks like furniture, but you can transform the look for less by upgrading faucets, taps, cabinet pulls, and knobs. Go ahead and mix your metals, from copper to gold and bronze. Even one, new, cherish-able soap dish can add drama to a powder room.

Jane Lockhart is an award-winning designer, TV personality, author and one of Canada’s leading design experts. Jane is Principal Designer of the Toronto firm she founded in 1997, Jane Lockhart Interior Design (www.janelockhart.com). In addition to her full slate of projects, Jane has designed and manufactured two lines of furnishings, Jane By Jane Lockhart and Jane Lockhart Platinum.

Did You Know Your Home Can Work for You?

What if you were told that while you travel your home could continue to make you money? It’s true! The era of home sharing is here and as we look for ways to integrate our home into our lifestyles, there are ways to get your space working for you even when you’re away. It may seem strange to have complete strangers in your space while you’re not, but home sharing and guest houses account for millions of listings across the world. Glen Peloso, principal designer of Grafus Design Build & Studio shared everything you need to know before you consider getting your home ready to start bringing in the dough and feel more like a hotel.

Personal Items need to GO!

An excess of photos, your grandchild’s macaroni fridge art, and family heirlooms are all things that you should consider removing before guests arrive.“People who are sharing your home, want to feel ’at home,’” says Peloso. “The more personal things you leave in a house, the more guests feel like they are imposing on your space.” Try swapping family photos with a gallery style display of wall art. Anything contemporary that compliments your décor esthetic, either with a common theme or similar colour palette in an array of sizes will allow your walls to look less bare and provide a touch of understated sophistication.

When it comes to bedding, go above and beyond

When travelling, people often splurge on a hotel to avoid staying with friends and family. No one likes to sleep on the dreaded “guest bed” or worse, a used sofa or futon. Be sure to avoid giving your home share guests this experience at all costs. “Invest in a great sheet set, cotton sateen with a 450 – 650 thread count is ideal. A combination of both down and “down alternate” are great for sleeping and providing neck support,” says Peloso. “Finish the bed off with lots of pillows— Ideally you want to give that full and luxurious look, and have your guests feeling pampered and cared for.”

Have your bathroom screaming spa-cation

The bathroom—the one room in the house that needs to be in tip-top shape, and at supreme cleanliness. Even the slightest misstep in this room can have guests poo-pooing their experience and send your ratings down. Updating fixtures and supplying thick, white terry cloth towels and bathmats are easy ways to add elegance and will help visitors forget that they’re not in a 5-star hotel.

Accessorize, the extra touches go a long way

Travellers use home sharing site to find guest houses to enjoy a more relaxed stay, with all of the amenities of an actual home. Ensuring that the check-in process is simple and seamless is a must! To aid in this try integrating smart home items like connected door locks, these allow you to give your visitors access at the touch of a button. Adding in a few small touches to your space will ensure your guests will have a great stay and leave happy. Accessories like throw blankets, pillows and other decorative accents are key elements that will give your guests comfort, and ensure they are given an experience, rather than justa place to stay. A memorable experience will have your guests raving about your home and sure to rebook in the future!

Glen Peloso is the Creative Principal of Grafus Design and operates a retail store of the same name, in Toronto’s King East Design district. He has designed more than 300 residential and commercial projects in various countries around the world and brings almost 20 years’ experience, creating environments that marry clients’ lifestyles and personalities with the architecture of their space.

This article was created specifically for HomeFest presented by Booking.com, which will take place again in the Fall of 2019.

Fall/Winter 2018 Trends

Cold weather awaits. The summer months are over, fall is approaching — and winter won’t be far behind. While there may not be much to look forward to from a weather standpoint, there’s one thing that fall and winter bring to the table: redesign inspiration. The beautiful texture and colour trends of 2018 will warm up your home and make you fall in love with your space all over again. Glen Peloso, Creative Principal of Grafus Design has curated a list of all the right ways to restyle without any big renovations or hassle.

From velvet pillows to brass tone finishes, this piece will provide you with all the tips to spruce up your home for the colder seasons, bringing warmth into your home with décor.

1    Huge Floral Prints Whether it’s incorporated into your wall art, wall paper or fabrics, large floral prints have now made their way from beautiful tattoos into our homes in a BIG way. When incorporating this trend into your space, don’t be shy, think bold, oversized and colourful.

2    Marble: Black and White or Green! As we move into fall, black and white, and the revival of green veined marble will be a fresh new addition. Despite coming with a more hefty price tag, green veined marble will make a big statement and set you apart from the “black and white” group. It can be incorporated into any room and in a vast variety of forms, including counter tops, coffee tables and smaller applications such as coasters, vases etc…

3    Velvet Everything Nothing says opulence or adds texture to a room like velvet. This versatile fabric is showing up on every search engine. Think curtains, upholstery, accessories pillows and throws. You can now get velvet in just about ANY colour, to add a little “lux” to any room!

4    Muted Brass Tones A great alternative to the polished nickel, rose gold and stainless steel we’ve seen, muted brass is surprisingly warm and won’t overshadow other pieces in your space, particularly when paired with marble in kitchens and bathrooms and velvet in other areas of the home. Mix this metal with any other for a layered textured look.

5    Sheep Shearling Fur has always been a staple in interior décor, real or faux, that shearling texture is “velvet to the next level”. Classic mid-century modern silhouettes upholstered in shelling fabrics, pillows, throws, bedding or area rugs are all the rage and offer a functional soft touch to your space. Don’t feel constrained to the classic white styles, these pieces can add some depth to your colour pallet in every colour in the rainbow.

And the beauty in all these trends is that all these luxury materials mix perfectly together!

Peloso has appeared as host and designer on several television series including RESTAURANT MAKEOVER, TAKE THIS HOUSE AND SELL IT, and RENOVATE MY WARDROBE.

Also a design journalist, Glen contributes regularly and has been featured in many newspapers and magazines across the country and internationally. He currently writes a design column for The Toronto Star’s “New in Homes” section in the Saturday edition of the newspaper. He is also the national design editor for Canadian Homes Trends magazine, a regular contributor to Niche magazine, On the Go magazine, and Post City Magazine (Homes).

This article was created specifically for HomeFest presented by Booking.com, which will take place again in the Fall of 2019.

About the Author

Supplement posts produced by the Home Editor team present industry leaders' commentary on Home Improvement, Renovation and Outdoor Living.