(NC) As the change in weather has us retreating indoors, take some time to spruce up your interiors with these design ideas.


Play with paint. One of the most budget-friendly ways to change up a space is with paint. You can use it to refresh antique or dated furniture, or you can create a whole new ambiance with a new wall colour. For the cooler months, try dark, nearly black walls to add depth to a room. Keep it warm and inviting with lighter furnishings and décor; the deep shade will accentuate their silhouettes for a striking finish.


Re-theme a room. Whether it’s your bedroom, kitchen or living room, switching up the style of a room can dramatically improve the overall look and feel. Try a new colour palette, or a different aesthetic like rustic, contemporary or cottage to create a renewed environment. For an affordable makeover, focus on smaller but impactful elements like textures, accents, furniture and décor.


Frame your view. Transform a boring basic window with gorgeous shades that do more than add style and polish. Hunter Douglas’ innovative custom window treatments offer light control for the perfect amount of natural sunlight, elegant performance fabrics for energy efficiency and UV protection, and intelligent shade operating systems for convenient smart home integration. Purposeful, polished window coverings give any room a finished look.


Organize chaos. Improving your home’s organization can make your entire living space feel fresh and welcoming. So take some time to clear out the clutter and use drawer and closet organizers to find an out-of-sight place for every trinket. If you have a small space, choose smart storage solutions that work double duty. And don’t forget your entryway. As the first impression of your home, it’s essential to keep neat and tidy. Use a coat rack and bench that doubles as shoe storage for an organized and seamless appearance.

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By: Scott McGillivray


(NC) Looking to update your home but don’t have the time or money for a full-on renovation? Not a problem. With the right application of paint, you can breathe new life into your home, inside and out.


Consider these five painting projects to boost your home’s appeal:


Reimagine your space. One of the easiest ways to add personality is to refresh the walls by adding bold and contemporary colours. Try highlighting a focal point or niche with a fresh pop of colour, or paint an accent wall to command the eye’s attention.



Make a statement in your bathroom. People generally limit the amount of time they spend in their bathrooms. But what if you could make it a room you actually want to spend time in? With a coat of paint in just the right colour, anything is possible. Turn your bathroom into a statement room with a dark shade. Forgoing the usual neutral finish, this bold approach catches the eye and can create a sense of class and drama.


Revitalize tired cabinets and furniture. Bring old cabinets and furniture back to life with a fresh coat of paint. Choose a colour theme that complements the rest of your home or room. You can accentuate little details, hide imperfections and create great conversation pieces. I recommend using Para Paints Ultra melamine hybrid cabinet and furniture paint in a neutral colour that complements your style.


Captivate with a stylish doorway. The front door is the focal point of your home’s exterior, so you want it to look as good as possible. If yours is looking a little tired and a new one isn’t in the budget, a coat of paint is a terrific option. A brighter hue can add energy, while a more subdued one plays up a traditional feel. Top it off with some stylish hardware and accessories and you’re good to go.


Update exterior trim and accents. There’s a connection between outer upkeep and what a visitor can expect inside. Painting your exterior windows, trim and shutters with the right colour palette can greatly boost your home’s curb appeal and make it more inviting for you and your visitors. Experiment with colour to create a playful welcoming effect or opt for a more subtle palette to create a formal or classic look. Remember, first impressions matter.

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(NC) For many of us, the aesthetics of our home –– a colourful garden, new furniture or trendy appliances –– often become our primary focus. But this can leave little time for unseen elements that can become a safety hazard.


Something overlooked like a loose or frayed cord can spark a house fire, and this happens most frequently during the winter months, according to the Canadian Red Cross.


It doesn’t take much for a fire to start in your home, but it doesn’t take much to prevent one. That’s why around this time of year, it’s crucial to take small, precautionary measures that will keep your family out of harm’s way. Here are four easy steps for a fire-free home:


  1. Develop a fire escape plan. Should a fire occur, it’s important to evacuate the home as quickly as possible. Creating a fire escape plan and practicing that plan twice a year will help ensure the safety of your loved ones in the event of a fire.
  2. Check smoke detectors frequently. A functioning smoke detector can be the difference between a false alarm and a life-threatening scenario. Install them on every level of the house and take the time to test them monthly, replacing batteries at least twice a year; daylight saving time always serves as a good reminder.
  3. Store and recycle batteries the right way. Once you have changed the batteries in your devices, be sure to recycle the old ones. Used batteries that are disposed of or stored incorrectly or damaged can be a safety hazard. Keep your home and the environment safe by recycling all your old batteries. Call2Recycle Canada has more than 8,000 drop-off locations across the country, so one is bound to be close by. You can visit their website at call2recycle.ca and plug in your postal code to find one closest to you.
  4. Pay attention to detail. Have an eye for the little things. Make sure your home’s heating sources are clean, as many house fires are started by poorly maintained furnaces or stoves, or chimneys with buildup. Check wiring and cords and fix or replace any frayed extension cords, exposed wires or loose plugs. Finally, make sure to store combustible materials in open areas and away from heat sources.
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Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by the REALTORS® Association of Edmonton.