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How to create the perfect front yard garden

Learn how to create a welcoming profusion of flowers in your front garden. Plus, find how you can share photos and videos of your garden.

By Liz Primeau
Photography by Andrew Leyerle

Click the link below to see the photo gallery!




5 Big Design Trends to Try Right Now

By HGTV.ca Editorial Team

Every year home design trends come and go but it’s never too late to try something new. Update your décor and impress your friends (and yourself) at the same time, by including some of this year’s hottest design trends.


Pantone Colour of the Year

Year after year the iconic people at Pantone come up with their colour of the year, inspiring not only home décor trends but fashion and other design areas across the board as well. For 2014, the colour du jour is: Radiant Orchid, a gorgeous pinky purple-hue. An infusion of this beauty would be a welcome breath of colour anywhere—from kitchen to bedroom and every room in between.



Florals are holding strong and continuing to be on-trend this year, but they’re definitely growing in size. Now, pretty blooms, the bigger the better are a force to be reckoned with. What lovelier way to add some vibrant colour and bold patterns to your home than throw pillows, sheets or duvet covers with big bright florals. (Try to find some with radiant orchid for a double-dose of style.)


Blue & Blue

Black’s younger, lighter cousin grey has certainly had its heyday, but this is the year for something far more dramatic. Black walls are en vogue—think entire living and dining rooms--but if you’re not ready to go all in, try one accent wall or the always-in-style coupling with white. And when it comes to blue, think every shade--from lovely sky blue dishes displayed in your kitchen, to darker navy and white striped towels in your bathroom.



Everything old is new again but the good news is mixing and matching is totally ok. A distressed old-trunk serving as a coffee table or impressive antique maps framed and hung on the walls, not only serve as beautiful, on-trend décor pieces, but add a lot of intrigue (and conversation starters) to the room.


Warm Metals

Especially in the kitchen. Seems grey isn’t only taking a backseat in the living room, but in the kitchen this year as well. Warmer bronzes, golds and black are replacing sleek chrome and stainless steel when it comes to lighting and cabinetry accents. And if you’re really looking to make a big splash, try some bronze sconces in the kitchen.



Add Color to Your Living Room for Summer

Summer is the perfect time to rework your living room. Who wants to look at those dark earthy neutrals or sit on heavy fabrics when it’s hot outside?

For new living room color ideas for summer, think about a change of pace to represent the changing of the seasons. Even if you’re not repainting every wall or replacing all your furniture, here are our tips to brighten things up for summer.

by Jennifer Adams


Use color throughout — from the floor to the furniture – to move your eye around the room. Keep your walls and carpets neutral or light colored.

Swap your area rug for a brighter, inexpensive one with a large open pattern and a light background. Summer is a great time to get your rugs cleaned anyway!

Slipcovers are a great way to change the look and feel of your furniture! Or, drape new fabric over your furniture for a breezy, casual look. Consider lighter, brighter neutrals and soft, comfortable fabrics. A beautifully textured fabric on your sofa feels cozy and warm in the winter, but might feel too warm when you’re in shorts! Fabrics with cotton and linen feel soft and are cooling, and simply woven fabrics without raised patterns or embroidery work well.


Accent with cooling colors such as navy blue, turquoise, pale blues, soft greens and lavender. The colors of the deep snow are depressing in winter but so refreshing during summer! These blues also go well with white, gray, tan and sand colors for a relaxing resort feeling. And, you can easily swap the cool colors for warm during winter.

Replace some of your upholstered chairs with colorful lightweight wicker or even outdoor furniture. Buy or make cushions in bright blues, greens or turquoise! Paint garage sale wicker or rattan finds. Wicker furniture gives an airy, porchlike look to a room, perfect for summer.

Change out your heavy window treatments with lightweight sheer panels with a touch of color at the hems. Pair with wood blinds or shutters to create a tropical feeling.


Beyond throw pillows, add colorful lamps, art, new books for the coffee table, and forget about throw blankets unless your air conditioning works a little too well!


Cost -Effective Ways to Improve Curb Appeal

Property Brothers hosts Jonathan and Drew Scott reveal cost-effective ways to improve your home’s curb appeal.

Nothing puts a buyer at ease faster than a seller’s pride of ownership. If it’s clear that you take care of your home, a prospective buyer is less likely to think you’re cutting corners. It all starts with the state of the exterior, which will set the tone for the entire viewing. Here are a few foolproof ideas to get you started.

Focus on landscaping
If you have a large lawn, break things up by creating areas of interest with garden beds. Plant flowers that offer continuous bloom, and if landscaping space is limited, include them in planters flanking your front door or porch. Those with small plots (read: little to no grass) can also consider low-maintenance alternatives like a beautiful wildflower or rock garden.

Invest with care
The siding is the largest visible surface area of your home’s exterior that dramatically alters its look (think stucco compared to vinyl). Pressure-wash the material before selling to make sure it’s clean and in good repair. And if it’s pepto-bismol pink, paint it something more current.

Upgrade the fixtures
Swap out that cheap dated light fixture for a more modern option that illuminates your entire entry and adds a touch of elegance. You can also install a matching mailbox or a lamp at the end of your driveway.

Introduce pops of colour
Wake up your front entry by painting the door a statement-making hue (like one of these three examples) that suits the style of your home. It’s a quick, impermanent update that’s budget friendly.

Become a paint pro
Prep, clean and prime your door before choosing an exterior paint (latex or alkyd). Then apply a few coats on a mild day, avoiding direct sunlight to prevent uneven drying. Keep your door propped open until the edges
dry completely.



Modernize quickly with the top décor trends for fall

There's nothing worse than feeling dated. That is, the out-of-touch kind of dated, not the chic and trendy vintage version.

For inspiration, home décor expert and TV host, Karl Lohnes, suggests giving your interior the type of trendy makeover that will hold strong for a few years. “You don't need to have a huge budget and mimic exactly what the trends are,” he says. “Find ways to take them into your own hands, too.” Here's a snapshot:

• No More Espresso: Grainy, raw oak with a simple coat of wax is what's trending for floors today. “The look has enough sophistication to hold its own in formal settings, while still maintaining a casual look as well,” Lohnes says. Avoid the honey/golden oak look from the 1980s and watch how this change brightens your space.

• Say Goodbye to Grey: Platinum is the new neutral. “Think grey with a dollop of brown to warm it up.” As an overall neutral, it looks great with almost every colour, so Lohnes suggests using the new tone at the window to complement your existing furniture. A good choice here, he says, would be innovative Pirouette window shadings from Hunter Douglas, which feature soft, horizontal fabric vanes that open and close against a sheer backing. The fabric vanes come in many hues, including a soft platinum called Tawny.

• Neutral Rugs Are a Thing of the Past: When shopping here's the best advice: Go big or don't bring it home! Both art and rugs are going big and colourful. In fact, rugs are now seen as artwork for the floor. “If you're not sure how to choose a rug,” says Lohnes, “match the colours with the artwork on the wall. Together they will work hard to add mega personality to any room.”

• Silver and Nickel Tones Be Gone: Gold and brass are both very popular right now. Metal tones are warming up with polished gold for a luxe vibe, or tarnished brass for a casual, industrial look. “The easiest way to introduce gold into your home,” says Lohnes, “is by choosing stand-alone accents like a desk lamp, cart, wastebasket or hardware finishes.

With these tips, your homewill have a stylish, modern edge, and as our home décor expert points out, you don't have to make every change at once. “Save these trends for future projects, too,” he says, “and spread out the happy decorating over time.”



Dealing with Tenant Trouble


Written by Kayla Andrade

 Dealing with Tenant Trouble

With an increasing number of ‘professional’ tenants only willing to take advantage of busy and trusting landlords, investors need to be extra vigilant. Kayla Adrade from Ontario Landlords Watch provides some helpful tips on how to secure the best tenant.

Landlords are always on the hunt to find the best tenant. To achieve that, they need to ensure their rental units are well maintained, clean and in a good location. Unfortunately, such properties also attract the professional (bad) tenants so landlords need to interview each with caution.

Landlords should not only require credit checks and personal references, they should also personally (or others) interview the tenant. Find out who they are , where they are from , what are their hobbies , who are their friends , what do they do for work and do they like it etc. These are simple friendly questions that can tell a landlord what that potential tenant is capable of. 

Keep the unit empty for a few months until the right tenant comes along because it can cost landlords a lot more time and money if they make a rushed decision and accept the first person that comes to view the unit.

Follow these four steps :      

1. Phone interview (ask as many questions as possible

2. Interview them at the rental property  (ask more questions ) 

3. Have the potential tenant meet with your (partner or consultant) 

4. Meet the potential tenant at their current property to sign the lease

Is your tenant not paying rent? Do not fall prey to the sad story, not everyone tells the truth. Give the N4 notice on the second of the month even though the tenant agrees to pay a week later. The landlord and tenant board eviction process is long, costly and tenant friendly which means the tenants already have a head start.

Kayla Andrade is from Ontario Landlords Watch.




Helpful Tips for the Big Move

You have found that perfect house, everything you have ever wanted. Papers are signed, down payment is made, the deal is closed and moving day is right around the corner! But do you have everything in place so that moving day occurs seamlessly and stress free? Here are some tips that might be useful!

Check out these tips here!


How to Take Years off the Look of your Home

Does your home need a few aesthetic improvements without breaking the bank? Here are some tips to enhance your home!

Check out these tips here!



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