This homeowner had regretted the kitchen she’d selected for her home when it was being built and had spoken with her friend and neighbor, kitchen and bath designer Sarah Robertson, about renovating it for years. Because the busy family of four entertained often, the layout just wasn’t working — it lacked pantry space, had a lot of blank space on one wall and included a kitchen desk that seemed like a good idea at the time but wound up never being used. Robertson planned a new layout that made cooking, prepping, cleaning, storing and entertaining a breeze. She also took the style from so-so to sophisticated, pulling together walnut, wood, white, blue, glass, brass and zinc to personalize the space.

Before Photo Becky Harris Photos by…

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It might not seem like it, but Canadian real estate is in the middle of one of the most significant supply booms ever. Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) data show 2021 housing starts made a big jump. More importantly, the surge of new home construction is beginning to reach the market. New home completions have hit one of the highest levels ever. One Big Six bank even sees it breaking the 1970s high this year.

Canadian New Home Starts Were Up 21% In 2021

Canadian housing starts fell recently, but they’re still much higher than they used to be. The seasonally adjusted annual rate (SAAR) of starts hit 261,000 homes in December. It was down from the SAAR of 268,000 units a month before. Even with that drop, this is much…

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Though L’Anse aux Meadows at the northern tip of Newfoundland saw European settlers first, it was the three Maritime provinces that received the second wave to become the “downtown” of Atlantic Canada. Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick formed a distinct region based on a sea-going economy built around fishing and shipbuilding. 

While things have changed plenty over the last 500 years, the Maritimes have developed their own architectural flavour, shaped by immigration, economy, fire, and war. Like the pace of life, Maritime architecture is unique to Canada, yet as familiar and cozy as a Tim Horton’s sign on a snowy drive. 

First Nations

The southern Maritimes were home to the Abenaki and Mi’kmaq nations,…

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Canada’s monetary policy is too loose, and tightening is the simplest way to correct it. That’s the gist of the latest research note from the Bank of Montreal (BMO). Senior economist Robert Kavcic notes the current market is more frenzied than anything else in Canadian history. He sees Ottawa using a rate hike to cool it, which will help reduce demand. By reducing demand, he sees the market froth easing.

Canadian Home Prices Are Accelerating At A Rapid Rate

Today’s Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) data shows soaring home prices. As stated earlier, the price of a typical home is now 26.6% higher than last year. It’s hard to believe, but recent growth has been even faster than usual. According to the bank, the 1, 3, and 6-month annualized…

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An island with seating can create a welcoming social hub in a kitchen. And there are many ways to design an island that encourages interaction among family members and guests. Here, five design and remodeling professionals share details about how they created islands that promote interaction with seating.

Olga Dean Interior Design 1. Dynamic Dining

Designer: Olga Dean Interior Design
Architect and engineer: Mark Schroeder of FWC Structural Engineers
Location: Trabuco Canyon, California
Size: 416 square feet (39 square meters)

Homeowners’ request. “The ultimate goal was to have the home feel new and fresh while retaining vintage charm,” says designer Olga Dean, whose clients saw her work on Houzz, including on an episode of Houzz TV,…

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  • Canadian real estate construction trends

A recent RE/MAX Canada report has highlighted shifting consumer trends in Canadian real estate, driven primarily by challenging market conditions and Covid-19. The 2021 Renovation Investment Report found more than half of Canadians renovated their home for personal enjoyment, not the perceived return on investment (ROI) that was the driver behind many renovation decisions in the past. Tightening market conditions from coast to coast and the “lockdown effect” of Covid-19 were factors in the shift.

Renovation Trends in Canadian Real Estate

  • Three in 10 Canadians (29 per cent) renovated for non-essential “lifestyle” reasons, such as recreation/entertainment projects.
  • More than half of Canadians renovated their…

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When you think about home makeovers, what comes to mind first? Kitchen? Bathroom? Basement? You’ve probably thought of everything but the stairs. Updating a staircase is rarely top of mind, even though it’s one of the most noticeable elements of a home. The process may seem like an intimidating undertaking, but you can opt for easy DIY techniques that will make your staircase a charming functional focal point. All you’ll need is some inspiration to get started—we’ve got you covered—and a can-do attitude. These ideas are budget-friendly, too!

Risers over runners 

If you have wood stairs, don’t settle for a basic carpet runner. Zhush up your stairs by drawing all attention to the risers (the vertical area under each step). Go for bold paint…

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Liens often have negative connotations for homeowners. Yet if you’re reading this article, you may be surprised to find out that you already have a lien on your home and that liens are not always as bad as they sound. Here’s what you need to know.

Understanding How Liens Work

A property lien is a legal claim against a property, allowing the creditor to use it as collateral to collect what they’re owed if the debtor cannot make payments.

Consider this common scenario to better understand how liens work: taking out a loan to finance a purchase. To secure loan repayments for the duration of the contract, the lender will use one of your assets as collateral. In most cases, the chosen asset will be your home. However, if you fail to repay the…

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A bathroom shared between adults and kids is a difficult situation to navigate. Throw in an awkward layout and bland finishes and you’ve really got a problem. But this Oakland, California, couple knew that with the right space planning and stylish features, they could transform their frustrating bathroom into a welcoming family retreat.

To get the combination right, they hired designer Jen Montague Clark. She rejiggered the space by combining the shower and tub into one function, which freed up space for a double vanity. Then she added a water closet in place of what was a small shower stall, allowing for more than one person to use the…

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JANUARY 11, 2022

Canada’s central bank quietly updated its real estate affordability index. It wasn’t good news. The Housing Affordability Index (HAI) made a big jump in Q3 2021. Maintained by the Bank of Canada (BOC), the HAI shows the share of income required to service a mortgage on a home. Low rates are no longer helping affordability, but fueling prices that outpace wages. As a result, affordability has now reached the worst level since the Great Recession.

The Bank Of Canada Housing Affordability Index

The BoC Housing Affordability Index shows the share of income needed for housing costs. More specifically, the share of disposable income an average family would use. Housing costs are defined as mortgage payments and utilities.…

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