All posts by Lorne Gait

Repair squeaky wooden floors and stairs in your Cowichan Valley home

Fixing Squeaky Flooring & Stairs

As construction materials dry out and a house settles, there may be a few spots on the floors that squeak when someone walks on them. This is a natural occurrence that affects wood construction houses and condos, new and old. When you walk across the floor, the sub-floor may rub against the joists or, if you have wood strip floors, the boards will rub against each other.

When the joist dries, it can become bowed or cupped which results in a space between the subfloor and the support. Walking on that spot can loosen the fasteners causing the floor to bounce and make noise. Floors that have exposed joists can be repaired from below. Usually, this is done from the basement or crawl space. Enlist a helper and ask them to help you find the squeaky spot by walking around the room above. Next, use a hardwood shim coated with carpenter’s glue and tap it in gently between the joist and the subfloor. Secure it with a screw that goes through the beam and the subfloor. Trim and remove the excess.

A hold-down bracket is an alternative to shims. It’s designed to attach to both the joist and the subfloor with plates connected by an adjustable bolt. Fasten a plate to each surface, insert the bolt into the fittings, and tighten. This will pull the subfloor tightly to the joist to eliminate movement.

If you cannot access the joists from below, try one of these methods to secure the subfloor from above. If the squeak is under carpeting, you can try special breakaway screws or pull back the carpet. Kits such as the Squeek No More Kit are designed to go through carpet. They snap off flush with the subfloor for an invisible patch. These work with varying degrees of success. You may want to try pre-drilling the holes and squirting in some carpenter’s glue to decrease bounce even further. Another method is to pull the carpet back and, using a stud finder, locate and drive screws into the joists through the subfloor.

Hardwood floors can develop creaks from shrinkage. In older homes, the lack of a frictionless layer of floor paper means the floor might be rubbing directly against the subfloor. The solution is to use break-away screws designed specifically for tightening wood strip floors. Pre-drill a hole, drive the screw, break off the head, and use a quality wood filler or a solid wood plug to match the existing finish.

Noisy stairs can be fixed from the top or the bottom. When working from the bottom, use wood shims and glue wherever open seams are found. Adding blocks to support joints will strengthen the entire structure by making it stiffer so it will move as a unit and not flex. Glue and screw the blocks into place. When working from the top, you might try the break-away screw method. Adding quarter round trim to the joint between the tread and the riser may work, as well. Be sure to glue and screw the trim piece so it’s fastened tightly. Consider hiring a carpenter for an afternoon, if necessary.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today for more information on preparing your Cowichan Valley home for sale.

Coffee house and cafes for sale in Ladysmith, BC

Coffeehouse Treats at Home

Tasty coffee shop-style espresso drinks at home are a luxurious treat on a cold or rainy day. The mellow taste of a latte with flavours such as peppermint or pumpkin can elevate it to new levels of delight. A daily latte is a good thing and the perfect pick-me-up when working at the office. But what if you’re working from home now and not able to visit the coffee shops in Ladysmith or the Cowichan Valley?

Espresso machines have become more sophisticated and more powerful. The first machines on the market lacked the water pressure required to produce a quality brew with the right amount of crema. Crema is the frothy, caramel coloured foam that is important for overall taste and, of course, beautiful latte art. You don’t need an expensive machine to make cafe-level espresso but it might be helpful to know that the better machines produce better result, more easily.

There are a number of factors that go into making good espresso, including grind (use ultra fine), tamping (tightly pushing the coffee into the extractor), and the quality of beans. Home-made espresso tastes different from cafe-bought because their beans are tailored to suit customer expectations and go through rigorous taste-testing trials. Starbucks uses a different espresso blend compared to the independent coffee houses. Espresso beans are generally roasted darker than regular coffee but not always. Start with the coffee you already like and test using progressively darker beans until you find a brew that you like. Try mixing beans from different parts of the world to make your own ‘house’ blend.

Start with fresh, whole beans and grind them yourself. Beans should have a slightly oily appearance although this will diminish over time. A burr grinder is more exact than a blade grinder and may even have settings for drip and espresso grinds. A diluted espresso means the grind was too course; a bitter espresso indicates it was too fine. A proper grind will leave a slight stain on your fingertips when you touch it. Tamp firmly but not excessively. A correct grind/tamp combination will produce a balanced taste. If it tastes good, you did it right.

One of the best reasons to make lattes at home is that you can enjoy your favourite flavours all winter. The ubiquitous pumpkin spice latte is always pulled from the menu far too early in the season. Just as one begins to warm up to them as an emotional support coffee, they are gone. Thankfully, the main ingredients, Torani Pumpkin Pie Sauce and brown sugar, are easily available. These are the same ingredients that the independent cafes use, and the taste is the real thing. The Torani sauces allow you to control the sweetness by adding your own sugar or Nutrasweet. Serve your PSL in a favourite mug with whipped cream on top.

Unlike drip coffee, a shot of espresso is intended to be consumed quickly and immediately after brewing. This is when the flavours are their strongest. In the summer, it provides an uplifting break that doesn’t overwhelm the body with too much heat. Experiment with an espresso shot in the afternoon or after a meal to see if you like it. Adding hot water to make it a mugful is called an Americano. The taste is more caramel than drip without slightly less caffeine. You may not want to drink drip coffee with breakfast once you’ve tried it.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today for a personal appointment. The coffee is on us!

Fire safety check list for Ladysmith homes for sale

Fire Safety Check-Up

Fire safety is an important part of home maintenance but is sometimes overlooked. Twice-annual checks of the important safety systems in your home will catch anything that needs attention before it fails. Contact your local Ladysmith insurance agent for information on saving money on your policy with fire prevention upgrades.

Kitchen appliances are a common source of fires in the home. Electricity from old or worn appliances can ignite grease or oil to cause a fire. Keep ovens and stovetops clean with a good degreaser. Don’t forget to clean the range hood filter as it can hold grease that will fuel a stovetop fire.

Worn out plugs from much loved appliances can fray and even separate from the wire. Older appliances that have cloth insulation on the wires should be replaced with new ones for safety. Keep those vintage appliances on a shelf to look at but not to actually use.

In Canada, all electrical devices must comply with CSA regulations. CSA sets the standard for devices by specifying how they should be assembled for maximum safety. Not all devices are CSA-approved. Goods purchased from overseas vendors may not have been approved for use in Canada. This can put your family at risk from short circuits. Look for the CSA label attached or embossed into the bottom of the appliance to see if it can be used safely. Non-CSA appliances that cause fires may invalidate your home insurance.

Power bars and extension cords are useful when there isn’t a nearby plug or when there are too many things to plug in. Having too many things plugged into a power bar can overload it. Choose one that has a built-in circuit breaker as an extra layer of protection. Be sure that these helpers are in good repair. Replace when a plug socket becomes loose or the cord shows signs of wear or damage.

If you have a circuit breaker that keeps resetting, or a fuse that keeps burning out, it’s best to call an electrician to have a look. Both of these are serious indicators that there is a fault in the wiring. Never replace a fuse with one that has a higher rating or insert a metal cheater to by-pass the fuse altogether. Both of these ‘fixes’ are dangerous and could invalidate your home insurance.

Flammable liquids and used rags can experience something called ‘spontaneous combustion’. This is caused by a chemical reaction that causes self-heating and thermal runaway. For this reason, used rags should be kept in a covered metal container or discarded. Liquids should be kept in a metal cabinet or outside.

Fabrics near heat, space heaters near furniture, drapes in the kitchen, rugs in front of fireplaces, and halogen floor laps near window coverings are all known to cause fires. If it’s combustible, it should be six feet away from an open flame or element. Space heaters should have a tip-over safety feature. Place them on a hard surface if possible, such as a hearth or tile floor. Oil-filled space heaters have no element to cause a contact fire.

Have a plan and know how to fight fires when they happen. Start with an evacuation plan so that everyone can get out safely when the smoke detector goes off in the middle of the night. Place fire extinguishers throughout the home and teach everyone how to use one. Use a refillable one for practice in the back yard then have it refilled immediately. Make sure all household members know how to handle an extinguisher to put out an electrical or grease fire. Quick action with the right extinguisher will prevent a fire from spreading.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today for a personal appointment.

Old building conversions to apartments in Ladysmith, BC

Naturalistic Housing

The definition of naturalistic housing depends on the context of the architecture. The most common image that comes to mind is a rustic abode, perhaps a log home or a beach cottage in the Cowichan Valley or Gulf Islands It’s a place where simple materials and settings allow us to relax and take in our surroundings. It’s meditative and calming. It’s a space where you can dream about your potential while being thankful for what you have.

In urban areas, there is another sort of ‘natural’ environment. It’s the genre of warehouse loft conversion and its industrial aesthetic has proven to be quite durable. Warehouse living became the refuge of starving artists in New York City in the late 1950s. Common kitchens and baths were the sacrifice for low rent and a flexible living space.

By the 1970s work-live spaces and loft living had become the chic choice for upwardly mobile professionals and a target for real estate developers. The exposed infrastructure, such as wiring conduit and ductwork, appealed to those who loved the honest and raw aesthetics of the industrial space. Primer-painted steel, exposed brick, and wood with the patina from another age captured the imaginations of the residents.

As naturalistic environments, the industrial loft and the rustic log home both have an organic feel that accentuates contrasts between have and have-not. That gap is really where people begin to connect with and define their environment. It becomes a source of energy and inspiration. It compels the resident to consider their space from a multi-disciplinary perspective. It makes us feel intelligent and reflective.

The aesthetic is rooted in the idea of self-sufficiency and autonomy. The mindset invites community and conversation. Closely related to the ethos of pioneering, naturalism embraces the idea that a sacrifice in refinement is rewarded with an opportunity. It’s asceticism in practical terms for simple, modern day living. Ironically, the fusion of a new sense of modernism in old frameworks and structures defines aspirational decor.

When planning a naturalistic environment, the concept is minimalistic and comfortable. Contrasts such as exposed brick walls in a stance against IKEA modern with fabrics that are textured and neutral. It’s character is highly flexible to accommodate improvised spaces. Tables with wheels, lights that swivel to focus on new subjects, and furniture that can be repurposed are staples. Modern, practical decor with time-worn construction materials is the central theme of naturalistic design.

In 2021 and beyond, industrial design is expected to have a central role in residential construction. Changes in how people work and live will influence the design characteristics of new homes. Office spaces will be redefined by the need to share those essential rooms with other family members. The theme of reform, rehabilitation, and re-use will be superimposed on the traditional family space with special acknowledgement for these uncertain times. The result will be a more intentional minimalism that values genuineness and respects limited resources.

Questions or comments about buying or selling a commercial building? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.

Cowichan Valley homes with backyard guest accommodations and basement suites

Entertaining Summer Guests

Visiting other parts of the country is fun, especially if you have family or friends who can accommodate your stay. Entertaining guests are a great opportunity to show off your city and can make you feel like a tourist at home. To help you prepare for overnight company, here are some tips that you might find helpful. Let us know if you are looking for a home with a backyard bunkie or guest house.

It’s a good idea to start with a budget. It’s easy to say ‘yes’ to every suggestion, from dinner out to shows and tourist attractions. A budget will help set priorities. Saying ‘no’ to some activities also allows your guests to have some private time to explore so it’s actually win-win for everyone.

Send an invitation or two! How will your guests know that you want them to visit unless you invite them? The invitation can specify a range of dates that is convenient for you and outline some boundaries. For example, your invitation might say something like, “It would be fun to see you this summer. We’re at home during the month of July, if you would like to visit. Car rentals are very affordable if you want to explore on your own.”

Prepare for guests by taking a look at sleeping arrangements. Is the guest bedroom stocked and ready for visitors that may stay a long weekend or even a week? Providing written directions on where to find supplies and toiletries, the WI-FI password, and instructions for household items is nice. A selection of reading material is wonderful for rainy days or quiet evenings and early bedtimes. In the bathroom, consider a small selection of travel size supplies and an extra toothbrush or two. Place a nightlight in the hall or ensuite so guests can navigate easily.

Planning a menu for additional guests doesn’t need to be fancy or expensive. Supplement regular meals with starters, such as a cheese and cracker platter, soup, or salad to keep costs down. For mains, consider hearty servings of spaghetti carbonara or pasta with Bolognese sauce, both simple yet delicious and satisfying dishes. Deserts can be a tray of store bought cookies or supermarket slab cake served with your favourite coffee or tea.

For a successful visit, try to plan for the unexpected but don’t overextend your hospitality. Feeling obligated to entertain and provide for guests all the time is too much of an expectation. Let them settle in and find their own way. Most of all, have fun because it’s your vacation, too!

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.

Dryer vent cleaning services in Ladysmith, BC

Summer Home Improvements

Here are a few simple home improvement tasks that can be done on an August weekend. You’ll need some basic tools such as a basic toolkit, a vacuum, and some mineral oil for lubrication. Some items apply to both houses and condos in the Cowichan Valley.

The garage door opener is a great place to start. Quiet a noisy garage door by lubricating the chain and all the hinges. You can also lubricate the extension spring so there is less friction when it tightens. This will make it easier for the motor to raise and lower the door. The small wheels in the tracks that guide the door can be replaced easily with a premium synthetic roller wheel. These are made from a flexible material and have quality bearings that make them almost silent. Check the side and bottom seals for a good, tight fit that will save energy in the winter.

Clean lint from in and around the dryer. About 25% of dryer fires are caused by lint build-up that is ignited by the heat from the gas or electric elements. After each use, clean the lint trap at the front of the machine. This will help speed clothes drying and increase energy efficiency. However, this filter is only intended to catch most, not all, of the lint from clothes. The rest is carried through the machine to where it can build-up in the vent path and the exhaust hose. Pull the dryer out from the wall and remove the hose. Use the vacuum wand to reach inside the dryer to remove lint. The best exhaust hose is a solid metal duct or a flexible metal duct. These are fire resistant and allow lint to travel freely to the outside. Replace the plastic duct with one of these, if necessary. Have the vent hose to the outside professionally cleaned every two years.

Clean the kitchen exhaust fan filter in the dishwasher. Some exhaust fans have a charcoal filter to remove odours and particulates. This should be replaced every six months. The hood can be cleaned with a quality degreaser such as 409 or Fantastic but you can also use hot water with dish detergent and some bleach. It’s easier to clean them before they’re dirty rather than try to clean one that has been neglected. If it’s particularly dirty, the best solution is to replace it rather than try to clean it.

Clean the refrigerator, freezer coils, and drip trays. A good vacuum is helpful to clean the mechanical parts underneath. Roll it out from the wall, clean around the fridge and the floor. Watch for grease from the motor that might have dropped onto the floor. You’ll probably see a motor and some coils that are clogged with dust. Vacuum everything thoroughly. If you have an icemaker, replace the plastic hose that connects to the water supply with a braided metal hose. Replace the ice-maker water filter.

Check dishwasher for leaks by removing the access panel at the front under the door. It is held on by screws that are easy to find. Using a flashlight, inspect the space under the dishwasher for stains caused by leaking water. There are two connectors for water: in and out. Both should be dry. You can try tightening the connectors but it’s much better to replace them with a braided steel hose. The hose kit will have the new connectors and washers in the box. This will prevent catastrophic water leaks and a potential insurance claim.

Continuing with the theme of leaks and gaskets, check under the kitchen and bathroom sinks for water stains. Do all your taps shut off completely? A dripping faucet can add to your hot water bill. Look at the base of toilets for obvious stains from leaks or discoloured vinyl flooring, which indicates a damp problem. Unless you have experience with plumbing, it might be a good idea to call a plumber. He can show you what the problem is, take care of it, and provide a warranty if a leak should develop in the future.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.

Free home staging consultation when you list your home for sale in the Cowichan Valley

Budget Curb Appeal Ideas

A lot of articles have been written about improving curb appeal, especially for sellers who want to maximize their selling price. You may not be thinking about selling your Cowichan Valley home this year or even next year. Consider curb appeal as an on-going process of slowly improving and beautifying the exterior of your home. It takes time to make a plan and choose which improvements you want to do.

Once you begin thinking about the process, you might want to engage the services of an architect or a designer if it looks like it’s going to be a big project. For most people, though, improving curb appeal is a series of edits and adjustments to the overall look. This approach is also the most cost-effective because much of the work can be done by the homeowner.

A popular starting point is to paint the front door. This is affordable and allows the homeowner to make an update with a popular colour that matches the trim and siding. Wooden screen doors can be replaced with vintage-look models. Storm doors can be removed and cleaned so they look like new again. Replace any screens that are loose or have holes in them.

A porch light does more than let you see where you’re going. It’s also a welcoming beacon for visitors and deliveries. Match the fixture to the architectural style of your home. It should be a simple remove-and-replace update that you can do yourself. A complimentary fixture in the period style with the same finish as the door hardware will increase your property value.

Much of the impact of curb appeal comes from the landscaping. Homeowners are sometimes reluctant to remove shrubs and trees, especially if they have been there a long time. However, by removing old plantings, the front yard becomes a clean palette for your own ideas. Plant anything that can be reused into pots until you’re ready to put them back in the ground. At this point, it can be cost effective to hire a landscaping company to prepare the new beds and make suggestions.

It’s been said that a healthy green lawn has sold many homes. Begin by removing the broadleaf weeds using a shovel or an organic weed control spray. Next, fertilize with a slow-release formula that will keep your lawn green all season. A sharp lawnmower blade will prevent the tips from turning brown after cutting.

An exterior cleaning with a pressure washer or pole and brush will brighten the paint or vinyl. Wash the windows to make them sparkle, too. Concrete can be made to look new again with a pressure washer. If you have an asphalt driveway, use caution when cleaning with a pressure wand as it can remove the aggregate stones. A light cleaning and a quality blacktop sealant will make it look new again.

If you’re improving the curb appeal of your home to sell it, you might want to consider a thematic update. Properties that are heavily themed will sell for more than an identical property with a generic presentation. For example, an Arts & Crafts style home with planters and outdoor furniture in the same architectural style would be considered a themed property. A beach house with an old rowboat as a planter in the front yard would also be considered to be themed. With this approach, more is more and campy accessories are the order of the day.

Interested in a free curb appeal consultation with your home listing? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.

Vancouver Island staycation ideas for the whole family

Plan a Vancouver Island Staycation

This year, why not consider a local vacation on Vancouver Island instead of travelling abroad? There are a number of benefits from staying at home during your summer holidays. By avoiding hotels and air travel, you can save a significant amount of money that can then be spent on special meals and activities. To ensure your holiday-at-home is a relaxing change, try some of these ideas to set the stage.

The first rule of a staycation is to break from routine so you’re able to reset, relax, and enjoy yourself. That means a vacation plan and a schedule to explore your horizons. With some planning in advance, you can eliminate the everyday work, such as cleaning and shopping, to focus (or not focus) on the things in the vacation plan.

Determine your budget for the entire two or three weeks so you can plan accordingly. Rather than restrict meals to home-cooked, consider planning for three or four take-out or restaurant meals each week. Pre-cook meals for the freezer that go can into the oven for easy dinners. Sandwiches are a great Plan B because everyone can make their own. Desserts such as store-bought slab cake and ice cream will keep the mood festive.

Planning what you want to do each day or week will help keep the momentum going. For example, Mondays could be to explore the history and heritage of your area. Tuesdays might be a fun activity like visiting a local amusement park or horseback riding. Wednesdays could be daytrips to a nearby city or, if you’re already in the city, to the countryside for shopping in quaint village shops. Let family members write their suggestions on a blank calendar so everyone can participate in the plan.

To get everyone in the mood, some wardrobe updates might be needed. For kids, a couple of new summer outfits will delight them. Accessories such as glittery flip-flops or a kid-sized fedora will signal that vacation has started and it’s time to start having fun.

If you feel like you’ve seen everything, maybe it’s time to take a train or drive to a different part of your province. In Eastern Canada, the VIA train system is convenient and affordable. In B.C., the ferry system connects the islands to the mainland. A long weekend at a kid-friendly B&B gives everyone something exciting to look forward to.

Don’t forget to ‘schedule’ some idle time. Studies have shown that daydreaming and just vegging can produce alpha waves in the brain that leads to creativity. Bookend down-time with something artsy to make the most of that neural connection. Follow a slow day with some time in a gallery or artisan shops.

Prepare a ‘rainy day’ box with some interesting crafts and reading material. Local craft or dollar stores will have supplies such as construction paper, glue, and paints for young artists. Adults might want to try adult colouring books to get their alpha waves going.

Questions or comments about staycations on Vancouver Island? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.

Cowichan Valley homes with natural gas barbeque connections

Summer Grilling: Gas or Coals?

Known for imparting a smoky richness that pairs perfectly with charred fat and meat, barbeque is one of the most popular cooking techniques. Summer is barbeque season and with its arrival the debate over charcoal or gas is revisited by friends and neighbours across Canada. One great feature of gas grills is the option to use natural gas from the house and forget about running out of propane. Many newer homes in the NAME OF area feature natural gas connections for a grill. Let us know if this is a priority for you when looking for a new home in the Cowichan Valley.

But which fuel produces the best cooking results? The answer is this: it depends on what you’re cooking. Both fuels provide an even, dry heat that is ideal for grilling. Do you want to easily sear a protective layer to retain juices? Are you cooking large cuts or a whole chicken? Perhaps you are slow roasting and want a heavy smoke taste? Both types of barbeques will produce smoke which is mostly caused by fat dripping on the element cover or the charcoal.

The speed at which you intend to cook is an important factor. Quick meals such as hot dogs or burgers are done before smoke can penetrate the meat. A gas grill is perfect for quick meals that require only a short time on a hot grill. They heat up quickly and, when you’re done, shut off completely. That’s exactly what the chef needs when steaks or burgers are the main course. They’re also good for grilling vegetables and pizzas because the cooking surface can be easily adjusted with dual gas controls. Simple, quick, and easy with good smokiness when required. That is what you get with a quality gas grill.

Charcoal grills are a different way of cooking that is similar to smoking. They’re ideal for a slow barbeque style such as a whole ‘beer can’ chicken or thick steaks that need more time to cook. Charcoal is made from hardwood that is burned in an oxygen-free environment which produces carbonized wood. Because the briquettes are made from wood, the resulting burn will taste and smell a little like the tree the charcoal was made from. Some chefs will supplement the natural taste with a little wood of their own, perhaps from an apple branch or some driftwood. An electric charcoal starter helps to light the briquettes. Once the coals are an evenly lit, you can begin grilling.

If you have a charcoal grill, you might want to experiment with wood or wood pellets. Both will produce a wonderfully flavoured smoke. Plus, the fuel is basically free if you live anywhere near a forest or wood lot. Experiment with different types of wood, by itself or with charcoal, and see which species impart a flavour that you think makes perfect barbeque.

Questions or comments? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact a Ladysmith REALTOR® today.

Coastal paint palettes to sell your Cowichan Valley house or condo

Restful Paint Palettes

Soft neutrals like greige or cloud white are flexible enough to work in every room. Generally, a neutral backdrop can be accessorized with colour much easier than the opposite. It’s good to know that each room can receive its own special combination of colour. The key to a coherent look is to choose an anchor colour that is continuous throughout the home, especially if you’re selling your Cowichan Valley house or condo.

When searching for a palette, look to history for some cues. Old magazines are a great source of inspiration because they can show which colours have stood the test of time. The fads are easy to spot because they’re here today and gone tomorrow. Unless you’re planning to paint every few years, a classic neutral combination might be a good choice. Here are some classic combinations and room where you might find them.

Pale pink and white are a sophisticated and sincere pair. The combination has the passion of red with the honesty of white to produce a hue that is both feminine and powerful. An ultra-pale pink ceiling can warm a north room without feeling oppressive. Combine light pink walls with white tile and bathroom fixtures for a truly warm, blush-worthy space of your own.

Analogous greens in cool combinations work together to make a space feel at once decorated and timeless. Yellowish green walls with glass green cupboards has a healthy, eco-vibe that is calming and ageless. When the combination is grounded by white counters and appliances, the room becomes fresh and balanced.

Beach tones are a perennial favourite for minimalist interiors reminiscent of seaside vacations and first apartments. White-on-white with blue accessories is the easiest colour combination for beginners. Mix and match woodsy beiges, natural greens, strong maritime blues and oyster whites for variety. If you actually live near the sea, add some fun accents such as marine-themed prints and artwork.

Big accent colours such as goldenrod and forest green are perfect for adding a bit of drama to small spaces. Gold is one of the most elegant colours and looks luxurious in a formal dining room. Dark greens work wonders in small rooms and vanity bathrooms, especially when combined with white wainscoting. Fantastic colours such as grape, extravagant teals, and metallics work well for hidden rooms and closets where they will surprise with their suddenness.

Grey and honey wood tones are inspired by an era of simple refinement. This combination is a good example of the warm-cool aesthetic popular with high design in the 30s and 40s. Its restful stillness invites one to pause and collect. The rich golden hues of the wood reflect warm light in contrast to the absorbent grey tones. It’s a great combination for showing off architecture because it doesn’t compete with anything, including itself.

Most major paint manufacturers have produced apps that allow you to ‘try on’ a paint colour by taking a picture of your room. Take several pictures during the day as the temperature of the light changes. They don’t replace painting a sample on the wall, but they are fun to use and a source of inspiration.

Questions or comments about home staging? Want to talk about your next real estate transaction? Contact Lorne Gait and Morgan Fisher today.