Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Outdoor Rooms

This is the time of year where we begin to start living outside. After an extremely long and cold winter, there is nothing more pleasurable than finding a comfy seat in the backyard with an ice tea in hand or relaxing with a good book or simply perusing the fruits of your labour in your gardens.

If you are lucky enough to have a covered deck, porch or veranda, this would undoubtedly be your favourite room in the home from now until October!  Why not create your own outdoor room?! This has become a very popular trend in recent years and a wonderful extension to your home. It can be as simple as setting up a fire pit surrounded by lawn chairs ready to make smores or as elaborate as a salvaged wood dining table dressed up with colourful linens, acrylic glassware and bright patterned bowls/plates nestled under a candlelit chandelier carefully placed on the branch of a tree above.
A great way to illustrate casual, comfortable outdoor dining is shown in the photo above, featured in House Beautiful magazine. A selection of furniture pieces, possibly found in the cellar, set up outside for Alfresco dining under century old oak trees is the perfect way to celebrate a spring/summer day. Note the furniture can be mismatched and still add character to an outdoor setting by tossing colourful bright cusions and throws in happy hues. An assortment of fresh flowers on the table in any type of container or vase adds romantic and eclectic charm.

As far as colour schemes that work outside, I recommend aqua blues, tangerine orange, fusia and deep purples, but having said that, really anything goes. Slate blue/gray and ivory colour palette also works well outdoors.

The most important part of spring/summer is that we are outdoors, watching the new growth on the trees, smelling the fresh green grass and enjoying what nature has to offer us this time of year.

I hope this inspires you to create your own back yard relaxation room and that you enjoy the fresh air, great books and backyard bbqs with family and friends all summer long.

Susan Fenn
Interior Designer, Manager

Friday, May 16, 2014

The Economic Factor of New Homes

As I speak to several potential clients who tour our model homes every week, many are having the age old debate of purchasing new versus used.  Factors such as location, price, lot size, warranty, availability and energy savings are all important variables people consider with such a major purchase. However, one factor that rarely comes up is the economic advantage to the surrounding community when buying new. 

When purchasing a used home there is a very short list of financial benefactors: You typically have a real estate agent(s), a lawyer and a home inspector that will receive some economic benefit from the transaction. When purchasing a new home there is a long list of people involved in the process:

  •       A building company such as Parkview Homes with a staff of 25+ employees
  •        Trades: 
    • sales people, excavators, footing and foundation formers, framers, plumbers, electricians, roofers, brick layers and siding installers, flooring installers, drywallers, painters, trim carpenters, cabinetry installers, HVAC contractors, cleaning crews, etc.
  •        Manufacturing companies and building supply stores
  •        Government employees: 
    • city planning department staff, building inspectors, health and safety inspectors, Tarion employees (warranty company), etc.
  •        Development charges: development charges are built into the purchase price of every new home and are used to help finance city infrastructure

So when you are going through the debate of new versus used, not only will you receive a clean, energy efficient new home, personalized to your families individual taste, it is worth considering the strong economic factor that goes hand in hand with new home construction! 

- Paul, New Home Specialist (Sales Representative) 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The First Time Home Buyer Blog: Design Studio - Part 2

Hey! I am back with Part 2 of my Design Studio Blog! If you haven’t had a chance to read Part 1 or any of the blogs in my First Time Home Buyer Blog Series here are the links:

In Part 1 of my Design Studio blog I really wanted to give you some insight on what the Design Studio is and provide some tips for making the Design Studio Selections process easier. In Part Two (this blog), I want to talk to you about my experience once I got into the Design Studio with Susan (Design Studio Manager and Interior Designer).

Like I said before I had LOTS of time between when I purchase my new townhome and actually having to do my Design Studio Selections. With a closing date in October of this year I got lots of time! Typically you only have about a week from going firm on your agreement to get your Design Studio Selections done.

For my home I spent a lot of time researching, looking at pictures and contemplating what finishes I wanted in my new home. I wanted a very fresh and modern look, nothing crazy and nothing I couldn’t match accessories to. But I also wanted to keep on budget with the Design Dollars I was given as a bonus when I purchased and I wanted to try to not spend too much more. For a girl with expensive taste this got challenging ;)

When I got to the Design Studio, Susan started with the kitchen cabinets. This was a pretty easy decision for me because I had already decided on what style of door I was looking for and the stain colour. I want my kitchen to have a transitional design so I went with a door with clean simple lines in a colour called Java. I love dark kitchens; they show less of the mess I create ;). After selecting my cabinet style it was onto countertops, I wasn’t 100% sure on what colour I wanted for my countertop, light or dark. The Design Studio has a fantastic selection and I decided on a pattern/colour called Perlato Granite. It is a beautiful mid range colour between light and dark and has awesome tones of greys and an almost purple in it. I just love it! (The countertop is laminate, because well real granite was not in the budget, but it’s going to look awesome regardless!)
After selecting my kitchen cabinetry and countertops I moved onto selecting my bathroom cabinetry and countertops. I have this thing where I think it’s weird when the bathroom and kitchen have the exact same cabinets and countertops – like my powder room was going to be an extension of my kitchen. Weird! So I wanted to look into options of having white cabinets in my main floor powder room. With this in mind, I booked an appointment with our Kitchen Designer. When you are looking to upgrade your kitchen and/or bathroom cabinetry or countertops we offer the fantastic opportunity to meet with our Kitchen Designer – I will give you more insight on experience with her later. So back to my bathrooms… I knew I definitely wanted them to have a different colour countertop than my kitchen and thought a light colour would be best. I picked White Tigris, from the many options! It’s a nice light grey with a subtle pattern, which I am sure will help hide any bathroom mishaps that I am sure are on their way in my homeownership adventure! For my second floor bathrooms I picked the same dark java cabinets as my kitchen. With the light countertops I am convinced no one will get confused on whether they are in the kitchen or the bathroom :).
After the cabinetry for my home was picked, it was time for floor tile. I knew one of the upgrades that I wanted to do for my home was upgrading from vinyl to tile; one because I have a tendency to drop knives in the kitchen and I didn’t want to somehow slice my flooring and two because I wanted the look and durability of tile. Going with my overall theme of modern and fresh I found an awesome 13x13 grey tile amongst the many floor tile samples. It has an awesome texture, variation of tones and overall fits me and my style perfectly. Oh and it matches my cabinets and both countertops I have selected perfectly!

I will keep you in my bathroom just for a moment longer, to tell you about the wall tile that I selected for both my showers. I went through the wall tile samples multiple times, I wanted something that went with the floor tile and countertops I had already selected, but also wanted to make sure I picked a pattern with longevity, no cream undertones and that it wasn’t to white or to dark. The Design Studio offers many wall tile samples to choose from. After pulling MANY different options, I was able to find a light tile with beautiful grey undertones that matched my floor tile and countertop nicely with NO hint of cream. Can you tell I don’t like cream? ;)
The last selection I needed to make at the Design Studio was my trim and door package. I wanted something modern, something that was different from normal trim packages, clean lines and I didn’t want traditional details. I chose an upgraded package that I think is just beautiful! It is called Modern 1, so I think it was meant to be :).  I have attached a picture of it in one of our homes to show you, because it is difficult to describe its beauty!
That pretty much sums up my Design Studio Selection Process. There were some items that I stayed standard on because they worked for me – such as faucets, plumbing fixtures, interior and exterior door hardware, railings and spindles, etc. Also, with choosing to buy a townhome, my exterior colours and finishes were pre-selected for me. If you buy a single detached home you get the excitement of picking your exterior colour package as well. All Parkview Home Buyers have the opportunity to upgrade almost everything in their home, should their budget allow for it. If not there are so many awesome standard options, your home will looks fantastic no matter what!

You might be thinking I forget to go back and talk about my visit with our Kitchen Designer… I haven’t it was just such an awesome experience I want to give it it’s own blog so nothing is missed.

So until next time I hope this was helpful and I look forward to talking to you soon!
- Alyssa

Click here for more information about the Parkview Homes Design Studio!

(Also, there are fantastic videos on this page that will show you the Design Studio and explain the Design Studio (Colour) Selection process!)