Mar 27, 2015

After a long, harsh winter, it's safe to say that most of us are ready for warmer temperatures, sunnier days, and the lush greenery and beautiful blooming flowers that come with spring. Whether you're celebrating Easter or simply welcoming guests round your table to mark the start of a new season, we've got some fun ideas to help transform your dinner party and dining atmosphere. Try using some of these sweet settings and we're sure you'll wow your company.

Say Yes To Doilies - Freshening up your table doesn't have to be a complex or extensive project. A simple doily and string help to give this basic but beautiful floral arrangement a hint of rustic elegance.

Image via Brit + Co

Lapin Napkin - Get playful with your napkin arrangements. This charming bunny shape is easy to replicate and is a great way to bring the Easter spirit to the table without going overboard.

Image via Martha Stewart
These little guys are a must-have if there are children joining you; they'll love them!

Don't Pass On The Pastels - These gorgeous blush-hued roses and sweet pastel eggs combine to make a lovely centerpiece.

Tiers Of Endearment - Centerpieces can be created with items you already own! Try turning a cake stand into an ode to spring. We love the colorful eggs they've used here.

Image via Midwest Living

Remember Your Chairs - Dressing up your seats is a cute way to further showcase your theme. It doesn't have to be extremely over-the-top, but a minimal tail and sash highlight the Easter spirit.

This is an especially useful idea if you've had to bring in extra seating to accommodate your party and now your chairs don't all match.

Run Away With Burlap - We love this burlap table runner. It incorporates the rustic feel and wholesomeness associated with spring and it also ties the table together very nicely.

Eggcellent Arrangements - There's very little that's as sweet and simple as these eggshell flower arrangements. They're an eggceptional way to bring spring to your table.

Image via Martha Stewart

We hope these decor ideas help to add a little spring to your step and your table. For more sweet ideas, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram - we've always got tips to share.

The Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo is back for a second year at the Cleveland Convention Center! The expo kicks off at 12pm today and runs until Sunday, March 29th. Featuring new and innovative trends and products in home remodeling and design, it's the ideal show for consumers looking to make fresh updates around the house.

This year's features and attractions include:

  • The J. Evans Custom Home Construction's Forever Home "Mini Mansion" - Learn how steel shipping containers can be converted into modern living spaces when you explore this innovative living option, designed to withstand challenging weather conditions and rising utility costs. The layout features one modified 20-foot shipping container and showcases a studio living space. An outdoor addition also provides fresh ideas for turning a shipping container into a detached extension of the home, such as an office or entertainment space. 
  • Fully Construction Perrino Vignettes Built By Perrino Builders & Furniture - Featuring decorating tips for small living spaces that make them look exceptionally awesome. With the growing popularity of downtown living, visitors will be inspired by ideas for maximizing their living space. Combining the latest trends in furniture, accessories, and wall colors, these vignettes showcase a one-stop-shop solution for furnishing or decorating small spaces.
  • The Arcadia GlassHouse Butterfly Feature - Visitors can walk among more than 500 beautiful butterflies and experience their natural habitat in this unique greenhouse, custom-made for the expo. This 12-foot-by-36-foot glass and polycarbonate greenhouse is outfitted with temperature and humidity controls to create an ideal environment for butterflies, orchids, and exotic tropical plants.
  • The How-To Stage - Designed for the attendee who would like to be a DIY-er, experts with take to this stage to provide insights on home improvement projects.
  • The Marketplace - Featuring products for cash-and-carry from artisans and vendors.
  • Club Cambria - Guests can relax and enjoy a bite to eat or a beverage at this sweet spot.
Celebrity appearances on the Main Stage include:

  • Hosts of HGTV's Fixer Upper, Chip and Joanna Gaines have been flipping, remodeling, and fixing up homes together for the past 12 years as owners of Magnolia Homes in Waco, Texas. They appear on the expo's Main Stage on March 27th & 28th. They have worked on more than 100 homes together, combining Chip's great instincts on real estate and Joanna's unique eye for design.
  • Jeff Lewis, widely regarded as America's most well-known house flipper, is the star of Bravo TV's Flipping Out. He'll be appearing on the Main Stage, presented by Absolute Roofing & Construction Inc., on March 28th & 29th. He has created a brand of properties that are in harmony with and are exemplified by exterior and interior living spaces.
  • The home decorating and organization sensation, Ursula Carmona, will be appearing on the Main Stage on Mar 27th & 29th. The DIY superhero behind the blog, Homemade By Carmona, knows it doesn't have to be expensive to be gorgeous.
  • Matt Fox will return as this year's Main Stage emcee, to delight show visitors with his quick wit, home improvement knowledge, and special educational presentations. Matt is best known for creating and co-hosting the first and longest-running show to air on HGTV, Room By Room, as well as hosting and producing the public television series Around The house With Matt And Shari
This is just a brief list of the many things to see and do at the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo. The home and garden event of the season starts today! Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook and treat a friend or family member to the show!

MARCH 27 - 29, 2015.

Mar 26, 2015

J. Evans Custom Home Construction (JECHC), a Lorain, Ohio based construction company bringing container-style homes, known as the "Forever Home", to Northeast Ohio and the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo, answered a few questions about this innovation new design. Get the inside scoop here and then make sure to check out their Mini Mansion at the show this weekend.

Q: How did you get interested in building container homes?

JECHC: "In 2010 the founders of JECHC set out to align with the White House's initiative to end homelessness by 2015. When met with great adversity, the non-profit venture seemed impossible. However, in the process of researching energy-efficient and cost-effective building materials, the founders stumbled upon a resource that would address the need for energy-efficient housing and could withstand shifting climate changes and help promote the gentrification and revitalization of distressed areas: shipping containers. With skyrocketing utility costs, intense weather systems devastating property owners, and the abundance of vacant and severely distressed properties taking over the urban landscape, this innovative technology with a real and viable solution."

Q: What are the benefits of using shipping containers for home construction?

JECHC: "Shipping containers provide a cost-effective, energy-efficient and modern alternative to conventional wooden built homes. Each container is fabricated with the strength of Corten Steel, providing two to three times the strength and life expectancy of wood. Shipping containers are fabricated in standardized dimensions creating faster construction timeframes. They are also built to securely travel in extreme weather conditions while sustaining damage and protecting the cargo locked inside. Additionally, over one million containers are available for purchase each year, ensuring the supply and demand needs can be met. These features make shipping containers a great fit for innovative building design and a viable option for the future of residential and commercial building."

Q: What types of design elements will people see in the Forever Home "Mini Mansion"?

JECHC: "The 'Mini Mansion' will center on comfort-oriented design, showcasing innovative and efficient use of space, maximizing total square footage, including the use of 'negative space'. Because all of JECHC floorplans are custom built for each client, the design possibilities are endless! The interior and exterior allure of the structures will feature energy-efficient and cutting edge renewable materials built to endure damage, normal wear and tear, and deterioration. Maximizing the life expectancy of the structure increases the value of the investment.

Q: What do you think people are most surprised by when they see this style home in person?

JECHC: "Most people can't believe that our structures are made of our shipping containers. The appearance of the structure can be as simple as a standard residential home or as unique as the owner can dream! Not to mention, most are blown away by the use of negative or dead space that other conventional building styles do not incorporate."

Q: Where in Northeast Ohio can container homes be seen?

JECHC: "JECHC will be constructing a full scale model home in 2015 with the location still to be determined. However, the "Mini Mansion" and the Outdoor Addition will be used as mobile model homes, available for viewing in early spring 2015. These structures can be delivered to any location for home buyers to experience the luxury and benefit of building with the highest quality product available in residential construction."

Can't wait to see the Mini Mansion at the show? Check out this video preview here! The Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo takes over the Cleveland Convention Center March 27-29, 2015. Get tickets to explore the Mini Mansion and more! Right now you can get 2-for-1 tickets on Facebook. What are you waiting for? Grab yours today!

MARCH 27 - 29, 2015.

Whether you're bringing a room into this decade, or simply spicing things up, home renovations are exciting, but can be daunting if you don't start with a clear plan and focus.

Here are some suggestions to keep in mind before starting your next home reno:

Find out if you need a permit. Depending on the project, you may need a building permit before beginning work. When dealt with ahead of time, this is rarely an issue. However, it can drain time and funds mid-project if overlooked. Based on the municipality, projects requiring a permit can include: structural alterations (for example, taking down walls to open up a space, adding windows where there were none before, etc.), outdoor decks, garages, sheds, and upgrades to the plumbing system, among others. Always check before you start your project!

Focus on one room/area at a time. Trying to accomplish too much at once can overwhelm you and become discouraging. Consider starting with one of the smaller, more straightforward projects first. This will give you a sense of accomplishment upon completion and help you gain momentum for your next projects.

Do your research before hiring a contractor. If you're looking to tackle a big job, hiring a contractor may be a wise decision. To pick the best team for the job, be sure to interview a few contractors before making your decision. After the interviews, don't forget to check their references. Asking questions like: Did they arrive to the job site on time everyday? Were they professional? did they arrive to all scheduled meetings? How did they handle problems? This will give you a good sense of the type of individuals with whom you'll be working.

Consider sourcing your own materials. Sourcing your own materials can cut down immensely on the overall cost of a reno project. Rupurpose materials you already have, or consider reclaimed pieces.

The Ottawa General Contractors will be at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show, ready to answer all of your questions about your next home project. For a one-on-one consultation with the team, be sure to stop by the Ask the Expert Zone on Saturday, March 28th from 1-4pm. Consultations are first-come, first-served, so don't be late! Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook and get ready to start on your next home improvement project!

Mar 25, 2015

The annual Ottawa Home & Garden Show will be taking over the EY Centre from March 26-29, 2015, and with this event comes the latest in home and gardening tips, tricks, and products. Check out a sneak peek at some of the hottest products we'll be showcasing at the event.

Stone Deck Landscapes' Silca System

Stone Deck Landscapes launched their Silca System in May 2014, allowing you to use stone as never before. This system transforms a wood or composite deck into a maintenance-free living space.

The Silca System is ideal for applications where lumber or composite lumber would have otherwise been the only choice. When connected to wood floor joists, Silca grates provide a substructure (subfloor) for a wide variety of decking materials: stone, brick pavers, travertine pavers, marble, granite, and more. Since it's engineered for strength and easy installation, this durable deck flooring makes it possible for a DIY homeowner, as well as deck architects/designers/builders, to create a new, exciting deck! At the end of the day, the Silca System enhances your outdoor living experience with an attractive, long-lasting, low-maintenance deck. Check out a video demonstrating the innovative new product here.

A special price will be offered at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show. Make sure to check out Stone Deck Landscapes in Booth #2106.

Capital UAV's Aerial Photos

Capital UAV is a newly formed business that provides clients with high quality aerial video and photos by using remote-controlled unmanned air vehicles (UAVs). Capital UAV works with either businesses or individuals who are looking to use the unique vantages provided through the use of UAVs on all sorts of projects.

Contractors are able to showcase their completed projects. Realtors can add to their listings and portfolios. Homeowners or Home Inspectors can use UAVs for inspections of structures that would usually require ladders or lifts.

Pella Windows' Insynctive Technology

Pella Windows' Insynctive Technology was launched in January 2015. For added security, comfort, and convenience, Pella now offers a family of smart products to manage your windows, window treatments, and doors remotely from home or on the go. Pella offers window and door, garage door, and entry door deadbolt sensors which communicate through the Insynctive Bridge and Status indicator. The Insynctive Bridge works with compatible home automation systems to allow you to manage the security of your home when you're on the go.

Piramid Mfg. Ltd.'s Barn Door Hardware Kits

Piramid Mfg. Ltd.'s Barn Door Hardware Kits were launched over April and May 2014. These heavy duty barn door hardware kits are available in nine options (three styles and three colours), and can be purchased now.

Kits include tracks, hangers, and all mounting hardware. These beautifully heavy duty products can be customized to fit all styles. They have stainless steel kits for a more modern finish, black kits for a classic look, and antique bronze kits for a more vintage, true "barn door" style. Straight strap, bent strap, and top mount hardware ensure that there is a style to suit everyone's needs.

Piramid Mfg. Ltd. will be selling these hardware kits at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show at a special show price. Hardware kits will be ready to take home same-day (while supplies last).

Triangle Kitchen and Bath's Reclaimed Barn Boards/Beams

A new product, launched over this past year, Triangle Kitchen and Bath's Reclaimed Barn Boards/Beams are not only on trend, but they are an environmentally friendly option! The company started to introduce the reclaimed wood in their work following multiple inquiries from clients. The product has been use to build vanities, side tables, exterior BBQ kitchen cabinet cladding, coffee tables, and more.

We Do Closets' Sevroll Sliding and Bi-Fold Doors

We Do Closets' Sevroll Sliding and Bi-Fold Doors were launched in January 2014. The premium extruded aluminum handles are available in a variety of fashionable styles. Customers can choose from a wide variety of panel insets such as wood panels that match the closet finish, or mirrors, textured glass, or decorative acrylic. You can even incorporate a custom printed mural into the project! Since the doors are made to measure they fit perfectly and move effortlessly.

Ford Electric's Equinox Home Interface

Ford Electric's Equinox Home Interface by Vantage Controls was launched in April 2013. All devices from wall interfaces to touch screens to your iPhone all have the same controls. Ford Electric and Equinox combines lighting control, HVAC control, audio/video control, IP cameras, security system control, motorized blinds, fireplace control, and any other third party device into one seamless interface for your home.

Rose-A-Lane's Zen Mineral Shower

Launched in November 2014, Rose-A-Lane's Zen Mineral Shower offers a supreme relaxation experience. Water and air are rapidly mixed together and filtered through the mineral stones making the water softer and more gentle on your skin. You will use less water, help the environment, and save on your water heating costs.

RenovAction Home Improvements' Magic Window and Metal Roofing

RenovAction Home Improvements has been offering their Magic Window and Classic Metal Roofing since 2014. If you're looking for a highly energy efficient, quality vinyl window, RenovAction's Magic Window is one of the best on the market. For those of you in the market for a new roof, consider RenovAction's quality aluminum roofing, also highly energy efficient.

Les Seaux GADI's Wood Creations

Les Seaux GADI offers a wider variety of wooden creations, like buckets and umbrella stands, made out of high quality wood and more. If you're in the market for your next statement piece, don't miss their booth at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show!

This is just a taste of the myriad of products and companies that will be featured at this year's Ottawa Home & Garden Show. With hundreds of experts and professionals ready to offer you advice, tips, and ideas for your next home improvement project, this is one event you can't afford to miss. Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook and join us at the show this weekend!

Do you love the space you're in? If not, Chip and Joanna Gaines, of HGTV's Fixer Upper, are the perfect couple to come to your rescue! This dynamic duo helps others take ownership of their spaces and create value within them. With Joanna's flair for design and Chip's construction background these two know how to make a beautiful home.

Don't miss your chance to see Chip and Joanna at the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo on Friday, March 27th and Saturday, March 28th. Learn home improvement tips and tricks to help make your house into a home you love. Before you see them at the show, get to know them a little better in our interview with the couple below.

Q: What three items are a must when traveling?

Joanna: "The kids always make me a special piece of handmade jewelry that I take with me, my journal, and a fun magazine."
Chip: "My flashlight, my boots, and my Magnolia Farms hat."

Q: What were your first jobs?

Joanna: "Hot dog stand."
Chip: "Mowing grass."

Q: How were you discovered?

Joanna & Chip: "A well-known blogger featured one of our flip houses on her blog, and a production company found us through her."

Q: What is your most memorable career moment to date?

Joanna: "Flying to Knoxville, TN to meet HGTV talent and execs. I felt like I was in their fan club, and won the trip of a lifetime."
Chip: "Being featured on The Today Show."

Q: What would surprise our Cleveland audience to know about you?

Joanna & Chip: "We don't own a television."

Q: What's your personal motto?

Joanna: "Love well, serve others, work hard."
Chip: "Go get 'em!"

Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?

Joanna & Chip: "Finding the balance between four kids, three businesses, a farm, a television show, and knowing how to take on each challenge with excellence."

Q: What do you cook when you're at home?

Joanna: "Comfort food."
Chip: "Breakfast."

Make sure to see Chip and Joanna Gaines at the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo this weekend. The home and garden event of the season takes over the Cleveland Convention Center March 27-29, 2015. Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook and treat a friend or family member to the show.

MARCH 27 - 29. 2015.

Mar 24, 2015

Whatever your style, your bedroom should act as an escape, a place where you can put your feet up and relax after a long day. Need some help creating your bedroom oasis? Try some of these techniques when decorating your space.

Statement lighting fixtures. A sparkling chandelier or statement wall lights at either side of the bed are both functional lighting solutions that create a feeling of luxury in your bedroom space.

Image via Decoholic

Double up on window treatments. This allows you to block out the sun on those cherished weekend sleep-in mornings, while giving you the added opportunity to layer for a more dynamic design.

Image via Love Home

Play with shapes and graphics. If you want to create an interesting space and aren't sure where to start, trying playing with shapes and bold graphics, For example, a statement, custom headboard or furniture set can do wonders for a space.

Image via Brit + Co

Take advantage of your view. Whether your bedroom looks out on a gorgeous mountainscape or the garden in your backyard, try reorganizing your furniture to make the view the focal point.

For more tips on how to wow guests with your next redesign, visit Mary Taggart, Editor of Ottawa At Home, at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show, March 26-29 at the EY Centre. Mary will be gracing the Main Stage on Saturday, March 28th at 4:30pm, with a presentation on defining your personal style and implementing it into your home decor.

Looking for some instant charm? Well, the addition of beams to your ceilings will give your home great architectural detail and almost a sense of history!

Try turning an ordinary ceiling in your family or living room to extraordinary with the addition of faux beams. This project isn’t for the timid; it requires some work, skill and above all a sense of adventure. The results are one that will enhance your living spaces for years to come, and you did it yourself.

This is one of several DIY projects Matt Fox will be sharing during the Cleveland Home +Remodeling Expo, March 27 - 29. Hope to see you there!

Shopping List:
Depending on the beam size, pine lumber ranging from 1’ x 6’ to 1’ x 10’s.

Materials on hand:
  • Compound Miter Saw
  • Drill with drill bits
  • Carpenters square
  • Level (laser level would be ideal)
  • Pencil
  • 4 inch long 1/4 inch toggle bolts
  • Nail gun and compressor
  • Paint and paint brushes
Project Note:
This project is going to take a little help. It requires lifting the lumber up onto the ceiling, while one person holds the lumber, the other will attach it.


Step 1 - Determine the size of the beam. For the photo, we selected 1’ x 4’s for the sides and 1’ x 8’s for the cover of the beam. Measure the room and purchase enough lumber to do the number of beams you decide.

Step 2 - Locate where the beams will be placed. Evenly divide the ceiling so that there is equal distance between the beams. Lay out the location of each beam by using a carpenters square (placed against the side wall to make sure that the beams run square) and a level to lay out the line, marking the placement of the beam with a pencil. We used a laser level to mark each beam placement. The straighter the beam the better the final results.

Step 3 - Cut blocks out of 2’ x 4’s the distance of the cover of the beam. If you select a 1’ x 6’ the blocks should be the width of that board. Depending on the length of the beam you will need at least 4 blocks for every 10 feet of beam.

Step 4 - Drill pilot holes into the block so that the toggle bolt can be pushed through the pilot hole.

Step 5 - At the end of each beam placement and along the beam line, secure the blocks to the ceiling, by marking the placement by pushing an awl through the block pilot hole. Drill a pilot hole into the ceiling then secure the block to the ceiling using the toggle. The blocks should be perpendicular to the beam line.

Step 6 - Cut the side pieces of the beam to length. For long beams, use several sections for the run of the beam. For the photo, the beams are constructed with 2 pieces of 1’ x 4’ per side. Cut the lumber to length using the miter saw.

Step 7 - Attach the side pieces to the blocks using a nail gun. (If more than one side piece is used, make sure that a block is located where the two side pieces will be joined. Also miter the ends of the side pieces to create a clean joint.)

Step 8 - Cut the cover to length. Again, more than one cover piece may be used for long beams. If more than one cover piece is used, make sure to miter the ends of the cut where the two will meet to make a smoother joint.

Step 9 - Hold the cover in place and secure with the nail gun.

Step 10 - Use a 1/4” corner round along the side pieces to add finish detail and to cover any gaps between the ceiling and the beam. Cut to length and install using the nail gun.

Step 11 - Paint and technique the beam to the color of your choice. Basically, you are creating a long box that will be installed to the ceiling. If you are lucky enough to find the ceiling joist and can secure the blocks to them, that would be great, but it seems like that never happens. Just make sure that you have enough blocks per beam and that where joints meets there is always a block.

Get more simple and stylish DIY projects from Matt Fox at the Cleveland Home + Remodeling Expo. The home and garden event of the season takes over the Cleveland Convention Center March 27 - 29, 2015. Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook and treat a friend or family member to the show.

MARCH 27 - 29, 2015.

Mar 23, 2015

The most interesting and dynamic living room design and decor makes a statement and creates a discussion among friends and visitors. Consider incorporating some of the trends below to spark the discussion you want without having to do a full remodel.

Layered textures. Combining materials like metal, leather, wood, silk, and glass creates unexpected interest in a room.

Image via Pop Sugar

Play with patterns. Bold, large-scale patterns are on trend for 2015. Consider these for something like your window furnishings or throw pillows. By trying on these bold patterns through accents, it's easy to replace them in the next season if your love for them begins to dwindle over time.

Image via Pop Sugar

Mod is back. The mod influences of the 1960s are back. Embrace the trend by incorporating pops of colours, geometric patterns, chrome, and glass.

Image via Classy Clutter

Try going neon. Neon is a huge trend for 2015. To dip your toes in, without jumping head first, try hints of neon on a background of pastel. This can be a fun way to inject some more colour and excitement into your decor for spring and summer.

Image via Her Campus

For staples, think classic. For those staple pieces that will stay in your home for a long time, go for a more classic design. While it's fun to be creative, too much decorative creativity can result in constant updating to keep up with the trends. Consider spicing things up with smaller, creative accents that you can switch up as new trends develop.

For one-on-one design tips, Lee-Ann LaCroix will be at the Ottawa Home & Garden Show's Ask the Expert Zone on Saturday, March 28th from 4-7pm. It's first-come, first-served, so make sure you're first in line - and don't forget your colour swatches! The show takes over the EY Centre March 26-29, 2015. Don't have tickets yet? Get 2-for-1 on Facebook and treat a friend or family member to the show!