How to Choose Relaxing Seating for your Master Bedroom

How to Choose Relaxing Seating for your Master Bedroom

Your master bedroom should be a relaxing retreat area that you can leisurely enjoy at anytime of the day. Seating in this room should be considered carefully, or the bed becomes the place for seating and sleeping, which isn’t always relaxing. The size of your master bedroom, seating preference, and decorative style will be amongst a few factors when choosing the right seating. Determine if you will use your seating for reading, relaxing, or for decoration. Whichever is your preference, here are tips to help you choose the seating perfect for you.

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  • Assess your space: While most of us would love to have a couch, chaise loungers and a full seating area in our master bedrooms, this isn’t always feasible. Determine how much space you have to work within your room. A bay window or area adjacent to the main master bedroom area is ideal. If you don’t have this, a chair in a corner may suit your needs as well. For extra tight master bedrooms, consider doing away with one nightstand and replacing with a comfortable chair.
  • What is your seating function: In many master bedrooms there is ample room for a seating area and for seating that looks beautiful too. If you have plenty of room, consider oversized reading chairs with ottomans or chaise lounges that allow you to relax and spread out.  Create a conversation area with two or more chairs and a small table between them. If you prefer, one seat that has ample cushions, a throw blanket a reading lamp will serve a reading nook function nicely.

mbedroom seat blue How to Choose Relaxing Seating for your Master Bedroom


  • Have your seating compliment the bed: In the master bedroom, the bed should take center stage. Choose seating that compliments it in color, form, materials, or all of the above. A small bench or seat at the end of the bed makes for a perfect place to put on shoes in the morning without messing up the made bed! Create a pulled together look with a custom tufted headboard and matching upholstery fabric on your chairs. When your entire bedroom is treated like one ensemble, the result is a beautiful space that is functional for seating and lounging.

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  • Multiple seating areas: To create more than one seating area, determine your lifestyle for your master bedroom. If you regularly have your kid’s come in the morning to watch television as you sit at a side desk to check your email, seating should accommodate all functions. A love seat couch, and separate desk chairs, and conversation areas can be created to make your bedroom serve as a ‘living master bedroom’ area. Your seating should reflect your lifestyle and too many or too little seating should only be defined by you.

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Your master bedroom seating should be versatile and beautiful. Determine your needs, space, and what types of seating you enjoy. For space saving ideas, consider buying storage ottomans that can open for storage of books and magazines. If your bed sits high off the floor, consider movable seating that can roll under the bed, and be pulled out when needed. Don’t let space be a deterrent of why you can’t have beautiful seating in your master bedroom.



5 Ways Fabrics Beautifully Enhance your Home

5 Ways Fabrics Beautifully Enhance your Home

Do you ever walk into a room of your house and are bored by what you’ve seen for ages?  Embroidered fabrics can be a wonderful way to accent a room. The three dimensional quality of these fabrics and their tactile nature make for a unique feature that most fabrics don’t have.  Despite what you have heard in the past, not everything in your home needs to be a neutral solid.  A patterned fabric can complement and enhance an existing space that might fall flat with simple, solid colors.  Incorporating these embroidered fabrics into your home might be easier than you think with these straightforward tips.

  • Add an upholstered headboard: A headboard always gives structure and focus to a room.  Note the padded and gathered headboard in Camilla David Textiles embroidered pattern in the picture below.  The white background with a modern floral design adds new dimension and pops from the deep purple wall.  Additionally, adding another piece of furniture in the same fabric adds an unexpected fun element that helps tie the room together.
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Camilla David Textiles Ballerinas in Plum

  • Beautify your bed: Add some interest to your bedroom with an embroidered duvet cover or bed skirt.  Embroidered fabrics are classic, enhance the texture and give color to what might be a simple space.   Not to mention, a comfy duvet is always nice to cuddle up to.
  • Freshen your look with bright pillows: Ever fallen in love with a bold fabric and didn’t know how to integrate into your room?  Pillows are an easy and quick solution to add flavor to a living room or bedroom.  Embroidered fabrics come in many shades and patterns that help to create texture, as seen in the picture below.  Try a contrasting trim to bring even more interest to the room.
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Camilla David Textiles Nandini in Powder Blue, Stepping Stones in Smoke, and Gardenia Seeds in Margarita (from top to bottom)

  • Consider embroidered fabrics for draperies/shades: If you have wondered about how to add a focal point to a room but don’t want to splurge on new furniture, think about installing patterned shades or draperies.  Try to choose a large pattern that will draw in the eye and create contrast.  This breaks up the monotony of a room otherwise filled up by solid colors.  The look can pull the room together in a way that you won’t tire of quickly.
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Shades: Camilla David Textiles Nandini in Powder Blue (Interior Design: Heather Safferstone of Sally Steponkus Interiors, Photographer: Angie Seckingerer)

  • Accent a room with upholstered furniture: Whether it be a sofa, ottoman or accent chair, an upholstered piece of furniture in an embroidered fabric can be the missing ingredient to the room.  A stand out piece always adds interest and variety, keeping the room unique and fresh.
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Camilla David Textiles Drapery: Rose Trellis in Champagne; Stools: Tesora in Gold

Remember embroidered fabrics when you are looking for ways to create focal points, accentuate your existing furniture or just update your style. This guest post was provided by Camilla David Textiles


Toronto Real Estate Market Report: March 2011 Statistics | Toronto Condos | Toronto Lofts | Toronto Real Estate

Toronto Real Estate Market Report: March 2011 Statistics

     Greater Toronto REALTORS® reported 9,262 transactions through the TorontoMLS® system in March 2011, representing the second best March result on record. The number of transactions was 11 per cent lower than the record result reported in March 2010.

“The strong home sales reported in March and throughout the first quarter of 2011 have been based on a solid affordability picture and improving economic conditions in the GTA and country-wide,” said Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) President Bill Johnston.

 The average selling price for March 2011 was up five per cent year-over-year to $456,147. The strongest average annual price growth was reported for condominium apartments and semi-detached houses, at approximately seven per cent for both home types.

“Market conditions were tighter in March compared to last year. With more competition between buyers, we have seen a strong but sustainable rate of price growth,” said Jason Mercer, TREB’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

Toronto Real Estate Market Report: March 2011 Statistics Photo

Toronto Real Estate Market Report: March 2011 Statistics Photo



First-Time Home Buyers Boost Toronto Real Estate Market | Toronto Real Estate | Toronto MLS Listings | Toronto Homes For Sale

First-Time Home Buyers Boost Toronto Real Estate Market

By Thomas Cook • April 5th, 2011

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A new report from Re/Max that was released this week is saying that first-time homebuyers looking to get into the real estate market before interest rates rise are boosting real estate markets across Canada, including the Toronto real estate market.

“Many purchasers intent on realizing home ownership are scaling back on expectations or are willing to sacrifice location, quality and/or size to make their dream a reality, not unlike generations before them,” said Re/Max.

Toronto Real Estate

First-time buyers are boosting the Toronto real estate market.

The new mortgage rules that came into effect in late March lowered the maximum amortization period for mortgages in Canada from 35 years to 30 years, but instead of stifling the Canadian real estate market this has led more buyers to be willing to compromise. The new rules also limited the amount homeowners can borrow from the value of their homes for refinancing their mortgages from 90 per cent to 85 per cent.

According to the Re/Max report, home sales have increased in some of Canada’s real estate markets and are around the same levels they were in 2010.

“With the Canadian economy on firmer footing overall, residential real estate is well-positioned moving into the traditionally busy spring market,” said Re/Max. “Consumer confidence is climbing in conjunction with economic performance, and concerns over a secondary recession fade each passing day. The mood is cautiously optimistic as first-time buyers enter the market.”


Toronto Area Home Prices Up 5% in March | Toronto Real Estate Blog

Toronto Area Prices Up 5% in March

Toronto Selling Prices March 2011

The Toronto Real Estate Board reported 9,262 transactions in March, the second best March result on record, though still 11% below the all-time record set in March 2010.  The average selling price for March 2011 was $456,147, up 5% over last March. Here’s a brief video from Jason Mercer, the Toronto Real Estate Board’s Senior Manager of Market Analysis.

The total inventory of homes for sale in March was 16,616, representing only 1.8 months’ supply at a rate of 9,262 sales per month. Anything less than 3 months’ supply is considered to be a sellers’ market, so it’s not surprising that prices are increasing at a strong pace. If interest rates increase in the second half of the year, as is widely expected, then we might see a moderation of this trend in the summer and fall, but for now we have a very hot spring market!


Home equity line of credit used for renos, school | #Toronto #realestate

Home equity line of credit used for renos, school

Owners Say hello to HELOC; ‘The advantage is, it’s money there when you need it’


When Sean Fitzgibbons needed a short-term loan last year to cover his daughter’s first year of university, his wife’s master’s degree and a bathroom renovation, the real estate industry veteran knew exactly what to do: Fitzgibbons took out a bankstructured home equity line of credit, or HELOC, a form of financing that’s zoomed in popularity in the last decade.

“We wanted to protect ourselves, to make sure we had good cash flow, and we knew based on experience that an option would be to dip into equity in our home,” says Fitzgibbons, a former real estate agent who runs the Toronto office of Multivista Construction Documentation Inc., which photographs home renovation and commercial construction sites.

But is a HELOC the right option for this borrower, and for thousands of Canadians who have turned it into one of the trendiest instruments of personal finance?

The volume of HELOCs has ballooned by up to 170 per cent in 10 years, nearly double the speed of mortgage debt, according to the Bank of Canada.

Critics say HELOCs, which account for 12 per cent of overall household debt, make it easier for Canadians to borrow too heavily against their homes. They’re non-amortizing, so borrowers can opt to pay interest on whatever is drawn down, not the principal, which arguably imposes less discipline than a mortgage with fixed repayment terms for interest and principal.

And since a HELOC is almost always a variable interest rate product pegged to the Bank of Canada’s prime, if interest rates rise too quickly, a borrower might not be able to keep pace.

The government recently tightened mortgage rules: changes that took effect March 18 allow borrowers to secure up to 85 per cent of their home’s assessed value through a refinancing, down from 90 per cent previously (HELOCs are available only to a maximum of 80 per cent loan-to-value). Loans may be made on a 30-year amortization – or repayment – schedule, instead of 35 years. And effective April 18, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation will no longer offer mortgage insurance for nonamortizing loans such as HELOCs.

But the mortgage industry says HELOCs aren’t proven to be the culprit behind rising consumer debt. And if used judiciously, they’re a low-cost financing option for Canadians who might otherwise rack up expensive credit card debt to cover urgent needs.

“The biggest downside is definitely the temptation to use the money because it’s there,” says Marcel Ghazouli, a mortgage broker with Premiere Mortgage Centre of Mississauga, Ont. “The advantage is, it’s money there when you need it.”

HELOCs provide revolving credit: once approved, they can be continually repaid, without penalty, and the credit drawn down again and again. There’s no obligation to re-qualify for assistance, for example, following a sudden drop in the family’s income, since the loan is secured against the home.

Canadians typically play it safe with such financings, says Jim Murphy, president and chief executive of the Canadian Association of Accredited Mortgage Professionals. A study by his association last fall revealed one in five Canadians withdrew equity from their home in 2010, averaging $46,000 per borrower; of those, 45 per cent used the money to consolidate and repay higher-interest debt, 43 per cent made home improvements, and 19 per cent paid for education.

According to Murphy, it’s “too early to say” if the federal rule changes will dampen enthusiasm for HELOCs.

“The basic result is you can borrow less on your home than you could have,” he concludes, “but you can still borrow a lot on the value of your home.”

Repaying fully within two to five years should be the goal, Ghazouli says.

HELOCs are especially useful for funding renovations to improve a home’s resale value – better still, if the home is to be listed for sale soon afterward, and proceeds will be used to pay off the loan, he says.

Taking advantage of the current real estate market in Toronto, Fitzgibbons was able to maximize the amount of his credit line at historically low interest rates.

Similar to selecting a contractor, he put several mortgage companies through the paces, getting references and ultimately choosing a reputable broker to guide him through the array of HELOC products on offer.

“People will go into a bank and say, ‘I need a line of credit or a credit card,’ the bank will say OK,” Fitzgibbons says. “But if you’ve done your homework and know what to ask for, and you have a broker who’s on it every day, you’ll get better advice.”



Canadian dollar closes higher amid surging oil prices, solid economic data

From Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press, March 31, 2011 – 4:18 p.m.

Canadian dollar closes higher amid surging oil prices, solid economic data

By Malcolm Morrison, The Canadian Press

Canadian dollars, also known as “loonies” are shown with U.S. dollars Tuesday, April 6, 2010 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

TORONTO – The Canadian dollar closed higher against the American currency Thursday amid economic data showing solid economic growth in January and surging oil prices.

The loonie gained 0.19 of a cent to 103.14 cents US after Statistics Canada reported that gross domestic product grew by 0.5 per cent in January, meeting expectations and matching the pace of growth in December.

The agency said that growth was driven by the manufacturing sector and, to a lesser extent, by transportation and wholesale trade.

It added that the finance and insurance sector, construction and real estate also increased while mining and oil and gas extraction as well as retail trade decreased.

Oil prices climbed surged Thursday after control of a key oil port swung back to forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, dimming hopes of a quick rebel victory and a restart of crude exports.

The May crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange rose $2.45 to a 30-month high of US$106.72 a barrel.

The May copper contract on the Nymex was three cents higher at $4.32 a pound.

Gold prices advanced as the June bullion contract in New York gained $15 to a record close of US$1,439.90 an ounce.

The greenback was lower against the euro after data showed that inflation in the 17 eurozone countries spiked to the highest level in nearly two and a half years in March.

Eurostat, the EU’s statistics office, reported that consumer prices in the eurozone were 2.6 per cent higher in March than the year before, which is way above the central bank’s target of keeping inflation at “close to, but below two per cent.”

The inflation reading raised speculation that the European Central Bank will raise interest rates as early as its next meeting on April 7.

In the United States, there was good news a day before the release of the March non-farm payrolls report. The U.S. Labour Department said that the number of people seeking unemployment insurance benefits dipped by 6,000 to a seasonally adjusted 388,000 for the week that ended March 26. That’s the second decline in three weeks.

Economists expect the March employment report to show the economy created at least 185,000 jobs.