Many clients ask me “What’s your style?” And I usually answer the question with, “This is your home… what’s your style?” Yes, I have some favourite architectural styles, but it is my responsibility as a designer to customize a home to my clients’ needs & style. Inspiration comes from our neighbourhood, our community and our environment. It is also drawn from our personal experiences, our exposure to historic styles, what we see around us and through travels to other parts of the world. All of these play important roles in decision-making and will be discussed in upcoming issues of ‘The Seasonal’. One of the best ways my clients can communicate ‘Their Style’ is a relatively new website Don’t blame me if you get addicted like many of my clients have, but you can choose from thousands of photos by customizing your search. You can set up personal ‘Ideabooks’ that are easily shared online and by viewing the Ideabook, I get a clear sense of that Style. It’s a great basis for inspiration at the design development stage. Try it! It’s hard to stop browsing….

Engineered Wood Flooring

Wood floors have been a choice flooring material for hundreds of years. They are long wearing, durable, warm and rich-looking. With the recent popularity of in-floor radiant heating however, there has been a requirement for a more stable wood floor system. Where traditional wood floors can crack, check or warp when a direct heat source is below, engineered wood, with its solid wood top and veneer subtrade, resists movement and shrinkage. It can be nailed down or where there is a concrete base it can be directly glued.

Adam Corney, with Northern Wide Plank out of Schomberg Ontario, says 70% of their product manufacturing is now Engineered Wood Flooring. The top layer of solid wood is a full 1/4” thick, it is glued under pressure to a ” base of high grade 11 ply Baltic Birch Plywood for a finished product depth of ” - the same as traditional wood flooring. The superior depth of the top layer means that over time, as refinishing may be required, it can be sanded 3 times. Visit for their extensive listing of wood species, product widths & lengths and finishes available. Photo courtesy of Northern Wide Plank.

Welcome to the first issue of Life Home Design’s ‘SEASONAL!’

SEASONAL is being sent to a select list of clients, builders, design consultants, associates and suppliers that I’ve had the pleasure of working with over many years.

In each quarterly issue I’ll be highlighting a Featured Home, current Design Trends and Building Materials, and discussing the concept of ‘Inspiration’ and where ideas come from. And watch for “Jane’s Kitchen’ with a favourite recipe because ‘What’s LIFE without good food?’.

LIFE ~ ‘On the Level!’

It’s a buzzword in home planning today - ‘Single Floor Living’. A popular design trend, having all the principle rooms of your home on one level is practical and functional.
In the last 15 years, I have worked with many homeowners whose priority on their ‘Wish List’ is Single Floor Living- an efficient layout that will enable them to stay in their home for years to come.

Builder for this project: Peter Reynolds, PWR Construction Ltd.
Mobile: 416-606-6895 | Email:

Over many years of working with wonderful people, I’ve always appreciated how well we all get to know each other! We share stories about our kids, our grandkids, our health, our hopes, our sorrows, our dreams and yes… even a recipe or two! So I thought, “Why not share some of my favourite recipes?” Here’s a start – and what’s Spring without Maple Syrup? And what’s Maple Syrup without Pancakes?

I’ve been making pancakes pretty well every Saturday for 33 years and I’ve tried lots of recipes. I’m settled on this one now- for its good-for-you rolled oats and low flour content. It’s super easy to divide or multiply depending on the numbers, and the pancakes keep well for a few days (nothing like ‘em for a mid-day snack for hungry grandkids!). Not sure why, but I’ve always made small dollar pancakes. Our son Lachlan (now 27) used to eat twelve at a sitting and now his son Joshua (2) is closing ranks!

This recipe is from an old Quaker Oats Wholegrain Cookbook.

2 cups milk
1 cups Coarse Rolled Oats (uncooked)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
1/3 cup cooking oil (I use sunflower)
Pour milk over oats; let stand 5 minutes. Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add dry ingredients, eggs and oil to oats mixture, stirring until combined. Pour cup batter onto hot, lightly greased griddle. Bake to a golden brown, turning only once. Makes 25 3” pancakes.
Pour over the Maple Syrup and add some fresh fruit… can LIFE get any better?

On the menu for breakfast at Jane’s
Saturday, March 9th, 2013
Oatmeal Pancakes

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