Top 5 on the ‘Wish-list’ for new homes!

Open Concept Living is here to stay. Our lifestyles require a space where we can connect with our families at the end of a day, cook, relax, and catch-up. When we have friends and family visiting, the kitchen is where everyone ends up anyway - so make it big enough for that to happen!

Butlers are beautiful, and practical too. A Butler is that ante-space off the kitchen where there’s extra room for a wine fridge, preparation space and storage for the items that aren’t used every day.

Outdoor Living Porches at the rear of the home are an extension of interior living space, where ‘no-matter-what-the-weather-is’, life goes on. This area means you can BBQ year-round, enjoy an evening outside protected from the summer’s heat, or bundle up with some cozy blankets in the cooler seasons.

Mudrooms are popular because they’re practical! Let’s face it- we all have ‘stuff’! Not only does our climate need gear for four seasons, but today’s families are involved in so many activities that I often say you need an engineering degree to manage it all!

The Master Bedroom & Ensuite is that retreat space at the end of an exhausting day, so it has to be welcoming and well proportioned. I usually want the master facing the rear yard for privacy and try to allow for well-sized closets.


Building with Brick

Brick has been the building material of choice for thousands of years. Manufactured out of natural clay and baked in kilns, bricks are used by civilizations all over the world. Most recently brick is used as an exterior wall veneer creating a weatherproof barrier. The interior of the wall (wood or steel framing or concrete) forms the structural component. With the variety of colours, sizes, finishes and textures available, brick is being used for every architectural style- traditional to modern. This versatility and the availability through local manufacturers has made brick one of my favourite exterior cladding materials.

Bricks require a structural foundation ledge or steel for support. They can be combined easily with other materials like stone, wood or vinyl siding, or stucco to create one-of-a-kind facades.

I tried my very amateur hand at block-laying while working in construction summers during university. Yes - that’s a pic of me in 1978 (OK… do the math…). It resulted in many sore muscles and a life-long admiration for brick and stone masons – their work takes incredible skill, and it’s hard and dusty. Here are some links to associations and some of my preferred brick suppliers.

Summer is here in its glory! There are so many things to enjoy… songbirds that wake us in the morning, the smell of fresh-cut grass, and the first green shoots of beets and lettuce are showing in the garden. I hope you enjoy this 14th issue of Seasonal where we travel to Aurora, Ontario.

LIFE ~ ‘In a Brand New Brick Infill’

We’re seeing it in every community – the transition happening with the older stock of homes reaching their lifespan, being demolished, and making way for new homes. Blake Aspden of Aspden Construction is actively part of this “Infill” movement in Aurora. Blake contacted me about designing a home ‘on spec’ for this site. Typical in the older established neighbourhoods, the lot (60’x180’) allowed for a good sized home while maintaining a large rear yard. The property was not listed under the Town’s Heritage Register, but in-keeping with the neighbourhood’s eclectic mix of homes built over the past 130 years, we chose a traditional style for the exterior while incorporating modern amenities in the 2900 square foot interior. When the home was completed and put on the market, Norman came through and bought it right away. It was the perfect size and layout for him and his family and the generous rear yard afforded the space for an in-ground pool .

1. Architectural Design: Jane Cameron, Life Home Design
2. Structural Engineer: Steve Boyd, Quaile Engineering
3. Builder: Blake Aspden, Aspden Construction
4. Windows and Exterior Doors supplied by Windows First
5. Brick: Redland Brick supplied by Commonwealth Brick

Recipe for Homemade Weed Killer

I want to share the most amazing weed killer that you can make at home. The old weed killers on the market like Round-up literally made me feel sick. I am especially concerned about their impact on the environment. I didn’t like the idea of spraying the patio stones or gravel driveway with Round-up because it’s where our 4 grandsons like to play with their trucks. After researching online and trying a few, I’ve settled on this one. I mix it in a large spray container purchased at the TSC farm store. Spray in the morning when you know it’s going to be hot and by the end of the day, just see the results! Make sure you don’t overspray onto flower beds or lawn.

1 quart vinegar
1 cup Epsom salts
2 TB Dawn dish soap

Mix into a large spray bottle and apply.

Copyright © 2016 Life Home Design, All rights reserved. Our mailing address is: 5087 4th Line, Tottenham, ON L0G 1W0
905-939-8025 - -