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Renovation & Design Articles

  • The mystery of the missing cold-air vents

    The mystery  of the missing cold-air vents

    QUESTION: We have a 1948 1�-storey house. Just wondering why there are no cold-air return vents in the upper level or basement, just on the main floor?Bill YoungerAnswer: There are a lot of differences between modern homes and those built in the first half of the last century. Some of . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • How to make canned spaghetti sauce yummy

    How to make canned spaghetti sauce yummy

    QUESTION: Is there a trick to making tasty spaghetti sauce without making it from scratch? Wess, Russell ANSWER: Yes. Here is the trick: Save about one cup of water from the cooked pasta. Strain the noodles as normal, you will notice that they are sticky (which is fine). Stir in . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • Crown Spas celebrates grand opening

    Crown Spas celebrates grand opening

    The May long weekend was a snow job for those who believe in global warming, but it didn't prevent tenacious Manitobans from booking a record number of campsites. We remain cockeyed optimists, even though we know from bitter experience variable weather conditions are a hallmark of this capricious season called . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • Fire blight disease slowly winning the battle

    Fire blight disease slowly winning the battle

    I receive hundreds of questions each year from readers, clients and those who visit my website. Here are two questions that keep popping up:Question: In the past few years, you have commented and described the symptoms and control of fire blight disease on crabapple and mountain ash trees. Is the . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • Make a splash

    Grasses add colour, texture to your garden palette
    Make a splash

    This season, daring to be different with ornamental grass varieties has never been easier. Among the most versatile of plants, grasses are perfect partners for perennials and annuals in both beds and containers.The human eye can see more shades of green than any other colour. The palette of colour for . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • 'A space that becomes JOYOUS and alive'

    'A space  that becomes JOYOUS  and alive'

    When top fashion designers show off their new clothing lines, all eyes are on the runway. When top fashion and decor designer Simon Chang talks home decor and colour, people listen.For anyone who loves the idea of walking through their front door and having that, "ahhh, love it!" feeling, welcome . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • Opening the cottage

    Clearing critters and stale air just the beginning
    Opening the cottage

    If you're planning to go to the cottage this weekend, chances are it's the first time you've seen it in months -- and there will be a few problems awaiting your arrival.Animal alertStart by doing an exterior check. Look for signs of critters, such as torn-up window screens, and holes . . .

    May 23, 2015

  • Use a hair dryer to stretch tight shoes

    QUESTION : I own a pair of shoes that have a stretch fabric over the top of the shoe. I tried them on as I need them for a wedding this weekend and they are tight. How can I stretch them a bit so they feel more comfy? Thanks, Shirley, . . .

    May 16, 2015

  • Unique decorating ideas for unusual spaces

    Unique decorating ideas for unusual spaces

    There's something interesting about a room that has unusual lines. Angled, low ceilings or walls, dormers, cut-ins or jut-outs can all be charming at first glance. When a space is outside of the box it can be inspiring, but also a little daunting when it comes to decorating. We had this . . .

    May 16, 2015

  • Cabinet quality something worth considering

    Cabinet quality something worth considering

    The saying "a five dollar horse with a fifty dollar saddle" relates to our current practice of purchasing mass-produced kitchen cabinets and mounting more expensive granite counters on top of them. Most of the cabinets produced today look good on the outside. However, if discerning buyers check the materials used to . . .

    May 16, 2015