Posts Tagged With: Home Decor

Afrifab Designs & The Black-Owned Holiday Market on December 14, 2019, at International Centre: Hall 3 6900 Airport Rd Mississauga, ON L4V 1E8


Celebrate the Holidays with Afrifab Designs and the Black-Owned Holiday Market.
Juno-nominated Singer and Interior Designer Lorraine Scott, owner of Afrifab Designs and her collection of home decor “At Home” from the Black-owned Food Market from May of 2019.
Lorraine Scott and her Afrifab Designs “At-Home” Collection. from the Black-owned Food Market from the spring of 2019.

Check out more at the holiday market and get a chance to do online shopping here:

https://www.afrifabdesigns.com/

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Afrifab Designs Beautifying Your World Right Here in Toronto – Special Shows at the Annex Arts Centre – 1075 Bathurst Street on December 7th – 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. & the 8th – 11:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. 2019


is “At Home” and “On the Go.” Contact for more information at afrifabdesigns@gmail.com.
Afrifab Designs “On the Go” from Afrofest of 2019.

Afrifab Designs at the Annex Art Centre “Happy Holidays”

Wi-Fi is available at the event.

Special Event Coming Up for Afrifab Designs at the Annex Art Centre December 7th & 8th.

MORE INFO ABOVE!

Check out more of Afrifab Design’s Home Decor “At Home” and Accessories “On the Go” on the site:

https://www.afrifabdesigns.com

Wonderful accessories section – Afrifab Designs “On the Go” from Afrofest of 2019.
Cloth, wallets, accessories – Afrifab Designs “On the Go” from Afrofest of 2019.

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DULUX Colours of the Year


2020 Colour of the Year – Chinese Porcelain (DLX1160-6).

Deep blue skies ahead in home decor: DULUX Paints by PPG unveils inky cobalt as 2020 paint Colour of the Year

Complimentary warm teak named brand’s first stain Colour of the Year

TORONTO, August 15, 2019 – In today’s fast-paced, data-driven world where stress and anxiety are all too common, people can find refuge from their blues by surrounding themselves with, well, blue. Not just any blue, though – think deep, comforting, inky cobalt blue.

That’s the message of trend forecasters at DULUX® Paints by PPG in unveiling the brand’s 2020 Colour of the Year – Chinese Porcelain (DLX1160-6). This rich and traditional hue combines the energy and brightness of cobalt blue with a muted, dark navy tone, emitting a feeling of calm, restfulness and hope.

“Everyone today is looking for an escape from technology, a way to slow down and infuse simplicity into their lives in an uplifting environment. This is, in part, why we’re craving blues like Chinese Porcelain,” said Rob McDonald, Senior Brand Manager, Dulux Paints by PPG. “Exuding depth, richness, and drama, next year’s blue brings us closer to natural elements such as the sea and sky – creating lavish serenity in any space.”

According to McDonald, the trending earth-tone aesthetic will be reflected in all facets of home decor in the coming year, highlighted by uncluttered spaces with organic, deep mineral and metallic tones that delight the senses.

“The colour palette shifts away from the cool, stark greys of the past and builds on last year’s introduction of warm shades that emit an air of old-world charm and craftsmanship, blending together classical and modern design elements to create sophisticated looks,” said McDonald.

With natural materials such as wood and rattan dominating this design movement, Dulux Paints by PPG has, for the first time, also announced a stunning Colour of the Year for 2020 – Teak, a warm, semi-transparent medium-brown stain that has a 1970s retro vibe with a richness that fits today’s world. An ideal complement to Chinese Porcelain and part of the Dulux Professional Wood Finishes line, Teak has a raw, organic feel that brings out the best of inky cobalt blue, whether used for a home’s interior or exterior.

. Chinese Porcelain and Teak are deep mineral tones such as Dulux Paints’ Gracious Glow (DLX1116-5) yellow-olive green, Talavera (DLX1018-5) warm taupe, Brown Clay (DLX1199-6) soft terracotta and Gray Marble (DLX1002-4) stone gray

Other complementary trending colours that pair well with both Chinese Porcelain and Teak are deep mineral tones such as Dulux Paints’ Gracious Glow (DLX1116-5) yellow-olive green, Talavera (DLX1018-5) warm taupe, Brown Clay (DLX1199-6) soft terracotta and Gray Marble (DLX1002-4) stone gray. The combination of these nod-to-nature hues delivers an ambiance of state-of-the-art luxury in its simplest form, particularly when accessorized with warm metal accents and linear geometric patterns.

To incorporate this blue into any home, Dulux Paints by PPG offers these tips:

·         Paint an accent wall with Chinese Porcelain as a perfect backdrop for vivacious colours to pop.

·         Use blue as a feature colour in a bedroom with crisp white bedding and crown molding to provide a sharp contrast.

·         In a living room, layer inky cobalt blue with additional blues in tufted and velvet furniture or pair with trending metallic finishes to create an elegant living space.

·         Complement the hue with decors such as lush drapes or velvet pillows in warm saffron and turmeric tones.

·         In addition to warm teak wood, pair deep blue with leather accents and dusty sand tones for an attention-grabbing look.

“Incorporating even a splash of Chinese Porcelain into your home will not only help brighten the space, but it also will go a long way in infusing a room with the calm and tranquility that everybody is after,” McDonald said.

For more information about Dulux Paints’ 2020 Colour and Stain Colour of the Year, visit www.dulux.ca.

Find Dulux Paints by PPG in more than 260 company-owned Dulux Paints and BÉTONEL®/Dulux Paints stores across Canada serving the consumer and professional markets. No matter where the Dulux brand is sold in Canada, it offers an extensive portfolio of high-quality products and services to the marketplace.

PPG’s architectural coatings business in the U.S. and Canada is an industry leader in residential and commercial coatings, delivering the latest technologies and operational advancements through its strong portfolio of brands. It manufactures and sells interior and exterior paints, stains, caulks, repair products, adhesives and sealants for homeowners and professionals. Its distribution network includes more than 15,000 touchpoints through company-owned stores, independent dealer locations and major home improvement centres across the U.S. and Canada. For more information, visit www.ppgpaints.com.

PPG: WE PROTECT AND BEAUTIFY THE WORLD™

At PPG (NYSE:PPG), we work every day to develop and deliver the paints, coatings and specialty materials that our customers have trusted for more than 135 years. Through dedication and creativity, we solve our customers’ biggest challenges, collaborating closely to find the right path forward. With headquarters in Pittsburgh, we operate and innovate in more than 70 countries and reported net sales of $15.4 billion in 2018. We serve customers in construction, consumer products, industrial and transportation markets, and aftermarkets. To learn more, visit www.ppg.com.

We protect and beautify the world is a trademark and the PPG Logo is a registered trademark of PPG Industries Ohio, Inc.

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PAINT FOR A CAUSE


Sico is Beautiful Paint for a Cause - Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman

Sico is Beautiful Paint for a Cause - Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman

By Gail Bergman and Indira Tarachandra

Sico to Donate a Portion of Ceiling

Paint Sales to Breast Cancer Research

Longueuil, Quebec – August 31, 2009 – Think pink. That’s the message Sico is sending to Canadians this fall with the announcement that it will donate a portion of sales of its disappearing-pink Flat for Ceilings paint to support lifesaving breast cancer research.

Continue reading

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SICO Paint 2015 Colour Trends: Bold Colours to Take Centre Stage in Year Ahead


Tempo The vibrant, playful hues of the Tempo palette by Sico paint infuse an element of energy into a decor and appear almost illuminated, such as Pesto Pasta (6513-24 Δ) green, featured on the walls of this living room.

Tempo
The vibrant, playful hues of the Tempo palette by Sico paint infuse an element of energy into a decor and appear almost illuminated, such as Pesto Pasta (6513-24 Δ) green, featured on the walls of this living room.

SICO Paint 2015 Colour Trends

Bold Colours to Take Centre Stage in Year Ahead

 

LONGUEUIL, Quebec, EMBARGO TO Sept. 29, 2014 – After years of playing it safe with neutral decor, Canadians are demonstrating more confidence in their colour choices, and this will translate into bolder, more expressive-looking homes in the year ahead. Continue reading

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Go for Glam in 2014: Opulence Is Latest Trend in Home Decor, Says Sico Paint


SICO Design Splendour 1 Opulence is one of the hottest looks for the home in 2014, presenting itself throughout the décor in the form of dramatic colours. Pictured in this hallway, featuring striking black flooring and railings, is SICO Jazz Night (6019-83) on the foreground and staircase walls, and Amalfi Lagoon (6149-83) on the far wall.

SICO Design Splendour 1
Opulence is one of the hottest looks for the home in 2014, presenting itself throughout the décor in the form of dramatic colours. Pictured in this hallway, featuring striking black flooring and railings, is SICO Jazz Night (6019-83) on the foreground and staircase walls, and Amalfi Lagoon (6149-83) on the far wall.

Go for Glam in 2014: Opulence Is Latest Trend in Home Decor

SICO paint introduces unique colour palette to achieve a lavish look

LONGUEUIL, Quebec, March 11, 2014 – We’re seeing it on the runways, on the highways, and now in all facets of home décor.

Opulence is one of the hottest looks for the home in 2014, according to leading brand SICO® paint. It’s presenting itself with dramatic colours, rich metallic shades, and plush velvet and suede – think shimmery antique golds highlighted by sophisticated darks and extravagant gem tones such as emerald, ruby and sapphire. Continue reading

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Dulux Paint Predicts a Colourful Revival in Year Ahead


image002 (1)

Start Afresh with 2014 Paint Palette

DULUX Paint Predicts a Colourful Revival in Year Ahead

TORONTO, ON (November 18, 2013)  The DULUX® brand has given new meaning to the words “fresh paint” with the unveiling of its 2014 paint trends forecast. The colourful palette is filled with rich, invigorating hues that represent renewal and refreshing change, says the leading Canadian paint brand. Continue reading

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Martha Stewart to Headline the 2013 Delicious Food Show


Reigning Lifestyle Guru visits Toronto for the First Time in Two Years

TORONTO, Aug. 20, 2013 /CNW/ – The 2013 Delicious Food Show (DFS) is thrilled to announce that household name, best-selling author, founder of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Emmy Award-winning TV show host and queen of all “good things,” Martha Stewart, will be headlining the three-day event this October. Continue reading

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Dulux® Announces Top Colour Picks for Fall


CIL Classic Liberty Red Bedroom

Rich reds, oranges, and yellows bring out the best of the season in home décor

 TORONTO, ON (August 7, 2012) – As the outdoors parade an array of colours this fall, Dulux® paint has announced its top paint colour picks to transfer some of the season’s hottest shades indoors.

From rich reds to coppery oranges and spicy yellows, the trend in home décor this autumn is towards more saturated, sophisticated colours that bring out the best of the season, according to the colour experts with Dulux.

“Brighter colours of the past are making way for deeper and richer tones that exude a greater feeling of warmth, just in time for the colder weather,” said Martin Tustin-Fuchs, Brand Director for AkzoNobel, makers of Dulux® paint. The following three Dulux colours have been selected as the brand’s top recommendations this season.

French Stripe Red (10YR 17/465): Deep, warm and misty, this tropical red contains subtle hints of peach. Recommended for living and dining areas, reds of this season are toned down from their previously fiery qualities, making them more versatile than in the past.

Simmering Cider (50YR 26/461): This burnt orange has a tan undertone and a light element reminiscent of copper. With a rustier hue, this mature orange moves away from the pumpkin-inspired tones of last year, delivering a happy, reassuring tone to a classic colour.

Provincial Majesty (30YY 33/613): More exotic and spicier than the recently-popular sunny and lemonade-like yellows, this yellow breaks free of the colour’s traditional role. With a hint of curry, mustard and gold ore, this fall’s yellows pair well with neutrals and oranges, inspiring some unexpected combinations.

“Fall is reminiscent of the lush colours of nature, and this season’s paint palette is no different,” said Tustin-Fuchs. “With a colour trend that is leaning towards maturing tones, we can expect to see more classic, richer looking décor settings in the home.”

For more information about Dulux colour trends, visit www.dulux.ca.

 #####

About Dulux® Paint

Dulux® paint is AkzoNobel’s flagship paint brand worldwide. First introduced in 1931, the brand is sold in more than 40 markets globally today, making it the most widely available paint brand in the world. In North America, you will find the brand in nearly 240 Dulux Paint Stores across Canada serving the professional market. Within the province of Quebec, the leading Bétonel®,brand is combined with the Dulux brand, to form seventy Bétonel/Dulux Paint Stores. No matter where the Dulux brand is sold, it offers an extensive portfolio of high-quality products and services to the marketplace. Dulux and Bétonel paints are brands of AkzoNobel, the world’s largest paint and coatings company.

About AkzoNobel’s North American Decorative Paints Business

Within its North American paints business, AkzoNobel produces a portfolio of well-respected brands, including Sico® , Glidden®, Glidden Professional™, Dulux®Bétonel®, CIL®, Ralph Lauren® and Devoe® paints; Flood®, Sikkens® and Synteko® wood care products; and Liquid Nails® and Mulco® adhesives and caulks. Products are sold through company-owned stores, national retail outlets, distributors and independent dealers throughout North America as well as exported internationally.

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel is the largest global paint and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Glidden, Sikkens, International, and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we are consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability. With operations in more than 80 countries, our 55,000 people around the world are committed to excellence and delivering Tomorrow’s Answers Today™.

Media Contacts:

Gail Bergman or Ashley Pergolas
info@gailbergmanpr.com

 905-886-1340 or  905-886-4091

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Paint Projects Popular in Fall, Thanks to Long Weekends, Back to School


CIL Classic Liberty Red Bedroom:
This season’s rich reds – such as CIL’s Classic Liberty Red (30R 07/354), painted on the walls of this bedroom – are reminiscent of striking fall foliage.

CIL® paint unveils top colours for this season

Sico Photo 3

TORONTO, ON (August 7, 2012) – As the weather turns cooler, Canadians tend to warm up to paint. That’s the finding of leading paint brand CIL® paint, which reports that it has seen strong fall paint sales over the last several years.

“August and September have become huge months for painting,” said Alison Goldman, Brand Manager for AkzoNobel, makers of CIL paint. “While in reality, interior painting season is anytime thanks to new eco-friendly paints that don’t even require open windows for ventilation, many people still seem to choose the fall months to paint when the air begins to get cooler.”

 Explaining that the motivation to paint in the fall is often spurred by a desire to provide a fresh start for kids going back to school, or to prepare for long weekend guests, Goldman says that “next to Christmas, Thanksgiving is a huge entertaining time and, for many, a perfect excuse to give rooms a lift.”

With the popularity of autumn paint projects, CIL has unveiled its palette of hot fall colours for this season. Leading the trend are yellow-toned reds and oranges, and green-toned blues and purples. 

 “This year’s fall colours include both warm and cool shades, so they can easily adapt to a wide range of individual tastes,” said Goldman, citing CIL’s top picks for the season as warm colours Golden Tan (90YR 34/468) burnt orange, Warm Gold (35YY 59/533) yellow, Classic Liberty Red (30R 07/354) and Peach Swirl(80YR 57/293), and cool colours Black Bordeaux (70RR 07/100) eggplant purple,Blazer Blue (43BB 09/340) royal blue and Caribbean Waters (65BB 17/353) deep teal.

CIL Blazer Blue Kitchen:
Royal blue, such as CIL’s Blazer Blue (43BB 09/340) featured in this photo, cheers up a kitchen wall.

Fall Colour Trends 2012

What these colours have in common is that they are all rich, full-bodied hues that convey character, she explained, adding that they also each bring into a home the best of the outdoors – from striking fall foliage and autumn’s dramatic skies to quiet, shady corners of nature.

Goldman recommends painting even one accent wall with one of this season’s top hues to give a room added personality. For example, royal blue cheers up a kitchen wall, burnt orange enlivens a dining or living area, and deep purple soothes a sitting room, she explains.

CIL Golden Tan Living Room:
Burnt orange, such as CIL’s Golden Tan (90YR 34/468) pictured on the walls of this living room, is a hot colour this fall.

 

CIL Golden Tan Living Room

To view CIL’s fall colour picks online, or for colour selection and painting tips, visit www.cil.ca or call 1-800-DURABLE (387-2253).

 About CIL® paint

Available in Canada at The Home Depot, Rona, Canadian Tire, Walmart and independent paint dealers, CIL® paint has been a trusted brand in businesses, communities, schools, and homes across the country since 1927.  With more than 1,200 colours in its palette, CIL paint has developed a colour mood system that guarantees a perfect match across a wide spectrum of colours. Regardless of whether it’s interior or exterior paint or advanced wood stains, the CIL brand stands for delivering simple to use paint solutions that offer outstanding value to do-it-yourself consumers.  CIL paint is a brand of AkzoNobel, the world’s largest paint and coatings company. 

About AkzoNobel’s North American Decorative Paints Business

Within its North American paints business, AkzoNobel produces a portfolio of well-respected brands, including Glidden®, Glidden Professional™, Dulux® Bétonel®, CIL®, Sico®, Ralph Lauren® and Devoe® paints; Flood®, Sikkens® and Synteko®wood care products; and Liquid Nails® and Mulco® adhesives and caulks. Products are sold through company-owned stores, national retail outlets, distributors and independent dealers throughout North America as well as exported internationally.

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel is the largest global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. We supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and are passionate about developing sustainable answers for our customers. Our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Glidden, Sikkens, International, and Eka. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we are a Global Fortune 500 company and are consistently ranked as one of the leaders on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes. With operations in more than 80 countries, our 55,000 people around the world are committed to excellence and delivering Tomorrow’s Answers Today™.

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Staining Tips from Sikkens


Sikkens photo 2

With the launch of Cetol® SRD alkyd-acrylic one-coat stain, Sikkens offers these tips to ensure a successful staining job.

Prepare surfaces properly: Make sure the surface to be stained is clean and dry. Wipe away dirt, dust, mildew, algae, moss, leaves, and loose wood fibres. Strip away previous coatings with an exterior stain remover before applying new stain. Let new wood settle for at least a month before staining.

Have a plan: If using more than a gallon, intermix batches to ensure colour consistency.

Sand both new and aged wood with 80 to 120 grit paper to open the pores and always sand – and stain – in the direction of the wood grain. To avoid lap marks, start at one edge and follow through to the end of the board maintaining a wet edge. For better protection, apply a coat of stain on all six sides of the plank.

Watch the weather: The best time to stain is when the temperature is between 10°C and 35°C. Wait at least 48 hours after a rainfall or washing before starting your job. Hold off on staining when rain, dew or frost is present or expected within 24 to 48 hours.

Tools matter: Wood planks become warped with time, so a paint brush – not a roller – is the best tool to apply a stain. Use brushes that are specifically designed for wood staining.

Don’t cut corners: Be patient, wait for the right conditions, and your job will last longer. Never apply stain in the direct sunlight or on surfaces hot to the touch as it will reduce penetration of the coating and increase the risk of peeling.

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Ready, Set… Stain!


CIL Premium Can

New One-Coat, Alkyd-Acrylic Formula

Woodcare Finish Takes the ‘Pain’ out of Stain

Sikkens experts offer fail-proof tips for staining decks, sidings, rails and more

 June 4, 2012 – Who says oil and water don’t mix? Leading coatings brand Sikkens has introduced an innovative new woodcare stain that contains a unique combination of water and oil-based materials to deliver the best of both worlds for users.

 Made from a unique alkyd (oil) and acrylic (water) hybrid mix, new Sikkens Cetol® SRD is a premium flat finish stain that requires only one coat on any exterior wood surface – from decks and fences to rails, siding and outdoor furniture.

The coating provides both the strength and durability of an alkyd stain and the ease of use of an acrylic product, including simple clean-up of tools with water. It is specially formulated to deliver maximum penetration, colour retention, adhesion and resistance to ultraviolet rays, humidity, rain, sleet, and snow.

 “Our research shows that homeowners want wood coatings that make their stain jobs easier, and the product’s unique alkyd-acrylic combination does the trick,” said Nathalie Lambert, Sikkens Brand Director.

Cetol® SRD meets Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) requirements, Lambert explained, adding that sustainability was a key objective in developing the product. “Our goal is to always find new ways to do things in order to speed up sustainable growth,” she said.

With a translucent finish – allowing the wood grains to show through – Cetol® SRD

comes in eight different colours: natural, natural oak, cedar, teak, butternut, redwood, mahogany and dark oak. Available at specialized paint and hardware stores across Canada, a gallon of Cetol® SRD retails for $51.70.

From May 7 to September 14, 2012, Sikkens is inviting Canadians to participate in a photo contest to showcase their stained Sikkens deck projects. Entries will be considered for a grand prize of $1,000-worth of garden furniture or two-second prizes of stainless-steel patio heaters.

For more information about Cetol® SRD, to locate a Sikkens dealer, or to participate in the photo contest, visit www.sikkens.ca .

About Sikkens

Sikkens is a brand of AkzoNobel, the Canadian leader in decorative paints serving the consumer, professional renovation and construction markets. A market leader in wood protection, Sikkens has been a top brand for decorative coatings and car refinishing since its establishment in 1792. Through the years, Sikkens’ product assortment has grown thanks to the introduction of new technologies. Through cooperative relationships with architects, designers, professional painters and DIYers, Sikkens wood finishes have maintained a strong position for protection and decoration, both interior and exterior. Continue reading

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Get to Work on Your Home Office


Painting home office walls grey – such as CIL’s Mystery Sound (70BG 19/071), painted on the walls of this room – delivers a feeling of serenity.

CIL home office

Choice of office colour can help increase productivity, says CIL Paints

 May 7, 2012 – If you’re one of the 19 percent of Canadians who work from home, you know the challenges of staying focused. All it takes, though, is the right choice of colours to help make your home office work for you, says leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. 

“There are always distractions when working from home, yet studies show that while some colours divert from tasks at hand, others can significantly increase a person’s productivity, concentration, and motivation,” says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. “As the least expensive decorating tool, paint can easily be used on walls, furniture, and accessories to create the right tone in a home office.”

 It’s important to keep in mind though, that since jobs differ, the right mood for one home office may not be right for another, Goldman cautions. She offers these tips on choosing the best colours for a workspace:

 

Studies show that some colours can increase a person’s productivity at work. Add energy to a home office by painting the walls shades of orange and yellow, such as CIL’s Cozy Light (50YY 79/208) orange and Glorious (25YY 57/441) yellow, featured on the walls of this workspace.

CIL home office 2

Get the colour facts: Before painting your home office walls, brush up on colour psychology. Keep in mind that blue can be calming and may lower the pulse rate while increasing productivity. Green creates a serene, soothing atmosphere, which can relieve stress. Red and orange promote excitement and enthusiasm, while purple is thought to promote artistic creativity and yellow is cheerful. Light browns and greys deliver a feeling of serenity, while darker browns provide a stoic, earthy atmosphere.

Colour match the job: Determine whether your line of work requires a relaxing or stimulating environment. Financial consultants or business executives, for example, may prefer colours that empower and energize, such as yellows, oranges, and bold greens. Psychologists or massage therapists, on the other hand, may opt for soothing pinks, purples, and blues, whereas lawyers or professors may work best a studious environment highlighted by deep brown or burgundy walls.

See the light: Keep the layout and lighting of your space in mind when selecting colours. Light shades like cream and tan tend to make smaller offices feel more spacious. Neutrals are also a good choice for offices that are open to the rest of the home to visually blend the spaces. If your room has large windows, you can use almost any colour, but if the office receives little natural light or is on the north side of the home, use shades of yellow, yellow-green or off-white to brighten up the area.

 

Green – such as CIL’s Limelight (90YY 58/424) and Foliage (30GY 50/195), pictured on the walls of this room – is the most popular home office colour.

 

CIL home office 3

When in doubt, think green: Still not sure which way to go? Green may be your safest choice, says Goldman, explaining that green is the most popular home office colour. Considered to be the most balancing hue on the colour spectrum and the easiest on the eye, green is restful yet rejuvenating. Whether soft sage, sea green or deep hunter shades, green stimulates the thought process while promoting feelings of harmony.

To help achieve the right feel for your home office, CIL’s online mood test at www.cil.ca guides users through the process of choosing a fail-proof colour scheme. “It’s a risk-free way of getting the look you want for any room before picking up a paintbrush,” says Goldman.

Whatever colour you select, make sure the paint you use is both washable and durable, Goldman advises. Being a high-traffic area, a home office is prone to ink stains, coffee spills, and dry erase smudges, so a scrubbable long-lasting product, such as CIL’s Smart³ Interior Wash & Wear, is recommended, she says.

For more tips on painting a home office or any other room in the home, or to locate a CIL retailer near you, visit www.cil.ca or call 1-800-DURABLE (387-2253).

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Open Your Home to a Hallway of Possibilities


CIL Paints provides easy three-step guide to painting

one of the most neglected areas of the home

March 5, 2012 – When it comes to painting your home’s hallways, do you have tunnel vision? You’re not alone, says leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints.

“The number one question we receive from people across the country is how to paint a hallway,” says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. “Hallways are often a neglected area of the home and the last space to be given any colour consideration, yet they have great potential and are simple to beautify with a little paint and planning.”

For starters, it’s important to take into account the size of the space being painted and its visual relationship to surrounding rooms, Goldman advises. “As with any other room in the house, the amount of lighting in the area is also an important consideration, especially because hallways tend to be tunnel-like,” she explains.

Goldman provides this easy three-step guide to choosing the right paint colour for the job:

1. Create colour illusions. Use colour to correct oddly-shaped spaces, such as a hallway that is long and narrow. Paint the long walls a lighter colour and the far, short wall a darker colour to compress the space. To make a narrow hallway look larger, paint the ceiling a very dark colour, which creates the feeling of the walls being higher. Another way to create the effect of more volume in a hallway is to paint architectural details such as doorframes, window frames, moldings and trim the same shade as the walls. If you’re looking to add height to a closed-in space, a crisp white ceiling will do the trick.

2. Coordinate with adjacent rooms. If the hallway has fixed openings to other rooms, choose paint colours that coordinate throughout the area to give the space visual flow. Rooms off the hallway that have doors that can be closed offer more colour freedom. The general rule of thumb when it comes to painting small spaces is to use light, neutral colours like beige, gray or white – such as CIL’s Lazy Days (90YR 83/053), Pelican (30YY 72/018) or Yucca White (90YY 83/107) – to make space look larger. Playing it safe with neutral colours also helps brighten up the area and ensure the hallway coordinates with colour schemes in adjoining rooms.

3. Deck the walls with creativity. For hallways that can withstand more vibrant colour, yellow is an enduring favourite, ranging from mellow tones to bright, cheery shades. Go for blue-based gray if space gets some natural light and rose-based gray to add warmth. Icy pink or a pale green give the hallway a shabby chic touch, while antique whites and creams lend a classic look. More dramatic colours like red, brown and even black – framed by light coloured trim – can be used to create a stunning space. Keep in mind that since walls in the hallway are close together, the colour will appear more intense than it would in other rooms.

“No matter what colour you choose for your hallways, it’s critical to use the right paint product since hallways are high-traffic areas that take a lot of abuse,” Goldman says, explaining that highly-durable, washable paints, such as CIL Smart³ Interior Wash & Wear, are recommended. Developed using Ceramic Microsphere and StainBlock technologies, CIL Smart³ Interior Wash & Wear is specially formulated to resist chipping, scuffing and marking, and allows dirt and stains to be easily removed.

“We pass through our home’s hallways likely more than any other space in the house, so we might as well ensure we enjoy the view for a long time to come,” says Goldman. “With these easy guidelines, transforming a hallway from drab to fab is as easy as 1-2-3.”

For more tips on painting hallways and other rooms in the home, or to locate a CIL retailer near you, visit http://www.cil.ca or call 1-800-DURABLE (387-2253).

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Tales of an Energy Shifter, Shift the Energy – Change Your Life


Image result for Energy

By Sharon Sinclair

Like most of us, we live between two worlds, the inner life and the outer. In my case the two blur in the work that I do in both worlds. My husband and I spent years in the entertainment business as stage designers for major rock and country groups such as Reba, ZZ Top, Don Henley, Billy Joel, Pink Floyd and others. We worked in entertainment throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s until about 2003. However, we always led a kind of double life as Larry is also a massage and bodywork therapist and I have been doing intuitive and psychic work since I was a small child. During much of this time, Larry was a VP at Walt Disney Imagineering, Lucas Films, and Universal Studios and I designed award-winning retail store designs for Pebble Beach Golf Course, Century City, Park City and many others.

Our spiritual life kept tugging at us, so in 1999 we moved to the Portland Oregon area and began a business called Energy Shifters. For the past 14 years we have been working with individual homes, real estate agents and developers who have “problem” energies in their homes. Yes, we even communicate with ghosts and spirits and help them to cross when necessary. The work is so fascinating and the more we do it the more we realize how important the service is and how few people do what we do. We have so many clients in desperate situations. Many people in this real estate market have real problems with what we call predecessor energy i.e., energy left by the previous owners of the home. So many people have been forced leave their homes due to divorce, bankruptcy, or foreclosure. These experiences and trauma leave a powerful imprint in a home. When a new buyer moves into the home, they can often fall prey to the effects of that energy. Some people’s homes actually make them sick. Many people understand that something is just wrong. They may call paranormal societies, but most of these groups may simply confirm the presence of entities, overlook other possible causes, and do nothing for the removal of ghosts, much less correct geological or other energetic anomalies. This is highly frustrating for the individuals and families.

We have helped many homes to heal, many people to heal themselves, mentally, spiritually and physically and businesses to prosper.

I describe myself as a Native American/Pagan/Buddhist. My family was my first and most important teachers. My Father was Cherokee, my Mother, and Grandmother of Celtic origins. Much of my subsequent studies have been rooted in Shamanic Buddhism. Many of the techniques I use were taught to me in the traditional (oral) way of being passed down by practice and observation through my Mother, Father, Grandmother and masters that I have sought and that came to me. I share these techniques and gifts with you in hopes of bringing you the clarity and the healing that you desire.

Please visit my website, www.energy-shifter.com and explore this other world around you and trust your instincts.

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Global Home Accents Announces New Fall Line of Home Decor Furnishings


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Online PR News – 09-October-2011 –Lake Mary, USA: The company has introduced many new exciting home accents for this fall, including soft furnishings and European tapestries. Their range of comfy cushions and beanbag chairs are perfect for snuggling up with your loved one after a lovely evening enjoying the gorgeous show of colourful fall leaves. Lie back with a glass of wine or your favourite drink, and allow yourselves to just relax and enjoy this time of year.

The fabulous floor or table-standing lanterns that Global Home Accents has an offer you will provide warm glowing light to accentuate the yellows, oranges, and browns of fall and really set the season in your home. The company also offers lovely contemporary or carved wooden bowls for your tables that you could fill with seasonal nuts or chocolates.

Speaking of chocolates, Global Home Accents also announce the introduction of their new range of sweets and desserts including Belgian min-truffles, petit fours and mini Ambrosia chocolate tortes – three-layered mini chocolate cakes filled and iced with ganache. Fill a few bowls with these and two of you can relax all evening, enjoying these gorgeous chocolates while you watch the fall sunset disappear over the trees.

With regard to nuts, always-popular table nibbles from fall through winter, the company also offers a range of magnificent nutcrackers, from 10 to 16 inches in height and in many designs, including fall and Christmas designs. These will look fabulous on your table standing overlooking a carved wooden bowl of pecans or filberts.

Don’t forget the garden this fall! Although there is plenty for the birds to eat at this time of the year, it will soon be winter, and now is the time to install one or two of the bird tables and feeders offered by Global Home Accents. These bird feeders come in many styles and are made in the USA. All are rust-proof aluminum so will last and last. They will attract birds of many different types to your garden during the winter. They will reward you in the spring.

Global Home Accents are also announcing the introduction of a range of designer handbags to their fall stock. These are genuine designer handbags, clutches and wristlets by Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Fendi and Christian Dior and you can save up to $1800 on a Dior handbag by buying from the Global Home Accents website. These are not only fabulous gifts but also great bargains to buy for yourself!

In fact, fall is the ideal time to be thinking of the holiday season or Christmas, whatever you prefer to call it. Don’t wait until December to buy your gifts because that’s when the prices shoot up. That is a reason for Global Home Accents announcing so many additions to our range at this time: to give our regular and new customers the opportunity to buy at excellent prices now.

Other items that the company is offering at this time of year are luxury board games, specifically luxury sets of backgammon, chess, mahjong, Chinese checkers and Go. These not only look good as home accents sitting on a table but also are excellent gifts for your friends or family.

Finally, back to the desserts and some lovely cakes and gateaux for the holiday season. Global Home Accents announces the introduction of their gourmet range that includes a magnificent Black Forest gateaux and Flourless chocolate torte for the chocoholics. Follow that with a wonderful Boston cream pie or peanut butter fudge cake and you are in seventh heaven! The apple strudel and the birthday cakes are available for the more traditional. These are all genuinely edible, but don’t keep them all just for yourself!

Global Home Accents have a great to offer at this time of year, and their fall additions are available just at the right time. Don’t miss this fabulous website with its exciting home accents and home décor.

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WHAT’S IN A PAINT NAME?


CIL Paints is betting that giving wall colours such as those featured in this home theatre room names like Bacon or Hockey Puck would get men more interested in painting. The actual paint names shown are CIL’s Spice Island (00YY 19/464) on the left wall and Dark Secret (00NN 05/000) on the right.

CIL Photo

Want to Get Your Man On Board with a Paint Job? Start by Calling your Yellow Wall Colour Choice ‘Beer’ Instead of ‘Butterscotch’

CIL Paints sets out to cater paint names to a male audience

August 4, 2011 – Putting Green versus Pixie Palace. Beer versus Butterscotch. Blue Jeans versus Periwinkle Blue. Which paint colour would sooner have your man picking up a paintbrush to give your walls a lift?

Leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints is betting that giving paint names a masculine label will get men more excited about the painting process.

“Studies show that while a larger percentage of women tend to choose paint colours for their home, it’s often men who give the colours a final nod and then go on to spearhead the project,” says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for CIL. “In an effort to get men more enthusiastic about painting projects, CIL is launching a campaign to involve them from the get-go.”

To this end, CIL is calling upon Canadian men to rename any existing CIL paint colour according to their preference, and Canadian women to give current colours names that better appeal to their men.

All participants need to do is submit their suggestions on CIL’s Facebook page and get the most votes from the public. The paint names that garner the most votes will be compiled into a special brochure alongside CIL’s existing display of more than 1,200 colours. What’s more, the most popular selection will yield the winner a $10,000 home theatre makeover powered by Klipsch.

“The bottom line is that choosing paint colours isn’t black and white,” says Goldman. “When it comes to painting names, it’s all about the emotional connection and our research shows that men and women tend to relate to paint names differently.”

To participate in the campaign – which runs until September 30 – visit CIL on Facebook or http://www.cil.ca for more details. To watch a video of men’s responses to different paint colour names, go to YouTube and key in “Paint Chip Names for Men.”

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PRODUCT ANNOUNCEMENT


Liquid Nails Can Help You Get Jobs Done Around the House – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Liquid Nails line2

New Adhesive Products Bind Like Nails

Unique Liquid Nails line works on wide range of surfaces, from concrete

to tub surrounds, enabling homeowners to nail it once and for all

Longueuil, Québec – June 6, 2011 – When it comes to adhesives, there’s a new product line on the market that nails it. Liquid Nails®, a complete line of adhesives for every home repair or construction project, is simple to use for both professionals and do-it-yourselfers alike.

Billed by many in the industry as a family of “miracle adhesives,” the products come in the form of a liquid, but work as strongly as nails,” says Nathalie Lambert, Liquid Nails Marketing Manager for AkzoNobel Decorative Paints Canada, which has introduced the products to the Canadian market.

What makes the Liquid Nails brand unique, she adds, is that each product is scientifically formulated to offer the best possible performance for any surface. “From small do-it-yourself home projects and crafts to some of the toughest challenges facing construction today, Liquid Nails offers the firmness and strength needed to make the task bind,” says Lambert.

The benefits of using adhesive over a hammer and nails are many, she explains. Not only is an adhesive easier to apply – even for the most inexperienced user – but there are times when nails simply aren’t the most suitable option, such as when installing a tub surround in a bathroom or mounting a flat-panel mirror to a wall. Users can also apply adhesive to paneling or moulding without the need to fill nail holes or worry about nail pops down the road.

The Liquid Nails line – which is already recognized as a category leader in the U.S. – includes adhesives for construction, indoor/outdoor carpeting, panelling and moulding, insulation panel and drywall, mirrors, tub surrounds, ceramic tiles, concrete, parquet and wood flooring, as well as squeezable all-purpose adhesives for leather, rubber, wood, foam, cardboard and more.

All Liquid Nails products meet Canadian VOC standards, with many meeting the stringent environmental standards put forward by the Greenguard Environmental Institute (GEI), Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) and National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). Some Liquid Nails products are formulated to resist rain or snow, while others work in extreme temperatures, from -5°C to 48°C (22oF to 120oF).

“Every do-it-yourselfer knows that owning a home means an endless source of projects and repairs waiting to happen,” says Lambert. “With Liquid Nails, Canadian homeowners can be assured that, when using adhesive, they can nail a job once and for all!”

Available in hardware stores and building centres across Canada, Liquid Nails retails from $2.59 to $34.99, depending on size and formulation. For more information about Liquid Nails® or to find a retailer near you, please visit http://www.liquidnails.ca or call 1-800-463-7426.

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DRESS UP YOUR WALLS IN CASHMERE


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Sico’s new, improved Cashmere paint is unique in that its finish brings unprecedented richness and depth to the wall colour, as demonstrated in this living room featuring Sico’s Macedonian Mauve (6028-73) purple.

 

New-Formula Sico Cashmere Paint Billed

as Crème de la Crème of Paints

Longueuil, Quebec – May 16, 2011 – Sico’s best paint product just got even better. The leading Canadian brand has announced the re-launch of its top-of-the-line Cashmere paint, billed as the “crème de la crème” of paints.

Developed using a new, improved formula that still features innovative thermoplastic beads, Sico’s Cashmere delivers a gloss-free, ultra-smooth, luxurious, and now even more durable and washable finish. A paint and primer-in-one, Cashmere is unique in that its finish brings unprecedented richness and depth to the wall colour, giving rooms a breathtaking, designer look.

“Cashmere paint has it all – from deeper, richer colour, to increased durability, adhesion, coverage and hiding power, to built-in primer, stain resistance and ease of application,” said Dominique Pépin, Marketing Manager for Sico brand. “It’s a must for home décor lovers who want the paint colours they select for their walls to look and perform their absolute best.”

Ideal for living and dining rooms, as well as bedrooms, where flat, elegant finishes bring out the best of the décor, Cashmere is “the highest quality 100 percent acrylic latex interior paint Sico has ever made,” Pépin said of the virtually-odourless, zero-VOC (before tinting) paint, which exceeds industry environmental standards.

“A series of tests demonstrated that Cashmere covers 46 percent more surface than main competing brands, based on average results, which means a gallon of Cashmere is able to cover an area of 500 to 600 square feet as opposed to the industry average of 375 square feet,” she explained, adding the result is that fewer gallons are needed to complete a room. “Since the primer is also not needed when applying Cashmere, users not only save money but time as well.”

A paint and primer-in-one, Sico’s new and improved Cashmere paint delivers a gloss-free, ultra-smooth, and now even more durable and washable finish, giving walls a breathtaking, designer look.

Tests also show that the new paint has superior flow characteristics that make it very easy to apply, Pépin said.

Available in all of Sico’s paint colours, Sico Cashmere retails for about $53.00 per gallon and can be found at more than 1,000 retailers across the country. For more information or to find a Sico retailer near you, please visit http://www.sico.ca.

About Sico (www.sico.ca)

Sico is a brand of AkzoNobel, the Canadian leader in decorative paints serving the consumer, professional renovation and construction markets. AkzoNobel produces and supplies a wide range of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, including the leading Sico brand. The company employs nearly 2,000 people in three manufacturing plants, four distribution centres and more than 225 corporate stores across Canada. Dedicated to delivering high-performance solutions and quality products, AkzoNobel has unrivaled technical expertise that meets the current and future needs of its customers.

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SPICE UP YOUR KITCHEN FOR SPRING


Sico GoPrime All-in-One primer, a heavy-duty alkyd emulsion product, seals any surface – even those previously painted with oil – and provides an even, adherent canvas for the top coat.

 

SicoGo Prime All in One

New Cutting-Edge, Eco-Friendly Sico Paints

Enable High-Quality Kitchen Makeovers at Low Cost

Longueuil, Quebec – March 28, 2011 – Spring is a time of renewal, and with studies showing that kitchen upgrades increase a home’s resale value, why not start by rejuvenating the most frequented room in the house? By applying the right choice of paint and a little creativity, a kitchen can undergo a tasteful makeover at little cost.

That’s the message of leading paint brand Sico, in unveiling two cutting-edge, eco-friendly products designed to transform kitchens with the stroke of a paintbrush. Called Sico GoPrime All-in-One and Sico Furniture and Cabinets Paint, the first-of-their-kind, heavy-duty alkyd emulsion products enable homeowners to give their kitchens a high-quality, long-lasting lift without the expense of having to change cabinets, countertops or backsplash. The paints work well on any surface, from melamine, wood and medium-density fibreboard (MDF) to thermoplastic, ceramic tile and glass.

A breakthrough technological innovation, the two products – made from an original formula that blends alkyd emulsion in a water-based paint – are low-VOC (volatile organic compound) water-based paints, yet perform like alkyds or oil-based paints. The GoPrime All-in-One primer seals any surface – even those previously painted with oil – and provides an even, adherent canvas for the top coat. Delivering an ultra-smooth, super-resistant finish that protects against marks, scratches, water rings and moisture, the Furniture and Cabinets Paint is ideal for surfaces that are exposed to daily contacts, such as furniture, cabinets, doors, walls, and trim.

“The launch of our new paint is in large part a response to consumer demand for high-performing kitchen paints that are as durable and scrubbable as oil-based paints, but are easier on the environment,” said Dominique Pépin, Marketing Manager for Sico, explaining that the popularity of alkyd paints is rapidly declining due to their high-VOC content. “With Canadian government legislation requiring paint companies to lower VOC levels in their products, alkyd paints will ultimately disappear from the market.”

Sico Furniture and Cabinets Paint is a first-of-its-kind, heavy-duty alkyd emulsion product that enables homeowners to give their kitchens a high-quality, long-lasting lift without the expense of having to change cabinets, countertops or backsplash.

Sico Furniture and Cabinets

“Each of Sico’s two new products exceeds Canadian standards for VOC content and combines the best of both worlds – the durability of alkyd, and the ease of use and clean-up of water-based paint,” Pépin said, emphasizing that the formula enables the beauty of furniture and cabinets to be preserved for much longer than traditional water-based paints. An added bonus is that the paints have virtually no odour, are spatter-free, and dry in a fraction of the time of oil-based paints – between four and six hours, she explained.

Hungering to renovate your kitchen but don’t know where to start? Follow this recipe for success from Sico:

Cook up a plan: Look beyond the walls of your kitchen and consider what other surfaces in the room can be given a lift. Besides walls and ceilings, cabinets, countertops, range hoods, buffets, tables, chairs, and backsplashes are all good candidates for a fresh coat of paint. Painting kitchen fixtures mean that you can enjoy an up-to-date look without the expense of buying new items.

Preparation is key ingredient: Preparation can make or break a project, so before lifting a brush, ensure that the surface to be painted is ready. The surface must be clean and free of all traces of dust, dirt, oil, mold, and mildew. Wash with a universal cleaner, and once completely dry, sand the surface using sandpaper (120-grit for previously-painted surfaces and 150-grit for synthetic surfaces like melamine) to ensure good adherence of the primer and paint.

When painting a high-traffic area like the kitchen, it’s important to choose a good-quality paint that is durable, resistant and easy to clean. Featured in this kitchen are Sico’s new GoPrime All-in-One and Furniture and Cabinets Paint in Apple Sorbet (6123-53) green on the walls and new Pure White on the cabinets.

Dish out the right products: After preparation, all that is needed is a good quality paint to ensure a successful, long-lasting job, especially in a high-traffic area like the kitchen. The ideal application tool for doors and trim is a high-quality synthetic (nylon or polyester) bristle brush. For the other surfaces, a shorter (five-millimetre) pile roller or sponge roller will do the trick. Remove all hardware, such as hinges, door handles, and light switch covers, to ensure they stay paint-free.

Develop an appetite for colour: When it comes to colour, the kitchen is an ideal area to try bolder tones since it has minimal wall space and a splash of colour serves to liven up, rather than overpower, the room. While neutral tones are generally preferred for cabinets, a brighter wall or backsplash colour can give a kitchen a dynamic look. Good colour choices for kitchens include shades of sunny yellow, vibrant green, blue or turquoise, such as Sico’s Satin (6112-31) yellow, Apple Sorbet (6123-53) green, Porcelain Plate (6010-63) blue, and Movie Star (6148-31) turquoise.

Sico GoPrime All-in-One and Sico Furniture and Cabinets Paint retail for about $39.00 and $49.99 per gallon, respectively. For more information or to find a local retailer, please visit http://www.sico.ca.

About Sico (www.sico.ca)

Sico is a brand of AkzoNobel, the Canadian leader in decorative paints serving the consumer, professional renovation and construction markets. AkzoNobel produces and supplies a wide range of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, including the leading Sico brand. The company employs nearly 2,000 people in three manufacturing plants, four distribution centres and more than 225 corporate stores across Canada. Dedicated to delivering high-performance solutions and quality products, AkzoNobel has unrivaled technical expertise that meets the current and future needs of its customers.

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Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff… Paint it


Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

 

Powder Room, CIL Magical Twightlight and Buffy

By Gail Bergman PR

CIL Paints Offers Big Ideas for Small Spaces

February 14, 2011 – When it comes to small spaces, don’t paint yourself into a corner. Use colour to open up your surroundings to endless possibilities instead.

“Paint colour is the simplest and most economical way to make a small space appear larger,” says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. “When space is at a premium, every square foot counts, so a can of paint and a little imagination will go a long way in making the most of your living area.”

Whether you’re tackling one small room – like a powder room, sitting room or vestibule – or an entire condo, the same tricks apply to make ceilings look higher, entrances seem wider and walls appear to recede, Goldman says. There are several ways to create the illusion of space with paint, from choosing the right colour, to applying the right finish, to understanding the role of natural light, she adds.

CIL offers these big ideas for painting small spaces:

Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

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· Draw the line: Painting a horizontal stripe around a small room actually makes it look deeper and wider. Whether the stripe is applied on all four walls or on only one wall as a focal point, the effect causes the eye to see the room as wider than it is. If the room is narrow or short, try painting thin vertical stripes in two tone-on-tone shades to achieve a similar effect.

· Be a colour schemer: Cool colours, like soft blues, creams, purples and greens, will make even the smallest area feel open and airy. Choosing colours from the same colour family, and using different shades of a single colour, also helps. Dark colours are often thought to make a room seem smaller, but with the right selection, can be used to create a luxurious or intimate mood in your small space. Avoid contrasting colours, however, since they will be visually distracting.

· Shed light on the matter: Lighting is key in opening up a space. Assess the amount of natural and artificial light coming into the room. Good lighting is known to make paint colour appear lighter, so rooms that have a lot of natural light may tolerate a warmer colour. Similarly, if there’s too much light, a cool colour choice may actually make a small space too icy.

· Avoid distractions: The secret to painting a small area is to prevent visual distractions. Whenever something jumps out at you, the eye loses its sense of continuity and a person begins to feel cramped. Try painting the trim in the room a different shade of the main colour by adding black or white to the base. This will cause the trim to fade into the background. Use patterns sparingly. If you’ve been itching to try the latest in stencils and faux finishes, for example, a small room is not the best place to do it.

· Have tricks up your sleeve: If you’re faced with low ceilings, make the walls appear taller by painting a one-foot border around the edge of the ceiling in the same colour as the walls. Another way to create the illusion of height is to paint the bottom half of a wall in a darker colour than the top. Using glossy paint sheens also makes ceilings look higher and rooms appear larger because the resulting shiny surface reflects more light.

“Small spaces are less forgiving than large ones so it’s important to plan ahead and think things through,” says Goldman. “If all else fails, simply paint a room the same colour as your furniture – the room will appear so spacious, you’ll be wondering where the walls went.”

For more ideas about painting small spaces or to locate a CIL retailer near you, visit http://www.cil.ca or call 1-800-DURABLE (387-2253).

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New Air Cooling Unit is Hot


Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Dulux Inspirations

By Gail Bergman PR

First-of-its-kind ductless air conditioner reduces some bacteria, odours and viruses

Markham, Ontario – February 10, 2011 – Here’s a really hot idea as far as cool products go. A first-of-its-kind air conditioning product is now available in Canada that improves air quality, while solving room temperature problems, significantly decreasing energy costs and reducing humidity in the home. It also acts as a heat pump to warm the house in winter.

Called the Daikin QuaternityTM ductless system, the product is the only air cooling unit that improves indoor air quality, helping to protect against infections and allergies. Containing an advanced air cleaning and purification system, it decomposes and removes unwanted bacteria (including E. coli), allergens, molds, odours and other hazardous chemical materials.

Whereas traditional cooling systems are designed to run on full load when they start up, ultimately leading to energy waste, Daikin systems conserve energy by delivering only the amount of cooling – or heating in winter – needed to maintain the desired temperature or humidity setting in a room, resulting in energy savings of up to 30 per cent. A built-in dehumidifier allows users to set and monitor relative humidity for optimum comfort, enabling the humidity to be lowered without reducing the temperature.

“With Daikin Quaternity, the temperature always feels comfortable, whether it’s a living space over the garage that tends to get too hot or cold, a high-humidity area like a bathroom or fitness area, or an entire floor of a home,” said Tom Loughran, President of Markham, Ont.-based Comfort Connections, distributor for Daikin, one of the top heating, air filtration, and air conditioning manufacturers in the world.

“The unit redefines the way the world thinks about cooling and heating,” said Loughran, comparing the ground-breaking technology – called inverter technology – to a car accelerator. Unlike traditional air conditioning systems, the unit will not frequently start and stop, rather it will operate at energy-conserving levels by gradually increasing the speed of the compressor as needed to either cool down or heat up a room. Just like a car is more efficient traveling on a highway than it is in stop-and-go city traffic, Loughran explains that the unit reaches the set point faster and maintains a more constant temperature compared to traditional systems.

The easy-to-install unit comes with two components: an indoor wall-mounted unit – operated by a wireless remote controller – that regulates air flow in rooms, and a unique outdoor condensing unit that is quiet, ozone-friendly and connects to the indoor unit via small, insulated lines designed to prevent energy loss, a smart alternative to inefficient ductwork.

“With warmer temperatures around the corner, now’s the time to start thinking about better ways to cool your home this summer,” noted Loughran, adding that Daikin produces a wide range of other cooling and heating units with varying features and price points.

The Daikin Quaternity retails between $3,600-$4,200, plus installation, with other Daikin models starting from $2,100. Comfort Connections can arrange for a free assessment of a home’s cooling or heating needs. For more information or to locate a dealer near you, visit www.comfortconnections.com or call 1-800-755-0490.

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Colour Zoning Hot Trend for 2011


Sico has introduced a new colour zoning leaflet, available free of charge at retailers across Canada, that features a range of creative design and colour ideas.

Sico Photo 1(2)

Blocks of colours bring walls to life, highlight room features

Longueuil, Quebec – February 1, 2011 – Looking to freshen up your home décor? Zone in on colour.

According to leading paint brand Sico, colour zoning is coming back in a big way this year and that means more and more Canadians will be using their walls as a canvas to create original, dynamic living spaces.

Colour zoning, or using blocks of colour to highlight walls and room features, “is the hottest trend in home décor right now, from using paint to create shapes like squares, rectangles, stripes or circles on walls, to outlining special architectural elements and furnishings,” said Dominique Pépin, Marketing Manager for Sico and a Chairholder of the international colour forecaster Color Marketing Group. As a result, Sico has just launched a new colour zoning brochure that features a range of creative design and colour ideas.

“It’s all about using colours creatively to add interest to spaces and bring rooms to life,” Pépin explained, attributing the growing popularity of colour zoning to an increase in people’s desire to express themselves through home décor. “People today invest more time in decorating their surroundings and are demonstrating this by using colour in unique ways to deliver personal style to their living spaces.”

According to Pépin, colour zoning is an ideal way to express oneself because it presents limitless possibilities. “Using graphic elements on an empty wall is an easy and inexpensive way to dress up a room, whether adding a touch of fun, sophistication or flair.”

Colour zoning, or using blocks of colour to highlight spaces, has become the hottest trend in home décor. Featured on the walls of this living room are Sico’s Call of the Loon (6183-41) grey and Egyptian Rose (6080-31) pink.

bazelASA 008

bazelASA 008

For example, colour zoning techniques can be used to visually separate a dining area from a living room, create an illusion of a headboard or fireplace surround, produce a medallion effect on the ceiling around a chandelier or frame decorative items like mirrors, photographs or paintings, she suggests. With the right combination of colours and shapes, colour zoning can even take the place of artwork.

Pépin offers this advice on getting started with a colour zoning project:

Get the look: Determine the feeling you’d like to create in your room, then, study the size of the space and placement of furniture to see where colour blocks would best fit. If you have a low table, for example, you may choose to give the room more height by painting a different colour zone on the wall extending from the top of the table to the ceiling. If your space is small, you can give it the illusion of being larger by painting a horizontal stripe – on one wall or all four – which makes the room appear wider than it actually is. If you have a bare wall, consider giving it personality and dimension with an artistic creation featuring varied shapes in different colours and sizes, or paint a large square on the wall to create a backdrop for a favourite painting or piece of furniture.

Map it out: Once you decide on the type of look you’re after, sketch the shapes to be painted on a piece of paper. Be aware that circles and curved lines or overlapping shapes tend to invoke a light and fun feeling, whereas rectangles and sharp edges can create a more serious space. Make sure your design is mapped out in a geometric, visually-balanced arrangement. Then, measure and draw out the shapes on the wall using a light pencil. If your design involves straight lines, outline them with painter’s tape. Using a paintbrush rather than a roller, carefully paint within the lines of your shape. For a clean edge, limit the amount of paint on your brush.

Colour is key: Draw colour inspiration from paintings, fabrics or flowers in the room. Keep in mind that using hues from the same colour family conveys a sophisticated, soothing look whereas contrasting colours deliver a more dynamic feel. For a harmonious décor, choose colours from the same colour sample card, but in varying intensities. For eye-catching contrasts, select complementary colours (those that are opposite one another on the colour wheel), using both light and dark punch colours to brighten up a neutral-toned room. Combinations such as Sico’s Call of the Loon (6183-41) grey and Egyptian Rose (6080-31) pink add refined elegance to a living space, whereas a mix of more energetic colours like Sico’s Impatiens (6033-63) pink, Ming Red (6052-65) and Dynastic Orange (6065-64) create a fun and playful look.

Using a mix of energetic colours, such as Sico’s Impatiens (6033-63) pink, Ming Red (6052-65) and Dynastic Orange (6065-64), pictured on the walls of this shelving unit, creates a fun and playful look.

“When it comes to colour zoning, the only limit is your imagination,” said Pépin. “Be adventurous – some of the most unexpected colour combinations can look terrific and make for a great conversation piece.”

Sico’s new colour zoning leaflet is available free of charge at retailers across the country. To locate a retailer near you or to test colour combinations online with Sico’s unique Virtual Decorator web tool, visit http://www.sico.ca.

About Sico (www.sico.ca)

Sico is a brand of AkzoNobel, the Canadian leader in decorative paints serving the consumer, professional renovation and construction markets. AkzoNobel produces and supplies a wide range of paints, coatings and specialty chemicals, including the leading Sico brand. The company employs nearly 2,000 people in three manufacturing plants, four distribution centres and more than 225 corporate stores across Canada. Dedicated to delivering high-performance solutions and quality products, AkzoNobel has unrivaled technical expertise that meets the current and future needs of its customers.

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BRIGHT IDEA


Dulux Inspirations, a first-of-its-kind electronic handheld device, creates instant colour schemes by capturing any colour and automatically suggesting ideal corresponding hues for a room.

Home Office, CIL Sapling

Point, Click and Voilà… an Instant Colour Scheme

First-of-its-Kind Electronic Paint Colour

Selection Tool Banishes Decorating Blues

January 31, 2011 – Choosing paint colours may not be as easy as a snap of the finger, but thanks to a new innovation by leading paint brand Dulux Paints, it’s now as simple as a click of a handheld device.

Called the Dulux Inspirations tool, the first-of-its-kind electronic device is unique in that it creates instant colour schemes by capturing any colour – featured on a fabric, piece of clothing, photo, rock, leaf, or any other object – and automatically suggesting ideal corresponding hues for a room.

Being billed as a major breakthrough in the paint industry, the new technology promises to change the way people choose paint colour in store, says Brad Elkins, Senior Brand Manager for Dulux Paints.

“Feedback from our stores across the country indicates that colour selection is the biggest challenge consumers face when buying paint,” Elkins says, adding that Dulux introduced the electronic colour measuring tool to make the process less stressful – and even fun – for shoppers. “Now, with a single click, consumers can see first hand, right in the store, which colours go together best before investing in paint, and then make quicker, easier and more confident purchasing decisions.”

All consumers have to do is bring an item featuring a favourite colour into any ICI Paints, Glidden, Color Your World or Betonel store. They then place the Dulux Inspirations tool on the item, click a button, and up comes a perfect colour match displayed on the built-in screen. Beside the replicated colour are electronic swatches of other colours – both matching and contrasting options – that work best with the scanned hue and can be featured in other design elements in the room.

“After scrolling through the choices, customers choose the combination of colours they prefer for their room, and leave the store to rest assured that the colours they’ve selected for their walls and trim co-ordinate well with the furniture and accessories in their living space,” Elkins says, adding that the stores will provide shoppers with colour chips for every colour scheme option to take home.

Looking for the perfect shade to start your colour scheme? Dulux – billed as the paint brand that “knows the colours that go” – offers these tips:

Explore your surroundings. Pay attention to what colours make you feel good. Is it certain hues of flowers, trees, grass, even sky? What about a colour featured in a painting, on a book cover, sofa or a favourite shirt? Record the colours you’re drawn to by clipping them from magazines, taking photos or making notes, and then compile them in a folder. After time, you’ll notice a pattern in your preferences.

Get in the mood. Determine the kind of feeling you’d like to create in your room. Warm colours such as reds, oranges, and yellows tend to create a vibrant, exuberant environment, while cooler colours like greens, blues and violets have more tranquil characteristics, emitting an inviting and comforting feel.

Go with your personality. If you’re an optimistic, outgoing person, you may choose yellow for your living space. Dependable, calm people may be drawn towards blue, energetic and confident people may prefer red, while those who love nature may lean towards greens or browns. People who like socializing may find an affinity with oranges, and creative personalities may choose purple as their colour.

Consider the space. Certain colours tend to suit specific rooms. More vibrant colours, for example, go well in a playroom, a kitchen or other active family spaces. Softer colours work best in bedrooms, bathrooms and office areas since they create a more calm and peaceful atmosphere.

For more information on colour schemes or to sample the new Dulux Inspirations tool, visit http://www.dulux.ca or call 1-800-268-0534 for an ICI Paints, Glidden, Color Your World or Betonel store near you.

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Company’s Coming: Whip up Your Kitchen for the Holidays


Paint colour is the easiest way to freshen up décor, says CIL Paints

Create Beautiful Kitchens – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

November 2, 2010 – What’s the recipe for successful entertaining? For many, it’s a party that ends up in the kitchen. And, as today’s hosts and hostesses will agree, most get-togethers do. So, when decking the halls of your home this holiday season, consider decking the walls of your kitchen as well.

“Kitchens today are the central gathering place for families and friends,” says Alison Goldman, Marketing Communications Manager for leading Canadian paint brand CIL Paints. “As a result, when it comes to entertaining, fixing up the kitchen has become as much of a priority as decorating the family or living room.”

Haven’t got the appetite to undergo a kitchen renovation? No problem says Goldman, explaining that there’s only one key ingredient needed to freshen up the most widely-used room in the house – paint.

“Paint is the easiest and least expensive way to revive a room,” she says. “With the right colour choices, it’s amazing how space can easily be transformed from ordinary to extraordinary in a very short amount of time.”

Add colour to your holidays – and kitchen – this season with these painting tips from CIL:

· Bring on the cheer: Because wall space is limited, a kitchen is a perfect place to test a brighter colour scheme. Good choices for the kitchen include earthy oranges, sunny yellows and nature-infused greens, such as CIL’s Apricot Ice (48YR 50/372) orange, Lime Twist (89YY 78/269) yellow and Fairy Tale Green (10GG 33/404). To put a modern twist on a traditional kitchen, try pairing airy grey walls – using CIL’s Crystal Glimmer (70BB) – with brown or green cabinetry and gleaming chrome hardware. For a bolder, dynamic look, red cabinetry combined with dark grey walls will create a festive environment that lasts the whole year.

· Set the mood: Colour not only pleases the eye, but it can also affect how we behave. So when selecting paints for the kitchen, consider the psychology behind the colours you choose. For example, red stimulates appetite but also increases blood pressure and heart rate. Yellow increases metabolism but has also been shown to cause eye fatigue. Green is known for its healing qualities and grey enhances creativity. Blues and purples may be good colours to avoid, or at least limit, in a kitchen since they are believed to suppress appetites.

· T’is the season to add spice: If you’re aiming to zest things up for the holidays, look beyond your kitchen walls. A fresh coat of paint will do wonders to revive tired cabinets, backsplashes, and furniture. With the right faux finish, backsplashes can be made to look like stone or tile. Painting over-sized blocks of colour in varying sizes on a backsplash will deliver a more contemporary look while applying a glaze or colour wash to cabinets will give them an antique appearance. When painting kitchen cabinets, it’s best to remove the doors and paint them as they lay flat on a table or floor to deliver a smoother finish.

· Use specially-formulated paint: Not all paints are created equal. Since kitchens are high-traffic areas prone to fingerprint smudges, spills, and grease and mildew build-up, it’s wise to use a durable paint. Select a brand that is specially-formulated for the kitchen, such as one of CIL’s Kitchen & Bath paints, which are washable, mildew-resistant and help protect surfaces from dirt, stains, and moisture. To bring out the best of your kitchen wall colours, choose low sheen, high-quality paints that – thanks to advanced technology – are available in scrubbable eggshell or flat finishes. If budget is an issue, pick high gloss finishes in order to get enough washability.

· Get a head start: Surface preparation is key so always start with a good cleaning. If needed, kill mildew first with bleach and then rinse. Next, clean away any kitchen grease, rinse again and let dry. If repairs are needed, and the surface using grit 80 sandpaper only after cleaning. Use an acrylic-based compound to fill gaps, avoiding plaster or joint cement unless you have very large holes to fill. Do a quick sanding with grit 120 sandpaper after the repairs to smooth the wall. While 100 percent acrylic paint does not require a base coat in terms of adhesion, it’s wise to use one if you’re painting a lighter colour over a darker one. A base coat also ensures best results when painting one dark colour over another. No matter what paint brand you use, for example, without a base coat, red painted over blue may appear purple on the wall.

“With the right colours and paint products, the end result will certainly give your guests something to cheer about,” says Goldman, noting that the most important part of any painting project is to relax and enjoy the process.

For more ideas about painting your kitchen or to locate a CIL retailer near you, visit http://www.cil.ca or call 1-800-DURABLE (387-2253).

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Sico 2011-2012 Paint Colour Trends: Simple Pleasures Come to Life in New Colour Palette


SICO Paints Continue to Outperform – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Longueuil, Quebec – November 1, 2010 – If you’re searching for the simple pleasures in life, surround yourself with heart-warming colours. They won’t be hard to find, as the year ahead in home decor will be all about using colours that celebrate the simplicity and beauty of everyday living, says leading Canadian paint brand Sico.

From timeless denim blues and earthy clay and wood tones to leafy greens, strawberry reds, sunny yellows and airy pastels, the 2011-2012 paint palette is dominated by warm, homey and comforting colours – a reflection of the public mood, says Dominique Pépin, Marketing Manager for Sico and a Chairholder of the international colour forecaster Color Marketing Group.

“In a society of endless choices where we ‘have it all,’ people are increasingly longing to return back to basics, to a simpler life, and this is being reflected in the colours they are choosing to surround themselves with,” says Pépin. “As a result, in the coming year, we’ll see a move away from the once-popular opulent dark tones towards colours that are charming, human and have more natural and nurturing qualities than in the past.”

It’s about finding pleasure in things close to our hearts, in all items handmade – like knitting a sweater, making bread, growing seeds or creating music – and in emotions tied to the home and lifestyle rather than state-of-the-art fashion, she explains. “Gone are the days when happiness was measured purely by material gain – people today want less of the complexity associated with the modern world and yearn for simple concepts and products that have meaning, imagination and emotion.”

According to research conducted by Sico’s international team of colour experts, the 2011-2012 palette will be divided into three themes, each reflecting this prevailing mood and attitude in society. “While each theme is different, at the same time they are similar in that they each demonstrate a longing to return to simpler times as well as an appreciation for the world around us,” Pépin explains, introducing the three groupings as Inviting, Authentic and Dazzling.

SICO Paints Can Be Used Around the Home – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Inviting: Emitting a homey and comforting feel, this theme represents the growing population that values the beauty, contentment, and simplicity of everyday life in a world where choices and possibilities are endless. Colours reminiscent of the familiar things that make us happy dominate this grouping – including clear skies, such as Sico’s Lunar Month (6009-21) blue, juicy fruits like Red Jujube (6051-65) strawberry and Violet Caprice (6013-53) mauve, and sunny fields such as White Lemon (6100-32) yellow – as do warm, nurturing shades of coral, moss green and lavenders. Back to basics as opposed to ultra-fashionable, the hues of this palette reflect a desire to return to a more relaxed, meaningful and informal style of living, and cherish the home as the place where we can truly be ourselves.

Authentic: This theme celebrates the timeless beauty of the natural world and delivers a sense of peace and contentment. In a society that is increasingly becoming more automated, this grouping of colours demonstrates a growing appreciation among the public for the earth, its materials, and creativity. Highlighted by timber, clay, earth and denim tones and enlivened by a dash of inspiring yellow, the authentic palette builds on the notion that “less is more,” and that the process and pride of creating something of quality is just as pleasurable as the end result. Popular Sico colours in this group include Seashore Pebble (6230-31) sand, Avocado Soufflé (6104-21) cream, Galley (6171-41) blue, Cloak (6232-83) brown and Apple Cider Vinegar (6097-32) yellow. Used on their own or easily paired together, these enduring shades are intended to deliver a relaxed, harmonious and pleasing feel to treasure in the home.

Dare to Be Creative with SICO Paints – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Dazzling: The most energetic expression of simplicity is featured in this fun and imaginative group of colours. Think clean pastels and zingy tints, such as Sico’s Red Candy (6051-52) hot pink, Lemon Tart (6098-42) brilliant yellow, Pastis (6121-42) lime green and Splashdown (6150-42) turquoise. Ideally applied on a backdrop of neutrals – as a colour block or accent wall – each of these colours exudes an air of freshness and vitality, verging on fantasy. Charming, fun and slightly childlike, this palette is refreshingly simple, yet brings back a sense of poetry and pleasure into our lives and a smile to our faces. Unexpected colour combinations – like lime green and cocoa accents on a yellow background or turquoise and bubblegum pink used to liven up neutral walls – will increasingly be in style.

According to Sico, colour zoning – or using punch colours to accent walls and map out areas – is another trend that will make a major comeback in the year ahead, helping to bring out the best of the 2011-2012 colours.

“Everything about next year’s colours is charming, soft and inviting,” Pépin says. “Delivering a breath of fresh air to the home, the new palette combines a lightness of spirit with a gentle informality in a way that brings meaning back into our lives.”

For more information about Sico’s colour trends for 2011-2012, or to view the new colour palette online, visit http://www.sico.ca.

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Week 10 – Desk Management – 6 Strategies for a Successful Home Office (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Successful Home Office Spaces – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 13, 2010

By Clare Kumar

We’ve covered a wealth of material in this series which is applicable to any office, but working from home presents unique challenges. Numerous stats show productivity gains of 15% or more through working from home. Why is it then that some people can work successfully from home but others say they simply can’t? The foundation to work successfully from home comes with planning an effective workspace and developing appropriate work practices.

Here are six strategies you can implement to ensure productive work from home:

1. Pay as much attention to creating your home office as you would an office in a traditional work environment

Identify the tasks you need to accomplish and determine the work surfaces, storage, and tools you need to support those tasks. Invest in ergonomic equipment to keep you working safely – this includes among other things your chair, keyboard and mouse, keyboard tray, monitor stands and footrests. Be mindful that the least expensive office tools are not necessarily the best value if they don’t function the way you need them to, or you end up replacing them more often.

2. Set boundaries

It is important to create physical boundaries to preserve your ability to work in a focused manner. This may mean repurposing a room with a closed door to create a quiet environment.

If your work area is carved out from an area used by others, define times in which you cannot be disturbed. I work from a home office and if working on the weekend, I communicate to the family the period of time that I may disturb for “emergencies only”.

One hazard of working from home is the proximity of work compelling you to attend to it 24/7. Creating physical and time boundaries will help you keep your work and home commitments from encroaching upon each other.

3. Light it up

Lighting in home offices is often overlooked. Be realistic about the amount of time you will spend working in your office and your need for natural light. Take this into account when choosing where to place your workstation.

4. Create a schedule

It can be daunting to have a whole day in front of you without a clear schedule. Create a daily or weekly schedule around the different kinds of work you do –varying tasks within each day. Use a wall calendar or planner to keep your plan easy to refer to. This will help avoid distraction from at-home to-dos.

One of the benefits of working from home can be fitting in home tasks in short breaks throughout the day. If managed carefully you return to work refreshed and satisfied at getting a jump on dinner or laundry. Working from home allowed me to hang laundry outside all summer long, saving me money and better preserving my clothes!

5. Build community

One of the joys of working in an office in the sense of community that comes from working with others. To make sure you get social interaction schedule office visits (good for keeping in sight and therefore in mind) or appointments away from home at least 2-3 days every week.

6. Stay active

You’ll save commute time by working from home so invest at least part of this time in staying physically active. Find a gym nearby or an exercise companion and combine your social time with a healthy lifestyle. A quick trip to the gym at lunchtime will boost your energy and help you attack the afternoon with vigour.

Coming up next in the series: Maintaining an organized workspace

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Desk management – 5 steps on how to organize your desk (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Organizing Your Desk Space – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 12, 2010

By Clare Kumar

We’ve covered the theory behind getting organized, but what about the practical side? How do you go from a cluttered to calm desk space? The following 5 steps show you how:

1. Commit

Set aside 30 minutes to tackle the re-organization of your desktop. Once space has been redefined, it will take much less time to clear at the end of each workday.

2. Clear

File any papers, folders or reference material. Recycle or shred any unimportant papers.

Set aside – perhaps in a bag or box – items to be returned to others, or taken home.

Use a box – perhaps the one copy paper is delivered in – and place in it all the remaining items from your desk.

3. Cull

As you place items in the box, edit your supplies. Get rid of pens and markers that don’t work or that you simply don’t like using. Throw out dried up glue sticks. Let go of the three jammed staplers that you think might work one day and replace them with one that does.

Keep only one each of basics such as tape or glue at your desk, and place backups in a supply cabinet.

Take a closer look at all the awards and office trinkets you have accumulated. It is alright to let them go if they are taking up valuable desk space.

If you like to keep photos in your office, consider mounting them on the wall, or changing to a digital photo frame to reduce their footprint.

4. Categorize

Sort the items into two groups – those which should remain with your desk and those that can be placed elsewhere.

Store the items you use most often close at hand. The less often you use something, the more you can afford the time it takes to retrieve it. If you’re not sure what you’re using, place your supplies into a shoe box. Each time you use an item, retrieve it from the shoe box and put it back in your drawer. If after a week you haven’t used an item it may not need to be by the desk, in fact, you may not need it at all!

5. Repeat

Overhauling your desk area once in awhile is a good idea to pare down to your essential supplies. It will make it easier to clear your desk at the end of every day, enabling you to start each day with a sense of control.

If you have a clear desk policy for security reasons, it is critical to establish good habits so that files are in order when you need them rather than being stashed away quickly.

Coming up next in the series: Organizing the Home Office

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY; on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Desk management – 5 ways to control desk clutter (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Desk Management – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 11, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Even with papers tidied and files put away, desktops can appear busy because of computers and the many peripherals and accessories we use. Here are 5 ways to reduce desktop disarray:

1. Wireless Peripherals

Use wireless computer accessories such as the keyboard and mouse to eliminate cords from the desktop.

Adopt a cordless phone with a headset to reduce the phone’s footprint, increase comfort during use and reduce cord clutter. It also frees both hands to use your keyboard and input notes directly to the computer.

2. USB Hubs

If you connect a number of devices such as a printer, scanner, camera, smartphone, or hard drive to your laptop, simplify the process by using a USB hub. A hub allows you to connect several USB cables into a central connector, and from there provides one connection to the computer. It’s much faster to unhook one connection and it also permits moving multiple cords away from your main workspace.

3. Cord Management

Speaking of cords, there are a number of products designed specifically to tame the tangle of electrical cords and USB cables. A simple way to manage, however, is to

a) Label each end of the cord or cable with its function (i.e. printer). The 6mm size label works perfectly on the side of USB connections and plugs.

b) Use twist ties to gather and secure any slack in the cable. Re-use the black twist ties that come with most electronics and you won’t even notice them.

c) Attach several cables together with Velcro® fasteners.

4. Screen Supports

Use a laptop stand to raise the screen to a more comfortable viewing height and reduce the amount of space it takes on your desk. Monitor stands with built-in storage make the desktop more efficient. Monitor’s arms provide the utmost flexibility by clamping to the edge of the desk and swinging right out of the way.

5. Drawer Organizers

To maximize the storage space in your desk drawers, use drawer organizers to segment the space based on the material you need to store. Purchase organizers designed for the purpose or fashion your own dividers from greeting card or other shallow boxes.

Coming up next in the series: 5 Steps on How to Organize Your Desk

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY; on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones.Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Desk management – 5 items that really belong at your desk (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Desk Management – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 10, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Here we are, 8 weeks after beginning this series on organizing your workspace, finally talking about how to organize your desk. We have covered space planning, ergonomics, time management and information management before getting to the desk – the most used space.

Why? To have an uncluttered desk space that lets you focus on your work task by task, you need to have a place or a strategy to handle everything that might land there. Only then is it possible to clear your desk without causing chaos?

Take a look at your desk – you may see amongst the screens and wires an assortment of office supplies, papers, sticky notes, a snack or drink, files, calendars, a telephone, a lamp, and a planner for example. We have already reviewed how to store items that may accumulate on your desk while you work, but which of these really ought to be there?

The following 5 items are truly worthy of your desk real estate:

1. Task lighting and the telephone

Make space on your desk for task lighting – preferably on the opposite side of the hand you write with to avoid casting shadows across your writing. This is also the ideal place for a telephone, as it facilitates note-taking while you’re talking, and keeps the cord from interfering with your work.

2. Filing supplies

Keep the materials you use to label and file or store material close at hand – you’ll be more likely to put things away regularly and avoid a paper pile up. File folder labels and a fine marker work well to label file folders. Binders, hanging file dividers and magazine holders are best labeled with a thicker marker or a label maker for greater clarity.

3. Electronic Devices

You’ll want to keep your mobile phone accessible and likely charging while on your desk. Use stands or charging centres to keep devices close by and protected from spills. Keep cords and charging units for less often used devices in a nearby drawer or in a container within a cabinet or on a shelf.

4. Planner or notebook

Have a planner or notebook handy to jot down important numbers and phone conversations. This will prevent the loss of important information and reduce visual clutter. If you need to see notes to remember them, attach them to a board on the wall to keep desk space clear.

5. Basic office supplies

Keep handy only the writing instruments and office supplies you enjoy or are required to use at least weekly.

For other items, you’ll need to decide if the item really needs to be on the desktop based on how often you use them. If you use them frequently, find containers and desk accessories that fit both the items and space.

If desk space is limited or you need the full surface to complete your work, you’ll want to store office supplies in drawers, in containers in nearby cabinets or in a rolling drawer unit. Keep in mind a common cause of office clutter is inadequate or poorly used drawer space.

Coming up next in the series: Desk Management – 5 Ways to Control Desk Clutter

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY; on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones.Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Week 4 Space Management: Inspiration – Defining Your Office Style (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar - October 5, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Given the amount of time spent in our offices, once designed for function, it makes sense to create spaces we truly enjoy being in. Since offices hold large variety items, selecting a style can help unify the space and reduce visual chaos. In this article, we’ll consider furniture, soft furnishings, and lighting. In the next, we’ll explore colour, art, and accessories.

1. Furniture

Natural wood is an age-old favourite for office furniture. Available in a wide range of finishes, it adds warmth to any space from traditional to contemporary. Most factories finished surfaces are durable and ready to stand up to daily use.

Laminated surfaces are scratch resistant, easy to clean and come in a variety of colours.

Metal and glass combinations offer clean lines and provide a more industrial look. Carefully consider the placement of glass pieces as they reflect light which could be distracting. Glass is susceptible to showing fingerprints and streaks which could be aggravating and it also offers no place for electrical cords to hide. Cordless computer peripherals and cable management systems will help avoid a cluttered desk area especially if you select a transparent top.

A hot trend right now is the combination of light coloured wood and metal shelving, tables, and desks. When kitting out your office, try and purchase all the pieces you think you will need for space at one time to avoid being disappointed later if items are discontinued or colours change.

2. Soft Furnishings

In addition to softening the appearance of the office, soft furnishings such as carpet and draperies or blinds also dampen sound. In a noisy office environment, it will help people avoid distractions and maintain focus on their work. Consider durable, easy to clean natural fabrics.

If you will be rolling chairs or filing carts, keep carpet pile low so wheels roll freely. Make sure rug edges won’t get caught in the wheels.

3. Lighting

In every office space, you will want to consider natural, ambient and task lighting.

Fluorescent lights provide light with no shadows, however, can cause fatigue because they don’t display the full spectrum provided by sunlight. Light from the full spectrum helps set our circadian rhythm. Without this, we feel like we’ve spent the whole day in the dark. Change old bulbs as soon as they flicker to avoid additional fatigue.

Incandescent lamps or ceiling fixtures provide warmer ambient light. Halogen up-lights also do a good job.

For task lights, consider a full-spectrum light on an adjustable neck so you can focus it where you’re working. Place the lamp on the same side as your non-dominant hand to avoid casting shadows on your writing.

Coming up next in the series: Space Management: Inspiration – Personalizing your space

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Week 3 – Space Management: Ergonomics – Best Practices (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Getting the Best Out of Yourself While Working – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - October 1, 2010

By Clare Kumar

The equipment you use in your office goes a long way in setting up your chances for working in a healthy way. In addition to these, you will want to establish some best practices to ensure you are doing everything necessary to take care of yourself while at work.

1. Take Regular Breaks

You know the old saying “Moderation in all things”? Well, that is also true of work. Even if you’re sitting in an ergonomically correct chair with the computer and keyboard at the correct height, if you sit there for several hours straight, your body will not be happy.

For every hour of work, budget a 5-minute physical break. Get up out of your chair and move around. Walk to a window and enjoy some long distance viewing. Your eyes will appreciate the ability to focus at a longer distance.

Place your printer further away from your desk or set an alarm on your computer to remind you to take breaks. Schedule a regular walk around the block with a colleague. It will help refresh your eyes, mind, and body and bring fresh energy to your tasks.

2. Stretch

Stretching can counter the effects of long periods in the same posture by reducing soreness, tension, and fatigue. Keep in mind that stretching should never cause pain. For maximum relief, stretch 2 or 3 times during the day. If you have health concerns, consult your healthcare professional before beginning a stretching program.

Here are just a few of the stretches you might consider. For diagrams and more stretches with detailed descriptions, the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety page on Stretching – At the Workstation.

Shoulder stretches

* Shrug shoulders and hold for 10-15 seconds then release.
* Roll shoulders several times in one direction and then the other.

Neck stretches

* Keeping your back straight, look down slowly and back to neutral position. Repeat several times.
* Look slowly from side-to-side. Never rotate from one side to the other while looking up.
* Bring the right ear to the right shoulder, and then repeat on the left side.

Side stretch

* Link fingers together and lift arms overhead with palms facing the ceiling. Lean slowly to the left and back to the centre, then lean to the right and back to the centre.

Back stretches

* Upper back – Link fingers together, facepalms out and extend in front of you. Slowly round your back.
* Lower back – Keep your hips facing forward and gently twist your upper body to one side. Repeat to the other side.

3. Change position

Varying tasks throughout the day will help reduce muscle fatigue. Shift between writing, using the computer and talking on the phone for example.

Coming up next in the series: Space Management: Inspiration

Disclaimer – For information and reference purposes only and not intended as legal or professional advice. The adoption of the practices described may not meet the needs, requirements or obligations of individual workplaces.

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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WEEK 2 – SPACE PLANNING: DEFINING KEY PIECES (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar - September 18, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Pretend you are visiting your office for the first time. Take a look around with fresh eyes. What do you see? Does every piece of furniture serve the purpose it was intended for? Are there pieces simply attracting piles of paper? Often when we spend a lot of time in a place, be it work or home, we stop really seeing what’s there. We just accept that it’s supposed to be there, whether it’s working or not.

To make sure that everything in your office ought to be there, take the following steps:

1. Identify your work activities

Analyze how you spend your time at work and what activities you engage in. Referring to your calendar can help ensure you include all the activities that are critical to your work. Some activities to consider are:

Pretend you are visiting your office for the first time. Take a look around with fresh eyes. What do you see? Does every piece of furniture serve the purpose it was intended for? Are there pieces simply attracting piles of paper? Often when we spend a lot of time in a place, be it work or home, we stop really seeing what’s there. We just accept that it’s supposed to be there, whether it’s working or not.

To make sure that everything in your office ought to be there, take the following steps:

1. Identify your work activities

Analyze how you spend your time at work and what activities you engage in. Referring to your calendar can help ensure you include all the activities that are critical to your work. Some activities to consider are:

* Working with a computer to manage email and work on documents, or to talk with others
* Writing to create content, manage your calendar, jot down ideas or conversation notes
* Meeting with others face-to-face to talk informally, deliver presentations or hold collaborative work sessions
* Preparing or collating documents
* Talking on the phone for anything from quick chats to lengthy conference calls

2. Select furniture pieces that support your work

You might think this is an obvious step, but it often gets less thought than it should. Your ideal furniture depends on the kind of work you do, and how you like to do it. I’ve seen people take phone calls sitting at their desks while others need space to walk around while talking. Knowing your preferences is an important step in building a functional office.

Let’s take a look at the furniture required to support using a computer, for example. You might need a surface for the computer laptop or keyboard and monitor, a chair, a place for hard drives, a backup system, printing and scanning devices, modems, routers and other peripherals.

Think through each activity and list all the key pieces you require. It’s easy to look at a magazine photo of an uncluttered desk and forget all the items that must be accommodated. Be careful to marry the need for function with your passion for form.

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

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Week 2 – Space Planning: Effective Storage (Originally Published in GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Organizing Your Office Space – Photo Courtesy of GetConnected.com

Clare Kumar - September 17, 2010

By Clare Kumar

After defining the key furniture pieces you need to support your work, the next step is determining appropriate storage systems. Storage is all about locating the necessary tools and information easily and retrieving them with the appropriate expenditure of energy. Rather than thinking about a storage system, it may be helpful to think of a “finding system”.

1. Identify what you need to store

For each activity involved in your work, develop a list of the sources of information, reference materials and office supplies you use. Imagine a day in your office, from entering in the morning, through work periods, breaks, lunch and leaving at the end of the day. That way you won’t forget to consider creating homes for things such as cleaning supplies and places to store clothes and food.

You will also want to think of what is incoming and outgoing for each activity and make sure there is space for each process. For dealing with paper mail, for example, you’ll want to make space for sorting incoming mail, filing active work and reference material, and both shredding and recycling.

2. Determine the most convenient place to store things

Where to store things will depend upon the frequency of use, personal preferences and ergonomics, and of course the space you have available.

Basic organizing principles tell us that the most often used items should be placed close at hand. I call this ‘prime real estate’.

After defining the key furniture pieces you need to support your work, the next step is determining appropriate storage systems. Storage is all about locating the necessary tools and information easily and retrieving them with the appropriate expenditure of energy. Rather than thinking about a storage system, it may be helpful to think of a “finding system”.

1. Identify what you need to store

For each activity involved in your work, develop a list of the sources of information, reference materials and office supplies you use. Imagine a day in your office, from entering in the morning, through work periods, breaks, lunch and leaving at the end of the day. That way you won’t forget to consider creating homes for things such as cleaning supplies and places to store clothes and food.

You will also want to think of what is incoming and outgoing for each activity and make sure there is space for each process. For dealing with paper mail, for example, you’ll want to make space for sorting incoming mail, filing active work and reference material, and both shredding and recycling.

2. Determine the most convenient place to store things

Where to store things will depend upon the frequency of use, personal preferences and ergonomics, and of course the space you have available.

Basic organizing principles tell us that the most often used items should be placed close at hand. I call this ‘prime real estate’.

Personal preferences affect storage choices. For example, you may prefer to file papers in folders while others prefer binders. You may like to use a notebook to capture ideas while others will write them down on a whiteboard. Let your preferences be your guide, for if you choose a system that doesn’t suit how you like to work you will be less likely to use it.

Considering ergonomics means that heavy items will be placed at waist height and lighter items in harder to reach places to avoid back strain and possible injury.

If office space is in short supply, consider customizing the space and using specific organizing tools to fit your needs. It will certainly make the most of the space you have.

3. Know your company policies, insurance requirements, and legal obligations

Privacy regulations, insurance policies, and often internal corporate policies provide strict guidelines regarding the storage and disposal of business information, particularly if your business involves gathering a client’s personal or business information.

It may mean having lockable cabinets in your office to restrict access to sensitive information. You may require an easily accessible shredder to destroy documents. Metal cabinets may be required to help prevent loss in a fire. Detailed information and strict guidance regarding the storage of business data can be found at the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s website. Investigate what applies to you.

Coming up next in the series: Space Planning – The Office Layout

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

Source: http://www.getconnectedmedia.com/blog/author/Clare%20Kumar

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Week 1 – Organizing Your Workspace: Three Steps to Getting Started (Originally Published on GetConnected.com)


Clare Kumar Writes About Organizing Your Office Space – Photo Courtesy of GetConnectedMedia.com

Clare Kumar - September 14, 2010

By Clare Kumar

Simply tailoring your workspace to suit you and how you like to work will boost your productivity. People are different sizes and shapes and have different learning styles and responses to their environments. Some things in your office may be working well for you, but chances are your space could be further customized to suit your preferences and work style so you can work more efficiently. Worth exploring?

Here are three important steps to take to get the most out of the following weeks as we tackle organizing your workspace:

1. List what currently frustrates you about working in your space.

It could be things such as recurring neck pain when using the computer, not being able to find files, suffering too many interruptions, glare from the afternoon sun, a calendar that’s never up to date, or bills that go unpaid. You get the idea. This is your chance to think about your daily work experience and identify what’s not working. Rank this list in order or frustration. Now that we’ve got that out of the way, it’s time to think positive.

2. Define the benefits you will value from being more productive.

What if you could solve the problems you’ve just identified? What would the benefit be to eliminating neck pain, for example? What will the impact be of increasing your physical comfort and reducing stress on your body? Will it affect your relationships? How about the ability to accomplish more in less time? Think through what you will actually do with the additional time.

Organizing tools are critical to creating an efficient and effective workspace. Tools help us group like items together, identify and contain items for easy retrieval, and place items in the most comfortable position for use.

However, not all tools are created equal. It is important to consider how and where you will use an item to make sure you’re making the right investment. Sometimes a cheap solution can turn into an expensive one if it doesn’t solve the problem or hold up to use.

When deciding which tools, consider:

1. The purpose.

Be very clear on the organizing problem you are trying to solve. For example, rather than just thinking “I need a place to store my paper documents”. Think about how you would like to refer to the information, how often and for how long. Identify how much information must be referred to at the same time. This might lead you away from traditional filing to selecting binders which keep information in sequence. You might consider adding page protectors to preserve documents.

2. How it will be used.

If you’re purchasing a tool that will be used frequently, be used to invest in sturdy equipment. Everything from staplers and hole punches, to binders and drawer organizers, come in a variety of qualities and at different price points. I have seen many offices with broken stapler collections. Buy once and buy well.

3. Where it will be used.

Before purchasing a tool, think of where it will ‘live’. If tools are difficult to retrieve and use they will often be ignored. It may mean taking the time to create space to store an item or a work surface for a specific activity.

One of the most common mistakes people make when organizing is shopping for organizing tools too early, before determining what will really work. Before investing in organizing tools, it is also important to understand the options available to you, your preferences, and the budget. The greater the investment, the more you want to be sure that you’re making the right choice.

ACCO BRANDS CANADA is proud to sponsor this 10 week series on organizing your workspace leading up to ORGANIZE YOUR DESK DAY on October 21, 2010. Get the tools you need to get organized from world-class brands such as Swingline, Quartet, Day-Timer, GBC, Kensington, and Wilson Jones. Clare Kumar, founder and Chief Organizer at Streamlife, an organizing company, will take you on a practical and inspiring journey from chaos and clutter to productivity and peace of mind.

Source: http://www.getconnectedmedia.com/blog/author/Clare%20Kumar

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Warm Up to Colour This Summer


Sico Paint Adds More Colour to Your Summer – Photo Courtesy of Gail Bergman PR

Sico Serene Blue Attic

Revive your rooms with mood-lifting shades of wall paint

Longueuil, Quebec – May 18, 2010 – Have the urge to paint the town red? Try starting with your home. You’ll be amazed at how good it will make you feel.

That’s the advice of leading paint brand Sico Paints in unveiling its top mood-lifting colours. Colourful, uplifting hues such as deep reds and purples, calming blues and greens, and vivid yellows, oranges, and pinks highlight this season’s palette, said Stéphanie Pelland, Marketing Communication Manager for the Sico brand and member of the international colour forecaster Color Marketing Group.

“Whatever colour family you prefer, try a new colourful paint on your walls this summer and you’ll be amazed at how it will help lift your spirits,” Pelland said. Even simply using more energetic colours as a complement to neutral tones that already exist in the space will help spring the room to life, she emphasized.

“Warmer weather brings a sense of renewal and reawakening; it’s a time when we tend to clean out our rooms, plant gardens and buy new clothes to make ourselves feel better,” said Pelland. “Yet studies show that moods can instantly be boosted simply by changing the colour of even one wall in a room,” she explained, adding that paint – even when using the highest quality paint – is the most economical way to revive one’s environment.

Sico’s top picks for the summer include mood lifting colours such as: Serene Blue (6007-31) pale blue, On the Horizon (6159-41) turquoise blue, Pure Passion (6050-75) dark red, Ningxia Pink (6052-52) coral pink, Goa Sands (6090-64) sunny orange, Virgin Olive Oil (6102-44) vibrant yellow-green, Trance (6026-83) dark purple, Spring Fern (6140-42) yellow-tinted green and Saratoga Sky (6132-31) mint green.

“The bottom line is that it doesn’t matter what uplifting colour you choose, as long as you love it,” Pelland explained. “Then pick a room, any room – whether it’s a regularly-used space like a kitchen or family room or a lesser-used area like an attic, laundry room or powder room – and paint one wall, two walls or all four.”

“With the right colour choice, you’ll find that your room isn’t the only thing that will change – so will your outlook,” she said.

Pelland offers this advice on choosing the right paint colour for your space:

Express yourself: Trends come and go, so it’s important to choose colours that match your taste. Before looking at paint colour chips, leaf through magazines and gather ideas from the web. Then, study the pictures you have collected and you will find that certain elements repeat. For instance, the kitchens may always have white cabinets or the bedrooms may feature blue tones. This exercise will give you a good framework for your project and ensure that your room reflects your personality.

Keep it simple: Once you have a general idea of your colour family preference, pick from items that are in the room you’re painting, such as fabrics, furnishings, carpeting, tiles or countertops to inspire a more specific colour scheme. Too many colours in a room can make it appear busy or cluttered. A good rule of thumb is to limit your choices to three or four colours – one for the ceiling, another for the walls and perhaps a third or fourth as an accent colour on one wall or in accessories.

Test your choice: To ensure you’ve chosen the best colours for your room, test your selection by using web tools – such as Sico’s Virtual Decorator – that are available online. Sico’s Virtual Decorator, for example, makes the colour selection process easier by walking users step-by-step through the decorating process and allowing users to try different wall colours on-screen. Then, get colour chips of your choices in store and place them on the wall for a day or two. Check the chips at various times throughout the day, keeping in mind that colours change depending on the amount and type of lighting in a room.

For more information about choosing paint colours or to try Sico’s unique Virtual Decorator web tool, visit www.sico.ca.

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STROKE OF GENIUS


CIL Introduces Quicker, Easier Way to Paint

with Unique All-In-One Paint, Primer, and Tray Combo

Concord, Ontario – April 26, 2010 – CIL Paints has come up with a way to make the painting process even easier. The leading Canadian paint brand has introduced a unique all-in-one paint, primer and tray combination that makes painting projects faster and cleaner.

Called the CILUXTM Quick Roll Container, the product comes in a seven-litre (1.85 gallons) easy-to-carry bucket that doubles as a tray, complete with pre-tinted paint and a built-in raised grid to remove excess paint. Users simply pull off the lid, stir the paint and roll their brush right from the container, without having to pour the paint into a separate tray.

“All you need is a paint roller and the CILUXTM Quick Roll Container provides the rest, it’s that simple,” says Martin Tustin-Fuchs, Marketing Manager for CIL Paints. “With the Quick Roll Container, there’s no wasted paint or risk of spills in transferring the paint to a tray, and besides rinsing the roller after it has been used, there’s no clean-up required.” What’s more, he adds, it offers a one-step application thanks to the product’s advanced built-in primer formulation and, for many applications, only one coat of paint is needed.

The Quick Roll Container is part of the recently-introduced ultra-premium line of interior CILUXTM paints, exclusively available at RONA stores across the country. Featuring 100-percent acrylic latex formulations, CILUXTM paint contains such advanced technologies as Ceramic Microspheres that provide an ultra-tough, wear-resistant coating, and CIL’s Advanced StainBlock protectionTM that provides exceptional washability, helping to maintain a freshly-painted look for years to come.

“CIL is all about making the paint process easier for consumers and the Quick Roll Container is one more example of how we’re doing just that,” Tustin-Fuchs says. “The CILUXTM Quick Roll Container is a foolproof way to make painting faster, simpler and longer lasting.”

Sold in two of CIL’s best-selling colours – Swiss Coffee and Brazil Nut – the Quick Roll Container retails for $59.99 and is available at major RONA stores across the country for a limited time only as of late April.

For more information or to locate a store location near you, visit www.cil.ca or www.rona.ca.

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Susan McConkey Profile


Alice Hoang Does a Profile on Susan McConkey – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Alice Hoang - April 13, 2010

By Alice Hoang

Being a designer and having an eye for art and fashion, “she knows what looks good,” says Michael McConkey about his wife.

With the innate ability of designing, 51-year-old Susan McConkey’s, skills and talent are a great asset when it comes to home décor and renovations, as she knows what colours to choose and what furniture to buy, said Michael McConkey.

“I would always make [pillows and duvet covers] – I never buy it because I can never find anything I like. I have a picture in my mind, so I have to make it,” said Susan McConkey with a chuckle.

Her walls are painted dark blue while her rugs are a rust colour, as she likes the “bold” and “dramatic” look.

Susan McConkey, who has worked as a designer for 11 years, currently works at Kats Design where she designs costumes for performers including dancers, rhythmic gymnasts, and figure skaters.

She always designed for fun throughout her teenage years, while she took a home economics class in high school. She then went to design school for eight years before she began her career as a designer.
Her husband said she would listen to music that customers provide her and from there, her creative juices would flow.

“She knows what she wants,” Michael said. “It’s quite unusual. She’s someone who you just tell her something and let her listen to music and she makes something – it’s a gift.”

If someone is doing a skating routine, they’ll give her the song they’re using and a rough idea of what they want, he said.

“You just have to use your imagination,” Susan McConkey said. “You have to have an understanding of fashion history and what people are looking for.”

Her co-worker, Kim La, who does the sewing, said she admires her knack for matching fabrics and appliqués, and the precision that is put into designing costumes.

“The American costumes she makes for solo performers are very nice,” La said. “I like the ones with a lot of detail – like the ones with seaweed designs.”

She has various sketches that haven’t been used, which are organized into different binders.

“A lot of times I’d show people two sketches and they’d pick one, and the other one goes into the sketchbook,” Susan McConkey said. “I’ll go through there and see if there’s anything I can use or change to update it or make it more suitable for a theme.”

Susan McConkey said a design can sometimes take her minutes to do, while other times it may take hours.

She enjoys designing rhythmic suits best, as more work is put into them because they require lot of detail,

“The rhythmic ones I would colour in because there are so many pieces – up to 200,” McConkey said. “So when it goes from me to the pattern maker, they have to be able to look at the picture and know where the patterns are going, where the fabrics are going.”

She has also designed her own outfits for special occasions, including bridesmaid dresses.

“If I’m going to a wedding or anything, I’ll do a design,” Susan McConkey said. “I have a girl I know who would do the pattern, and I know someone else who would do the sewing at home for me.”

“I’d make things for her ever since she was little up to when she was graduating. I made her prom dress,” Susan McConkey said.

Although her specialty is designing, she knows how to do everything “from start to finish” in the production of a costume.

She said in design school you learn everything and then see what you’re best at.

“They’ll decide if they’re better at pattern-making than drawing or sewing,” Susan McConkey said. “It depends. Everyone finds their niches by the end of the course.”

While she inherited her talent for drawing from her dad, she said her mom “can’t even sew a button on or draw a stick figure”, although she seems to have passed down her talent to her son, whom she describes as “a very good artist”.

“I think it’s something that’s built into your [genetic] make-up because when I was little, all I wanted to do was draw or sew,” said Susan McConkey.

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Household Dust


Billy Courtice Writes about Household Dust – Photo Courtesy of Dreamstime.com

Billy Courtice - March 2, 2010.jpg

By Billy Courtice

It’s in your house. It’s crept across your books and bowling trophies. And it’s a lot nastier than you think.

Until now, it was only regarded as an annoyance, but a recent study by David Layton and Paloma Beamer has uncovered some rather unpleasant details about household dust.

Their work, to be published in the autumn publication of Environmental Science and Technology, is a combination of two studies, performed in the Netherlands and the U.S. While the contents of dust vary based on several factors, such as the age of the house and climate, what Layton and Beamer found in nearly every sample of household dust was disturbing. Almost every collection of dust contains a “hodgepodge” of human skin cells, organic fibers and fabrics, soil and soot, but also dangerous substances such as DDT, lead, and arsenic.

Even in small amounts, these items pose a health risk—, particularly for small children. Lead and arsenic can be consumed by children who transfer particles from the floor, or couch, to their mouths. “Lead loading on floors is a key determinant of blood-lead levels in children,” reported Layton and Beamer. DDT, banned in the U.S. since 1972, lives on in household dust, which serves as a record of every particle that ever entered a house.

The study also reported effective means to rid your house of those dreaded “dust bunnies”.

Source:

http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1966870,00.html?xid=rss-topstories

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Joshua Painting


Painting for the Interior – Photo Courtesy of Joshua Painting

Joshua Painting

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Sico Paints 2010-2011 Colour Forecast


Sico - 1 - November 6, 2009

Sico - 1 - November 6, 2009

More Lively Colours Making a Comeback

as Canadians Seek New Beginning

Longueuil, Quebec – November 5, 2009 – Move over neutral colour schemes.  More lively hues will be making a comeback in home décor in 2010-2011 and it’s all about using colour as a mood-lifter in the midst of challenging times, says leading Canadian paint brand Sico Paints.

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