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Kitchens are often called the heart of the home.

They are definitely the room where we spend the most of our time and do the most of our work!


Kitchens are important.

They need to be functional and organized.


This is a great breakdown about how to organize the 3 Kitchen Zones

1. Refrigerator Zone

2. Sink Zone

3. Range Zone


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Freestanding bathtubs are a very hot trend right now!
You'll find them in many newly built homes.
We're also noticing more and more free standing tubs in renovated houses!
It's a big decision.
Do you increase the size of your shower?
Upgrade to a steam shower?
Or, get rid of the shower all together and put in a trendy new free standing tub.
Here are some renos to inspire you.
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When thinking about how to add value to your home and increase Return On Investment, sometimes it’s better to think small rather than big.

Sure, a full kitchen reno would be nice, but there are plenty of more economical upgrades that can bring up your listing price.

Armed with just $1,000, here are 5 renovation ideas that will increase Return On Investment – and the likelihood of a quick sale!

1.  Start At The Front Door!

We all know that first impressions are important, so the first step is making sure your home’s front door is in tip-top shape.

You can do this by purchasing a brand new front door. That will cost you about $1000.

Or just repaint it! That will cost you about $75 for paint and tools.

Rolling up your sleeves and pulling out the sandpaper is definitely the most frugal option, if you’re up for it. Choose a bold colour that will stand out from the street and add curb appeal, such as red or yellow.

Also look for an easy-to-install decorative door knocker to give the door an expensive, designer vibe.

If the door needs more than a coat of paint to revive it, spending extra replacement cash will pay off. Installing a brand new front door, especially a steel one will increase your return on investment.

2.  Rethink Your Flooring

If your home has outdated flooring, such as wall-to-wall carpeting or  linoleum, bring it into the modern age.

Talk to your local flooring company about how much square footage they could replace, staying in your $1000  budget. There are some surprisingly cost-effective options out there thanks to material advances, such as tongue-in-groove laminate wood or eco-harvested bamboo.

New flooring is always appealing to prospective buyers because it gives the house a clean-slate feeling.

3.  Lose the Brass!

Look around your house and if you spot the shine of 1980ès brass fixtures, replace every last one of them. This once popular faux metal, makes a home look instantly outdated and even cheap! In fact, if any of your homes and knobs, pulls, or faucets are older than 10 years, now’s the time for an upgrade.

Ranging in price from $2 to $50, look for brushed nickel, oil rubbed bronze or black or white fixtures.

Keep the finishings consistent throughout your home. Even if the items they’re attached to our little worse for wear, new hardware will instantly increase return on investment.

4.  Upgrade Your Lighting

To showcase your home in the best light and increase return on investment, consider installing new overhead light fixtures throughout your home.

Creating a cohesive lighting plan by matching fixtures and shades, and added floor and table lamps, will catch the eye of discerning buyers. With a revamp budget of $1000, set aside $100-$200 per fixture and $10 per room for packages of soft incandescent light bulbs.

Also, replace the standard light switches with energy efficient dimmer models they only cost between $10-$20. Cutting utility bills is important to buyers.

5.  Deep Clean

Though it may be hard to believe, simply cleaning the front of your home could increase its value a lot!

Renting a power washer can cost less than $1000 per day, allowing you to remove dirt and mildew from top to bottom. If you have no interest in getting down and dirty, hiring a house maintenance company will probably set you back around $200.

Go the extra mile and increase your return on investment by also repainting the trim and fascia boards for around $1000.  

Paying.a professional cleaning or painting company to refresh the face of your house will add instant value.

$1000  investment might seem like a lot, but if used strategically the upgrade will more than pay for itself when it’s time to list your property.

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Prepping your house to put it up on the market can be a bit of a process.

But, putting in the time to freshen it up, will pay off in the end.

When a potential buyer comes through the front door, you want their first breath to smell like home (and full-asking price).

Open Up the Windows

This is the simplest and most effective way to freshen up your home.

Open all the windows and doors for a couple of hours.  The breeze with carry away odours, dust and stale air.

Let the fresh air in.

Use Some Elbow Grease

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but the best way to freshen up your living area is to get rid of the dirt, right down to the dust particles.

A clean, microfiber cloth with a drop or two of lemon essential oil will remove that nasty film from furniture, ceiling fans and door trims.

The lemon oil will make your home smell naturally fresh and clean.

Rethink Your Menu

For a couple of days before a showing, avoid cooking any foods with strong odours such as onions, garlic, and pungent spices. They can linger in the air and make your house smell like a fast food joint, not a family friendly dwelling that deserves top dollar.

Get Baking!

There’s a reason realtors continue to use the old trick of popping in a batch of cookies to bake before a showing. It works!  

Cinnamon buns, pie, or muffins all have the same, feel-good effect.

If baking really isn’t your thing, reach for an all natural Soy-wax, vanilla scented candle.

Lose the Febreeze

You want your home to smell natural, fresh and clean.  Products like Febreeze or strongly scented candles are very overpowering and can create questions in a buyers mind.  What are they trying to hide?

These strong, unnatural scents can also be strong triggers for people with environmental sensitivities.

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I’ve been seeing a trend!

Many of my buyers have a new item on their Wish List.

A second sink in the kitchen!

It’s definitely a feature that’s becoming more and more common in new builds and renovated homes.

For some home buyers, it’s a necessity.

This article on Houzz talks about some of the benefits of having a second sink in your kitchen.

Why Having Two Sinks Is So Great

Everything in its place.

Having two kitchen sinks allows one to be the dedicated cleanup sink and the other to be the prep sink. With this division of sink labor, the space around each sink gains a designated purpose. Prep tools, bowls, colanders and appliances can be stored near the prep sink, while dishes, silverware, serving pieces and glasses can be stored near the cleanup sink and dishwasher. When you separate the cleanup zone from the prep zone, you improve traffic flow and organization.

Multiple cooks in harmony.

Another benefit of having two sinks is that multiple cooks can work in comfort simultaneously. With only one sink, prepping and cleanup activities all take place in the same location, creating a cramped work area no matter how expansive your kitchen is in square footage. Two well-placed sinks eliminate this problem.

Efficiency for solo chefs.

The two-sink setup also works better for a soloist. It prevents dirty dishes from getting in the cook’s way or from forcing the chef to stop in the middle of a task to clean out the sink so that it can be used. Instead, dirty dishes go in the designated cleanup sink instead — and the cook(s) can keep right on cooking.


1. Prioritize the Prep Sink

When planning your kitchen, it’s critical that you give the prep sink the best real estate in the room. That’s because you probably spend more time chopping and prepping food than you do rinsing dishes.

If you want a social kitchen, put the prep sink on the island. If you have a beautiful view, put the prep sink facing the window. When I make these suggestions, some of my clients object, because prioritizing the food prep sink may mean locating the cleanup sink so that they’ll be doing dishes in front of a wall. But remember, most dishwashing takes place after dinner when there isn’t much of a view anyway.

2. Know the Ideal Prep Sink Size

The most effective prep sinks are single-bowl, 16 to 21 inches wide, with a garbage disposal. The sink must be large enough to fit your largest colander and most frequently used pots and pans, without being so large as to waste important counter space. While the prep sink’s primary purpose is food preparation, you should also be able to comfortably wash a pot or pan within it as it comes off the stove. This allows the prep sink to function as a secondary cleanup sink after a large gathering.

3. Consider Counter Space

You’ll want as much room for food prep as possible. Four feet wide by 2 feet deep is the minimum continuous prep area you should have next to the prep sink. Ideally, I like my clients to have 6 to 8 feet. If you don’t have room for a 6-foot island, consider a peninsula instead.

If you’re locating your prep sink on an island, don’t center it in the middle. And if you’re placing the prep sink on a perimeter counter, don’t place it in the middle there either. Instead, put the sink to one side so that there is as much continuous counter space as possible.

Think about it: Even a modest meal for six requires two or more cutting boards, raw ingredients, containers, tools and small appliances. And if you are like me, there’s also a snack and some wine to enjoy while readying the meal. Whether you are preparing food, plating up or serving a buffet, these activities are easier to do on one large surface, instead of jogging from one too-small section of counter to another.

4. Stay in the Food Prep Zone

The prep sink belongs in the food preparation zone. You should be able to move from the fridge to the prep counter to the cooktop or range in a couple of steps, with no obstacles in between. So don’t put your prep sink on the opposite side of the kitchen from your cooktop or refrigerator, especially if there is an obstacle (like an island) between them.

If possible, island prep sinks should be located on the side of the island facing the refrigerator, but on the opposite end. This way, items coming out of the fridge have a clear counter on which to land, but they don’t clutter the prep zone.

As a side note, try to lay out the kitchen so that the path from the eating area — whether it’s an in-kitchen eating nook or a formal dining room — doesn’t cross the cooking zone. Having smooth, uninterrupted traffic flow is the most important element of functional kitchen design. You don’t want the person clearing dinner dishes getting in the way of your efforts to plate up dessert.

5. When Putting the Prep Sink on an Island

If you’re locating your prep sink on an island, it’s important to put it on the side closest to the range. If the prep sink is around the corner from the cooktop, then you are either wasting counter space and cramping your room, or you have to take several steps around the corner to get from the prep area to a cooking surface.

Here, it takes just a pivot to get from prep counter to cooking. This makes it much easier to monitor what is on the stove while you continue prepping.

6. Perimeter Spots Follow the Same Rules

You don’t need an island to enjoy the benefits of a prep sink. A galley kitchen still has room for two sinks. Notice that the cleanup sink is toward the entrance, keeping dirty dishes or well-meaning guests from getting in the cook’s way. The prep sink is comfortably close to the cooktop for easy transitions between prepping and cooking.

. Consider Prep Tool Storage

Since prep sinks function for before-meal preparation, you want to include shallow drawers nearby for your tools: knives, peelers, whisks, spoons, measuring cups and all your favorite gadgets. Small appliances like your food processor or rice cooker, mixing bowls, colanders and salad spinners can be stored in deeper drawers or rollouts underneath. This is the oceanfront real estate in your kitchen — make sure that everything stored here gets used frequently. If the potato masher comes out only at Thanksgiving, put it somewhere else.

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If you have any questions at all, you can ask them right here!

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Have you ever thought about putting a mirror in your kitchen?
It's definitely not something we see very often.
Mirrors are saved for bedrooms, bathrooms and the front entry.
When homeowners are designing their kitchen, it's all about function.  
The cupboards, the appliances, the backsplash....
Incorporating a purely aesthetic feature, like a mirror, is not even a consideration!
Our friends at Houzz are always full of great ideas and inspiration.
Here are some reasons that a mirror is the perfect accessory to your kitchen.
  1. It injects a touch of glamour into your kitchen.
  2. A mirror allows light to bounce around the room, making it a brighter space!
  3. A mirror will make your kitchen feel much more spacious!
  4. If it's put in the right spot, it will allow you to keep an eye on what's happening behind you while you wash dishes or chop veggies!  (moms of toddlers will appreciate this!)
  5. Use a mirror to reflect a favorite feature in your house. Maybe your back garden or a feature wall.
  6. If your kitchen is dark or cramped, a mirror or two really will transform the space!
Take a look at this slideshow from Houzz!  There are lots of great ideas and inspiration here.  Chances are you'll have a new mirror in your kitchen in no time!
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Data is supplied by Pillar 9™ MLS® System. Pillar 9™ is the owner of the copyright in its MLS®System. Data is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed accurate by Pillar 9™.
The trademarks MLS®, Multiple Listing Service® and the associated logos are owned by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) and identify the quality of services provided by real estate professionals who are members of CREA. Used under license.