Tailored Living (Burnaby, Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Pitt Meadows, BC)

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live


Leave a comment

Downsizing- Part 1: Before You Move

Recently our teams in the greater Vancouver area have been doing quite a few projects for empty-nesters who are downsizing. It got us thinking about how one goes about paring down and scaling back to go from an average family home to a small condo or similar compact urban living space. We know there are many people out there who are either in this process or are looking at downsizing in the next five years, so we thought we’d share some of our own tips and insights in a two-part blog series, starting with five tips for downsizing your home.

Before & After- One of Terry’s downsizing projects: renovating a small bedroom and turning it into a multi-purpose room with a Murphy Bed for guests

1) Do a thorough audit of all of your stuff. You may not even realize just how much stuff you have, especially if it has been packed away in an attic or garage for decades. As soon as you begin making plans to downsize, even if you’re home isn’t on the market yet, start going through all of those forgotten things. Get rid of stuff you no longer use or need or can live without in your new home.

Invariably, you’ll come upon items that you’re not sure if you should keep or get rid of. Put these things aside in their own category or box for going through again later on, once your initial “audit” is complete. By then you’ll have a better idea how much more stuff you’ll need to part with in order to fit into a smaller space.

2) Give things to your children. Your grown children may actually have use for some of the things you can’t take with you to your new, smaller home, like furniture items. Other things, like heirloom pieces, can also be given to your children as a way to keep them in the family without keeping them in your home.

3) Take pictures. One of the great things about living in the digital age is that it’s so easy to take and keep pictures. That’s why we love the idea of keeping pictures of stuff rather than keeping stuff. You know you can’t take your children’s pre-school drawings and art projects with you when you move, but it’s hard to part with such precious memories. Taking digital photos of those sentimental things gives you a way to “keep” them without taking up any additional space.

4) Sell your excess stuff. If you have stuff that you don’t need any more or can’t take with you, sell it. Hold a garage sale, or list it on Craigslist or your local classifieds. Earmark whatever money comes in from the sale of your stuff for helping make the space in your new home more efficient. (We’ll be exploring this idea more in depth in part two of this series.)

5) Give away or recycle any excess. Donate or recycle whatever you can’t sell and your kids don’t want. Take usable stuff to a local thrift store. Anything that isn’t in good enough condition to be donated should be recycled. There are options here in the Lower Mainland for recycling almost anything and everything, from electronics and appliances to broken furniture and clothing.

 

 

Advertisements


Leave a comment

Three Crucial Wine Storage Tips for the Holidays and Beyond

Sliding wine racks in chrome by Tailored Living.In our last blog we talked about getting organized for the holidays. We know that wine plays an important role in many people’s holiday celebrations, so we thought it would be a good time to share some of our favourite wine storage tips with our followers. Of course, wine isn’t just for the holidays, so these tips are applicable all year long and they will help ensure that you get peak flavour from your wine, no matter what kind is your favourite.

1) Store wine bottles on their sides.* A lot of people do this automatically but don’t really know why they do it. Wine racks and wine refrigerators are designed this way because it’s important to keep the cork moist. If your wine cork dries out it may allow some air to get inside the bottle. This can cause oxidization which ultimately affects and deteriorates the flavour. Plus, when you go to remove the cork it can shred, dropping bits of cork into the bottle. No one wants to find cork in their wine glass.

Side storage is less crucial for wine bottles that don’t have corks. Screw-top bottles can be safely stored upright. However, side storage is much more space efficient so if you have more than three or four bottles at a time. You’ll get better use out of your space when storing them on their sides.

Lucite wine pyramids are perfect for storing a selection of holiday wines

Lucite wine pyramids are perfect for storing a selection of holiday wines

* Tailored Living has several innovative options when it comes to custom, built-in wine storage, including its Lucite wine pyramid, Lucite wine rack and others.

2) Keep wine out of sunlight. Wine and UV light don’t mix. Ultraviolet light deteriorates wine and alters its flavour. (Now you know why many wine bottles and even others, like beer bottles, are amber, brown or green-coloured.)

3) Store wine at optimum temperatures. For red wines, this is usually between 62 and 68 degrees F, while white wines should be stored between 49 and 55 degrees F. (This is why many people keep white wines in a wine refrigerator and red wines in the pantry.) Whatever you do, try not to let any of your wine bottles reach more than 70 degrees F which will deteriorate the wine and dull the flavour.

If you don’t have a wine fridge for your white wines, it’s okay to store them in your regular refrigerator for short periods (a couple of days to a couple of weeks). However, your regular fridge is generally cooler than 49 degrees. White wine that is too cold for too long will also lose its flavour. Red or white, cooler or warmer, you should also try to avoid exposing your wine to extreme temperature shifts. Keep it at a constant temperature for optimal taste.

The pantry is an ideal place for storage of both red and white wines. If you can keep your pantry door closed, keep the lights off most of the time and dial down the thermostat in that room a few degrees, you’ll create excellent conditions for wine storage. In fact, many of the foods that you store in your pantry would do well to be kept slightly cooler than room temperature and out of sunlight.

Need a pantry upgrade? Now is a great time, while there are still a couple of months until company starts coming. Check out Tailored Living’s pantry page for inspiration and ideas.


Leave a comment

Creative Ways to Make the Most of Closet Corners

closet cornerTailored Living is all about helping people make the most of their space by increasing storage capability without having to add-on to the home. As nice as an extra room or new closet might be, it’s not always feasible or practical. Fortunately, it’s not even necessary most of the time. Tailored Living helps people do more with what they already have, starting with the closet.

Tailored Living can make any space in your home work harder, but it is probably best known for its custom closet makeovers, so we want to focus on closets here and, particularly, those awkward closet corners. They don’t have to be awkward. Outfitted with the right accessories, they can dramatically increase the storage capability of your closet. Some of our favourite ways to make closet corners work more efficiently include:

* Corner shelving/cubbies: Tailored Living’s expert contractors can design and install corner shelving that fills that space and allows you to actually be able to store things on it or in it. There are literally dozens and possibly hundreds of ways that we can configure corner shelving or cubbies. We have many different kinds of materials and finishes so it can truly be customized to your needs and may even end up being a one-of-a-kind design.

* Spiral shoe rack: We love this little gem, and so do our shoe-collecting customers. A spiral shoe rack can be installed inside a corner cubby, taking up very little horizontal space and instead maximizing vertical space. It can hold more than a dozen pairs of shoes. Not only that, but they’re stored in such a way as to retain their ideal shape. Plus, they can be accessed easily and quickly… no more hunting through piles of mismatched shoes on the floor of your closet.

spiral shoe rack

A spiral shoe rack by Tailored Living

* Spiral clothing rack: Similar to the idea of a spiral shoe rack, but with a slightly larger horizontal profile. Nevertheless, it’s still an excellent use of corner space in your closet. It has room for dozens of hangers, with spacers that keep the hangers (and your clothes) from sliding down the spiral rack, keeping your garments neat, tidy and wrinkle-free.

We know that it can be very difficult to imagine how those weird corners can actually be made functional. We also know that, even when we tell you what we can do with the corners, it’s hard to actually envision what it will look like. That’s why we love the D’Vinci™ 3D Design System. We can input the exact dimensions of your space, implement your ideas, and give you a three-dimensional picture of what the finished design would actually look like. This way you know exactly what you’re getting, and we can tweak your custom closet design before installation if necessary.


Leave a comment

Extend Your Personal Style Beyond the Home and Into the Garage

The garage is no longer merely a utilitarian space or an afterthought on the bottom of the home decorating list. Today more homeowners than ever are viewing the garage as another room, just as important a one as the kitchen, the family room or any other room in the home. They’re recognizing that style and design don’t have to stop at the garage door stoop. Consequently, many home owners, and men in particular (who tend to spend the most time in the garage, though this is a generalization and in no way diminishes the women who like to tinker with motors or DIY projects out there) are extending their own personal style into the garage.

The experts at Tailored Living have put out a brief and helpful list of four things that you’ll want to consider when transforming your garage into the ultimate personal space, Man Cave, workshop or entertainment centre, depending on what you most like to do in your garage. You can view a web version of that list at http://lms.dbmgroup.com/Email/TailoredLivingCorporate/J119263/J119263.asp?EmailAddr=rhelferty@tailoredliving.com&LogID=6940&ID=74046079&EID=NzQwNDYwNzk= .  But we’d also like to summarize those four points here and offer some advice based on our own personal experiences working with our greater Vancouver customers:

1) Personalize your garage with custom cabinetry. Cabinets are not only functional storage pieces, but they can be configured to suit a homeowner’s individual and unique needs. Tailored Living can recommend the best type for the kinds of things that you tend to store in your garage, whether it’s engine parts, sporting equipment or tools. Finally, you can choose from a variety of finishes to match your taste or the rest of your home’s décor.

"Traditional" Garage Cabinets by Tailored Living

Custom garage cabinets made to fit YOUR stuff

2) Refresh the look of your garage floor. Tailored Living offers several different garage flooring solutions that provide both protection for your garage’s floor as well as personalized decorative flair. From traditional epoxy coverings to easy-installing PremierTrax garage floor tiles, you can get a look that is one-of-a-kind.

PremierOne floor coating, just one of several excellent garage flooring options from Tailored Living

PremierOne floor coating, just one of several excellent garage flooring options from Tailored Living

3) Remove dangerous materials. All kinds of things from chemicals and automotive fluids to sharp tools can pose a hazard to people and pets. Things like these should be stored carefully, away from children and pets in a locking cabinet or on a high shelf.

4) Provide a walkway or clear path in the garage. This might seem like common sense, but with living and garage space at a premium in greater Vancouver, many homeowners have every square foot in their garage covered with stuff. This can be dangerous not just for walking but can also pose a fire hazard. This is where good cabinetry and shelving comes in, but we also recommend getting rid of as many things as you can. Storing things in your garage that you don’t use isn’t worth the hassle or risk. Donate it to charity or take it to the landfill or recycling depot and make sure your garage floor stays uncluttered.


Leave a comment

De-Winterizing Your Garage

Last October we blogged about winterizing your garage and offered a few expert tips on how to do that. Well, spring is officially here now. Although our friends in eastern Canada are still suffering the effects of a lingering winter, here in the Lower Mainland we are past the danger of frost and not likely to have to shovel snow again this season.  This is the time of year when tinkerers, do-it-yourselfers and amateur craftsmen begin to spend time in the garage again. Now that there is no danger of freezing to death out there, people are taking up spring projects in the garage that were neglected during the winter season. That’s why we thought it would be a good time to talk about DE-winterizing your garage. https://tailoredlivingvancouver.wordpress.com/2014/10/07/winterizing-your-garage/ It’s just as important as winterizing, but home owners sometimes forget about doing it until they go to use something in the garage and realize it’s still packed away in its cozy little winter nest of blankets or newspapers. Here are a few things you should do inside your garage this spring:  1) Remove plastic or other coverings from windows. This is discretionary and whether or not you do this depends on your situation. If you have garage windows and you covered them to insulate them for winter, you can remove these coverings if you plan to use the windows. By “use” we mean if you like to open them and let in a breeze while you’re working in the garage during the non-winter months. If you don’t necessarily need access to the windows during the spring/summer, it’s okay to leave them covered. However, it’s important to note that your window coverings will weather faster if left up year-round.  2) Check the state of any liquids and chemicals you have stored in the garage. In our garage winterizing blog we recommended insulating (or storing in a closed cupboard) things like motor oil, washer fluid, antifreeze and other chemicals. This spring, take a few minutes to make sure that all those chemicals and liquids you put away for the winter survived unscathed. Fortunately our winter here was pretty mild, but even a single freezing snap followed by a thaw can cause chemical containers to crack or burst. The last thing you want is chemical leakage in your garage. If by chance you do experience a chemical leak, it’s important to clean it up promptly and properly. Different chemicals require different clean up methods, so check online how best to clean up a specific substance and also how to properly dispose of those substances (they most likely cannot be thrown in with your regular household trash).  3) Pack away/organize seasonal items. Make sure you store snow shovels, your snowblower, de-icer and other winter items in a safe, out-of-the-way place for the milder months. Keep chemicals like de-icer/salt out of reach of children and pets. If you haven’t done so already, pack up winter/holiday decorations and store them. You can also unpack any spring/summer decorations and items that you boxed up last fall.  4) Check for cracks in walls, flooring and foundations in the garage. Many cracks happen in winter time, again, due to freezing and thawing. If you have a crack that needs attention, it’s best to take care of it now when there is no danger of frost, rather than, say, next November.  Spring is the best time of year to get organized and it’s also an excellent time to do that garage renovation you’ve been thinking about. The transition between winter and fall is ideal for installing garage flooring or putting in garage storage. Tailored Living has some unique solutions and products for both of those things and our reps would be happy to give you a free in-home (or in-garage) estimate on improving the space in your garage.Last October we blogged about winterizing your garage and offered a few expert tips on how to do that. Well, spring is officially here now. Although our friends in eastern Canada are still suffering the effects of a lingering winter, here in the Lower Mainland we are past the danger of frost and not likely to have to shovel snow again this season.

This is the time of year when tinkerers, do-it-yourselfers and amateur craftsmen begin to spend time in the garage again. Now that there is no danger of freezing to death out there, people are taking up spring projects in the garage that were neglected during the winter season. That’s why we thought it would be a good time to talk about DE-winterizing your garage. It’s just as important as winterizing (and slightly less dreary), but home owners sometimes forget about doing it until they go to use something in the garage and realize it’s still packed away in its cozy little winter nest of blankets or newspapers. Here are a few things you should do inside your garage this spring:

1) Remove plastic or other coverings from windows. This is discretionary and whether or not you do this depends on your situation. If you have garage windows and you covered them to insulate them for winter, you can remove these coverings if you plan to use the windows. By “use” we mean if you like to open them and let in a breeze while you’re working in the garage during the non-winter months. If you don’t necessarily need access to the windows during the spring/summer, it’s okay to leave them covered. However, it’s important to note that your window coverings will weather faster if left up year-round.

2) Check the state of any liquids and chemicals you have stored in the garage. In our garage winterizing blog we recommended insulating (or storing in a closed cupboard) things like motor oil, washer fluid, antifreeze and other chemicals. This spring, take a few minutes to make sure that all those chemicals and liquids you put away for the winter survived unscathed. Fortunately our winter here was pretty mild, but even a single freezing snap followed by a thaw can cause chemical containers to crack or burst. The last thing you want is chemical leakage in your garage. If by chance you do experience a chemical leak, it’s important to clean it up promptly and properly. Different chemicals require different clean up methods, so check online how best to clean up a specific substance and also how to properly dispose of those substances (they most likely cannot be thrown in with your regular household trash).

3) Pack away/organize seasonal items. Make sure you store snow shovels, your snowblower, de-icer and other winter items in a safe, out-of-the-way place for the milder months. Keep chemicals like de-icer/salt out of reach of children and pets. If you haven’t done so already, pack up winter/holiday decorations and store them. You can also unpack any spring/summer decorations and items that you boxed up last fall.

4) Check for cracks in walls, flooring and foundations in the garage. Many cracks happen in winter time, again, due to freezing and thawing. If you have a crack that needs attention, it’s best to take care of it now when there is no danger of frost, rather than, say, next November.

"Traditional" Garage Cabinets by Tailored Living

“Traditional” Garage Cabinets by Tailored Living

Spring is the best time of year to get organized and it’s also an excellent time to do that garage renovation you’ve been thinking about. The transition between winter and fall is ideal for installing garage flooring or putting in garage storage. Tailored Living has some unique solutions and products for both of those things and our reps would be happy to give you a free in-home (or in-garage) estimate on improving the space in your garage.


Leave a comment

Tailored Living Wins “Best of Houzz” Again

Best of Houzz in Design Badge 2015

Tailored Living Wins “Best of Houzz” 2015

We want to take this opportunity to share with our followers that Tailored Living has been named “Best of Houzz” in Design for 2015. It marks the third straight year that Tailored Living has received this distinction.

Houzz.com is “a platform for home remodelling and design, bringing homeowners and home professionals together in a uniquely visual community.” (About Houzz, http://www.houzz.com/aboutUs). What began as a small online community for home owners to share ideas in 2009 has since grown into a major social platform specific to the home building and design industry. Users can share home design ideas and photos and browse home and design products. The site is packed with articles by home builders and design professionals, information about contractors and a directory of service providers.

Each year Houzz.com awards the “Best of Houzz” distinction to businesses based on customer feedback and votes by Houzz.com users. Tailored Living won the distinction in 2013, 2014 and again this year.

We want to express our appreciation to our Greater Vancouver & Fraser Valley customers for their ongoing support, especially those who took the time to vote for us on Houzz.com. Because winners of this award are determined entirely by consumers from the general public, we know that we would not have received this distinction without our customers.

On another note, Terry Yakiwchuk owns Tailored Living’s North Vancouver franchise. He recently returned from Tailored Living’s annual franchise owner’s conference in Las Vegas. This year’s theme was “Move Forward,” and owners were encouraged throughout the course of the event to seek guidance and coaching from professionals who could help them take their business to the next level. The event included numerous breakout sessions lead by professionals from the areas like financing, sales, management, marketing and human resources. Terry came away with a renewed sense of inspiration and motivation and a commitment to keep moving forward.

Of course, none of us could move forward without the support of our clients. We appreciate everyone who invited us into their homes over the past year for a consultation or a renovation project, and we appreciate those who referred their friends and family to Tailored Living. If you were happy with your renovation project, we would love it if you would take a few minutes to post a review on Houzz.com and, hopefully, get us on track to win “Best of Houzz” again in 2016.


Leave a comment

The Un-Pantry: A Different Kind of Shelving Project

By Mike Pachal

I get a lot of opportunities to install shelving, whether it’s in a custom garage, a closet, home office or a pantry. However, this job was a little bit different than any I’ve done before and worth blogging about as an excellent example of what Tailored Living can do when a customer is looking for something “outside the box.”

A Coquitlam couple had a special tea set which they had brought with them to Canada from Malaysia. The set is used only for very specific occasions, and always with a specific kind of tea, also from Malaysia. The couple wanted to be able to store the precious heirloom in a way that would keep it safe and secure, but which would also allow them to enjoy it even when it wasn’t being used for tea service.

Working closely with them, we came up with a solution that would meet both of those needs. The couple had a small closet under a set of stairs. Its awkward shape made it difficult to use as a storage space for things like boxes, but which turned out to be an ideal home for the cherished tea set. They painted and wallpapered the inside of the closet space and then my team and I installed this set of floating shelves.

Shelves installed in an under-stairway closet

The shelves allow for the tea set to be seen and enjoyed (rather than packed away in a box somewhere in the home), and the closet provided the protection that it needed. The installation was fast and uncomplicated, and the overall project was quite inexpensive for the home owners.

Floating shelves make a beautiful addition to just about any room. They’re ideal because they serve both as storage and as a beautiful place to display artwork, knick-knacks, family photos, books and other items, but they don’t take up any floor space. While this is the first time I have ever had the opportunity to use floating shelves in a closet under a set of stairs, the project inspired me and my team and may inspire you as well when trying to decide how best to showcase items that are important, significant or decorative without taking up too much space. While Tailored Living may specialize in closets, its talented designers and consultants can work with any space, even awkward ones like this one, and transform them into something both useful and beautiful. Here’s a shot of the finished job with the teapots on display:

Floating shelves by Tailored Living with tea pots on display