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

Your Home, Tailored to the Way You Live


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Home Organization Hacks: 85 Ways to Use Slatwall In Your Home to Make Life Saner

laundry room slatwallOne of the most versatile and, therefore, popular products over the years that we’ve been serving the Greater Vancouver market has been our slatwall  product. Slatwall consists of wood planks with grooves in between that can be installed over drywall. You’re probably familiar with slatwall even if you don’t realize it or recognize it readily. It’s sometimes used by retailers in stores to hang and display their wares for shoppers. Thanks to its excellent functionality and versatility, it has begun to catch on in the home, too.

The grooves in slatwall allow for quick and easy placement of hooks and hooked devices or containers. Once you place the hooks, previously unused wall space becomes practical storage space for a variety of different types of items. Best of all, you aren’t locked into a particular configuration when it comes to the things you hook into your slats. You can rearrange them any way, any time you need to. Your wall can be changed when your needs change without ever having to change the wall itself.

Tailored Living most often installs slatwall in garages, but slatwall can actually be used in any part of the home. In fact, we have installed it in laundry rooms, home offices and even bedrooms. Don’t worry… slatwall isn’t strictly utilitarian. Although extremely practical, it looks amazing, too. It can even be painted to match or complement an existing color scheme in whatever part of the house you want it.

Once you’ve installed your slatwall, you can adapt and customize it to your needs using a variety of storage maximizing accessories. As already mentioned, hooks are common, but you can also insert baskets, bins and shelves. You can insert them in seconds and move or remove them just as easily.

Here are 85 slatwall hacks for every room in your home that might inspire (or surprise) you.

steel slatwallIn the garage:

1) Hand tools (hammers, saws, etc.).

2) Organize nails and screws.

3) Hang bicycles.

4) Sleds.

5) Surfboards.

6) Skateboards.

7) Skis and ski poles.

8) Baseball bats.

9) Golf clubs.

10) Tennis rackets.

11) Skates

12) Sports balls (baseballs, golf balls, etc.).

13) Hand gardening tools.

14) Large gardening tools (shovels, spades and rakes).

15) Snow shovels.

16) Ladders.

17) Folding stools and chairs.

18) Fishing poles and gear.

19) Cleaning supplies.

20) Automotive fluids.

21) Camping gear.

In the playroom or a child’s bedroom:

22) Hold and sort Lego.  lego-615239_960_720

23) Toy cars.

24) Small toy balls.

25) Small blocks.

26) Play dough/clay and accessories.

In the office:

27) Pens and pencils.

28) Markers and highlighters.

29) Scissors.

30) Staplers and staples.

31) Rubber bands.

32) Paper clips.

33) Thumb tacks.

In the craft room / sewing  room / art room:

34) Scrapbooking embellishments, such as stickers, tape, etc.

35) Craft foam.

36) Craft fabric pieces.

37) Stamps and ink pads.

38) Craft wood scraps.

39) Felt scraps.

40) Clay.

41) Chenille wire.

42) Beads.

43) Paint and paintbrushes.

44) Glue guns and glue sticks.

45) Sewing scissors.

46) Sewing notions, such as buttons, thread, thimbles, bobbins, etc.

47) Sewing embellishments like sequins, patches, etc.

48) Yarn.

48) Embroidery floss.

49) Serger thread spools.

50) Crayons.

51) Markers.

52) Pens/pencils.

53) Kids scissors.

54) Popsicle sticks.

55) Glue bottles/glue sticks.

56) Miscellaneous craft supplies and embellishments such as pom poms, googly eyes, paints, paintbrushes and play-dough or clay.

In the kitchen:

57) Pots and pans.

58) Large utensils.

59) Gather and store small utensils like forks and knives using cylindrical containers.

60) Spices.

coffee-beans-618858_960_72061) Coffee beans/grounds.

62) Mugs.

On the deck / patio:

63) Small potted plants.

64) Gardening tools.

In the bathroom:

65) Towels and washcloths.

66) Toothbrushes and toothpaste.

67) Barrettes and hair clips.

68) Cosmetics.

69) Shaving supplies.

70) Miscellaneous grooming products (deodorant, lotion, etc.).

71) Hair styling tools (blow dryer, curling iron, etc.).

72) Small hair tools (brushes and combs).

General and Miscellaneous Home Use:

73) Clothing and accessories.

74) Display pictures on shelves.

75) Display decorative items on shelves.

76) Jewellery (necklaces and bracelets).

77) Mirrors

78) Pictures.

79) Hang keys (perfect near the front door).

80) Bags and backpacks.

81) Purses.

82) Umbrellas.

83) Hats.

84) Small candies.

85) Wine bottles/small wine racks.

Even covering just a small area with slatwall (say, a 3 foot by 5 foot space over your desk) can make a big difference in your ability to store items and stay organized. Imagine how much more desk space you could have! If you’re interested in seeing how slatwall could change the functionality of your home, let Tailored Living come by for a free in-home consultation. You’ll be under no obligation to purchase anything, and you might be pleasantly surprised how little it costs to save your sanity!

 


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10 Garage Maintenance Tasks You Should Tackle This Spring

lego-568039_960_720We feel like we are pretty safe in saying that spring has finally arrived in Greater Vancouver, even though it has been pretty wet so far. At least the snow is finished, and with cherry blossoms exploding everywhere and warmer weather even on cloudy days, it’s hard to be too bothered by the rain.

Of course, spring also means “spring cleaning.” It’s a tradition the origin of which is difficult to pinpoint. Nevertheless, it’s a smart thing to do when you own a home (no matter how big or small). Since we are experts in all things garage, and since this part of the house probably gets the least amount of attention, we thought it would be timely to draw attention to some spring cleaning maintenance tasks for the garage. By spending a little extra time at this time of year, you can save yourself hassle, grief and even more time the rest of the year.

1) Tidy up. Why do people spring clean the living areas of their home but neglect the garage? Spring is a great time to tackle the garage, too. Purge the space of items you don’t use or need anymore and take the time to organize everything else. Check out these spring garage cleaning tips from one of our previous posts: https://tailoredlivingvancouver.wordpress.com/2016/02/16/spring-cleaning-and-organizing-in-the-garage-is-easier-this-year/

2) Sweep and clean your entire garage floor. This is super important, because you probably dragged in all kinds of dirt, gravel and muck over the winter which isn’t good for your floors or for your vehicle’s tires.

3) Inspect your garage door. Are all of its parts in good working order or does anything need to be replaced? Give its moving parts (tracks, springs, hinges, rollers, etc.) a garagecleaning if needed by gently brushing away dirt and grease clumps with a soft-bristled brush and then lubricate them with a garage door lubricant.

4) Remove winter window coverings, if you have any.

5) Remove and replace worn weather stripping.

Optional and Periodic Garage Maintenance Tasks:

1) Patch holes and cracks in your garage floor.

2) Re-coat/re-seal your garage floor. The frequency with which you’ll need to do this depends on what your floor is made of and what kind of sealant (if any) is already on it. If it’s time for a new sealant, check out our exclusive PremierOne® Garage Floor Coatings. Depending on what type you choose, our coatings are guaranteed to last for a specific length of time, meaning you don’t have to reseal year after year.

painting-black-paint-roller3) Repair dents and nicks in drywall and repaint.

4) Have your garage door professionally inspected and make any repairs or parts replacements that are needed.

5) Conduct a full-out purging and re-organize your garage. Maybe it’s been awhile since you’ve tackled the clutter in your garage. Or, maybe you’ve been doing regular tidying up, but the accumulation of stuff has outpaced your ability to keep on top of being organized. Whatever your reasons, sometimes a garage interior reorganization is necessary in order to maintain your own sanity and keep clutter and accumulation under control.

If clutter is an ongoing problem in your garage, maybe it’s time for a complete garage storage overhaul. Tailored Living has hundreds of solutions and a plan that’s made just for you and the space that you have to work with. It doesn’t matter if your garage is small… Tailored Living can design solutions that perfectly fit the space you do have.


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Help… This Crazy Winter Is Killing My Garage Floor!

background-1069924_960_720Who would have predicted that Greater Vancouver would have the kind of winter it did this year? Not that snow is an impossibility here, but the sheer volume we received from North and West Vancouver all the way into the Chilliwack area has been unexpected and out-of-the-ordinary, to say the least. All kinds of old snowfall records were dashed to pieces this year with all of the white stuff that has fallen since December of 2016 until now.

Since it’s now officially spring, our fingers are crossed that we’ll soon see some signs of spring emerging. However, more snow is not out of the question, and even if it doesn’t snow again, we’re in for a wet spring this year. That being said, your garage floor may be taking an extra-hard beating in 2017, so we thought it would be a good idea to revisit some of the excellent garage flooring options that Tailored Living offers, which are ideal for life on the Wet West Coast, and how they will protect your cement foundation from all of this moisture.

PremierOne® Floor Coatings: The PremierOne® formula is exclusive to Tailored Living. In other words, you won’t be able to find this product anywhere else. We can’t tell you about the top-secret ingredients in this amazing product, but we can tell you what they will do for your floor: create a continuous, non-porous surface, filling all of those microscopic holes in your concrete and sealing them tight. The process begins with one of our professional installers who will machine-prep the surface of your garage floor. This is a critical part of the installation process because it removes any contaminants (oil spots, stains, dirt, etc.) that might prevent the coating from bonding fully to the concrete.

TL-Before-After-BlogAfter machining, the coating is applied right away so that it is able to sink right into the pores in the concrete, forming a seal that will act as a total barrier between your floor and any stuff that might end up on it, including water, mud and anything else that might get dragged in on your tires. In fact, the exclusive epoxy resin forms a bond that is twice as thick as other floor coatings and which is resistant to spills of all types, like oil, paint and household chemicals. Simply wipe away spills with a soft, dry cloth. No water is typically needed to clean up. Any dry debris can be easily swept away with a soft broom, or, even better, a dust mop (to prevent scratches).

premierone-decorative-texture-steelhead-micro-titleOur PremierOne® Floor Coatings are available in a variety of colors and styles including solid colors (six different ones to choose from) and our most popular Decorative Textures. PremierOne® Decorative Texture coatings come in 18 standard chip color blends. You also have the option of blending colors to create your own custom, one-of-a-kind design floor. You can also choose between ¼ chips or 1/8 inch chips. This seemingly small difference in chip size can actually make a dramatic difference in the appearance,  giving you a garage floor with a truly custom look and feel.

premiertrax-blue-titlePremierTrax Tiles: These easy-installation, no-glue garage floor tiles are semi-permanent and removable. Each tile is made from and 8 percent rubber in a polypropylene mix, making them extremely durable yet also flexible. Not only that, but they are actually ergonomically healthier on feet and knees. Tiles feature an open-weave design which traps dirt and debris. Simply hose away to remove.

Tiles are designed to interlock with one another, so installation is literally as easy as building with Lego. Our professionals can usually install your entire floor in a matter of hours, and you can drive, work or play on your floor as soon as it’s finished. Our PremierTrax tiles come in 18 colors from earth tones to primary colors to bright and contemporary hues. One of the best things about this is that you can choose to create a floor that is one or two colors, or use several colors and create geometric patterns that are totally unique to your home and to whatever suits your garage space. Best of all, these tiles are so well-engineered that we are confident in backing them with a guarantee for as long as you own your home.

Of course, accidents do happen. In the event that a tile does become damaged (say by accidentally dropping a running saw onto the floor), all you have to do is swap out the damaged tile(s) for a brand new one and lock it in place. It is one of the most practical and cost-efficient flooring solutions on the planet, and you can use it in other places too, not just the garage. We have clients who have had PremierTrax installed on decks and patios (it’s totally weather-resistant), in playrooms, bedrooms, rec rooms and basements.

When it comes to water (which is why we are blogging on this topic in the first place), the channels in each tile serve to funnel moisture away from the garage floor’s surface, keeping it dry and safe. You don’t have to worry about skidding or puddles of water collecting on the floor.

Again, cleaning involves simply hosing down the floor periodically. How frequently you’ll need to do this depends on how heavily-used your garage is and what kinds of activities typically go on inside. Aiming for two to four times a year is probably sufficient for most home owners purposes.

Here at Tailored Living, Coquitlam, we truly hope that winter is over too. We’re ready for some spring. We’re also ready to help you solve your garage flooring problems. Spring is a great time to install a new floor, and you’ll be ready not only for the rest of this year’s rainy season,  but also next winter, too. We just hope it’s less white.


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Are Harmful VOC’s Lurking in Your House?

PART 2: GREAT, NOW WHAT?

skull-1426813_960_720VOC exposure on an individual level can be difficult to control, and fortunately, you probably don’t have to worry too much about getting sick from exposure if you don’t work with VOCs every day. However, if you feel like it’s important to do your small part in limiting the amount of VOCs that come into your home and get spread into the surrounding environment,

1) If possible, avoid using products containing VOCs. This is not always going to be possible, but there are more and more products coming into the market that are VOC-free. Opt for those whenever they are available.

2) Take the right precautions when using products containing VOCs. Proper ventilation is face-mask-98640_960_720number one on the list. For example, if you are painting your home’s interior, open the windows so that VOC fumes don’t accumulate indoors. Crack the bathroom window open if you’re painting your nails or removing nail polish. When using household cleaners, use the least amount that is needed to do the job effectively. Wear a mask while painting or working with other VOCs, particularly if you must be exposed for more than a few minutes.

3) Get to know the names of the types of VOC’s you are likely to run into when purchasing household products. Here’s partial list of some of the most common ones:

safety-44441_960_720

* Formaldehyde (yes, the same stuff they use to pickle biological specimens for preservation)

* Acetone

* Ethanol

* Carbon Disulfide

* Butanal

* Terpenes

* Toluene

* Dichlorobenzene

* Benzene

4) Opt for products with labels that say “No VOC’s” or “VOC-free.” If the label doesn’t say, check the list of ingredients to see if any of the above chemicals appear.

Why Does Tailored Living Care About VOC’s?

 

Copper-1000x750 premier one elements

PremierOne Elements flooring in “Copper”

Tailored Living is committed to doing its part for both the environment and for its customers. When it comes to VOC’s, we don’t want them in our products. Because VOC’s are commonly found in floor coatings (something Tailored Living works with frequently), we made sure they didn’t go into any of our exclusive, proprietary-blend garage floor coatings. Tailored Living’s PremierOne® Floor Coatings are VOC-free and create a permanent chemical bond with concrete floors. This super-strong bond means you won’t have to worry about your floor peeling. Not only that, but it will protect and preserve your concrete, which will increase its life span.

 

One of the best things about our PremierOne® Floor Coatings is that they’re not just aesthetically beautiful; they’re also practical. They won’t chip or fade, and they are ultra-stain resistant. In fact, the glossy finish repels stains and spills of all kinds, including the things you commonly keep in the garage, like gasoline, motor oil and cleaning fluids. Spills wipe up easily with a dry cloth, and the sealed barrier will not allow liquids of any kind (including water tracked in by tires) to penetrate to the concrete below.

At the end of the day, you get a garage floor that is protective and made to last for many years. Not only that, but you can feel confident about keeping harmful VOC’s out of your home and away from your family and even make a contribution to keeping the air clean and healthy.


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Are Toxic VOC’s Lurking in Your House? (Part 1 of a 2-part series)

VOCs.jpg

Perhaps one of your 2017 New Year’s resolutions is to be more environmentally-aware, going beyond recycling household trash to make a difference. Well, here’s another one to add to your ever-growing list of bad chemicals and substances to watch out for: Volatile Organic Compounds (“VOC’s”). As the name suggests, these are organic (carbon-containing) chemicals that have a high vapor pressure at room temperature. In layman’s terms, VOC’s evaporate from the solid substance in which they are contained in the form of gases. They can be found in all sorts of things, including items found in most every household: cosmetic products (i.e. nail polish), cleaning solutions, paint, degreasers, automotive fluids and many others.

manicure-870857__340

A VOC is not, in and of itself, an “ingredient.” That is, you won’t be able to look at the ingredient list of a particular product and assume that because “VOC” isn’t listed that the product doesn’t contain any. Actually, there are many different ingredients that are considered to be VOC’s. One example that is familiar to most people is formaldehyde. However, there are a number of other common ones as well. Unless you happen to have comprehensive knowledge of every kind of VOC, you might have a hard time telling which products have them and which don’t.

Here is one simple way, though, that even young children can detect the presence of a VOC in a product: by using your nose. VOCs almost always have very strong, unpleasant, chemical-like scents. If it makes your eyes water, your throat constrict or your head hurt when you catch a whiff of it, it likely contains one or more VOC’s.

What are the Risks?

cleaning-932936_960_720.jpgVOC’s are not considered to be “acutely toxic.” That is, smelling them or coming into contact with them will probably not cause immediate illness (although some may cause burns when in contact with skin). However, the effects of exposure to VOC’s can be cumulative. This means that they can build up in the human body and, if not expelled, can cause illness down the road, including certain types of cancers.

People who are most at risk of suffering the cumulative effects of VOC’s are those whose work involves daily exposure to them, such as painters (house painters and artists alike), nail techs and hair stylists and even, surprisingly, bakers (VOC’s are by-products of yeast fermentation). Occasional exposure (such as painting your nails at home) poses minimal to negligible risk, as long as proper handling procedures are followed.dough-943245_960_720.jpg

Unfortunately, VOCs are also harmful to the environment. In the atmosphere, VOC’s wreak havoc by forming poisonous particulate matter (i.e. smog) or combining with nitrogen oxide (a greenhouse gas) and forming ozone close to the ground. For this reason, many countries are researching ways to reduce the use of VOCs and restricting industries’ production of them.

Great, now what?

In our next blog, we’ll tell you how to spot VOC’s in common household products and how to get around potentially-harmful exposure. You’ll also find out how Tailored Living is helping reduce their use.

 


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The Five Most Common Objections to Getting a Free In-Home Consultation (And Why You Shouldn’t Listen to That Nagging Voice In Your Head)

tailored-living-design-processMaybe you’ve been thinking about getting your closet, garage, home office or laundry room made-over. Perhaps you are one who has been sitting on the fence for awhile, trying to decide whether to move forward on such a project. Or maybe you only just recently stumbled on Tailored Living at a local Home Show or on the Internet, or encountered an acquaintance who raved to you about her ultra-organized, super-efficient new closet and thought maybe you’d benefit from one too.

If you relate to any of these scenarios, you are the type of homeowner that Tailored Living had in mind when it designed its Free In-Home Consultation.

1) I don’t have time to sit down and listen to a long presentation. Don’t you hate it when you’re contacted by a salesman who talks you into a “short” in-home presentation, only to show up at the appointed time with a display board, an iPad with a 100-question survey, a product catalog and a giant box filled with samples (and “you simply MUST see them all,” he insists)? And suddenly you realize that by “short” he meant at least an hour, probably more, and you’re desperately grasping for excuses to get him to leave.

Tailored Living’s expert representatives know that your time is valuable, and they are committed to respecting that. After all, it’s a privilege to be invited into someone’s home as a guest, and our reps make gracious guests. We don’t come with a three-dimensional display board, a questionnaire or dozens of samples. It’s really just a congenial visit. No props, just ideas and suggestions. It only takes 15 minutes or less of your time (unless you get so excited about the possibilities that you invite us in for coffee). Not only that, but your representative is also your contractor, so he or she really knows what they are talking about when it comes to potential products, design and installation questions. There is no second-guessing, no empty promises, and no communication gap between rep and contractor.

2) There’s no such thing as “free.” There MUST be strings attached, or fine print or a hidden clause or something….. Tricking potential customers is NEVER good for business, no matter what that business is. There’s no fine print anywhere on our website, catalog or other marketing materials. “Free” really means free. No strings. You don’t have to do anything or buy anything if you don’t want to. We authentically appreciate the opportunity to see and talk about your home with you and we want to earn your trust.

3) I don’t want to be hassled by a high-pressure salesperson. Tailored Living’ reps are not salesmen (see point #1). They are owners and contractors whose genuine interest is to help you make living easier by getting better organized with custom solutions and systems for every individual or family. You will probably receive a follow-up phone call after your in-home consultation, especially if you’ve indicated an interest in a renovation. However, we won’t call if you ask us not to, and we won’t spam your email inbox. Remember, we want to build trust, so we’ll respect any contact requests that you make.

4) I can’t afford a renovation right now. We know that doing any kind of a home reno, even small ones, can be costly. However, many homeowners don’t realize that they can achieve a desired set of results at a lower cost simply by choosing more economical (but equally-functional) materials or accessories, or slightly altering a particular design feature. The only way to find out this information is through an in-home consultation. Additionally, Tailored Living doesn’t outsource the actual renovation work to a third-party, which also helps to keep costs lower than other companies in the market.befunky-collage-2

5) My closet/garage/house is so small there is nothing anyone can do to improve its storage capacity. There is no space too small that Tailored Living cannot transform into a fully-functional and highly efficient storage space. In fact, Tailored Living was founded on the philosophy of improving small spaces because they are usually the ones that need the most organizational help. (If you had ample space you probably wouldn’t have thought of us in the first place.) Because everything is custom-cut, shaped and designed to fit your space, size doesn’t matter at all.


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How to Extend the Life of the Foods in Your Pantry

part-2

extendable-counter-surfaceIn part one of this two-part series, we looked at some tips for keeping pantry foods fresher for longer. This week we have a few more tips to offer you, as well as some professional pantry design advice.

arrow-bulletControl and maintain the temperature in your pantry at its optimal level. If you’re able to keep your pantry at a different temperature from the rest of your house, set it between 60 and 69 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15 and 20 degrees Celsius (a little below average room temperature). Once you’ve set the temp, leave it at that level year-round and keep the door closed to help maintain it.

If you don’t have temperature control over specific areas of your home, room temperature is adequate for storing foods in the pantry. Just keep all of the previous tips in mind regarding proper packaging, and make sure you keep the door closed and lights off, and try to keep sunlight from getting into it.

arrow-bulletDesignate a spot for specific items. Every type of food should have its proper place. Create whatever kind of system works for you and your needs, and then make sure those who live with you know where everything belongs. You can even label shelves if that helps. This will help you keep your pantry tidy and find things quickly. (This is not to say that things have to be organized that way forever. You can always rearrange things as your needs change.)

arrow-bulletConsider installing specialized storage systems. Shelves are not always “one size fits all” in terms of the types of things people typically store in their pantries. Drawers, pull-out baskets and pull-out racks  are ideal for storing certain types of foods, such as spice jars (which tend to get jumbled up and disorganized or even broken when sitting on a shelf). A customized system of organization makes your pantry easier to work with, and in, as well as more aesthetically pleasing.

Tailored Living pantries are not just known for their good looks and impeccable style. Not only does Tailored Living have a diverse variety of products available to meet a range of storage needs, but the products have been designed with best storage practices in mind. Just look at a few of the things that can be incorporated into your custom pantry:

Pull-out baskets are great for foods like potatoes that don’t need to be stored in the refrigerator. They’re also useful for holding canned goods. Just pull out the basket and you can see at a quick glance what’s inside, even the things that are in the back row.potatoes-in-pantry

 

 

 

 

 

These acrylic inserts are ideal for keeping wine fresh in your pantry.

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

Lucite wine pyramids are perfect for storing a variety of wines

Or, if you prefer….

Sliding wine racks in chrome by Tailored Living.

This slide-out rack also makes wine storage a breeze.

This smaller slide-out rack was just made for spice jars and other smaller food items that you need to be able to see at a glance.

Spice up your holidays and your pantry with slide-out racks

Tailored Living is North America’s premier pantry remodeling expert. Our professional contractors and storage experts can take any space, any size, and turn it into a workable and efficient customized pantry that is made just to fit your lifestyle.