How To Hide Your TV

While design trends come and go a must-have item in most homes, is your television. But this item doesn’t have to be an eyesore. With a little bit of creativity, you can hide your TV and transform your room into a multifunctional space that doesn’t compromise on style.

Hide It Behind a Map or Picture

Would you guess a flatscreen or a console setup is hiding behind a map? Look for a pull down map or pull down art to transform your TV room. The result: clean, stylish and functional. 

If your TV is above a fireplace mantle, another option is to lean a mirror, or a framed picture on the wall in front of your TV for a layered look. The fireplace mantle is a focal point, and its visual esthetic is lessened by having the television front and centre; hiding it behind a stylish mirror or piece of art is a great way to improve the look of your space.  

Splurge On The Ultimate Flatscreen 

While this option isn’t cheap, it’s worth considering if a new flat screen is in the budget. Doubling as a TV and a piece of art, new televisions can display digital artwork when not being used for watching. Similar to a framed picture, these television models mount completely flat against the wall, hiding brackets and other hardware. 

Make Your TV Part Of  A Gallery Wall 

Instead of drawing attention away from your TV, this option embraces your TV as part of the main focal point in a room. To build a gallery wall around your TV, use tape to outline your TV and console before moving it out of the way. Next, lay out your artwork on the floor, use a piece of paper, cardboard or tape outline to represent the TV and play around with how different colours and frame sizes fit together. When you’re happy with the layout, use tape to outline where each picture will go on the wall before hanging your pieces. 

Paint The TV Wall A Darker Colour 

Clean and neutral walls are in style, but hanging a big, black TV in the centre of your white wall is sure to be an eyesore. To help draw attention away from your TV, consider painting an accent wall in a darker colour that won’t contrast as much with your television. Without the need for any hardware or holes in the wall, this is a quick fix budget-friendly option.  

Opt For No TV With A Screen And Projector

If your TV is mainly reserved for movie nights or sporting events, consider opting for a screen and projector instead of a traditional television. With this option, you can quickly set up a big screen TV experience that can be packed away when it’s not being used. Screens and projectors are available in a range of options depending on your budget and the size of your room.

Hide It Behind Barn Doors 

Hide your TV and transform the look of your room by installing sliding barn doors. Big box retailers have sliding barn doors in a range of colours and costs. For a true rustic or vintage look, try searching your local online marketplaces for used barn doors that will fit your space.


Design Trends: Fall 2020

Top design looks among professionals and retailers for Fall 2020, include prominent metallic accents, thick winter white upholstery, luxe textures such as faux shagreen, and desert-inspired color palettes.

Heavy Metal Influence

Whether vintage brass, antiqued bronze, blackened steel, chiseled iron or polished chrome, prominent metal accents are adding patinaed style to all sorts of furniture. Metals are showing up on furniture feet; upholstery nails; industrial rivets; and console, cabinet, sofa and chair bases. 

Bold metal accents are popping up in combination with other trends, such as the intersection of metals and the ongoing nature-inspired trend. The combination is appearing on furniture, lighting and accessories.

Channel-Tufted Upholstery

In keeping with the recent popularity of Art Deco-inspired style, designs are showing glamorous channel-tufted upholstery on beds, sofas and chairs. Channel tufting can be vertical or horizontal and it gives furniture a plush look.

Other trends spotted are reflected in strong cylindrical shapes, prominent metal accents and the desert-inspired colors.

Pleated Upholstery

Like channel tufting, the pleated upholstered look features strong, straight lines. The difference is that the pleated look is flatter and has folds at the edges. Pleated leather upholstery gives a modern spin to chairs and sofas. 

Caned Furniture

Caning has been around for centuries, yet it still looks great on modern and contemporary pieces. Fresh takes on caning add light-colored wood, interesting texture and a peek-a-boo sensibility to beds, chairs and cabinetry.

The light texture of caning mixed with white bedding can add a breezy, tropical island vibe to a bedroom.

Plush Winter White Upholstery

Last fall, white wool bouclé upholstery popped up in quite a few spaces. Slubbed and plush winter white textiles follow suit this year, often accented by metal finishes.

Faux Shagreen

Interesting natural textures have been trending for several years, and each year a few specific ones dominate. This year, the luxe texture of faux shagreen is a standout, wrapping tables, desks, consoles and credenzas. Real shagreen is a rawhide usually taken from a stingray or shark, but the cruelty-free imitation is today’s material of choice.


Sustainable Flooring

Flooring is an investment, and there’s a lot to think about when choosing the right material for your home. One factor to consider is sustainability. The following five flooring materials offer beauty and natural resilience as well as less impact on the environment.

Craft: Artisan Wood Flooring

How It’s Made 

Craft Artisan Wood Floor in Burnaby, British Columbia, combines an artisanal approach to flooring with sustainable manufacturing. During the manufacturing

process, the wood is hand sanded and hand stained to enhance its natural qualities.

Craft’s manufacturing reflects sustainable practices, as its certifications indicate. The brand has a Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Chain of Custody certification, which means a third-party verifies that each step of the manufacturing process is legal, responsible and sustainable. Wood used by this brand can be traced back to its originating certified sustainable forest.

Craft products have Greenguard Gold Certification, which means they emit very low volatile organic compounds (VOCs). This reduces indoor air pollution and the risk of chemical exposure in a home.

All of Craft’s collections are sustainable.


Craft flooring is engineered to be durable. The core layer, or structural material, is Canadian Spruce-pine-fir (SPF) harvested from certified sustainable forests. The solid SPF structural component requires less glue than typical plywood to adhere to the flooring’s top wear, or surface, layer. As a result, the finished flooring is highly stable and much less likely than flooring made with typical plywood to experience board distortion or separation caused by fluctuations in temperature and humidity.

Where To Use It 

Craft flooring can be used in most rooms, since it can withstand heavy traffic and the challenges that may come with pets. As with most wood flooring, bathroom applications is not recommended.

Look and Feel 

Craft flooring comes in a range of finishes, from hickory to oak and black walnut, and offers many different aesthetics.

Care and Maintenance 

While Craft flooring is made with premium wood products, as with all wood it requires periodic care and maintenance. Spills should be wiped up immediately, and the floors should be cleaned regularly. Never use wax, oil-based detergent or general purpose household cleaner on Craft flooring.

To keep Craft wood flooring stable, maintain an indoor temperature of 15 to 26 degrees Celsius and relative humidity of 30% to 50%.

Organoid: Pressed Alpine Hay Flooring

How It’s Made 

Organoid makes flooring with surfaces of pressed alpine hay and florals. From rose or cornflower petals to daisies and moss, nature makes its presence known in this flooring material’s look and its scent. You can literally smell the flooring’s organic components in the room.

The natural surface of scented and textured hay and florals has a cork backing applied to a high-density fiberboard, which is a type of engineered wood product. Floor impact protection is added on the bottom of the fiberboard. For waterproofing and abrasion resistance, the surface is protected with polyurethane.

Organoid is one of the few manufacturers in the world to be carbon-positive. Each metric ton of hay the company uses binds with approximately 3,300 pounds of carbon dioxide, helping to create a waste product that is environmentally neutral. 


The natural, petalled surface of Organoid flooring may appear delicate, but it is in fact a sturdy surface. This material has a very high resistance level, according to European standards, making it suitable not only for residential use but also for shops and restaurants. Organoid surfaces can be treated with conventional oils and varnishes to increase their resistance to abrasion and water, as well as to fading from light.

Where To Use It

Organoid can be used in any area of the home. For wet areas such as bathrooms or saunas, the company recommends the glue-down version of the flooring rather than the click-in floating system. An extra coating of epoxy resin can be added to this material after installation to protect it from scratches.

Look and Feel 

Organoid floors have an organic, natural appearance. Alpine hay, hop cones, cornflower blossoms, stone-pine needles and nearly any natural substance can be combined to achieve a desired look and palette. You can choose from a range of existing Organoid blends or create your own custom mix. 

Care and Maintenance 

Caring for Organoid flooring is like caring for laminate or hardwood. Clean regularly with mild soap water on a damp mop. Never use detergents that contain acids, and don’t soak the floor — otherwise water could seep into the joists and damage the flooring.

Cork Flooring


How It’s Made

Cork is harvested from a thin layer of tree bark, typically from cork oak trees, with care taken not to damage the tree. This thin bark is an impermeable,water-repelling material that is buoyant, elastic and fire-retardant.

To make flooring and other products, the bark layer is stripped into long, wide slabs that are then used to make wine corks, bulletin boards, flooring and other items. Binders are added for flooring applications to hold the ground cork together. These binders vary by manufacturer, and therefore it’s worth researching which binders are used before purchasing a particular product.

Cork is a natural insulator and sound absorber and can be recycled. Cork trees live for 300 years and aren’t cut down to produce cork floors. This has made it a favorite of eco-conscious designers and homeowners.


Cork floors normally last longer than wood floors. They stand up to everyday traffic with the bonus of repelling water from spills. Cork is naturally resistant to mold, mildew and termites. It’s also anti-microbial. Over time, discoloration of cork floors may occur if the flooring is exposed to direct sunlight. For many fans of cork flooring, this is a patina they embrace as part of the overall aesthetic.

Where To Use It 

Cork’s buoyant qualities make it soft underfoot and a great choice for rooms where you typically stand for long periods of time, like kitchens, laundry rooms and workshops. Its soundproofing qualities make it a wise choice for music rooms and apartments where noise may be a concern with neighbors.

Look and Feel 

If you want a warm flooring material with a comfortable, causual appearance, cork is the right fit. Since this material will develop a patina, it is probably not the best choice if you want a pristine floor material that will not change with time. Cork is available in tiles and planks and in many styles, colors and sizes. Alternating shades of cork can be combined to achieve unique patterns and custom designs.

Care and Maintenance 

Due to its highly textured appearance, cork naturally masks small scratches and stains. Regular sweeping, vacuuming and mopping with a damp cloth will keep cork floors looking their best. Avoid harsh abrasive cleaner and any cleaning products with ammonia. A simple solution of four parts vinegar and one part water is recommended.

Linoleum Flooring

How It’s Made 

Linoleum is often confused with sheet vinyl, and as a result it is overlooked as a flooring option with positive attributes. True linoleum is made of natural materials. Linseed oil is oxidized to form a thick mixture that is then cooled and mixed with cork powder (which gives linoleum its bounce and resilience), pine resins and wood flour to form linoleum sheets on a jute backing. Limestone dust may be added for hardness and durability.

Due to its natural makeup, linoleum is biodegradable and does not emit harmful VOCs. Linoleum comes in glue-down sheets and snap-together tiles. During the glue-down installation process, special care should be given to select adhesives that are free of solvents and labeled “no-VOC.”


Linoleum flooring can resist scratches and mask them well because its pigments are saturated throughout the material, not just the surface. Linoleum does, however, get dented by high heels and furniture legs. Linoleum is water-resistant but not waterproof. It should never be fully immersed in water, as this can cause edges, corners or seams to curl. Much like cork, linoleum can also fade, or turn yellowish, when exposed to sunlight. When properly maintained, linoleum can last as long as 40 years.

Where To Use It 

Linoleum has traditionally been installed in schools, hospitals and commercial spaces, but it is making a comeback in the home. It’s durability and versatility make it a good choice for many rooms. Not all manufacturers recommend linoleum in bathrooms, so check the manufacturer’s warranty to ensure the product you choose is suitable.

Look and Feel 

Linoleum flooring comes in hundreds of colors, from subtle to vivid, and can be installed in a wide range of patterns. Your only limit is your creativity. Sheets in a single color work well for a modern aesthetic. Unlike wood, which has joints, or tile, which has grout lines, linoleum offers the opportunity to create a nearly seamless appearance.

Care and Maintenance 

Linoleum can be swept, dusted, or vacuumed regularly. For a more thorough cleaning, the flooring should be wiped with a damp mop or cloth using a solution of one gallon of hot water, one cup of vinegar and a few drops of dish soap. As with cork, avoid cleaning products with ammonia. Spills should be tended to immediately. Some manufacturers add a coating to linoleum flooring to protect it from scratches and fading. Without such a protective coating, linoleum should be cleaned and waxed every two or three years to maintain its luster.

Burnt Wood Flooring

How It’s Made 

Charred or burnt wood flooring is made using the ancient Japanese technique of shou-sugi-ban: treating wood planks with heat ontheir outward faces. This produces a scorched layer of carbon that is highly resistant to water, fire, mold and insects.  Once the wood is scorched, the manufacturer then cools, cleans and prefinishes the planks with hardwax oil. No chemicals, preservatives, paints or retardants are needed.  

Designers and architects are drawn to burnt wood for its elegant appearance and sustainable qualities. By selecting wood, a renewable resource, from sustainable sources and applying this ancient Japanese treatment, manufacturers achieve a high level of resiliency. Ultimately, the longevity of burnt wood leads to less 

material waste over time.


Look for manufacturers who apply a nontoxic, zero VOC hardwax oil prefinish on its charred flooring for extra protection and resistance to wear. The hardwax oil connects molecularly with the wood fibers, adding strength to the planks. When regularly cleaned and maintained, this flooring will look good for many years. Charred wood can scratch and dent, but spots can often be repaired. This material is available in both solid and engineered wood forms.

Where To Use It

Charred flooring can be used in most of the home. As with all wood flooring, wet areas should be avoided.

Look and Feel

The shou-sugi-ban process produces an elegant surface with distinct lines and textural beauty. It is usually associated with a dark, rich charcoal appearance. This material has become popular in modern interiors because it offers a textured matte, almost black appearance that reads as chic, yet with imperfect qualities that balance the look for a fuss-free feel.

Care and Maintenance 

As with all wood it requires periodic care and maintenance. Spills should be wiped up immediately, and the floors should be cleaned regularly. Never use wax, oil-based detergent or general purpose household cleaner on burnt wood flooring.


Keeping Your Washing Machine Clean

Eventhough we use it all the time, it’s a good idea to clean your washer once a month. This will ensure that it stays clean and fresh along with your clothes. While your machine is ridding your clothes of dirt, it doesn’t always rid itself of that same dirt or a buildup of detergent residue.

In addition, the newer HE (high efficiency) machines are prone to developing mold and mildew, especially if you live in an area with high humidity levels, which can lead to an odor developing both in the machine itself and on your “clean” clothes. So give your washing machine some love. 

How Often Should You Clean a Washing Machine?

Most manufacturers recommend cleaning the washing machine once a month, although the majority of us, are still wrapping our heads around the idea of cleaning the machine at all. Fortunately, the process is fairly painless, especially since the machine itself does most of the work.

Before Cleaning: Identify Your Machine and Select Your Cleanser

The type of washing machine you have will dictate which method you use to clean it. HE front loaders and top loaders need one approach; top-loading non-HE machines need a slightly different approach.

Before you start, decide what type of cleanser you want to use: white vinegar, bleach or a commercial cleanser. Using vinegar to clean a washing machine is nontoxic, and it’s easily available, making it a favorite, but some manufacturers recommend bleach or other chemical cleansers, so check the manual for your machine. If you are using a commercial product, follow the label’s instructions for the recommended amount.

Caution: Choose only one cleanser. Never mix products.

How to Clean a High-Efficiency (HE) Washing Machine:

Front Loader or Top Loader

A monthly cleaning is especially important if your HE machine has developed a smell. Wiping down the interior of the washer with cleaner, using extra detergent or running everything on hottest cycle does nothing to get rid of odor. Many newer high-efficiency (HE) machines have a clean cycle, which makes the process even easier, but the basic procedure is the same whether you have that or not.

1. Choose the “clean” cycle. If your machine doesn’t have this, select the hottest water setting. In some cases, this may be the setting for whites or heavily stained clothes.

2. Choose the added rinse cycle if it’s available.

3. Fill the bleach dispenser with your cleanser choice.

4. Fill the tub to the highest level (this will probably be automatic with the clean cycle) and run the machine.

5. If you don’t have a second rinse cycle, run the rinse cycle again manually.

Once the cycle has ended, use a microfiber cloth dipped in vinegar to clean the gasket that seals the door and the area around it. Carefully pull it back and inspect to see if you have mold or mildew underneath.

Don’t overlook cleaning the washing machine soap dispensers. Use vinegar or soapy water to wipe any detergent, bleach, fabric softeners or other laundry add-ins from the dispensers. You can often just pop them out. Wipe off all these areas with a cloth dipped in water and dry them with a microfiber cloth.

Finish by wiping down the controls and the outside of the machine with a microfiber cloth dipped in vinegar or an all-purpose spray. To make the exterior shine, dry with a microfiber cloth.

How to Clean a Top-Loading Washing Machine

Although older top loaders don’t generally have a cycle for cleaning, you can easily create your own version. It involves a bit of a wait time between beginning the cycle and ending it, so use that time to clean other areas that won’t be reached by the water in the tub.

1. Choose the hot water setting and the longest cycle.

2. Fill the tub to the maximum level, then pause the machine.

3. Add 4 cups of white vinegar or 1 cup of bleach to the water and let the machine agitate for a minute or two.

4. Pause the washing machine and let it sit for an hour. Dip a microfiber cloth into the soaking solution, wring it out and use it to clean the top of the drum and agitator where the water doesn’t reach and the inside of the lid.

If you can remove the bleach and fabric softener dispensers, do so and clean the areas beneath them with the cloth and cleaning solution as well. If they are fixed in place, clean them and the area around them. 

Finally, clean the control panel and the outside of the machine with the cleaning solution or an all-purpose spray. Use a dry microfiber cloth to dry and polish the surfaces.

5. Restart the machine and finish the cycle. If you still smell vinegar, add another rinse cycle.

Almost Daily Care

The experts also have some advice for preventing a buildup of dirt and odors between cleanings. If mold and mildew are a problem, leave the machine’s door or lid open after you finish a load of laundry so that the interior will dry out completely. Before you do this, make sure curious children and pets can’t get into the machine, especially if it’s a front-loading one. Some machines have latches designed to keep the door ajar without leaving it wide open.

It is also a go idea to wipe down the door or lid to get rid of any condensation. Wiping and drying the gasket around the door every time you finish a load of laundry will help prevent a buildup of dirt in that area. As a final tip, be sure to use the correct amount of detergent for your loads.

Happy washing!


Having A Safe Halloween

With Halloween only 2 weeks away, our Halloween creativity will have to be cranked up this year. The B.C. Centre of Disease Control has released guidelines on the best way to celebrate Halloween while remaining safe and reducing the risk of exposure or transmission.


Indoor gatherings, big or small, put people at higher risk of getting COVID-19, according to the centre. Therefore, consider watching a Halloween movie or observing other traditions with your family or small social group rather than hosting a party.

Pandemic Party Rules

You should know everyone who attends, no plus ones. Don’t pass around snacks, drinks, smokes, tokes or vapes. Be more outside, than inside. Keep the space well-ventilated with windows open. Because hand sanitizer is flammable, be careful around open flames.

Trick-or-Treating Safely

Respect homes by staying away if the lights are out. Keep to your local neighbourhood this year; avoid trick-or-treating in busy areas or indoors. Trick-or-treat in a small social group of six people or fewer. Leave space between you and other groups. Wash your hands before you go out, when you get home and before eating treats. Keep hand sanitizer with you if eating treats on the go. You don’t need to clean every treat but you should wash your hands after handling treats. Do not touch your face.

Handing Out Treats

Use tongs when handing out candy. Hand out individual treats instead of offering from a shared bowl. Only hand out sealed, pre-packaged treats. Wear a non-medical mask that covers your nose and mouth when handing out treats. If you can, stand outside your door to hand out treats which also ensure kids won’t need to touch the door or doorbell. If you’re not able to remain outside, clean and disinfect doorbells and knobs, and any other high-touch surface often during the Halloween night. If you are decorating, avoid props that can cause coughing, such as smoke machines.

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