Create A Calm And Relaxing Bedroom

There are endless ways to decorate a bedroom, but the room should above all encourage relaxation and sleep. A good night’s sleep is an essential element of a healthy lifestyle. Here are some effective ways to create a calm and relaxing environment in the bedroom.

Opaque Window Coverings

Blackout shades are recommended for bedroom windows. Your body repairs itself while you sleep, and it needs darkness to do so effectively. There are many options for blackouts that filter enough light so you can wake up in the morning naturally to sunshine yet provide sufficient privacy during the day.

Calming Color Palette

Many people prefer warm colors over cool ones, but when it comes to the bedroom, cooler hues are the better choice because of their calming effect. Blue, lilac and cool shades of gray promote rest, while warm tones can often be energizing and more likely to keep you up at night.

Minimal Decor

Even though your eyes will be closed when you go to sleep, if you have too many distractions in your bedroom, it may be hard to actually fall asleep. It’s wise to get rid of the clutter around your bed. Keeping your bedroom clear of distractions will help you clear your mind at the end of a long day.

Properly Positioned Bed

Positioning your bed so it’s one of the first things you see when you walk into a room is a great way to invite you into the space. However, if your windows have a view consider having your bed so that it faces the view. Just make sure to purchase those blackout shades.

Safe Circulation

Ensure that you leave enough room around your bed so that you aren’t bumping your shins or stubbing your toes when getting in and out of it. Consider the actual dimensions of the bed frame when purchasing a mattress, not just whether it holds a twin, full, queen or king size.

Adjustable Lighting

Bedside lighting is critical. Soft, soothing lighting is ideal for a bedroom. Having light fixtures on a dimmer is also a smart move since it lets you regulate the amount of light. Adjustable sconce lighting is a great option because it allows you to keep your nightstand neat and tidy, and it can be positioned to provide optimal lighting for reading in bed.

Expressive Headboard

You want to keep your room free of distractions and other stimulation, think about using an interesting headboard. This is an opportunity to express your creativity. If not a headboard, then think about installing an interesting item above your bed. It’s also important to consider what your headboard will look like to you when you’re lying down on your bed. Is it distracting? Will it affect the way you sleep? Remember, achieving a good night’s sleep is key.

Quiet Ceiling Fan

Fans help provide good circulation and fresh air, which will help you get a good night’s sleep. It’s not imperative to have a fan, but it’s certainly a bonus to any healthy bedroom. Just be sure to find one that makes as little noise as possible.

Peaceful Artwork

In keeping with the theme of creating a relaxing environment, it’s important to choose art that’s calming and sleep-inducing. Choose your art wisely, and keep it sparse in your bedroom. Again, you don’t want too many distractions.

No Tech

Banish the television, computer and exercise equipment from the bedroom. To make it a peaceful haven, you need to ensure that you aren’t bringing your work to bed with you. Creating an oasis devoid of technology will allow you to connect better to your natural biorhythms.


How To Stay Mentally Healthy This Winter

The cold weather will put our mental fitness to the test this year, so here are some ways to prepare for the challenge. Waking up to several centimetres of snow or a grey raining day shows us that there is no doubt winter's on its way. 

With the days becoming colder and shorter, experts have been trying to get the message out that we all need to prioritize our mental health as the pandemic drags on. So what are the best ways to do that?

Do The 'Dance of Compassion'

What does this mean? It is Ok to be vulnerable right now. The only mask you should be wearing is a medical one. Discard the mask of not being vulnerable.

It's important for people who are used to performing at a high level — both at work and in their personal lives — to accept that might not be possible right now. 

What we know is that right now, is that life is full of uncertainty. COVID protocals are changes every two or three weeks, or even sometimes daily. So you really need to learn to have this dance of compassion and be flexible.

Grieve Your Losses

We need to give ourselves time to grieve our losses, whether it's the loss of a loved one, a job or a way of life. 

Part of coping with the pandemic is being able to have that Kleenex, acknowledge our losses and cry those tears. This is especially important for children, who need to be able to express their sadness at how life is right now. 

Oftentimes as parents, we don't want our kids to suffer. So we try to put a brave face on the situation and say things like, “It could be worse,” or, “Let's try and think some happy thoughts.” Instead acknowledge your child's disappointment then redirect them to look on the bright side of life. 

Get Better Sleep

In trying times it is important to be aware of your mental health. Try journalling in order to put your emotions or what is bothering you down somewhere. Thoughts and emotions can interfere with your sleep if they are not settled.  

If you write it down ... that's a way of processing it and putting it aside so then you can get to bed and get the rest you need.

It's so important to get enough sleep, exercise, and also to make an effort to eat properly.


Take Up A Hobby

You need to take time for yourself: go for a walk, take a five-minute break to stretch or breath deeply, read an inspirational book or take up a hobby. Schedule it in, just like you'd schedule other important activities. 

It's not about the end product. It's about the process. Finding creativity within yourself allows for mindfulness.

Embrace Winter Activities

Looking at winter through the eyes of a child can make it easier to accept some of the harsher realities of the season. Try to see the potential for fun. Go out and make our Canadian winter the best winter ever possible. Let's be brave and courageous around outdoor play, whether it's a walk, going to the rink, or organizing some games outdoors.

If you need help, please do not hesitate to get the help you need.


How To Make Any Bathroom Look Bigger

Here are some tricks can help you expand your bathroom or powdr room space without moving any walls.

Most of us dream of having a vast, spacious bathroom with a separate tub and shower and two sinks. Whether you live that dream or not, you can make your bathroom live up to its full potential by using these strategies to give it a larger look. 

Go Airy With White On White

One of the easiest ways to give your room a spacious look is to use lots of white — white tile, white paint, a white vanity and so on. This noncolor-color naturally, makes a space look bigger. It also reflects any available light, rather than absorbing it.

White finishes can make any space look bigger, but they’re especially effective in a bathroom. Since a bathroom typically has lots of white fixtures already (the tub, toilet and sink, for example), using white for other surfaces creates a seamless look that makes the space appear as airy as possible.

Note that using lots of white doesn’t mean the space has to lack character. Using different textural elements such as molding, pale stone or tile and fabric accents, as well as the occasional touch of metallics or wood, will retain the seamless look while still giving the eye lots of richness to take in.

Try Tone On Tone

Not a fan of white? You can still get a very big and breezy effect with a tone-on-tone palette in warm beige, soft grays or even faint hues such as powder blue. Choose a beautiful tile, and find a paint color for the remaining walls that picks up on one of the hues within it. The overall effect is still serene and spa-like, without the jarring visual breaks to shrink your perception of the space.

Use A Floating Vanity

In a tight bathroom space, it can be tricky to balance a demand for storage with a desire for space. A floating vanity is a great answer. It gives you lots of room to store daily essentials, but the peek of flooring underneath makes the area feel more open. In a very small space, having a little bit more room to plant your feet can make a big difference.

Less Is More

If you don’t really need maximum storage, consider using a smaller vanity to leave a bit more open space, rather than fitting in the biggest unit you can. Leaving a little negative space will make the area feel roomier. And if your toilet or tub is next to your vanity, you’ll appreciate the extra open space even more.

Go Big With Your Mirror

A large mirror can double the size of your space and, in a bathroom especially. A very large mirror can be a bit expensive. However, compared with the price of tiling that wall, a mirror can actually give you an equally dramatic look at a better value.

Splurge on a large mirror with a beautiful frame, or go wall-to-wall with a custom-sized piece. The effect can be so powerful that you need little else to make the room look perfectly finished. This can be especially effective in slim powder rooms with small walls that don’t take much glass to cover.

Use A Glass Panel

Another great way to expand the look of your space is by replacing a shower curtain with a glass panel or door. The entire square footage of the room will be visible at once for a bigger look, especially when you’re in the shower.

If you prefer more privacy, you can use a frosted or tinted glass panel, which will still allow a lot of light to filter through.

If you’re performing a complete renovation and don’t consider yourself a bath person, try skipping the tub altogether and installing just a shower instead. They are easier to get in and out of, and removing the tub eliminates a lot of bulk that eats up precious room.

Find Your Niche

Sometimes a little extra space can go a long way. Adding an open niche not only steals some empty wall cavity space to use as storage, but it can add a lot of visual depth that makes the walls look farther away than they really are.

Don’t love open shelving? Use that niche space for an inset cabinet and get all that functional storage without having a large object protruding into the room at eye level. This will make the vanity area feel much more open and give you lots of extra elbow room.

Keep in mind that plumbing, studs and other hidden conditions can affect where you can and can’t add a niche, so you should definitely talk to a professional before planning to open any walls.

Apply Bright Lighting

Good lighting is important to making any space look big and open, but in bathrooms, which often don’t have much natural light, it’s especially important. Plus, you need good lighting to do things such as shave or apply makeup effectively. Its importance can’t be overstated.

For these reasons, it’s key to have a good lighting scheme, preferably with multiple light sources at different locations. A grid of ceiling lights, as well as sconces or a contemporary edge-lighted mirror will help you avoid shadowing and make the space feel bright and open.

In a small powder room, or where you can’t add new electrical for lights, try changing your ceiling light to one with multiple bulbs so you have light coming from several directions from one fixture.

Create Long Lines

Whether your bathroom is a typical rectangle or more oddly shaped, you can usually find one wall or area that’s a bit longer than others to emphasize. Adding a shelf, a band of tile, a molding chair rail or another long element (even a simple stripe of paint) can help emphasize the longest line in your room and draw the eye to the widest point.

Visually Push The Walls Apart

If your bathroom is already very long and tunnel-shaped, rather than emphasize the length even more, consider working against the length and visually stretching the width instead.

Go Vertical

If your bathroom has small square footage, rather than try to make it look bigger horizontally, the smartest approach is to embrace the height as the largest dimension and emphasize that feature instead.

Using vertical elements as simple as a tall, thin mirror and a bold accent color on a skinny wall can enhance the height of a space and make the room feel big and breezy. Add some delicate lights and a little black and white tile, and you’ve got lots to keep the eye moving from flooring to ceiling.

Keep A Low Profile

Want to add some personality or drama to your bathroom without visually shrinking the space? Just look down. Try adding drama to elements with a lower profile, such as the vanity or the floor tile, while keeping the elements around your eyeline more simple and open. This approach gives the room lots of character while still maintaining a sense of openness. In fact, having a dark or vibrant color near floor level can sometimes make the upper half of the room feel even more open and airy by contrast.


Support Wellness At Home

As we have all been spending so much more time in our homes; here are some ways to improve health, wellness and comfort through home design and style.

Air Quality

There are plenty of ways to set up a house for good air quality, whether it’s designing spaces to create cross breezes or installing air purifiers. Another is adding a living walls, which adds a pleasing natural element while helping to purify the air. For example, horticultural therapy lowers blood pressure and heart rate. Tending to gardens, houseplants and fresh flowers at home can help to promote wellness.

Incorporating plants into home design also establishes a link with nature to create healthy indoor environments. In addition to plants, the use of natural materials can help establish these links. Create the feeling of a favourite outdoor place through artwork, colour and materials in your home. Choose colours that evokes a mood and enhances comfort.


Using lighting to promote wellness means incorporating natural light and creating a pleasing ambiance with artificial light. Today’s LED lighting options can change colour in a way that helps change mood. Controllable and adjustable lights can work with our natural circadian rhythms. This results in a more productive day as well as a good night’s sleep. For example, in the evening, amber light can promote calmness. While the natural light pouring in through a skylight or window can help wake a person up in the morning and prepare them to face the day.

Comfort And Movement In Space

This includes creating floor and furniture plans that make it easy to flow through a space. This means removing any obstacles, and leaving enough space between furnishings to pass through.

Comfort also means achieving an uncluttered feeling in a space. This doesn’t have to mean a strict minimalist style, but it does mean curating favorite books, knickknacks, photos and other mementos and maintaining a clean and airy feel by finding proper places for them. Comfort also includes individual pieces of furniture. For example, even if the current work-from-home situation doesn’t last, a proper ergonomic chair is a worthy investment.

Thermal Well-Being

Maintaining a comfortable temperature is another key element of promoting wellness in design. Technology can be a big help with this, whether it involves a smart thermostat or heated floors. Homes with a tight envelope also promote thermal comfort. Windows or doors that aren’t drafty allow for greater control over heating and cooling systems.

Achieve thermal comfort on a smaller scale by placing things like throw blankets and warm slippers where needed.

Auditory Comfort

This refers to finding a quiet refuge at home. While the average house may not have space for a dedicated meditation or quiet room, any place of relaxation will do. It can be as simple as a favorite reading chair in a bedroom.

Music also plays a part. Match your music to the mood you want to evoke. The soothing sound of water splashing in a fountain is another example of acoustical comfort.

Put Work Away

When it’s time for unwinding, put work away. If a desk is in the bedroom, put papers and electronic devices away when the workday is over.

Think About Scents 

Engaging any of the five senses can affect mood. Adding pleasing scents such as fresh eucalyptus or lavender will enhance the way you experience your home.

How Your Home Can Help You Feel Good

* Think about the goal of feeling good as soon as you walk in your home.

* Consider how you want your home to look, feel, smell and sound.

* Remove, fix or put away things that are bothering you, particularly dust-collecting clutter.

* Make small changes to enhance your mood —

                    light a favorite candle;

                    experiment with different furniture arrangements until it feels right;

                    locate your desk under a window with a favorite view;

                    place a speaker where you want to listen to your favorite music;

                    pot a grocery store basil plant and put it in the kitchen;

                    cozy up a place of respite with a throw blanket;

                    change out a lightbulb that’s not warm enough;

                    put your lights on dimmers.


How To Self-Isolate If Household Member is Waiting For COVID Test Results

With COVID-19 cases on the rise in Canada, new guidelines for isolation have been released.

Anyone who is symptomatic, or has a household member who is symptomatic, should self-isolate pending COVID-19 test results. 

The individual who is showing symptoms must stay in his/her own room and use his/her own bathroom — if possible. Individuals should not use common areas such as the living room or kitchen. If for some reason the symptomatic person has to enter an area where other people are, or will be, the individual must wear a mask.

If the test results come back negative, then all asymptomatic people in the home no longer need to self-isolate.

This change is to help stop the transmission of the virus. This means no one in the household goes to school or work until the test results come back. The only people this excludes is health-care workers and first responders; other essential workers maybe exempt as well.

How To Properly Self-Isolate

Self-isolating individuals should use their own dedicated washroom. If that cannot happen, then the isolated individual must wear a mask to the washroom, flush with the lid down and wash their hands with hand sanitizer or soap and water for at least 15 seconds. The area should be disinfected after use.

People who live in a condo or apartment building must stay in their suite. If a person has a private balcony, they're allowed to use it as long as it is two metres away from their neighbour's balcony.

People living alone, or with someone who is self-isolating, must have groceries and other supplies dropped off at their door.

A person self-isolating should cancel or notify any service providers.

How To Care For Someone Who Is Self-Isolating

In the event that a child or dependent is symptomatic or contracts COVID-19, then only one person should be a caregiver.

The person providing care should not be someone who is at greater risk of contracting COVID-19, such as people who are 60 years old or older, immunocompromised or have underlying health issues.

Caregivers can lower their risk of getting sick by washing their hands, wearing a mask and other personal protective equipment including eye protection. Eyeglasses are not enough.

When handling the person's laundry, the caregiver should wear disposable gloves and a mask. Dirty laundry should be put in a laundry bag or basket lined with a plastic bag.

Use regular laundry soap and set the washing machine to "sanitize or hot," then thoroughly dry the clothes.

Reducing Household Cases

The new regualtions are meant to cut down on additional cases within households.

Once a person tests positive for COVID-19, then investigators need to track down who may have been a close contact with that person — someone who was less than two metres away from the case for more than 15 minutes. Close contacts are then advised to self-isolate.

Many household members are also becoming cases, because the person who tested positive is unable to successfully self-isolate from others.

So please do your part to help reduce the spread of COVID-19 if a household member is suspected of having the virus stay home until you know for sure.

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