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Easy Updates to Make Your Home More Hygge

Little girl and cat cuddling making a hygge experience.

Hygge is the ultimate in coziness, comfort, warmth, closeness and contentment. The word “hygge” comes from a Danish word meaning “to give courage, comfort and joy.” Other sources note that the word comes from an Old Norse word, “hugga,” which means to comfort or console – which is also the source of the English word “hug.” This is the essence of hygge – all the feelings you get from a hug. In a time when physical distancing is necessary and many of us are unable to hug our friends and loved ones, the attraction of hygge is powerful.

Hygge brings to mind images of comfort, happiness, warmth and togetherness: reading a book curled up on a cozy armchair with a mug of steaming tea; an intimate conversation with a loved one over a candlelit dinner; or warming up in front of the fireplace while snuggled up with a pair of woolen socks and nursing a cup of mulled red wine.

Embracing hygge is all about focusing on what matters in life, appreciating the details and spending quality time with family and friends (even if it’s over Zoom or FaceTime). It’s about enjoying the good things in life. Making your home feel more hygge will make the wintertime feel like a blessing rather than a curse, and will help you to enjoy the long stretches of isolation with more ease and pleasure. So slow down, take a deep breath and enjoy these easy tips for making your home more hygge this season.

Take hygge outside and support local businesses with these great gift ideas. 

Candles and lights used to set the ambiance in the room.

Create a Cozy Ambiance with Soft Lighting

Creating the perfect hygge environment starts with embracing soft lighting. You can create this ambiance at your home or condo by lighting candles, which are a hygge essential. Try tea lights in glass jars, long tapered candles or beeswax candles. Dimming overhead lights and replacing them with table lamps will also help to create a more mellow, relaxing and romantic atmosphere.

Girl cuddled up with a hot cup of cocoa and a book.

Get Comfy with Hygge Accessories and Accents

Ask yourself how you can make your home more calm, snug and inviting. Perhaps it’s tidying up or investing in storage so that your home is more serene and uncluttered. Or maybe it’s creating spaces – like a nook by the window – where you can relax and unwind. A wool blanket on the couch, comfortable throw cushions, cozy socks and wooly sweaters are all wonderful options to add to your home and life to make you feel comfortable and cozy. You can also bring the outdoors in by incorporating some pinecones or evergreen branches into your home’s décor. These will smell lovely and make your home feel more hygge.

Freshly baked chocolate chip cake for a nice warm evening.

Delight in the Rich Scents of Cooking and Baking

Take time to bake and cook more, and to savour the delicious scents that fill your home as a result. A hearty stew simmering on the stovetop, a hot French press coffee or cup of cocoa, a decadent cake or a bowl of popcorn made the old-fashioned way are all cozy things to prepare in your kitchen and to enjoy on a cold winter day, as are porridges, pancakes and other hearty comfort foods. Stock up on any kitchen tools or utensils you need to make your time spent cooking smooth and easy. Set your table with some beautiful placemats, light a candle and enjoy your home-cooked meal or treat by the flickering candlelight.

Girl cuddled up with a book reading for a hygge experience.

Make Time for Slow Activities You Enjoy

Playing board games, reading a good book on a grey day, taking a snowy walk at a nearby park or even just enjoying some Netflix and chill are all the epitome of hygge activities. Set your phone aside and get present. Find a cozy nook and snuggle up with a blanket, a favourite book or activity and a cup of tea. If you have a pet, spend time cuddling it. If you have a partner or kids, set time aside to spend more intentional time connecting with them and sharing in your favourite activities.

Cat all cozy and fell asleep near a warm cup of coffee.

Practise the Art of Being Present

Setting up your home to be more hygge is all about simple updates, such as adding candles and other elements that will up your coziness factor. The real essence of hygge, however, lies in slowing down, being present and enjoying quality time spent with yourself or your loved ones. This winter, amidst the ongoing pandemic and quarantining, a hygge home will be more comforting than ever.

What’s your favourite tip for making your home more hygge this winter? Join us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and let us know!

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas That Support Local Businesses

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas That Support Local Businesses

There’s never been a better time to get an early start on holiday gift shopping. With restrictions on the number of people who can visit a store or shop at the same time and potential shipping delays due to the ongoing influx of items ordered online, 2020 is a smart year to plan ahead when it comes to finding thoughtful gifts for friends and family this holiday season.

Stumped for ideas? We’ve rounded up a selection of places to shop (both virtually and in-person) for unique, creative, stylish and elegant gift options for everyone on your list. Best of all, all of these choices are locally-owned, so you can support small, independent Toronto businesses while you do your holiday shopping.

One of a Kind Holiday Show

Toronto’s One of a Kind Holiday Show has gone digital, and you can shop its selection of unique gifts from exhibitors’ virtual booths. The show features over 700 makers selling Canadian-made products, from accessories and apparel to art, ceramics, home goods, personal care products and more. As its name suggests, this is a great place to find truly one-of-a-kind gifts that are sure to delight!

Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market

The Trinity Bellwoods Flea Market is an exciting monthly market hosted at The Great Hall on Queen Street West. Its Christmas Is Coming market takes place this coming Sunday (November 22nd) and features shopping, drinks, local food and music. With 100+ curated vendors (including artisans, makers, vendors and small businesses of Toronto) selling local, handmade gifts, it’s the perfect place to find something for everyone on your list – from home décor, artwork, pottery, Christmas tree ornaments and candles to jewellery, skincare products, gourmet hot sauces, pastries, coffee and more. COVID-19 safety precautions are in effect.

Unique Holiday Gifts

Bloor West Flea Market

The Bloor West Flea Market is another opportunity to shop in person for unique gifts from Toronto-based vendors. This intimate market is taking place on Sunday, November 29th at Clinton’s Tavern, in the heart of Bloor West between the iconic Annex and Christie Pitts neighbourhoods, in Toronto’s beloved Korea Town. Check out the market to find beautiful handmade gifts from fashion, art, food and vintage craft sellers.

The Handmade Market

The online Handmade Market features over 220 Canadian makers, artisans and fine artists, so you can find beautiful and distinctive gifts from the comfort of your own home while supporting local small businesses. From baby and kids products to special treats for pets to food, green living, collectibles and more, this market has an incredible selection of products that will put you in the holiday mood in no time.

The Drake General Store

This iconic Toronto staple, once the gift shop for the Drake Hotel, now has several locations that are part flea market stand, part museum shop, part classic general store and part traditional hotel gift shop all rolled up into one. The Drake General Store has a great selection of fun gifts and Canadiana, and there’s something for everyone – even for those difficult-to-shop-for people. Shop online or visit one of their locations in person.

Unique Holiday Gift Ideas

Holiday Fair in the Square

Nathan Phillips Square in downtown Toronto is a favourite place to gather during the holiday season, as the rink sparkles with lights and a large holiday tree is on display. This year will be a little different, and the Holiday Fair in the Square has gone virtual. Shop online for all kinds of Canadian-made goods, from artwork and winter wear to gourmet foods, unique cocktail ingredients, fancy teas, home goods and more.

The Eco Lifestyle Market

This holiday market takes place on Sunday, December 13th at Toronto’s Great Hall and makes giving greener gifts this holiday season fun and easy. With a curated selection of Toronto’s finest local, handcrafted, sustainable, eco-friendly and wellness goods vendors, the Eco Lifestyle Market offers a day of delicious local eats, local vendors and holiday cheer.

Skip the mall this holiday season and get that one-of-a-kind gift right here in your own backyard.

Have you started your holiday shopping this year? Join us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram) and let us know!

COVID-Friendly Ways to Celebrate Halloween This Year

Spooky, scary Halloween. We love Halloween – with the costumes, the décor, the jack-o-lanterns, and the sweet treats – but it’s going to feel a little different this year. We’re still in the midst of a pandemic, so trick-or-treating and Halloween parties will be off the table for many this year. That doesn’t mean we can’t celebrate, though!

Here are our top COVID-friendly ways to celebrate the spooky season this year:

1) Deck Out Your Home in Spooktacular Style

Nothing says October like Halloween decorations! Decorating your home – both inside and out – is a great way to embrace this fun holiday, pandemic or not. String up some lights and cobwebs, stuff some old clothes to make a headless scarecrow, or put up some creepy tombstones if you live in a residential neighborhood in Toronto with a front yard. If you live in a condo, you can decorate your windows with bats cut out of black construction paper or put a Halloween-themed wreath on your front door. Not into goblins and ghouls but still want to pay homage to the season? Try decorating with different colored pumpkins, gourds, and candles.

2) Carve a Creepy (or Cute) Jack-o-Lantern

No Halloween decorations would be complete without a jack-o-lantern – or three! Visit your local pumpkin patch to select the perfect pumpkin and then get creative with your carvings. Want to make it even more fun? Have a family contest – everyone gets to decorate or carve their own pumpkin – and then have friends or neighbors vote on their favorites. You can even carve a whole family of jack-o-lanterns. Don’t forget to save and roast the pumpkin seeds with a bit of oil and salt – yum!

3) Serve Up Candy to Trick-or-Treaters Safely

For those who are still trick-or-treating this year, safety is key. Kids crowding around doors can result in germs spreading, so explore new ways to hand out candy safely. You can create individual candy bags that you leave out on a table on your driveway for kids to pick up as they walk by, or dangle the bags of candy from a fence or tree. Another idea is to set up a candy graveyard in your front yard – leave candy in your front yard, amidst your Halloween decorations. Kids will love the excitement of venturing into your decked-out yard and will be able to stay physically distanced while picking up their loot.

Not trick-or-treating this year? Do a Halloween door drop instead. Create goody baskets for your closest friends or family members and drop them off at their doors with a little note or card. Full of items like candies and chocolate, glow sticks, silly glasses, and Halloween crafts or fun stickers, the goody baskets are a sure way to delight your loved ones and to spread some spooky cheer.

4) Have a Costume Party via Video Conference

If you’ve spent a lot of time and effort perfecting your Halloween costume, you’ll want to show it off – and kids especially love dressing up! Host a Halloween-themed costume or dance party on Zoom with your friends and family. Everyone can show off their costume on camera while enjoying a spooktacular playlist and some Halloween treats. Baking up some special Halloween treats for your virtual party is part of the party-planning fun. From Halloween-decorated pumpkin brownies to marshmallow ghost cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberry ghosts, get creative and have fun!

Here are five fun Halloween Zoom backgrounds that you can download to make your virtual costume party more festive.

5) Enjoy a Spooky Halloween Movie Marathon

Halloween flicks are a great way to get in the Halloween spirit and to enjoy the spooky season safely from the comfort of your own home. From family-friendly classics to truly terrifying films, you can customize your selections based on your audience. Whether you choose The Addams Family or Psycho, The Nightmare Before Christmas or The Shining, there’s a scary movie to suit all tastes. Pop some popcorn and enjoy!

How are you celebrating Halloween this year? Join us on our social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram) and let us know!

The Top 5 Activities to Do This Summer in Toronto

The Top 5 Activities to Do This Summer in Toronto

With the sun shining and the official beginning of summer just days away, Torontonians are looking forward to this magical time in Toronto.

Summer in Toronto means hot days spent on the beach or in parks, fun adventures with the whole family, and relaxing evenings spent sipping a cold beer or homemade craft cocktail on the porch or balcony. It’s the time when Torontonians come out of hibernation and enjoy the feeling of the hot sun on their skin and the beautiful blooms and lush landscapes that are so prevalent in this beautiful city. Summertime just makes everything better.

This summer will be different compared to the past summers, with many attractions and events closed or cancelled due to COVID-19. Regardless, there’s plenty to see, do, and enjoy in Toronto this summer.

Here’s a round-up of our five favourite things to do this summer in Toronto:

Explore a park or conservation area

Explore a park or conservation area

Ontario Provincial Parks and Conservation Areas are open during the day, although beaches within them aren’t open. All parks located within the City of Toronto are also open. A visit to the park is a great opportunity to get some fresh air, relax in nature, explore a new ravine or forested area, and take pleasure in the sunshine. Enjoy a walk, hike, bike ride, or afternoon spent bird-watching.

Head to the beach (safely!)

Head to the beach (safely!)

From Sunnyside Beach to Cherry Beach, Toronto has several beautiful stretches of sand on Lake Ontario. Although they’re all closed until at least the end of June to limit the spread of COVID-19, Toronto residents are still able to stroll along boardwalks and waterfront trails, provided that physical distancing can be maintained. So lace up your shoes or put on your sandals and head to Lake Ontario to enjoy the crisp waterfront air. Visit The Swim Guide for the latest updates on beach closures.

Go on an epic bike ride

Go on an epic bike ride

Toronto’s Waterfront Trail allows Torontonians to cruise across the city, from Etobicoke in the west, right through downtown Toronto and to Scarborough in the east. Between Woodbine Beach and Balmy Beach, there’s a beautiful asphalt pathway for cyclists and in-line skaters. The downtown section of the Waterfront Trail along Queen’s Quay is newly-constructed and user-friendly, with wide dedicated bike lanes. This scenic route is safe and offers gorgeous views of Lake Ontario. Other places for an epic bike ride include parks, conservation areas, or even your local neighbourhood.

Enjoy a frozen treat

Enjoy a frozen treat

Ice cream, popsicles, paletas, Thai ice cream rolls and churro ice cream cones – the variety of delicious, sugary frozen treats in Toronto is truly impressive. And what’s a hot summer day without a tasty frozen treat? Check out Summer’s Ice Cream in Yorkville, Punto Gelato in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood, Sweet Jesus near Yonge and Sheppard, or D Spot Dessert Café near Victoria Park and Eglinton.

Create a new summer tradition

Create a new summer tradition

Your favourite summer activity may be cancelled this summer (such as a visit to the CNE or a music festival), so why not create a new tradition? Get creative and brainstorm with your partner or family members to create a new activity that you can enjoy for years to come. Backyard BBQs, picnics, scavenger hunts, arts and crafts projects, your own family Olympics, movie nights, book clubs, kitchen dance parties… the options are endless.

We wish you all a fun and sunny summer full of adventure!

Follow BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) for more lifestyle tips, community updates and neighbourhood news.

Make the Most of Being Stuck at Home: 20 Fun Family-Friendly Activities to Enjoy

Whether you’re working from home, staying at home with your kids as they’re off school, or self-quarantining, many of us are spending a lot more time at home lately. As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and the government recommends that we stay at home to help slow the speed of transmission, everything from school to after-school activities, sports, and music lessons, and playdates have been canceled. You may find yourself looking for ideas to keep your family occupied without leaving the house, apartment or condo.

Here are 20 fun family-friendly activities to explore:

  • Get creative

Family members of all ages will love bringing out their inner Picasso or Frida Kahlo by doing arts and crafts, painting, drawing, making sculptures with Play-Doh, taking photos or making videos. Have fun with it!

  • Have a pajama party

As there’s nothing more fun than wearing your pajamas during the daytime, and it’s an activity best enjoyed at home! Make some yummy snacks, have a pillow fight, and tell each other some spooky ghost stories.

  • Make a fort

    Whether with sheets, pillows, or cardboard boxes, making a fort is a fun activity that shows kids’ imaginations and keeps them engaged.

  • Play board games or cards

    What better time for a game of Monopoly, Clue or Uno? Checkers and jigsaw puzzles are also great options to keep everyone happily occupied for a couple of hours.

  • Have a family game of charades

    It’s impossible to stay bored when you’re playing charades! Categories can include movies, TV shows, activities, musical artists, books, or whatever else you can think of.

  • Start a family band

    You don’t need real instruments, either (although if you have them, all the better)! Create makeshift instruments using drums made out of cans and buckets, paper plate tambourines, glasses of water filled at varying heights and a spoon for a homemade xylophone, and Tupperware filled with different materials for shakers.

  • Dance, dance, dance

    While you’re having fun making music, get your groove on and have a family dance party.

  • Create an at-home scavenger hunt

    There are all kinds of knick-knacks in your home or condo that can be used as bounty in a fun treasure hunt.

  • Get Baking

    Have some fun in the kitchen and enjoy the fruits (or donuts) of your labor! Baking cookies, cakes, brownies or other treats is a fun activity that the whole family can enjoy. Better yet, did you know that baking has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety?

 

  • Have an indoor picnic

prepare some picnic-style munchies (think salads, sandwiches, veggies and dip, olives, or cheese and crackers), lay out a blanket, get cozy and enjoy.

  • Learn something new

Have fun doing it! The extra time spent at home is a great opportunity to teach your kids something new. Show them how to play chess, teach them a few chords on the guitar, or show them your favorite recipe that has been passed down through the generations. You can also embrace online education and help your kids stay on top of their learning with tools like Osmo, BrainPOP, Scholastic or Mystery Science.

  • Call or FaceTime family members

This is a great time to catch up with people in your family and also to check in on them and see if they need any support during this challenging time.

  • Appreciate art and museums

Many art galleries and museums have opened up free online e-visits, including the Louvre, the Boston Children’s Museum, the British Museum, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and more. Explore art and natural wonders all from the comfort of your couch.

  • Go on a digital field trip

Just as museums and art galleries have opened up e-visits, you can also take a virtual visit to places as exciting and varied as Yellowstone National Park, the Parliament Buildings in Ottawa, the Canadian Arctic, or a variety of farms across Canada. With Google Earth, you can explore almost anywhere in the whole wide world with just the click of a button.

  • Bust out the dress-up box

Let your imagination run wild! Kids of all ages love dressing up and pretending to be various characters and creatures.

  • Start a book club

Take turns picking favorite books and then read them together. It’ll be fun to get different family members’ take turns and reactions to the same story.

  • Make jewelry

Kids will love to create their own jewelry because it’s a fun, creative process and they’ll be left with something they can wear and cherish. For easy DIYs that you can make use of supplies you may already have at home, try making classic beaded necklaces, embroidered bracelets, sculptural folded paper bracelets, or washer necklaces.

  • Practice learning a new language

Whether by speaking together or by using an app like Duolingo, learning a new language is a great way to keep kids learning with a useful skill that will benefit them in life.

  • Write a story together

collaborate on creating a unique mystery story, sci-fi adventure or hilarious comedy.

We hope you enjoy family time at home during this challenging situation making use of the fun-activities listed so far, and we wish you good health!

Follow BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) for more lifestyle tips and ideas as well as community updates, interior design trends, and new luxury condo inspiration.

The Top 2020 Interior Design Trends That We Love for Luxury Living

Natural, luxurious materials at BAZIS’ Exhibit Residences.

New year, new interior design trends! 2020 is a year that’s full of fresh new inspirations and trends when it comes to decorating your new condo or townhome.

Whether you’re in the market for a new condo for sale or are looking to make your current home feel more fresh and stylish, February is a great time to review the top trends of the year and to discover which ones you love the most.

Here are some of the new looks and trends for interior design in 2020:

Unique, Eclectic Looks

2020 is the time to let your personality and eclectic style shine. Unusual materials, unique artwork and distinctive furnishings have a major moment.

While neutrals are in vogue in 2020, various beautiful colours are also shining this year. From deep, saturated colours and jewel tones – like Pantone’s colour of the year, Classic Blue – to soft and subtle feminine tones – like Benjamin Moore’s colour of the year, First Light – 2020 is all about colour. It’s a great year to be bold in selecting designs. Embrace patterns, bold trim ceilings and high contrast (like black and white). If minimalism isn’t the choice, then try on maximalism and embrace the grandeur!

Let the interior design reflect your individuality and tell a story. Allow your authentic style to be expressed and have fun.

Laid-Back Luxury

Enjoy a luxurious lifestyle and a lavish living space, while also enjoying the comfort and a relaxed vibe. 2020’s luxurious interior design is all about turning home into a personal sanctuary. Explore soothing, cozy design elements like furniture in luxurious fabrics, plush carpets and mixed textures to create a decadent yet comfortable feeling.

High-Quality Classics

Consumers are becoming more aware of the ecological and environmental impacts of their purchases. The era of fast fashion is on its way out, and the same holds true for interior design. Say goodbye to fast furniture and decor. Invest in beautiful, high-quality classics that will stand the test of time.

A luxurious, stylish velvet couch.

Sustainable and Natural Materials

Continuing with the environmentally-conscious thread, sustainability is a big trend in 2020 – and a trend that we predict will stay. Materials that complement an eco-friendly lifestyle – such as natural materials like wood, marble, linen, wool and velvet – are both sustainable and luxurious choices. Natural materials bring warmth, depth and an earthy element to interior design. This makes for spaces that are more grounding and calming.

European-Inspired Design

Sophisticated, European-inspired looks are a big trend in 2020. The European-style design includes mixing antiques with new décor items, layering the old, the new, as well as embracing elegance, comfort and art.

In furniture, European design features include plenty of curved lines, asymmetrical details, metal legs and luxurious materials.

BAZIS’s 1 Yorkville condominium, which is currently under construction, includes premium European-style kitchens and designer finishes, perfectly on-trend.

A beautiful two-toned kitchen at BAZIS’ Exhibit Residences.

Two-Toned Kitchens

While all-white kitchens have been trendy for years, two-toned kitchens are the latest trend this year. Kitchens with two tones have more depth and personality. They are an ultra-chic interior design statement.

Whether you’re upgrading your current home or saving ideas for when you purchase a new home or condo, interior design trends are a great way to get inspired. And if you’re buying a new home, remember that one of the greatest benefits is being able to customize the features, which finishes to suit your personal preferences, lifestyles, wants and needs. The process of selecting finishes and personalizing living spaces is a pleasure many dream about and a rare opportunity that is available at all BAZIS new condos and townhomes, including our upcoming Bartley Towns community of contemporary townhomes near Eglinton and the DVP.

Follow BAZIS on social media (Facebook, Twitter or Instagram) for more fresh interior design trends and inspiration.

Top Toronto Townhome Upgrades to Maximize Future Resale Value

Torontonians love their new homes. In a 2018 Globe and Mail Report, there will be well over 100,000 new pre-construction townhomes, Toronto between 2010 and 2020. With all the new houses built in the GTA, it’s easy to see new trends as they emerge, and new home buyers demand them.

It’s important to consider not only the upgrades that have *sizzle* but also the practical upgrades that are costly to do later, as well. These are things such as upgrades to ceiling heights, electrical, and insulation. Continue reading

BAZIS Contemporary Luxury Condo Project at Yonge and Eglinton Nearly Complete

econdos development update 2019

The gorgeous eCondos project at Yonge and Eglinton is looking great! The incredible cantilevered pool feature is the last of the indoor amenities to be completed. This feature should be done by spring, just in time for residents to delight in a cooling swim in summer 2019! Continue reading