Whether it’s a feeling or memory, art can evoke powerful emotions within us. Art can serve many purposes, from beautifying our homes by adding a personal touch to inspiring or comforting us upon sight. Art is truly personal – beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Buying original art for your home is an investment that will bring you enjoyment for years to come, while adding mood and character to your living space. Art creates memories, which can be passed down through the generations, and it can also gain value over time.
Toronto is home to some truly magnificent artists. Buying art locally supports the livelihood of artists, and keeps the creation of art alive and well. Here are 7 awe-inspiring local Toronto artists whose art you could take home today:
1. Maureen Faith O’Connor – Photography
Maureen O’Connor is an award-winning, art-based photographer whose work focuses on architecture and still life. O’Connor graduated from OCAD and has been featured in international publications and media. She currently has a new studio sale and fundraiser where $25-$50 of each sale will be donated to local wildlife rehab sanctuaries.
- Ramona Nordal – Mixed Media
Caravan Study #23, acrylic and bic pen on panel
Ramona Nordal began her career at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, British Columbia. There she studied under renowned Canadian artist Dennis Burton. Her ambitious use of colour and style of acrylic painting creates an overwhelming sense of energy. Nordal thrives on mixing past and present cultural influences, which give her paintings a truly unique aesthetic.
- Jamie MacRae – Mixed Media
My City 341, mixed media on wooden panel with resin
Jamie MacRae is a Toronto-based artist with a background in design. His artwork consists of photography and acrylic paint, layered beneath resin. Combining his altered photo images with acrylic paint, MacRae plays with the juxtaposition of abstraction and urbanity. His collection entitled “My City” is inspired by his love for and the energy of the City of Toronto.
- Masood Omer – Painting
Spadina Morning, acrylic on canvas
Originally from Karachi, Masood Omer has three diplomas in fine art: two from Pakistan’s Central Institute of Arts and one from the Art Centre at Central Tech in Toronto. Omer is a lover of art, and his paintings of figures, still life and landscapes carry influences from all genres of art. His forte is painterly style, and most of his works are done ‘alla prima.’ Omer currently resides in Richmond Hill, ON.
- Jeff Goodman – Glass
Penny Vine, blown glass, with satin copper metal finish
Growing up on the west coast, Jeff Goodman was always inspired by nature. His first love was woodwork, but while studying at Sheridan College in Ontario, he grew to love glass. After earning a degree in fine arts, Goodman began a three-year residency at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, where he grew his portfolio and reputation as one of Canada’s preeminent glass blowers. In 1989, Goodman established the Jeff Goodman Studio and began pushing the boundaries of glass design.
- Thomas M Sinclair – Woodland Art
Naming Ceremony, acrylic on canvas
Thomas Sinclair is Ojibway from Couchiching First Nation. He grew up in Thunder Bay and immersed himself in the woodland art movement, and studied under Isadore Wadow. Facing some difficult personal challenges and the reality of systemic racism, Sinclair turned to art to not only heal himself, but his people. Sinclair’s paintings are bold, colourful and symbolic, giving light to darkness and bringing balance to life.
- Rina Gottesman – Painting
Once Again I, mixed media on paper
An award-winning artist, Rina Gottesman is known for her strong sense of colour and design. Through her use of lines and texture, Gottesman’s abstract paintings are bold and expressive. Whether she is working with acrylic or mixed media, Gottesman always seeks to create new and interesting effects often by hiding words, text or collages within her artworks for the viewer to discover.
With summer just around the corner and the pandemic still in full swing, now’s a great time to spruce up your yard and build your very own oasis.
Here are 5 ways to improve your backyard and make staying at home more enjoyable than ever:
Design a Space to Hang Out with Friends and Family
Designing an outdoor space can be daunting, but the best backyards have designated areas that are created with specific experiences and ambiances in mind. Start your design by creating a nice and relaxing seating area. A deck or patio is a wonderful way to unwind and relax while enjoying all that summer has to offer.
Create an Outdoor Living Space
Whether you enjoy BBQs or gardening, sunbathing or playing with the kids, there’s no shortage of ways to design your outdoor space. Once you’ve laid the groundwork for your patio, it’s time to furnish it. Consider a nice dining table to host dinners under the stars, a sofa or chairs where you and your family can hang out and relax, or a gazebo or umbrella to protect you from the sun.
Get Creative with Delightful Decorating
Now that your space is coming together, thoughtful touches can really elevate your yard. You might want to include some mood lighting, whether it be a romantic string of lights over your seating area, glowing tiki torches to keep the bugs away, or modern pot lights in the grass. Plant beautiful and fragrant flowers, lay down a stone path, or design a beautiful entranceway. Backyard water features such as a little fountain can make your oasis enchanting and peaceful.
Splurge on Fun Outdoor Appliances
With temperatures rising, thoughts automatically turn to BBQs and entertaining on the patio. When purchasing appliances, you want to make sure that you buy things that are weatherproof so that you can stay out and enjoy the party. Consider a BBQ, grill, or pizza oven to cook fabulous meals, and a cooler to keep your drinks cold. Install some Bluetooth speakers to listen to music while you spend time in your beautiful backyard. If you enjoy roasting marshmallows with the family, install a fire pit or an outdoor fireplace and bring the magic of camping to your very own backyard.
Enjoy the Summer and Have Fun!
Now that you’ve set up your beautiful oasis, it’s time to have fun! Fun comes in many shapes and forms. If you have kids, you could build forts or tree houses, or invest in a tent and camp under the stars. Build a swimming pool and splash around in the sun, or set up a badminton net and get your game on! Grow a fruit and vegetable garden. The options are endless.
Have you ever wondered how Toronto’s soaring high-rise condominium towers are constructed? Creating a building is a complicated endeavour that involves a lot of planning and many different types of construction professionals working together, from architects and city planners to engineers of all types (mechanical engineers, structural engineers, electrical engineers and civil engineers), interior designers, elevator consultants, acoustical consultants, geotechnical consultants, marketers, and a construction team, including the general contractors and their sub-contractors. It’s a full team effort and everything must be coordinated like an orchestra’s performance.
To learn more about the construction process of Toronto’s condos, we’re excited to present the latest installment of our How It’s Done series: How to Build a 50+-Storey Tower in 10 Simple Steps.
Without further ado:
#1: Finding the Perfect Location
Every iconic condominium starts with an idea and a vision – and a land assessment, too. Toronto builders and developers are always on the hunt for optimal sites to build a new condo. An ideal location is one where the land is underused but in a great or upcoming neighbourhood.
Once the development team finds a site, an assessment must be made as to the site’s viability. The team will review the land value, development possibilities, local bylaws and zoning regulations, neighbourhood characteristics, access to public transportation and more. This dynamic assessment typically involves a wide variety of professionals, from architects and market professionals to urban planners, contractors and a legal team.
If the team decides that the project makes sense and that the market will supply enough demand for a condominium at the chosen site, then the development site is secured.
#2: Design and Planning
Once the site has been purchased, the builder or developer will typically hire all of the key players needed to design, plan and complete the project. This team usually includes a construction contractor, structural engineers, a financing team or lender, interior designers and many others.
Each of these team members is involved in the planning phase, and there is much to plan. It goes far beyond the design of the building and architectural drawings. Every detail must be considered at this stage, from elevator design to landscape design to legal issues.
This is also the stage during which to engage the general public and the city – getting their support is essential.
Once the project has been meticulously planned out, it typically goes to market and presales begin. Most builders in Canada aim to sell a certain percentage of the condo suites in the pre-construction phase in order to finance the condo’s construction.
#3: Prepare the Lot
The project has been designed and presales are well underway. Now we’re ready to start construction!
First of all, the land is cleared and a giant hole is dug. Often the hole is a few stories deep. If the condominium is going to have underground parking, this hole will be even deeper.
#4: Lay the Foundation and Install Footings
Next, the foundation is laid. This phase can take quite a while. The foundation for high-rise condominium towers is made of concrete, which has to be poured in layers.
Footings are an important part of foundation construction. They’re most often made of concrete with rebar reinforcement, and they’re typically installed under foundations. These big concrete pads help to spread out the weight, supporting the foundation and preventing settling.
#5: Raise the Frame
We’ve gone down deep into the earth to lay a solid foundation, and now we’re ready to build upward. Raising the frame is a surprisingly rapid step compared to the digging and foundation laying that precede it. The frame is raised with the help of cranes. It’s during this step that the building begins to take shape and really come to life.
Did you know that high-rise 50+-storey condominium towers like the ones in Toronto are able to swing a few metres in each direction? This is to ensure that they’re able to withstand strong winds without damaging their structural integrity.
#6: Roofing and Siding
Once the frame is up, the roofing and exterior siding are installed. This includes a building wrap, which is a weather-resistant barrier that protects the building, as well as sheathing, which is important for strength and securing the siding.
#7: Inner Elements
Next up are structural inner items like floors, staircases, concrete support walls, corridors, beams, slabs and columns. Windows are also installed. Elevators must also be installed around this stage.
#8: Electrical and Plumbing
Water, electricity and other utilities are added to each floor as the construction progresses.
#9: Finishing Touches
Finally, all of the finishing touches can be put in: lighting, fixtures, cabinetry, countertops, faucets, carpeting and more. If you purchased a brand new condo, this is where the beautiful features and finishes that you’ve selected to suit your personal style will all be installed.
Once the construction is completed, the condominium is inspected by various parties to ensure that it’s a beautiful, safe and long-lasting infrastructure.
The condominium is now ready for occupancy and for homeowner move-ins.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Practice 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Are you excited about what the future holds for homeowners? There are so many amazing new home innovations just around the corner. Here are a few of our favourites for the living room, kitchen and bath. Continue reading
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BAZIS knows that success in the luxury condo market comes from providing more than a suite full of beautiful finishes. It also comes from providing a host of incredible amenities that inspire envy. Continue reading