the scoop the goods The Funny


Looking For Some Christmas Cheer?...

Would an evening chatting about holiday rituals, with HGTV Personality and General Contractor Damon Bennett, bring that extra sparkle to your holiday hustle and bustle? Then be sure and join HOSS Magazine and Damon Bennett for an evening of fun and prizes.

When do these fabulous festivities begin? December 8th, 2014 at 9:00 p.m. EST. Be sure and use hashtag: #HolidaysWithHOSS

Your hosts are @HossMagazine and HGTV Personality @DamonBennett_ (Must Follow to Win) HOSS Magazine is the Homeowners Simple Solution Magazine, distributed throughout North America, with support from DIY personalities from hit shows on HGTV, DIY Network, and the W Network.

RSVP is not required to participate and win. Simply tweet using #HolidaysWith HOSS. See you there!


What's The Next Coolest Thing? Next Issue Canada, That's What!

Oh. Our. Goodness.

We may have just stumbled across the coolest thing to be created for the internet. Ever. (And that includes LOL Cats and The Duck Song.)

What is it, you ask? Why, it's called 'Next Issue' (Canada).

We have a couple of questions for you... How much do design junkies like us spend on design magazines every month? And how much would we spend given an unlimited budget?

Answer to both questions: LOTS.


Wrong. So, so wrong. Because gentle reader, there is no longer any need to spend oodles of money on magazines every month anymore because now there is 'Next Issue'.

For a measly $9.99 per month for the basic level, or $14.99 per month for the premium level (read: access to even more magazines) you get access to over 100 of the best, most amazing, most popular and yes, even the most pricey magazines out there. (Veranda, anyone? Hello, lover!)

It's true. And. It. Is. Absolutely. Brilliant.

Here's how it works:
a) You sign up for a free 30 day trial at using your tablet. (You are required to give your credit card number in order to complete registration, but don't worry-- you can cancel at any time.)
b) After registering, you download the Next Issue Canada app.
c) You open the app.
d) You choose from over 100 of the most popular magazine titles-- any or all, it's up to you!
e) You sit back in your comfiest chair with your beverage of choice and read not only the current issue of your favourite mags, but-- get this-- back issues too!
f) You shake your head in wonder at the sheer genius of it all.

Seriously. It's that easy.

We know, cuz we did it! We found some amazing articles in back issues that we totally missed through the last year as we waited in line at the grocery store...

Articles like the one we found in last April's issue of O Magazine, utterly fascinating-- all about designer Xorin Balbes' book, 'Soul Space' where he pares his design philosophy down to its bare and only most necessary bones. A definite must read!
  O Mag photo Omagphoto.png
Or the May 2013 issue of GQ with it's 20 page feature (and, uhm, cover and, uhm, photos) of RDJ. GQ photo RDJ.png

Oh, and have we mentioned the December 2012 issue of Veranda? We have just two words: Oh. My...Veranda photo Veranda.png

In the July/August2013 issue of Traditional Home, we found the most amazing house in a feature called 'Stone. Water. Wood.' on designer Juan Montoya's home. Bliss!

 Traditional Home photo TradHome.png

And how about the December 2013 issue of W... you know-- the one with George on the cover?   photo Wmag.png

As we thumbed our way through current and back issues of some of our fave mags like In Style, Veranda, O Magazine, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and way too many more to mention here, we were more than just a little amazed. Try to buy any two of those magazines we just mentioned at the grocery store check-out line, and you've already spent way more than it costs for one month of access to over 100 magazines!

Wanna try it? You can sign up right here!: Next Issue Canada

 We're actually still in shock about it all. But we'll get over it... maybe.

In the meantime, we guess we'll just be huge 'Next Issue' addicts...

Ps. Just so you know, we were compensated for this post, but shh-- don't tell Next Issue Canada-- we would have totally written it anyway.


Bullseye Boxing Week, Baby!

So let's just say we were absolutely thrilled to be contacted by Target Canada (@TargetCanada) last week to participate in their #BullseyeBoxingWeek (Blowout Bonanza-- we just added that in, Target. You're welcome.) Admittedly, it does take alot to get us out of our cozy new jammies on Boxing Day and into a store filled with potentially crazy folk who are willing to wrestle you to the ground for that last box of chocolates or pair of gloves... so you know we must love us some Tar-get (said like 'Tar-shjay', with y'know, that irritating fake French accent) if we braved the snow and the cold and the crowds to search out some unbeatable Tar-shjay bar-goons. We arrived in the afternoon, armed with our handy-dandy Target gift card...

 (Well, hello there, Ma'am!)

  target entrance photo Target1.jpg

And to our delight, the staff of our local store had the place running like a well-oiled machine. No crazy people. No massive lineups. Just plenty of staff on the floor to answer questions, tons of cashes open, an in-store STARBUCKS (gasp!) to provide Joy with sustenance (read: caffeine), plenty of carts (Janet loves her a shopping cart!) and maps of the store along with Boxing Day flyers all readily available at the entrance. What a great start!

  map & cart photo target3.jpg

While we appreciated the map, we really didn't need it-- we knew exactly where we were headed-- to our fave section of the store: Nate Berkus Design Central. Let's all just take a moment, shall we...? Sigh...

   photo Target2.jpg

Okay, back to business. We absolutely LOVE Nate's line for Target-- so on point yet so timeless and so incredibly affordable! Did we mention affordable? And some of it was on clearance. Seriously-- clearance-priced Nate Berkus goods. Does it get any better than that? Not for us, it doesn't! Needless to say, we nabbed us up some Nate goodies...

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Target also has an in-house design line called 'Threshold' that is also pretty darn amazing... so naturally, we were powerless to resist!

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Gold serving tray, fabulous thick, beautifully coloured mercury glass (our Kryptonite), and creamy frames all by Threshold. And all on sale.

On the slighty-duller-but-driven-by-mother-guilt-like-the-good-Moms-we-are-side, we also grabbed the kiddos a dvd of 'Despicable Me 2' for $12-- such a steal! And a very boring but much needed adaptor cord that no one understandably thought to put under the tree for Janet...

All in all, it was a very successful trip-- who knew Boxing Day could be so much fun? Oh, yeah... Target Canada knew. Cuz they're smart like that.

Thanks for a great day, Target!

It's Time...

Via: woohome

For a new coffee table.


Nice Tree, Right?

Via: neatorama

We suppose....if you like your Christmas tree made entirely out of Mountain Dew cans.



Part ll: Rolling Up Those Sleeves! (Also The Fun Part. Or... Not.)

If you’ve got a ton of questions about buying your first home, you’re not alone. Join @RBC_Canada and a panel of 5 experts (including us!) for the #FirstHome Twitter chat, on June 26 from 9- 10 pm. Get answers to your most confusing questions and a chance to win RBC Visa Gift Cards!

A/ DIY vs. Don’t You Dare DIY...!

Here’s the thing-- we know you’ve just spent your entire life savings and then some. And you are now paying an honest-to-goodness mortgage (gasp!) for the first time in your life. Scary stuff just by itself, but add in the fact that the lovely little diamond in the rough you’ve just bought needs work, and it’s enough to induce a full-blown panic attack. But hey, relax. You read Part l of our series, right? You’ve been smart. You’ve got a clever, practical and completely do-able renovation plan. And last but not least, you’re not afraid to get your hands dirty and you’ve got all the energy and enthusiasm in the world to get the job done! So why not just jump right in and get to work? Well, we’ll tell you why. Energy and enthusiasm do not an expert make. And yes, we know you want to save some cash. We all do, and of course that’s just smart, but biting off more than you can chew-- or, in this case ‘do’-- will only end up costing you more in the long run. Honest. We wouldn’t lie to you! Our advice here is simple: know your limitations. You’re not an electrician by trade? Or a plumber? Then you should leave those jobs to the pros. Don’t worry-- there will be lots of work that needs to be done, and there is certainly a lot of it that you can do. So yeah... stick to those jobs. After all, your reno is an important investment in your home, so it follows that paying the experts to do the job right is also an investment. Right? A botched DIY can be a painful and expensive lesson to learn, and we wouldn't want you to get hurt like that...

Janet says:

When we began our two-storey addition and full house reno, we were on a verytightbudget, in other words-- no room for error. We simply couldn’t afford to make any mistakes. Nor could we afford to sit back and have all the work done for us. (How nice would that have been!?) The plan was this: have the contactors do the foundation, the framing, and the roof-- all the heavy-duty structure stuff. We had to have the original foundation ‘underpinned’ (a job for the experts if ever there was one!), and so they came and did... and then my husband took over-- for a while. Luckily, hubby is an uncommonly handy ‘trades’-type guy... and also an electrician to boot! Jobs that he could handle included insulation, wiring, etc.-- basically most of the things that got us to the drywall stage. But even he-- the man who loves a challenge-- knew when to graciously step back and let the experts take over. So ‘Drywall Dave’ came along, and was I ever glad he did! Sure, we could have saved a whack of cash if we had tried to do it ourselves. But to us, installing drywall-- and getting it just right-- is where our skill set ended. And I know we would have botched it. Totally. Plus, Drywall Dave had it all done in a jiff. Well, well worth the cash.

B/ Beware the Dreaded ‘While We’re At It’...

It’s a little known fact that only 3% of first-time home buyers are actually aware that embarking on any sort of renovation project whether big or small will inevitably and ultimately lead to other additional and possibly even bigger renovation projects. And the fact that we just totally made up that statistic doesn’t, in our humble opinion, make it any less true. Seriously-- you will be amazed (and possibly confused) at how many times during your reno that you find yourself saying ‘While we’re at it, we might as well ______” (fill in the blank). And you know what? You might just be right. When starting a reno, it’s nearly impossible to foresee how the project will go, what you will run into, or what it will lead to. You know what they say about the best laid plans, right? Smart renovators will take those do-able opportunities when they arise, and, yes, do them-- if time and budget allow, or if they seem like a wise investment in the future. For example...

Janet says:

When we put on our addition, our plan was just to put on an addition-- full stop. We were planning to then follow up and do the rest of the house, over time, after the addition was complete. But one day, mid-reno, as we were shopping for hardwood flooring for the addition, we happened across a great deal at a Big Box store-- a clear-out of perfectly good flooring that was going out of production. Clearance. (Read: Cheap.) And as we stood in that Big Box store alternately marveling at our luck and dithering (okay-- I was dithering. Hubby doesn’t dither-- he waits for me to make up my mind... smart man, that.) about how much of it to buy, it occurred to us that when we did, one day in the future, re-do all our hodge-podge flooring in the original part of the house (remember all that carpet, vinyl and parquet from Part l?), we would never be able to match the floors to this clear-out stuff. So, we bought enough to do the whole house-- addition and all. And as we stood there we actually said ‘While we’re at it we might as well...’

Extra cost? Yes. Extra work? Yes. Extra time? Yesyesyes... BUT totally worth it in the end, and a decision that we have never regretted. Likewise, our decision to re-do our kitchen-- and when I say re-do, I mean a rip out walls, back to the studs re-do. Also not planned as part of the addition. But it was the floors, you see. Deciding to re-do all the floors in the original part of the house forced us to think about our long-term plans for the original part of the house, which included a full kitchen reno. If we wanted to get the floors right, we had to rip out a dividing wall in the kitchen, to prepare for the change in the footprint of the kitchen that we knew we wanted, and of course, if we did that, we had to take out the cabinets, and there really was no sense doing all that and then putting the old cabinets back in and so... well, you get the idea. Again, extra cost, work and time, but again, a decision we have never regretted. But you see how easy it is to get carried away? Just remember that when you hear yourself saying ‘While we’re at it...’ that there are two types of ‘carried away’-- smart carried-away and not-so-smart-carried away. If you know what long-term plans you have for the house and from that, are able to figure out what makes sense right now, then the dreaded ‘While we’re at it...’ will still hurt-- just not quite so much.

C/‘OMG- It Cost What?’ (AKA You’ve GOT To Be Bleeping Kidding Me!)

We’ve all heard it before-- when renovating, general financial guidelines are to give yourself at least a twenty percent cushion in your budget, because in all likelihood, you will go over your set budget (if wondering why, please see Part B). As addressed earlier, there are smart splurges and not-so-smart splurges (the trick is to avoid these). But when you are in mid-reno, deep in DIY mode, it can be very easy to lose track of how much you are spending. And we mean VERY. One great idea is to keep track of all your spending on a spreadsheet. You might be surprised at how much a box of 2 ½” screws cost-- and how many of them you’re actually going to need. Or how many gallons of paint you’ve gone through. Our point is, these seemingly ‘little’ expenses, those dribs-and-drabs of cash you spend here and there can really add up-- and fast! So be smart. Keep track. And don’t be surprised when you have to dip into that little twenty-percent fund you thought you’d never have to touch.

Another way to save cash is to put off unnecessary expenses until later. Yes, you’ve just revamped the entire family room in your new house-- the new fireplace looks amazing, and the floors? Fantastic! What you really need to set it all off is All New Furniture. Or... do you? Sure, new furniture would look great, but is there room left in the budget? If not, do yourself a favour and wait a while until you can afford it. You can still sit on Grandma Rose’s old couch for a few more months-- just while you gather your financial strength-- and you know what? The fireplace will look just as amazing.

Janet says:

I have a confession to make. I still have my grandparents’ table and chairs in my kitchen. It’s a totally dated, stained maple table and four matching chair set from like, the 1980’s. You know the kind I mean. Is this set what I would have chosen for myself? Uh, no. Does it do the trick until I can afford what I really want? Yup. Same for the sofa-table (which is actually an old brown-painted drop-leaf kitchen table with turned legs) that I ‘borrowed’ from my Mom three years ago, and never gave back... (hehe). Or my thrift-store 1960’s coffee table and side tables I got for a steal about six years ago. None of these is reaaaalllly what I want, but hey-- they all work. I like call my look ‘Eclectic Yard Sale’. One day I’ll be able get what I really want... or, maybe not. In terms of design, sometimes this bothers me. Alot. In terms of equity, it never does. What I know for sure-- just like Oprah-- is that my hand-me-down furniture does not and more importantly, cannot take away from the value that our reno added to our house. And that is what is important. And, in the meantime, while I’m dreaming about future fabulous furniture, we’ve got three kids to raise, and at this point in my life, that’s obviously what takes precedence. If, in my travels (and when I say travels, I mean travels to a local yard sale and/or flea market), I happen upon something I like better that doesn’t break the budget, I’ll grab it. If not, I’m content. there are worse problems in the world than my kitchen table. The truth is, ugly or not, the pieces are all diligently serving their purpose, and may even continue to do so for some time to come. Remember, when you finally sell your first home and start climbing up that property ladder, you’ll take that ridiculously expensive had-to-have-it couch with you. So we guess our point here is if you have-to-have-it, and you-can-afford-it, then by-all-means-go-for-it. If not, be smart. Wait and keep Grandma Rose’s couch-- or kitchen table-- for just a little while longer...  

Disclaimer: This post content is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the view and opinion expressed herein represent my own and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party and do not constitute financial, legal or other advice.


Dinner Party - 'What Not To Do's'

Throwing a dinner party? Here are our ‘Top Ten What NOT To Do’s'...

1. When throwing a dinner party, you want your guests to feel welcome, comfortable and at ease– not dizzy, nauseous and in need of medical attention.

2. If you must wear an apron to ‘prove’ that you did the cooking… keep it simple.

3. In order to keep the conversation flowing, it is essential to make sure your centrepiece is interesting– just make sure it’s not too large… or a car.

4. Choosing the perfect set of dishes can really showcase your food. Simple, classic white says, ‘I have complete confidence in my cooking.’ Classic white smeared with blood says, ‘You don’t wanna know what happened to the last guy who complained about my cooking.’

5. A fine linen napkin can really enhance your guest’s dining experience– unless you prefer a paper version that will make them look like idiots.

6. Pairing up the right wine for your food is crucial. Choose wisely– don’t make an ass of yourself!

7. Less is always more when choosing the right stemware. Emphasis on ‘less’.

8. A special added touch, such as a place-card holder, can deliver an inspired message– just make sure it’s the right one.

9. Serving lattes after dinner is a great idea to round out a great meal– but if your best foam art effort resembles anything close to this, you’d better hold off until your finished product is more professional and slightly less threatening.

10. In the immortal words of Julia Child ‘Never apologize!’ However, if you have done something truly horrible in the kitchen, you can always salvage the evening with a ‘special’ dessert…



If you’ve got a ton of questions about buying your first home, you’re not alone. Join @RBC_Canada and a panel of 5 experts (including us!) for the #FirstHome Twitter chat, on June 5 at 8 pm, EST. Get answers to your most burning questions – and a chance to win RBC Visa Gift Cards!

Part I: Shopping & Buying! (The Fun Part. Or... Maybe Not.)

Everyone knows that buying a home is the largest single purchase a person can make in their lifetime, but buying your first home is also one of the most thrilling, exciting, fun, frustrating, difficult and emotional roller-coaster rides anyone can have. Let's face it-- you've got a lot riding on this purchase, and because of that, buying your first home can be a very stressful experience. While many important factors go into the decision of buying a home-- not the least of which are location (and location and location ) not to mention that pesky budget!-- design can be counted among the most important. In fact, design-related issues, such as how updated the home is, the overall visual appeal (both inside and out), and the layout all factor greatly into the purchase. People often have immediate and even visceral reactions to houses or spaces when they first walk into them, depending on the property's design and decor attributes. That said, it’s not surprising then, that sometimes these design-related issues can factor in a little too much to the decision-making process (yes, we just said that!) and end up influencing a first-time buyer into walking away from a great house or even buying a house that may not be the right one for them.
When shopping for your first home and evaluating a potential property from a design perspective, there are a few things to remember...
to that end, please allow us to introduce our 'First Time Home Buyer Design Rules':

#1. Repeat After Us: “It’s Only Paint. It’s Only Paint. It’s ONLY Paint...” (Or Carpet.)

Too often first time buyers are turned off of a property because the seller has painted the walls purple. Or chartreuse. Or whatever colour gets under your skin. Yes, ‘blech-y’ colours can give a room a certain ‘blech-y’ feel, and we all know that dark colours make a room appear and even 'feel' smaller than it really is, but looking past the ‘evil powers of paint’ and training your eye to see the reality of the space (especially when others are unable to) can save you not only heartache but cold hard cash! Likewise a nasty carpet-- don’t let disgusting, dated wall-to-wall turn you off an entire property if the rest of it is right for you. Sure it's gross, but there are plenty of flooring options these days that are a breeze to install and are also easy on the pocketbook!  
Conversely, you may walk into a house that appears to have everything going for it. Maybe it's even just been-- gasp!-- completely renovated! At any rate, it looks as bright and appealing as a shiny new, er... nickel. It could even give you that 'too good to be true' feeling. (ie. That house for this price?) If you happen to run across a property like this in your home search, please remember the rest of that old adage-- 'it probably is'. Hold on. Take a breath. It might look like the house of your dreams, but it could also potentially be a nightmare. Do your due diligence and make sure either way. Remember-- good design does not always equal good quality. So don't make a dash for the flash, and don't be fooled by a 'smoke-and-mirrors' reno. A sad-but-true fact in the housing market is that some (and we say 'some', certainly not all) people who are interested in making a quick buck often cut some serious hidden corners while making things look surface-perfect. So buyer beware even those most visually appealing properties!

2. COMPROMISE is the Name of the Game

We know. That’s a hard one to take. After all, you've worked hard scrimping and saving and sacrificing to save up your down payment... so why shouldn't you get everything you want in a home? Good point, but sadly, not realistic. But we can sympathize. We’ve all been there-- you have this dream of your perfect starter home. It’s cute. It’s quaint. It’s cosy. And light, and airy, spacious and everything else you’ve dreamt of... And then you start touring properties and nasty old reality hits you right smack in the nose. And that sucks! But the main point we want to make is that as a first time home buyer, you need to go into the search for your first home with your eyes wide open. Remember, this is your very first step on the property ladder, and you need to think of this initial purchase as an investment in your own future. So be prepared to compromise. Your first place probably won’t be that vision of perfection you have in your head. You might not get that light airy open-plan feel you’re longing for. Or that perfect layout. Or those huge bedrooms and amazing master bath. And you’ll most likely have to play some serious ‘give-and-take’ on one or more of the Big Three: Location, Budget and Layout. Now, we don’t mean to sound like the voices of Doom & Gloom, but the good news is that if you know these things in advance and are prepared to deal with them, you’re way ahead of the game. Just remember that in terms of implementing an amazing design and smart renovations plan after you’ve bought your first home and when the time is right, you will be adding value down the road, building equity, and making your own personal mark on your very first home. That’s some exciting stuff!

Janet says: 

When my husband and I bought our first home together (he had previously owned his own townhome) we were a very young couple with a newborn baby boy. I had my nose and my design-standards set quite high, and consequently, was shocked when our meager just-starting-out budget did not buy me the things I wanted. What was up with that? Seriously, was I to be made to endure dusty-rose wall-to-wall carpeting? And walls to match?? (It was the early 90's-- 'nuff said.) And my worst pet-peeve-- parquet flooring in the dining room? (It's a personal choice to hate it). And-- gasp!-- only ONE bathroom? (Horror of horrors!) But here's the thing... in spite of everything that was 'wrong' with the house, the budget fit, and the huge yard coupled with the water-view was too great to pass up, and so we bought it. And, the bonus of all bonuses (if you looked at it with dusty-rose glasses, that is), was that the house had literally just been entirely renovated, top to bottom. (Little did we know that not a whole lot of it was done properly!). Apart from the carpet which, while seriously ugly, was brand-new, and the paint (likewise) and the parquet (which I was reluctantly willing to overlook as I had my fingers crossed for new flooring...), it was liveable and we had bigger fish to fry-- like a colicky baby. So we decided to live in it, as it was, for just a short time. We'd make changes, we said. Sure we would. And soon. Very soon...

Yeah, right.

Fast forward 8 years and two more kids....

3. Put the Big Idea on the Backburner. Just for a While. (We Know. We’re Sorry.) Or: It Seemed Like A Good Idea At The Time 

So you’ve found a great property in a great location, and you’ve managed to fit it all into your tight budget. Congratulations! You probably also have a few great ideas about what you’d like to do with it. Want to tear down a wall or two? Maybe put the kitchen where the living room is, and add a second or third bath? That’s great, and maybe any or all of those things will add a ton of value to your place, and maybe if you do them you’ll come out a huge winner in the 'equity stakes' down the road.

Or... maybe not.

It’s easy to get carried away with visions of design grandeur when you’ve just bought your first home. Now, we don’t mean to stick a pin in your big ol’ balloon dreams, but our advice to all first time home buyers is this... unless your new home is truly unliveable, live in it for a while. Sure, go ahead and paint. Change the window dressings, and pretty it up so that it feels more like home. Convert the former nursery to your home office, or vice-versa. But live in it for a while before tearing down walls and relocating such major systems as plumbing and electrical. You might find that the ‘idea’ of how you thought you’d live in the house before you moved in is, in reality, vastly different from how you are actually living in the house. You know that plan to relocate the kitchen to where the living room is? Hey, it might not be that great an idea after all. You may be opening a can of worms that you might not want to open. For example, what if the foundation under the living room needs to be re-inforced in order to support the weight of all those shiny new appliances you want to put in there? Or what if all the plumbing needs to be not just re-routed but upgraded to accommodate that fab new sink you want to put in your new island as well as that third half-bath you want to pop in off the entryway? And what about all the electrical? Hmm... that 'great idea' might be something you want to reconsider, because those types of unexpected expenses can add up to Very Big Dollars very quickly.

Janet says:

Oh, boy. Talk about 'Visions of Design Grandeur'. Did I have them, and plenty of them, too! For eight long years... (Ha. Who am I kidding? I still have them!) But life can often get in the way of even your grandest plans, and so I ended up enduring Dusty Rose for a very long time (yes, even the paint!). But the good news is that when the time came to do the big reno, which turned out to be a two-storey addition and full-house reno, we were ready and we knew exactly what we wanted (and, equally importantly, what we didn't want) largely because we had lived in the house for so long. We had figured out what, exactly, was really and truly doable and practical-- for example, I still don't have the home office I always wanted, or a finished rec room in the basement, or the butler's pantry I longed for because they weren't practical or doable and therefore didn't make the cut. While we compromised on a few things (there's that nasty word again) but were able to get in a few cool surprises we weren't expecting-- like a window seat in the new master bath (very luxurious!) and a ten-foot deep wrap-around porch (heaven!). We had studied our house and done our homework, and had even done a test-run with a medium-sized project with the addition of a mudroom at the front of the house and the conversion of our former walk-in front coat closet to a half-bath, with the thinking that if our marriage could survive that, it could also survive the Big Reno! Yeah. Go ahead. Laugh all you want, but there are few things more stressful than a full-house reno-- especially when you're DIY-ing as much of it as you can and living in it with three little kids!

So we rolled up our sleeves. We were finally ready to tackle the biggest, most exciting and frightening project that we had ever undertaken... we had a big idea, the bank's blessing with a new (and slightly scary) mortgage and three little kids, aged 8, 4 and 1...

Stay tuned for Part II of “Buying Your First Home - The Design Perspective”, when we tackle such issues as “DIY vs. Don’t You Dare DIY”, “Beware the Dreaded ‘While We’re At It’” and “OMG, It Cost What??”

Disclaimer: This post content is sponsored by Royal Bank of Canada, however the views and opinions expressed herein represent my own and not those of Royal Bank of Canada or any other party and do not constitute financial, legal or other advice.

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