8 Top Flooring Trends for 2019

Top Trends In Flooring Design

Flooring trends change throughout the years as homeowners acquire new tastes and technology allows a larger variety of flooring designs for their remodeling project. In 2018, medium brown tones struck the right note with homeowners. Flooring finishes ranging from ebony to driftwood became very popular. Another trend that picked up and could continue is allowing flooring imperfections such as the mineral streaks and knots to serve as part of the aesthetics and create a more natural feel. It was also a big year for faux flooring. Tiles that look like wood were especially in trend. 2019 is bound to bring with it new and exciting trends.

1. Fumed Wood Flooring – Stronger Color & Grain

Top Trends In Flooring Design
Almost all types of wood flooring undergo some kind of staining to give them the desired final finish. Fumed wood flooring gets its rich color and grain without having to get any sort of staining. Instead, the wood is put through a process called fuming.  This involves placing the wood in a chamber where airborne ammonia is then released. The wood reacts with the ammonia and undergoes a color change. The reaction does not always result in the exact same changes. The final patina achieved depends on a number of factors including the type of wood, the outside environment and the atmosphere in the chamber itself.  So even among two similar pieces of wood, the resulting hues may vary. Generally, however, fuming gives the wood rich dark tones and enhances the natural grain of the wood. The final look is much more appealing and luxurious than what you get with stained wood flooring.  Do not confuse fumed wood with that which has had liquid ammonia directly applied to it. Using liquid ammonia directly on the wood risks damaging the fiber and could weaken its structure.  To manage expectations and safety concerns–do plenty of research if you plan to use fumed wood flooring.

2. Bleached & Blanched Woods

Top Trends in Flooring Design - Sebring ServicesNot everyone likes the glossy brown stains of most wooden floors. For some, the softer white-washed look of a bleached floor is more their taste. This kind of flooring consists of wood that has undergone a bleaching process, also called blanching. This involves applying a chemical solution onto the surface of the wood to get rid of the “color”.  By color, we mean the artificial dye or stain coating the wood. Blanching gives the wood an ashy white-washed look with the natural wood grain still being clearly visible from underneath. So you do not lose the charm and beauty of natural wood, it is just packaged in another style. Take a look at our home remodeling ideas page, which is full of our previous project pictures.

If you are planning a renovation, make sure you ask your contractor which option is better for you; bleaching your current wood flooring or replacing it with ready-made blanched flooring. Trying to give your current wood flooring the bleached look is often expensive and tedious work.  The 2019 bleached and blanched trend is going to be especially popular seaside retreats and country/farmhouse style homes.  Although we expect this trend will transcend all styles of homes since it is so breathtaking.

3. Distressed Wood & Concrete Tiles

Top Trends in Flooring Design - Sebring ServicesThe distressed floor style has been around for quite a while but has become even more popular just recently. Next year, expect to see more homeowners opt for that luxury aged look in their flooring. Distressed flooring undergoes artificial aging and styling processes that give it a slightly worn finish. It works best for spaces where a beautiful rustic look is desired.  In preparing distressed wood flooring, various actions are taken depending on the degree and style of “distress” desired. The edges of each wood plank are hand scraped, swirl and kerf markings are added to imitate historic wood and the planks are brushed to remove glossing and give them a soft worn texture.

If wood flooring is not your cup of tea, you can also opt for the increasingly popular distressed concrete flooring. In 2019, the distressed concrete floor style will receive more attention as homeowners look for alternatives to traditional wood flooring.  As with distressed wood, distressed concrete goes through artificial processes to minimize the highly polished look and produce an enhanced worn out patina. Distressed concrete flooring can be integrated into most types of decors but works best in industrial and contemporary home styles.

4. Wood Flooring Laid Out In Pretty Patterns

Top Trends In Flooring Design

Top Trends In Flooring Design

Top
 All of us are very familiar with your basic side by side format of wood pieces laid on a floor –a description that often relegates them to practical rather than decorative uses. But if you have been thinking of adding a unique twist to one of the spaces in your home, you can now add patterned wood layouts back to your list of stylish flooring options.  2019 brings with it a new look. Specifically, we are seeing an increase of Chevron or Herringbone pattern designs in homeowners kitchens, bathrooms and more. Patterned floors are officially here, and you should not miss out.

Why design your floor layout to look the same as everyone else’s when you could choose this fun and unique pattern? Chevron and Herringbone floor patterns are a great way to add an accent to your kitchen or dining hall. They also are a great addition to bathrooms! If you haven’t already, expect to see these in 2019 home remodels as a definitive trend this year!

5. Vintage Black & White

Top Trends In Flooring Design 

Top Trends In Flooring Design 

Vintage has always been about nostalgia–bringing back the warmth and memories of decades past. In 2019, black and white tiles are making a strong comeback. It’s not the same old black and white tiles that adorn historic homes. Instead, it’s bold, graphic, and more luxurious.  More and more homeowners want a unique twist to the vintage flooring style. This includes smaller tiles with bolder graphic patterns. This perfectly blends vintage with contemporary for the perfect look and feel.

6. Reclaimed Barn Wood Tiles, Multi-toned & Directional

Top Trends in Flooring Design - Sebring Services
The 2019 reclaimed barn wood flooring trend is an extension of the faux wood tiles flooring trend so popular in 2016. The barn wood look is still a favorite because of its color variation and distressed look. For homeowners who are looking for a warm rustic look, this is something to consider. Technology has become so good that manufacturers can replicate the exact look of real wood onto the tile surfaces. This makes it almost impossible to differentiate the tile from real wood. We might even see multi-toned tiles to give a space more character. For more “wood” authenticity, these tiles will have a directional finish, resembling that of real barn wood.  Tiles that look like wood provide homeowners with much more variety when determining their flooring options. No longer do you have to resort to traditional hardwood to achieve that warm and cozy feel to your home. With faux tiles, you get the design benefits of a hardwood floor while also enjoying the functional advantages of tile flooring.  Thanks to technology, homeowners will have even more options next year and in coming years. Tiles that resemble wood in terms of color, look and even texture will become commonplace.

7. Graphic Tiles

Top Trends In Flooring DesignNot many people are willing to use their flooring as an art canvas. But if you love unique and artful patterns on your tiles, graphic tiles are coming in full force. Using advanced technology, manufacturers are able to replicate an endless variety of images on tiles. You can get tiles with repeating patterns or get tiles that, like a jigsaw puzzle, join together to form one large pattern on your floor.  Graphic tiles come in monochromatic colors but if you are feeling particularly wild, there are others that come in bold multicolored patterns and writings.

8. Large Porcelain Tiles: Hexagon & Trickling Floor Patterns

Top Trends In Flooring DesignHexagon tiles have been in the spotlight for awhile, specifically when used for backsplashes in the kitchen, or accent pieces in the bathroom. Now, expect to see hexagon shaped tiles as well as other various shapes, specifically in large sizes, taking over in the living room, dining hall, and kitchen area. These patterns create beautiful effects in any room! Trickling patterns are also becoming more and more common and will continue to increase in popularity throughout 2019. These can display a variety of different textures, sizes, and colors of flooring that eventually blends together.

Maywood on the Park – Burnaby Condos

Metrotown Living – Burnaby’s Newest Condo Tower
metrotown condo maywood

Burnaby has seen unprecedented growth in recent years with Brentwood transitioning to be a new hub, and new life being breathed into the already-established Metrotown neighbourhood. Canada’s third biggest shopping mall (and biggest in BC) and convenient skytrain access make Metrotown one of the most convenient locations in the Lower Mainland. Metro Vancouver’s geographic centre is a natural fit for some of the tallest towers in Canada.

Maywood on the Park is a stunning 32-storey high-rise consisting of 298 homes ranging from 394 square foot studios, to 1,257 square foot three-bedrooms and everything in between. The development will also be situated next to Burnaby’s Maywood Park and sits about two blocks away from Metrotown’s skytrain and shopping mall, on Silver Avenue. BCIT is also just a seven minute drive, and Downtown Vancouver is just 15 minutes away by skytrain. Units start at just $399,000 and completion is slated for 2022.

Ask us about current promotions!

maywood burnaby condo lobby

Unit Mix at Maywood on the Park:

  • 84 x studios from 403 – 461 sq ft
  • 28 x 543 sq ft 1-bedroom
  • 60 x 603 sq ft 1-bedroom + den
  • 94 x 756 sq ft 2-bedroom
  • 94 x 2-bedroom + den from 872 – 1,222 sq ft
  • 28 x 1,033 sq ft 3-bedroom
  • 4 x 1,257 sq ft adaptable 3-bedroom

Fill out the form below for pricing and floor plans!

Maywood on the Park
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Hong Kong Extradition Bill Could Impact Vancouver’s Housing Market

Hong Kong Protests

As the ongoing political crisis in Hong Kong over the planned extradition bill to China continues to evolve and worsen, the conditions are building up for a possible mass migration of Canadians living in Hong Kong to return to Vancouver.

The Bill has recently been declared ‘dead’, but the complex political climate leaves question marks for the estimated 300,000 Canadians currently living in Hong Kong.

A potential influx could prompt a resurgence in Metro Vancouver’s housing market. In fact, within just the last few weeks, there has been a visible increase in interest in local homes from Hong Kong buyers.

Dan Scarrow, the president of Macdonald Real Estate Group, told Daily Hive his firm has seen a “noticeable uptick” in the number of Hong Kong buyers at open houses since the protests in Hong Kong began on June 4.

“Because these protests only started recently, I would suspect that most already have strong ties to Canada and this is motivating them to deepen their ties here,” said Scarrow.

As these are Canadian citizens, and for the most part dual citizens of Canada and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR), they are exempt from the foreign buyers’ tax.

These Canadians living in Hong Kong may also own homes in the former British colony, where average home prices currently hover at a staggering $1.63 million for even small living spaces.

Housing is in high demand in Hong Kong and as a result, Canadian homeowners there could theoretically sell their property quickly and move their capital to Vancouver to buy real estate.

Scarrow notes foreign currency exchange rules only apply to Mainland China; Canadians returning from Hong Kong and Taiwan will “have no problem moving a significant amount of money back to Canada.”

The extradition bill amounted to the early disintegration of the ‘one country, two systems’ principle that provides Hong Kong with limited autonomy, separate from Mainland China and the Communist Party in Beijing. This system of governance, lasting for 50 years until 2047, was secured by the British government as a condition of Hong Kong’s 1997 handover to China.

Anyone in Hong Kong — local citizens and visitors, including Canadians — accused of committing a crime by the Chinese government could be sent to Mainland China to face trial under Chinese law, which is known for its arbitrary nature — used as a tool to control political dissent.

“It’s been well documented that the 1997 handover was one of the pivotal events that have shaped Vancouver over the past 30 years,” said Scarrow.

“This has the potential to be just as impactful. After all, regardless of the result of these protests on the extradition legislation, this whole episode is reminding Hong Kongers that they will be 100% Mainland Chinese within 28 years.

“This episode may be a catalyst for a surge in Hong Kong interest in Canada immediately, or it may be over a more extended period of time.”

Metro Vancouver’s significant population of Hong Kong citizens, largely gained from the decades-long lead-up to the 1997 handover and the aftermath of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, serve as a welcoming global hub for the residents of the former British colony.

There are also enormous economic and air transportation ties between the two cities; there are approximately 50 weekly direct, non-stop flights — operated by Cathay Pacific, Air Canada, and Hong Kong Airlines — between Hong Kong and Vancouver.

Supported by Vancouver’s large Chinese population and the city’s strategic location as a gateway into North America, it is one of Vancouver’s most frequent and longest-running overseas flight routes.

Bruce Harwood, an immigration lawyer for Boughton Law, added that these Canadians in Hong Kong could also take advantage of the North America Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA still in force as Donald Trump’s USMCA has yet to be ratified), which provides them with a right to access the United States through their investor category for work permits.

But for anyone in Hong Kong who is not already a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, there are now greater hurdles to achieve these statuses.

During the migration tides of the 1980s and 1990s, many Hong Kong residents entered Canada through the decades-long, cash-to-visa Immigrant Investor Program, which was terminated by Stephen Harper in 2014.

Harwood says the provincial governments now have a greater role in accepting immigrants. Those who wish to enter BC through the start-up visa pathway require an active role in the management of the business.

Other pathways include family sponsorship and the skilled express entry program, which is specifically for skilled workers and is based on a point system that demands a language test and evaluation of education.

“The skilled workers stream essentially runs like a lottery,” said Harwood. “You acquire a certain number of points and you’ll be placed in the express entry registration program for one year and the federal government determines on a month to month basis what the threshold point total will be for an invitation to apply for permanent residency.”

“It is also true that if you have an offer of employment from a BC-based company, they can nominate you as a skilled worker through the BC nomination program for skilled workers.”

Harwood also thinks Vancouver’s stable political climate and relatively favourable investment climate could make the city a landing point for anyone leaving Hong Kong over the uncertainty.

“There are clearly options for coming to Canada, and it may very well be the case that we do see an influx of Hong Kong citizens over the next few months,” said Harwood, adding that they could provide an economic benefit as well by purchasing homes, engaging in business, and filling the vacant job positions in Vancouver’s tight labour market.

Scarrow also highlighted the possibility of the emergence of a long-term migration trend to Canada from families who are seeking higher living standards and education opportunities. The potential source would not only be the Canadians living in Hong Kong, but also the 100,000 Canadians currently in each of Taiwan and Mainland China.

“As these people age, they will get married and have kids, meaning there could be upwards of a million people who either have Canadian status or are entitled to it who are keen to repatriate back to Canada,” said Scarrow.

“Regardless, we should be preparing for a large return of Canadians from Asia over the next couple of decades.”

22 Stylish Accent Walls for 2019

Accent walls are a surefire way to transform the look of a room. See how Dering Hall designers put their creativity to work with accents walls in bold paint colors, wallpaper designs, wood treatments, and more.

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1. PATTERN PLAY

Mismatched patterns create an eclectic vibe in this bright living space by KMID | Kate Maloney Interior Design.

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2. ELEGANT NEUTRALS

For a serene San Francisco home, Jennifer Tulley Architects used a marble accent wall to craft a calm, luxurious environment. The interiors are by Niche Interiors, and the millwork is by Cugini Cabinets.

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3. URBAN SOPHISTICATE

A leafy wallpaper brings bohemian elegance to an urban loft from Jessica Lagrange Interiors.

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4. FIREPLACE DETAILS

An unconventional fireplace wall contributes to a chic family room from CK Interior Design.

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5. MODERN RUSTIC

A brick wall pairs well with mixed rug patterns in a living room by Jen Talbot Design.

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6. SOFT GREEN

For this family room, Fanny Haim & Associates included a green wall that complements the contemporary furnishings.

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7. PURPLE HAZE

A purple wall emphasizes the geometric artworks in a Manhattan bedroom from Allison Garcy Interiors.

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8. TRANSFORMATIONAL TEXTURE

Wood wall texture is stunning and unexpected in a space from Mark P. Finlay Architects.

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9. PLAYFUL UPDATES

In a children’s game room from Matthew Caughy, a chalkboard wall is equally fun and stylish.

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10. LET THE SUN IN

In a bedroom from DJDS, a yellow-striped wallcovering subtly complements the rest of the room.

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11. WHIMSICAL VIBES

Geometric wallpaper and colorful drapery feel exuberant in a bedroom by PepperJack Interiors.

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12. LAID-BACK NATURAL

A wood accent wall creates warmth in this space by Guggenheim Architecture and Design Studio.

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13. CREATIVE PATTERNS

Patterned wallpaper adds a unique touch to a children’s bedroom from Peter Sandel Design, LLC.

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14. ROMANTIC ESCAPE

A bedroom from Süza Design features soft, posh details including bed curtains.

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15. CALM COLORS

Shades of blue and green work well together in a room from Suzanne Childress Design.

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16. UNEXPECTED MATERIALS

An eclectic assortment of materials stands out in a chic space from Mark P. Finlay Architects.

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17. MARBLE MUSE

A chevron marble wall is inspiring in a bathroom by Eclectic Home.

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18. VIBRANT INSPIRATION

Colors collide in a chic living space from Süza Design.

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19. ALL-OUT ORANGE

A Connecticut farmhouse from Douglas C. Wright Architects includes a vivid orange accent wall.

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20. BLUE TONES

In a breakfast room from Celia Welch Interiors, a blue wall ties together the colors of the space.

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21. EXTRAVAGANT ENERGY

Tiger-print stools and a winged headboard are standout features in a luxurious bedroom by Wesley-Wayne Interiors.

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22. MULTI-DIMENSIONAL AESTHETICS

A 3-D feature wall is stunning in this lobby designed by JN Interior Spaces.

10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019

Bedrooms serve as a private oasis inside our own homes where we spend one-third of our lives. These 10 modern bedroom designs will make sure that your own little paradise is as comfortable and stylish as the rest of your home.

1. Golden Nightstands

This master bedroom will never be out of style. Golden nightstands will always give more sophisticated air to your room.

10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Golden Nightstands

2. A Careful Mess

It looks like a mess, feels like a mess, but it isn’t a mess, it’s just a carefully arranged mess as a means to achieve an uncompromising feeling for the master bedroom.  The portable closet is a great option for this kind of modern master bedroom.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 A Careful Mess

3. Colorful Art over White

This one has been not only the high side of bedroom trends, but is also one of my favourites. Pick some vivid, colorful art and make it even more lively through the use of white tones. Here you can study, work, or just watch a funny movie.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Colorful Art over white

4. Concrete Walls

There’s beauty in combining rough concrete walls with vivid modern furniture and light colors, the contrast makes it irresistible and from what we’ve seen this year; this is one of those master design trends that’s here to stay.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 concrete panels for bedroom walls

5. Clean Mid-Century Design

Beautiful clean pieces from the Italian designers of the ’60s and ’70s are still on the rise, combine them with the overall white tones to enhance the wooden lines and you’ve got yourself one of the most talked about master bedroom designs.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Clean Mid century Design

6. A modern take on ’70s wallpapers

Take the acid patterns from the ’70s and remove all the colors to get this modern take on a classic, combine them with raw-looking wood and you’ve got yourself a winning bedroom inspiration. Plants are also a good combination for this master bedroom trend.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Victorian grandma style bedroom decor

7. Grey with a Glimpse of Color

It looks like this photo was edited, but it was not. This is an ingenious master bedroom idea where the tones seem so colorless that it only exacerbates the life coming from the painting, and as this isn’t the first time we’ve seen it this year.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Grey with a Glimpse of Color

 

8. Industrial Bedroom Design

We’ve seen it time and time again, but it looks like industrial bedroom design has come for real in 2019. Tiled walls, slim legged metallic furniture and heavy brown tones are everywhere. In this photo the antithesis of the white mid-century bedroom also seems to be defining the year.

10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Industrial Bedroom Design

9. Minimal with a twist

It seems minimal and minimal it would be if not for the patterned wall and amazing chandelier. Up your minimal design a notch with an outstanding piece to achieve this defining master bedroom trend for the next year.

modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 Minimal with a twist

10. Surrealism

The mixture of extravagant patterns, wild materials, and surprising furniture pieces is making a comeback this year in the bedroom design 2019. Look for pieces that make a statement for themselves, creative tiling and geometric patterns with a wide array of colors to create something that feels out of this world.

10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 modern master bedroom trends 10 Modern Master Bedroom Trends for 2019 tiling inspirations for modern master bedroom design for vivid colorful homes turquoise blue

Montreal Condo Living at QuinzeCent

Canada’s Entertainment Capital

quinzecent montreal condo

Montreal is often known and recognized for its history, but it seems as though the entire city has its eyes set on the future. Significant GDP growth, strong employment numbers, and it was recently rated the 5th fastest growing city in North America. Montreal is well recognized for its festivals and entertainment, and is currently working on expanding its public transit system which make it increasingly desirable. With its rapidly growing population, development has already begun to accelerate, and we were recently given a glimpse of the city’s future with Brivia Group’s QuinzeCent project.

Units at the development will range from 343 square feet studios to a 1,613 square foot penthouse with prices starting as low as $295,900. The 36-storey condo development will house 428 units in Montreal’s Downtown core, with views from almost every unit. The common rooftop terrace will feature an outdoor cinema, and the third floor will consist of a 6,000 square foot urban garden for all residents to enjoy. Other amenities include a fitness centre, spa, and pool.

The Montreal real estate market has been booming, as they recently had their highest number of sales ever in a month, and the market hasn’t showed any signs of slowing down. Even while prices are significantly less than Vancouver, the total value of all transactions was almost identical in 2019.

montreal condo lobby

Starting prices:

Studio – $295,900

One Bedroom – $379,900

Two Bedroom – $640,900

Three Bedroom – $1,051,900

The project is slated for completion in 2022, and deposits are set at 15%. Fill out the form below or contact us for more information.

QuinzeCent
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Real estate market ‘primed for a comeback’: Metro Vancouver brokerage

Data suggests housing inventory, while higher than in recent years, is still historically low – leading to increased demand

A study of 20 years of Metro Vancouver real estate data has led a local real estate brokerage to conclude that the market is “primed for a comeback.”

Dexter Realty reported that, despite listing inventory being higher currently than in the recent market boom, it is still at historically relatively low levels compared with the huge numbers of homes for sale during the market dips seen in 1997-1999, 2008-2009 and 2012-2013.

The brokerage pointed to May sales of Metro Vancouver homes being 44.2 per cent above those in April, and said that it showed a market that has “a gasp of breath.” It said that this increase in demand combined with relatively low supply is a sign of confidence in the market.

Kevin Skipworth, managing partner of Dexter Realty, wrote in his analysis, “During the periods between 1997 to 1999, 2008 to 2009 and 2012 to 2013 monthly home sales in Greater Vancouver persisted below 2,000 units. In each of these periods, there were either over or close to 20,000 listings on the market. In this current cycle we are seeing the market struggle to get over 15,000 active listings — at a time when the overall housing stock is at its highest. Demand is increasing and will increase, and supply is clearly less than other significant slower markets.”

To illustrate this, Skipworth, who is an economics graduate, highlighted the number of sales and listings in those past market slumps in charts using Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver data. He said it shows that the difference between now and then is that recent monthly sales have exceeded 2,000 units while listings have not exceeded 15,000 homes.

Dexter market analysis June 2019
Source: Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver

Skipworth continued, “There is confidence in the Metro Vancouver real estate market long term—with more buyers and fewer sellers, it will lead to stabilization in the market. We may be seeing prices bottom out in the lower and middle end of the market, but there are still great opportunities for buyers. However, [those opportunities] are diminishing.”

Skipworth noted that housing affordability has not significantly improved for most home buyers, and blamed this on federal and provincial government policy.

He concluded, “The recent intervention on the demand side by the provincial government through taxes and the federal government through the stress test only served to reduce prices significantly in the high end for those the government wanted out of this market and, unwittingly, prevented home buyers from getting into homes in the lower end. Thus affordability overall has not improved and will not get any better without a serious look at the ill-conceived government policies and other factors keeping new homes from making it through the rezoning process to completion.”

The brokerage’s analysis comes after Central 1 Credit Union deputy chief economist Bryan Yu predicted that home sales in the Lower Mainland would be 14 per cent lower in 2019 than 2018, but would recover to approximately 2018 levels in 2020, while benchmark prices would continue to drop until 2021.

How to Decorate Your Kitchen in 2019

There’s a good reason that in magazines the counters are mostly empty, and it’s because having dirty dishes, empty Keurig pods, and cords strewn about simply doesn’t look good. Your countertops should be 90% clean and everything else can be thrown into cabinets (extra tip: it’s actually what they’re meant for). Here are nine ways to decorate your kitchen in 2019:

 

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DOWNSIZE THE COFFEE MAKER

If you don’t have a large brood of caffeine-drinking adults sharing breakfast with you constantly, consider ditching your bulky plug-in for a chic French press or pour-over option. They both make damn good coffee, are small and mobile when it comes to storage, and generally just look super pretty. Attached to your electric? Remember the 90 percent rule and edit something else out. (And please, at the very least, stow away your coffee beans).

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KEEP YOUR TOOL PALETTE COHESIVE

If your kitchen tools must be out on display, do what you can to make sure they’re attractive—then group like with like. Translation: If you still have the dollar store plastic spatula set you bought in college mixed in with your acacia salad servers, it might behoove you to chuck the old guys and upgrade. Corral them in a pretty canister and call it a day.

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HIDE (OR RECONSIDER) PAPER GOODS

Paper towels: Not so great for the planet and not so great for your kitchen’s aesthetics. Use this opportunity to reduce your waste footprint and switch over to reusable tea and dish towels. Not ready to go paperless? Opt for a recycled option, and mount under your cabinets (or inside a sneaky drawer) to free up counter space.

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REJECT THE KITCHEN CATCHALL

Every home has a dumping ground for mail, keys, magazines, receipts, etc. Of course this junk does need a landing strip—but please don’t let it be on your countertop. We recommend using an office desk or drop zone station in the entryway, but if you must have one in the kitchen—designate a drawer so the mess is out of sight.

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MOVE BAKING INGREDIENTS TO COUNTERTOP CANISTERS

This is one instance where you can add rather than subtract. Staples like flour and sugar take up major cabinet real estate, and actually look super attractive as decor in pretty canisters (opt for clear glass or in a shade that matches your backsplash). Move them to the counter and make room for more unsightly clutter—like cooking oils and small appliances—in storage.

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AND STORE SPICES THOUGHTFULLY

OK, so you need easy access to salt and pepper, but do you need the entire kosher salt carton out on display? Relocate the absolute essentials to stylish grinders, mills or cellars. And give these downsized containers a permanent home, like in a chic woven tray, so that they aren’t floating around.

beautiful kitchen counter 1

STOW SPONGES IN THE SINK

Have you ever seen a sponge in a magazine spread? Nope, because they’re pretty gross. Obviously these guys need to be at the ready, so we recommend placing a suctioned sponge holder inside your sink, just below the lip. (Basically, just do whatever you need to get that germy eyesore out of your sightlines.)

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RETHINK YOUR TOASTER NEEDS

We love toast. But we don’t love the hulking, crumb-tastic nature of electric toaster ovens. Considering that most ovens do a solid job of toasting bread (place on oven grates and broil one to two minutes), maybe reevaluate if your toaster is superfluous. But I love my toaster. Great. Just stow it if you have company.

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RELOCATE THE COOKBOOKS

Generally speaking, we’re bibliophiles. But a kitchen counter should not look like a library. Move your cookbook collection to floating shelves, windowsills or a designated kitchen bookshelf.

RELATED: 6 SIMPLE WAYS TO GIVE YOUR KITCHEN BETTER FLOW

beautiful kitchen counter 3

STOW POTS & PANS

Don’t forget about your grill top. While yes, it may not technically count as counter space, the same rules apply—meaning that your burners are not in fact storage for your cookware. Tuck away in cupboards or consider a pretty, hanging pot rack if cabinet real estate is limited. (And while you’re at it, wipe up the congealed pasta water goo from dinner three nights ago, eh?)

50 Best Decorating Tips to Maximize your Home’s Potential

Decorating a home is never easy but it makes a major difference in how you feel when you walk into it. A home done in all grey with no wall decorations can feel like a warehouse, while adding a few plants can make it feel lively and colourful. Whether it’s your first time or if you’re a seasoned vet, here are the 50 best decorating tips to help you along the way:

lighter home tips Alyssa R 5

PHOTO: ALYSSA ROSENHECK, DESIGN: CHELSEA ROBINSON INTERIORS

1. Mount curtains high above your windows
The closer to the ceiling, the grander the room will feel.

2. Hang art pieces right at eye level
Maybe a little lower if you’re in the NBA.

3. Station pretty baskets around the house
Just don’t fill them with garbage.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Chelsea Robinson Interiors)

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IMAGE: INSPIRED INTERIORS; PHOTOGRAPHY: DUSTIN HALLECK PHOTOGRAPHY

4. Style decorative objects in odd numbered groupings. 
Groups of 3 are key!

5. Layer your light sources
Task, ambient and accent lighting.

6. Always always make your bed
Nothing says “I don’t care about my home” quite like a duvet cover crumpled on the floor.

(Image: Courtesy of Inspired Interiors/Photography: Dustin Halleck Photography)

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DESIGN: HELEN BERGIN; IMAGE: JOYELLE WEST FOR HOMEPOLISH

7. Use rugs to separate zones
It can help create a “dining room”.

8. Think of produce as decor
Fruits and veggies in a bowl make an ideal centerpiece in a pinch.

9. Decant your dish and hand soap
That Softsoap label does NOT match the decor.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Helen Bergin/Photography: Joyelle West)

lighter home tips Alyssa R 7

PHOTO: ALYSSA ROSENHECK, DESIGN: JASON ARNOLD INTERIORS

10. Clean your windows regularly
It makes a world of difference.

11. Cut your countertop decor by 90% 
It’s the one trick to an aesthetically pleasing kitchen.

12. Make big statements in tiny rooms
Powder/laundry rooms + brazen wallpapers are always a good idea.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Jason Arnold Interiors)

designer photogenic trick 5

IMAGE: THARON ANDERSON DESIGN; PHOTOGRAPHY: LESLEY UNRUH

13. Pendants should hover roughly 3 feet above surfaces
That goes for islands, bars and dining tables.

14. Use real bowls for your dog bowls 
Metal bowls don’t add much.

15. Never place your bed in direct alignment with your door 
Big feng shui faux pas (it blasts you with “energy”).

(Image: Courtesy of Tharon Anderson Design; Photography: Lesley Unruh)

faux home tour 3

DESIGN: KEVIN CLARK; PHOTOGRAPHY: DANIEL WANG FOR HOMEPOLISH

16. Fresh flowers, always
And fresh water too (no swamp water, unless you’re Shrek).

17. Add real rugs to utilitarian rooms
Like the kitchen and bathroom—for tons for warmth and character.

18. Test-drive paint samples before committing
You never know what that navy really looks like until you see it in the light at every time of day.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Kevin Clark/Photography: Daniel Wang)

Gallery wall character 718

IMAGE: CECY J INTERIORS; PHOTOGRAPHY: SEAN DAGEN

19. Mix mediums in a gallery wall
Matchy-matchy is a big no-no.

20. Use cord covers to tidy your wires 
We swear by these guys for our TV’s and sound systems.

21. Always buy extra photo frames 
So you can add more down the road.

(Image: Courtesy of Cecy J Interiors/Photography: Sean Dagen)

color block bookshelves1

DESIGN: JAE JOO; PHOTOGRAPHY: JULIA ROBBS FOR HOMEPOLISH

22. Colorblock your bookshelves
Perfectionist and proud.

23. Karate chop your pillows
Easy luxe vibes (and stress relief, trust).

24. Place furniture 2 inches from your walls 
That’s right: “Float” your furnishings to make the room feel breezier.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Jae Joo/Photography: Julia Robbs)

cecyJ photogenic

IMAGE: CECY J INTERIORS; PHOTOGRAPHY: SEAN DAGEN

25. When in doubt, undecorate
Less is so much more when it comes to nicknacks.

26. Switch up coffee table decor often
It’s the easiest way to make the living room feel fresh again.

27. Never splurge on trends
Treat yourself to inexpensive decor pieces to stay fresh and modern.

28. Only buy what you love
Even if that means deliberating over a bed frame for two years.

(Image: Courtesy of Cecy J Interiors/Photography: Sean Dagen)

 greenbedroom paint
DESIGN: TALI ROTH, PHOTOGRAPHY: CLAIRE ESPARROS

29. Fill forlorn corners with plants
They can literally improve your mood.

30. No TV in the bedroom
And if you must, hide it.

31. Remember that everything looks better in a tray
Booze supplies, perfume bottles, you name it.

32. Use the 2:2:1 throw pillow rule
Symmetry makes for the ultimate couch hack.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Tali Roth/Photography: Claire Esparros)

Use an Oversize Ottoman As Your Coffee Table adding seating

DESIGN: AMBER INTERIORS

33. Consider furniture that does double duty
Like garden stools that double as side tables or ottomans that double as coffee tables.

34. Lean your art
Super chic… and no holes to patch up later.

35. Use table skirting to disguise clutter
Or transform your furnishings on the super cheap.

36. Use outdoor fabrics indoors
They stand up better to kids and pets.

(Image: Courtesy of Amber Interiors/Photography: Tessa Neustadt

Slide Stools or Cushions Underneath a Coffee Table adding seating

37. Use your coffee table clearance 
Psst: There’s room underneath for extra seating.

38. Add a ‘hero’ piece to your living room 
A huge painting, sculpture or mirror lends major design cred.

39. When in doubt, paint it white
Walls, dressers, scuffed baseboards.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Justin DiPietro; Photography: Claire Esparros)

mirror trick big room 728

PHOTOGRAPHY: ALYSSA ROSENHECK; DESIGN: AMANDA BARNES

40. Hang mirrors across from windows
They bounce the light around make rooms feel so much brighter.

41. A rug should never ‘float’ in a room
Always have furniture legs placed on top to ground it.

42. Add moldings to fake ceiling height
… and make your house look fancier.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes)

SpringDecor 4

DESIGN: TALIA LACONI; PHOTOGRAPHY: TESSA NEUSTADT

43. Leave an element (or two) undone 
Always leave something mussed to make a space look warm and lived in.

44. Place a rug between a wood table and a wood floor
To serve as a buffer.

45. Make sure your bed has two entry points 
The key to an elegant bedroom—and happy marriage.

46. Add one black object to every room 
Every space looks better with a little contrast.

(Image: Courtesy of Homepolish/Design: Talia Laconi; Photography: Tessa Neustadt)

lighter home tips Alyssa R 11

IMAGE: COURTESY OF ALYSSA ROSENHECK/DESIGN: AMANDA BARNES INTERIORS

47. Use matte finish paint to brighten a room
It allows for the most even light dispersion.

48. Add at least one antique to every room
New looks best when mixed with old.

49. Invest in professionally framing your art 
Note: The mat should always be 1.5 times as wide as your frame.

50. If something doesn’t ‘bring you joy,’ toss it
Thanks for that one, Marie Kondo.

(Image: Courtesy of Alyssa Rosenheck/Design: Amanda Barnes Interiors)

Neighbourhood Spotlight: Commercial Drive

Commercial Drive

Overview

A culturally rich and authentic neighbourhood, Commercial Drive – also known as The Drive – is one of the best and most colourful shopping, dining and nightlife districts you will find in the city; and boasts home to Vancouver’s own 8 block officially designated Little Italy, representing more than 60 years of Italian heritage. Day or evening, The Drive offers 22 full blocks to explore with over 300 distinct merchants, including quaint boutiques, an eclectic collection of restaurants, a vibrant live music and bar scene, dinner and dancing, theatres, coffee houses, specialty food stores and bakeries. A one of a kind experience. Welcome to The Drive.

 

Seeing and Doing

Commercial Drive runs through the centre of the neighbourhood, and strolling with a coffee in hand is a great introduction to Vancouver’s diversity. At the south end of the neighbourhood is John Hendry Park, which surrounds Trout Lake. On Saturdays from May through to October, the park is home to an excellent farmer’s market – the perfect place to grab a light breakfast while you browse the stalls. The pretty park is also a nice place for an impromptu picnic with items purchased at the market or along The Drive. At the north end, you’ll find a classic theatre space, and another green space – Grandview Park, known for its seemingly constant drum circles. In the streets on either side of Commercial, you’ll find lovely old houses, many built in the turn-of-the-century “Queen Anne” style.

Commercial Drive Graphic

Eating and Drinking

The sheer diversity of cuisine along The Drive is mesmerizing. You’ll find plenty of Italian influence, with espresso bars, wood-fired pizza, pasta palaces and gelato stops littered like confetti along the thoroughfare. But you’ll also find the cuisines of more recent immigrants, such as those from the Caribbean, El Salvador, Nepal and Mexico, in the mix as well. The vast number of options means that the best way to choose a spot is to keep walking until you find a place that fits the bill! For those just looking for a drink, The Drive is perfect for beer lovers: you’ll find tap houses specializing in both local and European brews, neighbourhood pubs for laidback beer, and even a number of craft breweries within walking distance.

Commercial Drive

Shopping and Souvenirs

The shops along The Drive still primarily service the residential area surround the street, which means that many focus on food. From fresh pasta to cheese emporiums, specialty wine to delicatessens hung with house-smoked sausages, this is one delicious drive! There’s also a distinctly bohemian air to the area, and fittingly, you’ll find plenty of places to buy beaded curtains, bongo drums, incense and carvings imported from South East Asia. Many of the other stores are hyper-local, making it a good place to pick up clothing and art from Vancouver designers and craftspeople as souvenirs.

For more information, visit the Commercial Drive Business Society.