DIY Condo Patio Garden Project

Summer has hit and Jack and I are bit behind the eight ball for our garden planting, but it’s never too late to start.   For this year, we will get our condo patio garden project going with a beautiful tomato plant we purchased at the Sechelt farmers market, planting some fine herbs, lettuce, flowers and designing our very own bird feeder. To get our creative juice flowing and to hopefully inspire you to get your own garden growing, here are some DIY ideas.  Click on the pictures for more details.

Herb-Garden2 window-sill-herb-garden-14_300x218
Tin-can-herb-container-gardens container-gardening-ideas
Rain boot pots Great-DIY-Birdhouse-Ideas-for-Your-Garden-1-218x300

Other ideas that we can’t wait to start for next year are incorporating the Growing Chefs! guide to growing windowsill gardens, no-dig gardens and coffee sack potatoes.

Growing Chefs218x300 GWO-Blog-SH-PotatoSack-5


Spring Ideas for your Home and Parties

Welcome Spring and all the exciting decorating ideas that come with warmer, longer & brighter days


Radiant Orchid

Colour Trends for 2014

Radiant Orchid is the colour of the season and find many more fashionable Pantone’s for Spring.

Place mats

Spring Decorating Ideas

From place mats to custom door mats, find the “how to’s” to make your home beautiful.

Spring Inspired Decor

Spring Decor

Welcome Spring to the indoors and wake up your living room, dining room and bedroom.

go green

Go Green

Home can feel natural with the colour green.

Makeover tips

Spring Decorating Tips

Tips to light up your space.

Decorate for Easter

Decorate for Easter

Have fun this Easter – host a tea party!

Spring Parties

Spring Party ideas

Celebrate the season with beauty.


Bring Feng Shui to your home

Feng Shui is based on a Taoist vision.  It’s an ancient art and science that seeks balancing the movement and energy within a space or environment.   Land’s energy, also known as Chi, brings the theories of yin and yang and the five elements together to create the basic concepts of Feng Shui.  Arranging and decorating a space in a manner that projects a positive flow of life’s energy, or chi flow, can bring a positive flow towards you.



Yin-Yang are opposites They are either on the opposite ends of a cycle, like the seasons of the year, or, opposites on a continuum of energy or matter. This opposition is relative, and can only be spoken of in relationships. For example: Water is Yin relative to steam but Yang relative to ice. Yin and Yang are never static but in a constantly changing balance.

Interdependent: Can not exist without each other Nothing is totally Yin or totally Yang. Just as a state of total Yin is reached, Yang begins to grow. Yin contains seed of Yang and vise versa. They constantly transform into each other. For Example: no energy without matter, no day without night.

Mutual consumption of Yin and Yang Relative levels of Yin Yang are continuously changing. Normally this is a harmonious change, but when Yin or Yang are out of balance they affect each other, and too much of one can eventually weaken (consume) the other. Four (4) possible states of imbalance:

  • Preponderance (Excess) of Yin
  • Preponderance (Excess) of Yang
  • Weakness (Deficiency) of Yin
  • Weakness (Deficiency) of Yang

Inter-transformation of Yin and Yang. One can change into the other, but it is not a random event, happening only when the time is right. For example: Spring only comes when winter is finished.




fire - yellowlampsplus200

  • Considered the most powerful of all the elements
  • Represents energy, passion, expansion and transformation.
  • In the home, represented by: a candle, or by color (e.g. red lampshade)
  • Color: red, orange and yellow
  • Season: summer
  • Direction symbolized: south
  • Triangular


  • Wood - oxygen-mural200 Helps to develop creative energies such as inspiration, motivation and passion.
  • Represents: personal growth and renewal and purifies and redirects chi.
  • In the home, represented by: plants, trees or by green objects, (e.g. green pillows)
  • Color: green and sometimes purples, not pastels
  • Season: spring
  • Direction symbolized: east and southeast
  • Shape: Rectangle


  • Water - blue-horchow200Directly related to the flow of money and career.
  • Flowing water helps us to let go of things we no longer need.
  • Still water helps the surrounding energies to be calm and offers the feeling of a new beginning and renewed strength.
  • In the home, represented by: a water feature, fish tank or pond. Crystals, wavy statues or artwork and paintings of water scenes are other ways the element of water may be represented.
  • Color: blues
  • Season: winter
  • Direction symbolized: north
  • Shape: Wavy


  • Metal200 Draws and unifies all of the elements together. They act as transmitters, conducting the various energies to different areas.
  • Stimulates mental strength and intellectual abilities, making it easier to focus and think clearly.
  • Color: white, silver, gray and black
  • Season: fall
  • Direction symbolized: west and northwest
  • Shape: Round


  • earth - crystal-emporium200 Representing permanence, stability and home, the earth element is solid giving a sense of security and grounding support.
  • It strengthens the feelings of safety and adds a sense of comfort from within.
  • Rock features, thick carpet, antique pottery and old books help to bring the earth element indoors.
  • Color: brown, beige, sierra and other muted colors
  • Season: end of summer
  • Direction symbolized: center, northeast and southwest
  • Shape: Square

The elements interactions

ElementWheel200 Productive Cycle Water feeds plants to give rise to Wood. Wood in turn can create Fire. The by-product of Fire is ash, in this case the Earth element. From the Earth comes Metal, which in turn can help collect Water, thus going full circle.

Destructive Cycle Water puts out Fire, Fire melts Metal, Metal axes fell Wood, the Wood tree roots hold down Earth and Earth absorbs Water.


Feng Shui examples for you whole home Feng Shui Do’s and Dont’s Feng Shui Colours Feng Shui of House Numbers






Family Home Renovations

My client, Robert, has a can-do attitude like no other. As I have gotten to know Robert over the last seven months, it shouldn’t have surprised me the type of home he and his wife chose for their first purchase. In business-for-self and raising a family of two young children, 1 and 3, I have to say it still shocked me when I pulled into his driveway to meet him in person for the first time.

Right beside his family car in the driveway, a large disposal bin sat nearly full of housing rubble. He was still hard at work, so it took a few attempts of knocking on the door to get his attention.

The house was completely transformed from the pictures I saw in the MLS listing three months prior. Within four weeks of taking possession, they had all the major renovations complete on their three-story house. It took another two weeks for the finishing touches; the cabinets, counter tops and dishwasher to be delivered and installed.

Robert and his wife selected a great community to raise their family in, with plans to stay for the long-term. They saw many nicely renovated homes in the area, but felt that this home gave them the beginnings of something that they really wanted to make their own.

Family Time1 250x188The family was able to live in their previous residence for four weeks while the major renovations took place. Robert made himself available on site each day. He’s aware that many people don’t have this opportunity, but stresses the importance of being on site and available. “I couldn’t imagine not being there,” says Robert. “If you can, be there.”

He continues to share stories of why this is so important; “My wife and I had picked a laminate flooring for my main floor thinking it would work well. One day I had come in shortly after the installation had started and it looked different together than it did individually. It really wasn’t going to look good for the entire floor so I asked them stop while they were already halfway through the dining room. I was really lucky as this was product they had in stock and they did not buy specially for this job. So it ended up costing me $500 for material & labour instead of it being a big disaster. After that I was sure to buy a box of the flooring I was interested in; laid it out all together before making the big purchase.”

“Another example was the back splash in the kitchen. I got a good deal on a product I had bought earlier, before we had picked most of the other supplies. It was one of the last things to be done in the house. I happened to not be home when it was installed and when I got back I realized that it didn’t look right. All the renovations were done now, but we didn’t like this prominent piece. I sucked it up and started smashing it all out. We had the drywall repaired and a new back splash installed – one we liked. Again, if we would have double checked the sample we would not have gotten in trouble.” Robert recalls. “It’s things like this that should keep others motivated to check on their renovations every day, at least once a day.”

Family Time2188x250Even with those challenging experiences the family was able to spend some quality weekend hours working together building their home. The renovations gave the family the opportunity to truly make each room their own, building a part of their family story from the ground up.

Family Time3188x251The whole home, except for the basement, was renovated and crafted with their family in mind. The total cost for this amazing transformation was $75,000 – approximately double what Robert had originally budgeted. The costs, however, could have easily been even higher, nearing $150,000. It was through Robert’s connections in the construction industry and partnership with a fantastic general contractor that he managed to source much of his supplies at better than market prices.

Negotiating great prices on supplies and participating in the daily work may not be an option for every family. If you are planning to do renovations with a future home purchase, there is a mortgage product, Purchase + Improvements (to be covered in a later blog), that can help roll the costs of renovations into your mortgage.

Robert and his family are very proud of their work, as they should be. The project truly turned their house into a home. Prepare to be amazed…



Ensuite 1

Ensuite Bathroom300x225
Ensuite After2300x225
Ensuite 2

Ensuite Before copy300x225 Ensuite After300x225
Half Bath

Half Bath Before300x400 Half Bath After300x400

Kitchen Before300x225 Kitchen After2300x225
Living Room 1

Living room before 300x225 Living Room After1300x225
Living Room 2

Living room before 2 300x225 Living Room After2300x225