Winter is definitely upon us, and what better way to embrace the season than to make your home a warm hide-away from the harsh elements outside. Our Minto design expert Scott Biltoft sat down with us to give us some tips on how to create the perfect winter home:
If you’re looking for ways to make your home comfortable this winter, consider the following strategies and learn from the Danish who’ve perfected the art of Hygge (pronounced hue-gah) to overcome the long dark Scandinavian winter.
There isn’t an English equivalent to the word Hygge which the Danes use to describe a mood or a way of life that is cozy, warm, and friendly.
For better winter living use colour wisely. Start with warm wall colours like these from Benjamin Moore:
Accessorize with colours that bring cheerfulness into your home like these from Benjamin Moore:
Use seasonal throws and cushions to add snuggly warmth on winter evenings with seasonal accessories like these:
Mongolian Lamb Pillow Covers from West Elm
Pottery Barn Cable Knit Throw
Homesense fun fur throws
Pendleton blankets from Anthropologie or Drake General Store
Hygge also includes comfort foods during the winter like chocolate, coffee, sweets – and sharing your home with friends! Snuggle under a comfy throw, enjoy a hot beverage, and relax during those winter evenings reading or watching your favorite TV shows.
Move in day is fast approaching at Caledonia. Pre-delivery inspections (PDIs) started last week and are continuing throughout the month. We’re at the finishing stage in all the units. That means painting, cleaning and installing kitchens and bathrooms. All of the decking is well underway and at the west entrance the team is busy with brickwork and patios.
Landscaping will be the next big project and will be starting soon. Along with the landscaping, we’ll be constructing the garbage shed and the bike shed.
Back in March, we toured the Caledonia Towns model home designed by Ida Cristello from our design team. They’re working on a second model home now and we’ll bring you a virtual tour soon, so keep an eye out for that. In the meantime, have a look at the photos below to see how the site is shaping up.
Home ownership at Southshore is easier than you think. Now you can own the popular Crimson unit for $1235 per month. That’s probably less than you’re currently paying in rent. The Crimson at Southshore was designed for amazing value in a two bedroom and 2.5 bathroom townhome.
We’ve raised the main living areas up to maximize natural light in the kitchen and family room where people spend the most time. The Crimson also has a patio that’s just the right size and ready to personalize.
The location offers some pretty serious bang for your buck as well. Mimico was featured in Toronto Life’s 2012 list of the best neighbourhoods to get into. Toronto Life calls the area a small town in the middle of a big city. It has a sense of community and the kinds of amenities you don’t often find in conventional suburbs, like independent coffee shops, film festivals and art shows. Another huge perk? Mimico is right on the lake while most of Toronto is cut off by the Gardner.
Check out the Crimson floor plans below and learn more about Minto Southshore and the neighbourhood here.
Ida Cristello and her design team recently finished the Caledonia Towns model home. We’ve had lots of visitors come by for their tours already and whether you’re one of them or you’re considering a visit, we wanted to go through some of the design elements and inspiration behind the model.
Layout & furnishings
The idea was to create a space that anyone could envision themselves living in. We wanted to show the flexibility of the layout and finishes and how they could work for singles, couples, young families, or empty nesters. The space needed to reflect the vibe of the neighbourhood – centrally located and young, but sophisticated as well.
The living/dining area is a favourite for our design team. People end up leaving with the feeling that the space is much bigger then they originally thought. Large windows and 9 foot ceilings make the room feel spacious and light-filled. Carrying the flooring material through from the living and dining rooms into the kitchen means end users can determine their own room dimensions and how they want to use the space.
The light fixture adds a touch of glam while keeping things light and fun with round crystal droplets and an organza drum shade.
One thing we want to stress is that no compromise was made on the scale of the furniture. The couch, entertainment unit, occasional chairs, rugs, beds, and dressers are all full sized. Mirrored and glass surfaces reflect light and keep things feeling airy. This technique is reflected (pun not intended) in the mirrored nightstands in the master bedroom, the glass dining table and coffee table and the full sized mirror in the dining room.
You might be surprised about where some of the furniture and decor elements came from. Ikea, Homesense, Prima Lighting, Canadian Tire, Lowe’s, and the Home Depot were all sources of great finds. Most people overlook big box hardware stores, but keep your eyes open and you can really achieve a high end look with a few key items.
We used laminate flooring from the Torlys Lexington series in Cobblestone Oak. It’s a natural blend of soft brown-grey taupes which allowed us to play off these colours in the furniture and accessories.
Granite counter tops in the kitchen and bathroom are durable and always look great. We chose Grigio Sardo for the kitchen and Nero Impala in the master ensuite.
The kitchen was designed around entertaining. The island is great for pastry preparation and perfect for laying out a spread of charcuterie and cheese boards – a nod to the cultural history of the neighbourhood. For the model home we kept the walls light and bright with Wedding White by ICI Dulux Paints.
Thanks to Ida and her team for putting everything together so beautifully. Head over to our Facebook page for more photos of the space and click here to register or book your own model home tour.
Last December we mapped out some places to discover in the Caledonia Towns neighbourhood. Macedo Wine made the list and we recently spoke with the founder’s daughter Daisy Macedo to learn about what’s involved in making wine at home.
Macedo Wine includes three family owned and operated locations and three different business streams. One is importing grapes for people who make wine in their own homes (more on that later). Another is what’s called ferment on premise, where customers choose from a list of grapes that are turned into wine at one of the shops where the process is supervised by an expert wine maker. Essentially, it’s made to order wine. After the five to six week fermentation, customers can pick up the wine in pails and bottle it at home, or the bottling can be done on site where they have an automatic corker. The most recent venture is their own brand of bottles wines from Portugal, Italy, Argentina and Ontario.
David Macedo has been in the wine industry for about 30 years. When he immigrated from Portugal, he and his brothers openend a supermarket. Because making wine was such an important family tradition, they started importing grapes and never looked back. The demand from Toronto’s Italian and Portuguese population was huge. About five years ago Daisy and her sisters and cousin came on board. Other family members pitch in from time to time as well.
The scope of the family business changed again about two years ago when they got a winery license. Daisy explained that a winery license is completely different from a fermenting license. The winery license allowed the Macedos to import wine and package and sell it under their own brand name, Evolution Wines. But you won’t find it at the LCBO. The wines are only available from their boutique on Dufferin just north of Dupont.
Joining the roster shortly is a red wine from the Beira interior in Portugal. It’s produced on granitic soils in the Cova da Beira on the slopes of the Serra Da Estrela mountain range.
Importing wines is a great way for the Macedos to share their passion. They also offer wine tasting seminars. Evolution wines are available in bottles, as well as 4, 8 or 16 litre boxes.
But we were most interested in learning about what is involved in making wine at home. Macedo Wine imports grapes from California in September and October. Customers pick them up in crates at the Caledonia Park Rd. location and destem and press them either on site or at home. As with ferment on premise, the wine is ready after five to six weeks, but it’s recommended to wait another three to six months before drinking it.
Like with beer production, yeast is needed for the fermentation process, but there is naturally occurring yeast on the grape so you don’t usually have to add it. The first stage of fermentaion is about a week, and the second stage is three to four weeks. After that you have the option of adding clarifiers and stabilizers.
Clarifiers are used to help clear sediment and debris out of the wine. Clay-based bentonite is a common one, but you can also use gelatin, or even egg yolk. Instead of adding something to the wine, you can do what is called racking, where the wine is transferred to a new container every couple of weeks, leaving the sediment behind. Stabilizers like potassium sorbate prevent bacteria from developing in the wine after fermentation.
That’s about all there is to basic wine making. You can can take it further by testing the acidity and other characteristics and making adjustments, but typical home wine makers don’t usually go there because you need specialized equipment.
The process is very simple on the one hand and time consuming and nuanced on the other. The vast majority of Macedo Wine customers who take the full DIY route tend to be from Portuguese or Italian families who have been making their own wine for generations. Increasingly, the Canadian-born offspring of European immigrants are opting to ferment on premise because the process takes so much time, equipment and care.
But at the same time, there are Canadians who are trying their hand at wine making for the first time. We chalk it up to an overarching trend in all things DIY.
We were also curious about the reputation homemade wines have for being less good than what you get at the store. Daisy explained that homemade wine can be really mediocre, but it can also be very good. People have their recipes that they’ve been following for years and they’re convinced that’s how it should be done. When you’re making wine at home, you don’t have the equipment to test its characteristics and make minor adjustments accordingly.
Whether or not your wine is objectively good, when you make it yourself it’s the best wine in the world. The end result might be a little rough around the edges, but it’s full of love.
A big thank you goes out to Daisy Macedo for helping us out with this post!
Visit Daisy or one of the other Macedos at 50 Caledonia Park Road, 1381 Dufferin Street or 30 Ossington Avenue and call 416 535 0416 to arrange a tasting.
We visited Caledonia Towns on the Park this week to happily see the interiors really taking shape. Framing, drywalling and taping are all done on blocks A and B, and we’re getting very close at block C. At block B, tiling, trimming and priming are underway. Finishes are the fun part and we just installed the first granite counter tops in the kitchens. Most of the focus on site right now is on the interiors, which is just as well considering the cold and wet weather. With our brand new sales centre opening next week, having the interiors in tip top shape is a priority.
Once the drywall is primed, we can move forward with the finishes like tiling, finishing the ceilings, trimming, and finally painting. Flooring is one one the last elements to go in.
Next week we’re starting on the window wells as well as two exterior structures: a garbage shed and a bicycle shed. For now, here are some of the photos we took at this week’s site visit.
Everyone’s favourite: kitchens & bathrooms.
And the finishing touches that make a construction site a home.
We’ll update you once the sales centre is open and the model home is ready for touring, so watch this space.
Happy new year! Yesterday we made a snowy visit to our Caledonia Towns site at Caledonia Park Rd. and St. Clair. Our construction team has been very busy and the homes are looking great. Right now our crews are at the drywall and taping stage at block A. Framing inspection at block B has been passed and we’re ready for insulation. At block C the mechanicals are being roughed in. A base coat of asphalt has already been put down throughout the site. Here’s what the Caledonia Towns looked like when we stopped by yesterday.