<![CDATA[Henry Tillo - Realtor - Century 21 Heritage Group Ltd, Mortgage Agent - Centum Mortgage Professionals - Blog]]>Sat, 17 Mar 2018 21:19:43 -0400Weebly<![CDATA[Spring Cleaning to Organize Your Home and Life]]>Wed, 14 Mar 2018 15:25:40 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/spring-cleaning-to-organize-your-home-and-life                                   Spring Cleaning to Organize Your Home and Life

    The end of winter and beginning of spring signal new beginnings, souse this time to breathe new life and freshen up the spaces and things you use every day.  Here are some ideas to get started.

For your living space.
    Get ready for spring and summer by decluttering the most commonly used areas in your home. Recycle or donate things you no longer need, and use shelving, baskets and decorative storage containers to tidy the items you do need on hand while eliminating visual clutter.  Encourage your kids to do the same in their rooms.

For your wallet.
    An ordered wallet can save you time at checkout and make carrying it around a little lighter.  Throw out old receipts and coupons, and ask yourself if you really need all the identity documents you keep in there.  The more documents you have, the more vulnerable you are to having your identity stolen if you lose or get robbed of your wallet.  Remove any documents you don’t use regularly and store them in a secure place instead.

For your devices.
    Need more storage space and processing power?  Ridding your laptop, computer, smartphone and tablets of unnecessary apps and large files can help with this, as well as make navigating your devices and finding documents easier.  While you’re at it, run a full system check using reliable security software and make sure your antivirus software is up to date.

For your office.
    Whether you work from home or at your organization’s offices, an organized workspace can boost productivity and increase motivation.  Set up your monitor, chair and keyboard so you don’t have to strain or twist awkwardly to use any of them. Use document trays and create a “catch-all” space that you regularly review and sort so staying organized becomes part of your routine.

<![CDATA[Design Updates to Keep Your Kitchen Looking Fresh]]>Tue, 27 Feb 2018 00:02:59 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/design-updates-to-keep-your-kitchen-looking-fresh                               Design Updates to Keep Your Kitchen Looking Fresh

    At the heart of every home is the kitchen -- a space for cooking, eating, congregating, sharing and kicking back.  Keeping your kitchen looking its best can be complicated, as large-scale renovations are expensive and disruptive but a few simple updates can have a major impact.  Here are some tricks and trends for updating this popular room.

Colour is the new white.  For years, the all-white kitchen has dominated Pinterest boards and decorating magazines.  But now designers are looking to colour - anything from a neutral grey to a bold navy, to add personality and style.  You can start simple, with a few well-placed accessories or up the ante by painting cabinets.  Want to go even bolder?  Try a coloured sink or even a coloured faucet, a hot new trend that can create a real talking point.  Use a hue that matches your backsplash to ensure that they work with your existing decor.   

Trade up to new appliance finishes.  Stainless steel has been the status quo for so long that it’s hard to remember our kitchens looking like anything other than a sea of silvery metal.  But new appliance finishes are adding warmth, texture and tone in exciting ways.  Black slate, a newly introduced finish from GE Appliances, is a perfect example - it’s bold and contemporary yet classic and versatile enough to match nearly any decor.  

Design from the ground up.  Swapping out your flooring can make a huge statement, upgrading the look and feel of your kitchen.  This season, retro checkerboard floor tiles are capturing attention, but not the 50s-style diner look you may have in mind.  Instead, monochromatic colours and updated grid formations are bringing this classic look into the 21st century.  Another trend to note:  interlaced tile and wood transitions around the sink.  Not only will the juxtaposition add interest and texture, the look is incredibly practical, saving your wood from damage caused by spills.  

<![CDATA[Get Your Home Resale Ready]]>Mon, 05 Feb 2018 18:33:30 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/get-your-home-resale-ready                                              Get Your Home Resale Ready

    With the spring real estate market around the corner, it’s time to think about getting your home ready if you are putting it up for sale.  First impressions are everything when selling your home.  While you may love your trendy, colourful home, your style may not resonate well with potential new homeowners.  Here are a few simple tweaks to increase your home’s value.

    The power of colour.  Colour is so subjective, which creates a challenge when showing and selling your home.  You can’t please everyone.  Staging your home for sale can make it appeal to a broader market while also increasing its perceived value.  Try to keep your colours simple and neutral so prospective buyers can imagine more of themselves in the space and less of you.  Choose colours and shades that complement your furniture and decor to create a sense of harmony.  

    Timing is everything.  Colour can drastically change depending on lighting.  Consider the time of day you will be showing your home, as this can impact the overall look and feels of a space.  Typically, open house hours are  between 2 and 4pm, so therefore make your colour selections at that time of day to get the best impression of how that colour will look in the space your are painting.  

    Leave a lasting impression.  While your home’s exterior will make the first impression on your prospective buyers, it also makes the last impression which is why it is so important to spruce things up outside the home as well.  Small touches like a fresh coat of paint on the front door, repainting or staining the porch and railings and even adding a few potted plants can instantly provide curb appeal.  This is your opportunity to leave a first and final lasting impression.  Other affordable cosmetic changes that can make a big difference in creating a fresh, clean and up-to-date looking space can include:
  • Replacing out-dated light fixtures and hardware.
  • Removing/hiding clutter storing it in attractive baskets or storage containers.
  • Installing window coverings - light or sheer window coverings will allow more light into a room, making it appear larger and more welcoming.
  • Repainting walls and trim.
  • Painting kitchen cabinets.

   These are just a few ideas on how to get your home resale ready.  There are many resources on the internet to give you great, affordable ideas to make selling your home as stress free as possible.  The key is to plan and prepare ahead of time.  

<![CDATA[5 Ways to Make Your Older Home Feel New]]>Mon, 22 Jan 2018 18:49:19 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/5-ways-to-make-your-older-home-feel-new                                                         5 Ways to Make Your Older Home Feel New

    Dreaming of improving your home, but a major remodel isn’t necessarily in the budget?  It may seem basic, but a fresh coat of paint is an easy trick to give your home a new look.  Try some of these simple, inexpensive paint projects that make for quick updates and keep the old-home charm.

Paint kitchen cabinets.  This is an economical way to transform an outdated kitchen into something timeless.  Select a primer that is recommended for the type of surface you have, then remove the cabinet doors and hardware and label them for easier reassembly.  Use painter’s tape to protect the wall or backsplash tile and cover the countertop with plastic or poly-sheeting.  Always a good idea to contact a paint specialist to make sure you have the right paint that will adhere to the type of cabinet you have.  

Revamp drawer pulls and door handles.  Give your home a small but impactful refresh by updating worn door handles, drawer knobs and pulls.  Instead of replacing everything, try repainting - all you need is a screwdriver to remove knobs and handles and a metal spray paint.  Before painting, clean the hardware and lightly sand to ensure that paint adheres easily.  Add a layer of clear lacquer after the paint dries to help prevent scratches and chipping.  

Create an accent wall.  This focal point can  be a powerful design move, breaking up the traditional look of having four same-coloured walls.  Plus, it’s an easy way to play with colour in a new way without committing to painting a whole room.  When selecting the colour, the accent wall should complement the adjacent wall colour.  When in doubt, paint your statement wall two shades darker than the rest.

Paint your ceiling.  If your home already has a fresh coat of paint, then look to other areas that could us a touch-up, such as the ceilings.  When repainting the ceiling, don’t be afraid to add a pop of colour.  Whether dramatic or subtle, adding colour to the fifth wall can alter the geometry of a room, tricking the eye and changing the feel of a space.  

Refresh trim.  Details such as moulding, trim and baseboards can seem relatively minor but create a significant impact.  As these accents are the visual foundation for a space, you can change the look of any room by simply playing them up with a crisp white colour.  

<![CDATA[Happy New Year!!  New Year, New You]]>Mon, 08 Jan 2018 17:47:33 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/happy-new-year-new-year-new-youHappy New Year!
    As you said goodbye to 2017, did you make the healthiest choices? Are you ready to make some changes?  If you woke up not feeling so great this morning, resolve to do better. Here’s how to start the New Year to feel a bit healthier all year long.  You have to do more than make the resolutions, though—you have to stick with them.
Here are four that you should stick to:
1. Breakfast, water, vegetables
You are what you eat—and drink.  Fuel up every morning with the most important meal of the day—as early as possible. It will give you energy, and keep you full so you so you don’t fill up on junk food later.  Before breakfast, start your day with a full glass of water. Why? Cleanse your body before you start the day. Not only does it clear your body of toxins, it also improves brain functionality.  At lunch and dinner, fill at least half your plate with vegetables. You’ll get fuller faster, cut down on empty calories, and fill your body with nutrients, water, and fiber.
2. Commit to realistic goals
Why? You’ll fail otherwise, and that won’t feel so great.  Commit only to what you can do in the timeframe that you have. Don’t stress yourself out with looming expectations.  Shift your mindset from thinking that getting healthy is too hard and takes too much time to think that you can break down the pieces into manageable bits.  Make your fitness goals fit your schedule and make them manageable with work, family, and personal life.
3. Sleep
Humans need 7 to 9 hours of high-quality sleep every night. What does this mean? It means you wake up feeling refreshed. Sleep helps your body ward off chronic illness and keep excess weight off.  If your sleep is consistently poor, make it better in 2018. Consider getting a sleep study done at a clinic. Having an outside expert evaluate your sleep can help you make a plan to improve. Sleep in a dark room—get light blocking curtains and minimize outside light.
This one’s important: pay attention. Shut off all electronics at least an hour before bed. Why? Backlit devices prevent melatonin—a hormone that prepares your body for sleep—from releasing in your brain.  Bottom line: consistent, dark, and quiet. Your body needs sleep to recharge and be your best self.
4. Strengthen your social relationships
Not only is it fun to hang out with friends and family, it’s imperative to your well-being.  Harvard Medical School Women’s Health Watch reports that “people who have satisfying relationships with family, friends, and their community are happier, have fewer health problems, and live longer.”       Your takeaway? Feeling better is about doing better. Start now.

<![CDATA[Secrets to Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party]]>Wed, 06 Dec 2017 01:53:01 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/secrets-to-hosting-a-stress-free-holiday-party                                               Secrets to Hosting a Stress-Free Holiday Party
     Everyone knows that hosting the holidays can take your stress level from 0 to 60. But, worry not, with careful planning and some tips, this year will be the holiday entertaining season that you actually enjoy just as much as your guests.
Make a List - Perhaps the ultimate way to create a stress-free holiday is to live by a list. Plan ahead, and don't be afraid to delegate. Asking guests to help with a party-related task makes them feel more involved, so never be afraid to ask.
Cook Ahead- Do as much ahead of time as possible. Soups and stews are the ultimate winter and holiday food — they'll feed a crowd. If you’re famous for a recipe, make it.  Knowing you’re serving a sure thing will take some pressure off.  And there’s nothing wrong with trying a new recipe, just give it a trial run before serving it to a crowd.  
Stock Up- You'll never run out of nibbles if you shop with an aim to entertain. Stock your pantry with a selection of cookies and crackers. Consider purchasing nuts in bulk — which can be mixed together.  Serve them with drinks or chop and scatter around a cheese platter. Long-lasting jarred tapanades and pestos make an impressive dip when mixed with fresh sour cream.
Keep Drinks on Hand- As far as beverages go, it's always smart to stock up on soda and mixers. Make sure to have coffee (regular and decaf), cocoa, cider and a basket of teas handy. Keep your bar stocked with vodka, rum and a few choices of wine.
Create Comfort- For a casual holiday party, don't feel compelled to seat guests around a dinner table. If you've got a lot of company, a buffet may be a better way. Buffets are the most efficient way to serve a lot of people, but be sure to pull the table away from the wall so that there are four sides available to people, otherwise lines form and people can't get to the food easily.
Be a Graceful Giver- Store a few extra gifts in a closet and you'll never be caught off-guard when a friend springs an unexpected gift-exchange; try to collect items for all ages and a few gift bags in holiday colors. If you make a practice of picking up items as you stumble upon them throughout the year, it'll be easier when the season comes around.  Consider buying in bulk — divide one case of good red wine or champagne or prettily wrapped portions of quality tea or coffee. Or do some extra baking. Double that cake recipe or cookie confection and you'll have freshly baked gifts ready to go.

<![CDATA[3 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Holiday Ready]]>Mon, 13 Nov 2017 17:35:31 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/3-quick-tips-to-get-your-home-holiday-ready                                             3 Quick Tips to Get Your Home Holiday Ready

    The holidays are a time for celebration and fun, but they may also take a lot of preparation and can be daunting for many of us.  From buying and wrapping presents to decorating and organizing the home, the to-do list can feel endless.  Here are some tips on how to get your home in top shape for the holiday season.  

Add some cheer to each room
     Holiday decor doesn’t have to mean displaying ornaments, wreaths and reindeer in every room.  The festive feeling can come together in any room with just two to three simple touches.  Bright area rugs and cushion covers, festive florals and centrepieces can give an entire room a lift.  You can also rotate these items throughout your home to give it a refresh throughout the season.  Also adding one or two new items each year can make your home feel and look different each holiday season.  

Get Guest Ready
      Add that special touch in your guest room, if you are anticipating guests staying over this holiday season.  From towels to scented candles, that special detail will go a long way to guests feeling welcome and enjoying their stay.  Keep your house fresh and smelling great.  There are many homemade aromatherapy recipes on the internet that includes items that you already have in your pantry like cinnamon sticks, lemons and oranges that when boiled add a beautiful fragrant to the house that lasts for a long time.  

Freshen up for the Holidays
​     As much as we love unboxing holiday decor and furnishings each year, the musty, stale smell can sometimes be unpleasant.  The first thing to do is wash and freshen up everything from linens and table runners to holiday throws and cushions.  A quick wash or tumble in the dryer with fabric softeners or sheets goes a long way to making them look and smell great the entire holiday season.

<![CDATA[Advice for New Homeowners]]>Mon, 30 Oct 2017 18:46:05 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/advice-for-new-homeowners                                             ​Advice for New Homeowners

     If you’ve just bought a new home, chances are that you’ve had to go through many steps to
get there. A mortgage approval, tours of different neighborhoods and sales centres, and meetings
with real estate agents and lawyers. Once you move in, there’s the unpacking, the painting and
decorating, and probably a few trips to the local hardware store. Before you get settled, here’s
some essential advice to help make sure you continue to take the right steps towards a positive
homeownership experience.
Make Sure to Inspect your Home Carefully
     The Pre-Delivery Inspection (PDI) is a critical first step that all new home buyers in Ontario
must take. It represents the first opportunity for buyers to view their home in its completed state
and thoroughly assess its condition. More than a quick tour, the PDI is a chance to carefully take
stock of anything that’s damaged, incomplete, missing, or working improperly. It’s also the time
to learn how to maintain the home. Take pictures of any defects that you notice. They may be
useful later if you make a warranty claim.
Pay Attention to your Warranty Coverage
     Every new home built in Ontario comes with warranty coverage provided by the builder, and
backed by Tarion. In addition to deposit coverage and delayed closing compensation, there are
also 3 separate warranties on new homes. These warranties cover the home for certain defects in
work and materials, substitutions of items agreed to in the purchase agreement, violations of the
Ontario Building Code, and coverage for major structural defects. Your builder should provide
you with a Homeowner Information Package before you take possession with detailed information
about the warranty.
Be on Time-the Warranty Doesn’t Wait
     As soon as you take possession of your new home, register for MyHome-Tarion’s online
warranty portal. The service allows homeowners to securely submit warranty forms, supporting
documents such as pictures, and view official correspondence. Tarion will also send you
automatic email alerts so that you don’t miss any important deadlines. Timing is essential when
submitting warranty forms and missing a deadline can jeopardize a claim.
Keep It Looking (and Feeling) Fine
     Regular maintenance doesn’t just ensure your home stays in good condition it also helps keep
your warranty intact. Any issues that arise in your home that are the result of improper maintenance
will not be covered under the warranty. To ensure that your home and home warranty remain
protected, fit regular maintenance into your schedule.
     Owning a new home is a significant accomplishment, but it also comes with great responsibility.
​ More information, tips and resources are available online at Tarion.com.]]>
<![CDATA[Redecorate With Today's Top Trends]]>Tue, 10 Oct 2017 14:41:52 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/redecorate-with-todays-top-trends                                                  Redecorate With Today’s Top Trends

  Get some design motivation to achieve your home decor goals by checking out some of the key trends being seen in homes right now.

Colour.  Vibrant, rich hues to keep homes warm and lively are in for fall.  Tawny port, the colour of your favourite decadent red wine, adds instant sophistication in accessories like throw pillows.  Russet gold, grenadine, emerald and neutral grey are other on trend seasonal shades.

Furniture.  Stay fresh and current with the mix and match aesthetic that allows you to combine your favourite styles.  Repurpose one or two vintage pieces and combine with contemporary pieces that have added features like hidden storage.

Patterns & Textures.  Scandinavian style and the ever-popular hygge lifestyle are even more appealing as the weather cools down and we transition into winter hibernation mode.  Incorporate it in your space with fuzzy blankets, natural materials and comfy pillows in a palette of calming neutrals.  For patterns, look for traditional prints like gingham and herringbone in soft fabrics.

Accents.  Shelf and table arrangements that look ready to show off on social media are what to aim for.  Decorate with succulents, brass or stainless steel candle holders, vases and woven mats or baskets.  

Smart Design.  As technology advances and we spend more time on our devices, homeowners are looking for easy interconnectivity and convenience.  Imagine being able to open or close your window shades, setting your thermostat higher or lower or even seeing who is at your front door without being home.  All this from the convenience of your phone at any location.  This miracle of technology provides ease, comfort and security at your fingertips.  

<![CDATA[Tips for Room Design]]>Mon, 18 Sep 2017 15:08:39 GMThttp://tillo.ca/blog/tips-for-room-design                                                     Tips for Room Designs

    No matter what type of room designs you choose, there are tools of the design trade which are used to create a finished and sharp look to each room.  Learn about these tools below, and you will soon be on your way towards creating new designs that you will love for years to come.  

Maximize the Room’s Space:  Incorporate space saving features into the room which will help you to achieve a clean and uncluttered look.  Look for furniture such as coffee table, end table, beds and even sofa or chairs which include hidden cabinets in their design; install a few shelves as well if you have decorative items you want to display in the room.

Let the Space Flow:  Create furniture arrangements in a circular pattern which invite traffic to flow in and around the room.  Stay away from any type of obstacle arrangements which can stop traffic.  Positioning your furniture in an inviting manner will also create wide open spaces in your room which can make a room look larger and more welcoming.

Use Contrasts:  Contrasting features in room designs are pleasing to the eyes, add dimensions to the room and break up similar color patterns.  Add a picture with a brighter color, throw pillows that have contrasting tones or spice up a room with bright green plants.  You can also create contrast with shapes or patterns - for example, using a plain square window treatment in a room with a circular couch or picking a round fabric light cover in a room with square furnishings.  Whatever types of contrasts you choose to use, just use them sparingly.  Decorative contrasts are a lot like spicy peppers used in a main dish - a little goes a long way.

Create Effects with Color Tones:  In addition to contrasts, using color tones properly will give a room added depth.  As a rule, lighter shades of color should be used on the walls and floors; these lighter tones will make up the majority of the color in the room.  Use matching medium color shades for furnishings or large decorative pieces in the room, and then ‘pepper’ the room with just a few smaller pieces which are darker in color.

    Room designs which use varied color tones should break up these tones in the arrangement of the room as well; for example, arrange a darker piece in a light area of the room, and use lightly colored pieces to brighten corners of the room which are dark.