Cottage Closure Got You Down?
A New Perspective on Closing the Cottage
As fall approaches and the cool weather and shorter days arrive,
cottage owners will sadly anticipate the end of cottage season. For
many, shutting down their summer sanctuary is a double dose of bad news -
not only do lazy days on the dock disappear but they are quickly
replaced with the labour required to close the cottage properly.
Fortunately, many cottage owners are beating the blues by celebrating
the end of cottage season with a "let's make a good situation out of a
bad one" attitude - a sentiment that has become as common in cottage
country as Muskoka chairs and mosquito repellent. Many cottagers are
inviting guests to celebrate in a "less is more" type of atmosphere
during their last days of rural rest. Visitors are sitting on moving
boxes and using candles for electricity as they congregate and reminisce
about the "unusual amount of mosquitoes" and "Johnny's first swim". For
many, this last gathering makes the impending move back to the city a
little more bearable.
It's also the perfect opportunity to swindle that neighbour into
helping you budge the boat into the garage and the barbeque into the SUV
- just two of many essential and equally annoying tasks to complete
each autumn. Some imperative and tedious chores that can be completed
without your neighbour's help include the draining of plumbing systems
and shutting down the electricity. Ensuring that pipes are properly
drained will avoid water freezing over, which can lead to flooding in
the cottage. To properly drain the system, empty and clean all pipes,
valves, tanks and pumps. When shutting off electricity, be sure to first
turn off all major appliances as well as the water heater and
electrical room heaters. When the time comes to re-open your cottage
again, the start-up will be much smoother and safer.
If you're a long-time cottage owner, you know that vermin will do as
much as your in-laws to get an invitation to your cottage. For this
reason, go beyond hiding food and blocking entrances. Try leaving
mothballs or whole cloves as both can discourage unwelcome rodents.
Rodents of another type that need to be discouraged from entering
cottages in the off-season are thieves. The ideal tools to combat these
seasonal stealers are alarm systems, which have become increasingly
common in cottages. A more cost effective approach to security is
keeping valuables, such as TV's, out of sight. There are also many
companies that specialize in cottage protection that will send employees
to your property weekly to ensure its safety. And while these chores
may be monotonous - remember next summer is just around the corner!
Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Home is where your heart is......
Luxury for Less
Just because you are on a budget, doesn’t mean you have to compromise on style in your home. If it’s time to refresh your décor but you don’t think you have the necessary funds, think again. Here are a few ways you can add a touch of luxury to any room of your home without breaking the bank:
Start with the walls
No room of your home can ever feel luxurious if the paintwork is shabby or wallpaper looks dull or weathered. A new coat of paint or wallpaper is the fastest, and easiest way to a fresh new look. If painting, consider a suede, satin or cashmere finish in a neutral colour for a look of elegance. If wallpapering, consider rich colours, textures or traditional patterns. Use good quality products for best results.
Liven up the living room
Add an instant touch of lavishness with one or two large cushions in rich embroidered fabric, velvet or faux fur. Add warmth to your wood floors with a shag rug for modern décor, Turkish or Oriental style for more traditional tastes. No need to splurge on new lamps, simply update the shades with linen or silk-like material. Give a favourite piece of furniture a makeover with updated sleek metal hardware or repaint with an attractive gloss paint.
Beautify bedrooms & bathrooms
Buy beautiful bed linen when it is on sale. Billowy comforters or duvets with plenty of plump pillows make the whole room look luxurious and inviting. A plush rug for stepping in and out of bed gives a sumptuous start and end to your day. Add plenty of thick fresh towels and large pillar candles in the bathroom to set a pampered scene. Invest in light switch dimmers to create the ambiance you desire.
Get chic in the kitchen
Freshen up cabinetry with new paint or modern hardware and update lighting fixtures. Buy a beautiful tablecloth or table runner and top it off with a potted orchid in an attractive pot. Rather than using every day chipped or stained mugs, treat yourself to a couple of fine china tea cups from a thrift store or good quality coffee mugs for your favourite brew. Then sit back, enjoy tea for two with a friend, and truly savour the moment.