By MARINA SACHT
Whether you are building your dream home or just sitting in your arm chair dreaming, you know that spring is coming because suddenly you yearn to swing a hammer, dig a hole in the garden or finally paint that bedroom now that your teenager has “outgrown” the Goth period. To help you get started we’ve assembled some of our local home and garden professionals to give some advice.
Nikki MacCallum of NikkiDesigns helps clients choose the perfect fabric and styles for window
coverings, slipcovers, cushions and bedding. She specializes in using organic materials and sells her custom soft furnishings online to clients all over the world. For her the top trends in home decor are: using “green” materials, as in earth-friendly and sustainable, bright, bold colours, prints – and lots of them! – prints on upholstery, carpets, wallpaper and curtains, white,
combined with splashes of bright colours, white kitchens, vintage style laces, crotchet detailing on pillows and doilies and lots of tassels.
Garry MacLeod of Highlander Painting’s main focus is the residential repaint market – interior and exterior, plus interior painting homes to be put up for sale and post-sale painting. Garry is also an artistic painter with extensive training in colour theory.
As far as colour trends go he says he is not a believer of “in” colours, as colour is a personal expression. It’s what works best for the client. “The main trend I see is predominantly neutral tones (beiges, tans, sage green etc) with accent walls which tend to be bolder choices.”
Kleijn Nurseries is locally owned and operated and easy to reach just at the south end of Nanaimo. There you will find plants for all your gardening needs at fair prices. They have recently expanded for greater selection.
This month they are showcasing evergreen Helleborus, and the sarcococca with its incredible fragrance. As the weather is warming up, their Fruit trees are finding a home quickly. Applying dormant oil before they bud out will enable your fruit tree to grow healthy and the fruits will be enjoyable. They carry the dormant oil kit, and quality fertilizers. You will also find a couple of very effective deer sprays, Bobbex and Plant Skyd. Seasoil is a great boost for any soil conditions you have. Join them on Saturday, April 16 for a free seminar on Mason bees. As the season warms up visit for veggie starters, tomatoes, and annuals. They make their flower baskets on site and are ready for Mothers Day. See www.kleijnnurseries.com, for pictures and more info. Need help with your garden design? Bring along your ideas and pictures.
Jenny Jarvis owns and operates The Worldly Gourmet. The kitchen utensils, pots and pans, and everything to do with good cooking is here. In the evening they operate cooking classes for budding chefs. Jenny grows herbs for the The Worldly Gourmet which she dries then mixes for rubs and blends.
Her philosophy for a bountiful home garden is simple. Grow flowers for colour, to eat, and as a natural bug repellent. Grow what you like to eat, water well and add compost, and pick in the early morning or late afternoon. Her favourite garden choices are arugula, kale and swiss chard. They are full of vitamins, will self sow and keep all winter long, raspberries, any squash, greens for salads, cukes and tomatoes.
Coastal Water Systems provides solutions to your water needs. They sell water holding tanks from 5 to 4100 imp/gal. They also sell and service accessories including deep well, jet, trash, and fountain pumps. They offer water tanks, filtration systems, pumps, pressure tanks, and the popular constant pressure system. Looking to improve your water situation? Collect rain water, service your treatment systems regularly, replace cartridge filters when necessary change ultra violet lights yearly and have your water tested. Deep well yearly, shallow well every 6 months * It is advised you shock your well to fight bacteria and e-coli.
Van Isle Slate supplies Vancouver Island quarried, beautifully coloured, hand split, natural slate for landscaping and cut thinstone and corners for masonry applications. There you can hand pick your stone – no minimums – one stone or one ton. Visit their website for tons of ideas and pictures.
This year’s decorating trends include using natural products which makes slate a wise choice. Some uses include patios and entrance, garden paths and stone walls, fireplaces, pond and water features, natural stone veneers to cover brick or concrete surfaces.
Looking to add a little curb appeal to your home? Adding curb appeal isn’t just something you do when you want to sell your home, says Trudy Kastner of Pride Home Improvements but more importantly how your home looks to you.
You can add curb appeal by doing the following: The approach space between street and the door needs to be inviting and uncluttered with bins, toys, spare tires, that geranium in a cracked pot that died last August.. The stairway and deck/railings are, reliable, and well maintained. The roof should look ready capable of withstanding any weather. Those front windows should gleam and the front door, is painted and hardware polished. The house should give the first impression that the people who live here “love” this house.