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Outdoor Renovations

May is certainly the best time to undertake outdoor renovations in the hopes of taking better advantage of the long summer evenings ahead. Here is general advice to create or renovate a recreational space, such as a patio, deck or garden.

Before building a deck, consider all the relevant factors. There are quite a few. Are you looking for more sunlight or more shade? What scenery would you like to see every day? Would it bother you if the neighbours could see in your backyard? Do you want the garden or the kid’s play area to connect with the deck? Would you rather have a deck close to the home or farther away?

Bricks, concrete blocks and terracotta tiles are the best materials for building a patio: they will give you the possibility to leave space to plant vegetation. That is what we call a green patio. Designing green spaces between hard material not only looks stylish, it also creates a cool oasis, however small it may be, for your recreational space during hot summer days.

Wood is a material that is accessible to everyone, or almost. Building a wooden pathway is relatively easy. As for a wooden deck, a handyman can eventually extend it every year by installing joists, if need be. Continue reading

Loft paradise

Often created in decommissioned industrial buildings, lofts offer an immense open space to decorate, a single room whose dimensions are around 500 square metres, with ceilings of up to three metres and more.

Few doors, few walls, often nothing at all. A wave of natural light from the long vertical windows along the wall floods the central space. Added to these windows you sometimes find a windowed façade, skylights or windows on the ceiling.

Wood or steel beams, concrete, brick and metal surfaces are everywhere. And the abandoned vestiges of the building’s past: pulleys, wooden cases, platforms, giant washbasins, air conditioning conduits, steel tables, oversized chimney.

What do you do with this unrefined decor? Make it your home.

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Once the cleaning work is done, the real work starts. Most owners keep traces of the building’s former vocation for decorative purposes. That’s what makes a loft a loft. That’s what separates it from a penthouse.

If partitions are needed for a certain intimacy, they should be as discreet as possible in order to maintain the continuity of the space and let the light flood in. That is why complete walls are rare. Or areas are combined, such as the living room and dining room. Or low walls, mobile screens, opaque or trans lucid panels are added.  

A loft is a paradise for colour. Owners often use colour to divide the space into areas: one dominant colour per area, or one dominant colour on the ground floor and a second on the upper floor, which is usually a mezzanine. Continue reading