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Wine cellar and wine cave

Wine is suitable for all seasons, but during the rigours of fall and winter, it provides a warmth that is unique to it. During these times, it has the gift of reconciling us with life. Not surprising that lovers of good wine reserve a specific place for it.

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Some people store it in their closet. Sacrilegious? Not at all. Good bottles of wine can be stored anywhere, as long as it is cool, devoid of light, has an ambient temperature between 10 and 15 degrees and 55% to 80% humidity. Warning! All these conditions must be respected to the letter, all year long. Wine is delicate and sensitive to changes in temperature. It needs stability. The slightest change can alter it.

To ensure this stability, some wine enthusiasts resort to a mini-air conditioner, a humidifier, a wine cooler, and other devices after having consulted a wine specialist.

There are two other mandatory conditions: the wine must be free from any vibration and the air it breathes must be pure. Therefore, you should avoid storing it in the garage. Continue reading

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Make the light dance at home

It’s time to play with the light in order to outplay the shades of autumn. Light gives rhythm to an interior and defies the cold and dark seasons by projecting a zest for life thanks to the magic of reflections. Not only does light have the ability to transform a space, but it also improves the psychic comfort.

Don’t try to recreate a pool of natural light by opting for central pendant lighting. It’s a waste of time. In any case, the light would be too violent.

Instead, opt for several sources of that disperse the light everywhere. And have halos of light run on all the walls. The possibilities are endless: ceiling light and pendant lighting, wall-mounted lights, table lamps, floor lamps, projectors (recessed or not).

Play with the direction of the light source to create life. Today, most lights are adjustable and dimmable. The lighting can be lateral, built-in or angled or be part of the ground. The desired effect is often to highlight an object with indirect light behind the head of the bed, lighting hidden behind a piece of furniture, animation of rays of light of a bookshelf, lighting at the turning point of a staircase, projector over an aesthetic bed cover.

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How Long Should it Take to pay off a Mortgage?

“The faster you pay off a mortgage, the more you save in interest,” says Louis-François Éthier, product manager at National Bank.

The truth is, paying off a $100,000 mortgage in a short period of time is extremely difficult without both a sizable and stable income, and relatively few expenses. A small regular payment stretched out over a longer amortization period (the total time required to pay off the mortgage) is usually considered an expensive strategy. This is because mortgage payments mostly cover interest and little of the principal until the interest is paid, so it can take decades to pay off the balance.

“The amount of your mortgage payments should be based on your overall budget,” says Louis-François Éthier.

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How much of your budget should go toward mortgage payments?
Most financial institutions recommend that no more than 30% of your total budget go towards mortgage payments, municipal taxes, and heating. “It’s the classic ratio in the industry: mortgage to total debt,” says Mr. Éthier. “It’s crucial to also consider other debts, such as car loans and balances on credit cards. Mortgage counsellors can help you make the right choice.”

Of course, the expected time if would take to pay off the mortgage directly influences the amount that we spend on our regular payments. Continue reading

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For your children’s health

We’re not trying to scare you or turn you into an environmental fanatic. Although many of the following recommendations are based on scientific evidence, others are just assumptions. The assumptions are serious, but they’re based on probabilities. The thing to keep in mind is to do your best according to your budget.

Children are in contact with their bedroom floor quite often, so the choice of floor covering is crucial. It’s best not to use vinyl-based covering because it contains PVC, an irritant that can cause allergies. It’s may also cause cancer. If you really want to use it, make sure you ventilate your children’s room as often as possible.

A haven for mites, traditional carpeting is to be avoided. If not, choose carpets with natural fibres. Wool is known for its resistance and durability, two essential qualities given how rough children can be.

Cork is the almost perfect covering. It prevents noise from the bedroom from spreading to the ground floor and doesn’t contain any toxic substances. Natural latex is used as a glue. Some leave it unchanged, while others apply a coat of paint or a biological varnish.  Continue reading

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Redoing the children’s bedroom

Here’s a checklist to make the job easier if you decide to redo your children’s bedroom.

Using a seagrass floor covering is an excellent decision. However, it’s recommended that you have it installed by a professional. Since it is a natural material, it can be difficult to make the joints. The product tends to fray.

Don’t forget that certain natural fibres used for floor covering, such as cork and rubber, must be placed in the room 24 to 48 hours before installation to acclimatize them to the ambient air.

Cork is not the only effective soundproofing product, sand between the joists also does the trick. It has the advantage of being inexpensive. Talk to a renovation expert.

Any handyman can install cork, as long as the surface is level.

Vinyl costs less and is more flexible than linoleum, but it’s also less resistant. And a material’s resistance is extremely important in a child’s bedroom.

If you are impatient and not very meticulous, you may not want to take on wallpaper. You will regret it. You have to wash the walls and woodwork with a stripper before applying the wallpaper. Continue reading