Why Toronto real estate is more vulnerable than Vancouver

While real estate Vancouver is doing pretty well in June, Toronto on the other hand sinks deeper into the red: –

Home sales in GTA plunge in June

Greater Toronto Area home sales plunge 37.3% in June despite a jump in listings

The average price of a home sold in the Greater Toronto Area was $793,915 in June, an eight per cent decline from a month earlier, according to data released Thursday from the Toronto Real Estate Board. On a year over year basis, On a year over year basis, June average prices were still up 6.3 per cent from a year ago … Fall in home Toronto home prices ‘a big surprise,’ says broker » Financial Post

Significant Toronto Real Estate Price Drop in June

A Big Surprise? 

Not quite. 

One of the main reasons is because Toronto is no Vancouver whereby we have said it all along, that Vancouver should be happening again in a matter of time – “New Taxes On Foreign Buyers Will Not Affect Vancouver Real Estate Sales In The Long Run“. Because if foreigners were to buy, the Pacific Utopia Vancouver will always get the attention of those coming from the Middle Kingdom first.  

It’s Geofengshui, stupid. 

As for Toronto?

Foreign buyers made up barely 5 % and the rest are local speculators, who apparently have all turned fence sitters (at least for now).

Hamburg New Concert Hall – Elbphilharmonie (Source)

Foreign buyer activity in Ontario housing market about 5 per cent: government

Newly released figures show nearly five per cent of home purchases in Ontario’s Greater Golden Horseshoe region were made by non-residents since the Liberal government announced a foreign buyer tax.

More hereunder – “The Facts Behind Toronto’s Most Recent Real-Estate Frenzy: Domestic speculation running high

You know what? Even the paltry 4%-5% isn’t home purchase, but agricultural properties. Meaning there is probably NO foreigner buying any residential properties at all.

The government says today that data collected from April 24 to May 26 show 18,282 residential and agricultural properties were bought or acquired in the Greater Golden Horseshoe region. Of those transactions, it says about 4.7 per cent of the properties were bought or acquired by people who aren’t citizens or permanent residents, and by foreign corporations » CTV

Is the “threat” to raise interest rate by Bank of Canada few days ago going to be the game changer again this time around?

It may, it may not. 

If it doesn’t work like before – that folks aren’t rushing to buy a house fearing the interest rate will go up, it’s not because Bank of Canada has done “The Boy Who Cried Wolf – Wolf! Wolf! The Wolf is chasing the sheep!” too many times, so much so that no one believes the interest rate is going to go up. The situation today is a lot more complicated, there are many more factors involved.

Perhaps one of the reason is the price level has indeed reached a point where most of the folks are no longer willing to pay. Either believing the price can’t possibly appreciate much more or they simply can’t afford it no more… This we gotta ask Stephen Poloz. The Man Who Knows It All?

While there are many more possibilities which we’ll try to speculate in the next installment, it could be also due to demographics. Again, Toronto is no Vancouver. Unlike foreign buyers who do not necessary have to flip right after they purchase the property, Toronto’s speculators are locals who can’t afford to keep on speculating if there is no instant profit like what they have been enjoying all these years.

In any case, you never know, these local speculators may start to play up the market again in the next few weeks/months … You know, speculators are some kind of hyperjunkies – they can only stay still for so long.


Toronto real estate market’s buyers and sellers stuck in summer standoff 

The Toronto area’s choppy real estate market may become fairly placid in July and August, as buyers and sellers each try to gauge the level of desperation in the other. … The Globe and Mail

Let’s see who has more staying power … The Sellers or the Buyers?
Ding dong, Round Two.


According to Philip Cross of Finanncial Post, “No one foresaw that lowering interest rates and the exchange rate would trigger the housing bubbles in Vancouver and Toronto”


Is Mr. Cross smoking something or what? Or are there new economic logics that we folk are not aware of …?
Since when cheap money does not cause economic problems like inflation, ballooning debts and in this case, housing bubble?
Except maybe for Stephen Poloz, economists and bankers say it all along, Paul Krugman says it all along, we say it all along, that cheap money is … COCAINE.

Philip Cross: How Canada’s weak-dollar strategy flopped—and then backfired

No one foresaw that lowering interest rates and the exchange rate (which reduced the price foreign investors paid for housing in Canada) would trigger the housing bubbles in Vancouver and Toronto. House prices in Vancouver took off suddenly and …and more » Financial Post

Now they say the Loonie is going tank again. Honestly, we poor folks are really tired of living with cheap Loonie … It sucks, and it really hurts.

Mr. Poloz, can you please make the Loonie classy for once?

Market pros say steep drop in the loonie is imminent 

For some analysts, including Klarity FX Inc.’s Amo Sahota, the second most-accurate predictor of the loonie’s moves last quarter, the reasons for remaining a bear are simple: traders are wildly overestimating the Bank of Canada’s desire to raise rates … The Globe and Mail

Here is an interesting read from HuffPost …

The Facts Behind Toronto’s Most Recent Real-Estate Frenzy

Toronto real estate had a sudden surge last year, and we’re finally starting to get a better picture of what happened. New statistics released by the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) once again confirm everyone didn’t just wake up to a shortage of land overnight. Instead it appears that speculators saw a gold rush, adding pressure to prices that sent emotional buyers into a bidding frenzy.

Domestic speculation running high

In the Greater Toronto Area-Hamilton economic zone, 6.2 per cent of homeowners own more than one home. Not 6.2 per cent of transactions in the past few months — 6.2 per cent of all homes. This is in line with the number the Ministry of Finance released just a few weeks ago.


Second home buyers are GTA residents that are registered to multiple property records in the same area. They’re only counted once, even if they appeared 15 times. Note, 2007 was a drop, but the Ministry of Finance says this was due to a change in recording standards. (Source: TREB, MPAC, Ministry of Finance and Better Dwelling)

Some might be informal landlords, but the cap rates don’t make economic sense. Meaning home prices in Toronto can’t be made up with rental income in an efficient way. Most purchases return around two per cent in rental income, which means you’ll lose money on a mortgage annually.

Toronto needs to continue building to prevent an actual housing crisis in the future.

These are either extremely dumb business people that can’t do math (not likely), or people holding empty to flip at peaks.

Sold in less than a year

A surprising number of properties in the City of Toronto have been bought and sold in less than a year. In 2016, TREB said it was “less than five per cent” but stopped short of giving a number … TREB is a secret society like Freemason?

In just the first five months of 2017 however, it accounted for seven per cent of transactions. TREB called this “a very small share,” but to give it context it’s about twice as large as Toronto’s luxury market. Also probably worth noting here that Toronto’s luxury market is considered one of the hottest in the world. In case you didn’t catch that, seven per cent of the properties that were sold this year were bought less than 12 months ago — right around when prices started taking off.



According to TREB, seven per cent of home sales between December 2016 and April 2017 were bought less than 12 months ago. In this period prices rose 25.89 per cent. To contrast, the same period in the year prior was only 14.25 per cent. (Source: TREB)

Read more at HuffPost

Down: Home Affordability, Up: Interest Rate & Toronto Population, Solution: Laneway Housing?

Already nearly half of the folk surveyed feel they can’t afford a home,

Upper, middle and low-income Canadians worried about housing prices: poll

A new poll found about half of respondents who consider themselves poor or working class believe that the cost of local housing is beyond their means. The rate was 38 per cent and 37 per cent, respectively, with respondents who consider themselves middle or upper class.

A new poll suggests that just over two in five Canadians believe housing in this country is not affordable for them, a finding that cuts almost evenly across income levels.

The poll by EKOS Research appears even more bleak in some of Canada’s hottest housing markets, where only a small sliver of respondents said they believe homes are affordable… CBC

Here comes another blow … The cost of home ownership is going to be higher: –

Bank of Canada may hike interest rate for 1st time in 7 years next week

After keeping rates low since 2010, central bank may finally be in a mood to raise them — for real this time

Bank of Canada has been “threatening” to raise interest rate for ages … According to CBC, this time it’s for real — possibly as soon as THIS week!

What a blow to those who are sitting on the fence.

But you know what? Perhaps this is yet another same old “tactic” we have witnessed year in year out … They wanted the “fencesitters” – those who are waiting to see if the market is going to fall to make up their mind, and buy now. So as to save the slumping market?

Scotiabank economist Derek Holt is among those who thinks a hike is coming next week, and maybe even another one before the year is out. Otherwise its own pronouncements may have painted the bank into a corner, he says.

“The Bank of Canada is going to have a serious credibility problem if it fails to raise interest rates … after providing such an aggressive turn in communications starting one month to the day ahead of the July meeting,” Holt said.

We think even if it happens, the increase rate will be marginal.

While nobody’s expecting anything more than a slight 25-point ratcheting-up of the rate to 0.75, the symbolism of such a move is huge. Spurred on by cheap lending and housing prices that have been defying gravity for the better part of a decade, Canadians are now more in debt than ever before.

And a major move to interest rates would be catastrophic with debt loads sitting so high, which is why the bank seems to be warning borrowers that they’re going to slowly start taking away the punchbowl from homebuyers who’ve overindulged.

Nothing to worry about?

Anyway, it does look like homes in Toronto has the staying power because,

Migration Trends: Toronto Returns as No. 1 Canadian Destination for U-Haul Trucks

People are still flocking to this city in drove. No idea if that will translate into home sales or worsen the rental bidding wars even further?

Meanhwile, someone thinks you should stay in a the lanway,

The fast lane to affordable housing for one Toronto resident is in a laneway

Pick your choice, that is if the City Planning division support it … So far, they remain the “fencesitters”.

Laneway Home Models

Image Sources

Toronto’s Buildings are a disaster waiting to happen?

If the followings are anything to go by, then homes and buildings in Toronto are a disaster waiting to happen …

Toronto’s glass condos are burning thermal holes in the sky

Greenhouse-gas-leaking towers setting us up for climate change fail

According to City’s TransformTO plan, we’ll all be living near accessible fossil-fuel-free transit, tossing our waste into tiny garbage bins and getting 75 per cent of our energy from renewable sources, and all our homes, condos and apartments will be retrofitted to become lean, clean greenhouse-gas–saving machines.

But in a city where half our greenhouse gas emissions now come from leaky buildings, the glass condo boom may be setting us up for failure.

Here is the glaring reality: many glass towers and other hastily built condos are falling apart faster than the old concrete giants – springing leaks, facing high repair bills and prompting lawsuits.

They’re also greenhouse-gas-emitting giant thermal holes. Anyone living in a glass box knows that all those windows have them cranking the thermostat in the winter  to keep warm and blasting the AC in summer to keep from getting heat stroke.

Falling glass hits woman on Bay St – The Star

Read more at Now Toronto

Next, on Fire Risks and the London Inferno, the question asked was,

Can A Similar Fire Happen In Toronto?

While the City officials informed catastrophe like London Inferno will not happen because here in Toronto, we have stringent “Building Code”, “Building Standard”, or “Building Materials” …We asked,

What if the “Building Code” is not followed?

Answer: Complete Silence So far.

The next thing we know is …

Every Single Building Tested After Grenfell Tower Has Failed Cladding Safety Checks

Every single high-rise building tested – 120 in total – since the Grenfell Tower disaster has failed a fire safety check on its cladding, Theresa May has confirmed.

100% Failed Safety Test!

The prime minister told the House of Commons that 120 buildings in 37 different local authorities across the UK have now been tested, with a 100% failure rate, as the government struggles to deal with the aftermath of this month’s devastating fire at the building in west London.

May said she understood that the material that was failing the tests was not compliant with building regulations. As a result of the 100% failure rate, she said local authorities “should not wait for test results” and should instead “get on with the job of fire safety tests” on all at-risk buildings.

At least Brits are honest about it and take immediate action to rectify the situation.

Teresa May is admirable.

In Toronto?

Action has been demanded repeatedly to eliminate on this fire hazards (reported eon ago)so as not to continue to pose any further life risks to the general public.
There have been no action so far, not unlike the London Inferno – Tenants’ repeated warnings to landlord fell on ‘deaf ears‘.
On a related note, we understand the City endorsed condo constructed out of wood …

Wood buildings reaching higher

Liberty Village, just west of Toronto’s core … is to build a midrise out of wood framing!

We knew wood rots, we knew wood burns, what we don’t know is what is going to happen couple of decade down to road – when these wooden buildings are ready to be gutted?

How do you move hundreds or thousands of families around? Who is going to pay for … etc. etc. etc.

Anyway, all we know there is no ancient building/ruins left bahind that is made of wood.  So, is the “wooden idea” a temporary measure to solve housing shortage?

How much is the wooden condo selling for? Betcha it is going to sell for the same price (as the concrete ones).

If so, why even use wood in the first place?

Apparently, it’s Donald Trump. We better tell President Trump this is a fake new, lest we invite the wrath of God?

What sold in the past one week suggests home prices are still on the rise in Toronto

Doom, sorry, not yet.
Boom, still going on.


31 Garden Avenue – RONCESVALLES

Listing Price: $1,299,000

Selling Price: $1,550,000

3 bedroom, 3 bathroom detached house with a 2 car garage at 31 Garden Avenue in Roncesvalles.

It was listed at $1,299,000 to invite bidding war. It worked.

It sold 5 days later for $1,550,000.


72 First Avenue – RIVERSIDE

Listing Price: $999,000

Selling Price:  $1,450,000

3 bedroom, 4 bathroom semi with 2 parking spots on a 16.60 x 126.00 foot lot at 72 First Avenue in Riverside. It was a flip.

A pretty good flip listed at $999,000. Apparently someone offered f $1,350,000 – rejected . Instead, the price was increased to $1,499,000.

Well, one month, this house finally sold for $1,450,000.


140 First Avenue – RIVERSIDE

Listing Price: $1,049,000

Selling Price: $1,255,000

3+1 bedroom, 1 bathroom house with 1 parking spot on a 15 x 123.67 foot lot at 140 First Avenue.

2+1 bedroom in reality because the 3rd bedroom is really an open loft room above the second floor family room. No bedroom in the basement. And there was only one bathroom.

It was listed at $1,049,000.

This house sold for $1,255,000.


45 Badgerow Avenue – LESLIEVILLE

Listing Price: $1,225,000

Selling Price: $1,325,045

3 bedroom, 3 bathroom semi with 2 parking spots on a 16 x 108 foot lot at 45 Badgerow Avenue in Leslieville.

It was listed last week for $1,225,000.

It sold for $1,325,045.


65 June Callwood Way – RIVERSIDE

Listing Price: $1,198,000

Selling Price: $1,250,000

1+1 bedroom, 2 bathroom converted laneway coach house and rag factory with 1 parking spot on a 50 x 40 foot lot at 65 June Callwood Way in Riverside.

It was listed at $1,198,000. It sold a week for $1,250,000.


508 Delaware Avenue – DUFFERIN-DAVENPORT

Listing Price: $1,599,000

Selling Price: $1,555,000

3 bedroom, 2 bathroom house on a 18 x 123 lot with a 3 car garage at 508 Delware Avenue at the corner of Geary in the Dufferin-Davenport area.

It was listed at $1,599,000.

It sold last week for $1,555,000.


375 Ellis Park Road – SWANSEA

Listing Price: $2,925,000

Selling Price: $2,800,000

4 bedroom, 4 bathroom house on a 42.45 x 102.30 foot lot at 375 Ellis Park Road in Swansea.

The asking price was $2,925,000.

It sold a week later for $2,800,000.

Generally, everyone got more than asking except the last two.

Perhaps it was smart flipping that managed to rope in mindless bidders.

Still, let’s just say home prices are still on rise in Toronto.

Canadian real estate is doomed with Cover-Up, Censorship and Clampdown on Free Speech

Today, we heard someone has been charged by Toronto Police for exposing City’s scandals (details to follow …).

We will save Civil Liberty for the next topic.

The first question we have in mind is how will this impact real estate in Canada?

If you are one of the deep-pockets, will you park your money in a place where corruption is rampant?

Guess the answer is pretty straight forward – NO.

We know rich people like those from China moved their wealth abroad is because they don’t trust their corrupt regime. Similarly for deep-pockets from elsewhere, particularly those from the third world do it for the same reason  – they don’t trust their own corrupted backyard. Where law is toilet-roll scripts, so to speak.

In another word, your guarantee is as good as your political connections. Once that is gone (and it will be gone in a matter of time), whatever you own will be subjected to whim-ridden rule of men ie. the new power-that-be.

Why? Because in Corruptland, “Rule of Law is only for fun, whim-ridden Rule of Men is the reality“.

The fact that if speech is policed, information of public interest is censored, matters affecting the public is covered up, it will simply mean corruption in Canada is as real as the sun will rise from east.

Dear Deep-Pockets,

Will you park your money in a highly corrupted place and still sleep soundly at night?

Unless they have a reason to do so eg. they’re a part of the corrupted family, they have nowhere else to park their money, it’s only a temporary measure, etc. Guess no sane mind will say yes.

In another word, we are digging our own graveyard by disregarding law, cover-up wrongdoings, and censoring information of public interest.

This is not the constitutional foundation of Canada … If there is no corrective measures, Canada will go to the dogs.

No wonder we got this message from the Conservatives (we used to think they must be kidding, that things like this can only happen in Voodooland, not in a developed nation),

“Dear Canadians,

They police speech. They are shutting down events. They attack professors and guest speakers.

All across North America, free speech is under attack.

And sadly, it is under attack at the one place it should be most celebrated: universities.

Far from bastions of free speech and new ideas, universities are now often where free speech goes to die, as events are regularly shut down by perpetually offended protesters.

This is wrong.

During my campaign I spoke about the need for Canadian universities to foster free-flowing dialogue and debate.

Once elected, I will withhold federal grants from universities that won’t respect a diversity of viewpoints.

We believe universities should be a place for education – a place where young adults can learn to think for themselves by being presented with alternative opinions and ideas.

We don’t believe it should be a place that allows healthy debate to be shut down because it’s a topic someone, somewhere might disagree with.

Free speech matters and should be allowed everywhere – including on university campuses!


Andrew Scheer
Leader of the Conservative Party of Canada”


This can’t be the kind impression our Liberals government wanted – that the Liberals are no longer “liberal” but some kind of “Totalitarian Monster”?.

If so, God save Canadians … the country has gone to dogs.

Related: –

Why London Inferno will happen in Toronto – Part 3

Is Toronto Fire ready and capable of handling a massive fire like the London Inferno?

Secret report reveals fire response problems

Toronto firefighters have no access to critical building information, a secret consultant’s report says.

Unlike most fire services, Toronto firefighters speeding to a call have no access to critical building information like the location of water, firefighting equipment or hazardous materials, a secret consultant’s report says.

Grenfell Tower On Fire

The Star, which exposed tardy response time to some blazes last year, obtained the $150,000 report under municipal freedom of information legislation. Key portions are blacked out – 53 of 157 pages and numerous other pages are censored… What kind of Free of Information is this?

Here’s what the Star has learned from uncensored areas of the report.

  • Toronto Fire is taking too long to answer calls, process the information and dispatch firefighters. Details on how slow they are have been blacked out in the report.
  • Unlike most fire services, Toronto firefighters enroute to a fire call have no access to critical building information like the location of water firefighting equipment or hazardous materials
  • The fire service has outdated equipment for dispatching firefighters, which slows response time.
  • Fire Service management lacks a “quality assurance system” to track problems within its own system.

The incident prompted local police to warn citizens to “be careful about what you post on social media so as not to victimize an innocent person.”

Toronto Fire Chief Bill Stewart originally told the Star of the existence of the consultant’s report, but then said the Toronto Fire Services Quality Assurance Review “may have privacy implications” and it could only be accessed by making a request to the city of Toronto. The Star did that, waited a month for a response, then paid $22 to the city for a 127 page report that was heavily censored.

The consultant’s review was completed in December 2009 but never made public.

The censored report is tantalizing where it should be transparent. For example, on page 10 the consultant describes his analysis of one year of fire response data from 2008. A large paragraph is removed.

What exactly is “occurring” is blacked out. On the next page, nearly half the words are covered.

Pages 98-102 – “Recommendations” – are blacked out.

One area that escaped the censor deals with the lack of information Toronto fire crews have when they head out on a call.

“Instant access to building information is a feature of many contemporary systems and the lack of this in Toronto is a concern,” the report states. The report describes the importance of dispatchers and fire fire crews having electronic access to location of the “standpipe” (pipe outside a building that acts as a hydrant); location of hazardous materials; backup firefighting equipment; gas shut off points; location of the firefighter’s elevator; and building plans.

The City of Toronto, in censoring the report, applied several exemptions. While the people of Toronto cannot read specific problems with their own fire service, the report quotes openly from other reports – one by a consultant and the other by a state agency – on tardy dispatch systems in Vermont and Washington, D.C.

This may be an archived story, it shows there is NO FREEDOM OF INFORMATION after all.

The star in the old days used to practice classy journalism like this article. Today? We rather reserve our comment … See their news to judge for yourself.

Here is another archived story of interest …

Toronto Inferno

The Great Fire Of Toronto In 1904

A little over 100 years ago on a bitterly cold and windy spring night, a fire swept through the downtown destroying a huge swath of the city’s commercial heart.

On the 19th of April, 1904, a large section of downtown Toronto burned for nine hours.

Street map of downtown Toronto showing the buildings that were affected by the fire of 1904.

Map showing the area of Toronto affected by the fire of 1904. Bay Street from the Esplanade to Miranda Street (just south of King Street) was the hardest hit. At the time, this was called the Wholesale District of the city.

Aftermath, Bay street, April 1904.

Image result for The Great Fire of Toronto 1904

Historical photo of Bay street after the 1904 fire in Toronto. There are people on the street. The street is all mud. There are many burned out buildings on both sides of the streets. Brick facing of two to four storey buildings is all that remains.

As a result of the fire, 5000 people were left without a job. In 1904, the population of Toronto was about 200,000 so the loss of employment on this scale had a profound impact on the city.

The original imaged are kept at the City of Toronto Archives, located on Spadina Road., just north of Dupont Street.

More images of the London Inferno

Grenfell Tower Engulfed By Fire

Yet another Toronto Fire story …

Why Ontario’s paramedics don’t want firefighters performing emergency care

The Ontario firefighters association wants the province to allow firefighters to perform some of the duties of paramedics. 

While that sounds perfectly logical to some, many municipalities and paramedics are hopping mad. They call the proposal a brazen attempt to protect incredibly costly firefighter salaries at a time of dwindling fires.

“It doesn’t seem like a good use of taxpayer dollars.” says Corey Nageleisen, member of the CUPE Ambulance Committee of Ontario.

Nageleisen warns that given the long shifts firefighters work—24 hours, in contrast to the 12-hour shift Nageleisen had worked the day before speaking with TVO.org – public safety could actually be put at risk by overly-tired firefighters attempting to administer medical care.

“When crime goes up we pay more for police. When fire risk goes up we spend more on fire service. EMS calls are going up, so we pay more for firefighters? It doesn’t make sense.”

Paramedics argue they are better trained to handle medical emergencies than other first responders, and that it is much more cost effective to send a two-person ambulance than a four-person fire truck to help someone in distress.

Historically, paramedics have not received the same level of funding as fire and police services. For Nageleisen, that makes any proposal to let firefighters do the work of paramedics tantamount to an insult.

At this year’s annual meeting of the Association of Municipalities of Ontario, outgoing president Gary McNamara warned that police and fire service payrolls are already straining municipal budgets, and adding paramedic services to the fire payroll would make matters worse.

“Police and firefighters are the most highly-paid employees we have, and they should be. But we can’t pay them increases at the expense of other services that keep our communities safe and healthy,” McNamara said.

Of particular concern is that, if the province allows the hypothetical use of firefighters as paramedics, municipalities could be forced into it by the binding arbitration that governs police and fire labour negotiations.

Read more at TVO.org


Related: –

DIY home improvement ideas for beginners

Improve Your Home

Invest a little cash and get a big improvement in how your home looks and feels. Learn ways to add value to your home with these home improvement tips

Here are some easy DIY home improvement projects for beginners: –

You don’t have to be a pro to tackle many home improvement projects. With a little elbow grease and a few smart tools, DIY novices can easily complete all kinds of household tasks efficiently and correctly.

1. Install a kitchen backsplash: You don’t need to learn how to cut and install tile. Instead, add a stylish backsplash by using inexpensive alternative materials such as tin ceiling tiles, wooden beadboard or wallpaper.

2. Loosen rusty bolts: For stubborn nuts and bolts, reach for a WD-40® Rust Release Penetrant Spray. This easy-to-use tool empowers all levels of DIYers and can be used for dozens of tasks. For this one, simply spray the bolt to loosen the rust, then turn with a wrench to remove.

3. Conceal wall blemishes: From nail holes to furniture bumps, repair wall blemishes by using a putty knife to spread a resurfacing compound. For larger dings, you can use an adhesive patch and add an all-purpose drywall compound with a trowel. Allow to dry, then sand and repaint.

4. Give furniture a vintage look: The rustic look is “in,” but rather than splurge on trendy furniture, get the same look for less money and have fun creating it yourself. Add an aged look to wooden furniture such as patio sets or console tables, or decor items like picture frames using a torched patina effect. The Bernzomatic TS3500 Multi-Use Torch provides ultimate control for steady strokes back and forth on raw wood to bring out the natural wood grain without having to apply a stain. It only takes seconds.

5. Create a perfect patio: If you want a new patio, but don’t want to deal with mortar, consider flagstone. These flat stones fit together like puzzle pieces so you can create a small patio, meditation garden or reading nook virtually anywhere in your yard.

6. Repair equipment: Need to repair the grips on your bike, tennis racket or hockey sticks? When you want to regrip them, take off the old grip and use a torch to soften the adhesive to make it easier to remove the old grip. Simply add new grips around the now adhesive-free surfaces.

7. Eliminate picture-hanging snafus: When hanging small pictures, put masking tape on the wall before hammering or drilling. This will help ensure the wall or paint doesn’t crack. Additionally, place a folded sticky note on the wall before drilling and it will catch all the dust.

8. Spruce up landscaping beds: If your landscaping is looking drab, mulch is an affordable way to limit weeds and protect plants while making the space more visually appealing. Use cut outs of landscaping fabric to line the beds before spreading mulch evenly on top. Quick trick: use a torch to singe the ends of the fabric to keep it from fraying.

9. Replace outlet plates: Faded or dated outlet plates can make an entire room look old. Update your space by installing new covers. For little cost, you can buy new plates and all you have to do is use a Phillips or flat-head screwdriver to swap out the old for new.

10. Evoke elegance with crown molding: High-end homes often feature crown molding where the wall meets the ceiling. To get the look for less, purchase foam crown molding from your local home improvement store, paint and install with foam-board adhesive. No nails required!

Get inspired here …

Apartment No. One by Ralph Lauren Home

The Duchess Bureau & Duke Dining Chair
 Ralph Lauren Home is celebrating its 30th year in the designer interior decorating department. The designer brand is set to release a collection in its honor, a classic furniture collection. The collection is a variety of classic furniture pieces that are nostalgic of a noble era.
 The collection features the likes of an Heiress Bed, Duchess Bureau, and Duke Dining Chair. These pieces are all perfect pieces from a classic era. The Finley Ice Bucket is a charming piece and go perfectly with matching Celeste Champagne Flute glasses that can be filled at the Ralph Lauren Duke Bar. The Colton Men’s Valet is also a dope piece, as it comes with a travel cufflink box and an accessories tray. This stunning collection is not for the ordinary. It bleeds individual class and style which is not unusual of any Ralph Lauren collection.
The Finley Ice Bucket & Celeste Champagne flutes of Ralph Lauren Home
The Empire Pedestal Table & Duchess dining chairs create a world of smart sophisticated style for modern Duke & Duchess.
The Colton Men’s Valet includes a tray for accessories and travel cufflink box
The apartment No. One Dinnerware is fit for modern Duke
Discover the Berlin Billiard light fixture, Duke Pedestal dining table and and Duke dining chairs from Apartment No. One
Named after Duke of Windsor, the Duke bedding collection is a modern interpretation
 of Classic English style

 Photo Courtesy Ralph Lauren Facebook