September 30, 2013
Memorial Drive Brownstones Project to Replace Heritage Homes
A new condominium project located along Memorial Drive, just west of the Louise Bridge could mean the loss of 13 heritage homes between 1134 and 1160 Memorial Drive NW.
The Dobbin Group developers has applied for a rezoning of the strip of properties to make way for a development of a 70 unit Chicago-style brownstones condo project. The development proposes a three to four storey complex with a 96-stall underground parkade, a central courtyard, and rooftop patios.
Their development is intended to create a "strong historical inspiration and massing appropriate for the Kensington area". The 'Memorial Drive Brownstones' offers a unique opportunity to relocate the beautiful homes that were undamaged from the recent flood and moved elsewhere to replace damaged existing character homes. These homes, would otherwise, be levelled. Preserving these beautiful homes through relocation is an excellent solution to the area's high demand for housing and offers a green alternative to building new.
Residents in the area have some concerns with this project though. They are worried that the higher density would result in more traffic on an already congested street. Spokeswoman for the project, Jennifer Dobbin is proposing additional access points halfway through the complex off Memorial Drive to ease congestion.
Cynthia Klaassen, president of the Calgary Heritage Initiative Society, said relocating these century-old homes would be a huge loss for the community.
“And if you get rid of them, the community becomes like any other." said Klaassen.
“It is heritage homes like this that make Hillhurst-Sunnyside such a fabulous place to visit, to enjoy and to live in. They make the neighbourhood what it is.”
Lorna Cordeiro, a community resident and member of the Hillhurst-Sunnyside heritage task force, added that the Edwardian-style homes bring an important diversity and unique flavour to the community’s architecture.
“It’s about respecting the people that founded our community. Many of them lived in these homes.”
Dobbin said the new brownstones will have plenty of character and better support the community's new transit-oriented redevelopment plan.
The residents however are unphased with the whole idea and continue to wonder if this redevelopment plan will maintain the rich history these heritage homes hold in this community.
For more information on this project, please visit the developer's website at http://thedobbingroup.com/?p=463
Source: http://thedobbingroup.com, www.calgaryherald.com
September 25, 2013
The Mobile Optimization Revolution: Are you Ready?
The mobile optimization revolution is changing the way that consumers and companies interact with each other.
According to a survey by Get Satisfaction, “80.5% of website visitors are accessing websites through mobile phones.” But are you providing the experience the same as your visitors move from one device to another?
If your brand isn’t able to deliver, you might be in trouble.
Consumers are looking for a seamless experience across all of their devices.
You want to break out of the 1200 x 800 pixel website mindset. Designing a website for mobile isn’t about all those fancy sliders or flash. It’s about tailoring your site to fit the needs of your visitors.
The Rise of Mobile Optimization
2013 is the year for mobile optimization. According to Cisco, the amount of mobile devices will soon out number the number of people on Earth. Now that’s a lot of mobile devices. Ultimately, that number will continue to increase each year, as everyone and anyone jumps on the mobile device bandwagon.
In 2012, the number of people accessing the web on mobile devices spiked. Increasing mobile traffic by 70%.
Are you taking advantage of this growing trend? If not, you could be losing the opportunity to increase website traffic and conversions.
In March, Marriott conducted a survey to see what people would be willing to give up on their vacation for 25% off their stay. You might be surprised by the results. Marriott concluded that more people would be willing to give up alcohol during a vacation than to go through their vacation without their smartphone.
There is no denying the fact that people are attached to their smartphones.
Are you prepared for this mobile revolution?
1. Seamless Integration
You may have noticed that in the last few months, companies were revamping their mobile site.
With more users accessing websites through smartphones and tablets, it’s becoming more apparent that companies need to consider the design of their mobile site.
Being mobile is no longer about what device your target audience is using, it’s about creating a user experience that has a seamless integration between your desktop version and mobile. People are using multiple devices to view your site. Therefore, you need to have a site that is optimized for multiple screen sizes.
Users are looking for responsive sites.
Not sure if your site is responsive? A great trick is to drag one corner of your internet browser until it is the size of a smartphone. If the size adjusts accordingly, then you can start viewing that page on other devices besides your desktop or laptop. If not, you’re sure to have a growing number of frustrated visitors.
We are living in the digital age, where technology is taking companies and customers away from their desktops and laptops. your only form of interaction is no longer a desktop.
While designing your mobile site, want to ensure that it’s functional and displays your brand image. You also want to take into consideration the experience of your users.
While designing your mobile site ask yourself these questions:
- Have I thought through how people will use their mobile device on my site?
- Have I placed an emphasis on my content (as you should) rather than graphics or navigation?
- Have I provided relevant options for exploring and pivoting?
- Has my design and content maintained clarity and focus?
In today’s fast paced world, you also might want to interact with your users offline, by integrating offline media into your new mobile strategy through QR codes and text promotions.
Who wouldn’t want to be the first to hear about promotions and special offers? I know I would. With so many mobile devices glued to the hands of Americans, these are two easy ways for brands to continually interact with users.
Consider: Use QR codes and text promotions to provide special deals and offers for users that continuously engage with your company through their mobile devices.
2. Whole New Dimensions
Cellphones are no longer just for communicating with family members and friends.
People around the world are using their smartphones to access the worldwide web. Whether it’s to watch TV or videos, to shop, and / or as a way to stay in contact with family and friends on the internet; accessing the Interent on mobile devices is on the rise.
When was the last time you went shopping on your phone.
It’s okay, you don’t have to admit it, but 67% of shoppers actually start on one device and complete their purchase on another.
Companies need to take into consideration the tech savvy generation. Most mobile shopping purchases include; books, magazines, tickets to films and concerts, clothing, music and even dvd’s.
So, maybe your customers aren’t purchasing your products or services from their mobile phones, but you can still intertwine mobile shopping and the in-store experience. Join the two by allowing users to compare prices, find coupons, and utilize geolocation to find all the items on their shopping lists.
Besides accessing the Internet on their phones, people around the world are communicating with each other through social networking sites. Accessing Vine and Instagram can be difficult unless you’re using your smartphone. However, these two apps are great for getting your users to take photos and videos of themselves with your products.
Other fantastic mobile apps include shopkick, Square card reader, Foursquare, Retail Me Not, Facebook, and Pinterest.
User Generated Content
Who wouldn’t love the brand exposure?
One of the best places to encourage user generated content is through social media. Your customers are able to share their experiences using your product or service. Search is a big part of mobile optimization, allowing you to expand your reach from your users devices to offline.
One of the easiest ways to get your users to actively engage is by asking them to take photos of them using your products. Gap is a great example. They’ve dedicated a board on Pinterest where they showcase users wearing their clothing.
September 18, 2013
Where do Canada's Most Eligible Millionaires Live?
Those looking for a real-life version of the reality TV show 'Who Wants to Marry a Millionaire' will have a pretty good chance of finding their wealthy prince if they look in Alberta.
According to the website SeekingMillionaire.com, Alberta is one of two provinces with two cities on a list ranking the top five Canadian towns with the most eligible millionaires in the country.
Both Calgary, number two, and Edmonton, number five, make the list.
SeekingMillionaire.com, citing a report by Wealth Insight, says Canada is home to 422,000 actual millionaires but that only a fraction of those are marriage-minded and looking for a long-term commitment.
Toronto tops the list of the Canadian cities with the most eligible millionaires (2,327), Calgary is second (1,210), Ottawa is third (988), Montreal fourth (734), and Edmonton rounds out the top five with 621.
The figures are the result of a member poll conducted by the the site, which counts a millionaire as someone who has a total net worth of more than one million dollars.
“This ranking serves as a guide for those seeking successful singles,” said Brandon Wade, CEO and Founder of SeekingMillionaire.com.
“Not all single millionaires want a serious relationship, but this census proves that even the wealthiest men seek stability in their love life.”
The site specializes in millionaire-matchmaking and bills itself as the number-one source for women who aspire to date millionaires.
Read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/09/23/canadas-most-eligible-millionaires-calgary-toronto_n_3976860.html
September 13, 2013
Decor Trends 2014: Decorate with themes that inspire you
What do grand mansions, ocean liners, natural science and industrial metals have to do with decorating? Experts predict that the latest home decor trends will demonstrate one or more of these special interests.
Indeed, as home fashion begins to reveal the newest looks for 2014, it is the influence of history, hobbies and the impact of nature that will be swaying our choices in paint colour, furniture pieces, and decorative art.
“It's an exciting opportunity to express admiration for many aspects of the world around us,” says Erika Woelfel, the director of colour for Behr Paints. “And because it's a truly personal touch, this trend is creating some of the most beautiful rooms to date. Our company is launching four eye-catching themes with twenty brand new paint colours for 2014. They are Seaside Harmony, Urban Alternative, Grand Reign, and Natural Avocation – and each one gives the do-it-yourselfer easy tools to showcase the people, places, and things that most intrigue them.”
Woelfel points out the highlights of each theme:
Seaside Harmony gives you the colours of sun, surf, and sand. A cool palette of blue-green and white, plus the warm peach with white, revives the spirit. Design elements: minimal furnishings, sculptured driftwood, and sea glass. Behr Paint Colours: Ocean Liner (T14-1), South Peach (T14-2), Miami Weiss (T14-3), Edgewater (T14-4) and Sky Blue (T14-5).
“Seaside Harmony is the open look of modern resort chic, where the colours of sun, surf, and sand come together in a relaxing mix. The cool palette of blue-green and white soothe the senses; a warm peach and white revives the spirit. The design elements for Seaside Harmony include minimal furnishings, sculptured driftwood, and sea glass.”
For Seaside Harmony, the colour recommendations are Ocean Liner (T14-1), South Peach (T14-2), Miami Weiss (T14-3), Edgewater (T14-4), and Sky Blue (T14-5).
Urban Alternative applies neutrals like olive and burnt orange to showcase skills and craftsmanship in wood, metal and stone work. The atmosphere is modest, relaxed and attainable. Design elements: distressed wood treatments, raw metal finishes, filament lightbulbs and earthbound shades. Behr Paint Colours: Boho (T14-6), Offbeat (T14-7), Film Fest (T14-8), Hipsterfication (T14-9) and Coffee Bar (T14-10).
Urban Alternative, Woelfel continued, features inviting neutrals, especially olive and burnt orange:
“This style is inspired by time-honoured skills and craftsmanship in wood, metal, and stone work. It is the natural evolution of the 'industrial modern' decor into something that feels more modest, relaxed and attainable. The design elements for Urban Alternative include distressed wood treatments, raw metal finishes, filament lightbulbs, and earthbound shades.”
The new colours for 2014 in this theme are Boho (T14-6), Offbeat (T14-7), Film Fest (T14-8), Hipsterfication (T14-9), and Coffee Bar (T14-10).
Grand Reign captures the imagination with a sense of opulence, romance and mystery. Use luxurious detail, colour, and ornamentation. Choose a rich, masculine look, or delicate and feminine. Design elements: jewelled colours, layered textiles, guilded frames, and decorative mouldings. Behr Paint Colours: Imperial Jewel (T14-11), Coronation (T14-12), Grand Soirée (T14-13), Cloisonné Blue (T14-12) and Minuet Rose (T14-15).
Grand Reign is your invitation to distinctive opulence and romantic glamour:
“Showcase a favourite room to reflect an exquisite residence from another place and time. Fascinate the eyes with luxurious detail, colour, and ornamentation. You can do it with a rich and masculine look, or make it delicate and feminine. The idea is to capture the imagination with a sense of romance and mystery. The design elements for Grand Reign include jewelled colours, layered textiles, guilded frames, and decorative mouldings.”
Behr's new colours for Grand Reign are Imperial Jewel (T14-11), Coronation (T14-12), Grand Soirée (T14-13), Cloisonné Blue (T14-14), and Minuet Rose (T14-15).
Natural Avocation expresses respect for the things that intrigue you. In your favourite room, give any curious mind a rich colour experience in passions like botany, geology, archaeology and celestial events. Design elements: weathered maps, antique books, geological artifacts and illustrations of birds, plants and insects. Behr Paint Colours: Arboretum (T14-16), Archivist (T14-17), New Shoot (T14-18), Sunday Afternoon (T14-19) and Amaryllis (T14-20).
The Natural Avocation theme, says Woelfel, gives the spotlight to your hobby, adding a sophisticated touch to your home:
“You might choose the world of science and nature expressed with local and exotic flora and fauna motifs. Botany, geology, archaeology and celestial events give the curious mind a rich experience – one that especially comes alive with colour. The design elements include weathered maps, antique books, geological artifacts, plus bird, plant and insect illustrations.”
The corresponding Behr colours are Arboretum (T14-16), Archivist (T14-17), New Shoot (T14-18), Sunday Afternoon (T14-19), and Amaryllis (T14-20).
More information on the latest colour trends is available at www.behr.com and the colour trend brochures are available at The Home Depot.
September 12, 2013
New property listed in Haysboro, Calgary
I have listed a new property at 20 HAVENHURST CRES SW in CALGARY.
There hasn't been a home in Haysboro like this listed. The home was brought down to the studs & completely rebuilt. Spray foam insulation was used on the home making it extra efficient. New electrical, plumbing, roof & eavestroughs. Upgrades incl a contemporary open layout with a beautiful kitchen complete with Stainless Steel Whirlpool appliances, white quartz countertops, white glass backsplash & a big island with extra finishing to detail. Dark hardwood floors throughout & even a brand new staircase open to below was put in. The living room has a fireplace & custom built shelving. There were so many fine details to this home that you must see it to believe! The master bedroom has a big closet for his & a walk in for hers. Master ensuite & basement bathroom has infloor heat, soaker tub & quartz counters. The basement is fully finished with bar, laundry & 2 legal bedrooms. The extra large yard in the back is like an Oasis Woodlands. New sod in Front & back yard, back deck to be completed.
September 10, 2013
Apple unveils 2 new iPhones including cheaper model
For the first time since introducing the device that changed cellphones forever, Apple will offer two distinct versions of the latest iPhones — a cheaper one made of plastic and another that aims to be "the gold standard of smartphones" and reads your fingerprint.
Apple unveiled the latest iPhone models, available on Sept. 20 in Canada, during an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The move comes as the company tries to fend off Samsung and other competitors that want to challenge Apple in the competitive smartphone market. The lower-cost iPhone 5C is expected to help boost sales in China and other areas where people don't have as much money to spend on new gadgets as they do in North America and Europe.
Research firm Gartner Inc. estimates that Apple had a 14.4 per cent share of the world's smartphone market in the second quarter of this year, No. 2 behind Samsung's 31.7 per cent.
The lower-cost iPhone 5C will be available in five colours — green, blue, yellow, pink and white. CEO Tim Cook calls it "more fun and colorful" than any other iPhone. The 5C has a 10-centimetre Retina display and is powered by Apple's A6 chip. It also has an 8-megapixel camera, live photo filters and a rear cover that lights up.
In the U.S., the iPhone 5C will cost $99 US for a 16 gigabyte model and $199 US for a 32 gigabyte model with a two-year wireless contract. Canadian pricing with a contract is not yet available but without a contract the phone starts at $599.
Jefferies analyst Peter Misek called the phones "lovely," but said in a note to investors that the $99 minimum price for the 5C is "is higher than expected and still leaves Apple with a product gap in the low-end."
New A7 chip
The second phone, the 5S, is "the most forward-looking phone we have ever created," said Phil Schiller, senior vice-president of worldwide marketing at Apple. It will come in silver, gold and "space grey" and run a new chip, the A7 that is up to twice as fast as the A6.
For buyers entering a two-year contract with a wireless carrier in the U.S., the the 5S will cost $199 US for 16 gigabytes of memory, $299 US for 32 and $399 US for 64. Canadian prices with a contract have not been released but without a contract the phone starts at $719.
Schiller said the new phone can run more health and fitness applications. These apps have become increasingly popular as more people use them to track exercise routines, calorie intake and even sleep patterns.
The camera in the 5S received some major upgrades, including several automatic features designed to produce better photos. It has a larger pixels and a larger aperture, which helps capture more light. The phone also has a "true-tone" flash feature that is designed not to clash with the colours in the room or a person's skin colour — something Schiller said has not been done on a phone before.
The camera, called iSight, has "auto image stabilization," which helps avoid blurry pictures, and a slow-motion camera for video. A "burst mode" can take 10 frames per second as long as you hold your finger on the shutter, then find the best one in your camera roll.
The 5S also includes "Touch ID," which reads fingerprints at a "detailed level," Schiller said. He said it is "fun and easy" to teach the 5S about your fingerprint and once you do, you can just touch the home button to unlock the phone. The company said fingerprints will not be stored on its servers.
Tying the fingerprint scanner to payments could also open new revenue channels for Apple.
Both models will be on sale on Sept. 20 in the U.S., Australia, China, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Singapore and U.K. Apple said this is the first time that a new phone has been available right away in China — a sign of the growing importance of that market to the company. People will be able to order the 5C in advance on Friday, but not the 5S.
Apple also said its next mobile operating system, iOS 7, will be available as a free download on Sept. 18. 7 top changes in Apple's new iOS 7 operating system
Craig Federighi, head of software at Apple Inc., said at an event at the company's Cupertino, Calif., headquarters that "downloading iOS 7 is like getting an all new device."
The new system can be downloaded on the iPhone 4 and later models, as well as on the tablets beginning with the iPad 2.
Apple also said that it expects to ship its 700 millionth iOS device next month. Apple CEO Tim Cook predicts that iOS 7 will become the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
Investors seemed unimpressed. Apple's stock price fell $11.60, or 2.3 per cent to close Tuesday's trading at $494.58.
September 4, 2013
Are you environmentally trendy?
The ever-growing emphasis on environmentalism has certainly impacted consumers of all age groups. Whether it's food, clothing or even the appliances you bring into your home, consumers have turned what once seemed daunting into a trendy, feel-good practice that all can enjoy.
Here are some trend-worthy tips on how you can be even kinder to Mother Nature:
• Up-cycling is the new recycling. We've all heard of recycling our clothes but what about up-cycling? This sustainable concept encourages consumers to convert potentially wasted material into new materials or products, extending the items' lifetimes. YouTube and Pinterest are swarming with fun and catchy ideas on how you can turn anything from drab to fab.
• Save your H2O. There are loads of tips available to consumers on how to save water around the house. One area often focused on by energy specialists is water consumption in the shower. For example, a product by Delta Faucet called H2OKinetic gives you a brand new shower experience. Within each showerhead is an internal system that controls the speed, movement and droplet size of the water, creating the feeling of more water than a standard shower flowing at the same rate. Additional details can be found at www.deltafaucet.ca.
• Just cool it. With almost half of a home's energy consumed by heating and cooling, it's often recommended to keep an eye on the thermostat. Industry experts agree that every degree below 20◦C during colder weather can shed 3-5% off your energy consumption. New technologies in thermostats to control temperatures remotely from a cell phone makes this task a cinch.
• Clean the green way. Want to skip the chemical cleaners? Why not consider using common household items to help keep your home spit-spot? Not only will cleaning with simple ingredients such as plain soap, water, baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice save you money, it can also be gentle to our planet. Check out Pinterest for a plethora of uses from these seemingly-simple ingredients.
There are countless tips about reducing our carbon footprint. These simple yet practical tips can help your family become 'environmentally trendy'.
Categories: 2014 Decor Trends, Interior Decorating Ideas
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