Our reputation is that we respect old homes, but at the same time, we try to open them up, make them brighter, and modernize the [interiors],” says architect James Crisp of Millbrook, New York-based Crisp Architects. That reputation drew the owners of this western Massachusetts home to the firm. The 1790s farmhouse had passed through several owners’ hands before reaching them. A prior owner began but ultimately abandoned renovations, and the house sat neglected for years, suffering water and weather damage in the process. With their primary residence in New York City, the homeowners dreamed of turning the property into a weekend and summer getaway.          

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At first glance, this living room appears to be quite sophisticated, yet very simple. In reality, it is not simple at all, but rather a complex variety of textures, tones, styles, and contrasts.      Located in a desirable suburban area just outside of Toronto, Ontario, this 1,600-square-foot home, built in the 1960s, has eight-foot ceilings and builder-grade finishes. The owner wanted the relatively small (12-by-16-foot) living room reimagined into something functional with a light and fresh new feel. “We had to seriously consider every design decision to completely transform this space and bring it up-to-date,” explains Elizabeth Metcalfe of Mississauga, Ontario-based Elizabeth Metcalfe Interiors & Design. “While this project appears to be simple, the process of creating this beautiful living room was much more involved.”
    
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The idea of dividing a garden into distinct rooms is almost as old as history. It makes sense. By breaking up an open space into defined rooms, you create useful outdoor living areas, encouraging people to extend their indoor activities outside. The room functions can be as diverse as cooking, dining, lounging, playing games, or strolling. And you don’t have to have a sprawling estate to accomplish this. You can fit a lot of functional garden rooms into a surprisingly small space.                            
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Home buyer demand outpacing supply across the Metro.  Strong home buyer demand coupled with below average home listing activity has created seller's market conditions within the Metro Vancouver* housing market. The Real Estate Board of Greater Vancouver (REBGV) reports that residential property sales in Metro Vancouver reached 4,179 on the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) in April 2015. This represents a 37 per cent increase compared to the 3,050 sales recorded in April 2014, and a 2. 9 per cent increase compared to the 4,060 sales in March 2015. Last month’s sales were 29.3 per cent above the 10-year sales average for the month.  “The supply of homes for sale today in the region is not meeting the demand we're seeing from home buyers. This is putting upward pressure on prices, particularly in the detached home market," Darcy McLeod, REBGV president said.

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