Creating a Home Workspace for Everyone
It is a whole new COVID world out there and throughout this long crisis, many of us have come to recognize that our homes have become our safest haven. We have all, collectively and individually, learned to adapt in new ways to a global pandemic, including working and going to school from our living room. While this has worked for many, for others, finding space for privacy and quiet has become a challenge. Coordinating access to electronics for school and fun, while encouraging interesting past-times, and creating nutritious meals has become as difficult as finding Lysol.
Even though getting outside over the summer, and re-connecting safely with others has eased the feelings of isolation and cabin fever, the fears of a possible second wave have not abated. That is probably why almost 25% of Ottawa families have chosen remote learning instead of sending their masked kids back to the classroom this September, leaving parents with a new reality. Students from all over the city will be congregating online for synchronous, screen to screen interaction and using their computers from home, alongside one or both of their parents. All will need reliable internet and quiet surroundings for classes, meetings, to complete research, write reports or produce material for their boss, be it a manager or teacher.
That means even more dedicated space for concentration, that is free of disruption and noise. Kids especially will need to be away from the beckoning gaming consoles, and newest memes on Instagram, to be able to focus and concentrate on their teachers and fellow students. So where will you put all those desks?
Well, don’t panic – because sometimes it is more about rearranging the space you have than moving to a larger space. Maybe you just need to sort the stuff, pitch the junk, and adjust what’s left, even if it is only a short-term solution until you have the means or method that works better.
Perhaps you can use your fourteen-year-old’s commitment to hoodies and sweats to your advantage. Find a large dresser drawer set and move all the clothes from out of the closet and put them into the drawers. Next, install a long white shelf – almost as wide as the closet doors – on the back wall of the closet, add a pretty white chair, and now your generation z daughter has a new desk. Hang a cork-board above the desk, put Ikea box shelves on either side and take off the closet doors and in a blink, you have an instant quiet workspace. The room will feel bigger too.
If there is just no square footage to take advantage of all those new bunk bed/desk combos that are available for kids, or if your tween has become too mature for simple solutions, you might consider adapting common use or family areas.
If your laundry room is big enough, it could double as an office allowing privacy for parents who are embracing the new reality of Zoom/Team meetings in their pyjama bottoms and slippers. Put in two desks, or make one a folding table, add some comfortable office chairs and you too can have a quiet workspace to meet deadlines. The quiet hum of the dryer in the background is much less intrusive than the cacophony of the dog barking, the children squealing, or the neighbour’s lawnmower outside your new dryer-sheet oasis – but you should probably leave the washing for the weekend. Remember that the kids can always text if they need anything, or parents can take turns entertaining and occupying the youngest or loudest. It just might work.
The grease monkey in the family may wish to use the garage, the culinary talent may choose the kitchen, or the sock-hockey player may want the unfinished basement – all your rooms can be adapted to the different needs of the person who needs the space the most, it just takes a little bit of thought and preparation.
Tiny Homes Provide Great Options for Homeowners
Tiny Homes provide great options for homeowners Tiny Homes can be a great addition for homeowners, especially those looking for an extra means of income. A tiny home, also known as a coach house, is a small free-standing apartment, detached from the principal dwelling but located on the same lot. Coach houses are intended to bring more density to established neighbourhoods without negatively impacting community spaces. This increase in neighbourhood density would naturally increase the number of affordable homes. The regulations concerning Tiny Homes vary from one municipality to another. Note: the following information is specifically regarding Tiny Homes in Ottawa. The Advantages of a Coach Home Building a Coach Home on your pre-existing lot can have countless advantages. The initial advantage is the extra means of income. The additional dwelling is connected to both city water and sewer lines through the primary residence. This means no new connections are required. Note, Tiny Homes don’t necessarily need to be a newly built structure. Accessory structures such as garages or sheds can also be converted into coach homes, as long as all building requirements are met. If having an extra income doesn’t lure you in, perhaps your in-laws are looking to downsize but your home just isn’t big enough to accommodate them. Tiny homes allow family members to reside close, while ensuring everyone has their own space and independence. Eligibility The rules and regulations concerning Tiny Homes vary from municipality to municipality. In Ottawa, not all lots meet the requirements for the addition of a coach home. In general, lots can accommodate a Tiny Home if the following requirements are met: The lot is serviced by municipal water and sewer lines, or if the lot is in a rural area, it is 0.4 hectares or larger and is serviced by a private well and septic system. The lot contains a detached, semi-detached, duplex or townhouse dwelling. Note, the requirements for a Tiny Home located on a lot where the primary dwelling is a rowhouse, the coach house must have direct pedestrian access to a public road. The pathway provided must be 1.2 metres wide. The primary dwelling unit does not already contain a secondary dwelling unit such as a basement apartment, garden suite or any rooming units. Other Important factors Other requirements, such as preserving mature trees and integrating with the urban context of the homes located in proximity must also be respected while building your Tiny Home. It’s important to note, coach homes must meet both size requirements and height restrictions. These regulations vary from one lot to another. Overall, coach homes must be smaller than the principal residence and not accede 40% of the main dwelling. As for height restrictions, urban areas must not exceed 3.6 metres in height, while certain rural lots allow for the possibility of a two story coach home. To ensure your lot meets the requirements implemented by the city of Ottawa, contact a Development Information Officer (DIO) to further evaluate your lot. Development Information Officers can be reached by simply dialling 3-1-1. Coach Homes can be a great asset to any lot, especially in cities like Ottawa where the need for affordable housing is always in high demand.
Summer Festivals Summer festivals are a great way to ensure you take full advantage of everything the season has to offer. The great thing about summer festivals, especially the ones in the west end of Ottawa, is that there is a large variety of events. This means, everyone is sure to find a festival that suits their interests. Here are 5 of the most popular festivals that take place in the west end of the city. Note the list also includes a rural festival, the Almonte fair. Escaping the city’s hustle and bustle can be fun all on its own. West End Food Truck Rally – August 10th 2019 – Christ Church Bells Corners What’s better than a fun event that supports a great cause? We agree, nothing’s better! This event has more than 10 food trucks that serve both sweet and savoury foods in support of The FAMSAC Food Cupboard. Enjoy great music, family friendly activities and entertainment while munching on some great food. Westboro Fuse- August 17th and 18th 2019 – Westboro Neighbourhood This festival is essentially a weekend long block party that showcases live music, family friendly-activities and great food. It’s sure to have you enjoying the modern vibe Westboro has to offer all while spending time in the sun. Folk Festival Birthday Picnic at Britannia Park – August 25th 2019 Britannia Park is a beautiful family activity all on its own but the Birthday picnic means you don’t have to plan lunches, or snacks or even activities. Join your community for this family friendly Birthday Picnic to celebrate the exact 25th anniversary of the first Ottawa Folk Festival. This will be a family favourite, with beautiful views for the adults and lots of activities for the kids. Bridge Street Summer Festival -August 3rd – Carleton Place This year’s theme is everything Motown! Seven bands will be performing various songs all in line with the overall theme. The festival doesn’t stop at live music, family friendly fun takes place all day long. Local shops also set up booths along the street while food vendors offer tons a yummy options to snack on. Almonte Fair- July 19th, 20th and 21st 2019 – Almonte Summer festivals like the Almonte fair add variety by offering events that tend to take place in the fall months. The Almonte fair has demo derbies to wrestling competition. Enjoy local food vendors and other more rural family activities. Whatever your interests may be, summer festivals are always a good choice when planning your time off, especially seeing the kids aren’t in school and the weather is beautiful. Just be sure to remember all the summer essentials like sunblock, water bottles and your favourite ball-cap to ensure you can enjoy all the festival has to offer.
How To Boost Your Curb Appeal This Fall
How To Boost Your Curb Appeal This Fall The cooler air is here and before we know it, the leaves will begin to change. Fall is a season of transition as we (and the world around us) prepare for the winter months ahead but this is no reason to assume that curb appeal doesn’t matter. If you have your home listed this fall, it’s important to remember the importance of first impressions. Ensure that your home looks its best inside and out. Keep Lawns Clean and Maintained Although you may not need to get the mower out every week, depending on the weather, the grass does still grow throughout the fall. Make sure that your lawn remains well kept and that you mow it when necessary. It’s also important to clean up any debris including leaves and garbage to ensure that everything is in top shape for buyers. Sweep the Front Step This may seem like a little detail but it can make all the difference as someone is walking up to your home. A front step that is neatly swept gives off the impression of a pride of ownership that is likely carried through the entire home. Bring in Fall Decor Adding some fall decor and plants to your front step can brighten up the space and provide a pop of colour. Consider including pumpkins and gourds in the weeks leading up to Halloween. Mums also look great in front of any home and do very well in the colder weather of fall. Paint the Front Door Even if you don’t have time to take on the whole front of your house, painting the front door can really freshen things up. Consider adding some colour to your home by painting the door a contrasting colour to the rest of your home. Red, yellow, and blue are all popular colours for front doors right now. Trim the Trees Fall is a great time of year to trim your trees. If your trees are growing too close to your home or driveway, it’s important to get them cut back. It’s also important to look for dead and broken branches and to get them taken care of as soon as possible as they may pose a safety risk. If you are not comfortable with heights or a chainsaw, it is always best to hire a professional. Clean the Windows Summer can be a very season. Dry weather can mean lots of dust and this ultimately finds its way to the windows. Make sure that all your windows are cleaned inside and out to ensure the best views of your now ready to list property!
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