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Planning a bathroom reno? You should consider these 8 emerging trends





Photo: James Bombales, design by Soda Pop Design Inc.

New year, new you bathroom. If you’re about to swing the hammer on a bathroom renovation you’re not alone —  it’s the second most popular space to update after the kitchen, and most will spend upwards of $7,000 decking it out, according to the 2018 Houzz & Home Study. To find out which upgrades today’s homeowners are shelling out for, we turned to another newly-released Houzz study tracking bathroom trends across the US. Read on to find out which design trends you should be on the lookout for in 2019.

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1. Yee-haw for farmhouse style

Photo: robyns_frenchnest/Instagram

Favored by 20 percent of renovating homeowners, contemporary bathroom style still reigns supreme, but farmhouse is on the rise. In 2017, only 7 percent opted for the Fixer Upper look, but in 2018 that number rose to 12 percent — guess we have Chip and Joanna Gaines to thank for that.

2. Make America gray again

Photo: zephyr_and_stone/Instagram

Gray isn’t going anywhere. The new neutral claimed 32 percent of the vote for top wall color pick, and it’s also the most popular hue for master bathroom floors. When it comes to cabinets and vanities, homeowners prefer a bit of contrast. White (24 percent) and wood or wood-like colors (32 percent) proved to be the most favorable.

3. Accessibility matters

Photo: tayloranneinteriors/Instagram

Baby Boomers are planning for the future, removing bathtubs, losing shower curbs and installing safety features like seats, grab bars and non-slip flooring. A whopping 47 percent are even opting to change the layout to improve function and flow.

4. All in all it’s just another brick (lay pattern) on the wall

Photo: lustercustomhomes/Instagram

Renovating homeowners can’t get enough of tile. In fact, 88 percent are choosing to install it on their master bedroom walls. Subway tile is often favored for its reasonable price tag and wide array of color options, but increasingly, design lovers are looking for fresh ways to install the material. Brick lay patterns are the most popular (66 percent), but grid (11 percent) and herringbone (7 percent) are also on the up and up.

5. Pedal to the mixed metals

Photo: lindsay_hill_interiors/Instagram

Remember the all-gold fixtures trend of 2017? Well it turns out you can have too much of a good thing. Homeowners who embrace mixed metal finishes (42 percent) are slowly catching up to those who prefer to use the same finish throughout (58 percent). Mixing your metals creates a more timeless look and adds visual interest.

6. Oh buoy, vessel sinks!

Photo: rvk_loves/Instagram

Vessel sinks, or those that rest on top of a vanity, grew in popularity by 50 percent between 2016 and 2018. It’s no wonder, given all the shapes, styles and colors consumers can select from. Two-sink setups remain a real crowd pleaser (66 percent), as do undermount sinks (63 percent).

7. Two shower heads are better than one

Photo: hunkerhome/Instagram

Always arguing with your partner over who gets to shower first in the morning? Consider upgrading to dual shower heads, preferred by 23 percent of those polled. As shower sizes increase overall, home owners are tricking them out with rainfall shower heads (57 percent), body sprayers (18 percent), thermostatic mixers (12 percent) and relaxing steam features (5 percent).

8. “Alexa, flush the toilet.”  

Photo: you_marumaru/Instagram

If you’ve ever been to an upscale sushi restaurant, you’ve likely encountered an elaborate Japanese toilet that made you question everything you’ve ever known about going #1 or #2. The trend seems to be catching on in North America because toilet seating with a bidet and/or heating feature rose in popularity by 12 percent and 9 percent, respectively.


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New home? Prepare for the unexpected





(NC) Buying a house, getting married or having your first baby are all major life events that are likely to affect your finances. But whether you’re in the midst of a major life event or not, it’s important to check in on your finances regularly to maintain good financial health.

Your financial health encompasses things like your spending, savings, borrowing and future financial plans. It also means dedicating a set amount of savings for unexpected future events. It can even include optional credit protection insurance, such as TD protection plans, to help cover your debt balances in case of death, a covered critical illness or total disability.

Even though it can be tough to think about the unexpected, life is unpredictable and it’s important to plan for the unexpected. Find more information at

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Mortgage pitfalls to avoid





(NC) Throughout life, you may have moments where you’ll make a large purchase or invest in a costly item, like your family home. But whether you’re in the market for your first new property or already have a mortgage, leaving this asset unprotected can be costly.   

Insuring your housing financial debt, as well as debt for other big-ticket items like a new boat for your lakefront cottage or keepsake jewelry like an engagement ring, is a smart investment in your well-being.

To help protect your debt balances like a mortgage, your bank may have optional credit protection insurance products.

“Your home is one of your biggest assets, yet illness can happen at any stage of life. Worrying about your mortgage when the focus should be on health isn’t a situation anyone would wish for,” explains Shirley Malloy, vice president at TD. “Fortunately, we offer mortgage protection to provide coverage for your outstanding balance should you face a covered critical health event.”

Mortgage protection can be purchased whether you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or already have a home financing solution. But what about protection options for credit card debt?

“Given the unprecedented circumstances of this year, many Canadians are trying to plan for the unexpected to protect themselves and their finances,” says Malloy. “TD balance protection plus is an optional product designed to help you deal with your credit card payment obligations in the event of a covered event, such as loss of employment.”

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Is your internet too slow? It’s probably not you





(NC) We all know the aggravation of a school lesson that just won’t stop freezing or the family video call that looks more like a photo montage. And, as we adjust to the impact of COVID-19 on our day-to-day, that slow connection can have frustrating consequences.

Working from home and learning remotely, both need fast, stable internet, something not enough Canadians have yet. Even if you have fast devices in your home, if the infrastructure in your area is not optimal, your connection won’t be either.

Right now, cities have the infrastructure needed to ensure access. But rural and remote communities are hugely underserved, with fewer than half having high-speed internet, and fewer than a third of households on reservations have high-speed connections.

Fortunately, change is coming. The Universal Broadband Fund is backing projects across Canada right now to ensure the reliable, high-speed internet connections families need to work, study, access services online, and safely stay in touch with each other.

The fund existed before COVID, but as a response to the pandemic, its timetable has been moved up by four years to a target of 98 per cent of Canadians with high-speed internet access by 2026. With the faster pace, at least 90 per cent of us should be connected by the end of 2021.

The fund is focused on improvements in rural and remote communities across Canada to fix the disconnect between internet access for urban and rural households.  This means more remote work opportunities, better access to remote learning and safer access to healthcare, no matter where you live.

It’s not just for good connections at home, either. The improvements mean much better access to mobile networks on highways between remote communities. The result is better, safer navigation and access to emergency services for your family, even on the road in the middle of nowhere. Mobile projects will be focused on serving Indigenous communities and the roads leading to them.

The shape these improvements will take in your area will depend on where you live. Canada is huge, and its communities are hugely diverse, with diverse needs. Keep an eye out for local projects — they’re a small part of something much bigger.

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