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A wellness boutique founder’s Santa Monica condo brings the outdoors in

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Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Tired of the political climate in Washington, DC, and craving a change in her personal life, Chelsea Poling headed west to Santa Monica, California, and purchased a 1,400-square-foot condo with a sliver of ocean view and a storage room for her bounty of beauty products. Poling’s condo is not only her home, but her workspace — she’s the founder and CEO of online wellness boutique Rose Botanica.

“We offer natural skincare, body care and makeup, as well as products that support internal health, such as incense, crystals and candles,” explains Poling. “It’s like a holistic plethora of items for your well being.”

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Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Poling spent six years working for NASA in Cape Canaveral, Florida, and Greenbelt, Maryland, before transfering to the Agency for International Development, where she enjoyed a four-month stint as a procurement officer in Sri Lanka. Launching her own company combined her passion for natural wellness and beauty with a business degree from the University of Central Florida.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Working alongside a designer, Poling sought to create an aesthetic that could best be described as ‘natural chic.’ “Growing up in Florida, I’m so accustomed to being surrounded by water, so I really wanted to be as close to the beach as possible,” says Poling. Her wish list also included an outdoor space where she could catch a few rays in between filling orders. “As an entrepreneur who works from home, sometimes I’m not able to get outside for long periods of time, so it’s nice to have that access right in my home,” adds Poling.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

The main living space includes an office nook — an idea her designer initially rejected. “I have a small desk and a bookshelf where I keep some work documents,” says Poling. “I like to keep it very minimal without a lot of clutter. There’s also a floor-to-ceiling window that provides a lot of natural light and gives me energy throughout the day.” Poling says she does far more working than TV-watching in this space, so the layout functions just fine.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

It’s no wonder Poling’s combined bedroom and bathroom is a sanctuary of self-care. “The bed is great, of course, but I have a chaise lounge with a little side table that I use pretty frequently for reading or practicing deep breathing.”







Photo: Taylor Stoffers







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

There’s also a meditation altar, adorned with crystals, smudge sticks and mementos from her ancestors. “If I’m meditating or even just hanging out, I always have incense or a candle burning to set the mood and help me relax,” notes Poling.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

The ensuite bath is the perfect spot for a long soak (which Poling indulges in “at least four times a week”) or testing out new products — most of which are neatly displayed on clear acrylic organizers from The Container Store.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

“I have more beauty products than clothes, so I even dedicated part of the walk-in closet to them,” admits Poling. The gilded antique-looking mirror that hangs above the soaker tub was purchased from Anthropologie and reflects even more light into the space.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Though it looks serene and calming now, the rooftop patio did not come together without struggle. “We got all the furniture from Restoration Hardware, but failed to measure the staircase leading up to the rooftop,” says Poling. She had been toying with the idea of purchasing a saltwater hot tub, which required the use of a crane. “We piggybacked the furniture onto the crane rental for the hot tub to make it work” explains Poling.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

The outdoor space features an L-shaped sectional with mud cloth-inspired throw pillows, as well as a fire pit whose gas tank is cleverly disguised as a side table. “I wanted a large wooden dining table and this one can seat up to six,” adds Poling.







Photo: Taylor Stoffers







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

She uses the lush rooftop space nearly every day and often hosts get-togethers for local women involved in the wellness industry. “We’ll make food downstairs and then dine up on the rooftop where you get a little view of the ocean.”







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

Another major selling point was the climate-controlled storage room off the garage where Rose Botanica goods are packaged and tied with a bow. “We’ll probably grow out of the space eventually, but for now it’s nice to have immediate access to the products. We try to include a note with each order, and I don’t think a shipping department would be able to offer such a personal touch. It’s really nice to have that ability.”







Photo: Taylor Stoffers

While the design project took about seven months to complete, Poling says it was all worth it in the end. “My friends and family who visit from out of town always say, ‘I feel like I’m at a spa right now!’” By incorporating natural elements and intriguing the olfactory senses, Poling has created a space that’s “very comfortable and livable, but beautiful at the same time.” To her, it’s the ultimate act of self-care.

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5 DIY Home Improvements for the COVID-19 Lockdown

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The global coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of people around the world, to spend more time in their homes this year than they have spent in a long time. As people sit around day after day within the confines of their home, it becomes easier to notice all the areas of the house that need some work. Fortunately, everyone can now afford the extra free time to do the home renovation project they’ve been putting off for years.

Due to the on-going global health crisis, you may not be able to hire any help for your home improvement project; this means that whatever new project you plan to do around the house, whether it’s repainting the home, or installing floor heating systems, you would have to do it yourself.

Here are some do-it-yourself that you may like to try out.

Upgrade to Smart Home Appliances

It’s 2020, what better year to embrace the future by installing a range of high-tech devices that make life extra easy. For instance, with a smart thermostat, your home’s heating and cooling system can go off on their own when not needed, keeping your electricity bills lower. Other appliances that you can make smart include your lighting, home security, music and more.

Clean out your Garage

Homeserve suggests a garage cleanout as a great home improvement project for this season because cleaning out your garage provides some fresh air, the heavy lifting provides some workout and you feel an enormous sense of accomplishment when it’s done.  What’s more, the day would be far spent by the time you’re done with this project. Cleaning out your garage would require you to sweep out any dirt or debris, and get rid of other useless items that may have been stored there for a long time.

Start a Repainting Project

There’s always room for a fresh coat of paint to make everywhere look more alive, so grab a paintbrush and add some extra character to your home. The good news is that you don’t even have to go out for the paint, you can have it shipped directly to your door. Southlandremodeling suggests that if you had 2019 palette or older in your home, now is the time to embrace the latest colour hues of 2020, that show off a more contemporary style and make your home look more sophisticated.

 Build a Patio

Now is the time where every family would enjoy having a paver patio or an outdoor deck, somewhere to sit and get some fresh air when you’re tired of being cooped up inside all day. First you have to ensure that your home has enough space for a patio and that you have enough skills to handle a hammer and other tools for simple construction.

Next you order your needed materials online and get started. There is a great sense of satisfaction that comes with being able to create an outdoor space that your family can enjoy while being stuck at home.

Install some floor heating systems

Installation of floor heating systems is one of the best home improvement projects that one can get. Many people prefer to hire professionals to do these kinds of installation but if you are up for it, it’s not impossible to do this on a DIY project and get a valuable addition to your home for about half the cost.

Finally

There is no reason to continue holding out on your dream DIY home renovation projects, especially now that you have all the time in the world due to the COVID-19 stay-at-home order. Now is the perfect time to transform your home all by yourself!

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13 Montreal Apartments For Rent That Have Breathtaking Outdoor Spaces

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With Quebec’s moving day just around the corner, many people are starting to look for a new property to rent. And, now that Montreal real estate activity is back in action, you can start trying to find the perfect space again. And, if you ask me, an apartment that comes with outdoor space is a must when living in the city.

From balconies to shared rooftop spaces, we’re all looking for a place where we can be outdoors. 

Now, more than ever, fresh air is something that we’re all craving. And, with summer coming faster than we think, finding a place with access to the outside is on so many of our checklists. 

Luckily for you, we at MTL Blog have made your job very easy and have gone through listings throughout the city to showcase some of the best rentals, all of which have outdoor spaces. 

Some of these properties offer private balconies while others have surreal rooftops you get access to. Regardless of which one you fall in love with, you’ll be sure to have a summer to remember living in any apartment on this list. 

Get ready for moving day because after looking at these properties, you’re going to be ready to pack your belongings.

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Montreal real-estate market hit hard by pandemic

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Like many industries affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, the red-hot Montreal real-estate market has suddenly chilled.

After 61 consecutive months of increases, the Montreal Census Metropolitan Area reported a 68-per-cent decrease in residential sales transactions in April 2020 compared with the year-earlier period, according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers.

The most recent residential real-estate market statistics for the Montreal area showed 1,890 residential sales transactions were concluded last month. Those figures are based on the real-estate brokers’ Centris provincial database.

Montreal has been hit harder than other Canadian cities by the pandemic, and the drop in sales was seen in all six main areas of the Montreal CMA.

The drop in sales applied to all three property categories. Single-family home sales fell 68 per cent (1,048 transactions): plex sales dropped 67 per cent (161 transactions); and condominium sales tumbled 69 per cent (675 transactions).

Despite the drop in sales, real-estate prices rose in the CMA. The median price of single-family homes increased by nine per cent to reach $360,000, while the median price of condominiums climbed 12 per cent to $289,900.

Compared with April 2019, the median price of plexes (two to five dwellings) increased 10 per cent to $595,000.

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