AROUND THE HOUSEUncategorized 30 April 2021

7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Messy

Decorating your home can be a fun activity and use of creativity, but it is easy to go overboard.

Simple decorating mistakes can lead to your home looking cluttered and messy. We are sharing the most common decorating errors and their easy fixes to help you achieve an organized and visually appealing home.

Life@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look MessyLife@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look MessyLife@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Messy

1. Overcrowding Open Spaces

Open selves or tabletops are a perfect space to display décor items, coffee table books, or memorable photos, but adding too many pieces can make the display cluttered and overstimulating. Leave open space between pieces. Avoid displaying paperback, binders, or unattractive books. And steer clear of overcrowded pictures by featuring only cherished photos. (For a more artistic look, try candid shots in black and white.) These steps will help you achieve a cleaner look.

2. Adding Too Many Colours

“Less is more” is the mindset to have when considering what colour pallet to decorate your space with. Having too many colours can lead to the room feeling chaotic and overwhelming. Although there is no official limit, try sticking to 1-2 hues partnering them with neutral-coloured items. Pay attention to how much these colours are used and where they are placed to make your space feel balanced and soothing.

3. Consider Your Furniture

Furniture can easily make or break any room, so you must be very careful when picking your pieces and the placement for your space. When you are selecting your furniture make sure each scale is similar, as mixing the sizes can make a room look carelessly thrown together. You must also consider the size of the room because overcrowding a room with large or too much furniture can make the space feel small. Another common mistake is where you are placing your furniture. Arranging these pieces up against the wall can make your room look cluttered. Try pulling the furniture towards the centre of the room to give your space an open, harmonious feel.

Life@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look MessyLife@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Messy

4. Hanging Pictures

Photo walls are a great way to feature cherished memories or your artistic style, but if they are not hung correctly it can be an eye-sore getting unwanted attention. Hang your images in an organized and balanced fashion – check out these tips for layout ideas. Before you nail the frames in place, use painter’s tape and scrap paper to test out the arrangement.

5. Hide Technology

Technology is not always the prettiest sight to see, so try hiding it when possible. Camouflage wires, TV components, and remotes in decorative boxes. Recycle tech you are no longer using like your old fax machine, DVD collection, or large stereo speaker, or upcycle vintage items as featured décor pieces. If you really want to hide all your technology, consider a TV that doubles as an art piece.

6. Examine Your Rug Size

A common decorating mistake is choosing the wrong rug size for the given space. A mis-sized rug can throw off an entire room, making it feel small and off-balanced. Consider this size and layout guide when picking a rug to make sure the item is unifying your space.

Life@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look MessyLife@Home_Feb_7 Decorating Mistakes That Make Your Home Look Messy

7. Brighten Your Space

Dark rooms can make your space feel cluttered and messy. Let in natural lighting as a solution to make the room feel open and joyful – it can always help your mental and physical health too! If you are limited on the amount of natural light the room can get, try adding in lamps, mirrors, or bright coloured items as a replacement.

AROUND THE HOUSE 30 April 2021

How To Start Your Seeds Indoors For Your Vegetable Garden

Article from Chatelaine by Natalie Michie

(Illustrations by Sumit Gill)

Tending to your own veggie garden is a fun and budget-friendly way to get some fresh produce on the table come summer. To benefit from a longer growing season and increase your chances of a healthier crop, consider starting your seeds indoors this spring. Here, a step-by-step guide to thriving seedlings.

An illustration of a tomato seedling in a terracotta pot against a green background.

1. Consider your space

“Pay attention to how much light you’re getting throughout the day as that will determine what type of seeds you can grow,” says Ohemaa Boateng, the program manager at Green Thumbs Growing Kids, a food growing education organization in Toronto. For beginners, she recommends starting with no more than three varieties of seeds. To narrow it down, consider what you like to eat, or opt for plants that are easy to grow, like tomatoes, beans and leafy greens. Buy your seeds from a local supplier, as they likely carry varieties better suited to the growing conditions in your area.

2. Sow your seeds

Poke holes in the bottoms of your pots to ensure proper drainage, then fill them with a seed-starting mix: a fine, soilless mixture of coco coir, perlite and vermiculite that allows seedlings to grow roots easily. A good guideline is to plant seeds at a depth equal to three times their width (consult the packaging, as instructions can vary, and some tougher seeds may need to be soaked overnight prior to sowing). Boateng suggests planting a few seeds per pot in case one doesn’t sprout.

3. Label them as you go

Keep track of your soon-to-sprout seedlings by labelling them right away with the name of the plant and the sowing date.

4. Get the temperature right

Some seeds need warmth to germinate, while others, like leafy greens, fare better in cooler soil. Keep fruiting plants—like tomatoes, peppers and eggplants—somewhere warm, such as on top of the refrigerator or near a radiator. To help retain heat and moisture, cover the pots with plastic wrap; remove once any shoots start poking through.

An illustration of a rotisserie chicken container with seedling pots inside against a white background.

A rotisserie chicken container makes a great DIY greenhouse. Simply poke holes into the lid for ventilation and transfer your seedling pots to their new home. (Illustration: Sumit Gill)

5. Manage water levels

The seed-starting mix should be moist but not saturated. To ensure your seedlings are watered properly, Boateng suggests setting up a self-watering system by placing one end of a string into an elevated water-filled container and the other in the soil. The water will travel down the string and nourish the plant’s roots.

6. Move seedlings into the sun

Once seedlings sprout, move your plants to a cool, sunny location, such as an indoor windowsill. Rotate the containers every so often to keep seedlings growing evenly. (Some herbs and leafy greens will grow better in shadier areas out of direct sunlight.) The temperatures needed depend on the type of vegetables you’re growing, but Boateng says room temperature works for most plants at this stage.

7. Fertilize your plants

Once seedlings grow their true leaves—not the first leaves to sprout, but the next round—it’s time to fertilize. Boateng says organic and natural fertilizers will give your plants the best nutrients.

8. Thin your seedlings

To ensure your plants have room to grow, keep just one seedling per pot. Save the healthiest, strongest-looking seedling of the bunch and snip the others off at the soil line with scissors.

9. Harden them off

Outside, pampered seedlings can be exposed to fluctuating temperatures, rain and wind, which can cause stress and lead to stunted growth or death. To prevent transplant shock, slowly acclimate your plants to the elements (a process called “hardening off”) by bringing them outside once daytime temperatures start hovering around 10 degrees Celsius. Start with one hour a day, Boateng says, and gradually increasing their time outdoors over the course of one to two weeks.

10. Transplant them outdoors

The best time to move seedlings to their permanent home is after the last frost in your area. Wait until the plant’s root system is strong and starts to poke through drainage holes. If possible, plant them early in the morning to avoid immediately exposing them to the sun. Boateng suggests spreading mulch around the base of the plant to help keep the soil damp.

For people with smaller outdoor spaces, like balconies, Boateng recommends veggies that grow upward, like beans, cucumbers or tomatoes. “It’s maximizing the space you have by growing up instead of growing out,” she says, noting that you can use any sort of vertical support, such as a fence, cage, stake or trellis.

No seedling pots? Reuse these household items instead.

Toilet paper rolls

Make a few slits around one end of each roll and fold the sections in toward the centre to form the bottom of the pot. Planted along with the seedlings, the cardboard will decompose in the soil.

Plastic bottles

Cut bottles in half, poking drainage holes in the bottoms. Or use up the top halves by poking holes in the cap and filling the bodies with seed-starting mix, and then setting them inside the bottom halves to collect excess water.


An inexpensive and all-natural option, eggshells make excellent seedling pots. When crushed, they break down and enrich the soil with calcium, providing extra nutrients to the growing plants.

Egg cartons

Cardboard egg cartons are compostable, so they’re perfect for seedlings. Poke holes in the bottom of each compartment and cut the lid off the carton to use as a drainage tray.

Food containers

Give plastic tubs and containers—like yogurt cups—a new purpose by rinsing them out and adding drainage holes. When seedlings are ready to be transplanted, wash and recycle (or reuse) the pots.

CENTURY 21 News 27 March 2021

CENTURY 21 in the Community

Despite a difficult 2020 , CENTURY 21 system members raised $452,729 for Easter Seals through the C21 Kids to Camp program.  Funds raised was due to the hard work of the CENTURY 21 family, led by 48 Golden Heart Winners.   215 children and youths living with disabilities will be able to make unforgettable memories at an Easter Seals camp.