Shopping and planning for your next redesign, reno or redecorating project has never been easier. Thanks to the abundance of decor and design Web sites, you'll find the internet an invaluable resource. We've rounded up some of your best online bets!
When it comes to redecorating your home with a change of colour, you can make decisions confidently and easily from the comfort of your home; expert advice is just a quick click away. The newly redesigned benjaminmoore.ca website -- which recently picked up a silver medal for interactive media from the Canadian Marketing Association -- offers easy navigation, plus you'll find online colour forecasts and trend reports. But most interestingly, the site features a user-friendly tool called My Scrapbook. This visual aid helps you decide on your style and the mood you want to create in a particular room, and provides suggestions of possible colour palettes. Simply click on “Browse by Mood” or “Browse by Room” to view various palettes and get inspired. The online fan-deck means that you can preview all of your colour choices and play with different colour combinations before making a big commitment. When you're finished, simply save your scrapbook for future reference, or print out the colour choices you like best and head to the nearest Benjamin Moore retailer to buy your paint!
When it comes to online gardening resources, here's one to bookmark: canadiangardening.com. Need to find a local garden information hotline? Curious about Canada's plant-hardiness zones? Looking for a gardening club in your area? This site offers all of that info and more. Click on Garden Talk to join the lively forums -- an informative place for beginners and green thumbs alike. Plus, shop online for gardening books; you'll find a selection chosen by the experts -- the editors of Canadian Gardening magazine.
Whether you're tackling a minor decorating project or a major renovation, the key to success is having a plan and executing it with patience and precision. customhomes.ca is a Canadian website with all the information you'll need to kick-start your next project. To find a contractor or manufacturer, just click on your city name. The best part: get a contractor quote without going to the trouble of arranging a house call. Click on the “quick quote” link featured with each contractor's info and fill out the form with information such as the service required, project status, preferred start date and project details. It's a quick and easy way to get valuable information with a minimum amount of effort.
Specializing in gifts and gift baskets, essenceofgiving.com offers unique ideas for all occasions. Search for beautiful home accessories or jewelry. Or for the gift that can't go wrong, order a personalized gift basket. Baskets can be filled with everything from gourmet foods and coffees to decorative goods and luxurious bath and body-care products. Plus, get free expedited shipping on orders over $100.
froo-gle (fru'gal) n. Smart shopping through Google. Having established itself as one of the web's premium information search engines, adapting its ability toward sniffing out the best shopping deals on the web seemed a natural next step for Google. Thus, Froogle was born. Enter your must-have item and chances are froogle.com will turn up an option or two -- or a thousand! A search for Persian rugs yields approximately 15,000 results in a mere 0.18 seconds. Looking for antique clocks? Nowhere else can you find 11,000 search results in half a minute. To narrow your results, use Froogle's left-hand navigation bar to set search parameters like price, category or store.
As online shopping continues to grow, more and more retailers are recognizing the web's potential for customer service and satisfaction. The Home Depot is one such retailer: the recently renovated homedepot.ca features over 2,400 products, plus expert installation and decorating advice, and step-by-step instructions for more than 175 projects. The site also posts online versions of the big box retailer's guides and catalogues, so don't despair if you prematurely toss yours into the recycling bin! Click on “What's New,” and select “online catalogues.” While viewing the catalogue pages, hover your cursor over any product photo and a pop-up window will appear with product specs, pricing info and the option to add it to your shopping cart. It's a fast and convenient way to shop!
Consider this site your online toolbox. Whether you want to build it, fix it, decorate it, buy it, grow it, install or research it, homeenvy.com is your one-stop online resource for the info you'll need to get your home project done. Design and DIY gurus, including Mag Ruffman, Steve Maxwell, Kathy Renwald, Red Green and Style at Home's own decorating editor, Kimberley Seldon, comprise the roster of all-Canadian experts who provide tried-and-true tips and tricks for a host of home improvement projects. Plus, online video clips easily demonstrate how to do things like fix a leaky tap. What this site may lack in aesthetics, it makes up for in information. Sign up for homeenvy.com's weekly newsletter and get the expert advice you need -- it's all right at your fingertips!
The added touch of a delicate ribbon can make the ordinary extraordinary. Ribbon importer and distributor Masterstroke Canada's online ribbon shop, masterstrokecanada.com, offers an enormous assortment of ribbons and trims (and even vintage-style labels) perfect for putting the finishing touches on gifts. Or in lieu of napkin rings, tie bright ribbons around white linen napkins.