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How to clean your oven
Everything you need to know about getting this in-demand appliance clean – and keeping it that way.
The holidays are a busy time for your oven, whether you’re making a turkey, gingerbread cookies, salt-dough ornaments or all of the above. Winning results require a clean appliance, as built-up grime can affect foods’ flavour or, worse, lead to fires. Repeated heat will burn spills and splatters in place, so make a habit of wiping them after each use, once the oven has totally cooled (a sprinkle of salt will loosen the mess while the appliance is cooling). For a deep clean , make a paste by adding water to baking soda, and apply it generously to the oven’s interior using a clean cloth; leave overnight. Wipe the surface using a damp cloth and scrape off large stuck-on bits with a spatula. If any grime remains, generously spray on white vinegar – it will react with the baking soda to work the dirt off – and wipe clean.
KNOW YOUR OVEN
Get to know your oven’s built-in cleaning function (or lack thereof) before getting started.
Self-cleaning: In an isolated cycle, extreme heat turns grime into ash to be wiped off with a damp cloth. Racks must be removed (and cleaned separately); commercial cleaners are prohibited.
Continuous cleaning: A chemical coating on the walls dissolves splatters during cooking. Avoid commercial cleaners (they may strip off the coating).
None: It can handle both homemade and commercial cleaning solutions.
Your oven racks work hard and, every so often, they could use a bubble bath – literally. Start by lining your bathtub with old towels to protect it. Place the racks on top and submerge them in hot water; mix in several generous squirts of dish soap. Let stand overnight to loosen dirt before wiping clean with a soft sponge.
Behind closed doors
Grease-carrying steam can get in between the door’s interior and exterior glass panes. Cleaning this requires taking the door apart, so check your warranty to see if this service is covered or call in a pro.
Expert tip: “Keep a baking sheet on the bottom rack of your oven to catch spillage. Then simply remove, clean and replace it.” -Natalia Bronstein, Team Leader, Aspenclean.
Dos and Don'ts:
Do: Be patient. Allowing cleaning solutions to sit for the full recommended length of time will minimize your scrubbing effort.
Don't: Get any water or cleaning solution on the door gasket, as it damages easily.
Beautiful blue laundry room.
We've created a laundry room you could spend all day in – on both a royal budget and a baby one.
1 CANISTER, KSP glass Pasabahce with glass loop handle, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $12. 2 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 3 BATH/HAND TOWELS, WestPoint Home cotton Lasting colour in White, Bed Bath & Beyond, $22. 4 WASHING MACHINE, LG 4.6 cu ft. Ultra Large Capacity SteamWasher in Graphite Steel, The Home Depot, $1,048. 5 FAUCET, Powder-coated brass single-lever single-hole Ringskår, IKEA, $99. 6 WALLPAPER, Blue Pattern Tile, artistichomeowner.com, US $90 per roll. 7 CONTAINER, Tin, HomeSense, $8. 8 CANISTER, Anchor Hocking glass Montana with stainless steel lid, Kitchen Stuff Plus, $10. 9 BASKETS, Woven wicker, HomeSense, $17 each. 10 NESTING BASKETS, Seagrass, Canadian Tire, $15 for 3. 11 TURKISH BATH TOWEL, Plain and Simple Home, $74. 12 LAUNDRY BAG, Cotton in Hammam Stripe, West Elm Market, $34. 13 HAMPER, Rattan Sedona, Crate and Barrel, $100. 14 RUNNERS, Blue diamond woven 4' x 2.25', HomeSense, $20 each.
1 CANISTER, Extra Large Glass, Crate and Barrel, $30. 2 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Le Labo in Rose, Soap and Water Everyday, $56. 3 BATH TOWELS, PB Classic Turkish cotton, $29 each; HAND TOWELS, PB Classic Turkish cotton, $19 each, Pottery Barn. 4 WASHING MACHINE, LG 6 cu. ft. Mega Capacity SteamWasher in Graphite Steel, The Home Depot, $1,698. 5 FAUCET, Powder-coated brass Solna Single-Handle Single-Hole Pull-Down Smart Touch, Brizo, $811. 6 TILES, Hand-painted porcelain indoor/outdoor Talavera Poblana Classic C14, Mexican Traditions, $540. 7 CONTAINER, Enamelled metal Clothes Pegs, Soap and Water Everyday, $22. 8 CANISTER, Glass with polished silver lid, Ginger's, $45. 9 BASKETS, Handwoven rattan Jacquelyne Rope-Handled, Pottery Barn, $59 each. 10 BASKETS, Small woven rattan Tamiko, Ginger's, $252. 11 TURKISH BATH TOWEL, Khadi and Co. hand-loomed cotton, Plain and Simple Home, $88. 12 LAUNDRY BAG, Izola canvas Launder With Care, Ginger's, $56. 13 HAMPER, Small woven rattan Tamiko, Ginger's, $286. 14 RUNNER, Polypropylene indoor/outdoor Diamond in Denim & White, Dash & Albert Rug Company, $158.
Spray, scrub, spin dry, starch and start all over again next week – let’s face it, laundry is seldom a labour of love. But luxe products like these make it less of a chore, so soap up! 1 PEGS, Wooden Dolly, Soap and Water Everyday, $20 per pack of 50. 2 LINEN WATER, Compagnie de Provence in Luberon, Keep Me Posted, $19. 3 LINEN WATER, ElizabethW in Lavender, Ginger's, $28. 4 LINEN WATER, Lothantique in Lavender, Ginger's, $23. 5 DRYER BALL, Handmade felted wool, Lynn's Lids, $25 per pack of 3. 6 DRYER BALL, Rubber Hedgehog, West Elm Market, $9 per pack of 2. 7 DRYER SACHETS, Pi'lo lavender-filled, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 8 DRYER SACHETS, Lavender-filled linen, Keep Me Posted, $10 per pack of 2. 9 SPOON, Wooden, Plain and Simple Home, $18. 10 LAUNDRY DETERGENT, The Laundress Delicate Wash in Lady, Soap and Water Everyday, $20. 11 DRYER BALL, Get Sorted, Home Outfitters, $10 per pack of 2. 12 DRYER BALL, Variations, Home Outfitters, $10 per pack of 8. 13 STARCH, The Laundress Stiffen Up, Soap and Water Everyday, $18. 14 SCOOP, Wooden, Plain and Simple Home, $18. 15 DRYER SHEETS, Caldrea in Black Coriander Lime, Soap and Water Everyday, $15 per pack of 80.
We love the bold yet lighthearted patterns of Talavera Poblana pottery, a tradition that dates back to 16th-century Mexico. It’s such a time-honoured practice that its production is heavily regulated in order to be called authentic. But we’re fans of the inauthentic versions, too. And the tile-look wallpaper? Muy bueno. 1 TILE, Hand-painted porcelain Talavera Poblana Classic C14, Mexican Traditions, $5 per tile. 2 TILE, Hand-painted clay Talavera Poblana Classic C5C, Mexican Traditions, $3 per tile. 3 TILE, Hand-painted clay Talavera Poblana Classic C10C, Mexican Traditions, $3 per tile. 4 TILE, Target Unica glazed porcelain stoneware Bonton in Black and White, Ciot, $22 per sq. foot. 5 TILE, Target Unica glazed percelain stoneware Bonton in Light Blue on White, Ciot, $22 per sq. foot. 6 WALLPAPER, Blue Pattern Tile, artistichomeowner.com, US $90 per roll.
Get to know your hangers before you trust them with your wardrobe! 1 Painted wood Sturdy; shape protects clothes; bottom bar allows suits and matching sets to be stored together. 2 Coated plastic with rubber shoulders Thinner than the average hanger, so you can fit more clothes in your closet; rubber grip on shoulders and bottom bar keeps everything in place. 3 Plastic attachable Another great way to get more into your closet, these hangers can hook onto each other. 4 Maple Sturdy; wide frame helps items like blazers maintain their shape; notched shoulders keep strappy shirts from slipping. 5 Cedar Natural and unvarnished wood absorbs moisture and odours, leaving clothing with a fresh cedar scent. 6 Nylon-coated plastic Super slim and perfect for space-saving; nylon coating prevents slippery fabricsand wide-necked shirts from sliding off. 7 Fabric-padded Perfect for lingerie and lightweight camisoles; smooth material helps prevent snags in silk and satin. Hangers 1 Get Sorted maple Wood Suite in White, Home Outfitters, $10 per set. 2 Coated plastic Slim Grips, Bed Bath & Beyond, $20 per set of 16. 3 Plastic Attachable in white, Bed Bath & Beyond, $6 per set of 10. 4 Maple, HomeSense, $6 per set of 5. 5 Get Sorted cedar, Home Outfitters, $14 per set of 3. 6 Nylon-coated plastic ultra-slim non-slip flocked blue, HomeSense, $17 per set of 25. 7 Fabric-padded, HomeSense, $7 per set of 5.
Might as well face it. We're addicted to plus pure white bath towels. Does anything feel better after a long, hot shower? So fresh, so clean and so pristine -- they're the quintessential start to a successful day. And at the mid-range price point of the Style at Home collection, they're also simply irresistible. BATH TOWELS, Style at Home Solid Colour Cotton in Bright White, Sears, $23.
A once tiny starter house is transformed into one family's dream home.
A once tiny starter house is transformed into one family's dream home.
A young family goes from starter home to forever home – without moving! – thanks to two talented and trustworthy designers.
How to Build Your Dream House 101, a case study. Lesson One: Start from the ground up. When these homeowners (he’s a lawyer, she’s a nutritionist and stay-at-home mom) realized that the tiny Vancouver bungalow they’d been living in for the past 12 years was far too small for their family (which includes two growing boys, aged 9 and 10), they had it bulldozed. They loved their lot, but the home had never been renovated, and the foundation footprint needed to be expanded before they could go bigger – so demolition was the obvious option.
Lesson Two: Understand exactly what your dream house entails. Having lived on the property for more than a decade, the homeowners had crystal-clear ideas about how to make the most of the ample light and stunning views. Plus, they analyzed their lifestyle and knew what it demanded – a large open-concept living space (so the family could be close even when they’re not in the same room); plenty of über-organized storage (since this super-sporty gang bikes, skis, swims and plays soccer); a quiet area away from the kids (because, well, kids); and a kitted-out kitchen for the wife, who’s an avid home chef.
Lesson Three (and perhaps the most important of them all): Hire people you trust to deliver the dream. Enter Sophie Burke, whose sister introduced her to the wife (they’re friends). “I felt Sophie would understand the needs of a young family and not make things too precious,” says the wife. “I had seen her clean, elegant and sophisticated style on her Pinterest boards and in other projects she’d done and just knew that if I couldn’t decide on something, I’d be happy with her choices.”
Sophie and the project’s lead designer, Jennifer Millar, were involved from the start – from recommending an architect to build the 2,800-square-foot four-bedroom house to shopping for its finishing touches. “Both designers are smart and talented, and I was always impressed with their selections – unique and interesting yet unfussy,” says the wife. “How could I not trust them?”
With carte blanche to create the family’s dream home, Sophie and Jennifer set about creating a traditional aesthetic (which ties in the exterior architecture) with a clean, contemporary character. “Finding the right balance between the two styles was one of the biggest challenges for us,” says Sophie. But the timeless and trendy palette of black, white and grey used throughout the space helped unify it all. In the open-concept family room, dining area and kitchen, old-world touches like window casings, wall panelling and thick baseboards are tempered by sleek simple-lined furnishings and punched up by of-the-moment elements, such as herringbone tiles, brass hardware, Mid-Century Modern pieces and industrial light fixtures.
The designers also delivered all the practical features the homeowners sought: a quiet sitting room closed-off from the rest of the house, ample storage to accommodate all the kitchen gadgets and sports gear, a separate upstairs bathroom for the boys and a rec room and laundry room in the basement. In addition to the homeowners’ family-friendly requests, Sophie and Jennifer offered up another brilliant idea: to include an office nook in the family room so the kids would have a spot to complete their homework while remaining close to their parents. No doubt the homeowners will be thanking the designers for years to come – not only for delivering their dream home but also for anticipating needs they hadn’t considered. It goes to show how far the words “I trust you” can take you. That’s the best lesson we learned today.
The small sitting room of this Vancouver home is closed off from the rest of the open-concept living space. A retreat where the family reads or the adults entertain, it’s a spot for solitude in this otherwise ultra-active household.
“The homeowner is a really talented baker and cook. Her former kitchen was teeny tiny and cut off from the rest of the house, but she still came up with incredible creations,” raves designer Sophie Burke. In the sprawling new space, with its ample storage, second oven and magic corner (to name just a few highlights), we can only imagine the meals this home chef now creates! (Drool....)
The kitchen’s herringbone-tiled walls offer a dramatic yet subtle look.The trendy pattern is grouted in grey for a more vintage vibe – a testament to the interplay of new world and old in the house.
The family didn’t need a formal dining room, but they did desire a large space for hosting holiday dinners. So Sophie and her colleague, Jennifer Millar, selected a dining table that can extend to seat 16 and stashed an extra pair of chairs in the boys’ rooms to accommodate more bums. The striking light fixture lends the perfect industrial edge to the panelled wall. “Jennifer is a genius at sourcing lighting,” says Sophie.
“We just went all in,” says Sophie of covering the main-floor powder room walls in chic gold polka-dot wallpaper. While the brass picture light and faucet follow suit, the simple mirror and sink temper all the glitz and glam.
With a cubby for each family member along one wall and meticulously laid-out closets on the other, the mud room is an ultra-organized treat for the active family.
The cozy family room, which has its own office area, is open to the kitchen so the homeowners can keep an eye on the kids, whether they’re doing homework or watching TV.
Grey paint not only modernizes the traditional panelled wall but also blends in with the TV.
Simple, serene and pared back, the master bedroom, with its layered textures and neutral hues, is one of the most feminine rooms in the house, says Sophie.
Satsuma Sparkle cocktail recipe.
Satsuma Sparkle cocktail recipe.
Freshly squeezed satsuma gives this champagne cocktail its signature fruity flavour.
1 Muddle the frozen cranberries against a handful of ice in a cocktail shaker until they burst.
2 Pour in the satsuma juice and Grand Marnier. Shake until ice cold and then strain into two coupes.
3 Top with the champagne and garnish with a few extra frozen cranberries or some sugared red currants and a strip of orange zest if desired.
Tip: *To make sugared currants or cranberries, dip the fruit lightly into whisked egg whites and then into some fine sugar. Let dry for 20 minutes before using.
Makes: 2 servings.