Garage Sale 411

By | Calgary, Community, Home, Kim Hayden, Lifestyle | No Comments

Just like the smell of fresh cut grass, garage sales are SUMMER. And if you’re like many Calgarians, you’ll be checking a few out or even hosting a sale of your very own; especially now that this warmer weather is here to stay. Garage sales are a fantastic way to shed items you no longer want or have any use for. Remember, one person’s junk is another person’s treasure! Garage sales make an amazing finale to an intense SPRING cleaning project, so it’s best to prep for one now. After a long winter (and wow, this has been a long one), it is energizing to open the windows, bring out ALL the cleaning products, and get scrubbing. Pair your cleaning efforts with the right organization plan and you’ll be set for preparing for a garage sale of your very own.

On the show this week, Kim learns how to clean and organize her space. Just think S.P.A.C.ESort, Purge, Assign, Containerize, and Evaluate. Kim goes through these steps to get the most out of her space but for now let’s tackle PURGE. You’ve picked out what you no longer need and you are ready for your sale. But are you? Not to worry, your garage sale 411 is here to help.

Getting Started

The best place to start is to talk to your neighbours. See if they have anything coming up and if there is a chance to work together on a sale. If nothing is going on, pick your date and time. Try your best to pick something on the weekend and cross your fingers for good weather. You can share your event on Facebook, Kijiji, or even take out an ad in your local community newsletter. If you don’t have enough items to host a sale, you can always use Facebook buy and sell groups, Kijiji, or sites like VarageSale.

Helpful Tips

Weather you host a sale or use one of the sites above, make sure your item is priced appropriately. Don’t be afraid of a little barter but do the research and know what your item is worth. On the day of your sale, make sure to have enough change (minimum $100) broken up into small amounts. Use a pen and paper to keep track of your sales and how much things went for. It helps to have an extension cord on hand so that interested buyers can try out an electronic device before buying. Keep bags and newspaper on hand for wrapping items and packing them up. Don’t forget signage and balloons to help draw in crowds. Pair that with live Tweeting, Instagram Stories, and Facebook Live and you’ll be sure to attract a crowd online and in the real world. Last tip, make sure to have lots of help!


Not everything is going to sell but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t still have worth. Take your left-over items to one of the amazing organizations listed below. We’ve broken down what each will take but be sure to check their website or call ahead if you aren’t sure.

Calgary Drop-In Centre

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Computers
  • Mobile phones
  • Small appliances
  • Books

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

  • Large appliances (less than 10 years old)
  • Furniture
  • Home décor
  • Lighting
  • Electrical supplies
  • Unopened paint, primer, stain
  • Sinks and faucets
  • Showers and bathtubs
  • Cabinets
  • Unopened flooring
  • Hardware and tools
  • Building materials
  • Microwaves

WINS – Women in Need Society Thrift Stores

  • Baby and Children’s Clothes and Toys
  • Women’s Clothes, Shoes and Accessories
  • Men’s Clothes, Suits and Shoes
  • Jewelry and Collectibles
  • Furniture
  • Household Items and Home Décor
  • Sporting Equipment

Electronic Recycling Association (ERA)

  • Unwanted electronics

Cerebral Palsy Association in Alberta

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Bedding, linens, drapes
  • Housewares


  • Bedding, linens, towels
  • Books, CDs, DVDs, games
  • Clothing and footwear
  • Craft items
  • Furniture
  • Home furnishings
  • Antiques
  • Kitchenware
  • Sporting goods (no mechanized exercise equipment)
  • Small appliances
  • Yard/garden items
  • Seasonal items
  • Shopping bags

Calgary Inter-Faith Furniture Society

  • Furniture
  • Kitchenware
  • Small appliances
  • Toys and games
  • Clothing
  • Books
  • Music


  • Clothing
  • Home décor
  • Small appliances
  • Tvs, stereos, small electronics
  • Small tools
  • Sporting equipment
  • Toys, games
  • Books, movies, music
  • Household goods
  • Linens

Cornerstone Youth Centre

  • School supplies
  • Art/Craft supplies

Food Bank

  • Canned food
  • Juice
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Baby food and formula
  • Diapers

Comrie’s Sports Equipment Bank

  • Sporting equipment

Two Wheel View

  • Tools
  • Bike pannier sets
  • Bikes

Kidseat Recyclers:

  • Take your old carseat in to be recycled

Best of luck getting prepared this spring!  Download our Garage Sale 411 PDF for a quick breakdown to help you make the most out of your garage sale. Catch us this Wednesday May 9 at 8:30 a.m. on CTV Two or Saturday May 12 at 10 a.m. on CTV Calgary to catch our full Spring episode.

Home Automation: The Future is Here

By | Calgary, Design, Entertainment, Home, Home Maintenance, Home Security | No Comments

Picture this. You come home after a long day and your home is ready for you. The door is unlocked, the lights are on, blinds are drawn, the temperature is set to where you like it, and that package you ordered is waiting for you on the counter. No, you didn’t forget to turn everything off before leaving and no, you didn’t forget to lock your door, your home is smart. A quick trip over to your wall mounted, touch-screen control panel reveals the time that package was dropped off, how many times your door was opened during the day, and any motion that happened within your home.

Home automation may seem like science fiction, who can forget the iconic 2001: A Space Odyssey’s HAL? Okay, let’s forget about HAL, please! But home automation is exactly what it sounds like, the ability to control devices and things around the home. And it really isn’t the far off futuristic concept you might think it is. At its core, home automation is about setting up your home environment to adapt to what you do and how you live your life. You can do this remotely with the simple push of a button, you can program things in advance by using your touch-screen panel, and you can even control things with your voice once you are home.

On the show this week, we learned the best ways to keep our home secure. We teamed up with the experts at Adera Technologies learn the best ways to use home automation to complement a home security system to give added piece of mind.

Panel Touch-screen

This main access panel provides control over all automated aspects of the home. Think of it as your central control station. You can make changes instantly or program things in advance – like having your lights come on at a certain time of day or having your doors unlock just before you arrive home. A processor is at the core of every home automation system and this processor sets the customized system apart. Think of the processor as the brains of the operation – it keeps everything in check and allows you to add in features like voice activation or apps on your smart phone to control your system in different ways. When paired with an app on your phone, as long as you have access to the internet, you are able to control things when you’re away from home – however far away that might be.

Alexa or Google Home for Voice Command

Step up your home automation by adding in voice command system like Alexa or Google Home. Imagine walking into your home and using your voice to control the TV going on, the blinds going up, and the doors unlocking. It’s as easy as asking.

IP Cameras

In simple terms, these are cameras that can be accessed over a network connect. Read: as long as you have access to the internet, you can check on your home while you’re away. This digital video camera is commonly used for surveillance, which can be professionally set up to take your security system to the next level.

Automated Blinds

This is just want it sounds like, blinds that go up and down automatically. Step it up a notch with a device like Alexa or Google Home and use your own voice to command the blinds. These can also be controlled from a distance or programed in advance when tied into an overall system, giving you the ability to heighten your home security.

Door Stations

Have a nagging feeling that you forgot to lock the front door? Not a problem. Imagine being able to lock and unlock the doors to your home from a distance. You can take it a step further and monitor how many times the door has been opened during a specific timeframe. If something is being delivered to your home and you’d like it brought inside, check in on your front door IP camera, let the delivery person in, and then lock the door behind them – all from a distance.

Motion and Flood Monitors

Track motion throughout the home while you are away and use a flood monitor to ensure no problems arise while you are on vacation. When added to your home security system, these two monitoring system will take your security to the next level.

If you have any questions about home automation, check in with the experts at Adera Technologies.
ANA Interiors tours us through Adera Technologies on Homes & Lifestyles this Saturday, April 28 at 10:00 a.m. on CTV Calgary.

Kim Talks to Sarah Richardson

By | Calgary, Design, Entrepreneur, Home, Kim Hayden | No Comments

*Due to technical issues, footage of the most amazing interview with Sarah Richardson was lost.*

I recently had the pleasure of sitting down with Sarah Richardson, acclaimed Interior Designer and host of Sarah Off The Grid on HGTV. I must admit I was pretty nervous and a bit star struck heading into the interview. Here was someone that I had seen on TV multiple times and admired. But Sarah quickly put me at ease with her down-to-earth, relaxed and friendly attitude.

We chatted briefly about the amazing career she has enjoyed (and rightly earned), starting back in the 1990s when interior design was not recognized and respected the way it is today. People told her, or rather expected her, to be a doctor or a lawyer. Interior design was a ‘fluff’ job, a dead-end, and not worth pursuing, but Sarah forged ahead, having always been interested in the creative arts. She also had an opportunity to work on a TV show for a year right after university, planting the seed for her future work on HGTV.

With an amazing and full career, that now adds Australia to her fan base, why does Sarah still participate in home shows and expos?  It comes down to people – shows like the Calgary Home Renovation Show provide her with the opportunity engage and interact directly with people – something she can’t do on her shows. She’s been attending these shows for so long now that she recognizes a number of the faces. She loves seeing the nods of recognition from people in the crowd as she tells a story because they “get it” – they understand. But it’s still surreal when she meets people and they feel like they know her.

I asked Sarah what’s her favorite space to renovate? Of course, the big impact rooms like the kitchen and baths are a focus for many people, she simply enjoys creating comfortable and unique spaces that reflect the homeowner.

We also talked about trends for 2018. Sarah likes the trend toward the use of woods, more natural products, the incorporation of recycled materials as reusing and re-purposing items, which fits in with her approach to design. She did find it kind of funny that natural woods are being described as a ‘trend’ – it’s just good design.

The big question that our viewers wanted to ask was, how does she do it? How do Sarah manage her time and make her work-life balance seem so effortless? Sarah attributes this to her husband and to strict time management. When she first started her career, she often had meetings in the evenings and the weekends to accommodate her clients, but one day her then boyfriend (now husband) said, “what about you and your time?” She started setting boundaries, letting the clients know that she was only available between 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. When something came up, particularly with her family, she didn’t say, “I have to pick up my kids,” or give an excuse, but rather simply stated that she wasn’t available and tried to find another time. After much practice, she is very focused structuring her work time as work time and family or rest time as just that. Sometimes friends ask to go for lunch, but she says no because it would just mean that she has to stay longer at the end of the day. She eats lunch, usually at her desk. Of course, she still does these kinds of things – visiting Calgary for the shows – but that’s rare.

By the time the interview was over, I felt like I had been sitting with an old girlfriend, chatting about our lives and catching up. I gave her a copy of a recipe card book I had put together for Kim’s Kitchen and chatted about our favorite recipes, her latest find was a 45 minute cinnamon roll tested with her daughter Fiona. Mine of course is my stand by Pumpkin Pie Spiced Bread:

All in all, I can say that without a doubt, Sarah is all that you see on TV and MORE!!! Thank you for your time Sarah, it was lovely to meet you.

20 Ways to Go GREEN at Home

By | Calgary, Community, Green Home, Home | No Comments

Take action! Use this list to accelerate your journey to green!

  1. Start composting! Reduce landfill waste, return nutrients to the soil and avoid using chemical fertilizers in your yard and garden.
  2. Lug a mug and drag a bag. Be conscious of reducing and reusing when possible, such as bringing your own bags to the store and your own mug to the coffee shop.
  3. Go beyond recycling. Focus first on reducing and reusing, and then recycle what you can and try to purchase items made from recycled products.
  4. Shop locally. Support green businesses and shop fair trade.
  5. Buy less stuff. Borrow from friends, rent or look for second hand items.
  6. Rid your home of toxic cleaning products. Replace them with green alternatives or make your own.
  7. Choose natural personal care products. Read the labels on products and avoid ingredients that are known to be harmful, such as artificial fragrance and Triclosan (“anti-bacterial”).
  8. Go pesticide free. Weeds are not dangerous, but pesticides are.
  9. Start grasscycling. Leave your lawn clippings on the lawn instead of bagging them.
  10. Install and use a rain barrel. Capture rain water to use in your yard and garden instead of using municipal tap water.
  11. Go low flow. Replace your toilets, showerheads, and taps with low flow models (<1.5gpm or 5.7Lpm).
  12. Test your toilets for leaks. A leaky toilet can add up to 28 bath tubs of wasted water per month.
  13. Hang your clothes to dry. Save energy by avoiding the clothing dryer, which is the second biggest consumer of electricity in your home.
  14. Support renewable energy. Choose an energy provider that generates electricity from wind and solar power instead of coal.
  15. Cut your phantom loads. Make sure to unplug electronics when they are not in use or put them on a power bar and turn the bar off when you’re not using them.
  16. Change your light bulbs. CFLs and LEDs are 75-95% more efficient than incandescent bulbs.
  17. Travel lightly. Plan your vehicle trips so you can run multiple errands on the same trip. Consider biking, walking or taking transit whenever possible.
  18. Go idle free. Idling wastes fuel, produces more harmful emissions, and contributes to climate change.
  19. Eat consciously. Eat less meat, choose local, seasonal ingredients whenever possible and consider going organic if you can.
  20. Grow your own food. Plant a garden or join a community garden.

Thanks to Green Calgary for the tips! Share any suggestions you have in the comments below.

7 Ways to Bring Hygge into Your Home

By | Design, Dining, Home | No Comments

Hygee (pronounced hoo-guh) is a Danish word that roughly translates to coziness. But it’s so much more than that! The word hygee is used when acknowledging a feeling or moment (alone or with friends, home or out) as cosy, charming, or special. We dug up seven ways to bring the art hygee into your world.

  1. Warm things up. Cozy up to your fireplace and put those comfy socks on. If you don’t have a fireplace, try arranging candles together in a cluster to create a similar effect. 
  2. Bring the outdoors in. Add some greenery and plant life to your space. Or try adding natural materials (stone, wood, etc.) throughout your home.
  3. Turn off the lights. Shut off those harsh overhead lights and opt for candles or table lamps instead.
  4. De-clutter. Clear out the clutter in your cozy space to help your mind relax. Take away any items that don’t bring you joy.
  5. Head to the tub! Draw a nice warm bath with relaxing scents (like lavender) and light those candles. Add a few cozy touches, like fluffy towels and quality bathmats, for some post bath comfort.
  6. Set the table. Time spent with family or friends, especially while sharing a great meal, is essential to practicing the art of hygge. So you’ll need a great dining room table with room for everyone!
  7. Keep the hot drinks coming. Tea, cocoa, or coffee – take your pick and enjoy.

What ideas to you have for bringing hygge into your world? Share them with us in the comments below.

5 Things You Need to Ask Before Buying a Flipped Home

By | Ana Cummings, Design, Home, Real Estate, Renovation | No Comments

We all love a well done flipped home, and there are people who do a great job at it and make a profit on their investment. However, not all flipped homes are about the new kitchen cabinets or fancy new light fixtures. It about the unforeseen financial surprises that can come along with a flipped home. Here’s 5 questions you may want to ask before buying one.

  1. If the home is pre 1978, you will want to ask if the insulation has been upgraded. If not, what kind of insulation exists in the home? This will effect the level of energy efficiency, which can cost a lot of money in the long run, not to mention your comfortability in the home.
  2. Are there any “before” photos for you to see? And any photos during the construction phase? Photos don’t lie. They will show what the state of the home was when it was torn apart. That way you can see if there were any hidden no-no’s that could come up to haunt you in the future with respect to pipes, wires, ductwork, etc.  You want to make sure that the plumbing and electrical have been upgraded or brought up to local codes.
  3. Were permits submitted for the renovation? Any potential home buyer looking at a flipped home should want to have the peace of mind knowing that their flipped home was properly constructed. If permits were pulled, there will be a public record, including inspection reports that you can access. You will need to know what local city department to contact. It’s research well worth its weight because our homes are usually the single largest investment that we own.
  4. You might want to know who renovated the home. A licensed contractor that belongs to the local Better Business Bureau or a related Builder’s Association might be more reputable than a renovator found from Kijiji for example. You can usually tell with your eyes whether the workmanship is excellent or shoddy. Look closely at floor transitions, grout in a bathroom shower, and installation of doors, cabinetry & railings.
  5. Depending on the vintage of the home, have the sewer lines been replaced? That can be a 10-15k bill if there are large trees on the property.

Good luck if you’re thinking of purchasing a flipped home, and remember, consider the big ticket items that might not be instantly recognizable, like a new roof. It’s these “hidden items” that could be the deciding factor on whether you put in a bid, or keep looking.

Top 10 Interior Design Trends in 2018

By | Ana Cummings, Design, Home, Uncategorised | No Comments

Happy New Year! Here are my Top Ten Predictions for interior design trends in 2018.

  1. The heart of the home will become even more colorful. From cabinetry to major appliances, there are so many ways to add personality to your kitchen and take it to the next level. Grohe just introduced a gooseneck sink faucet that comes in a rainbow of colours. Even for those people that would hesitate to add an emerald green range might take the leap to a small dose of punchy colour in the faucet instead.
  2. Artisanal touches. Items crafted by hand in metal, textile or wood, add instant warmth to these modern gray spaces we are seeing everywhere. Not only do they add textural and visual appeal, they may also be used and viewed as art. I’ve been seeing more and more artisans using everyday objects and turning them into amazing show pieces.
  3. The knock-off will be knocked out. People are so much more knowledgeable about interiors with the saturation of online procurement sites, home and garden television shows and shelter magazines. The incredible photos churned out over Instagram daily is a solid education alone. People want to connect with their home and belongings. I see a resurgence of living with antique furnishings but refashioned in a new way to suit modern lifestyles.
  4. Ceilings will be seen. From creative mouldings, interesting coffers, to fantastic paint and plaster treatments. The ceiling has become another surface equivalent to the complexity of a Persian Rug on the floor. No room will be completely finished without a ceiling treatment.
  5. Art Deco and Art Nouveau has flirted with us a few times and may be coming in for the long embrace. Yes, those pastels and curvy curves are coming back. Stylized three legged arm chairs, channel tufting, glamorous velvet fabrics paired with shiny metals like Brass and Rose Gold. Beautifully carved wood fireplace mantels that look as fluid as marble carved by Michelangelo.
  6. The Cement look. Caesarstone recently launched a quartz that looks remarkably like cement. Entire fireplace hearths from top to bottom, counter tops, vessels, flooring, entire walls with cement panels are coming under my radar huge. There are even faux cement panels that you can clad along an entire expanse of a wall which really lends to that industrial loft feeling which is continuing to trend.
  7. Black and Chiaroscuro details. From painted walls and gorgeous wall coverings to area rugs and custom millwork, finding a cozy space in your home that is inviting, sexy and dark imbues a sensuality that really makes you want to stay at home.
  8. Freestanding tubs or garden tubs. Time is precious and the bath represents a luxury we all covet right now. Time away from the hustle and bustle and more importantly, time away from our devices and screens, allowing us a sliver of more time to relax and dream.
  9. Turning an unused room or bedroom into a master closet. Let’s face it, we accumulate way too many clothes, shoes, bags, accessories. We have large wardrobes and most closets in standard homes are jam packed. I’m seeing a lot of purposeful and thoughtful storage applications that any homeowner can incorporate into a closet system.
  10. On the opposite side of the coin, I am also seeing a lot of paired down interiors. For those downsizing into small condos, living with less is not only an aesthetic but a freer way of life. It is great for those who travel frequently or live in dense urban areas. Only decor items with meaning and purpose make the cut.

Tell us what you think! We’d love to hear what’s on your list.

How to Create a Productive Work Space at Home

By | Ana Cummings, Calgary, Design, Home | No Comments

Looking to make the most out of your work space at home? Here are my top 10 tips on how to create a productive space:

  1. Have a place for everything and make sure it always stays there: pens, paper, calculator, etc.
  2. Proper height desk and comfortable/ergonomic chair to sit in
  3. Remove distractions, i.e., turn television off
  4. Put a timer on your desk. i.e. start your task and give yourself a solid 15 minutes of uninterrupted time, work until the timer goes off
  5. Clean it regularly, from dust to dishes, anything that clutters your desk will clutter your mind
  6. Add some artwork or images on a corkboard that motivate you
  7. Create adequate task lighting. Our eyes get weaker with age, the older we get the more light we need to see
  8. Storage or filing cabinets for finished projects. Shelves for textbooks and other items
  9. All electronic equipment should be in an area where they can be easily and readily charged, phones/laptops/tablets/etc.
  10. The room should be set to a comfortable temperature. (not too hot, not too cold…like Goldilocks, it should be just right!!!)

For more advice, check out our website.

Navigating Neighbours – The Good, the Bad, the Ugly

By | Calgary, Home | No Comments

This week, Kim sits down with the experts – Jeff Kahane from Kahane Law Offices, Kimberly Nelson from Flourish Psychological Services, and Clare LePan from Calgary Municipal Land Corporation – to talk all about neighbours. What does it take to be a good neighbour? How can you deal with a bad not so good neighbour? Tune in this week to learn your rights and discover how to be a more empathetic neighbour. Sometimes all it takes is a little understanding.

We’re on CTV2 Wednesday at 8:30am and CTV Calgary Saturday at 10:30am.

10 Ways to Makeover Your Home (for Free!)

By | Ana Cummings, Design, Home | No Comments

Want to update your home on a budget? How about a budget of zero dollars? Here are 10 ways to update your home for free:

  1. Take everything out of the room and start over. It’s amazing what can be achieved by starting off with a blank canvas. Not only will you edit and remove everything that is not purposeful or beautiful, but you may even come up with an entirely new furniture layout to add fresh energy into the space.
  2. Roadside shopping. Find a treasure by the curb, clean it up and call it yours. I think half of New York City operates like this. It is amazing the things that people no longer want to live with and place at the curb because it is too much work to think about the alternative.
  3. Go online. Kijiji, Craigslist, Listia, Recycalize, Curb Alert – are all websites that cater to locating free goods. The only investment you’ll have to make is a little sweat equity and gas for your vehicle or friend’s truck.
  4. Phone a friend. Do you know someone that can paint inside the lines? How about asking them to assist with a feature wall in your home in exchange for watching theirs while they go on vacation or another cost appropriate trade in kind? Recruit your creative and talented friends and think of ways you can help each other. And when you show off their handiwork, make sure you give them credit and hand out their name for additional work.
  5. Reuse those hues. Speaking of paints, I personally like using the cans of paint that are left over from different projects. For my son’s $0 room makeover, I put painter’s tape on the walls and created extra-large stripes using two existing colours that were already in the house. Not only does the room have a hip paint finish now, but I’m also assured that the colours flow seamlessly throughout the entire house.
  6. Change out the artwork. If you need a fresh boost of colour and can’t paint a wall, try changing up what’s on the walls. In the winter, I have a dark sombre piece of art above my fireplace. When summer arrives, I love the vibrant hues, so I replace the art with a more colourful piece. If you have anything in storage that can be placed on a wall, see how you can re-incorporate it into your scheme. If you can use the same hangars and hooks, that’s a bonus.
  7. Look outside. Mother Nature offers us some of the best $0 decor hands down. My favourites include, pussy willows, cut garden flowers, dogwood branches, wheat sheaves, pine cones, cedar boughs, cherry blossoms, lilacs, birch wood, drift wood, and river rocks. There’s so much out there, just make sure you’re not helping yourself to items on other people’s property.
  8. Initiate a decor swap with your friends and family. Maybe your parents or grandparents have a Danish teak credenza or a cool retro floor lamp that they no longer have a use for, and hey, these things might just look perfect in your space, right?
  9. Auctions and Estate Sales. Some of my best scores have been from places where I have stumbled across a box of mystery goods that accompanied the purchase that I was actually making. At these kinds of sales, items are required to get sold or relocated in very short order. Not only can you find some great deals, but they might throw in a few free extras along with it. Bartering skills tend to help.
  10. Take the time. A lot of us don’t have the spare time to do a complete room makeover. Book off the afternoon one day and take the time to ruthlessly edit, thoroughly clean, sort unwanted items into piles, and then drop them off to their respective locations or call a charity service that will collect. You will be surprised how good you feel entering a room that is just simply neat and organized. It’s a makeover in and of itself.

For more inspiration or if you have any questions, please check out our website.