The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to usher in the festivities than by transforming your home into a haven of warmth and enchantment? This year, the 2023 holiday home decor trends are all about embracing a harmonious blend of earthy tones, rich hues, and whimsical elements that will transport you to a winter wonderland. From timeless classics to innovative twists, let’s explore the magical world of holiday decor that awaits.

Nature-inspired decor continues to reign supreme, with earthy tones taking center stage. Think warm browns, deep greens, and muted yellows that create a cozy and grounded atmosphere. Incorporate wooden accents, such as rustic tables and chairs, to amplify the natural vibe. Don’t forget to use fresh greenery to really bring in the magic of the outdoors! Along the numerous woodland themes this year for holiday decor is mushrooms, woodland creatures, and flocked trees.

You can also pop in some rich hues of burgundy, icy blue, or golds to add a touch of opulence and modern flair to your holiday home, setting the stage for a lavish celebration or incorporate some timeless, festive classics of candy striped stockings and ribbons or vintage pieces from local shops to evoke nostalgia and joy.

Carrying forward from the Autumn decor trends is the faux florals and pampas grass which ties in with the popular piece this holiday season of embracing sustainability. Upcycling, repurposing, or even creating your own handmade decorations with family and friends not only benefits the planet but also brings in a personal touch to your celebrations.

As you embark on your holiday decor journey this year, let these trends inspire you to create a festive haven that reflects your unique style and personality. Whether you prefer the timeless allure of candy cane stripes or the bohemian flair of feathers and pampas grass, the 2023 holiday home decor trends offer a myriad of possibilities to make this season truly magical. Happy decorating!

Four Steps to Winterizing Your Home!

As the temperature drops and the icy winds begin to sweep across the vast Canadian landscape, it’s time to prepare your home for the upcoming winter months. Winter in Canada can be particularly harsh, with plummeting temperatures and heavy snowfall posing various challenges for homeowners. However, with some proactive measures and careful planning, you can ensure that your home remains warm, cozy, and energy-efficient throughout the frosty season. Here are some essential tips to help you effectively winterize your home.

1. Seal Windows & Doors & Inspect Insulation

The first step in preparing your home for the cold season is to examine all windows and doors for any potential drafts. Even the smallest gaps can significantly impact your heating bills and comfort levels. Consider using weather-stripping or caulking to seal any leaks or drafts around windows and doors. For an extra layer of insulation, you might also want to install storm windows or doors to provide an added barrier against the cold, depending on where you live. Proper insulation is also crucial for retaining heat and preventing energy loss. In Canadian winters, good insulation can make a noticeable difference in your home’s energy efficiency. Consider inspecting the insulation in your attic, walls, and basement. If necessary, add extra insulation to improve heat retention and reduce the strain on your heating system.

2. Service Your Heating System(s)

Before the winter chill sets in, its vital to ensure that your heating system is in top condition. Schedule a professional inspection and maintenance service for your furnace or heating system. Clean or replace filters regularly to improve efficiency and indoor air quality. Consider installing a programmable thermostat to regulate the temperature and reduce energy consumption when you’re away from home. Additionally, if you have a fireplace they should be inspected and cleaned annually. Bird nests in chimneys and spider webs that clog gas lines can cause fires.

3. Protect Your Plumbing

Frozen pipes can lead to significant damage and costly repairs. To prevent this, empty those pipes, including garden taps and air conditioning, and insulate your pipes, especially those in unheated areas like the basement, crawl spaces, and exterior walls. A trick you can do during those extremely cold nights is to allow a slow drip from faucets to keep water flowing and prevent freezing. If you’re leaving your home for an extended period during winter, consider shutting off the main water supply and draining the pipes to avoid any potential disasters.

4. Clear Gutters and Trim Trees

Don’t ignore the roof, which is your first line of defence against snow and rain. Before the snow and ice accumulate or those heavy rains come, make sure your gutters are clear of any debris to prevent ice damns and water damage. Trimming overhanging tree branches can also prevent them from snapping under the weight of heavy snow and damaging your property.

Preparing your home for the harsh Canadian winter is a vital step in ensuring the safety, comfort, and efficiency of your living space. By following these essential tips and investing in proactive winterization measures, you can safeguard your home from the challenges posed by the cold climate and enjoy a cozy, energy-efficient winter season.

Remember, a well-prepared home not only keeps you warm and comfortable but also helps you save on energy costs and prevents potential damage, ultimately ensuring your peace of mind during the winter months so you and your family can enjoy everything that Canada’s spectacular winters have to offer.

Stay warm and safe this winter!

The Kentel Harrison Team are big sponsors of youth sports in the Shuswap!

Over the past few years we have aimed at increasing our role we play in the community and we thought there is no better way to do it than with youth sports. We officially have four youth sports teams we sponsor in the Shuswap. We are incredibly proud to play a part in building a brighter future for our community and are thrilled to be sponsoring such amazing young talent and helping them reach their dreams. We are very excited to see what they all accomplish this year!

Autumn decor trends of 2023 can be explained in two words… natural and bold.

Not just leaves are changing this fall season but so are our homes, allowing for new environments and experiences to come forward as we move into a slower way of living. With summer ending and its decor trends following behind, autumn brings in a similar feel with earth tones (e.g., forest greens, ochre, rust, and amber) being at the center of design this season. A modern bohemian take on bold prints, bright earth tones, and patterned textiles is sure to bring the comfort you need during this cooler weather.

Some of our favourite fall decor trends include incorporating layered textures and lighting, vintage and distressed furniture, as well as having those key statement pieces finishing off each room. Some other important decor trends going around the design world this fall is abstract art, faux florals, heavy weight drapery, and amber or silky velvet ascents! But don’t forget with all these new trends, try to avoid themes in your home and opt for a more natural transition throughout your spaces.

Check in again in a few months for ways to shift out of autumn and into winter!

BC Housing Market Resilient Despite High Rates

“Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) residential sales in BC are forecast to decline 2.8 per cent to 78,640 units this year. In 2024, MLS® residential sales are forecast to post a modest rebound, rising 6.1 per cent to 83,425 units.

“The BC housing market has been more resilient than expected in 2023, with both home sales and prices holding up well in the face of sharply higher interest rates,” said BCREA Chief Economist Brendon Ogmundson. “However, we expect sales to cool as the result of renewed Bank of Canada tightening and a delay in expectations regarding the timing of future Bank of Canada rate cuts from early next year to perhaps the end of 2024 or even mid-2025.”

Because inventory remains very low, prices rose through much of 2023 despite below-average sales. The average price in BC has varied widely throughout this year, beginning the year below $900K before reaching just over $1 million in May as sales in more expensive markets surged amid dwindling supply. If the average price trends near its current level of $970K over the year’s second half, it would mean an annual average price of $976K in 2023, or a 2 per cent decline compared to 2022. As home sales return to normal levels next year, we anticipate prices will rise 2.4 per cent to an annual average of just over $1 million, though there is risk to the upside on price growth given the state of housing supply.

Sources: British Columba Real Estate Association

The Salmon Arm Fall Fair is back with is 124th year of festivities!

Beginning as a small livestock and field crops trading fair in 1897, the fall fair has greatly expanded over the years. Since it began being held yearly in 1946, it has brought not only economic growth to the community but also connection and a whole lot of fun!

This fall fair has a full schedule of things to do for you and your family, from 4H competitions to a large tradeshow, there is a marketplace, food concessions, live performances, many exhibits, and at the heart of it all the display and competition of home arts, livestock, and agricultural products that has not changed since 1897.

You also don’t want to miss the annual fall parade on Saturday morning, you’re sure to catch handfuls of candy and make sure to wave to the amazingly decorated floats that drive by. To top it all off, West Coast Amusements Midway has set up a super fun amusement park for all to enjoy!

For more information check out the Salmon Arm Fair website

We hope to see you all out there having a super fun weekend!

Sources: Salmon Arm Fair

Heritage neighbourhood in Salmon Arm has deep roots

“Ask anyone familiar with Salmon Arm’s historic areas what neighbourhood they think has the greatest heritage appeal and the frequent reply is “Harris Street, of course.”

The neighbourhood is a cluster of well-kept buildings on Second Ave NE.  The street is established and has varied architecture, large lots, mature landscaping, and a proximity to the downtown core. It is also “green;” developed before every household had an automobile and garage. According to the B.C. Heritage Society, older neighbourhoods lend themselves to a more sustainable lifestyle. And the neighbourhood is exactly the type being celebrated during Heritage Week.

Mid-block in the subdivision is the Lyman House, named for the owner who had it built in 1908. Isaac Munson Lyman was a CPR telegraph operator in the midst of a career change.  He turned to land speculation and opened a real estate office.

The subdivision was Lyman’s first development. He “christened” it Lyman Addition. One of the two streets surveyed also bore his name, but locals soon began calling it Harris, extending the name of the connecting road below.

Eventually the subdivision came to be known as Salmon Arm’s Snob Hill, a nod to the prized homes with spectacular views of the community below.

There have been several families that have called the Lyman House their home. Today, some call it the “doctor’s house” and a little research yields the reason behind the name. A total of three doctors have lived in the house.

The first medical practitioner to live in the house was Dr. A.K. Connolly. He moved to Salmon Arm and opened a general practice, making house calls, delivering babies and treating patients for 17 years. The location of the house was convenient as A.K. could walk to the hospital nearby.

The next owner doctor was Alan Beech, who purchased the Connolly practice and house in 1926. He opened up his office with his colleague and brother Stuart, who moved into the neighbourhood as well, living in a bungalow two doors downhill from his sibling.

The current owner is also a doctor. Cindy Malinowski describes her dream come true.

“As a girl, I remember finding the tree-lined side street with a wonderful collection of old houses. One in particular caught my eye and I thought I would love to live there someday.”

The pillars, balconies, bay windows and majestic trees around the house resonated deeply with Malinowski’s sense of a historic dwelling. She was keen to see the interior. Years went by. A friend who knew the owner arranged tea and a tour.

“As I gave my thanks for the tour I commented, ‘if you are ever thinking of selling…’ remembers Malinowski. “The owner said it just so happened she was.”

The sale was completed in the fall of 1984.

When the I.M. Lyman house was placed on the City of Salmon Arm’s Heritage Register in 2010, Malinowski was thrilled. Subsequently, she volunteered her home as the poster house for the Salmon Arm Branch of the Okanagan Historical Society’s Heritage Tea and Tour.

“I continue to marvel at this dream come true. With an addition to accommodate a growing family and regular upkeep, I hope to maintain the integrity of this home as a part of the history of the early settlers of Salmon Arm.””

Sources: Salmon Arm Observer

Anticipation for this years Roots and Blues festival is heating up!

Since 1992 the Roots and Blues festival has drawn in performers and fans from around the world. This festival first started out as a small indoor festival, the result of the Shuswap Coffeehouse movement of the 1970s and ‘80s. From these roots grew the not-for-profit Salmon Arm Folk Music Society and an event that has something for everyone.

The festival features the Family Fun Zone, packed with activities to keep everyone in the family happy – face-painting, crafts, water balloons, sandboxes, and bouncy houses; a plethora of vendors; and over five different stages to choose from!

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival lineup this year is proving to be one of the most anticipated; from the sounds of Five Alarm Funk, Blue Rodeo, and Sarah McLachlan.

Roots and Blues will roll out August 18-20, you don’t want to miss this!

Sources: Salmon Arm Observer

Farm stands and farmer’s markets are a popular experience and a driver for agritourism in the Shuswap.

Building community around food by supporting local food security initiatives is key to keeping our local farms and businesses around.

“The Downtown Salmon Arm Farmers’ Market is entering its sixth season in its location at the 300 block of Ross Street near Hudson Avenue. With a mandate to build community around food, this rain-or-shine market features eight vegetable and produce vendors, with a total of up to 50 vendors at full capacity.

With a fountain and stage nearby, live music and entertainment, as well as kids’ activities, are often organized onsite. Curb side pickup for orders placed through the market’s online store is also available.”

There is also an all organic market on Wednesday’s at the uptown Askew’s in Salmon Arm, and farmer’s markets in surrounding areas such as Sorrento, Sicamous, Scotch Creek, and Enderby.

“Agriculture is a huge asset in the Shuswap with over 600 large and small-scale producers. As the agricultural offerings of the Silver Creek, Yankee Flats and Falkland areas are being given a spotlight for a pilot project being planned by the regional district, we can hope that agritourism continues to expand the tourism in the Shuswap as a four-season destination”

Don’t miss out on the fun and delicious treats of the Shuswap!

Sources: Salmon Arm Observer and BC Farmer’s Market Trail

Did you know?

  • Nearly half of all wildfires in B.C. are caused by people.  (FireSmart BC)
  • More than 50% of homes destroyed by wildfire are ignited by embers blown by the wind.  (BC Wildfire Service)
  • 80-90% of FireSmart homes with non-combustible roofs & 10 metres of clearance will survive a major wildfire. (Canadian Institute of Forestry)

Individual homeowners and communities can take simple steps to reduce the impact of wildfire. The time to reduce the threat of wildfire is now, not when a fire is at your doorstep. Be proactive, be practical, and be FireSmart.  
Adopting FireSmart principles to your home and property can help reduce the potential impact of wildfires and will help firefighters better defend your property.

What the City of Salmon Arm is doing:

The City of Salmon Arm is taking action to reduce the risk and impact of wildfire to our community. As we live in a rural area surrounded by forested crown tenure, strategies are needed for private, agricultural, city-owned and crown lands.

  • 2019: A Community Wildfire Prevention Plan (CWPP) was developed to prioritize initiatives – FireSmart education for residents started – an instructional clearing project near Little Mountain tennis courts was completed and fuel load mitigation targeting fir beetle infestation was begun.
  • 2020:  Fuel load mitigation of prioritized areas will be increased (Little Mountain and South Canoe) – FireSmart education for residents will be expanded – selection and training for two Salmon Arm neighbourhoods to be recognized as being FireSmart.

What residents can do:
Homeowners are encouraged to look ahead to the next wildfire season and keep FireSmart best practices in mind during spring and fall yard maintenance.”

“These FireSmart Homeowner resources are great for better protection of your home and property.

Check out:

You and your neighbours have a role to play in reducing the wildfire threat to your home. Changes made to the area closest to your home and your home itself have the greatest impact on reducing the risk of wildfire damage. Follow these tips, and others found in the FireSmart Guide, to help protect your home:

  • Remove all combustibles within the first 10 metres around your home;
  • Space coniferous trees 3 metres apart;
  • Prune coniferous tree branches within 2 metres off the ground;
  • Plant low-density, fire-resistant plants and shrubs with moist, supple leaves;
  • Remove all dead vegetation and clean up your yard regularly;
  • Integrate FireSmart best practices into your short and long-term renovation projects.

Listen to Councillor Lavery’s radio interview.”

Sources: City of Salmon Arm