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5 tips to transform your drab living room

Simple steps in decor choices can easily transform you living space for the better. No matter the size of space you are working with, the placement and design of products can help a large space feel cozy and a smaller space feel large. There are various design templates to work with, modern, mid-century, bohemian, glam, or traditional, but no matter your personal preference there are some basic key elements of design you shouldn’t ignore. Never fear — Women’s Post is here to help! If you desire that clean chic look, especially for your living room, follow these five rules.

Pick a focal point

Think of what you want the centrepiece of your living room to be. The most standard and best possible choice is to have a simple coffee table that can attract attention, but at the same time balance the elements of the room. A good coffee table can completely change the ambiance of a space. It should compliment the surrounding furniture, or even radically stand out. Keep it clean, simple, and minimal with just enough room for a beautiful plant, some books, or a hot cup of coffee.

It’s all about the little things

The more cluttered a room is, the smaller it will feel. A clean, organized space with just a few decorative accents is very trendy right now.  These accents are not just for decoration, but are a necessary part in creating comfortable conversation pieces. These pieces are meant to showcase your personality, so be creative! It may be a rustic brass ornament, a token from a trip, or something unusual and glamorous. Just try not to overdo it.

Fluff it up

Accent pillows are a living room’s best friend. You can change the look of your living room in a matter of seconds by refreshing the look of the cushions on your couch. If you have a basic white sofa, try to add a pop of colour to brighten the room. Darker upholstery may require similarly toned pillows or warm coloured accents.

Don’t forget your walls

When putting a living room together, think of the bare space you are working with. Depending on your style you can choose to add colour to your walls. The walls surround your living room will help to bring the space together. Bright walls can work for a colourful room, or beige/tan walls can help achieve a cozy feeling. For a more open space in a smaller room, consider keeping one white wall. Don’t overdo it with paintings. Chose one or two that you really love and place them strategically on walls that look a bit more empty. Spread them out in comparison to your lamps and curtains.

Consider lighting

The lighting in your living room can change the entire mood. Will it be warm, bight, or somewhere in between? It’s not just about the lighting, but the design of the lighting you choose to have. Floor-lamps or antique chandelier? There are many choices, and each one can help transform your living space into the room of your dreams.

Ontario may use hydrogen-powered train on GO Transit lines

Ontario is hoping to join the list of mostly European innovators looking to create clean public transportation.

The provincial government has announced their intention to study the feasibility of having hydrogen-powered passenger trains in use on RER lines and the UP express. The train will combine hydrogen and oxygen to produce electricity, converting the energy via fuel cells that charge the train’s battery. The only emissions that will be produced is steam and condensed water.

The feasibility study will look at whether or not hydrogen-powered trains are more efficient than electric vehicles. The ultimate decision maker will be how quickly this technology can be adopted, as the government doesn’t want these new innovations to impact pre-set completion dates for RER.  “We want to know if hydrogen fuel cell technology can be ready in time to deliver Go regional express rail by 2024-25,” Ontario Minister of Transportation, Steven Del Duca, said while in Etobicoke.

In the fall, the province will bring industry leaders together for a symposium to explore the application of hydrogen fuel cell technology. In the meantime, the province will continue to work on electrified rail service.

“Our work on GO RER is about transforming transit in the GTHA by creating a sustainable, integrated, regional transit network that connects people and communities to jobs, services and activities in their everyday lives,” Del Duca said in a statement. “Electrified service as part of GO RER will allow us to run faster, more frequent rail service across core sections of the GO rail network, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by removing diesel service where possible.”

The first hydrogen-powered train will launch in December 2017 in Germany. Alstrom, a French manufacturing company, is working on the actual train while a Canadian company called Hydrogenics is providing the fuel cell to help with the energy conversion.

Del Duca mentioned Hydrogenics and said there is a “positive economic development potential” in embracing hydrogen-powered technology, but that Ontario isn’t ready to discuss any specific details.

While in Etobicoke, Del Duca also announced the launch of a study that will examine electrification of the GO line as part of the Regional Express Rail program, “the backbone of this next generation of transit”. The RER program is set to be completed by 2025, regardless of whether or not the province chooses to use to clean technology.

The RER program expansion will introduce two-day GO service by 2025, including Lakeshore, Kitchener, Barrie, and Stouffville lines.

How to wake up in the morning if you are a night owl

Do you absolutely dread mornings and wish they didn’t exist?

DO NOT be alarmed! You are not alone! Mornings are the absolute worst, especially if you are a dedicated night owl. Unfortunately though, if you want to function in the real world, then you must learn to tolerate, and one day even enjoy mornings.

The best way to do this rather than wake up and throw pillows at your alarm clock, and show up to work looking like you’ve been at the rodeo is to develop a morning routine. Sound like a snooze? It is indeed the complete opposite, and will help you to wake up instead of rush out of the house in a mad frenzy every morning.

The absolute first thing you must do when you wake up is drink a tall glass of cold water with lemon if possible. It will immediately revive your dehydrated, tired body and give you that first kick to waking up. Once this task is complete, stretch from head to toe. And when I say that, I don’t mean simply raise your arms above your head. I’m talking a full-on cat stretch that engages every part of your spine.

Now you are ready to put your feet to the ground. Do it quickly before you lose motivation and fall asleep again. Once your feet are out of the bed, the day has started. Celebrate! Rejoice! You have achieved the first hurdle of your day. Next up, yoga.

Try doing 10 minutes of yoga, beginning with morning sun salutations. It gets the blood moving in your body and will help work out any kinks that developed through the REM cycle. If you prefer to self-lead, do so and if you need support, there are many 10 minute yoga videos to try out. Finding your preferred method of getting your body moving in the morning is essential, and if yoga doesn’t do it for you, try push-ups, Pilates, or jogging on the spot! Whatever works, simply remember to get your body moving.

After working up a (little) sweat, it is time for the shower. There is nothing better than feeling warm water on your skin and a meditation to go along with cleaning off the soap suds will surely set your day on track. When you are in the shower, close your eyes and visualize the warm water washing away all of your stress and anxieties. Imagine all of these fears washing down the drain and open your eyes renewed and refreshed physically and mentally. Listening to music in the shower is also a pleasant add-on.

Another essential, though it will come as no surprise since everyone is told to do this from age three onwards, is breakfast! Even if breakfast isn’t “your thing”, try to have at least something small and healthy to eat in the morning. If you are like me, and aren’t much of a morning muncher, try a smoothie instead. Make sure it is full of delicious and healthy ingredients including flax seed, berries (full of antioxidants), and protein powder for an extra kick. At this point, remember to take your daily vitamins too to keep your body vital and strong.

If you make this routine a regular thing and incorporate rehydration, exercise, a shower, meditation, and healthy eating into your morning, you will find that waking up becomes a pleasant experience rather than a complete and total drag. It is inevitable that people must wake up in the morning whether for work or school — so why not make it a happy part of the day?

What are parts of your morning routine? Let Women’s Post know in the comments below.