Welcome to Braid Flooring’s Style for Life Magazine!

Welcome to Style for Life, an e-magazine devoted to guiding you through the challenges of home fashions. Whether you’re building a new home or renovating an existing space, Style for Life will provide you with easy to use ideas to create a home that expresses your style while suiting your lifestyle. 

So then where does this wild and crazy idea come from? Without giving a boring lecture on the history of Braid Flooring & Window Fashions, let’s explore. The company was founded by my Father Jeff Braid so naturally I’ve had years of experience watching him work with a variety of customers. I’ve also had the pleasure of learning from some of the most experienced Design Consultants this city has to offer. These are people that have the ability to take the vaguest ideas and turn them into dream homes! 

After years of watching customers work with these Design Consultants I began to notice a consistent trend….most people have no idea how to design and decorate a room. Sure I’ve also noticed that women are better with color than men and more often than not….women are RIGHT! But most people at the end of the day need help to design and decorate their home. 

It is a challenge to be able to create a certain feel using color, fabrics, and textures. It takes practice, experience, and a no fear attitude to get your home to where you want it. That’s where this magazine comes in. It’s going to provide you with a variety of ideas from some of the most talented individuals in order to create your Style for Life. 

– Christian Braid


Flooring For The Cottage

This article represents a project that we were fortunate enough to be part of. Our Saskatoon Design Consultants helped with selecting the right products to meet the needs of this cottage.  Enjoy this article brought to you by Saskatoon Home Magazine.





By Aviva Zack for Saskatoon HOME magazine

He pictured a rustic wooden cabin. She wanted a bright white interior with clean lines. The beautiful cottage that Mark and Sharla ended up with was the ideal blend of both their visions.

“It is even better than our original vision,” says Sharla. She credits Terry Kostyna, President of Northern Sky Developments, who made it his mission to create a hybrid timber frame cottage that perfectly suited them both.

When Sharla, who has a keen eye for design and colour having studied interior design years ago at Calgary’s Mount Royal College, approached Terry with their ideas for a lakefront Candle Lake cottage, he was excited for the challenge. “I made it my mission to get inside Sharla’s head,” says Terry.

Her description of Vail Colorado meets eastern Muskoka gave Terry an idea of the blending of styles they were after. But it was the magazine images that Sharla regularly emailed Terry that really helped. “A lot of the ideas for the cottage were in my head,” says Sharla, “so I tried to find pictures that would illustrate the general idea of what I was after.” 


Being two hours away from the build, Mark and Sharla put a great deal of trust in Northern Sky Developments. Communicating with Terry by Blackberry allowed them to be in touch during the 14 months the cottage was being developed, with only a handful of trips out to Candle Lake. “It was a great experience,” says Sharla enthusiastically, clearly thrilled with her new cottage.

And who wouldn’t be thrilled.  With over 3400 square feet of living space in the main house, it is clear no detail was missed. The cottage also boasts a separate guesthouse and indoor parking for four vehicles including a 25 foot boat.

Being a hybrid timber home, they used a lot of clear Douglas-fir which is select vertical grain fir that is free of knots and imperfections. Clear fir can be seen on the window trim, most of the interior and exterior doors, stair posts and railing.  It was also used on the basket weave planks on the main stairway and on the band of wood that creates a separation between the main and second floor.

The arched tresses and timbers found throughout the house are also Douglas-fir which was brought in from Okanagan Timber Frames from Salmon Arm BC, since this no-knot variety is not readily available in Saskatchewan. Rather than drywall, painted tongue and groove pine and stained cedar ceilings were used to maintain the look of a timber home. On the floors, hand-scraped hickory wide plank flooring was used throughout much of the main floor, which is perfect for a beach house, since it’s textured and doesn’t wreck with the wear and tear of lakeside living.


There are numerous details that Mark and Sharla love about their new cottage. Mark’s favourite place in the home is their great room, a comfortable homey space with a fabulous view of the lake. Sharla has a harder time narrowing down her favourite details. She really loves the pillars and posts. She loves the windows and trim detail. She loves the beams. She especially loves the staircase and railing, which was a customized part of the home that Terry and her collaborated on by blending several ideas, and involving six different trades and artisans. What Sharla is most thrilled about however, is that Northern Sky Developments was able to successfully combine modern and rustic elements so seamlessly.

Terry also has his favourite features in the home, which are echoed by Mark and Sharla amongst their top picks as well. Two barn doors that separate the wings of the cottage were an idea from Sharla, that Terry was very involved in building. Solid fir made from recycled warehouse timbers found in Moose Jaw, were cut at Terry’s sawmill in Candle Lake and assembled by their finish carpenter Kim Hildebrand and his team at Unique Builders. They used an antique aging and distressing technique, producing an amazing result. In fact, the doors were entered in a hardware manufacturers photo contest, garnering a top five spot out of 125 entries from across North America.

Another unique detail in the cottage actually evolved from a joke. Sharla had found a photo of a rowboat hanging on a ceiling while poring over magazines. When she showed Mark thinking he would laugh, he actually thought it was a cool idea.

After talking with Terry, they decided to include this feature in their cottage, but it proved much more difficult than they thought. After literally searching across North America for something that would work, they had almost given up when a knock came on the door. “Just when we were about to abandon the idea, a local man who lives nearby heard about our search for a non-floating boat with the right look, and offered to build us a custom rowboat painted in colours authentic to Chesapeake Bay,” says Sharla. Hung on the ceiling in their entertainment room and subtly backlit from above, the rowboat is now a highlight in the home.

In the kitchen, Sharla wanted to maximize the light, ensuring it was bright but also efficiently designed. With no detail overlooked, they had Redl build upscale custom cabinetry, even including a cat cabinet in the adjacent laundry room, ensuring every member of their family has a special space.

On the exterior of the cottage Hardie Plank board and batten siding was used, which is not common in the area. To insure the perfect look, Terry flew to the west coast to see examples first-hand. Terry’s son Max expertly led the construction and design team to complete the impressive exterior.

Northern Sky Developments based out of Martensville is a family business run by Terry, his wife Marianne and their two sons Max and Zak. The Ernst’s Candle Lake Cottage was a build they were very passionate about, and it shows. “I got my hands dirty,” jokes Terry. “The more I was challenged, the more determined I became to give them something very special.”

Despite it being a challenge to ensure the many unique ideas worked together, Terry very successfully managed to marry the different concepts. Mark and Sharla cannot say enough good things about Terry and the many tradespeople they worked with along the way to build their dream getaway. When they escape as often as possible from their busy lives in Saskatoon to their lakeside Candle Lake cottage, they truly feel like they are going home.

For information on the products used on this project, please visit our showroom in Saskatoon.









Inspiration: How to make a small room feel bigger!




Spacious rooms provide the ideal type of environment for any area of your home. If you want to make a room seem bigger, there are many things that you can do. One thing that you should remember when trying to maximize the space of the room in your home is that everything counts towards how your room looks and feels, and this is particularly important when you want to make a room seem more spacious.


Use Bright, Light Colors on Walls, Moldings, and Trim

First, you can paint the walls in light or bright colors because the walls will become more reflective. This will give the illusion that the space has more depth. It also creates an open and airy atmosphere. You can also paint moldings and trim a lighter shade than your walls, which will make the walls appear as though they are set further back.


Choose the Right Furniture to Compliment the Space

Furniture can be a great addition to any room, but you should choose carefully to ensure that the furniture fits the room well and will make it seem more spacious. Clean lines tend to make rooms look bigger, and any large pieces should always be placed against the wall if possible. If you can find pieces of furniture that are the same or a very similar shade to the walls, this will help them blend and widen the room.


Let in the Light

Natural light can also make a room look bigger. If you choose sheer window coverings, this will allow you to maximize the amount of light that you see in the room, which can automatically give the eye the illusion that the room is bigger.


Keep it Tidy

An organized, tidy room also appears much bigger than a room filled with clutter and knick-knacks. To maximize your space, remove any clutter and make sure that the room means clean and tidy. You should also minimize the amount of pictures that you hang on the wall, as this can make the space seem more closed. One large painting in the room works to maximize space better than many paintings.


Choose a Large Flooring Pattern or No Pattern at All

Your flooring should also have a very large, simple pattern rather than a small one. 24×24 inch tiles are better to make a room look bigger because you will see a larger tile and fewer grout lines. If you are using carpet, consider a texture without a pattern. For hardwood floors, consider using wider planks from 3 1/4th inch to 5 inches.



Renovation on a Budget

Now that the holiday season is done it’s time to start thinking about your flooring, blinds, and walls for 2014. But the New Year always seems to arrive with something familiar….credit card bills!

Those renovations are still important but all of a sudden the budget is a little tighter. Not to worry, while Braid is known for quality service, we also spend considerable time finding quality products for all budgets.

Here are a few ideas on how to update a room on a budget.

Hardwood flooring is the King of flooring these days but it also comes with a cost. Instead of buying real hardwood, consider Luxury Vinyl Planks. The visuals are incredible but will also provide serious cost savings.


Natural stone tile is a great way to create a spa feeling in a bathroom but the costs of material, labour, and maintenance add up. Instead look at porcelain tile that mimics natural stone. You will be hard pressed to tell the difference…other than the cost that is.

Are your walls just looking bland? Try a simple can of Farrow & Ball paint and some curtains from Kravet. It’s a quick and inexpensive way to update a room.

Regardless of whether you’re building your dream home or looking to update your existing home, we have the right products for your budget. Visit our Saskatoon showroom to learn more about how we can help you.




Inspiration: Where to begin when planning your new floor!



With a new year upon us, this is the year you’re finally going make those renovations.

Choosing new flooring and window fashions for your home can be a daunting process. If you keep it simple and remember these few tips, you’ll find the process simple and dare I say it…..FUN!


What Are You Trying to Create in the Space?

First, you want to envision what the space will look and feel like once it’s all complete. Are you looking to replicate a cathedral from the Renaissance era, create a modern Feng Shui feel, or something that just feels cozy? 

This picture in your mind will help guide you through the next steps. If you need ideas, collect magazines and search the web. Create a ‘vision’ board which shows exactly what you are thinking. 

This step is all about creating your vision for the space. Don’t think functionality or price just yet. 


Consider the Amount and Type of Traffic in the Area 

The second step is to determine how functional the materials need to be in order to hold up to the routine of your household.

The amount of time that people and pets spend in the room is very important when considering a specific type of floor. Some materials are designed to withstand Tonka Trucks and lounging dogs, while others are better suited for socks only. Is the space used for cooking, lounging, or serving a formal afternoon tea?

The traffic will determine the type of materials you’ll need, but it will not determine the look you’re trying to create. Man made materials have evolved to mimic natural products beautifully. If you want the look of Walnut flooring but need the durability of laminate, you can find it! 


Consider the Size of the Space

With a larger, more spacious room, you can really get creative with your choices.  Large format tile, herringboned hardwood; there is no limit. With a smaller room, you will need to be more creative with the styles, patterns, and textures you use in order to create a comfortable space. 

The best part of this whole process is we are here to help! Bring in your ideas and we can guide you through this process. In the end, we’re sure you’ll be thrilled with the final product.


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