Battle Creek Enquirer | March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
Battle Creek Enquirer | March 4, 2012
This edition of HomeZone aims to provide useful and entertaining information to our readers. HomeZone is also made available to provide our readers with a large selection of advertisements from local businesses that can assist you in making sound decisions when investing money in a home or business. If you would like more information on this product or other advertising opportunities with the Battle Creek Enquirer, we welcome your inquiries.
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March 4, 2012
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Living large in smaller spaces: the shrinking, changing American home (ARA) - The American home may be shrinking, but not the Great American Dream. Americans are still living large, just doing so in smaller spaces.
walls, or crafted into built-ins. Custom hardwood furnishings like bookcases and cabinets make a home personal, yours alone, and isnâ€™t that the ultimate luxury?â€?
To some trend-watchers, the downscaling of the American home comes as good news. Architects, designers and social observers say our willingness to resize our floor space means Americans are rethinking the way we really live and how we use whatever space we do have. Home, they say, has become less about impressing others and more about making ourselves happy. And since we are mostly baby boomers - that tidal wave of Americans born between 1946 and 1964 - who have long been accustomed to getting what we want, happiness is often defined in terms of luxuries and personal amenities.
This new definition of luxury - top-quality, mostly natural materials, careful attention to architectural details like natural wood window frames and mouldings - is one that architect and author Sarah Susanka agrees with. And what Susanka thinks matters.
â€œNatural materials like American Hardwoods are redefining the word â€˜luxury,â€™â€? says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. â€œHardwoods bring richness and warmth to even small rooms, whether itâ€™s used on the floors and
Her mantra is indeed, think smaller, and she also believes that â€œluxury comes from the materials we surround ourselves with. Beauty comes from natural materials. You can see where they come from - in the grain, the veining. The more natural the
In 1998, her professional hunch launched what has become the â€œbuild-better-not-biggerâ€? movement when she published the first in her best-selling series of â€œThe Not So Big Houseâ€? books.
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And donâ€™t forget to make it sustainable. Living green is a high priority for the antiMcMansion generation. As Susanka sees it, we should think of the 21st-century house as â€œa well-tailored suit: you use less material,
Featured in The Decorative Carpet by Alix G. Perrachon (The Monacelli Press), a small contemporary living room by designer Jiun Ho is warmed by its mellow hardwood floors and cooled by steel-gray on the walls and a Tibetan area rug.
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More ideas: Use a sectional sofa to delineate an intimate seating area within an open floor plan. And - of special interest to the many boomers who are eschewing retirement - find a standing wood-panel screen to create privacy or isolate a work space, say, in a bedroom office area.
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â€œCreate a room within a room,â€? Steves advises. Her ideas begin at floor-level. Install hardwood flooring throughout to unify the spaces and make them look larger, then use area rugs to define separate areas. Lay hardwood on the diagonal to set off special architectural features. Create a â€œrugâ€? under a dining table with an inset frame of contrasting hardwood. Or outline an entire room with two courses of contrasting hardwood.
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materials, like real hardwoods and granite, the more content you but it fits you perfectly.â€? are. Thereâ€™s a quality you canâ€™t name, but you can feel it.â€? So while the size of the â€œaverageâ€? U.S. home may be shrinking, Gale Steves, author, editor and design industry consultant remember that itâ€™s more about space that works and that sums up a similar concept in her book about â€œRight-Sizing satisfies the psyche in the process that defines the ultimate in Your Home.â€? According to Steves, â€œRight-sizing is about making luxury. Think custom kitchens with pro-quality appliances, posh the best use of the spaces you have for the way you live.â€? She home-spa baths, stone countertops and the beauty and warmth suggests these ways to best enjoy the shrinking and changing that only come with hardwood flooring, cabinetry and millwork. American home:
Get Rid of the Excess and Plan Your Space Start making a room better by deciding which items you want to keep. Remove everything that is out of place. If you have a place where you do bills and paperwork in the room, clean up the files, desk drawers and book shelves and get rid of the excess items that you aren’t using or that should be
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If your room serves different purposes, such as a play room, TV room, and laundry room in one, consider separating portions of the room for each activity to give yourself as much space as possible. One option is to hide each space with a thick tapestry and a hanging rod so that the area can be covered when you’re not using it. Pick a fabric that doesn’t stand out with a bright pattern. A wall tapestry that is easy on the eyes with threaded
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March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
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Find theme-friendly items that are also unique and different in some way. You might look for a novelty floor lamp Use Multifunctional Furniture to to go with whatever theme you’ve chosen for the room. For Save Space example, a Victorian-themed room would go great with a vintage Tiffany-style lamp. Also, a good air hockey table can Choose furniture that is practical and can serve a double add many hours of indoor family fun. Choose a multipurpose function in the room. For example, a corner TV stand with game table that has the types of games your family likes to storage underneath can easily stow away your CDs and DVDs play; many different options are available from air hockey out of view. Another option is to get a coffee table that can be to table tennis. With some hard work, you can change your opened, such as a treasure chest-tyle, where games and books basement, TV room, or living room into an entertainment area can be hidden. Another helpful style for coffee tables is the that provides you with fun and quality time together! kind that lifts up and can turn into a dining table for eating. This eliminates the need for a dining table and a storage chest.
The summer months are a good opportunity to make some changes to your surroundings, since the children will be at home for much of the day. Small adjustments can be made to improve the look and feel of your living room, or even your basement or family room. These changes will give your family togetherness and will give the kids a great place to entertain their friends. It can even be the springboard for a weekly or monthly neighborhood game night! Try these easy tricks and transform your home from ordinary to fun in no time!
thrown away. Once that’s done, create a filing and organization designs looks very nice and adds to any room. Find high-end system that will help keep everything in its own place going curtain rods to add a delicate and high-class touch to your forward. For example, if you have photos that have been stored new room! in a drawer, buy a few photo boxes and divide them into spans of time, perhaps 5 years, to keep each box organized. Digitizing Don’t Forget Whimsy and Novelty your pictures is another option that can save space.
Helpful tips to transforming a basement into a game room
(ARA) - From warm woods and creative colors to memorable murals and tailored textures, interior designers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer a multitude of options for those interested in giving their homes a fresh look. Even better for todayâ€™s cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends are easy and inexpensive.
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Apply in late October November. Fall fertilization is one of the most critical times of the year for lawns which are about to become dormant for the winter period. They need a good nutrient supply to ďŹ ght off diseases as well as to build up root reserves to survive the winter. The added advantage is that fall fertilization helps thicken the lawn and provides a quicker, greener start next spring.
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According to Bradburn design team manager Martin Lucki, lighting options will include
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For homeowners interested in adding life and personality to a bedroom, living room, family room or office, a decorative wall mural is a quick, cost-effective way to go, explains Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, whose products have been featured on the TODAY show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Divine Design, Man Caves and Moving Up. With 25 mural categories including Disney, famous artwork, cities and cityscapes, nature,
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According to Lori Dennis, interior designer, author and upcoming star of HGTVâ€™s new show The Real Designing Women, next yearâ€™s textures and fabrics will include iridescent metallic woven within fabric; strong patterns and bold prints; modern floral; tailored woven fabrics like tweed, herringbone, plaid and houndstooth; velvet/velour, sumptuous dupioni silk, and faux fur. Natural fibers such as bamboo, jute, eucalyptus, cotton, silk, wool and cork will remain popular, adds DeAnna Radaj of Bante Design LLC.
Deborah Wecselman of DWD Inc. suggests starting with neutral hues of taupe, beige, cream, grey, black and white, and then adding unexpected pops of color with bold accessories from bright yellow paintings to royal blue vases. Dennis echoes this vibrant color spectrum, with rich jewel tones like emerald, amethyst, sapphire, ruby, garnet and citrine along with deep teal, fuchsia, honeysuckle, coffee and gold.
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Apply in July - August. This high-quality lawn food provides generous amounts of Nitrogen and Potassium as well as trace elements needed for a vigorous, healthy lawn. Nitrogen is supplied in three ways: an immediate release for fast greenup and a slow release Nitrogen for extended feeling and long-lasting vitality.
According to Emmy Award-winning home design expert, author and TV/radio personality Christopher Lowell, upholstered furniture coverings are being driven more by texture and less by prints. Yesterdayâ€™s bulky, stationary pit sofa will be replaced by lower backs and seats along with smaller â€œfootprintâ€? pieces clustered into conversation groups for more flexibility and ease of interaction. Stacy Garcia of Stacy Garcia Design Studio sees a movement of woods from very dark mahogany and espresso to lighter and mid-toned woods, with raw, natural walnut, cherry and white oak being especially prevalent.
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Apply in Mid-May - June when broadleaf weeds are actively growing. The TRIMEC in Weed-Out provides post-emergent control of dandelions as well as 200 other broadleaf weeds. It also supplies the key nutrients for a healthy, lush lawn. Apply to damp grass or sprinkle lightly before application. Do not water or mow for 48 hours after application.
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Apply in early to mid-Spring before the soil temperature reaches 60 degrees F. or before early germinating crabgrass reaches the 2-leaf stage. It is a unique combination of lawn food and pre-emergent and early post-emergent control of crabgrass providing up to 3-4 months of control of crabgrass and other annual broadleafs and grasses. It supplies vital nutrients a healthy lawn needs.
and sports, as well as the ability to create murals from favorite photos, the choices are virtually unlimited. The company also recently launched a repositionable wallpaper line.
Top home decor trends for 2012
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Kitchen designer/blogger Susan Serra sees a renewed interest in woven or knotted textures on rugs with “back to basics” motifs that harken back to simpler times. These rugs are easy and cheerful to live with, make a design statement, and serve as interesting foundations for rooms with upholstered or casework furnishings most often seen in neutral colors. Lowell also sees a trend toward investment area rugs on tiled floors or those resurfaced with wood or faux wood veneers for better wear and tear and a greater perceived home value.
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According to artist/designer/author Pablo Solomon, people will continue to look for unique, cost-effective ways to improve their homes. They’ll buy and restore secondhand furniture, swap artwork and accessories with friends, and use yard sale proceeds to purchase new items for their homes. Consignment stores and estate sales will be hot in 2012, adds best-selling author and home design expert Lauri Ward of Redecorate. com, with people discovering the benefits of buying older, distressed pieces that are well made and affordable. Chairs and sofas that can be reupholstered or slipcovered, and cabinets for storage, will be sought for their quality as well as the aesthetic interest they add to modern rooms.
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linen shades with clean tailored lines and a play toward texture. Lamp bodies will be made of carved reclaimed woods deftly finished in soft, neutral tones that showcase the natural wood grain. Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group, who considers decorative lighting “the piece of jewelry in a room,” recommends architectural sconces for applying makeup or shaving to avoid the shadows cast by overhead lighting.
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“Exterior trim that is cracked, rotted, peeling or falling apart gives a bad first impression,” says Bob Merrill, president and CEO for Chicago-based CMI, which makes MiraTEC Treated Exterior Composite Trim. “Homes with beautiful exterior trim have that wow factor that attracts buyers. Making a good first impression can be the difference between getting a signed contract and keeping the ‘For Sale’ sign in the yard.”
Before you put your house on the market, take a good look at your exterior trim. If it doesn’t look inviting at first glance, replacing it now could help make your home stand out on the block.
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Spring is an ideal time to inspect your home’s exterior trim. Walk around your house and look at the trim around your windows and doors, at the corners, and near the roofline. Warning signs of potential problems include peeling or blistering paint, green algae, warped boards, and spongy or soft spots. Check for termite damage too; they cause more damage to U.S. homes than fires, floods and storms combined. If the trim is damaged beyond repair, the only solution is replacement. Depending on your carpentry skills, replacing exterior trim can be a do-it-yourself project, but it is often best to hire a local contractor or remodeler. One option that has become a preferred choice among homebuilders and remodelers is a treated exterior composite trim called MiraTEC. This engineered wood trim is ideal for nonstructural applications, such as roofline fascia, window and door trim, corner posts and porch trim.
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After location and price, curb appeal is one of the top factors for choosing a home. Curb appeal sells 49 percent of all homes, according to the National Association of Realtors. In fact, even before putting your home on the market, your realtor often will recommend ways to make it look its very best from the street. The evaluation process starts as soon as buyers pull up.
With a clear cedar, wood-grain texture on one side and a contemporary smooth finish on the other, MiraTEC trim is ideal for many home styles from historic to modern. It looks and handles like wood, and is coated with a mildew-resistant primer, making it easy to paint. MiraTEC is very durable and it resists moisture, rot and termites.
March 4, 2012
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(ARA) - With the housing market showing its first signs of improvement in years, many homeowners hope to attract interested buyers this spring. Replacing old or damaged exterior trim is a great way to freshen up your home today and make it stand out among others tomorrow.
Although traditional wood trim often looks good when installed, it can split and swell, and is prone to knots and defects. Other materials, like PVC and fiber cement trim, may be difficult to install and also have performance limitations.
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A Simple Refresh If time or budget constraints limit you to changing just a few basic elements of the kitchen, focus on things that make the most impact. Even novice do-it-yourself homeowners can complete many of these items on their own:
Add New Accessories Switching out the small decor details in a kitchen can make the room feel
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Often underestimated, the kitchen faucet has a lot of influence in the overall style of the room. Choosing a more up-to-date pull-down or pullout faucet not only improves the look of the room, but can add
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But whether you’re in it for the investment, or just to freshen up the space in your home where people spend the most time, a new kitchen look could be a fun, impactful improvement to your house. Some may start with a weekend project and a $40 can of paint, while others will jump into a $50,000-plus remodel. Either way, one thing is for sure - you can’t go wrong with a beautiful, highly functional kitchen.
Change the Faucet
March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
(ARA) - Upgrading the kitchen is on many homeowners’ “to do” list. And for good reason. A minor kitchen remodel ranks fourth on the list of the top 10 home improvement projects that deliver return on investment, according to Remodeling magazine’s 2010-11 Cost vs. Value Report.
Painting always tops the to-do list when a mini makeover is in order. It’s an affordable, high-impact way to change the decor of a kitchen. If you’re not changing out cabinets or countertops, be sure to select a color that complements those major elements.
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significant convenience and functionality. “Faucets in the kitchen are much more than what they used to be,” says Kevin McJoynt of Danze, a manufacturer of decorative plumbing faucets and fixtures. “They play an important role in setting the decor and focal points of any kitchen.”
A Full Remodel
Homeowners throughout the country are staying in their homes longer than they once did. Because of that, significant remodeling projects tend to rise to the top of the priority list. If you’re in it for the long haul (or even to ensure you get that return on investment), a complete kitchen remodel could be for you. When the entire room footprint is your canvas, the possibilities are exciting. While a contractor is recommended for most of these projects, make sure you’re involved in exploring the options that will help you use this space as wisely as possible (yet provide beautiful decor in the process):
Install Display Shelves. This hot kitchen trend is an eye-catching alternative to hanging wall cabinets. Taking down cabinets is a pretty simple task for two and hanging the shelves is even easier.
Evaluate the Flow of the Workspaces Adding more water sources to your room could improve efficiency and ease. Consider a simple, yet beautiful faucet on the island for prep, a pot filler by the stove to help while cooking, and a hard-working faucet at the main sink for clean-up.
Mix and Match your Surfaces
color for the island is a great way to add another design element to the room. “With today’s growing popularity in cooking and a rise in the number of at-home chefs, kitchen flow and workspace needs are critical aspects to consider when completely remodeling your kitchen,” adds McJoynt. “The sink and faucet choices for each of these areas can play a big role in the functionality and enjoyment of the space.” Manufacturers such as Danze offer a wide range of faucet styles in various functional designs, according to McJoynt. So, whether you’re looking to enhance a traditional decor, add sleekness to a contemporary professional-grade room, or something in between, leveraging faucets and other elements can help set the tone for the entire room.
Replacing countertops is one of the most noticeable changes to any kitchen venue. Quartz surfaces are a popular choice, providing a unique combination of quality, hygiene and a look of natural stone. Selecting a lighter color surface for the perimeter and a darker, bolder
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March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
Green Up Your Lawn You can also help control weeds on
â€˘ your lawn by developing strong, healthy 18
Reduce the amount of heat entering your home by using interior window films on the east and west facing windows. You should avoid placing these types of products on the south side because most are permanent and will block heat in the winter. There are a wide variety of products
The spring season brings green colors to many parts of the country and you can participate in this green evolution by taking some of the simple steps mentioned above. So please do your part, join with nature, and go green this spring.
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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development studies show the most effective way to keep you home cooler in the summer and cut down on energy bills is to block the sunâ€™s heat before it enters the home. Researchers recommend removable shade screens with a low SHADING COEFFICIENT to cover your exterior windows.
When it comes to cleaning your home and windows there are several â€œgreenâ€? glass cleaner, floor cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner options. Unlike many of the products on the market today, brands like Shaklee and Holy Cow sell products that are not only safer for the environment but safer for your family.
1. Pull by hand. Use a long handle, flat screw driver to dig them out by the root. Not the easiest way but an effective and safe way to get rid of weeds. 2. Pour boiling water on the weeds in the rocks and driveway cracks. 3. Try this interesting weed killer â€“ mix one ounce of white vinegar with one ounce of cheap gin and eight ounces of water, then pour or spray on the weeds.
home during the summer comes in from your windows, especially those facing east, west and south. The easiest way to cut down on the heat that enters your home is to shade your windows both inside and out.
Another more earth-friendly way to shade your windows is with trees, so if you are building a new home or remodeling, look for shade trees that shed their leaves in the winter. This will allow heat to enter in the winter and help heat your home.
March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
root systems. There are a few simple strengthen your lawn. ways to do this that are safe and effec3. Use an organic, slow release fertiltive. izer. Check your local nursery for fertilizer brands that match the needs of your 1. Mow high â€“ high grass will help type of soil. You can also log on to Planet shade the weeds and keep them from Neutral to find information on the Ringer growing, develop deeper root systems brand of organic fertilizer or Rich Soil for and prevent run off and evaporation additional ideas on organic lawn care. of water. If you have a really BIG weed 4. Get a spring tune up on our mowproblem mow twice as often for a while. er, especially on the blades. The sharper The growing point for weeds is near their the blades the easier it is on the grass. tops so continually cutting off the tops A tune up will also help your mower run will stunt their growth and eventually kill more efficiently and cut down on emisthem. sions in the air. An even better way to Weed Control 2. Leave the clippings on your lawn. go green is to trade in your gas mower It happens every spring, weeds This will add nutrients back into the soil, for an electric mower. Many states and begin to grow, EVERYWHERE â€“ in your help maintain moisture and can help cities offer exchange programs with discounts for trading in your gas mower grass, in your rocks and up through for an electric mower. You can check cracks in the sidewalk and driveway. out the options in your area with a simThe simplest way to get rid of these ple Google or Yahoo! search for â€œlawn pesky plants is to spray them with an mower exchange program.â€? herbicide and youâ€™re done. Unfortunately the chemicals in the weed killers are often washed away into our drainSummerize Your Winage systems and end up in our water dows supply. Here are three easy ways to go green and control your weed problem Nearly half of the heat gain in your
Spring has sprung in most areas of the country and the ritual of â€œSpring Cleaningâ€? has begun. Planting flowers, planting plants and prepping our lawns for summer, airing out our houses from the winter, cleaning windows, replacing winter window covers with summer screens are all a part of the spring preparation process. Depending on where you live your ritual may vary but one thing we can all do this spring is go greener. Itâ€™s easier than you think.
available, although many require professional installation. You can log on to Energy Film for Do-It-Yourself projects that do not require adhesives and can be easily removed.
Going green for spring
Home Depot, Lowes or your local hardware store have do-it-yourself kits that allow you to create screens that fit your windows with a variety of colors and SHADING COEFFICIENTS.
Today’s boomers downsize homes, but upsize the amenities
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(ARA) - Say goodbye to the McMansion. According to a leading real estate website, Trulia.com, 2010 was officially the year that homes over 3,200 square feet ended their dominance and appeal. But don’t think that downsizing means downgrading. In fact, homeowners are looking to upsize their amenities to help them enjoy every inch of their homes.
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And, while many different generations are following this trend, Boomers are a unique group, looking to enjoy their smaller nest now that the kids have flown the coop - yet ensure that their homes are filled with the many amenities they’ll require for their golden years.
While they may purchase a smaller floor plan, mature adults are looking for ways to turn ordinary rooms into extraordinarily indulgent experiences. In the bath, that means the ultimate spa experience - from elaborate showers to heated floors and towel warmers. But when it comes to the bathroom, it’s just as important to keep it safe. Luckily, safe can also equate to stylish. Try installing comfortable seating for the shower with a beautiful fold-down shower seat made of teak and aluminum; or updating common bath accessories
Kitchens that Cook ... and More
such as a paper holder, towel bar or shelf with a new integrated version that combines each accessory with a grab bar for added safety.
Different generations have very specific desires in terms of creating a kitchen to meet their needs, and according to findings from the Research Institute for Cooking and Kitchen Intelligence, boomers are looking for kitchens with amenities that will assist with entertaining. These upgrades may include cooktops with special-purpose features, such as a built-in grill or wok; commercial or professional-grade appliances; a built-in coffee pot connected directly to plumbing or an oven that dramatically reduces cooking times without microwaves.
“Our goal is to make every bath a safe bath. And, for savvy homeowners looking to incorporate safety at any age, it’s essential we provide products to meet their safety and style requirements,” says Laurie Birko, Moen Home Care brand manager. “Our newest products, such as our Fold-Down Shower Seat and Grab Bars with Accessories look like decorative pieces rather than safety devices, so homeowners no longer have to choose between safety or style ... they can have both.”
HGTV Content “101” Ideas - Everything from modern interior design to toilet installation. Yardsmart - Information pertaining to the improvement of the grounds around one’s house. This wide ranging topic will cover everything from growing exotic plants to lawn mower maintenance.
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March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
BioGuard® had the brilliant idea of using Mother Nature for inspiration and thus, MineralSprings® was born.
Get your house in shape for spring.
Next, Add a Heaping Cup of Love
Michiganâ€™s Property Improvement Program can help you make home improvements with a low-interest loan. This program is available to qualifying Michigan homeowners through the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. March 4, 2012
In Battle Creek: 520 E. Columbia Avenue 269-968-3801 Also locations in Kalamazoo, Lansing, Jackson and Marshall | www.thekitchenshops.com
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At the Kitchen Shop, we know that helping you create a space in your home is all about what will happen long after our craftsmen are gone. Our designers will help you design your kitchen (at no additional charge) with the goal of helping you create a space in your home where love can grow.
Mature adults still know how to spice up their bedroom with hot amenities, including fireplaces, heated mattress pads and large-capacity warming cabinets for blankets, robes, towels and clothing. Convenience-based bedroom trends include a laundry room off of the master suite, remotecontrolled window treatments and voice controlled lighting and electronics, making your mature boudoir much more magical than your childhood bedroom.
Bedrooms that Sizzle
tric cable (electric systems) or by The Greater Outdoors hot water pumped through plastic No-mow lawns have sprouted up as a time-, water-, fuel- and tubing (hydronic money-saving alternative to the traditional lawn. These lawns systems) compacthave been around for over a decade in parks and other public ed in the surface. spaces. Now theyâ€™re catching on with homeowners - particuMost driveway larly with the growing population of second-homeowners who heating systems donâ€™t want to spend their precious getaway weekends mowing have automatic the lawn. Theyâ€™re also smart sensors that becoming popular turn the systems with mature adults on when it begins to snow, providing great consistency and reliwho are simply tired ability for snow removal, whether youâ€™re home or not. of the rigors and high And, with safety always a concern - both indoors and out cost of constant lawn - driveway heating systems are not only convenient; these sysupkeep. tems are potentially lifesavers, helping prevent heart attacks, For homeowners frostbite and back pain commonly associated with snow rein colder climates moval. Driveway heating also helps reduce injuries due to slips who are tired of the and falls, and possibly liability due to such accidents. hassles and hazards Regardless of the size of your home, whether you build new of snow removal, driveway heating systems are an ideal amenity. Radiant driveway heating systems provide heat similar to in- or buy used, filling your empty nest with hot amenities will help door in-floor heating systems. Heat is delivered with either elec- to make your golden years as good as gold.
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Carpet can harbor dust, pet dander and other allergens. Ceramic tile does not, making it a more healthful alternative for people who suffer from allergies.
Less Places for Dirt to Hide New, larger format tiles like Keraben’s Transit Collection that are 33 inches by
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Grespania, a Tile of Spain branded manufacturer, offers large format tile which covers more surface area and require less mortar or grout, meaning there are fewer places for dirt and microbes to hide.
It finds a natural partner in ceramic tile,” says Patti Fasan, Tile of Spain ceramic tile consultant. “It’s a hygienic, multi-use product that is ecofriendly, fire-resistant,
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Tile of Spain branded manufacturer Azulev shows that whether you use it in bathrooms, living rooms or the wall of a master bedroom, ceramic tile is cleaner than other traditional surfaces and useful in all areas of the home.
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Ceramic tile does not release any VOCs, the most prevalent type of indoor irritant.
If your health concerns extend to the environment as well, ceramic tile is an environmentally responsible building material. Clay, water and fire are the basic natural resources needed to create ceramic tile. And tile’s durability ensures a longer life cycle, meaning less construction debris in landfills.
March 4, 2012
Mike Shields Owner, Blackberry Windows & Doors
for more photos and information
Whether you use it on the bathroom floor or the wall of a master bedroom, ceramic tile is cleaner than other traditional surfaces. Because it’s an inert material, ceramic tile won’t harbor bacteria or other micro-organisms like mold or mildew. You can clean it with hot water; no chemicals or detergents are needed.
by Saloni offers a range of wood-plan looks that create effects ranging from rustic chic to sleek contemporary. This versatility means you can use ceramic tile throughout the home, not just on the bathroom floor or kitchen backsplash. With demand continuing to grow for more healthful building material alternatives, homeowners are rediscovering ceramic tile, and incorporating it into their home improvement and building projects in new ways.
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(ARA) - If you’ve ever had new carpeting installed in your house and found yourself suffering from a nagging cough for days afterward, you’ve experienced the effect some home improvement materials can have on your health. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) can be a significant health concern, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Concentrations of VOCs can be up to 10 times higher indoors than out, and building materials are among the sources of these noxious chemicals, the EPA says. While VOCs and other home toxins can cause respiratory irritation in healthy people, they can be particularly troublesome to anyone who suffers from asthma or allergies. Many homeowners, striving to minimize the impact of their home improvement or new building projects on the environment and their health, are opting to use less toxic building materials. One time-tested product at the heart of the healthy building trend is ceramic tile. In fact, the Healthy Building Network recommends ceramic tile as an alternative to widely used vinyl, one of the biggest generators of VOCs in home environments.
97 inches, cover more surface area and require less mortar or grout, meaning there are fewer places for dirt and microbes to hide. You can also find grout with antimicrobial properties to help keep this area clean as well.
Demand for healthier building options drives the rediscovery of ceramic tile
slip-resistant and one of the strongest finish materials available.” The experts at Tile of Spain point to the healthful benefits of ceramic tile:
Practical and Perfectly Sized Homes
Today’s average new home is smaller than those from recent years at 2,135 square feet. It emphasizes inviting, livable spaces, and downplays the formal, untouched rooms of yesterday. Despite a decrease in overall square footage, kitchens are growing, homeowners are adding more porches, ditching the conventional living room concept and embracing fewer - yet larger - rooms. To fill those rooms, homeowners are looking for products that provide function, as well as fashion. They are no longer buying for the sake of buying. “The first question consumers
are asking is, ‘Do I need this or do I want this?’” says Kolls. They’re looking for more practical solutions for everyday life, like items that promote health and overall well-being, versus over-thetop indulgences. Instead of one purely decorative element, homeowners are springing for more affordable luxuries with experiential benefits. In the bedroom, these purchases include new mattresses for increased comfort and a better night’s sleep, plus items like improved lighting and window coverings that facilitate a gentle transition from sleeping to waking. Bathroom remodels include items like towel warmers, steam showers and multiple body spray outlets that promote relaxation and spa-like indulgence. Moen Flushmount Body Sprays are especially appealing to the remodeling consumer looking for added wellness benefits – each
We’ll make your home uniquely your own... March 4, 2012
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Baby boomers are the first generation to collectively fight aging. These individuals are caring for their parents, their children, and even their grandchildren, all while making plans for their own future. Boomers want to spend the rest of their lives in their own home and they’re looking for universally designed products to help them do just that. In the bath, boomers are incorporating ADA-compliant products, like new Weymouth lever-handle faucets and custom showering options from Moen. The Weymouth collection brings elaborate, traditional styling to the bath, plus reliable, nearly effortless operation for individuals of all ages and abilities. In addition to more accessible everyday items, homes with several generations under one roof are also utilizing technology to help keep all members of the family safe and well. In fact, according to Kolls, wireless home health monitoring technologies are expected to grow by 4.4 billion dollars by the year 2013. Smart mirrors that can monitor day-to-day health, including changes in appearance, plus alerts that report whether an aging parent has commenced his or her daily routine, are just a couple of examples of how technology is bringing additional security and flexibility to the lives of caregivers. Today’s home may have a smaller footprint, but it is much more personal and memorable than houses of the past. Families are spending more time in the home and incorporating multiple generations under one roof, which makes for richer design - and even richer experiences - than ever before.
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Gone are the days of perfectly-matched rooms and pristine homes. Today’s homeowners are looking to tell a story through their decorating, with pieces that put a personal stamp on their spaces. People are stylizing the mostused room in the home - the kitchen - by adding workstations, artwork, photography and more furniture-like cabinetry enhanced by decorative cabinet knobs and pulls, like those offered by Moen. Homeowners mix-and-match more now than ever before, complementing a great-grandmother’s antique dining room table with modern, geometric dinnerware; putting vintage photos into new stainless steel frames; storing K-cup coffee pods in antique coffee bins. “Homeowners are adding pieces that make sense: items that enhance their experience and put a personal stamp on a room,” Kolls says.
(ARA) - Today’s consumer mindset is steeped in common sense and careful decisions. When making a purchase, individuals aren’t looking to accumulate “stuff.” They’re looking to buy an experience. That experiential purchasing behavior is especially true when it comes to selecting items for the home. Current home decorating is not about flashy, over-the-top design; rather, it’s about decorating for real life - a home that’s smaller, more well-equipped and custom-made for its owners’ lifestyles. “Homeowners are getting back to basics,” says Rebecca Kolls, senior director, consumer strategist of home and garden, Iconoculture, a leading consumer trends advisory firm which presented at Moen Incorporated’s INSPIRE Design Seminar. “They are putting roots down and investing in items to increase their quality of life.” How are homeowners making their spaces more practical and livable for the long term? What exactly are the hot trends for 2012? Kolls points to several distinct ideas, including: practicality, rightsizing, style-telling and universal design.
2012 homes will mix old and new designs under one (smaller) roof
body spray is equipped with an adjustable spray face, allowing the user to position the water sprays exactly where he or she desires by pivoting up to 20 degrees in any direction, for the ultimate in customized relaxation and rejuvenation.
Focus on your Faucet
er pulls to match your faucet, splurge on some updated colors for towels and rugs If you have a small budget, and you have a beautiful before-and-afmaking a simple change like updating ter makeover of your very own. a bathroom faucet and accessories can still have a dramatic impact on the style Think Accessible Whether you are planning some small of the room. Faucets with the Speed Condo-it-yourself changes, or a major over- nect drain can be installed in minutes, A bathroom remodel is a haul, here are some fresh ideas for bath- and reflect any decor choice, from tradi- great time to invest in fixtures that will room remodeling that will help you build tional to minimalist in popular finishes allow you and your loved ones to remain the smart, stylish, and functional bath- such as oil-rubbed bronze and polished independent in your home through illroom of your dreams. chrome. Change light fixtures and draw- ness, aging or other unforeseen events.
American Standard offers the perfect solution for creating an accessible bathroom at home with this walk-in seated shower. Its low 3-inch threshold, recessed front for ease in standing or sitting, wide, contoured seating, and built-in wrap-around grab bar provide confidence and safety to all family members while enjoying a pleasant shower experience.
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Feeling crowded in a small bathroom? For a small-budget fixup, replace your old space-wasting vanity with a smart open-design style that maximizes storage, while visually opening up the room. If your project is major and you are opening the walls, replace your floormounted toilet in favor of a wall-mounted toilet, such as Porcher Solutions Dual Flush toilet, which stows the water tank behind the wall. The Porcher Solutions toilet is water-wise, as well as space-savvy, and the EverClean surface inhibits the growth of This water-saving Porcher Solutions dual flush toilet allows the choice of 1.6 or 0.8 gallons per flush, stain and odor caus- while featuring wall-mounted installation that stores the water tank behind the wall, opening up valuable ing bacteria, mold and bathroom floor space. mildew on the surface.
The cost of water will be rising, so get ahead of the curve by choosing toilets, faucets and showerheads that carry the EPA’s WaterSense certification label. The label assures that you won’t be sacrificing performance.
March 4, 2012
March 4, 2012
Start Living Large
Go Green to Save Green
(ARA) - Ready to give your bathroom a facelift, but can’t decide what changes to make? From tubs to toilets to tile, the sky is the limit when it comes to bathroom renovations, even if budget is not.
Bathroom remodeling ideas: from small to total overhaul
The best products also work great and feel terrific in the here and now. A taller, Right Height toilet is a luxurious comfort. If you rarely use your bathtub, it can be easily replaced with an acrylic seated-safety shower unit that simply slides into your existing tub recess. Optional acrylic surrounds are easy to install and easy to keep clean, while the integral seat provides a safe option for both bathing and shaving.
March 4, 2012
Bring the Outdoors in
A key furniture trend for this Trends in wood finishing have moved season is bringing the outdoors from dark to light. Consider lightening • in through the use of natural American up the look of your furniture with soft 30
Cherry on Top
Furniture that accentuates the organic curves, movement and form of hardwood, such as this oak chair from Lee Industries, is a growing trend.
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Though wood finishes may be trending lighter, American cherry is the top species in four categories of wood “It is never a surprise to see hard- furniture, including bedroom, dining wood show up in what’s trending all room, home office and entertainment over the High Point Market,” says Rose cabinets, according to Appalachian HardTrends in wood finishing have moved from dark to light. Consider lightening up Bennett Gilbert, home decorating expert, wood Manufacturers, Inc.’s 2011 Furnifurniture with soft neutrals to get the look author, and syndicated columnist. “After ture Styles and Material Use Survey, conof this poplar chest of drawers from Hooker all, hardwood is a natural material that’s ducted at the High Point Market. Walnut, totally adaptable to whatever style or Furniture. shape is on-trend in furniture. And that’s (ARA) - From the runway to the living not just furniture: hardwood is an esroom, hot trends in home fashion can sential ingredient throughout the house take the style of a room from simple to -- any style of house -- in flooring, cabistunning. Incorporating trendy furniture netry, and millwork, as well as furniture.” into home decor is an easy way to add Garden Inspiration style without having to make costly renovations. Tying in with the theme of bringing the outdoors in, garden inspired If you are looking for ideas to upgrade design is a hot trend in both furniture your home’s interior decor for 2012, the design and home decor accessories. The American Hardwood Information Center garden gate motif works well with everyoffers design trends inspired by the most thing from bedspreads to pillows to furrecent High Point Market home furnish- niture coverings. ings show.
Natural Neutrals to Bright Blues
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Beyond hardwoods, mixing in bright hues with your decor can really make a room pop. What’s hot right now? Color palettes inspired by earth’s elements such as blues, greens and reds.
March 4, 2012
neutrals such as pale grays, whites and nudes.
“With hardwood as a prominent trend If you are undecided about which spe- in home furnishings right now, the site cies to choose for your home design, the is a valuable tool for those looking to American Hardwood Information Center incorporate American hardwoods into at www.HardwoodInfo.com offers a spe- the design of their home,” says Linda
Jovanovich, executive vice president for the Hardwood Manufacturers Association, and representative of the American Hardwoods Promotion group. “One of the great things about hardwood is that even as design trends come and go, solid hardwood furniture will last a lifetime and can be restained or painted if you want an on-trend look.”
hardwoods. Outdoor-inspired furniture that mimics traditional park benches, picnic tables and lawn chairs, using hardwoods, is a noteworthy design element. Inspired by Mother Nature, designers at the High Point Market showcased hardwoods in both traditional and modern forms, accentuating the organic curves, movement and form of the natural material. Homeowners can mimic the look by selecting wood furniture with unique curves or pieces that highlight the natural whorls, knots and texture of the wood.
cies guide, stain selector and inspirational photo galleries to help with wood furniture selection. A free smart phone app is available for download as well.
Fashion for the home: hardwoods are key design element in contemporary furnishings
red oak and white oak round out the top species, with many furniture manufacturers using clear, satin finishes to protect the wood while allowing its true characteristics to come through.
Is Your Home Ready for New Life?
March 4, 2012
Apply for your home improvement loan today and you could break ground on your project tomorrow. Battle Creek