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SuMMer 2012 t H e B rya n - C o l l e G e S tat I o n e a G l e


1912 was an exciting time in Bryan-College Station


A green summer is possible with the right planning


Kitchens are still king when it comes to remodeling


Room makeover puts family back into family room

past meets

PRESENT Bryan HoMe PayS HoMaGe to HIStory aS reSIDentS lIve In tHe noW


Past Meets Present Bryan home pays homage to history as residents live in the now


4 crushing on outdoor kitchens

The ‘Kitchen Crashers’ host tells us about childhood summer parties & her grown-up outdoor kitchen wish list – complete with kegerator & mounted TV

5 fine-tune your irrigation system

Save Money and See Better Results

6 What a difference a Century Makes 1912 was an exciting time in Bryan-College Station

20 Waves and flames

Bring some drama to the patio with fire, water or an epic combination of the two

22 What to do in Bryan/ College Station? Summer Is Here- Let’s Have Some Fun!

23 essential outdoor up keep

Remember these 5 must-do maintenance tasks so you can get busy relaxing instead of worrying about rust and wear

30 a lesson in lounging

4 celebs tell us their favorite place to park their seats to enjoy the great outdoors

31 Win a room Makeover Enter to win a room makeover from The Eagle and Amazing Space

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1729 Briarcrest Bryan, Texas 77802 Publisher Jim Wilson Display Advertising Manager Joanne R. Patranella 979.731.4719 Special Projects Coordinator Dawn Goodall Creative Services Manager Jim Bob McKown 979.731.4706  Special Projects Editor Billy Mau 979.731.4704  Section Designer Courtney Lewellen For questions or comments, please call: 979.731.4738 or email:

advertise your company in the premier home magazine in the Brazos valley. Publication Date: Thursday, August 23, 2012 Space Reservation Deadline: Thursday, July 27, 2012


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

CruShIng alison victoria

on outdoor Kitchens with

the ‘Kitchen Crashers’ host tells us about childhood summer parties & her grown-up outdoor kitchen wish list – complete with kegerator & mounted tv



rowing up in the suburbs of the Windy City, Alison Victoria enjoyed a big summer kickoff party with friends and family and hunting for lightning bugs. Today, as host of DIY Network’s “Kitchen Crashers,” Victoria hunts in stores across America for weekend warriors who could use her help bringing style, beauty and simplicity together to create harmony in their kitchens. Victoria’s journey as an interior designer began at the ripe age of 10, when she asked her mom if she could tackle the basement in her new house. After completing her studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, she went on to create stunning interior designs in affluent Las Vegas residences, then launched her own full-service interior design firm in Chicago and Las Vegas two years later. Since then, Victoria has created her own line of modern luxury furniture, served as creative director for the Silverton Casino Hotel in Las Vegas and designed a unit in Chicago's Trump tower. As warmer weather ushers in thoughts of backyard barbecues and neighborhood parties, we caught up with Victoria to ask her thoughts on what makes outdoor entertaining so special. WHAt is youR fAvoRite pARt of tHe spRinG/ summeR outDooR DininG seAson? I love the colors of spring, the smell of spring, daylight savings and bringing the indoors out! The best part is having a small group of friends and family in my backyard, designing a new drink for everyone to enjoy, having my signature candy jars on display and sitting around the outdoor fireplace at the end of the night with a glass of wine and my favorite people. WHAt ARe youR fonDest memoRies of spRinG/summeR As A cHilD? I remember our huge backyard growing up (in the suburbs of Chicago) and our big summer kickoff

party with my brother and his “band” playing on the top of the garage. Me, my sister and brothers and all of our friends would run around and ride our bikes, and the entire neighborhood would be outside. At the end of the night, we would catch lightning bugs in jars and hold them captive in our rooms until the lights went out. WHAt ARe youR fAvoRite feAtuRes foR An outDooR kitcHen oR DininG AReA? My wish list for my outdoor dream kitchen: pizza oven, kegerator, hand sink, built-in grill with side burners, undercounter beverage center and a wraparound bar with an ice rail built in to keep drinks cold on a hot summer day. I love the Marvel 61hk-bs-f for the kegerator. Don't forget the built-in fireplace with plenty of seating – and yes, I want a TV above the fireplace. HoW Does style fit into outDooR livinG? is it sometHinG people often foRGet ABout? When it comes to a stylish outdoor kitchen/living space, most people don't consider the outdoor grill a design piece. That brings me to my first piece of advice: Built-in grills are a must! The outdoor kitchen is just as important as the indoor, especially if you live in a climate that allows for it, so pay attention to the space planning and the must-haves versus your own wish list. WHAt is tHe BiGGest mistAke someone cAn mAke WHen DesiGninG An outDooR DininG/ kitcHen AReA? People often do minimal research to find all options available. Most go through a large, costly operation, only to find they missed items they would have liked to have. Another common mistake is a bad floor plan with too little or poorly planned gathering spaces.

fine-tune your

Irrigation System:

Save Money & See Better Results and highly recommended for existing systems because they prevent watering in rainy weather and can be retrofitted to almost any system.


o raise awareness of the benefits of efficient watering practices, the Irrigation Association has named July Smart Irrigation Month. Make time this summer to be sure you’re getting the most out of your irrigation system, while keeping utility bills low and helping to conserve limited groundwater resources. Don’t “Set It and Forget It.” Adjust your irrigation controller regularly based on rainfall, temperature, soil moisture, etc., and water only when needed – not because it’s Wednesday! Saturate root zones and let the soil dry out between watering. Overwatering results in shallow roots and encourages weeds, disease and fungus growth.

Be a Drip. Micro-irrigation, such as drip (also known as trickle), micro-sprinklers, and bubbler irrigation is ideally suited for gardens, trees and shrubs to minimize evaporation and runoff.

These tips are provided by the City of College Station and the Irrigation Association. Smart Irrigation Month is an initiative of the Irrigation Association, a non-profit industry organization dedicated to promoting efficient irrigation. Learn more at and

Time it Right. Watering when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cooler minimizes evaporation losses by at least 30 percent. The best times to water are evening and just before sunrise. Limit outdoor spray irrigation to before 10:00 A.M. or after 6:00 P.M.

Get in the zone. Schedule each zone in your irrigation system to account for type of sprinkler, such as rotating or fixed-spray, sun or shade exposure, and soil type such as clay or loam. Different zones will almost always need different watering schedules and run times. Inspect your system monthly. Turn on each zone in your system and check for leaks, broken or clogged heads, and other problems. Adjust sprinkler heads and make sure you’re watering plants, not sidewalks, buildings, or the street. Have your system audited. Hire a Licensed Irrigator to conduct an irrigation audit and distribution uniformity test to make sure each zone is being watered evenly. Irrigators licensed by the TCEQ can be found at: Install an inexpensive rain shutoff switch. These money-saving sensors are required by City ordinance on new irrigation systems The Eagle


what a difference a

By BILLy MAU the eagle


1912 waS an excItIng tIme In Bryan-college StatIon


eople both old and new to Bryan College Station probably have a hard time spotting where one town ends and the other begins. There are no gaps or open spaces, with a continuous run of residential neighborhoods and businesses from south College Station to North Bryan, and a trip from the Texas A&M campus to Downtown Bryan is something most people don’t even give much thought to. It wasn’t always that way. A number of neighborhoods and other local buildings are turning 100 this year. In towns the age of Bryan and College Station, buildings turn 100 just about every year, but the areas hitting the century mark this year, last year and next year are very important to the area, even if there isn’t much fanfare about their anniversaries. What these places are is less important than why they are there. These neighborhoods, businesses and other buildings came about as Bryan and College Station began to grow together into the merged cities we see today.


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

riDiNg tHe railS Automobiles were a rare sight in Bryan/ College Station 100 years ago. The area got its first car dealership in 1912, and there were no paved streets (it would take an auto club with influential member to get Main and Bryan streets paved in 1915). This made travel between the cities a hassle, one that was having a big effect on the university. The area immediately surrounding campus was becoming over populated with students and faculty as the school grew. Without reliable transportation, living options were very limited. As early as 1904, there was public interest in a commuter rail connecting the two cities. In 1910, that became a reality when the Interurban line was put into commission. The Interurban ran the length of Cavitt Avenue, starting just north of the A&M campus and ending near Coulter Drive in Bryan. Henry Mayo, Chairperson of the Brazos County Historical Commission, said it is hard

to overstate the importance of this short span of rail to the growth of the two cities. “Just as the large railroads had literally opened the country with convenient and comfortable travel, the Interurban provided local citizens with a quick and affordable method of travel,” Mayo said. “This was not just for travel between A&M College and downtown Bryan, but it passed through a few rural communities and many farms. It was so popular that its lines were soon extended to the east and north edges of Bryan, as well as across the Brazos River. The iron railroad bridge across the river, next to highway 21, has a prominent plate bearing the year of construction, 1912.” The line was a hit with people in both cities who were eager to pay 10 cents for a one-way trip or 15 cents for a round trip. Photos from the time show huge crowds at the terminals, sometimes with eager Aggies climbing on the terminal roof to spot the oncoming train. Those big crowds would come in handy because the early gas-powered Interurban cars had a habit of

jumping the tracks around Hillcrest and passengers would often have to get out and push the car a ways to get it back on track. cHaNgiNg tHe laNDScaPe One of the most immediate benefits of the Interurban came about in the form the neighborhoods that sprung up along the line. Neighborhoods like Dellwood and Oak Grove advertised heavily in The Eagle during that time, appealing to A&M faculty and Bryan’s upper middle class looking for new suburban houses. Other neighborhoods in the area signaled a major shift in the architectural style of the area. Bryan was known for its many beautiful Victorian-style homes. The building boom during the time of the Interurban saw a shift to the bungalow and tract-style housing that can still be seen along parts of W. 29th and W. 27th Streets. The line also had a big impact on Downtown Bryan, whose shops and other businesses benefitted from the increased university traffic and from the early automobiles in the area as well. “Movie theaters, such as The Queen were becoming very popular and inexpensive forms of entertainment, making travel into the City (Bryan) even more in demand,” Mayo said. “Many people were moving into town from farms, and many of the farms near town were being developed into residential subdivisions. “The legacy left from this period of growth is the mindset that people didn’t have to be “city folks” or “country folks” but could live and work between both places in the same day.”

Cars line the Interurban train line in this photo taken around 1915. The Interurban train line was the first commuter transportation line linking Bryan and College Station.

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The Interurban commuter cars travel the line that ran the length of Cavitt Street. The Interurban was put into service in 1910 and ran until 1918 when more automobiles in the area made it obsolete.

rIght: The Bryan Icehouse on Martin luther King Jr. Boulevard is one of the many buildings in the area to be built in 1912 during the building boom spurred by the Interurban line. It can still be seen now with the date of construction displayed on the frieze. Bottom rIght: The astin Building is another major building in the area celebrating its 100th anniversary.

a laStiNg imPact The Interurban was phased out in 1918, as automobiles became the main mode of transportation. Despite its short life, it had a big impact on the two cities in a time that was overall very favorable to the area. The 1910-1915 era wasn’t without its troubles, notably massive flooding of the area in 1913, but it was largely a time of positive progress. With the Civil War 50 years in the past and World War I still a few years away in the future, it was a time of peace and focusing on home. Women were making progress on their right to vote with the eventual 19th Amendment, and technology was fundamentally changing people’s lifestyles in the area. There was an influx of people moving from farms into Bryan and College Station, and those who stayed on the farm were able to come into town more often for both shopping and entertainment. The growth spurred by the Interurban would have happened eventually, even without the train line, but its eight-year span was very important in how it shaped that growth. It also provided unique Bryan/College Station moments and memories, like a group of Aggies pushing the train car along the tracks at Hillcrest. 8

Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012


Not all of the buildings from this time period are still around, but many not only are still around, but still see daily use. Here are some of the more notable buildings from that time: texas a&M Campus: the academic Building Bolton Hall the yMCa Building (Houston & old Main) the Sbisa Dining Hall Downtown Bryan: the Ice House on Martin luther King Boulevard (has 1912 prominently on the frieze) the astin Building Federal Building St. andrew’s episcopal Church temple Freda

Neighborhoods: Not all of the houses in these areas are original to this time, but the following areas and specific homes were sites of growth during this time: Smith House, 100 Congress ave in Bryan Wilkerson House, 614 W. 29th Street the 400-1200 blocks of W. 27th and W. 29th Streets 100-200 blocks of S. Congress avenue 200-500 blocks of S. Sterling avenue 400-700 blocks of n. Washington avenue

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past meets

By BILLy MAU the eagle


PRESENT BRyAn Home pAys HomAGe to HistoRy As ResiDents live in tHe noW


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

ThE EaglE



n the 30 years that Preston and Betty Smith have lived in their home, there have been many others living and staying there as well, be it their children, visiting family, friends and even foreign visitors needing a place to stay for a couple of weeks. While the cast of characters has been varied, perhaps the most interesting dynamic is seeing how past and present manage to live under the same roof as housemates. The Smith’s house, located in the historic neighborhoods around 27th Street just east of Texas Avenue in Bryan, is about 120 years old but the Smiths have never treated the home like an antique. “Some people with older homes treat them like museums and don’t really ‘live’ in them,” Betty said. “This house is no museum. We have lived and loved in this home as a family the whole time.” Betty has put a lot of effort into making a home that strikes a balance between old and new, while making it a welcoming environment for guests of all ages. Adults may admire the family china in the cabinets, and then kids will come along later and use it for a tea party. The house was built in 1891 for E.J. Jenkins by his brothers, George and Charlie. Built in the Queen Anne Victorian style, this home boasts many of the woodcrafting and small details that were the hallmark of the Jenkins brothers. That level of detail is best on display in the dining room, where Betty said the woodworking had special meaning. “George and Charlie built this house for Mr. Jenkins and his new wife, Ella,” Betty said. “As a wedding gift, they told Mr. Jenkins he could either have a surrey or the woodworking in the dining room. They chose the woodworking.” The Smiths have taken these pieces of the house’s history and melded them with bits of their own

Top Row: This series of five photos shows the home’s entry foyer. The turn and landing of the staircase have become a popular spot for bridal photos because of the beauty of the detailed woodworking and custom stained glass window. Left Middle: The Smith’s kitchen is “newer” than the rest of the house. When the home was originally constructed in 1891, the kitchen was a separate building in the back yard. Left Bottom: The television room in the back of the house is where the Smiths spend much of their time. It affords a great view of the property and songbirds can clearly be heard in the mornings. Middle: The woodworking throughout the dining room was a wedding gift for E.J. and Ella Jenkins from E.J.’s brothers George and Charlie, who built the house. Right Middle: The upstairs landing links all of the home’s bedrooms together and serves as a display area for some of the family photos and heirlooms. Right Bottom: These two photos show the formal living room. The solid oak mantle on the fireplace was a luxury item at the time as that particular type of wood was not widely available at the time.

Top Left: The bell turret is a feature unique to the Smiths’ home. It’s the only one of its kind in the town. Top Right: The home’s historical marker is proudly displayed next to the front door and tells visitors about the history of the home. Bottom Right: An outdoor seating area in the side yard is a great place to gather with friends on a cool morning or a warm summer evening. Bottom Left: Betty Smith built this playhouse for her grandkids. It was designed to match the style of the main house.

families’ pasts and presents to create a home that is both a treasure for them and the community. Walking through the front door puts guests into a foyer brimming with history. A piano once belonging to Betty’s grandmother sits across from the door. On top of the piano are old family photos and a set of the 13th Edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica from 1926. Immediately to the right after walking through the door hangs the diploma of Betty’s great-aunt, Mary Collatta Picket Polk, from Ursuline Academy in Galveston. The diploma was awarded in 1900, just before the infamous hurricane of 1900. Betty’s great-aunt, whom she calls “Lollipop,” is an ever-present figure throughout the house. Many of Betty’s antiques come from her and each prompt a story from Betty about the welleducated woman who Betty admires a great deal. Opposite the diploma to the left of the doorway is an antique barrister’s bookcase housing a portion of Lollipop’s old books. Subjects range from poetry to literary classics to history books, speaking once again to Lollipop’s well-rounded education. The bookcase sits in a nook formed by the front wall and the landing of the front stairs. This staircase is one of the signature features of the home and has become a popular spot for local brides to be photographed with their bridesmaids before weddings. “A number of brides have come here for what we call Primp and Pose parties,” Betty said. “They come here to get dressed on their wedding day. We do snacks for them and they have their pictures taken with all their bridesmaids here.” The formal living room sits to the right of the foyer. Large pocket doors allow the room to either be open to the foyer or closed off if quiet or privacy is needed. Large windows offer a view of shade trees outside, but attention is usually drawn to the fireplace. The fireplace features a solid oak mantle, something very uncommon in the area. The type of oak used was not readily available in Bryan at the time the home was constructed, so it is obvious that this fireplace was used for entertaining guests. Betty is proud to display the original solid iron fireplace screen and original grate inside which have been used since Mr. Jenkins first moved in more than 120 years ago. A second door takes visitors into the dining

narrow scope of the room’s use and value. Large banks of windows give a view of the gardens in the back and side yard while allowing natural light to bathe the plush sofa and chairs. The room is especially great in the morning when the room gets the most sun and the songs of the birds outside can clearly be heard. In a house that was filled with the sounds of children when they moved in 30 years ago, mornings with the birds are what Betty refers to as the “good quiet” of the house now that the children are grown. The house’s four bedrooms are upstairs. With all of the children grown and moved on, the extra bedrooms have been repurposed for guest use. Each of the bedrooms features its own unique style and provide very different settings for visitors. The four bedrooms, guest bathroom and attic access are united by a central lobby area. Both the front and back staircases ascend to this area. The floors here, just like throughout the house, are the original heart pine boards that were laid down when the house was constructed. Here more so

room with all of the exquisite woodworking mentioned earlier in the story. One look at the detailed wainscoting, built-in cabinets and handcarved decorative work and visitors can see the Jenkinses did well to pass on the surrey. This room perhaps more than any other bears the signature of George and Charlie Jenkins’ work. Many of the elements used here can be found in other houses built by the Jenkins brothers, notably the Wipprecht house featured in the Summer 2010 issue of Home in Style magazine. The dining room table was made by Betty and Preston’s son, who also enjoys quite a presence in the home with furniture and art he has created for his parents. The built-in cabinets and a freestanding cabinet once belonging to Lollipop display an extensive collection of family china and dinnerware. The far end of the dining room opens to the kitchen and to the Smiths’ television room. The cozy television room is where the couple spends much of their time when not entertaining guests. Of course calling it the television room gives a

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than in other places in the house, the old wood gives a satisfying creek as you pass over it. The master bedroom is done in a cool and calming blue theme. The walls are a deep blue, matching the lamps and bedding. An antique writing desk once belonging to Lollipop sits next to a television cabinet made by the Smiths’ son. The bed was also made by the son, even though it hardly looks like that is possible. The bed looks like an antique with its weathered and rusted iron frame. The bedposts and frame were given a distressed finish to match that of the headboard, which is a section of old balcony railing from a building in New Orleans. Across the way from the master bedroom is a guest room. The bed in this room was also made by the son, and the room is full of family antiques and art. The room also has access to two balconies, but only by way of windows. “Back when the house was built, the screens were on the inside of the windows,” Betty said. “You would raise the screen along with the window and step right out onto the porches.” The doors upstairs, just like all other interior doors in the home, are original with the original hardware. Light switches are also original to when electricity was first introduced to the house. 16

Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

Unlike the toggle switches people are accustomed to now, these switches are all pushbutton. The other two bedrooms are at the other end of the lobby. The eastern room boasts the view of the home’s signature bell turret, the only such turret in the area. The curved windows afford a panoramic view of the front and side lawns, and also allow in plenty of morning light. The room is painted in a warm peach color that complements the natural light enjoyed by the room. The other room is more shaded thanks to one of the yard’s large trees right outside the window. The walls here are done in green to match the leaves of the tree in the window. The room’s most interesting detail is something many may miss upon first glance. There are small stained glass pieces just above the regular windows. Two of these stained glass windows sport damage from what appears to be a BB gun. Likely the work of mischievous neighborhood kids many years ago, Betty has made no effort to replace the damaged glass since moving in and said she has no plans to do so. “Those BB holes were here when I bought the house and I’m not interested in repairing it,” Betty said. “I don’t like taking the old out of things. Most of the older items in this house haven’t been

refinished. That’s how I like it.” The home is built on a very large corner lot and the Smiths have made a few major additions and improvements. Betty has surrounded the house with herb and flower gardens, and set up a patio area with plenty of seating and nearby butterfly weed to attract butterflies to make the area even more beautiful. Not long after buying the house, the Smiths built a guesthouse on the back corner of the lot. Designed to match the exterior of the main house in color and style, this guest home would be a desirable property all on its own. Also matching the style of the main home is a playhouse that she built for her grandchildren. In the span of 30 years, plenty has changed in the Smiths’ life. The busy sounds of a house full of children has been replaced by Betty’s “good quiet” and the parade of neighborhood kids coming to visit has changed to a parade of brides coming to celebrate and prepare for their big day. Despite all that has changed, one thing has remained very much the same: The Smiths love their house. “This is a great old house. It has good bones,” Betty said. “It’s an interesting house. It’s not a box like some other houses. I love it. It just feels like home.”

Opposite Page (clockwise from top Left): The master bedroom is done in blue and features a bed made by the Smiths’ son. The front bedroom still has the original stained glass above the main windows. These mini-windows have small chips in them from kids targeting their BB guns a long time ago. The turret bedroom is painted a warm peach color that plays well with the morning sun let in by the large windows. The back bedroom is furnished with family antiques and art either made by family members or bought on family outings. This page left: The bathtub in the main bathroom is original to the home. Below: The master bathroom was originally part of the main bath until a remodeling job in the 1970s.

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summer survival tips

for the Lawn


he spring rains have people more excited about their lawns and landscaping than during last year’s heavy drought. Even though Mother Nature has been helping so far, there are still things to take care of to help make sure your lawn and garden are looking its best through the dog days of summer. Charla Anthony, Brazos County Horticultural Extension Agent with Texas AgriLife Extension, said that the majority of summer lawn and garden care centers on maintenance. “From July until early September, it’s too hot to get out and do much work,” Anthony said. “The focus should be on watering and keeping your lawn and plants alive.” While it seems like a simple task, watering the lawn is frequently done improperly. Both under and over watering can be bad for the lawn, and Anthony offers the following tips to ensure your lawn is getting the water it needs to stay healthy and green all summer long: • Know your depth – Most grasses that perform well in this part of Texas do best with deep and infrequent waterings. Deep watering means approximately six inches of soil penetration by the water. An easy way to do this is to take a standard screwdriver and push it into the


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

ground at various points in the yard. “If the lawn is properly watered, the screwdriver should easily go in up to the handle,” Anthony said. “Dry soil is hard and if you have a hard time pushing the screwdriver into the ground, you need more water.” • A weekly appointment – As mentioned above, lawns in this region prefer deep and infrequent waterings. The screwdriver test establishes depth, and Anthony said weekly waterings should maintain that soil moisture. Once you establish the six inches of soil moisture, about an inch a week will help keep the lawn at its best. “Take cat food or tuna cans and place them around the yard when you water,” Anthony said. “That’s a quick and easy way to know when you’ve hit your inch. In most cases, it only takes about 15 or 20 minutes to deliver the right amount of water.” Another surefire sign that you’ve watered plenty is when you see runoff into the driveway or street. Turn off the water if you see this. • Know when to water – Drive around area neighborhoods and you’ll see sprinklers running at all different times of the day. A common time to see them is in the evening, but that is not

By BILLY MAU the Eagle

A green summer is possible with the right planning

advisable according to Anthony. “Watering in the evening is bad for a couple of reasons,” Anthony said. “Winds tend to be higher in the evenings, which makes it more difficult for sprinklers to water the desired area. We also have very humid nights, so excess water does not evaporate as easily and creates favorable conditions for fungus growth.” Anthony recommends watering before 8 am. Morning winds are calmer and the heat of the day helps evaporate the excess water on the blades of grass. • Let it grow – Grass length is an overlooked factor in lawn care. Anthony said it is important to raise your mowers during the summer and allow a little extra length on the grass. Not only does the extra length make the lawn softer for walking or playing on, but it provides better coverage for the soil. Keeping the soil shaded and covered keeps it moist between waterings. • If it does rain – Even though it didn’t seem like it last year, rain does happen in the summer months. It’s both important and economical to take advantage of this free watering when it happens, but did that 20-minute sprinkle in the afternoon do enough for the lawn? There’s an easy way to find out.

“Anyone who cares for a lawn or garden should have a rain gauge,” Anthony said. “You can’t go off weather reports because rain doesn’t fall evenly. An inch on one street may be less on the next one.” For more tips on maintaining a healthy lawn through the summer, visit PLANNING AHEAD Just because it’s too hot to get out and work in the garden doesn’t mean you can’t get ready for the fall planting season. In fact, Anthony said that having a plan before planting time comes will help your chances of having a successful garden. Texas AgriLife Extension started the Earth-Kind program to help people select the best landscaping option for their area. The Earth-Kind program focuses on landscaping that uses local or locally-adapted options that reduce environmental inputs such as water, fertilizers and pesticides. Doing so helps create beautiful landscapes that need less maintenance than those using non-native items. One of the Earth-Kind features Anthony especially enjoys is the Earth-Kind Roses program. These are roses specially chosen for not only their beauty, but for their hardiness as well. “Some people are hesitant to plan roses in their gardens because they think roses are fragile and need lots of attention,” Anthony said. “Knockout Roses, one of the Earth-Kind varieties, are very popular right now because they are beautiful and do not require much maintenance if planted properly.” For more information on the Earth-Kind program and Earth-Kind landscaping tips, visit


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Cracked driveways, buckled sidewalks, damaged home foundations and patios are the result of conflict between hardscapes such as asphalt and concrete, and tree roots. Aqualift of Central Texas provides/ installs root barriers for homeowners. This preventative measure is a must for trees that have aggressive roots feeding from the moisture under the foundation of the home. Each Root Barrier is designed specific by tree type, size and proximity to the home. Barriers can allow trees to flourish and not intrude on the moisture of the support soil. There are plants that also rob moisture from the soils. 979-574-6523 The Eagle




Bring some drama to the patio with fire, water or an epic combination of the two


t seems what happens in Vegas, doesn’t always stay in Vegas – at least when it comes to patio design. Inspired by the outdoor spaces of trendy high-end hotels in the City of Sin and across the country, the backyard is getting a makeover. Plastic patio sets and simple decking are out; fire pits and waterfalls are in. “People would go to a nice resort somewhere and see pretty furniture and nice outdoor seating, and want that same experience at home,” says Leslie Wheeler, director of communications for the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue Association, a trade group. Homeowners attempting to replicate these resort-like atmospheres have moved beyond outdoor kitchens and couches to something more elemental – fire and water. Feel the Heat Sales of fire pits are soaring, Wheeler says.


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

“Pardon the pun, but fire pits are very hot these days. There’s every shape imaginable, different fuels and a huge range of price points. It’s a huge product category.” Advances in technology have made fire pits more accessible and desirable. It’s possible to get a basic fire pit for around $100, or spend tens of thousands on a more elaborate custom-built display. While many fire pits use wood, gas or propane, bio-ethanol is also popular. Bio-ethanol is a renewable fuel that has no toxic byproducts when burned and doesn’t require any additional gas or fuel lines or ventilation sources. “There are no construction headaches and nothing is hardwired, so homeowners can also take these fire features with them when they move,” says Pau Torruella, owner of Fire & Patio Co., Denver.

Although the biofuel flames look pretty, they are better for ambiance than heat. Go with natural gas, propane or wood if people need to get warm around the fire. In smaller spaces, fire tables are more convenient than fire pits. “People don’t want to sacrifice table space,” Torruella says. “With fire tables, they can have the best of both worlds – the beauty of a fire and a place to put their wine glasses.” For big spenders and techno-geeks, some top-of-the-line fire features can be operated with remote controls or even an iPhone, says Kevin Doud, president of Grand Effects in Irvine, Calif. “The electronics are in part for safety. You don’t have to manually light the fire and it will automatically shut itself down if it gets too windy or rainy,” Doud says. “But it’s also a ‘wow’ factor.”

Cool it Down While backyard fire features are certainly hot, water is still a cool addition to any outdoor entertaining space. “Homeowners see the backyard as an entertaining space, and fire and water are both part of that experience,” says Rob Morton, director of sales for fire and water feature company Bluworld in Orlando, Fla. Low-maintenance pondless waterfalls are an attractive alternative to the time-consuming cleaning of other water features. Something as simple as a piece of stone with a trickle of water coming through a drilled hole can have a pondless basin now; more expensive custom options are also available. “The water in pondless features goes into a basin and percolates through a bed of gravel that buries the pump,” says Jason Bowen, sales manager of Kane Brothers Water Features in Homer Glen, Ill. “There’s no body of water, so upkeep is minimal.” Another trend in water features: Go natural. Gone are the days of an obviously man-made mound of earth with water flowing out of it. “People don’t want things that look like volcanoes

in their backyards,” Bowen says. Swimming ponds are more natural-looking alternatives to swimming pools. The ponds don’t use chlorine and utilize natural filtration and native plants and stones. On a smaller, ‘do-it-yourself ’ scale, design and technology innovations are changing water fountains. There are now freestanding waterfall fountains that can be set up in minutes. “Just add a little water, plug it in and it is ready to go,” Morton says. For projects of any scope, make sure to thoroughly vet a potential installer by asking for references and visiting previous job sites. “This will not only show their work better than any photo can, but it will also show you they are still on good terms with past clients,” Bowen says. Mix the Elements Can’t decide between fire and water? It’s possible to combine the two elements in one outdoor display. Commonly called fire fountains, these stunners typically feature water that cascades down a piece of glass, but does not splash on or put out the fire thanks to a protective piece of glass. Some fire fountains take advantage of the

This fire fountain from Bluworld combines fire and water into a single feature. Since the water cascades down the wall, it does not splash onto the fire. low heat output and ventless operation of bioethanol. In others, natural gas- or propane- fueled flames are made possible by stainless steel devices submerged in pools of water. “There is a lot happening. It all started with hotels, and is trickling down to homeowners,” Doud says. “They are taking inspiration from what they see and using it in their backyards.”

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What to do in

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Summer Is Here Let’s Have Some Fun!


hat a great time to explore the Texas A&M University campus and all of the many gems. Texas A&M is a campus to 50,000 students and the Corps and home to art galleries, like the Forsyth ( ).

Inside you will see one of the largest collection of English Cameo Glass, as well as 1,100 American and English glass objects and 66 American paintings, including important works by Frederick Remington and Charles M. Russell. You will also see cut glass by Steuben Glass Works and Mount Washington Glass Company, as well as collections on loan from individuals. Just down the hall you can enter the Stark Gallery and J. Wayne Stark University Center Gallery (http://stark.tamu. edu). These two galleries are located in the Memorial Student Center. The Memorial Student Center has just undergone a two-year remodel, so this is a good time to see all the new changes. It is truly beautiful. Just across the street from the Memorial Student Center, you can visit the Sam Houston Sanders Corps of Cadets Museum ( In this colorful building you will learn about the beginning of the Corps of Cadets that formed in 1876 when Texas A&M was first opened. Hear the story about the traditions and the history of Texas A&M, as well as view exhibits about Silver Taps, The Aggie Band, Parsons Mounted Cavalry, The 12th Man, the Ross Volunteers, Aggie Muster, Bonfire, Reveille, Cadet Life and a display of Aggie Rings. Also housed in this building is the Sanders-Metzer Antique Firearm Collection given to Texas A&M many years ago. By now you must be getting hungry. There are a number of places to eat on campus or you might enjoy trying one of the many restaurants at Northgate, just across the street from north campus. Many of the restaurants have incorporated the historic buildings there to offer a uniquely Aggieland dining experience.


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

Now that you have had a nice lunch, you must visit the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum (, which was built on 94 acres on west campus and opened in November 1997. Here you will have the opportunity to learn the story of George Bush. The exhibits trace his life from the time he was a young boy, continuing during his college years and then the years of his presidency. Take the opportunity to have your picture taken in the Oval Office, and the gift shop is a must-see before you leave. Brazos County is known as an agricultural county. Would you like to learn how grapes are grown, see them growing and learn how wine is made? Just a short drive from campus is Messina Hof Winery and Resort, 4545 Old Reliance Road in Bryan (http://messinahof. com). The owners are Paul and Merrill Bonarrigo. Winemaker Paul Bonarrigo’s family dates back seven generations to Messina, Sicily. Merrill’s family is from Hof Germany, hence the name Messina Hof. With daily tour and tastings, be sure and check their calendar as they have events going on every day. It has been a fun packed day already, and we have not seen all there is to do! Here are other suggestions you might enjoy.

• MCS OPAS: The 2012-2013 OPAS schedule has something for everyone. Entertainment legends Carol Burnett and Ray Benson will be making stops in Aggieland, as will great shows like “Catch Me if You Can,” “Hooray for Hollywood,” “Freckleface Strawberry” and acts like “The Midtown Men” and “Celtic Woman.” For a full schedule of events, go to • Historic Downtown Bryan: Great shops, restaurants and live entertainment make for an all-day

Pattie Sears is the Director of Tourism for the BryanCollege Station Convention and Visitors Bureau

experience in itself. • Carnegie Library: The oldest Carnegie still being utilized, it is great place to check your family tree. • Lake Bryan: The lake is great for swimming, fishing, hiking or just enjoying the outdoors ( If you are looking for something to do in the evenings, here are a few suggestions:

• Aggieland Premiere Cinema 16 ( • Cinemark Movies 18 ( • Grand Station Entertainment ( Take in our surrounding communities like Brenham (979-836-3695) for a tour of the Blue Bell Creamery or shop in their town square. Be sure to visit Camp Hearne in Hearne, just minutes to our north on Texas 6 (979-279-2351). This camp housed the German prisoners during WWII. Also while in Hearne, visit their restored Train Depot. There is so much to see and explore here in our own back yard. Before you start exploring all Brazos Valley holds, be sure to stop by the Convention & Visitors Bureau, 715 University Drive East, and speak with one of our professionals to learn more about Bryan-College Station. Ask for our BryanCollege Station Visitor Planning Guide to help plan your trip. We are open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Just thinking of all the neat places we are fortunate to have, I find myself wanting to get out of the office and visit again myself. Be sure and let me know when you stop in our office; I just might take off and go with you. I am a great tour guide! Enjoy and be sure and take family and friends with you!

essential outdoor


amie Durie, host of HGTV’s “Outdoor Room,” has a key piece of advice for homeowners struggling to maintain their outdoor living spaces: Keep it simple. Outdoor living spaces such as decks, patios, balconies and gardens can offer homeowners a place to both entertain and escape. Many homeowners have invested heavily in manicured gardens, decks that come with outdoor kitchens and patios that boast fountains and separate seating areas. The problem is, it’s not always easy to maintain these areas, to keep them looking fresh from one season to the next. That’s where Durie’s emphasis on simplicity comes in handy: “One of the most important rules I apply when designing a garden is to keep it simple,” Durie says. “Use a maximum of around three different materials and use them throughout the different elements in your garden. Choosing low-maintenance plants, materials and design elements is also part of this.” If your outdoor living areas need a touch-up this


season, don’t feel bad; you’re far from alone. “Fortunately, for the repair end of my business, most people neglect their decks and outdoor living spaces to the bitter end,” Bill Leys, a contractor and owner of San Luis Obispo, Calif.-based, says. “Many times, it’s too late. We have to put it out of its misery and rebuild it. [Customers] didn't want to seal or waterproof their deck in the wintertime. And in the summertime, they couldn't do it because they were busy entertaining. Before you know it, the deck needs to be replaced.” Here are five steps to maintain your outdoor living spaces in pristine – or near to it – condition. 1) Don’t overestimate your abilities: It's easy for homeowners to go overboard when selecting plants for outdoor gardens. But too many varieties of plants lead to an overgrown mess of a garden. As Durie says, it’s easier to tend a garden with three or four different varieties of plants that go well together. 2) Inspect your deck every spring: In cold climates, outdoor decks suffer during the winter months when exposed to harsh weather. When spring

Eagle - InStyle mag


Remember these 5 must-do maintenance tasks so you can get busy relaxing instead of worrying about rust and wear

arrives, perform a quick inspection. Be on the lookout for rotting boards and replace them immediately. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a deck that’s dotted with dozens of rotting boards and little chance of repair. 3) Waterproof your deck: Water is the greatest enemy of a wooden deck. At the end of each summer season, waterproof the deck with a sealant recommended by the deck’s manufacturer. Do this yourself with a sprayer or roller, or save yourself the work by hiring a professional contractor. 4) Apply the pressure: A pressure washer is an amazing tool for outdoor spaces. Use it to quickly clean patios, balconies and decks. It can also spray away that unsightly green moss that grows on the sides of the home and garage. 5) Keep rust at bay: A barbeque grill is a key component of many outdoor living areas. But rain and snow can turn these tools into rust heaps. Before harsh weather arrives, store the barbecue grill in a garage. If that’s not an option, protect the grill with a heavy-duty liner. Make sure to tie the liner securely to the grill; if you don’t, high winds can blow it away.

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The Eagle


A Sure Bet Kitchens are still king when it comes to remodeling By BILLY MAU the Eagle


hether you are looking for a project to give your home more resale value or updating an older home you plan on staying in for a while, kitchen remodels are both a popular and smart use of your remodeling dollar. Multiple home value studies have shown that kitchens routinely offer some of the highest return on investment percentages, with minor kitchen remodels in the $10,000 to $20,000 range averaging more than 70 percent returns nationally. Brian and Alison Windham of Windham


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

Construction said they see a lot of kitchen remodels these days. “The kitchen is the focal point of the house,” Alison said. “Even if you have ample seating in other rooms of the house, people gravitate to the kitchen because that’s where you find the food and the wine and the fellowship.” Kitchens are also one of the first places prospective buyers check when looking at a home. With all the attention it receives, it’s no wonder that the kitchen is considered the heart of most homes and is one of the most popular places

to spruce up. There are varying schools of thought on kitchen remodeling and how to go about it. Many aspiring do-it-yourself homeowners elect to take on the tasks themselves, while others seek out professional help. In the end, it boils down to the skill and knowledge of the homeowner, as well as the depth of the plan project. Alison and Brian have seen people get in a bad situation by trying to do more themselves than they are capable of. “The D-I-Y craze is big right now with all the shows on The Learning Channel or HGTV and

people hear, ‘You can do a kitchen remodel in a weekend,’” Alison said. “That is so not true. A lot of things involve getting permits or dealing with electrical and plumbing. When you start getting into that, get a professional. People can get in over their heads fast.” Most renovations that fall into the $10,000 to $20,000 range are cosmetic changes. A number of jobs fall into this category, and here are some of the more popular remodeling items this year: • Countertops – A lot of remodels are done in homes that are 15 years old or older. Many of the surfaces are outdated and out of style. Replacing the countertops is a great way to update the look of the entire room. Granite is always popular as a surface, but the Windhams have been seeing more and more clients going with quartz. • Cabinets – Complete replacements are rare in minor jobs, but there are a number of ways to spruce up your cabinets without calling in a team of carpenters. Repainting is a popular option, as is adding new hardware. Some more advanced options include switching to hidden hinges or adding sliding shelves. • Sinks and fixtures – Changing out the faucets and fixtures can add new life to an

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Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

old sink. Another popular approach lately has been to change out the entire sink. Farm sinks in particular have been very trendy, but Brian said there are some aspects to farm sinks that homeowners need to consider. “There is some structural work to be done with that type of sink,” Brian said. “Farm sinks are bigger and heavier than normal sinks, so you lose some of your storage under the sink because you have to put in supports. That changes some people’s minds right there because they don’t want to lose the space.” • Flooring – Changing surfaces are the key to a cosmetic makeover and the floors also get a lot of remodeling attention. Changing out that old linoleum sheet flooring for something more refined can change the entire tone of the room. Depending on budgets, items like new appliances or revamped lighting can also fit into the minor remodeling category. Regardless, the kitchen remodel project is popular for a reason. Whether you’re looking to add value to your home or change the scenery a little, start in the kitchen. The numbers show that you’ll be glad you did.

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The Eagle



Family Tradition Room makeover puts family back into family room


ack and Thelma Hale knew they had a good living room, but it was missing something. The elements were all there: the room was beautifully constructed as the centerpiece to their custom Bentwood home, the furniture was quality and appealing, and the decorative items were all beautiful and interesting. For some reason, though, the room wasn’t what they wanted. “We have a large family and people visit often, so we needed a big room and we had the right size,” Thelma said, “but we just couldn’t get it to come together.” The Hales had loaded the living area with seating, and had it all pushed back to the perimeter of the room. Thelma said it gave the room the feel of a classroom. The couple attended the 2011 Taste of Home Cooking School, where they found out about the room makeover contests held by Georgianne Zemanek’s Amazing Space design firm and The Eagle’s Home in Style magazine, and entered right away. When Zemanek was considering the entries, she said the way the Hales had arranged the seating was a factor in selecting the room. “It was a big room with big furniture, but they had it all pushed back,” Zemanek said. “It was set up like a big conversation area, but you couldn’t have a comfortable conversation there because everyone else was so far away.” Furniture arrangement and color were Zemanek’s targets for the heart of the room. The Hales kept a predominantly off-white area rug in


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

the room. Furniture, with the exception of the coffee table, was positioned along the perimeter of the rug. That left a large, pale area right in the middle of the room. Zemanek changed out the rug with a dark red one from the study and shifted around the furniture. Seating was pulled in, onto the edges of the rug, and the large easy chair was positioned almost entirely on the rug in a corner. This pulled the seating together to form a more cozy and comfortable conversation area. Zemanek’s design hallmark is her ability to find everything she needs right in the house. This was no different in this case. A pair of Tiffany lamps was brought in from the bedroom, as was a beautiful gate-leg table from the guest room. Two smaller chairs were brought in to complete the seating area. Next came the décor of the room. Both Jack and Thelma are Texas A&M graduates and former members of the Corps of Cadets. The couple had proudly displayed their Corps photos and boots on the mantle above the fireplace. Zemanek made use of the built-in display cabinets flanking the fireplace to relocate these treasured items. The end result made it look as if the cabinets had been built just for that purpose. Plants were brought in from the courtyard and specimens from their daughter’s rock collection were set out around the room as decoration. The Hales knew Georgianne would give them the room they wanted, but they were still surprised at how the finish product turned out.

By BILLY MAU The Eagle

“Wow was all I could say,” Thelma said. “The beauty of what she did was that she made everything beautiful with our own stuff. She didn’t have to buy new items; she brought them from all over the house instead.” Using their own items was especially meaningful to the couple, both retired Air Force officers. They spent a large part of their lives traveling the world in the service and collected many unique items that were not only beautiful, but told their story. “This is over 30 years of traveling all over the world in the Air Force around us,” Thelma said. “It all started here in College Station and she has brought together all the pieces beginning with our Aggie boots and everywhere else we’ve been.” “You can see it all from here,” Jack said as he started pointing at items from around the room. “Italy, France, Germany, back to France, Hawaii, everywhere we’ve been.” Zemanek said the room came out even better than she had expected and was even happier to have met the Hales. “They have such a beautiful home and they are such great people,” Zemanek said. Now they have a room to match that. For more information about Amazing Space or to set up a consultation with Zemanek, call 979-774-5095 or 979-229-7197. She may also be reached by email at




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a lesson in


What’s the best way to unwind after a long day of work in the summertime? Outdoors and in the sun, of course! These celebrities share the lounge chairs that work best for their hectic lifestyles.

FelDer ruShIng

Host of NPR’s “The Gestalt Gardener” and author of “Slow Gardening” (Chelsea Green Publishing, 2011) “Nothing says lounging in the South more than a porch swing with a long, long chain. The longer that chain, the slower the swing. Easy to get started with just a nod, but still relaxing and cool – and just fast enough to keep the ’skeeters from being able to hit a moving target.”


Home iNStyle SUMMER 2012

CtW Features

tIFFanI thIeSSen

Actor and co-designer of PetitNest, a room design collection for infants and children “The one lounge-type chair I love and use outside is my hammock. It’s wonderful to lie in after a long day or to take little naps in when I can. And my daughter, Harper, loves to lay in it with me, which makes it better.”

lISa lIllIen

4 celebs tell us their favorite place to park their seats to enjoy the great outdoors


Creator of the Hungry Girl brand and Food Network host “I love my comfy Brown Jordan lounge chair by the pool. It’s the best place to nap at 4 p.m.!”


ty pennIngton

Host of “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” carpenter and designer “My favorite moments growing up in the South were always hanging out on the porch, swinging back and forth on a glider. So when I worked with my team at Sears to design the Mayfield Swivel glider and set, I wanted it to have that comfortable, casual, relaxed feel but be nice enough to enjoy a formal party with your neighbors – complete with a Mason jar full of fireflies as a lantern.”

FREE Room Makeover BRAZOS MOVING by Georgianne Zemanek’s

I look forward to working with readers of Home In Style,” Georgianne said. “The chosen entry winner will be amazed at the change that will happen in their rooms, just by rearranging their existing furniture and room decor. They’ll have a new look using all of their own things.

Georgianne Zemanek and Amazing Space have been based in Bryan/College Station for more than 30 years. Her work has been featured in numerous magazine and newspaper articles as well as on Houston-area TV stations.

979.774.5095 • 979.229.7197 •

FREE Room Makeover Entry Form Name __________________________________________________________

Free Room Makeover

Street Address ___________________________________________________ City ___________________________________________________________ Daytime Phone _________________ Evening Phone __________________

FREE Room Makeover Entry Rules* 1. Submit completed Home In Style Entry Forms to: The Eagle 1729 Briarcrest Dr., Bryan 77802 or print out an entry form online at: 2. One Entry Form Per Household. 3. Residential Homes Only within 20-mile radius of Bryan/College Station will be considered. 4. Winner will be selected by Amazing Space.

5. Before and After photos of the winner will be featured in the 2012 Editions of Home In Style. 6. Photos accepted but not required to win.

*Contest is for Room Makeover Only. Purchase of furnishings, décor, paint, flooring etc. is not included.

The Eagle


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Home In Style Summer 2012