H O M E + H E A LT H + R E C R E AT I O N
COUNTY LIVING SPRING 2021
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C O M P L I M E N TA RY D E S I G N C O N S U LTAT I O N Virtual Consultations Available
Luxury Outdoor Living From Luna Builds Luna Builds designs and constructs outdoor living spaces, patios, facades, screen rooms, outdoor kitchens and more, creating completely unique and experiential spaces for each client. We provide a turnkey approach, utilizing only the best practices, materials, applications and trade professionals to coordinate a seamless experience throughout.
LU N A BU I LDS S TL 314.961.6128 email@example.com lunabuildstl.com
Our craftsmen create custom designs that will last a lifetime. Using only the finest appliances inside our precise stone and concrete structures, we construct the most perfect outdoor living spaces for your enjoyment. Our ability to match your home’s materials, down to the mortar color, is unequaled. Luna Builds understands our clients’ higher expectations and our designs will “wow” guests of your home for years to come. Exceptional references provided on request. Call or email today for a consultation at your home.
L O U I S
O U T D O O R
L UX U RY
L I V I N G
Spring is Here!
What’s Inside H O W C A N W E H E L P YO U R B U S I N E S S ? CHECK OUT OUR NEW WEBSITE
CO U N T Y L I V I N G M AG . CO M
L A N DSC A P E S & E X TE R I O R S
P E T LOV E & C A R E
20 The Green Home Coach
32 Now Is a Great Time to Adopt a Pet
10 Making Our Water Feature Dream a Reality
21 More Attractive Garage and Basement Floors
34 A Hidden Fence Protects Your Dog
14 Fountains, Pottery & Plantings for
22 Outdoor Living for the Ages
and Adds Convenience
24 Keeping Your Marble Looking Spectacular
CO LU M N S
16 Add a Rain Garden and Protect Your Yard
18 The Basement Egress Window 19 Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces?
26 Functional, Attractive Garage Storage 28 Kitchen Cabinets: Refacing Instead
8 Random Musings from Gerry Mandel
29 If Your Home Is Settling, Don't Panic
H E A LTH & F ITN E S S
G E TAWAYS
FO R YO U R I N FO R M ATI O N
35 Breathe Easier with Salt Room Therapy
42 Activities & Events Calendar
54 How to Lower Your Property Taxes
36 Improving Bone Density, Muscle
44 Your Piece of Paradise at Innsbrook
55 Estate Planning and Asset Protection
Strength and Balance
48 On the Road with John Drake Robinson
56 9 Steps to Make Your Company Saleable
50 The Art of Creating an International Art Event
57 Transitioning from Office to Home Office
37 Are You Ready to Own Your Own Health?
38 A Truly Life Changing Experience 39 Hypnosis Can Provide Help for Anxiety 41 An Effective Solution to an Uncomfortable Problem
52 Rural Property: The Time to Sell?
Can Be Simple
58 This Book Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis
59 A New "Dining Out at Home" Experience
COUNTY LIVING VO LU M E 21 / S P R I N G 2 02 1
PU B LISH E R /E DITOR
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DESIG N + CR E ATIVE DIR EC TION + PRODUC TION
314-432-1171 phone 314-569-3380 fax P.O. Box 411036 St. Louis, MO 63141
Michael Kilfoy, Studio X ACCOU NT E XECUTIVE
Carol Kindinger Walsworth Fulton
To see this issue and archived articles online with links to resources, visit
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COU NT YLIVING MAG .COM
PRINTING Cover photo by Mark Pohlman.
ON THE COVER
Innsbrook has been a favorite “social distancing” getaway for St. Louis-area families for 50 years. Located 30 minutes west of Chesterfield, Innsbrook is best known for its recreational A-frame chalets, but also offers year-round residential and vacation homes, contemporary cottages, low-maintenance condominiums and golf course villas. With more than 7,500 wooded acres and 100 lakes, Innsbrook offers families the perfect place for natural relaxation close to St. Louis. There's plenty to do, no matter your taste or pace: sailing, hiking, cycling, fishing, tennis, swimming or public golf and dining at the Clubhouse Bar & Grille or Aspen Cafe. Innsbrook also offers an extensive activities program that includes outdoor concerts, kids’ camps and workshops and adult learning opportunities. Dogs are welcome, and they even have their own park, the Lachen Hund Dog Park. See the article about Innsbrook on page 44. You can learn more at www.ibkconnect.com or call 636.928.3366 x9199. Innsbrook Properties features agents who have worked their whole careers at Innsbrook, and are part of the community family.
Todd & Daisy
Michael & Callie
Carol & Mia
County Living Magazine is published quarterly by County Living Publications and distributed to select homeowners in the St. Louis area. Articles are selected to provide useful information about home, health, travel and recreation. Opinions expressed in articles and editorials are those of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of County Living Publications. While every effort is made to assure accuracy, we are not responsible for how information found in County Living Magazine is used. We are very interested in reader comments or suggestions. Correspondence should be sent to the address above or to editor@CountyLivingMag.com. Reproduction of content of this magazine without permission is prohibited. All submitted materials, including images, logos and text for advertising, articles and editorials are assumed to be the property of the contributor, and County Living Publications does not take responsibility for unintentional copyright infringement. County Living Publications has the right to refuse advertising and content not deemed appropriate for this publication. Circulation is verified by U.S. Postal receipts.
Live Better at Home
A new way to design and remodel
“We are about living, not just a
project or product.” Says Dana King,
“homes should work for people.”
Dana King Design Build Remodeling excels in cohesive and collaborative design, tackling all aspects of home beyond what most providers do. The team manages the details and eliminates the hassles typical of most home improvement projects. Dana brings passionate professionals with skills and
certifications in WELL Standards for healthy living, Universal Design to make spaces function for a wide range of abilities, Smart-home technology to provide connectivity, and organization to make life seamless
for busy families. Projects range from home furnishings to home additions. They answer the perplexing feasibility questions such as what improvements create the best value, how to phase the projects and options to fund the project.
Visit DANAKING.COM to view our projects and to schedule an inspiring in-home or virtual consultation, or call
NARI Certified Remodeler – committed to excellence in design, quality, on-time delivery, cleanliness and communication. Over 200 online reviews.
Random Musings FROM GERRY MANDEL
GERRY MANDEL writes plays, short stories, essays, blogs and an occasional novel. He also plays blues and boogie, which you can enjoy on Facebook. Enter his name in the Facebook Search.
Mugged by a Gang of Coffee Cups
R A N D O M
M U S I N G S
he other morning I realized my situation was out of control. As usual, I shuffled from my bedroom to the kitchen. Objective: Coffee. I didn’t even notice if the usual enclave of birds was feasting at my bird feeders, or if they needed seed. First things first.
“Those aren’t cups,” she said. “They’re mugs.” “Same thing,” I said, suddenly defensive. A bit of advice here: Don’t argue with a knowledgeable woman about anything in the kitchen. Especially dishware. “Those are two different things,” she said. “Different sizes, different functions.”
So, into the coffee maker filter, Community Coffee New Orleans Blend, and cold water. Push the “on” button and wait. This part was easy. Predictable. The next step proved more complicated, even stressful. I opened the cabinet door to grab a cup. I stopped and stared helplessly at the shelf. At the cups. That’s when it hit me - I have a whole lot of coffee cups. Thirteen of them at last count. Now, who needs thirteen cups? All I need is one. Maybe two or three, just to add some excitement to my mornings. But thirteen?? This is when I realized how insecure I am. I needed to pick the “right” cup. I narrowed it down, slowly, to the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market, Larry David “Pretty Good,” and Ernest Hemingway in Key West. I smelled the coffee brewing, needed to wake up, begin my day, escape from this dilemma. I decided on the Hemingway, a gift from my son from his trip to Florida six years ago. As I sat there over my coffee, staring out the window, I wondered how many other people are similarly obsessed. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one in this situation. I mentioned my cups predicament to a friend a couple of days later.
I knew I was getting in deeper than I wanted to. She told me, in gentle terms, that a cup is used for tea and is smaller. Six ounces, to be exact. That’s why the British say “a cuppa.” A mug is used for coffee, also for hot chocolate. So when you say, “Let’s get a cup of coffee,” you’re showing your lack of awareness. Just to finish this lesson, understand that a mug is sturdier and comes without a saucer. A cup and saucer go together like ham and eggs, just to keep the breakfast analogy going. About a year ago, I cleared out some of my cups. Maybe seven
or eight of them. The shelf was too full. A couple even had dead flies in them. I still found it difficult to take a few to the Salvation Army, which is a kind of purgatory for cups. “I Love You” was one, either from my wife, my daughter or my son. A morning reminder I was loved. Another was “Happy Father’s Day.” Every father in America must have one of those. At least I hope so. I also gave away a $20 cup I had bought at the Truman Library in Independence. It looked like it was made of marble and had the Presidential seal on it. The cup looked great on the shelf or the table, but drinking coffee from it made me feel imperious. As though I had to sign some bills, call the Speaker of the House, or ponder the wisdom of dropping the atomic bomb. Not a good way to start the day, right? However, parting ways is not easy. Coffee cups, I believe, have something in common with our t-shirts, caps, and greeting cards. We are emotionally attached to them, for they represent part of our past: occasions, connections, celebrations, and expressions of love. About the cups thing: I, for one, will continue to call them cups, regardless of proper nomenclature. Some things I cannot part with. Tomorrow morning, when you make your coffee, think about which cup you reach for. And why. You may learn something about yourself.
The world’s most expensive coffee cup. Pure gold, from 4th Century BCE, Persian Empire. Found by a junk dealer who thought it was brass, it was auctioned in 2009 for $100,000.
Baker Pool Construction
Making Our Water Feature Dream a Reality BY LORI STRING E R & G E RI ROSE N
CHRIS SIEWING is owner and president of Nature’s Re-Creations, nationally recognized as a Master Certified Aquascape Contractor, Missouri’s first Water Garden Excellence Member, first-place winner of the North American Pond and Waterfall Building Competition and in the elite group of Aquascape Artists of the Year recipients. Nature’s Re-Creations is the area’s leading designer and installer of custom water features. For over 15 years, they have been committed to high quality design, workmanship and customer satisfaction. Nature’s Re-Creations stays on the cutting edge of technology and installation techniques to continually improve their projects and the environment. To discuss a water feature project, you can contact Chris Siewing at 314-220-3841 or check out their gallery at www. Re-createNature.com or their portfolio at Facebook.com/ NaturesReCreations.
met Chris at the St. Louis Home & Garden Show. After talking to him we went home and started to visualize (dream) about how we wanted our backyard to look and sound. We originally had a 12’x 20’ fiberglass pool that because of substandard installation had warped and cracked. We had put in a waterfall, stream and holding pond ourselves using stones found on the side of the road, and it would no longer hold water.
Originally, we were only going to have Nature’s Re-Creations replace the pond and waterfall we built ourselves. We had dreamed of replacing the pool as well but thought it would be too expensive to turn it into a natural swim pond that resembled Chris’s style of water gardens. We wanted our yard to resemble the cliffs and streams you often find while driving through the country or walking in the woods. After checking out Chris’s backyard we knew we had found the right guy. Our poolto-pond project was immediately followed by the fishpond redesign and renovation. The best part of the project for me was that any design idea I had, while watching the project come together, Chris and his crew already had the same idea as if they were reading my mind and were happy to figure out to make it happen. We were able to observe the work ethic and character of the Nature’s Re-Creations crew. They were considerate, conscientious and very hard working. It was obvious they cared about the project and our family. They closed up the fence
every night so we could let our dogs out in the yard. They swept and picked up the debris, rock and dirt each night. They didn’t block mailboxes or neighboring driveways even though our lot was on a cul-de-sac. They even brought our trash cans in when we had to go out of town. If you want to see some video of what went on in our back yard that fall, go to YouTube and search MsBear2327 or call us. Chris has our number, and I gave him permission to give it out if anyone would like to talk about the project. We’d love to tell you how great and unique Nature’s Re-Creations is and answer your questions as best we can. Nature’s Re-Creations is the “Holmes on Homes” of water features and landscaping. No short cuts no shortchanges. Not only are our ponds and falls fabulous, but a drainage problem that was affecting our next-door neighbor was also corrected. We know we got a bargain. BEST working relationship with a contractor - EVER!
Visit our Water Features St. Louis Water Garden Society’s
21st Anniversary Tour of Pond-O-Rama June 26-27, 2021, 9-5 pm each day For more info and tickets: slwgs.org
When You Want Your RENOVATION Done Right . . .
YOU WANT OLD SCHOOL Old School Renovation specializes in kitchen and bathroom remodeling, room additions, custom tile work, restoration after fires and water damage, cabinet painting and refinishing, flooring, painting, drywall and more. And we do it all the only way we know – with OLD SCHOOL CR AF T SMANSHIP. We are fully insured and happy to provide excellent references. C ALL TODAY F OR A NO-OBLIGATION E S TIMATE AT YOUR HOME OR OFFICE
636-399-9549 W W W.OLDSCHOOLRENOVATION.COM
Block the Sun . . . Not Your View
See–Through Max.: 26' x 16'
Enjoy Great Room Comfort See-Through Retractable Solar Screens Reduce Heat, Glare and Fading This new generation of exterior shading screens dramatically reduce heat and glare, especially in great rooms with large windows. By shading from the outside, they stop heat, glare and harmful rays much more effectively than tinting or blinds. This reduces the costs of air conditioning and fading of furnishings.
For More Comfort Indoors and Out
Solar Screens for Covered Patios
Shade Your World . . . and Brighten Your Day With Your Retractable Awning The custom-made Sunesta retractable awning is the strongest, most attractive awning available. Withstands winds up to 45 mph.
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Fountains, Pottery and Plantings DISTINC TIVE FE ATU RES ADD B E AUT Y AND E NJOYME NT
OUTDOOR FIRE PL ACES , FIRE PITS AN D HARDSCAPES are architectural features
FOU NTAINS AN D STATUARY, either classic
TRE ES , SH RU BS , AN N UAL S AN D PE RE N NIAL S should be added to freshen your
s you think about your yard and plantings greening and blooming in this spring season, consider adding distinctive features that can enhance the beauty and enjoyment in your yard for family, neighbors and visitors.
or contemporary, provide focal points for planted beds or patios in your yard. The glimmering sights and pleasing sounds of trickling water on a fountain offer continuous, natural welcome to all who visit. Garden sculpture and statuary make a long-lasting and elegant addition to any landscaping or garden. Birdbaths bring the beauty and sounds of a great variety of feathered friends throughout the year. NATU R AL STON E B U B B LING BOU LDE RS are a great addition to any
landscape. Pick a boulder and have them drill holes for a custom look or choose from a vast selection of predrilled natural stone. CE R AMIC POT TE RY AN D PL ANTE RS
add interest to your indoor and outdoor plantings. Glazed decorative planters add bold color and height for annual or perennial flowering plants, greenery and ferns that bring them closer to enjoy
more. A variety of styles, colors and sizes are available to complement any decor. that create outdoor gathering areas you can enjoy beyond the warm weather months.
yard and provide variety in the landscape. They can be selectively placed for shade and privacy. WORLD OUTDOOR E M PORIU M is your one-stop destination for everything outdoors. With over 20 acres they have the largest selection of fountains and ornamental yard décor in the Midwest. They also carry everything from natural stone and concrete edging, retaining wall blocks, decorative gravel, mulch, topsoil, compost, erosion control products, pond supplies and more. Their St. Charles location is at 4230 St. Peters Pkwy South 63304, and their Wentzville Garden Center at 1307 Granville Drive 63385 offers a large selection of annuals, perennials and lawn care products. You can learn more about World Outdoor Emporium at www.woe.rocks, and by phone at 636-441-9779 in St. Charles and 636-327-6000 in Wentzville.
F I T N E S S
Exceptional Interior Painting and Refinishing Kathy Arnold Painting & Refinishing is a professional full-service painting company. We provide extraordinary interior painting, kitchen cabinet refinishing and carpentry.
We have over 35 years’ experience and are considered one of the best residential painters in St. Louis. We can add architectural features like crown molding, fluted columns and picture frame trim, to give ordinary surfaces new dimension and interest.
H E A LT H
Let us give your home new personality, charm and a truly distinctive appearance. We are happy to provide excellent references.
Time for a New Roof? Time for New Siding? Proudly Serving St. Louis and St. Charles Counties
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Call for details. Can't be combined with any other offer or discount. Must present this coupon at initial appointment or at time of estimate.
ROOF & SIDING REPLACEMENT No Job Too Small Licensed and Insured
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ROOFING . SIDING . GUTTERS . TPO FLAT ROOFS . TUCK POINTING 20 Year Workmanship Warranty on New Roofs
636-255-8530 437 Olds State Rd. Ellisville, MO 63021
LEFT: Blue and red lobelia, great rain garden plants ABOVE: Entry intake where water is diverted into rain garden BELOW: Orange cone flower is great to plant in wet areas for absorbing water
Rainscaping Reduces Erosion and Makes Possible a Beautiful Rain Garden
L A N D S C A P E S
E X T E R I O R S
B Y S T E V E C A L L O WAY
ainscaping is good water management now coming more into practice by ecologyminded homeowners. It is the term for managing storm water runoff from heavy rains. Rather than rainwater streaming through and around property, water can be intercepted using rainscaping methods. As water pours out of downspouts, off roads and onto properties, it causes erosion, pooling of water that prevents grass from growing properly, and can build up against structure foundations, causing wear, weakening foundation walls and leaky basements. Instead, rainscaping attacks nuisance water flow at its source, directing ground water in strategically placed swales or channels to be diverted away from foundations into a garden area or a rain garden. Rain barrels connected to downspouts are used to collect water that can be used to irrigate a garden area. A rain garden is specially constructed where ground water is coursing during heavy rainfalls, designed to alleviate water flow from continuing. The project begins with removing non-permeable soil and replacing it with an
absorbency soil, a permeable medium of porosity that allows water to sink into rather than coarse over it. Absorbency soil is a mixture of specific composts, mulches, and porous material such as sand or gravel. A rain garden of absorbency soil is ideal for plants that naturally have good root systems and high water intake. Rain gardens offer the option of using what had been nuisance water to instead create gardens of beautiful perennial flowers, such as turtlehead, cardinal flower, queen of prairie, and royal fern.
Another rainscaping strategy for reducing water runoff in areas of your yard is removing invasive plants such as honeysuckle and euonymus, which have low water absorbency, and replacing them with native plant species, perennials, shrubs and trees to increase absorbency Rainscaping also helps communities by reducing rainwater intake into sewers, reducing stormwater backup, basement backup, and sewer overflow. It also helps reduce flooding by lessening water flowing into creeks and rivers. Organizations such as MSD vigorously promote rainscaping. By alleviating water pooling areas, rainscaping also reduces mosquito population on properties. Replacing invasive plants with native species attracts predatory insects such as praying mantis and ladybug that feed on nuisance insects such as mosquitoes, whiteflies and scales. STEVE CALLOWAY is owner of Garden Green Horticulture Service. They revitalize and restore gardens and convert areas of ordinary lawn or problem growth with beautiful native plantings that will make landscapes better year after year. Pictured on this page are a number of rain gardens constructed by Garden Green. Steve also helps homeowners select the plants, trees and shrubbery that best meet their aesthetic desires and that will thrive in the sunlight, soil and moisture conditions in their yards. You can call or email Steve for a complimentary consultation in your yard, to identify your plants and advise on how to keep them healthy and looking their best. You can reach Steve at 314-288-5036 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
County House Washing & Painting Keeps Homes Looking Their Best Award-winning service for over 30 years. The wide variety of services we offer at County House Washing & Painting are all A-rated and award winning. Our own skilled staff of painters, power washers, handymen and carpenters all take great pride in their finished product – exterior siding and concrete, decks, fences, roofs and fine interiors. Commercial as well as residential. We are locally owned, fully insured, an A+ Rated Accredited Business with the Better Business Bureau, and an Angie’s List Super Service Award winner in five categories. We are happy to share many references from our customers.
STAINING & SEALING
Please call us for a free estimate at your home.
636-394-0013 POWER WASHING & SEALING
Restore Your Floors, Counters and Showers
Back to CLEAN Again!
Tile and Grout
Before Granite Limestone Marble Terrazzo Travertine
Forgotten What Your Natural Stone Used to Look Like?
Don’t Just Clean, RESTORE! Beyond Clean with ColorSeal
Repolish: Remove years of unsightly scratches and dullness
n Returns grout to its original appearance n Stain resistance from future spills and stains n Seals grout for easier maintenance and cleaning
Repair: Fix chips and cracks
Restore: Scratch and stain removal Rejuvenate: Sanded grout restoration
The Basement Egress Window
H O M E
inishing your basement knowledge, tools, or extra force beyond that is the most efficient way required for a normal window. to add useable space to But don’t just think of the basement egress your home. If you have window as a requirement. It can also add or are planning sleeping natural light and ventilation and with an rooms downstairs, you expanded window well it can be an attractive need to make sure that there are two exits for feature, with flowers and emergencies. If your home plants on the terraced does not have a walk-out steps. The overall basement, this usually ADD SAFET Y, enhancements of safety, requires an escape, or egress APPEAL AND light, ventilation and window. more attractive appearVALUE TO YOUR It is important to know your ance add to the value of local residential building HOME . your home. codes for egress. St. Louis One company that is County building permit expert in structural requirements state that basement improvements all basement bedrooms is Woods Basement must have one window for Systems. They will be emergency escape with a sill no more than happy to give you a free estimate to install a 44 inches above the floor and a minimum basement egress window in your home. You clear opening area of 5.0 square feet. The can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn more emergency escape window must be operable at betterbasementvalue.com. from the inside without need for special
Does Your Home Have Uneven Concrete Surfaces? –WALKS , STEPS , PATIO, POOL DECK OR DRIVEWAY?
hese are unsightly and also tripping hazards that could cause injuries.
You may have tilting concrete steps or sidewalks, driveways or patios where a seam has turned into a step, or repeated cracking in sections of concrete slabs. These problems are often the result of a shifting or a weak soil base or erosion.
In the past, contractors relied upon mud jacking or slab jacking to level concrete that had settled over time. This involves pumping concrete slurry under the settled slab to raise it, hoping that the settlement
won’t continue. But that requires large holes in the concrete - about the diameter of a soda can. It can take an entire day to cure and the mixture itself is heavy – about 100 pounds per cubic foot, which can lead to further sinking. There is now a great alternative called PolyLEVEL™, which uses a lightweight polyurethane mix that expands to fill the void beneath sunken concrete. This not only results in a solution that lasts longer, but also it looks better because it is less destructive to the applied surface. PolyLEVEL requires a much smaller hole – about the diameter of a penny, cures in 15 minutes and weighs much less – about two
pounds per cubic foot. It lifts concrete slabs to a level position with less weight and disruption than the legacy mud jacking or slab jacking process. The result is a safe, secure and level concrete slab. In the St. Louis area, Woods Basement Systems is the authorized contractor for PolyLEVEL concrete lifting. They will inspect your concrete walk, steps, pool deck, patio or driveway and provide an estimate to have your sunken concrete slab lifted with PolyLEVEL. To meet with one of their concrete repair experts, you can call them at 866-735-1890 or learn more at www.betterbasementvalue.com.
Don’t Replace – Reface Your Kitchen and Save!
Cabinet Refacing * Custom Countertops * Tile Backsplash
Try our KITCHEN VISUALIZER at www.ClassicKitchenRefacing.com
A Full Kitchen Remodeling Expires 6/30/21
Refacing costs less than half of tear out remodel. Hundreds of door styles and colors to choose from. Add a custom counter top and tile backsplash for a totally updated kitchen.
Call now for a FREE in-home Design Consultation and Quote
The Green Home Coach BY MARL A ESSE R CLOOS
MARLA ESSER CLOOS, NAHB Master Certified Green Professional, and LEED AP, is the principal of Green Home Coach where she uses her “superpowers” to help home professionals and inhabitants to discover and create better homes for healthier, more comfortable lives. Making simple swaps to green and sustainable choices helps create better homes – a bit at a time in existing homes or all at once for new and remodeled homes. Find more at GreenHomeCoach.com and @greenhomecoach on FB and IG.
MAI NTAI N I N G , R E P L ACI N G AN D U P G R AD I N G YO U R WAY TO A B E T TE R H O M E After a year of being in our homes more than ever during the pandemic, we’ve noticed more things in and around our homes that we would like to change, repair, or upgrade. With a bit of “incremental green” mindset, you can make your home even better, one step at a time. The concept of incremental green is making mindful choices about products and habit as you care for, maintain, and remodel your home. With every choice, we can make our homes healthier, safer and/or more comfortable. So, incremental green…
H O M E
For healthier, safer, more comfortable living in our homes. For homes that support us more than we support them – through durability, less maintenance and less to do to keep them running smoothly. For homes that look great and perform well.
“The whole idea of green can be done one choice at a time” is basically what my book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home, is about. It really is the everyday simple choices - like what kind of cleaners to use, repairing the lamp rather than throwing it out, and choosing a ceiling fan to help cool off without turning the thermostat down. These simple changes can affect people’s quality of life and the environment for decades to come. GREEN CERTIFICATIONS Let’s go back to the ceiling fan example. A ceiling fan is a great addition to your
home for the comfort and energy-saving benefits it brings. Running a ceiling fan in the room you are in can make you feel up to 7 degrees cooler in summer! In the winter, running your ceiling fan in reverse helps to recirculate warm air trapped at the ceiling of your room for even more comfort and savings. Before running out to the local big box hardware or appliance store and making a quick decision based on convenience and price, take a few minutes to first determine your priorities. What’s really most important - price, space issues like room size and ceiling height, a favorite brand, a certain style? Do certain choices affect the comfort, health and wellness of your household? What is the impact the purchase might have on your community and the environment? ENERGY STAR A good place to start is looking for ceiling fans with an ENERGY STAR certification. My #1 tip for making decisions for a better home is to look for certification labels that let you know the product has been approved by an independent, third-party, tested certification system. The ENERGY STAR certification label, the energy efficiency “seal of approval” is
likely the most recognized green and energy-efficiency certification. ENERGY STAR labeled products are certified to use less energy and run more efficiently. You can find the ENERGY STAR certification on everything from windows, insulation, and appliances to electronics, computers, and light bulbs. And ceiling fans! It’s an easy choice which provides an extra level of assurance that what you’re buying will perform well and is built to last, providing more bang for the buck. There are certifications for water, wood and paper, carpets, rugs, floors, low toxin, chemical emissions and more. My book and my website have more information. As you look at maintenance, replacements, and upgrades in and around your home, there are many areas to consider – bath and kitchen fixtures: lighting and light bulbs: flooring, rugs and carpets; paint; yard and garden and more. Beginning with a basic set of values and priorities helps builds a template from which every project can then be approached. From painting one wall in a bathroom to replacing the washing machine or purchasing a new area rug for the hallway, if you know your priorities you can make better decisions. My personal priorities center around health and wellness – ours personally and our larger world’s. That means looking for products that last a long time with little maintenance (less work and less in landfills) and products with fewer synthetic additives like fragrances and other toxins. My list is longer, but these are where I start. I love working with people to discover simple swaps in your own home that meet your own priorities. Start on your list of priorities and be ready for your next maintenance, replacement or upgrading project for your better home.
The Newer, Better Way to Make and Keep Garage and Basement Floors Attractive
f you are tired of your old, gross concrete garage or basement floor, you should know about the new generation of attractive coatings that go right over your concrete to give you a fresh, attractive shiny surface that stays looking great because it is much easier to maintain than a dull concrete surface.
You have probably heard of and seen epoxy coatings, but may not be familiar with a newer product called polyaspartic. It is similar in appearance, but there are advantages of the newer material, which until now has been used primarily in commercial settings. Polyaspartic
coatings were first developed for steel bridges for their corrosion-resistant properties. In addition to greater strength, two advantages of polyaspartic concrete coatings are their quick drying time and nearly odorless emissions after application. These innovations make them more versatile than traditional epoxy. The coating has a clear, glossy finish and decorative color chips are added for a bolder look and traction materials are added for a non-slip texture. Unlike epoxy, polyaspartic is always formulated to be colorfast, so the color won’t fade or yellow, even after extended exposure to UV rays. That means your garage will keep looking great longer.
Polyaspartic coatings can be applied in a variety of weather and temperature conditions, so you won’t need to wait. They cure within 30 minutes to an hour vs. about 16 hours for epoxy, so you can more quickly get back to your life. Polyaspartic dries hard, but maintains some flexibility, which helps keep a stain, abrasion, chip and scratch-resistant finish. It is also chemical, mold, mildew and salt resistant. Archway Industrial Coatings, Inc. is a St. Louis-based company with many years of experience in quality concrete coatings, both commercial and residential. They are leaders in polyaspartic flooring solutions that withstand the test of time, while meeting their customers’ installation schedules and budgets. Archway is committed to doing the highest quality work at the lowest cost. Their installers are employed directly by Archway, the highly trained “Dream Team” craftsmen who know the difference between a job and a job well done. They are accredited by the Better Business Bureau. You can now take advantage of their Spring Discounts. For a free estimate you can call them at 636-946-6464 and learn more about them at www.archwaycoatings.com.
EMBEDDED GRAVEL FINISH
Outdoor Living for the Ages
H O M E
ome people define their quality of life by how much time they are able to spend outdoors. It’s relaxing and refreshing to commune with nature in the fresh air right in the comfort of your own back yard. And with most of us spending more time at home than ever these days, enhanced outdoor living options make an enjoyable “stay-cation” possible.
While our climate doesn’t allow us to spend time outdoors every day of the year, there are ways to extend our outdoor enjoyment to eight months a year, and add those days in winter when there is a break in the weather. Covered outdoor living rooms can be enjoyed in the rain, and with shade and a ceiling fan they make hot days comfortable. A fireplace in an outdoor living room or firepit outdoors makes cooler days enjoyable. Lighting, TV, surround sound, directional fans, as well as power screens, and built-in heaters allow for use of the cozy spaces, day or night. And, of course, outdoor living wouldn’t be complete without
great food and refreshing drink. Outdoor kitchens feature gas grills, smokers or pizza ovens, and beverages in refrigeration or on tap. All surrounded by comfortable gathering areas to entertain friends and family.
The best outdoor living spaces work structurally and aesthetically with the existing
home. Factors like exposure to sun and weather have to be evaluated in the layout and design, to be fully usable and enjoyable. There needs to be a natural flow between indoor and outdoor spaces, and privacy. But what really makes for the best in outdoor living is the quality of design, building materials and construction. These provide durable spaces that stand up to a lot of everyday use, are timelessly inviting and will last for decades. This work calls for skilled masonry craftsmen and carpenters who create with solid natural materials like stone, brick and wood. One company in the St. Louis area that specializes in extraordinary outdoor living spaces and continues the great masonry tradition that St. Louis is historically known for is Luna Builds StL. They are a St. Louis owned and operated design-build company, working in a turnkey approach with homeowners to provide innovative design and construction. Let Luna Builds StL handle the entire process with their in-house craftsmen and management team, and trusted partners and suppliers. To create your own outdoor quality of life and priceless memories at home, you can call Dan Head, hands-on owner of LUNA Builds, at 314-575-2791 or email at email@example.com. You can learn more about them and see more examples of their work at www.lunabuildstl.com.
Waterproof Surfaces Transform Your Basement into Finished Living Space You Can Enjoy
We make the interior design process easy and fun!
f you have been hesitant to remodel your basement to more livable space for your family because of dampness and discomfort, there is a set of solutions that you should know about. The EverLast System from Total Basement Finishing. Their wall panels, flooring, and ceiling tiles are all specially designed for comfort and beauty in the basement. All EverLast products are warrantied to resist water, moisture, and mold. They provide insulating qualities, dampen noise, and can be customized to fit your basement finishing decor.
EverLast wall panels provide solid, durable and long-lasting surfaces. They come with 2 ½ inch high-density foam insulation, ½ inch of hard cement board, and a decorative vinyl covering that will never need to be painted. EverLast flooring isolates your floor surface from the cold, hard, damp concrete, making basement floors dryer and more comfortable. Total Basement Finishing has a ceiling system uniquely suited for basements. Their drop ceiling tiles are non-sagging and mold resistant and come with a 30-year warranty. You can transform your unfinished, or previously finished basement into a comfortable living space with the award-winning Total Basement Finishing basement remodeling system installed by Woods Basement Systems, Inc. They are the highest-rated, most reviewed contractor in their industry and your source for “All Things Basementy.” Their experts will give you a free estimate for improving your basement at your home. You can call Woods Basement Systems at 866-735-1890 to discuss your basement remodeling plan with their specialists or learn more about their services at betterbasementvalue.com.
Call today to schedule your complimentary in-home or virtual design consultation. (314) 275- 0667 SWATDesignTeam@DecoratingDen.com www.decoratingden.com FURNITURE
Keep Your Marble Looking Spectacular
R E VITALIZ E YO U R NATU R AL STO N E F LOO R S WITH P RO F E S S I O NAL CLE AN I N G , P O LI S H I N G AN D R E S TO R ATIO N
H O M E
arble, granite, terrazzo, limestone, travertine and other natural stone are luxurious architectural elements. These quality materials provide refined surfaces for your home, whether in the foyer, living room, kitchen, bathroom or fireplace. But homeowners can diminish the natural beauty of these surfaces by failing to properly maintain them.
Natural stone is a strong and durable material; however, it’s not indestructible. It is still susceptible to stains, spills and damages from everyday occurrences like steady foot traffic and even the use of inappropriate cleaning products. A little pebble caught in a guest’s shoe sole can cause scratches all over the floor. The good news is that when marble and other natural stone surfaces are scratched or stained, they can regain their natural lustrous appearance with professional cleaning, restoration and protection. Whether it’s a marble or granite floor cleaning or shower, vanity or countertop restoration, with
proper care and maintenance, the potential for future damage can be minimized. Regardless of what problems you may encounter with your stone surfaces, there is a solution. Scratches, dull spots and etches caused by chemicals and sharp objects can be honed and polished to their original shine. Amazingly, even cracked or chipped areas can be color matched to blend perfectly into the existing floor. Because most problems are repairable, properly maintaining natural stone costs substantially less than replacing it. A common part of the restoration process is repairing, cleaning and sealing grout,
restoring it to its original color while also providing superior spill resistance. It’s essential to use the proper application of stone cleaner and sealer to prevent or reduce future damage. True stone craftsmen have the expertise and experience to restore the appearance of your natural stone surfaces, and can provide valuable advice for keeping them as beautiful as the day they were installed. They will work with you to determine the cause of damage and devise a plan to avoid a recurrence. A local stone professional can advise on the maintenance procedures that are suitable for your specific surfaces. They can help extend the life of your stone’s finish for years and regain the elegant appearance you love. Also, ask if they can also provide you with products that are safe for everyday use in cleaning stone surfaces. To contact a company that specializes in natural stone restoration, maintenance and cleaning, you can call the professionals at MARBLELIFE at 888-254-9488 , or visit online at www.marblelife-stlouis.com.
World Outdoor Emporium
We have the area’s largest nursery & selection of garden statuary, planters and fountains of all sizes
$50 OFF $250 Purchase
Fountains and Statuary only. May not be combined with other offers. Limit one coupon per customer per visit. Expires 6/30/21 Coupons may not be applied to delivery charge.
$200 OFF $1,000 Purchase We carry everything from natural stone edging, retaining wall blocks, decorative gravel, mulch, topsoil, compost, erosion control products, concrete statuary, fountains, birdbaths, pond supplies and more. We provide delivery, setup, fountain service and winterization.
Shop over 20 acres at our 2 locations
Greenhouses, trees, shrubs and flowers exclusively at our Wentzville location 1307 Granville Dr. Wentzville, MO 63385
4230 St. Peters Parkway South St. Charles, MO 63304
Fountains and Statuary only. May not be combined with other offers. Limit one coupon per customer per visit. Expires 6/30/21 Coupons may not be applied to delivery charge.
Hours Mon-Sat 7am-4pm Sundays 10am-4pm
www.woe.rocks Follow us on Facebook
TH 30 ANNIVERSARY
CABINETRY The next garage storage consideration is cabinetry. Garage storage cabinets are the most secure and accessible solution for a crowded garage. They eliminate clutter and help to convert a messy garage into an attractive and useable space. Garage cabinets can be used to store lawn and garden supplies, tools, sports equipment, workbenches, trashcans, even golf bags.
Storage Solutions for a Functional, Attractive Garage
TRANSFORM THE MOST CLUTTERED ROOM IN YOUR HOUSE
SOLVING THE GARAGE PROBLEM he garage is the most cluttered and messy room in most homes. Now more than just a place to park vehicles, it carries all the overflow of stuff from the rest of the house. In effect, the garage has become a large disorganized and overstuffed cabinet. And because most garages are not really designed as storage space, it is inevitable that they become quite cluttered, crowded and disorderly. H O M E
Fortunately, with garage organization planning and the help of some clever storage solutions, your garage clutter problem can be readily solved. You can have custom systems in your garage to utilize walls, ceiling and floor to maximize usable space and order. OVERHEAD STORAGE One very practical solution is overhead garage storage. The lofts or overhead racks usually are lightweight but heavy-duty metal
frame that can carry moderate loads and bulky items. They are suspended from the ceiling, which has clear advantages. By freeing up the garage floor from clutter, you have space for more easily parking cars, a work or hobby area and heavier items that should be stored on the floor. Another advantage of overhead storage is easy accessibility. Seldom used or seasonal items like holiday décor are stored overhead out of the way and easily reached when you need them. Overhead garage compartments also keep potentially hazardous items out of children's reach. And now you can access your garage storage with a touch of a button. New overhead racks utilize Bluetooth motors that smoothly lift and lower your items through an app on your smartphone. There's no longer a need to get out a ladder to grab heavy items stored up top.
Common household chemicals and other hazardous substances can also be safely stored in secure cabinets. The proper cabinets can also protect workshop tools and supplies from moisture and dust. Lockable garage cabinets can keep dangerous items away from children. It will also protect your personal belongings when you leave your garage open. ATTRACTIVE GARAGE FLOOR OPTIONS And once everything is up off the floor, so you can actually see it, consider a more attractive floor than oil and paint-stained concrete. Epoxy floors have the look of granite, are durable and resist oil and other stains. Flooring tiles are available in a variety of colors and textures and can be used to create custom patterns. CALL THE PROFESSIONALS Like a custom kitchen or bath, there are advantages of complete garage storage and flooring designed and installed by professionals. The Organized Garage of St. Louis offers the most attractive, durable and customizable shelves, racks, cabinets and flooring available. Their 3D Rendering service will give you an accurate depiction of what your finished garage remodel will look like. Trained professionals will create your perfect garage with their 3D design software, a complimentary service that requires zero money or obligation. For a free consultation, you can call The Organized Garage at 314-914-0009 or email them at theorganizedgarage@gmail. com. You can also learn more at their website www.GarageSolutionsStLouis.com.
YOU R PROF E SS IONAL F U LL-S E RVICE CH I M N E Y & F I R E PL ACE E XPE RTS CLE AN SWE E P CH I M N E Y S E RVI CE has been solving
chimney and fireplace leaks, smoking and other problems for over 40 years. We are Missouri’s oldest chimney service, first to offer internal video inspections and power sweeping.
I N S P E C TI O N S
All employees pass background checks. We are fully insured.
M A I N TE N A N C E
Join our 30,000 happy customers, including The White House. To have your chimney and fireplace ready for next season, call us today.
R E PA I R S TITUTE OF A INS M TY
CHIMNEY SA FE
CH I M N E Y S E RVICE CERTIFIED CHIMNEY SWEEP ®
Surround Your Home with the Landscaping It Deserves We can enhance your home with creative landscape design and installation: patios, walls, walkways, water features, rock gardens, firepits & fireplaces, stone and mortar. Also, erosion and drainage control and bio-swale solutions. All lawn care, plant bed maintenance, mulching and leaf clean-up. Snow plowing and ice management. Let us create a custom design and maintenance plan for your unique needs.
For more information, visit
CALL TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE
(314) 220-0400 See our gallery at suburbiastl.com
THE SMART CHOICE FOR UPDATING YOUR KITCHEN
cabinet dimmable LED lighting. Ask about the build-up option that allows us to add to the top of your cabinet to make a standard 30” cabinet into a 42” tall wall cabinet.
Consider Refacing Instead of Replacing
f you’re looking for a fresh new look for your kitchen, you may not need to go to the expense and mess of tearing out and replacing your old cabinets. If they are structurally sound, you can get a completely new look in a much less time and at a fraction of the cost by refacing all visible surfaces of the cabinets instead of building new ones.
Custom counter tops and tile backsplash combine to offer a complete package. A totally new and updated kitchen.
PLENTY OF OPTIONS TO CHOOSE FROM
ADVANTAGES OF REFACING
You will have literally hundreds of door styles and colors to choose from, and many options to explore. A few of the most popular options include crown molding, pull out storage in the base cabinets, glass door fronts, and under-
HOW IT WORKS
Cabinet refacing provides a neat, clean installation, and is usually less than half the cost of a total tear out remodel. In most cases the cabinets can be refaced, counter top replaced, and a new backsplash installed in one week. Many of us have friends that have had total tear out remodels. Ask them how long it took for the remodel. Then ask the cost. Classic Kitchen Refacing LLC has been the St. Louis area’s leader in cabinet refacing for years. They can help you make all the decisions in design and selection of coordinating countertops and hardware to give your kitchen a completely new look. You can call them for a free in-home estimate at 314-470-5010.
In refacing, doors are replaced and all exposed surface are covered with matching ¼ inch hardwood or panels. Additional cabinets can be added. With all new doors, new soft close hinges and all new handles or knobs, your kitchen will be completely updated.
R E STO R E YO U R STO N E BAC K TO
CLEAN and POLISHED Again! BEFORE
H O M E
Recapture your Eliminate Stains Original Color No Dust Ease of Cleaning Beautiful Again!
Call to Schedule Your Free On-Site Estimate STLOUIS-OFFICE@MARBLELIFE.COM
Re-Polishing Scratch Removal Chip Repair Crack Repair
Granite Limestone Marble Terrazzo Travertine
HUGE SPRING DISCOUNT!
SAVE $200 to $500
Savings based on project size. Not valid for jobs in progress. Limit 1 coupon per job. Expires 6/30/21.
OLD, GROSS GARAGE OR BASEMENT FLOORS?
We Make Concrete Floors More Attractive than New! Our Decorative Polyaspartic Flake is a permanent and durable resurfacing product available in many colors that can be applied directly over existing concrete – NO NEED TO REPLACE! What makes Archway different: Our Dream Team foremen have 10-15+ years experience installing garage floors.
CALL TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE TRUSTED SINCE 1987
If Your Home is Settling, Don’t Panic. UNDERSTAND THE CAUSES, AND WHAT YOU CAN DO ABOUT IT.
oundation problems can affect your home’s safety, appearance, and value. If you have wall or floor cracks, bowing walls or doors and windows that don’t close as they should, these are signs that your home may be settling.
WHAT CAUSES SETTLEMENT?
Settlement is the movement your home experiences when changes in the soil below cause it to no longer be able to support the weight of your home, or parts of it. This can be soil that is drying and shrinking, usually after long droughts; soil that remains wet and softens, usually from heavy rain or flooding where there is poor drainage; or compression of poorly compacted fill soil, often where new building lots are developed.
Even if you haven’t seen changes in your home recently, more settlement may occur. Continuing wet and dry cycles can cause soil changes, and settlement is not over unless steps are taken to fix the problem. SOLUTIONS THAT WORK
The most effective way to fix a settling home is to pier it. Steel push piers are driven deep to bedrock or a stable soil layer. They can be installed inside or outside your home to
lift it back to its original position, closing cracks and improving the operation of doors and windows. The solution is quick, and the problem is solved. On lighter structures such as stoops or decks, a helical pier or screw pile may be more effective because the structure may not be heavy enough to drive push piers to a sufficient depth. If you see cracks in walls or floors, inside or out, or doors or windows that don’t close as they should, don’t delay doing something about it. These signs of settlement may get worse if you ignore them. You can call Woods Basement Systems, the highest-rated, most reviewed contractor in their industry, for a free inspection. Their experts can restore your home to safe, functional condition. You can call Woods Basement Systems at 866-735-1890, or learn more at betterbasementvalue.com.
Let Us Design & Build Your Custom Deck . . . With Louvered Cover So You Can Enjoy it in Rain or Shine
ince 1991 Aesthetic Design & Build has been building beautiful decks throughout St. Louis and St. Charles Counties. We work with each client to create a unique design that fits their home and lifestyle. Wrap-around custom decks and staircases can be built with a variety of low-maintenance decking and railings.
The Louvered Roof and Louvered Pergola are innovative solutions for residential and commercial outdoor living spaces. These sturdy, fully motorized opening roof systems offer protection from the rain, while allowing the flexibility of adjustable amounts of shade and light. See our photo gallery of other projects at AestheticDesignandBuild.com
CALL TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE AT YOUR HOME
And Add Outdoor Living Space with The DryPro Under Deck Ceiling
he Under Deck Ceiling is the most cost-effective solution for providing increased flexibility in your outdoor living options. It creates dry, comfortable spaces below decks. The DryPro Under Deck ceiling provides shade and rain protection below decks for outdoor seating areas or bars. Built-in gutters channel away rain from the deck above.
These under deck living areas can incorporate televisions, bars and lighting without concern for rain, sun or other St. Louis weather inconsistencies year-round, further protecting your outdoor living investment. The DryPro Under Deck Ceiling is the only ventilated system on the market. Circular ventilation through the sides and ceiling for optimal air flow to help prevent moist wood from mildew and possible wood rot. CALL TODAY FOR A FREE ESTIMATE AT YOUR HOME
UNDER DECK CEILINGS
Now Is a Great Time to Adopt a Pet BY KIM B ROWN , V P D I R E C T O R O F O P E R AT I O N S A PA A D O P T I O N C E N T E R
he love of a pet remains constant in life’s ups and downs. During happy times they add to the joy and adventure. In challenging times, like many of us find ourselves in now, they bring comfort and companionship. As we are more isolated due to COVID-19, our pets are happy we’re home with them. When looking for the positive in this I think about all the people walking in my neighborhood, dogs on leash, enjoying the beautiful spring weather. While there is no doubt much to worry about, I also see much to be grateful for.
P E T
L OV E
C A R E
For those who do not have a pet yet, or are thinking about adding another, now can be a great time. Most of us are home more
and can spend the time potty-training a puppy or bonding with an adult dog, and cats were pretty much made for social distancing. Numerous studies also show pets are good for our health and reduce stress and depression. There is no evidence that COVID-19 is spread by pets, according to both the CDC and World Small Animal Veterinary Association. The APA Adoption Center continues to help animals in need while prioritizing the safety of our staff and the public. To follow social distancing requirements, we have modified our adoption procedures with options to visit, adopt curbside, or foster to adopt. Potential adopters can view
available animals on our website, and each has a photo and description. We have staff available to answer additional questions and complete adoptions over the phone. We can accommodate socially distanced visits with adult animals and all animals over 6 months can go out as foster-to-adopt which is basically a trial adoption. If it is a great fit, we can finalize the adoption over the phone! New animals become available daily, so follow our website if you’re looking for a new companion. For those who already have pets, it is good to have plans in place in case you get sick. This isn’t something any of us want to think about, but it is always good to identify (and discuss in advance with) two people who can care for your pets. Be prepared with at least a two week supply of food and a 30 day supply of any medication your pet needs. Many animal welfare organizations are operating with limited staff during COVID-19. So, now is also a good time to make sure your pet has a collar and ID tag with your current contact information in case they become lost. In the first weeks of the pandemic we reached out for help getting animals into adoptive or foster homes and the St. Louis community was amazing, helping us place 138 animals in a matter of days. Every animal that could leave the building did! Regardless of what is happening in the world, people continue to look for ways to help and it is inspiring. Bringing people and pets together is at the heart of our mission. While that centers around pet adoption, we continue to deliver virtual programs such as Tuesday Tails story time and humane education curriculum. We have also launched our Crisis Housing Program to help with the anticipated nationwide eviction crisis. The APA Adoption center has been serving the St. Louis community for 98 years. Think about it, that includes WW2, The Great Depression, the ‘85 World Series, losing the Big Red, and losing the team that shall not be named. Together we will get through this. If you’re interested in learning more or supporting our work, visit apamo.org. We wish you well St. Louis community, and look forward to having you back in our building soon.
The Smarter Technology to Protect Today’s Dog Freedom, Safety & Peace of Mind.
DogWatch offers important benefits over other hidden fences: More reliable and safe signal Customized to your dog & yard Lower cost, longer life battery (up to 2 yrs) Locally owned, professional installation, service & training Lifetime warranty & guarantees Programmable by users Indoor & outdoor solutions Made in the USA Can convert other systems to DogWatch Call or email for a free estimate
(314) 965-9209 DogWatchSTL@gmail.com To learn more visit
(inset here of Smart phone & copy)
SmartFence TM connects to Internet for text alerts
INDOOR BOUNDARIES HIDDEN FENCES TRAINING PRODUCTS
Create a lasting image of a cherished member of your family Sometimes we love them more than we know. Schedule a photo session with us to create beautiful, lasting memory. Portraits shot on location, in home or in studio.
Michael Kilfoy / Studio X
A Hidden Fence Protects Your Dog and Adds Convenience for You
f you would like the convenience of letting your dog out of the house any time, day or night, without worrying they will wander off your property, there is a great solution. A hidden fence is an underground pet fencing system that uses a radio signal to keep your dog in a designated containment area, or out of an area, such as a swimming pool, patio, or garden. They can also create indoor boundaries to keep your pet off a couch, out of a room or away from a kitchen counter.
HOW A HIDDEN FENCE WORKS A ‘boundary wire’ is buried a few inches underground around your property. The
he will receive a mild but safe stimulation (also called a “correction”) from the receiver collar. Through a training program, your pet learns to recognize his fence boundaries and to stop at the warning signal. With an indoor system, the hidden wire runs around your couch, under the lip of the counter, around the trash or across a doorway or wherever you need to create a containment area tor an “off-limits” area. There are also wireless indoor units that do not require placement of a boundary wire. TRAINING IS KEY
buried wire carries a harmless, low level radio signal from a transmitter installed in your house or garage. Your pet wears a lightweight, waterproof receiver collar that recognizes the radio signal. As your pet approaches the buried wire, the receiver collar emits a warning signal (audible or vibration). If your pet travels further,
Training is an important part of the process. This includes teaching your pet to recognize the containment area boundaries. Your pet learns that if he continues beyond the warning alert, he will receive a mild correction (a stimulation from the collar) that is unpleasant, but it will not “burn” or injure your pet. It is similar to the static shock you receive after walking across a carpet in your socks. After training, dogs usually stop before the warning signal to avoid the correction. To learn more about a hidden fence for your property, you can contact DogWatch Hidden Fences of St. Louis at 314-965-9209 or by email at DogWatchSTL@gmail.com.
L OV E
C A R E
When You’re Away, I Will Stay! Don’t leave your pets lonely, scared, bored or having to hold it in for a long time. I will:
S T. L O U I S A R E A
P E T
Pet Friendly Restaurants and Hotels 34 CLM
According to BringFido.com, there are 155 pet friendly restaurants in the St. Louis area that welcome dogs at their outdoor tables. And for your out-of-town visitors who want to bring their dogs, there are 94 pet friendly hotels here. For lists to choose from, with detailed description of each restaurant, along with pictures and reviews from other dog owners, and a list of hotels for your pooch visitors, visit www.BringFido.com.
Let them out Take them Stay overnight at your for rides home so they can be in Walk them their own safe, comfortTake them Feed them able surroundings to the dog park Entertain them I’ve been a homeowner for 45 years and know how to keep your home clean and tidy. I’ll take in your mail and newspaper, water your plants, brush your pets and sweep up the fur. Plus, I’m bonded, insured, discrete, reliable conscientious and fun! Iris Salsman 314-495-3017 firstname.lastname@example.org www.thepetnannystlouis.com Find me on Facebook The Pet Nanny St. Louis
Breathe Easier Using Salt Room Therapy
hen Clay Juracsik started The St. Louis Salt Room over 10 years ago, it was partially as a therapy for his daughter. She had severe asthma and he saw that it was taking a toll on her health. He was looking for something that could help her and make her less dependent on the drugs she needed to take. Clay had studied halotheraphy and learned of its many benefits, and even traveled to Europe and Russia to visit other salt spas to learn everything he could about them.
Her breathing improved quickly and after several months found that she was able to cut the need for her meds by 90%. “Halotherapy has made her lungs much healthier. It made a huge difference. It made me more of a believer than I already was,” Clay said. “She hasn't needed medication in a long time.” A HISTORY OF BENEFIT
Halotherapy chambers have been popular in Europe and are now seeing popularity in the
United States. Salt has been used for thousands of years to treat a long list of common ailments.
It was discovered in the mid-1800s that people who worked in the salt mines of Poland and surrounding countries had a remarkably low rate of respiratory illnesses. Soon a clinic was placed within one of these salt mines, which is still in operation today. In order to simulate the therapeutic effects within salt mines, spas emulating salt caves were built on the surface, where people would visit routinely to breathe the air which was saturated with beneficial salt particles and negatively-charged ions. Recently, engineers created a device called a Halo-generator, which not only simulates the conditions in salt mines, but accelerates the effect. A salt aerosol fills the air with tiny particles, which have been clinically proven to deliver the most optimal results. FOR ADULTS & CHILDREN
Halotherapy is beneficial to people of all ages, and actually children often experience the
greatest results. Salt Therapy is recommended for those who suffer from respiratory ailments like Asthma, Bronchitis, Sinusitis, and even allergies. Many people use it to lower their stress and relieve fatigue and depression. Athletes use it to optimize their breathing and improve circulation. ST. LOUIS’ FIRST SALT SPA
The St. Louis Salt Room was the first Salt Spa in the Midwest (fifth the in the U.S.) and has many regular clients, including some doctors, nurses and other medical personnel. They are located at 2739 Sutton Blvd. in Maplewood, just 3 blocks south of Manchester. To learn more about how the St. Louis Salt Room can help you, visit www.mysaltspa.com. You can call (314) 647-2410 to schedule an appointment.
Quality Readers for Quality Businesses For over 16 years COUNTY LIVING has presented innovative and quality products and services for home, health and recreation to owners of the top 19% of homes in St. Louis County, nearby St. Charles County and select homes in the City of St. Louis and eastern Franklin County. We are delighted with the response from both readers and our long-time advertisers. If this audience is important to your business, we would like to show how we can help you drive new high-value customer relationships and high-value sales. For an advertising appointment, call 314-432-1171 or email email@example.com
Can You Really Improve Your Bone Health?
he skeletal system is the foundation for your body and provides more than just strength and protection. We tend to think of adult bones as fixed, rigid structures that don’t change much before they begin to deteriorate as we get older. But the truth is that like the rest of our bodies, the skeleton is constantly replacing itself, and over several years it is replaced completely.
Old bone is broken down by cells called osteoclasts and replaced by bone-building cells known as osteoblasts. But when we hit middle age this renewal process slows down, so our bones get thinner, which is how osteoporosis can set in. But many people in St. Louis, across the US and around the world are benefiting from the discovery that a targeted weekly stimulus can actually trigger growth of healthy new bone tissue. The required resistance is difficult for most people to achieve
H E A LT H
F I T N E S S
HERE IS WHAT MEMBERS OF OSTEOSTRONG RIGHT HERE IN ST. LOUIS HAVE TO SAY:
“Before I joined OsteoStrong I was having terrible leg and hip pain. I struggled to do any type of daily activity without being in pain. By the end of most days, I had such severe leg pain it was difficult to fall asleep. I would often wake up through the night with more pain and leg cramps. My doctor ran blood tests and evaluated my pain, but couldn’t offer any answer and she suggested vitamins. I saw an advertisement for OsteoStrong and immediately called for their free trial offer. What was I to lose since it was free? My pain! I got my legs and my life back! I felt relief after my first visit! I have been going for five weeks and it has made such a difference in my life. My body feels stronger, I have more energy, my balance as improved, and I love going each week because the trainers and other clients are so friendly and supportive! Can’t wait to see how my body feels after another five weeks!" CATHY
"I have been going to OsteoStrong for over a year . I am feeling improvement in general health already. The two important markers I have noticed are in my bone density scan result and in my HbA1C (blood sugar). The bone density numbers have come out to be well outside the ‘panic’ range and my A1C has kept going down from 6.4 to 6.1 and just recently to 5.9. Thank you. I hope to keep on going like this as long as I can." RON “Before OsteoStrong, I had to go up stairs one step at a time because of the weakness in my legs - I now can walk upstairs in a normal way! I also notice that I can stand in the middle of the room and put on my slacks without leaning on something or sitting down. The staff at OsteoStrong are very friendly, make me feel confident and are always complimentary. Overall, I've seen a great improvement in my strength and it's also easier to stand up out of a chair." MARY
with just regular exercise. But for nearly five years St. Louisans have taken advantage of specialized centers here that make it easy, safe and without pain to achieve forces at this level and beyond for nearly all ages and fitness levels. The proprietary Spectrum System is offered exclusively at OsteoStrong, with 10 facilities servicing the St. Louis and St. Charles area. Sessions are once a week and take less than 15 minutes. Many members of OsteoStrong experience improved bone density, posture, balance and athletic ability. Also, less joint and back pain, helping them feel more confident in their daily life. The most compelling evidence is what OsteoStrong members themselves have to say about their experience!
"I am 77 years of age, and for the last 3 years, due to various health issues I have lost a lot of muscle strength. I was reluctant to try OsteoStrong but so glad I did! I have noticed that I'm able to do some of the things I couldn't before - for example lifting my heavy standup mixer from the bottom of the cabinet to the top of my counter! My balance is much better, and I definitely feel stronger - which is exactly what I was hoping for!" SHIR LE Y
ALL OSTEOSTRONG CENTERS ARE NOW OPEN, BY APPOINTMENT ONLY. We are following St. Louis County and St. Charles County health guidelines. To schedule a complimentary session, or for more information, you can call 314-270-2005. And you can learn more about OsteoStrong at www.OsteoStrong.me
CREVE COEUR R AC Q U E T C L U B ST. LOUIS’S #1 TENNIS CLUB – AND MORE!
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Pickleball is the Fastest Growing Sport! 4 Indoor Pickleball Courts 2 Outdoor Pickleball Courts Clinics Private Lessons Open Play
THE MOST ACCURATE WAYS TO KNOW YOUR BODY IN 2021 ou see a lot of promises for reducing weight and body fat, increasing lean muscle and bone density. You’re probably taking control of your health with exercise and better diet. But how can you really know how you’re doing?
The Only Tennis Club in St. Louis with: 10 Indoor Courts 8 Outdoor Hard Courts 3 Outdoor Clay Courts 2 Outdoor Platform Tennis Courts CORE Academy
There is now a solution that provides you scientific data and images to assure you’re getting results and improving your health. At one location there is a full range of advanced body assessment technologies that affordably provide you the tools, knowledge and power to Know Your Body and Own Your Health. BODY ANALYTICS is a non-medical clinic offering the most accurate body composition results possible. Body Analytics enables you to set and monitor progress toward your health, fitness and disease prevention goals. Their technologies include: STYKU offers the fastest non-invasive measures of body fat composi-
tion, a major indicator of potential health risks. In just 35 seconds, a full body scan extracts hundreds of measurements with unparalleled accuracy. No humiliating fat calipers, measuring tapes or risk of human error. Styku provides simple graphics to track how your diet and hard work are benefiting you. DXA is a 15-minute comprehensive snapshot of your exact bone den-
sity. This is the Golden Standard used to determine Osteoporosis and Osteopenia. DXA can also provide a full-body composition image. Very weak x-ray beams detect composition percentages, including visceral fat, providing an advanced image of your entire body and insight into potential health risks. KORR assessment is a simple 10-minute test that measures how much food, or energy, is required to maintain basic body functions in a state of rest. This enables you to take control over your metabolic health and stop the guesswork of modifying caloric intake for weight gain or loss. KORR will give you a clear picture of how your weight loss program is impacting your metabolism, ensuring that your diet is maintaining your metabolic rate.
Body Analytics is now offering their Introductory 8 Week Challenge. For one low price, you will receive 3 DXA scans, 3 Styku scans and 3 measures of resting metabolic heart rate. To take advantage of this special offer and book a session at Body Analytics, you can call them at 314-471-5373. You can learn more at www.bodyanalytics.fit about what they offer. They are located at 4290 Telegraph Road 63129, just 12 minutes from Manchester and 270.
Let Us Keep You in Shape! Training Center Cardio Center Trapeze Yoga
Plus These Member Benefits: Olympic Outdoor Pool BAR & Full-Service Clubhouse Dining Private Lessons and Group Tennis Classes Fully Equipped Pro Shop
Individual or Family Membership
I met Bret through a family friend who was working out with him. From the first meeting, I could tell that he was genuinely excited about helping me. I got the clear impression that if I put in a full effort to achieve my goals, he would, too. I started working out with him about a year ago.
A Truly LifeChanging Experience ACCO M P L I S H YO U R G OA L S , I M P R OV E YO U R H E A LT H A N D E N J O Y D O I N G I T
BY ALE X H U M M E L
came to see Bret because I needed to change my life. After college, I was really struggling to find a job, and in frustration, my eating got out of control. I am a big guy, but I got up to 445 pounds, the most I ever weighed. That affected job interviews because recruiters were judging me by my weight. But more important is that my own self-image was bringing me down. Finally, I realized that I was really jeopardizing my health and my whole life.
I had worked out with trainers during high school and college, with mixed results. Each seemed to have their own training specialties, whether it was cardio, calisthenics or body building. Their routines just didn’t seem to be really focused on me or my own goals. I lost weight, but the workouts became routine, and were just not something I really enjoyed doing. Later, I tried to work out on my own, but I was always coming up with an excuse for not doing it.
BRET KLIETHERMES is owner of STRONG HUMAN FITNESS LLC, a personal training company that offers Complete Fitness Programs to help his clients reach their personal health and fitness goals. Bret has a Bachelor of Science in Health & Wellness Promotion from Missouri State University, is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and Professional Member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Bret works with clients at The Fitness Partner, Inc., a boutique
My goal was to first lose weight, then gradually put on muscle. I don’t want to be a body builder, just to be in good shape, to carry myself well. In addition to my workouts, Bret also guides my daily diet – what I eat, how much and when. But what is really great is that he is there also as support and motivation. I stay in touch with him on workouts I do on the days when I am not with him, and on what I am eating every day. It is the accountability I always wanted. I could see results shortly after I began training with Bret, and started to feel the effects within a month. Other people notice, but I don’t want to feel complacent based on what others say. In less than a year I have lost 120 pounds, and I really have more energy and am having a lot more fun working out than I have ever had before. Bret knows how to change things up, adding variety and interest to the workouts, to make them stay enjoyable. Now I feel a lot better and my whole outlook is much more positive. To anyone who is looking to change their lives, lose weight, get in better shape, I would say, invest yourself in making the change. Let that desire push you to get started now. Keep going until you see and feel the change for yourself. And I would certainly recommend Bret to help you accomplish your goals. He is by far the best trainer I have worked with and he has helped me feel the best I have ever felt.
gym located at 14528 South Outer 40 Road, Chesterfield 63017. For 25 years, owner/ operator Randy Stone has offered a more private alternative to the large box gyms that are often noisy and overcrowded. Bret offers both private and semi-private training to fit all budgets and schedules. For a no-obligation, no-pressure consultation to discuss your goals and programs, you can call Bret at 314-691-9040, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit online at www.stronghumanfitness.com.
THE FITNESS PARTNER GYM IS NOW OPEN, AND THEY ARE OBSERVING ST. LOUIS COUNTY HEALTH GUIDELINES TO PROTECT CLIENTS AND STAFF.
H Y P N OTH E R APY CA S E STU DY #3 :
Help for Anxiety: Replacing Uncomfortable Feelings with Calm Peacefulness and Safety BY J OAN K R U EG E R , CE R TI FI E D H Y P N OTH E R AP I ST
JOAN KRUEGER has a private practice with an office in Kirkwood. Many individuals have achieved their behavior change goals, both personal and professional, through guidance they have received in her hypnosis sessions. You can contact Joan to discuss how hypnosis could help you achieve positive change in your own life by calling her at (314) 962-7558, or visiting her website www.jfkhypnosis.com.
o many of us are experiencing anxiety these days. Some people have general anxiety, which is excessive, ongoing worry that is difficult to control and interferes with day-to-day activities. Others have anxiety related to specific situations. Both of these are certainly understandable, if you just look at the world that we are living in right now.
I had a young man a couple of years ago who was experiencing a tremendous amount of social anxiety, related to situations where he was interacting with other people. It was difficult for him to go to work, go to parties, go to the gym or even be around his friends. After we talked about what was going on in his life, and we began the hypnosis process, I had him describe and re-create feelings of calm peacefulness and safety that he had experienced in another situ-
ation earlier in his life. Then we began the process of anchoring those good feelings to the situations where he didn’t feel comfortable. By showing him that calmness, relaxation and control are inside of him, and anchoring those feelings to the thoughts of him being in social situations, his mind was able to bring up the positive feelings in those settings after his session. It worked wonderfully for him. He texted me the next day and told me that after he left my office he went to the gym and worked out. That was something he hadn’t been able to do in the midst of all of his anxiety. It’s very possible to use this anchoring technique in other situations where people experience anxiety. And there are additional techniques that can be used when someone experiences general anxiety. If you’re suffering from anxiety, you don’t need to. There is help available. Feel free to call me.
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Wildlife and Native Landscaping Bring the delight of perennial wildflowers and native grasses to your own yard. Butterflies, hummingbirds and migratory birds will follow. GARDEN GREEN provides
landscape design and installation of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, soil, stone and mulch. Offers maintenance and renovation of residential and commercial properties; spectacular gardens, identification and removal of invasive plants, rainscaping, deer-resistant gardens and more. Spring is a great time to plant. Call or email today for a free consultation.
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Dr. Ayse Kilfoy was chosen by her peers as one of the Top Dentists in the St. Louis area
hen St. Louis Magazine surveyed St. Louis region dentists on who they thought were the best dentists in the region, Dr. Ayse Kilfoy of Woodlawn Dental was up there again at the top of the list for the ninth year in a row. She has been providing healthy, beautiful smiles to the O’Fallon area for over 25 years. “Whether a patient just needs some minor dental work or some long-term cosmetic improvements, we love to be a part of making changes that matter. My greatest pleasure is to see the smile on a patient’s face when we’ve completed their care. For some, it’s like they’re smiling for the first time.” New patients are now being accepted. Come by and take a tour. Find out how much Woodlawn Dental has to offer you.
Woodlawn Dental Dr. Ayse Kilfoy, DMD 608 Woodlawn Avenue O’Fallon, MO 63366
BETSY CLEMENS MD is owner and medical principal at Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center, located at 450 North New Ballas Road in Creve Coeur. Dr. Clemens has specialized in evaluating and treating anal/rectal disorders for over 10 years and has performed over 28,000 IRC procedures. Prior to opening MWHTC, Dr. Clemens had a very busy family medicine practice and she remains board certified in family medicine. She has a comprehensive understanding of the body and uses a systematic approach to the diagnostic and treatment process. She received her medical degree from Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and completed her residency at St. Johns Mercy Medical Center. For an appointment at the Midwest Hemorrhoid Treatment Center, you can call 314-384-5710. To learn more about them and about IRC, you can visit mwhtc-stl.com.
An Effective Solution for an Uncomfortable Problem INFR ARED COAGUL ATION IS A PAINLESS , L ASTING TREATMENT FOR HEMORRHOIDS .
BY B ETSY CLE M E NS , M D
lmost everyone suffers from hemorrhoids at some time in their lives. Hemorrhoids are normal “cushions” of tissue filled with blood vessels at the end of the rectum. If enlarged, they can cause unpleasant symptoms. If left untreated, surgery may be required, which can be painful and require days to weeks of recovery.
Treatment options depend on the size of the hemorrhoids and severity of symptoms. Topical medications can relieve itching and shrink mild hemorrhoids. But for enlarged or bleeding hemorrhoids, options for longer-term relief have been limited to sclerotherapy, involving injections similar to those for varicose veins, rubber band ligation, stapling and surgery. Each of these can have varying
results, cause days of discomfort and possibly cause complications, some of which are severe. But another option is available, an outpatient procedure called infrared coagulation (IRC). It provides long-term relief and is a minimally invasive, non-surgical procedure that many studies have shown to be the optimal non-operative treatment of choice. It is fast, effective, well tolerated and has fewer complications than other options. The IRC treatment focuses infrared light on hemorrhoidal tissues. This coagulates blood vessels, causing the hemorrhoid to shrink and retract. The IRC procedure does not require anesthesia or special preparation. Patients may feel a slight warm sensation, but it usually is painless, and most patients return to work the same day. IRC received FDA clearance in 1984 and is covered by most insurance plans.
Start the 2021 Pool Season with Fresh Clean Cushions on Your Outdoor Furniture To enjoy relaxing on your patio and by the pool, make sure your outdoor furniture is ready. Even if your cushions were covered during the winter, they may have accumulated dust and dirt, so it’s a good idea to have them cleaned before the season starts. We will clean and wrap them up so they’re ready for you. Woodard’s upholstery cleaning removes dirt and stains using the proper solutions to banish blemishes on even the most luxurious outdoor fabrics. And our stain protection, Mildewcide and Deodorizers help prevent stains, mildew, and unpleasant odors, and prolong the life of your outdoor furniture. Call or visit us online for a free cleaning quote!
Call Us Today at 314-227-7059 woodard247.com
PRE-SEASON SPECIAL: Save 20% when you drop off and pick up your cushions. Payment required at time of drop off. Special rules apply. Offer expires 6/30/2021
CO U NT Y
LIVI N G
Spring Activities & Events Take advantage of these wonderful events. Make this the year you get back out and enjoy the special festivals and entertainment events across the St. Louis metro area.
PLEASE NOTE: These events were still scheduled as of press time. Check websites for updates.
TASTE OF MAPLE WOOD/ STRING FEST WE E KE N D
May 14-15 noon-8pm Historic Downtown Maplewood maplewood-chamber.com WHITAKE R M USIC FESTIVAL
Wednesdays June-August mobot.org/whitaker Alternative Art Fair
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MONDAY, JUNE 14
Tilles Park 4th Street Band
SU M M E R CONCE RT SE RIES TH R E E OF A PAIR
June 23 Ryan Hummert Park Maplewood ST. LOU IS WATE R GARDE N SOCIET Y PON D - O R AMA TOU R
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 23
Creve Coeur Park Fanfare THURSDAY, JULY 15
WEDNESDAY, JULY 21
May 28-30 Schlafly Bottleworks schlafly.com/ artoutside
FRIDAY, JUNE 4
Laumeier Sculpture Park Eddie Randle Trio
Faust Park Facts O Life
FOOD TRUCK FESTS
Creve Coeur Park Soccer Complex Whiskey Raccoon
various locations June 26 & 27 slwgs.org
stlouiscountymo.gov KING LE AR SHAKESPE AR E FESTIVAL
June 2-27 8pm nightly except Tuesdays Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park sfstl.com
IN DE PE N DE NCE DAY
Sunday, July 4
L AFAYET TE SQ UAR E VIRTUAL SPRING HOM E & GAR DE N TOU R
May 29-31 lafayettesquare.org M E MORIAL DAY
Monday, May 31
WE BSTE R ARTS FAIR
June 4-6 Webster Groves webster-arts.org FIRST DAY OF SU M M E R FATH E RS DAY
Sunday, June 20
LET TH E M E AT ART
Friday July 9 Historic Downtown Maplewood cityofmaplewood.com
Visit our Water Features St. Louis Water Garden Society’s
21st Anniversary Tour of Pond-O-Rama June 26-27, 2021, 9-5 pm each day For more info and tickets: slwgs.org
Bring nature home with your own Water Garden We provide expert custom design and installation of ponds, recreation ponds, streams and waterfalls. These sustainable ecosystems can be used to harvest rainwater and control storm water runoff. We are Master Certified Aquascape Contractors, first place winners of the North American Pond/Waterfall Competition and St. Louis’s first Certified RainXchange Professionals. Named by Aquascape as the 2012 Artist of the Year, and ranked #4 among all Certified Aquascape Contractors worldwide. For an on-site consultation or private water feature tour, please call Chris at 314-220-3841 Visit our portfolio at www.re-createnature.com Facebook.com/ NaturesReCreations
Your Piece of Paradise at Innsbrook
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magine being able to live in a place where every day is the weekend and relaxation is required.
Just a hop, skip, and a jump from St. Louis (about 30 minutes from Chesterfield) sits an almost-magical place where your residential dreams become a reality. Whether your perfect weekend is ultimate adventure or ultimate relaxation – you can customize your piece of paradise at Innsbrook, which offers more than 100 lakes, sandy beaches, nature trails, a fitness and aquatics center, a remodeled, upscale Clubhouse Bar & Grille, a newly renovated championship 18-hole golf course, and family events for all ages. It’s the best of both worlds for those who want to be in sync with nature, but with all the comforts of home within reach.
CHAMPIONSHIP GOLF COURSE & CLUBHOUSE
Innsbrook offers an abundant amount of outdoor recreational activities with convenience. With an 18-hole championship golf
course located right in your backyard, you and your guests can enjoy playing endless rounds of golf with spectacular views. The newly renovated course sits amid rolling, wooded hillsides, narrow fertile valleys, and 12 sparkling lakes, complete with lush Zoysia fairways and impeccable bentgrass greens.
With remarkable views of the championship golf course, the newly remodeled Clubhouse Bar and Grille is the place where family and friends can meet for good food and great times. The restaurant’s open-concept design combines the dining and bar areas into one rustic defined space equipped with an expanded dance floor, mounted
Photo by Don Oliver
big-screen televisions, and a sound system for live entertainment. As host to many themed dining events throughout the year, property owners and guests can celebrate holidays, cheer on their favorite sports teams, or listen to local musical talents during open mic nights, all in one prime location. LAKEFRONT LIFESTYLE
In the past year, more than ever, families took refuge in the resort’s private, secluded environment and chose to adopt the unmatchable Innsbrook lifestyle. As popularity of the community increases, new developments are on the horizon. In expanding the Innsbrook community, those seeking a life of leisure can buy their desired lot now, and build later. As our expert construction and design team help plan and execute your dream home, you can enjoy all the amenities Innsbrook has to offer before and during your build. Innsbrook has a place for you in one of its new lakefront communities that allow for Photo by Don Oliver
Frieden Lake - meaning “peace” in German - is another prime spot for those seeking a wooded or lakefront chalet with a signature, expansive wall of windows that brings nature directly into the home. Nestled amid the beautiful forest and lush hillsides, this community offers plenty of lakefront and off-water building sites. Frieden Lake homes are available in a number of styles and plans, from a new treehouse model overlooking the woodlands, to a lofted lakefront A-frame chalet. Just steps from both Frieden Lake and Lake Tyrol is Innsbrook’s Tyrolean nature trail, which offers wildlife, diverse natural scenery and dynamic levels of challenge for a wide range of hikers. TREEHOUSE VIEWS
Innsbrook’s newest venture comprises of an expansion on the southwestern side of the property, surrounded by 1,500 acres of beautiful forests and lakes in the new Tyrolean Region. Discover a panorama of woodland dreams and rich valleys with a unique treehouse development coming soon. Treehouse models are designed to elicit the whimsical feeling of floating amid lofty tree tops while being embraced within exceptional natural scenery the Innsbrook landscape provides.
Listen to the calming sounds of the creek alongside the bluff as you gaze over the entirety of the Innsbrook property from afar. By growing the new development out of the organic curves of the land, these oneof-a-kind properties create a place of peace and privacy, where you can escape from the busy everyday life year round, or have a serene oasis for the weekend. With 146 acres of terrain below, treehouse owners will have easy access to nearby hiking trails and are able to explore the peaceful Midwestern forests and unique wildlife that resides within Innsbrook’s gates with ease. Ranging between 1,000 and 1,600 square feet, the one, two, and three bedroom treehouses will each feature the same exterior layout, with maintenance-free siding options intended to put a modern twist on a home hidden within nature’s shadows. Elongated windows will line each side of the great room, providing a breathtaking view of the valleys below, while resting on steel beams lifted 4-12 feet in the air. LOTS OF LIVING OPTIONS, CLOSE TO HOME
Innsbrook’s natural charm leaves a lasting impression on visitors and residents. From quaint cottages and rustic chalets nestled in the woods, to cozy condos and custom homes perched on the water’s edge, Inns-
brook is the natural choice for living your best life. Being a favorite close-to-home sanctuary for 50 years, families can enjoy all the amenities the lake lifestyle offers throughout the year, including open-air concerts during the summer, kids’ camps and activities, artist workshops, tennis, volleyball, and pickle ball and more. Residents and guests are often seen relaxing on their secluded private docks, or entertaining guests on their wrap-around deck overlooking the forest or lake. The kids can skip stones, roast marshmallows, track wildlife, or build forts - harkening back to days when having fun meant freedom to get dirty while exploring nature’s wonders. Picture your perfect family weekend or couple’s getaway, a retreat to a place where you can enjoy the great outdoors or just cuddle by the fire. As Innsbrook celebrates 50 years of closeknit community and family values, we welcome you to become a part of the next half century and discover the Innsbrook lifestyle and tradition that has been passed down by many generations. Despite having to navigate through the pandemic challenges within the past year, the Innsbrook community continues to provide a baseline of normalcy and peace within its gates. Innsbrook’s 7,500 acres of spacious, secluded property and amenities allow you to safely live life with little interruption. To join the Innsbrook family today, contact one of Innsbrook’s expert agents at 636.928.3366 ext. 9199 or property@innsbrook-resort. com. Or, explore Innsbrook without an appointment from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., seven days a week, or virtually at innsbrook-resort.com. Photo by Jennifer Serniak
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full-time residence, a weekend-only getaway, or something in between. New lakefront custom cottage sites are available on 16acre Lake Tyrol, Innsbrook’s newest cottage lake. Cottage living offers a comfortable balance between a resort lifestyle coupled with the cozy characteristics of home. Build your getaway tucked into the trees and enjoy the perfect spot for kayaking, canoeing, fishing, or just a relaxing day on the water.
Photo by Angela Hirbe
Photo by Tom Berger
On The Road
WITH JOHN DRAKE ROBINSON
Read more road tales in John’s first two books – A Road Trip Into America’s Hidden Heart and Coastal Missouri – available at Left Bank Books. This excerpt is from John’s latest book, Souls Along the Road, available now. More of his stories are at johndrakerobinson.com
Missouri’s Underworld Advantage
hid in a cave.
of awe and inspiration.
Most people have, at one time or another…even if it was only a dream.
Fantastic Caverns. Marvel Cave. Fantasy World. Onyx Mountain.
There's something powerful about subterranean caverns. Mysterious. Foreboding.
In our popular culture, caves get a bum rap. Plato paints them as Devil's dens; so does Dante, and a whole bunch of early settlers in Missouri who named several cracks and caverns after the Prince of Darkness.
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And, of course, caves are home to bats, long associated with vampires and devils and rabies. It turns out that bats are extremely valuable. Gardeners covet their guano for fertilizer. And they eat their weight in mosquitoes every day. Good thing somebody's looking out for them, protecting certain breeding nurseries, and trying to stop the scourge called “white nose” that's killing off these valuable little mammals.
Simultaneously safe...and scary. And for eons, dreams and legends and movies have leapt from the stage of a cave. Such stages abound in Missouri. The consensus among speleological types is that Missouri has 5,500 of these monuments to sonar. Those who apply human qualities to inanimate objects see Missouri's caves as movie stars, the glitterati of world cavedom. The Chicago Tribune Building even sports a rock from Mark Twain Cave, imbedded in the building's side, which was built as a sort of vertical Hollywood Walk of Fame for sediments, metamorphites and igneousities. It was inevitable that Missouri caves would rise above the rest. After all, to become the world's official cave state, you need only three ingredients. First, provide more caves than anybody else. Second, make your caves legendary. Third, pick names worthy
Speaking of valuable mammals, two of the world's most famous legends, Jesse James and Mark Twain, climbed all over Missouri caves, for the same reasons...just different circumstances. Accounts of their exploits survive today, enshrined in cellulose and celluloid. Twain knew what Plato knew: The cave is the perfect setting to tell a scary story. Long before Bobby Troup encouraged us to get our kicks on Route 66, the James Gang would abandon the Mother Road's mother– the Wire Road–to hide in Meramec Caverns. Of course, it wasn't called Meramec Caverns back then, or maybe it was, since the Meramec River has coursed past its opening for eons. That same Meramec River almost morphed into a lake back in the 1970s, until protesters deep-sixed the Meramec Dam project. It was the first time a federal dam project was halted by a grassroots public opposition. And while the Meramec Dam squabble still stirs some deep emotions, one beneficiary is Onondaga Cave, one of Missouri's most spectacular show caves.
About two dozen Missouri caves earn the marquee "show caves." Each adds character to Missouri's unique subterranean inventory: The Grand Piano. Alligator Rock. Aladdin's Palace. The Octopus Room. Devil's Well. Over the years, resourceful entrepreneurs have found some unique uses for caves. Back during the Civil War, Union forces stored gunpowder in caves near St. Louis, in an area that became known as Powder Valley. Then there's Dance Hall Cave, an unlikely cool spot for dancers and musicians to hang out, since all of them had to climb rickety ladders three stories up the face of a cliff to get to the cave's dance floor. It later became a succession of restaurants, with intriguing names like Cave Man BarBQ. Another Dance Hall Cave hides in Shannon County. And in that same general vicinity, Welch's Cave used to be a hospital for city folk with lung ailments. Now the cave has reverted to its former role as a sanctuary for momma bats and their pups. Meanwhile, Welch Spring pumps so much cold spring water into the Current River that on a hot summer day, when the conditions are right, a pea soup fog forms along the river for a good quarter mile downstream. Some caves even have ballrooms. And you know the dance won't be rained out, since weather in a cave is consistent. So if the topsoil is igniting your soles, immerse yourself in The Devil’s Icebox for a quick refresher. On the other hand, Bridal Cave may send a shiver through the visitor with cold feet. Some caves are accessible only by water, like Jam Up Cave on the Jacks Fork River. Other caves are underwater. Bonne Terre Mine isn't a wild cave, in the traditional sense, but scuba divers from all over the world give its crystal-clear caverns rave reviews. So many caves...it's hard to pick a favorite. It all depends on where you want to hide.
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The Art of Creating an International Art Event BY G E RRY MAN DE L
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t. Louis is fortunate to have many gifted artists, working in all the myriad forms under the banner of Art. Take your pick of your favorite medium and you’ll find original expression of it here. Painting, sculpting, collages, quilting, theater, music, literature. It’s a force in the City and County that has helped create a rich and stimulating culture. Many of us have pretty much postponed, for the time being, visiting the various venues that feature the work of such artists, whether it’s a gallery, museum, concert hall, music club, or exhibition. In the meantime, however, the artists continue to pursue their craft and the pulse of creativity beats strongly.
I came across an organization, and its events, by luck. In searching for “interesting art forms” and “artist gatherings,” I discovered Salon Saint Louis 2021. But I wasn’t prepared to see what a remarkable event it is in the art world. Salon Saint Louis 2021, a four-day “happening,” is an international gathering of decorative painters, held once a year, in
available. This marks the first time it has been held in St. Louis. The driving force behind this prestigious event is a St. Louis artist named Margaret von Kaenel. She lives in University City, which is her ninth home. Born in Boston, Margaret has lived in Omaha, Houston, San Diego, Los Angeles, Baltimore, Cleveland and New York. Obviously, she is widely traveled and, as you will see, highly accomplished.
When I talked with Margaret recently, by various cities around the phone, she was more than happy world. The list of previous to tell me about the Salon, and locations is breathtaking. her role in bringing it to St. Louis. They include London, Oslo, Her story is as fascinating as the Paris, Tokyo, Hamburg; art she champions and creates. Utrecht, the Netherlands; Her resumé includes commisBruges, Belgium; Bergamo, sioned work with murals and Italy; and St. Petersburg, Trompe-l’œil (this is an art techRussia. I left out a few but nique that uses realistic imagery you get the idea. This is to create the optical illusion that the epitome of global as the depicted objects exist in three well as national decorative dimensions), fresco and grissaille Margaret von Kaenel painting. (that’s a method of painting in gray tones, to imitate sculpture), fine Salon Forever is recognized art and texture applications. Read and as the most significant gathering of decoralearn, right? I not only learned about her, tive painters in the world. It is an exciting but about different styles of painting. And and unique art show of masters from across I thought oils, acrylics, and watercolors the globe who exhibit their work and pretty much covered it. Galleries and demonstrate their technique, discuss old competitions in the St. Louis area that have and new techniques and products in the featured her work include the St. Louis field of the decorative arts. This non-profit Artists Guild in Clayton, the OA Gallery organization began in 1992 in Belgium, in Kirkwood, U. City in Bloom, Art Saint reconvened in 1996 and has been coming Louis and Grafica Gallery in Webster together in growing numbers every year Groves. She has also exhibited in France, since. It is also a way for interior designers, Italy, Russia and the Netherlands. architects, historical restorers and the public to experience the high quality of work So how did this unique event find its way to
Margaret graduated from University of California/San Diego, with a degree in art in the ‘70’s and received a Masters in Business from Johns Hopkins University in the 80’s followed by a career in the shopping mall sector as Regional Director of Marketing for several mall developers. She got caught in two downsizing economies and decided to try another approach to life: Art. Margaret started her own decorative arts business, became proficient in faux finishes, murals, high-end plaster, and veneers of stone. She has been working with these since 2000, mainly in private residences in St. Louis. “I enjoy working in people’s homes. I get to know them, and can personalize murals, so they contain whatever they want. It’s a unique experience.” Then she adds a thought common with many artists: “I’m still struggling to find my own style.” She moved to St. Louis in 1991, and was impressed with the art scene here. “I saw lots of talent, exciting things happening and evolving, all the galleries and museums. It’s quite stimulating.” For her, art has always been a way to see, a way to maintain her creativity. Now we come to her trip to Russia, for the Salon show in St. Petersburg. In
the Salon board meeting, the subject was locations for upcoming shows. She was asked if she would host a gathering in St. Louis. “I was unsure if it would work. There had been a show in 2008 in Chicago.” And now they wanted a venue in the Midwest again, where costs were lower and the culture different. Margaret said she would put together a plan for the city. She looked at the space where the St. Louis Artists Guild is, at Washington U. West, in Clayton. “I approached the Guild with the idea. They were enthusiastically receptive. So I made a presentation to the Salon board at the 2017 New York City Salon.” The competition was cities in France, China, and Norway. It was awarded to St. Louis for 2021. “I have worked on it for three years,” she says. The event, however, has changed somewhat because of the pandemic. Travel from Europe to the U.S. is prohibited, which will keep their overseas participation to virtual events. Still, the city owes a big debt of gratitude to Margaret for elevating its profile in the global community of artists. The event runs from April 29 through May 2, 2021. If you’re reading this before May 2, you can attend. It is open to the public. After that date, the work created here will be available only on various websites. For more information on Salon Saint Louis 2021, go to https://salonsaintlouis2021.org or Salon Saint Louis 2021 on Facebook. To learn more about Margaret and her work, visit https:// mvk-decoart.com. Her commitment to St. Louis includes participation in St. Louis Designer Show Houses for ASID, Cardinal Glennon Hospital, and the St. Louis Symphony, to name a few. Plus her accomplishment in bringing Salon Saint Louis here. That’s a good enough reason for you to discover the wide range of talent in this area.
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St. Louis? Let’s start with a basic fact: Margaret von Kaenel loves to travel. When she goes to another country, she makes the effort to learn that language. These include French, Spanish, Italian, Chinese. She eventually gave up on Dutch and is now attempting Norwegian for her next Salon in Norway. She is a patient artist, “unlike my father,” she says. “He was an impatient artist. He tried oils but couldn’t wait for them to dry. So he turned to acrylics, which dry faster.” Margaret has tried all these approaches, even knowing the difference between painting light to dark in watercolors, and dark to light in acrylics.
UPPER FAR LEFT: Chantal Siebens of Belgium introduced this painting at Salon Lecce, Italy in 2015. UPPER NEAR LEFT: Painting by Jean Luc Sable of France was presented at Salon Leeuwarden, Netherlands in 2018.
UPPER RIGHT: Exhibition painting by Margaret von Kaenel for Salon Chamonix 2019. It includes trompe l'oeil, typical furniture decorative painting and mural landscape painting LOWER RIGHT: China Salon panel by Margaret von Kaenel. This was not exhibited because Salon Shanghai 2020 was canceled due to Covid.
A Place in the Country BY BILL ZIE RCH E R
Bill Ziercher is the founder of Select Properties Real Estate. He has been active in building, buying, selling, and managing rural real estate and income property for over 25 years. For a free consultation on marketing your rural property, you can contact Bill at 314.412.3966. and for copies of previous “A Place in the Country” Articles you can email him at ziercher59@ gmail.com.
MY SPECIAL MESSAGE TO OWNERS OF RURAL PROPERTY
For everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven.
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ne of my favorite Bible verses from Ecclesiastes 3:1 and also lyrics to one of my top 100-ever list of rock songs, “Turn, Turn, Turn,” the Byrds’ 1965 hit. And for those of you who own a country place or farm, this might just be the season to sell. For any number of good reasons: age, moving away, simplifying life, settling a family trust, and more. But whether you or your family have been thinking of selling your rural property in the next month, this year, in three years or haven’t really thought much about selling, this column provides things for you to consider.
RIGHT NOW, IT IS A SELLER ’S MARKET. This past year has seen an increase in demand for rural properties, even more dramatic than for residential. What has fueled the demand are Covid-related lifestyle changes that have also driven through the roof sales of RVs, boats and outdoor equipment. Retirement and challenges of urban life have moved up the timeline for some who have been thinking about a place in the country. And finally, low interest rates and a strong market have also helped.
What makes this market even more dramatic is the imbalance of inventory. For perspective, there just are not nearly as many rural parcels as there are suburban homes. Fortunately for rural property owners, like Will Rodgers said about buying land, “They ain’t making any more of the stuff.” And in land, bumps in appreciation stick. With "work from anywhere" options, available tele-medicine and improving broadband for rural residents, I don't anticipate any long-term reversal in demand.
SPRING IS HERE . When things are just coming out is a great time to knock down some grown-up brush, clean up a tractor road or mow the back field that might be overgrown. Better now, so when grasses and plants take off, the fields and edges look a lot better later than a freshly brush hogged field. Nice, mowed trails through a property almost always show better. Spring is also a great time to take pictures of your property if you are going to be listing later in the year.
IT IS NEVER TOO EARLY. Did you ever hear about the best way to eat an elephant? One part at a time. It is common to see a lifetime of accumulation of too many things, especially those that you don’t use like you once did. You or your family can make it a lot easier on yourselves to start now by finding a home for those things that you will not be taking with you when you eventually sell. This takes time, and it is almost always better to get a jump and clean out the pole barn, clear the yard, or fix up the house so when it comes time to sell the property there is not that pressure to get everything done at once. If the property has a nice house, it could be a good idea to have a pre-sale inspection of it. Planning ahead to sell a property never hurts; most sellers wait too long. The property starts getting away from them, grown kids who moved away and are not available to help keep it up, or just changes in life. My net message is that even if you are just starting to think about selling, there might not be a better time to get ready than now.
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STEVEN A. WEBER is Partner Director of Valuation at Property Assessment Review and PAR Residential. His team of experts has the experience, market and legal knowledge to achieve the biggest tax reduction possible on residential and commercial properties. He has been reducing property taxes for 30 years, and before that was a Senior Appraiser for St. Louis County for five years. Property Assessment Review is the leading property tax consulting firm in St. Louis, saving over $100 million for some of the region’s largest commercial taxpayers – the St. Louis Galleria, Solon Gershman, Duke Realty, Mills Properties and US Bank. In 2008, PAR created PAR Residential to represent home owners in St. Louis County. PAR’s residential clients have saved over $10,000,000 in real estate taxes since 2009 with over 80% of appeals resulting in tax savings.
How to Lower Your Property Taxes
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AR E TH E Y STI LL TA X D E D U C TI B LE ?
t. Louis County properties are to be reassessed in 2021 by the Assessor’s office. This new value estimate will be used to determine your property taxes for 2021 and 2022. In general, we expect assessments to increase substantially as a result of recent real estate market activity, but even if your value doesn’t change substantially, these new values should be reviewed carefully. This appraised value is supposed to represent the market value of your home as of January 1, 2021. In addition, new federal income tax rules include a $10,000 cap on the amount taxpayers can deduct in combined property tax and local and state income tax while nearly doubling standard deductions. This means many people who have historically itemized to deduct things like property taxes or mortgage interest may get more by claiming the standard deduction. These changes make taking steps to minimize your property tax bill even more important than in the past.
APPEALS MUST BE FILED IN JULY, DON’T WAIT UNTIL YOU GET YOUR TAX BILL IN NOVEMBER. The simple fact is – assessors make mistakes. They utilize computer based mass
appraisal techniques, market averages and neighborhood models to determine property values, which may not accurately reflect your property value. These errors and miscalculations end up costing you money year after year. More often than not, we find that the assessor’s value does not reflect the actual value based on recent sale prices of homes that are comparable with yours. In fact, since 2009 we have filed over 19,000 appeals in St. Louis County alone resulting in over $10,000,000 in tax savings to homeowners. A NO -RISK RESOURCE FOR HOMEOWNERS. You now have the opportunity to have your appraised value professionally reviewed to determine if you are being fairly assessed and taxed. We base our opinion of market value not on mass computer modeling like the Assessor does but on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. PAR Residential does all the work and only earns a fee if we are successful in lowering your taxes. All costs of the appeal are paid by PAR Residential including legal fees and appraisal costs. HERE’S HOW IT WORKS: 1. SET UP A FILE. PAR will gather
information from you and County records, including the Assessor’s “appraisal”, and set up a case file on your home.
2. DETERMINATION OF FAIR VALUE. PAR Residential will determine a fair
appraised value for your property based on real comparable sales in your neighborhood. 3. NOTIFICATION. We will notify you of
the results of our review of your appraised value. If we determine the Assessor’s appraised value is fair, no appeal will be filed. There will be no cost to you for our time and efforts. 4. FILE YOUR APPEAL BEFORE THE JULY 12TH DEADLINE. If we determine
that your property is over-valued by the assessor we will file an appeal on your behalf and provide the required information to the Board of Equalization. 5. BOARD OF EQUALIZATION (BOE) HEARINGS. The PAR Residen-
tial Team will attend the hearing and argue your case. We will send the official BOE results to you in September and let you know if we need to continue your appeal to the State Tax Commission of Missouri. 6. FEE. Only if we are successful in achiev-
ing a reduction in your property tax bill, we share equally in the tax savings (50/50). All of our work is performance based: NO SAVINGS, NO FEE. There are no additional costs to you for any of our work. Our invoice will be sent to you in the fall, arriving about the same time you receive your reduced tax bill. Interested in signing up? The enrollment process is quick and easy. Visit our website and sign up online today! Specific questions can be answered by emailing them to email@example.com or by calling PAR Residential at 314-454-0505 from 9am to 5pm Monday through Friday. You can learn more about saving money on your real estate taxes, the assessment and the appeal process by visiting www.parresidential.com.
Estate Planning and Asset Protection
TH ESE TIM ES CALL FOR A SE NSE OF U RG E NCY BY SH E RI TUCKE R , ESQ
revocable trust is one in which the terms can be changed at any time. The QST: If you are married, couples may consider a Qualified Spousal Trust (QST). As a joint revocable trust, the QST is a powerful estate planning tool, especially for professionals such as doctors, lawyers, financial advisors, and business owners. Don’t Settle: Still, estate planning is not a generic form or document to lock away in a safe. A variety of asset protection solutions and advanced estate planning are available for affluent families. Let’s take a look at asset protection and advanced estate planning. ASSET PROTECTION The goal of asset protection is to reduce a person’s financial footprint and protect assets from creditors. Wealth management is part of advanced estate planning that creates solutions for economically affluent families. Why Now: The recent crisis of debt, business closings, and unemployment during Covid-19 impacted even some of the
Wealth management, bequests, and transfers call for estate tax planning. How does citizenship status affect estate planning? First, if a person resides in the United States for 183 days or more out of the year and owns a home, he or she is subject to federal capital gains tax upon selling the home. Also, the estate tax exemption for non-U.S. citizens is only $60,000. Proper wealth management is essential for non-U.S. citizens or a spouse who is not a U.S. citizen. U. S. Citizens qualify for an $11.7 million estate tax exemption. However, due to the recession, national debt and unemployment rate, there is a current move to cut tax exemptions and increase estate tax. The tax exemption may be lowered to $5 million or even as low as $3.5 million. U.S. Citizens are subject to 40% tax on bequests or transfers over this amount. The timing for intrafamily wealth transfers is now. BUSINESS OWNERS Currently, the recession, low interest rates, and high national debt are causing artificially low business valuations. Holding assets solely in LLCs is not the best solution.
An estate plan may include transferring ownership of the low valued business that becomes a future tax efficient transfer. A family member may consider moving underutilized wealth. What is underutilized wealth? It means more money than a person needs to live on, and is held by only one person in the family, usually a parent or grandparent. Transferring underutilized wealth may be the plan to help a younger generation business owner avoid bankruptcy during the recession. BOTTOM LINE Asset Protection is wealth management. The flip side of that is protecting assets to maximize government benefits—but that is another article! Seriously, it’s important to talk to an estate attorney for the right type of planning for you. You can use a range of estate planning solutions for asset protection to accommodate your family’s specific needs, provide for future generations, and protect assets from seizure by creditors.
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SHERI TUCKER, ESQ. is the Founder and Owner of TUCKER LEGAL SERVICES, LLC. She received her Missouri license in 1992. Sheri worked as a contract attorney with Monsanto, and started her own firm in St. Louis. She is an experienced estate planning and elder law attorney, a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys, and WealthCounsel. Sheri is your “personal care attorney” for peace of mind in estate planning. To set up a complimentary consultation you can call or email Sheri at 314.332.0011 or info@ tuckerlegal-llc.com.
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WEALTH MANAGEMENT What are some options? Some types of trusts for wealth management include various irrevocable trusts, such as an Irrevocable Life Insurance Trust (ILIT). Other trust solutions include Grantor Retained Annuity Trusts (GRAT), Grantor Retained Income Trusts (GRIT), or a Grantor Residence Trust. Perhaps a person needs a Domestic Asset Protection Trust (DAPT) or a Foreign Asset Protection Trust (FAPT). Sometimes people may want to leave an estate or specific gifts to charity in a Charitable Trust. Advanced planning serves different purposes for intrafamily wealth transfers. It’s important to plan wisely and avoid improperly executed transfers that could later be deemed fraudulent.
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A foundation in estate planning is a Last Will and Testament, and perhaps a Revocable Living Trust. The benefit of a Revocable Living Trust is that it allows a person to organize his or her assets and property in a certain way to achieve personal goals. A
wealthiest of families. Low interest rates, future tax changes, and a recession make this the perfect time to consider protecting family wealth.
uring Covid-19, what surprises me is the lack of urgency many people have for basic estate planning or even protecting assets. To make sure you have what you need in place, here are the basics and the foundation for estate planning, and what may be needed beyond that.
affect this possibility. Increasing sales or at least flat sales make for the best time to sell. If you had a down year and can wait several years to have at least two improved tax returns you might want to wait to get top dollar for your business. If you don’t want to wait or don’t have the energy, consult your professionals and see how much the down year may hurt your value. STEP 5: REDUCE HEAVY CUSTOMER CONCENTRATION. Depending on in-
The 9 Steps to Make Your Company Saleable … and Valuable. THE Y AL SO APPLY IF THE PL AN IS FOR YOUR FAMILY TO CONTINUE YOUR BUSINESS .
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BY J E F F BACH
t some point, every business will need to transition, either to a new owner or close down. Most owners do not have a succession plan in place. One important part of a plan should be to properly structure your business for a sale.
STEP 1: HIRE PROFESSIONALS.
There are people who specialize in helping business owners prepare their business for a sale. A business broker knows all the processes for accomplishing this, and should have good referrals to other professionals who can help in the process. Your accountant should be able to help you get your books in order. An attorney can help you structure your business in the proper fashion. If your company needs a lot of cleaning
up, it may be necessary to hire a consultant to help. The business broker is generally only paid when you sell. STEP 2: KNOW YOUR VALUE. A busi-
ness valuation will help in your decision as to when to sell and what work you may need to do to optimize valuation when it is time to sell. Third party appraisers can usually do this for a few thousand dollars. A business broker will often do this free of charge, and a local broker should have a good feel for your business geography as well. STEP 3: DON’T BE EVERYTHING TO YOUR BUSINESS! When businesses are
small this can be difficult. But the more you can build your business to run with you being less important, the easier it is to sell and the more desired it is. STEP 4: SELL WHEN SALES ARE UP.
dustry, anything over 25% of your business coming from one customer can be a large negative. Even if you have a great customer that is a big percentage, continue marketing to new business prospects to negate the risk of losing that customer. STEP 6: SCALABILITY. Buyers usually buy a business to grow it. Have plans and options for growth, even if you are not going to implement them yourself. Limited opportunity can turn a buyer off. STEP 7: GOOD DATA. A buyer needs to be able to see an accurate picture of the finances of your business. Keep your books up to date. Run your cash through your business. If you have questions as to what profit and loss items might hurt a sale, ask your business broker to take a look at your financials. Have an operations manual in place. It’s easier than you think. Just make an outline of all the important processes to run your business, and then fill in the details. STEP 8: LEGAL PROBLEMS. It can be hard to impossible to sell a business with legal liabilities. While any business owner can experience nuisance problems, always address important legal issues, and resolve them as soon as possible. Consult your attorney, and handle this correctly. STEP 9: PLAN AHEAD! You never know when you will need to sell or when it will become the “right time”. So don’t wait. Understand these steps and get help. Remember that a business broker should be able to walk you through this whole process, and their help will pay off for you in the long run.
For many businesses 2020 could severely JEFF BACH is part of the team of top business brokers in this area at Fusion Business Brokers. Fusion Business Brokers combines the highest levels of technology, marketing and professional experience for the needs of business owners. With access to their large network of qualified buyers, Jeff offers the best opportunity to help you successfully sell your business. He only gets paid when you sell. Valuations are
free and are the starting point to knowing when the right time is to sell your business. Jeff can also help qualified buyers find and buy a business that meets their goals. You can contact Jeff for a free, confidential, no-obligation discussion about selling your business or buying a business at 314-941-8530, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Transitioning from Office to Home Office can be simple! B Y D E D E C AT S AV I S
ore of us are working from home every day than ever before. Often this is necessary as a result of retirement, employment in the “gig” economy or changing company policies in response to Covid. Making the transition from company office to a fully functioning home office can be challenging, but with the right help it can be easy, seamless and painless.
At Computer Tutors, we’ve helped many clients make this move. We can help every step of the way. First, we make sure you have the proper equipment to work from
home: computer(s), monitor(s), webcam, printer(s), router, etc. Then we set up and configure everything in your home office space. We not only get all the equipment up and running, but also make sure you have the proper software, security protection, email and any other software applications you need. Finally, some clients need a little training in order to do what they likely had an office IT person do for them. We figure out a plan for you and make that happen on your timetable. We like to keep things simple, straightforward and logical. Of course, after we get you set up and running, we are just a phone call away for ongoing
Finest Custom Table Pads at Factory-Direct Prices The way to insure perfect table pads is for the provider to visit your home to accurately measure and show you sample colors and textures to match your table and décor. Custom Table Pads, an independent St. Louis dealer, provides the finest custom American-made table pads at factory-direct prices. They measure at your home or business, and show you a choice of 23 vinyl tops and 5 velvet bottoms. Perfect fit is guaranteed. Pads are heat resistant to 550o, moisture and warp resistant. Patented hidden magnets minimize separation and slippage on your table.
support, as well. Recently, a client asked us to help move equipment from his corporate office to his new home office. We set up all the equipment, upgraded his network, got a new email address (since the company email was no longer available) and configured all the software. We made sure he had a webcam for Zoom meetings and a laser jet printer. Additionally, we showed him a few extras like using his phone to print and streaming Netflix, etc. on his TV. Of course, while we were there, other things came up—configuring his Ring doorbell and setting up extra monitors for him to use simultaneously. All within the scope of our services. We also were able to help him get AT&T fiber internet to speed up his network. The client was extremely happy to have made such a smooth transition to work from home and he knows he can always call us with questions or problems as they come up.
Computer Tutors works on Windows and MAC computers, sets up home networks, eliminates viruses and also will help with any of your other electronic devices. You can reach them at 314-608-7920, and at www.computertutors.net.
Make Your Home Look Great, Feel Great, Perform Great It’s possible to do all three—without breaking the bank! Marla Esser Cloos, the Green Home Coach in her book Living Green Effortlessly: Simple Choices for a Better Home provides simple steps that can save you money now, increase your home’s value, and make your home healthier for you, your family—and the environment.
“Marla does a wonderful job simplifying what can often be an overwhelming subject. I found her action steps easy to understand (and more importantly...implement). In addition, she provided a TON of tips, tools and checklists that any homeowner would find invaluable. Overall, I found the content to be well organized and can see myself using this as a resource time and time again!” -M. Fies, Homeowner
CUSTOM TABLE PADS OF ST. LOUIS Phone: 314-752-5577 Email: email@example.com
COMPUTER TUTORS is a local, woman-owned small business founded in 1997. DEDE CATSAVIS is the founder and owner. For 23 years they have provided computer services to thousands of satisfied, happy customers.
Available at BuilderBooks.com
Take a fresh road trip. County Living columnist
JOHN DRAKE ROBINSON won an
for his unique travelogs based on his books.
John’s Newest Book, Souls Along The Road, Is Hot Off The Press The stories along these roads reflect life’s uneven rhythms. Fun. Fear. Breakdowns and revelations. The beauty of violent storms. The scents of September sycamores and campfires, forest fires and kitchen fires. His stories serve up tastes and touches and sounds you can’t coax from a tweet. You probably shouldn’t read this during church. Available at fine bookstores everywhere. Or email John at firstname.lastname@example.org Read more stories at johndrakerobinson.com/blog Photos by Cheryl Robinson
This Book Should Be in Every Home in St. Louis
any of us who have lived in the St. Louis area our whole lives don’t know much about our own history. We learn in school about world history, US history and facts about Missouri government, but very little is taught about the history of our own county. And newcomers to St. Louis generally know even less about the area.
To help all of us feel more connected to our own community, County Living Publications has re-published The History of St. Louis County, Missouri by William Lyman Thomas, a 100-year old book that documents our history from the earliest settlers through the Civil War and into the first decade of the 20th century. It documents what life was like 100 years ago here the towns, neighborhoods, schools, churches, social societies, government, businesses, transportation and amusements of the period, and thousands of the people who were active in these endeavors. This is a quality softbound book of over 500 pages, with more than 100 historic photographs. Now available at: Amazon.com Campbell House in Downtown St. Louis The Louisiana Purchase Gift Shop at Missouri History Museum Left Bank Books Main Street Books in St. Charles Museum of Transportation Gift Shops in Kirkwood St. Louis Genealogical Society in Maplewood World News in Clayton For more information, you can visit StLCountyHistory.com
Looking for a Night Off from the Kitchen and a New “Dining Out at Home” Experience?
LOCAL ST. LOUIS CHEF COREY MARION HAS BEEN TRANSLATING HIS PASSION FOR CREATING DELICIOUS MEALS INTO TWO NEW AT-HOME DINING OPTIONS FOR BUSY FAMILIES, WITHOUT THE EFFORT OF PREPARATION OR CLEANUP.
hef Corey Marion has been using his passion for creating delicious meals and translating it into two great dining options for busy
CHEF COREY’S WOK AND ROLL FOOD TRUCK offers private so-
cially-distanced events for families, neighborhoods or entertaining right at your home – a fun, safe way to connect with friends and neighbors who are missing those enjoyable dining out experiences. Here’s how it works: Wok and Roll will roll up at the location and time of your choosing. Pre-orders can be taken ahead of time for ease and timeliness if need be. Also, this is a great option for businesses looking for a unique way to connect with customers, friends or employees.
home or at your business, drawing on his years of experience as a personal chef for a Caribbean charter yacht and Head Chef of a five-star South Carolina boutique hotel restaurant. He brings to your dining table or special event the perfect blend of distinctive yet approachable cuisine.
. . . fan favorite dishes. Based on that information he creates a varied menu of entrees, side dishes and desserts personalized for your family or event. The service is completely customized, so you have the opportunity to approve menus and request changes.
Chef Corey will meet with you to plan a dinner, weekly meals or a special event, creating menus based on dietary needs or restrictions personal taste and, of course
Chef Corey will do all the grocery shopping, purchasing only the highest quality ingredients for your meals. He brings to your home his food truck with all the necessary cooking equipment, so your kitchen remains spotless. If you would like meals for several evenings, he can prepare and package three or four meals at a time for eating fresh during the week. He can provide complete re-heating and finishing instructions. When it’s time for dinner, you find yourself enjoying a homecooked meal in minutes, with very little cleanup when you are finished.
Wok and Roll offers creative Asian-inspired cuisine, with gluten-free and vegetarian options available at prices ranging from $6-$15. A fun option for a weekend event! CATERING BY COREY is a second op-
tion for a more personalized and unique dining experience. Chef Corey prepares restaurant quality meals to enjoy in the comfort of your
Clockwise from upper left: Wok and Roll Food Truck, Beef with broccoli burger and fried egg, Cashew chicken with stir-fry vegetables, Cherry tomato Caprese kebabs, Chocolate-covered strawberries with tropical fruit sushi, Roast tenderloin with gouda whipped potatoes
No matter what your dining desire, Chef Corey provides very tasty fare and takes the prep, cooking, and clean-up off of your hands. You can contact him by phone at 314-724-3424 or by email at Wokandrollstl@ gmail.com, Instagram @wokandrollstl, or Facebook Wok And Roll STL, to create an experience like none other for your next dinner or event!
// IT’S TIME TO GET ORGANIZED c a b i n e t s • s h e l v i n g & r a c k s • ove r h e a d s to r a g e • f l o o r i n g
C A L L FO R A F R E E 3 D R E N D E R I N G & CO N S U LTATI O N
314.914.0009 | w w w.G a ra g eS o l u t io n s St Lo u i s .co m