Page 1

INTRODUCING Your Licensed Woman-Centric Builder

Custom One Homes by Mike Rygh



in your pocket Discover the Paybacks of an Energy-Efficient Home Plan to

Entertain Color

Moment of Discovery

10 Things

Follow Through on Closing

Creating your Personal Spa

Master Bath Trends SPRING/SUMMER 2009

Homes Designed for Your Lifestyle.

Take our traditional work/life balance fun 5-minute function over form online quiz today at to learn more about Your New Home Personality.

contemporary work/life balance form over function edgy

goal-oriented individualistic my home is unique

formal work/life balance form and function sophisticated

quality-driven detail-oriented my home makes a statement

casual work/life balance function over form

practical family-oriented predictable my home is my haven

spontaneous project/activity-driven free spirited my home is carefree

Experience the Difference Contact one of our New Home Specialists (listed on the inside back cover) or visit us online at to learn more about Your New Home Personality. Your Woman-Centric Builder

MN License # 1299

Subscribe to Her Home online.


20 photo courtesy of Medallion Cabinets


Life at Home –the Paybacks of Energy Efficiency


Building-in energy efficiency, for long-term savings. 10

Small Bath Makeover


Give your little hall bath a fresh new face.

Home Plan Makeover


Four women turn an existing plan into a dream home.

Color 10 Test your taste for hues with color expert Erika Woelfel.

Plan to Entertain 11 Creating a Personal Spa 15

sensational makeovers

cutting-edge products & ideas

dynamic home plans

Learn more today at

Master bath trends.

10 Things to Follow Through 18 Before and After Closing Lessons from real-life experiences.

Plan for Storing Stuff 20 At the End of the Day 24



Linda Reimer EDITOR


Annette Guy Beverly Nelligan R E N D E R I N G I L L U S T R AT O R S



Tricia Baker Rob Phillips CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

We all look at home in different ways. During the challenging times we find ourselves in now, home has really become our haven, a safe place. This issue of HER HOME focuses in on several such aspects of home. Every penny counts, and the "Paybacks of Energy Efficiency," pages 3-5, puts a little more money back on our pockets. Sometimes a good makeover is just what the doctor ordered, and the "Small Bath Makeover," pages 6-7 , and the "Home Plan Makeover," pages 8-9, give good insight in taking what exists and making it over for your individual needs. Entertaining, finding a place for everything and finding time to relax can be stressful, so the following articles help you de-stress your life: "Plan to Entertain," pages 11-14; "Plan for Storing Stuff," pages 20-24; and "Creating a Personal Spa," pages 15-17, will provide great insight. Home is personal to each of us, but we all want a place of peace and serenity – an environment we can enjoy.

Joyce Vollmer Brown Erika Woelfel C I R C U L AT I O N M A N A G E R

Priscilla Ivey





Paul Foresman CONTROLLER

Janie Murnane COVER PHOTO BY:

Raymond Andreski


PUBLISHED BY: Design Basics Publications 11112 John Galt Blvd., Omaha, NE 68137 | phone: (800) 947-7526

Her Home is published quarterly. Text and Design © 2009 by Design Basics Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior written permission of the publisher.



LIFE photo by


the Paybacks of Energy Efficiency Totaling up the costs of building a new home can be intimidating. For most of us, it’s one of the most expensive things we will do in our lifetime. Consequently, it’s often necessary to scale back some dreams and make compromises along the way. But one of the places it’s important not to cut corners is energy efficiency. That’s an area where spending more up front can pay off in years of savings and higher resale value.


INSULATION AND SEALING Nearly half of the average family’s energy consumption is used heating and cooling their home. It’s easy to understand why, when studies show 75 100% of the air inside a typical new home escapes every hour (with all windows and doors tightly closed). The importance of effective insulation and air sealing is clear. Conventionally framed homes require superb attention and advanced products to minimize air leakage. This may take the form of a housewrap + extensive caulking + a high performance insulation or expanding foams which fill nooks and crevices in wall and attic cavities and surround plumbing and electrical penetrations. Insulated siding (typically vinyl siding) is another emerging approach. Two building systems which merit special mention for their superior insulating abilities are Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPs) for exterior walls and roofs, and Insulated Concrete Forms (ICFs) for basement and exterior walls. SIPs consist of a thick slab of insulating foam sandwiched between two structural “skins” (usually OSB or plywood). Because the insulation is not interrupted every 16 inches by wooden studs, SIP homes have minimal air leaks and high R-values. ICFs use lightweight, hollow insulating foam blocks which are stacked like Legos® and are then filled with concrete. Continuous insulating foam on both sides of the concrete makes for a highly energy-efficient wall system. Attic and roof insulation do double duty. In the winter, as warm air rises, it seeks to escape into the attic. In summer, sunshine can raise attic temps to 140˚ - 170˚ when outside temps are in the 90’s. Attic insulation helps keep heat from entering your living space. (That’s also why correct attic / roof ventilation is essential.)

DOORS AND WINDOWS When it comes to doors, insulated steel and fiberglass


doors typically have five times the insulating capability of solid wood doors. Windows in the door will reduce this potential somewhat. Most hinged (swing-type) patio doors are much tighter than sliding patio doors. Window efficiency is measured in terms of Ufactors, with the lower numbers representing less heat loss. Many aspects affect a window’s U-factor, including the number of panes (referred to as glazing). Double glazing (two panes of glass) is the most common, but triple glazing is gaining popularity. The glass itself may be tinted or include reflective coatings or films to reduce heat gain and glare. Lowemittance coatings (called Low-E) actually reflect heat. In the summer heat is reflected away from the house; in the winter the home’s heat is reflected back inside. Some windows also have Argon gas between the panes which further reduces heat transfer. The material used to create the window’s frame or “cladding” and the spacers between the panes can affect its performance as well. (Some cladding materials, such as aluminum, absorb heat and transfer it inside.)

HEATING, VENTILATION AND AIR CONDITIONING EQUIPMENT Any new home presents the opportunity to select more efficient HVAC equipment. A wellsealed home allows a smaller furnace, air conditioner or heat pump to perform adequately. There has been a tendency to oversize furnaces and air conditioners, but it’s important to know that doing so can be costly. Units that are too large not only cost more initially, they also don’t run long enough to reach operating efficiency and they may wear out sooner because they start and stop so frequently. What’s more, they are often louder and they may not dehumidify homes sufficiently in hot weather (because they don’t run long enough to remove sufficient amounts of water).

DUCTWORK Another way to maximize the HVAC equipment’s efficiency is to locate it to minimize the length of the duct runs. In addition, it’s wise to keep duct runs away from exterior walls and out of unconditioned spaces (such as attics or crawl spaces) and to ensure all ductwork is sized properly and well-sealed. PROPER HUMIDITY In colder climates, indoor air in many homes is too dry. Even if the relative humidity outside is 70%, by the time the outside air passes through the furnace to be heated, the humidity in the hot air may be down to just 7%. Because moist air feels warmer than dry air, adding a power humidifier to the furnace system can create a comfortable environment with the thermostat a couple of degrees lower than normal. EFFICIENT APPLIANCES While building a new home, don’t forget to choose efficient appliances. As the second largest area of power consumption in the home, wise appliance choices can have a major impact on energy consumption. The federal government’s ENERGY STAR® program currently has ratings for refrigerators, clothes washers and dishwashers that make it easy to choose energy-smart appliances. Building an energy-efficient home requires well-informed decisions, detailed planning and in some cases, a willingness to pay more for higher quality products. But the special attention and extra investments will reap benefits for years to come – in your family’s comfort, in considerable utility savings and in your home’s resale value.

Other Ways to Save Energy


1. Choose an efficient, sealed, direct-vent fireplace.


2. Use a ceiling fan to draw cool air which has settled upward in the summer and reverse it in the winter to push warm air downward.


3. Replace standard incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent light bulbs.


4. Avoid dark exterior colors (which absorb heat), especially on roofs.

photos by

The dollars you invest into your home’s energy efficiency will begin paying back immediately – and more importantly; can make life at home more comfortable for you and your family for years to come.




built by: Estey Construction and Savoie Tile

designed by: Janie Murnane

Give your little hall bath a fresh new face.

While low interest rates have kept the homebuilding industry booming, remodeling is also increasing at a rapid rate. It is estimated that more than a million homes per year undergo major renovation or remodeling, and the remodeling market is projected to grow again in 2009. Two of the most common renovations are kitchens and baths. While these two rooms are often the most expensive to redo, they are also most likely to return the largest proportion of the investment when the home is sold. (A key to ensuring a good payback is to keep the cost of the project in line with the rest of the home and other homes in the neighborhood.)


A cascade of glass block provides a sense of separation between the updated stool and a new, smartly angled vanity.



Significant expense and the need to make a limited space feel and live as large as possible, make careful thought and planning imperative. Here are some general principles to help you get started. • One way to make a small space appear larger is by drawing the eye upward...with special ceiling detail, crown molding or a wallpaper border around the ceiling.

the number of colors and patterns. A shower curtain made from fabric that matches the wallpaper will increase the room’s visual expanse.

• Lots of light will also expand the space. If you cannot incorporate a window or skylight, you may want to consider adding accent lighting (often around the mirror) or rope lighting in molding, atop cabinets, or at the base of a cabinet or whirlpool.

• Painting the ceiling white or a lighter shade of the wall color will make the ceiling seem higher.

• Because of the need for privacy, glass block, etched glass, frosted glass or stained glass windows are popular choices. • Using a frameless shower door or replacing the door with a partial wall of glass block will keep the shower light and keep the entire room from looking divided. In the same way, using a half wall to compartment the toilet can provide a sense of privacy without feeling too confining. • Mirrors are another way to visually expand a small area. Putting a large mirror on one side of a long, narrow bath can make it appear wider. • Decorating in neutral or pastel colors will visually expand the space. Reserve bolder colors for accents. It’s also wise to limit

• While you can never have too much storage, it’s important to weigh practical benefits against the danger of the room becoming crowded. Base cabinets will not close in a room as much as upper and base cabinets combined. Where feasible, recessed built-ins between wall studs can provide added storage without making the room feel smaller. • It’s best to choose timeless fixtures that will not need to be updated, reserving trendy colors to walls, towels, accents and shower curtains (which are less expensive to replace). • If possible, separating the vanity area from the rest of the bath will allow two people to use the bathroom at the same time. Another way to eliminate congestion may be to add a grooming station (vanity, sink and mirror) to a bedroom.

ABOVE: The out-of-date tile, toilet and vanity were illuminated 70’s style, with a solitary light fixture. LEFT:

A boldly colored basin-style sink and artistic tile backsplash complement the room’s lively new artwork.

( ) For more ideas on bath remodeling, visit the National Kitchen and Bath

Association’s website at


Home Plan


Four Women Turn an Existing Plan into a Dream Home. Shanna, Susi, Carol, and Melissa transformed the look and layout of this design, to better suit their lifestyles.

Women have strong feelings about homes: how they flow, what features they should have, and how they could be improved to better meet their needs. Her Home’s regular feature, “Home Plan Makeover,” invites a group of women to review a popular plan and suggest things they would like to see added or changed. In this issue, Design Basics’ plan, the Trenton (1330-54V) was transformed into the Silver Creek (42028-54V). To allow you to follow the changes, the women’s requests are highlighted in 12 numbers – which correspond with the completed floor plan on the right.


Susi’s first request was to change the double, front load garage into a triple, side load garage with builtin cabinetry to store tools, garden supplies and Christmas decorations.


1330- 54V Trenton HOME PLAN PRICE $885 MAIN

1421 | SECOND 448 | TOTAL 1869 SQ. FT.

BEFORE main level

To accommodate Shanna’s desire for big views and abundant light, the group decided to eliminate the upper cabinets in the kitchen and add windows where the cabinets would normally go. An upper cabinet for glasses and dishes was included next to the dishwasher, along with a second sink for rinsing dishes. (Homeowners who want to add the usual upper cabinets to the plan can easily do so.) To compensate for the lost storage, the kitchen was expanded to increase the size of the walk-in pantry and add a center island. The island includes a wine rack on one side and a lowered counter on the other end for mixing ingredients and rolling out dough. Extra storage can be utilized with a pot rack above the corner stove. The right side of the home was stretched to the back to create space for the separate mud room Melissa requested. The finished room includes a roomy walk-in closet, a row of lockers, and a drop zone (to collect cell phones, keys, laptops, briefcases and mail) A powder room is accessed from the mud room through a pocket door (as well as from the center of the home).



Rather than a desk in the breakfast area, Carol asked for an armoire, which she referred to as a “clutter screen.” She also wanted to increase the size of the eating area.



To find a plan that’s right for you, go to

Any plan can be customized just for you. Click on “plan alterations.”

second level



Everyone wanted a big laundry room with a sink, cabinets and a counter for folding clothes or other projects. Susi suggested incorporating a utility shower with a pull-down handle, which could also be used to bathe pets.


In the great room, the group chose to change the configuration of the staircase. To block the view into the eating area and kitchen, the ladies decided to change the 2-sided fireplace to a single, with an entertainment center above it.


When the group turned their attention to the master suite, everyone expressed a desire for more privacy in the the bedroom was moved to the back of the home. Corner and transom windows were added to ease furniture placement. Carol suggested a coffee bar with a compact refrigerator for juices.



The wish list grew in the master bath – with requests for split vanities, a 2-person shower and a large walk-in closet. A plant ledge was incorporated next to the whirlpool.


42028- 54V Silver Creek HOME PLAN PRICE $945 AFTER


425 SQ. FT. |MAIN 1863 | SECOND 613 | TOTAL 2476 SQ. FT.

main level



Since everyone concurred that you can 11 never have enough storage, walk-in

3 5 8



Upstairs, the ladies saw a need for 10 separate baths for older children or blended families. To save cost, the plan was drawn with private vanity and stool areas and a shared tub.



The group was divided over whether to retain the formal dining room. As a compromise, the new plan shows French doors leading to a study, but the doors can easily be omitted if the room is used as a dining room.


closets were added to the secondary bedrooms and a large unfinished area was created over the garage. To give the exterior a new look, the 12 traditional styling was given Craftsman elements: areas of vertical siding, roof brackets, stone, sturdy pillars and Prairie style windows. To break up the roofline, a combination of gables and hips was used. To incorporate all of the changes, the home grew in overall size from 1,869 to 2,476 square feet.


Meet the


Shanna Sheppard has worked in the building systems business for 30 years and is on the Board of Directors for Habitat for Humanity. Her hobbies include horseback riding and snow skiing.


Susi Bains is vice president of product development in the construction loan industry and loves her two Labradors, snowboarding and anything outdoors.

10 11

Carol Sherman is vice president of marketing for a financial institution. She lives in an older home with lots of character and loves creaking hardwood floors, horses and outdoor living.


Melissa Wu is in marketing with IndyMac BankÂŽ Home Construction Lending and lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her goldfish. She enjoys cooking, reading and watching movies.


The Moment of

Discovery by Erika Woelfel

Who knew plain old blue had a cousin called Periwinkle,


Erika Woelfel understands the importance of color in the home. She is Senior Color Designer of the Colwell Color Studio, a company that produces color merchandising tools for the decorative products industry.

Do you remember as a child when you graduated from the box of 8 crayon colors to the box of 48? If you’re like me, your memory probably doesn’t go back that far. What I do recall is the new color possibilities seemed endless and I couldn’t wait to try them all. Who knew red with just a touch of blue could be transformed into a brilliant new shade called Magenta? Or that plain old blue had a cousin called Periwinkle? Or that green had a neighbor called Lime? My mother saved my box of 48 colors from when I was in elementary school. When I opened it to see what crayon I used the most, brown was a stump with no wrapper –(the best color to use for drawing horses) – green was broken in half and taped back together, and purple was virtually non-existent because it was applied to everything. Once you determine your palette of personal favorites, I think you carry that with you throughout your entire life. For example, I love wearing purple, and there is lots of green in my house. So this is my question: As adults, how did we become so cautious about using color?

Will the Sometimes discovering which colors are right for expressing your personality is as simple as asking a few questions. Take the quiz below by circling your first choice answer. Refer to the chart (right) to find your perfect color match!




Come Forward? I would like my kitchen to feel: M) clean and streamlined R ) light and airy C) chic and functional T ) traditional D ) lively and fun

I would prefer which activity: C) a nature walk R ) a candlelight dinner for two M) attending a cultural event T ) lunch at the country club D ) throwing a wild party

My bedroom should be: M) clean-lined T ) tasteful D ) passionate C) peaceful R ) romantic

I feel great when wearing: D ) bright, flashy accessory colors R ) feminine floral prints C) blue jeans and tennis shoes M) basic black, gray T ) navy and khaki

The furnishings I have in my home are: R ) nostalgic, with soft detailing C) like old friends, easy to live with T ) antique D ) whimsical M) contemporary


Modern If you circled M’s, you are probably a color purist who prefers crisp white, sharp black and complex neutrals in all ranges from sage green to warm sand. For a dramatic feature wall, try using an accent of celadon green, chili pepper red, or chocolate brown and dark teal.

Casual Chic If you circled more C’s, you probably like colors from a natural setting, whether you live in the mountains or near the ocean. Jade blues, sage greens, caramel brown, camel, and sunset violets best represent your unfussy, but fun sense of style.

Romantic If you circled mostly R’s, then you are most likely a romantic: soft poetic colors suit you well... pastels in pale pink, sky blue, dinner mint green, downy yellow and fresh apricot create great backdrop hues for floral prints.

Timeless If you circled T’s, you tend to be more traditional in your color style: navy blue, shadowy green, and burnished gold fit your tailored sense of style. Jeweltones add a touch of luxury to your home in hues ranging from amethyst to sapphire to emerald and ruby red.


I would like my living room to feel: T ) dignified D ) vibrant R ) cozy M) uncluttered C) laid back and comfortable

Dynamic If you circled mostly D’s, then you are an out-going, active person. You have no problem trying new colors. Bright red and sunflower yellow best fit your personality for the kitchen. Hot pink and chartreuse are fun colors for the living room, and try living it up a little with periwinkle blue and deep violet in the bedroom!


The words that best describe my personal style would be: D ) bold and daring C) eclectic and chic M) sophisticated and precise T ) formal and classic R ) pretty and romantic

Think of your home as a giant coloring project. Paint, wallpaper, window treatments, carpet, upholstery and tile are your crayons, your tools. All of these products come in a universe of colors. The disappointing fact is most manufacturers admit their number one selling SKUs are shades of white or beige. My philosophy is this: Somewhere between being a kid secretly trying on mom’s hot pink lipstick and as an adult, moving into that first apartment, we lost our nerve when it came to using color! Don’t worry; catching the color fever is quite contagious. Once you start experimenting with your favorites, it’s hard to stop. I like to tell people: Use as much or as little as you are comfortable with. Some people approach color by researching all the rules; others break them with wild abandon. The only rule I can think of is: Use colors you enjoy! It makes them much more fun to live with! If you think you’ve forgotten the joy of discovering color, the solution is simple. Try opening a box of crayons and pick your favorite. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face – and the crayon you pick won’t be white!

plan to


ABOVE: Enjoy formal entertaining? Be sure to consider the connections to the outdoors, expanding your entertaining options. OPPOSITE PAGE: LEFT:

Memorable dining parties are in the offing. Note the importance of the hutch recess for smoothing traffic flow.


A lower-level family room for someone whose casual entertaining style is about fun and games.

FORMAL EATING AREA Candlelight, soft music, ample room for guests and great conversation make dinner parties a delight. Whether it’s a formal dinner party or a family holiday dinner, memories are intertwined with meals together. The main things to look for are space, proximity to the kitchen and flexibility. Is the dining area a comfortable size for the table, chairs and hutch, if you have one? Is it close to the kitchen, reducing steps when carrying hot dishes or clearing the table? Should you desire privacy, can the space be closed off? If you have larger gatherings, are there two dining areas (perhaps the kids are at one table with the adults at another). Or, does your dining space flow openly into an adjacent space for additional seating? In addition, flooring choices, color, wall

textures, ceiling treatments and window coverings are primary considerations. In addition to the aesthetics, look at maintenance issues – a high chandelier with lots of light bulbs can become a real pain when it’s time to change those bulbs. Having control over lighting is critical to enhance your get-together. This includes accessible, easily adjustable window shades/coverings, as well as separately switched, direct and indirect artificial lighting on dimmers. INFORMAL EATING AREA A table for breakfast and a snack bar for quick dinners provides informal eating area options. The snack bar also makes a great spot to set up a buffet. Everyday meals mean everyday use for dinettes and snack bars. Because of its


frequent use, maintenance and easy cleaning are central issues. Expect spills when you are considering flooring choices. Will you have to move chairs out of the way to sweep or vacuum? Especially at snack bars, seating suspended from the island or peninsula is a wonderful solution to ensure accessible seating that’s easy to clean under. It also helps prevent damage to the flooring from chairs! OPEN LIVING SPACES With the eating area, kitchen and great room all open to each other, everyone is part of the fun. An open floor plan really pulls entertaining or family life together. More than just eliminating walls, today’s kitchens are being designed with attention to views of fireplaces and entertainment centers. Open designs have also focused new attention on views into the kitchen. This has been one reason for the rising popularity of stainless steel appliances and glass front cabinets. OUTDOOR LIVING SPACES We are naturally drawn to the outdoors. After a hectic day at work, relaxing in the outdoors helps release tension. Research even shows that exposure to sunlight and trees has numerous health benefits. Whether it’s a barbeque or outside games, outdoor entertaining should be a natural extension of your home’s flow. Covered porches are especially appreciated if inclement weather threatens your outdoor plans. For some, adding screens around the porch to control bugs means being able to truly enjoy being outside. Others will opt for windows all around, turning their outdoor living space into a true fourseasons room. 12

Low maintenance, durability, price and aesthetics all come into play when choosing materials for your porch or deck. Wood fiber/composite decking, as well as vinyl, have gained in popularity as prices have come down and finish selections have increased. Wood offers unmatched beauty but requires periodic maintenance. MEDIA-RELATED ENTERTAINING With today’s media choices running the gamut from gaming to movies or sports to the internet, until the issue of where the big screen TV goes is settled, we can’t seriously consider building or remodeling. Lighting and sound are the major issues to address. Glare from windows or other lighting can ruin the multi-media experience, so this must be under control. While one group wants to crank up the volume, others may want to carry on normal conversation or even get some shut-eye. Sound isolation clips for drywall walls and ceilings, insulating those cavities, or acoustic sound mats are reasonable approaches to controlling sound levels. Also, be sure to use a solid core, weather-stripped door to finish sealing off a media room. SPLIT BEDROOMS TO CONTROL NOISE It’s inevitable when friends get together that someone else in the home needs privacy – whether studying, catching up on work brought home or needing to get some sleep. Splitting secondary bedrooms from the master suite and distancing bedrooms from entertaining areas provides much needed quiet. Few things in life are more important than getting a good night of sleep. Inside the home, look for quiet products, such as kitchen or bath fans and appliances. Who

wants to move to another room just because the dishwasher is running? You can also limit noise coming from outdoors through advanced insulating, caulking and air sealing measures when your home is being built, plus quality windows and doors. FINISHED BASEMENTS A finished lower level not only adds needed square footage but allows for more informal entertaining. If you are fortunate enough to be building on a basement, today’s engineered floor systems make wide-open basement spaces feasible and affordable, as they can span greater distances than conventional lumber. In many areas, builders are responding to tougher energy codes by insulating basements – a great start towards a comfortable living space. Make sure you know where you will want electrical and other wiring to be run, and meet with your electrician to go over the plans. KIDS’ PLAY AREA If there are children in your home, you will value a place where they can go and play – a place where toys and games are stored and Lego creations can be left for a another day. In other words, a place where kids can be kids! Separate from bedrooms, this flexible space may or may not have been finished space when the home was initially built. Consider the types of activities your children will enjoy. If it is painting, for example, you will want a flooring surface that cleans up easily with a sink nearby. Also, consider how the space may be used differently as the kids age. Keep fanciful themes to more easily changed aspects which will also keep costs down when it’s time to replace Winnie The Pooh with your boy’s favorite sports theme.

the entertaining


ABOVE LEFT: Entertaining kitchens depend on well-planned storage, keeping everything conveniently organized, yet out of view when guests arrive. p h o t o c o u r t e s y o f S c h ro ck C a b i n e t r y ABOVE RIGHT: Details matter! From furniture-grade cabinet finishes to the flooring, surfaces and lighting, many open kitchens are now being designed as entertaining spaces.

Many of the best times of our lives revolve around being with family and friends. Whether it’s hosting a formal get-together, holiday dinners or your children’s birthday parties, the kitchen is the hub of activity. A little extra attention spent planning flow, layout and product selections will reward you with a kitchen that is more functional and efficient. Due to the popularity of today’s open floor plans with kitchens in full view, designing kitchens is all about zones related to the flow of activity. Kitchen design is being further refined by an emerging knowledge of how layout and product choices can actually help reduce stress, particularly while entertaining. Storage is the initial zone, because you want items to be stored in places convenient to where they will be used. For example, you’re going to want storage for your good dishes, glassware and silverware near the serving or dining area, such as a butler pantry. It’s also essential to reduce clutter, ease accessibility and arrange items in an organized way. Include some roll-out drawers or trays. Drawer inserts keep small items, spices, silverware and utensils organized. But what about small, frequently used appliances? Countertop appliance garages for blenders, toasters, and coffee makers may be just what

you need. On the other hand, if you want to keep your counter space free, consider going underneath the counter. You can include a pull-out mixer shelf, which comes out of the cabinet and swings up – bringing your heavy mixer even with the countertop. The food preparation zone depends on lots of counter space, plus close proximity to the refrigerator, range/oven and pantry. Ideally, this is a separate space from the serving area, allowing both areas to function simultaneously. If you have a smaller island in your kitchen which will be used for food preparation, keeping the countertop a uniform height will provide the maximum work space. If your island is large enough to accommodate different levels, a 36-inch work level will be appreciated by bakers, while a taller side (usually 42 inches) shields work clutter from view and accommodates bar stools. Your cooking zone, convenient to the food prep area, is centered around your cooktop and ovens. Two cooks in the home will require more utensils, pots and pans, so plan storage accordingly. In addition, you may opt for separate counter spaces, cooking areas and sinks. Common ovens and waste containment may need wider corridors around a central work area. If you are considering an island with cooktop, make sure there is sufficient room next to the cooktop to place large items, such as a big pot of boiling pasta. Also, warming drawers are great features for entertaining. They allow you to warm multiple dishes simultaneously and keep hot cooked foods at serving temperature.


Some serving zones are more formal, such as a built-in buffet in the dining area or a butler’s pantry along the path from the kitchen. For casual entertaining, islands or peninsulas may be just the ticket. If your guests are usually adults, consider a 42-inch height for the serving bar area. Your eating zone may consist of a formal dining area, an informal breakfast nook, a snack bar or some combination of all three. Many folks find themselves dining at a snack bar and rarely using their dinette. If that’s you, carefully consider what height best suits your family. If you have small children, they won’t be able to get up on higher stools (or worse yet, they may fall off of them)! Clean-up is the final, but very important, zone when planning for entertaining. As two sinks have gained popularity, so have second dishwashers. In front of sinks, consider a small tilt-out tray to keep sponges and pot scrubbers out of view. Another item that can reduce clutter in your entertaining kitchen is a liquid soap dispenser that comes up through the countertop next to the sink. What about trash? Typical solutions have been the unsightly tall kitchen wastebasket openly on display (or a smaller wastebasket under the kitchen sink). Besides having to bend over to use the latter, ever notice how much stuff misses the wastebasket? Opt for a pull-out wastebasket tray in your base cabinetry. Beyond how our kitchens flow, there are several other major considerations, such as ease of cleaning and durability. Think sinks, countertops, flooring and appliances. Laminate countertops offer the greatest variety in colors, patterns and edge finishes. They don’t require special cleansers nor do they need to be re-sealed every year or two. While aesthetics and price may be the top influences for kitchen flooring choices, scratches, everyday wear and low maintenance are major de-stressing aspects. Will spilled spaghetti sauce or grape juice stain the flooring? (Darker colors of grout for tile floors are increasingly popular for this very reason.) Will heavy or sharp items accidentally dropped damage the floor? Flooring choices in adjacent areas also play a large role in kitchen flooring, as many of us prefer a continuity of floor covering (which makes the entire area feel more spacious). Appliances are one of the first items you and your guests see in the kitchen. Are the surfaces easy to clean, especially the oven/range tops and inside the microwave? How about the exterior finish? The stainless 14

steel look has been quite popular, but it attracts fingerprints like a giant magnet. Look for new finishes which don’t show fingerprints and are easy to clean. Quiet is an often overlooked aspect of a dream kitchen. Few things are more annoying than having to vacate the kitchen just to hear each other talk. Pay special attention when selecting your dishwasher and kitchen vent/hood. Some models are actually so quiet you’re not even aware they are running! Almost universally, people describe the amount of light in their kitchens as inadequate. A light, bright and airy kitchen is de-stressing for you, your family and your guests. As kitchens have become more open to adjacent areas of the home, they are benefiting from increased levels of natural light coming from these areas. More recently, glass block or small traditional windows are appearing between kitchen counter backsplashes and upper cabinets. Today, recessed ceiling lighting has replaced the standard light fixture approach common years ago. Task lighting concealed under the upper kitchen cabinets offers a pleasant light level and helps reduce eyestrain. While you might want all available light when preparing dinner, controlled light levels are much more comfortable for everyone later in the evening. Pay extra attention to where electrical outlets are located. Only you know how you intend to use the kitchen, so don’t leave it up to the electrician’s imagination where to locate outlets and switches. (Then there’s cable TV and the internet. Plan now where wiring needs to go). Whatever lighting approach you choose, make sure you’re in control. From window coverings to dimmers, lighting helps establish the mood for your next get-together. Finally, consider decorating and how you reveal who you are through what you display and how you decorate your kitchen. Most women use words such as “comfortable” or “homey” to describe their dream kitchen. Color choices throughout can have either an exciting or a calming effect. Do you decorate according to the season? Is there space above the upper cabinets for display niches or plant shelves? We cherish relationships. We take pride in a functional and orderly kitchen. With a little extra forethought and planning, our kitchens will beckon to entertain a simple family dinner or an extravagant gala!

TOP: “The breakfast drawer”, with electric outlet wired at the back of the cabinet, so there’s no need to ever have the toaster cluttering the countertop. ABOVE: A recycling center housed within a base cabinet is ideally located close to the kitchen sink, because many containers need to be rinsed out first. photos courtesy of Medallion Cabinetr y

CREATING a Personal Spa: b y J o y c e Vo l l m e r B r o w n

Master Bath Trends

As kitchens have become the gathering spot in open floor plans, master baths have become the place to get away and truly pamper yourself. Designers and manufacturers seem to be racing to top each other with new and improved products and amenities to create the ultimate spa-like retreats. To provide the latest update on the current trends, I spoke with Les Petrie, who serves as a spokesperson for the National Kitchen and Bath Association and gives frequent workshops on bath design. Les is also the owner of a 32-year-old remodeling company in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, named Mother Hubbard’s Custom Cabinetry. The firm does 45 - 50 upper middle and high-end projects a year.

Neptune’s Zen 4272 Activ-Air is a two-person air jet tub, which offers 52 micro-jets that provide the therapeutic effects of a gentle massage.


photo courtesy of Home Crest Cabinetry

ABOVE: Located between dual lavs, this appliance garage keeps the hair dryer, curling iron and razor out of sight. LEFT:

Multiple shower heads massage tight muscles.

p h o t o c o u r t e s y o f M O E N® I n c o r p o r a t e d

TODAY’S “MUST-HAVES” When asked what “must-haves” his clients are currently requesting, Les had quite a list. “Eight out of ten of the baths we do have heated ceramic tile floors,” he began. “But because of the move toward natural products, the tiles usually look like stone. We rarely use the utilitarian, machine-cut, sterile looking tile that came into vogue in the 50’s and 60’s. Countertops are often stone, as well. “In place of traditional whirlpools, which can hit the bather with too much concentrated force, we use an air jet bath made by BainUltra which offers a more gentle massage. It has a system of air channels in the shell of the bath and doesn’t take water 16

out of the tub and blow it back you can use aroma therapy or oil therapy with it. Like many higher end tubs today, it is contoured to the body shape, has arm rests, a headrest and a spot for pillows. “Of course, large showers with multiple shower heads, including body and hand held sprays are immensely popular. The lighting in showers is superior to what it’s ever been. We often use a 50-watt, wide beam halogen light that operates like a soft floodlight or a xenon light, which doesn’t burn quite as hot as a halogen bulb, but gives off a reasonably equivalent wave of light. “Half of the projects we do include a tele-

vision in the bath, which I like to put in a cabinet with a swivel shelf so it can be turned toward the tub or the mirror. Philips also makes a mirror with an LCD television in it. And there are LCD televisions and sound systems that can be installed in wet locations. Jacuzzi incorporates these systems into many of their modular shower and steam shower units. “All the bath designs we offer provide for aging in place. While not necessarily wheel chair accessible, they incorporate proper location of hand rails, grab bars, safety devices, adequate door widths, etc. Lighting is another area we carefully address because

people need more light as they age. We frequently include skylights for optimal natural light and try to provide lighting above and beside the mirror. “Speaking of mirrors, defogging mirrors which have an electric heat mat behind them to prevent condensation are popular, along with magnifying mirrors on articulating arms that can be pulled out when applying make-up. “Cabinetry is higher. Historically, countertops in lavatory areas were 30 inches from the floor. Our standard height now is 33 inches and we offer anywhere between 33-36 inches at no extra charge. Real antique furniture fitted with water-resistant tops is very, very well as cabinets made to look like free-standing furniture. “Another piece in vogue is a tall, 36-inch wide dresser/wardrobe unit. It’s ideal for underwear, socks and other clothing you may want to put on before going into the adjoining bedroom. Depending on the ceiling height, the unit often extends from the floor to the ceiling. “Darker woods are becoming more common in the bath, but the majority of our clients still favor lighter tones. I think that’s because the bath is often more contemporary, even in traditional homes. “There are a few new innovations in storage. Appliance garages have moved from the kitchen into the bath to house hair dryers and curling irons. Warming drawers, modified for a wet location, have also migrated to the bath. They dispense warm towels, pajamas or undergarments on a chilly day and are actually superior to many wallmounted towel warmers, which typically only have elements every six or seven inches – leaving you with a towel with heated stripes. “We also do a lot of coffee bars, either on the bathroom or bedroom side of the wall. They typically house a coffee maker, microwave and a small refrigerator.

“Last but not least, there are many new options in toilets. Seat heaters are very common. Toilets that offer a choice between a light or heavy flush are gaining acceptance in parts of the country where ground water supplies are an issue. “And as urinals are becoming more common in main baths or boys’ baths, bidets are popping up in master baths. We often use a toilet by Toto ® that has a bidet seat attached. . .so it serves two purposes. Their Neo-rest version is a combination toilet/bidet that has an electronic sensor that opens and closes the lid and flushes when appropriate. Its bidet blows warm air and a deodorizing function draws air in the toilet through a charcoal air cleaner and then expels it into the room. A basic toilet/bidet runs around $2,000; the Neo-rest sells for around $5,600.” The bottom line is, comforts once reserved for luxury hotels and retreats are now available for the home. Homeowners planning their own personal bath retreats are limited only by space, budget and imagination.

“Dual lavs are a must and most people want some separation for the toilet, whether compartmentalized in its own room or screened by a partial wall.

ABOVE: This magnifying mirror eases make-up application — without wearing eye glasses. RIGHT:

A warming drawer dispenses warm towels.

photo courtesy of Dacor®


lessons from real-life experiences – part three


Lisa Albrecht shares more lessons she’s learned while building her dream home. In this final segment, she provides advice for the closing stage.


Make sure you know what kind of warranty your builder provides. My builder provided a great warranty from a national company.

“At 30 days, we had an interior walk-through. The builder went through an extensive checklist and showed us how the furnace/air conditioning and hot water heater work and explained our radon mitigation system.

“We did an exterior walk-through at 60 days and checked the sod, grading, shingles, paint, etc. “It is our responsibility to have everything that is under warranty checked before the one-year mark. So we created a spread sheet to keep track of the different items. “We were also given a 24-hour emergency line if there is a problem with the furnace or water heater.”

4 18

Think through how you will get your furniture and appliances into the house before closing day! “Luckily, my builder anticipated a problem moving in my oversized electric stove and widened my mudroom door to accommodate it.”

Things to


before and after


2 3 5

Keep on top of situations with the builder and his suppliers. “We purchased our appliances through the builder. They weren’t ready when we moved into the house, so the builder provided a temporary refrigerator and stove.”

Make sure you transfer utilities into your name. The builder will probably cancel them the day of closing. Also remember to line up phone, electric, cable and Internet services. “We didn’t remember to transfer the gas from the builder’s account to ours until the day we moved into the house – so we had no hot water the weekend we moved in.”

Use painter’s tape to mark nicks. “We used painter’s tape to point out any pre-existing nicks or marks on our walls – so we’d know if the movers caused any damage. It worked great because the tape didn’t damage the paint.”

6 8

Make sure the builder doesn’t do anything to void a warranty.

“Just before moving in, we realized our pre-finished garage doors had been painted the same color as the house. We were tempted to keep them – until we read the warranty and realized we would void it if we re-painted them the correct color.

“So we got them replaced; the builder’s insurance covered this mistake.”

Keep all warranties in one place and record any effects from severe weather or changing seasons “I don’t know how many problems we will have during torrential downpours or heavy snows. But I’ll pay close attention so I don’t miss any problems while they’re covered under our one-year warranty.”


A few

7 9

Make sure you know what has to be finished before closing. “We planned to save money by building our deck after moving in. Two weeks before closing, we learned that we could not close without a finished deck. “So we had to build one in two weekends, 24/7!”

Install your landscaping prior to closing so it looks established when you move in.

“We contracted with a landscaper prior to closing and put trees and other landscaping in the yard so we could enjoy it right away.”

“Closing” Thoughts

Keep a broad view. Budgets are important, but sometimes it’s less expensive to include some extras while building than to add them later!

“I’m glad we . . .

Note: This home has been modified from its original plan.

✻ Spent the extra money to get a water line to the back of the property for watering our extensive landscaping.

When all my neighbors are pulling hoses, I just turn on the water! ✻ Spent the extra money for dual shower heads. ✻ Designed the home with 10-foot ceilings on the main level. ✻ Roughed in plumbing in the basement.

I wish we would have . . . ✻ Put a gas valve in the master bedroom to add a fireplace. ✻ Upgraded the guest bathroom (we entertain a lot). ✻ Looked more closely at heating options.”

Lisa’s home, the Lancaster – #1752-54V, can be seen at




stuff OPPOSITE PAGE: TOP LEFT: Storage can be beautiful, as shown in this kitchen. photo courtesy of Medallion Cabinets

Have you ever met someone who had too much storage space in their home? It’s probably never happened. For many of us, the lack of space, disorganization and clutter become a significant source of stress. In fact, according to published studies, Americans, on average, lose up to 150 hours every year looking for lost or misplaced items! Take control over your life and give yourself a little more time by addressing the storage opportunities of your home.


Organize your home and your life with closet systems, helping you get more storage in each closet.

photo courtesy of Schulte Storage BOTTOM LEFT:

In a recent survey, 2 out of 3 home buyers were interested in garage storage systems. Practical and aesthetic! BOTTOM RIGHT: Open shelves work well for kids’ storage areas, where a quick scan helps find a desired treasure.



Open storage at the end of the island is ideal for either cookbooks or decorative items.

photo courtesy of Medallion Cabinets FAR RIGHT: Increase closet storage by doubling up most of the hanging; be sure to provide sufficient long-hanging for dresses, etc. photo courtesy of Medallion Cabinets

LINENS One of the hallmarks of a well-thought-out homeplan is linen storage. Typically located in or near bath areas, will the linen closets/cabinets be adequate for extra pillows, comforters and sheet sets, as well as towels and washcloths? So many linens are oversized: towels, bedding, blankets. You don’t want to have to default to using other bathroom storage, taking away from places for blow dryers and personal care items. BIKES, LAWNMOWERS, SPORTING GOODS, ETC. It’s no secret that garages are getting bigger, and today’s larger vehicles are only part of the reason. Four bicycles, golf clubs, every k i n d o f b a l l i m a g i n a b l e , skates, scooters – all in a pile – yuck! Adequate storage makes the mess go away. Today’s garage systems organize your garage and your life by providing a place for tools, gardening supplies, sporting goods, etc. SIZABLE BEDROOM CLOSETS “More closet space” is one of the most often mentioned reasons for buying a new home. Stuff multiplies–we’re not sure how! But, in addition to bigger closets, closet systems can help you organize and store as much as twice as many items as the standard rod and shelf approach! Ventilated (wire) closet hanging systems have become very popular due to their flexibility and the ability for air to move between clothes and through shelving, keeping clothes fresher longer. GAMES, HOLIDAY DECORATIONS The day after Thanksgiving and it’s time for holiday decorations to come out. But where are they? Mixed up with St. Patrick’s Day, Valentine’s Day and Halloween! From Christmas trees and lights to Monopoly ®, we want convenient places to keep


our stuff. Storage solutions may include closets or unfinished areas of the home.

enough to take them off your hands, you have a storage challenge!

KITCHEN STORAGE Table settings for twelve, pots and pans, the 36-cup coffee maker, a dozen cans of tuna and gourmet cookbooks – large families and packrats need lots of storage in the kitchen!

Those items with tremendous personal value but infrequently accessed need dry, long-term storage. Garage storage or unfinished areas of the home can be ideal long-term storage spots. Be sure to use the right kind of storage containers – cardboard boxes can deteriorate and contribute to a musty basement smell.

With the kitchen as the activity hub i n m o s t h o m e s , m o r e t h o u g h t should go into storage and serving issues. Will items be stored convenient to where they will be used? What about big pots and pans; pretty dishware and other items you would like to display; and pantry storage for prepared foods? Only you know how you want your kitchen to function, so talk with a kitchen cabinet specialist regarding products and solutions available to create your dream kitchen! CELL PHONES, KEYS, UMBRELLAS, MAIL A drop zone – everybody needs one and everybody has one. It’s just that too many of us use a kitchen island, breakfast table or other area that just happens to be convenient to drop off keys, pocket change, the mail and cell phones. Eliminate unsightly clutter by putting in a cabinet near the entry from the garage to organize these things. Be sure to incorporate a recharging center for cell phones and the video camera. You may also want to add a tall space for hanging umbrellas and a cork board or dry erase board to turn this into a message center, as well. Stress-free living includes knowing you’ll never lose your keys again, and a fully charged cell phone is ready when you leave the house! LONG-TERM STORAGE Johnny’s history is often in a box – baby clothes, baptism, first day of school, birthday cards, a brilliant essay, all kinds of awards. Until Johnny is old

BULK ITEMS/CLEANING SUPPLIES We all love a good bargain, but where do you keep the jumbo 12-roll pack of paper towels? Or cleaning supplies, some of which need to be stored out of the reach of children? Ideally, you would keep these items close to where they will be used. Convenient to the kitchen, a walk-in coat closet off the garage entry offers shelving for such items. In the laundry room, a broom closet and generous cabinetry offer plenty of additional storage. EVERYDAY COATS, SHOES, BOOTS, ETC. If you live in a cold winter climate, have a larger family or entertain frequently, you’ll appreciate adequate coat storage easily accessed from the front door, garage entry, or both. Nothing is more stressful than getting the family out the door with everything they need and on time in the morning. If you have lockers near the garage entry, that’s where the kids will find their lunches (or lunch money), backpacks and gym clothes.

Garage STORAGE Today’s garages are so much more than simply a place where cars are kept. As with homes overall, garages have become larger and are serving more purposes. In addition to auto supplies, garages are ‘home’ to lawn and garden products, tools, sports equipment, wintertime products, paint and much more. If, when parked in the garage, your daily commute to your car includes weaving around bikes, stepping over garden tools and dodging dodge balls, you’re not alone. In fact, the stress associated with this reality has given rise to garage storage and organization systems, b e c o m i n g o n e o f t h e h o t t e s t markets in both new construction and remodeling. T h e p r o m i s e o f a n e a t , tidy, organized garage is compelling, both rationally and emotionally. Whether you are building a new home or looking to reorganize the garage of your existing home, the first step is to identify any activity zones, such as a workbench or a gardening center, as these may dictate specialized storage needs. Second, determine what you really want to keep in the garage. With an existing home, that means throwing some stuff away! Be prepared – you just may need to rent a dumpster for all that stuff that has been collecting in your garage. Knowing the activity zones and items which will be stored in the garage is the first step in designing your storage solution. With blueprints (or garage measurements) in hand, identify spaces along the walls which don’t interfere with opening the doors on your cars or walkways into the house. Sometimes

there are also storage opportunities between parked vehicles (or even overhead if your garage has a high ceiling). Since keeping the garage reasonably clean is important from many perspectives (including safety, pest control and overall appearance), you’ll want to get most items up and off the floor. Various garage wall storage systems are available, offering hanging for tools, shelving, cabinetry and sporting goods storage options. Mobile storage – wheeled storage cabinets for example – address the same need as these units and are easily moved to clean around. The choice of open shelving vs. cabinet storage often comes down to aesthetics, personal preference and price; but another consideration should be child safety. Sharp or dangerous items (pesticides, for example) are best kept in cabinets concealed from curious eyes. Optimally, these cabinets would be lockable. Sporting goods – particularly bicycles – present their own challenges. With an active family, these frequently used items need to be readily available. But what do you do with four bikes? Garage organization suppliers offer numerous solutions which help store bikes out of the way (many times off the floor) and, yet, are easily accessible. The far end of the garage (when parked, the wall closest to your car’s front bumper) offers a special storage opportunity, particularly for less frequently needed and larger items. Deep cabinets may be mounted high enough on the wall so that, when you pull your car in, the hood clears underneath these cabinets.




Garage storage systems keep many items off the floor, making cleaning easier.


Think about garage systems in terms of “zones” – such as this zone for sports equipment.


The organized garage – it’s a beautiful thing! photos courtesy of Rubbermaid

In addition, many innovative overhead storage products are becoming available. These solutions are ideal for seasonal storage (Christmas lights and other decorations). At the same time, you must consider safe accessibility. Climbing ladders to retrieve heavy or bulky items is, obviously, unwise (as well as inconvenient). Though not strictly storage, one final issue merits its own consideration – guys who spend a lot of time in the garage pursuing hobbies or even watching TV while playing cards. If that’s you, don’t overlook heating (keeping your favorite space usable year-round); refrigeration (cold beverages, not frozen beverages); and even where to put the cable TV jack. One final tip if you are going to install a garage storage system in your present home: After the dumpster is hauled away, you just might want to rent a U-Haul truck to store everything else from your garage during the installation of your new storage system! Garage storage and organization systems are an excellent investment for your own sanity and peace of mind. They may also be an amenity that helps you someday resell your home for a higher price and in a quicker timeframe. You’ll never regret spending a little extra time carefully planning this aspect of your home!



e are living in a time of uncertainty, and – often – our world seems out of control. We are all looking for hope! Hope comes in all shapes and sizes. It often comes when we least expect it, and I have experienced it from different individuals. A Valentine’s Day party with my three small grandsons gives me hope for the future. They look at the world with wonderment and unconditional love. They cause me to look at the simple things in life and find joy. I found hope in a telephone call from my granddaughter, who lives in California, telling me she will be going into surgery to remove her appendix. She is brave and she promises to call when it is over and she is feeling better. When she calls later to tell me she is at home feeling well again, it gives me hope in the resilience of the human spirit and how quickly youth bounces back from adversity.

I want to live a life that is hopeful . . . accepting the good things around me every day and not ignoring the small blessings; so, at the end of the day, I can experience the joy that comes from living a life of hope.

My wonderful step-father turns 90 and is surrounded by friends and family. It is a testament to a life well spent. He has lived his life living out his faith, working hard and loving his family. He gives me hope that age is a mindset and not an excuse for not being involved. Youth, like my grandchildren, lives life in the here and now, accepting the good things life brings them. Mature individuals, like my step-father, accept the fruit of living a life of hope.

Rob Fritz New Home Specialist

Dancing Waters Neighborhood (651) 248-5491

Jeremiah Rygh New Home Specialist

Stonemill Farms Neighborhood (651) 592-6211

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De-Stressing • “Mentally freeing”—that’s how you’ll describe the lowmaintenance Hardi Plank cement siding and Trex composite decking used on the outside. • Rear foyer entry from the garage is a stress reducer— with its drop zone, superb storage and half-bath. • Spacious owner’s suite is secluded from the other bedrooms. • Perhaps you’ve enjoyed an oversized shower or soaking tub at a luxury resort. Now enjoy that same relaxing experience in your new home!

Entertaining • The Rockwood is equally at home entertaining formally or informally, with its dinette, kitchen and great room all open to each other. • This open floor plan pulls entertaining and family life together and ensures everyone is part of the fun. • Walk-in pantry doubles as servery for the formal dining room, with thoughtful amenities including second dishwasher and wine refrigerator to enhance entertaining.

Storing • We’ve never designed a home with too much storage…but the Rockwood might come close! • Coming in from the garage, you’re going to love the walk-in coat closet and appreciate the ability to shelve items in the pantry without having to go through the kitchen. •L  inen closets, storage in the laundry room and a closet big enough in the owner’s suite to double as a dressing area make this home live better.

Flexible Living • Doing work from home? Then you know the importance of having a dedicated home office space! • “ Pocket Office” located off the rear foyer is ideal for finishing work projects brought home. And, many home buyers choose to use this space as a planning center, managing household communication and schedules, catching up on e-mail, paying bills and downloading new recipes.

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