Spring Home and Garden 2024

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Home & Garden Spring 2024

The Martucci Home ........................C4 The DeBruin Home .......................C10 The Trax Home .............................C16 The Passe Home ..........................C36
Presented by the Lynden Tribune & Ferndale Record Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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A whole new look for the Martuccis

Spring Home & Garden C4 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

Couple revamps their Lynden home on Wiser Lake

Susan and Dave Martucci initially planned to do some updates to their home on Wiser Lake Road, but after meeting builder Craig Telgenho and a couple of bumps in the road it turned into a full rebuild.

Originally, the master bedroom was downstairs and had a stunning view of Wiser Lake, but the upstairs living area where people would gather had a view of decking, stairs and the carport.

“ e cars got the view,” Susan said.

Susan said getting a better view of the water was a large motivator in wanting to switch the oor plan. She had also already planned to remodel the kitchen and a few other small changes when she met Telgenho .

Telgenho was doing some work for his in-laws, who happened to be neighbors of the Martuccis.

e couple ended up hiring Telgenho and the design process began in spring 2020.

“Somewhere along the way the design got a lot bigger and a lot taller,” Susan said.

Telegenho owns CLT Design Build and said he has been doing the designbuild process in some way, shape or form since he was 13.

He has worked as a project manager and as an architect.

“I did both sides. I saw the strengths and weaknesses of both professions,” he said.

Normally a homeowner would have to use di erent people for the design of the

Continued on next page

C5 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
For Susan and Dave Martucci, their Wiser Lake home combined a dream and a passion to create a stunning new home built from the old footprint. (Photo above by Racquel Muncy. All other photos courtesy Craig Telgenho )

interior of the house, architect and builders, which leaves the possibility of wants and needs getting lost in translation. is led Telgenho to want to help customers through the entirety of a project.

“You end up with a seamless process that ends in a complete project,” he said. “I want to be able to represent my clients in the process.”

is is what happened with the Martucci home. He worked with them from the very beginning design process all the way through until it was built and the interior was complete.

Being a part of the entire process, Telgenho said he is also able to make the home one complete concept.

“Every detail was resolved before we started and the beauty is in the details,” he said. “You have really purposeful, meaningful details.”

To Telgenho every home and building is a work of art and the key is to not try and make the simple things, like beams or steel work, look like something it isn’t.

e details, such as the beam work, ended up being some of the highlighted favorite details of the home, according to David Martucci.

Telgenho said it helps the process when the clients trust him to make some decisions on their behalf and to trust that the process will lead to the desired nal result.

“With the Martuccis they had a high degree of trust in me and my ability to make decisions on their behalf,” he said.

Susan said that sometimes it was di cult to see what the end product would look like, but oftentimes the couple put their trust in Telgenho .

“Some of the stu we weren’t sure, so we just went with it,” she said.

Susan said the hardest part of the design process was nding the balance between a color the couple liked and the amount of maintenance that would need to go into it.

“ at took a little longer than expected,” she said.

Telgenho said the deci-



Spring Home & Garden C6 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
Dave said details such as beamwork ended up being some of the highlighted favorite details of the home. (Photos courtesy Craig Telgenho

sions led to the home being very low maintenance and there is a high likelihood the couple will never have to paint, caulk or do any major maintenance in their lifetime.

e original design was an even larger version of the build and included a loft. Susan said the design had plenty of revisions.

“Somewhere along the way the design got a lot bigger and a lot taller,” Susan said. “We thought we would start at the foundation and go up.”

Once permitting was approved, the plan was to demo everything but the foundation. Unfortunately it was discovered that the house was built on peat.

Susan said she knew the house wasn’t even, but was not expecting to nd that it would need to be fully demolished, excavated and lled.

e project was put on a break in winter 2022 after excavation and the home had to be redesigned before building started in 2023.

Susan said she was hoping to be back in her home by Christmas, but due to some minor hold ups they were not able to move in until March 1.

While the need for a better view of the lake was a major priority for the renovations, Susan said another motivator was to

Continued on page C9

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create a workspace for David.

“He’s very mechanical,” she said. “Now we have a dedicated space (for his tools).”

e workspace is where the carport was previously, so he took over the view that the cars enjoyed.

David also enjoys cooking and now the kitchen is complete with a view he can see while looking and a large island for people to congregate around. is is a far cry from the small kitchen space the home had before.

“It’s night and day compared to what we have now,” David said.

Susan said the blinds that help keep the room bright without any glaring sunlight and the A/C vents and ceiling fan that help to keep the rooms cool in the summer were also important aspects of the house for her.

“What we’ve created is really comfortable,” Telgenho said. e home is also complete with 26 solar panels, which should leave the home almost entirely energy e cient.

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Barndominium a ‘cost effective’ starter home

Spring Home & Garden C10 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
same size as the living
perfect for
Tess and Landon DeBruin's new barndominium boasts a garage and workspace the
work, storage and whatever else the DeBruins may need. (Photo of Tess and Landon DeBruin courtesy Tess and Landon DeBruin. All
photos by Graham Freels)

DeBruin’s Lynden home designed by Lucas Roetcisoender

Tess and Landon DeBruin were on the hunt for a place to call home with space to grow as a newly married couple. ey found home in one Lynden barndominium.

e house boasts a garage and workspace the same size as the living space, perfect for work, storage and whatever else the DeBruins may need.

“Lucas Roetcisoender, who designed our home, is amazing,” Tess DeBruin said. “He made all of our barndo dreams come true, and helped us turn it into everything we could have imagined.”

Roetcisoender said the barndominium is a cost-e ective way to start a home as a new couple. e designer said the DeBruins planned for it when they bought the home and that “it doesn’t take long to ll up a shop.”

Continued on page C13

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First family playtime on the new deck

Construction on the home was completed in November 2023, and the couple moved in ve months ago. ey say they’re nally starting to feel settled in their new home as a new family.

e DeBruins were married last summer. Tess moved to Bellingham to attend Western Washington University as part of the volleyball program there, and met Landon before her senior year.

Landon is from the Lynden area and works for his family business, Professional Turf Growers. Tess started working for JWR Design at the beginning of April.

e DeBruins said they are excited about the space, property and potential

Continued on next page

C13 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
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Lucas Roetcisoender said the barndominium is a cost-e ective way to start a home as a new couple. The designer said the DeBruins planned for it when they bought the home and that “it doesn’t take long to fill up a shop.” (Photos by Graham Freels)

the property o ers.

“When we initially looked at the property, it just felt like home,” Tess said. “We both grew up on property and loved the privacy and freedom that it allowed.

at is so hard to come by these days, especially for young adults just starting out, but this property o ers a glimpse of that which we love and appreciate.”

Tess said the couple’s families have been by their side from the beginning to help turn the bardominium into a home.

With the help of their siblings, parents and Tess’s grandparents, the couple started building a fence, planted trees for extra privacy, planted a lawn, built a shed and started some gardens.

“It’s been awesome to keep making improvements and making it our own with the help of our amazing and hardworking families,” Tess said.

Spring Home & Garden C14 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
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Trax family enjoys its modern farmhouse

Importance of location and orientation, close to net zero in energy costs

To John Trax, the most noticeable thing, or perhaps the least noticeable thing about the family’s home just outside of Everson is how quiet it is.

“We have had 55 mile-per-hour winds outside and not even realized there was a storm from inside,” he said.

For the Trax family home, the quiet goes behind the expected. With SIP panels, the house does not have forced air heating so there is no rush of air and noise from a furnace. Yet, John said, the house maintains its temperature with very little change or uctuation.

“We call the home’s style modern farmhouse because it’s what early farmers might have built if the technology was available,” he said. “ e wrap-around porch protects the southern windows from summer sun as well as providing a comfortable place to sit.”

At rst glance it might be easy to dismiss what this home of John and wife Carrie is, as it is hiding so much in plain sight. e ability to age-in-place by retaining key features on the rst oor, an established garden to produce plenty of produce to can and store, several extremely e cient working spaces to do home projects as well as a spacious home o ce for two. It is also an award winner of the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award

“ e original design is mine modi ed by Jake Evans to permit construction using the SIP (Structured Insulated Panel) panel techniques that TC Legend Homes uses,” he explained. “Jake and I collaborated for some time on the nal design to take my concepts and make them practical and economic to build.”

An “extremely tight house,” he said it is also divided between public and private spaces for entertaining guests and having their own space. Small grandchildren have play spaces.

Continued on page C19

For John and Carrie Trax, the most noticeable thing, or perhaps the least noticeable thing about the family’s home just outside of Everson is how quiet it is. (Photos by John Trax)

Spring Home & Garden C16 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
C17 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
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Continued from page C16

John points to the width of the porch and how it was engineered to control the amount of sunlight coming in to both take advantage of light on the shortest day of the year and to protect the home from heat during the full summer light. Flooring is concrete.

Rather than turning to professional decorators, the Trax family utilized John’s photography, some of which is on display at Infusion Cuisine Restaurant on Hannegan and at the Whatcom Art Market in Fairhaven.

With a nod to both functionality and beauty, John created the new kitchen table, who said he has also made plans for other built-in and stand-alone furniture as time permits. is particular oak came from a tree he and his brother cut down in 1981 in Pittsburgh and it has traveled with him ever since.

to our son so that limited things somewhat,” he said. “We knew we wanted a super-e cient house, so location and orientation were important. A south-facing exposure, with sightlines for solar, would be critical. We also wanted room for a good garden, so at least a little acreage was desired.”

ey looked at about a dozen properties, but one had caught their eye: Birkdale being a private road between Bellingham and Everson. e ve acres had a much smaller building envelope, and it had wetlands. e purchase was contingent on getting the permits for wetlands, septic and building. While being equally methodical in their approach, the family found its builder in Ted Clifton of TC Legend Homes.

“We were particularly intrigued with their use of SIP panels, insulated concrete forms and the inclusion of thermal mass in each home they build,” John said.

“ ey build net-zero homes which was exactly in line with our goal of having a super-e cient home. Our energy bills have ranged from $50 to $135 per year so far. Not quite net zero but very close.”  ese days John and Carrie live here with Stella, their nine-month-old Australian Shepherd. e house was constructed in August 2019 and completed in March 2020. It’s too early in the year to appreciate the full fenced garden containing asparagus, strawberries, rhubarb, pears, peaches, apples, plums, blueberries and tayberries.

“We also grow garlic, onions and all of the other summer crops such as tomatoes, peppers, squash and carrots,” John said.

While John looked at light and energy, Carrie also knew what she wanted.

“ e kitchen and pantry were absolutely priority number one,” he said. “She

Continued on next page

e Trax family manages a buying co-op for a garden center which has led them to care about their own garden, with vegetables to come later in the season in a fenced area and owers around their house perimeter.

is is not the rst home they have planned. One in Pittsburgh they said took about seven years of their lives during construction. Along the way the family became acquainted with passive solar systems and precursors to what was used in this home. John said that decades ago he imagined having six inches of insulation and was dismissed.

“‘ at’s ridiculous,’ I was told. ‘You will never get your money back out of that. at was back in the day when the gas company just wanted to sell you a bigger furnace.”

In Whatcom County, the family spent several months looking at property.

“We knew we wanted to be fairly close

With SIP panels, the house does not have forced air heating so there is no rush of air and noise from a furnace. Yet, John Trax said, the house maintains its temperature with very little change or fluctuation. (Photos by John Trax)

C19 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record www.porchlightrentals.com (360) 306-8177 519 Front St. Suite A, Lynden • Marketing • Tenant Screening • Rent Collection • Maintenance • Accounting • Eviction Protection

is an award-winning baker and had a very good idea of the layout she wanted with zones dedicated to preparation, cooking, baking, and eating. She already had her dream kitchen laid out on paper, and the nal product was very close to her original concept.”

Alongside these features are a collection of colorful aprons, blue glass jars, family cookbooks, a farmhouse sink, and an array of spices in a line.

Likewise, John knew his workshop would also be arranged speci cally and the ability to age in place. “So while there is a second oor, everything we need is on the rst oor with no steps anywhere.”  “Storage is always important in a well-functioning home, and often neglected by builders or architects,” John said. “Our home has a number of storage features including a two-car garage with shelving, a walk-through pantry that connects from the garage to the kitchen so groceries can go directly into the pantry from the card, and then from the pantry to the kitchen.”

Likewise, the master bedroom has a walk-in closet and cabinets and closets are situated throughout.

Just o Carrie’s spacious sewing craft room upstairs, as well as their joined o ce space further down the hall, are a series of large storage spaces with shelving to utilize all available space.

Carrie shows o her sewing area with easy movements to store fabric, cut it, iron, and sew. Much of the fabric is using John’s photography printed into panels. e kitchen below allows her

to produce berry hand pies, or put together charcuterie boards full of fruits and cheeses. A computer work station also supports another of Carrie’s long-time interests: tracking her family ancestry.

“I have found back to 10 generations on both our sides,” Carrie said. I actually have a website for one side of the family.”

One section of the garage is dedicated to woodworking for personalizing by programmed  laser cutting. On the other side of the garage is the larger work area, where like the o ce upstairs, the two of them can work side-byside. Since John’s previous home in Oregon had an unheated outbuilding, he made sure this home would be more comfortable.

“It has worked out very well with both of us working in the shop on a regular basis,” he said.

Another route from the garage goes through the laundry room which has a special tub for washing dogs in which the dogs can easily step inside. A space under a counter used to contain the former cat’s litter box.

John and Carrie are both from Pittsburgh and have been married for 42 years. While one son still lives in Pittsburgh, the other lives in Lynden. e couple initially moved to Mount Hood, Oregon within a national forest area in 2005 for work before relocating to Whatcom County in 2019 following their son. Year 2024 will mark a transition to retirement so they can devote themselves full time to their woodworking and photography  business, Zigzag Mountain Art. More at zigzagmtart.com.

“I’ve done woodworking my

whole life,” John said. “My dad was a woodworker so it was more of a hobby.”

While talking, the rain came down in thunderous downfall followed by an incredibly vivid double rainbow. From under the eaves along the porch by the rocking chairs, one could see the rainbow with the backdrop of Sumas Mountain and Mount Baker.

Stella then ran out into the garden.

Energy e ciency is doable  e farmhouse owned by John and Carrie Trax won the 2020 U.S. Department of Energy Housing Innovation Award.

In its 2,538 square feet, it contains four bedrooms, some are being used as o ces, and three bathrooms on two oors.

Its average monthly energy bill is less than $20 for a calculated savings annually of $2,450, which is roughly $103,200 in the rst 30 years.

In its award, the Department of Energy notes the home has highperformance insulation system for enhanced quiet and comfort, comprehensive draft protection, fresh air system for cleaner indoor air, high-e ciency comfort system, and energy-e cient appliances and advanced lighting technology for energy and water savings.

“I wish other builders and developers would start using these principles,” John said. “For a very minor increase in construction cost they could provide a home that would have no energy cost for the life of the structure. Fifty to 100 years of no energy bills.”

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C21 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

Flower power comes to Ferndale

Barnstar Florals continues to light up interiors and exteriors alike all over Whatcom County

Joann Hartwell would like to get something o her chest. In fact, she would like to say something on behalf of ower farmers everywhere.

“When most folks think of ower farming, they think of sun hats and strolling through rows of beautiful sun owers or dahlias,” Hartwell said. “While that is a part of the process, that’s really the end result of years of hard work.”

Hartwell is the cofounder and owner of Barnstar Florals, a local business based in Ferndale. She said that success in the ower business is all about getting your hands, or gloves, dirty.

“We really only have one other person who helps us out here, and she’s wonderful,” Hartwell said. “But otherwise it’s just me and her. at’s two people responsible for most of the plotting, the crop rotations, the planting, the harvesting. It can be tough!”

Hartwell started Barnstar Florals in 2018 with her friend and owner of Barnstar Events, Rebecca Miller. Hartwell said they got the idea for the business after Miller invited her to grow plants on her farm.

“We had been friends for a while before,” Hartwell said. “But around the time our kids started going to school together at Pioneer Meadows Montessori School and we were carpooling, Rebecca had invited me to start growing plants at her farm because she had a big garden plot and she had some space she wasn’t using. So we actually did vegetable gardening for a couple of years.”

After a few years of solely growing vegetables,

Spring Home & Garden C22 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
Joann Hartwell, left, and Rebecca Miller, started Barnstar Florals in 2018. Hartwell said they got the idea for the business after Miller invited her to grow plants on her farm. (Photos courtesy Barnstar Florals)

Hartwell said Miller came up with an idea to transition the garden to ower farming.

“She just said she really wanted to start growing owers and I said, ‘me too,’ Hartwell said. “So we tried growing owers from there and after a while we started to see how successful those were and so we started using some of those owers for her company, Barnstar Events.

at’s how Barnstar Florals got its start.

“We provided owers and other arrangements for events and weddings,” Hartwell said. “ ings just took o from there”

Hartwell is quick to mention that, although this timeline of Barnstar Florals arch as a company may seem like they had

“When most folks think of flower farming, they think of sun hats and strolling through rows of beautiful sunflowers or dahlias,” said Joann Hartwell, pictured, who in 2018 started Barnstar Florals with her friend Rebecca Miller. (Photo courtesy Barnstar Florals)

a quick and easy road to success, in reality, the process was a slow and methodical one.

“We started small,” Hartwell said. “For a long time, this wasn’t even really a business, but over time it became pro table. at’s something I try to tell people who are starting out in the ower business: start small and grow a little every year.”

Barnstar Florals now serves most of the Whatcom County community by providing bouquets and oral arrangements for weddings, birthdays, anniversaries and celebration of life services.

Despite Barnstar’s success in oral event furnishings as well as a popular farm stand that is open from July through October, Hartwell said the company’s most successful service has been its ower subscription service, where clients can sign up for a weekly service that provides custommade bouquets to their homes and o ces.

“We were actually one of the few businesses that started taking o after COVID hit,” Hartwell said. “We were getting phone calls from people who wanted owers but couldn’t come down to get them themselves because they were locked up in their homes. So we started a CSA and began delivering owers to people’s houses and that’s when we started to see some real success from the company.”

Hartwell said she believes Barnstar’s success over the pandemic is a testament to Ferndale’s demand for owers as well as the city’s capacity to heal in times of stress.

“ e only reason we did so well over COVID is because owers have some sort of meaning to people,” Hartwell said. “It really is like bringing nature into your home and when you gift someone a ower, you’re showing someone you really care about them. My favorite part of my job is just handing someone a bouquet and seeing their faces light up. It’s just the power of owers.”

For more information, go to barnstarorals.com.

-- Contact Luke Seymour at luke@lyndentribune.com.

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Mount Baker Roofing: A legacy of service, quality, community

Mt. Baker Roofing has proudly served the Whatcom County community for more than 40 years. Initially known as Duronso Brothers Shake Mill, the company underwent a transformation when Dana Johnson, a military veteran, joined its ranks. Starting as an employee, Johnson’s dedication and vision led him to become a partner at just 24 years old. Over time, Johnson and his wife Diana assumed full ownership of Mt. Baker Roo ng, steering the company until their retirement in 2022.

Following this, the reins were passed to Mark Kuske, a fellow U.S. Veteran, who now owns and leads Mt. Baker Roo ng into its new chapter.

Initially, Johnson saw the potential for growth beyond new construction and took the initiative to provide various other support services. His vision aimed not only at business growth but also at ensuring steady opportunities for their valued employees. Currently, the company employs around 100 people. is legacy was continued under Kuske’s leadership.

Mount Baker Roo ng utilizes the work of experienced roo ng craftsmen who specialize in roofing and gutter services. e company’s commitment to quality can

be seen in how the shingles are meticulously hand-nailed, which helps ensure durability and longevity. In addition, the company prides itself on being an expert in roo ng materials and accomplishing a wide range of jobs and projects, including gutter installations and maintenance.

e company says that its business is woven into the fabric of the Whatcom County community.

Employees are often shown warmth and appreciation from community members patronizing the roo ng operation. Mount Baker Roo ng has enjoyed a good reputation for quality work done by skilled craftsmen who care about providing quality services.

e organization looks forward to participating in the 2024 Whatcom County Home and Lifestyle Show.

“Participating in the home and lifestyle show presents an exciting opportunity for us to engage directly with our community. We are eager to reconnect with past clients and create new connections with potential customers,” said Macaela LaPorte, a customer experience specialist with the company.

“Our presence at the event signi es our commitment to helping homeowners safeguard their most signi cant investment — their homes. Whether you’re seeking expert roo ng advice or exploring gutter solutions, we invite everyone to visit us and discover how Mt. Baker Roo ng can

Once known as Duronso Brothers Shake Mill, Mt. Baker Roofing has proudly served the Whatcom County community for more than 40 years. (Photos courtesy Mount Baker Roofing)

enhance your home’s protection and longevity,” LaPorte said.

Mount Baker Roo ng continues its tradition of excellence.

With a team of skilled craftsmen and a commitment to quality, the company remains deeply woven into the fabric of the Whatcom

County community. Mount Baker Roo ng invites all to discover how they can enhance the protection and longevity of their homes.

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C25 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

Northwest Style Mediterranean Dinner Party

It’s spring! Time to come out of hibernation and invite friends into our homes for renewed connection. is time of year the sports shing scene starts to liven up and

before you know it, you have a sh to fry.

In this article I promote the idea of throwing a Fisherman’s Mediterranean dinner party, preparing a little by little a week in advance. Mediterranean cuisine is a very healthy and a very re ned choice for hosting guests. It’s versatile for di erent levels of adventure and also a classic doctors favorite due to its heart-healthy qualities.

is event can be a post- shing party where you can easily swap out chicken for sh if your hunters return empty-handed. For guests with complicated diets this is also a great menu choice since aside from the pita bread, this is a gluten-free meal. It’s also low sodium, fully of healthy fat and plant protein.

Although there is an abundance of information available on how to build your spice cabinet for Mediterranean cuisine, here

are some basics as an introduction to this type of dining. Our shopping list has some standards that will support other dips aside from hummus, such as a feta dip, tartar sauce and even components for a sh salad the next day.

is Mediterranean dinner party features a fresh catch of trout with simple sides such as pre-roasted vegetables and rice. Our dinner starts with pita and vegetable plates and a hummus bar. Keep it simple by o ering coffee and biscotti in lieu of a heavy dessert.

7-day prep guide, by day

Here is a parsed guide to take some of the stress out of entertaining your guests at this Spring Mediterranean Dinner Party. I divided preparation tasks into sections over a week’s time that should conserve energy. is will allow you to do a little a day to prepare for the dinner party.

7 days before: Set intentions for your dinner party

When it comes to planning a dinner party, setting a clear intention from the start is crucial. Take a moment to sit with a clear mind, and ask yourself: what is the purpose of this gathering? Keep your answer to no more than a few words. en ask yourself, how can I simplify this party without it being simplistic?

is is also the day to place the orders you need from out of town. Online ordering of the small details for the table scapes, such as mini vases or oral frogs, shouldn’t be left until the last minute because then you will have fewer choices. Expressing your intentions clearly early on will ensure you have all options at your disposal to bring your vision to fruition.

6 days before: Get spring

cleaned up

Preparing your home for a dinner party involves more than just setting the table. It’s about creating a welcoming environment for your guests and feeling comfortable yourself so you can express yourself through your presentation.

Six to seven days before the event, focus on deep cleaning both the interior and exterior common spaces of your house or gathering forum. Whether you tackle the task yourself, enlist the help of a professional cleaner, or delegate to family members, ensure that all areas where guests will be present are spotless.

From sinks to toilets, baseboards to oors, every surface should shine. By completing this project a week in advance, you can avoid last-minute scramble and focus on nal preparations as the dinner date approaches.

If your gathering includes out-

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door spaces like a deck, don’t forget to tidy up those areas as well. is is the time to take care of any heavy lifting, such as arranging extra chairs and extending the table.

5 days before: Get artsy and splurge is is your inspirational shopping day. To set the tone for your dinner party and infuse it with your unique style, take a shopping trip to connect with your intuition and be guided by colors and objects that speak to you. Take your time and explore di erent options that resonate with your mood and vision for the gathering, such as magazines, items on Pinterest, or objects that have drawn you in. Contemplate your own vibe for your event.

If you feel drawn to visit a fabric store and have minimal crafting experience, you can create no-sew napkins and tablecloth. While sewing won’t be necessary, plan to cut, wash, dry, and iron the fabrics on this day to prepare them for the event. Napkin fabric should be at least 50% natural ber for best usability. However, your tablecloth or placemats can be any fabric you like, even sequin.

In addition to fabric shopping, tick

a few extra non-grocery articles o of your shopping list — like beverages. What spirits, cocktails, and main beverages (wine, beer, cider) will you offer? Which non-alcoholic and gluten free drinks will also be available?

On this day consider creating small ower arrangements for the table, interspersed about every two guests. Mini vases are perfect for conversation, and they can make a little go a long way with your oral purchases.

You must ensure to set aside time to purchase these types of nongrocery items (fabrics, drinks, table scape) on this day to preserve your unique vision for your party.

4 days before: Go shopping

• Dried garbanzo beans, 1/2 - 1 cup per person for hummus bar

• Rice 1/2 cup (dry) per person (1 bag)

• Sun dried tomatoes (for blending)

• Can of artichoke hearts (some for blending, some for dipping)

• Can of black or green olives

• Small jar of capers for sh and for garnish

• Sa ron owers for sh (optional)

• Olive oil for dressing

• High heat oil for frying sh (e.g. grapeseed oil)

• Mayo & relish for tartar sauce

• Tahini (sesame seed spread) for hummus

• Greek yogurt (16-ounce tub)

• Feta cheese, 1 or 2 blocks for (whipped feta dip)

• Pita bread, 3 pieces per person for dipping, wrapping

Fresh Vegetables (cook’s choice

— some for cutting raw and some for roasting)

• Bell peppers for dipping and roasting

• Endive for dipping

• Carrots for dipping and roasting

• Zucchini for roasting

• Radishes for dipping

• Spinach for roasting and garnishing

• Cherry tomatoes and or vine tomatoes for dipping roasting and garnishing

• Celery for dipping

• Cucumber for dipping

• Red onion for roasting

• Lemon or lime

Continued on next page

C27 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

• Fresh garlic cloves (1 head of garlic)

• Fresh parsley

• Fresh basil

• Fresh tulips for your table scape

Don’t forget the back-up main course: roasted chicken or fresh chicken breast packet

3 days before: Party and evening food prep

When you return from your shop, wash and prep your vegetables for roasting and for dipping. Separate them into two di erent containers.

e roasting vegetables should be dressed with salt, oregano and a little olive oil.

You can keep them in a plastic storage bag until you are ready to place them on the baking tray. Similarly the raw veg should be washed, dried and cut. Prep them for when they are to be placed on the hummus bar the day of the party. You can also prep the pita bread by cutting it into triangles for dipping and placing in a storage bag. is is also the time to rinse and soak the garbanzo beans overnight. You can do this in the same container in which you intend to cook them.

2 days before: Batch cooking

Prepare the roasted vegetables and simmer garbanzo beans for your hummus bar. Lay your vegetables out on a baking sheet and roast them for about 45-60 minutes at 250 degrees (F) for a rm texture.

Boil the garbanzo beans for about 6090 minutes. is will give you a soft and creamy texture for the dip. Drain and cool the beans on a baking sheet, then chill in the fridge along with the roasted vegetables once they reach room temperature.

You can always shorten the time of the hummus preparation by purchasing precooked canned garbanzo beans, but if possible try to simmer them for at least 20 minutes (while your veggies are roasting) for a much creamier dip texture.

1 day before: Get blending and get set

Take the garbanzo beans out of the fridge and portion them out for the di erent types of hummus you’d like to present. Get out the food processor, your ingredients, blend and create.

Here is a basic recipe for a hummus dip (about 2 cups volume for 4 people).

• 1/2 cup garbanzo beans per person

• tahini 1 tsp

• lemon juice 2 tbsp

• 2 tbsp olive oil

• salt and pepper

• parsley

You can create variations by adding your own ingredients to this list, such as artichokes, sun dried tomatoes, roasted bell peppers, or crushed garlic cloves. is is also the time to set your table. Make sure your table is fully set and all items are clean and free of smudges, water droplets, or other blemishes.

Your guests should each have a designated space (with a personalized name card) at the table with everything placed that they will need to enjoy the evening.

e day of your party: Set the rice, cut the owers, chill the beverages

Get out your rice cooker, rinse your rice and put 1/2 dry cup of rice per guest in the cooker. While your rice is cooking, there is plenty of time for one last trip out to get your fresh owers.

When your guests arrive and or your sher-persons return with their catch (or not. . . ), you have hummus, pre-roasted vegetables to lay around your sh, a bed of rice and fresh vegetables for dipping.

Pan fried or baked trout with sa ron ower and vegetables

Clean your trout and place let skin side up on lined baking tray or skillet. e skin side up will keep the moisture inside the meat until it is ready to peel o easily.

Add your fat of choice, such as butter or avocado oil, then surround the lets with your pre-roasted vegetables. If pan frying, just start your precooked vegetables in the pan before your lets. If stovetop, cover your stovetop pan.

Create a bed of rice under your seasoned raw let and bake at 350 degrees (F) for 15 minutes, or until the skin peels away from the meat. It is always better to remove sh from heat a little earlier than apparent and let stand covered where it will continue cooking.

If pan frying, similarly serve on top of rice. To dress your sh, be creative and use your ingredients list: you can add capers, sliced lemon, even utilize your food processor again and blend some olive oil, lemon and other spice of choice.

Adding fresh sa ron owers is optional, though sa ron will add even more botanical beauty to your dish.

I hope this guide will take some of the pressure out of your dinner party by giving you some ideas for preparing ahead of time. It’s healthy and important to take care of ourselves by doing as much as we can ahead of time so that we can fully participate in the gatherings we create.

-- Rachael J. Maddalena is an art, fashion and wellness writer who lives in Lynden
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Lorraine’s Window Coverings is 29 years strong

Lorraine Vinish started selling window coverings from her home in 1995. She said prior to starting her own business, Lorraine’s Window Coverings that she had been working in an o ce setting and after having a new baby decided she did not want to go back, thus Lorraine’s Window Coverings was born and she has been serving Whatcom County ever since.

“I’ve always loved interior decorating and interior design,” Vinish said. “It’s challenging. It’s not just putting a blind in a window. It’s a lot more than that.”

Over the years she has grown larger, opening a storefront in 2017 and growing to ve employees.

After nearly 30 years in business Vinish said she has seen more than a handful of repeat customers. People enjoyed their experiences working with her and came back when it was time to update the house or out t a new home.

“It’s been really fun,” she said. “I love having repeat customers come in.”

is year she is hoping show attendees leave her booth knowing about the new technology that is coming to the industry.

Continued on page 38


For nearly 30 years Lorraine’s Window Coverings has been a welcome sight at the Whatcom Home and Lifestyle Show and 2024 is no exception.


C29 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
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Love blooms, however weeds are another matter

A few lessons along the way to happy gardening

My family inherited my mother’s family home when I was in grade school. e property contained a one-acre front yard, trees in the back, an orchard and plenty of room to play outside.

I took for granted in those early years that we had an established garden put in place by my grandparents that provided owers, fruit and nuts, with room to occasionally experiment with owers.

My early attempt at planting an American ag in owers as a 10-year-old wasn’t quite successful as I didn’t understand prepping the site and eradicating weeds.

Soon after, I basically gave up and just maintained what was there. ere was

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a lot in that yard. Mowing alone took up hours. A move to a then-new home required learning something about gardening. We only had a few blueberry bushes and nothing else. My rst attempt was based on color — and no thought given to height.

My selections were all short. It would have been ideal for leprechauns. I joined a few garden clubs to get a better understanding, went on garden tours to see what others had done for inspiration, and proceeded to buy rst structural shrubs and trees, some perennials, and annuals spaced out by paychecks.

My friends Stephanie Feeney had moved from Alaska to Bellingham and produced a highly-regarded garden directory. Mom and I went along with her for scouting trips to garden nurseries, nearby lunch spots, and to see other botanical spots.

Over time, cold weather and wind took over some of the trees from my small yard. Other things, such as a hedge, became too tall and needed to be taken out. Garden rooms, replete with a secret garden, were created and then disappeared with the hedge. Some selections, which ourished, were deemed to be invasive. Not good. is week another tree was taken. I now have a new garden spot to recreate.

A few gardening tips:

• Take advantage of local high school and garden club spring plant sales to get good plant material at good prices and support kids.

• Check out the Master Gardener classes. ey require a long commitment but instill good knowledge and the ability to better the community.

• Start a Pinterest board to get ideas before you spend money

• Use winter months to plan and to start seeds in pots or greenhouses

• Pay attention to what needs light and what wants shade

• Have fun and experiment take pots, put in supports, and grow vertically. Patios and small spaces can accomplish more.

• ink of what grows seasonally and try to have something for each season. Tulips are enjoyable in spring; dahlias in late summer and early fall. Nearby Skagit County has numerous farms supplying healthy bulbs.

• Listen to podcasts or audiobooks while weeding. e time goes by so much faster.

• Invite friends over for garden parties mid-summer. Serve up lemonade and cookies. Enjoy more than weeding in that space.

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How to finance your home improvement projects

Saving up for a speci c project and using those funds is the ideal way to pay for a home upgrade.

However, that isn’t always possible, and you may need to apply for nancing instead. In this article, we’ll explore several options for nancing home improvement projects.

Credit cards

Credit cards can be a convenient option fornancing smaller home improvement projects or purchasing appliances. Many credit cards o er 0% APR Annual Percentage Rate periods, allowing you to make purchases without accruing interest for a speci c period.

Additionally, some credit cards o er rewards programs, allowing you to earn cashback or points on your home improvement purchases.

Pros: Welcome bonuses and rewards programs like cash back or points; 0% APR cards allow you to not pay interest if you pay back the balance within the introductory time period.

Flexibility to spend funds up to your limit as you need it.

Cons: Interest rates are high if you do not pay o your monthly balance; Easy to overspend; An-

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nual fees are common; Not the best option for large projects.

Home equity line of credit (HELOC)

A HELOC allows homeowners to borrow against the equity of their home.

Unlike traditional loans, a HELOC allows you to access funds as needed, pay interest only on what’s borrowed, and repay the balance over time.

is makes it an ideal option for nancing ongoing or unforeseen home improvement projects like a new HVAC or kitchen remodel. HELOCs typically o er lower interest rates than credit cards, making them a cost-e ective, exible, and secure nancial solution.

Pros: May have lower interest rates than other nancing options, during the draw period, you may only be required to pay the interest on the amount borrowed; Flexible repayment options with terms from 1-20 years; Pay only on the amount you use, not the total equity available.

Cons: Requires prudency to ensure measured borrowing to keep balances in check; Secured to your home so there is an increased risk if the loan goes into default.

Home Equity Loan

Similar to a HELOC, a home equity loan allows homeowners to borrow against the

equity of their home. However, unlike a HELOC, a home equity loan provides a lump sum payment with a xed interest rate and predetermined repayment term. is makes it a suitable option for those who want to know exactly what your monthly payment will be and when you can expect to pay your loan o .

Pros: Fixed interest rates ensure your monthly payments won’t change; Payments are for a set period of time; Lump sum payment can be bene cial for large, one-time expenses.

Cons: If your property value declines, it could impact your ability to re nance in the short term; You risk losing your home if you default on your loan; May come with closing costs, which can add to the overall cost of borrowing; Lack of exibility, lump sum payments require full payment from inception vs. a HELOC that lets you borrow as needed from your available line.

Cash-Out Re nance

Cash-out re nancing involves re nancing your existing mortgage and borrowing more than you currently owe on your home. e di erence between the new and existing mortgage balance is paid out to you in cash, which can be used to fund home improvement projects. is option typically also allows you to

secure a lower interest rate than your current mortgage.

Pros: May be able to borrow new funds while lowering your monthly mortgage payment by re nancing; May secure a lower interest rate than what you’re currently paying on your mortgage; Repayment period is long so you can stretch your payments out.

Cons: You might pay o your current mortgage at a higher rate than your original plan; is loan type comes with closing costs; You risk losing your home if you default on your loan.

Personal Loan

Personal loans are unsecured loans that can be used for various purposes, including home improvement projects.

Unlike home equity loans, personal loans do not require collateral, making them accessible to a broader range of borrowers. ey typically o er a xed interest rate and xed monthly payments, providing predictability and stability for your budget.

Pros: No equity is required; Fixed interest rates allow for a more predictable monthly payment; Can be used for various projects, big or small, without any restrictions.

Cons: Generally have a higher interest rate than HELOCs or Home Equity Loans;

Typically have lower loan limits which may not cover the full cost of your projects; Often comes with shorter repayment terms, which can result in higher monthly payments.


Financing a home project takes a lot of planning. Before selecting a nancing option for your home improvement projects, assessing your nancial situation and considering factors such as interest rates, repayment terms, and potential impact on your home equity is essential.

Consulting with a nancial institute like WECU can help you evaluate your options, crunch numbers, and make informed decisions that align with your nancial goals.

At WECU, we understand the importance of nding the right nancial solutions for you.

Our team of experienced loan o cers is here to guide you through the process and help you nd the nancing option that best suits your needs.

Visit wecu.com or contact 360-676-1168 to learn more about our nancing options and turn your home improvement dreams into reality.


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How a garden looks is meant to change

Jack and Sue Martin, pictured, purchased their almost new atthe-time home more than 50 years ago when they were newlyweds. On a private road blocks from the Whatcom County Public works building, it has gone through many changes over those decades, both with the home and with the garden. Spring has the lush greens and the beginning of the blooming perennials, which will be more abundant in a few months in the summer. With a visit to the Ferndale Farmers Market, Sue met a craftsman working in metal. He came to visit, measured and produced a large frog screen and several gates. Black-eyed Susans will eventually grow up along it. Steps take visitors up to a corner bench nearby. A frog footstool is in front of it. (Elisa

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Jack and Sue Martin's garden has gone through many changes since they bought their home five decades ago

The house and its garden are down a private road within view of the Whatcom County Annex at Smith and Northwest. Over the years, the Annex has housed the county’s poor farm, the former Norbell nursing home, and for decades has o ced the Engineering and Planning divisions.

Stepping back in time to the 1960s, Sue had married Jack Martin. Sue was 19 and he was several years older. Within months they bought their rst home o of Smith Road, which then was three years old. It was a two-bedroom home with a carport.

Since then they enlarged the property to almost three-quarters of an acre, increased the house size, raised their three children, and took on a shop/he-shed for Jack that had previously been owned by the neighbors.

While Jack’s mom Frieda was known for gardening and Sue’s sister Ann Holland is part of the Birchwood Garden Club, Jack and Sue have simply enjoyed doing it, Sue said.

Fifty-eight years have gone by. e house is still there. e Martins are still married and retired from their careers. e garden has grown and changed — multiple times. At the start, trees and shrubs were the established route to landscaping, Jack said. ey started with that, eventually took them out, and started to put in beds framed with fences. An attempt at vegetable gardening was not the most successful, Sue said she pre-

fers growing owers and buying vegetables. e couple would go on vacation when things would need to be harvested.

“Don’t be afraid to change things out,” Sue said, before pointing to change after change. Heavy duty weeding is also a given, especially at the start of the growing season. Over the years, Birchwood Garden Club and the Whatcom Horticultural Society’s members have visited.

Early on, the two of them would spend all day on weekends working hard, they said. e fruit of their labor is evident stepping through the French doors of a former bedroom-turned–study into the full glory of a 250-gallon pond framed by a tree, much garden art, and multiple seating areas throughout the space structured by rooms. ey bought several durable Adirondack chairs and placed them in circles in multiple areas. Vines frame another quaint garden shed.

Spring has the lush greens and the beginning of the blooming perennials, which will be more abundant in a few months in the summer. With a visit to the Ferndale Farmers Market, Sue met a craftsman working in metal. He came to visit, measured and produced a large frog screen and several gates. Black-eyed Susans will eventually grow up along it. Steps take visitors up to a corner bench nearby. A frog footstool is in front of it.

e pond has undergone updates, changes of pumps, and a small creek addition. Sue said they found pumps at Hardware Sales and preformed pond xtures at Home Depot.

e west side yard, sunny and fenced in, will be full of dahlias. e east side has

Jack and Sue Martin's garden has gone through many changes since they bought their home five decades ago. (Elisa Claassen for the Tribune)

beautiful maples and more seating areas. One of the maples near the front by the driveway is a coral bark variety, picking up on the mauves within the spring leaves.

After Jack retired from Georgia Paci c in 2008, he was able to take home items no longer needed to be used in their garden including a large rhododendron and an older wheelbarrow now full of plants. Sue, who initially stayed home with their children, eventually worked for 33 years


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Vegetable starts, hanging baskets, vegetables and blueberries available in season. (Blueberries avail. Aug. 1st)

with children in the life skills program.

Jack’s shed, 24 feet wide by 36 feet long, at the edge of the property, contains an assortment of signs, a foosball play area, and room for him to work on projects and for them to host holidays for the family.

A young Labradoodle is eager to get attention and is jumping around. At least a day or two a week grandchildren bring great-grandchildren to have time with Jack and Sue and to play in the garden.

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Sumas couple builds shipping container home

In mid-January, Bailey and Connor Passe moved into their 960-square-foot home in Sumas, a home they had built from storage containers. A construction worker, Connor said that he and his wife Bailey “wanted to build a unique home together.” (Bill Helm/Lynden Tribune)

Spring Home & Garden C36 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

Bailey, Connor Passe learned ‘lots of patience’ having unique home built

In 1935, a North Carolina man named Malcolm McLean founded McLean Trucking Co. with his brother and sister.

Two decades later, 1956 to be exact, McLean founded the shipping container.

According to a February 2020 story by InBox Projects, inboxprojects.com, McLean came up with the idea in 1952 as an “opportunity to cut costs and speed up the movement of goods.”

“Realizing a standard size box could be loaded o a truck onto a ship and visa-versa much faster, he set about his plans,” according to the story.

McLean’s shipping container idea was patented in 1956.

Safe to say the man had no

idea that people would one day make homes from these containers.

From container homes to mobile container homes, luxury shipping container homes to a prefab container house space capsule home, and even a shipping container home with solar panels, a quick Google search on container homes is really not-so quick if you plan to read each and every entry.

For Bailey and Connor Passe, a trip to Texas inspired the Sumas couple to downsize their home.

“When we saw the ideas in Houston, it came from an outdoor food court made out of containers,” he said.

In mid-January, Bailey and Connor turned key on their 960-square-foot container home on Gar eld Street. A construction worker, Connor

said that he and his wife Bailey “wanted to build a unique home together.”

“We learned lots of patience,” Bailey said about the start-tonish build of their home.

"With a 10-month build, this project “took longer than anticipated but we learned how to roll with the punches.”

A bank teller, Bailey has lived in Whatcom County since 2009. Connor has lived in Sumas his whole life.

“My parents and brothers live in Sumas as well as my extended family,” he said.

On the inside of their home, you’d never know the exterior is made of steel.

“ is a modern home on the inside,” Connor said of the family’s two-bedroom, two-bath dwelling with eight-foot ceilings.

“Everything inside is just like

a normal home," he said. "However, the exterior has an industrial look as it was built with three shipping containers.”

Beneath the home is a 1,200-square-foot foundation which is used as a garage, storage and a hangout spot, Connor said.

“Our garage is attached by 40-foot beams that are welded into the foundation,” he said.

ey welded the beams to support the boxes.”

e way it lays out, the home sets on the beams 10 feet above the foundation.

Although they didn’t build a container home because of the November 2021 ood, Connor said “we did however take note of these oods” when they had the home built 10 feet above the foundation.

is is Bailey’s and Connor’s second home together, their

rst was “much bigger (with) more up keep,” Bailey said.

“Our current house has been great for two people,” she said.

Although Connor said he could have built their home, he didn’t do it himself.

“ ere were lots of di erent obstacles because it is not your typical stick frame home,” Bailey said. “Everything was put together as we went further into the building process.”

What kind of advice would Bailey and Connor give someone who is considering a container home for themselves?

“Be prepared for the different challenges during the building process,” Connor said. “It was not the easiest project. But if we were to do it again, we know what to expect.”


C37 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
Roads • Underground Utilities • Site Prep • Septic Installation Derek DeKoster Cell: 360-815-7129 • Lynden, WA 98264 Derek@DeKosterExcavating.com • www.DeKosterExcavating.com Congratulations on your new home! ank you for letting us do your dirt work. Call for a FREE ONSITE OR VIRTUAL ESTIMATE today Contractor License #: JOOSTRI971MC (360) 815-7663 www.joostensroofing.com Proud to be part of your project! Congratulations on your beautiful new home! We enjoyed working with you! Northwest Electric, Inc. 2059 Main St. Suite A, Lynden www.northwestelectricwa.com 360-354-7021 Lic. #NORTHEIO44N8
The Passe Home

Continued from page 29

“We’re going to see a lot of changes in the industry,” Vinish said. “ at’s probably what people will walk away with.”

e window covering industry is becoming more motorized and people are able to adjust their blinds from their phone.

“New products that are out are very safety conscious,” she said of the newer technology.

She said she has seen an increase in people purchasing smart shades for their home. Top-down, bottom-up blinds have also become rather popular due to being able to adjust them up like normal blinds, or move the blinds down from the top to allow sunlight in.

“Functionality is really important,” Vinish said.

While she educates her customers and those who stop at her booth, she said she is always looking to educate herself in the world of window coverings.

She said she travels all over to attend seminars regarding window coverings, upcoming trends and how to better her business.

“Always educating ourselves is really important,” Vinish said. “ ere’s lots to learn.”

In May Vinish is going to a class on draperies. She makes sure her sta is also educated, she said, especially those who install the product because getting the window coverings up properly is just as important as picking out the right ones.

“ e last part of the project is very important,” she said.

Customers are able to come into her store and see smart blinds and other window coverings in action to nd the window coverings they prefer.

en they can book a home consultation to make sure the blinds from the store look just as good as envisioned in the home.

Inspiration can also be found on her website where popular choices can be ltered by room or window type.

Recent projects and installations can also be seen on her website and social media.

“ ere’s so many choices,” she said. “We work with our customers and what works best for them.”

e store is located at 410 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 101. Lorraine’s Window Coverings can also be reached at 360-7388175 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays by appointments only.

More information can be found at lorraineswindowcoverings.com.

Spring Home & Garden C38 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record
Lorraine’s Window Coverings is at 410 W. Bakerview Road, Suite 101. Lorraine’s Window Coverings can also be reached at 360-7388175 Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays by appointments only. (Photo courtesy Lorraine's Window Coverings)
C39 Spring Home & Garden Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

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Receive up to a $3000 rebate with purchase of qualifying Café Appliances. www.dewaardandbode.com | 360.733.5900 | We service what we sell!

Spring Home & Garden C40 Lynden Tribune|Wednesday, April 24, 2024 | Ferndale Record

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