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Friday, September 9, 2011

F ALL H OME I MPROVEMENT Easy and Economical Solutions for Those Postponed Remodeling Plans by Gale Steves If you cannot wait any longer to make some much needed changes in your home, you are not alone. Americans are once again getting ready to begin the home improvement process. This pent-up energy often begins in the kitchen, a room

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that gets a lot of wear and tear but also seems to go out of fashion more quickly these days. This time around, you will be more cautious like many consumers are with their choices and costs ... and yet you want to make observable changes. The most obvious change is

the sophisticated dramatic materials that are part of today’s kitchen: stainless steel, chrome, copper, and even glass. Wilsonart patterns benefit from AEON Enhanced Performance technology. AEON brings four times the scuff and scratch-resistance of conventional laminate, as

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installing a new countertop. Remember that countertops represent 30 percent of the color in any kitchen. Create new excitement by simply replacing your tired, scratched or stained counter surface with one made from the latest generation of premium laminate. The latest additions to the popular Wilsonart(R)HD(R) High Definition(R) design series reflect new interest in natural, classic and tumbled marble, limestone and travertine. The good news is this fashionable look is available without the high cost of stone or the constant maintenance those stones require. These lighter, less patterned laminate designs are perfect for today’s hectic lifestyle. In fact, the new costefficient countertop can be installed within a few hours and without disrupting family life. They also give an existing kitchen the promise of a whole new look that’s universally appealing. That equals a big change for small change. All of these new designs are available in a new surface effect of a lower matte-gloss sheen that seems almost glazed. The “Glaze” texture is actually a layering of matte features over a glaze of semi-gloss. This creates a timeworn result that is less reflective and more restrained. It’s a perfect balance for

well as five times the wear resistance to the surface. Unlike granite, the surfaces of these new laminates are non-porous and never need to be sealed. Here are some other remodeling ideas that will have high impact without high expense: • Replace your old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model. Look in the big box stores for floor models or even those with a little dent on the side, which will never be seen. • Refresh your cabinets with a coat of paint, and change all the cabinet hardware in the process. This makes everything look new. • Swap out your old ceiling light fixture and install under cabinet lighting as well. A little light can make a dramatic difference. • Change your sink or sinks. Consider a new Wilsonart(R)HD(R) sink when adding a laminate countertop. These sinks were designed to be mounted to a laminate surface. Still puzzled by the process or need more help choosing the right color or pattern for your countertop? Visit for many good answers. Gale Steves is a frequent contributor to home design publications.


Friday, September 9, 2011




NAUGATUCK WINDOW & GLASS “Serving the Naugatuck Valley Since 1950”

Replace Yo ur Win NOW For a dows Warmer Win ter! • Vinyl Replacement Windows • All Welded Construction - Main Frame & Sash • Double Hung, Casement, Bay or Bow, Patio Door & Sliding Windows • Complete Installation Including All Caulking & Insulation As Well As Exterior Aluminum Trim As Required Also Offering... Storm Windows & Doors • Storm Window & Screen Repairs • Tub & Shower Glass Enclosures • Mirrors – Any Size, Shape & Design • Glass Tops ~ For Furniture, Desks, Tables • Commercial Storefront Doors, Windows – Repair or Replacement

Embracing Color on Your Home The growing trend of homeowners staying in their existing houses longer due to economic challenges has had a colorful effect on homes. People are taking the opportunity to personalize

test trends for exterior enhancements is to select vinyl windows with exterior color frames that complement the overall look of the home. She cites the Decorum by Simonton product line as

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their homes more with colorful exterior accents and they’re not stopping with just a splash of paint.

one that offers everything consumers are looking for – color, energy efficiency, style and low maintenance.

According to national color expert Kate Smith, homeowners are taking steps to express their personalities by adding color to everything from their roofs to their entry doors to their window frames.

“With their minds on sustainability and their eye on good design, many homeowners are investing in color as a way to express themselves and reinvent their current homes,” says Smith. “Simonton offers exterior window frame colors of brick red, pine green, bronze, driftwood and chocolate that perfectly match up with the earthy colors homeowners gravitate to for their home exteriors. These same colors can be drawn out further on trim elements of the home along with being component colors of the roof and entry door.”

“Today’s homeowners are looking beyond variations of whites and beiges to set off the key accent points of their homes, such as louvers, trim and window frames,” says Smith, president of Sensational Colors. “With the realization that they’re going to be staying in their current houses longer comes the commitment by people to truly personalize their homes. This has resulted in eye-catching neighborhoods. “As homeowners replace major components of their homes they place greater value on finding products with a long life span, lower maintenance and style. They are seeking out both a noticeable change and an improvement from existing products on the home. The ability to add a creative element, personal touch or signature color tends to ‘bond’ homeowners even more closely with their living spaces.” According to Smith, one of the hot-

Along with offering colorful exteriors on their replacement window frame exteriors, Simonton also offers the same colors on new construction windows so homeowners can build with color confidence right from the start. “A window is like a two-sided canvas,” says Smith. “The colors on the frame exteriors enhance the home’s overall appearance from the street. And then when you get inside and select stylish woodgrain frame interiors and premium hardware finishes, you’re adding beauty to the room settings. That’s a ‘win-win’ experience for any homeowner.”

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