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HOME IMPROVEMENT

HOME OWNER’S

46

MANUAL Break Out of Your Color Comfort Zone At first thought, winter might not conjure up words like spicy, bold or sunny. It should, though, at least when it comes to the inside of your home. While it might be gray and dreary outside, infusing color into interior decor is one of the quickest ways to create a cozy, inviting living area. And winter is the ideal time to do it. Adding a shot of color to a space can be done quickly, but it can sometimes be confusing. In fact, mastering the ins and outs of decorating with color can be downright daunting. “Although people love the idea of incorporating color into their homes, mixing and matching colors, patterns and textures can be an intimidating and overwhelming process,” says Donna Schroeder, color marketing and design manager for Martin-Senour Paints. “Whether it’s wall paint, new furniture or accessories, consumers might not have the confidence to step outside of their ‘color comfort zone’ and experiment with shades they might not normally gravitate toward.” Having a basic understanding of color and knowing what emotions different colors can evoke also helps. So, if you’re thinking about warming up your home this winter and are contemplating using a paint color that you’ve always wanted to try, but weren’t sure how or where to use it, these tips can help steer you in the right direction: Red : As the strongest color in the spectrum, red has the greatest emotional impact. Depending on the hue and shade, red resonates with passion, romance, energy and courage. In recent years, it’s become a popular color choice for dining ISLAND REVIEW/January 2010


Yellow: There is no better color to radiate warmth in your home than yellow, but don’t underestimate the intensity of this color. Bright, strong yellows on walls are almost always best saved for an area like the kitchen because they are said to increase attentiveness and have “wake up” qualities. Creamier yellows - think the paleness of fresh butter - are popular in living rooms and can even translate well into bedrooms when joined with a classic red or blue. Purple: Purples have a powerful connection with our spiritual and introspective side. Because purple has varying degrees of red and blue in it, it’s easily paired with many complementary colors such as yellow, orange and softer greens. When slightly redder, purple can be vivacious and exciting; when slightly bluer it can be restful. If you’re using purple for a room, decide whether the room is designed to

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Orange: Orange has evolved throughout the years; think terracotta and copper tones. It enlivens any space and can easily take center stage as a primary wall color, or as an accent color to give a refreshed decor a bit of much-needed punch. When paired with blues or purples, a spicier orange can be very powerful. For a more subdued effect, combine it with warmer colors like reds and deep, welcoming greens.

entice drama, as with an eggplant-hued purple, or cast an air of relaxation and reflection, as found in a hydrangea shade. Red, orange, yellow or purple, no matter what color you decide to use to help shut out those dark, chilly winter days, keep in mind that all colors can evoke powerful effects in any room. Understanding the basic building blocks of color can help you harness that power and create the stunning color schemes you’ve always wanted. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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room walls, but the drama of red is also ideal for entryways, living rooms and even bathrooms. The color combination of red with neutrals, such as tans and browns, results in warmth that is certain to carry you through those cold months.

M A N UA L

Roo m Mak eov ers Tha t Won ’t Bre ak the Bud get

SO YOU HAVE a room that Owner’s Manual and you’llneeds updating, but you don’t have a lot of time or money? Not a problem. soon find plenty of quick-fix Just turn ideas that will spruce up a room in no time – without to the Island Review’s Home Bathroom emptying your wallet. vIf you like old fashioned tin paint it any color you want. ceilings, try ceiling tile paintable wallpaper. It's vFor artwork, frame color Put it up under a chair rail to make a unique textured wallpaper that looks like embossed white plaster, and you can wainscoting in a weekend. vA few fresh hand towels copies of prints out of books, magazines or catalogs. and a new toilet seat will freshen things up, as well. If it’s a kids’ bathroom, frame some of their art. Bedroom

vA new duvet cover or comforter and matching shams will instantly change bang for your buck. the look of your bedroom. vPaint an accent wall to Reversible covers give you bring a new color into the even more design are a strong color, pick room. If your other walls out a neutral tone. are neutral, go with a bolder vFabric remnants are an color on the accent wall. inexpensive and easy way If the other walls of the regular fabric price, to dress up your room. Recover pillows or add they’re a bargain. a colorful band to your drapes. At about one-third Living Room vOne of the easiest – and cheapest – ways to change And don’t be afraid to poach up a items from other rooms room is to rearrange the furniture. Take everything vDon’t forget the floors. – the mirror in the hall out and start over with If you have wood floors, just might a clean slate. look perfect behind the sofa put the shine back into for a splash of color and now. them with wood cleaner. vGo green – with plants. to help define an area. If you have carpet, add a colorful area rug on top Whether it’s a single palm of varying heights, fullness leaf in a vase or a pretty silk tree, greenery adds and color together. a lot to a room. For the best effect, group plants Kitchen vReplace cabinet hardware affordable change that canwith decorative pulls and handles. It’s an easy way to add personality make a difference. to ordinary cabinetry. New vDress up your windows with a new valance. A fresh switch plates are another If the curtains are print, color will perk things up in no time. If you have vAdd a new throw rug compliment them with a solid valance. solid curtains or sheers, and a few fresh kitchen try a patterned valance. towels and you’ve got a Some creative thinking brand and a little elbow grease is all it takes to make a room new look for next to nothing. feel like new.

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ISLAND REVIEW/Decem ber 2009

Courtesy of Family Features

NCCOAST.COM

ISLAND REVIEW/January 2010

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

Don’t Let Your House Take a Beating This Winter

48

No matter what part of the country you live in, the winter months can be downright abusive on your home. From frozen Minnesotans dropping heaps of water-logged clothing on the floor after digging out of five feet of snow, to tanned Floridians grinding gritty sand into their carpeting, every home takes a beating in the winter. As harsh as we can be on our most expensive investment, a variety of easy and inexpensive precautions can greatly diminish the amount of winter wear and tear imposed on our homes. Clean Carpets Tile, laminate and wood flooring are incredibly easy to clean because they are not extremely porous. Carpet, on the other hand, is designed to be lush, meaning there are ample nooks, crannies and spaces for dirt and grime to hide. Investing in a stain-resistant carpet cleaner that repels such substances from entering your carpet will maintain your carpet’s vitality and cleanliness. Keeping do-it-yourself spot carpet cleaners on hand when minor spills occur is essential when entertaining. Just a few sprays and a little elbow grease will diminish stains and not put a damper on the party. Slip and Slide Even though your house may have tile, laminate or wood floors, tracking outdoor substances such as muddy water or slush on them can add wear and tear, especially during the holiday season. And constantly cleaning up after guests’ muddy footprints can be exhausting. Simple carpet runners can help prevent these unsightly and potentially dangerous issues. Many retail stores sell solid-colored and seasonally styled carpet runners that have a non-skid backing and are machine washable. Kitchen Consideration You might not think of it at first, but kitchens take quite a beating during the winter months. As the central point of congregation for holiday parties, dinners and simple evenings at home, kitchens see quite a bit of traffic during the winter. Because of the increased use, kitchen cabinets endure a lot more bumps but cabinet finishes can be spared with a few easy solutions. First, if your cabinets are not painted, apply a varnish that will act as a barrier against scuffing. If they are painted, reapply the color in a paint that is meant to withstand heavy traffic. A quality Purdy brush is critical to a flawless finish. These simple tips will protect some of your home’s most frequently damaged areas, and help ensure a lasting durability. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

Winter ’s Hottest ‘In’ Activity: Bird Feeding

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Bird feeding is in. More than 65 million Americans are doing it, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Bird feeding draws plenty of devotees and it’s easy to see why. Attracting birds to your backyard is a relatively low-cost way to relax, enjoy nature and beautify your winter surroundings. And it can be done by people of virtually all ages and levels of physical ability. The majority of North American birds suffer from loss of habitat. Investment in avian habitat will return valuable dividends for birds and tons of backyard enjoyment for us. Now, as a new season is just beginning, it’s a perfect time to get started. To attract the widest variety of birds, landscape your property with plants that offer birds cover and natural foods and always provide a source of water. Need for Feeders When the ground is covered with snow and ice, it’s hard to resist just tossing seed out the door. But it’s healthier for the birds to get their “hand-outs” at a feeding station, off the ground. Food that sits on the ground for even a short time is exposed to potential contamination by dampness, mold, bacteria, animal droppings, lawn fertilizers and pesticides. There are a multitude of feeders out there to choose from. Check out websites like BirdWatcherSupply.com for some good choices. Winter Feed and Seed: Food for Fat Winter weather is hard on birds. Their calorie requirements increase, food becomes hard to find, snow covers up seeds, and ice storms seal away the tree buds and wild fruits. Tiny birds must eat a third to three quarters of their weight each day. When the temperature dips below zero, easy meals at a feeder can mean the difference between life and death. Birds love suet. It’s the solid fat rendered from beef, venison, or vegetables that provides concentrated energy to help birds make it through freezing winter days and nights. Birds, like humans, do have food preferences. Feed them what they like and they’ll keep coming back for more. Check out sites like coleswildbird.com for more information. Courtesy of ARAcontent Landscaping, Fences, Porch Rails, Pergolas, Arbors, Enclosures, Cutout Designs, Outdoor Lighting, Irrigation and Lawn Maintenance.

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HOME IMPROVEMENT

Designs for a New Decade

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During unsettling economic times, people tend to get “back to basics” by cocooning more with their families, avoiding high-ticket expenditures and looking for ways to repurpose and re-use existing items. Next year’s home decorating trends clearly reflect this comfortfocused and cost-conscious mentality by emphasizing soothing color palettes, natural materials, environmentally friendly products, and “old made new again” furnishings, wall murals and textiles. Leading trend experts and interior designers across the country offer these top home decor trends for 2010: Color Our World Ask almost any designer, and you’ll hear that gray is the “new brown.” According to Kenneth Ludwig of Kenneth Ludwig Home Furnishings, Ltd., gray mixes well with brown, taupe, light lilac, light green and yellow, and many wood furnishes now have a gray wash or gray undertone added to them. He also predicts the resilience of such strong hues as bright orange, bright green and magenta. Designer Andrea Vollf sees color being used to bring comfort, harmony and serenity home. She envisions silver gray, lilac, purples and off-white being especially popular in 2010. Inspired by the fashion industry, Jessica Henn of Crusiet Corporation also notes endless possibilities of metallic bronze, gold and silver accented with berry rich colors like plum and red-based purples for interior designs. Let There Be Light For the past few years, consumers have opted for ultra energy-efficient LED lighting as a way to save money on energy-related costs and make their homes more environmentally friendly. LED lighting will continue to build in momentum, according to Jeff Dross, senior product manager of Kichler Lighting, whose LED under-cabinet fixtures and LED rail lights will take “being green” to a higher, more stylish level. Add “Wow” to Walls Due to their versatility and affordability, wall murals will continue to be a popular way to transform the look and feel of any room in the house. Todd Imholte, president of MuralsYourWay. com, has seen a surge in orders over the past year, fueled by economic conditions that have inspired consumers to use decorative wall murals as a cost-effective way to give their living areas a fresh look. These relatively small changes can make huge, personal statements in living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms and home offices. The Fabric of Our Lives Textiles will take their cues from natural materials such as felt, cork and even tree bark, predicts Henn. Pattern on pattern will be increasingly popular, with homeowners intentionally mismatching products to allow endless possibilities of blends and textures. Mary Lou Kalmus of Designing Edge also sees more fabrics combining durability with style - once relegated to crushable chenille and fragile silks - as they become more available in manmade and natural fabrics for use in upholstery and drapery-weight materials. Fun, Functional Furniture Linda Navara of LMR Designs sees furniture being comfortable and functional, yet elegant - reflecting consumers’ continued need for a refuge in which to relax and escape their busy lives. Furnishings will be a more eclectic mix of neo-classic, Asian and art deco styles, by incorporating mirrored furniture, chinoiserie, bamboo, and vintage furniture. Ludwig also sees a juxtaposition of oldworld formal and casual lifestyle with refurbished European overstuffed club chairs, arm chairs, twoseater settees and ottomans showing up everywhere from cottages and country homes to urban lofts. Transitional to contemporary collections will still dominate in 2010, according to Adele Lampert of Page One Interiors. Maple and alder will remain popular cost-efficient wood choices, with bamboo appealing to environmentally-conscious consumers. Clean lines and classic style will be in; excessive ornamentation will be out. Au Naturel Ludwig predicts increased interest in repurposing items found in nature, such as using bleached-out branches as art sculptures, an old worn tree stump as a coffee table base or a console table and teak branches assembled as a screen or room divider. He also foresees baskets, bowls and planters made from blocks or chunks of unusual woods. Radical Rugs Echoing the trend in fabrics, Peterson envisions rugs inspired with outrageously large graphics and bold combinations of colors such as aqua, lime, medium greens and white. Due to the ongoing popularity of hardwood floors, Dross also sees a comeback in area rugs, with heavily patterned rugs with bold prints and geometric patterns becoming the focus point of many living rooms. Courtesy of ARA Content ISLAND REVIEW//January 2010


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Save Money on Energy by Preparing Your Heating System for Winter

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Getting ready for winter often means changing to warmer clothes and taking stock of mittens and hats. But it’s also a good idea to prepare your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system for winter, too - especially if you want to keep energy bills down. Heating can account for almost half of the average family’s winter energy bill, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Taking a few steps now will help your furnace and other heating components operate more efficiently throughout the winter, helping you save money. American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning offers the following tips for winter home readiness: Program your thermostat. If you don’t have a programmable thermostat, this is the year to get one. Resetting the temperature from a constant 72 degrees to 65 degrees for eight hours a day (perhaps during the day while you and your family are less likely to be home) can cut your heating bill by up to 10 percent, according to energy.gov. Some models even allow you to pre-set different temperatures for every day of the week according to your family’s schedules. Seal heating and cooling ducts. Leaks in the ducts that move air within your system can be big energy wasters. Sealing the ducts that run through attics, crawl spaces, unheated basements and garages can improve the efficiency of your heating and cooling system by as much as 20 percent. Use duct sealant or metal-backed tape to seal the seams and connections, and then wrap the ducts in insulation. Upgrade to newer technology. If your furnace is more than 10 years old, consider replacing it with a more energy-efficient model. One furnace that exceeds the government’s energy standards is the Freedom (R) 95 Comfort-R Variable-Speed Modulating Communicating Furnace. Made by American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning, it converts 95 percent or more of fuel you pay for into heat for your home. Instead of using on-againoff-again thermostat control, it uses temperature data from the thermostat to calculate its own heating cycle. It then adjusts the flame with a modulating valve for even, comfortable heat and precise fuel control. With the passage of the U.S. Economic Stimulus Bill, homeowners may be eligible for a tax credit if they purchase certain types of HVAC systems between Jan. 1, 2009, and Dec. 31, 2010. More information about the tax credit is available at americanstandardair.com and irs.gov. Clean or replace filters. A dirty furnace filter can slow down the air flow in your heating system and make it work harder than necessary. Your furnace will work less hard, use less energy and last longer if you clean or replace filters monthly, or at minimum, every three months. Courtesy of ARAcontent

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“Behind the Water Slide in Emerald Isle.”

ISLAND REVIEW//January 2010

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Crystal Coast Homeowners Manual