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It’s Pawfect! When looking for a carpet that will hold up in your household, American Carpet One has come to the rescue with the top dog of flooring lines — Stainmaster SolarMax. See page 3


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Stay sharp Here’s how to keep your quintessential culinary tool, the knife, ready for a lifetime of safe use

ne of the best things about being a student and a writer is having the option to work from home. The next best thing is that home can be anywhere. I’ve made my way back to my hometown in Cleveland this week to celebrate my best friend’s wedding. Coming home during the summer for weddings has become somewhat of a ritual for me. I am at that stage in life where everyone is getting married, and I couldn’t be happier about it. Weddings encompass some of my favorite things in life: catching up with friends and family, dinner, dancing and giftgiving. I always love perusing bridal registries to see what couples have picked out for their homes. And while the


days of fine china may have passed, one of the no-fail staples of each list, along with a standing mixer, is a good knife set. Your knife set is your most important set of tools in your kitchen, so do what you can to ensure the set lasts by following these tips. • Keep them dry. Immediately after using your knives, wash and dry them by hand, and don’t forget the handles. Keeping water off the steel helps to keep them rust-free. • Say no to the dishwasher. The heat may damage your knife handles, and the water circulation may knock your knives around, potentially damaging them. The soaking and harsh detergents don’t help, either. • Choose cutting boards carefully. Certain surfaces

such as glass, stone and metal can actually dull your blades. Instead, opt for boards that are wooden or bamboo. Just because you can cut on a surface, such as gran>>SEE PAGE 18

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American Carpet One

A carpet that’s strong enough for daily life BY KYLE GALDEIRA

s the summer blockbuster season heats up, American Carpet One is proud to reveal the new super hero of carpets to Hawaii. American Carpet One is the first to introduce Stainmaster SolarMax premiere carpet with Ultra Life advantage. The new SolarMax carpet line is composed of solution-dyed nylon, which signifies that the carpet’s color is introduced to the fibers during the liquid stage, ensuring that the color runs evenly throughout.This process results in fully colored fibers that are likened to taking a cross-section view of a carrot: when one cuts the vegetable, the orange color runs throughout, while when doing the same with another vegetable like a




It’s Pawfect! When looking for a carpet that will hold up in your household, American Carpet One has come to the rescue with the top dog of flooring lines — Stainmaster SolarMax. See page 3



AMERICAN CARPET ONE contact // 447-2751 web //

radish, the red color can be seen initially, but eventually fades to white in the middle. Customers benefit from SolarMax’s innovative processing via a 25-year warranty against fade resistance, along with the aforementioned Ultra Life advantage, which covers all other stains such as those left by pets, bleach, paint, nail polish, tar — you name it. “We believe that this fiber is made for Hawaii,” said American Carpet One sales manager Aaron Okamoto of the SolarMax varieties that are in stock and currently available in multiple styles. “We’re introducing the latest and greatest, the newest fiber on the market that features the most benefits. This is a peace-of-mind carpet.” Hawaii residents encounter two unique conditions that have ravaged carpets for years, and SolarMax was developed in part to overcome the afflictions. Okamoto explains that the sun’s ultraviolet rays tend to bleach a carpet over time, while Ozone pollution — a commonality in high-moisture, high-humidity areas like the Islands — will remove red pigment from carpet coloring, resulting in faded spots even in areas where the carpet faces no heavy traffic such as under a dresser or behind a door. SolarMax was designed to thwart both unsightly and costly problems, as the carpet’s nylon 6,6 fibers are designed to outperform polyester while also retaining texture. A carpet’s texture can be compared to a flower and its stem. With traditional carpet, over time the fibers will become crushed and lose their body, much like the way a stem is snapped, causing the flower to bend

and wilt. SolarMax, however, features reinforced fibers that hold their structure while also protecting against stains and fading. Okamoto explained that Stainmaster SolarMax is designed for residential applications, and that all rooms and areas of a home are ideal for its installation due to the product’s extraordinary versatility. It is available in a wide array of colors and styles, from Berber to textured and patterned, and can be installed professionally by American Carpet One’s Certified Flooring Installers (CFI). Much the same way a strong, sturdy foundation is needed to support a wellbuilt home, Certified Flooring Installers (CFIs) at American Carpet One are poised to adequately handle every step of the job from prepping the sub-floor to installing the desired flooring option. With a host of CFIs standing by to assist customers with their flooring dreams and desires, American Carpet One offers customers a means of meeting the highest industry standards while providing the best installation quality and service available. “Fortunately for us as a company being connected to CFI, we have the training and

equipment to do the right tests and secure the right results to protect the consumer,” said Larry Marvel, installation manager at American Carpet One. “Being connected to CFI, we receive constant training updates and installation reviews on different flooring substrate problems and adhesive problems — it’s an ongoing process aided by a pool of resources at our fingertips.” CFI is an international non-profit organization established in the early 1990s to train and certify installers with the end goal of assisting homeowners and other customers by ensuring that the installers working on their projects are indeed qualified. Marvel explained that installers working at the company need to pass both written and performance tests in order to gain CFI certification, and must display honesty and integrity. All journeymen carpet installers at American Carpet One are certified by CFI — a first for the industry in Hawaii. To set up a free consultation, including measurements of a home or business, call 447-2751 or log on to www. JUNE 16, 2013 • 3

4 JUNE 16 • 2013

Mold woes? Manage moisture through improved ventilation T aking care of excess moisture in your home can help prevent the growth of mold. In addition to monitoring your home regularly to catch plumbing or roof leaks quickly, improving ventilation can help control moisture and improve overall indoor air quality. “Places that are often or always damp can be hard to maintain completely free of mold,” the EPA notes. “If there's some mold in the shower or elsewhere in the bathroom that seems to reappear, increasing ventilation (running a fan or opening a window) and cleaning more frequently will usually prevent mold from recurring, or at least keep the mold to a minimum.” When it comes to effective, economical passive ventilation, a fresh-air skylight can help reduce humidity and stale air. When open, Energy Star-qualified, no leak solar-powered fresh air skylights, like those made by Velux America, can allow excess moisture and unhealthy fumes to escape your home. When closed, the bright sunlight that venting skylights admit into your home can help dry out damp areas. Skylights are a great option in damp rooms, such as bathrooms, where pri-

vacy concerns mean an open window is impractical, or in rooms where adding a window or venting fan may not be plausible, such as a garage. To learn more about no-leak skylights and how they can help improve indoor air quality, visit


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Give Dad The Father’s Day Gift That Mom Will Enjoy. While dad is enjoying watching the game on his big screen TV, Mom can enjoy the carpet that’s as beautiful as it is practical. KARASTAN® is the world’s most admired broadloom carpet. The warmth and intimacy of KARASTAN® welcomes you into the room with carefully chosen hues & textures that will endure for years & years. On sale this week! New carpeting is a beautiful & comforting addition to your home. And to ensure that your investment offers a healthier environment for your family, you’ll want the Healthier Living™ Carpet Installation System. It minimizes allergens, dust, mold, mildew & more! Come in tomorrow or call 447-2752 for a FREE measure.

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*Ends 6/22/13. Carpet Only. Cannot be combined with any other offer or previous sale. See Store for details. **On approved credit. Minimum 25% down payment and minimum monthly payments of 3.75% of the amount financed, but not less than $25 is required. No finance charges will be assessed as long as the minimum monthly payments are made and the amount financed is paid in full by the end of the promotion period. See store for details. u ] q Welcome. Photo shown are for illustration only and does not necessarily represent actual product. See store for details.

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Enhance your ocean view with gorgeous landscaping H aving a house next to the ocean is a dream come true for many homeowners in Hawaii. Once you are fortunate enough to achieve this goal, you will want to pay special attention to your yard, as the salt air, wind and soil can be challenging to growing plants. With proper landscaping and the right kind of plants, your yard can be an excellent complement to the ocean-side elements. After all, a large part of the reason to live next to the ocean, especially in Hawaii, is to be outdoors, and your landscaping becomes a part of the aesthetics of the oceanscape that is outside your door. Designing a landscape next to the ocean takes into account many factors, including whether you are on the windward or leeward side of the island, the direction and consistency of the prevailing winds, the amount of rainfall, how close to the ocean your house is, the amount of sand mixed in with the soil and even lot size. Depending on the direction your home faces, one side may need salt-water tolerant plants while the other side may not, so it’s best to have a varied landscape that fulfills the requirements for each section of the yard. Even if your house is not directly on the beach, but is set back across the road or even further back, salt air can have the same damaging effects on non-salt-resistant plants. To help with sandy soil, add a sub-soil of 60/40 mix. Balancing the soil with nutrients and a compost mix is crucial for beachside homes. For windy areas, include plants that

LANAISCAPES contact // 255-1048 web // are hearty and will not uproot in the wind. Heliconia and bananas can be planted only if they are layered with other plants that provide wind protection.There are many kinds of grasses and plants: some are salt-water tolerant, others are not. Celebration Bermuda grass, for example, is a hardy and

tolerant grass that can grow in a variety of environments, including sandy soil and drought conditions, but cannot come into contact with salt water. LanaiScapes can create drawings that will layout the specific needs of each area of the property. In addition, the company provides specs and cost estimates. We can give you expert advice that will help you take advantage of the natural features of your environment, such as rainfall amounts or what grows best in your soil. By analyzing the particular conditions on each side of the house, LanaiScapes can make a plan that will accommodate the seaside environment and assure maximum results for your efforts. LanaiScapes prides itself on being knowledgeable about different environments in Hawaii. Its employees can help you make the best decisions by showing you the practicality as well as the cost of each of the many options. Their goal is to create smart landscaping that will not only work the best for your environment, but will bring the most personal satisfaction to you.

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Here’s your checklist for hiring a builder BY KAREN NAKAMURA oing your homework with this list will help you have a more successful home-remodeling experience.


• Contact the Building Industry Association of Hawaii for the names of member builders and remodelers (info@bia or go to Check out the company’s ratings and/or complaints filed with  your local Better Business Bureau ( or the Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs (

• Make sure the builder or remodeler has a permanent business location and a good reputation with local banks and suppliers. Also find out how long the contractor has been in the industry. It usually takes three to five years to establish a financially sound business.

• Make sure the builder has sufficient workers compensation and general liability insurance.

• Ask the builder to provide you with names of previous customers. If they won't, beware. And ask if you can see the builders work, both completed and in progress. Check for quality workmanship, materials and a clean job site.

• Do you feel you can easily communicate with the builder? It is important that you do.

• Make sure the builder provides you with a complete and clearly written contract. If you are having a new home built, get and review a copy of the home warranty and homeowner manual as well. Be cautious of unusually low-priced bids. If the builder is unable to pay for the materials and labor as the project proceeds, this may indicate a potential problem. Keep in mind that less expensive does not necessarily mean better. • Make sure your payments are spelled out in progress payments that identify when payment is due upon completion of the specific phase of the work. Sign a lien disclosure statement with the contract. Make sure the Notice of Completion is filed in the newspaper. This starts the 45 days of the lien period. • Get a Certificate of Occupancy and the permit is closed out. When the permit is not closed, the work is not recorded with the building department so your plans are not updated. When you need an appraisal, a loan or go to sell, you may have a problem because what is recorded does not match the existing as-built. When that happens, there are permit fees and penalties to get the records corrected. Karen Nakamura is CEO of the Building Industry Association of Hawaii. Contact her at

LIC. # ABC 30244

JUNE 16, 2013 • 7


A fairytale remodeling project comes true for homeowners O nce upon a time in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, on an island named Oahu, a home improvement project was born on the East side of the island on the summit of Kamehame Ridge in Hawaii Kai known as Na Pali Haweo, or “the cliffs of distinction.” On the site, which has dynamic 180 degree views of the ocean facing Molokai, owners Doug and Margie Tam wanted to build an addition that would enable them to take full advantage of the gorgeous sunrises and whale watching. They also wanted to have a place to entertain friends and family with barbecues. The couple contacted Town & Country Builders LLC to assist with the design and construction. Modern Earth tones were the preference, so the addition was constructed with elevated concrete piers; wood framework; green Hardiplank horizontal siding; a brown slate roof covering; a green slate ceramic tile floor covering; fire pit Trex decking with stainless steel fasteners for a durable and clean installation application; beige color-framed 12 foot by 9 foot stacking sliding glass doors and screens, which project into a hidden pocket; and a 10 foot by 4 foot picture window. With casement windows installed on each side of the picture window, they complement and enhance the building’s interior by opening up the area toward the ocean. This construction was truly an award-winning combination. The addition was not constructed without unexpected challenges similar to what many builders face in today’s world. It was discovered that the original builder had made

8 • JUNE 16, 2013

some deviations from the home’s blueprints and a structural support beam, which was supposed to be in place to hold up the second floor, did not exist. A new glue-laminated beam had to be installed to remedy the problem so the floor plan could flow easily from one room to another with an open and spacious feel. At the end of the construction process, the couple gave a big mahalo for “doing a great job” to Town & Country Builders LLC. The company is a licensed general contracting design+build firm that has been serving Oahu for the past 32 years. It specializes in custom homes, remodels, additions, designer kitchens, bathrooms, Americans with Disability Act (ADA) modifications/improvements, construction of package homes, demolition and offers full construction services. You can reach Town and Country Builders at 737-7766 for a free in-home consultation or visit www.townandcoun The company is a member of the Better Business Bureau with an A+ rating and is a certified remod eler. It has been rated by Angie’s List and has won the elite “Excellence in Customer Satisfaction” award for two years in a row.

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Building with a solid foundation hen it comes to construction, standard materials can differ from one contractor to another. The selection of materials can make a difference not only in the cost of construction when it comes time to build, but also in the cost of maintenance and the lifespan of the products in your new home improvement project. Atlas Construction believes that building designs should be low-maintenance and have a long lifespan. The variation in building materials not only lies in the material itself, but also in the different levels of quality within each item. One example is granite countertops. You have probably seen them offered at a low price in the classified ads, but did you know that there are different levels of granite and that the grade of the material highly influences the cost? Atlas Construction uses grade-A granite as its standard material for all of its projects. The company also maintains a high-level grade of materials as its standard for all of its building items.


ATLAS CONSTRUCTION contact // 951-9500 address // 1302 N. School St. web // When you use an inferior grade of a building material for your standard components, the initial construction cost is low-

ered. When you do this throughout the whole project, the overall contract price becomes lower as well. Problems arise

over time, however, and maintenance costs will increase as the lifespan of your project decreases. This means that each component made with a sub-standard grade of material needs to be either repaired or replaced. The overall cost becomes higher for your construction project. Atlas Construction uses a high to medium-high grade of components throughout its building designs. This gives homeowners the added value of knowing that their construction project is built to last, low-maintenance and made with building materials that will have a long lifespan.


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10 JUNE 16 • 2013 D’S PLUMBING

Providing a safe home for seniors T he years go by so quickly and as we get older, adjustments need to be made at home to enhance our well being. Frank Duarte, owner of D’s Plumbing, is very aware of this fact (he himself is a senior, age 75). In many cases, these adjustments might not be for you, but for loved ones. Customers will tell him, “Frank, it is difficult for my dad and mom to step over and into the bath tub.” And many old bathrooms are too small to accommodate a wheelchair. This is where D’s Plumbing can help you.

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Peace of mind, decades of experience With more than five decades in the plumbing business and 32 years as a plumbing and general contractor in Hawaii, D’s Plumbing has the experience to perform every phase of the project — from planning to execution of the work scope. Frank works closely with homeowners to bring out the best in bath and kitchen renovations.The company relocates existing walls, enlarges them and replaces smaller bath doors with larger ones for wheelchair access. Next, the company suggests replacing that old tub and converting it into a show-

er with a step over (not to exceed 6 inches). Conversions can have a ceramic tile, cultured marble, corian or granite finish. The cheap way is not the best way Although refinishing or cutting into your existing tub is cheaper than starting from scratch, it is not always the best thing to do. Remember the old slogan, “you get what you pay for.” This is true here. Frank understands that it costs more to re-do it completely, but after studying the whole situation, a “face lift” is only temporary.

The problem with leaving your old tub is that you never know the condition under it, the drain system and whether the walls and double walls have water damage, termite damage or dry rot. Surely you would want to replace your old tub/shower valve as well. D’s Plumbing is capable of handling any situation on hand. See for yourself in these pictures the possible mishaps one could have by just assuming that everything behind your bath walls is fine. Although this might not be true for everyone, wouldn’t you have peace of mind knowing this is not happening to you? Safety for seniors is also a priority. With RE-ROOFING REPAIR INSPECTIONS

this in mind, D’s Plumbing installs safety grab bars to suit your needs, personal hand held shower heads with adjustable slide bars or even custom built-in chairs, should you need one. Sliding glass enclosures or curvature curtain rods are other options.

Not your ordinary plumber D’s Plumbing replaces and installs plumbing fixtures, replaces galvanized pipes with copper, completes kitchen and bath renovations, bedroom and patio additions, new carports and much more. Its standards and workmanship have proven to be No. 1 in customer satisfaction. Call to schedule an appointment.


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Step onto your brand new outdoor entertaining space W ith summer starting to heat things up, it’s time to start planning your outdoor projects. Is your outdoor patio or deck looking a bit dated and dingy? Does it reflect your home’s personality? Whether you’re planning to host outdoor festivities with friends and family or just grilling up gourmet creations, a few changes can really liven up your outdoor space and add value to your home. Follow these steps for a new look. Dress it up and add some color Is your existing outdoor furniture looking a bit drab? Repaint it and dress it up with outdoor pillows and cushions. Change up the layout of the furniture for another fresh look. By

face that. For a more embellished look to your railings, replace existing spindles and ball tops with more decorative ones. Repaint planter boxes and add in colorful accessories such as rugs, lawn ornaments and small plants.

moving furniture into a more square or circular shape, you’ll increase conversations. If a focal point exists, such as a great view, arrange furniture to

Lighten up your space Many outdoor gatherings can carry on past sunset, so lighting your deck area is important. There are hundreds of options available to lighten up any outdoor area. You can create whatever atmosphere you prefer. Solar lamps are a smart, energy-efficient way to light the walk and seating areas, while Chinese lanterns hanging in the trees create a fun, party feel. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.


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Design schemes that begin with creativity A

t Tenibac Kitchen Cabinets & Casework (Tenibac), “Fusing Custom Cabinets with Affordability� is more than just a slogan. The company conceived the idea that custom cabinets can be competitive with store-bought cabinets and at the same time offer door styles unlike the other companies. It sells door styles that are different, with more “Hawaiian style� to them. The company has more than 300 door styles to choose from. The team at Tenibac has the design expertise necessary to help you create what will turn an empty kitchen or an existing space into a dream kitchen that’s both beautiful and functional.Thinking outside the box gives the team the advantage of coming up with outstanding kitchen designs that begin with creativity and a practical design that fits your needs. Customizing your cabinets means the company can make your cabinets deeper, taller, shallower or customized to better fit your needs and kitchen. Each customer and project is unique and presents its own set of challenges. It takes more than putting boxes on the wall to make a kitchen functional and practical. Listening carefully to its customers allows Tenibac to work through those challenges, and only then will the project truly reflect your personality and create your dream kitchen. Tenibac offers Aristocratic Cabinets for that exotic or uniquely built kitchen. This is why it is an “Architect and Designers choice cabinet company.� Aristocratic builds what others won’t. And then there is its affordable Tradewind cabi-

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net line. All of the cabinets are American-made. Tradewind Cabinets will build custom sizes to fit your kitchen needs without the big mark-up charge. With 3/4-inch maple veneer plywood quality construction with full extension and soft-close drawer guides that come standard with the latest options, your kitchen will work efficiently. The company offers you a variety of additional services while guaranteeing you professionalism at >> After all times. Tenibac’s showroom has more door styles on display than any other showroom — it is the “biggest little showroom in town.�The company will even install what it designs for you so that it fits your expectations, and it’s able to manage the whole job from start to finish. Tenibac will work with your contractor/designer to help get you your best results. The company offers Contractor’s and Designer’s professional discounts. And remember, Tenibac is “cabinet� spelled backwards. By choosing to remodel, the company will help you make your house a home and your kitchen a pleasant place to cook and entertain in, while increasing the value of your home.

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Findings clearly show that sharpness in the environment stimulates a mild fear reaction in the brain. When people walk down a dark narrow tunnel lined with sharp rocks they think only of avoiding getting hurt; but when the same tunnel is lined with soft upholstery, they feel safe enough to relax and daydream.

Alice Inoue

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: We spoke briefly at an event some time ago, and you mentioned a field that I had never heard of before and how it correlated to feng shui. I can’t remember what it was called, but I remember what you said was fascinating. Would you mind recapping some of the main points? I think it would be interesting for regular readers of this column. e talked about a field of design called “neuro-architecture,” which correlates closely with feng shui. In a nutshell, neuro-architecture, a blend of science and art, is the study of how architecture affects the human experience. In the past few years, neurological research, measuring every feature of the architectural environment, shows that factors such as light, space and room layout affect physical and psychological well-being in areas such as stress, emotion, memory and more.


The influence of light Candles, incandescent lights or sunshine can instantly make a difference on mood. Neuro-architecture gauges this with monitors that measure brain waves and activity. From this data, neuro-architects can suggest how to make home improvements that positively affect your brain, and in turn, your mood and behavior. Your decor needs “to feed you” Even though good feng shui is associated with a clutter-free environment, it consistently maintains that the things in your home should have personal meaning. While at first glance minimalist interiors like those in interior design magazines may seem favorable, in actuality, they are not supportive of your energy. Neuro-architecture reinforces this premise by showing that a home filled with personal objects feeds the brain in a positive way. In one of the tests done on Alzheimer patients, visual cues in the environment, such

The Power Position A main feng shui concept has to do with positioning. Situating yourself so that you can see all the

as familiar images and objects, were found to help patients walk with a greater sense of purpose, minimizing the tendency to wander. In the same way, when you can look around your home and see evidence of who you are in books, projects and personal items, your brain receives grounding signals. “Hugs” in the environment When setting up a room at a feng shui consultation, I strive to create “hugs” by rounding out the corners of the room — angling furniture, placing a plant or positioning a lamp in the corners — and making people in the room feel more nurtured. I also suggest using round or oval tables to balance the abundance of straight edges in the room. Neuro-architecture also suggests using curves, inasmuch as they help to nurture contentment and well-being based on the softening of your peripheral vision and the response of the amygdala — a part of the brain that controls memory and emotions.

activity in the room is considered a de-stressor. In the kitchen, the same concept is used, suggesting that it is preferable to cook at a stove where you can see the activity around you. In those homes where the stove faces a wall, a common feng shui “cure” is to place a mirror above the stove to see the activity behind you. Neuro-architecture studies show that the “sweet spot” for the stove is a location where you can cook while looking at others in the room (like on a kitchen island). Studies show that when you are at the stove

with your back to the noise and activity your brain is more likely to produce adrenaline and cortisol, hormones associated with anxiety, fear and stress. However, when you are facing the heart of the room and can see what is going on, you feel safer and more in control, as evidenced by the greater release of oxytocin and serotonin, hormones associated with relaxation and enjoyment.

Having your own space Neuro-architecture clearly shows through EEG monitoring (a machine that measures electrical activity in the brain) that a lack of privacy is stressful. Experts say that even if you cannot have your own room, finding ways to guarantee that you have solitude is important. Suggestions include designating a time when the bathroom is yours or finding an area of the home where no one will disturb you.

Windows, yards, balconies and images For an emotional lift, having a yard is nice, but if you live in a condominium, having big windows or a balcony is the next best thing. Knowing what is outside helps you feel more in control, leading to greater relaxation and diminished stress. Windowless rooms with artwork of large peaceful images that could take the place of windows were shown to have a markedly greater calming effect on the people in the room than the same rooms without such artwork.

Alice Inoue is a life guide at Alice Inoue Life Guidance LLC, a company committed to assisting people in living empowered lives. Alice shares her wisdom as a professional speaker and personal consultant, and offers a series of instructional DVDs on feng shui, as well as her award-winning books on feng shui, happiness and spiritual life wisdom. Visit www.alicein to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips. JUNE 16, 2013 • 13

14 JUNE 16 • 2013

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inor kitchen updates can result in the enhanced appearance and enjoyment of your home, while increasing its value. With a free weekend and a modest budget, you can accomplish some do-it-yourself projects that will give your kitchen a whole new look. Focus on projects that will have maximum impact with minimal time invested. These would be projects such as restoring existing tile work or installing a tile backsplash, switching out cabinet hardware or painting an accent wall or the ceiling rather than the whole room. Here are four simple kitchen improvements that you can do in a day or two. 1. Rejuvenate existing tile and grout. Old, stained tile and grout can make an entire surface appear dated and dingy, even if the tile itself is in good condition. Cleaning or recoloring grout can breathe new life into existing tile work, whether its countertops, flooring or a backsplash. Products like the Aqua Mix brand of tile cleaners and sealants can help remove stains and brighten surfaces without damaging grout.

2. Create a trendy tile backsplash. Tile without hiring a professional. If you’re a do-it-yourselfer with the right tools and a little bit of know-how, you can easily add a tile backsplash featuring colorful glass or metallic tiles for that designer look in the kitchen.



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“Adding a backsplash with decorative tiles creates a new focal point and at the same time brings in a fresh accent color to the kitchen. Follow through with additional touches and inexpensive accessories such as towels, a new curtain or decorative glass jars to complete the transformation,� said independent interior designer Ann Borsheim. Products like the SimpleMat brand tile setting mat make it easy to install tile — on a backsplash or countertop. Because the mat’s double stick adhesive sheets eliminate the need to apply mortar, so you can work at your own pace. Start with a smooth surface — you can even tile over existing tile surfaces — place the mat in position, cut as

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needed with scissors or a utility knife, press the tiles of your choice in place and grout immediately using a pre-mixed or single-component grout product. SimpleMat is available exclusively at Home Depot in sheets or as a value-sized role for larger projects. Never installed tile before? No problem — check out the manufacturer’s instruction videos at 3. Replace dated hardware. You can easily and quickly give your cabinets a whole new look by replacing outdated hardware. If your cabinets are still builderbare of knobs, handles or pulls, adding them can not only make them look fresh, it can make them much easier to use. Many home improvement stores carrying a wide range of designer styles from sleek, modern metallics to Victorian-inspired glass. 4. Get creative with paint. Painting is one of the most powerful, cost-effective ways to recreate the look of a room, but

Tips for cabinet upkeep


n this instant-gratification era, instant makeovers — from week-long juice diets to weekend home renovations — are a top 2013 trend. And according to Yahoo! Homes, so are instant kitchen updates achieved by refacing cabinets. Here are two tips to keep in mind: painting the entire space can be time-consuming. If you’re not up for a full day of painting four walls and all that trim, consider painting one wall in an eye-catching accent color. Or, for something really different — albeit a bit more work — paint the ceiling in a hue that complements the current wall color. No design rule says your kitchen ceiling must be plain white, so spice it up with a color that speaks to you.

Taming cabinet clutter To get the most out of the refacing process, consider optimizing your kitchen space. Handy zones for the most frequently used utensils should be established. Items should be grouped together based on purpose and in close proximity to stationary items. Add order to every area with drawer dividers, roll-out shelves and customized organizational elements.

Updating your kitchen can enhance its appearance and your enjoyment of it.

Expressing your style Once you have identified areas for

improvement, it is time to turn your dreams into design plans. A new vision for this hardworking room should take into account both your home’s style and your personal style. The adjacent room’s color palette, the amount of natural light in the space and what is seen first when entering the kitchen are important factors, in addition to stylistic preferences. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

JUNE 16, 2013 • 15

16 JUNE 16 • 2013 CATHY LEE

This is Child’s Play When designing for keiki, make the process easy by keeping the area age-appropriate and true to their personalities

replacing the bunk bed with a more grown-up bed. You can easily duplicate this look with pink paint and bedding that has a zebra pattern. A great affordable option to add texture to the walls is wall clings, which are removable wall applications that can be found online. Another great option for walls is, where you can take pictures of your child and have them blown up into custom vinyl murals. also has lots of great ideas for kids’ rooms. Kids love looking at themselves, so create your own art by taking pictures of them and turning them into life-size works of art. There are even apps that let you turn their faces into caricatures or what looks like crayon art. Kids also love to see their names displayed. Stencil their names on the wall or embroider their names on pillows. Personalize the space so they relate to it as their haven. There are so many fun, creative options out there. You’d be amazed at how many ideas your child has and how much they want to be a part of this process.

y favorite rooms to decorate are powder rooms and kids’ rooms, because you can let your imagination go wild — and trust me, my imagination loves that! Currently I’m designing rooms for six kids from 6 to 14 years old. Oh! I almost forgot a seventh: my daughter, Nicki, since we’re moving, and believe me, she’s the most demanding client of all! To give you some ideas on how to design a room your own kids will love to play and grow up in, I’m going to talk about the bedroom I designed for Nicki a few years ago. But first, some general tips.


Tip 1. Consider the child’s age Obviously, the look and feel of a 6-yearold’s room will be very different from a 14year-old’s. Except for nurseries, try not to design a space that’s too young. They’ll quickly grow tired of fairy tales and dinosaurs. But the principles for all kids’ rooms are the same — functionality, storage, color scheme and whether the child will be mostly sleeping and playing there or whether he or she will need a desk and bookshelves for study as well. Tip 2. Your child’s personality is key What’s going to make them a happy camper who will love the space and feel secure, happy and motivated in it? What features will make this truly their sanctuary? Tip 3. Decide on a focal point Is it the furniture or something on the walls? If it’s a mural or amazing wallpaper or wall applications, keep your furniture a bit more simple. And obviously, the opposite applies. 16 • JUNE 16, 2013

Tip 4. Plan it together Children ages 5 and older should have some input in the design of their room. It’s a great bonding experience. Need some great places to find inspiration? If they’re old enough, have them Google “great kids rooms” or “teenage rooms” and look at them together.

In Nicki’s case, her bedroom was more of a hangout and sleeping space; homework was done elsewhere. Her favorite color at the time was pink. The theme we were going for was rock ‘n roll princess. I wanted the wallpaper to be the focal point, and I knew this was a room she could grow up in and that would be easy to update by

Cathy Lee is president and designer of Cathy Lee Style and Cathy's Marketplace, a furniture and accessories showroom with design services at 1110 University Ave. She recently opened reStyle Hawaii, an affordable, styleconscious consignment warehouse with upholstering and repurposing services at 420 Keawe St. To find out more, go to



Three families pool resources for multigenerational home This is the first of a two-part series. n Hawaii, ohana means family. And many times, multiple generations of one family live together under the same roof. That is the case with Robb Taone who, along with his wife and son, has been living with his wife’s parents for the past 15 years. About a year and a half ago, the Taones decided that the single-story home in Manoa they shared was lacking privacy for everyone. Together, the family decided to add a second level master suite. After talking to friends and family and doing some research on his own, Taone attended Graham Builders’ free monthly seminar and selected the design+build company for his home project. “Graham Builders’ seminar gave me a real-life look at the entire process of home building,” said Taone. “The company had a family-like feeling and their sincerity seemed to be genuine. We selected Graham Builders because the company met our needs in terms of questions and no-pressure selling. Graham Builders had a unique way of making us feel at home and



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had our best interest in mind. It also helped that they did not discount any of our questions no matter how silly we thought they were.” Once signed on, the original plan to build a master suite on a second level to the existing home changed to a much larger-scale project. Taone’s father-in-law decided that the house was past its prime and should be replaced entirely. He also contacted his other daughter and asked if she would like to move back home with her husband and daughter. With them onboard, Graham Builders was tasked with building a new home that would provide enough living space but also allowed for privacy for three separate families. “This is a great example of multi-generational families pooling their financial resources together for a common goal,” said Evan Fujimoto, Graham Builders president. “While we are building one house, the new house is designed with personal space in mind. There will be shared spaces as well as segregated living areas that are tailored to each family’s unique needs.” The new two-story house will have a total of 3,218 square feet of living area and lanai. There will be five bedrooms, five bathrooms (one of which has accessible features), one full kitchen, a wet bar, three living rooms, a carport and large driveway, and a fenced in courtyard. Green elements that save money include energy-

GRAHAM BUILDERS contact // 593-2808 web // efficient lighting, clerestory windows, low flow water fixtures and a solar water heating system. See the completed project next month. Be sure to attend one of Graham Builders’ free seminars. Visit www.graham or call 593-2808 to register.


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The sharpest tool in the kitchen >>FROM PAGE 2

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ith our state’s astronomically high electricity rates and year-round sunshine, generating electricity from the sun is a perfect energy solution for Hawaii. But is the price of photovoltaics (PV) making you think twice about solar? Then you’ll be pleased to hear about the return of Discount Solar Co., a division of Alternate Energy Inc. Discount Solar Co. was established by the founders of Alternate Energy Inc. (AEI) in 1993, to provide homeowners with superior solar water heating systems at a reasonable price. Today, the company has been reborn to offer price-conscious homeowners the ability to purchase quality, brandname PV systems at a moderate price point — expertly installed by AEI’s

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highly trained technicians. That brand is LG — a trusted manufacturer producing solar electronics products at an affordable price point, yet not associated with the questionable-quality products we’ve seen coming out of China and other similar regions. With more than 50 years of experience as a global pioneer in electronics technology, LG Electronics stands ready to

harness the power of the sun for you. Backed by 25 years of intense research and development far surpassing industry standards, LG Solar’s photovoltaic modules are uniquely designed to offer the quality, field tested performance, durability and reliability customers the world over have come to expect from LG. When you pair the LG product with the unmatched customer serv-

ice and installation expertise Hawaii has come to expect from AEI, you’ve got a great solar energy solution for your family, at an affordable price point. Celebrate the return of Discount Solar Co. with a free solar consultation. Call 369-8150 or visit www.discountsolarhawaii. com. These quality, affordable photovoltaic systems are installed by experts and backed by the AEI guarantee.

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An economical solution for revamping your bathtub W hen addressing a bathroom project, cost will inevitably determine whether one chooses to replace or refinish a bathtub. While the investment in bathtub refinishing may sound more expensive when compared to the cost of buying a new bathtub, one must always factor in the cost of the labor involved. The actual work is what determines the cost, far beyond materials. Just as a $20 part of your car may run you hundreds of dollars in labor to repair or replace, such is the case with bathtub refinishing and replacement. A common phrase that Al Fernandez, owner of Al’s Bathtub Refinishing, hears from potential customers is, “I can buy a new tub for half that price.” Another one often stated is, “That sure is an expensive price to paint something.” With both of these expressions, the customers have not taken into consideration the amount of work and time involved with refinishing. The process that Al’s Bathtub Refinishing uses is not merely coating the existing porcelain with paint. The enamel is a highly durable acrylic urethane made to withstand standard bathroom use. It can be compared more to painting an automobile than to painting a wall in your home. Though there are certain restrictions on cleaners that can be used, a refinished bathtub can endure everyday bathing, hot water temperatures and normal cleaning. Before a bathtub can be refinished, all of its mistreat-

AL’S BATHTUB REFINISHING ment and remnants must be addressed. Bathtubs can collect years of soap scum, body oils and cleaner residue trapped beneath the pours of the surface. They can also be subject to deep pitting and staining as a result of the protective coating wearing away. Before the first coat of enamel can be applied, each bathtub has to be cleaned thoroughly. An etching compound must then be used to etch the tub. After the surface is completely clean, dry and free from debris, the bathtub must be masked off so that no other area beyond the tub

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is refinished. Finally the enamel is sprayed on several coats giving you a new, glossy finish. All in all, bathtub refinishing makes the most sense in terms of cost effectiveness. Al’s Bathtub Refinishing also specializes in fiberglass tubs and showers, cultured marble and tile. Call Al’s Bathtub Refinishing for a free estimate at 679-8297, or email

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A place to call home for many years to come hen it comes to remodeling, HK Construction has a great deal of experience under its belt. The fourth-generation company has designed and remodeled homes in Hawaii for more than 80 years. The company focuses on quality building, acquired through its use of products that guarantee durability and through its team of seasoned consultants in the building and designing fields. The high quality of HK Construction’s final products is enough to create misconceptions that the company only services high-end consumers. Contrary to popular belief, the family business most commonly caters to mid-range homes. The firm obtains its materials from suppliers utilized by other businesses, making HK Construction competitive and affordable to the average homeowner in Hawaii. The fully insured and bonded designbuild firm is known for its wide range of projects, including “aging in place,� a term used by the Center of Disease Control to describe the process of making a home safe for the elderly to “remain in their community all their entire lives.� HK Construction aims to make a comfortable lifestyle more accessible to senior citizens. “We want to ensure the home is user-friendly when entering their


golden years,� explained Johnny Makiling, senior design consultant at HK Construction. “Due to the high density of senior citizens in Hawaii, the general populace thinks aging in place is expensive,� said Makiling. HK Construction’s team of building specialists and design experts work in partnership to create elderlyfriendly bathrooms with curbless showers to avoid accidents as well as wide wheelchair-accessible doorways. The company offers consultations for owners who are unsure if they require aging in place. “Plan ahead and examine the possibilities,� added Makiling. For homeowners who have yet to consider aging in place, the home can be readied for future residents. “Often, there are middle-aged adults who plan on their parents living with them,� stated Makiling. “It’s better to do it now when you can than waiting until you need it.� HK Construction has divisions dedicated to remodeling many parts of the home, such as kitchens and bathrooms, with the average designer possessing 15 years of experience in his or her field. The designers are members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the American Society of Interior Designers. No matter the size or complexity of your project, HK Construction is available to design and create your dream home.

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The newest thing in hardwood flooring C oming up with a fresh business idea from your surroundings, such as when you’re remodeling your own home, is not a new idea. When it comes to WESTLINE FLOORS® — a flooring line owned by Westline Development Corp. — company president M. Sid has experience in this department. “Indeed, a creation of ideas derived from watching flooring contractors put up new Brazilian Teak engineered flooring at my residence about two years ago. I just felt in love with the new floor,” said Sid. Turning this inspiration into reality was not as easy as Sid thought, however. “It took months to identify the right factory capable of manufacturing such high-end engineered floors and floor moldings under the highest specifications and standards of quality. After a year of selling WESTLINE FLOORS® to high-end flooring contractors and builders, the line is now a great alternative to other local brands of high-end flooring products,” he said. WESTLINE FLOORS® are installed by professional contractors. Sid believes

hardwood flooring is an expensive investment in your home that will provide beauty and durability for many years, thus proper installation of your hardwood floor is the best way to protect your investment and enjoy 25 years under residential warranty. Westline Development Corp. carries six exotic engineered floorings from Brazil and Africa that are locally stocked at the FTZ on Ala Moana Boulevard. WESTLINE

FLOORS® complies with California’s formaldehyde emissions regulations (CARB II) as well. “Westline avoids 1 foot planks in boxes and stocks matching solid 7.2 feet long transition pieces including stair nosing and wall bases. Each 7.2 feet long transitional piece reduces waste and cost for contractors. Visit our new showroom and explore our WESTLINE FLOORS® — a new thing in Hawaii’s flooring marketplace,” said Sid.

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* Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for qualifying purchases of Hunter Douglas window fashions with the PowerRise® or PowerGlide® motorized system made 6/15/13 – 9/3/13 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. A minimum purchase of two units is required for select styles; if you purchase less than the minimum, you will not be entitled to a rebate. Rebates will be issued in the form of a prepaid reward card. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will be assessed against card balance 7 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. **Additional equipment is required for app operation; ask for details. ©2013 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.

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650 Kohou St. Suite 1A Mon–Fri 8:30–5 Sat 9–3

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GEOBUNGA JUNE 16 • 2013 23

Accentuating your garden with fencing, water features T ropical, Zen, modern or retro — bamboo is a versatile material that can completely change the look of your outdoor or indoor space for very little time and money.This sustainable, renewable resource makes for a gorgeous accent, helps define a space, can be used as a water feature and so much more. Geobunga welcomes the public, including gardening aficionados of all ages and skill level, to join them on Saturday, June 22, at its free public seminar: Bamboo Fencing and Accents at 9 a.m. in Salt Lake at 4299 Lawehana St. (across from Target) and again at 2 p.m. in Waimanalo at 41-829 Kakaina St. Seminars are free, but space is limited

MARK YOUR CALENDAR Geobunga’s free four-part gardening series is coming up: • July 20, Island style rock garden • Aug. 3, Medicine garden • Aug. 17, Pizza garden • Aug. 31, Container gardening Reserve a spot at

GEOBUNGA contact // 422-4567 web //

and reservations are recommended at Workshop attendees can explore the many uses of bamboo and learn how to: • Create or define spaces • Create a focal point • Help flowers grow higher • Prolong the life of your bamboo • Create a water feature

“Love the look of ceramic pottery and the sound of running water? We’ll show you how easy it is to turn any pot into a water feature with a bamboo spout,” said Andrew Dedrick, Geobunga executive director. “Our free workshop will teach attendees how simple it is to create a serene outdoor space with bamboo accents in no time at all.” Use bamboo for an entry, around a yard or lanai to enhance privacy, to transform an unsightly chain-link fence, or even to help flowers grow higher. Geobunga offers an impressive variety of bamboo in black and the traditional yellow, at 20 percent less than the big box stores.

Choose from bamboo fencing, spigots, trellises, accents and more. Geobunga turns the ordinary into extraordinary as Hawaii’s best resource for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor

experience. Providing unique garden elements from around the world, Geobunga specializes in stone pavers and benches, decorative rocks, ceramic pots, fountains and bamboo accents, including a variety of plants. With the best prices, selection and service in the state, each visit to Geobunga brings something new to discover. Don’t forget to check out the company on Facebook ( and Twitter (@geobunga).

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Learn how to use bamboo fencing to create privacy, define a space, or add a focal point to your garden or lanai. 9am at 4299 Lawehana St. in Salt Lake 422.4567 2pm at 41-829 Kakaina St. in Waimanalo 783.2571 RSVP at


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9am–5pm JUNE 16, 2013 • 23


Where everyone can choose to go solar C redit unions originated with the concept of “People Helping People.” Today that “people first” philosophy is the basis of the quality member service provided by Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union (HCFCU). HCFCU has been serving Hawaii for more than 75 years and recently converted to a community-based field of membership and is now available to all residents of Oahu. At HCFCU, the staff is continually looking for innovative ways to help members achieve their financial goals and upgrade their lifestyles. The rising cost of electricity has many looking to solar photovoltaic (PV) systems for solutions. Although it’s a money saver in the long run, a PV installation represents a significant upfront cost. To address the need for financing, HCFCU recently added a Solar Photovoltaic Loan Special to its menu of loan products. After reviewing the various types of solar financing that were available, the company took a different approach. Here’s what sets HCFCU’s Solar PV Loan Special apart from the rest: • Your home’s equity is not required. HCFCU’s PV loan program is offered as an Unsecured Personal Loan up to $50,000, rather than a Home Equity Line of Credit, which allows you to use the equity in your home for other improvements.

For questions related to your Honolulu Star-Advertiser subscription call


•You’ll get the best price for your PV system. Unlike extremely low or 0 percent financing offered by some lenders, the HCFCU Solar PV Loan Special does not come with hidden fees or mark-ups to the consumer or the solar contractor, who in turn passes these costs on to the consumer by increasing the overall price of the PV system. Be sure to ask for “cash pricing” from your contractor.You could easily save thousands of dollars right from the start.

• Work with the solar contractor of your choice. It is important to work with a solar contactor you trust. HCFCU does not limit your choices and will work with your solar contractor. • No payments are due for the first six months. (Interest will continue to accrue during that time.) With no initial payments, you can enjoy the benefits of your new PV system immediately. • Loan officers are quick to respond. As a credit union, HCFCU is dedicated to providing the best service and the staff knows the importance of a fast turnaround. Responses are given in days, not weeks or months.

Own your HAWAII CENTRAL FEDERAL CREDIT UNION contact // 536-3677 address // 681 S. King St. web // Owned and operated by its members, HCFCU owes its success and longevity to its loyal members and remains dedicated to providing quick personal service. For more information about Hawaii Central Federal Credit Union and its Solar PV Loan Special, call the Consumer Loan Department at 536-3677, visit 681 S. King St. or apply online at Hurry, as the PV Loan Special is only available for a limited time. HCFCU is federally insured by NCUA. Certain restrictions apply.

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Apply today! *Solar Photovoltaic Loan is only available to owneroccupant homes. HCFCU membership required. Program subject to change or discontinue at any time without notice. Certain restrictions apply. Please call 536-3677 for complete details.

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The clear choice for new windows, doors I s it time for you to change or update old jalousies or broken and outdated windows? Lifetime windows and doors from Tropical Wholesale may be the answer for you. The company’s professionals are experts when it comes to Hawaii window and door replacement. Tropical has replaced thousands of windows and doors over the last 30 years. If it’s for security, beauty, easy self-cleaning, energy efficiency or privacy, the company has a variety of windows to choose from and its prices are reasonable. In the 1980s, Tropical Wholesale owner Matthew Houar started bringing the first security windows to Hawaii. Later, he brought the first vinyl windows to the Islands. Consumers enjoyed the products so much that in 1984, Tropical opened Hawaii’s first vinyl window factory. Today, Tropical is still bringing the best and newest vinyl window and door products to Hawaii. As proof, the company is now the distributor of Simonton windows and doors. Simonton is the No. 1-rated vinyl window and door product in customer satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates. Additionally, Work In Progress


contact // 263-1252 • 292-2942 address // 225 Kellog St. email // web // Simonton’s vinyl windows and doors are a Costco-approved product. So if you are a member of Costco, you may contact Tropical because we are an approved contractor of Costco. Tropical also has programs to address those beat up drywall areas and termitedamaged areas. The company motto is “no sense do the job if you don’t do it right!â€? Now most people would think that replacing their windows is too pricey a

project. But due to Tropical’s high-volume purchasing, it is able to beat others’ pricing with a better product.

So if it’s time to change those old jalousies or broken windows or doors, call Tropical today.


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PACIFIC ISLANDS WINDOW TREATMENTS contact // 261-0044 web //

A window of opportunity to dress up your home decor T he term “window treatment” is a fancy way to say “anything that decorates your window.” Window treatments include many different types of window blinds, shutters and curtains. Window treatments can also include anything that you do to the glass of your window to decorate it. Small changes to your windows can make a big difference in how your house is perceived. For this reason, window treatments are one of the best ways to update your home decor and it will be a refreshing, noticeable change. Window treatments can set the tone of the room. If you have thick curtains that don’t let in a lot of light, your room will be dark and quiet like a den. Window treatments that let in a lot of light suggest a light and airy attitude. Choose your window treatments to set the mood of the room that you’re decorating. When choosing the right window treatments for a room, consider the purpose of that room. Since rooms have different purposes, window treatments do not have to match throughout the home. 26 • JUNE 16, 2013

The next thing to consider when dressing your window is to ask yourself what its main function is — a crossbreeze, as a source of natural light or a marvelous view? Use non-fussy roller shades that are as seamless as they are functional for windows that will be accessed heavily. Next, remember privacy. In any bedroom and/or bathroom or if you are a light sleeper, splurge on a privacy lining. In all of this we must not forget style. Try patterned panels to take an already-lovely room to the next level, or go glam with metallic textures. You can get as fancy or stay as simple as you’d like. If you just want to get some basic curtains and be done with it, that’s okay. But if you want to get deeper into a style switch, you have many types to choose from. Pacific Islands Window Treatments offers full service from your first shopping visit through final installation. The friendly staff will bring samples to your home, measure your windows, offer expert advice and give you an estimate — all at no cost or obligation to you. The company services Oahu and outer islands.

HunterDouglas Hunter Douglas offers stylish options for every décor. We Also Offer: Kitchen & Bathroom Remodeling, Roofing, and Solar Services as we are a division of Pacific Islands Construction.

261-0044 New Great Name, Same Great Company

Let’s Talk Flooring Acclimation refers to the process of conditioning the materials to the environment in which they are to be installed. Wood and laminate will expand or contract when it gets to your house and the type of material will determine how long it should sit before installation. Learn more at our monthly seminar below. ALOHA! Want to learn more? Please attend our FREE seminar

WOOD AND STONE FLOORING 101 SEMINAR Saturday, July 20, 2013 10AM Please call to reserve a seat

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JUNE 16 • 2013 27

Remodeling trends that add a fresh, new look to homes I

Defining the kitchen Architects are fine-tuning the popular wide-open floor plan concept, and the change is showing up in the kitchen. Favored designs now open the kitchen on one side to an adjoining room, such as the family room, but enclose the other three walls to create a more defined space, as well as more storage and cabinet options. Psssst.....

Adding a bathroom In existing homes, adding a bathroom can sometimes pose plumbing challenges. Up-flush plumbing can solve a lot of them. Up-flush systems pump waste and water from a toilet, sink or bathtub up and out, instead of into a below-floor sewage pit. Up-flush toilets enable homeowners to easily and cost-


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Rather than ripping out three existing walls to create an entirely open flow, you can tap the latest kitchen design trend by opening up just a single wall in the kitchen. This leaves the space well-defined, but also adds the open, social feeling that is so appealing in many new home designs.


Creating a view If your home has older windows, they’re likely not as energy efficient as newer options, so replacing them can improve your cooling efficiency. Window replacements typically provide a high return on investment at the time or resale, too — more than 73 percent for wood windows and 71 percentplus for vinyl, according to Remodeling Magazine’s Cost vs. Value Report. While you’re replacing your windows, you also have the opportunity to open up your home more to outdoor views. Work with your architect or designer and contractor to determine where the best views are, and how much additional glass you can incorporate into your renovation to capitalize on those views.

effectively install a bathroom virtually anywhere without breaking through the floors — a special advantage when those floors are made of concrete. According to Saniflo, makers of up-flush plumbing products, adding a bathroom using this type of plumbing can cost about $5,000 less than one that uses conventional plumbing.


f you’re planning to renovate your home, you can tap some of the hottest trends showing up in new-home designs. Here are some new-home trends that offer strong returns on your time and money:

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Open up your home to a sophisticated look P lantation shutters will give your home the “wow” factor that you were looking for! Plantation shutters have a very luxurious and elegant look that all homeowners should experience. Many customers love the modern look from both the inside and outside of their home. Make the decision to get plantation shutters installed in your home today; it will be the best decision you will ever make for your home. Plantation shutters are also one of the most versatile window coverings on the market today.The functionality and durability of the shutter is why so many customers 28 • JUNE 16, 2013

love their shutters. There are many different design options, but one of the best options with the shutter is the divider rail. With the divider rail option, you can separate the top set of louvers from the bottom, which allows you to close the bottom louvers and leave the top louver open. This gives you both light and air flow, but still gives you the privacy you need. The company’s Polycore Shutter is very durable and can withstand all the elements that Hawaii’s tropical climate has to offer. Polycore Shutters are the most structurally sound shutter on the market today and you can feel the difference immediately.

G&S SHUTTER DESIGNS contact // 383-1407 email // web //

When it comes to window coverings, nothing beats plantation shutters. When it comes to shutter companies, G&S Shutter Designs should be No. 1 on your list. It offers some of the best pricing on the island and the quality of its Polycore Shutter is unbeatable.The company also will provide you with some of the best customer service as the owners of the company will handle every step of the process including the installation. The owners of the company take pride in their work because it is thier company and they recognize that they would not be here if it were not for all of their customers.

Plantation shutters are one of the most expensive window covering options to choose from, but G&S Shutter Designs will try to give you the best price without skimping on quality. For customers reading this article, the company will beat any written estimate for the same quality product from any other company on the island. The professionals at G&S Shutter Designs just want to offer their customers the best price and best quality shutter on the island. Check out the website at for more information and past projects that have been completed.


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