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With years of experience at the top of Hawaii’s solar industry, Hi-Power Solar principals Ron Romero (above left) and Matt Adams continue to show homeowners the benefits of going green. See page 3


• Call today to talk to our Solar Specialist for free estimate (residential & commercial) • Locally Owned & Operated since 1981

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Spring Into a HIT THE JACKPOT Cleaner Home ON PHOTOVOLTAIC SYSTEMS General Contractor ABC-30844

hen I was growing up, one of my favorite things to do on a Friday night was to turn on ABC and settle in for a couple of hours of TGIF programming. The Tanner family from Full House seemed to settle in right along with me. It’s no wonder, then, that when spring rolls around, I can’t help but think of Danny Tanner and his insatiable appetite for cleaning. While he may be overzealous with his obsessive behavior, he’s not alone when it comes to the annual spring-cleaning tradition. It’s actually a global practice spread across cultures that even has deep spiritual and religious roots for some. For me, it includes covering some basic must-dos:


Ditch the disorder. Desktops, vanity drawers and bathroom counters become home to unnecessary receipts, old makeup and unused toiletries throughout the year, so before I get my hands dirty cleaning them up, I always purge first. This goes for electronic files and emails, too. Wash window screens. Take them off and hose them down outside. Brush with a mild dishwashing liquid and remember to rinse thoroughly. Clean the fans. Vacuum first to remove the dust and wipe down where necessary. For standing fans, take them apart before cleaning, and remember to save the whole-house vacuum until after this is done.

Wipe down the walls and vacuum the ceilings. My college roommate used to make fun of me for cleaning the walls — until she saw how dirty they were! My apartment has popcorn ceilings, so I can’t wipe them down. Vacuuming alone will have to do until I can smooth them out.


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you’ll get easy access to clean otherwise hard-to-reach spots. Remember to vacuum before steaming and follow the manufacturer instructions for the cleaning solution. In this case, too much solution can actually attract more dirt later. If you feel uncomfortable steam-cleaning on your own, consider hiring a professional. Keep in mind that thorough springcleaning can often take more than a day. Dedicate at least two to three days for a good cleaning session, and involve your family members. Make it fun by pumping up the music and ordering pizza. And if you want to follow in the footsteps of Danny Tanner, clean your cleaning supplies when you’re done.

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Hitting the jackpot with photovoltaic panels


Hi-Power Solar

awaii is perfectly situated for both solar water heating and photovoltaic (PV) energy production. With 2013 rapidly approaching, now is the time to prepare for solar savings. Let’s consider the latest news in the solar industry. The state Department of Taxation has released temporary administrative rules that became effective Jan. 1, 2013. These rules change the way tax credits are calculated. Depending on the size of the system, the new rules may or may not affect the amount of state tax credit a homeowner may take in a given year. The federal tax credit remains unchanged. Regardless of any changes to state tax incentives, photovoltaic electrical systems continue to be attractive from a financial perspective. With interest rates on savings accounts at historic lows, installing solar energy may be one of the best investments. For example, a $25,000 system yielding savings of approximately $200 per month on your electric bill equals a 9.6 percent annual rate of return. Have you checked the rates on money-market funds lately? Take a look and you will see what a great investment solar energy is. When federal and state tax incentives are factored in, the returns are even greater. What other home improvement provides such a great return? If a solar water heating system is part of your improvement project, you will not only have a lower electricity bill and tax



credits, you will also benefit from the Hawaii Energy utility rebate of $750. HiPower Solar has the expertise to help you with both solar water heating and photovoltaic solutions. The savings start as soon as your system is operational. Therefore, you maximize your benefits by taking action now. After all,

every dollar paid to the power company is money that will never be recovered. Is it time for consumers to “pull the trigger” and “go green?” Emphatically, yes! When speaking with potential solar contractors, always ask if they assign the work to subcontractors or employ their own installers. Hi-Power Solar is a “full-service”

contractor with in-house installers. Principals Ron Romero, who has more than 20 years of experience, and Matt Adams, who has more than 17 years of experience, are familiar with City and County building codes and special homeowner association rules. Hi-Power Solar offers top-notch components, expert installation and competitive pricing. The company’s goal is to provide quality systems at fair prices. Before you decide on pre-paying for a lease,, consider the company’s $777 per PV panel special. Some restrictions apply. Call for details. Hi-Power Solar welcomes your inquiries. Visit the company’s website at, or call 342-0802.


With years of experience at the top of Hawaii’s solar industry, Hi-Power Solar principals Ron Romero (above left) and Matt Adams continue to show homeowners the benefits of going green. See page 3



HI-POWER SOLAR contact // 342-0802 web // MARCH 24, 2013 • 3


MARCH 24 • 2013

Mix and match trendy, revolutionary deck designs W hen it comes to fashion faux pas, the only thing worse than clashing patterns is overly matching every item. Mixing and matching creates exciting contrast — and not just when you dress yourself, but also when you “dress up” your home. The trend toward mixing colors and materials has made its way outdoors, with enterprising homeowners getting creative with their decks. When it comes to building a deck, or refurbishing an existing one, options abound. Design choices beyond simple considerations such as wood or composite, square or rectangular, open the door to creative outdoor environments that are truly unique and reflect your personal style.

The deck design experts at Deckorators point to several popular looks emerging in the mix-and-match trend: Mixed materials Retire that old rule that says all the materials you use for your deck must match. Your railing no longer needs to be made from the same material as your decking. Pairing wooden deck planks stained in a natural hue with a metallic railing and decorative balusters creates a fresh, exciting look. Dress up basic wood and vinyl deck posts with fiber-reinforced concrete postcovers that provide the look and feel of real stacked stone. Playing with color Metal balusters allow you to experiment with color. Available in finishes that mimic popular metals such as bronze, copper and stainless steel, as well as basic black or white, metal balusters also resist insect damage and rot — making them practical as well as pretty. There’s also no rule that says all your balusters have to match. For even more personality, try mixing balusters: alternate different styles of glass or metal, or mix regular metal or glass balusters with lighted balusters. Using energy-efficient LED technology, lighted balusters connect to a standard 12volt power source to create a soft glow.

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Exploring accessories Accessories like post caps and planters are great ways to enhance a deck’s visual appeal and usability. While metal and glass post caps are traditionally thought of as great complements for metal and glass balusters, they can also add pops of color to a monochrome deck. Metal post caps also coordinate well with wood and composite deck materials.

Log on to to see the Deck Visualizer tool, which allows you to mix different decking products to see how your personalized outdoor space might look. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.



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*Materials only. Sale ends 3/30/13. See store for details. +Ends 3/30/13. One spin per day, per household. Must be 21 years or older. See store for details. No purchase necessary. Las Vegas drawing held on 4/2/13. While prizes last. 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. Photos shown are for illustration only and does not necessarily represent actual product. See store for details.

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MARCH 24 • 2013


Cooking up a brand-new design BY KYLE GALDEIRA &C Cabinets Granite is featuring a special offer designed to aid home owners looking to upgrade their kitchen or bathroom, whether by undertaking a layout and design overhaul or simply enhancing functionality. Customers will receive 10 percent off a vast selection of 3/4-inch thick in-stock granite, which serves as a very durable natural stone that makes for an ideal countertop. Granite is an attractive construction stone known for its durability and beauty in a wide variety of applications. The family business features more than 40 varieties of granite, including elegant color schemes like Madura Gold, River White and Rose Pearl that provide practical, durable stone surfaces to accentuate any kitchen or bathroom. Co-owner William Cao encourages customers to bring in their building dimensions and plans so that C&C Cabinets Granite can create a design and generate an estimate. “The granite sale we have going on offers really good deals to those looking to improve their home,” said Cao. “Customers have an opportunity to start fresh with a new kitchen design.”


C&C CABINETS GRANITE contact // 853-2088 address // 500 Alakawa St. #106 C&C Cabinets Granite also offers an array of cabinetry color choices — available in both framed and frameless construction — including Burgundy Cherry, Wheat Maple, Cinnamon Maple and Sunset Cherry. The solid wood face and framed cabinets feature plywood box construction, and are “wellbuilt, dependable cabinet arrangements,” as Cao explained. “Whether for a new home construction project, or kitchen cabinet

remodel, we have what you are looking for at a price you can afford.” And, when readers mention this article, Cao and his team will offer a five percent discount with the purchase of select cabinetry. C&C Cabinets Granite is well equipped to aid in the design and completion of both residential and commercial projects. The company has assisted home and business owners with their building and remodeling needs

since 2010 while operating out of its convenient Iwilei location situated behind the Costco gas station. “We bring over 25 years of construction experience to the business,” said Cao of C&C Cabinets Granite, which specializes in providing quality cabinetry, granite countertops and stainless steel sinks. “We have a lot of products in stock and are ready to assist with all sorts of construction and remodeling projects, including kitchen and bathroom upgrades.” C&C Cabinets Granite features a wide variety of undermount stainless steel sinks to further diversify home building and remodeling needs. The sinks, which range in style from traditional to modern, use the highest grade materials that lead to a luxurious yet dependable product suitable for a home of business owner’s lifestyle. With a brushed satin finish that hides any scratches that could occur over the sinks’ lifetime, the models are constructed with 16 gauge 304 stainless steel, and include sound-dampening rubber pads in addition to being fully coated and insulated. “We offer better quality, solid wood cabinets than the competitors,” Cao said. “We’re a full-service company and are ready to serve our customers right away.”

10% OFF ALL GRANITE EXTRA 5% OFF KITCHEN CABINETS New customers only. Also does not apply on prior orders. Cannot be combined with any other offer/discounts.

We will beat all Prices – Guaranteed! COLORS: Burgundy, Cherry, Light Cherry, Wheat Maple, Cinnamon Maple, Eggshell White, and MORE!

Call Us Today! 853-2088 Fax: 853-2058 500 Alakawa St. #106, Honolulu, HI 96817 (Downtown behind Costco Gas Station)




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6 • MARCH 24, 2013

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MARCH 24 • 2013

Popular renovation trends to look forward to this season I t’s time to think spring which means fresh home updates. Spring home improvement projects will help you update your home, add comfort and save more of your hard-earned paycheck. “You can save time, money and stress by planning ahead,” said Kathy Krafka Harkema, Pella Windows and Doors expert. “Seek out expert advice, research product options and schedule home remodeling projects now, while you have the time to plan it and get on the schedule of contractors.” A well-planned remodeling project can: 1. Add curb appeal to your home 2. Increase your home’s energy efficiency and help reduce energy costs 3. Improve your home’s comfort and style 4. Reduce annual maintenance time and expenses Jumpstart your spring projects with inspiration from these 2013 remodeling trends: Energy-saving updates From low-volatile organic compound (VOC) paints and adhesives to more energy-efficient windows, spring projects can help improve air quality and increase your comfor t. Look for ENERGY STAR-qualified products that help lower your home’s energy consumption,

also help reduce certain indoor airborne allergens from accumulating, improving indoor air quality. Cordless window fashions also are safer for homes with children and pets.

and in turn, your utility bills. Better bathrooms For many homeowners, sought-after remodeling projects for 2013 will include kitchen upgrades, bathroom remodels and master bedroom suite renovations. Bathroom remodeling options can include heated bathroom flooring, custom tile and stonework, custom vanity and cabinetry, beautiful bathtubs, showers and fixtures, low-profile linear shower drains and big windows to let in more natural sunlight.

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“Today’s bathroom and bedroom remodeling projects often incorporate relaxing technology and products,” Krafka Harkema said. “With energy-efficient replacement windows from Pella, you can create natural light-filled spaces while also maintaining your privacy and comfort.” Energy-efficient Pella Designer Series wood windows and patio doors bring in the sunshine, and provide privacy with optional between-the-glass window fashions. Between-the-glass blinds and shades


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Hot kitchens Yahoo! Homes says 2013 kitchen remodeling trends focus on practical, durable and do-it-yourself (DIY) projects like refacing kitchen cabinets, adding quartz composite countertops, hardwood-looking engineered floors, deep bowl kitchen sinks, commercial-style or built-in appliances and mixing colors and tones on cabinets. Whether you do the work yourself or hire someone to get it done, Pella can help you complete your spring home improvement projects. Schedule a free, in-home consultation to choose the right product to fit your home’s design, your climate and your budget. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

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Scoring a top grade in long-lasting products W hen it comes to construction, standard materials can differ from one contractor to another. The selection of materials can make the 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 Inc. 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

ATLAS CONSTRUCTION INC. contact // 951-9500 address // 1302 N. School St. web // 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

all of its projects.The company also maintains a high-level grade of materials as its standard for all of its building items. When you use an inferior grade of a building material for your standard components, the initial construction cost is lowered. When you do this throughout the

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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MARCH 24 • 2013


It’s time to get started on your custom kitchen T enibac Kitchen Cabinets & Casework was conceived with the idea that custom cabinets can be affordable and at the same time offer “door styles unlike any other.” The company has door styles that best reflect Hawaii’s lifestyle. It offers door styles in Koa, Teak, Bamboo, Anigre, White Paint or custom colors. It can even combine a Koa inlay into a Maple Shaker door. The kitchen design professionals at Tenibac have the design expertise necessary to help you create what will turn an empty kitchen or existing space into a dream kitchen that is both beautiful and functional. Outstanding kitchens begin with creativity and a practical design that fits your needs; it takes careful planning and attention to detail. Each customer and project is unique and presents its own set of challenges. Listening carefully to cus-

tomers allows the company to work through those challenges, and only then will the design truly reflect your personality and lifestyle. Tenibac offers Aristocratic Cabinets for a truly custom-built kitchen. That is why it is “Architects and Designers Choice” cabinet comTENIBAC KITCHEN pany — it does what other compaCABINETS & CASEWORK nies won’t. There is also an affordable contact // 593-7870 Tradewind cabinet line. Tradewind address // 746 Ilaniwai St. Cabinets are locally built with custom web // sizes to fit your needs, without the big upcharge.They are built with 3/4-inch maple veneer plywood and full extension soft-close drawer guides (which come standard). And Tenibac offers the latest options to make your kitchen efficient, thus “Fusing Custom Cabinets with Affordability.” All of its cabinets are American-made with a limited lifetime warranty. The company offers a variety of additional services while guaranteeing you professionalism at all times. With its showroom in Kakaako, the staff will show you more than 200 cabinet door styles on display (not just four or five) — it is the “biggest little showroom in town.” Tenibac will even install the cabinets for you, so that they meet your expectations. The company is able to manage the whole job from start to finish. By choosing to remodel your kitchen or bathroom, Tenibac Kitchen Cabinets & Casework will work with you to increase the value of your home. Stop by the showroom and talk to one of the experienced design consultants to get your custom kitchen started today, or visit the website CALL US NOW FOR A FREE ESTIMATE 808.548.SOLR | BONTERRASOLAR.COM



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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.

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You’re looking for a solar company you can trust. A company with unparalleled customer service and competitive pricing. A company that doesn’t compromise on quality and has the best technology and warranties in the business. YOU’RE LOOKING FOR THE VERY BEST. YOU’RE LOOKING FOR BONTERRA Contractor License: ct30193



Sink into a wide array of faucets n addition to the premium appliance lines distributed by Servco Home & Appliance Distribution, the company also provides some of the top plumbing brands to the Islands. It distributes sinks and faucets from Franke, KWC, Hansa and Rohl. Here’s more information about each of those brands and some of the best selling items in Hawaii. Franke of Switzerland is the world’s foremost kitchen sink manufacturer and renowned for its commitment to quality and an unmistakable flair for design, using the finest materials and state-of-the-art production technology. By adopting a policy of investment in innovation and technology, Franke has established its position as the largest stainless steel kitchen sink manufacturer in the world and a leading name in kitchen faucets, hot and cold water filtration, undermount sinks and waste disposers. Key models include the Orca, Servco’s best selling single bowl sink. At nearly 31 inches wide, this sink has room for anything that won’t fit in a dishwasher. New from Franke is the Grande line, a high quality but still quite affordable array of single bowl stainless steel sinks. Franke has also recently introduced a completely redesigned garbage disposer line as well as a faucet line. KWC, founded in Switzerland in 1874, has been supplying premium faucets throughout the world since 1911.


SERVCO HOME & APPLIANCE DISTRIBUTION contact // 564-2493 address // 2841 Pukoloa St. web //

terpiece of contemporary design, featuring a unique mix of materials to provide an unparalleled combination of appearance and ease of use. Hansa is a sister company to KWC that offers a wide selection of bath products. From lav sets and shower packages to tub sets and accessories, Hansa products from Germany all have their This Shaw’s Manor House Fireclay Sink from Rohl brings a timeless European heritage on display. look and ease of use to homeowners. Finally, Servco is proud to represent the Rohl family of plumbing lines in Hawaii. Its products include KWC is responsible for the development of the single-lever fireclay sinks from England, exquisitely designed faucets pull-out kitchen faucet, today’s most popular design. Known from Italy, traditional designs from Perrin & Rowe, transifor exceptional craftsmanship and a contemporary appeartional Berman collection and some of the most contempoance, KWC is among the world’s leaders in designing for rary designs, including some of the most effective water filsafety and water conservation. The KWC ONO is a mastration products. Rohl has a faucet or sink just for you.

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MARCH 24 • 2013


A win-win solution for financing PV BY MELANIE MEI t first glance, a solar leasing program may seem enticing. Catchy terms like “No money down!â€? and “Get it now!â€? will warrant interest from any homeowners with photovoltaics (PV) on their shopRISOURCE ENERGY ping list. And with a fixed monthly payment that’s less than your current contact // 843-8100 electric bill, why not lease? What if you could get access to high quality, Tier email // 1 PV panels from a qualified integrator without a lease? web // Risource Energy is “excited to head Hawaii’s CIS market and to link our customers to a viable financial option,â€? said president Darren Furumoto. Customer Mike Chibana installed a PV system through Risource Energy “for his daughter’s futureâ€? and as a longterm solution for energy. “When you get a $16 electric Mr. Chibana, owner of Risource PV System vs. bill, it makes you very happy!â€? Risource Energy is “a good • $19,000 in state and federal tax credits company — good workers, fair pricing and quality work• Banks energy credit from HECO manship.â€? • system pay-off/ownership in 3-4 yrs If Chibana had signed with a solar leasing company, • Electric bill drops down from $265 to $16 2013 and his future may have been radically different • money saved toward his monthly and ownership (see comparison chart). • Panel warranty: 25 years Risource customers not only have access to the latest • Service from local co. CIS technology, but to the majority of the same benefits • low maintenance/ free monitoring of a leasing company through the “Risource financing • can sell home w/o penalty option.â€? • increase home’s market value It’s a win-win for all — homeowners and families alike, • long term savings the environment and our local economy. Take control of • free electricity for system life your family’s financial and renewable energy future now!


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MARCH 24 • 2013 13

What Do You Say? Changing your communication approach may go a long way toward winning over your mate and infusing your home with better energy flow

sake. Fire signs, like Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, can be messy at times, tending to direct their energy toward the outdoors. Libras enjoy entertaining and like nicer things in the home. Interestingly, Sagittarians will splurge for the things they want, but Capricorns will buy them only if they see the value. Cancers will buy most things on sale, with a coupon, or if they are for someone they care about. Taurus can get stuck in a rut, whereas Aquarians love change and want things to remain new and exciting. Capricorns like order, but Pisceans can live without rules and regulations, tending to go with the flow.


Alice Inoue QUESTION OF THE WEEK: Help! My husband just doesn’t “get” feng shui, and I’m frustrated because he won’t do the things I want him to do for us to have good energy in our home. How can I get him to do things instead of sitting around watching TV? I guess I have become somewhat of a nag, and he now tunes me out. Also, last week you talked about astrological signs. Could that be our problem — that we are incompatible by nature? Can you elaborate more on that? And, not to offend you, but he says feng shui is ridiculous and unimportant. What do you say to that?

henever two people share a home, points of contention can involve differences in lifestyles and how to decorate and maintain the home. I often hear from couples that one person is “into” feng shui and the other is not, or that one is neat and the other is not, or that one has a vision of a certain type of home environment and the other does not.


My thoughts on nagging Nagging always puts the other person on the defensive, which can include tuning you out. What is important to you about your environment is obviously not important to your husband, and when you nag, you are not only asking him to do something he does not want to, but you are asking him to be someone he is not or does not want to be. Obviously, I do not have all the details about your relationship, but when did you last show your appreciation for what your husband does do? When is the last time you talked to him about what is meaningful to him? Asking him to do what you want him to do when it holds no value for him gives him no reason to listen, let alone take action, regardless of what he believes about feng shui.

Communicate with the other person in mind Put feng shui aside. If you want your husband to open up and listen to you, talk to him in terms of what he values in his life. Nagging has the same effect as a vacuum cleaner salesperson trying to sell you a vacuum cleaner by telling you that he will make a big commission. You would likely tune him out because you do not care about his commission. But, if you have a severe pollen allergy and he tells you that the vacuum will remove 99 percent of the pollen in the room, you might be more open to listening because he is talking about something that you care about. Your ego speaks up You may be thinking, “Forget that! That’s ridiculous and way too much effort. He should just do what is right, darn it!” Forget about right or wrong. What you want may not necessarily be right for him. Focus on the final result and what you want to achieve in your home. How can you effect the most change? Do you make a conscious effort and take responsibility by implementing a new approach (and get what you want)? Or, do you keep nagging, getting nowhere, and remain frustrated?

As for astrology … My experience as an astrologer (using the time, date and location of birth to get insight into a person) helps me to see people’s differences in detail, which is most helpful, as we all naturally embody certain tendencies that may or may not be compatible, but astrological incompatibility is no excuse for not getting along. The key is to understand that sometimes you have to see things from a different perspective and then change your approach. It is possible to get what is important to you while taking into consideration what is important to your mate, as I mentioned above. Exploring sign tendencies for fun For simplicity’s sake, let’s explore “sun signs” to understand what I mean. For example, Virgos like order and prefer things to be specific or a certain way; Scorpios tend to like to be in control; Geminis scatter things everywhere, and nostalgic Cancers keep a lot of things for old times’

How important is feng shui? I do not see feng shui as the answer to everything, but just one of many ways to create flow and awareness in your life, offering support to make it easier to do what you want and get where you want to go. It is as important as you want it to be.

Final advice In your case, just changing your approach can break the tension between you and your mate over your desire for more feng shui touches in the home and may create an opportunity to take a step forward in a new way.

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 to read her blog, sign up for her newsletters and download useful feng shui tips. MARCH 24, 2013 • 13


MARCH 24 • 2013

Renew yourself and your home in three easy steps W ith spring’s arrival, other New Year’s resolutions may be a distant memory but the urge to improve your home can find new life with this time of year. The transition of seasons is a perfect opportunity to refocus on improving yourself and your space. Repaint and refresh One of the easiest and quickest ways to refresh the look

of your home is with paint. Repainting any room will instantly transform it into a showpiece of your style and taste, while giving you control over the mood of the space. Keeping up with the latest movement in the world of interior design, Pratt & Lambert Paints recently released its 2013 Color Trends Forecast, which juxtaposes dark and light, bold and subdued and bright and pastel. Highlighting the distinct moods and styles of the everyday and elevating the sensory

experience, each of the four collections showcases how contrasting colors can form a very balanced design scheme, perfect for a fresh, balanced start to a new season. Whether you choose from the Phenomena, Vestiges, Dialects or Curated palette, your renewed room will see the rich color saturation and lasting quality Pratt & Lambert is known to provide. With the help of a skilled painting contractor and the right color selections, in a matter of hours, you can transform any room into a reflection of your personal style and panache. A different light You can easily change a room’s entire aura by adjusting

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how it’s lit. A visit to any home store’s lighting section will reveal seemingly endless options. Change out a dull overhead light with an elaborate chandelier for a turn-of-the-century look. Standing floor lamps are available in nearly any finish and style and are perfect for a sitting or living area, while wall sconces can create a soft, romantic glow while saving floor space. If you’re not ready to purchase new lighting elements, you can easily renew the look of your space by updating lamp shades, painting the bases or simply rearranging freestanding lights. Accessorize Little things can make the biggest difference, and putting finishing touches on a space will give it personality, making it your own. Changing or adding decorative rugs, pieces of art, throw pillows and other furnishings can completely change the feel of a room. Experiment with different styles and materials throughout the room, but avoid going overboard with too many knickknacks, which can create a cluttered, crowded feel. You can also give your home additional sensory appeal by adding aromatic candles or stylish oil diffusers, instantly creating a more inviting space.

Cover your bases That old chair you love might be comfortable, but even one piece of furniture with visibly worn or outdated fabric can ruin the look of an entire room. Fortunately, there is an easy way to create a more on-trend space without having to say goodbye to old favorites. • Re-upholster old chair cushions with a plush fabric in a bold new pattern or color. • Re-stain weathered wooden tables and chairs, or paint them a solid color for a modern, chic look.

With a few focused efforts, you can say goodbye to winter in style, and create a rejuvenated home you’ll be proud to show off throughout the year to come.

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litzy billboards and showgirls’ outfits aren’t the only things lighting up Las Vegas. Last week I told you about my trip to Las Vegas Market, the home industry’s semiannual cornucopia of furniture, rugs, accents and everything for beautiful homes. This week, I want to talk about a fun trend that I adore: mixing sparkle and shine — yes, I mean bling! — with natural elements. Furniture and lighting manufacturers and accessories designers are pairing reclaimed wood and metals with crystals in all shapes and sizes. The mix of the old and organic with the shiny and new is incredibly hot and fresh. I’m going to share with you some of what I saw in Vegas and give you tips on how you can bring this uber-fabulous trend into your own home décor. A very easy way to star t is with reclaimed-wood accent tables that you can find almost anywhere. Simply pair these with crystal table lamps that are also easy to find, and voila! You have the latest look. If you’ve been reading my column, you know I love repeating finishes throughout a room. So take the reclaimed wood element and repeat in a bookshelf or picture frame. Take the crystals and repeat them in a mirror or in candlesticks on the table. Next, furniture. I saw high-end furniture manufacturers incorporating bling and it certainly was beautiful. This is a trend and not something for the faint of heart. If you want to try your hand at it and you have an affordable case piece that you don’t mind turning into something fun and trendy— dare I say Bedazzler?! — for a teenager’s room or boudoir, applying some rhinestones to the existing hardware can instantly update your room and make it look hot. Another way to create the “wow” factor is to turn your natural element into your statement piece by making it shine! Painted or silver-leafed reclaimed pieces look modern and fun when accented with

Keep the Sparkle Alive The latest design trends are putting a fresh spin on natural and organic elements in a space by giving them a fresh pop of bling


16 • MARCH 24, 2013

a bold stroke of color. Finally, pillows. This one’s easy. Go to a fabric or craft store and get some meshmounted rhinestones. In the picture, this fabulous pillow looked like it had Marilyn Monroe’s bracelet on it. Why not copy this effect with a simple, clean-lined pillow with a lush fabric, and add your own bracelet?

Pair it with a fur throw and again, have organic-looking reclaimed-wood pieces for a funky, luxurious space. Remember, you can have hot designer trends by looking for things that sparkle. And don’t forget to mix in natural elements.

Cathy Lee is president and designer of Cathy Lee Style and Cathy's Marketplace, a furniture and accessories showroom She recently opened reStyle Hawaii. To find out more, go to


SOLAR WAVE MARCH 24 • 2013 17

Only the strongest solar companies will survive I n recent years, the Hawaii community has witnessed an unprecedented surge in photovoltaic (PV) companies. However, as business levels off, companies with little-to-no qualifications are disappearing from the market as quickly as they came in. Solar Wave remains one of the few PV companies in the community whose business has continued to produce significant profits due to its secure business model and breakthrough technology. “Most solar companies out there are contractor based, meaning they consist mainly of electricians, roofers or other specialists who happen to do solar as well,” said Wendell Choy, president and chief executive offer of Solar Wave. “When sales plummet, they stop solar and go back to what they were doing before.” Financially, Solar Wave recognizes the importance of having immediate access to capital and cultivating reserve accounts. The company is better equipped to handle periods of slow business by relying on recurring income from investments in power purchase agreements and commercial sales, which have much less volume fluctuations.

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Dedicated to quality service Consumers whose chosen PV system providers are on the verge of shutting down may soon be left with solar panels that despite still being under warranty have no support. “At Solar Wave, our number one priority is ensuring our clients receive the proper care and maintenance even long after we have installed the panels. “We are not interested in being known as the company that has the most clients or biggest accounts. What is important is that we do good, solid work for everyone long-term,” said Choy. Exciting new products In February, Solar Wave was invited and accepted to be an official authorized provider of Sunpower, a highly efficient brand of solar panels. Another new product, Exceltech, is a panel-inverter combination. This AC integrated panel possesses an above industry standard watt capac-

ity and allows for significant PV savings. “Most companies have not even considered using comparable technology, because helping customers get the most from their panels is not their interest,” said Josh Akaka, residential sales coordinator of Solar Wave. “They are in the business of selling everyone the same standard panel.” Learn more about Solar Wave by visiting the company’s new design center at the Westridge Shopping Center in Aiea.

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Quality design proves we listen Our company has a specialist in every department. Consultants have many years of experience in their fields and will work together to provide you with coordinating designs, quality products and professional installation. We also provide customers with kitchen and bath design services as well as flooring and window covering consultations with free estimates. Homeowners Design Center’s staff can help develop a design that fits your lifestyle, space and budget. Choosing the best for our customers Our company’s access to a variety of products and vendors means we will recommend what will work best for you, regardless of the brand. Our constantly updated sample and display materials from local and national

HOMEOWNERS DESIGN CENTER contact // 847-0216 address // 1030 Kohou St., Ste. 201 web // vendors means less time in research and less leg work for your project. Everything you need in one place The National Kitchen and Bath Association recommends asking for a cabinet that is KCMA-certified, CARB-compliant and has a long warranty. Homeowners Design Center features many cabinet lines that will meet those guidelines, or exceed them, with lifetime warranties and U.S.-made materials.

Whether you prefer the natural variations of granite, marble or maple butcher block, or the consistency of Corian, Staron, Silestone or Zodiaq materials, the company can help you choose the perfect countertop. For the right flooring, choose from wood, Carpet, Vinyl, Ceramic and natural stones and Laminates. If you need window coverings, the company’s large showroom of displays can help you decide what would best suit your home.

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Here’s a great way to save money, enhance your home I nvesting in a photovoltaic system for your home is about more than simply installing panels on your roof. It’s about quality components that work together effectively as a unit. Unlike the stock market, a photovoltaic (PV) system is an investment that will yield consistent returns over the next 20-30 years. Beyond saving money on electric bills, your decision to buy a solar system is a smar t financial move. According the National Bureau of Economic Research converting your house to solar energy increases the value of your home by roughly 3.5 percent. With bank accounts paying less than 1 percent interest, an investment in PV is one of the best investments you can make. As with all investments, you trust that the money you’re spending will produce worry free returns far into the future. When you choose Island Pacific Energy to install a photovoltaic system on your home, your savings are guaranteed. The following is what they mean.

With every residential proposal, Island Pacific Energy analyzes the unique aspects of your home and produces an energy generation estimate. The estimate takes into account your home's location, the direction it faces, the pitch of your roof and sunlight data from the last 50 years. This data is fed into their computer program to calculate how much energy your system will produce. Island Pacific Energy is so confident in their calculations that they back it with a production guarantee. If the system does not produce the level of energy promised, Island Pacific Energy will pay the difference. Island Pacific Energy is the only company in Hawaii that will provide this guarantee. Along with the guaranteed savings, Island Pacific Energy makes it easy to purchase a PV system. The company’s comprehensive proposal shows you how much your system will cost as well as multiple financing options so you can choose the best way to pay for your system. For information on the guaranteed savings, contact Island Pacific Energy at 377-4570 or

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MARCH 24 • 2013


Your garage has lots of potential hink of a functional garage with an attractive garage floor that is easy to clean and maintain, and leaves you worry-free from stains, unsightly rough concrete, cracks and oil stains. Then, imagine it completely organized with custom cabinets, workbenches or even an entertainment system or bar to suit your individual needs. And, you can have this revolutionary new garage storage and flooring system installed in just one or two days with a manufacturer’s material lifetime warranty. “Garage Organization and Enhancement” is a great way to add to your equity without buying or building a new home. Interestingly, most of us don’t put much thought into our garages. In fact, many of us don’t think of our garages as an asset. If you really think about it, the garage has become the new front door. Instead of going through the front door of the home, we typically park our car in the garage and unload our groceries, bikes, surfboards and other toys on our way into the house. Research shows that many home sellers and even sales people in the new residential developments do not show the garage to potential buyers. Garage Experts was dumbfounded at this discovery. Typically the garage comprises 20 to 30 percent of


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the footprint of the structure, so to not have any value-adding design in such a large area is surprising. Perhaps this is because the garage has historically been an empty shell of four walls and a concrete floor. Most don’t even have drywall or painted walls. With a garage enhancement, however, a lot of value that can be seen

aesthetically can be added to your home. This added value can be felt ergonomically and realized financially as well. More times than not, potential homebuyers will see a finished garage or “enhanced garage” and choose to buy that property over a property without a garage enhancement. Not only does a garage

enhancement increase the value of your property, but it can be an asset to your daily life as well. Men like the “man cave” aspect of creating a place with workbenches and hanging tool storage for hobbies and home projects. And the lady of the house will appreciate the attractiveness of the cabinets and all the additional storage offered by the stylish cabinetry. And, now that the garage has a “finished look,” it can be used for overflow entertaining during holidays and family gatherings. To many of us it seems that our garages have turned into mismanaged and disorganized storage units that are conveniently located close to home.The fact is most of us do not want to open the garage door because we do not want our neighbors to see how unsightly and disorganized we have allowed ourselves and our garages to become. Garage Experts products are proudly made in the U.S. and are the most durable coatings and cabinet systems in the industry — so much so that Garage Experts epoxy coatings and cabinets come with lifetime material warranties. Garage Experts can help you “unclutter your world.” For a free in home estimate, call 596-8833 or visit


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BY KAREN NAKAMURA oday’s new homes reflect changing market preferences and integrate elaborate designs and consumer desires into the floor plans and construction of the homes. And successful home builders have the knowledge, organizational skills and drive to build them. But what does it really take to build a house? Like a CEO, a home builder relies on a number of workers to get the job done right. A home builder guides dozens of skilled artisans and professionals, including carpenters, architects, engineers, plumbers, electricians, painters and landscapers. The builder must understand all of the home’s complex systems and know enough about each contractor’s trade in order to coordinate this skilled team to build and sell a quality product. Some home builders develop the land on which the homes are built. They look at a piece of land to determine whether it complies with zoning regulations, local planning laws and environmental restrictions, and whether it is suitable for development. The home builder studies the lot’s topography, searching for rock outcroppings, shallow depth bedrock, shallow groundwater, natural drainage sources and dense vegetation. Once a builder determines that a site is suitable for construction, he must navigate the permitting process. Home builders serve as liaisons with their communities and local government

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entire construction process, which includes — but is certainly not limited to — laying the foundation; erecting the framing, roofing and siding; building the walls; and installing the plumbing, heating and electrical work. A home builder acts as an inspector.The local building department will inspect the construction site for code violations throughout the home’s construction. But a professional home builder will make certain the home meets both code and warranty guidelines long before and after the officials show up. Once the

house is finished, the builder informs the appropriate municipal departments that it is ready for final inspection and the approval that the home is safe for its new owners to move in. All in all, home builders must wear many hats in order to deliver a home where the owners can hang their own hats, raise a family and build lifelong memories. To learn more about the home building process, contact BIA-Hawaii at info@



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Secure a safe future for the elderly with tub conversions

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BY MICHELLE LEE s Hawaii’s middle-aged and older population increases, members of the community are taking a more proactive approach to ensure a longer and safer future. Safe mobility during advanced years, particularly within the home, is a source of great concern for many residents. The common act of getting in and out of the bathtub has at times led to various injuries from broken bones to paralysis of the limbs. In an effort to protect homeowners, Island Bath Works offers bathtub conversion, an innovation service, which removes a portion of the bathtub side creating a seamless opening. This function allows users to enter and leave the bathtub easily and safely. As the only business on the islands to offer bathtub conversion, Island Bath Works has become particularly wellknown within the older communities as residents prepare for old age. Kenneth Kuniyoshi, who lives in Mililani with his wife Arlene, recently took preventative measures against a potential accident and installed a walk-through bathtub with the company. “I am looking forward to my old age and realized that climbing over the bathtub would eventually become a problem for me,” said Kuniyoshi. To remedy his concern, Kuniyoshi called Eric Thompson, owner and field operator


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of Island Bath Works, to schedule a bathtub conversion. “I was surprised how seamless and beautiful the bathtub came out,” said Kuniyoshi. “It looked like it was a custom-made job.” Bathtub conversions can be easy to install and inexpensive

Island Bath Works aims to complete each job as efficiently as possible with minimal interference to the homeowner’s personal lives. Because the conversion consists of converting the existing bathtub, major reconstruction or demolition of the bathroom is not necessary. The entire process typically requires only one day to install, and customers may start using their new bathtubs the next day.

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Residents have the freedom to choose where to place the bathtub entryway for any desired size up to three feet. The conversion can be done on any type of bathtub whether it is made from fiberglass, cast iron or steel. “We use an acrylic polymer material, which is stronger than most bathtub materials,” said Thompson. Those who may be weary of moving forward with bathtub conversion due to price concerns can take comfort in knowing that the process is substantially more inexpensive than most alternative options. “Before knowing about Island Bath Works, I looked into removing and replacing my bathtub entirely,” said Kuniyoshi. “The estimates I received were extremely expensive, significantly more than Island Bath Works.” “While most other companies will quote you anywhere between $12,000 to $15,000 to install a walk-in shower or sit-in bathtub, our services achieve the same result with a high-quality finish for approximately 80 percent less,” said Thompson. Furthermore, Island Bath Works ensures the durability of all its products with a lifetime warranty on all labor and materials as well as a five-year warranty on any refinishing.



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Don’t replace kitchen and bath cabinets, paint them! BY DEBBIE ZIMMER ooner or later, we all tire of the cabinets in our kitchens and baths. Maybe styles have changed, or possibly, our own taste. Or, maybe, our cabinets just look worn from the strenuous demands of everyday use. Replacing the cabinets is always an option. But, with money so tight, that’s not in the cards for everyone. And does it really make sense to replace the cabinets without replacing the countertops, upgrading the appliances, or installing a new floor? Rather than wrestle with this remodeling “domino effect,” you can change the appearance of your cabinets by simply painting them. It’s a lot faster than remodeling, it’s easy and since it involves little cost, it’s the right move in the current economy. Like so many painting projects, surface preparation is important when painting cabinetry. Start by removing the cabinet doors — this will spare you a lot of stretching, stooping and bending during the course of the project. Regardless of whether your cabinets are made of wood or metal, sand them carefully to remove any loose stain or paint. If the cabinets have a glossy finish, sand all the surfaces you’ll be painting so that your new paint will adhere well. Then dust off the surfaces or wipe them with a damp cloth. If any bare wood or metal is exposed — either due to the sanding or from ordinary wear and tear — apply a quality latex primer to the entire cabinet. Be sure to use a corrosion-resistant primer if your cabinets are metal. When the primer dries, paint the cabinets with a durable, top-quality 100 percent acrylic latex paint, preferably in a gloss or semi-gloss finish. Paints with higher gloss are more stain-resistant and are easier to clean, which are important considerations in kitchens and bathrooms. If your cabinets are subject to excessive wear and tear, consider using a high quality latex gloss enamel rather than paint. It produces an even harder, tougher, more stain-resistant finish. No matter which top quality coating you use, you’ll be


Debbie Zimmer is Paint Quality Institute’s paint and color trends expert. This article is courtesy of Home Improvement News and Information Center.

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Let’s Talk Flooring Good Sunday Morning to you! This week I would like feature the beautiful wood species that are most popular within our Kahala Floors Engineered line. Most of our woods hail from South America and Africa, with a few from Southeast Asia. Among the hardest woods in the world, Ipe (e-pay), Cumaru (koomaroo) and Lapacho are extremely popular with customers wanting the most durable of wood floors. Next up are Santos Mahogany and Brazilian Cherry which feature beautiful deep red coloring and offer fantastic hardness, as well. A very exotic island look resembling Koa is Tigerwood, named appropriately for its beautiful black stripes. And a newcomer on the scene is Acacia.



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It has developed a strong following among those wanting a very natural, rustic look. It looks amazing when used in contemporary décor as a grounding element (no pun intended) where you inject a nice dose of naturalness into the picture. To see more up close and personal, please visit our beautiful 3000 sf showroom today! Aloha, Shirley Pai Hilton Looking for new flooring or re-doing your shower? Start by attending our fantastic seminar

Please join us for our FREE seminar

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pleased with the results of your painting project. And, if you ever want to change the color again, you’ll know just what to do!

ALL ISLAND BATH REMODELING LLC • Tubs, Showers, Counters, Vanities, any type of Wall Surrounds • Rust, Fiberglass, Tile Crack Repair and Refinishing • The thickest tub liners available on the market • Specialist in Cost Effective Alternatives for property managers, realtors, hotels, homeowners & senior citizens • Walk through tub cut for Seniors or disabled • Complete remodeling consultation

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847-7711 MARCH 24, 2013 • 23


MARCH 24 • 2013


‘Doing it right’ when it comes to replacing windows, siding T ropical Wholesale (Tropical), a locally owned family business, has been replacing siding and windows in Hawaii for 30-plus years. Tropical is the expert at “doing it right.â€? Owner Matthew Houar realized many years ago that the most important thing local customers want is an honest job done right and a fair price with a company that will be here in 10 years to back up the warranty. This is why Costco and Sam’s Club both have Tropical as their Hawaii siding, window and door contractor. Finding an honest contractor who does the job well is not easy when you don’t know who to ask. Recently, there have been more break-ins than ever, and our our homes are getting older and parts are harder to find to repair jealousies. Homeowners are repairing their windows, doors and homes more than ever before. So who should homeowners call? This has been a difficult question to answer, since Oahu has seen a number of Mainland companies relocate to Hawaii to start window, door and siding businesses because of the bad economy on the Mainland. How do homeowners know what’s good, what’s bad and who will be here in 10 years? What’s more confusing is the new Mainland companies that have introduced a lot of clever advertising tricks and sales techniques. Luckily, most akamai Hawaii consumers realize if the deal is too good to be true ... but some actually don’t. Here are some tips on how to avoid the gimmicks of purchasing siding, windows and doors: • Nothing is for free! The reason for this is that every company needs to make a profit. If it does not, the company will not be in business for a long time.

Contract License: #BC-27653 & #BC-14660

TROPICAL WHOLESALE contact // 263-1252 • 292-2942 web // • If a salesperson tells you he or she is not making a commission, or that the company is not making money on your job, it simply is not true. They are salespeople because they make a commission. No one works for free. A common phrase is, “I have 24 years of experience.â€? Is that experience in sales or construction? And is it in Hawaii or the Mainland? They are all completely different. • Not all products are the same: this includes warranties, quality of manufacturing, materials used and, of course, installation techniques. Make sure to call manufacturers and confirm stated warranties. Almost every manufacturer voids Hawaii, Guam, Alaska, five miles from the ocean and hardware due to salt air conditions. If the factory won’t Work In Progress

*Minimum 2,000 square footage/ Restrictions apply.

WINDOWS & DOORS 263-1252 / 456-4892 / 396-0971 Windward

24 • MARCH 24, 2013




per sq. foot. [ Plus Tax ]

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So if you want the job done right at a fair price, go local and trust Tropical, a company with 38 years of experience in installing windows and doors in Hawaii with thousands of local customers. Also, if you are a Costco or Sam’s Club member, call the company for club member prices.


Over 10,000 SatisďŹ ed Customers


• Beware of the validity of claims such as “self-cleaning glass,â€? rebates for your old windows and windows being manufactured especially for Hawaii. These could be gimmicks to get people who are interested in a product to respond and call the company. Remember, just like most people will tell you, there is “no free lunch.â€?

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warrant the product in Hawaii, the only warranty you’ll get is the installing company’s warranty. In 38 years in Hawaii, Tropical has found that the average company lasts five years or less in the industry.

For A Free Estimate, For All Projects Call Victor: 428-5191 or 531-3888 Design s New Home sAdditions sRenovation sCommercial

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Come and visit our showroom at Y3 Construction, Inc./Lic#BC15731



MARCH 24 • 2013 25

“Serving Hawaii Since 1981”

Enticing buyers into your home with aromatic scents W hen a home smells good, it makes a favorable impression on visitors. This is exactly what home sellers want when they put their house on the market. The concept of ambient fragrancing started to trickle into the real estate market years ago. Savvy real estate agents advised sellers to bake cookies or cinnamon rolls in the homes they were showing to create a comforting, deliciously scented atmosphere meant to entice buyers. The essential oils used in

the practice of aromatherapy offer a more practical and potent way to use scent marketing to move buyers to feel good about a property. Tiny amounts of familiar, tempting aromas like cinnamon, clove, vanilla and orange, can fill a whole house with pleasant ambient fragrance. An added bonus is that essential oils are all-natural and distilled from plants. They are less likely to elicit the kind of adverse reactions that harsh synthetic fragrances do. Aromatherapy expert Tom Havran has several

ideas to help you sell your home. He crafts blends for Aura Cacia, purveyor of 100 percent pure and natural essential oils and aromatherapy products. A passionate expert on the properties of essential oils, he has been crafting essential oil blends for 15 years. His suggestion is an easy and sleek way to create a warm, comforting atmosphere that can help put potential property buyers at ease. Havran recommends using vanilla essential oil blended with jojoba. Here are the ingredients

for Vanilla amber aroma crystals: • 1 cup coarse-grained, chunky sea salt • 1 teaspoon jojoba or grapeseed oil (just enough to make the salts glisten and gleam) • 25 drops vanilla precious essential oil • 10 drops lavender essential oil • 10 drops sweet orange essential oil Directions: Mix salt and oils, pour into a decorative dish or bowl and set out on a table. Placing the crystals in a warm sunny window or near a heat register will help diffuse the delicious aroma throughout the room. Stir in additional essential oils to boost the scent as needed.

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Essential oils are concentrated, so a little goes a long way. An initial investment in a small 1/2-ounce bottle of oil will provide you with enough applications to conduct dozens of open houses. Learn more at

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This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.

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(808) 754-3393 or (808) 937-7938


PCO 924

MARCH 24, 2013 • 25


MARCH 24 • 2013

Bathroom upgrades that boost livability S taying safely in their own home as they grow older is a major concern for many Americans. In a 2012 survey by AARP, 70 percent of surveyed members said they were “extremely or very concerned about aging in place.” Even if you maintain an active lifestyle and good health, growing older often requires you to manage changes in mobility, vision and accessibility. The bathroom is both one of the most impor tant and riskiest rooms in the house for people aging in place. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says falling in the bathroom can be particularly harmful for older people, and encourages homeowners to take steps to reduce the risk of falling in the bathroom. If you plan to live independently at home for as long as possible, making a few simple changes in the bathroom can help you do so more comfortably and safely. Here are a handful of cost-effective changes that can help facilitate aging in place.

Raise fixtures Increasing the height of key fixtures such as the toilet and sink can provide greater comfort and ease of use for people with mobility challenges. Replacing a standardheight toilet with one 16 to 17 inches high is an easy, affordable task. While most standard toilets are 14 or 15 inches tall, the extra two to three inches of height can make a big difference for anyone with mobility issues. The Champion 4 Right Height toilet from American Standard provides a comfortable 16 1/2-inch ADAcompliant height, plus powerful, clog-free flushing performance. Replace older faucets Conventional two-handle faucets can be difficult to manage for people with arthritis or decreased flexibility of the hands. Leverstyle faucets are a good option for convenient ease of use. Single-handle styles are another easy to operate alternative. For single handle sink and shower faucets, be sure to ask for styles that have a hot limit safety stop to restrict how far the handle can be pushed toward the hot side.

For the shower, a thermostatic mixing valve that allows the temperature to be preselected to avoid scalding is another critical feature.

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Secure your bathing environment To minimize the risk of falls, install grab bars in showers, above tubs and around the toilet to help provide stability. Consider


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MARCH 24 • 2013 27

a walk-in tub or shower to enhance safety, or add a seat to shower enclosures. The American Standard Walk-in Bathtub offers accessible, and enjoyable, bathing with a built-in comfort seat and deep soaking dimensions. In the main part of the bathroom, remove area rugs that may pose a tripping hazard. Consider replacing slick surfaces like smooth ceramic tile with slip-resistant flooring that provides a gripping texture, such as textured vinyl or tile. Look at lighting Vision changes are a reality of aging for most people. Bathroom lighting should provide ample illumination while minimizing glare and shadows that can hinder depth perception. Invest in both overhead lighting and task lighting in areas where you groom. Waterproof lighting over showers and bath tubs can enhance visibility and safety when climbing in or out of bathing areas. Natural light can also boost safety and mood. Consider installing a skylight (tubular skylights can bring natural light to lower level bathrooms) or replacing traditional window panes with options that provide privacy without blocking light, such as glass blocks or frosted glass. Transforming your bathroom into a safe haven with stylish, accessible design solutions can help support changing needs as you age. This article is courtesy of Brandpoint.


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847-3288 • 2006 REPUBLICAN ST • HONOLULU Email: • MARCH 24, 2013 • 27


MARCH 24 • 2013



RON D ELECTRICAL SERVICE LLC contact // 744-9255 email // •

All powered up to be the best BY JACKIE M. YOUNG

f you want a reputable company that’s committed to doing all its own work — not outsourcing work to others — and is locally owned and operated, go to Ron D Electrical Service LLC in Waipahu. “I remember our humble beginnings,” recalled owner Ron D., “when it was just myself and two other electricians working out of my house in 2006, then growing to 25 workers in 2010 but then needing to cutback to 15 during this recession. “I understand growing pains and having to budget, and I just want to treat customers fairly and honestly. That’s my pledge. And I want to be responsive to their needs.” Ron’s company is well-known for such large, commercial projects as new lighting, wiring, underground service and fire alarms for the Hard Rock Cafe at Waikiki Beach Walk, Diagnostic Labs in Halawa, the Boys


28 • MARCH 24, 2013

and Girls Club in Nanakuli, the new St. Francis Intergenerational Center in Ewa, the new Foodland in Kapolei and Longs Drugs in Mililani Mauka, as well as on Maui. But Ron also enjoys helping residential customers with their house re-wiring and upgrades, meters, underground service and, of course, solar. “People have to think

whether it’s better to invest in re-wiring their house, or to risk a possible fire due to overloads. “In the old days, a house’s load was designed for 70 to 100 amps; now, especially if you have solar, it should be wired for 100 to 200 amps. If you keep adding loads to your home (such as solar), the wiring

might burn before your circuit breaker will trip, possibly causing a fire. Your breaker is outdated if it’s being tripped constantly.” Also, many residents don’t realize that a qualified electrician has to be contracted to do the wiring for all solar installations; it can’t be left to just anyone. And, with the recently increased tax incentives and all the concurrent benefits (excellent return on investment, immediate electricity savings, protection against future electricity costs, being energy-independent, reducing your carbon footprint and conserving natural resources, and increasing your home’s value), there’s no longer any good reason not to install a solar system. As 1st Class Solar, Ron D. and his expert electricians will help you through your solar project from start to finish, including all the necessary applications and permitting. And through the month of April, the price couldn’t be sweeter — at only $950 a panel! So for all of your electrical contracting or solar needs, call Ron D Electrical Service LLC at 744-9255 Monday through Friday, 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m. Or you can email rondelec or 1stclasssolar@


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