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Spring 2017

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What the 5-year revaluation means for your property

Treasure hunting

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22

Dream closets

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Learn about our local public school facilities

From mold nightmare to dream home

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Outdoor living spaces

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Test your local trivia knowledge

published by pscommunications

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Images from our past


Family-owned since 1967

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JAKE LETTERMAN (336) 338-0136

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Top Producing Realtors 4

Spring 2017

A guide to what’s happening right now in our local real estate market

Appearing in the Northwest Observer’s third issue each month Contact us for advertising info (336) 644-7035, ext. 10 advertising@nwobserver.com


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Guilford County completes 5-year property revaluations Over 75 percent of properties within the county increased in tax value by BONNIE WRISLEY and PATTI STOKES

April 29-30 & May 6 -7 • 1-5pm Admission is FREE Parade of Homes magazines are available at the Parade homes as well as area Harris Teeter and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores

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Spring 2017

Included among the bills and advertisements property owners found in their mailboxes in late February was a property revaluation notice which showed the county’s proposed value of their property as of Jan. 1, 2017. In Guilford County, 210,000 residential and commercial properties were included in the recent revaluation process. Properties are periodically revalued to reflect the property’s “true” value in light of changing real estate market conditions; to establish updated market values for tax purposes, the county’s in-house licensed appraisers analyze recent real estate sales in each neighborhood and develop formulas which are then applied to properties. From there, the county tax assessor’s office provides tax base figures to the county as well as all municipalities and fire departments within the county for budget purposes. State law requires all counties conduct a countywide revaluation at least once every eight years. Guilford County was on an eight-year revaluation cycle until 2012, when it switched to a five-year cycle. Counties are required to reappraise all real property at 100 percent of market value in a revaluation year. In its 2017 Reappraisal FAQs, the county defines market value as “the price estimates in terms of money at which the property would change hands between a willing and financially able buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or to sell and both having reasonable knowledge of all the uses to which the property is adapted and for which it is capable of being used.” Alan Myrick, assistant assessor for real

estate for Guilford County Tax Department, said that based on market analysis, appraisers “make the call’’ as to boundaries of neighborhoods. For example, a neighborhood could have the same boundaries as plotted by the developer, or two adjacent, similar developments might be considered as one neighborhood for appraisal purposes. The county has about 2,600 appraisal neighborhoods. Once these appraisal neighborhood boundaries are defined, the appraisers review recent sales within those neighborhoods and compare the prices paid to the market values of other properties in that neighborhood as established by the last revaluation. “We rarely go outside neighborhoods for comparable sales,” Myrick said. “For rural or unincorporated areas, appraisers will look at land pricing, as rural properties often have a sizable tract of land.” Myrick added that appraisers will factor in the quality of the exterior construction of a house to arrive at the new value. The evaluation of commercial properties for tax purposes poses more difficulties, Myrick noted, as commercial properties do not sell with the same frequency as residential properties. For commercial real estate, the appraisers track lease rates as well as analyzing sales of comparable properties. Once the new tax values are set, the tax office hands them off to the county’s budget office for the next step – determining the county’s property tax rate. The budget office looks at the tax base and calculates one rate for all properties. There is the potential for this property tax rate to change every year, depending on the county’s fiscal needs. When the county reassessed property values in 2004, the new valuations reportedly reflected a period of growth and

continued on page 27


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Looking for treasures in all the right places From nostalgic household items to repurposed furniture and so much in between, Golden Antiques and Treasures offers a little bit of everything and a lot of unique by PATTI STOKES

Step into the expansive building that houses Golden Antiques and Treasures off U.S. 220 in Stokesdale and you feel as though you’re in a world all to itself. Your journey begins at the front counter, where you’ll be greeted with a warm welcome and friendly faces. If it’s a weekend, John Childress will likely be there with his wife, Gina, who works at the business full-time, and often at least one of the couple’s

four children, who range in age from 14 to 24. It’s been a family affair since the Childresses purchased the business in late January. You’ll want to set aside some time for this experience, as it could easily take a few hours – or more – to explore the over 70 vendor booths housed in this upscale antique and treasures mall.

Of course, while there you must visit the General Store for some Homeland Creamery ice cream, or maybe a smoothie or hot dog; and don’t leave without checking out the outdoor garden center, where you’ll find everything from plants to garden statues and other unique decorative items to adorn your outdoor spaces. As of April the garden center will also feature architectural salvage such as old doors, iron gates, clawfoot bathtubs and a line of paint from

Photo by Patti Stokes/PS Communications

Gina and John Childress stand in front of one of the over 70 vendor booths at Golden Antiques and Treasures; the couple purchased the business in late January.

Black Dog Salvage in Virginia.

The mall’s wide aisles give you ample room to meander from booth to booth, each reflecting its owner’s unique personality and tastes.

Resident artist Michael Hirsch’s booth – rather, mini gallery – is found near the back of the building. As soon as you come upon it, your eyes will be drawn to the gorgeous paintings, pastels and pencil drawings of beloved pets and humans, wildlife and landscape scenes. In this phase of life Hirsch offers his talents as much as a ministry as a way of producing revenue.

A former science teacher runs a booth called “Science Rocks.” “He loves what he does and when he’s in the booth (almost every Saturday), he loves to encourage kids in science,” Gina said.

Meet Our Tea m

Seated: Dawn Stone; back row, from left: Amy Clark, Kris Cayton, Robin Priddy, John Flynt, Zandra Slaydon and Phillip Stone

(336) 643-4248 8500 Ellisboro Road, Suite B, Stokesdale

www.ANewDawnRealty.com

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Spring 2017

It was John and Gina’s hobby that led them to purchase Golden Antiques and Treasures. Gina, who enjoys bringing furniture back to life, said she had long been the “queen” of driving along and seeing a discarded piece of furniture, then sneaking it into the back of the car, taking it home and fixing it up.

John has always loved going to estate, moving and yard sales.

“On Saturday mornings he would start looking online for the sales,” Gina said of her husband of 25 years. “It wasn’t my big thing, but I loved doing it because it was with him and it was our Saturday morning date… we never created a business out of it, but just did it for fun.” Several years ago the couple’s oldest


son, Tyler, got a part-time job at Golden Antiques when it was located in Summerfield.

“He would just be the go-to guy for everything, and he loved working there,” Gina said. “We would go and visit and my husband loved the atmosphere. That’s what got us thinking about being a part of the business.”

In July 2015 Golden Antiques relocated several miles north on U.S. 220, in Stokesdale. While the couple was there one day, then-owner Kevin Golden shared with them that he was ready to sell the business. After much deliberation, Gina and John decided to buy it.

“For me, if you feel strongly enough and it keeps coming back, you are being led,” Gina said.

Before she and John took over in late January, Gina spent several months getting to know the customers and vendors and learning about the business operations. “It has been a positive experience,” she said. “This is such a neat atmosphere to work in. The outside needs curb appeal (she and John have plans for that), but when you walk inside, it’s just a peaceful feeling. I often hear, ‘Wow, I never expected this place to be so cool.’ Once customers have come the first time, they usually come back again and again.” A people person, Gina’s goal is to make customers “feel loved and welcomed and have fun.”

The Childresses continue to attract vendors who offer a little bit of everything from decorative home items, collectibles, pottery, jewelry, dishes, glassware and tools to antiques and refurbished or repurposed furniture as well as new furniture from 220 North.

“I love the inside so much more,” Gina said of the evolving look and feel of the mall. “It’s less of a flea market atmosphere and more inviting to spend time in.”

Of the mall’s customers, Gina said some come just to browse and enjoy the atmosphere while others come with a purpose. For example, a friend’s daughter, who loves everything vintage, just bought a house and the friend was able to find numerous furnishings that perfectly

matched her daughter’s taste. “That mom is still getting things for her daughter’s home – last week she got an old china cabinet, painted and distressed. Then they left and came back two hours later and said, ‘Well, we’re getting the dresser too!’” Gina said.

Gina smiles as she talks about the mall’s regular customers, such as the “cute couple” who comes in almost every weekend.

“They are never looking for anything purposeful, they just have fun,” she said. “They will walk through the first half of the mall, get a little dessert and coffee from the General Store and then do the other half. They have fun together and find little treasures. I love seeing that.” Then there are the two friends who live several miles from each other and use the mall as their halfway meeting point about one Saturday every other month. “They will get a shopping cart and spend a lot of the day here,” she said. “They are best buddies.” Booth vendors range from the hobbyists to those who view their booth as a business, with some even having booths in various locations throughout the area.

“Where can you go and pay low rent, have your own business, all of the space maintenance, utilities, etc., taken care of and the sky is the limit? It’s a win-win,” Gina said. “Many of the vendors are very creative and they take pride in what this place is. They also have very giving hearts, and have painted and used their creativity to make this place look so much better.

“I do feel it has a family atmosphere – and I love that.”

Want to go?

To get to Golden Antiques, turn off U.S. 220 onto Simpson Road, then take the first road on the left, where you’ll find them at 341 Ram Loop. The building’s exterior will soon be painted barn red and new signage will be added to make it both more attractive and more visible from the highway.

General store with local goods, hand-dipped ice cream, coffee, smoothies and a garden center •

220 North Modern Furniture

70+ shops 24,000 sq. ft. Offering everything from antiques and collectibles to home décor, vintage and shabby-chic furniture. Plus sportsman items, housewares, jewelry, tools, books, comics and much more. Limited dealer spaces available

Events Community Yard Sale Every 2nd Saturday starting April 8 Easter Egg Hunt April 9 Vintage Car Cruise-In May 7 Golden Tickets in the Mall May 20-21 Ladies’ Night June 1, 6-9pm

UNDER NEW OWNERSHIP 341 Ram Loop Road, Stokesdale • (336) 949-4958

goldenantiques1@gmail.com • Open Mon-Sat 10-6 & Sun 12-6

goldenantiquesandtreasures.com shoprockinghamcounty.com/goldenantiques1

See ad on the right for contact information (and please be sure to mention you read about them in PS Communications’ atHome publication).

Spring 2017

9


Take your living space outside Enhancing your outdoor living space can increase the value as well as enjoyment of your home by PATTI STOKES The majority of homeowners have plans to tackle some type of project in the upcoming year to enhance their outdoor space. Regardless of whether the project is a smaller one such as adding some plants, decorative garden items or a swing or fire pit, or something more elaborate like a fully furnished outdoor kitchen or a glassed-in porch, experts in the home industry agree that investing in outdoor  Photo curtesy of Creative Garden Spaces

Waterfalls complemented by natural stones and boulders are a trademark of Creative Garden Spaces.

living space has multiple benefits.

"The pay-off from investing in an outdoor living space comes in many forms," Bob Dallas, CEO of ultraoutdoors.com, said. "Not only is it good for the value of your home, but it's a solid investment for creating great recreation and entertainment spaces, and giving your family a relaxing area where they can re-charge their batteries."

LANDSCAPING, WATERFALLS

Creative Garden Spaces, based in Oak Ridge, specializes in creating custom landscapes and water features that enhance the nature surrounding them. “We’ve created everything from small patios to fire pits to waterfalls, koi ponds,

continued on page 13

Treating customers like neighbors Residential & Commercial Mowing • Trimming • Overseeding • Fertilizing • Plugging Pine needle distribution • HOA Owner Curtis Atkins: • Lifelong Colfax resident • Northwest Guilford Class of 1985

For exceptional lawn care service, call Curtis at (336) 362-5860

10

Spring 2017

• 28 years of experience caring for lawns in northwest Guilford County • Recently retired after 30 years of service at Kernersville Fire Dept.


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This covered deck with a central fireplace and media center, built by Paradise Decking and Outdoor Living, hosts guests year-round. Travertine flooring is used throughout the outdoor living space.

can recover some of what you spend, but it depends.”

Setting resale value aside for a moment, Snell notes it’s hard to put a price on how much enjoyment you will get from time spent outside with friends and family.

OUTDOOR LIVING

continued from page 10 boulder walls and even ‘extreme’ outdoor kitchens,” CGS owner Vince Williams said. Before delving into an outdoor project, Williams enjoys brainstorming with the client; it’s during this phase that he’ll study the contours of a site and paint outlines to indicate where certain features might go.

“It is truly very interpretative,” he said. “We pre-pick all of our stones with certain things in mind as we are evaluating the site, and then we start to let it evolve. A lot of people don’t put enough credit into the soil and earthwork part of it, such as the contours and grading. I believe strongly in that phase because it can make a landscape look much more natural.” Creating small backyard ponds and waterfalls is a CGS favorite project, and clients enjoy the look as well as the sound of the water as it falls over rocks or even flows through a piece of pottery. CGS crew chief David Godwin said past clients have requested home projects ranging from the more “rugged” look with lots of natural stone and large boulders to a more formal, even look us-

ing patio pavers. The company prefers working with natural stone versus man-made products.

“For me, if you don’t have anything out back there’s no reason to go outside – adding to your outdoor space makes you want to spend more

time outside and it can be worth it (the expense) if you use it to grill, entertain and watch the kids run and play,” he said. A popular trend right now is to use wood elements for outdoor flooring, whether real wood or stone veneer that looks like wood. Water features are also very popular, Snell confirmed, and may include a waterfall or just a pot that overflows and recycles water.

“You don’t have to blow out the budget,” he said. “You can do something from as small as taking up old plants and replacing them and then doing some mulching, or build a small patio with a fire pit. We even have kits you can put together for a fraction of the cost, or we can build a custom one. There is something for everybody.”

LANDSCAPE LIGHTING

Landscape lighting can also greatly enhance a yard, and Williams said even a small, simple lighting package can dramatically highlight the architectural details of a house and give the homeowner a

continued on page 14

“Over the 30 years I’ve been in business I’ve seen trends come and go,” Williams said. “I like man-made engineered products fine, but I tend to be cautious about using them. Stone has a little bit more of a timely feel and because it’s natural it doesn’t tend to go out of style.” Aaron Snell of Ideal Landscaping and Irrigation said his company also does a variety of outdoor projects on a small and large scale. “Indoor spaces are morphing to the outdoors,” Snell said. “Houses are getting smaller and outdoor spaces are getting bigger. People want to spend their money on extending their home to the outdoors.” When working with a new client the first thing Snell does is help them establish a budget, whether it’s $5,000 or $150,000. “Especially when we are doing a design, we need more information,” he said. “If the project will be done in phases we want to figure out up front how we can phase it out and consider how long they are going to stay in their home. You

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Spring 2017

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The difference is clear.

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Photos courtesy of A.B. Seed and New Garden Gazebo

Garden statues, gifts, decorative containers and more can be found in A. B. Seed and New Garden Gazebo’s retail centers

Window cleaning

OUTDOOR LIVING

continued from page 13 new appreciation of it.

“We take the same approach to lighting as we do with landscapes and can incorporate features to get effects such as picking up the warm colors of stones or the moonlight. We take lighting to a very detailed level,” Williams said.

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Snell said Ideal Landscape and Irrigation has long offered outdoor lighting to complement their landscape projects, but demand specifically for outdoor lighting has increased so much that he’s in the process of adding a new division, Ideal Landscape Lighting.

Spring 2017

REWARDING PROJECTS

Williams cites two very different projects as being among some of the most rewarding he has been involved with. Over the last several years he and his team at Creative Garden Spaces have been honored to work on five different projects at the Sarah P. Duke Gardens, which consists of four distinct gardens spanning 55 acres on the campus of Duke University in Durham.

The Duke Gardens is considered one of the top 10 public gardens in the United States and over 300,000 people come from all over the world each year to view it. Williams and his crew especially enjoyed working with renowned architect Sadafumi Uchiyama to create and install a 3-acre Japanese garden on the property. “It was a neat opportunity to get to show what we’ve learned over the years and put it in a place where so many people can enjoy it,” Williams said. Another rewarding project CGS did for one of his neighbors was much smaller and less complex. “They had a swampy backyard, even in the summertime,” Williams said. “The kids couldn’t play out there and it was unusable. We designed a French drain system in their yard which remedied the problems. He calls me often and is so grateful. It was great to do something so mundane and yet make a difference in his family’s enjoyment of their backyard.” As for one of the most rewarding landscape projects Snell and his team have worked on, he said it was a project he was involved in through GreenCare for Troops. “We did a big outdoor living space for a soldier who had been deployed and surprised him when he came home,” he said. “That is by far the coolest and most rewarding project we’ve ever done.”


OUTDOOR KITCHENS, LIVING ROOMS

For over 25 years Paradise Decking and Outdoor Living, based in Summerfield, has designed outdoor living spaces featuring single and multi-level decks, patios, screened porches, sunrooms, outdoor kitchens, fireplaces and fire pits. During that time the company has seen interest in outdoor kitchens explode, and they’re getting more and more elaborate. Anndrea Vorobej, the company’s marketing manager, said selecting the right appliances is key because the appliances will be exposed to the elements. For those with a covered space, she suggests including vents to ensure proper air flow. “Grilling is the epitome of outdoor kitchens,” she said. “Adding ovens and side burners keeps you from having to run in and out of the house to boil water, heat sauces or keep things warm.” New in recent years is the addition of outdoor dishwashers and refrigerators, Vorobej noted. “Entertaining is much easier when you

keep all your outdoor entertaining – outdoors. Ensure you also have a good seal on your cabinets so you can keep a full set of serving dishes outside as well,” she said. As for appliances, make sure they are UL (Underwriters Laboratories) approved to operate in wet conditions so they will look great and function long-term, Vorobej advised. “Don’t forget to give yourself ample counter space,” she added. “Solid counter tops offer a longer life and durability to your outdoor space. Granite can bring added visual focus, highlighting complementary colors and providing a workspace that looks great.”

FLOORING

Homeowners are also extending their inside flooring to the outdoors and Vorobej confirmed wood flooring is popular, as well as travertine, a form of limestone, which remains relatively stable in hot or cold temperatures. Marshall Stone, with its closest location in Colfax, North Carolina, offers an expansive inventory of quality stone

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products. The company recently introduced a new flooring product, cappuccino flagstone, which features rich brown tones to add warmth to any outdoor living space. With a high-end look, this flagstone is a great option for home and commercial applications.

Check out the company’s blog posts at www.newgarden.com for gardening advice.

PLANTS, ACCESSORIES

A.B. Seed, located at Piedmont Farmers’ Market in Colfax, is the area’s largest dealer in garden fountains and Belgard pavers. The retail center’s staff is happy to show customers how they can develop an outdoor garden room, from product selection to contractor estimates. To complement your garden and outdoor spaces, A.B. Seed offers a large selection of wild bird feeders and houses, wild bird feed, garden and garden pond supplies, glazed pottery, concrete planters, benches, bird baths as well as unique home decor items and gifts.

WHY STAY INSIDE?

Televisions and entertainment equipment specifically designed for the outdoors and outdoor furniture offering the comfort and look of indoor furniture while being made to withstand the elements are just some of the products now offered to enhance your outdoor living experience. “Designing a space that is seamless with the house is key,” Vorobej said. “Breaking down the space for functional use in various areas creates added living space and leaves you with the feeling of a much larger space. Some homeowners are mixing their space, with half covered to bring the inside out and the outside in.”

New Garden Landscaping, which has offered landscape design, installation and maintenance services for 40 years, also operates a gift store and retail garden

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Exceptional craftsma Q

uality, luxury, craftsm are standard in all Build David Flanders has an extremely hard to exc every single client.

Casey Flanders, David her husband as owner assists their clients in m design selections for th

David's and Casey's sk one another, giving Bui cannot be found elsew

(336) 3

Visit us online at w or facebook.c

Owners Casey and David Flander


anship | Timeless design | Luxurious lifestyles

manship and customization ders MD homes. Owner eye for detail and works ceed the expectations of

d's wife, works alongside r of Inspired Design. Casey making the perfect interior heir new custom home.

killsets greatly complement ilders MD an edge that where.

362-2234

www.buildersmd.com com/buildersmd

rs with their sons, Easton and Noah 


2. Legend has it that the miller at the

Old Mill of Guilford had a dream just before a skirmish with British soldiers to take over the mill. He said he dreamed: a. That one day little American boys and girls would be able to join hands with little English boys and girls as sisters and brothers. b. That a huge snake came in and took over the mill. He decided the dream meant the British were coming, so he prepared by moving his cows to a pasture where they likely would not find them. c. That his big toe was on fire. Later, during the skirmish, that toe was reportedly shot.

3.

True or false: parts of Stokesdale are actually located in Stokes County.

Test your knowledge of local trivia

4. Stokesdale was once called Green Pond because:

a. A family named Green first inhabited the area and their farm included a large pond near the main road. b. Near the town was a greenish-colored pond. c. A pond near the center of town was so full of frogs in the spring and summer that it looked green.

5. True or false: when the Civil War

began, Oak Ridge Institute (now Oak Ridge Military Academy) had about 100 students. After John A. Gilmer Sr., a Congressional representative and lawyer from Greensboro, gave an address to the people of Oak Ridge on the war, all but three students enlisted.

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s

18

Spring 2017

6.

Dr. Joe Robinson, who lived in Oak Ridge and had an office in Stokesdale, reportedly did his first surgery on:

10.

The monument in front of Summerfield Elementary School was dedicated to Charles Bruce, founder of Summerfield and an important political figure of the Revolutionary War era, and James Gillies, the bugle boy killed by British soldiers, by: a. A local Veterans of Foreign Wars post, in 1940.

a. His son, who needed a tonsillectomy.

b. The senior class of Summerfield High School, in 1936.

c. Chickens.

c. The Daughters of the American Revolution, in 1922.

b. His father, who had appendicitis.

7. True or false: the school color of

Northern High School (purple) was chosen because the student body of Northern originally came from Northwest, whose school color is red, and Northeast, whose school color is blue; when blended, red and blue make purple.

8.

Each of the local towns had its own schools, but one did not go past eighth grade. Was it: a. Oak Ridge, because local students could attend high school at Oak Ridge Institute (now Oak Ridge Academy). b. Colfax, because local farming families needed their older children to stay home and work on the farm. c. Summerfield, because students wishing to go to high school could attend New Garden Friends School.

9.

True or false: Summerfield is named for a field along U.S. 220 between present day Summerfield and Stokesdale where legend says northern and southern troops met during the Civil War but refused to fight because of the stifling summer heat.

11.

True or false: Belews Lake was built in 1950 to serve as home to the Belews Lake Skiettes, an all-female water skiing group modeled after groups in Florida’s Cypress Gardens.

12.

Some Stokesdale residents were miffed and felt the town was insulted when, in 1984, the mayor of Kernersville said his town was: a. Bigger and better than most local towns. “At least we’re not like Stokesdale,” he said. b. “Too vibrant and too alive” to be renamed Mayberry, after the Andy Griffith TV show. “If you’re looking for a place like Mayberry, I suggest you go to Stokesdale.” He added that Stokesdale businesses hadn’t “driven a nail over there in 40 years, so I guess they’re finished.” c. Stokesdale was a beautiful little town, but didn’t hold a candle to Kernersville. “We’re much more progressive and growing, than, say, a town like Stokesdale.”

Answers

1. True. The WPA provided jobs and income to the unemployed during the Depression. 2. c | 3. False | 4. b | 5. True | 6. c | 7. True | 8. a | 9. False. Summerfield was named for Rev. John Summerfield in 1812. | 10. c | 11. False. Belews Lake, completed in 1974 and used by many for recreation, was created as a cooling pond for Duke Power’s Belews Creek power station. | 12. b

1.

True or false: the gymnasium at Summerfield Elementary School was built by the Work Projects Administration, the largest agency of FDR’s New Deal.


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Dream closets:

big, bright and beautiful No longer viewed as a mere necessity, closets in many new homes incorporate features such as custommade shelves and cabinets, pull-out drawers – and even decorative lighting by ANNETTE JOYCE

Photo courtesy of Builders MD

Built-ins with glass doors allow the homeowner to see what’s inside while keeping items dust-free.

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Spring 2017

There was a time when a closet was… well, just a closet. Not anymore. These days everyone lusts after the droolworthy kind of enclosure that showed up on the big screen in 2010 when Carrie Bradshaw was gifted with her dream closet in the movie, “Sex and the City 2” – a closet that’s big, bright and beautiful! When it comes to closets, local builders aren’t about to disappoint their buyers, and remodelers are stepping up to give people who are happy with their current homes the opportunity to partake of the dream as well.

Size matters

In most cases, a dream closet starts with a big space. David Flanders, owner of Builders MD in Oak Ridge, is wellknown for his closet creations. In fact, Flanders said most of the comments he receives on his new homes tend to focus on the closets. For maximum utility, size is important. “I keep the closets as large as possible,” said Flanders. “The master closet is usually 10 feet by 12 feet and I try to keep the closets in the other bedrooms at least 6 feet by 6 feet.” Patty and Francis Disney, who own Disney Custom Homes in Oak Ridge,

confirm that dream closets usually come in larger sizes, and said master closets in their new homes are typically 120 square feet or larger. Gerald Pitts, owner of Things of Wood and More, a Colfax company that produces custom cabinetry, agrees that larger is better. While Pitts works with a builder, he also does a lot of remodeling work and has done numerous transformations in older, smaller homes. One of his most memorable projects involved adding a 12-foot-by-16-foot closet to a Greensboro home built in the 1960s; the homeowners had lived there for about 30 years and relied on the two extra bedrooms for most of their storage space. “The wife wanted a larger closet so they added it onto their home,” Pitts said. Working together, Pitts and the owners designed a unique space to meet the wife’s vision for closet space. In the center of the closet, he built a large island with pullouts to store her collection of shoes. There’s also a space for hanging fur coats and lots of cubbies for sweaters to be double stacked. Many of the cabinets have doors to keep clothes and other items dust-free.

Optimum organization

In a recent report by “Family Features,” a publisher of food and lifestyle content, 57 percent of women surveyed desired an organized closet to enable them to find what they need easier and faster. The report further revealed that having a disorganized closet is a problem for at least one in four women. One in 10 women even reported being depressed when they open their closet doors.

continued on page 30


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Northwest/Northern Thinking about a new house? Public School Facilities Start your home search where the lots are. • Hilton’s Landing • Hartman Farm • Cedar Hollow Estates Lot prices $75,000 and up

The following information about public school facilities was obtained from Guilford County Schools, Greensboro Academy and Summerfield Charter Academy. There are no immediate plans for new schools or additions to these facilities. Note: mobile units not used as classrooms are being used as resource, administrative and/or other support spaces.

Colfax Elementary Built in:

1955

Ann Powell (336) 327-3473 ann.powell@allentate.com

Additions: Classroom wings in 1983 and 1999

Mobile units: 7, of which 1 is used as a classroom

From the patio to the gutters,

we’ve got you covered!

Permanent capacity: 824 Current enrollment: 623

Oak Ridge Elementary Built in:

1923

Additions: Cafeteria in 1957, classroom and gymnasium in 1974, classrooms in 2005

Mobile units: none

Permanent capacity: 841 Current enrollment: 739

Pearce Elementary Built in:

2007

Additions: none

Mobile units: 2, of which 1 is used as a classroom

Permanent capacity: 836 Current enrollment: 729

Stokesdale Elementary Window cleaning | Gutter cleaning Pressure washing

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Spring 2017

Built in:

1953

Additions: Cafeteria in 1956, gymnasium in 1960, administrative and classroom addition in 2007

Mobile units: 4, of which none are used as classrooms

Permanent capacity: 605 Current enrollment: 521


Summerfield Elementary Built in:

1936

Additions: Rock gymnasium in 1939, classroom in 1955, classroom in 1959, administrative, multipurpose and classroom in 1983, cafeteria, classroom and media center in 2011

Mobile units: none

Permanent capacity: 760 Current enrollment: 638

Northern Elementary Built in:

2008

Additions: none Permanent capacity: 824 Current enrollment: 590

Mobile units: 3, of which none are used as classrooms

2000

Additions: none Permanent capacity: 1,155 Current enrollment: 780

Mobile units: 3, of which 2 are used as classrooms

Northern Middle Built in:

2007

Mobile units: none

Built in:

1962

Additions: Shop and classrooms in 1965, classroom wing, arts wing, gymnasium, cafeteria and media center in 2002, athletic field house in 2012

Mobile units: 27, of which 22 are used as classrooms

Permanent capacity: 1,863 Current enrollment: 2,106

Greensboro Academy Built in:

1999

Additions: Rubberized running track and a turf field in 2004 Permanent capacity: 755 Current enrollment: 754

Mobile units: none

Summerfield Charter Academy

Kernodle Middle Built in:

Northwest Guilford High

Additions: none

Built in:

2012

Additions: Classroom addition for Spanish Permanent capacity: 756 Current enrollment: 740

Mobile units: none

Find your way to savings.

Permanent capacity: 1,114 Current enrollment: 852

Northwest Middle

Built in:

1970

Additions: Classroom and auxiliary gymnasium in 2012

Mobile units: 19, of which 15 are used as classrooms

Permanent capacity: 870 Current enrollment: 1,051

Northern Guilford High Built in:

2008

Mobile units: none

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Additions: none Permanent capacity: 1,412 Current enrollment: 1,391

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Spring 2017

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Visit our Parade Homes April 29 -30 | May 6 -7

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Toxic mold nightmare inspires dream home After black mold forced them out of their former home, couple gives careful consideration to interior features, energy efficiency and love of nature when designing dream home by ANNETTE JOYCE

7300 Lanval Drive, Oak Ridge • Knight’s Landing community

Mike or Rick Lee (336) 362-4462

Commie or Casey Johnson (336) 706-1887

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24

Spring 2017

Sometimes the worst circumstances can lead to something wonderful, and such is the case with Dr. Bo Fried and his wife, Ann McCarty. In 2011, three years before building their dream home, the couple went through a nightmarish ordeal. After dealing with unexplained and acute illness, they discovered toxic black mold in their home.  Photo by Annette Joyce/PS Communications | This unique home is the result of

a collaboration between its owners, the builder and the designer.

With no viable remedy, they decided to walk away from their home and possessions, ultimately offering them to the fire department to use for a practice burn. Finding themselves unburdened by a lifetime’s accumulation of possessions, Fried and McCarty took the rare opportunity to begin from scratch and plan every detail of their new home. The result is a home that’s not only energy-efficient and environmentally friendly, but custom designed to fit their lifestyle. Getting to that point wasn’t easy, however. “We spent a year mourning the old house, then a year planning the new house and a year building it,” Fried said. The couple wanted to avoid any possibility of having the same problems that caused them to abandon their former home. They also wanted a smaller home that would be maintenance-free and energy-smart.

continued on page 28


A look into our past

Road in SummerďŹ eld t Church on Lake Brandt dis tho Me d ite Un r nte Ce around 1940. Members of after attending a service oto ph s thi for e tsid ou ed stepp

The original Atlantic & Yad kin Railroad Stokesdale, w depot in hich burned to the groun d in 1908.

facing north t is now N.C. 68 ha w s ow sh o ot e result of This tinted ph rutted road is th ily av he e Th . ad ace. near Peeples Ro the unpaved surf wagon wheels on

Spring 2017

25


Let us introduce you to these Looking for a full-time agent that focuses on you and your needs? Look no further! I’m originally from Pennsylvania, but have lived in the Triad for 27 years. I live, work and volunteer in the northwest area and proudly give back to the community. With technical expertise and negotiating savvy, I confidently guide my clients though the home buying and selling process. Real Estate at a Higher Level – that’s DeDe’s Real Estate Group!

With 16 years of real estate expertise, I find nothing more rewarding than finding the perfect home for a first-time buyer or someone new to the area. As a lifelong Guilford County resident, it’s been exciting to see our area grow! Real Estate is my passion. I offer an exciting approach to marketing and purchasing homes, and past clients will tell you I think outside the box. I am proud to have assisted more than 50 families in 2016. Let’s partner together to buy or sell your next home!

DeDe Cunningham, Realtor/Broker

Ashley Fitzsimmons, Broker/Realtor

www.dedestriadhomes.com

allentate.com/ashleyfitzsimmons

If you are looking for a real estate agent, simply ask yourself: ‘Do I want someone who... 1) is a “full-time” real estate broker; 2) will work hard for me and put my interests first; 3) is thorough and will walk me through the entire process step by step; 4) is on time, honest and accountable; and 5) will provide me with professional, positive and satisfying results?’ If so, then feel free to contact me whether you are buying or selling. Then sit back and relax!

Life in the Triad is full of endless possibilities. With nearly 25 years of sales and marketing experience, I strive to provide value-added service. Whether you are downsizing, relocating or looking to expand, I work to maximize your equity. Hire me to represent you, whether buying, selling or investing. I serve the Triad and specialize in the northwest area. Allow me to open the door to your next possibility!

NC Licensed Contractor • BA in Architecture (336) 509-1923 • dedecunningham@kw.com

Gil Vaughan Buyer & Seller Representation REALTOR®/Broker, ABR, CGP, CSP, e-Pro, SFR, SRES

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Attention, Realtors Throughout the year, we offer many opportunities to promote yourself and your listings 

Appearing in the Northwest Observer’s third issue each month, this section serves as a guide to what’s happening in our local real estate market. To learn about the front cover package or other display advertising: (336) 644-7035, ext. 10 advertising@nwobserver.com

(336) 312-4543 cell ashley.fitzsimmons@allentate.com

Kelly O’Day REALTOR®/Broker

(336) 541-2011 • kelly.oday@me.com

Real Estate Showcase ads are a costeffective way to promote your listings year-round in our classifieds section. For more info: (336) 644-7035, ext. 10 advertising@nwobserver.com

Don’t be absent when our readers search this annual directory for real estate services! For more info: (336) 644-7035, ext. 10 advertising@nwobserver.com


local Realtors You are one-of-a-kind in the business! We quickly realized it was important to have you handle the sale of our home. Your appreciation for the area and its people – and your understanding of our personal connection to our home – was apparent. In moments of great tension and stress, you kept us calm and remained professional. You’re always willing to jump in and get the job done, whatever it is. Thank you for a great experience! –Robert & Randi Powell

Bobbie Gardner

CRS, GRI, EcoBroker, Relocation Specialist (336) 382-5939

kw.com/kw/agent/bobbiegardner

SUMMERFIELD OFFICE

Experience... Integrity... Compassion... these are just a few words that describe the cornerstones of business for KERBAPPEALS REAL ESTATE. As a Realtor® in the Triad since 2005, customer service is my #1 priority. If buying and/or selling a home is your priority, please give me a call. I promise to work with you – and for you – every step of the way!

Gail Kerber

, CDPE, ABR, SPS, SLS Realtor®/Broker/Owner

KERBAPPEALS Real Estate (336) 327-1165 cell kerbappeals@gmail.com

THE BOBBIE MAYNARD TEAM – A team of Realtors/ Brokers with 75 years of combined experience. Our agents focus on and live in NW Guilford County. We are dedicated to making your real estate dreams come true. Our team specializes in working with relocation companies to market your home for sale. Whether you are buying your first home, moving up or downsizing, we have an agent to fulfill your needs. We will put our years of experience to work for you!

Bobbie Maynard, Broker/Realtor CRS, GRI, CSP, Green • (336) 215-8017

www.bobbiemaynard.com

PROPERTY REVALUATIONS continued from page 6

appreciation in the local real estate market; still, the revaluations prompted numerous appeals from property owners whose values jumped by as much as 30 to 40 percent. In 2008 the real estate market was experiencing a significant decrease in activity, and while there were some upward fluctuations in the local market, overall the trend in the next few years continued downward. “This long-term decline has created highly unusual circumstances which are unprecedented in any Guilford County revaluation cycle over the last 40 years,” the county reported on its website in 2011. According to a News & Record report, out of about 208,000 properties revalued in Guilford County in 2012, about 5,000 taxpayers, or 2.4 percent, filed informal appeals. Almost half of those appeals were settled or dismissed before the county Board of Equalization and Review began hearing appeal cases. In the last five years the market has picked up considerably and according to Guilford County Tax Director Ben Chavis, over 75 percent of properties within the county increased in value in the most recent revaluation. “The real estate market has been very active the last couple of years and that has given us a good number of comparable sales within each neighborhood,” Myrick confirmed. Residents have 30 days after receiving their new property valuation to appeal it in writing. As of March 24, the tax department had received 2,950 appeals to the most recent revaluation. Bobbie Maynard, a Realtor with Allen Tate, confirmed some of her sellers have brought up their new tax values when deciding where to set the list price for their home. Maynard expects some buyers “may be more impressed” by the overall higher values and subsequently make an offer at or close to the tax department’s value. Keller Williams Realtor Bobbie Gardner said when listing a property for sale she performs her own market analysis, which she believes is more accurate than the tax value.

Spring 2017

“The tax department bases the value on the exterior (and on other home sales in the neighborhood) and rarely takes into consideration the wide variation of interior differences,” Gardner said. Also, sales involving distressed homes and/or foreclosures can bring down the tax value of other homes; Gardner cites an example of this occurring in a Summerfield neighborhood where a property lost $30,000 in tax value due to two recent distressed sales in the same neighborhood. “Often the tax department is really comparing apples to oranges due to their limited access of the property,” Gardner said. “Of course, most consumers are happy when the tax value is lower than market value, as that usually means they will pay less in property taxes.”

Property valuations

(includes real property, public utilities property and personal property)

GUILFORD COUNTY 2017: $50.3 billion 2012: $45.4 billion 2004: $39.5 billion STOKESDALE 2017: $668 million 2012: $563 million 2004: $382 million OAK RIDGE 2017: $986 million 2012: $835 million 2004: $533 million SUMMERFIELD 2017: $1,511,000,000 2012: $1,338,000,000 2004: $916 million

FY 2016-2017 property tax rates (per $100 valuation) STOKESDALE | county 75.5¢; town 0¢; fire district 10¢ SUMMERFIELD | county 75.5¢; town 2.75¢; fire district 13.1¢ OAK RIDGE | county 75.5¢; town 8.63¢; fire district 8.48¢

27


NIGHTMARE TO DREAM HOME

Photo by Annette Joyce/PS Communications

While researching their options they connected with Chapel Hill home designer Michael Chandler and local builder Gary Silverstein, owner of Silverstein Construction in Oak Ridge; both men are well-known for their work in building green homes and agreed to work together to help the couple create a home that reflected their personalities and values. Fried and McCarty had to first find the ideal location. Although they looked at several different sites, they couldn’t find one they liked more than the 8.5-acre wooded lot where their former home had been. Before designing the house, Chandler and his wife Beth walked the property with them to determine exactly where it should be located. “Sometimes houses are designed too much in an office without considering the space they’re going to be placed in,” Silverstein said. “That’s not the case with this house.” Featuring a green hardie board exterior and red-trimmed windows, the

and environmental impact. In Fried and McCarty’s previous home, the mold issues began with undetected leaky pipes in the crawlspace. This won’t happen again because there is no crawlspace. The house is built on a slab that floats on foam insulation, which Silverstein said also provides better air quality inside the home. Fried and McCarty admitted they asked Silverstein to do a lot of things he’d never done before, one of which was to allow them to be very participative in the building process. “Gary was willing to collaborate with us to create this home. Not every builder would have done that,” McCarty said. One of the home’s many unique features is the couple’s choice of flooring. While the top level has wood and tile flooring, floors on the main level are stained concrete. Overall the floors are a

Builder Gary Silverstein and Oak Ridge residents Dr. Bo Fried and Ann McCarty stand behind the island countertop Fried handcrafted from black walnut trees.

continued from page 24

2,400-square-foot, T-shaped house sits on a patch of cleared earth surrounded by towering trees. Each side of the house boasts several large windows, making it difficult for some to even know what is the back or the front of the house. Fried and McCarty usually refer to the sides of the house in terms of north, south, east and west. Besides allowing so much natural light to

dge Oa k R i

Historic District

stream in, the windows also give the couple great views of the nature that surrounds them. Birds, turkeys, rabbits and deer are regular visitors, with a raccoon or coyote stopping by now and then. The house is a National Association of Home Builders certified Gold Level Green Home, which means it meets the National Green Building Standard that takes into account such things as energy efficiency

Are you in the Oak Ridge Historic District and considering remodeling or landscaping? Talk to us before you start work! Changes to your structure’s exterior or landscaping must adhere to the Historic District’s Design Guidelines. For more information, visit www.oakridgenc.com or call Town Hall at (336) 644 7009.

Oak Ridge Historic Preservation Commission

Promoting historic preservation in Oak Ridge (336) 644 7009 | www.oakridgenc.com

28

Spring 2017


brownish hue, accented with decorative touches such as the swirly design that flows from a main exterior door and the rug-like design in the dining room. But what about walking barefoot on cold concrete? No worries there. The floor is warmed by radiant heat emitted from pipes underneath the concrete, and solar panels mounted on the tin roof provide a source of heat. The kitchen countertops are also made of concrete, tinted red and speckled with flecks of various colors. Maintenance is a breeze, and there’s no chance they’ll wear out. To further decrease the house’s environmental impact, the couple locally sourced as much of the materials as they could. “When you think about the environment, you have to think about people shipping things,” McCarty said. “Everything we could source locally, we did.” Much of the wood used in the home came from nearby trees. Window trim was made from poplars taken down from the building site, and porch ceilings came from pines that grew on the property. The stained wood ceiling in the dining room came from an oak that had fallen at a home nearby. With the help of a friend, Fried cleaned up the tree and had it milled. An avid woodworker, Fried made and installed a lot of the wooden pieces and features throughout the home. There’s the kitchen island countertop that he crafted from black walnut trees from Browns Summit, and the shelf he made from a piece of flooring salvaged from the old Washington Mills textile plant in Mayodan. To add interest to the mantel, he decided to leave the tunnels that bugs had bored into the tree. Some of the home’s furniture, including the couch and coffee table in the living room, were handmade by Fried. Fried also turned some of the house’s “dead space” into something useable. For example, there is a narrow bookshelf cleverly tucked into the exterior of the kitchen cabinets and abundant shelves in the pantry. A shoe shelf in the foyer goes a few feet up the wall and has enough space for 21 pairs of shoes. The couple’s bedroom is on the second floor. The striking ceiling features

wood and beams from the same walnut trees used on the kitchen island. One of the most unique features of the bedroom is the roof garden which adjoins it. An exterior bedroom door leads to a long, narrow deck that juts out to a wall of trees. The flooring is made of aluminum decking and a small cable rail ensures an unobstructed view. Fried noted this is one of the couple’s favorite places to relax and enjoy a starry night. Surprisingly, the three-bedroom, twobath home has only four closets. With the exception of the couple’s main closet, which is actually a spacious open space without a door, none of them are especially large. This reflects the minimalistic approach they’ve taken to decorating. “We learned that stuff isn’t important,” McCarty said. “It is relationships, and taking care of the earth.” There is an absence of window treatments, rugs and any other accessories which would distract from the beauty that radiates from within the home’s simple interior to the backdrop that nature provides. There is one exception, however. The couple has separate, adjoining offices. “That’s where we make the biggest mess so we made them as small as possible,” Fried joked. The wall that separates the offices was designed without any electrical outlets so that if in the future they want to combine the two small rooms into one larger room they can simply eliminate that wall. In planning the house, Fried and McCarty also considered how they would accommodate their needs as they grow older. When they can’t, or don’t want to, climb stairs anymore, the couple has everything they need on the main level, including a bedroom that is the same size as their current bedroom and a downstairs bathroom with an oversized shower that is large enough to navigate a wheelchair around. Doors are also sized appropriately. “I think thoughtful design is really what happened here,” Silverstein said. “When you think you have another need you usually just add another space, but when you consciously go through a design process like Bo and Ann did, you end up with a home that meets a lot of needs.”

Custom Millwork, Mouldings, Trim, Cabinets and More.

Cardinal Millwork and Supply is locally owned and has been a quality supplier to the Triad building industry for the past 10 years.

We supply: • • • • • • • • • • •

Standard and Custom Moulding Custom Cabinets Stair Parts – Wood and Iron New and Replacement Windows Custom Entry Doors ALL Your Interior Trim Custom Built-ins Custom Shutters and Beam Work Custom Mantels Door Hardware Turn-Key Installation Available

Spring 2017

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29


DREAM CLOSETS

Your local real estate expert to buy or sell since 1996

continued from page 20

Ramilya Siegel

CRS, GRI, ABR, SRES, Realtor® Chairman’s Circle Award

(336) 215-9856

ramilya.siegel@allentate.com /RamilyaSiegel

A dream closet filled with amenities is a natural anti-depressant for this crowd – and local builders are listening. More than just throwing in a few rods and shelves, they’re taking the time to determine what their customers want and then delivering solutions. Both tall and double-hung rods, shelving, drawers, shoe racks and more are packed into these dream closets, with wood being the building material of choice. “We custom build all of our closets with wood shelving which, unlike wire, allows you to use the space better with solid surfaces,” Patty Disney said. Another notable characteristic is the furniture-like design and quality of the built-in features. This reflects a trend with master bedrooms and people’s desire to make them more spacious. “The builtins cut down on the need for furniture in the bedroom, which is something customers really like,” Don Mills, owner

Photo courtesy of Things of Wood and More

Gerald Pitts, owner of Things of Wood and More, built an island in the center of this closet with pull-outs to accommodate the owner’s shoes.

of Don Mills Builders, said. Flanders has also taken advantage of this trend to make closets a unique home feature. “Our closets have built-in dressers and cabinets. Most have eight to 12 drawers,” he said. “I tell people ‘your furniture comes with your house. You don’t have to have a dresser in the master.’” Disney added that this also gives the closet a more attractive appearance. “The use of drawers and doors gives more of a finished look and provides an area that can become a showcase in your home,” she said.

Together or separate

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30

Spring 2017

In creating the ultimate closet, builders have differing opinions about whether to offer his-and-hers closets or opt for a larger, combined space. Mills said many of his homeowners prefer the idea of split closets. Women want two big closets so they can make the husband think he has a closet, but she can take hers and half of his,” Mills joked. Flanders said most of MD Builders’ homes feature a single walk-in closet in the master, explaining a shared closet allows more room for amenities.

Disney Custom Homes offers a hybrid of the two choices. “We tend to build more combined closets with a partition that defines the space as two individual closets,” Patty said.

Something extra

Most dream closets have something a little extra that sets them apart from the ordinary. Flanders likes to add a chandelier, loads of molding and trim, and something unexpected, like a rolling library ladder that accesses storage high above the regular shelves. “My closets are always over the top,” he admitted. “Some people say I go too far, but I like to try something different.” When possible, Mills will add a transom window to a closet to provide natural light. If part of the closet includes a full-size window, he’ll add a window seat for convenience and extra storage. Pitts often adds shallow pull-out drawers to closet cabinets. “People want to see everything,” he said. “They don’t want to have to pull all their stuff out.” It’s that kind of convenience and attention to detail that turns a plain and simple space into a dream closet.


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At Home | Spring 2017  

Featuring a slice of life in the northwest Guilford County, NC area, from local history to practical home-related topics and more

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