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Fabulous k fun! Saving energy with smart automatic blinds................ 2A LIGHTING: Let there be... LED!........... 3A SPRUCE UP EXTERIOR: Changes big and small.....4A Planting evergreens for all seasons....................6A

BATHROOMS: From high tech to the height of luxury................ 8A COVER: Fabulous & fun! Design experts share their secrets..................... 10A

DESIGN TRENDS: Timeless and tasteful.... 12A GARDENING: Bringing your lawn back to life................................... 14A Top gardening trends......17A

COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN

A Special Section of The Rivertowns Enterprise • April 14, 2017


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The Rivertowns Enterprise 95 Main Street, Dobbs Ferry, NY 10522 • (914) 478-2787 www.rivertownsenterprise.net

PUBLISHER Deborah G. White SECTION EDITOR Todd Sliss ART DIRECTOR Ann Marie Rezen ADVERTISING DESIGN Suzanne Brown ADVERTISING SALES Marilyn Petrosa,Thomas O’Halloran, and Francesca Lynch ©2017 W.H. WHITE PUBLICATIONS, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART IS FORBIDDEN WITHOUT THE PUBLISHER’S WRITTEN PERMISSION.

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APRIL 14, 2017

Saving energy with automated smart blinds

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aking up in the morning is never easy, especially in a room darkened for sleep. But imagine if your blinds automatically raised with the sun each morning, letting the light in just when you need it. Imagine you could also set them to close when you are getting dressed or exiting the shower. What if you could also set your blinds to stay closed later on weekends for little extra sleep time? Enter the brave new world of motorized shades and automatic blinds, which not only help by maintaining healthy sleep patterns and saving home energy, but also are just plain cool. These new technological shades can be preprogrammed to open and close at specific times throughout the day, and can also be controlled via smart phones. Additionally, they can be an add-on to a smart home system that can include lights, heat, air conditioning and other options. How do smart blinds help homeowners save money? In the summer, sunlight streaming through windows can heat up rooms and make air conditioners work harder. Alternately, in the winter, keeping the blinds raised to let the sunlight in can reduce heating costs. Having them open and close on their own, consistently, whether or not you are even home: even better. Motorized blinds can even be connected to smart thermostats, which can then tell the blinds to open or close based on the ambient temperature of a room. The shades can actually do a lot of the work that heating and cooling system used to do. Bringing in smart technology can mean more than impressing guests — it can increase convenience and even cut waste, saving both energy and money in the long term. — Maja Tarateta


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THE RIVERTOWNS ENTERPRISE | PAGE 3A

BY MAJA TARATETA

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hen it comes to lighting today, many people are in the dark.Light bulbs are no longer what they used to be. And people need to be “enlightened” to all the changes, say lighting-store experts. And they are here to help “shed light” on the subject, so to speak. What’s causing all the confusion? Gone are the good old incandescent light bulbs, which have been effectively phased out due

to the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA). The EISA required bulbs to be more efficient. The complications of meeting the new requirements with old technology led manufacturers to switch to newer technologies — like compact fluorescents, halogens and LED bulbs — to meet the new efficiency requirements. “It’s a whole different type of energy,” said Chris Nichols of Bedford Lighting in Bedford Hills. “People are confused.” “LED is the main subject in our showroom right now,” agreed Gary Novasel of Patdo Light Studio in Port Chester. “It is

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the latest and greatest, but there is a lot of confusion. There’s a lot of mystery.” According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a light-emitting diode, or LED, is a type of solid-state lighting that uses a semiconductor to convert electricity into light. Today’s LED bulbs can be six to seven times more energy efficient than conventional incandescent lights and cut energy use by more than 80 percent. Lighting stores like Bedford Lighting and Patdo are trying to make the new bulbs make sense to people. Most lighting stores, including Patdo, now have counters in their showrooms devoted to helping people experience the new and different bulbs and types of light they shine. At Bedford Lighting, Nichols will sometimes even lend out light bulbs for people to try before they invest in them. “To cut to the chase, LED is where we are moving,” Nichols said. “They offer longevity of life and are the most energy efficient.” The U.S. Department of Energy says that good-quality LED bulbs can have a useful life of 25,000 hours or more — meaning

they can last more than 25 times longer than traditional light bulbs. That is a life of more than three years if run 24 hours a day, seven days a week. And, unlike incandescent bulbs, which release 90 percent of their energy as heat, LEDs use energy far more efficiently with little wasted heat. They are also the most expensive light bulbs up-front, but Nichols says they are the most cost-effective over the long run. “You are saving on the monthly electricity bill and not having to change the bulbs,” she added. This is most welcome news to homeowners with bulbs that need to be reached by ladder or pole light bulb changer. Most LEDs are warrantied to last at least five years and up to 30 years, she said. Adding to the confusion is the fact that people should no longer be concerned with wattage. “Color temperature and lumens is what you look at now,” said Nichols. “Lumens are how bright the bulb will be.” In other words, an LED bulb’s wattage rating doesn’t indicate its brightness; its lumens Continued on page 17A

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APRIL 14, 2017

Refreshing change

Spruce up your exterior with changes big and small

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BY MAJA TARATETA

pring is the busiest time of year for house painters. People are finally going outside, enjoying the first nice days of sunny weather. They start to walk around their homes and notice paint peeling here and there, places that have not weathered well during the winter and other concerns. “People are finally getting outside and noticing that their homes are not looking as wonderful,” said Mitch Berliner, owner of Certa Pro Painters of Westchester County, based in Bedford Hills. “Peeling paint, rotten wood, cracked shutters… our phones are ringing off the hook.” “People are coming out of their caves and looking around,” said Bill Bradsell, proprietor of Bradsell Painting and Carpentry in Bedford. “Winter is the harshest for the house, exterior-wise.” As people emerge, experts in refreshing exteriors agree that a little can go a long way to sprucing up the outside of a house. Bradsell often recommends homeowners start by considering a simple power washing of problem areas, especially where mildew can be seen. “This is a great way to clean things up and make them look new again,” he said. “Sometimes, you can delay the time until you need to invest in a more costly paint job.” But, he adds, new exterior paint is definitely the most economic way to refresh the outside of your home. “You get the most bang for your buck,” he said. Berliner agrees: “One of the absolute least expensive refreshes you can do is a fresh coat of paint. Changing colors can really enliven the exterior.” Some of his clients will paint the outside of their houses every two years, “Reflective of their mood,” he said. Others will do it to help sell a home that is on the market. Berliner recently was called to a home that had been put up for sale, but was not seeing a lot of offers. The real estate agent asked what he thought could be done to help create interest. Berliner painted the shutters and front door a vibrant blue. The house is now in contract to be sold, he said. When contemplating exterior paint jobs, Bradsell likes to consider whether or not homeowners like the house’s cur-

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rent color, if there are any architectural details they would like to have accented, whether they want their home to appear larger — in which case, they should paint it a lighter color — and if they want it to blend more into the landscape. Simple exterior paint options that can go a long way to enlivening the exterior include painting shutters or the front door, say both Bradsell and Berliner. Maintaining an exterior deck is another top refresh Berliner recommends. “Sanding and refinishing the wood with a semitransparent stain or a solid coat creates different looks that are definitely refreshing,” he said. For Patrick Reddy, owner of Pound Ridge Painting Company, “We just want to spruce it up,” are words he often hears when people call him to look at their homes. But he cautions homeowners not to scrimp when it comes to painting. “Paint is only as good as the foundation it is put on,” he said. “If it is not properly prepared, or if the structure is not sound … We really only want to do a job if we do it correctly.” He added, “Preparation is key for the durability of a paint job, especially to last

home. Others want to change the look of their house because their windows are “old and tired.” Some are changing the look of their home from a more traditional feel to transitional. And still others have problems like drafts or windows that stick. For more simple window refreshes, Blum said some will repaint and fix caulking. If they are newer and have mullions, they can be removed for a more modern look. Sills and moldings can also be changed, painted and revitalized. Blum also advises changes to front doors as a way to invigorate an exterior. He sometimes changes single doors to double doors, plain ones to doors with glass insets, or adds glass sidelights. Said Reddy of Pound Ridge Painting, fences and gazebos are other exterior additions that can refresh a home’s curb appeal. Bradsell sometimes builds pergolas to bring both shade and character to dead spaces. But experts keep coming back to paint. “When a house is freshly painted,” said Reddy, “it always looks great.”

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the four to five years that we guarantee.” For others, its not the paint but the windows that are the key to refreshing a home’s exterior. “If you take a look at any house, the two things you see are the outside of the house and the windows,” said Gary Blum, general manager of First Choice Windows & Remodeling in Greenwich, Conn. “The front of a house is mostly windows and a front door. So windows are very important.” Windows are more than just a style piece. They also impact how much natural light comes into a home, as well as comfort in terms of heat retention from double pane glass. “Nice windows bring in natural light and the outdoors in,” said Blum. “Windows are more of an investment,” said Bradsell, “but you get a lot in return. Besides being less drafty and lowering your heating bills, you also capture it back on resale… It sends a message to a potential buyer because they know that windows are a big investment.” Sometimes people come to Blum because they are renovating and want the latest in window technology, including tilting in for cleaning from inside the

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After this long winter I’m sure you’re ready for summer But is your air conditioning? Antiques at Rhinebeck: accent your life! Barn Star Productions is pleased to announce the Spring Antiques at Rhinebeck Show and Sale will take place Memorial Day Weekend, May 27-28. It’s a Hudson Valley tradition. One hundred and twenty-five diverse and talented exhibitors will fill three huge buildings with folk and fine art, American and European antiques, estate and vintage jewelry including watches, mid-century modern, Native American, silver, art pottery, posters, quilts and vintage textiles, fantastic garden and architectural decorations, lighting, early toys and banks, stoneware, plus so much more. Located at the Dutchess County Fairgrounds, 6550 Spring Brook Ave. (Route 9) in Rhinebeck, NY, the show will introduce two new and exciting features designed to make the event more “family friendly” and inviting for collectors of all ages and interests. First, a Gourmet Food Truck Court will be new this year offering a variety of delicious food and beverages to refresh show attendees while they explore the show.

Second, Barn Star Productions is extremely privileged to present a special show exhibit, “The Lost Photographs of Iconic Rock Stars from the 1960s,” presented by photographer, author and western art and antiques dealer Michael Friedman. In the ’60s, Friedman’s involvement in the music industry opened up amazing opportunities for him to photograph super stars backstage and out front. After several moves around the country, the negatives of these never before seen images disappeared until Friedman recently discovered them. Take a journey back in time and experience Janis Joplin, Mick Jaeger, James Cotton, Johnny Winter, Paul Butterfield, Kris Kristofferson and many more super stars now beautifully framed and available to add to your personal collection. Grab a front row seat, bring your kids and enjoy this exhibit that spans generations. For more information and on-line ticket sales, visit barnstar.com or call (845) 8760616. Show hours are Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. No pets allowed.

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APRIL 14, 2017

Evergreens for all seasons

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BY MARY LEGRAND

vergreens have a rightful place in foundation plantings in one’s landscaping plan. But there can be pitfalls in decision-making when a property owner tries to determine which evergreens to plant and where to put them. A number of area experts offered professional advice on the subject. One of them, Brad W. Gurr, arborist representative at Bartlett Tree Experts in Danbury, Conn., said there are two broad groups of evergreens and each has its own particular issues: those with needles and those with broad leaves. “Broad leaf evergreens include rhododendron and azaleas, for example, and needle evergreens include pine, spruce and those sorts of trees,” Gurr said. “Norway spruce and white pine are typically planted for screening, but they’re also very good for four-season plants. Arborvitae is another one.” One major problem, Gurr and other experts concur, is the attraction deer have to evergreens, among their favorite foods. It’s important to seek advice to determine which evergreens are more resistant to deer damage than others. “Some can be reasonably resistant, such as white pine and the ‘Green Giant’ Norway spruce,” he said.

There can be concern about planting evergreens that grow quickly and can possibly be subject to snow or ice damage. There are some options to think of, Gurr said: “Cryptomeria is a pretty tough plant and grows reasonably slowly. There are also dwarf varieties of spruce and pines that never really get all that big.” Bartlett representatives help their clients select plants, “and oftentimes we will work with landscapers to put in material that we recommend,” Gurr said. “Our biggest thing is tree preservation. A big part of maintaining and preserving trees is picking the right ones in the first place. Even with evergreens it’s best to plant a variety, mix it up a little bit and try to get away from continuous rows of one species. That leads to insect and disease problems, and, quite frankly, it’s boring.” Instead, mix different evergreens together, and, if they’re planted properly, they will do well together. “Most evergreens are very reliable and trouble-free if they’re properly planted and maintained,” Gurr said. “They stand up better in storms. I’m not pointing fingers, but we’ve seen trees that when planted weren’t even removed from their packaging material or not put in at the right depth.” Kevin W. Wyatt, an ISA Board Certified Arborist, Certified Tree Care Safety Professional and member of the American Soci-

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ety of Consulting Arborists, has been with Emerald Tree Care, based in Scarsdale, since 2004. Wyatt said with any landscaping plan “it is always a good idea to incorporate several types or species of plants. This helps to create biodiversity in the landscape, which will increase the variety of colors, textures and seasonal interest. This also increases the food sources and habitats that will attract birds, butterflies, bees and other wildlife to your garden.” Wyatt said that for many years Tsuga

canadensis (hemlock), Pinus stroba (Eastern white pine) and Picea abies (Norway spruce) were the predominant large evergreens found in landscapes throughout Westchester. But due to a variety of challenges, including foreign insect and disease introduction, invasive trees, plants and vines, overbrowsing by deer, and climate change, these trees are not performing well and losing favor. Continued on the next page


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“I always go by the saying ‘right tree/ plant for the right place,’” Wyatt said. “This means looking at the long term when placing any tree or shrub in the landscape. For example, when selecting a large, growing tree, be sure that it is not too close to your house, driveway, walkways or utility lines.” Wyatt also advises that property owners not overplant: “Oftentimes people look for instant gratification and pack their landscape with too many plants or place them too tightly to one another. The result is that as these plants grow, they end up competing and damaging one another rather than complementing each other in the landscape.” Putting in a mix of evergreen plantings is preferable to concentrating on one or two types of species. “I believe that a combination of broad-leaved evergreen plantings such as rhododendron, azalea, hollies, leucothoe and leather-leafed viburnum tiered up in front of larger evergreens can provide interesting varieties in color, texture, depth and privacy in your landscape as long as there is enough room, sunlight and adequate moisture,” Wyatt said. Charles Sadler, owner of King Garden Designs in Hastings, did his master’s studies in landscape architecture on Syracuse University’s campus at the College of Environmental Science and Forestry. He spoke on the advantage of adding evergreens in addition to deciduous plants in one’s landscaping plan: “A beautiful winter landscape often has at least 30 percent evergreens, and the front of one’s home is often 85 percent to 100 percent

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evergreens. Evergreens offer year-round beauty and consistency to your garden.” Most homeowners are familiar with evergreen trees and shrubs, Sadler said, urging that everyone not forget planting evergreen perennials and groundcovers to add lushness to year-round views. “Perennials such as hellebores offer evergreen foliage and will flower in late December or early spring to enhance your shade garden,” he said. Carex, a type of sedge, is evergreen and deer tolerant, and liriope is another durable evergreen grass, according to Sadler. It comes in a gold variegated form and blooms a pretty purple shade beginning in late summer. “A truly beautiful garden is gorgeous to view all year, not just summer,” Sadler said. People spend a tremendous amount of their time indoors, so views out to the garden and landscape are very important. “Evergreens give birds and other wildlife shelter during the winter months, adding interest to homeowners from indoors and outdoors,” Sadler said. “The view from the kitchen sink is often overlooked, yet it’s an important view you see all year, so make sure evergreens are in sight. Dining rooms seem to be used more in cooler months to celebrate holidays, but may lack evergreens in view. Entrances and porches are also important. The front foundation of a home is generally best planted with some evergreens for year-round interest.” Like other experts, Sadler emphasizes that deer-tolerant evergreens should be planted. He suggested boxwood (Buxus), Andromeda (Pieris japonica), Prague Viburnum (Viburnum x pragense) and

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Leatherleaf Viburnum (Viburnum rhytidophyllum) as main varieties to initially pursue, adding that Dr. Michael Dirr has an online list of deer-tolerant viburnum. Sadler’s favorite boxwood varieties include Vader Valley, a medium-size plant with a spreading shape that is very disease resistant; Green Velvet, also medium size, spreading to about 4 by 4 feet over time; Korean boxwood “Winter Gem” and “Winter Green” among others, all disease resistant and wide spreading, and more shade tolerant than other boxwoods. “Dwarf conifers are also lovely, such as dwarf blue spruce, dwarf mugho pine and dwarf Korean spruce,” Sadler said. He added, “Arborvitae is often overused, in my experience, and is not drought tolerant, not too deer tolerant. It’s best used in full sun with deer protection including fencing. Boxwood performs better than arborvitae.” For screening in areas without wind or with winter wind protection, skip putting in laurel, as it’s not hardy in northern Westchester, Sadler said. This is a plant that is not deer resistant and may need an anti-desiccant spray or deer protection to thrive through the winter. To avoid damage by heavy snow or ice in winter, Sadler recommends that shrubs, boxwood, laurel and Andromeda can be tied up with fishing line or string to “snug them up. Netting can also be used to support them.” The benefits of planting very large growing trees such as white pine and Norway spruce are lost quickly, Sadler said. “After several years or more these species lose lower branches as they shade themselves out,” he said. “The pines and spruc-

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es appear to offer immediate screening and are used for instant results in new construction. However, they cause big problems for owners down the road.” Sadler advises property owners to “have fun” exploring the multitude of textures and colors available in evergreen plants, “from bluish Japanese white pine to the gold false cypress. Some of these bold evergreens are also deer tolerant, an important consideration.” He suggests visiting the region’s “illustrious botanic gardens and parks, such as Central Park; New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx; Wave Hill, also in the Bronx; Untermyer Park and Gardens in Yonkers; Cornell’s Winter Garden in Ithaca; or the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, which will educate and inspire, even in winter.” Using a paint chip booklet or printing photos of desired evergreens is a helpful method to compare colors, Sadler said, adding that property owners should place colors and textures adjacent to one another to find harmony. “Generally one bold color looks best next to a constant/traditional color,” he said, suggesting that gold be placed next to green in one area, then in another area, blue green next to green. “Mixing gold, burgundies, yellows and blues together can quickly get muddy, just as in painting,” he said. Sadler said additional information is available online through the American Boxwood Society, Arbor Day Foundation, Ecological Landscape Alliance, International Society of Arboriculture, Timber Press, United States National Arboretum and Untermyer Park and Gardens.

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APRIL 14, 2017

Luxury bathroom makeovers

Have it all from high tech to the height of luxury

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BY LAURIE SULLIVAN

ust as designer kitchens have drawn homeowners to renovate and update with dazzling results, so have they been drawn to do master bath makeovers. People are looking for comfort, innovation, relaxation and amenities unheard of just a few years ago. To this end, they’re ripping out old fixtures, tearing up tile work, knocking down walls — literally starting from scratch to guarantee a new master bath from top to bottom. And just as state-of-art kitchens enhance the beauty and value of your house, so do total bath renovations. But more importantly these improvements are meant to turn just a ho-hum bathroom into what could be a home spa, with high-tech and green products that go beyond just a super shower. Consumers today are more and more concerned about conservation and sustainability, trends that can be combined with technology that transforms utilitarian spaces into a luxury oasis. What’s new? There’s a showerhead with Bluetooth technology that puts a wireless speaker system with up to seven hours of music, podcasts and news while you scrub away. Best of all you don’t have to turn up the volume to hear the music over the noise of the water spouting. You can also customize your shower with a programmable kit to save your water temperature and valve preferences, even shower massage settings. High-end models let you program in a steam shower, a Wi-Fi source for you music, multiple spray outlets, a tankless water heater and a remote speaker pre-programmed just the way you like it. You can even program the shower to start before you get out of bed so you can pop in at just the temperature you like without have to wait for it to warm up. All you need is a wish list and a budget. A designing eye to realize your vision Homeowners may not know exactly what they want, so it helps to have a professional designing eye to create the luxury space to fit your space. Designer Barbara Piazza from Euphoria Kitchen and Bath in Bedford Hills, contractors for more than

50 years, helps clients to realize a master bath makeover by first discussing what their need wants and needs are. “Some clients have a space constraint,” said Piazza, so they have to work with the space they have. But that doesn’t mean they can’t give their space a total facelift. Her must-haves in doing a luxury bathroom would include a “curbless” double shower with multiple sprayers or heads an infinity drain, which she said is much cleaner; a seat for women to shave their legs; and a radiant heated shower floor and the bathroom floor, which is inexpensive to run. Piazza noted that some clients also want a separate handheld showerhead. What else would be on her wish list? A separate soaker tub with what she refers to as an “air massage tub that maintains the water temperature. “Bathing is more of an experience, more relaxing,” she said, with smaller jets, but more of them. “Now people want small ones [whirlpool tubs] and big showers… People are looking for relaxation, to de-stress and decompress.”

Space allowing, Piazza suggests toilets with special heated seats and a bidet feature, a “washlet,” with a wall button control and requiring electricity to run. There are hybrid wall mounted toilets with the tank inside the wall, which are “much cleaner, but hard to do in a retrofit” since it requires a certain amount of depth. It does save space in smaller bathrooms. Other features big budget makeovers can include wall-mounted faucets and free flowing suspended sinks with an electrically supplied sensor to turn the water on and off. Clients have put refrigerators in master baths, built-in espresso machines, built in LED mirrors that become TVs or wall mounted TVs, remote controlled window treatments and frameless glass door shower enclosures with wall mounted clips or channels to hold the glass, that “look like they are free floating.” Glass showers no longer go up to ceiling. And medicine cabinets? They can be refrigerated to keep certain medications cold. Vanities can have built-in space for

linen pull outs with hair dryers and curling irons with built-in electrical outlets inside the drawer, that are of course code dependent. When it comes to music in the shower, Piazza prefers instead a sound system in both the bedroom and the shower. And colored lighting to create different moods and aromatherapy. “Ultrabath has a unity that can go into a bathroom that allows aromatherapy using essential oils, and that can affect the body, mind and spirit,” said Piazza, an aromatherapy expert herself. In terms of lighting, the designer likes to see cove lighting in showers and sconces, under-shelf lighting in showers, which “adds to the experience.” Piazza said they ask clients a range of what they are willing to spend on a project to clarify as much as possible what they can do to stay within it. According to Piazza defining what constitutes a luxury bathroom varies and doesn‘t necessarily take a huge budget, though she has done six-figure bath makeovers. She advises clients with a more limited budget to make a list of must-haves to splurge on and see what they can live without. Piazza said it’s possible to create a space that can “still be beautiful and luxurious… It can be a state of mind.” Demolition, restoration, tile & painting In Irvington, owner Lenny Capuano of Lenco Tile has been in business over 30 years and does not only tile work, but complete renovations as well. His firm does everything from demolition to tiling to painting. “My team doesn’t do plumbing and electrical,” he said. “We have those people they contact to that are all licensed with excellent reputations.” His company does a lot of tile restoration: “If it’s tile related we pretty much do it.” Capuano’s firm does all aspects of bathroom renovations and on occasion works with customers who have budgets. The process starts with either customers or by working with a decorator. Clients can purchase the fixtures and Lenco can reconfigure things. “The one thing I recommend would be [to buy] quality fixtures,” Capuano said, adding Continued on the next page

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that clients ask their plumbers what brands to buy. “You get what you pay for.” In terms of tile work, over the last number of years, clients want large floor space, between 15 and 24 feet, give or take, even in small bathrooms. “We’ve seen a lot of people go with porcelain tiles, Capuano said. “Marble looks great, but after a few years it will be hard to maintain. There’s so many different options that are much stronger than marble and much more durable.” Capuano added that there are even porcelain tiles that look like wood, but they’re used more in basements and are more common in kitchens. Popular color for tiles these days are varying shades of grade, which is a big decorating color, as well. In terms of walls, Capuano’s recommendation is to tile 4 feet up around the perimeter of the bathroom. He suggested a double vanity and a very large mirror to add to the illusion of size. Subway tiles are still popular, with different edging that is colored and has patterns with the tile. Capuano said some people go with a darker grout for a more dramatic look. Capuano recommends large stall showers with a bench and built-in shelves for towels and toiletries. He noted that people like rain showerheads and a sound system in bathrooms. “Most people are on the go, in a rush, not in the bathroom to be entertained,” Capuano said. He believes the bath should have simplicity. For those who like a bath to relax, read a book or magazine, they may fill the space “with something fancier” — a claw food tub perhaps, rather than a Jacuzzi, which has

COURTESY OF LENCO TILE

moving parts that could break. “Everybody is too busy to use them,” he said. Luxury, start to finish President Paul Bookbinder of DreamWork Kitchens, Bathrooms and Fine Cabinetry in Mamaroneck does kitchen and bath renovations from start to finish, with a staff that does 80 percent of the work and contracts out the other 20 percent. When clients first come in for a bathroom renovation, the first thing DreamWork does is invite them to the showroom to discuss their budget, what they want to do and what’s on their wish list. “Obviously they do research on the internet,” Bookbinder said, noting that clients today are more informed. Some people come and say they’re not sure and rely on him to come up with ideas. Continued on page 16A

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Fun and fabulous:

Design experts share their secrets BY TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG

W

hat are some of your favorite ways to refresh a space on a budget? Linda Blair, Blair Interiors Group, Scarsdale: I love orchids and pillows for quick, inexpensive fixes to freshen up tired or out-of-control rooms. Shawls and throws are another great option. They add texture and warmth and can break up the line of chair or sofa. I also recommend grouping collections together for maximum impact. Recently, I have been using paint or wallpaper on a ceiling to really bring a room together, or placing something fun and dynamic in an unexpected spot — like a closet. Everyone loves the joy of a surprise. Barbara Feinstein, B Fein Interiors, Scarsdale: To revive a space, an easily overlooked secret is to have the windows washed. Perfectly clean windows will really let the sun shine in. Try it and you will be amazed by the difference it makes. If you can afford to paint, that is the next item on the list. Another budget-friendly option is to rearrange the pieces you already own into sensible compositions. For instance, every room needs a tall piece of furniture… and maybe the right pieces are just in the wrong rooms. Betsy Helmuth, Affordable Interior Design, Dobbs Ferry: Reviving a tired space can be easy and affordable. You can add drapes that go from above your windows all the way down to your floor. I like to hang a large piece of art above a sofa or headboard. Add a large rug that has more than three colors

— it’s eye-catching and comfortable. Keep things lively by regularly swapping pillows, approximately every four months. I like to browse the unique products on etsy.com to load up on interesting designs and textures. Alyson Lane and Karen Tolchin: Current Home, Scarsdale: Pillows are a quick way to update a room. You can change the look of the space by layering colors and textures on a sofa. Add lush velvets to dress up a space, or try relaxed linens to make it more casual. What are some of your favorite indulgences for a client’s space when budget is not necessarily a consideration? Blair: Indulgence is about living with what we love. It’s personal. It tells stories and evokes memories and emotions. Artwork. Family heirlooms, objects collected from travel are some of the things that make an interior rich and inviting. Quality can also be an indulgence, and excellent quality withstands the test of time. Helmuth: For my clients, there is always a budget. But I do like to splurge on original paintings that inspire personal connections, an amazing sofa that you want to sink into and bedding that feels decadent. Feinstein: There is a great range of options regarding fabric quality and price, and extraordinary materials and weaves are available if the budget permits a splurge… One of the most important, and often most expensive, elements in a room are the window treatments. They should always be considered. Many times, a window can be left uncovered, but the windows and what Continued on the next page

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is necessary for light control, privacy and aesthetic appeal should definitely be a considered decision. Lane and Tolchin: Nothing is more luxurious or dramatic than a patterned hide rug. It is a great way to add texture and color to a room. Please share one or two of your favorite design products right now and why you love them. Blair: I love tall mirrors with grids, approximately 68-72 inches tall, and other large mirrors that can create impact and visually open up space. Use a mirror on a solid wall wherever you yearn for a window. I also love mixing things up to create interesting relationships, such as using one or two antique elements with cleaner, modern furnishings. Collections, of course, have impact, such as groupings of pictures or blue and white export china, which has remained in vogue for about 40 years. Feinstein: My favorite new design product is the new Emerald Paint, recently introduced by Sherwin Williams. It goes on smoothly, covers more densely and when dry it becomes scrubbable. The paint costs more, but you’ll save on the labor. Helmuth: I am in love with Joybird’s sofas and armchairs. They have amazing customer service and beautiful fabrics. I have always been a fan of pillows from Anthropologie. They are fun and always add an unexpected pop in a living room. Lane and Tolchin: Resin, resin, resin — we love everything resin. Furniture made with resin is colorful and durable. At Current Home, we often choose resin for decorative accessories throughout the home, like centerpieces, trays and bowls. Resin tabletop pieces are perfect for indoor and outdoor use. They are dishwasher safe and food safe. With a product this versatile, what’s not to love? Which design product can you personally not live without — and why? Blair: I love a well-lit space and use a lighting designer whenever I can. When you enter a room and it just has a magical quality that you can’t quite put your finger on, it’s usually because of the lighting. Feinstein: My personal favorite product right now is the Nest Grapefruit candle. A beautiful fragrance can make a room inexplicably. Aroma adds a lovely sensory quality to a space and enhances one’s experience of well-being. Helmuth: I can’t live without my sectional. I want my family of four to be able to sit together without being on top of each other. With our West Elm sectional, we can all maintain our personal space while having the joy of sitting together. Lane and Tolchin: A great mirror is a must. It adds glamour and dimension to any space, and you can find a great mirror for every budget. Are there design considerations that clients commonly overlook when approaching a project? Or, in other words, what should people be paying more attention to? Blair: Ceilings are often overlooked, but have tremendous potential for pulling a room together. I love to either paint them blue, like the sky, or cover them with gorgeous textural wallpaper. Also often overlooked, but essential for good design is good lighting. LED blubs, or lamps as the industry calls them, have surged in popularity due to their amazing longevity. But their glare is often too harsh — think big cars’ headlights at night. I always try to put a ceiling light in a

COURTESY OF DECORATING DEN

room, and I like other forms of upper room lighting such as sconces in pairs, which are both decorative and practical. Design schools, of course, recommend multiple forms of lighting — task, overall, mood, accent, etc. — for the best results. Feinstein: The most overlooked aspect of a design is “the fifth wall.” Most people, even many designers, neglect to consider the color of the ceiling. The default to white is ubiquitous. However, a bit of light color on the ceiling makes a room feel embracing, and it prevents the room’s “energy” from being vacuumed up and out, from the top. Helmuth: People should pay more attention to their light fixtures. Lamps illuminate, so they naturally draw attention to themselves. Think of them as sculptures and select ones that have lovely bases and interesting lines. Also, high-wattage lights that can be dimmed create beautiful, moody effects. Lane and Tolchin: Many people are afraid of color. They want it in a room, but are nervous to commit. We always suggest doing larger upholstered pieces in neutral tones and adding color through accessories such as books, pillows, bowls, trays and art. What is your definition of good design? Blair: My definition of good design is one that exists through a harmony of “all” the elements, one that takes into consideration the height of the ceilings, the scale of the furnishings, what attracts the eye as it inadvertently glances around a space — and a spot-on sense of balance. Feinstein: My definition of good design is a well-composed space. If there’s something missing, you’ll “feel” it. A well-composed space is relaxing and comfortable… I think about how Albert Hadley, a famous interior designer, said it best: “The essence of interior design is about people and how they live.” Helmuth: Good design reflects the client’s personality and must be practical for the client’s lifestyle. Lane and Tolchin: Good design is about the ability for a space to function and adapt to one’s lifestyle. For example, we like it when a room can feel cozy for a small gathering, yet accommodate a large group when needed.

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Trends. Timelessness. Taste.

Excellent design always starts with a ‘T’

I

BY TRACI DUTTON LUDWIG

t’s 2017, and what is currently “new” might actually be old. Like fashion, interior design trends emerge and recede. They come and go in cycles. Sometimes, they develop gradually as they catalyze into further stylistic developments. Sometimes, they shift through dramatic reversals of taste. Nevertheless, regardless of current trends, the principles of good design remain fundamental. Balance, proportion, scale, texture, color and shape should maintain the guiding forces of harmony and pleasing relationships among objects and space. This is the simple secret to a happy home. Interior designer, teacher, and author Linda Blair of Scarsdale, said, “I usually don’t like to speak of trends because there are so many personal requirements and space considerations that become priorities in design. Nevertheless, trends are indeed what make people happy and are what is happening. In teaching the history of interior design, I suggest that one style is often a reaction to the previous one. For example, modern, straight lines replacing curvy, complicated shapes.” Accordingly, many design professionals have noted a waning interest in spare midcentury modern interiors in favor of some-

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thing richer. Blair particularly noted midcentury modern design’s lack of comfort, preponderance of metal legs and low profiles as challenging characteristics. “I have never been a fan of this style,” she said. So, if mid-century modern is on its way out, what is coming in as a passionate replacement? Barbara Feinstein of Scarsdale’s B Fein Interiors said, “I think the next trend on the horizon, as mid-century modern runs its course, is 1970s Retro.” 1970s Retro is a style name that Feinstein made up to describe what she was seeing

on the market. Namely, she has been noticing a preference for textural shag rugs and light fixtures that reflect a ’70s-inspired look. Warm or burnished metallic finishes, which were popular in the 1970s, are again becoming vogue. Blair predicts polished silver and chrome will make way for the return of copper, bronze and gold finishes. Blair also pointed to interesting combinations of industrial and iron elements and the repurposing of materials. Alyson Lane and Karen Tolchin, co-

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owners of Scarsdale’s Current Home store, weighed in: “Mixed metals are still hot. Brass and gold remain constant, but nickel and silver are making a comeback. Mixing them in the right way creates the ultimate look.” Rich surfaces and contrasting materials increase the visual texture of a space. According to Lane and Tolchin, “We are seeing a lot of layered textures, using fur, velvets, hides and chunky knits, to create a luxe look. Additionally, hand-crafted wallpapers with textures and movement are making appearances in all rooms of the home.” Affordable Interior Design owner Betsy Helmuth of Dobbs Ferry identifies velvet as a strong trend for 2017. This interest follows contemporary ready-to-wear fashion, which has seen a resurgence of velvet in recent seasons on everything from dresses, to handbags, to shoes. In home interior design, Helmuth prefers using velvet for rich, gorgeous accents: “I recommend incorporating today’s velvet through chairs and toss pillows, because an entire velvet couch might be too much. In fact, when incorporating trends, it usually makes sense to work with smaller pieces or eye-catching accessories that can be easily swapped out when new trends hit the shelves.” Another popular textural material is Continued on the next page

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Lucite, an acrylic resin that was previously fashionable in the 1970s and 1980s. Lane and Tolchin carry a kaleidoscope of fun and colorful Resin tabletop accessories in their store, and customers love the products’ versatility, as well as the fresh looks they enable. Resin is also available in clear compositions, which Helmuth recommends for its crisp, clean lines and intriguing transparency. “From accent tables to photo frames, Lucite pieces look airy and don’t visually clutter spaces in the way that wood and metal objects do,” Helmuth said. In contrast to the sleek surfaces of resin and metal accessories, traditional wood furnishings are becoming popular again. Blair revealed a secret recently communicated by a favorite auctioneer: “After being adrift in mid-century modern for far too long, [this auctioneer] told me last Sunday that brown wood, English-style dining room tables and chairs are slowly becoming favorable again.” Another wooden piece, popular right now, is the long, harvest-style table, which evokes a “relaxed California aesthetic,” according to Blair. Regarding color, Blair believes “we are almost done with gray — which has been ubiquitous for several years — and maybe even white.” Instead, she is noticing a growing taste for bold and interesting wallpapers, plain but sleek kitchen cabinets in laminate finishes, textural surfaces like weathered wood, and walls punctuated by collection displays in which objects and artwork create energy through relationship. Helmuth is similarly drawn to corresponding and oppositional dynamic ener-

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gies. “A personal favorite trend is black and white,” she said. “Whether orchestrated in stripes or zigzag patterns, the extreme contrast of black and white brings rhythmic energy to a space. It works incredibly well in modern, contemporary and midcentury style spaces.” High-gloss, painted black surfaces on staircases and banisters are also popular right now — and very chic. Like white, black is surprisingly neutral, even on walls. This is because it can be visually interpreted as space, rather than as surface color. When this happens, the walls of a room practically disappear. Black banisters and railings certainly appear daring and modern, but they actually hearken back to the turn of the century when the interior wooden staircases in brownstones were meant to reflect the aesthetic of fine ironwork found on exterior banisters, railings and balconies. This reminds us of the wonderful reinterpretation of design vocabularies and the rich historical resources available to designers, clients and homeowners. “As for timeless classics, they are — as the title implies — always in style,” Feinstein said. “A client’s personal preferences are also paramount, and these may range from modern, to traditional, to everything in between. A designer’s job is to understand and support the client’s aesthetic, while simultaneously using the his or her professional skill set — regarding balance, rhythm, line, color and scale — to achieve a project that is pleasingly composed. The vocabulary of each project, however, must always respond to the client’s own style preferences.”

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Decorating Den Interiors comes to you. Award-winning decorator Marina Colella and her team provide a complete in-home or inoffice interior design service, bringing a master plan with samples of drapery fabrics, furniture, carpet and area rugs, wall coverings, and accessories directly to their clients. They design the room in the client’s own lighting including existing furnishings the client may want to keep. “Working this way is very comfortable for the client, as they can really see what works in the room, plus it’s a time-saving convenience,” Marina says. Marina and her team pride themselves on their ability to work within a client’s budget, custom designing rooms for function, beauty and comfort. “My clients are working directly with a knowledgeable decorator who is a small- business owner with the power of a large, established company behind her. Unlike a store, Westchester Design Team we have no inventory or loyalty to a particular manufacturer. We listen to our clients and put their needs first as we make our choices from hundreds of vendors.” We are ready to help our clients with everything from dressing one window to a full-home makeover. Call for a complimentary 90-minute consultation. Decorating Den is expanding in Westchester. If you are interested in getting into the design business, please call us for career opportunities.

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Bringing your lawn back to life this spring

O

BY MARY LEGRAND

nce again it’s been a long, hard winter in Westchester County. Locals have anxiously waited for spring, and so have area lawns, whose primary job is to make the area as beautiful as it can be. But how do property owners get their grass up to par in order to make their lawns healthy and beautiful just in time for summer? Matt Lindner, director of lawn care for SavATree in Bedford Hills, offered his expert advice on how to get started. “A light raking of the turf will allow sunlight to warm up the soil temperatures, stimulating the grass plant to life,” Lindner said. “Aggressive raking can actually pull live plants out of the soil, thus thinning the turf.” There are lawn care procedures that should be done sequentially throughout

the year to assure an easier rebirth of the grass in the spring. “Aerating and overseeding in late summer/early fall will help strengthen stressed grass,” Lindner said. “Also, fall fertilization is ideal because it helps harden the plant cells for winter as well as feed the roots. Grass roots will never go dormant, unless the ground is frozen, so feeding them in the fall will provide the food they need for overwintering.” Fall fertilization also promotes the growth of green, thick, healthy turf the following spring, Lindner said. Spring normally provides enough moisture and heat to jump-start a lawn, he continued, adding that homeowners can begin to fertilize around Memorial Day. “Fertilizing too soon can cause excess growth and, in some cases, can actually weaken grass as it grows into the summer stress period,” Lindner said. “Since fertilization needs to vary by soil quality, grass

type and location, consider working with a lawn care specialist to make sure your lawn gets the proper nutrients at the right time to help it thrive.” Lime and lawn fertilizer work best together to help obtain a healthy, green lawn. “By raising the pH of soil, lime makes lawn fertilizer and existing nutrients available to the grass plants in the landscape,” Lindner said. “A soil test is used to analyze nutrient levels and determine how much time is needed to complement and fertilizer.” Lindner said many people do not realize that the area is experiencing a drought. “You may notice leaf wilt and browning on your lawn, but the worst impact of drought is damage to [the lawn’s] vital root system, which compromises plant health,” he said. “As a result, the grass plant becomes more susceptible to insect and disease issues.”

To combat this, SavATree recommends a wetting agent application to get water to the root system and promote quicker recovery of lawns damaged by drought. “Wetting agents improve water penetration and distribution, moisture retention and drainage,” Lindner said. “Because wetting agents increase water use efficiency, an added bonus is a reduction in the need for watering as much as 20 percent.” Cornell Cooperative Extension offers additional information about lawn care, available online. The statewide organization’s experts note that grass plant roots have a cycle of life. They begin actively growing in the spring before the blades green up. Cool temperatures and moisture are needed for growth to continue. Warm temperatures and lack of moisture in the summer slow growth; grass blades Continued on the next page

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may turn brown but likely the grass plants are not dead. If temperatures decline and moisture levels increase, the grass blades will again turn green. Root growth continues to grow through winter until the soil freezes. Cornell Cooperative offers suggestions on how to cut grass in order to make one’s lawn look and feel its best. First off, keep the mower blade sharp. “Dull mower blades increase fuel use by up to 20 percent and shred the tips of grass blades,” the website notes. “At the start of the season, consider taking your mower in for a tuneup and blade sharpening. Throughout the season, check the appearance of your grass and mower blades. Look to achieve a clean cut on grass blades by sharpening mower blades at least once a season or when you see the ragged brown grass blade tips.” Homeowners should mulch their clippings and leaves rather than bagging and throwing them out. “Grass blades are mostly water and nutrients,” Cornell Cooperative advises. “Leaving cut blades in place lowers fertilizer needs. A mulching mower is designed to finely chop grass blades and tree leaves so they may slip between growing grass to the soil surface. Lawn care is not compromised when tree leaves that drop on the lawn in the fall are chopped finely enough to slip between grass blades to soil surface. Chop dry leaves with a sharp mower blade when some grass is still peeking through throughout the fall.” For continued lawn health throughout the growing and mowing season, mow often enough to avoid piles of grass clip-

THE RIVERTOWNS ENTERPRISE | PAGE 15A

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pings, according to Cornell Cooperative Extension experts, who note, “This might be every five days during the flush of top growth in spring, not at all during summer drought, and every seven to 14 days during the rest of the growing season.” Limit watering of cool-season grasses when they slow their growth under drought conditions, and finally, “live with some weeds,” Cornell Cooperative Extension experts say. “Check garden centers or online stores for the many hand tools that exist for pulling specific weeds. Be sure to remove the entire root system as perennial weeds will regrow from the underground parts.”

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He shows them pictures. If everything is OK, his firm sends a project manager to their home for a $100 fee, which they apply to the job they get the green light to proceed. Bookbinder said bathroom makeovers involve every craftsman there is. “We do the design and then review it with the client,” he said. “If they like it we get materials and start the project.” Whatever the budget he said to reserve 10 percent and put aside for emergencies and more for large renovations. Budgets do include plumbing fixtures because of the price variations of an individual makeover. Wish lists these days include white, bright and simple with vanities that have multiple uses and open and close. People also like to see the pipes with freestanding tubs, wall mounted toilets with tanks that are in the wall, showers with no lips and showers with more fixed panels instead of sliding doors. With sound systems in showers, showering becomes a whole new experience. For high-end makeovers there are floating vanities that are attached to the wall and very high-end vessel sinks. They’ve had requests for hands-free faucets self-flushing, self-cleaning toilets with a lid that automatically lifts when you walk into the bathroom. Bookbinder noted that large Jacuzzis have lost their popularity, and they’ve removed some. New are walk-in showers with built-in bathtubs, though they’ve

never done one. Today’s bathtubs are shallower and quick to fill. With locations in Scarsdale, Somers, Yorktown, Elmsford and Stamford, Best Plumbing, Tile and Stone offers a huge selection of luxurious bathroom fixtures to complete a master bath facelift. They do not however recommend plumbers or craftsmen for installations — Best is supply only. The family-owned business opened its doors in 1960 and has been growing ever since, with a sixth store slated to open in Manhattan. Customers can browse the showrooms and visualize what’s possible in terms of master bath makeovers that offer endless ways to drench oneself in luxury. “One of the most popular bath trends is creating a personal spa oasis, starting with a soothing spa shower,” Kate Piediscalzo said. “For example, Kohler’s most advanced showering system, DTV+, delivers a multisensory experience. The system features a digital user interface panel to control water, steam, music, and lighting and an easy-to-read color touchscreen that puts your dream shower right at your fingertips. Other luxury add-ons can include an overhead rain shower for an integrated mood-enhancing chromatherapy, high-fidelity water-resistant speakers or a 54-nozzle wall-mounted body spray for a relaxing hydromassage. In no time, you’ll be able to escape to a soothing spa right in your own home.” Whatever bells and whistles consumers are looking for in luxury bath makeovers, there’s no end to the high-tech amenities available to them that go beyond the scope of ordinary amenities to create a space to luxuriate in and relax.

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APRIL 14, 2017

Let there be... LED Continued from page 3A

rating does. A 60-watt-equivalent LED bulb delivers about 800 lumens, roughly the same as a 60-watt incandescent. Key considerations to take into account when looking at LEDs are longevity, dimmability and color. As with other products, there are different qualities available in LEDs. Some LED bulbs may be less expensive, but longevity, dimmability and color may suffer, making it actually more expensive over the long term. “There are LEDs and then there are LEDs,” said Novasel. “And there is a world of difference between the two.” Dimming is one of the key challenges with the new LED bulbs. As Novasel explains, “Dimming is 20th century and LEDs are 21st century. A lot of work has been done by the manufacturers to get them more compatible.” Color when dimming is another concern. With incandescent or halogen bulbs, “When you would dim you would get a more orangey or red color, with the temperature shifting. When you dim an LED, the color temperature doesn’t change. So there is a little black magic and technology in these bulbs that mimics the dimming curve,” said Novasel. Bulbs can be especially concerning if they will be exposed, or if you are putting them into a chandelier or vintage light fixture, as they sell at Designers Corner in Larchmont. Christelle Wolf, assistant manager, is always concerned about finding the perfect bulb. For her customers, the look of the bulb often trumps all else. Many options in LED are available to meet these design aesthetics, including vintage styles with exposed filaments. At Patdo, they even offer a Lighting Laboratory, where people can come in and see

what the different qualities of bulbs and lamps will bring into the fixtures and the home. “It’s important to see for yourself — you can clearly see the differences,” said Novasel. “The color of the bulb was never an issue with incandescent.” With all of the complications, confusion and challenges, there remains a bright side to LED bulbs. “LEDs will reduce America’s energy consumption,” Novasel said. And that is certainly “illuminating.”

Artist: Michael Patterson

Bringing you beautiful works of art and furnishings from local artisans. We are an ever-changing gallery showcasing eclectic collections of paintings, sculptures and pottery. You will also find beautiful Suzanis, hand-embroidered textiles and rugs for your home. We invite you to visit our gallery and connect with the makers who inspire us to live creatively and beautifully!

LED Facts 1) LEDs contain no mercury, and a recent Energy Department study determined that LEDs have a much smaller environmental impact than incandescent bulbs. They also have an edge over compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) that’s expected to grow over the next few years as LED technology continues its steady improvement. 2) Between 2011 and 2012, global sales of LED replacement bulbs increased by 22 percent while the cost of a 60-watt equivalent LED bulb fell by nearly 40 percent. By 2030, it is estimated that LEDs will account for 75 percent of all lighting sales. 3) In 2012, about 49 million LEDs were installed in the U.S. — saving about $675 million in annual energy costs. Switching entirely to LED lights over the next two decades could save the U.S. $250 billion in energy costs, reduce electricity consumption for lighting by nearly 50 percent and avoid 1,800 million metric tons of carbon emissions. — U.S. Department of Energy

We transform existing residences into beautiful, new living spaces. Whether you need interior renovation, outdoor/patio construction or an entirely new floor plan, we’re your remodelers. Major / Minor Remodeling Kitchen & Bathrooms New Construction & General Carpentry Custom Cabinetry & Countertops Room Additions & Custom Homes Hardwood, Tile, Heated Flooring Window, Doors & Roofs Outdoor, Patio & Deck Licensed in Westchester & CT WC-23450-H10 CT HIC.0647787

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Top gardening trends for 2017

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hether you have a backyard or just a few containers on the patio, sunny days are your cue it’s time to garden. Growing your own flowers, herbs and vegetables is a lot of fun and with some simple tips, it can be pretty easy to make sure your outdoor space is a showstopper. The experts at Ball Horticultural Company offer insight into the year’s top gardening trends so you can plant with confidence and creativity: Trend 1: Create curb appeal Your house’s exterior will influence the first impression of anyone that visits. Give your entryway an instant beauty boost with begonias. They’re perfect for the time-starved gardener, grow well in sun or shade and fill in fast and full. At the forefront of this trend are Megawatt begonias. New for 2017, they feature exceptional performance and a unique bronze-leaf color that is sure to be noticed by guests. Trend 2: Tablescapes Bring the beauty of gardening indoors with tablescapes. Use your harvested vegetables as decor inside in display bowls; you’ll give your interior design a fresh look. There are also non-edible potted veggies like Hot Pops Purple Ornamental Peppers. They mature in multiple colors to keep you in color all season. Trend 3: Fresh food fascinations There’s nothing like pulling fresh food from the garden, but 2017 is trending toward more unique flavors. Replace your

traditional pepper plants with specialty hot peppers like jalapenos. And you don’t need tons of space to enjoy multiple tomatoes. Try Take 2 Tomato Combos, which give you a slicer and a cherry tomato in one pot, providing twice the flavor in half the space. Travel the globe through herbs: plant a kitchen garden of different basils, lavenders and mints. Use them in your next cocktail.

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Trend 4: Customize with color A great garden is more than just a food source, it’s also a thing of beauty. One of the hottest trends for 2017 will be accenting your garden with unique colors that reflect your style. If your favorite color is purple, pink or white, weave some petunias into your garden design. If you adore red, try Archangel Cherry Red Angelonia for a delicate texture that weathers any extremes. Fill your garden with plants to match your

favorite team’s colors for a fun customized twist. Whatever you choose, a splash of color is sure to get your space noticed. The 2017 gardening season is just beginning, so now’s the perfect time to make friends with your local garden center for the best plant selection. Incorporate any or all of the top trends listed above and your garden will be beautiful and rewarding throughout the entire year. — Brandpoint

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(NAPS)—To reduce pollen problems, have your HVAC system professionally cleaned by a member of the National Air Duct Cleaners Association (NADCA). Further facts and tips are at www.nadca.com. The Find A Professional directory can help you locate a certified individual in your area. The new Honda VersAttach™ MultiPurpose System pairs best-in-class Honda engines with six optional attachments. A SureLoc™ joint-locking system lets you click and twist the attachments easily and securely into the shaft. Learn more at www.hondanews.com, www.honda.com, www.powerequipment.honda.com, www. engines.honda.com, www.facebook.com/ HondaPowerEquipment and www.you tube.com/honda. A single geothermal unit from WaterFurnace—which manufactures and sells more geothermal systems for homes than anyone else—can provide both heating and cooling. Some can even heat water. Learn more at www.waterfurnace.com/switch. Even the cleanest home will look messy if it’s not properly organized. But there are a few simple ways to declutter your home and make your space look tidy. For a complete rundown of organizational ideas, tips and product solutions, visit Lowes.com. Coleman® HVAC warranties lead the industry in many instances by covering parts and key mechanical components for longer terms than other manufacturers’. Learn more at www.colemanac.com, follow it on www.youtube.com/ColemanHome Comfort and @ColemanHVAC on Twitter, or call (877) 874-7378. Home standby generators can keep critical systems running during a power outage. Consult an expert, such as an authorized Generac dealer, who is familiar with electrical and building codes as well as product options. For more information

and detailed, weather-related safety tips, visit www.generac.com/stormprep. Turn a dark backyard into a well-lit area with the SYLVANIA ULTRA LED Night Chaser. The bulb can last over 22 years and is available at Lowe’s, Menards and Amazon. Learn more at www.sylvania.com. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) advises: “Never put your hand in the auger or chute of a snow thrower to clear a blockage. Always use a clean-out tool to remove snow or debris that gets stuck in your snow thrower.” Learn more at www.opei.org. Honda’s Super Quiet Series generators are inverter equipped, provide quieter performance and are easy to carry. Designed for quality, portability and convenience, Honda generators are ideal for powering outdoor activities. The amount of humidity in the air directly affects the comfort of your home. Pairing a humidifier with a Champion Premium modulating gas furnace will complement humidity control with a total comfort system. Learn more at www.championho mecomfort.com and @Champion_HVAC on Twitter. Quality hardwood furniture from Oak Furniture Land is an investment that can easily last a lifetime. For further facts and tips and to view the 25 collections of fine furniture available, visit www.oakfurniture land.com.

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The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. The Benefit Shop Foundation Inc. is a 501(c)3 and donates proceeds from auctions to local Westchester organizations Do you, a friend, or family member have any of the following: • Designer furniture • Artworks or unique installations • Rooms of quality home accents that are ready for a second home • Vintage couture or fine jewelry • Antiques or collectibles It’s so easy & simple 1. Walk around and snap some pictures on your phone 2. Email those pictures to auctions@thebenefitshop.org 3. Included the address of where these items need to get picked up 4. Let us know if you’d like a call back or an email back to get started

185 Kisco Ave. Suite 201 Mt. Kisco, N.Y. 10549 (914) 864-0707 www.thebenefitshop.org


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