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Our House In Spring

WHAT'S INSIDE: • Outdoor entertaining space • Spring cleaning room by room • Updating your home • Clever kitchen upgrades • Garden winners for 2019

Times Beacon Record News Media©

PAGE S2 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019

OUR HOUSE SEE HOW YOU COULD SAVE MONEY AND GET BETTER INSURANCE FIND OUT ABOUT THE AARP® AUTO INSURANCE PROGRAM FROM THE HARTFORD As your local Hartford independent agent, we can offer you benefits like Emergency Expense Coverage, a Diminishing Deductible‡, Lifetime Renewability†, and our Competitive Rates! Call for your free, no-obligation quote:




THE ARCHDEACON AGENCY INC Sheri Bender 100 S JERSEY AVENUE, SUITE 5 EAST SETAUKET, NY 11733 | The AARP Automobile Insurance Program from The Hartford is underwritten by Hartford Fire Insurance Company and its affiliates, One Hartford Plaza, Hartford CT 06155. CA license number 5152. In Washington, the Program is underwritten by Trumbull Insurance Company. AARP does not employ or endorse agents or brokers. AARP and its affiliates are not insurers. Paid endorsement. The Hartford pays royalty fees to AARP for the use of its intellectual property. These fees are used for the general purposes of AARP. AARP membership is required for Program eligibility in most states. Applicants are individually underwritten and some may not qualify. Specific features, credits, and discounts may vary and may not be available in all states in accordance with state filings and applicable law. You have the option of purchasing a policy directly from The Hartford. Your price, however, could vary, and you will not have the advice, counsel or services of your independent agent. ‡ To qualify for Diminishing Deductible, all drivers on the policy must have a clean record (no accidents or violations) for three consecutive years. For the Diminishing Deductible, these three years must include a period of three consecutive years as a policyholder in the AARP Auto Insurance Program (commencing after the effective date of the policy issued through this offer). NY drivers are not eligible for the complete disappearance of the deductible, although it will be reduced to a minimum of $100.



† If you are age 50 or older, once you’re insured through this Program for at least 60 days, you cannot be refused renewal as long as applicable premiums are paid when due. Also, you and other customary drivers of your vehicles must retain valid licenses, remain physically and mentally capable of operating an automobile, have no convic-tions for driving while intoxicated and must not have obtained your policy through material misrepresentation.


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PAGE S3 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


Tips to design a dream outdoor entertaining space

Upon the arrival of warm weather, many individuals prefer to spend their free time outside, relishing the fresh air and sunshine and evenings spent under the stars. But cracked patios and makeshift chairs and tables may not establish the desired ambiance. An outdoor entertaining area that offers the same amenities found inside a home can make outdoor retreats both comfortable and functional. Creative planning can help homeowners design dream areas perfect for hosting friends or family.

much easier and should be built close to the house to make it easier to run electricity and plumbing to it. Outdoor kitchens should include a sink, small refrigerator, built-in grill, and bar area.

Creature comforts

Establish goals

As with any project, the first step when coordinating outdoor living areas is to determine what you hope to achieve with the space. Will it be a location for lounging? Will people be cooking meals outside? Is the pool the central focus of the yard? Answering these questions and more can help homeowners decide how to design their entertaining spaces. Remember, however, that goals may evolve as landscape designers and even architects make their own suggestions for the space or present limitations.

Evaluate the space

Look at the lot and decide what will go where, such as where to place the party space,

How to boost your home’s curb appeal


hen it comes to your home, you only get one chance to make a great first impression — and that takes place before anyone ever steps inside, making curb appeal upgrades an effective way to beautify your home while boosting its value. Here are some great ways to enhance curb appeal that will give you a great return on investment, according to Remodeling Magazine’s 2019 Cost Vs. Value Report.

Garage Door Replacement

Whether you want your garage door to take center stage or provide a demure complement to your home’s overall exterior, the right selection will make a great visual impression. Luckily there are a growing number of ways to personalize a garage door. New color options,

Creative planning can help homeowners design dream areas perfect for hosting friends or family.

where to create a quiet hideaway and where to locate a poolhouse or outdoor shower. A large, flat yard can be divided into a series of patios that serve different purposes. Yards that are built on a hill or a slope can still be utilized with creative design elements, such as multi-tiered decking. By working with qualified designers, homeowners can bring their ideas to life.

Easy food and drink access

Traipsing in and out of the house for refreshments can become tiresome when entertaining outside. In such situations, people also can track dirt inside of the home or leave a trail of pool water in their wake. Outdoor kitchens allow easy access to food and drink that makes outdoor entertaining

Homeowners should think about the things that make the inside of their homes so comfortable and then replicate that outside. Sofas and loveseats covered in fabric suited for outdoors and plenty of pillows can make for great lounging. Lighting that can be adjusted for the day or night, or even to set the mood, is another consideration. Shade structures, like a trellis or retractable awning, will keep the area comfortable and can also define outdoor “rooms” and establish privacy.

Fire it up

Many homeowners enjoy having fire elements in their yards. Lanterns and candles may create a romantic feel, but a fire pit or outdoor fireplace may help extend use of the outdoor entertaining area beyond summer. Entertaining outdoors is made that much more enticing with a dream outdoor living space full of amenities.

which include two-tone combinations, are growing in popularity, and an expanding array of panel designs can help you work in harmony with your home’s architectural style. But know that this is not just any cosmetic upgrade. A new garage door has the potential to improve your family’s safety and comfort, providing safety features not found in older models, while reducing heat and cold transfer for lower energy bills.

Manufactured Stone Veneer

A manufactured stone veneer project can enhance the aesthetic appeal of any space, indoors or out, and can be customized to suit your needs and style. When applied to a home exterior, this project has an impressively high return on investment at 95 percent, according to the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report. Maximize this upgrade by opting for high-quality materials that look like authentic stone, even upon careful inspection. For example, the choices available are molded and colored to produce a realistic, dramatic effect, mimicking stones from unique geographic regions in a range of cuts, helping you make the best choices for your home.

First impressions count!

Siding Replacement

Of all the home updates that will boost your curb appeal, new siding has the third highest return on investment, according to the report. When making this upgrade, consider materials wisely. Thanks to its overall low cost, ease of installation, minimal maintenance required and long-term durability, vinyl

is the most popular home siding material. Whether you opt for insulated, traditional or decorative siding, this can be a great way to give your home a high-impact facelift that’s well worth the cost. To add beauty and value to your home, start with curb appeal, selecting projects that offer a great return on investment.

PAGE S4 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


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PAGE S5 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


CLEVER KITCHEN UPGRADES Fresh colors and textures for a functional kitchen style

For avid cooks, seasoned hosts and busy families, the kitchen is likely the center of daily life and a place where both form and function are of the utmost importance. This high-traffic space generally influences the design of the rest of the house, especially if the home has more of an open-concept layout. The colors and materials used in the kitchen normally set the tone for the rest of the home. When it comes to considerations like finish and materials, kitchen cabinetry trends are shifting toward colored cabinetry and a mixture of exposed textures and materials.

Colorful allure

White kitchen cabinets have dominated the market for years; white is constant, safe and classic. While white kitchens are likely to remain a popular option for homeowners, buying trends are showing a shift in painted cabinetry design from classic white to eye-catching colors. Natural colors, burnt orange, shades of gray, blue hues and green tones are likely to be the leaders in painted cabinetry colors in 2019. For those with a visionary and creative approach to

design, the blue tones for cabinetry reach atmospheric wisps of colors and capture the unique space between technology and spirituality. The unbridled adventurer may use burnt orange to soak in the blue of endless horizon and the subtle earthy colors of the high plains and desert. For the naturalist, green earthy tones can bring the wonder of the world into your kitchen. For the cozy home-body, dark warm tones of gray on cabinetry add a rich and modern scope that spans space and time.

Trends in texture

From classic to modern and from farmhouse to high-tech modernistic styling, designers work to make surfaces make a statement. With cabinetry, there’s no shortage of options: matte and glossy, dark and light, with and without handles. Technology has played a major role in the improved quality of laminates in the kitchen; many of today’s laminate options have a more realistic appearance and texture than their ancestors. For a more authentic wood look, color choices in a range of materials spanning embossed and textured melamine, acrylic, laminates, metal and more are available.

Another option is cabinetry featuring timber with exposed grain for a balance between embracing nature and exuding sophistication. This trend celebrates imperfections and allows you to bring nature into your home. Defined or rustic woods are made from materials such as walnut, oak and cherry. For nature enthusiasts or those seeking the rustic farmhouse style, you can find beautiful organic finishes with heavy graining. Hand sanding, along with hand-rubbed finishes, provide a quality product with varied textures that minimizes the need for a lot of color.

Focus on Function

A beautiful kitchen may please the eye, but when it comes down to it, a kitchen’s function is its greatest value. Integrate these ideas for a kitchen that offers maximum function for one of your home’s most-used spaces. Declutter the countertops. Consider incorporating pull-out and roll-out trays into your cabinetry to maximize your storage space, as well as dressing your cabinets with appropriate inserts and organizational kits. Eliminate wasted space by adding corner cabinets to utilize all your available space.

In addition, an option like frameless cabinetry makes it simple to create diverse design styles with better storage options than traditional cabinet framing allows. Without a face frame on the front of the cabinet box, this style provides more room for storage and easier accessibility. You can create a modernistic kitchen, a rustic farmhouse kitchen or a nature-styled kitchen. Determine the island’s function. The island is often the visual centerpiece of the kitchen, but determining its function can maximize its benefit. Fully functional cabinetry around the island can provide added storage space. For example, custom cabinetry appliance panels let you not only conceal bulky appliances, they also give your wall cabinets more space and functionality. Make recycling easy. Place the recycle and garbage bins in a drawer near the sink to allow for easier accessibility and keep them out of sight.

PAGE S6 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


One area of the home to come the furthest in terms of design over the years is the outdoor living space.

Outdoor living and design trends for 2019


utdoor living continues to grow in 2019 as homeowners dream of adding spaces that provide tranquility, connection and touches of nature. More than just a home enhancement, these spaces are meant to inspire people to set digital devices aside and find moments of calm while making memories with friends and family. Now is the perfect time to plan updates to outdoor living areas so as the seasons turn, you’re ready to enjoy your outdoor space to the fullest. Here are some top outdoor design trends of the year that you should consider for your home.

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Beyond windows and patio doors, home designs are truly blending indoor and outdoor areas thanks to features like folding walls and collapsible screens. For example, imagine a family room that opens up completely to an outdoor patio for easy entertaining, made possible by retractable walls plus smart lighting and strategic heating and cooling sources for seasonal comfort. These types of integrated spaces make the backyard a one-of-a-kind extension of the home.

Clean lines and contemporary style



Blurring of indoor and outdoor areas

Modern lines are a top interior design trend and it is expanding into outdoor living spaces, offering a seamless visual transition. Contemporary style with clean lines, textures and shapes

have taken over more traditional styles, particularly among younger homeowners. Modular, large-format pavers embrace this trend and are expected to continue to increase in popularity, with smoother textures gaining traction.

Sustainability is king

As more homeowners are prioritizing green living, outdoor designs that become a part of the local ecosystem are in high demand. This could include planting to support pollinators and integrating edible landscape into the design. Water features are growing in popularity, used to add a tranquil element to outdoor spaces while masking unwanted sounds, such as traffic or other noise pollution.

Visualization of designs

Partnering with the right designer is key to achieving the outdoor space of your dreams. More homeowners are asking for 3D designs in order to properly conceptualize a space before it is brought to life through construction. Designers can take a simple sketch with dimensions and a few photos and turn it into a 3D rendering or virtual reality experience so homeowners can see the true potential of their outdoor space. These 2019 outdoor living trends, in effect, will prove to create a year full of innovative outdoor projects that fit the needs of every homeowner.

PAGE S7 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


Spring cleaning and clutter control room by room W “A Place for Everything And Everything in its Place!”

Kitchen 1.


Place dirty dishes in dishwasher after every meal and snack. Organize pantry by product category for easy access and check expiration dates. Clean out refrigerator & freezer routinely and discard in-edibles. Find a cabinet location that is easily accessible for often used appliance’s, organize pots, dishes, glassware, etc. similarly & discard what’s worn, chipped or unused. Keep counters clear.


Under the sink, organize with storage containers.

2. 3. 4. 5.

the winter doldrums and the start of a renewal process inside our house, as the world of nature does its own renewal. Today, for young marrieds, as well as the folks that have settled in, spring cleaning isn’t as simple. Maybe we’re not beating rugs and hanging slipcovers on a clothes line in our back yards but we, as a generation, seem to have more stuff and less of a clue how it should be managed.

1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Organize and store DVD’s and tapes out of sight. Designate storage for books, games, toys, albums, etc. De-clutter shelves and decorate display with appropriate number of collectibles, photos, etc. Remove some things for display as you replace with others, especially for holidays. Create a storage area for personal pillows and throws when not in use. Use magazine racks for reading material & then discard outdated materials regularly.

Breakfast Family Room


3. 4.

Set the table to avoid clutter. Display dishes and collectibles artfully and selectively in breakfront. Don’t use the table and servers as a drop off for lap tops, mail, etc. If there is a server or tea cart, make sure it is uncluttered and decorate with a serving piece that can be utilized when dining.

Entry 1. 2. 3. 4.

Store clothing & shoes out of sight. Leave room for guests. Designate a space for keys, mail, etc., but not out in the open. (Drawer, decorative box, etc.) Keep stairways clear of clutter.

Bedroom 1. 2.

Make the bed every day.


Turn an extra bedroom into a walk- in closet or an exercise room, keeping exercise equipment clutter free so you can use it; or create a walk-incloset.


Keep tops of end tables cleared of everything but essentials.


Use a storage bin for laundry, not the floor.

Hang up clothes daily in closets that are maximized by double poles, skinny hangers, etc., and purge seasonally.

Bathrooms Bath



Dining Room 1. 2.

Personal organizing has become a profession and in the hundreds of homes I’ve been in for design consultations, I’ve discovered that most people are unable to decorate because of what they accumulate! So, Decorating 101 starts with the daunting task of facing the clutter “dragon.” It’s big, it’s invasive and it’s daunting, but it’s not impossible. Since no one can really do “spring cleaning” until they get rid of clutter, here are some tips room by room to get you started:

Organizing Tips - Room by Room

Family Room


hen my mother was a young bride, she learned how to set up a home from her mother. She didn’t have much, but she learned and lived that old adage – “a place for everything and everything in its place,” and about now she’d be beating the rugs, washing the slip covers and generally doing her spring cleaning. Spring does that to folks toBY NATALIE WEINSTEIN, day as well. It’s as if the change ALLIED ASID, IDS of seasons signals a rush out of

Dining Room

Garage Entry

Home Office

3. 4.

Clear off counter of daily personal items and return to assigned place in your cabinet. Don’t buy more than one spare of anything or designate and use a closet in garage or laundry room for large quantity purchases. Make sure all pharmaceuticals have not expired. Add hooks, storage units, medicine chests, keeping the floor free of towels & clothes.

Home Office




2. 3. 4. 5.

Set up a file system that works for you in an appropriate storage place and purge frequently. Keep “in” and “out” bins for bills etc. until filed. Open all mail by garbage and recycling areas. Bring only pertinent material into home office. Throw out last catalogue when new one arrives. Use these same concept for your Computer!

2. 3. 4.

Sort shovels, tools, garden supplies, sports equipment, etc. and store them in groups. Utilize walls with slat board or hanging units for additional storage, easy access and viewing. Add a ceiling bike rack and other storage devices that can clear the floor. Leave space for cars!

PAGE S8 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019

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National garden winners for 2019

Marigold Big Duck Yellow F1

A long-lasting winner in the trial gardens! Big Duck Yellow is another marigold color in the series that has great heat and disease tolerance. The large 4” flowers are well-supported on sturdy, compact, uniformly even plants that consistently produced more flowers for a longer period than the comparisons. The fully double, bright yellow blooms are a beautiful contrast to the deep green foliage and raise their heads well above the foliage for a standout display. Big Duck Yellow marigolds are a beautiful addition to any landscape, garden or container where long-lasting color is a benefit.



n perfect timing with the upcoming growing season, All-America Selections recently announced its list of new varieties of flowers and vegetables for 2019, proven performers that will do well in any climate throughout the United States and Canada. Names like Vinca Mega Bloom Polka Dot, Melon Orange SilverWave, Tomato Firefly, Marigold Big Duck Yellow, and my favorite, Nasturtium Baby Rose, are enough to get any gardener excited about trying something new. Since 1932, this nonprofit organication has annually tested new varieties of plants in various locations throughout North America. Judges look for improved qualities such as disease tolerance, unique colors and flavors, higher yield, length of flowering or harvest and overall performance. Here’s what the judges had so say about some of the award winners:

Vinca Mega Bloom Polka Dot F1 Tomato Fire Fly F1

Similar to the Goldilocks story, this adorable newcomer is not as small as a currant tomato and not as large as a cherry tomato, but is a “just right” in-between size. The fruits produced are super sweet pale white to pale yellow round fruits less than 1 inch in size and weigh about 1/2 oz. Delicate, translucent skins offer a mild acid flavor that enhances the sweet taste. They’re small juicy fruits exploding with flavor, perfect for snacking and in salads. As indeterminate plants, they must be staked or caged as they grow upward to 5 to 6 feet and have good disease resistance.

The hearty Mega Bloom vinca series has been bred to withstand heat and humidity without succumbing to disease. Polka Dot excels in that area plus sports huge showy flowers on full, vigorous plants that stay tidy and compact. The leaves of Mega Bloom Polka Dot stayed a vibrant green all season resulting in large healthy plants all summer until frost. Each large bloom (3-4”) has attractive overlapping petals in snowy white with a bright pink eye. Growers will benefit from the early bloom time, compactness in the greenhouse and plant uniformity.

Nasturtium Baby Rose

Exciting news! The last nasturtium AAS Winner was back in the early days, in the 1930’s. Now it’s time to introduce a wonderful rose colored nasturtium perfect for today’s gardens. Baby Rose, pictured above, is a petite-flowered, mounding variety with healthy, dark foliage ideal for containers and small space gardens. AAS’ expert judges praised the uniformly compact plants that sported flowers with consistent coloration. Their compact habit means less “flower flopping” with their blooms remaining upright throughout the season. The rose color is uncommon in nasturtiums and contrasts beautifully with the dark-green foliage. And as an added bonus, both the leaves and flowers are edible!

Melon Orange SilverWave F1

Orange SilverWave is an exotic melon bred in South Korea with an extremely sweet, orange flesh and unique rind color. Many foodie gardeners are looking to grow something different to “Wow!” their guests and this melon will do just that! The attractive 5” oval melons grow on vigorous vines producing up to six fruits per vine. Whether grown in a large container or in-ground, it’s best to grow the vines on a trellis (bracing the melons) for better disease control. This AAS Winner is great eaten alone, in a fruit salad, wrapped with prosciutto or mixed into a smoothie or margarita. For a complete list of the new 2019 plants chosen by the AAS, visit

PAGE S10 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


Did you know?

Investing in a home renovation project not only requires money, but also time and patience. While contractors, architects and designers can estimate how long a project may take, it is impossible to anticipate all of the scenarios that can affect that estimated timeline. An average kitchen remodel involving installation of new countertops, cabinets, appliances, and floors can take three to six months. But if ductwork, plumbing or wiring must be addressed, the job may

take longer. A midline bathroom remodel may take two to three months. Adding a room to a house can take a month or two. Homeowners need to consider time when planning their home projects.

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ew home design elements provide the instant wow factor of freestanding tubs. These stand alone tubs have an air of luxury that can help current homeowners relax, and impress buyers when homes go on the market. Freestanding tubs are typically made of cast iron or porcelain. Cast iron is durable and solid and retains heat well, which is great for those who want to spend more than a little time relaxing after a long day. However, because cast iron is so heavy, installing a cast iron tub may require structural reinforcement of the flooring, which will add to the overall cost of the project. The average cost to install a tub varies widely depending on the type of tub, the materials it’s made of and other factors, including plumbing and piping. For example, the cost to install a freestanding tub will rise considerably if new plumbing and piping are necessary. Before purchasing this type of bathtub, homeowners should seek estimates regarding installation, making sure to get them in writing. Contractors will determine if structural reinforcement is necessary and include such costs in their estimates. In addition, make sure to ask contractors to investigate piping and plumbing so no surprises pop up after the tub has been purchased and work has begun.

If estimates from contractors aren’t budget busting, homeowners can consider these benefits of freestanding tubs before making their final decisions. Cleaning

Because they’re detached from other bathroom fixtures and not flush against the wall, freestanding tubs tend to be easier to clean than built-in bathtubs. Accessible from all sides, they make it easy to reach all those nooks and crannies where grime can build up. Return on Investment

In its 2018 “Cost vs. Value” report, Remodeling Magazine noted that upscale bathroom remodels recouped 56.2 percent of their cost at resale. That was a better return on investment than an upscale kitchen remodel (53.5 percent) and an upscale master suite addition (48.3 percent). The thought of a sizable return on investment can make relaxing in a freestanding tub that much more enjoyable. Warmth

Even freestanding tubs made of materials other than cast iron offer great heat retention. Stone resin bathtubs, for example, provide excellent insulation on cold nights. That’s ideal for people who want to unwind in the tub without having to exit early because the water has become cold. Freestanding tubs can transform regular bathrooms into luxurious oases.

PAGE S11 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


Natural Light, Fresh Air

Add natural light and fresh air to your home with skylights featuring pre-installed light filtering or light blocking shades in more than 80 colors. The skylights use a solar panel to capture daylight and recharge a battery-operated control system. They can also be opened and closed via remote control or smartphone app, and a rain sensor closes the skylights during inclement weather.

Swing into Spring


hile spring naturally means it’s time for a refresh for many homeowners, it doesn’t mean you’re limited only to a cleaning party. Take advantage of the season by using it as an opportunity to upgrade different areas of your home for reasons ranging from energy efficiency and convenience to ease of living and safety.

With increasing technology for smart home devices and ever-evolving design styles, upgrading your home can be nearly anything you make of it. These ideas include ways that you can add organization, revolutionize your home tech, increase energy efficiency, enhance security and more. The possibilities are endless.

A Front Door Fixer Upper Elegant, Functional Shelving

Open shelving can add character, design and attractive storage to your home and is both an aesthetically pleasing way to showcase your favorite things and functional enough to keep linens fresh in the closet or hold clutter at bay by the front door.

Revolutionize Your Home

Take your smart home setup to the next level with assistance from a product like a smart home control hub with a touch screen and built-in Google Assistant technology that answers your questions, shows you the weather and more using voice recognition software.

Anytime is a good time to make sure your home is safe, particularly at what’s often the main point of entry — your front door. This spring is an ideal time to keep out unwanted guests with a door that’s sturdy and draft-resistant while also providing an aesthetic touch for enhanced curb appeal. When choosing a door that’s right for your home, focus on options that include a strong deadbolt and thick frame for peace of mind.

Smart Home Safety

With safety typically representing a top priority for most homeowners, taking advantage of smart technology can be one way to improve your feelings of safety and comfort in your home. A solution like a smart lock on the main entryway to your house can add security while also ensuring you’re never locked out of your own home. With options that can pair with apps on your smartphone or feature keyless entry via unique numerical passwords, you can marry convenience with safety.

PAGE S12 • OUR HOUSE • APRIL 18, 2019


Did you know?

Each year, Remodeling magazine publishes its “Cost vs. Value” report to give homeowners a greater understanding of how much popular home projects will cost across the nation, as well as which renovations will offer the greatest return on investment. According to their research, these projects improved in value between 2017 and 2018 and can be smart choices for homeowners looking to add popular features to their properties. The following are the popular projects and the average cost of the renovations: • Midrange bathroom addition: $44,717 • Midrange bathroom remodel: $19,134 • Midrange deck addition (wood): $10,950 • Midrange entry door replacement (steel): $1,471 • Upscale garage door replacement: $3,470

• Midrange manufactured stone veneer: $8,221 • Midrange minor kitchen remodel: $21,198 • Midrange siding replacement: $15,072 • Midrange universal design bathroom: $16,393 • Upscale window replacement (vinyl): $15,955

Truly Enjoy Nature’s Beauty

Many interior decorators now look to gray as the neutral color of choice.

Gray is here to stay in home designs


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ecorating a home in neutral tones has long been recommended as a way to sell a home quickly. But the color gray also provides a blank canvas for homeowners who have no intention of putting their homes on the market anytime soon. Beige and white have long been go-to colors for neutral living spaces. But many interior decorators now look to gray as the neutral color of choice. Design experts advise that gray has a broad range which can include everything from silver to charcoal to a dusty cloud and coordinates well with other colors. Plus, the neutral appeal of gray boasts a timeless quality. Gray is not a clear-cut color that’s sim- The neutral ply a 50-50 blend of white and black. Gray has subtle nuances that can lean toward appeal of blues, greens, taupes, and more depending on the lighting and surrounding furnishings. gray boasts That means that homeowners who are ready a timeless to replace their furniture or accessories need not necessarily repaint if they’ve previously quality. decorated in shades of gray. Individuals need only replace small items to produce a big effect in rooms where this color is dominant. Because gray is so neutral, it works with soft, calming colors in various pastels, but equally as well with bright reds, yellow and oranges, according to Scott Bodenner, a Brooklyn-based textile designer. Gray also is a predominant color in natural stones used throughout homes in entryways, bathrooms and kitchens. It can make design sense to maintain continuity throughout by dabbling in gray elsewhere. Designers have shown how gray does not have to be cold, industrial or gloomy. It can be sophisticated in just about any room of the house. More designers are now leaning toward warmer variations of gray, such as taupes and blends dubbed “greige,” that are beautiful but not as stark as pure gray.

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