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The land of shrimp, collards and grits “The South is a place where tea is sweet and accents are sweeter, macaroni and cheese is a vegetable, front porches are wide and words are long. Buttermilk pie is a staple. Y’all is a proper noun. Chicken is fried, and biscuits come with cream gravy. Everything is darlin’ and someone’s heart is always being blessed.”


ublisher Lydia Inglett and author and food columnist, Pat Branning, announce the release of Branning’s new book, “Shrimp, Collards & Grits - Recipes, Stories and Art from the Creeks and Gardens of the Lowcountry.” In addition to almost 200 Lowcountry recipes, the full color, coffee table cookbook features 150 fine art paintings by such noted Southern artists as Ray Ellis, Nancy Ricker Rhett, John Carroll Doyle and Joe Bowler among many others. Branning was a featured author at last year’s Charleston

Food and Wine Festival. The book retails for $34.95 at and The book is available locally at Charleston Cooks! The former Women’s Editor for WSB, Atlanta and a hostess for SCETV, Branning once hosted daily broadcasts on food and entertainment, teaming up with great chefs from around the country while developing a passion for anything Southern, especially cooking. Branning has lovingly compiled this collection of keepsakes from generations of Southern cooks. You’ll find timeless recipes still being served today at oyster roasts, barbecues, ladies luncheons, teas and lavish dinner parties throughout the South Carolina Lowcountry. Today, Branning works as a freelance writer, cookbook author and food editor for the Branning’s website, www. is a source for recipes, art and stories about the Lowcountry.


Pat Branning, announce the release of her new book, “Shrimp, Collards & Grits - Recipes, Stories and Art from the Creeks and Gardens of the Lowcountry.”

Irish tradition: Bake delicious soda bread


Soda bread is often served as an accompaniment to corned beef dinners on St. Patrick’s Day.

Soda bread has become a staple of St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. But the tradition of Irish soda bread is a relatively recent one, especially when considering the extensive history of Irish

culture. In the 1800s, yeast breads were practically unheard of in rural Ireland. Yeast bread took a while to make and the results were not consistent to make it

a worthwhile venture for many households. Instead, people began experimenting with baking soda as a leavening agent. Not only was it a quick way to produce the aeration necessary for bread, the results also were more consistent than using yeast. The first soda breads featured only a few basic ingredients in addition to the baking soda, such as salt, buttermilk and flour. The bread was served often with fresh, churned butter. It is a recent change to the recipe to include other flavoring agents, like sugar, currants, caraway seeds and raisins. Although soda bread can be easily purchased at a bakery or supermarket, it’s more traditional to try to bake it at home. Here is a recipe for “Irish Soda

Bread With Raisins,” courtesy of • Irish Soda Bread With Raisins (Makes 1 loaf) Nonstick vegetable oil spray 2 cups all purpose flour 5 tablespoons sugar, divided 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder 1 teaspoon salt 3/4 teaspoon baking soda 3 tablespoons butter, chilled, cut into cubes 1 cup buttermilk 2/3 cup raisins Preheat the oven to 375 F. Spray an 8-inch-diameter cake pan with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, 4 tablespoons sugar, baking powder, salt and

Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 2

baking soda in a large bowl to blend. Add butter. Using your fingertips, rub in until coarse meal forms. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add the buttermilk, gradually stirring dry ingredients into the milk to blend. Mix in the raisins. Using floured hands, shape dough into a ball. Transfer to the prepared pan and flatten slightly (dough will not come to the edges of the pan). Sprinkle dough with remaining 1 tablespoon sugar. Bake bread until brown and when the tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cool the bread in the pan for 10 minutes. Transfer to a rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Shade-a-plenty: stay cool in style umbrella or two can do the trick at a fraction of the cost. If the outdoor living area is near trees, they might provide sufficient shade from the often blistering summer sun. But keep a few umbrellas in the garage just in case.



here is nothing like the feel of spring in the Lowcountry. But when summer sets in, the stifling heat can be unbearable. The one thing any person who’s ever spent time in the Lowcountry will almost always do, is seek out some shade. Whether it be an umbrella, an overhead trellis, a gazebo or an overhang, during the hot summer months you’re lucky if you can find a tiny spot to squeeze yourself into to. Proof positive is found right on the beach. Hundreds of umbrellas line the sand each summer and we don’t think it’s just to hide out from UV rays. Check out these creative ideas so that you too can stay cool.

Shady ideas Many homeowners look at


Don’t forget to build your outdoor relaxing area around the shade. their outdoor living areas as places to kick their feet up and relax, so comfort should take precedence when planning the space. Forgo the plastic patio chairs of yesteryear for furniture that’s more sturdy

and roomy so you won’t feel cramped or sweaty on warm summer evenings and afternoons. In addition, don’t forget to shade the area. Some homeowners choose to build pergolas, but oftentimes an

• Pergola Pergolas, or archways in a yard or park made of a framework covered with trained climbing or trailing plants, have become a landscaping style of choice for discerning homeowners. Pergolas can take many shapes. However, the wooden structures of today, with thick crossbeams and massive height, have grown in popularity. There are many advantages to pergolas apart from their aesthetic appeal. One of the most apparent is the shade they lend on hot, sunny days. Open beams allow breezes to penetrate but also dapple the


Pergolas can be maintenance free and weather resistant. sunlight. The addition of trailing plants on the pergola can provide even more shade. Buy it or build it yourself. Materials and plants can be found at local hardware stores such as Royall Hardware.

Continued on page 4 642 Coleman Blvd. • (843) 856-9277 and Towne Center, 1313 Theatre Dr. • (843) 216-1026

Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 3

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Furniture, bedding and accessories

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The Lowcountry’s complete store for furnishing nurseries and children’s rooms.

Shade: It’s cool to stay cool this summer Continued from page 3 • Prominade Ladies will love this double cover umbrella with a white nylon underside and a lace topside. It’s perfect for strolling. Find it at www.umbrellausa. com. • Screeneze Everybody loves a porch. If you are one that prefers a shady spot without the bugs, try Screeneze which is a patented fixed screen system. It features aluminum base and vinyl caps which are snapped together and attached to your screen porch. This latest screening innovation exceeds current standards for screen porch openings and is simple to install. Visit • Adjustable Patio Covers Have it your way... Get sun where you want sun. Get shade where you want shade. Get rain protection where you want rain

protection. It’s ideal for any outdoor living area such as: patios, decks, lanais, verandas, court yards, entrance ways, outdoor kitchens, swimming pools and spas. A variety of colors, materials, and finishes are available to compliment any style architecture. Units can be freestanding, attached or added to existing structure and enhance any area requiring convenient sun and weather control. Visit • TintVista Window Film fights glare, is energy efficient, reduces fading and offers lasting comfort year round. This is a special product designed for areas with excessive heat and glare where a flat, neutral appearance is desired. It is recommended by the Skin Cancer Foundation and Energy Star. Visit


Adjustable patio covers are a fresh new option to the old-school retractable awning. These serve as blinds that allow in full light or partial light depending on your preference.

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 4

Call Alan Wheeler for a free evaluation of your project: 843-300-9383 email: And ask for the “Wish List” to get your planning started IP02-716569

All-in-one residential recycling program expands county-wide

It’s Time to Mulch For the Spring Season

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After great success in a pilot program, all-in-one residential recycling is expanding to the rest of Charleston County. Look for your roll cart soon. RECYCLING PROGRAMS MANAGER


on’t have your big blue cart yet? Don’t worry; All-In-One residential is headed your way. In January 2011, Charleston County’s Environmental Management Department launched a pilot program involving 4,600 homes across the county. It will now expand to the rest of the county. This state-of-the-art program utilizes automated trucks to collect recyclables that can be placed together in a single roll cart, rather than having to be separated into two containers for collection via a dual stream program. This single stream residential program, also referred to as All-In-One, allows residents to use one 95-gallon roll cart collected once every two weeks, compared with using two 22-gallon curbside bins. The county observed a considerable increase in the amount of recyclable material collected from each residence participating in the All-In-One pilot program, with an average of 21 pounds per home per pickup, a significant increase compared with 10 pounds per home per pickup with the standard two-bin program. Additionally, following a 6,000 home expansion in October 2011, the county observed participation rates as high as 70 percent in All-In-One areas, compared with rates averaging 35 to 40 percent for the rest of the county. Based on the success of the pilot programCharleston County Council has

decided to incrementally expand the All-In-One program, implementing a county-wide program within the next 24 months. As the All-In-One residential expansion continues throughout the county, residents will be notified by mail. Shortly following this initial contact, a new blue roll cart will be delivered to each residence, along with additional information on how to best prepare the container for proper service and what to recycle. All-in-One makes it easier for residents to recycle more material by eliminating the need to sort the materials; however, it requires additional sorting at the Countys Materials Recovery Facility (MRF). Short-term equipment changes have been made to handle the additional material. Recycling minimizes the need to bury material thereby extending the life of the landfill and protecting the environment. So whether you are currently receiving the two-bin or All-In-One recycling service, continue to recycle. Charleston County continues to advance its solid waste management program to reach County Council’s 40 percent recycling goal. County Council is excited about the county’s recycling efforts and strives to be the premier integrated solid waste management program in the Southeastern U.S. Visit online:

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 5



241 Night Heron Drive $240,000

This lovely home offers 2800+ square feet, 4 bedrooms and 2.5 baths and is a great value! This home has an open floor plan, formal areas and a sunroom. Located in the Retreat section of desirable Brickyard Plantation this home is on a quiet cul-de-sac and has a beautifully landscaped yard with a very private backyard with lots of trees.


614 Maygrass Court

RIVERTOWNE 2620 Alderly Lane $90,000

Mobile: (843) 412-1973 E-Fax: (843) 202-8509

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Beresford Hall. Beautiful home on remarkable lot with marsh views of Beresford Creek. Lushly landscaped at the back of Beresford Hall featuring a community boat landing, ramp and dock. Neighborhood has walking trails, amenity center, pool and play ground. This impressive custom home has three decks, a screened-in and a full front porch all with picturesque views. Quality and livability are apparent from the tiger wood oak floors to the elegant gourmet kitchen and everything in between. Must See! $849,000

The Costanzo Team

Build your dream home, Access to dock, pool, park and tennis Lolly Fabian 843-696-3040

Old Village Landing, Mount Pleasant

Wakendaw! Great New Listing! Over 2700 sqft 4BR & FROG in this well-maintaned, one owner, brick ranch. Gleaming hardwood floors in LR, DR, Family Room and Kitchen - Side entry garage too! All for $379,000

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Double porches grace this low country design. Gourmet kitchen. Hardwood floors on first floor. Four bedrooms, 2 1⁄2 Baths, 2906 sq’ living area. Family room with fireplace opens to screened porch and deck. Fenced back yard. Two car parking under plus work area bay. Offered at $585,000.

Mary Molony 843-478-8460

Kathy Carrier, CRS, GRI 843-442-5362

4154 Colonel Vanderhorst

1130-D Silent Harbor Ct. 2 spacious BDRs, 2 BA ground level unit w/open plan in Snee Farm Lakes. Fully furnished w/exception of some items. Master BDR and Family Rm opens onto screened porch overlooking community pool. Close to beach & shopping. $135K

Beautiful Southern Living Exquisite Boral Brick home overlooking Golf Course. Reclaimed Heart Pine flooring, 5BR,4 ⁄ Baths. Entertainment room. 4580 Sq. Ft 1

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Betsy Cormany 843-224-2070

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Leesa Northrup




Ursula Erichsen


Leesa Northrup

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Fantastic location in central Mt. P. that is convenient to Sullivan's Isl., downtown and I526! This home has a lrg. family room with great windows, a fireplace, an adjoining kitchen with eat in area and a spacious foyer. The living space includes three large bedrooms and a finished room over the garage. There is a lawn irrigation system in the front yard and a shallow well for lawn watering. This is a rare find in desirable Shemwood II.


1365 National Drive

Hobcaw Point. Fine colonial architecture w/ pine floors, high ceilings, an excellent kitchen, living and dining rooms, family room with fireplace, cozy sun porch overlooking garden, heated & cooled swimming pool and private dock on tidal creek. 5 BR 3.5 BA 4,475 sf

CHARLESTON NATIONAL. Located on along the 10th fairway. With over 2600 sq.ft. of living space, this home has 3 bd, 2.5 ba. with the master suite located on the first level. Bright and Sunny eat-in kitchen with beautiful granite counters, large great room, den, and formal dining room complete the 1st level. Second level has 2 large bedrooms with full bath and LOADS of storage. Both bedrooms have 2+ walk-in closets with additional storage in the 3+ car garage that is climate controlled.

Robert M. Hollings, Jr., Realtor Mobile: (843) 270-2340 Office: (843)414-1209 Fax: (843)746-4993

Cathy Tucker 843-324-2373


381 Seewee Circle


1275 Abercorn Trace


Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 6

1975 Armory Drive $215,000

Wonderful 2 BR, 1 BA unit perfect for students or young professionals. Large bedrooms, new HVAC and hot water heater, and great pool. Ideal location only ten minutes from downtown.

Bright and cheery 3 bd/ 3 ba home with open floor plan, hardwoods, vaulted ceilings, and screen porch in WestPoint. Convenient to beaches, schools, major highways, and shopping.

843-607-1265 •

Peggy Leete 843-532-7923

154 Hobcaw-Hobcaw Point $2,950,000

508 Country Place Hibben/Belle Hall $574,900

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Panoramic views of the Wando river with spectacular home that sits on high bluff (23') overlooking the Wando river and protected creek! This home was was designed for entertaining with ease with floor-to-ceiling tabby fireplace, mahogony cabinetry built-in. There are double ovens, warming drawer, built-in microwave, refrigerator for drinks, all stainless appliances, bread box and appliance closet. The master suite is on one end of home with access to covered wrap porch and a sitting area to enjoy the views! Second floor is accessible by stairs or elevator and opens to loft area and lots of closets.

Pam Bishop 843-814-1622

This open plan has a very desirable layout with study with french doors, transcom window over top, large great room with fireplace,well appointed mantle, columns that open to formal dining room. There is arched opening to kitchen from Great room, breakfast nook and off to the rear a sunrooom. The master bedroom is down, large walk-in closet, whirlpool and separate shower which is 4x4. Upstairs are three bedrooms, one with private bath and others have Jack x Jill bath. Upgraded appliances and brazilian cherry in all living spaces!

Pam Bishop 843-814-1622

Rivertowne on the Wando 4 BR/ 2 full baths, 2 half baths wetlands on two sides, elevated, full front porch. Close to amenities 450,000

Andrea Ulmer 843-670-6341

2683 Magnolia Woods Dr $675,000 - This wonderful custom home is

Got Water? $524,000. Private boat ramp, dock with floater and



843-452-2747 •

3312 Rees Row

309 E Huron

CHARLESTON NATIONAL. Home is overlooking the 7th hole and lagoon. Features over 2650 sqft with new granite, stainless appliances, refurbished cabinets and so much more. Master Suite is located on the first level along with formal dining room, living room, kitchen and family room. The 2nd level offers 2 bedrooms with Jack and Jill bath and a guest suite with full bath. Lush landscaping, irrigation system, water feature and lighting system completes this property.

RENOVATED FOLLY BEACH BUNGALOW 2BR, 2BA, full-front screened porch, Bamboo flooring, new energy efficient windows, metal roof, HVAC and remodeled bathrooms. $350,000



Katrina Johnson

Steve Kaul 843-817-5547

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 7

Jan Snook


2-3 min to the Intracoastal waterway are only a few of the unique features in this Lowcountry style home. The interior features hardwoods, tile, vaulted great room with large stone fireplace, beautiful sunroom room with incredible views of the marsh, tidal creek and intracoastal. The master has multiple closets, a sitting area and a screened porch where you can wind down.There are also an additional two spacious bedrooms and an unfinished mother in law suite that could easily be made complete. Make this home yours.

so close to the beach you can smell the salt air from the porches. Feat. an extra large kitchen with granite countertops and prep island. All the baths have granite countertops, most with vessel sinks! Wood floors throughout the home including 4 bedrooms and closets. Double piazza style porches grace the rear of this home. The top floor piazza is accessed from the master bedroom. The ELEVATOR is already installed to all floors, plus custom lighting everywhere. The home is equipped with its' own whole house automatic backup generator!

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843-870-4539 •

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2338 Sandy Point Ln

Well Priced $1,000,000. The Island at Belle Hall Plantation! Spectacular home with dramatically Northern Wando River and marsh views. Elevated home with a multitude of upgrades, including: 3 stop elevator, Brazilian cherry flooring, gourmet kitchen and more! 4bdr. 4 1⁄2 ba. 4208 s/f. Call Dan to view! IP02-701681 1

536 Island Walk West

Dan Pape

Cathy Tucker



Jackie Clark

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640-C40 CORNELL ST $92,500

Consumers light the way to savings with CFL bulbs save more than $40 in electricity costs over its lifetime. “Using CFLs instead of standard incandescent bulbs can add up to real savings for customers,” said Garland. “Given that the average household has approximately 40 light fixtures, CFLs can save customers as much as $1,600 over the lifetime of the bulbs.” Available for lighting options throughout the home, including recessed can lights, bathroom vanities and three way lamps, CFLs come in a variety of shapes, sizes and colors and you’ll find all of the latest trends. Many retailers and other entities provide recycling stations for CFLs, making the option to switch and save easier than ever before. To learn more about these energy saving tips, including how to properly recycle CFLs, visit their website at



South Carolina Electric and Gas’s ENERGY STAR lighting program continues to provide energy efficient savings as more than one million compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were purchased in 2011.

he Garden Club of South Carolina will be holding its statewide garden tour over several weekends in March and April. The tour includes the following dates and sites: # Saturday, March 24: Holly Hill, Santee, Bowman and Allendale # Sunday, April 1: Hilton Head Plantation # Saturday, April 14 Conway # Friday, April 20: Bishopville and Lake City Get the March issue of Southern Living magazine and see this garden tour featured in two articles. Sponsored by the Garden Club of South Carolina., the tour features four weekends spotlighting different areas of the state. Advance daily tickets

may be purchased for $15. (Tickets must be purchased two weeks before each tour to receive this discount.) Day-oftour tickets are $20. To purchase advance tickets for the tour and luncheon, visit the garden club’s website at or contact: The Garden Club of South Carolina, a nonprofit organization, is a force for good that promotes all aspects of gardening, focusing on preservation and restoration of historic gardens, conservation and environmental protection of natural resources, education of members and youth organizations, civic beautification, horticulture and floral design. RENOVATED and REMODELED in Oakhaven Plantation. Close to the beach in Mount Pleasant. 4BR, 2.5BA, 2216 sf, hardwoods, granite and a screened porch. Great neighborhood amenities. $374,900

Mobile: (843) 270-2340 Office: (843)414-1209 Fax: (843)746-4993

Steve Kaul 843-817-5547

1711 Atlantic Ave

Search my website & the entire MLS at

Clay Montgomery, REALTOR, SFR 843-509-2128

1913 Dunes Mill Way with Dock!

A Classic 4BR Beach Home in Popular area of Sullivan's Island less than 200ft from the Atlantic Ocean. Ocean view from the Crow's Nest. Wood floors and wood interior walls. Great Pool. Just a stone's throw away and with a deeded access to the Ocean. Plenty of storage underneath. $1,295,000. Call today!

Beautiful home in prestigious Dunes West on Wagner Creek with a dock and boat lift! Attractive backyard with in-ground pool and 2 gazebos. Screened porch and deck for grilling complete the wonderful outdoor entertaining area. 4 Bedrooms, 2.5 Baths ~ 2800 sq. feet. Be sure to see this one! $569,000

Bill Donovan 843-991-0146 • Office: 843-886-8110 •

Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 8


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Robert M. Hollings, Jr., Realtor

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1469 Pine Island View

Quiet elegance in this impeccably designed & constructed home in gated Beresford Hall. Walnut floors, fine woodwork, heavy crown molding, coffered ceilings and solid four paneled doors. Chef’s kitchen w/ six burner Wolf gas range & ovens, Sub Zero refrig and Monogram wine cooler. The luxurious master suite has large walk-in closets, custom shelving, a generous bath with Jacuzzi tub. 4 BR 4.5 BA 3,450 SF. Master down, elevator ready and some river views. CM02-709659

752 Bounty Square Drive

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outh Carolina Electric and Gas’s ENERGY STAR lighting program continues to provide energy efficient savings as more than one million compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) were purchased in 2011. The program is currently offering consumers instant discounts of up to $3 per bulb at participating retailers throughout SCE&G’s service territory. “It’s great to see more residential customers switch to CFL bulbs,” said Nakeeah Garland, ENERGY STAR lighting incentives program manager at SCE&G. “This simple switch is an easy - and effective - way for customers to save money and energy year round.” CFLs use up to 75 percent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs and can last up to 10 times longer. On average, a single CFL bulb can

The Garden Club of SC plans Spring tours


Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 9

Potluck gatherings make a comeback


all it a sign of the times or just plain good luck for those of us yearning to swap fast food fare for some tasty home cooking. Potluck gatherings are back and one of this year’s hottest trends in entertaining. Although these communal “luck of the pot” meals (where everyone brings their favorite dish) hearken back to the late 19th century, they found their footing in the mid-1950’s when it seemed like every mom in the neighborhood was filling casserole dishes for church socials and family get-togethers. Got potluck fever but not a clue what to do? Here are four tips that’ll make your next gathering both tasty and stylish, plus, a family-fave recipe that’ll put your home on the map as potluck heaven. • Organize participants Divide the meal by categories so guests will have a balance of appetizers, entrees, sides and

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desserts from which to choose. Cooks needn’t commit to a specific recipe but it’s helpful to know up-front that a wellrounded meal is in the making. • Agree on advance prep All dishes should be cooked prior to arrival so only a quick re-heating is required. Everything should also hit your doorstep ready for presentation to avoid last minute searches for serving bowls and platters. • Choose crowd-pleasing recipes To appeal to guests varying tastes, save the exotic for later and dust off mom’s (or grandma’s) cookbook. Traditional potluck dishes like casseroles, chili, soup, bread, and cakes are always popular and easy to make. • Dress up the table Remember the special tablecloth mom used for Sunday dinner? Create some memories for your own family with a pretty fabric tablecloth, cloth

napkins (pretty and eco-friendly) and some candles. A few minutes is all it takes to create a festive look that’ll make guests feel honored to have gathered around your table.

Bean Pot Beef Stew This twist on an American favorite yields a hearty, flavorful entree that takes less prep time because it slow cooks in the oven in a bean pot. Ingredients: 1 pound round steak, cut into bite-sized pieces 1 large yellow onion, roughly chopped 2 tablespoons olive oil 4 cloves garlic, chopped fine 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes 6 cups beef broth (or stock) 1 1/2 teaspoons dried thyme 3 bay leaves 2 cups potatoes, cubed 1 cup celery, diced 1 cup carrots, diced


A slow cooked meal, such as this Venetian Home Spice Bean Pot, is potluck perfect. It’s sized to feed a crowd and to go from kitchen to table without missing a stylish beat. Salt and pepper to taste Directions: Rub steak with olive oil and coat with salt and pepper. Let steak sit at room temperature in bean pot while preparing all other vegetables.

Chop and dice everything, then add to bean pot. Add beef broth (or stock), thyme, bay leaves, diced tomatoes and salt and pepper. Cover and bake in 375 F oven for 3 to 4 hours until meat is tender.

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 10


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We specialize in all types of repairs to your home or business.

Tips on choosing contractor for metal roof AFFORDABLE METAL ROOFING


hen making any investment in your home it is important to select quality contractors who you can trust to deliver a strong return on your money and time spent. A new metal roof, when installed properly and of quality materials, can last you a lifetime making it paramount that the contractor you select is a credible business. As with any home repair, you should always insist on working with a professional company. As the consumer you have the right to ask to see licensing and insurance details. Look for professional affiliations such as the better business bureau, and ask for referrals from previous jobs. The National Roofing Contractors Association (NRCA) recommends that you prequalify roofing contractors to get

the job done right the first time. Below are some guidelines provided by the NRCA to help you select a professional: • Check for a permanent place of business, telephone number, tax identification number and, where applicable, a business license. • Check to see if the roofing contractor is properly licensed or bonded. • Make sure the contractor is financially stable. A professional roofing contractor can provide current financial information about his company. • Look for a company with a proven track record that offers client references and a list of completed projects. • Insist on a detailed, written proposal and examine it for complete descriptions of the work and specifications, including approximate starting and completion dates and payment procedures. • Have the contractor explain

his project supervision and quality-control procedures. Request the name of the person who will be in charge of your project, how many workers will be required and estimated completion time. • Call your local Better Business Bureau or Department of Professional Regulation to check for possible complaints filed against the contractor. While this checklist may seem like a lot of work, you will find the efforts will pay off drastically. Doing your homework at the start of your roof replacement project, will ensure you have a quality roof that will provide you both shelter and peace of mind. (Affordable Metal Roofing, located in Little River, is one of the area’s largest providers of metal roofing. Working with homeowners on both new construction and remodels, the company serves both North Carolina and


Doing your homework at the start of your roof replacement project, will ensure you have a quality roof that will provide you both shelter and peace of mind. South Carolina. For more information or a free estimate call 1-800-505-3241 or visit them



Spring Home and Design~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 11

at Financing is available.)

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Save water during Fix a Leak Week

take more than 600 showers or meet the average family’s water needs for a month. Finding and fixing leaks around the home is as easy as check, twist and replace: • Check for leaks. Toilet leaks can be found by putting a few drops of food coloring into the tank and seeing if color appears in the bowl before you flush. Don’t forget to also check irrigation systems and spigots. • Twist and tighten pipe connections. To save even more water without a noticeable difference in flow, twist on a WaterSense labeled faucet aerator or showerhead. • Replace the fixture if necessary. Look for the WaterSense label when replacing plumbing fixtures, which are independently certified to use 20 percent less water and perform as well as or better than standard models. WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills. Consumers can find WaterSense-labeled products at thousands of retail locations across the country. More information about finding and fixing leaks: http:// More information on WaterSense or to find a retailer in your area that carries WaterSense-labeled products: http://


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“I had mostly depended on Home Depot for yard treatment, before finding out about Possum’s. I went to Possum’s and explained my yard issues. They got me on a regular schedule with treatments. Now my yard is the greenest and prettiest in the neighborhood. Their preemergent, fungus control and fertilizer worked well for me. Possum’s is the only place I go.–Julia Jacobs

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 12

“The Landscape Superintendent at Lowndes Grove Plantation and I followed Possum’s recommendations. WOW! What a beautiful result! Within a week my boss was saying what a great job I did. Possum’s made me look like a hero! Thanks Possum’s!! –Kathy Hartman This property won The City Paper’s Best of Award for best lawn to take a nap on!

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merican households waste more than one trillion gallons of water each year due to leaky pipes, toilets, showerheads and other fixtures, but fixing leaks can be easy and inexpensive. During the fourth annual Fix a Leak Week, March 12-18, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) WaterSense program is educating Americans about the importance of fixing leaks around the home, which will save water and nearly 10 percent on utility bills. WaterSense’s 2011 Manufacturer Partner of the Year Delta Faucet Company, in partnership with EPA, GreenPlumbers USA, United Way, Ronald McDonald House, and various local water utilities and governments, will fix leaks in more than 1,000 low-income households and community facilities in Boston, Philadelphia, Atlanta, Indianapolis, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, San Francisco and Seattle. Delta will fix leaky toilets and faucets, and install WaterSense-labeled showerheads in each location, and estimates that these actions will save millions of gallons of water this year alone. “Across the country, household leaks add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually. The amount we’re losing could supply Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami for a full year,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re not just losing water, we’re also losing the money our communities put into keeping our water clean and healthy. ” The average American home leaks more than 10,000 gallons of water per year, which is equivalent to the water needed to wash 280 loads of laundry,

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tional exhibits, plant problem diagnosis clinic, a chance to win a door prize, books and plants for sale on site plus complimentary compost. So, grab a gardening buddy and sign up. Space is limited. Check the Clemson Extension website for more information.




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Interest in solar energy growing BY PENNY PARKER MOULTRIE NEWS



A homeowner on Sullivan’s Island has installed solar photovoltaics (PV) on his roof to generate electricity as a way to save energy and save on his power bills. The addition of even a few PV panels can generate considerable savings.

onald R. Zimmerman is bullish on solar energy. The electrical engineer and optical engineer has seen a big increase in interest in the solar energy field. “I see a lot more people interested in solar these days,” he says. “There’s more awareness of the environment today and there’s a real potential for growth. People want to reduce the demand for foreign oil.” As the president and CEO of Blue Marble Solar, he has just merged his company with EcoBilt to form Adler Energy Solutions. The company specializes in the design, installation and integration of residential and commercial solar photovoltaics (PV) and solar hot water heaters. There are many positives in switching to solar power, according to Zimmerman. By

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generating your own energy, home owners and businesses can use less from the power company, possibly even being able to sell power back to the company. A solar hot water heater can generate savings of up to 30 percent on a monthly power bill, and the addition of even a few PV panels can generate some savings as well. Zimmerman uses the example of one homeowner to show how the addition of solar energy equipment can generate savings. This customer installed a whole house energy monitor that shows how much energy different appliances and equipment use. He turned off lights, unplugged equipment or lowered a thermostat to generate a $10 to $20 reduction in his power bill each month. He then added a solar water heater which created another $30 to $40 savings. Then he added a

See Solar, page 15


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Solar: Costs going down, incentives going up Continued from page 14 12-panel PV system and was able to get another $50 savings off his power bill. In the spring and fall, he was able to earn credits from the power company by generating more power than he actually used. Zimmerman points to a couple of factors that he thinks will generate even more interest in solar power. The cost of the PV modules has dropped about 30 percent in the last year, and a bill making its way through the South Carolina legislature should generate more interest as well. House bill 3346 will increase the incentives for solar energy. It calls for allowing state tax credit for the installation of solar energy equipment in an equal amount to 35 percent of the amount for specific installations and it allows for the incentives to carry over. North Carolina has had a similar law and has seen a huge growth in solar energy. That state is also requir-

ing that a certain percentage of power used in the state must come from renewable sources. This has caused many of the power companies there to offer incentives on top of the rebates they’re already offering. Zimmerman has worked with clients who have just put up a few PV panels to one who operates his house on a net zero basis. Most people in this area can get a 50 to 60 percent savings on their power bills just through solar energy, he says. One of the projects that Zimmerman has worked on was a sustainable, green parking lot at Christ our King Stella Maris school. The school replaced the faculty parking lot with a playground for the younger children at the school. The new faculty parking lot was planned from the start to be environmentally friendly. The surface was made with permeable materials that would allow rain to soak through, and native, indigenous plants were

used in the landscape design to lessen the need for irrigation. The lights are powered by solar energy with PV panels set into ground units. The system is linked to a website which shows how much power is being generated and used. Several teachers have used the website as an educational tool for both math and science classes, says Joey Bradshaw, garden manager for COK school and church. “It’s worked out great. We’re producing excess power so SCE&G is buying it back from us. We’re really glad we did it.”


Photovoltaic panels can be installed on almost any roof (above) or in the ground (left) like these at Christ our King.

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Lights alive: Let it shine on in


Homeowners should be sure reading areas are sufficiently lit to avoid the unnecessary risk of vision problems. for activities such as reading? Is there sufficient light outside the home to safely

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see the stairs or walkway? How much sunlight enters your home, and are

you unknowingly blocking that light from getting in? Let the sun shine in by opening curtains, pulling up shades and keeping windows clean. This can add life to a room while simultaneously benefitting the environment and lowering your energy bill.

the bulbs easier. Ceiling lights with bulb covers may look pretty, but they are often hard to change and clean. And, if one of the bulbs burns out or if the fixture is dirty, it won’t emit the right amount of light.

► Consider new fixtures.

outside the home is as important as lighting inside. In addition to making it easier to get around, external lighting can also keep prospective thieves at bay. External stairways should be completely illuminated and on motion sensors if not on a nighttime timer.

For older homeowners with an empty nest, consider lamps with rocker switches. These are large enough to be turned on even if hands are full or if you’re suffering from arthritis that can make it hard to maneuver hands and fingers. Busy homeowners might benefit from fixture styles that clean easily and don’t require much maintenance. Seniors might also want lights that make changing

► Get outdoors. Lighting

► Add extra lighting to

work areas. Add extra light fixtures in work areas or areas of heavy traffic, such as the kitchen or living room. Those with a home office should keep

the areas well lit, as you likely spend extended periods of time in the home office. ► Add lighting to reading

areas. Reading in poorly lit areas is a recipe for eye trouble. To lessen the likelihood of developing eye trouble, place reading chairs near windows or add lamps or other lights to areas commonly used for reading. ► Install nightlights

throughout the home. There’s no reason midnight walks to the refrigerator or restroom should be done in the dark. That only increases the likelihood for falls and injury. Install nightlights in hallways and near the bottom and tops of all staircases to decrease the chances of injury.

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Spring Home and Design~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 16

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Many times the arrival of warmer weather makes homeowners reconsider the decor of their home. After a long winter spent indoors, homeowners often yearn for some changes around the house. One cost-effective way homeowners can give their homes a new look or feel without breaking the bank is to address lighting throughout the house. With some easy changes to a home’s lighting scheme, homeowners can notice a stark difference in their home’s appearance. ► Assess lighting needs. First and foremost, evaluate your lighting situation by looking at how much light is currently around the house, including the home’s exterior. Is there adequate light available

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We all know that April showers bring May flowers, but those showers can also bring the threat of severe and heavy flooding. According to FEMA, floods are the second-most common and widespread of all natural disasters, affecting homeowners in all 50 states year-round - often following winter snow thaws, spring rains or heavy thunderstorms. March 12-16 marks National Flood Awareness Week, a time for all homeowners and communities to ensure that they are properly prepared for flooding. Here are some tips below from Generac Power Systems that will help your readers and their families be prepared in the case of a flood. ►Develop a family emergency plan. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work and school that are on higher ground. ►Build an emergency kit with basic disaster supplies including: ►First aid kit ►Bottled drinking water ►Non-perishable food items and manual can opener ►Battery-powered or hand-crank radio

►Flashlight and extra batteries ►Waterproof/water-resistant clothing

such as rubber boots ►Safeguard your possessions. Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. ►Purchase a portable or standby generator to power your home in the case of flood-related power outages. A back-up source of power like Generac’s Guardian Series can fuel essential home appliances such as a sump pump, refrigerator and furnace, reducing the risk of damage to your home and belongings. You can learn more about standby and emergency power solutions at ►Prepare your home in advance by anchoring fuel tanks, clearing debris from gutters and downspouts, and placing the furnace, water heater, washer and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation. ►In the event of a flood, make your way to higher ground as soon as possible, avoiding areas where the water level has already started to rise. Never attempt to drive through a flooded roadway.

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Are high efficiency filters necessary? BY LOUIS SCHWEERS AIR PLUS HEATING & AIR CONDITIONING

Do you routinely use of high efficiency pleated filters? If improving indoor air quality is your goal, use caution when making that decision. Although the filter’s stated efficiency is generally accurate from one side of the filter to the other, the duct system must be taken into account. If the filter is installed directly at the air handling unit, the filter generally provides the degree of filtration promised. It the filter is installed at a filter grille (the most common arrangement), how-

ever, the filter can actually be counterproductive and result in higher levels of contamination in the home. Although the filter is easy to change when it is installed in a filter grille, this arrangement also means that there is a section of ductwork between the filter and the air handler. Just as the supply ductwork is under positive pressure, the return ductwork is under negative pressure. Under negative pressure, air is drawn into the return duct not only through the filter, but also through leaks in the duct system. Even the best ductwork leaks to some degree; standard ductwork

leaks much more. The static pressure drop across a high efficiency pleated filter is much greater than that across a less expensive “furnace filter.” In layman’s terms, this means that the air handler has to work much harder to pull air through a pleated filter. Since air will take the path of least resistance, the amount of air being drawn into the system through leaks is substantially increased. Add in that most duct systems are located in an unconditioned attic, or worse, a moisture and mold-laden crawl space, and conditions in the home can actually deteriorate.

Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 17

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Maximize your space Overhauling your closet can generate rewards BY JENNIFER WILSON MOULTRIE NEWS

Closets tend to be a source of headaches for many people. They’re either too small, poorly designed or the owner isn’t using the space for maximum organization. Closet redesigns are becoming all the rage, and Brenda Romito, a designer at Authentic Kitchens & Baths in Charleston, says redoing your closet can have many positive effects. So why should someone consider a closet redesign? “You can increase your closet storage space without increasing the size of your closet simply by organizing it properly and taking advantage of all the space

you have,” Romito said. And a lot of times, people need the help of a professional to do so successfully. According to Romito, there are endless options for closet upgrades. You can install wall or floor cabinets, put an island in the center if you have the space, add shelving, rails for shoes, place inserts in drawers for jewelry, add tie racks and belt racks, and the list goes on. “If you can think of it, usually there’s a way to do it,” Romito said, noting one customer who installed a mirror that pulls out of the side of a cabinet and swivels in every direction. You can get the most basic upgrade to your closet, depending on the size, for under $1,000, with the most in-depth redesigns costing $20,000 and up. Before you hire a professional to re-do your closet though,

Continued on page 19


Your closet shouldn’t be a source of stress. If you hire an expert to redesign your current space, you could be on the road to a calm and more organized way of life.


Thanks for your business Ray Passailaigue DHEC Certification #110222214 SC Residential Builder #8935 843-224-1396 OR Fax: 843-628-2434 PO Box 2464, Mt. Pleasant, SC 29465-2464 IP03-704346 1

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 18

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Closets: Boost your life with function and organization Continued from page 18


If you do decide to hire a professional to redesign your closet, make sure you get rid of everything you no longer need. boost. “Everything is visible and or-

ganized and it’s not stressful to walk into your closet and figure

out what to wear,” she said. “Your day is more organized

because you start out in a better place.”


A closet redesign can benefit anyone and can even give your everyday life a boost.

Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 19


Romito says it’s important for you to go through your existing closet and get rid of anything you no longer need. She says if you haven’t worn it in a year, it’s safe to say you don’t need it. “If you’re contemplating (a redesign), it’s a good time to sit down and reevaluate what you have,” she said. If you do go with a pro, they will typically visit your home to see the space. Not only will your closet itself be measured, but Romito says she also looks at how long your pants are on the hanger, how many sweaters or T-shirts you have that will need to be folded on shelves and how many shoes you own. They do this so they can make your new closet as functional and organized as possible. Romito says a closet redesign can benefit anyone and can even give your everyday life a

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Kea Whatley Beautiful 3 Bedroom, 3.5 Bath Home in the Hibben Section of Belle Hall. Home features detailed woodwork, a gourmet kitchen, Owner's Suite with fireplace, and is located on a large, corner lot surrounded by lush landscaping.

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Spring Home and Design ~ March 14, 2012 ~ Page 20

Home and Design 2012  

Home and Design 2012

Home and Design 2012  

Home and Design 2012