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Spring HOME & GARDEN

2014

UNITED BUILDERS SUPPLY

BUILDING A GOOD COMMUNITY FOUNDATION SEE PAGE 12


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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

cing n a n i F ble. ils. a l i a v A re for deta o

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www.thewesterlysun.com

Spring Home & Garden

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Spring

HOME & GARDEN 2014

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EMBRACE SPRING EARLY

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MYSTIC GARDEN CLUB CELEBRATES 90 YEARS OF GOOD WORKS

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FAST FACTS ABOUT GRASS

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ADD VALUE TO YOUR HOME

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DECORATING WITH LIGHT

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BUILDING A GOOD COMMUNITY FOUNDATION AT UBS

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HARDWOOD FLOORING TRENDS

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KITCHEN MAKEOVERS

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SIMPLE DIY DECORATING TRENDS

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THE BASICS OF CLEANING WINDOWS

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WEED OUT GARDENING MYTHS AND FACTS Director of Special Sections Adrienne Altobelli Director of Advertising John Layton

Whether you’re looking to buy or sell, Places is one of the region’s most comprehensive real estate resources. This weekly section publishes in The Westerly Sun every Friday, and is filled with for sale listings, rental properties, industry trends, and helpful homeowner tips.

401.348.1000 • 860.495.8200 • thewesterlysun.com

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Writers Rona Mann & Linnéa Lindstrom Photos Jill Connor & Mystic Garden Club

Your real estate resource.


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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Embrace spring early

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WITH FRESH DIY HOME AND LANDSCAPING PROJECTS eople across the country are feeling the winter blues after an unusually cold and snowy winter. But with warmer weather arriving soon, you can create a feeling of spring indoors and out with some simple do-it-yourself projects.

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Roll up your sleeves and embrace the season of growth with these home and gardening tips: • A fresh coat of paint is the perfect way to bring springtime indoors. Find inspiration from outdoor hues such as fun yellows, vibrant blues or a bright blend of pinks, oranges and reds. Start with an accent wall, which you can complete

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Spring Home & Garden

in just a few hours for under $50 with supplies from your local home improvement store.

during longer days, you can create a specialty look at affordable prices.

• Spread the spring theme from your freshly painted walls into your outdoor gardens. Start now by planting seedlings indoors for delicious edible plants and beautiful, colorful blooms you can enjoy all summer long. Lowe’s garden center offers regionally relevant plants and the tools necessary for potting, planting and transplanting seedlings into your backyard garden once spring arrives and the ground thaws. In the meantime, cherish the beauty of your indoor garden as it reminds you of the warm weather on the way.

• Get a jumpstart on your landscaping projects by removing traces of winter from your yard. As soon as the snow melts and the ground thaws, pick up or mow leaves and fallen twigs, trim or prune the bushes and give your grass a professional look by edging along paved pathways. Kobalt offers all the tools you need in its new outdoor power equipment line. Launched this spring, the line includes seven cordless tools that all operate off a single, interchangeable, 40-volt lithium ion battery. The selection includes two push lawn mowers, a chainsaw, pole saw, string trimmer and edger, blower and hedge trimmer. No need to wait for all the batteries to recharge - just switch them out from tool to tool and you can spruce up the yard in no time.

• As temperatures begin to warm, time to enjoy the outdoors is just around the corner. Soon enough you’ll be relaxing with family and friends on your deck or in the backyard around a fire pit. Take time now to get prepared for spring and summer days. Decorate and furnish your outdoor space with allen + roth patio furniture from Lowe’s. From bistro sets perfect for enjoying breakfast to conversation sets that will make your guests linger

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Spring is calling with these simple, affordable DIY projects that are sure to leave the winter blues behind you. In a weekend or less, your home and backyard will feel a sense of spring renewal that will provide long hours of enjoyment for months to come.

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Spring Home & Garden

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Mystic Garden Club

CELEBRATES 90 YEARS OF GOOD WORKS

By Linnéa Lindstrom Mystic Garden Club

ledge has become a beautiful scenic entrance to the west side of the river.

ince its inception in 1924, the Mystic Garden Club celebrates 90 years of good works, and today it remains committed to bringing beauty to the village of Mystic.

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In 1936 the group continued its beautification efforts by planting trees on Willow Street and Broadway, and after the hurricane of 1938 they replaced downed elm trees. Today the canopy of mature trees are cherished and can be seen along Main Street from the bridge to CVS, on New London Road, Mystic Seaport Museum, Shipyard Point, Mystic and Noank Library, and dogwoods along Allyn and Godfrey streets and Pequot Avenue.

The club raises over $40,000 a year and donates all proceeds back to the community in the form of scholarships to local students and money for projects for local non-profit organizations. One recent contribution was to Denison Pequotsepos Nature Center to aid in its acquisition of the Coogan Farm. It regularly contributes to the nature center as well as Mystic & Noank Library and Mystic Arts Center among many others. The club plants and maintains flower boxes downtown and regularly cleans Mystic Depot on Roosevelt Avenue. The foresight of the women can be seen throughout the village. In its first year a small group of thirty women took on the Herculean task of planting Baptist Hill Ledge. Today the

It was the first in the state to identify Dutch Elm Disease and bring it to the attention of state officials in 1925. Unfortunately it wasn’t until 1935 that the beetle was recognized for the destruction it caused, and finally $25,000 was granted to rid Connecticut of the beetle. Working with the Boys and Girls scouts and Camp Fire Girls the club fought the tent caterpillar by searching out and burning them throughout the area in the 1930s. The club was ahead of its time when it campaigned against litter and lobbied for a public

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dump in 1936 so residents would no longer have to burn their garbage. It was also during those early years that signs were installed by the club at the entrance to town asking residents to pick up trash. The group also led the fight in controlling bill boards on Connecticut highways. Work might have slowed during WWII, but the group continued to raise money for war relief by holding plant sales, selling Christmas wreaths and needlepoint. Donations were made to the American Red Cross, British War Relief and Salvation Army. Today, the annual Greens Sale, held the first weekend in December and held at Mystic Arts Center, is its largest fundraiser. Proceeds are disseminated to local organizations and high school seniors. Members meet monthly at Mary Elizabeth to work with residents designing flower arrangements, and they continue their beautification efforts with Adopt a Highway. They hold an annual plant sale in June at the Library Fair at Mystic & Noank Library with all proceeds benefiting the library. Plants include many heirlooms and tried and true hardy varieties harvested from member gardens. The club holds monthly meetings at Mystic Congregational Church where featured lecturers provide informative talks on gardening, conservation and floral arranging. The group has been recognized both nationally and locally for its many good works and beautification projects. It is now a 60-member organization with 30 additional associate members. It continues to stimulate the knowledge and love of gardening. You can reach the Mystic Garden Club at P.O. Box 326 West Mystic, CT 06388 or email mysticgardenclub@ gmail.com. Visit the website at mysticgarrdenclub.org.

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Add value to your home

WITH SMART SPRING HOME IMPROVEMENTS

now, blizzards, Arctic winds and damaging ice storms have wreaked havoc across the country this winter. While it may feel as though spring will never come, building experts suggest that now is the time for homeowners to consider spring home improvements that add value and comfort to the home.

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The push toward energy conservation and sustainable materials has introduced homeowners to a greater range of affordable options that can add true value to a home. Green options such as roof-mounted solar hot water systems, gray-water recycling systems and high-efficiency window systems are just some of the options available to homeowners that not only help contribute to a greener environment but also help save money each month. Some of the most valuable “green home” improvements are able to facilitate reduced utility bills, as well as provide year round comfort. Before beginning a home renovation project, homeowners should assess their wants against the needs of their home. Building professionals will say that a home’s envelope, or the exterior-facing surfaces of the building, is typically regarded as the weakest link since it is constantly exposed to the elements. Reinforcing a home’s envelope can have a strong positive impact on how efficient and comfortable a home can be. One area of the building envelope that can be boosted is the insulation. While traditional insulation materials provide thermal comfort, they fall behind sealing against air leaks, and therefore do not create a greener home. Modern insulation options such as spray foam insulation can help homeowners reduce energy consumption by adequately air sealing the home to stop any air leaks. Air leakage can limit the effectiveness of heating and cooling systems. Floors, walls and ceilings can account for up to 31 percent of air leakage in a home, according to InsulationSmart.com. Spray foam insulation, which can help combat air leakage, is growing in popularity amongst homeowners since it is an energy-efficient material that delivers year-round benefits. Spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, works well in all types of homes across the country, regardless of climate. Spray foam insulation performs for the life of the property, ensuring that homeowners can enjoy comfortable indoor temperatures all year round without overrunning their heating and cooling equipment. Insulation experts from Icynene note that quality spray foam insulation can noticeably reduce heating and cooling costs, in some cases by up to 50 percent. Additionally, spray foam insulation helps minimize random airborne moisture and pollutants from entering the home, ideal for allergy sufferers making an ideal home improvement investment that adds true value to a home. More information on the effectiveness of spray foam insulation is available online at www.icynene.com.


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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Decorating with light CAPTURES THE FRESH SPIRIT OF SPRING omething about spring seems to inspire us to lavish attention on our homes. Whether enthusiastically cleaning or freshening decor, Americans seize spring as an opportunity to breathe new life into interior spaces. While painting and decluttering are great ways to revitalize home decor, for sheer spring-like impact it’s hard to beat decorating with light.

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Incorporating light into interior design can go far beyond a few strategically placed, attractive lamps and some upgraded overhead lights. It’s possible to use both natural and artificial lighting to complement other decor and architectural elements, and to create a brighter, upbeat mood that’s perfect for warm weather. Not sure where to begin? Here are a few concepts to keep in mind as you begin decorating with light:

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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Building a Good Community Foundation: By Rona Mann

Special to The Sun

THE VENERABLE AND RELIABLE GOOD NEIGHBOR, UNITED BUILDERS SUPPLY CO., INC.

uilding. It can be a verb, a noun, or even an adjective, but no matter how it is used, one thing is certain. When you hear the word “building,” you think of growth and progress. And in our communities when most people hear the word “building,” most people think of UBS: United Builders Supply.

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Since their inception more than six decades ago, UBS has exemplified building supplies, building homes and offices and stores, and represented what it takes to build a community. Harold Slosberg knew that when he began UBS as a small lumberyard on Mechanic Street in Pawcatuck those many years ago. Slosberg also knew about growth; and within a short time, United Builders Supply relocated to Oak Street in Westerly where they remain today. Eventually they purchased the land that was Consumer Dairy, just across the street. This became the masonry yard for UBS, which now had a major presence in Westerly. Then they bought the property next door, previously occupied by Atlantic Lumber, which now houses the UBS Prime Outlet & Design Center. But it wasn’t all about land acquisition. From its very roots United Builders Supply was about small, thriving communities and hometown people. From the very beginning relationships were forged between UBS and the local builders, handymen, masons, roofers, flooring specialists, and cabinet makers, relationships that have existed and been maintained right to the present day. UBS has always been the touchstone not just for building supplies, but for spot on advice, for knowing that the person you asked a question of yesterday will still be here tomorrow to help you further. It is a safe haven for the homeowner, whether he or she knows precisely what they’re looking for, or whether they’ve jumped into the home building spiral with little more than a glazed look in their eyes. Whether it’s the novice or the professional builder who deals with UBS, they are receiving expertise, first and foremost. With now four locations (Westerly, Richmond, Niantic, and Quaker Hill, Ct.) the staff of 150 is preeminently knowledgeable; moreover customers are reaping the benefit of longevity. According to Bob Wilcox, Vice-President of Sales, “We have veterans here, many of whom have been with us over 30-40 years.” Wilcox’s wife, Crystal, who serves as Advertising and Promotions Manager for UBS corroborates that statement by adding, “If you come in at 8AM on a Monday; and you see a certain employee at the desk who helps you and answers your questions, chances are you’ll see that same guy on

Above, the flooring section at USB in Westerly features a wide selection of carpets, laminates, and wood flooring options. Right, a variety of the masonry options at USB in Westerly including floor coverings, custom build options, decorative features, and loose stones

Jill Connor / The Westerly Sun

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, etc. if you return with more questions or need further help. I’m not sure you get that at the big box stores.” Crystal continued, “Building a home is overwhelming, even if you know what you’re doing. There are literally hundreds and thousands of choices to make. So it often becomes a matter of, what door do I get? What cabinets are going to


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Spring Home & Garden

13

work in my kitchen? Our people at every location can help you pare down those choices and make sure that what you’re buying is what you need, as well as what you want.” Harold Slosberg’s son, Michael now presides over United Builders Supply; and not only has he continued to build a good business employing people in four separate communities, but also makes sure that UBS remains a good neighbor, consistently giving back to those communities. UBS sponsors the Pawtucket Red Sox, Little League teams, softball teams, and soccer teams throughout southern New England and has been a major supporter of the Ocean Community YMCA for over 30 years. Annually UBS sponsors a Golf and Boat Outing which is a major fundraiser for the YMCA. This year’s event will take place on June 18th at the Winnapaug Golf Course; UBS is always appreciative of adding sponsors for this outing. Personally, Michael Slosberg is also very philanthropic to the community, always willing to help local schools and non-profit organizations. “But he doesn’t bang a drum or stand on a corner shouting about it,” Bob Wilcox says with a great deal of respect. “Michael just quietly does a lot for the community. We make donations of lumber for handicap ramps, we help Eagle Scouts and the Lions with their projects, and Michael is active in the Westerly Fire Department. United Builders Supply has deep roots in the Westerly area, even so far as maintaining a strong connection with the area’s famed granite industry. UBS owns a piece of property on Mountain Avenue, the site of several old granite quarries. Here pieces of granite were found deep in the earth, dug out, and sent off to be carved. “Westerly pink and blue, “ were prized granites for statues and buildings. These world famous materials are still sold at UBS, and it’s indeed the real thing. Crystal Wilcox notes that currently UBS is heralding the overdue spring season with their annual Deck Sale going on from now through June 30th, featuring AZEK stain and scratch resistant decking and trim materials. Seasons come and go, but building and rebuilding continues year round. And with it, United Builders Supply forges into their eighth decade of building good foundations not just for homes, but for communities. “We can help our customers both inside and outside with lumber, masonry, decking, concrete pavers, flooring, cabinetry, design consult, and blinds,” says Bob Wilcox. “We will also send someone out to measure onsite without charge. It doesn’t matter if someone wants five pounds of nails or 500 two by fours. At UBS we always treat everyone well.” So whether it’s for a building (noun), for someone who’s currently building (verb), or perhaps it’s the act of donating towards the building (adjective) blocks of a community, with your help United Builders Supply will continue to supply that foundation... grammatically and otherwise for many decades yet to come.

Moving clockwise top left, the new Prime Outlet store at USB in Westerly features a variety of low cost items such as cabinets, doors, loose tile, plumbing fixtures, wall paper, carpet remnants, signs, ect. Top right, the flooring section at USB in Westerly features a wide selection of carpets, laminates, and wood flooring options. Above, there is a huge selection of lumber at the lumber yard at USB in Westerly Left, there is a variety of cabinetry and counter tops on display at USB in Westerly

UBS Westerly 30 Oak Street (401) 596-2831

UBS Richmond 38 Kingstown Road (401) 539-3033

UBS Quaker Hill 45 Richards Grove Road (860) 443-5341

UBS Niantic 31 Industrial Park Road (860) 739-3993


14

Spring Home & Garden

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“Savvy consumers want variety and flexibility in their flooring choices,” says Linda Jovanovich of the American Hardwood Information Center. “With American hardwood species running the gamut of color and because hardwood is a product that can adapt to many different decorating styles and decors, hardwood provides a degree of diversity, as well as long-term value, that cannot

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Spring Home & Garden

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be matched by other flooring materials.”

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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Kitchen makeover:

3 SIMPLE TIPS FOR BEAUTY ON A BUDGET

f you’re tired of looking at your outdated kitchen, but feel replacement would be impractical, you’re not alone. In 2014, consumers will be trying to find solutions they can afford to do themselves. Check out these three DIY remodeling trends for simple and unique ways to refresh the most used rooms in the home.

I

1. MINI-MAKEOVER KITS

You may be the type who prefers to opt out when it comes to getting your hands dirty. If so, you will be pleased to know that as the DIY or the “do-it-yourself” movement grows, so are the increasingly easy product/project solutions. Many larger retailers have caught on to this home DIY trend and have begun stocking mini-makeover kits. Each kit is designed for a specific project with simple application tools. Among the hottest right now: kits that include everything you need for countertop, cabinet or appliance refinishing. The new Giani Granite countertop kit covers all typical existing counter surfaces and transforms your laminate or

composite material into the look of natural granite. These kits stress the ease of application as “being easy enough for anyone.” Nuvo Cabinet refinishing kits are designed for the DIYer who is looking for an easy makeover project. They do not require pre-priming, sanding or even removing the cabinet doors. So before you hire a contractor, check out the mini-makeover movement because remodeling may now be simple enough for even the most DIY challenged.

2. UPCYCLING

Upcycling is the process of converting old or discarded materials into something useful and often beautiful. For example: using slices of used corks to create a cork mosaic backsplash. Home decor artist Nicole Fleming agrees, “There seems to be something more genuine about the story and pride each repurposing project provides compared to owning something that has been mass manufactured.” Upcycling also makes a positive impact on the environment. When you upcycle, you remove items from the

global garbage print. Some avid upcyclers even argue that repurposing instead of recycling can actually be more beneficial because recycling requires energy or water to break down materials, while upcycling only requires your own resourceful creativity. So instead of throwing out your junk try the smart alternative of upcycling by turning your throw aways into something genuinely sensational.

3. PIN-SPIRATION

Many homeowners wanting to spruce up their kitchen, struggle with knowing where to begin. When looking for kitchen design inspiration, start your project online. Turn to popular social networking sites that focus on sharing innovative ideas. Among the hottest right now is Pinterest, whose focus provides tips on everything from small decor crafts to full room renovations.- Pinterest also allows you to engage with other users and discuss projects, helping to work out any remodeling hurdles. Large hardware companies like Home Depot and Lowes as well as the remodeling HGTV Network have caught on to this useful online plethora of tips. They understand why one single place to get millions of ideas and tutorials on home projects holds such importance. Before you decide a kitchen refresh is too difficult or impractical, check out these three popular trends and begin making what you have, look like a million bucks.


www.thewesterlysun.com

Spring into

Spring Home & Garden

17

FOUR SIMPLE DIY HOME DECORATING TRENDS

W

hether you’re personalizing a new home or revitalizing an old room, the start of spring is when newly imagined spaces become do-ityourself realities. Here are four easy and affordable DIY tips to bring 2014’s trends into your home.

DON’T JUST SPRING CLEAN ... SPRING CREATE

Spring cleaning doesn’t have to mean getting rid of everything in the garage. Familiar pieces showcased in a special way can be a conversation starter. Love cycling, but have an old bicycle that you don’t ride anymore?- Consider using its components to construct a unique piece of furniture to showcase your passion for the sport. Peter Debelak, co-owner of Soulcraft Woodshop and Gallery, a member-

ship-based community woodworking workshop in Cleveland, Ohio, did just that. He used Elmer’s ProBond Advanced, a construction adhesive designed specifically for bonding porous to non-porous mixed materials, such as metal to wood or ceramic to drywall, to create a rotating wine rack made out of a bicycle wheel, as well as a shelf and coat rack constructed from a repurposed bicycle crank-set and handlebars. “More and more we’re seeing people personalize their home decor by transforming fascinating objects they love into home accessories and furnishings,” says Debelak.

GO AHEAD, MIX MATERIALS

Vintage and contemporary design elements come together to create rustic contemporary looks. “Reclaimed materials will heavily influence DIYers, and contrasting shiny and rustic materials in projects will definitely be trending in

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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

PROTECT THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS IN LIFE.

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Spring Home & Garden

home for keys, shoes, and outdoor accessories. No time to build anything? Not to worry. Simply hang a shoe rack on the back of a door, and you have a perfect set of compartments to hold supplies in any room.

2014,” says KariAnne Wood, designer, blogger and owner of Thistlewood Farms. Metal, wood, glass, ceramic - all of these key materials play essential roles in making your home the center of attention. Mixing two, or even all, of these together will give you an edge in creating a unique space. Consider gluing pieces of metal and wood together to construct an industrial-style coffee table. Able to work on almost any substrate, ProBond Advanced’s “opposites attract” formula delivers a heavy-duty bond between porous and non-porous surfaces. The glue doesn’t leave a foam residue once it dries, so creating a masterpiece is as easy as glue, clamp and relax.

GIVE PIECE(S) A CHANCE

Recycled wooden pallets and cable spools are trending now on Pinterest in 2014, as DIYers turn them into coffee tables, desks and wall art. “Homeowners are finding ways to bring an element of surprise to staple pieces. Taking utilitarian items and helping them live a new, more beautiful life will enhance any space this season,” says Wood. For a quick and simple patio transformation, spray paint large, wooden cable spools and use them as outdoor tables. Take it a step further by using ProBond Advanced to add a bold, ceramic tile mosaic without any grout, caulk or building required.

This season, stay on trend without busting your budget (or your back) by stepping outside of your comfort zone and embracing your most creative ideas. Whether you’re upcycling old items found in the garage into new masterpieces, or giving a more modern pop to a traditional coffee table, this year’s trends involve unique materials and bold design elements. The possibilities are endless, and it’s important to have the right materials to complete every project quickly and correctly the first time. Learn more about Elmer’s ProBond Advanced to help you get the job done.

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ORGANIZE ORGANICALLY

Most people kick spring off with a little time devoted to organizing. There are easy ways to make your current space functional for your lifestyle without sacrificing your design preferences. Don’t let closet space get cluttered; rather, make use of a space you usually ignore. People are discovering new ways to make beautiful items more functional. That fabulous bench in your entryway may be storing winter coats in a secret storage space but your guests never need to know. Adding storage and improving organization can be just as creative as other spring decorating endeavors. Enhancing your storage solutions can include hanging an old door horizontally and attaching metal hooks to make an instant mudroom by your entryway. Wire baskets glued to wood shelves become a great

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20

Spring Home & Garden

The basics OF CLEANING WINDOWS

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* Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid for purchases made 4/1/14 – 6/13/14 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Offer excludes Nantucket™ Window Shadings, * Manufacturer’s mail-in rebate offer valid purchases made withfor this ad qualifying purchase, a collection of Silhouette Window Shadings. Rebate offers may not be combined; each the higher applicable rebate amount willfor apply. Rebate will be 4/1/14 – 6/13/14 from participating dealers in the U.S. only. Offer excludes Nantucket™ Window Shadings, of Silhouette Windowlaw, Shadings. may not be combined; for each qualifying purchase, the higher applicable rebate amount will apply. Rebate will be expire. Subject to applicable a $2.00Rebate monthlyoffers fee will issued in the form of a prepaid reward card and mailed within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do anotcollection in theAsk form of a prepaid reward card and within 6 weeks of rebate claim receipt. Funds do not expire. Subject to applicable law, a $2.00 monthly fee will issuedapply. be assessed against card balance 7 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations participating dealer for details and mailed rebate form. © 2014 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas. SPG14MB3 be assessed against card balance 7 months after card issuance and each month thereafter. Additional limitations apply. Ask participating dealer for details and rebate form. © 2014 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas. SPG14MB3 41944

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• Window screens may be the culprit behind dingy windows. Hose down the screens with water to clean them, using a mild cleaning solution if water is ineffective.

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www.thewesterlysun.com

Spring Home & Garden

21

Lights sunshine, and you can put all that natural light to work in your home. Boost daylighting by lightening up window treatments to admit as much sunshine as possible, choose fresh paint colors that interplay well with the direction from which light enters a room, and consider adding skylights to rooms that demand drama or where adding a window isn’t practical. A relatively low cost home improvement that can be accomplished by a professional in a day or two or over a single weekend, adding a skylight not only enhances home decor, it delivers energy-saving benefits as well. Skylights can help reduce dependence on artificial lighting - saving money on electricity bills. And, if you choose an ENERGY STAR certified solar-powered, fresh-air skylight like those made by Velux America and add remote-controlled, solar-powered blinds, you can improve the skylight’s energy performance rating by as much as 45 percent while improving indoor air quality through the venting effect of open skylights (which close automatically in case of rain). -Solar-powered skylights and blinds qualify for a 30 percent federal tax credit, as does the cost of installation. Visit www.whyskylights.com to learn more.

FEDERICO MOSQUITO CONTROL

LIGHTENING COLORS

Some hues absorb more light, making them appear darker which causes the room to look dark as well. Spring is a great time to lighten colors throughout the home, and not just wall colors. Fresh paint brightens any room, but to amplify the effect, choose lighter, less intense colors such as pastel yellows, peaches and soft blues.

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Continue the color upgrade through key decorating elements such as upholstery fabric, accent rugs, window treatments and wall art. Choose colors that speak to you of spring, whether it’s an Easter egg pale purple, a cheerful sky blue or a bright grass green. Replace heavy winter drapes with translucent sheers that admit natural light and give rooms an airy, open feeling.

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DO YOU NEED US AFTER THE WINTER STORMS?

UPGRADING OTHER LIGHT SOURCES

While you take steps to maximize the amount of natural light that enters you home, artificial lighting will always be needed, especially when spring showers darken the skies for a while. Choose light fixtures - including floor and table lamps - that continue the bright, easy atmosphere you’ve already created with color and natural light.

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Don’t overlook energy efficiency when you’re revamping your artificial lighting. Spring is a great time to boost your home’s energy efficiency by replacing old, electricity-guzzling incandescent light bulbs with energy-sipping CFLs and LEDs. While these bulbs may cost more to purchase, you’ll save money over their usable life. Energy. gov says these bulbs use 25 to 80 percent less energy than incandescents, and can last three to 25 times longer.

Call now and receive

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Keep in mind the importance of layering light with a mix of sources throughout a room, and choose lighting styles that fit the room’s purpose. For example, in kitchens where a lot of work gets done, overhead and under-counter lights provide the best illumination for cooking and other chores. In bedrooms, wall sconces and table lamps provide softer, more soothing light.

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From Page 10


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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weed out

plants because the drops are too close to the leaves to cause burning before they evaporate. Watering during the hottest points of the day is not advised because water evaporates and gets wasted.

GARDENING MYTHS FROM FACTS

Gardening is an age-old activity that was once a necessity but has transformed into a hobby for thousands of people. While gardening still serves practical purposes, many gardeners still consider it a hobby first and foremost. Time-tested gardening techniques have prevailed, but there remain certain myths about gardening that are best dispelled. The following are some of the more common myths associated with gardening. • MYTH: Compost tea is more effective than traditional compost. All over North America and the United Kingdom, gardeners have jumped on board the compost tea bandwagon. Compost tea is a fertilizer created by steeping compost in water mixed with sugar in brewing kits. The mixture is allowed to sit and aerate to encourage beneficial organism growth before it is sprayed on plants. According to supporters, compost tea suppresses disease and boosts plant yields. However, there is no evidence to suggest that compost tea works any better than adding compost in its normal state to the soil. In fact, leaving buckets of the “tea” around to ferment could actually create a breeding ground for E coli and other bacteria. • MYTH: Plants under stress should be fertilized. This is not the case. Horticulturists advise that fertilizing plants that are not deficient in nutrients can actually add to existing stress levels

for plants. Plants are not often stressed by a lack of food, but rather heat, faulty planting or space constraints. A fed plant will use the energy to absorb the nutrients instead of defending against a blight or establishing better root systems. • MYTH: Young trees need stakes. It may be tempting to stake that little sapling to protect it against the weather and strong winds, but doing so may actually work against the foundling tree. Staking trees to inhibit swaying may not stimulate the tree to grow thicker, lower trunks that will help the tree in the long run. The Royal Horticultural Society recommends that saplings be staked for around one year and then have the stakes removed to encourage the tree to be strong and stable on its own. • MYTH: Water droplets and sunshine lead to burnt leaves. Gardeners have been told to resist watering their plants during the hottest times of the day. Many assume it’s because water droplets lying on leaves will magnify the sun’s rays and burn the leaves. According to Dr. Gabor Horvath at the Eoetvoes University in Budapest, water droplets will rarely damage

• MYTH: Sand added to clay soil makes it looser and better for plants. Clay soil is a deterrent to gardening because it can be so hard to dig and difficult to cultivate, but some feel it’s best to add sand to the clay to make it a better soil mixture. You would need a great deal of sand to do this in the right manner, but many gardeners simply dig a hole, add sand and hope for the best. However, water runoff will pool in the sand and not be absorbed by the clay, potentially causing the plants to drown. • MYTH: Adding compost or potting soil to the planting hole for a tree or shrub is beneficial. Gardeners frequently add compost or potting soil to the hole where the root ball of a tree or shrub will be placed. But this encourages the roots to grow only in this nutrient-rich area, rather than spreading throughout the landscape to form a stronger and more durable root system. If you are going to amend the soil, do so evenly across the landscape. • MYTH: Use gravel or rocks in the bottom of planting containers to improve drainage. Rocks and gravel can actually impede the growth of plants and take away space for roots to grow. The drainage may be affected as well, as water will sit above the gravel or stones and saturate the roots. Stick with plain soil for better drainage results. A variety of gardening myths still prevail. Over time, behaviors can be changed if gardeners learn to separate myths from facts.


www.thewesterlysun.com

Spring Home & Garden

23

Flooring From Page 15

linear floors can accomplish the same goal by installing the linear pattern on a curve. • Consumer preferences are gravitating toward darker species, like walnut, over the more traditional, medium-colored white and red oak. In many cases, however, existing oak floors are being refinished and stained to achieve this look without replacing the floor. • Buyers are moving away from the traditional 2 1/4 inches strip floor to wider plank flooring, 3 inches and wider. Random width planks are also popular. This creates a very casual look, while utilizing more of the raw materials during the manufacturing process.

ing metallic accents by embedding the metallic materials into the hardwood. The result is a pronounced grain that shimmers softly in contrast to the rest of the wood. It is difficult to predict if this trend will catch on long-term but it has become increasingly popular, particularly on the West Coast.

GET INSPIRED

As the U.S. economy continues to recover, more and more consumers will enhance their living spaces with flooring, cabinetry and other luxury items made from American Hardwoods, the ultimate in value, versatility and style. Browse the photo gallery of the American Hardwood Information Center at www. HardwoodInfo.com for inspiration.

• Distressed flooring - hand-scraping the boards will achieve an antiqued look while, at the same time, hiding small imperfections that can appear in flooring over time, like small scratches or dents.-This distressed effect can also be achieved in the factory.

STAINS AND FINISHES

The National Wood Flooring Association also reports that flooring manufacturers are introducing new lines geared to satisfy the emerging trends toward gray stains and finishes - ranging from very subtle to very dark - and metallic finishes.

• 9 GREENHOUSES

Metallic finishes incorporate softly shimmer-

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South County’s Power Equipment Specialist Since 1986 3992 Old Post Rd, Charlestown, RI • 401-364-6114 • www.patspower.com

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PAT’S POWER EQUIPMENT, INC. SALES • SERVICE • PARTS


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Spring Home & Garden

Thursday, April 17, 2014

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Spring Home & Garden, 2014