Page 1



HOME MAKEOVER fall edition Make your home serve you better with redecorating ideas and inspiration – from updating your kitchen to repurposing a closet! t a m p a b ay t i m e s s p e c i a l a d v e r t i s i n g s e c t i o n

Tampa Bay Times

| Sunday, October 24, 2021 |


Honest Solar Sales and Installation For Homeowners in Central Fl

For the past 14 years, May Electric Solar has operated as a sole family-owned and operated business, without acting as a subcontractor for other solar companies, and without using subcontractors. T he local company has been installing solar electric systems for over a decade and has honored its promise to customers without question.

At its Hudson-based showroom, May Electric displays its products and conducts onsite testing between the top manufacturers of Inverters & solar modules. T he company's office staff, sales team and installation crew are all trained at this location by William, a Certified Master Electrican who both trains, and works along side the team.

25 Year Warrantv for LG Panels, Enphase Microinverters, Roofing, and Labor? Our company's labor warranties extend 25 years on all parts and labor replacement, this is the May Difference! "We make sure that we're offering you only the best products with linear warranties," Mr. May added. Being an Unlimited Electrical Contractor means our service team will take care of you, not a sub-contractor.

We are open and operating by appointment only, so we can meet safely in accordance with CDC guidelines. Common discussions will include savings on

electricity, payment options that fit your needs, and tax-credit eligibility. When you consult with May Electric Solar, we will go into more detail about solar safety, product warranty and why our systems are a true 25 year investment. Not all solar systems have the same capabilities, you are investing into the future and our solar systems will be ready for it!

Qualitv Assurance, Expert Installers, and a Solid Foundation for the Future. Since we are committed to quality in every aspect of our business, we only choose to install equipment from companies with the ability to ensure their warranty and who hold the same values as May Electric Solar. LG and Enphase are two companies that fit these criteria.

LG PRO Platinum Installer

Our Mission: To provide Florida homeowners with the service and quality they both expect and deserve while helping cut their energy costs. Our Values: We have worked hard to achieve our success, and we will continue to build on our way of ethics and standards which have been paramount for our team to achieve the level of recognition we have obtained.

Our Solution: To provide you, the homeowner, and reason why our business is successful, with the best in quality solar power systems to lower energy consumption, energy costs, and reduce the negative impact on the environment.

"The good reputation of May Electric is reflected in the actions of their employees. With May Electric, you deal with the company, not subcontractors. Highly recommend for solar installations." Mark H. Customer.

Sophisticated, Powerful, Responsive, &Safe May Electric Solar utilizes the top of the line LG Solar PV Panels and Enphase Microinverters and Battery Backup Systems to power your home. With an LG and Enphase system in your home, you will have the power you need, on-demand, even when the power is out everywhere else. Start saving today, contact May Electric Solar to discover how you can get rid of your electric bill, and help the environment.

Contact Is: 121-B19-2162 I WILLIAM MAY IND I SERVING FLDRIIASINOE 20061 ED13005353



| Sunday, October 24, 2021 | Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Times


Sunday, October 24, 2021 |


Working From Home But Lacking Space? Meet The Cloffice. By Sally Moe, Times Correspondent


ou’ve probably already figured out that a cloffice is a closet converted to an office, one of the many creative hacks borne of the pandemic. But it makes perfect sense, especially when space is at a premium. (City dwellers know whereof I speak.) When decorated thoughtfully, it can be a cozy, functional space that you can close the door on when you’re done, for that all-important work / life separation.

The closet space

Much depends on the size of the closet you’ll be working with. Is it walk-in or reach-in, and does it have a door? If it does, that door offers potential real estate for posting reminders and memos — on a cork board or magnetized board — or installing hanging storage. If it doesn’t have a door, there are options that can serve the same purpose, such as a standing room divider (which can make a nice background during Zoom calls), a sliding barn door, or curtains. It’s up to the look and effect you want and how much you want to spend. Explore IKEA and The Container Store for inspiration. Their designers are genius at getting maximum function out of a small space.

The desk

Once you have the ideal height, depth and width of your desk determined, there are many places where you might find a desk ideal for your space (Container Store, IKEA, Amazon, consignment stores, etc). Elfa makes a

number of functional desks (and desk accessories) that don’t take up a lot of space; many of these have pullout basket storage underneath on one or both sides. Again, it all depends on how much you want to spend.

The chair

If the closet you’re working with is small, your chair will either have to be usable elsewhere (as in, not too office-y), or small enough to fit inside when you close the doors on it. Comfort is paramount, but for your home office, which can look any way you want, think creatively. An upholstered wing chair feels luxurious, is good looking, firm and comfortable. A repurposed dining chair is another option. An exercise ball is decoratively unexpected, but gives excellent postural support.


Storage can include any combination of bookcases, wall hooks, baskets, floating shelves, a wall grid or track system, a corkboard, and drawers with inserts or dividers. Mugs or even a cute flower pot can be used to store pens, pencils and markers on your desktop. Consider any surface for storage: the walls, the door, the back of your chair (organizing accessories for the car can work here), or the underside of your worktop. You could also paint one (or all) of your closet walls with blackboard paint for jotting reminders or plans.


If your closet doesn’t have a ceiling light — and even if it does — lighting options are limitless. A desk lamp can supply task lighting; other choices include one or more taplights on the wall or door, an underlit glass paperweight, a wall-mounted sconce, or slim under-cabinet LED strip lighting that takes up the absolute minimum of space. Finally, if you get warm easily (a particular possibility in a cloffice), include space for a clip-on or desktop fan, or a standing fan. And get to work!


| Sunday, October 24, 2021 | Tampa Bay Times

Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, October 24, 2021 |



| Sunday, October 24, 2021 | Tampa Bay Times

Counter Culture: What’s Trending In Kitchen Countertops? By Lisa Schillinger, Times Correspondent


he kitchen has become the central gathering place in many modern homes — for family on a daily basis and for guests when entertaining. So, you want your kitchen to be both functional and beautiful. And your countertops might be the first thing people notice in your kitchen (along with the cabinets).

The choices for countertops seem endless and confusing. A quick internet search for kitchen countertop options revealed more than 20 different materials — everything from popular choices like granite, marble, quartz, solid surface or laminate to some really unusual options including wood, bamboo, recycled aluminium and zinc. Here are some of the pros and cons of the most popular choices:

Counter Arguments Granite

Granite is one of the most popular choices available. Solid granite slabs are very durable and beautiful. They are heat-, stain- and scratch-resistant. Since it’s a natural stone, no two pieces are alike, so your countertops will be unique. Considered a premium building material, granite countertops tend to increase the value of your home. Granite’s downside is that it is fairly expensive. Like many other types of natural stone, it requires periodic sealing to protect it from stains. Granite is also not DIYfriendly — you’ll need a pro to install it.


Marble has natural veining that many say makes it the most beautiful of all natural stone. Each slab has slightly different veining, so like granite, each countertop will be entirely unique. Marble is porous and can be easily stained. It needs to be sealed regularly with a sealing product. It is relatively soft and can be easily scratched by knives and other kitchen utensils. Like most natural stone, marble is expensive.

Solid Surface

Once regarded as upper-end, solid-surface countertops are now seen as a more affordable alternative to natural stone and engineered stone products such as quartz. They come in hundreds of colors and patterns and can often look very much like granite or quartz. Solid surface materials are prone to

scorching, cracking and scratches, but they are easy to clean and minor scratches can be buffed out with fine sandpaper.

Counter Intuitive Quartz

“Quartz is also very popular” for countertops because it is more stain resistant and overall, a harder surface, said Manny Kavouklis, president of CMK Construction, Inc. CMK specializes in kitchen, bathroom, residential and commercial remodeling in Hillsborough, Pinellas and Pasco counties. They have been in business since 2004 and have an A+ Rating from the Better Business Bureau. Quartz is a convincing alternative to natural stone due to quartz crystals and other natural minerals that are included in the material. It comes in many different colors and styles, and it’s more durable and less susceptible to scratching than solid surface. It is nonporous, and -stain, -scratch and heatresistant. Quartz countertops increase the resale value of a home because they are sought after; however, they are quite expensive — similar in price to granite. Since they are very heavy, you will need professional installers. There is no DIY option. Gary LeStrange of PGT Cabinets concurs with Kavouklis, “People used to want granite, but now it’s mostly quartz. You can get the look of marble without the headaches. It’s nonporous and requires no maintenance.” PGT Cabinets has been in business since 2002 and has an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau. LeStrange said they have two locations — Carrollwood and New Tampa — where customers can come in and browse samples of countertops.

PGT Cabinets has two locations:

Carrollwood – 5354 West Village Drive, Tampa, FL 33624 New Tampa – 6431 E. County Line Road #102, Tampa, FL 33647 For more information, go to To schedule an appointment, call (813) 968-9605. CMK Construction, Inc. is located at 440 Roberts Road, Suite #4, Oldsmar, FL 34677. To schedule an appointment, call (727) 800-1644 or go to for a free, no-pressure cost estimate. Tampa Bay Times | Sunday, October 24, 2021 |



| Sunday, October 24, 2021 | Tampa Bay Times

That’s Cool!

New refrigerators dazzle with high-tech features offers Family HubTM refrigerators with a display screen on the front, which is really like a large Samsung® smartphone screen. It comes with Bixby, Samsung’s virtual assistant, and can tie in with your Ring® doorbell. It can play music and has a message center and photo album. It can also access an inventory of what’s in your fridge and tell you if it’s expired based on your grocery purchases. Additionally, you can access the cameras inside the fridge from your phone while at the grocery store. Samsung offers Family HubTM on its 4-Door FlexTM model. Famous Tate has Samsung models offering Family HubTM starting at $2069. The 4-Door FlexTM with Family HubTM starts at $3498.*

By Lisa Schillinger, Times Correspondent


ince the dawn of time, people have been seeking ways to keep their food from spoiling. Historically, food was kept underwater in streams, lakes or wells. Later, people used cellars, outdoor window boxes or springhouses. Ice houses eventually led to indoor ice boxes. With the invention of electricity, came the optimal way to store food: the refrigerator.

And technology marches on. What’s new in refrigerator technology? Nothing...and everything! Refrigerators are still just enormous boxes we keep in our kitchens to keep our food cold. But the newest high-tech features that are popping up on the market are varied and dazzling. Case in point: LG’s new InstaView® Door-in-Door® refrigerator. The InstaView® Door-in-Door® refrigerator lets you see inside without opening the door — simply knock twice on the unique glass panel, and it lights up so you can see what’s inside. The popular Door-inDoor® feature on this model also offers easy access to food without opening the main door, and an adjustable bin that fits snacks and drinks of all sizes. For those who like to entertain, this model offers another feature called Craft IceTM. Dual icemakers with Craft Ice™ automatically create crushed, cubed and LG’s exclusive slow-melting round ice on demand — perfect for upscale, craft drinks at home. The LG InstaView® refrigerator is available at Famous Tate starting at $1999.* Claude Ward, General Manager at Famous Tate, said smart features on appliances are all the rage and are most popular on refrigerators. Samsung®

The most common trend Ward is seeing is French-door refrigerators with the freezer on the bottom. On the cutting edge are Quad Door (4 door) refrigerators with a bottom freezer like the Samsung® 4-Door FlexTM mentioned above. Many of these are designed with hidden handles that create a smooth, flush surface. Of course, side-by-side models are still popular too. Many people are also looking for counter-depth refrigerators now, which are 24 inches deep as opposed to the 31-inch standard depth. For premium kitchens, a huge trend Ward is seeing is column refrigerators and freezers offered by high-end manufacturers like Sub-Zero®, Thermador® and Viking®. These often include a 30-inch fridge and a separate 24-inch freezer and provide total flexibility. You can put them side-by-side or split them up. Finishes are probably the most important aspect of choosing your refrigerator. Ward said stainless-steel is still — by far — the most predominant finish customers request. And most stainless-steel is now fingerprint resistant. Many highend choices are panel-ready where you can have custom front panels made to match your cabinets. Another high-end finish is called Modern Glass, which has a “mirrored front” look. The GE® Café line offers a new finish called Matte White. With this option, you can also select the knobs and handles in metallics like copper. *(Famous Tate’s website noted that some models may be backordered due to COVID-19) Famous Tate Appliance & Bedding Centers has 11 Bay area locations and is West Florida’s largest independent dealer.

Tampa Bay Times


Sunday, October 24, 2021 |


To Reface or Replace … That is the question.

some of that investment when you sell your home. A good rule of thumb for determining budget is 5–15% of your home’s value. On a $300,000 home, that amounts to $15,000 to $45,000. With that said, many homeowners opt to reface the cabinets, which gives the kitchen a fresh updated look and costs far less than replacing them (40–50% less). Plus, it takes less time — as little as 3-5 days all told — so you’re not stumbling over dusty remnants or microwaving takeout in the family room for days or weeks (or months, if you go with a full remodel). Refacing is advisable when • you have a tight budget • your cupboards and drawers are still in decent shape • you don’t want your kitchen to be out of commission for weeks or months • you are content with your kitchen’s layout By Sally Moe, Times Correspondent


aah, that tired old kitchen. It’s a hardworking member of the household, but its advanced age is showing. Wish you could snap your fingers and magically transform it into an HGTV-ready “after” picture? You’re not alone.

Realtors say a kitchen remodel will increase your home’s value and potential selling price significantly. But such a reno can cost you well north of $20,000, depending on the size of your kitchen, your taste in finishes and appliances, and whether you change the layout. How far should you go? The answer to that question doesn’t depend just on what you have to spend, but also on your home and your neighborhood. If you spend top dollar for all the bells and whistles, you might have a fabulous kitchen, but you could lose


| Sunday, October 24, 2021 | Tampa Bay Times

Replacing is advisable when • you have more to spend or are planning a full remodel • your cupboards are in bad shape or dysfunctional • you want to increase functionality of your cupboards (i.e. add divider options, a wine rack or under-cabinet lighting) or add soft-touch closing • you want to change your kitchen’s layout or reroute plumbing • you want to add appliances (i.e. a dishwasher, a second oven, or a wine fridge) or install higher-capacity appliances It all depends on your goals, your budget and your tolerance for inconvenience. But whether you reface the cabinets, replace them or upgrade them — or go all in for a full remodel — having a more updated kitchen will lift your spirits in a tangible way. And the value of that? Priceless.

Tampa Bay Times


Sunday, October 24, 2021 |



| Sunday, October 24, 2021 | Tampa Bay Times