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[ C O N T E N T S ] 20





Remodeling Lite


Remodeling Made Easy



Ideas and tips for smaller projects to beautify your home. by Lisa Winer

Update your kitchen countertops with style and ease. by Heidi Doerfert

Making the right choices when it comes to appliances for your kitchen. by Tammy Hansen

NKBA 26 Open Kitchen Plan

Creating more space in your kitchen. by Toni DeWaal, CID, CGBP


January/February 2009 THM East Bay


now available online 24/7 Read and enjoy our new e-editions. All the great features of Today’s Home now online. Bonus expanded coverage, links to Web sites, photo galleries and more…


Energy Boost


Timeless Beauty


Stellar Systems

Reduce your heating bill this winter with efficient window coverings. by Heidi Doerfert Using hardwood floors for endurance and brilliance. by Patricia Hayse Haller Home theater built right. by Heidi Doerfert

CCIDC 28 Wise Decisions on a Budget

Budget-friendly ideas for your kitchen. by MaryJo Camp, CKD, CBD, CID

[ R E L A X I N G




B A T H S ]

create a shower “Using your existing dressers and nightstands

ATranquil Retreat BY

and swapping your old wood bed for an upholstered one can really give you a fresh, new look at a fraction of the cost of a new bedroom.” CRAIG KOHLER, OWNER OF ARTESANÍAS.

••• company will use it. Being able to personally choose the fabrics that will be used on your upholstered bed is what gives it a one-of-a-kind style. Artesanías offers upholstered beds in 10 different styles, all of which can be customized to the client’s specifications. The mission at Artesanías is to bring designer-level products to the everyday consumer, and more important, at a price level most people can afford. Along with its custom line of upholstered beds, the store also features custom sofas, accent chairs, and dining chairs all made in the United States to exacting standards. “You don’t necessarily need an interior designer if you come into my store,” says Craig. “If you have an idea, we’ll help you make it happen.” The staff at Artesanías is very knowledgeable and always available to sit down with customers to help achieve a polished look in any room of their home.

HE IDEAL BEDROOM OFFERS A TRANQUIL RESPITE from day-to-day life by making the most of designer elements that complement and accentuate the homeowner’s personal style. Creating a bedroom that has the perfect balance of style and comfort can come simply by updating the centerpiece of the room—the bed. If you’ve been thinking of changing your bedroom furniture, but can’t quite commit to spending thousands of dollars on a new set, Craig Kohler, owner of Artesanías in San Francisco, has an idea for you. “Using your existing dressers and nightstands and swapping your old wood bed for an upholstered one can really give you a fresh, new look at a fraction of the cost of a new bedroom. An upholstered bed can also create an uplifting atmosphere in a room that is dominated by heavy wood furniture.” Whether your tastes are contemporary or traditional, upholstered beds work with any existing décor. “It’s not just a contemporary look or a traditional look,” Craig explains. “You can decide the look your room will have by the fabric

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To see Artesanías’ beautiful selection of upholstered beds and furniture, visit the main showroom at 1747 Church Street, San Francisco. For more information, call (415) 643-6309 or explore the Web site at THM

Customizable High Quality Practical Functionality Since 1935

800.675.6225 1795 Yosemite Avenue • San Francisco

Specializing in Custom-Made Sofas and Sectionals

you choose.” White creates a clean, contemporary look, as do ethereal shades of blue, which are currently very popular with designers. Another way to infuse the room with style is to use layers of different texture and color, contrasting heavier fabrics on the headboard with silky bedding or using patterned fabrics to create accents that reflect your favorite design styles. “An upholstered bed brings style options you just don’t get with wood,” adds Craig. There are hundreds of fabrics to choose from, and if you still don’t find what you’re looking for, you can bring in your own fabric and the

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415.922.2783 1747 Church Street San Francisco

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[ F R O M


E D I T O R ]

New Ideas For a Whole New Kitchen


S THE CALENDAR TURNS TO 2009, we look toward a brighter economy and future. We survived the Holidays and cherished the moments we were able to spend with friends and family. But it also allowed us to find faults with our current kitchen arrangements. Not enough counter space, crammed kitchen cabinets with doors half open with pots and pans we use only once a year spilling out, and zero entertaining space to allow guests to mingle while we’re preparing food top the list of major complaints we’d most like to see changed.

Jeff Curry, Publisher/Editor

As incredible values abound in this depressed market, this may be the best time in the past few decades to jump in and do some serious remodeling. We all know that kitchens top the remodeling list, so allow us to offer a few suggestions…

You’ll find value in hardwood flooring. In the feature Timeless Beauty, you’ll find out how installing hardwood flooring can be one of the best investments you can make for your home. In Kitchen-Wise, you’ll find great ideas on a wide range of appliances for your kitchen, and how to mix and match them to meet any individual style and budget. We also know that Digital TV is on the horizon, so we have a great article on home theater and how hiring the right installer can be the smartest thing you do all year.

Volume 9, Issue 1 • January/February 2009

The Bay Area’s best resource for your lifestyle at home. PUBLISHER/EDITOR



Tracy Carson Michael A. Frieburg Cindy McCue Stephan Raimist FEATURE WRITERS

MaryJo Camp Toni DeWaal Heidi Doerfert Patricia Hayse Haller Tammy Hansen Lisa Winer ART DIRECTOR

Jeff Clinton WEBMASTER


Diane Nasadiuk

This issue also features great industry articles from some of the top industry associations. The California Council of Interior Design Certification (CCIDC) brings a great read on making smart choices in virtually every part of your kitchen, from the cabinets and hardware, to flooring and tile. The National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) talks about how opening up your kitchen can bring a whole new level of enjoyment to your home. Also, don’t forget to enter our “Ugly Countertop” contest. Go to and send us a photo of your kitchen for a chance at a new countertop courtesy of Granite Transformations. We hope you enjoy this issue and as always, feel free to send in your comments and suggestion. We’d love to hear from you. Jeff Curry, Publisher/Editor



190 North Wiget Lane, Suite 280 Walnut Creek, CA • 94598 © 2009. All editorial (headline, subhead, story, captions) published in Today’s Home is copyrighted and remains the sole property of Today’s Home. All rights reserved. Reproduction or reprinting without permission is strictly prohibited.

Today’s Home is looking for highly motivated Account Executives with 2 years of advertising and marketing experience. We offer a dynamic environment, excellent growth opportunities, competitive earnings, and a benefits package. Full- and part-time positions available. Please e-mail resumes to 8

January/February 2009 THM East Bay

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January/February 2009 THM East Bay

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Energy Boost Reduce your heating bill this winter with efficient window coverings. BY



WHEN OUR country was going through the energy crisis of the late 1970s, Hunter Douglas developed the first highly efficient window covering, combining fashion with a revolutionary honeycomb design. Today, in the midst of another crisis in energy costs, Hunter Douglas heeds our call with the introduction of the Duette Architella Collection. “This line of honeycomb shades provides the ultimate in energy efficiency at your window,” says Cate Vanegas of Hunter Douglas. “Duette Architella shades feature a patented construction of a honeycomb within a honeycomb. This provides more air pockets than traditional honeycomb shades and can reduce heat loss at the window by up to 50 percent!” Did you know that almost half of the heat that escapes from your home leaves through the windows? With Duette Architella shades, the cells actually trap the hot or cold air, decreasing the intensity of the temperature as it enters the room. A honeycomb shade with a triple cell construction will increase the energy efficiency of a single pane of glass by five times and more than double the energy efficiency of a double-glazed window. And, that means savings on your monthly utility bill. Technology paired with beauty is a win-win. Duette shades come in a wide array of fabrics and colors. You can choose from sheer, semi-sheer, semi-opaque and opaque fabrics which allow you to choose your desired level of privacy and light control. With the Architella line, an extra layer of fabric gives the color of the shade a richer appearance, as it prevents bright sunlight from washing out the interior fabric color. You’ll also enjoy its softer look and feel as well as its increased energy efficiency. To help you pick out a shade that will compliment your home’s décor, Hunter Douglas offers the award-winning iMagine Design Center on its website. You can see the colors, textures and construction details up close and even view them within a variety of room settings. Each product has a features list that includes its energy efficiency rating, available safety options, sound absorption and more. Better still, why not shop at one of your local Hunter Douglas dealers to see this amazing product for yourself.

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Timeless Beauty BY




Someone buys an old house, rips back a tattered carpet and crows with triumph to discover hardwood floors. What is it about a real wood floor that makes it such a treasure? For Mark Frazier of 3rd Generation Floors, it all comes down to value — and values. “Dollar for dollar, hardwood floors are one of the best investments you can make in your home,” says Mark. “It’s one of the few things you can do — other than a kitchen remodel — that offers a 100% return on your investment.” But hardwood’s mystique is also about beauty, permanence, and an easy-going lifestyle. The natural sheen of wood is easier to care for than most other surfaces. And, unlike carpet, which must be replaced every five to ten years, “the walls will fall down before you need to replace your hardwood floors.” Mark learned about the value of hardwood — and about the values that have made his Pleasanton-based business a success — from the two

generations that preceded him. “My grandfather, my father and my uncle all did floors, and I’ve been doing floors since I was 10 years old,” he says. He started 3rd Generation Floors in 1982, and has built a reputation for being as reliable and sought after as the material he works with. The company installed the floors for all of the Signature Property homes in Pleasanton’s prestigious Ruby Hill community, and has just finished laying a new dance floor of wenge wood in a diagonal parquet pattern at Fusion, one of San Francisco’s hottest nightclubs.

Using hardwood floors for endurance and brilliance.


January/February 2009 THM East Bay

more about…

interiors Green to Burn

Use only the energy you need with budget-minded advances in fireplace technology.

“Time is everything, and if one subcontractor is late it throws everything off,” says Mark. “I’ve remodeled two homes and built two from the ground up, and I know how important that is. So we are there when we say we’ll be there. And if I say we’ll be done on a certain day, then we’ll finish that day even if we have to stay until midnight to get it done. That’s what really sets 3rd Generation apart.”

Revolutionary Room Design

A wall bed and functional wall system will give you a multipurpose space for a guest room and more.

To add the lasting beauty and value of hardwood to your home, contact 3rd Generation Floors at (925) 462-6106, go to, or visit their 2-story, 6,000square-foot showroom at 440 Boulder Court in Pleasanton. THM

That Endures... Beauty For Generations In business for 25 years... our knowledge and expertise in the hardwood flooring industry sets us apart from most floor covering companies. With services such as sanding, refinishing, staining, borders, inlays, medallions and many other wood flooring specialties, our commitment to this industry is unsurpassed. We offer interior trim, custom hardwood stairs, and new dustless sand system.

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HE LIGHTS ARE DIMMED, YOU SIT BACK IN YOUR SEAT, and the roar of stampeding elephants fills the room. The picture on the high definition screen is so vivid you feel like you can reach out and touch them. Now imagine that you’re not in a movie theater enjoying the latest animated family film, but in the privacy and comfort of your own home. The addition of a home theater is the ultimate luxury and one that should be entrusted to a professional with the knowledge to bring out the best in the latest technology. Eric Cox, owner of 20/20 dB, is a licensed contractor specializing in custom electronic residential and commercial sales, design, and installation. His services include home theater, multi-room audio and home automation. He has 12 years of experience in the industry and knows that understanding the structure of your home is crucial in giving you the perfect set-up for your lifestyle. “I want my clients to see technology as a specialty like an architect or an interior designer. It’s just as important to hire someone who has the experience in home electronics as it is for other areas of your house.” Eric likes to educate his clients so the equipment doesn’t intimidate them. During a free consultation, he inspects his clients home or business and discusses their needs and options. One of Eric’s first recommendations is a universal remote. Say goodbye to multiple remotes and the need for a manual to turn on your television! A single remote control with a very simple interface allows everyone in the household to use and enjoy the entertainment system. 20/20 dB uses only the highest quality and most innovative product lines such as Hitachi, Furman, TruAudio, Sherbourn, and Colorado vNet.


January/February 2009 THM East Bay

Home theater built right.


Customer satisfaction is Eric’s main goal. A 20/20 dB client in San Leandro says, “Eric knew exactly what the project entailed and the price of the complete project was very reasonable for the quality. He was extremely polite, did exactly what I needed, was neat, and promptly made his appointments on time.” For a recent project in Scottsdale, Arizona, Eric installed a home theater, a multi-room audio system, and a central control system by Colorado vNet. With the central control system, the homeowner is able to control the audio system, lighting system, security, and even heating and ventilation from multiple touch panels throughout the property. “There’s a term in the industry called wall acne,” explains Eric. “That’s when you have a light switch, security keypad, intercom and thermostat cluttering up a particular area on your wall. An automation system can eliminate all of that by giving you remote access to the systems in your house with a simple to use interface!” Unlike the big chains that send strangers to install your equipment, never to be heard from again, Eric builds a relationship with each and every client. “When you call 20/20 dB, you get me on the line. I will continue to be there to assist you so you get the most out of your system for years to come,” says Eric.

20/20 dB

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To learn more about adding a high quality audio and video system to your home, please call Eric Cox, of 20/20 dB, at (510) 432-0180. THM

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[ E N E R T A I N I N G

K I T C H E N S ]

Ideas and Tips for Smaller Projects To Beautify Your Home

Remodeling Lite BY



Photo: Walker Zanger (

KITCHEN REMODEL MIGHT NOT BE ON THE MINDS of many of us in this down economy. But in fact there are many ways to refresh and add punch to your kitchen without spending a lot of money. We asked some experts to weigh in with their ideas on how to do just that. “Once you start opening up walls, more inspections are involved, and labor is more costly,” says Lisa Jasper, co-owner of Jasper Construction and Design in Alameda. Adding flair to your kitchen can be as simple as replacing the old fluorescent box in the kitchen ceiling and treating it out with moldings, new paint, and new lighting. Removing the fluorescent lights creates a coffer, or a space, that lends a sense of height to the kitchen. Customizing that space can give a 1960s kitchen a whole new decorative look at low cost, says Lisa. Architectural moldings, in particular, can really lift a room, she says. “Otherwise a room is just a box.” For a country look, a simple option is to stencil or paint a wood floor. A shelf high up—a foot down from the ceiling—adds some visual interest and functionality when books, accessories, or ceramic pottery are added. Undercabinet lights and a new backsplash are other ways to give your kitchen some sparkle. REVIVING AND REFACING There are several options for updating your cabinets. Least expensive is reviving, in which the existing finish is kept on but a professional livens it up. You can’t change the wood or door style, says Andrea Burton, owner of Kitchen Solvers of the Valley in Danville, but you can go a little darker, which softens the way the grain looks. Next in line of expense is painting cabinets. Andrea advises the homeowner get a professional for this project. “I don’t recommend painting cabinets yourself,” she says, as a professional will be able to maximize the life of the paint job and prevent chipping. Lastly is refacing, in which existing doors and drawer fronts are replaced and the cabinet boxes are veneered

to match the new wood. The cost of refacing is about 30 percent less than replacing cabinets, says Andrea. Refacing is more environmentally friendly than replacing cabinets as well, as much less goes into the landfill. A very inexpensive way to dress up your cabinets is to add new hardware. Companies have wonderful hardware available, says Lisa. Pull-out and lazy Susan systems, roll-out trays and tray dividers are great ways to make older cabinets more usable and to create more space. ENERGY EFFICIENCY Many options are available for making kitchen energy use more efficient, thereby allowing the homeowner to save money on his or her electric bill. “There are some beautiful new faucets” that will help he homeowner save on both the water and electric bills, says Andrea. New appliances can also provide energy efficiency. Point-of-use water heaters only draw energy when the water is needed, in contrast to tank units. Newer lighting such as LED lighting uses much less energy than conventional lighting. Convection ovens cook faster than regular ovens and therefore save energy. Induction cooktops put the majority of the heat directly into the pan, says Mark Karas, president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. LET THE SUN SHINE IN Consider increasing the size of your kitchen window to make the kitchen seem larger. Andrea created a bay window in her kitchen with a seat, and added several feet to her kitchen. Finally, you may want to consider hiring a professional organizer, who can come to your home to help you get rid of what you don’t need and clean out, says Andrea. Kitchens and bathrooms are the most expensive rooms in the house to remodel, says Lisa, because electrical, plumbing, and venting are all involved. But a little creativity on how to maximize the use of kitchen professionals can take the homeowner a long way. There’s no need to quell that urge to remodel with the plethora of affordable options available. THM

East Bay THM January/February 2009


[ E N E R T A I N I N G

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REMODELING MADE EASY Update your kitchen countertops with style and ease. BY



ENTION THE WORD REMODEL IN A CROWDED ROOM and see how many disaster stories you hear. Everything from “we had to brush our teeth in the laundry room sink for months” to “we spent hundreds of dollars on takeout because our kitchen was out of commission.” It’s enough to keep you from taking on a new project. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. Granite Transformations offers fit-on-top, engineered surface countertops that are installed right over existing counters. Imagine… no messy demolition of your old countertops and the installation takes about a day! With dozens of options for solid surfaces and a line of mosaic glass backsplash panels, it’s an approach that caught the eye of HGTV producers who featured the products on two of their shows. The Granite Transformations look and durability is comparable to other engineered surfaces. In fact, even though the countertop is only 1⁄4" thick, it outperforms natural granite in almost every way. It will not crack or need to be sealed because of the addition of the polymer, and it will not stain because it’s not porous. The difference lies in the ease of installation. Three simple steps are all it takes. First, a certified installer measures existing surfaces and creates a template for a new countertop. Second, the products are fabricated at one of company’s two Bay Area locations—Fairfield and Santa Rosa, and brought to your home, ready to install. Third, the new countertop is installed over the existing surface. A standard-sized kitchen can be finished quickly and cleanly with little disruption to your life. Fireplaces, bars, even boats, have been revamped using Granite Transformations’ products. The company’s Trend Stone, Trend Glass and Trend Mosaic lines offer engineered combinations of Italian granites, quartz, glass and stone that are easy to maintain, heat resistant and lightweight. “We’re excited about our Trend Glass countertops because they are made with over 95 percent recycled glass and have all of the same benefits as our Trend Stone countertops,” explains 22

January/February 2009 THM East Bay

Cynthia Mayo of Granite Transformations. Trend Glass fuses transparent, tempered glass with semi-precious man-made stone fragments for a stunning result. The Trend Mosaic line is waterproof, making it a natural for a backsplash or accent. It is stain resistant, will not crack and never needs sealing. Use this dazzling product for your bathroom or even around your fireplace. It turns any surface into a work of art. Each line comes in an array of colors so you’ll easily find a look that compliments any room in your home. And, there’s more good news. Granite Transformations countertops are also very cost effective compared to other countertop products. In addition to the features listed above, their granite is Green. Because Rocksolid Granit leaves substantially more granite in the ground and decreases waste, it is more environmentally friendly than many other countertop products. Granite Transformations utilizes reclaimed materials including natural stone from solid slab production, as well as recycled glass and other products in its countertops. Because this process does not involve demolition of existing counters, construction material is diverted from landfills saving tons of waste each year. The ease of the Granite Transformations installation process doesn’t end at countertops. They can transform your old kitchen cabinets for about half the cost of new ones, and without the hassle and inconvenience of removing your old cabinetry. “We use Ridged Thermofoil or RTF, which is a durable veneer,” says Cynthia. “It’s a great choice for homeowners who want the beautiful look of wood or painted cabinets without the maintenance.” Visit the Granite Transformations showroom at 1981 Woolner, Suite J, Fairfield or 3168 Condo Court, Suite A, Santa Rosa to view displays featuring the products. Free, in-home consultations are also available. For information and showroom hours, call (707) 422-1707 or (707) 566-9800. Product information is available at THM

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Making the right choices when it comes to appliances for your kitchen. BY



LEGANT COOKTOPS WITH EXTRA BURNERS, DOUBLE OVENS, refrigerators sporting computer keyboards—all are enticing. However, the first appliance many customers choose is the dishwasher. That might seem counterintuitive for a remodel project, but it makes perfect sense to Sincere Hardware Supply Store Manager Keith Chan. Busy families treasure the few extra minutes of family time a well-engineered dishwasher can provide, says Keith. Sincere, which began as a small hardware and plumbing store in 1988, has grown up with the boom in remodeling of the past decade or so. What started as a simple retail storefront now is a full service kitchen and bath design center with everything from countertops to windows to flooring to appliances. The Oakland based company expanded its appliance offerings two years ago to create one-stop shopping for not only a variety of brands, but also a variety of price points.

Keith encourages customers to mix and match appliances to meet specific needs within a budget. A cooking aficionado, for example, might be more excited about an induction cooktop than the high-end dishwasher. In that case, a midrange dishwasher might free up a little extra cash for a top-of-the-line stove or even a pair of wall ovens. “Most customers will mix and match the price points but stay with one brand name,” Keith says. “It depends on the customer’s needs.” There are plenty of viable options for each appliance, he adds. Trends come and go, but convenience remains the bottom line for homeowners choosing a new set of appliances. The computer and television in the refrigerator door might be enticing, but it’s the push-button refrigerator shelf adjuster that closes the deal. Here are Keith’s tips and trends for the big three appliances in most kitchen remodels:

COOKTOPS British Thermal Units (BTU) remain the gauge for quality in cooking on gas. Entry level, standalone gas stoves start at around 10,000 BTU. Mid range hovers at 12,000 and often includes basic convection. For the serious cook, it’s a BTU up to 15,000 with true convection (elements at top and bottom of the oven for even heat throughout the stove). The trend toward electric stoves with induction cooktops continues. (Electric heat output is measured in kilowatt-hours or kWh.) Besides the sleek look and even heating, induction cooktops offer families peace of mind that little fingers won’t get singed. The heat is transferred only through iron or steel pots.

REFRIGERATORS Interior space and convenience drive different price points. Entrylevel refrigerators will have smaller


January/February 2009 THM East Bay

interior cubic feet and button controls. Mid range refrigerators feature individual freezers, digital controls and a water dispenser. A high-end refrigerator features removable shelves and push button electronic shelf levers. Many also are built-in and match cabinetry. Counter depth refrigerators continue to gain favor with aesthetic minded remodelers. Removable shelves that level electronically are a favorite for high-end refrigerators.


DISHWASHERS Entry-level dishwashers feature simple dials and buttons and generally have plastic interiors. Mid range dishwashers offer stainless interiors and often several push button options. At the highest prices, dishwashers often feature automatic shutoff sensors and a sanitizer option. Quiet operation is a feature for many mid-range and upper range models. Stainless steel exteriors and energy saving sensors that detect when each load is clean are favorites with consumers. Visit any one of five Sincere Hardware Supply locations (Downtown Oakland, West Oakland, Modesto, Sunnyvale and Reedley) for help with your kitchen remodel. Go to for showroom addresses and more about the Oakland based kitchen and bath design centers. Visit the downtown Oakland design center at 276 11th Street Oakland, (510) 832-2838. THM

Hardwood Floor Installation ! Repairing ! Sanding & Refinishing Quality Workmanship ! Expert Color Staining

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East Bay THM January/February 2009


[ E N E R T A I N I N G

K I T C H E N S ]

OPEN KITCHEN PLAN Creating more space in your kitchen BY



VER THE YEARS, THE KITCHEN HAS CHANGED FROM a closed-in-room where typically one person did the majority of the cooking to the new social gathering spot. Many kitchens these days house homework or office areas and function as the overall command center of the home. Entertaining styles have changed over the years as well. People enjoy cooking with guests, often engaging them in the process of meal preparation. Everyone wants to be in the kitchen with the wonderful aromas and exciting action. An open kitchen serves this type of lifestyle very well. It allows visual access to other rooms and often a connection to the outdoor spaces. This removal of barriers socializes the entire space and often frees up the cooking centers as now everyone feels connected. Creating an open floor plan recognizes this construct and embodies it in the design. To create an open plan, professional kitchen designers start with an understanding of how the space is to be used, by whom, looking at ages and various abilities, storage needs, and budget to deliver a plan. From there, it is fine tuned with details. In this example, the clients wanted a social kitchen set to handle every day meals, as well as small gatherings. Occasionally there would be larger outdoor parties with buffet service. The aesthetic goals were for a transitional kitchen that could stand the test of time, combined with some modern accents. Cherry cabinets in a wide shaker style are the backdrop for cool metal and cobalt blue accents. The original ceiling line followed the roofline and peaked at one side. This drew the eye up. The new ceiling still followed the pitch of the roof but was leveled off at 10'-6" and now makes the space feel proportionately large. The sink wall serves as a strong focal point and adds appropriate scale to the new ceiling height with the 3 raised glass-front cabinets and cobalt blue glass tiles. The island was designed to be at one level for maximum food preparation and serving space. It houses a 30" range top with a downdraft so the clients can cook and still visit with guests. Red glass pendants illuminate the island and visually balance


January/February 2009 THM East Bay

the space. Professional style appliances line the back wall and keep the work triangle compact. Additional serving area is adjacent to the refrigerator and pull-out pantry. A large door system opens up to the outside and allows for maximum traffic flow for small or large gatherings. This new open kitchen is efficient and expresses the clients’ style. There is now plenty of room for guests and family to mingle and take part in the kitchen activities. Toni DeWaal, NCIDQ, CGBP, is a designer at Harrell Remodeling ( and the vice president of communications for NKBA, Northern California Chapter. The mission of the NKBA, Northern California Chapter, is to enhance member success and excellence, promote professionalism and ethical business practices, and provide leadership and direction for the kitchen and bath industry. For more information, visit or THM

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East Bay THM January/February 2009


[ C C I D C ]

Wise Decisions on a Budget Budget-friendly ideas for your kitchen. BY


FUNCTIONALLY BEAUTIFUL KITCHEN IS THE result of many design and product selections. Making choices for this space becomes particularly difficult when budgets are tightened. Forfeiting the perfect tile design, your favorite high tech appliances or an exquisite cabinet detail are concessions that most don’t want to make. Hiring a qualified design professional is a great investment in making the most of your remodeling dollars. When consulting with a designer, wants and needs are prioritized and money is allocated to the details that are most important to the family and the design solution. Consider these budget-saving designer tactics. When deciding on a tile design to enhance your solid countertop, one can use a limited number of expensive tiles in a creative pattern with a less expensive field tile. This holds the cost down without sacrificing impact. The balance of varied materials adds to the enriched overall effect. Instead of assuming that one must have all top of the line appliances, consider which appliances are most important to you considering your kitchen uses and splurge on those models only. Do your homework and understand new products on the market that might fulfill your needs


January/February 2009 THM East Bay


less expensively. A counter depth, free-standing refrigerator might suit your needs as well as a more expensive built-in model. The money saved in one decision can allow for your favorite detail. Understand what you are paying for in cabinets. Make sure that the features you are paying for are really essential to the success of your design. There might be existing elements that are appropriate to reuse in the new design. Perhaps a favorite antique piece in an alcove is a better solution than building in new cabinets. A design professional can help you make these money saving decisions. Many feel that a smaller budget doesn’t allow for the fees a designer will charge. A mistake made in the name of saving money is too costly to risk. The knowledge and creative ideas that a design professional brings to project adds value at every budget level. Invest in wise choices to create your own functionally beautiful space. MaryJo Camp, CKD, CBD, CID, is Vice President-Marketing and Business Development, Standards of Excellence Appliances and Decorative Plumbing, For a list of Certified Interior Designers in your area or to view the CID Pages (a visual directory of CID’s), visit THM


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ince you wouldn’t even buy a new pair of shoes without trying them on first, we at Tubz strongly encourage you to “come put your tootsies in our Tubz.”

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East Bay THM January/February 2009


[ E V E N T S ]

Everything Under One Roof Home & Garden shows can lead to incredible finds for your home.


PRING IS ON THE HORIZON. That means it’s time to break out your ever-growing list of home improvement projects. It’s always a great idea to check out local Home and Garden shows. There you’ll find a huge assortment of homerelated companies under one roof—with unbelievable prices. There’s no better way to get into the remodeling mood than to visit the 23rd annual Alameda County Spring Home & Garden Show. At the show, patrons can see hundreds of exhibits featuring the latest trends in landscaping, outdoor and indoor furnishings, and appliances. Now is a great time to take advantage of lower prices and look into home-improvement or remodeling purchases that might not have been realistic even as little as two years ago. This is a perfect opportunity to enhance the home you are in, while both protecting, and raising its value. “To really take advantage of all this show has to offer, plan on spending at least a full day taking it all in,” says Show Manager Kari Damron. “There’s so much educational value in seeing the beautiful displays, touching the products, and speaking with our knowledgeable vendors. Visitors are delighted by the attention they receive from our exhibitors. And our exhibitors are happy to answer any questions presented to them.” Kari says that even after two decades, the show is not a repeat of former events. “The exciting thing about the Alameda County Spring Home & Garden Show is that it’s never exactly the same. The companies that exhibit yearly create new displays to introduce additions to their product lines. These displays and the exhibits from new vendors give each show a different kind of energy and personality.” “Many attendees even request tickets for the next day when they discover how much there is to see,” says Kari. Homeowners can plan to come early to experience all the show has to offer.

The Alameda Home & Garden Show will be held at Pleasanton’s Alameda County Fairgrounds on February 13, 14, 15 and 16, 2009. The show is open Friday from 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM. Saturday hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 pM, Sunday and Monday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. General admission is $6, with free admission for children 12 and under. Discount coupons are available on the Capital Showcase Web site. For more information, call (800) 222-9351 or visit THM


January/February 2009 THM East Bay

Friday, February 13 • 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM Saturday, February 14 • 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Sunday, February 15 • 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday, February 16 • 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM Alameda County Fairgrounds • Pleasanton

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East Bay THM January/February 2009


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outdoors Redwood Redefined A quality fence or deck will last for years with the right care and protection.

Walk This Way

Selecting the right paving materials for your home’s walkways and landscape.

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Spring Fresh Cleaning You’ll love coming home to a clean house! Featuring weekly, biweekly, and monthly service with superb attention to detail. Licensed, bonded, and insured. P.O. Box 563, Crockett, CA 94525 800.750.7175 Fax 510.787.9735





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January/February 2009 THM East Bay


n u t o e c r y t l o g p u contest Send us a picture of your “Ugly Countertop” and you will be entered to win a beautiful new countertop courtesy of Granite Transformations.

FIRST PRIZE GO TO: and click on the Ugly Countertop contest banner Fill out the form and attach your ugly countertop photo.



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G R E E N ]

Being Green was Never So Easy


MAGINE OWNING A LUSH LAWN THAT NEVER NEEDS mowing, watering, or fertilizing ever again! No imagination needed, it’s true. Heavenly Greens, Northern California’s exclusive distributor of FieldTurf offers a synthetic lawn that looks and feels so real, even the neighbors won’t be able to tell the difference. This new product made from polyfiber is so durable and environmentally safe, even your dog can’t damage it. Safe for kids and pets, it’s the top choice for installs in homes, daycare centers, playgrounds, schools, golf courses, parks, & kennels. It is also the same product installed on professional football and soccer fields around the country. In addition to having a 20-25 year life, this synthetic turf system can assist architects and designers in obtaining points toward LEED certification, the national standard for what constitutes a “Green Building” in new construction. Best of all, it’s environmentally safe and drought resistant. Never having to water, mow or fertilize obviously saves precious resources, but did you know the average lawn consumes 56,000 gallons of water a year? This expense alone costs the average homeowner up to 70% of their annual water bill. Plus, not having to water eliminates the run-off of toxic fertilizers into our environment. Even more, just 1 gas powered lawn mower can pollute a much as 10 cars in 1 hour! With water bills on the rise and the extreme threat of drought, installing this top notch synthetic lawn pays for itself. It even drains better than real grass, no more muddy feet or paws across your floors. Heavenly Greens also can install a Signature Series custom designed putting green which is certified by the

Save water and resources with this unique synthetic turf. PGA. Installing your own putting green now gives you access to your favorite sport year round. But don’t be fooled! There are plenty of synthetic turf companies on the market attempting to duplicate the results of this wonder grass, but none have successfully created the look, feel and durability of FieldTurf. With four separate landscape applications, residential and commercial landscaping, professional putting greens, playgrounds and pets you can clearly see why FieldTurf is the number one selling synthetic turf worldwide. Heavenly Greens is the only authorized FieldTurf dealer in the region and has been awarded the prestigious “Diamond Certification” for customer satisfaction. To learn more about the new modern lawn, call them today at (866) 724-8873 or visit them on the web at THM

H O M E T H E AT E R & W H O L E - H O U S E A U D I O




Planning a remodel? Enjoy the comfort of knowing your home is prewired to handle your current and future wiring needs. We specialize in home theater, whole-house audio, structured wiring, lighting control, and security. We offer quality components from the top manufacturers. Call us today for your design consultation.

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Incredible Whole House Audio-Video fill your entire home with movies and music.



audio, and streaming video, homeowners are now able to get state-of-the-art whole house audio-video systems in their home without breaking the bank—something that would have been unheard of less than ten years ago. Homeowners who install networked home entertainment are smart; they understand that what they are building aren’t merely houses, but rather dream homes, which provide a place to unwind and relax, creating a gathering spot for friends to celebrate hard work, achievements and special moments. Nothing brings together a group of people better than great movies or crystal clear music. When designing a good whole house audio-video system, there are three basic elements to consider: sound and picture quality, equipment control, and system affordability.

1) Sound Quality has never been better. But an understanding of which type of audio will meet your particular needs is critical to achieving the results you desire. Background audio is great for general entertaining/listening. Critical listening is an audiophile’s or purist’s hobby, and wall placement of speakers will be vital in creating an acoustically proper room in which to enjoy the music. Video quality is similar to sound quality. General video distribution varies from high definition. High definition requires much higher bandwidth so the

equipment necessary must be well thought out. Typically, high definition video is wired only within a single room. The cost of wires is still rather high, whereas whole house video distribution is affordable and meant for easier control, centralized location of the equipment, and helps keep equipment cost down. Wireless methods of distributing audio and video throughout your home are becoming more and more popular, and can even include High Definition Video. 2) In today’s market of digital technology, Equipment Control can be accessed from any point in the house. Advancements in wiring and digital communication from the “head end” (the location where components such as Blu-ray, CD, and DVD players, and cable boxes or satellite receivers are stored) to the various slave “zones” (any location to be controlled, whether it is a room or speakers out by the pool) have brought about a whole new age of operational flexibility. One no longer needs a separate Blu-ray, DVD player, or cable/satellite box hooked up to every individual television in the house. No longer is a family required to run all the way back to the family room to turn on the system or fast-forward the CD or MP3 player. Instead, controls in each zone allow access to the head end. Larger than normal homes may have six, eight, or maybe fifteen rooms but have perhaps only three occupants living in the home. Why have fifteen satellite receivers when only three units will be used at any one time?

3) System Affordability With this ease of operation between rooms, reducing the cost of a system is achieved through the reduced need for owning separate components in each room, which can save tens of thousands of dollars. For example, with an integrated system, one CD or MP3 player can work for the entire home, removing the need for an additional CD or MP3 player for the family room, and others for the living room, the master bedroom, and then the garage. Multiply this cost savings by all the other components to be incorporated: radio tuners, tape decks, mini discs, digital satellite receivers and cable boxes by all the rooms where this flexibility is needed, and whole house audio-video savings really mount up. The savings that come from buying fewer components can be used to purchase better quality speakers and equipment for the head end, investing in state of the art technology, or even more music and movies to enjoy. Speaker placement is critical for the style of sound intended. Remember to always plan for your speakers during the design phase. An investment in the best quality speakers is well worth its price and is an investment that will give you years of satisfaction. Good speakers are critical for your style of listening, and they are typically installed right into the walls and ceilings. Placing speakers in ceiling is quite popular and great for general entertainment and background music. However, the more critical the listening, the lower the speakers should be positioned in relation to seating height to create true, stereo imaging. Fortunately, new technology has now brought us ceiling speakers that permit both woofers and tweeters to pivot in their sockets. This allows high frequencies to travel sideways, steering the sound directly to the audience. Whenever using ceiling speakers, give some thought to what may be located overhead. Ceiling fans can cause choppy sound if speakers are placed behind the fan’s blades. Two story homes can present additional design concerns, since sound can travel through the ceiling to the floor above. If there is living .lt issue to address. A considerate amount of time will need to be spent on this in future articles. Digital Technology Insures “Ease of Operation” Many of today’s advanced Audio Video (AV) System controllers incorporate the latest in matrixbased technology to distribute several audio/video sources out to multiple listening/viewing zones simultaneously. Dad can view and listen to his favorite satellite program in the den and the kids can enjoy music from their MP3 player by the pool, while Mom relaxes to a classical CD in the tub. Controller manufacturer Niles Audio Corp. is on the cutting edge when it comes to making things easy for even the most technologically challenged home entertainment enthusiast, even those who aren’t comfortable programming their VCR’s clock. Niles’ new IC2 displays many of these “ease of use” attributes. For example, a user can immediately detect whether their zone is on, off or muted, see immediately what

source is currently selected and if that source is in use in a different zone. With Niles’ IC2 controller, users can also tell what radio station is tuned in. From anywhere in the home, the Niles ZR-8630AV enables the activation of all or a few select zones to access a particular source component. Additionally, their global “All Off” command can initiate the entire system to shut down from any zone. When systemwide commands are issued all keypads in the system are updated instantly to reflect the newly selected source and status. A well-designed home entertainment system takes into account this “ease of operation”. You can’t always depend on your high school genius to be home when you want to tune into Mom’s favorite soap opera or Dad’s hockey game. Even though whole house audio/video is a complex subject, it’s not difficult to get started on making smart decisions. To get started, your best bet is to consult you local AV system designer. A qualified professional can address your concerns and help you select an affordable, easy-to-use system that meets your requirements. Scheduling an estimate in your home is a good place to start or visiting a showroom enables you to view firsthand the myriad of options offered by the AV specialist industry. For further information, contact Stuart Lee at (408) 887-4479 or visit San José Honda Electronics at 1610 South First Street in San José. THM


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East Bay January 2009  

Kitchen Redefined

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