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Fall Home Improvement

September 2017

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C2 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C3

Fall is a great time to garden By Shelby Lindrud slindrud@wctrib.com Fall might usher in the beginning of the end of the growing season, but there is a still a lot that can be done around yards and gardens before the first snowfall. “The cool seasons are great,” said Angela Doyle of Stacy’s Nursery in Willmar.

annual mums, along with grasses and other leafy plants including kale and ivy make great fall planters. “They’ll last well into November,” Doyle said. For those wanting to purchase perennial mums, the time has come to get them planted. “They need to go into the ground now,” Doyle said. There are a few bulbs and plants that Planting need to be moved indoors before the The autumn months are a good time first frost. Perennial bulbs like gladioto plant new shrubs, bushes and perenlus, canna and dahlias need to be dug nials. “Mid-September is time to plant the up and placed in a dark area, like a closet. tulips,” and other bulbs, Doyle said. Tropical plants like hibiscus, manInstead of focusing on leaf and flower growth, those plants can instead use devilla, palms and ferns also need its energy to establish healthy roots. to be brought in, as they won’t surHealthy roots make for an overall vive even late fall temperatures, Shelby Lindrud / Tribune let alone the frigid cold of winter. healthy plant. Fall can be a fun time to decorate outside and there are plenty of good plants to use This is also the time for gardeners to think about fall color. Flowers like GARDEN: Page C4 including grasses, mums and ivy.

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C4 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

GARDEN

“It is just like cutting your hair. It is good for the health of the plant,” From Page C3 Doyle said. Shrub roses should be pruned down to about six to eight inches above the Doyle said placing them in a sunny window in the house is a good idea for soil, while species of hydrangea like them, though they should be treat- Annabelle can be cut right down to ed with an insecticide before going the ground. “Mow them down,” Doyle said. indoors. Regular hydrangea plants should be After the annuals in window boxes and pots have died, Doyle said it is a pruned down to a leaflet and the dead good idea to get those planters ready for flowers should be removed, so new the next season. Remove any plants and buds will grow in the spring. The same the top two inches of soil. is true for hydrangea trees. “So you can refill that with fresh soil Lilacs are a little more difficult, in the spring,” Doyle said. There are usually deals to be found when shopping for plants in the fall. Many garden centers and stores are clearancing out their stock. “Take advantage of your local garden center sales,” Doyle said. When shopping though, one needs to keep a close eye on the plant’s zone. The zone specifies the weather conditions a plant can take. The region around Willmar is in zone 3 to 4, which means the plants will survive in winter temperatures of 20 to 30 below zero.

because the flowers only form on old wood. Gardeners need to be careful not to prune back the areas where flowers will form next spring. Evergreen bushes stop growing in July and pruning back the new growth keeps those shrubs and bushes in a uniformed shape, Doyle said. The new growth is usually a lighter green than the rest of the plant. Perennial plants can also be cut back down to the soil, with no risk to the plant’s future production. “They start completely over every year,” Doyle said.

Trees

Trees have their own needs as they head into their annual down time. Depending on the weather, they could need some assistance to go into hibernation as healthy as possible. “Trees should have a good drink before they go to sleep,” Doyle said.

GARDEN: Page C5

Shelby Lindrud / Tribune

Pruning

Fall annuals like garden mums and grasses will survive into November, giving homes some garden color in the fall months.

As the temperatures cool, it is the perfect time to think about pruning back many plants and flowers. “It is your prime time to do your pruning,” Doyle said. Depending on the plant there are different needs when it comes to pruning, but Doyle said people can be a little hesitant to do it, afraid it will hurt the plant. The exact opposite is true though.

Shelby Lindrud / Tribune

Angela Doyle of Stacy's Nursery shows off a fall-themed planter.

Fall Clearance Sale Starts Sunday, September 17th! Come check out our wide selection of trees, shrubs and perennials. Shelby Lindrud / Tribune

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C5

From Page C4

If rain has been lacking during the last few weeks of autumn, it won’t hurt to give a tree about five gallons of water. Fall is a good time to prune back trees which are getting too big. If a yard has a fruit tree all of the dead fruit should be picked up and taken off the tree. This is to cut back on the risk of fungus forming, Doyle said. Fruit trees shouldn’t be pruned until after the first frost at the earliest, when you are sure the tree is dormant. This way the tree won’t be exposed to anything that could harm the fruit crop. “The ideal time to prune fruit trees is in the middle of winter,” Doyle said.

Lawns While many might hope fall means less lawn care, that isn’t completely true. Lawns can continue to be mowed well into the fall, as long as it keeps growing. Cory Fladeboe at Stacy’s Nursery said there isn’t a good or bad length for grass as its starts to go dormant. What is good is preparing the grass

for the spring, even before the first snowfall or frost. “A good shot of winterizer fertilizer,” Fladeboe said. With fall comes falling leaves. Fladeboe said leaves either need to be picked up or well mulched into the lawn. “So it is not growing mold,” Fladeboe said. Aerating the lawn is also a good idea. “So in the spring it is ready to start growing. You want it to go into the winter healthy,” Fladeboe said. As temperatures drop grass needs less water. In the fall, lawns only need to be watered once or twice a week, though it helps to water longer than you would in the summer. Yards with in-ground irrigation systems need to make sure they are winterized before the first frost. “You don’t want water in the lines,” Doyle said. As the seasons change the chores and projects in the yard change along with it, but the important thing to remember is fall is just as important for a healthy and colorful lawn and garden as any Shelby Lindrud / Tribune other. “They can still do a lot of planting,” Angela Doyle of Stacy’s Nursery said people shouldn't be afraid to prune back their Doyle said. bushes and perennials in the fall, to give them a healthier start in the spring.

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GARDEN


C6 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Six ways to bring warmth into your home this fall

DIY Showoff

Warm accents make time spent indoors cozier. room feel luxurious. Switch out summer sheers for curtains with a heavier weight, or layer drapes for an elegant look. 6. Don’t Underestimate the Power of White Paint. Vibrant doesn’t always have to mean using bold colors. Make a space feel brand new again by repainting wood trim a crisp white color. It may seem like a tedious task, but with a little effort, you can completely transform a room. Start by filling in any imperfections, sanding and cleaning the surfaces to be painted. Then, you’ll want to tape off the wall next to the trim so your handiwork looks like that of a professional. For this job you’ll want a quality product like FrogTape painter’s tape, treated with patented PaintBlock Technology, to help ensure your work looks professional and allows you to achieve the sharpest paint lines possible. When painting trim, opt for a semi-gloss paint to make elements stand out. For different project inspirations, visit FrogTape.com. Grab your pumpkin spice latte and start adding little touches like these to your home, for a cozy and stylish season. StatePoint

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With the shorter days and cooler nights of fall can come the urge to hibernate. But first prepare yourself and your home for the season with these cozy and warm accents that will make time spent indoors cozier. 1. Incorporate Metallic Décor. While you’re breaking out the pumpkins, cornstalks and cornucopias, take a different approach this season and incorporate copper or brass accents. These metallic items will elevate décor, and the orange and yellow tones will complement the changing leaves outside. Try picking out a unique candelabra or vase or small decorative pieces to style the room. 2. Makeover the Fireplace. Fireplace season is on the horizon, so start thinking about new ways to make it the focal point of a room. Try painting it with a subtle whitewash for a look that will instantly revive brick and brighten the space. Before you get started, prep the fireplace by scrubbing brick with a wire brush to remove any residue. Then, tape off any areas you don’t want painted with a quality painter’s tape like FrogTape brand painter’s tape, to prevent paint bleed and achieve professional-looking results. 3. Layer, Layer, Layer. Bare floors can make your home feel chilly. Warm up a space by layering area rugs on hardwood floors or to an already carpeted area. Not only will this add color and texture to a room, the extra cushioning will ensure feet avoid the cold, so you can keep your slippers tucked away. 4. Update the Guest Bedroom. With the holidays on the horizon, there’s no better time to give your guest bedroom a cozy update. Surprise overnight guests by painting the room a moody green or blue that is on trend and sets a relaxing tone. Don’t forget to incorporate little touches like books or a plant on the nightstand to make them feel at home. 5. Update Window Coverings. Heavy drapes keep out drafts and make a

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C7

Innovative storage a must in small spaces By Christine Brun Creators Syndicate A small kitchen needs to perform just like a tiny galley on a boat. Every square inch must be designed for maximum function, easy utility and durability. Hinges, drawer pulls, cabinet knobs and specialty hardware with flipper doors (to eliminate clumsy swinging cabinet doors) are either made of wood or solid brass. Every moving part must operate fluidly and be in good working order so that everything can be stowed away at a moment’s notice, like with a change in the weather. When nautical designers plan a kitchen, they know that work centers

must serve a dual purpose and must be secured and covered when not in use so nothing falls or spills over. Surfaces can hold cushions or bedding that are tied down for passage. Finishes are selected that are durable enough to fight back against corrosive salty air and water. On land, small kitchens are constantly used and demand the most durable materials. Fortunately, when we consider finish choices, the lesser amount required for a small space allows you to select some of the top-quality materials. In a studio apartment, the kitchen sink is sometimes covered with a sturdy cutting board when entertaining in order to augment the counter space.

Gaining 24 inches of space for bowls and pans makes it possible to arrange a buffet. Generally, a slim refrigerator is used. For generations, the typical Manhattan apartment has come with a tiny 24-inch-wide refrigerator or an underthe-counter refrigerator. Fortunately, modern European appliance manufacturers such as Liebherr and American small appliance makers like Avanti supply a range of petite refrigerators. European styles are made to have a very slim door panel and minimum structure so that more of the width is devoted to the chilling cavity instead of the door. In a motorhome or sailing vessel, the same principle applies. One secret weapon in a small kitchen is extreme drawer function. A drawer under the counter could be a refrigerator or freezer drawer, or pull out to reveal a microwave. This example offers a way to divide and organize a shallow drawer. This is not your mama’s utensil drawer! It’s not only beautiful to look at but the precise divisions allow for visual and practical organization. It is always best to create more shallow drawers

than to drop a hot mess of utensils into a 9- or 12-inch-deep drawer. I am a huge fan of increasing the number of shallow drawers instead of sticking with the old-fashioned concept of three drawers under the counter. Obviously, if you are renting or moving into a home that already has cabinets, you are not able to go for a custom storage solution. Nevertheless, a quick trip to a store like The Container Store or a quick online search of Rubbermaid products can go a long way toward improving the function of each drawer. And don’t stop at your drawers. Modern design is focused on smaller units instead of a bare cupboard with just one permanent shelf. Consumers demand adjustable shelving and flexible units. Look for racks that allow you to double up on vertical storage in a cupboard and utilize the wasted air space. Pretend that you are an efficiency expert for an afternoon, and look at your available storage with that eye. Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego based interior designer and author of “Small Space Living.” Send questions and comments to her by email at christinebrun@sbcglobal.net.

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C8 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Make floors shine like new Flooring should last for years. The online home improvement resource HomeAdvisor estimates that the average cost of a flooring project ranges from $357 for vinyl or linoleum flooring to $4,240 for wood flooring. Homeowners investing in new flooring do not want to replace floors too frequently, and keeping floors looking like new takes effort and maintenance.

tear. Removing shoes before walking indoors can help. Avoid high heels and athletic cleats, which can create divots in hardwood and some other types of flooring. Place indoor and outdoor mats at the entrances of the home to catch any dirt that would be ground into the flooring. Furniture protectors will help prevent scratches from furniture feet while moving pieces around a room. Sweep and clean Remember to wipe up spills when Restoring shine to flooring involves they occur to prevent the formation making sure the floor is clean. Dirt and of stains. grime can diminish the color and look These steps can keep floors in top of flooring. Homeowners are urged to form and prevent premature aging or use products designed for their partic- damage. Floors that are in especially ular flooring material, such as wood, bad shape may need professional reslaminate, stone, or vinyl. Products toration or replacement. oftentimes are not interchangeable. Metro CreativeGraphics Begin by thoroughly sweeping or vacuuming the floor. Clean along all surfaces of the floor, including under furniture where dust and dirt tends to accumulate. Use the hard-floor setting on a vacuum to avoid having the brush rolls scratch or damage the flooring. Laminate can scratch easily and hardwood flooring is not impervious to dings and scratches. Quite often a dry mop or a static-charged mopping cloth effectively picks up debris left behind on many flooring surfaces. Although many commercial cleaners can clean flooring, homemade mopping solutions are sometimes just as effective. Keep in mind that wood, laminate and vinyl should not be soaked in water. A little liquid can go a long way on these surfaces. Water and other liquids can seep between laminate and wood boards, potentially contributing to swelling and damage over time. Also, resist the urge to use too much soap. Soap can leave behind a residue that dulls the finish of the floor. Vinegar-based solutions can work well on a wide variety of flooring types and help cut through any sticky residue left behind from cooking, cleaning and the activities of daily life. Many wood-flooring cleaners and polishes are oil-based to condition the wood in the process. Whenever making one’s own solution, test a small amount in an inconspicuous spot to make sure it will not damage the flooring.

Protection Another way to prolong the life of flooring is to protect it from wear and

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C9

How to make bedrooms more conducive to sleep Insufficient sleep causes more problems than many people may know. Fatigue after a poor night’s sleep might seem like an inconvenience that can be easily rectified, but the long-term effects of insufficient sleep are significant. According to the National Sleep Foundation, researchers have found a link between insufficient sleep and an elevated risk for type 2 diabetes. In one such study exploring that potential link, researchers asked healthy adults to sleep just four hours per night for six nights. At the conclusion of that period, participants’ ability to break down glucose had decreased by an average of 40 percent and reached levels that are consistent with those of older adults at risk for diabetes. Insufficient sleep may be linked to any of a host of factors, including one’s bedroom environment. An environment that promotes restful sleep can help people suffering from insomnia or restlessness improve the quality of their sleep. The NSF offers the following tips to make bedrooms more conducive to sleep.

BEDROOM: Page C10

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C10 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

BEDROOM

the bedroom, always keep bedroom windows closed during allergy season. From Page C9 ► Use a white noise machine. Noise is another potential contributor to ► Set the right temperature. The poor sleep. The NSF notes that some NSF notes that research indicates a people may have their sleep interruptbedroom temperature of roughly 65 ed by noise even if they don’t know F makes for the best sleep. Human it. White noise machines are often beings’ body temperatures rise and used to help infants sleep, but such fall throughout the day, reaching their machines can be just as effective at lowest level around 5 a.m. each day helping adults. The NSF notes that the before slowly climbing as morning constant ambient sound created by begins. A room that is too warm white noise machines masks activity overnight may interfere with this both inside and outside the house, natural dip, leading to restlessness. helping men and women enjoy more If necessary, install a programmable restful sleep. ► Draw blinds, shades or curtains. thermostat in the bedroom so the temperature in the room remains Waking up to sunlight each day might steady and in line with your body’s be nice, but that morning sunlight may be interrupting your sleep. Early natural temperature fluctuations. ► Address allergens. Some people morning rays from the sun might may trace their sleeping difficulties be triggering your body to wake up to allergies. Dust and pollen in the before it’s had adequate rest, so make bedroom can make for a disruptive sure blinds, shades and curtains are night’s sleep. Wash bedding once per drawn before going to bed at night so week in hot water if dust mites are you are not woken up prematurely in proving problematic. If pillows cannot the morning. Making bedrooms more conducive be washed, dry them using high heat to kill dust mites. In addition, cover to sleep is one way men and women the mattress in a mattress protector can improve the quality of their that guards against allergens and dust nightly sleep. mites. If pollen is finding its way into Metro CreativeGraphics

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C11

3 mini-makeover ideas to refresh a room

Looking to bring new energy to a space? Hoping to update that outdated décor? These easy tips can help you revitalize any space in your home with minimal time and effort – utilizing color, accessories, accents and more.

A new color scheme Looking at the same wall color day after day can be uninspiring. Consider a new color scheme to change the dynamic of your space. Blue hues are shown to create a calming, tranquil effect, making them the perfect choice for a baby’s nursery or spa-like bathroom. Pastels are also a fun way to stimulate the same soft, calming effect of blue, and their less saturated nature creates a unique twist. Color is also a great way to explore new looks. Both coastal and farmhouse styles are easy to accomplish through a neutral color palette, giving you plenty of opportunities to incorporate your unique style accents.

Find a focal point When choosing a design aesthetic, many find inspiration from an accessory, like a piece of artwork or textile. However, highly functional objects that feature great design can also serve as your muse. One such example is a ceiling fan. Its elevated, and often central location, can serve as a stylish focal point, while enhancing comfort. Whether you decide to incorporate a fan that blends into the existing style or opt for a statement piece, the addition can help put a new spin on your room. Consider stylish, yet timeless options, such as the Hepburn from Hunter Fan Company. Its mid-century, modern flair is complemented by light and airy colors, combined with a brass finish.

Accessories and accents Revamp a tired space with new and inexpensive accessories. A new duvet cover, vibrant pillows, or a statement floor rug can help to refresh a room without a high price tag. Adding in mixed metal items can add texture to an otherwise boring countertop, while positioning items in groups of threes can create a visually pleasing setup. Go shopping in your own home. You can also switch things up by using objects from around the house, to make a space new again. Decorating a built-in bookshelf with jars, candles, pottery and those favorite items you just can’t find the right place for, can make your room feel new without having to purchase anything at all. More design tips and inspiration can be found at hunterfan.com/ inspiration. Updating a room doesn’t need to cost a fortune or take months to complete. Mini-makeovers that focus on smaller details StatePoint can make all the difference. A stylish ceiling fan can serve as the focal point of a StatePoint

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C12 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

5 ways to make homes safer

Stairs should be free of clutter and have sturdy railings.

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Injuries that occur around the home contribute to millions of medical visits and tens of thousands of fatalities each year. Falls account for the largest percentage of home accidents, with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reporting that around 30,000 fall-related fatalities occur each year in the United States. Many home accidents are entirely preventable when proper caution is exercised. As homeowners prepare for home-improvement projects, improving safety inside and outside the home should be a priority. 1. Improve lighting One of the easiest ways to reduce the risk of falls is to improve lighting around the home. The National Institutes of Health state that adequate lighting is important at entrances to the home, stairways, hallways, and other frequently traversed areas. Make sure lighting fixtures are using the highest wattage light bulb allowed. Artifi-

cial lighting sources become even more vital in fall and autumn, when natural light is less abundant in a home. In addition, install lighting outdoors by the front door, over the garage and where garbage pails are stored to facilitate safe passage. 2. Eliminate slick surfaces Improving traction around the house also can minimize falls. Throw rugs and runners can be made more secure with nonslip rubber backings. Bath rugs can reduce slipping on wet surfaces in the bathroom. Also, nonslip mats can be used inside of showers and bathtubs. Use shoe trays to reduce puddling from melting snow or rain runoff in entryways. Mop up spills quickly, and consider the use of matte- or textured-finished flooring to improve stability underfoot. Promptly remove snow and ice from driveways and walkways.

SAFETY: Page C13

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C13

SAFETY From Page C12

For those who live in cold climates, heated concrete can help melt precipitation before it accumulates. 3. Make needed repairs Repair loose floorboards and pull carpet taut if it has started to stretch out. Address cracks outdoors and ensure that patio stones, bricks and pavers are secure and level to reduce tripping hazards. Fix areas of the landscape where water may pool and freeze, creating potential hazards. 4. Declutter all spaces Remove unnecessary items and furniture from rooms to free up more space to get around. Be sure there are no obstructions in walkways, entryways and near doors. Keep staircases clear at all times. 5. Invest in assistive devices Handrails, grab bars, non-slip stair treads, and many other devices can make homes safer for people of all ages and abilities. Outfit cabinets and closets with organizers that put frequently used items within easy reach. A sturdy step stool can reduce the risk of injury while reaching for items stored on high shelves. Taking measures to reduce the risk of falling around the home is a worthwhile home improvement project. Metro CreativeGraphics

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C14 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Repair problems with carpeting By James Dulley Creators Syndicate Dear James: We have some crushed and stained spots in our dining room carpeting. The rest of the carpeting is okay. What is the best way to repair these damages spots without total replacement? — Sherri D. Dear Sherri: The damaged spots on carpeting are not always readily apparent until you move furniture as when you are remodeling. Entire areas can be slightly stained and discolored, but it is not noticeable until moving furniture exposes a clean, stain-free area. Just a stepladder which is left in the same spot during a project can crush the carpet fibers and leave a lasting indentation. If you don’t overlay drop cloths enough or clean them off regularly as you are working, the fine dust can make Metro CreativeGraphics its way through to the carpet. Paint

drips can also permeate drop cloths. The type of carpeting you have will make a difference in how it resists indentations and stains. Nylon carpeting is very resilient and crushed spot will tend to spring back on their own over time. Polyester carpeting retains its bright colors better, but the fibers do not have as good a memory as nylon, so indentations may not spring back on their own. Since you mostly likely have your furniture in different locations now after the remodeling, you will notice quite a few old crushed spots and newer ones from ladders, tools, etc. Vacuum those crushed spots thoroughly and give them a week or so to recover on their own. If, after the week, they are still too noticeable, use a flat-blade screwdriver and fluff up the nap.

CARPET: Page C15

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C15

CARPET From Page C14

Don’t dig too deeply or you may pull some of the pile loose from the carpet backing. Just fluff it enough so the fibers appear to be separated. Preheat a regular steam iron on a high steam settings. Hold the iron about one-quarter to one-half inch above the fluffed spot. Press the steam button to saturate the area with steam. This should help to straighten out the fibers and make the crushed spot less apparent. Carpet burns, usually from a cigarette or in front of a fireplace, can be repaired if the burn is not too deep. The damage often looks worse than it actually is because the fibers melt together and clump. Using a scissors, trim off the tips of the burned spots. Trim the area around the burn so it feathers up to the natural carpet height. If the adhesive tape has come loose and a seam has split open, you will have to sew it back together. Pull the carpet halves together and drive thin nails, about six inches back from the seam on each side, through the car-

pet to the subfloor to hold it in place. Use a curved upholstery needle and fishing line to sew the halves together. Remove the nails when the repair is complete. The best method to remove a stain depends on what the staining substance is. First, always blot up the excess with paper towels. When you clean a spill, clean from the outer edges to the center of the spot. Read the packaging for carpet cleaners for one specifically formulated for that stain. A good two-part cleaner for many common new and old stains is Prochem, www.prochem.com. Send your questions to Here’s How, 6906 Royalgreen Dr., Cincinnati, OH 45244 or visit www.dulley.com.

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C16 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C17

The mudroom could use a revamp By Christine Brun Creators Syndicate It’s getting cooler. As we begin to drag out jackets, rain boots and hats, this is the perfect time of year to think about revamping your mudroom or creating one. In homes located in cold climates, this vestibule-like space is sometimes used not only as a place to store dirty outdoor gear but also as a barrier against extreme cold. In addition to well-built homes, you will even notice such spaces in commercial buildings, such as restaurants, cafes or retail shops. I am partially enamored with mudrooms because they are not common where I live, for the climate is more temperate. Yet a mudroom seems like one of the most practical spaces

to have in a family home regardless of local weather. Originally, mudrooms were designed to be the informal entrance to a home. They are often located at the back of a house, either near the kitchen or laundry room, and are rarely situated at the front of the house. Common especially in regions with wet, snowy, muddy winters, this specialized room can be useful for keeping a house clean. There are generally multiple hooks on the walls to hang coats and hats. Often, there is a drawer, shelf or cubby for shoes. Some people like closed storage drawers or cabinets to hide those items from sight. Nowadays, the mudroom is also a popular spot for the family information

center, for example, a place to hang a large calendar and schedules for sporting events, school activities and special events. Many families use the space as a charging station for family laptops, iPads and smartphones. Keys and security fobs can reliably be kept here, as well. You are less apt to lose your keys if you always put them in the same spot! If your mudroom is truly a separate room, make sure that the floor is a very forgiving material that’s easy to clean. Ceramic or porcelain tile, vinyl flooring and linoleum are wise choices. Wood can be practical if the surface is rustic and will not scratch easily. You will want to avoid anything that is very shiny and smooth, as it will get damaged and be slippery when wet. If you choose tile, it should have some degree of slip-resistant surface for safety. It is ideal to have the flooring flow right into the adjacent room, in order to expand the sense of space. In terms of design, some fun considerations are painting the walls a bright color or hanging whimsical wallpaper. Since the room is casual and practical,

it’s acceptable to create a mood that’s completely different than the rest of the house. This is also a fine spot for trompe l’oeil, or art that deceives the eye. Maybe you incorporate an art piece that’s a view of an orchard, a dog with a bone or a faux window to the backyard. It is also the perfect spot for wooden word signs, letters and informal accessories. Include a clock and a mirror, too. This example is a European model produced in the United Kingdom. It has a kind of built-in modern look and might be useful in a home or apartment that doesn’t have a separate mudroom. Such a unit could be placed in a front entryway or even a corner of the living room. Using this concept, you could transform your hallway with a madeto-order wood cabinet with hidden coat racks, shoe cabinets, glove compartments and flush-fitting coat hooks. Add a mirror to the cabinet door, and you’ll complete the perfect out-thedoor stop. Christine Brun, ASID, is a San Diego-based interior designer and the author of “Small Space Living.” Send questions and comments to her by email at christinebrun@sbcglobal.net.

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C18 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.

Home heating tips to save money and energy Will your house be warm enough this winter? With shifts in climate making winter weather harder to predict, it’s important to prepare your home for extreme winter temperatures as soon as possible. Here are a few key ways to make your home comfortable and ener- percent. It also alerts you when it’s time to add more wood, taking guessgy efficient. work out of the equation. Another option that can help you Supplemental heating Consider reducing energy bills sub- reduce your heating bill is the Encore stantially by supplementing whole FlexBurn from Vermont Castings, house heat in the zones of your house which can be burned with a catalyst used most. For example, why heat the to increase efficiency by more than 15 unoccupied foyer to the same degree percent on the longest burn settings as the living room where your fam- and lowering emissions to ensure you ily spends their time? Focusing your get the most out of each load of wood. For those who want to green their energy use where it is most needed will allow you to lower the thermostat for home, wood is a good fuel choice, as it’s a renewable energy source that is the central furnace. Known as “zone heating,” this prac- carbon neutral. tice saves dollars and energy.

Wood stove A wood stove is a great choice for a supplemental heating product that focuses on specific rooms of the home. Not only does a wood stove create a cozy atmosphere, but new models are redefining this classic technology to be greener, safer and easier to operate. For example, the Quadra-Fire Adventure II, an EPA-certified appliance, features Smart Burn Technology, which delivers controllable, efficient heat. It’s the only stove equipped with a programmable wall thermostat that maintains the temperature of your room, helping reduce heating bills up to 50

Regular maintenance

Your heating system, supplemental heating products and insulation all require regular maintenance to operate at their highest capacity and keep your home warm at a reasonable cost. Certain tasks you can perform yourself include changing HVAC filters, sealing drafts and ductwork, and weatherstripping windows and doors. You may want to have your central furnace serviced professionally, however. A handy checklist is available at energystar.gov. For a comfortable and affordable winter, take smart steps to warm your home wisely. StatePoint

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C19

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West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C21

Must-have kitchen remodel features

Homeowners looking to renovate often see room for improvement in their kitchens and bathrooms. The National Association of Home Builder’s Remodeling Market Index Survey, which measures conditions in the remodeling market, indicates that, in 2015, the two most common remodeling jobs were bathroom remodels (81 percent) and kitchen remodels (79 percent). According to HGTV and Statistics Brain, a new kitchen remodel for a kitchen measuring 12-by-12 feet may cost homeowners anywhere from

$17,000 to $37,000. Before investing so much into their remodeling projects, homeowners should think carefully about the features that will improve their time spent at home. When planning a kitchen renovation, homeowners may want to consider the following upgrades to make the room more enjoyable while improving its functionality.

Oversized sink Although high-efficiency dishwashers are popular, deep sinks to soak

soup pots or woks are still useful. Deep sinks may be preferable to double sinks, especially for homeowners who use lots of kitchen tools when preparing meals.

Soft-closing hinges When replacing cabinets (or just the hardware), consider installing soft-closing hinges and slides on doors and drawers. These devices eliminate slamming and caught fingers, reducing noise and injuries in the kitchen.

Foot-pedal water operation When outfitting a sink, think about foot controls, which are popular in doctors’ offices and hospitals. Turning on the water with the tap of a foot can reduce the transfer of pathogens to faucets from hands during food preparation. These pedals also free up hands for other tasks.

fridge on top and freezer on the bottom, especially if anyone in the household has mobility issues. When shopping for refrigerators, French-door style units may offer even more access, making it easy for homeowners to slide fruit trays, sheet cakes and other large items into the fridge.

Extra lighting A kitchen should be a balance of form and function. A combination of overhead lighting, decorative lighting and task lighting can illuminate all areas of the space effectively.

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Architectural and design resource Houzz says that appliance garages are popular kitchen additions, too. Set at countertop level, these cabinets allow people to keep small appliances plugged in but tucked neatly behind closed Bottom’s up doors. Kitchen remodels are a sizable investPeople likely spend more time raiding the refrigerator than the freezer on any ment, and renovations can be customgiven day. Rather than having to bend ized to make the kitchen more hospitadown to seek out that favorite flavor of ble for all in residence. Greek yogurt, choose a model with the Metro CreativeGraphics

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C22 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn.


West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. — Wednesday, September 13, 2017 C23

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C24 Wednesday, September 13, 2017 — West Central Tribune — Willmar, Minn. 001617930r1

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