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Spring Home & Garden 2011 Cover design: Sheila Allemand
Inside the house Living room ideas for $100 or less • • • • •p3 Tackling home comfort repairs • • • • • • •p6 Revamping with ceramic tile • • • • • • • •p9 Delaying projects in the long run • • • • •p13 Tell your story through home decor • • • •p15 Top kitchen color trends • • • • • • • • • •p18 Hot kitchen & bath trends • • • • • • • • •p20
Out in the garden Controlling mosquitoes • • • • • • • • • • •p5 Starting a veggie garden • • • • • • • • • • •p8 Choosing the right fountain • • • • • • • • •p9 The perfect patio in just 48 hours • • • • •p14 Work now to enjoy your backyard • • • • •p16 Make your lawn something to share • • • •p19 Creating a pond is easy • • • • • • • • • •p21
» inside the house
Live large in your living room for $100 or less (ARA) - There’s a reason we call it “the living room.” We might all spend most of our time in the kitchen, but when we want to relax with family and friends to watch a movie, take in a TV show or just enjoy some good conversation, we head to the living room. Between the kids playing trampoline on the couch or taking the “throw” in throw pillows literally, the family dog decorating the carpet with her hair, and the overall wear and tear the room gets, it may be hard to imagine living large in your living room anymore. The good news is, refreshing the room and making it a showpiece of your home again needn’t cost a bundle. In fact, you can give your living room a facelift by making some key changes that each cost $100 or less. From wall decor ideas to furniture fixes, here are some easy, do-it-yourself decorator moves that can update the look of your living room for less than the cost of a designer handbag: Accessorize, accessorize, accessorize Just as the right shoes and a bright scarf can add pizzaz to an otherwise soso outfit, the right mix of accessories can add power and pop to your living room decor. Accessories can also help conceal a host of flaws, from worn-out upholstery to stained carpeting. Hit a discount home goods store and replace tired accent pillows with new ones in bright colors. Add designer-inspired tiebacks to the same old drapes after you’ve freshly laundered them. Scatter
plush throws around the room. Cover carpeting that’s seen better days with an area rug that looks fresh, new and fun. Back to the wall She who wields a paint roller well (or is even just reasonably OK with one) has the power to completely change a room - for less than $30 a gallon. Paint is a fast, cost-effective way to make a lived-in room look move-in ready again. And since you spent so little redoing three walls, consider a wallpaper mural for the fourth. Murals like those found at www.DecorPlace.com can transform any room with a nature mural or images that evoke a tropical getaway, a vibrant cityscape, an undersea wonderland or a rustic Tuscan villa. On the Web site, you’ll find plenty of easy-to-install murals for less than $100. You can use yours to create a focal point in your living room, accent an architectural feature, make a small space feel more open and airy, or add interest to an otherwise boring wall.
Fire it up Wish your living room had a fireplace, but find
yourself without several SEE LIVE, PAGE 7
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» out in the garden
Controlling those pesky skeeters is tough By Erik Sanzenbach St. Tammany News With the weather starting to warm up, visions of boating, swimming and barbecues are dancing in your head, but before you can enjoy all those things, the time is now to start protecting your homestead from the cloud of mosquitoes that will be swarming soon. Ashley Quirk of Quirk Pest Control in Slidell said he has something that might take care of those pesky biting bugs, and that is something called mosquito misting. The system, which uses the chemical pyrethrums, is a set of nozzles set up around your property.
Using a pump, these nozzles spray the pyrethrums at dawn and at dusk for only 35 seconds. Quirk said doing this every day would build up a residual defense against mosquitoes. “It doesn’t eliminate the mosquito, but it will control the numbers,” Quirk said. There are two types of misting systems. The first uses a 55-gallon drum with the chemical already mixed with the water. Then there is the tankless system, which is a small low-profile box. One end of the box connects to your outdoor faucet, and the other end connects to the hose that feeds the nozzles. Quirk said the box contains the chemicals that mix automatically with the water.
The pump and timer are also inside the box. “It’s a lot better looking than the big drum,” Quirk said. He said with the time, a homeowner can vary the times the nozzles turn on. So if you are having a barbecue in your backyard, just set the timer to turn on the system 5 minutes before your guests show up, so you will have some extra protection against the flying pests. Quirk said the system is safe around plants and children. He said he has one in his backyard and he feels comfortable with the misting. “Everybody I have sold it to, really likes it,” Quirk said.
He said there is no limit to the number or nozzles or the area covered. He has installed the misting system around tennis courts and swimming pools. There is some maintenance required. Quirk said there is a filter that needs be cleaned every couple of months, but he said when he comes out to do the maintenance, he also checks the nozzles, pump, motor and timer to make sure everything is working. It not only keeps mosquitoes away, Quirk said the misting system is also effective on noseeum gnats. For more information on mosquito misting, call Quirk Pest Control at 6434284.
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» inside the house
How to tackle your home comfort repairs (ARA) - Homeowners are looking forward to warmer weather after heavy snow and freezing rain took a toll on homes and businesses across the U.S. during the winter. Harsh weather even made its mark on typically warm climates in the southeastern part of the country, which experienced some of the coldest temperatures on record. The coming of spring is revealing a list of post-winter home repairs that need to be made. After being stuck inside for the past few months, getting outside now to assess home damage and tackle initial projects will help you get a jump-start on the season. Begin with weekend
projects that alleviate water damage, such as clearing out gutters and downspouts. Look at the roofing and siding of your home, and repair any broken or missing shingles or panels. These projects allow you to dust off your toolkit, organize your garage and make a list of what needs to be done in the coming months to improve the stability and comfort of your home. This is also a good time of year to make sure your home’s heating, ventilation and air conditioning system is functioning properly and at its most efficient rate. While most HVAC maintenance requires the help of a professional contractor, American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning
offers a few simple things homeowners can manage this time of year: • Check the furnace filter. Cleaning or changing your furnace filter each month will help extend the life of your furnace and may help save on heating and cooling energy costs. • Clean air ducts. Remove air ducts and return-air grille plates, and thoroughly clean with a rag, scrubbing brush or vacuum to prevent any irritants or dust from making their way into your home’s air. • Inspect the outdoor air conditioning unit. Remove leaves, grass, dirt and other debris that may have built up around your outdoor air SEE REPAIRS, PAGE 7
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LIVE: Inexpensive ways to start living large » FROM PAGE 3
thousand dollars to have a real one installed? You can evoke the warm, cozy atmosphere of a fireplace in a number of ways. Purchase a small chiminea for less than $100 and invest in a pillar candle to place inside it. The candle will create a warm glow (and appealing aroma if you choose a scented one) with less fire risk than burning wood in the chiminea. Just remember to follow good fire-safety practices, and keep children and animals away from all open flames. Spend a little bit more, and you can construct your own faux mantel and place several pillar candles in the hearth area of the mantel. Furniture fixes If your wooden furniture is still sturdy but suffering
from scratches, dings, dents and watermarks, consider refinishing it yourself. One gallon of wood finish can cost less than $30, and cover a lot of wood furniture. Or, you can check out used furniture stores, flea markets and yard sales in search of gently used items in better condition than what you have. Another option would be to visit a big box store that sells unfinished furniture and do the finishing yourself. Living large in your living room again is possible, and you don’t have to have the large budget of a home improvement show to achieve it. Some creativity and the willingness to try some fun do-it-yourself projects can go a long way toward making your tired old living room look and feel new again
REPAIRS: Get ready for warmer weather by making needed repairs » FROM PAGE 6
conditioning unit or heat pump to ensure nothing is obstructing the air flow. • Listen for strange noises. Simply listening for loud or unfamiliar noises is good protocol for evaluating bigger issues that may be plaguing your home comfort system. Easy troubleshooting tips for a variety of system problems are also available in American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning’s Symptom Checker guide, found online at www.americanstandardair.com. If you have an old HVAC system, or you are simply wondering how well your current system is performing, take the time to schedule a routine maintenance checkup with an HVAC professional.
He or she can advise you on ways to improve the safety and comfort of your home, and make sure your HVAC system is operating properly. Additionally, ask your local dealer about what you can do to maintain greater control over energy costs and environmental impact, especially on hot days
ahead. To locate an independent American Standard Heating & Air Conditioning dealer near you, visit www.americanstandardair.com. With these new improvements, your home will be looking and feeling as fresh as spring, and your cabin fever will be a thing of the past.
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» out in the garden
‘Veggin’ out’ is so in: Starting a veggie garden Avid gardener provides some time-saving tips (ARA) - Vegetable and herb gardening is in, and studies indicate it will continue to grow in popularity. If you’re not growing your own yet it’s time to start. Why? The reasons are as varied as the people who garden. Some do it to save money. Others want to ensure their food is chemical-free, and as safe as possible. Still others grow their own vegetables because fresher is just better. Many do it because gardening is good for you and some because it’s still fun to play in the dirt. Whatever your reason
for opting to join the 7 million Americans who grabbed their gardening gear and grew their own vegetables and herbs last year, your road to success is basically the same as everyone else’s - planting at the right time, making sure your soil’s in shape, weeding and watering responsibly, and feeding and nurturing your plants. This season, you won’t have to buy your fresh herbs and vegetables from a farmer’s market; you can grow them on your own, and you don’t need a farm-sized backyard - or pocketbook - to do it.
Give your garden a good watering once or twice a week, although some crops may need more water, especially if your climate is very hot. A thorough soaking, allowing the water to penetrate 4 to 6 inches into the soil, is better for plants than frequent shallow watering. Gardening is rewarding. It will bring great pleasure as you bring your produce from plot to plate so you can literally enjoy the fruits of your labor. For more information on varieties and gardening advice, visit www.bonnieplants.com.
Avid gardener Stan Cope, president of Bonnie Plants, the largest producer of vegetable and herb plants in North America, growing locally in 75 locations nationwide, offers some time-saving tips to make the growing easy: • Survey your soil - Your first step is to decide where you’ll put your vegetable and herb garden. Good soil is key. The best soil is loam, a soft, dark, crumbly dirt. Loamy soil holds water, allows for drainage and is easy to dig. If you encounter clay or sandy soil, add peat moss and bone meal so that these soils can also be productive gardening bases. • Size up your space - When plotting out the size of your garden, you’ll want to be sure it’s big enough to yield a good harvest to make your efforts worthwhile. But if you’re limited on yard space - or have none at all - you can grow vegetables and herbs in containers on a deck, terrace, balcony or even on the windowsill. • Let the sunshine in - Your plants need plenty of sun - at least six hours a day. A sunny and open location is your best bet for producing a plentiful harvest. • Pick your plants for your plot Grow vegetables that are expensive to buy in the grocery store or at the farmer’s market, such as tomatoes
and peppers. A tried-and-true prolific producer, the Bonnie Original Tomato, was developed exclusively for Bonnie Plants in 1967. They come in environmentally friendly, biodegradable pots that you plant right into the soil. Recent trials, planting five of these tomato plants in 25-gallon containers, averaged 100 tomatoes each at an average of 37 pounds per plant. Another tomato that will tip the scales is Bonnie’s Sun Sugar tomato, a yellow cherry type. Trial garden plants averaged 1,228 tomatoes each. If peppers are your passion, the Yummy Bell Pepper, ripening from green to apricot orange, is a best bet. Trial garden testing of five plants averaged 248 peppers per plant during the summer growing season. • Time-saving transplants - When you’re ready to begin planting, opt for transplants - seedlings that have already been started - rather than starting from seed. Transplants will buy you lots of time because plants are six weeks or older when you put them in the ground, and you’ll begin harvesting much sooner. • Feed your food - Your vegetable plants will need food and water to survive and grow. When feeding plants, try to avoid chemical fertilizers that could potentially seep into groundwater. Bonnie Plant Food is a unique, organically based, soybean oilseed extract formula that has demonstrated superior results in the health and vigor of plants.
SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 | PAGE 9
Âť inside the house
Home transformation: Revamping your home with ceramic tile (ARA) - Transforming the look of the home does not need to be a costly, complicated process. And with an increasing focus on sustainability, homeowners are more concerned with using durable products that will keep their beauty and functionality for years to come. Revamping your home with ceramic tile is a great way to establish a contemporary look that will last.
The technical specifications and aesthetic applications that ceramic offers are affordable and do not necessarily involve major work. Ceramic tile is easy to clean and maintain, durable and resistant to most common forms of wear. The other notable feature is that tile comes in a multiplicity of shapes, colors, textures, finishes and weights. This range of options in ceramic
floor and wall tile makes them the perfect ally for turning original design ideas into personalized spaces. Because tile now provides such versatility and beauty, there is a growing quest to apply the qualities of ceramic to other spaces such as patios, porches and terraces, and even to other SEE TILE, PAGE 10
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TILE: Spruce up your home’s look » FROM PAGE 9
objects or furniture pieces, such as headboards, tables, benches, shelves, bookcases and inside closets. These new applications mean that homes are developing a more personal and original feel and are becoming more practical. Equally, screen-printing and digital printing techniques have opened the doors of the imagination when decorating tiles.
The development of these production processes enables the final look to be highly personalized, creating spaces that are unique and custom-made. Bearing in mind the durability of ceramic, ease of maintenance and easy installation methods that enable spaces to be altered cleanly, simply and cheaply, it’s becoming clear that using ceramic tile is an efficient way to revamp your home creatively and affordably. For more tips on decorating with tile, visit www.spaintiles.info.
The tile experts at Tile of Spain offer these tips to consider when working with ceramic tile: • When using ceramic tile to tackle a renovation project, make the material’s versatility work as much as possible for you. Plan the kind of ambiance you want to create in any given room and select colors and finishes that will help achieve it. Bright colors help enhance the light. Earthy and ochre colors transmit serenity. Blues, greens and browns can be used to create natural spaces while the contrast of black and white adds simplicity and elegance. The possibilities are as boundless as the user’s imagination. • The broad spectrum of this material’s design versatility has helped it become a popular decorative element. The old-fashioned view of ceramic as a simple, functional product to be used only in very specific rooms such as the kitchen and the bathroom, has lost ground over the years as the material has become more versatile. When working with tile, be open to the various propositions - metallic finishes, finishes that mimic the look of fabric and wood, relief work, new sizes and formats. Choose those that enhance the personality of the targeted design space. • Combinations of finishes and textures help break up the linear nature of a room and make it more dynamic. Relief and “volume” finishes, as well as large format tiles, enable you to change the apparent dimensions of a room and play with the light. Imitations of wood and leather give a greater sense of comfort and create references to natural elements.
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» out in the garden
Expert tips for choosing the right fountain (ARA) - Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon spent many years and covered many miles searching for the fabled “fountain of youth.” Fortunately, you don’t have to go to those lengths to find a special fountain that will transform your backyard into a private oasis. You only need to make a trip to the local garden store. Water’s ability to relax the human soul is virtually unmatched in the natural world. The gentle sounds of flowing water can wash stress from our lives, restoring and relaxing us. That universal appeal is making fountains more popular than ever with homeowners dealing with the stresses of modern life, including the economy and the need
to hold on to and improve the homes they have. The demand for fountains has led to the widespread availability of traditional designs, and some
inspired modern creations by enterprising fountain makers. “Our fountain category continues to grow,” says designer Peter C. Cilio, cre-
ative director of Campania International, a purveyor of garden accessories. “Customers want cast stone fountains, glazed, terra cotta and even light-weight - all types of fountains to bring the sight and sound of water into the garden in an easy, low-maintenance way.” Jon Carloftis, renowned garden designer, agrees. “Water in the garden is an essential element,” he says. “Adding a fountain to your garden, even a small fountain, is a great investment.” Here are some simple guidelines from the experts to help you choose the perfect fountain for your garden space: What’s your style? The most important con-
sideration to keep in mind when choosing the right fountain is the overall style of your home and garden. “People who love a beautiful garden are becoming more experienced and comfortable with their own styles and tastes outside,” says Cilio. “Whether you have an urban, contemporary or country garden, the fountain should be compatible with your personal style and the aesthetics of your house and garden.” Today’s selection of fountains appeals to the broadest of palates, with choices available ranging from traditional European designs to more modern Zen-inspired pieces. Carloftis reminds homeowners to keep proportion in mind. “It is everything in
the garden,” he says. “Choose a fountain that will fit and feel good. And if you go big, be sure to keep it simple.” Consider your space Whether it graces a patio or the landscape, a freestanding fountain can be a mesmerizing focal point. The size of the fountain that you choose will depend on the size of your garden space. “You could have a 4-by6-foot pocket garden and put a small, beautiful fountain at the end, and you’ve really made an incredible statement,” says Carloftis. Although fountains can take center stage in the SEE FOUNTAIN, PAGE 12
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FOUNTAIN: Tips for choosing the one for you » FROM PAGE 11
landscape, you might also consider nestling your fountain in a secluded corner of your garden. Tucked away among the plantings, the fountain will not distract from the overall composition.
What’s your desired outcome? Dramatic or Zen? If creating a highly dramatic effect is your desire, the classic choice is a larger two or three-tiered fountain as a focal point for your landscape. Carloftis suggests Campania’s elegant Newport Fountain, which is a beautiful tiered compo-
sition made of cast stone with a lightweight basin for better maneuverability. If you want something Zen, look for a more soothing effect in water gently cascading over a cast stone ball. Discover the allure of dancing water from a fountain lit at night, while you entertain on the patio or
deck. Look for freestanding wall fountains, which include lighting components for dramatic nighttime illumination. Low or high maintenance Keeping your fountain clean and free of debris to prevent algae growth and clogging is something to consider when purchasing a fountain. Smaller fountains don’t require as much maintenance as larger fountains. And remember to protect your fountain in winter with a water resistant cover to prolong its life. Whether simple or ornate, you can create your own private oasis by introducing your own fountain of youth into your landscape or garden.
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» inside the house
Delaying home projects could cost more in the long run (ARA) - Been to the grocery store lately? Filled up your vehicle with gas in the last week? It’s not your imagination - many of the items you use most often are getting more expensive. And near the top of the list of price increases are the building materials that go into remodeling projects and new home construction. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the new home that cost $85,000 to build in 2003 would cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $113,000 to build now, due to residential construction costs jumping 33 percent since 2003. “We’ve certainly seen it in our industry,” says Kent Blanchard, TAMKO Building Products vice president of roofing manufacturing. “These increased costs trickle down to the consumer as all of the raw material increases make the end-product more costly to manufacture. I’m sure to the con-
sumer it’s seemed more like a flood lately.” Prices for nearly all the major building supplies have risen in the last several years, from concrete and asphalt to drywall and insulation. Increasing demand from developing nations like China and Brazil makes it unlikely any price relief will come any time soon. This is leading to what some analysts are referring to as a projected “sustained rise” in construction project costs and will impact both new construction and remodeling markets in 2011.
Delay and pay ... more It’s a catch-22 for homeowners who may be hesitant to invest in a building project in the middle of a difficult economy, but who also know they will almost certainly pay more for the same project if they wait. Industry experts recommend consumers not wait to tackle home improvement projects but start first with the projects that provide the most return on investment or address a pressing need. Back to the basics When it comes to essentials,
there’s nothing more crucial to a home or its inhabitants than a roof over their heads. A new roof can be a major selling point and can help protect the rest of your home improvement investments. Despite the recent rise in asphalt prices, asphalt shingles continue to be the most popular and cost-efficient roofing choice for the majority of residential buildings. The Heritage Shingle series is one of the most popular asphalt shingles across the U.S. for its durability, traditional wood shake appearance and recently extended limited warranty. “They look good and perform well,” Blanchard says of asphalt shingles. “You can’t beat the combination of performance, appearance and price of a good asphalt shingle. They are the backbone of American roofing.” Another option that may require greater upfront costs, but
can reduce costs in the long-term are composite shingles. Composite shingles are made from a special blend of materials ranging from stone to plastic to create long-lasting, durable roofing options. Lamarite shingles by TAMKO can resemble stone slate or wood shake shingles and come in colors rated by Energy-Star and the Cool Roof Rating Council for their ability to lower a building’s cooling costs. Lamarite shingles also come with a 50-year limited warranty. So whether planning to fix your leaky roof, add a deck for enjoyment or increase your living space, remember that $85,000 house in 2003 costs $113,000 today. Regardless of the home improvement projects you are considering, it’s important to remember that the longer you delay, the more you’re likely to pay.
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» out in the garden
Attaining the perfect patio in just 48 hours (ARA) - Spring is a time of renewal with flowers and trees blooming, grass greening and warmer temperatures bringing us back to the outdoors. But before you can begin to truly enjoy the fresh air - there are many updates needed to help your patio areas recover from the harsh effects of old man winter. Luckily, with a few spring spruce-up projects, you can achieve a patio revival in only a weekend that’s simple, yet looks sensational. Wash away winter When we think spring - we think cleaning. No matter what type of patio you may have, pressure washing is a simple way to make it shine. It offers instant gratification as layers of dirt, dust and grime are quickly blasted away. Don’t have a pressure washer? No need to run out and buy one; most rental companies or home improvement centers offer reasonably priced daily rentals. Or it’s an opportunity to visit the neighbors you haven’t seen during the cold months to borrow theirs. Bring new life to old furniture Once your patio area is clean, it’s time to bring out the seating. But have your table and chairs seen better days? The outdoor elements can wreak havoc on patio furniture. Fortunately, you can easily turn something ready for the trash into a new treasure by updating it with a coat of spray paint.
To start, lightly sand and clean the entire surface. Next, spray the entire piece of furniture with a new, updated paint color. For metal, wood or wicker surfaces, try Krylon’s Outdoor Spaces spray, or for plastic surfaces, try Krylon’s Fusion for Plastic spray paint. Both products are available in a wide selection of popular colors and finishes and offer superior protection to keep your patio furniture looking beautiful for years to come. Petals and pots with pizzazz Finally, it’s time to liven up your patio area with beautiful and aromatic flowers. But just as important as choosing the pretty petals, is planting them in the perfect pot. Terra cotta pots are ideal since they come in a variety of sizes and are inexpensive. For added pizzazz, you can update these planters with a splash of color. You can choose one color for all of your pots or mix it up. This is a great project that allows you to experiment with all of the colors that you love but were hesitant to commit to inside SEE PATIO, PAGE 15
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PATIO: Quickly create a great space
» inside the house
Tell your story through home decor
» FROM PAGE 14
your home. If you change your mind, all you need is a new can of spray paint. To start, turn each pot upside down on newspaper and spray the pot with your favorite shade of Krylon Outdoor Spaces spray paint. Once dry, you may choose to spray your vibrant pot with a clear, pearlescent or glitter spray to achieve the dazzling finish you desire. With just these few simple projects, your patio will be festive and fashionable in just a weekend’s worth of work. For more information on other products or products from Krylon, visit www.projectsinacan.com.
(ARA) - With more and more people staying put in their homes, homeowners have realized the importance of creating a space that is meaningful to them and their families. Heirlooms and vacation tchotchkes are no longer hidden in closets and cupboards, but rather displayed to tell a story. Paired with the onset of do-it-yourself programs aimed at instilling design confidence in all, this new zeal is leading everyone to stop asking, “How does this look to you?” and start asking “What does this say about me?” Adding personality to a space shouldn’t be a difficult task. Look in your closet, jewelry box or to your favorite home accessories to get a sense of which styles and colors attract you the most. If you’re getting mixed signals because you love your sleek black suit as much as your vintage watch, don’t worry. There is nothing wrong with mixing and matching styles. Just ensure
you tie your design together with one cohesive element, such as a common color. Here are a few ideas for infusing your identity into your home’s decor: Color your world. Color is a great way to add personality to a room. Neutral hues can actually make a room appear quite dramatic when carried throughout in various textures, such as accent pillows, rugs and upholstery. You can go bold with vibrant, saturated hues as well, in anything from artwork to furniture to wall color. “Switching up a room’s color with a quick coat of paint can really change the look, feel and personality of it,” says Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-Williams. “If you want your room to ooze with energy, you might choose reds SEE DECOR, PAGE 17
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» out in the garden
Work done now will let you enjoy your backyard all summer (ARA) - As we dream of summer, many of us think about the place where we spend those endless summer days and balmy summer evenings - the backyard. But if your backyard is going to live up to the perfection you envision in your daydreams, you may need to spend a spring weekend or two shaping up your outdoor spaces for this year’s activities. Whether it’s heading out for a game of catch with your kids or inviting the neighbors over for a barbecue, the backyard provides a welcome extended living space in the warmer months. Since you’ll be spending so much time there, it’s worth the effort to get your yard looking and SEE WORK, PAGE 17
If you’re not sure where to get started, here’s a checklist of projects to consider before the backyard enjoyment season heats up: • Take a ground-up approach. Perhaps nothing makes a backyard feel homier than a lush lawn. While ongoing maintenance will help keep your yard looking great throughout the summer, spring preparation is just as important. Check your yard for bare spots and overseed them, as necessary. Give your yard a good raking or use a dethatcher to get rid of any dead grass or leaves that can hamper growth. If you don’t have an overseeder or dethatcher, don’t worry. Your local rental stores will have tools and equipment you need. Visit RentalHQ.com if you need help finding a rental store in your area.
• Just before the spring growing season is the ideal time to prune trees and shrubs, because the trees can quickly heal and regenerate once they start growing. By pruning at this time, you’ll also make sure your plants are looking nice and shapely once they start sprouting leaves. Spring is also a great time to rent a stump grinder and remove tree stumps once the ground thaws. As a bonus, you can use the woodchips as bedding for plants. • Give your deck or patio a good sweep and power wash away any debris it collected over the winter. If it’s in need of repairs or staining, take care of it in the spring so it’s ready to go for summer. • If your fence is in need of repair or replacing, spring is a great time to do the job. If your fence is still in good
shape, think about adding flower boxes or other vegetation to make your yard more inviting. • If you’ve been thinking about installing an irrigation system, why wait until the dry summer days when your lawn will need water the most? Installing irrigation in the spring will allow your lawn and garden to thrive all summer long. You can make quick work of this project by renting a walkbehind trencher or vibratory plow. • Since your kids will be heading outside soon, make sure swing sets, tree houses and other play equipment are in good working condition. Winter can take a toll on these items, so testing them in the spring is important for protecting your child’s safety. Check for things like rotting wood or rusting metal.
HSPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 | PAGE 17
WORK: Get your yard ready now » FROM PAGE 16
feeling good, as it will make your time there that much more relaxing. Since many of these jobs require equipment that you might not ordinarily keep in your garage, renting is the smart way to get these projects done. To make finding the rental store nearest you even easier, the American Rental Association offers RentalHQ.com, the world’s largest and most comprehensive rental store locator. By taking care of all of your backyard improvement projects early in the season, you can get the most out of your yard while the weather is pleasant.
DECOR: What does the inside of your home say about you? Decorá Cabinets is hosting a sweepstakes on its Facebook page. Three lucky winners will receive $500 for submitting an image featuring the colors that inspire them. Visit facebook.com/decoracabinets for more details and to enter.
» FROM PAGE 15
and oranges, while those looking for serenity might like cooler blues or creamy neutrals.” Customize your space. Companies have taken the demand for personalization to heart and are increasingly offering homeowners unique ways to tailor their spaces. For example, Decorá Cabinets recently introduced a colormatching system that allows you to customize an opaque finish of your cabinetry. Now your kitchen island can perfectly match the robin’s-egg blue of your grandmother’s tea set. “We want the imagination to run wild with our new custom color-match-
ing system,” says Emily Small, brand manager for Decorá Cabinets. “Maybe you love the hue of a Spanish tile you found in a
salvage yard - we can match that color to create a oneof-a-kind look for your home.” To promote its new color-matching system,
Find your inspiration. For those looking for a little inspiration, try these fun ideas to personalize your space: Frame your grandparents’ old love letters and hang them in a bathroom. Use a shadow box to display a collection of concert tickets. Look to
your heritage - if you’re Scottish, investigate your “clan tartan” and make a throw pillow out of the plaid pattern. If you like the ideas, but don’t have the history - fake it. Begin your own story and make your home truly one of a kind.
PAGE 18 | SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011
» inside the house
Heat up your kitchen with spring’s top color trends (ARA) - The kitchen is the heart of the home: a place to cook and share a meal, to entertain friends, gather as a family and even pay bills or do homework. “From a decor perspective, the kitchen is the perfect place to get colorful,” says Ginny Bean, publisher of Ginny’s catalog and founder of Ginnys.com. “Vibrant colors are a great way to reflect and reinforce the high energy of your home’s central gathering place.” Energizing your kitchen doesn’t take a major decor overhaul. Some strategically selected splashes of color in countertop appliances, cookware, dinnerware,
candles, placemats and other linens can do the trick. “Among this spring’s hottest colors, warm hues like tangerine and butterscotch are perfect for kitchens because they’re comforting and actually stimulate appetite,” explains Bean. “A lot of the fun comes in blending old favorites and new shades in fresh, innovative ways.” Color palettes that Bean recommends for spring 2011 include: Rustic revival: Relaxed and informal, this palette is inspired by nature and features colors pulled from the outdoors. Shades such as basil, eggplant and copper
help create a cozy space reminiscent of the past and simpler times. For a new spin on a traditional rustic color scheme, Bean suggests pairing a deep, earthy hue with accents of cool pink. Bold expression: Exuding optimism, this palette creates a look that is both unconventional and energetic. Unique color mixes, such as intense purple combined with butterscotch and Capri blue, or sunny orange with dark red balanced against a soft neutral like champagne, create a space that’s eclectic, yet warm and welcoming. Bean recommends mixing patterns, textures and styles
for a one-of-a-kind look. Classic elegance : Evoking the look of 17th century Versailles, this color palette will give your kitchen a serene, elegant look. Traditional shades like lavender, turquoise, antique pink and bronze can be combined with touches of richer colors like peacock, charcoal and delicious red for a more contemporary look. World market: With the explosion of technology, the world has suddenly become a much smaller
place. This modern palette reflects the new global outlook with cookware and other accents in colors from other cultures, such as the calm oranges and yellows of India, the bright reds of the Far East, and the Capri blue of the Mediterranean. Bean suggests grounding these bright colors with black, white, silver or brushed stainless. “In the final analysis, it’s all about doing what you like and surrounding yourself with the colors that
make you happy,” says Bean. Long recognized as a leader in the colorful kitchen revolution, Ginny’s has recently entered into agreements with top kitchenware manufacturers, including Cuisinart, KitchenAid, Rachael Ray and Paula Deen, to offer their products in exclusive designer colors. To request a catalog or place an order, log on to Ginnys.com or call (800) 693-0809. You can also find Ginny’s on Facebook.
SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 | PAGE 19
» out in the garden
Choose with care (ARA) - A lawn is an extension of our living space, a place where we can enjoy outdoor activities with family and friends. When pests invade our yards and threaten our comfort and safety, it’s important to take action to control insects and weeds by choosing and using lawn and garden products carefully. Protective care often involves the use of pesticides to rid lawns of harmful pests like grubs, mosquitoes, ticks, fire ants, poison ivy and ragweed. With careful research and responsible use, homeowners can benefit from the effectiveness of these products. “Having the right tools
and a plan of action gives homeowners peace of mind when it comes to protecting their living space both inside and out,” says Aaron Hobbs, president of RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment), a national organization representing the manufacturers, formulators and distributors of pesticide and fertilizer products used in home and lawn care. “Nothing is more rewarding than enjoying activities on a healthy lawn or a pestfree outdoor area with family, friends and pets.” Follow these simple instructions for a PEST (plan, execute, stay aware and treat products with care) plan of action: Plan - Before taking
action on any lawn care project, research potential problems carefully. Every lawn differs depending on climate and location, so find out what most often affects lawns in your area. Make an action plan with specific steps to deal with problem pests, including when to tackle important projects and what methods prove most effective. Different pests require different pesticides, so knowing specifically what needs to be done allows for proper pesticide selection and pest elimination. Local lawn care specialists and extension agents can help answer your questions about making effective pest SEE LAWN, PAGE 22
Make your lawn something to share
PAGE 20 | SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011
» inside the house
Hot new kitchen and bath trends: Finishes that fit tastes and lifestyle (ARA) - Starting any home project can be stressful, especially when undertaking those projects in the most-used rooms of the house, like the kitchen and bathroom. From overall room style to structural changes and fixtures, many pieces of the puzzle need to fit together to create the finished product. Consumers are concerned with every detail of a kitchen and bathroom project, especially the finish of their new fixtures, according to new research from faucet-maker Moen. “Whether consumers are
purchasing faucets for a remodeling project, replacing an existing faucet or selecting one as part of their new home construction, we’re finding that the finish does matter,” says Jack Suvak, director of research and insights for Moen. “And it’s much more than just selecting chrome instead of brushed nickel or oil rubbed bronze. Consumers are looking for product lines that have a number of finish options available to fit any style they desire.” Chrome is still king in the kitchen and bath, repre-
senting 47 percent of all faucets purchased, the research shows. Stainless steel and brushed nickel came in second at 37 percent, and oil rubbed bronze came in third at 7 percent a number that’s doubled in the past few years. In the bath “We’ve seen a lot of changes in bathroom finish preferences during the past few years,” says Suvak. “In 2007, more than 60 percent of consumers purchased chrome, whereas now, less than 50 percent do.” Which finish are those
consumers selecting instead? Stainless steel and brushed nickel purchases for the bath have increased, growing in popularity from 24 percent in 2007 to 36 percent in 2010. To offer additional options for consumers in the bathroom, Moen has added the popular LifeShine brushed nickel finish to its modern 90 degree collection. The collection features a minimalist design with its geometric, 90-degreeangled lines. SEE TRENDS, PAGE 22
SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 | PAGE 21
» out in the garden
Pondering a pond? (ARA) - Vibrantly colored flowers, lush grass and stone pathways are wonderful accents for any backyard. But to truly elevate a backyard to the status of “garden,” few features make a bigger splash than a pond. Ponds can create a focal point, serve as a restful oasis and add the soothing sound of water to an outdoor space. Many homeowners may shy away from building one, thinking it will be too difficult to do themselves and too costly to hire a professional to build. Yet creating a backyard pond doesn’t have to be difficult - if you prepare properly and use pond supplies that are intended to make the job manageable for most do-it-yourselfers.
Creating a water feature is not as hard as you think
“The key effort behind building a pond begins before you ever put a shovel to the ground,” says Doug Ward of TotalPond, makers of high-quality pond supplies and water pumps. Ward offers homeowners some advice for planning, preparing and creating their own backyard pond: Go big For your first effort, you might think you should keep it simple, but playing it safe may not ultimately lead to optimum results. “The number one complaint we hear from homeowners is that, while they love the pond they have, they wish they had built something bigger,” Ward says.
The size, shape and features of your pond need be limited only by your imagination, available space and budget. Your water feature can be a small pool of water with a simple fountain pump or a multi-level extravaganza of pools and waterfalls. Your design can
be classic, contemporary, organic or a style that’s completely new - what you end up with will depend on your tastes. In fact, you don’t even have to dig a hole if you don’t want to. It’s possible to create an above-ground pond using pavestones and a liner. TotalPond provides kits and supplies that make pond-building well within the abilities of most do-ityourselfers. The company groups products into four easy steps to help you determine what is needed to create your water feature. Pro-grade quality pumps - including waterfall pumps - feature UV bulbs inside that kill bacteria, providing extra algae-fighting help to keep the pond cleaner. You can even
incorporate a nice spray and night illumination by selecting an advanced product multi-purpose such as the Pond Boss that pumps, purifies with a UV sterilizer, provides a spray and features LED lights. This product ensures the pond is oxygenated and crystal clear by reducing bacteria and micro-organisms with minimal maintenance. Go to www.totalpond.com for more product information. Stay practical Let your imagination run wild within reason. Don’t forget that your location, regional climate, community restrictions, the architecture of your home and the purpose of your pond will all affect your pond-build-
ing project. If you plan to have fish in your pond, you need to adjust the depth accordingly; goldfish are usually OK in shallow water but koi will need a deeper pond. If the ground in your area of the country freezes in winter, you’ll want to make your pond at least 18 inches deep to protect it. If you live in a densely populated area or have small children, you will need to build a fence into your design for safety’s sake. With planning, the right products and a little elbow grease, you can create a water feature in your landscape - and turn your backyard into a garden that you’ll enjoy for years to come
PAGE 22 | SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011
LAWNS: Be sure to take care when caring for your lawn » FROM PAGE 19
elimination plans. Execute - Once a plan is in place, proper action can be taken. Remember, however, that lawn care products are not effective unless they are used properly.
Carefully read and follow all directions on how to mix, apply and store pesticides. Also, use only the label-recommended amount of product for the size and makeup of your lawn area. Stay aware - After the
application of pesticides and other pest-management tools, keep track of lawn conditions. Lawns require care beyond the use of pesticides, so it remains important that grass is kept trimmed and watered. If any unwanted results occur
or new pests pop up, consult a lawn-care specialist or extension agent to help fix the problem. Treat products with care - Store all pesticides according to label directions, away from children and pets. Handling pesti-
cide products responsibly protects both lawn and homeowner. Ridding lawns of weeds and insects makes outdoor living spaces healthy and welcoming for activities enjoyed with family and friends.
Through a PEST plan of action, your lawn will be something to share. For more information on properly choosing and using pesticides and fertilizers, visit debugthemyths.com or www.pestfacts.org.
TRENDS: What items are ‘in’ in your kitchen and bathroom » FROM PAGE 20
In addition to the new
LifeShine Brushed Nickel finish, 90 degree is also available in chrome.
In the kitchen “Research continues to show that traditional
design remains popular in the kitchen, but consumers are also looking to incorporate traditional elements in new ways,” says Suvak. “As a result, we’re seeing a demand for finishes that fall into that ‘traditional’ category. But consumers are often having a difficult time finding these finishes on products that they love.” One such “traditional” finish that consumers are taking a different approach with is oil rubbed bronze. Its warm hue is the perfect addition to any kitchen faucet, and while it is a
smaller portion of the market, it has been gaining popularity the past few years. “Nowadays, the applications for oil rubbed bronze include products with transitional and modern styling, and consumers are looking to add a hint of traditional flair to these types of products,” says Suvak. Arbor kitchen collection faucets feature a singlehandle design and unique styling, such as high-arc spouts and a curved, Sshaped handle. “It’s no secret that con-
sumers want choices, especially when it comes to choosing products for their homes,” Suvak says. “With the expansion of our product lines to include finish options that are popular with consumers, we’re hoping to not only provide the products they want, but also make completing their home projects much easier.” For the more information on the latest products and research, visit moen.com or call (800) BUYMOEN (800-289-6636).
SPRING HOME & GARDEN | FRIDAY, MARCH 25, 2011 | PAGE 23
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