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IsSue 1: April 2019


Bring on
Tips to get your exterior
ready for warmer weather

zz Expert Landscaping Tips
zz Create Functional Spaces
zz Hot Kitchen Splurges

Special “Flip” Edition!

see reverse side for
Homes & Real Estate
inside IsSue 1:
April 2019 We’ll help you create
03 | Room Reassignments: Forget formal spaces in your

current or future home — focus on functional and fun

06 | Back in Black: Why ebony may be

the answer for your new or remodeled kitchen
Beautiful Rooms!
11 | If You Could Pick a Kitchen Splurge … The designers at VanDrie Home Furnishings
6 dream-worthy innovations that make eating & drinking so much fun offer many design service opportunities.
15 | The New Must-Haves: Upgraded amenities that
homebuyers are looking for in 2019

18 | The Pros and Cons of an Open Floor Plan:

Open floorplans are high on many buyers’ wish lists.

20 | 5 New Home Trends for 2019

Turn a fixer-upper into your dream residence

22 | State of the Bathroom Address

The latest trends in bathroom renovations

22 | Beyond Landscaping
Make sure your exterior home maintenance checks out

24 | Getting a Jump on Spring

Is your home’s exterior ready for warmer weather?

26 | Landscaping Tips from the Pros Work out a plan to

conserve two of your garden’s most precious resources

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2 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019


This multi-purpose family room designed and built by Marnie Oursler includes a bar and access to the kitchen and porch. Photo by Dana Hoff.

Forget formal spaces in your current or future home — focus on functional and fun
By Erik J. Martin

Living and dining are essential actions that occur in every

residence. But having rooms named after and devoted,
respectively, to each has become passé nowadays for many
homeowners. Instead of maintaining formal rooms that conform
to traditional expectations but which end up being seldom used,
people are prizing practical spaces that conform better to their
lifestyles. And that makes for a more comfortable, efficient and
fun home unbound from outdated conventions.
“Most homeowners don’t have the furniture or need for formal
spaces, and most buyers aren’t looking for them when shopping
for a home,” says Erin Fausel, lifestyle blogger for American
Freight Furniture and Mattress in Delaware, Ohio. “Families today
are seeking ways to maximize the square footage of their homes,
and that usually results in eliminating formal areas they’ll only
use a handful of times a year.”
continued ON page 4
Marnie Oursler designed and built this custom home with an extended
kitchen island that doubles as a table/work space. Photo by Dana Hoff.

Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 3

Annie Elliott designed this
colorful media room with
family gathering in mind.
Photo by Jenn Verrier.

“People should
forgo the traditional
house plan and opt
for a more realistic
one — a house that
you will use and
one that’s
Marnie Oursler
Host of DIY Network shows

continued from page 3

“If you want, say, a yoga studio, you can align a wall with mirrors, set
Marnie Oursler, host of DIY Network’s “Big Beach Builds” and HGTV’s out mats and exercise balls, and hook up a stereo with soothing music.
“2018 Dream Home,” concurs. If you prefer a hobby room, you can set up shop with, for example, your
“People should forgo the traditional house plan and opt for a more real- sewing machine, fabrics and craft supplies if you moonlight as a seam-
istic one — a house that you will use and one that’s comfortable,” says stress,” says Basher.
Oursler. “Our lives don’t have the structure they used to, and our homes Elliott doubts that formal living spaces will make a major comeback
are now reflecting that in the form of open floorplans with flexible spac- anytime soon.
es.” “Buttoned-up fussy spaces are a thing of the past,” says Elliott, who
Which is why the living room often gets nixed nowadays, according to cites antiquated areas like the “drawing room” and “library” as examples
Annie Elliott, owner of Washington, D.C.-based Annie Elliott | bossy color of a bygone time. “We’ve become more casual in the ways we entertain
design group. and spend time with our families.”
“The traditional living room is the least popular room in many houses.
They tend to max out at seating for six or seven. That’s why they’ve been © CTW Features
eclipsed by family rooms or great rooms, which offer a larger, more casu-
al space that can accommodate eight or more,” Elliott says.
Equip your family room with a bar and you’ve made the living room that
much more obsolete, suggests Oursler, who says there’s no demand for
the old-fashioned dining room or study, either.
“The big island in the kitchen has replaced the need for a kitchen
table, and now the large dining table is being placed right off the kitch-
en. And an open floorplan kitchen-dining area has replaced the study.
Most people now set up to work at the dining table or kitchen island,”
notes Oursler.
Likewise, the den — defined by Wikipedia as a “small room in a house
where people can pursue activities in private” — has been supplanted by
or transformed into a media room (for TV watching/video game playing),
dedicated home theater, or recreation/game room. The latter “provides
the perfect opportunity for social gatherings like game nights, kids
sleepovers, birthday parties, and holiday dinners,” says Marty Basher,
home organization expert with Lakewood, New Jersey-based Modular
Elliott agrees that media and game rooms are currently all the rage.
“Parents are acutely aware that they may have only a few more years
until their kids leave for college, so they want to create a home where
teenagers and friends want to hang out,” she says. “They want to be the
cool house in the neighborhood.”
Other options for converting or replacing a den, study or other lesser- Annie Elliott designed this family game room with fun wallpaper as a back-
used room with a door are a personal studio or a hobby room. drop. Photo by Jenn Verrier.

4 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 5

Back in Black
Why ebony may be the answer for By Erik J. Martin
your new or remodeled kitchen CTW Features

There’s a reason why Darth Vader

is the most visually memorable char-
acter in the Star Wars universe: Yes,
the dark side of the Force is alluring,
but it’s Vader’s dark costume design
that catches the eye and captures
the imagination.
Your kitchen may be in a galaxy far,
far away from Darth’s domain, but
the same tenet holds true—black
can make a powerful and stylish
statement in this most important of
rooms, and it’s a tone that’s trend-
ing, say the experts.
“For some, using black in the kitch-
en is a backlash against the all-white
kitchen movement that has dominat-
ed kitchen design for so long. For
others, it’s an opportunity to go bold,
adding drama to an otherwise utili-
tarian space,” says Susan Serra, cer-
tified kitchen designer and president
of Susan Serra Associates in
Huntington, New York. “Black in
design, fashion and the arts has
always been used as an element to
evoke strength or elegance. It’s an
attention getter and can upgrade
common objects if used effectively.”
Brooklyn-based Jason Pickens,
HGTV digital host of “Talkin’ Shop,”
seconds the sentiment that black is
the new white in kitchen design.
“Eventually, a too-white kitchen can
start to feel sterile. When used
appropriately, black is wonderfully
modern, withstands use well, and
never goes out of style,” says
On the plus side, black contrasts
nicely with other hues and metal fin-
ishes, including copper, brass and
nickel, notes Lauren Jacobsen, an
interior designer in Toluca Lake,
“Black also conceals smudges and
fingerprints, promotes a feeling of
protection, and feels minimalistic
and classic,” Jacobsen adds.
This bar area incorporates black in the cabinetry (Sherwin Williams color: SW7069
Iron Ore) and backsplash to bring in a soft black look that doesn’t feel too harsh with
the backsplash, quartz countertops or white elements. Image courtesy Ryan Garvin.

6 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

However, too much black can
make a kitchen look dark and
“Integrating black into the
design without a plan for the
entire room can upset the bal-
ance of color in the kitchen,” cau-
tions Serra. Done willy-nilly, “it
can make the room look visually
busy and segmented rather than
looking like a cohesive design.”
For these and other reasons,
Serra recommends dabbling deli-
cately with black—preferably as
an accent color in her world.
“I would use the color sparingly
in a new kitchen design. Perhaps
an island can be black, or lower
base cabinets might look nice in
black,” says Serra. “Black looks
fantastic against soft, warm col-
ors like warm whites and pastels
and against medium to light wood
Tracy Lynn, owner of Tracy Lynn
Studio in San Diego, on the other
hand, suggests that black can
comprise the kitchen’s dominant
color scheme if planned carefully.
continued ON page 8
A casual game room kitchen that incorporates black into the cabinetry and is balanced with warn
reclaimed wood shelves, and a Calcutta Gold marble backsplash. Image courtesy Ryan Garvin.

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 7
continued from page 7
“You can go with all black cabinets and balance it
with lighter tones in the countertops, fixtures and
wall colors,” says Lynn. “This option gives a dramatic
and elegant look that provides contrast and depth.”
Another option is to add only a small dose of ebony,
“such as using merely a matte finish black in cabine-
try and plumbing hardware and light fixtures to cre-
ate a contrasting pop of the room’s tone,” Lynn adds.
Remember: Even a little black goes a long way.
“It’s a heavy, dense and powerful color, so you must
apply the appropriate balance, especially when com-
bining with other colors or materials,” recommends
A different twist on this formula is to employ slightly
lighter blacks, “such as deep charcoal colors that
offer a bit of a softer but still dramatic look,” says
Serra, who advises using black swatches next to
other chosen colors to see if they harmonize.
Concerned about “jet” lag or black quickly falling
out of fashion? Relax, say the pros; black, when used
appropriately, has solid staying power.
“Black isn’t going out of style, although how we use
it will certainly continue to change,” Pickens says.
Still, if you want to prevent color remorse, ask an
“It’s best to consult with a design professional who
can take a big-picture look at your space and offer
quality advice,” Serra says. “Every kitchen is differ-
ent in size, light and design.”
© CTW Features

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10 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019
If You Could Pick a
Kitchen Splurge …

Vitamix Ascent A2500

6 dream-worthy innovations that make

eating and drinking so much fun
By Nancy Mattia

Whether you’ve come into a few extra bucks or been saving for a while,
now’s the time to indulge in that special kitchen something that makes
your heart go into overdrive. Here are some to consider.

1. Built-In Steam Oven

The appliance, which does everything from defrosting to baking, is sleek
and space-saving, says L.A. interior designer Scott DeLello. But it’s a hard
worker too. “It helps an amateur cook create ‘Top Chef’ -quality meals,” he
says. The secret: Steam provides heat but doesn’t sacrifice flavor or mois-
ture. Available in a variety of sizes, the oven comes as small as a standard
microwave, which means even if your kitchen is tiny, you can still indulge in
a steamy splurge.
The Wolf Steam Oven
continued TO page 12

Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 11

Quartz countertops remain a high-end, in-demand kitchen upgrade.

3. Built-In Coffe/ 5. Vitamix

Espresso Maker
This high-performance blender has been on
your kitchen bucket list for years and finally
Want to have a coffee bar but have limited you’re making your wish come true! What will
counter space and no room for a table? Get your you make first? Perhaps steaming-hot (yes, hot)
caffeine kicks from a built-in coffee/espresso soup made in the Vitamix in less than 10 min-
maker, says DeLello. “It’s similar to a built-in over- utes? Or a bowl of creamy chocolate ice cream?
the-range microwave—it eliminates clutter on the Check.
countertop by integrating seamlessly into cabine-
try.” 6. Natural Stone
4. A Good Chef’s Knife Countertops
Once you regularly use sharpened, well-made This still rates high on homeowners’ I-want-it
continued from page 11
knives, you’ll realize they’re less of a splurge and list.
Natural stone, such as granite, is very durable
2. Coffee Bar more of a necessity. If you can only get one high-
quality knife, make it a chef’s knife, which is for countertops; others are resistance to heat
and burns. And quartz is known for being imper-
Anyone who’s crazy about coffee will perk up at known for its versatility. You can chop garlic, bone
a chicken, and dice carrots with precision and less vious to bacteria and easy to clean; taking rou-
the idea of having a designated space in their tine care to maintain it is vital to its well-being.
home devoted to their favorite hot beverage. time than it would take using a lower-quality knife.
Sure, a top-notch chef’s knife will be pricey but “There are many different types of stone avail-
Creating a coffee bar is easy: Get an attractive able in all different colors and veining patterns,”
table, cart, or shelving unit (or make room on a it’ll last for decades with proper care (like washing
it by hand with soap and water, never in the dish- says DeLello. “Opt for a large slab format, which
countertop) and fill with all the necessities like a minimizes seams and maximizes the stone’s
high-quality coffee maker, mugs, milk frother, bags washer). Look for a knife made with carbon steel
that feels comfortable when you’re holding it. natural pattern.”
of aromatic beans and bottles of flavored syrups.
© CTW Features

12 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

Your home should be
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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 13

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14 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019
The New
Upgraded amenities that homebuyers are looking for in 2019
By Erik J. Martin accustomed to.” can help you home sell for more money:
Teresa Mack, broker with Los Angeles-based zz Repaint using buyer-friendly colors. A fresh
With homes selling for top dollar in many mar- Pacific Playa Realty, says “Sellers want top dollar, coat of paint on walls, ceilings and baseboards
kets lately, some sellers may question the deci- and buyers want a deal. In-trend amenities can can work wonders—hiding imperfections, lighten-
sion to spiff up their abodes above and beyond close the gap in favor of the seller.” ing living spaces and casting a fresh glow. “We’re
“as is” condition. Truth is, however, that homes But not all upgrades are valued alike or worth seeing more white and greys than tans and beig-
boasting the in-demand features and frills that the investment. es of the past, so try to stick with a neutral paint
buyers crave will likely sell sooner and net a big- “Buyers today value what they can see and feel palette,” recommends Clayton Katz, broker asso-
ger profit. And that’s why it pays to add popular in a home. A new roof or new plumbing are ciate with John Daugherty, Realtors in Houston.
upgrades to a home before listing it for sale, important improvements, but vaulted ceilings or zz Undergo a minor kitchen redo. “Renewing
insist the experts. a remodeled kitchen can have a wow factor that your kitchen by adding simple butcher block
“Upgrades to your home are critical for getting makes the buyer feel like their money is well counters, lacquering the cabinets with new paint,
your home sold, as the right improvements can spent. Buyers often initially make offers based and adding some on-trend cabinet pulls can
increase a home’s marketability and desirability,” on what they see, not what they know, about a instantly increase its appeal,” says Courtney
notes Jeff Martel, broker/owner of Better Homes home,” says Mack, who adds that upgraded Poulos, owner broker of ACME Real Estate in Los
and Gardens Real Estate 43°North in Boise, homes can sell for 10 to 25 percent more than Angeles. Katz adds that white-on-white kitchens
Idaho. “The market is shifting, and we’re begin- homes in need of improvements. “And buyers with either quartz or marble countertops and
ning to see more housing inventory on the mar- often perceive the cost of repairs and upgrades shaker cabinets are also hot choices.
ket. Only the best and most marketable homes as higher than they will actually cost.” continued ON page 16
will still enjoy the brisk sales pace we’ve been Here are 7 fashionable fixes worth making that

Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 15

continued from page 15

zz Put in a new and stylish front door. “You never get a sec-
ond chance to make a first impression, and that first impres-
sion is usually made with the front door,” says Martel, who
advises choosing a sturdy solid wood, steel or fiberglass door
that matches the design esthetic of your home. Consider a
door with eye-catching carvings, moldings, stiles and rails, dec-
orative glass accents, and stylish hardware like oil-rubbed
bronze or satin nickel handles, knobs and hinges.
zz Replace old and inefficient windows. “Vinyl replacement
windows provide both a visual upgrade, a functional advan-
tage, and greater energy efficiency that buyers appreciate,”
Mack suggests. If your budget allows, consider wood case-
ment windows that sport a more striking and upscale look.

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16 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

zz Create a “spa-like” experience in the master bath.
“Adding luxury features like a heated towel rack, extra
storage, upgraded shower head, aromatherapy prod-
ucts, and a fluffy bath rug aren’t expensive but will
leave buyers feeling like the home is very modern,”
Martel says.
zzSwap out those old lighting fixtures. “Hit the refresh
button and improve illumination in your living spaces by
replacing outdated fixtures with trendy but understated
fixtures,” says India Kershaw, Realtor/managing partner
with Raleigh, North Carolina-headquartered Sims &
Kershaw Realty.
zzUp your home’s IQ with smart features. “Technology
is probably the fastest growing popular upgrade today
and often the easiest to implement,” says Martel. “A
new Nest thermostat, Ring video doorbell, Philips Hue
smart bulbs, and smart speaker or smart display, for
example, represents tech that the buyer sees immedi-
ately and creates the feeling of a modern home.”
© CTW Features

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 17

The Pros and Cons of an
Open Floor Plan

Open floorplans are high on many buyers’ wish lists.

When you remove walls, however, you also get a sweeping view
of the space — as well as a clear shot of the dirty dishes
By Nancy Mattia through without interfering with anyone else in basis to avoid living in a messy environment.” Are
the space.” you ready for that?
A casual, multifunctional space sounds like an 2. It saves you money. 2. Knocking down a load-bearing wall doesn’t
enticing concept. With no walls separating the Taking out a non-load-bearing wall or two is come cheap.
kitchen from the living and dining rooms, a space more affordable than building an addition, if your “You may need to consult with a structural engi-
will look more expansive and inviting because it’s intention is to gain more space. With an open neer or architect,” says Flatley. The cost of remov-
not chopped up into smaller areas. But there are floor plan, you’ll use formerly little-used space, ing walls often dictates whether or not it’s feasi-
downsides as well. like the dining room, since it’s much more acces- ble for to pursue an open concept. “Removing
Before you start demolishing the walls, know the sible now. beams in the ceiling or in the attic space can be
positives and negatives of having an open-con- 3. An open concept encourages togetherness. costly as well but it’s doable.”
cept floor plan. “People feel more connected while in one large 3. No walls, no privacy.
open space,” says Flatley. “There’s room for the If the kids are whooping it up in the family room
Pros family to watch TV while the primary cook
becomes part of the group even though he or she
area while you’re trying to read, someone’s going
to get cranky and it won’t be the kids.
1. The space will look bigger.
With no walls to stop the flow of square footage, is preparing dinner in the kitchen.” 4. Aromatic food smells won’t be contained to
the kitchen.
it’ll look like you’ve upgraded to a larger home.
“By opening up a space, you have more light filled CONS The scent of the garlic chicken dish you pre-
areas and visually much more room,” says Sharon 1. You can’t hide dirty dishes or clutter. pared for dinner may still be permeating the
Flatley, a Dallas interior designer (flatleydesign. Every backpack dumped on the floor, every entire first floor by the time you go to bed. What
com).“The space will be more open for entertain- cereal bowl used at breakfast will be in clear was enticing hours ago is now just smelly.
ing and have a better flow. People can pass view, says Flatley. “An open concept would natu- © CTW Features
rally force anyone to tidy up on a regular daily

18 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 19
5 New Home Trends for 2019
By Erik J. Martin 3. Feminine and free
Boston-based HGTV design
Whether you are looking for a new home expert Taniya Nayak says
that is on-trend or thinking of ways to this movement is all about
embracing a pastel palette
turn a fixer-upper into your dream resi- with hues like blue, cream
dence, consider these 5 trends for 2019: and pale blue to fashion a
romantic/ glam look.
1. The healthy living look “An easy way to realize this
Many designers have observed a shift toward is to create a striped, pastel
more eco-friendly and green elements indoors. accent wall and alternate
Having an abundance of real plants can help different paint finishes —
achieve this. like eggshell and satin – in
“Bringing the outdoors into your home is not the same color to capture a
only an esthetic choice, but real plants also pro- soothing, soft, ethereal feel
vide the benefit of filtering harmful chemicals out and create more depth,” 5. The clean farmhouse look
of your home,” notes Lee Crowder, design gallery says Nayak, who adds that this trend best While farmhouse esthetics have been popular
and model home branding manager with Taylor applies to bedrooms and the living room. for a while, the difference in 2019 is the suggest-
Morrison and Darling Homes in Dallas. “We’re ed use of less tchotchkes. “This produces a
also seeing tons of floral patterns inspired by 4. Jewel tones cleaner look that incorporates only a few decora-
nature being prominent in 2019. And more home- Erika Woelfel, vice president of color and cre- tive trinkets or antiques alongside clean-lined
owners are choosing natural over manmade ative services with Behr Paint in Santa Ana, furniture,” says Karen Gray Plaisted, an interior
materials, like hardwood floors.” California, says jewel hues cast with an earthy designer with Design Solutions KGP in Warwick,
richness will be all the rage in 2019. Deep New York. “The antiques give the room character,
2. Curved sofas tones like Ecological (Behr # S380-6) and but the cleaner look employs muted colors that
Rounded-back sofas “add to the eclectic feel Amber Autumn (#S290-5) “engage the senses reflect the simpler lifestyle people prefer today.”
that’s becoming so popular,” says Cohen. and enhance the personal appeal of any room, Whatever trend you choose to follow, be careful
“They’re perfect for a more formal living room especially those for entertaining like a living or not to overdo it. “Whether you swap out accesso-
because they’re all about the interesting shape dining room,” says Woelfel. Cohen adds that ries or merely add a fresh coat of paint, small
and style.” Just be sure your curved sofa has a jewel tones work best “when multiple items or updates to a space can make you fall in love with
lot of empty space around it to show off its finishes in the room have a richness so that the it all over again,” Nayak says.
shape as much as possible. whole room feels balanced.”
© CTW Features

20 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 21
State of the Bathroom Address
The latest trends in bathroom renovations
“Contemporary style continues to be
the leading choice among renovating
homeowners, despite its drop in favor
over the past three years.”
Nino Sitchinava
Principal economist for Houzz

By Erik J. Martin other hand has more than doubled in popularity

from three to seven percent over the same peri-
Kitchens may get a lot of love, but homeown- od.”
ers are lavishing more attention on bathrooms Even more revealing are inclinations among
lately. That’s the major takeaway from a new baby boomers.
poll that sheds new light on the latest prefer- “A significant proportion of age 55-plus
ences in bathroom redos. households are aware of pending aging needs
Indeed, the recently published 2018 U.S. and are proactive about integrating universal
Houzz Bathroom Trends Study had some fasci- design features during renovations,” Sitchinava
nating revelations. Consider, for instance, that adds. “Boomers who address aging-related based in Chico, California. “You first need to
most homeowners remodel their bathrooms for needs are tackling major changes to the master figure out your needs and what currently is and
a simple reason: they just can’t put up with bathroom, with nearly half changing the layout isn’t working for you. Perhaps you need more
them anymore. and one-third removing the tub.” storage or counter space or want to create
Among other study findings: over half of those Other upgrades among this demographic more privacy for the toilet or shower. Take
redoing a bathroom are at least age 55 and include “installing accessibility features like these into consideration and then work on the
implementing age-in-place amenities; most are seats, low curbs, grab bars and non-slide floors layout by collaborating with a designer.”
choosing to remove the bathtub (34 percent) in upgraded showers and bathtubs,” she says. When planning a renovation project of this
and change the layout (47 percent); almost half Larry Greene, president of Case Design/ scope, “be mindful of your future needs, too,”
of master bath projects are tied to a master Remodeling Indianapolis, is encouraged that says Christi Barbour, founder/partner of High
bedroom remodel (46 percent); spending on a good lighting — including natural light — Point, North Carolina-headquartered Barbour
renovated master bath averages $7,000 (just remains a “top design and functional priority” Spangle Design. “Beyond layout changes that
behind kitchens, at $11,000); demand for dual in bathroom redo projects, garnering a 47 per- improve the overall function of your space, con-
showers, vessel sinks, built-in vanities and one- cent response and ranking second after “styl- sider thoughtful design touches that will be
piece toilets has increased over the last three ish and beautiful” (78 percent); rounding out appreciated as you age, like integrated lighting to
years; gray is the color of choice for walls, floor- the top 5 priorities were “adds to the resale help you see better.”
ing and (sometimes) cabinets; and polished value” (45 percent), “easy to clean and disin- Jonathan Faccone’s recipe for a successful
chrome and matte nickel place tops when it fect” (44 percent), and “reflects who I am” (33 bath reboot?
comes to metal finishes. percent). “Maximize your renovation dollar by creating
Nino Sitchinava, principal economist for Houzz “The popularity of premium features, as the best bathroom that the space allows, and
in Palo Alto, California, notes that many home- reflected in this survey, is a positive sign that consider the next owner carefully,” says
owners yearn for a more modern design esthet- the current remodeling market is strong for Faccone, founder of Halo Homebuyers LLC in
ic today in the bath. both homeowners and renovators,” says Bridgewater, New Jersey. “You should love your
“Contemporary style continues to be the lead- Greene. updated bathroom space and its design but not
ing choice among renovating homeowners, Tackling a bathroom redo is a huge undertak- scare away people with design choices that
despite its drop in favor over the past three ing and big investment, “so you want to make may hurt resale value.”
years from 26 percent in 2016 to 20 percent in sure you do it right,” cautions’s in-
2018,” she says. “Farmhouse style, on the house interior designer Lauren O’Donnell, © CTW Features

22 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 23
Beyond Landscaping
When it comes time to get ready for spring, make
sure your exterior home maintenance checks out
By Dawn Klingensmith
When the thermometer starts ticking upward, the experts say it’s important
to give your house a good going-over from top to bottom to keep things run-
ning smoothly and prevent damage.
“For most of us, our home is our biggest investment,” says Kathleen A. Kuhn,
president of HouseMaster Home Inspections, a home-inspection service in
Bound Brook, New Jersey. “And when it comes to that investment, the bottom
line is that if you take care of your home, it will be worth more when the time
comes to sell it.”
Being proactive with springtime home maintenance “can save you large sums
of money,” says Kevin Sapp, district manager, Residential Mortgage Services,
Inc., Baltimore. “Small issues with homes do not typically fix themselves and
ultimately lead to larger, more costly repairs.”
When it comes to home maintenance, homeowners have to think outside the
box — literally, Kuhn says. “Regardless what season it is, home maintenance
always starts on the outside of the house and always starts with the roof.”
For starters, check your roof shingles and flashings. Ninety percent of roof
leaks are actually flashing leaks, Kuhn says.
“Flashings may come loose or crack and should be repaired or replaced
immediately to avoid leakage into the home and consequential damage to
the interior roofing elements.”


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24 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019
Sapp also says roof shingles should be inspected to make sure that
there is no damage from snow and ice.
Next, it’s essential to check your gutters and downspouts, which
most likely are full of leaves and other debris, says Gino Chiapparelli,
a mortgage professional with Luxury Mortgage, Stamford,
Connecticut. “Overflowing gutters can deposit excessive amounts of
water against the foundation of your house, resulting in water leaking
into basements and crawlspaces.”
Other springtime projects to consider include painting or power-
washing siding, sealing decks, patios and porches, resealing your
driveway, and re-grading your foundation.
Spring also is a good time to check doors and windows. Proper
insulation ieing windows or replacing old windows with more energy-
efficient ones can help keep your home cool and comfortable and
lessen the workload on air conditioners or central air.
Likewise, adding extra insulation to your attic, walls, ceilings and
hot water heater can reduce your heating and cooling costs, Kuhn
“Leaking air makes your heating and cooling systems work harder
and longer, using more energy,” she says. “So, check cable lines,
pipes, electrical outlets and switch plates for seeping air.”
Spring-cleaning involves more than ladders and hand tools, howev-
er. “Vacuum your upholstery and draperies to remove any dust, pollen any wall or window openings during renovation,” Kuhn says.
or dander, and thoroughly clean your ceiling fans,” Chiapparelli says. “Clean Those on a tighter budget but who are seeking simple ways to improve
your carpeting with an organic rug cleaner to remove any residual pet odors their home’s energy efficiency can easily replace their incandescent light
and dust mites. And dust thoroughly to further reduce airborne allergens.” bulbs with fluorescent ones and install fixtures that can accommodate the
Because you can open the doors and windows for extra ventilation, the latter, Sapp says.
warmer months are also ideal for repainting interior walls. Painting a room The weekend-warrior homeowner can tackle most of these projects, says
a lighter and brighter shade “can have a huge impact not only on that room Kuhn, with the exception of heating, ventilation and air conditioning, which
but the entire house,” Sapp says. should be checked and serviced by a professional.
The spring months also are ideal to undertake a major remodeling job
“because you will have less of a need to keep the home warm if there are © CTW Features

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 25
Landscaping Tips
from the Pros
Work out a plan to conserve two of your
garden’s most precious resources:
Your time and energy

By Robert Sharoff
For most people, an ideal garden would be full
of flowers and require no maintenance at all. But
short of using silk flowers, that type of garden
just doesn’t exist.
One can, however, minimize maintenance with
careful planning. fend for themselves in most situations.
“Low maintenance does not equal boring,” says 4. Eliminate or downsize your lawn. Favor of
Doug Jimerson, co-owner of Studio G, a creative more trees and shrubs and flowers over grass.
agency that specializes in garden, pets, and food “A lawn takes more maintenance than just about one of the most inefficient and wasteful ways of
editorial. “You don’t have to settle for a shop- anything else you can plant,” Jimerson says. watering your garden,” Jimerson says. Far better,
ping-mall landscape just because you are time- “You have to mow and fertilize it and keep it dis- he says, are various drip-irrigation systems:
starved.” ease-free. It also takes a lot of water.” porous hoses concealed under mulch that dis-
What follows are 10 tips to get you started. And 5. Leave your lawn long. If you can’t live with- tribute water where it’s needed. There are also
if all else fails? Well, try the ultimate low-mainte- out grass, raise the blade on your mower to 3 systems for container gardens that consist of a
nance approach: Hire a gardener. inches or so. A closely cropped lawn – say 1 or 2 main hose with smaller tubes every few inches
1. Use plants that are appropriate for your inches tall – increases plant stress, which in turn that go directly into different pots.
climate. Don’t try to do rare tropical blooms in increases maintenance. And because taller grass 9. Avoid overkill with herbicides and pesti-
Minnesota or Pacific Northwest rain forest more effectively shades the ground, it discourag- cides. Are a few dandelions such a bad thing?
perennials in Arizona. Choosing the right plants es weed growth. And if they are, why spray the whole lawn? Go dig
is half the battle. The more stress plants are 6. Avoid concrete. When planning patios and them up. The same is true with insects. “People
under from inappropriate soil and climate, the walkways, resist the urge to economize by using tend to panic when they see an insect or insect
more likely they are to succumb to insects and concrete instead of stone or brick. “Stone and damage,” Jimerson says. “The key is to know
disease. brick are easily replaced if they crack,” says your enemy. A single tomato worm can do a lot of
2. Have a less-formal garden. Instead of rigid Michelle McKay, owner of McKay Landscape damage to a tomato patch, but it’s only one
borders and beds with everything evenly spaced, Architects in Chicago. Concrete, on the other worm. Find it and squish it.”
try a more naturalistic approach with plants such hand, must be broken up and carted away. 10. Fertilize sparingly. A single application of
as ferns and wildflowers that are supposed to 7. Don’t forget to mulch. Mulching inhibits time-release fertilizer at the beginning of the
look a little messy and freeform. weed growth and helps soil retain moisture. A season is enough for most gardens. If you add
3. Use hardy plants that don’t require much layer of organic mulch should be between two enough compost and manure to the soil, you
care. Annuals, for example, need to be dug up and four inches deep. Avoid using sawdust as a may not have to fertilize at all.
every year. Vegetables are highly susceptible to mulch, as it eats up nitrogen as it decomposes.
pests. But ornamental grasses and herbs can 8. Water wisely. “A conventional sprinkler is © CTW Features

26 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 27
Getting a Jump on Spring
Is your home’s exterior ready for warmer weather?
By Erik J. Martin

From blizzards to Arctic cold blasts, Jack Frost is known for delivering some
harsh seasonal punishment. But it’s after he moves on and warmer temper-
atures begin setting in that the evidence of his destructiveness can be fully
observed, especially around your home’s exterior and yard which, depending
on what area of the country you live in, have likely endured brutal conditions
for months.
Putting your property back in proper shape will require careful planning,
and timing is of the essence here, as delaying any crucial cleanup and main-
tenance chores can result in damage that will require costly repairs.
“As with all household tasks, procrastination is enemy number one.
Ignoring your exterior maintenance in late winter or early spring can lead to
things like premature rotting of your siding, porch or deck, home foundation
problems, death of your favorite bushes, and even insect infestations,” says
Douglas Dedrick, owner of Natural Landscape Designs in Elizabeth City,
North Carolina. “As soon as the snow has cleared and the ground is some-
what thawed and workable, you should do at least some basic exterior main-
This is particularly true of your lawn and landscaping.
“This is the time to strengthen your lawn in order to control weeds before
they emerge and so that it can take on the summer heat,” notes Ben Hamza,
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28 Your HOme - Issue 1 - Cadillac News | Friday, April 5, 2019

your lawn and leave unsightly dead patches,” “Check your panels for damages or cracks
warns Hamza. caused by the winter frosts,” Lorainne sug-
zz Aerate, fertilize and overseed your lawn. gests.
“This will thicken and strengthen your turf and zz Mow when the time is right. “Wait until your
improve your lawn’s overall health,” Hamza grass is about three inches tall, and don’t cut
says. more than a third of the grass’ height,” recom-
zz Apply a weed pre-emergent herbicide to mends Hamza.
your turf. While these tasks may sound formidable, any
zz Apply mulch to your garden to avoid weed do-it-yourselfer homeowner can accomplish
growth. “This will help the soil retain its mois- them efficiently and effectively over a few
ture,” says Gena Lorainne, gardening expert for weekends in March and April.
Fantastic Services based in London. “The layer “I anticipate these early spring preparations to
should be just thick enough to act as an isolat- take around 10 hours or so,” says Dedrick.
ing cover.” “You can save a lot of money by doing it your-
zz Prepare your lawn mower. “Check the spark self, but if you need help you can hire profes-
plug, clean or replace the air filter, change the sionals to get the job done.”
oil, and sharpen the blade,” Hamza says.
Here’s a checklist of recommended steps to zz Prune your trees, bushes and © CTW Features
take now to prevent damage and ensure a more shrubs to protect your property and
attractive property come summertime: fit the urban environment. “Consider
z z Inspect your property carefully. “Do an eval- hiring an arborist to inspect any trees
uation of your landscape and home exterior,” you’re concerned about. They can
says Dedrick. “Snow may have compacted your spot defects and deadwood and
bushes, and they may need to be staked.” detect pest problems,” Kathy
Additionally, look for loose, damaged or lost Glassley, director of renewable ser-
roof shingles that may need to be replaced, vices for Monster Tree Service, Inc.,
broken large tree branches or limbs that could in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, says.
be a hazard, and other red flags. zz Power wash your patio, driveway,
z z Clear dead leaves, dead foliage and debris deck and/or home’s exterior on a
from your home’s perimeter, lawn, bushes, flow- warm day to remove grime, salt and
er beds and gutters to prevent water damage, other deposits that have built up over
bug infestations and mold outbreaks. “If not winter.
removed, this layer of dead matter can smother zz Inspect and repair your fencing.

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Friday, April 5, 2019 | Cadillac News - Your Home - Issue 1 29