Category Archives: Home & Garden

Upgrade Your Backyard “Living Room”

By Kristie Moore

The idea of DIY has changed considerably in recent years, both inside and outside of the home. Design shows, Pinterest and online video tutorials have expanded the possible options and desires of the average homeowner. The availability of these resources has enabled homeowners to reimagine their properties like never before. When approaching improvements from a creative edge, even modest homes and tight budgets can be transformed into luxurious living.   Continue reading

This entry was posted in Home & Garden on May 1, 2019 by By Kristie Moore.

REFRESH YOUR HOME – UPDATE YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS

From buying new to refurbishing, experts provide options to upgrade your kitchen cabinetry—and your lifestyle
By Trish Amundson

Are your kitchen cabinets dated? Are you ready for a new look?  Whether you’re up for a complete overhaul or just want to freshen up your cabinet surfaces, there are many possibilities to consider when updating the most prominent fixtures in the heart of your home. Local experts can help you achieve a stunning transformation that incorporates modern styles and features—and aligns with your personal preferences and budget. Continue reading

This entry was posted in Home & Garden on May 1, 2019 by By Trish Amundson.

Grow Your Own Food

Rochester’s Seed Library Takes Root
By Karen Lemke

Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick and Heidi Kass are on a mission: to encourage and inspire Rochester-area residents to grow their own food and promote sustainability on a local level. Their simple idea has turned into a blossoming Seed Library at the Rochester Public Library (RPL).   Continue reading

This entry was posted in Home & Garden on May 1, 2019 by By Karen Lemke.

Stylish trends that will floor you: Popular flooring options for your home

Are you considering new flooring as part of a home makeover or construction? From carpet and wood flooring to tile, luxury vinyl planks, concrete finishes and more, the options are plentiful. Local flooring experts are a great resource and can help you sort through the thousands of choices. As you shop around, you will see familiar products and learn about innovative ideas. You might be surprised by new flooring trends that offer not only style and durability, but possibly the best long-term solutions for your home.  

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on February 20, 2019 by Trish Amundson.

Downsizing: Freeing yourself from “stuff.”

When most people think about downsizing, they imagine endless piles of their possessions to sort through and nail-biting decisions about what to do with Grandma’s good china. Because downsizing is often thought to be a daunting task, it’s easy to procrastinate and put it on next year’s to-do list, which will quite possibly slide onto the following year’s list of projects. Making decisions is difficult, and it takes courage to face your discomfort and move forward.  

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on February 20, 2019 by Cindy Mennenga .

Let there be Lights: Lighting solutions add function, comfort and style to builder’s home

Lighting is an essential element of any home. Real estate agent and builder, Mickey Rowland of Excel Homes, understands firsthand the importance of lighting and its impact on the enjoyment of a home. To get the lighting just right, Rowland works with a lighting professional to incorporate solutions into the homes he builds, including his own home.  

ROWLAND’S HOME

Rowland completed his personal home in early 2018, which features a rustic, modern farmhouse look. Warm wood tones, neutral classic colors and timeless custom finishes carry the farmhouse aesthetic throughout. Wide-planked hardwood flooring blends with sleek chrome hardware and Restoration Hardware vanities. The home includes custom cabinets and woodwork, beautiful Cambria countertops, and carefully chosen lighting to complement the design.

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on January 2, 2019 by Trish Amundson.

Handy Gal’s Guide to Home Maintenance: Winter Readiness

AS WE MOVE INTO THE WINTER MONTHS, IT IS ESSENTIAL TO ENSURE YOUR HOME IS IN PEAK FORM TO HANDLE THE COLD WEATHER. In addition to having your furnace tuned up and removing the screens from your windows, there are several other chores you may want tackle before the full brunt of winter is upon us.  

SNOWBLOWER TUNE-UP
Snowblowers need a tune-up before the beginning of the winter. If you didn’t have your snowblower tuned up this past spring, call today to schedule your tune-up. You may wait several weeks for an appointment, so don’t delay this critical step. If you prefer, you can tune up your snowblower yourself. Simply check and replace oil, ensure the fuel filter is clean, add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel, check tires, lubricate bearings and inspect parts for wear.

Either way, you don’t want to discover you have problems with your snowblower after a foot of snow is dumped on us overnight. Your snowblower needs to perform on-demand, and a well-running snowblower is something you’ll be glad you have after each significant snowfall.

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on November 1, 2018 by Cindy Mennenga.

Home Design Trends to Beautify and Brighten Your Home

WHETHER YOU’VE BUILT NEW OR ARE UPDATING YOUR LIVING SPACE, KEEPING YOUR HOME LOOKING FRESH IS A WORK IN PROGRESS. MANY HOME DESIGN TRENDS COME AND GO, BUT A CLASSIC DESIGN HOLDS UP OVER TIME AND IS ONE THAT YOU WILL ENJOY YEARS LATER. CURRENT AND POPULAR STYLES OFFER A WIDE ARRAY OF EYE-CATCHING FORMS, COLORS AND MATERIALS THAT CAN FIT ANY LIFESTYLE. 

“Every trend has a shelf life to a certain extent,” says Karen Blissenbach, design principal at Design Studio B. “The Midwest typically follows the coasts in trends, so by the time we are really getting into them, they may be changing in other parts of the country. Eventually people tire of seeing the same things over and over again and want to do something different.”

SLAB FRONT CABINETS, BOLD COLORS & TRANSLUCENT FINISHES

Jessica Curry, owner and certified kitchen designer and interior designer at Interiors by J. Curry, LLC, describes the appeal of bold colored cabinets to homeowners. Often used as an option for base cabinets on the perimeter of a kitchen or as an accent for a standalone buffet or island, “The main cabinetry throughout the space may be painted very neutral gray or white,” she says. “The accent colors that people are asking for are the jewel tones in navy, deep emerald greens, black and charcoal.” Many are moving away from dark-stain accent colors for cabinetry. 

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on September 7, 2018 by Trish Amundson.

Countryside Builders: A Past Winner Stands Out

THE ROCHESTER AREA BUILDERS FALL SHOWCASE OF HOMES IS A POPULAR ANNUAL EVENT, WELL-ATTENDED BY PEOPLE PLANNING TO BUILD A NEW HOME OR SIMPLY THOSE WANTING TO SEE THE LATEST IN HOUSING TRENDS. THE 2018 FALL SHOWCASE OF HOMES PROMISES TO BE LOADED WITH GORGEOUS HOMES BURSTING WITH THIS YEAR’S HOTTEST DECORATING AND DESIGN IDEAS. 

Area builders enter their finest homes in the showcase competition, inviting the public to tour their newest houses, hoping for the much-coveted recognition—being voted a winner—from the home-building community. The prestige of having a winner on the showcase is not only good for business for the builder; it also brings credibility and elevated standing within the community. There are several homes on the Fall Showcase as there are five distinct divisions in the competition, all based on the price of the home. 

WINNER IS A STUNNER

Last year’s Division 3 (homes between $408,000 and $499,900) winner was Countryside Builders. Their home at 2206 Glady Lane NE in Rochester nabbed the prize and all the honors. 

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on September 7, 2018 by Cindy Mennenga.

Fall Tips and Resale Considerations

Fall is the best time of the year to catch up on home maintenance—the air has begun to cool, and our weekly schedules begin to settle into a familiar rhythm after fun-filled days of summer. Knowing that winter will be creeping up on us soon, it’s time to make a to-do list for fall and start chipping away at it.

THINK SPRING

You may want to plant some bulbs this fall so your yard will have a bright pop of color next spring. While you’re at it, you’ll want to cut back most of your perennials, rake the leaves and lower the mower height the last time you mow this fall. Also, after you mow your yard for the last time, you will want to winterize your lawnmower, so it will be in peak condition next spring.

REMOVE SCREENS FROM WINDOWS

It’s tempting to save time and not remove the screens from your windows; however, removing the screens is a critical step in managing the air flow around windows during winter. Thomas Pinto from Champion Windows says, “Winters can be long, and people feel cooped up. Removing screens allows for better ventilation and a clearer view out the window.” 

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This entry was posted in Home & Garden on September 7, 2018 by Cindy Mennenga.