May/Jun
2018

Handy Gal's Guide to Home Maintenance

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Written by Cindy Mennenga

THE BEGINNING OF SUMMER IS A TIME OF REBIRTH AND RENEWAL, A TIME TO ADORN THE EXTERIOR OF YOUR HOUSE WITH PLANTERS AND HANGING BASKETS, CREATING WATERFALLS OF COLOR. EARLY SUMMER IS ALSO A GREAT TIME TO CATCH UP ON LESS GLAMOROUS PROJECTS AND MAINTENANCE AROUND YOUR HOUSE.

TAKE A GOOD LOOK

Now is a great time to assess winter’s damage to your home. Notice the condition of your driveway; is it in need of upkeep or repairs? What about your yard? Do you need to sod or reseed some areas that suffered damage from our harsh winter? 

 

May/Jun
2018

Kitchen by the Sea

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Written by Bob Freund

ROCHESTER COUPLE KAREN AND TOM BARRIE HAVE LIVED IN THEIR FOUR-BEDROOM HOUSE FOR THE PAST 26 YEARS. “WE WANTED TO DO THE KITCHEN FOR (THE PAST) FIVE YEARS,” ACCORDING TO KAREN. THEY LAUNCHED THEIR KITCHEN RENOVATION AFTER DECIDING TO STAY IN ROCHESTER. THE PROJECT TOOK THREE MONTHS OF CONSTRUCTION, FROM JUNE THROUGH SEPTEMBER 2017. KAREN SAYS IT WAS WORTH THE MANY MEALS COOKED OUTDOORS ON THE BACKYARD GRILL WHILE THE KITCHEN WAS OUT OF COMMISSION. 

SEA FOAM GLASS BACKSPLASH

The Barries couldn’t create an ocean view outside, but they could bring the atmosphere of a seaside cottage inside their Cape Cod-style house on Rochester’s southwest side. 

The homeowners and local design-build firm Beyond Kitchens gutted their dark, dated kitchen to transform it into a bright and open space with a hint of the sea. As they rebuilt the kitchen, they added accents reminiscent of the East Coast, where Karen spent part of her childhood. 

 

May/Jun
2018

Clutter Happens

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Written by Sara Lohse

My closet _____________________________________________________:

A:  Is tidy, well-categorized, and has homemade labels. Dare I say, beautiful?

B:  Has some semblance of order; however, I own more blankets than a hotel. 

C:  Makes me assume a “defensive” position. If opened, something will fall on me. 

Regardless of your answer, everyone battles with clutter. Even professional organizers have organizational challenges. But as a professional organizer, I understand what causes clutter and have strategies to deal with it. 

 

WHY THE CLUTTER?

The short answer…life. People have so many sticks in the fire; they’re just trying to keep the house from burning down. Life continues to throw new opportunities (or obstacles) our way and something has to give. 

 

Bringing a modern feel to the Historic Riverside Building.

THE WHITE STONE STEPS TO THE TOP FLOOR OF THE RIVERSIDE BUILDING SHOW THE WEAR FROM COUNTLESS SHOES OVER DECADES. THE STEPS ARE SMOOTH, AND A BIT BOWED IN PLACES, REFLECTING THE LONG HISTORY OF THE LARGE BUILDING IN DOWNTOWN ROCHESTER. 

The latest footsteps now come from hundreds of students from Winona State University who climb the staircase to the third floor regularly. “It’s kind of a coincidence,” says Jeanine E. Gangeness, associate vice president and dean of Winona State University’s School of Graduate Studies. “(Both) the building and Winona State University Rochester have been here for 100 years.”

CONTEMPORARY PLACE

At the top of the stairs, students are greeted with a modern skyline of Rochester drawn in bright purple, the school’s color. They circulate through large, open spaces and meet professors in glass-enclosed offices. There’s a soundproofed studio for podcasting. It has an ingrained history, but WSU-Rochester’s center atop the Riverside Building today is an engaging contemporary place.

 

Mar/Apr
2018

Handy Gal’s Guide to Home Maintenance

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Written by Cindy Mennenga

WHAT YOU CAN DO THIS SPRING.

SPRINGTIME IS A GREAT TIME TO CONSIDER HOW WELL YOUR HOUSE IS EQUIPPED TO WAGE WAR AGAINST MOISTURE. THE SNOW THAT HAS KEPT US SHROUDED IN WHITE FOR THE PAST SEVERAL MONTHS HAS BEGUN TO LOOSEN ITS GRIP, MELTING INTO RIVULETS OF WATER SCURRYING FROM THE ROOF AND SNOW BANKS LINING OUR DRIVEWAYS AND SIDEWALKS, IN SEARCH OF THE FASTEST ESCAPE ROUTE. 

If you have a great moisture intrusion management system already in place, then you can sit back and welcome spring and all its attendant glories. However, in the event your moisture intrusion management system is not up to snuff, you may be taking a hold-your-breath-and-wait-and-see approach. That tactic is tantamount to playing roulette. 

DOWNSPOUTS AND RAINWATER MANAGEMENT

When winter’s snow begins to melt quickly or there is a rain event that drops a large amount of rainwater in a short period of time, having your home protected by a well-maintained gutter and downspout system is invaluable as a defense against water damage or moisture intrusion in your home.

 

Jan/Feb
2018

Natural, Neutral New Home

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Written by Bob Freund

Delight for the Long Run

When Kate Jacobsen talks about “timeless neutrality,” she’s not discussing politics; she’s describing her family’s new home. Kate and her husband, Jeff, wanted to build a lasting look and function into their new home on Rochester’s far south side. “I wanted it to be timeless—not get tired in 10 years,” Kate says. 

The Jacobsens chose a blend of neutral colors to tie together the three levels of the 4,950-square-foot house. Neutral doesn’t have to be bland, as many homeowners have discovered. Patterns, shades of color and even sparkle can add interest. The Jacobsen house incorporates all three.

A MOVE ACROSS TOWN

Kate Jacobson, a nurse anesthetist, and Jeff, a teacher for Stewartville Public Schools, lived in a house in northwest Rochester for 12 years before moving last fall to live closer to Jeff’s job. Kate kept in touch with RyMark Homes after being impressed by the features in a model home. “We worked with (RyMark co-owner) Ryan (Ruskell) intermittently for over two years before we committed to him,” Kate says. 

 

Jan/Feb
2018

Red Decor

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Written by Cindy Mennenga

 

INCORPORATING CUPID’S COLOR INTO YOUR HOME

Red is one of those colors that gets noticed! Bold, bright and beautiful—red is the color of passion and power. The color most frequently associated with love and romance, red is also a stimulating color that grabs our attention. It’s no mistake that red is used on stop signs and fire engines. Red even has its own special day: Valentine’s Day!

RED44 APARTMENT COMMUNITY

Indeed, red is the predominant color theme at Red44, a new luxury apartment community located a stone’s throw from Apache Mall in Rochester. Red44 boldly utilizes red strategically throughout its common areas by incorporating the color in some of its accent pieces, while in other areas an entire wall has been washed in red. Their interior designer even chose to include paintings with a splash of red here and there, to tastefully pull the various design elements together without overpowering the space. As a result, the overall look is tasteful, sophisticated and elegant. 

 

Jan/Feb
2018

Handy Gal's Guide to Home Maintenance

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Written by Cindy Mennenga

What You Can Do This Winter

The concept of home maintenance makes a lot of people wonder where to start. Often stereotypically thought of as men’s work, women shy away from getting involved in the upkeep of their home. Truly, there is nothing about home maintenance that makes it a man’s job, any more than cleaning the house and doing laundry should be women’s work. If you live in a house, it’s in your best interest to ensure it is well cared for and all components are in tip-top condition.

Home maintenance can be shrouded in mystery, so we will be creating a series of articles brimming with tips. We’ll help remove some of the confusion and give you suggestions on how to care for your home—inside and out—as the seasons change.   

INDOOR AIR QUALITY 

One of the most important things you can do to keep your family healthy is to make sure the air in your home is fresh and clean. Indoor air quality is especially important during the winter months because we spend most of our time indoors. One of the easiest things you can do to maintain good air quality is to change your furnace filter. 

 

Do you junk? If not, after looking at all the amazing things that Sue Whitney has created and restored from junk, you will want to. Whitney is a celebrity in our midst, having appeared multiple times on NBC’s “The Today Show,” as well as HGTV’s “Country Style.” She has published three books, served as editor-at-large and columnist for “Country Home Magazine” and as a contributing editor for Better Homes and Garden’s “Country Gardens” magazine. 

SAVING THE PLANET ONE DIY PROJECT AT A TIME

In short, Whitney is a trusted author, and her new book “Junk Beautiful: Furniture Refreshed” will not disappoint. Learn how to refinish antique furniture or create a unique piece out of a thrift store purchase. Whitney says, “We’re a throw-away culture,” and this book will teach you how to reuse and recycle to avoid buying cookie-cutter items from big box stores.

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Remodelers Corner: A Room Undivided

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Written by By Bob Freund

Ryan and Sue Ness envisioned an open floor plan when they decided to remodel the main floor of their Rochester home last year. “We knew going in, it was going to be a big job,” Ryan says. 

THE VISION

Standing in the way was a long, load-bearing wall that separated their kitchen from the living room.  It had to disappear without a trace of its prior place. Overhead, the homeowners also envisioned a single ceiling stretching across their two rooms. That meant hiding the main beam holding up much of the home’s interior.

A year later, the Nesses enjoy a renovated kitchen and living/entertainment space. In addition, the decor throughout the main floor is new, and the master bathroom has been redone, along with other touches.

DIFFICULT, BUT DOABLE

The wall stretching down the center of the Ness’ 1960s-era house was not just a room divider. It also was holding up the ceiling overhead. 

 

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