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. 

 

Nov/Dec
2017

Exploring the Latest in Senior Housing Trends

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Written by By Cindy Mennenga Photography by Fagan Studios

Making Personalized Decisions Based on Individual Circumstances

As our population ages, seniors today are blessed with many housing options from which to choose. Previously, seniors had only a handful of choices for where to live: at home, with family or at an assisted living facility or nursing home. Many of today’s seniors are members of the baby boomer generation, and the boomers have notoriously disrupted every phase of life as they have entered it, insisting that they leave their mark and forcing long-standing institutions to bend to their will. Senior housing is just another stop on the boomer generation’s outside-the-box thinking.   

NOT YOUR PARENTS’ SENIOR HOUSING OPTIONS

Part of what is driving these changes is the fact that today’s seniors have seen their parents cast aside by society and wither away in nursing homes, and they don’t want that to be their fate. Most folks want to remain independent for as long as possible. As a result, a very popular type of senior housing which has emerged in recent years is called aging in place. That means that a senior’s home is modified, as needed, to accommodate the resident so that he or she can remain in his or her home as long as possible. For some folks, it means widening doorways to allow a wheelchair to pass through, reinforcing walls to support graspable hand bars in bathrooms and hallways, along with renovating kitchens and bathrooms to include adjustable-height countertops. It often will also include adding zero entry doorways or wheelchair ramps to allow access into the home without steps. An aging in place expert can help determine which changes would be beneficial to help improve safety and functionality.

 

Sep/Oct
2017

Remodelers Corner: The Cory Kitchen

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Written by Bob Freund

When Alicia and Matt Cory moved into their home four years ago, the kitchen was a separate room with a doorway. A half-wall provided a limited view into the kitchen. It was a squeeze for their growing family. “The problem for us was traffic flow,” says Matt.

The Rochester couple remodeled the home’s original kitchen and adjacent laundry room last summer and fall. They worked with local Design Studio B to rework the kitchen for efficiency. At the same time, they wanted to complement the home’s existing style, which is dominated by a two-story limestone fireplace. A stone pathway also extends through much of the main living space. 

Topped with a slab of granite that is almost 8 feet long and just over 5 feet wide, the kitchen island is the “epicenter” of the family’s daily life, describes Matt. The irregular shaped island is large enough for their school-age boys to spread out homework on one side while a parent prepares dinner on the other. Furnished with five chairs and stools, the massive countertop also gives the kitchen a social gathering point when guests arrive.

 

If you’re a fan of the HGTV runaway hit “Fixer Upper,” you will absolutely love the brand-new home that custom  home builder R. Fleming Construction will have on the 2017 Fall Showcase of Homes in September. 

The home, located in wildly popular northwest Rochester at 6408 Summit Point Road NW, complete with shiplap and subway tile, is sure to capture your attention. This beautiful house is much more than a nod to a fashion trend; it’s a graceful, rustic—yet elegant—home that at once feels like, well, home. Acknowledging the latest trends, Lee Fleming of R. Fleming Construction says, “We’re seeing more people go for that farmhouse feel.”

TAKE A PEEK INSIDE—MAIN FLOOR LIVING

This new-construction home incorporates excellent use of space, making it feel much larger than its actual finished square footage, which is just under 3,000. 

 

Bonita and Steve Patton’s double islands are indoors—surrounded by kitchenware. They also are just a few steps from the Pattons’ private beach on Bamber Valley Lake. The kitchen islands and the beach are both are eye-catching features of last year’s renovation of their house. 

HOME FOR 30 YEARS

In the late 90s, the young couple purchased their property in the Salem Sound subdivision and built a home largely with their own hands. Working from a starter design, they provided labor to construct their home. “It took about a year to build the house,” Bonita says.

The home’s layout worked well for many years, but as their family grew and their sons got bigger, they made changes. “About 10 years ago, we started to tinker with the kitchen,” she says. “Finally, we decided to gut it all and start over.”

REVAMPED AND EXPANDED

The kitchen was contained in a single room with a half-sized wall looking out one side and a full wall with door on the other side. In spring 2016, the walls at each end were demolished as the work got underway. Once the walls were down, the original kitchen was extended into what was a formal dining area. 

 

Minnesota summers are fleeting and before you know it, we’ll descend back into the deep-freeze of the arctic tundra. However, during that ever-so brief span of sun-soaked, balmy weather, we hardy northerners like to enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, knowing we’ll be banished indoors again soon enough. Make memories—of glorious evenings dining al fresco, enjoying cocktails and laughter with friends or simply snuggling quietly, hand-in-hand with that special someone, watching the glowing embers of a crackling fire as the evening draws to a close.

If you’ve been thinking about refreshing your backyard, adding a deck or patio or giving your yard and landscaping a do-over, now is the perfect time to make your dreams a reality. Investing in your backyard space is really an investment in you and your family. A functional and comfortable backyard living area can become the backdrop for numerous social gatherings, quality family time and a place of solitude and tranquility—because it’s your very own one-of-a-kind outdoor living area.  

IT ALL BEGINS WITH THE VISION

To get started, you will need a design so you know how to realistically proceed. Jeff Feece, a landscape architect with Jeff Feece Designs, works with clients to make their outdoor design dreams a reality. He likes to “focus on the broader picture to find out needs and wants—to see the size of space they (clients) want.” 

 

Jul/Aug
2017

Safety Tips for Your Home: Leaving for Vacation or Home Alone

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Written by Catherine H. Armstrong

Before you pack the car for that trip up north to your cabin on the lake, make sure the things you leave behind are as secured and safe as you can make them. 

Rochester Police Department’s Advanced Crime Specialist, Darrel Hildebrant, offers suggestions to make your home more unfriendly to home invaders.

MAKE IT LOOK LIKE SOMEONE IS HOME 

An empty home can be a welcome sign for crooks, so the most important step when leaving for vacation is to make your home look occupied, Hildebrant says. Setting timers for lights is a relatively inexpensive first step. “We want you to have your house look like there are still people living there, so (using timers) you might have the living room lights go on at sunset and go off around 10 or 10:30 p.m., and the bedroom lights go on around a quarter to ten so it looks like someone is in the home,” he explains. 

 

May/Jun
2017

Remodeler's Corner: Modernizing the Wright Home Beginning in the Kitchen

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Written by Bob Freund Photos Provided by The Kitchen Design Studio

The refrigerator at Patty and Jim Wright’s home deserves some credit for the couple’s full kitchen remodel. For years, opening the refrigerator door had blocked the doorway to the kitchen’s walk-in pantry. Then, the fridge itself started going on the fritz. In short, “It (remodeling) started with getting a new refrigerator and snowballed from there,” Patty says. 

REFRIGERATOR TO REMODELING

Today, the couple and their two teenagers enjoy a completely renovated kitchen in their 20-year-old home. About half of the main floor in the northwest Rochester home has been renovated to maximize use of space and enrich the decor. 

In fall of 2015, Patty, a microbiologist, and Jim, a software programmer, decided to explore remodeling. They found The Kitchen Design Studio of Rochester on the internet (houzz.com), and KDS designer Don Gustason found underused space in a short hallway bordering the kitchen. By tearing down a wall, the Wrights and KDS were able to close off the pantry, move in a new refrigerator and add counter space to the kitchen. There also was enough room left on the far side of the hallway to replace the pantry with a bank of cupboard cabinets for food storage.

 

Why is it that the garage, by default, has been relegated to male territory? What do women get in exchange—a kitchen? We already have that. Let’s look outside the sexist pre-assignments and consider why we gals might just want to claim some of that precious garage space as our own.

When you think about it, there is a lot of potential in the garage. It’s a blank slate, ready to be whitewashed with your dreams and transformed into a great craft room, an office, a family room, a gardener’s potting shed, a theatre room, etc. The list is nearly endless, especially if you think of this space as another room in your home, rather than the dingy old dirty garage.

We all know at least someone who has a man cave in his garage. With a little creativity, your garage could be transformed into an awesome diva den or ma’am cave. Putting your own decorative pizzazz on a tired garage can renew the space and add a functional and fun living area to your home. 

 

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