Did you really turn off the TV set after the last show ended late last night? Will insulation alone stop air leaks in your attic? Is your water heater set too hot or too cold? Why does your home feel drafty?

REDUCE WASTE AND SAVE ENERGY

The Neighborhood Energy Challenge—a free energy workshop—offers a good look at ways to reduce waste and save energy costs around the house. The next NEC workshop is coming up from 10-11 a.m. on Saturday, November 19, in the Community Room at Rochester Public Utilities, 4000 East River Road N.E. The class is free, although prior registration is requested. Additional classes are being planned for 2017.

 

love to visit open houses and get ideas for my future dream home. Whether that dream home ever actually materializes isn’t the point; it’s the dreaming that keeps me coming back. when I was asked to write about Rochester Area Builder’s 2015 Fall Showcase of Homes Division 1 (homes over $600,000) winner, built by Range Custom Homes, I couldn’t wait to get my own private tour of this gorgeous home.

When the appointed day to tour this spectacular beauty finally arrived, I knew I was in for something special. As I pulled into the driveway, the home, nestled on the end of a cul-de-sac, was warm and welcoming and afforded peaceful views of a lush, wooded backyard. 

The lucky owners of this stunning home, Dean and Rachael Potter, stepped into the home buying process just as the fun part was about to begin. Rachael says that she and her husband were looking at new construction, and when they walked into this home, she immediately felt that it was designed perfectly for their family. They selected many of the finishing touches, but chose to include many of the items, especially the lighting, that were originally slated to go into the home. Rachael gushes as she talks about the design elements of this house, sharing that Shannon Range, design stylist for Range Custom Homes, created the perfect ambiance for their sanctuary.

 

Sep/Oct
2016

Remodeler's Corner: Pleases with Space and Style

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Written by Bob Freund Photography by Mike Hardwick Photography

Contractor: Kitchens plus

Project: Kitchen Remodel

Subcontractors: Gary Einck Plumbing, Bruce Hanson Remodeling, Laitala Tile, Leth Electric, Merschbrock Drywall and Painting, Schotts Hardwood Flooring, Ultimate Surfaces

Βrent and Beth Carey’s newly remodeled kitchen becomes the center of attention whenever the Rochester couple has family in town or entertains guests for an evening. 

GATHERING SPACE

Hosts and guests can comfortably gather in the kitchen to chat. At meal time, guests can flow on either side along a 9-foot long center island to fill their plates from a buffet-style spread. It’s a favorite hosting style for the Careys. At the same time, without being crowded for work space, someone can be preparing food using the quart counter tops.

 

Contractor: Elias Construction, L.L.C.

Project: Lower Level Remodel.

Subcontractors: Bright Ideas, Dapper Surfaces, DeGeus Tile & Granite, Ferguson, Haley Comfort Systems, K&S Heating, Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical, North Star Stone and Masonry, Shea’s Way Custom Cabinetry, Top Shop of Rochester

When Jonathan and Tricia Torrens-Burton crave a pint of foamy ale or a rousing game of darts, they always can frequent “The King George.” Their favorite pub is never more than a few steps and a few stairs away. Descending down stairs past the picture of the Union Flag, they enter their private pub, passing under the most British of cheers overhead “God Save The Queen.”

 

Jul/Aug
2016

Reusing...Entertaining Ways

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Written by Sue Whitney

Summertime is a fine time to gather with gal pals for a succulent brunch, a box lunch or an herbilicious tappa time. If it’s your turn to do the entertaining, play your clever card with upcycled containers plucked from their usual abode and placed center stage upon your table. Previously planted vintage vessels can easily be transformed from garden goods to chic centerpieces with a few simple alterations. 

Succulent Show Stopper

Succulents are a favorite of mine for a variety of reasons. They’re exquisite, thrive on neglect and almost impossible to kill. It’s hard not to love a low-maintenance beauty. 

I spotted two little vintage lovelies at TaDa! Consign in Rochester and knew instantly how to put them back to work. Succulents are arid plants so a strainer is an ideal receptacle for my pretty friends. I originally planted the enamel strainer and added the cute little milk glass creamer as a candleholder to provide ambient evening porch light. 

For my brunch table I replaced the candle with a summertime bouquet. Delicate white napkins, pretty plates, juice and an egg bake complete the brunch ensemble.

 

May/Jun
2016

Recycled Creations: Glass Garden Art

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Written by Melissa Eggler Photography By Melissa Eggler

After a very long winter, most Midwesterners are looking forward to the warmth and green of spring and being able to step outside into our yards. Many of us have made our backyards into wonderful little utopias and places that renew and calm us. One of the ways I’ve added fun to my backyard is with recycled glass garden art made from glass dishes, lampshades or other glass serving pieces. This is a great way to recycle items you may have lying around the house.

If you don’t have any of these items available in your basement or storage, you can start with a fun trip to your favorite thrift store where the selections are endless. There are so many different shapes, colors and designs of glass, china and ceramics, and bringing these all together creates a wonderfully whimsical and surprising creation, at a very affordable price. 

 

May/Jun
2016

Girls' Night Out: Planting Parties–Tapping into the Roots of Great Get-Togethers

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Written by Kim Zabel Photography by Kim Zabel

Tables are set to seat six and decorated with green tablecloths. In the center of each table are two clay-colored window planters. One is filled with soil; the other contains decorative rocks and several gardening trowels. Each table setting includes a wooden window planter, dried moss and water spritzer bottles. The hostess of the party, Vivian Aronson, is organizing groups at various tables and making sure everyone is wearing an apron before starting their projects. A few friends curiously peek into the window planter packed with soil at the center of the table.

“It smells like summer,” one friend says, smiling.

 

When Shannon Sheedy and Paul Roach moved into their southwest Rochester house in mid-2014, they claimed a built-in bonus. To get to it, they climbed the staircase to the upper level, walked down a short hall and opened an interior door. Behind the door was a long room that stretched out above the home’s three-car garage. “It was a blank slate,” Shannon says. “It had drywall and that was about it.” 

The room wasn’t installed for any particular use. The lengthy attic really was a bonus room – extra living space. Today, the southwest Rochester couple has transformed the room into an intimate gathering place for them and their two children, ages 6 and 9. “We can all be doing something there and (still) be together,” Shannon said. It’s their special spot, she says. “The whole idea was that this would be private family space.”

 

Mar/Apr
2016

Remodeler's Corner: Retro Rambler in Southwest Rochester Gains A Modern Kitchen

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Written by Bob Freund Photography Provided by Beyond Kitchens

Jennifer and John Goodman’s home was taken right from the pages of a magazine. Their house design is “Better Homes and Gardens" Idea Home Plan 2809-A. 

The layout was one of six plans published in the September 1958 issue of “Better Homes and Gardens” magazine, available to homebuilders for assembly as shown. Local contractor John Weis & Sons obliged the publication and constructed the concept home—breezeway, carport, angled ceilings and wall-tall windows.  

Plan 2809-A still charmed the Goodmans in 2000, more than 40 years later, when they purchased the retro rambler in southwest Rochester. “It was just a beautiful, open floor plan,” Jennifer says of the house, sweeping her arm toward the floor-to-ceiling windows. 

 

Jan/Feb
2016

Remodeler's Corner: Keeping the Pace Building and Remodeling for a Growing Family

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Written by Bob Freund Photography by Fagan Studios

Εverything seemed to meet in the mudroom at Blair and Stephanie Seelhammer’s house for years. It was the day-to-day entrance, as well as the family laundry center, where the washer-dryer-sink worked hard and often.

Add three children under 10 to the scene and the traffic could turn “chaotic,” Stephanie says. “There was no place to put anything. This was always just a problem area.” Today, the mudroom still is the entry and drop point for outdoor gear, but the youngsters’ winter coats can hang neatly in newly built lockers. Boots and shoes wait for action in cubbies, and overhead cabinets hold belongings. A granite shelf also provides a drop-off point for stray stuff—or perhaps seasonal decorations. The laundry room migrated upstairs to the second floor because, as Blair observes, “That’s where the clothes are.”

MORE THAN A MUDROOM

Blair, an optometrist, and Stephanie, a Mayo Clinic physician, have owned their home in the Scenic Oaks subdivision since 2008, the year after it was built. The Seelhammers encountered general contractor Mike Allen, who had built some homes in their neighborhood, about three years later at an open house.  Allen frames the opportunity he saw:  “Can we accommodate a growing, fast-paced family of today?...That’s really what we did.” Allen and the couple started planning their project in late 2013 and construction began in June 2014. 

 

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