Homes

Published May 13, 2015

METRO DETROIT — For both the interiors and exteriors of homes, customers are opting to go back to classic color schemes and neutrals, according to experts in the field.


The return to basics is, in some cases, a nostalgic choice and, in other cases, a more strategic move to increase home value and appeal to a wider audience.

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Published May 6, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Embarking on the search for a new home can be daunting, especially for first-time buyers, so C & G Newspapers asked several experts, including real estate agents and a representative from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, for guidance.


John Kurczak, a Keller Williams Realtor, said the best way to start is to find out what you can afford.

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Published April 29, 2015

Walking into a home without wall art would be almost as jarring as stepping inside an observatory and seeing no telescopes, or eating at a Mexican restaurant and not being served chips and salsa.

People sense the ambiance when standing inside a building. And no matter what the setting is or what is taking place in that particular environment, people often expect to see aesthetically pleasing and visually stimulating art.

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Published April 15, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Starting April 16, water heater manufacturers must comply with mandatory new standards issued by the U.S. Department of Energy geared toward conserving energy.


The new water heaters will be larger in size, due to increased insulation, and will have more expensive price tags, but they will save more energy.

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Published April 8, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Most people don’t notice awnings until they decide to buy one.


The main reason most homeowners decide to purchase an awning is for shade. Also, they wish to cut the cost of cooling their home and keep the patio cool in the summer, said Lorraine Strachan, office manager for Signature Awning in Livonia, which serves all of metro Detroit.


“The biggest reason is shade,” Strachan said.

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Published April 1, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Elegance and simplicity are essential elements of award-winning home design.


“Our clients want quality architectural details,” said John VanBrouck, of Luxe Homes, one of the winners of the Detroit Home Design Awards, held March 24 at The Fillmore Detroit. “They are looking for something that is different, unique and creative with classic styling.”

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Published March 25, 2015

METRO DETROIT — In William Shakespeare’s “As You Like It,” the revered poet and playwright said that “all the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.”


More than 400 years later, that quote can be attributed to something more traditional and commonplace: interior design and real estate.


Home staging is arguably more popular than it’s ever been before. The process of preparing a home to make it more appealing to potential buyers has become vital to those who sell homes.

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Published March 11, 2015

METRO DETROIT — They have a certain austere beauty and create remarkable sculptures when they begin to thaw and refreeze around trees, bushes or just the ground, but those large icicles growing from your roof could be an indication of a larger problem — ice damming on the roof.


An ice dam is a buildup of ice on roofs caused by melting snow that refreezes around the eaves of a house; it is usually quite easy to spot, experts say, because of the large icicles and pieces of ice that form on the edge of the roof of the house.

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Published March 4, 2015

Right now, there are likely several inches of snow piled up on at least a portion of your deck or patio.

But what will you find when it melts?

Flaking paint chips and nail pops on your wooden deck, moss and weeds starting to grow between brick pavers, or worse.

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Published February 25, 2015

NOVI — Coming in on the heels of the Detroit Boat Show, the eighth annual Cottage and Lakefront Living Show taking place this week in Novi will reinforce the belief of many Michiganders that the state’s spring and summer months are the best in the country.

The Great Lakes State offers almost unending choices of outdoor recreational activities during the warmer months — though ice fishing during the winter also has a huge following — and that especially holds true for those who live or own a cottage on one of those great bodies of water.

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Published February 18, 2015

In the last decade, Safe Kids Worldwide Director of U.S. Programs Tareka Wheeler said that there has been a 31 percent increase in the number of children who have been killed or injured by TV tip-overs.

“We know we can prevent these things. Many families just don’t think about it. It’s an emerging issue — we call it a hidden hazard — in homes, but there are simple things families can do,” Wheeler said.

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Published February 4, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Many adults probably remember coming home from school in their youth, slinging their backpacks on the kitchen table and then getting a start on their homework.

While some children and adults still do that today, it’s not as prevalent as it used to be.

It really comes down to how a house is divided. Older homes are notorious for not offering the abundance of space that new homes today have, especially in the form of cabinets and countertops.

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Published January 28, 2015

Radon gas is the leading cause of lung cancer in nonsmokers, and high levels of the gas in a house meet the equivalent of smoking eight cigarettes a day, say World Health Organization officials.

Radon gas invades homes and buildings through foundation cracks and openings, and is invisible with no scent. If a test kit determines high levels of radon in a home, simple fixes can lower health risks.

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Published January 21, 2015

If you’re house hunting in metro Detroit, you’ll inevitably come to a point where you need to make a major decision — what means more to you, having a big house or living near Woodward?

That was the question Royal Oak native Karly Wingart had to ask when she started shopping for a home.

“We bought our house in September. We had only been looking for a couple of months, maybe three months,” she said.

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Published January 14, 2015

METRO DETROIT — Now is a great time to add bird feeders near your home or garden to provide color, song and activity during the drab winter months. Bird feeders also provide a sure food source during a period when birds’ normal fare, such as insects and berries, is scarce.

Kim Sherwin, a park interpreter at the Stony Creek Metropark Nature Center, said that feeders are a relaxing way to enjoy nature while not having to leave the comfort of your home.

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Published January 7, 2015

Feeling blue?

A person’s emotions can be directly affected by the colors expressed in a room, according to Dr. Howard Belkin, a psychiatrist affiliated with William Beaumont Hospital.

And although Belkin could not reference related studies, anecdotally, he said, people are responsive to their environment in ways that cannot necessarily be measured.

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Published December 17, 2014

With Christmas just days away, design experts want you to make the most out of your guest bedroom for visitors to enjoy this holiday season.

Christine Jackson, owner of Birmingham-based bedding store Scandia Home, who designs and makes decorations, said making guests feel pampered is one of many great ways to welcome them in holiday style.

“If you have people coming in and they’ve been traveling, by the time your guests get to you, it is nice to have a room that will facilitate a good night’s sleep,” she said.

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Published December 3, 2014

METRO DETROIT — Many things can go wrong inside a house.

One of the scarier potential problems is carbon monoxide. It consists of one carbon atom and one oxygen atom, and is also known as CO.

Carbon monoxide causes fear because people don’t know it’s around in the first place. It is a colorless, tasteless and odorless gas that poses toxic effects when it goes undetected. The gas becomes prevalent in areas when fuel doesn’t burn as intended.

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Published November 12, 2014

METRO DETROIT — A natural woodland holiday theme brings the outdoors inside for a cozy, charming and modern effect.

“Each year, when we go to the buyers shows, we look for new trends,” said Casey Thomas, vice president of Sherwood Forest Garden Center in Oakland Township. “New this year are more natural looks with a woodland theme.”

The popular movie “Frozen” has also become a decorating trend, Thomas said.

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Published March 5, 2014

Starting plants like marigolds and tomatoes indoors from seeds helps beat the winter blues.

“It is nice to see things grow,” said Joni Makowski, store manager of Allemon’s Landscape Center in Detroit. “It is a good activity for the family. The longer the winter, everybody thinks about it. I have four kids. We always plant different seeds in eggshells.”

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Upcoming Events

Madison Heights
Madison Chorale holiday concerts
3 p.m.
United Methodist Church of Madison Heights
Farmington Hills
'Let Nothing You Dismay'
2 p.m.
Farmington Players Barn Theater
Mount Clemens
Mount Clemens Jingle Journey
1-4 p.m.
Crocker House Museum
Grosse Pointe Farms
'Call & Response 2' art exhibit
ongoing
Grosse Pointe Congregational Church
Bloomfield Hills
St. Dunstan's children's production
1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
St. Dunstan's Theatre

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