Published March 1, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Two local real estate agents agree that, with a drop in inventory and an increase in the number of educated buyers, now is the time to list homes for the spring market.

Kathy Broock, of Max Broock Realtors, said the low supply is not necessarily inflating home values because buyers are sitting and waiting for something better to come along.

“I think people are optimistic,” said Linda Rea, of Real Estate One.

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Published February 22, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Neutrals are a sophisticated, timeless option for those who may want to create a classic look and not redecorate every season. But personalized color can be a winner in private homes.

“I think 2017 was kind of the year of the neutral,” First Impressions Home Staging President Corie Conroy said. “If you decide you need some kind of vibrant hue, you can do florals or inexpensive pillows. You don’t need to have buyer’s remorse when you want to change your interior.”

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Published February 15, 2017

METRO DETROIT — For Peck Elementary School first-grade teacher Nicole Pelczarski, the workday isn’t over when the final school bell rings.

While the married mother of two leaves the school building for the day to attend her children’s sporting events and spend time with her family, Pelczarski is back to work later in the evening not at school, but at home. 

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Published February 8, 2017

METRO DETROIT — With a slew of cloudy, rainy weather and a rise in political tensions, some may want to seek a sanctuary or escape from the real-world challenges that persist daily.

A local home stager and an interior decorator offered some tips that readers can implement in their homes to help carve out some peaceful, quiet moments for themselves.

Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging in Bloomfield Township, suggested outfitting a space with comfortable furniture and eliminating electronics, including TVs, computers and phones.

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Published February 1, 2017

METRO DETROIT — Do you have furniture and other household items that you want to find a new home for? 

They could help local families out of homelessness. 

Claire and her fiancé, Lander, in their 60s, are caring for seven children, Claire’s five grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. The mother of the five grandchildren could not care for them, and the mother of the two great-grandchildren died. Humble Design withholds its clients’ last names to protect their privacy.

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Published January 18, 2017

METRO DETROIT — It’s easy to protect your family against the threats you can see: You lock your doors and windows at night, you make sure you turned the coffee pot off before you leave the house, and you trim the low-hanging branch hovering dangerously over the roof.

But the less obvious threats to our safety can be just as scary, even if we can’t see, hear or smell them. And that’s exactly what radon gas is, according to Andrew Cox, environmental health director at the Macomb County Health Department.

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Published January 11, 2017

The Pantone Color Institute recently unveiled its 2017 Pantone Color of the Year — “Greenery.” The zesty yellow-green shade, categorized as “nature’s neutral,” is symbolic of new beginnings and a connection to the natural world.

Since 1999, Pantone has designated a color of the year to mirror the culture and mood of the world.

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Published December 21, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Criminals better watch out: Santa may not be the only one watching them this holiday season.

With the technology for cameras and wireless links becoming more common and affordable, the use of cameras on front doors, also known as doorbell cameras, has been steadily rising in recent years. These cameras can be of varying sizes and costs, but they are installed facing out from the front door of a home and can record or send a video stream or still photo when they detect motion near the door.

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Published December 14, 2016

METRO DETROIT — According to local real estate agents, the past year has shifted the balance away from favoring sellers more to leveling out the playing field.

While property values continued to rise in 2016, interest rates remained low, so both buyers and sellers won, said Kathy Coon, owner and broker of Real Living Great Lakes Real Estate in Rochester Hills, West Bloomfield and Clarkston.

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Published December 7, 2016

METRO DETROIT — When it comes to decorating the Christmas tree, baking endless batches of cookies or wrapping presents, listening to the sounds of the season while getting ready for the holidays is a tradition for many people.

And for anyone throwing a festive party or hosting Christmas dinner, playing seasonal favorites of “Silver Bells,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Blue Christmas” in the background is sure to set the mood. 

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Published November 30, 2016

METRO DETROIT — ’Tis the season for marquee lights and large, colored bulbs to make a comeback.

Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging, said this season’s holiday decorating trends focus more on lighting than in previous years, with a heavy emphasis on metallics.

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Published November 22, 2016

DETROIT — Although both grew up in northern Oakland County, Nicole and Ian Sigmon have decided to make Detroit their home. 

The couple purchased a condominium in the art deco Indian Village Manor building last April, charmed by the building’s wide and elegant hallways and its location on the Detroit River across from the Detroit Yacht Club on Belle Isle. 

“I grew up in Oxford and my husband is from Clarkston,” Nicole Sigmon said. “I think that the city is changing in huge ways, and I want to be a part of it.” 

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Published November 16, 2016

METRO DETROIT — As fall transitions to winter, residents should be aware of natural gas safety and know energy-efficient tips to stay warm throughout the season. 

In a news release from Consumers Energy Nov. 7, the most important tip the utility shared was how to identify a possible gas leak. 

“Signs can include a distinctive ‘rotten egg’ smell, a blowing or hissing sound, bubbling in wet areas, dead or discolored vegetation in an otherwise green area, or flames if a leak has ignited.” 

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Published November 9, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Even with the unseasonably warm weather through late October, Michiganders know what is coming.


And the best way to protect your lawn and garden for it, experts say, is to be prepared.

Getting the lawn aerated before the snow comes is a great way to break up the soil so water can get down to the roots, said Mike Ciuciui, owner of Bloomfield Lawn in Farmington Hills. 

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Published November 2, 2016

METRO DETROIT — How long has it been since you’ve updated your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors throughout your home? If it’s been longer than 10 years, plan to change your detectors immediately. 

Southfield Fire Marshal Jim Dundas said the first and most important thing is to make sure you have working smoke detectors in your home.

“Smoke detectors should be inside and outside of every sleeping area, and there should be at least one detector on every level of the home,” said Dundas.

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Published October 26, 2016

METRO DETROIT — In the perpetual struggle to evolve and survive, some plants’ defenses and designs have transformed them into truly terrifying forces of nature.

Some plants have evolved to inflict pain, eat meat and appear thoroughly unappetizing and scary. Other plants have Halloween-esque names but appear more tame and beautiful.

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Published October 25, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Corie Conroy, president of First Impression Home Staging, said she is seeing a resurgence in the popularity of pumpkins and other gourds in seasonal decorating this fall, and she recommended new tricks to keep decorations fresh.

She said one idea is to stack pumpkins and gourds outside, using hay bales for a variety of heights. Homeowners can customize their outdoor pumpkin collection by painting their house numbers on each pumpkin, she said.

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Published October 19, 2016

METRO DETROIT — How protected is your home? 

October is National Crime Prevention Month, and police and security officials are encouraging homeowners to evaluate their home’s level of security. 

In December 2012, the University of North Carolina released a study that evaluated decisions to burglarize from the offender’s perspective. The results indicated that most offenders were deterred by alarms. 

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Published October 12, 2016

METRO DETROIT — Do you have a carbon monoxide detector in your house?

When was the last time you replaced the batteries or the entire monitor?  

Chances are, your monitor or batteries may be expired or, depending on the age of your home, you may not even have a detector.

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Published September 28, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The 2016 Homearama event in the Christenbury Creek development in Macomb Township got underway Sept. 21 to show off the latest in home trends and designs.

The 21st edition of the event, hosted by the Home Builders Association of Southeast Michigan, aims to portray the event’s theme of “Bringing the Dream Home.”

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Upcoming Events

Rochester Hills
Avon Players to perform 'Company'
8 p.m.
Avon Players Theater
Rochester Hills
See a vintage baseball game
1 p.m.
Rochester Hills Museum at Van Hoosen Farm
Royal Oak
Puppet shows at the zoo
10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.
Detroit Zoo
Bloomfield Hills
Ya’ssoo Greek Festival
11 a.m.-11 p.m.
St. George Greek Orthodox Church
Harrison Township
Guided hike of park wetlands
10 a.m.
Lake St. Clair Metropark Nature Center




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