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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Published September 28, 2016

C&G Newspapers

METRO DETROIT — The moment they’re born, children are learning through the senses of sight, smell, sound, taste and touch. 

One of the most basic ways for infants, toddlers and children to learn is through exploration using the senses, said Laureen Krausman, the preschool teacher at St. Germaine Catholic School in St. Clair Shores. By manipulating objects with their hands and touching new textures, children can get a better idea of what something is and what it is used for.

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Published September 21, 2016

METRO DETROIT — After the long, cold winter, maybe you gasped out loud when your perennials cracked through the soggy ground in the spring. You then probably enjoyed them all summer, as the brilliant colors changed on the landscape canvas of your yard.

With fall again in the air, experts say there are things gardeners can do to keep the show rolling a little longer, and to make sure it begins again with beauty when the snow and cold recede.

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Published September 14, 2016

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — The latest and greatest in home design and technology are set to be showcased in Macomb Township.

This year’s Homearama event, put on by the Home Builders Association of Southeastern Michigan, will take place starting Sept. 21 at Christenbury Creek, a new condominium development located near Card Road and 23 Mile Road.

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