12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine

12 Arrowwood Court South Portland Maine
Under Contract!!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret

Kitchen Remodeling Decisions You’ll Never Regret

Afraid your kitchen remodeling choices will look so 2013-ish in a few years? Relax, we know how to make your kitchen timelessly gorgeous and functional.

We see lots of kitchen trends at HouseLogic, so we know it’s easy to get swept along with what’s in vogue, only to get bummed out by your faddish design choices a few years later. Thank you — and damn you — Pinterest.
But chances are you’re only going to remodel your current kitchen once. After all, the annual Cost vs. Value Report from Remodeling magazine pegs the average price of a major kitchen remodel at about $54,000. With that much on the line, you want to make all the right moves. If you do, you could recoup nearly 70% of your investment if you sell.

So we’re here to future-proof you from angst by naming the seven definitive kitchen features that will retain their beauty, marketability, and value — all while giving you lasting enjoyment.

#1: White is the Dominant Color

Bottom line: White is the most marketable color. You’ll always find it atop the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s annual survey of most popular kitchen colors. It simply doesn’t go out of style.

White’s mojo:
  • Throughout history, it’s been associated with happiness, purity (think Snow White), and new beginnings.
  • It’s a bright color that reflects light and makes even small kitchens feel larger.
  • It’s a neatnik’s dream — dirt has no place to hide.
Even better, it’s uber-tolerant of both your budget and taste: A standard color for any manufacturer, you’ll find white cabinets, tile, counters, faucets, sinks, and appliances at any price point.
Vintage stove
Credit: Ken Clark, Realtor
Related:
And with a white backdrop, you can be as conservative or expressive as you want. After all, it’s about your enjoyment, not just dollars and cents. For example:
  • Add your personal touch with colored glass knobs and pulls.
Glass knobs
Credit: Allessia of Little Lessy
  • Show off antique Fiesta ware on open shelves or in upper cabinets with glass fronts.
  • Paint walls the color du jour — even off-white!
Paint walls
Credit: Lisa Damrosch
Heck, with a white palette, you can change your mind about paint color on a whim. Those all-white basics will make any hue you choose look fresh and contemporary.
Related: Using Color to Personalize Your Kitchen and Home

#2: Hardwood for Flooring
Wood floor
Credit: RJK Construction, Inc.
It’s been our foot fetish for years. That’s especially true ever since hardwood flooring was mass-produced during the Industrial Revolution, making beautiful flooring readily available at a reasonable cost.

Today, more than half of home buyers who purchased a home without hardwood floors say they would have paid an extra $2,080 for them, according to the 2013 Home Features Survey from the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. And among buyers of any age, upwards of 80% say hardwood floors are “somewhat” or “very important.”

“It’s the one feature men and women agree on,” says Debe Robinson, NKBA treasurer and owner of Kitchen Expressions Inc. in Sheffield, Ala., who’s also worked in the flooring industry.

Why? The love of wood is in our genes. Our nesting instincts know that hardwood has warmth, personality, and makes our homes cozy and inviting. That’s why this clever chameleon pairs well with any kitchen style — from casual cottage and sleek contemporary to the most chi-chi Park Avenue traditional.

More reasons why wood flooring is the goof-proof option:
  • Perfect for open floor plans. It flows beautifully from the kitchen into adjoining rooms.
  • It’s tough. Hardwoods such as oak, ash, and maple will shrug off your kitchen’s high-traffic punishment for years. Solid hardwood flooring can be refinished 10 to 12 times during it’s typical 100-year lifespan.
Related: The Best Choices for Kitchen Flooring
#3: Shaker Style for Cabinets
Shaker cabinets
Credit: Stacey Collins Design
Thank heaven for the Shakers. While they were busy reducing life to its essentials, they made cabinets with clean, simple lines that will forever be in style.

Shaker cabinets are an enduring legacy of American style and, like wood flooring, have the knack for looking good in any setting. Their simple frame-and-panel design helps reduce the amount of busyness in a kitchen, making it a soothing, friendly place to be.

“In a kitchen with a timeless look, you want the cabinets to be part of the backdrop,” says Alan Zielinski, a former president of the National Kitchen and Bath Association. “You don’t want to be overpowered. You’re looking for plain, simple, clean lines.”

Those plain, simple, clean lines are a perfect fit for transitional style — a beautiful combo of traditional and contemporary styles. In fact, the National Kitchen and Bath Association says that after creeping up on traditional for years, transitional is now the most popular kitchen style.
As our families grow more diverse, transitional style will only get more popular. It lets us personalize and blend cultural influences — Latin, Asian, Mideastern — into our homes; it’s the perfect balance of old and new, just like Shaker-style cabinets.
Related: How to Choose Kitchen Cabinets for the Best Value

#4: Carrara Marble for Countertops
Carrara marble
Credit: Jennifer Thompson
Carrara marble is a timeless classic that’s been used in homes for thousands of years. (Michelangelo’s “David” was carved from Carrara.) It’ll look as good in the next millennium as it does now.

Here’s why:
  • Carrara’s lacy graining and subtle white colors look terrific in a white kitchen (or any kitchen, for that matter).
  • It has a whiteness you won’t find in other natural stones.
  • It’s readily available, making it less expensive than other high-end choices, such as quartz.
  • It’ll last for generations.
If you Google it, you’ll find a lot of debate about it (and marble in general) because it stains easily. But if you want something truly timeless, Carrara is the answer. And with today’s sealants, the problem of staining is almost moot if you reseal once or twice a year.
Related: How to Get the Look of Marble Without the Cost

Still not sold? Or don’t have the budget? Laminate countertops are relatively inexpensive and can be upgraded to stone when you do have the budget.

#5: Subway Tile for the Backsplash
Subway tile
Credit: A Lo and Behold Life
Subway tile goes back to the early 1900s, when it was used to line New York’s first subway tunnels. Classic subway tiles are white, 3-by-6-inch rectangles — a look that became popular in American kitchens and baths, and has stuck around ever since. Now it’s an iconic part of the American design vernacular, destined never to go out of style.

In the kitchen, ceramic tile excels as a backsplash, where it guards against moisture, is a snap to clean, lasts forever, and always looks classy.

Sure, a backsplash can be an opportunity for a blast of color and pattern, but neutrals will always be current and blend with any look. Plus, a subway tile backsplash and a marble countertop make a dashing couple that will stand the test of time.

To make it even more enduring, keep it achromatic and camouflage dirt with gray or beige grout.
Related: Classic Backsplashes for Any Budget

#6: Ergonomic Design

Adaptability and universal design features mean easy living at any age. A recent survey on kitchens from the American Institute of Architects points to the growing popularity of smart ergonomic design, a sign that kitchen adaptability will stay in vogue.

Smart ergonomics simply mean convenience — for young or old, party people or homebodies — a key factor when remodeling a kitchen that will function well, retain its value, and always feel right.

No matter you or your buyer’s current or future needs, everyone wins with these approaches:
  • Create different countertop heights. Standard height is 36 inches, but you can raise or lower sections of cabinets by altering the height of the base. Add color-match shim strips to the bases of countertops that don’t include sinks or appliances. You (or a new owner) can easily remove them or add to them to adjust the height.
  • Swap a standard range for a wall oven and a cooktop. Ranges have fixed heights. There’s no getting around the fact you have to bend to access the oven. But a wall oven conveniently installs about waist-high.
  • Add pull-out shelves to base cabinets. Lower cabinets with doors mean having to twist like a pretzel to see what’s inside. Pull-out shelves put everything at your fingertips.
Smart storage
Credit: Autumn Clemons of MyDesignDump.blogspot.com
  • Keep wide clearances. Kitchens attract people, and with open floor plans, you’re apt to have folks hunting for snacks, helping you cook, or just hanging out while you prep meals. Keep traffic flowing with a minimum of 42 inches between counters and islands.
Related: Find Out How Stylish Ergonomic Design Can Be
#7: Smart Storage

Today’s families store about 47% of their kitchen stuff outside the kitchen — in laundry rooms, basements, even sheds — according to data released at the 2013 Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

We blame it on the fact that kitchens have evolved from a tucked-away place at the back of the house into a multiple-chef, multi-tasking space that’s the hub of family life. Plus, our love of open kitchens and stocking up at warehouse stores means less wall space and more stuff, kitchen design expert Robinson says.

The solution: smart storage. Cabinet manufacturers have you covered with nearly unlimited storage options — shelves and compartments that unfold, turn, extend, and slide.

But it’s not just about having storage, it’s about designing it smartly. Follow these guidelines to make your storage timeless:

Create a primary storage zone. This is an area 30 to 60 inches high and within two feet on either side of your body. Store your most-used items here — your favorite work knives, measuring cups, salt and pepper for cooking, your trusty pots and pans. With one easy motion, you can grab what you use all the time.

Plan for the unknown. A truly timeless kitchen anticipates and adapts to future needs, such as:
  • A space that can easily convert to an office, wine storage, or a closet.
  • Lower cabinet spaces that can accommodate a wine cooler, under-counter refrigerator, a second dishwasher, or new must-have kitchen appliances on the horizon. (Remember when microwaves didn’t exist?)
  • An open space that fits a freestanding desk or favorite antique that can personalize the kitchen — no matter who owns the home.
See Storage Options that Pack More Space in Your Kitchen
Related: Smart Kitchen Remodeling Strategies to Get You Started

We feel strongly about these kitchen features, but we love your strong opinions, too. So tell us what you think!
John_Riha John Riha has written seven books on home improvement and hundreds of articles on home-related topics. He’s been a residential builder, the editorial director of the Black & Decker Home Improvement Library, and the executive editor of Better Homes and Gardens magazine.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/kitchens/classic-kitchen-remodeling/#ixzz2afklBEXv

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine




307. Slate's Restaurant in Hallowell:  Great menu with lots of fresh ingredients and goods from their bakery.
Fun night out!

http://www.slatesrestaurant.com/index2.php#/home/

Sunday, July 28, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine



306. The Liberal Cup in Hallowell offers delicious soups, salads and sandwiches and, yes, those are yummy housemade potato chips and crisp sweet potato fries!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Liberal-Cup/74594783981

Friday, July 26, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine










\
305 The North Point was a fun discovery on a walk through the Old Port on a Friday night.  We were drawn  by the sound of jazz and the colorful umbrellas on the Silver Street sidewalk.  The drinks were delicious--great cosmo!  My husband tried the hot sausage tapas plate and was very pleased.
We could have been in NYC.  Owner says there may be another restaurant soon.




Wednesday, July 24, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine





304.  Infiniti on Commercial Street in Portland
Nice decor, good appetizers, and refreshing drinks and beer.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Sunday, July 21, 2013

101 Things I Love about Portland Maine




302. Famous Dave's BBQ:
Start with housemade BBQ chips then on to juicy roast chicken, moist cornbread muffin, broccoli!
http://www.famousdaves.com/

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Should You Replace Old Wiring?

If your house was built more than 40 years ago, replace old electrical wiring for safety.

Old wiring—even knob and tube wiring that dates back to the early 20th century—isn’t inherently dangerous, but unless you were around when the house was built, you can’t be sure the electrical system is up to code. Plus, materials such as wire insulation can deteriorate over time.
Safety issues with old wiring
Faulty wiring is the leading cause of residential fires, according to a 2009 study by the National Fire Prevention Association. And the older your house is, the greater the chances that old wiring might be outdated or unsafe.

If you don’t know the condition of your wiring, it’s worth paying a licensed electrician to inspect your electrical system. Expect to pay $150 to $300 for this service.

A good reason to consider replacing old wiring, aside from electrical home safety, is that some insurance carriers may refuse to insure houses with older electrical systems, or they may insist owners pay higher premiums.
Warning signs of outdated, old wiring
  • Breakers trip or fuses blow regularly.
  • A tingling sensation when you touch a wall switch, appliance, or receptacle.
  • Dimming and flickering lights.
  • A burning smell in a particular room or from an appliance.
  • Discolored outlets and switch plates that are warm to the touch.
  • Ungrounded outlets throughout the house (ungrounded outlets accommodate only two-prong plugs).
  • A lack of ground fault circuit interrupter (GFCI) outlets in your bathrooms, your kitchen, and other areas that may be exposed to damp and wet conditions.
  • Your house was built more than 40 years ago.
Dangers of aluminum wiring
Some houses built in the 1960s and early 1970s have aluminum wiring instead of the standard copper wire. Aluminum wiring is considered a safety hazard because wiring connections may loosen up over time. Tiny gaps between the wiring and connectors may lead to overheating and possibly fires, especially when appliances and lighting fixtures are plugged into them.

A qualified electrician can inspect your home’s wiring to determine if it’s OK to leave your existing wiring in place. The addition of copper connectors, called pigtails, at circuit breakers and receptacles usually resolve potential problems with older aluminum wiring.

Upgrading to newer receptacles and wall switches also help prevent problems.

Pat Curry Serial remodeler Pat Curry is a former senior editor at Builder, the official magazine of the National Association of Home Builders, and a frequent contributor to real estate and home-building publications.


Read more: http://www.houselogic.com/home-advice/electrical/should-you-replace-old-wiring/#ixzz2Yy18TFC9

Scenes from a Maine Country Fair~~Ossipee Valley












                                                         http://ossipeevalleyfair.com/