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Spring Home Decorating: Taking Items from Discarded to Divine


“Some popular new trends in interiors comprise the use of intense pop colors, mixing colors from a similar palette, metal- lic accessories, and adding natural accents such as seasonal flowers and plants,” says Deas.


Incorporating pops of color like bright


yellow, magenta, violet and lime green is a simple way to create a fresh room. Try punches of bright color against neutral backgrounds, such as white, cream or gray, for a lively new vibe. Mixing colors of the same palette, for example a light violet with a darker plum, is another way to use color this spring.


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pring is often considered a time for cleaning up and cleaning out. As the saying goes, “Out with the old, in with


the new.” However, according to Molly J. Deas, academic director for Interior Design at The Art Institute of Portland, spring is an ideal time to inject trends of the season and redecorate by reusing items in new ways.


Deas highlights what’s hot in interior design and offers ideas on turning items that might usually be labeled as “junk” into new treasures. “Reuse” is the key to being both thrifty and eco-friendly. Examine objects you already have or flea market finds and consider how a fresh coat of paint or new hardware could update it.


“Metallic accents can add a feeling of luxury and drama to a room,” suggests Deas. “Be on the lookout for mirrors, trays and picture frames that you can integrate into your room.” White furniture and acces- sories are another way to bring freshness to your space. They provide a neutral back- drop and contrast to bright accent colors. Finally, bring nature and spring color indoors with potted tulips, daffodils, paper- whites or amaryllis. Make a statement with a brightly colored pot. This is a great way to incorporate subtle hits of color, particularly if your landlord just won’t go for magenta walls. Now that you have your inspiration and ideas, here are some suggestions on how to bring them to life.


Shift to Savings: Practical Home Improvement is Popular


Look for peeling or chipped finishes. Refin- ish if necessary. * Check windowsills


and tracks for dirt and debris. Clean out the area with a dry paint- brush. Do the same for patio doors. * Feel for uneven slid- ing and sticking when you open and close a window. Try using a non-oil lubricant, like paraffin wax, on surfac- es to help the window glide more easily. * Inspect weather stripping around doors and windows. Reattach or replace as necessary. * In coastal areas, rinse exterior metal components and clad- ding to help minimize the corrosive effects of salt spray and fog. * Position sprinklers


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hen it comes to home improve- ment, taking on the challenge yourself is “in.” Today’s savvy


homeowners are tackling practical renova- tions, like adding energy-efficient replace- ment windows to update their home and save money on heating and cooling costs. Practical doesn’t have to mean bor- ing. Hiring someone to complete home improvement projects for you or tackling do-it-yourself (DIY) jobs can add style and functionality. In fact, mastering new DIY skills has become a badge of honor for many homeowners, according to trendwatching.com. Wielding a hammer and fixing a broken faucet are now considered “status skills.” “Homeowners are tackling


practical projects to enhance their homes as they seek to add comfort plus save money and energy in the process,” says Pella Windows & Doors spokesperson Kathy Krafka Harkema. “There’s a strong sense of personal satisfaction in mak- ing home improvements. Whether it’s learning how to shingle, paint window trim or install a patio door, practical and functional projects are in.” Give your home a check-up Tackle this checklist to help spruce up and maintain your win- dows and doors: * Inspect interior and exterior fin- ishes around windows and doors.


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to water your land- scape, not your win- dows or doors. Extend- ed exposure to water


can lessen the life of building products. * Trim plants and shrubs so they are not brushing up against windows or doors. * Make sure windows and doors close


and lock properly to help seal out moisture. * Inspect weep holes or breather holes designed to allow water to drain away from your windows, if your windows have them. Clear blocked holes with a wire or tooth- pick.


* Check exterior sealants and caulking on


and around windows and doors. Remove damaged material and reapply new sealant. * Look for signs of air leakage around


windows. If it’s significant, consider replac- ing them with energy-efficient windows, installed properly. Is it time to replace? Do you have worn-out windows or a broken door? For safety’s sake, replace windows and doors that are jammed, painted or nailed shut. Also make sure you can open them quickly to escape during an emergency. You can find energy-efficient ENERGY


STAR-qualified replacement windows and doors, like those from Pella at your local Lowe’s. Need a versatile, affordable replacement? Look for ThermaStar by Pella vinyl windows with maintenance-free frames and advanced Low-E energy-sav- ing glass. Choose from in-stock options or special order a custom window or door. Or pick up vinyl sliding patio doors featuring popular between-the-glass blinds that never need dusting. If you’re looking for more design flex- ibility and ready to make a statement, look for wood-clad windows and patio doors, as well as entry doors and select storm doors. Walk through the Pella Design Center at Lowe’s for more inspiring options or visit lowes.com/pella How-to hints


Need help with your home improvement project? Watch Lowe’s Home 101 DIY online videos for expert tips. Check out the “Paint Door & Window Trim” for simple steps to revitalize your front door or win- dows with a fresh coat of paint. Or watch Pella’s “Pocket replacement windows” video to see how easy window replacement can be.


- ARA Content


Spring Clean-ups & Lawn Maintenance Walkways, Patios, Retaining Walls Excavation, Site Work, Loam, mulch, stone New Lawn Installation, Hydroseeding Complete Landscape Design


Commonly overlooked pieces that can be reused for home decor include old lamps, lighting fixtures, picture frames, mirrors, and furniture. All of these items can be painted to create new decor. Paint is the most inexpensive way to create dramatic change in an interior environment. Mirror frames, old lamps and lighting fixtures painted with metallic paint will add a feeling of luxury and add contrast. Furniture can be painted or stained as well. Consider new, brushed metal hardware to give it a modern feel. Be eco-friendly by using a non-toxic or low-VOC paint. Both are widely available at local home improvement and hardware stores. “As the weather improves, flea markets


N A


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and garage sales are the perfect place to search for unique accent pieces. Vintage is still a hot trend in interior decorating,” says Deas. Mix vintage objects and furni- ture in with modern decor. Buying used or vintage is good for the environment because it doesn’t require the use of more natural resources, energy or packaging. Reducing, reusing and recycling have never looked so good. To learn more about The Art Institutes


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schools, visit www.artinstitutes.edu/nz. - ARA Content


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FREE ESTIMATES Nicholas Martone


FREE ESTIMATES Nicholas Martone


Area News Group


Pelham - Windham News


FREE ESTIMATES Nicholas Martone


May 6, 2011 Page 13


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