& creative inspiration

Good ideas are common–what’s uncommon are people who’ll work hard enough to bring them about. We really enjoy the work we do and we like to share our knowledge with our clients. Here in our Journal posts we hope you find inspiration and instruction.

How to Remove Mildew From Outdoor Cushions

Now that the warm weather is officially here, it's time to use those outdoor living spaces we've looked at longingly all winter. Last weekend I decided to reclaim my beautiful deck from Mother Nature. She was not kind to me; one look at my chair cushions made me regret not putting them away for the winter. So if you are like me, you'll appreciate this information on how to save your cushions instead of replacing them. It's a messy job so put on some good music and shorts and prepare to get wet!

Your outdoor cushions face harsh weather elements, which make them ideal breeding grounds for mildew. Mildew is unsightly, and if not cleaned from your cushions, may spread further. As soon as the cushions get wet, they are susceptible to mildew growth. If you find mildew on your patio cushions, don't head to the trash to get rid of ...

The 5-Step Method for Tracking a Bad Contractor

There is no magic trick to select a good contractor; however, here is an effective 5-step tracking system to avoid the bad ones, the ones who can really mess up your life by ruining your remodeling project.

The system consists of asking yourself 5 questions as you contact several contractors and talk to them about your remodeling needs.

1. Was he late for our first meeting?

First impressions matter… a lot! When you are hiring a service, any service, the interested party should always be on time–or inform you of a change in arrival time if needed. If a contractor doesn’t arrive on time for the first meeting with you, you can bet he probably won’t be dependable if hired.

2. Did he just say we don’t need a contract?

Red alert! Run! Don’t even bother talking any further to a contractor that tells you he doesn’t use contracts to guarantee his work. Every good ...

How to Make It Through a Remodeling Project Without Going Crazy

Any remodeling project causes interruption in a household’s daily routine, but a project to the main areas of your home–especially kitchens or bathrooms–can feel like chaos. Once cabinets are ripped out, walls removed, and wiring is exposed, suddenly you are wondering why you decided to put yourself through such a thing. There is no question about it, a home remodeling project can be stressful; however, the right guidance and the following advice can make the process easier on you and your whole family:

Design a plan to keep your daily routine in tact.

Even though you are living in a chaotic environment, you still have to cook, wash clothes, and take a shower. You have to design a practical plan to live at home while the work is being done, and you have to do this before the Contractor and crew begin work. You could set up a temporary kitchen in another ...

Putting Your Home to Good Use–Rooms you want to live in.

With Old Man Winter definitely here to stay awhile, you may be more inclined to stay indoors. What better time of year than winter to get organized. Do you have an unused room that could be put to better use? An empty bedroom left behind by a family member, a cluttered storage room or an unused guest room? Here are some ways to reclaim underused or wasted space in your home and transform it into useful space.

Family Room

Make your family room a relaxed version of your living room. Make it casual, functional and comfortable for everyone to enjoy. Keep entertainment, like movies and toys, in easy-to-access storage bins or benches. Display books in bookcases, organized by genre or in alphabetical order.

Sitting Room

A sitting room can be a relaxing, aesthetically pleasing escape from the distractions of a busy household. Transform that small nook into a personal "getaway" by adding an overstuffed ...