Category: Charlene Marcum

Thrill, Fill, and Spill: Create a front door masterpiece

The first thing that catches the eye and the last thing seen when leaving is the front door, the centerpiece of the house. There are many things that can be done to boost the curb appeal of the house, upgrading the front door is one of those things. The front door design, condition, and color are extremely important for curb appeal. Make it the gateway to the home. While the design may be set with architecture, changing the door’s design and color can make a big difference. The first step in front entryway design is security. The condition of the door is second. Is it banged up, discolored, faded or should just be replaced? Color can make a dramatic change. Select an inviting and stylish color that will both blend and accentuate the entrance. Color can help accent tones in the exterior or provide the finishing flourish to a design palette. The impact might be subtle or direct, formal or playful. Color influences emotion. A brighter hue offers energy, while a more subdued one plays up a traditional feel. A darker hue is more somber; a lighter one tends to be playful. Using a neutral hue such as brown, black, or gray will provide longevity and adaptability. Even deep reds and navy blues are classic front door colors that act as neutrals. If style or exterior changes, neutral hues will...

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Don’t ignore that side exterior wall

The front of the house is arranged to maximize all the qualities of the home. An attractive path sided with mulched beds and flowers. Small trees and shrubbery frame the entranceway. Move to one side of the house — the side you see the least, perhaps only when you’re zooming around it on the lawnmower and all that’s there is air conditioning unit complementing an ocean of siding, brick or wood. Oops! After making the front of the house “perfect” the sides seem to be left to their own devices. This can be changed rather easily. These ideas cover any type of blank walls-sides of houses, garages, back of houses and sheds. The side area may be long and narrow, wide open or fenced and gated. Whatever the situation, there is a solution. Many homes have a visible side yard. Don’t let an air conditioning unit get in the way. Here are some quick notes on ways to prevent any issues with foundations. Make sure water flows away from the foundation. Dampness encourages termites-unwanted little pests. Look at the wall as a blank canvas. Adding a few elements will change the entire look of the house and yard. • Consider a walkway of paving stones or slate. Surround the stones with mulch or pea gravel to add dimension. Just don’t place the stones close to the wall, leave space...

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The sky’s the limit

Warm weather entices us to think “outdoors.” The trend in creating outdoor living spaces has steadily increased throughout the years. Trellises, arbors, pergolas, decks, porches and gazebos create great outdoor spaces allowing us to share tranquil time in nature with family and friends. In fact, a well-planned outdoor space can increase curb appeal and add to the resale value of your home. Start by researching the possibilities. To help get you started, here are some essential things you need to know about selecting the type of structure and how much each stands to cost. Don’t forget to use an...

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A rose by any other name …

Where do those paint names come from and how are they selected? Each year the leading paint manufacturers list the top paint color of the year. How is this selection process achieved? Each fall the manufacturers release their “Color of the Year” usually with advice on how to completely renew your home with a fresh coat of paint. According to Benjamin Moore’s color and design expert, Andrea Magno, “We spend months researching and traveling around the world, attending design shows and picking up cues and influences from different industries, including fashion, art and even politics. “Then the next step is bringing that information back and determining what the common threads are between these different disciplines and areas of the world.” Over the past few years Sherwin-Williams spent months studying sleep patterns and spirituality before showing its “noir” collection. This collection included such hues as Black Swan, Anchors Aweigh and Poised Taupe. The selection process is very involved and can take up to a year. According to Diana Olvera, color marketing manager at Behr, “Names can typically be sorted into four descriptive categories: visual, geographical, emotional and experimental.” Inspiration can come from nature, fashion, or pop culture. “We have a lot of fun creating experiential names like Strike a Pose, LOL Yellow, or Almost Famous, which give an abstract sense of a certain attitude or trend,” Olvera says. Larger societies...

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Beware: Boxwood blight is here!

The Maryland Department of Agriculture urged residents to use caution when buying fresh holiday decorations and greens containing boxwood this past season, noting that using boxwood greens could potentially introduce a serious fungal disease called boxwood blight to surrounding boxwoods. Heading into the spring and summer months, the disease can easily move by attaching to gloves, clothes and tools so even though holiday decorations are down, it’s still something to watch out for. Boxwood blight is caused by a fungus called Cylindrocladium pseudonaviculatum. Symptoms begin as leaf spots followed by rapid browning and leaf drop starting on the lower branches and moving upward in the canopy. The key symptoms that make Boxwood Blight different from other boxwood diseases are numerous thin black streaks that develop on the green stems. Boxwood blight infects all above ground portions but does not appear to infect the roots. Fungus can remain alive in fallen leaves, which may serve as the source of infection for subsequent years as infected plants are exposed to moisture and temperature, severe blight and decline can occur. This fungus also produces sticky spores, which can be easily transported by human activities. The major means of transmission for boxwood blight is through moving plants and contact with contaminated clothing, tools or equipment according to the MDA. Sanitation is essential. Keep all tools clean and change clothing when working in the...

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