Renovations February 2016 Newsletter
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Your Dream Home is Right Under Your Feet!

Judy's Tip of
the Month...Green Flooring

While Tom tells you about the ideas for new green products. I am letting you know about green flooring.

While carpets and rugs can be responsibly purchased and installed, the most eco-friendly flooring option is often avoiding them altogether. Here are some of the best alternatives:

Hardwood Floors:

For home-owners sold on traditional hardwood floors, the Forest Stewardship Council can make sure that your lumber comes from sustainably managed forests. Dozens of types of wood are produced in FSC-certified forests in which the trees are regenerated, biodiversity is conserved, and air and water quality are preserved. FSC-certified wood flooring comes in hundreds of different shades and styles. 

While softwoods are rarely considered ideal flooring material, cork is an excellent choice for many reasons. The natural elasticity of cork makes these floors especially comfortable; the wood provides thermal and acoustic insulation; and the durable floors recover well from marks left by furniture or high heels. The floors are also hypo-allergenic, so they won’t attract dust; are fire-resistant; and can even serve as a natural insect repellant. Better yet, the floors are produced using the bark of the cork oak tree, which grows back every three years. 

Bamboo, a popular green flooring option, is 13 percent harder than maple and 27 percent harder than northern red oak, so it lasts longer and can withstand more use than conventional hardwood floors. The floors are naturally resistant to water, mildew, and insects, and they are sustainable since bamboo grows quickly and abundantly. 

Tile and Linoleum:
You can add life to any room with a colorful floor made of recycled glass tiles, which are ideal for modern bathrooms and kitchens. Natural linoleum floors are also hypo-allergenic and biodegradable.

It’s easy and cost-competitive to choose eco-friendly floors when your old floors need upgrading.



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Kitchen & Bath Show Ideas.....

I just finished reading about the Kitchen and Bath Industry show that was held last month. These shows are an attempt to identify trends in kitchens and baths. I was particularly interested in the kitchen trends.

There are three big “Take Aways” from this:Green products
  • Color and TV
  • Multi-function, 2 cooks and family cooking
Green Products
The trend is for natural products for cabinets, counters and flooring. Real stone, real wood.
Counters of stone and wood, cabinets free from formaldehyde, using solid wood and sometimes plywood in lieu of particle board and other synthetic products.
Flooring is also trending toward wood products or natural sustainable products such as bamboo flooring.
Other “green” trends are smart appliances. These include dishwashers with various settings for washing and, most importantly, drying. They can sense the degree of dampness that needs to be addressed and alter the energy consumption to meet the need and not the timer.
Check out BOSCH’s ECO OPTION (

Televisions are our connection to the world today and with the DVD industry thriving and our increased quest for learning, the TV has become an integral part of kitchen planning. Screens are now part of appliances. Check out SIEMENS vent hood with 17” LCD screen, just type “Siemens TV hood” in your search engine and you will see how cool this is. Now, the catch is that it only works with electric or induction ranges.

Another is the LG Electronics refrigerator with integral screen ( type in “LG equipped HDTV” in your search engine.
While some may laugh at this, others will find the access to the screen very helpful. DVD or online cooking classes no longer have to cause you to haul your TV around so you can watch it while you prepare new dishes.
Color is making a comeback. No longer are mainstream cabinets a honey oak color or off white with or without a glaze. Cabinets are becoming more colorful. Accent colors on doors and drawer fronts with complimentary cabinet colors are making a comeback. Now these colors can range from bold to subdued pastels. As with any color selection, the level of natural lighting and artificial lighting in your kitchen will help you decide how to proceed.
Another noteworthy addition is color appliances.  Check out “Blue Star ranges” ( They have a customizing program where you can design and build your own range.

A nice trend is couples and families cooking together with greater frequency. With the TV now handy in the kitchen, it will be easier to follow your favorite cooking show. With multiple preparers and cooks, it follows that counter space becomes a premium. Some folks are being smart and using the entertaining area (also known as a breakfast bar) for dual purpose prep area. Ranges are wider to accommodate two cooks and of course there are two sinks.  A recent trend in sinks is “farmer” sinks as the main sink. A large open and deep trough made from …you guessed it…natural materials. Stone, ceramic, metals such as stainless steel and copper are popular.
Storage of fresh foods have taken a turn for the better with refrigerators now having multiple “zones” internally, along with drawers that can keep meals warm or produce fresh as the salad waits for the main dish to cook.
So much stuff… boggles the mind.
The real long term trend that never seems to change is that the kitchen is the heart of the home.


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