home improvement - spring 2012

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  • 5 quick repairs before you sellUpgrading your home with fabric

    Top home decor trends for 2012


    HOMEi m p r o v e m e n t g u i d e

    SPRING 2012

  • Kent Reporter | Auburn Reporter2 | May 25, 2012

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    & NEW HOMEBUYERS GUIDEThe 2012 Spring Home Improvement and New Homebuyers Guide is a special section published May 25, 2012 by the Kent Reporter and Auburn Reporter.

    Publisher: Polly Shepherd

    Advertising: Tamie Beitinger, Karen Henry, Marie Skoor

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    REPORTER .com

    K E N T

    REPORTER .com

    A U B U R N

    inside2 Top home decor trends for 20124 Always be prepared: Hiring a contractor5 Your credit score and buying a home6 Selling your home fast7 Fabric in the home7 Buying and financing your first home



    From warm woods and creative colors to memo-rable murals and tailored textures, interior de-signers and industry experts predict 2012 will offer

    a multitude of options for those interested in giving

    their homes a fresh look. Even better for todays

    cost-conscious consumers is that many of the trends

    are easy and inexpensive.

    The facts about furnitureAccording to Emmy Award-winning home design expert, author and TV/radio per-

    sonality Christopher Lowell, upholstered furniture coverings are being driven more by texture and less by prints. Yesterdays bulky, stationary pit sofa [ continued on next page ]

  • 2012 Home Improvement & New Homebuyers Guide May 25, 2012 | 3





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    FRESH LOOKS for 2012will be replaced by lower backs and seats along

    with smaller footprint pieces clustered into conversation groups for more fl exibility and ease of interaction. Stacy Garcia of Stacy Garcia Design Studio sees a movement of woods from very dark mahogany and espresso to lighter and mid-toned woods, with raw, natural walnut, cherry and white oak being especially prevalent.

    Make a statementFor homeowners interested in adding life and

    personality to a bedroom, living room, family room or offi ce, a decorative wall mural is a quick, cost-eff ective way to go, explains Todd Imholte, president of Murals Your Way, whose products have been featured on the TODAY show, Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, Divine Design, Man Caves and Mov-ing Up. With 25 mural categories including Disney, famous artwork, cities and cityscapes, nature, and sports, as well as the ability to create murals from favorite photos, the choices are virtually unlimited. Th e company also recently launched a repositionable wallpaper line.

    A splash of colorDeborah Wecselman of DWD Inc. suggests starting with neutral hues of taupe, beige,

    cream, grey, black and white, and then adding unexpected pops of color with bold acces-sories from bright yellow paintings to royal blue vases. Dennis echoes this vibrant color

    spectrum, with rich jewel tones like emerald, am-ethyst, sapphire, ruby, garnet and citrine along with deep teal, fuchsia, honeysuckle, coff ee and gold.

    Light up your lifeAccording to Bradburn

    design team manager Martin Lucki, lighting options will include linen shades with clean tailored lines and a play toward texture. Lamp bodies will be made of carved re-claimed woods deft ly fi nished in soft , neutral tones that showcase the natural wood grain. Beverly Hills designer Christopher Grubb of Arch-Interiors Design Group, who considers

    decorative lighting the piece of jewelry in a room, recommends architectural sconces for applying makeup or shaving to avoid the shadows cast by overhead lighting.

    Please tread on meKitchen designer/blogger Susan Serra sees a renewed interest in woven or knotted tex-

    tures on rugs with back to basics motifs that harken back to simpler times. Th ese rugs are easy and cheerful to live with, make a design statement, and serve as interesting foundationsfor rooms with upholstered or casework furnishings most oft en seen in neutral colors.

  • 4 | May 25, 2012 Kent Reporter | Auburn Reporter624241

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    Always be prepared: Hiring a contractor you can work with

    by Karl Weinberg

    Spring and summer seem to be the time that everyone

    wants to change something in their home. Here are

    some simple tips to help prevent a problem during and

    after the work is done.

    Start out with a sketch of the work you want to have completed to show to your prospective contractors. When looking for a contractor, ask your friends or neighbors that have had remodel work completed. If you do not have someone referred to you, check with the Better Business Bureau. Follow up at the Washington State Department of Licensing and the Department of Labor & Industries. A licensed, bonded, and insured company or individual should complete all work on your home that you do not do yourself. Th is is for your protection; those contractors that do not have the basics covered will probably not be there when you need them.

    Interview your contractors and ask for additional references. Good companies will have individuals from past work that will talk with you about the contractors work. In addition make sure that you and your contractor are on the same page and that you have

    A beautiful kitchen remodel starts with hiring the right contractor for the job and maintaining a strong working relationship. Starting off right can save you hours of headaches and substantial money. Photo: ThinkStock

    a good fi t. In other words do you feel comfortable with him or her? Ask questions about change orders as everyone who has embarked on this process knows things change and unforeseen issue will develop.

    Always ask for a timeline of when stages of work will be done and when the project will be fully completed. Some work, kitchen and bathrooms, may take time and that area will not be available during construction. Th is inconvenience should be as short as possible as eating out can be expensive and your friends will tire of you needing their bathroom. What work is the general contractor completing and what work will subcon-tractors do. You need to know this to make sure that all subcontractors meet the same requirements as the general contractor.

    Payment for the work and materials is another point that needs to have a clear under-standing. All work over $1000.00 requires a Notice to Lien according to Washington law. In a nutshell this means that a person or company supplying labor and/or materi-als has the right to place a lien for non-payment should that occur. Working with your contractor on this area is where a good fi t really comes home.

    Make sure you get it in writing, a written contract lays the foundation for who is responsible during and aft er the work is fi nished. If the work changes the structure, plumbing, or electrical permits are needed. Do not let this one slip by once again it is for your protection.

    Labor & Industrieshttp://www.lni.wa.gov/TradesLi-censing/Contractors/HireCon/

    Better Business Bureauhttp://www.bbb.org/western-washington/accredited-business-directory/category-matches-for/contractor/maple-valley-wa

  • 2012 Home Improvement & New Homebuyers Guide May 25, 2012 | 5

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