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Everything Old is New Again
July, 2014 - Issue #117
Santa Clarita's no spring chicken anymore - and neither are the majority of the homes within her boundaries. And while we're not up against the kind of repairs that require pre-approval from historical districts, SCV homeowners do struggle to keep their houses from feeling dated and dull. Here are the corrections to make - and how to make them - in order to keep your space from feeling less like a time capsule and more like a space you can be proud of.

Smart Design
Don't toss that old chair, reupholster it! Reupholstering is a great way to go green because you get a custom piece while saving your sofa from the landfill. Invite Tami Smight Interiors to suggest the perfect fabric and style.

Aesthetics and comfort are the two most important factors in how long you'll love your furniture, so invest in premium padding and beautiful - yet durable - fabric.

Think beyond new fabric and padding. Tami Smight Interiors has shortened sofas and changed arms from round to square, virtually changing the style of the piece all at the hands of a great upholsterer.

Call Tami Smight Interiors to get your project started today. 430-0127

Say "Bye" to the Builder's Closet
Remove old, not-terribly-useful wooden bars and add a beautiful, stylish organizer to fit your needs and up your hanging and storage space. Featured here, from Adjustable Closet and Cabinets, Inc.: three-quarter Cognac Melamine with one-quarter cedar backing (It smells great and keeps bugs out!), plus crown moulding, adjustable shelves and oval chrome wardrobe bars. 257-3750

Give an Old Room a New Purpose
Kids off to college? Guest bedroom (usually) without guests? Stop wishing that you could use that space for something more practical - a home office, a gym - and make it happen without having to shuttle future visitors to a hotel or, worse, the couch. New wall beds allow you to have sleeping comfort when you need it - and tons of space when you don't. Choose your storage solution from A Royal Suite's wide collection. 259-7000

Courtesy of Shutterstock
Courtesy of Shutterstock
Go with the Flow when it comes to Flooring
Builders in the 1980s were already getting the sense that homeowners wanted more-open floor plans; that's when the kitchen/family room duos started picking up speed. What stayed "stuck": delineating each room with different flooring. ("Thank goodness there's carpet in the living room and tile in the kitchen, or I wouldn't know which room I was in!," we can imagine no one saying in 1988.) Fast forward to today, when homeowners are clamoring for continuous flooring that gives the look of a larger, more expansive floor plan. The 2014 choice for continuous flooring? Wood. It's warm enough for your living spaces, strong enough and water resistant enough to be used in the kitchen, and stylish enough that you won't want to replace it when the next trend pops up.
Brent's Carpet One has a gorgeous variety from which to choose. 255-3337

The "Old Home, New Problems" Checklist
Structural Integrity
Older homes don't have the structural integrity of new homes, especially when it comes to earthquakes. The fix? Strip out rotten siding (And replace it with new concrete siding!) and retro fit it. While you're there, swap out old, ineffective insulation and put in the good stuff.

Fire & Health Hazards
If you're home is a few decades old, there's a good chance that your electrical system is made with aluminum wiring, which is much more prone to causing fire than today's preferred wiring: copper. It's easy to find out. Just open your panel, take off the cover to expose the second "layer" and check out the brakers. If they're silver colored, you've got aluminum - and a good reason to call a licensed contractor to ask about a switch. And don't forget to install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor (Check your smoke detectors while you're at it!).

Plumbing Problems
Older people complain about "problems with their pipes." Well, older houses often have the same issues. Galvanized iron pipes can introduce lead into your water supply and their corrosion can lead to lower water pressure and poor water quality. PVC isn't much better - over time, it turns brittle and breaks. Chemical leaching is also a big PVC concern. If you have pipe problems, it's time to switch to Pex or copper. They're longer lasting without the health detractors.

Way too many Walls
Compartmentalized living is a thing of the past. Create a grand family room with drop-down televisions or a pool table to boost your home entertainment quotient. Interior wall removals add space and a sense of an expanded floor plan without actually adjusting your home's footprint.

Randal G. Winter Construction, Inc. 799-8089

Opt for a Face Lift with Energy-saving Benefits
When people get a face lift, the focus is often on the eyes. Well, homes get "droopy lids," too - and you can tell by noting drafts, rattles and a look that says, "I'm old!" Invest in a little nip and tuck, or - in this case - dual-pane windows. You'll like what you see. Homeowners are always 100 percent satisfied with new dual-pane windows because the return on investment is enormous. Double-pane windows are installed with no stucco or drywall damage, making them very cost effective, too. Most installations are completed in one day and you'll see your energy bills decrease significantly not soon after. Exterior noise is decreased dramatically, rattling goes away immediately and, most importantly, your home's aesthetics are dramatically changed instantly, giving your property a new, refreshed appearance.
Through July 13, 2014, Milgard Windows is giving a $20 rebate on every Tuscany window and door you buy. Call Preferred Glass & Windows for a free estimate. 298-2165

Ditch the Dated Mirror
Besides reflecting your image, bathroom mirrors should also reflect your style. If yours is so old that you once admired your neon-decked self in it, it's time for an upgrade. You could remove the mirror entirely and invest in a new beveled version, but that probably will require not only a pricey piece of glass but also drywall repairs. If you'd rather try the fast and fab direction, give MirrorMate a go. Much less expensive than a custom new mirror, MirrorMate transforms your space with quick-to-install frames that attach directly to the mirror itself. You can choose from hundreds of designs and rest easy knowing that the pros at FASTFRAME will take care of the measurements and installation. 291-1325

Keep Sentimental Pieces, Lose Dreary Finishes
This antique furniture piece, which meant lots to its owner, was transformed by Cindi Rowley Designs Studio. Paint is a really great way to update the look of your home with furniture. This antique dresser was painted with Chalk Paint Decorative Paint by Annie Sloan in Old Ochre. Hand distressing went into play to detail and highlight the accents. The top was painted with Chalk Paint in Graphite. General Finishes glazing medium shades were combined into a custom color and glazed over the top to add richness to the piece and darken up the top. The top of the piece was finished with General Finishes High Performance Satin Topcoat to seal and give the piece great durability. The body of the dresser was finished with Soft Wax by Annie Sloan. In the end, the owner was so happy to have a completely new look while preserving the integrity of a piece that has been in their family for years. 505-7175

New Interior Design is the Right Recipe for the Kitchen
Some of the most rewarding Rebecca Rollins Interiors jobs start with "Yikes, this is going to be tough!" Many customers' homes are outdated to such a point that it's almost impossible to envision them as something spectacular. The old adage that "a picture is worth a thousand words" is appropriate for the "after" example shown here. It's almost unfathomable to think that this was once a totally-outdated kitchen, but time takes its toll... and is especially brutal on fashion and interior design. You got rid of the bell bottoms and pegged pants decades ago, so let Rebecca Rollins Interiors get rid of that outdated interior design in your home and make it perfectly yours! 367-4394

Old-school Showers Go Custom
This shower started as a typical builder-grade ceramic tile shower. Now the new shower features a seat bench behind the pony wall and inset shampoo niche with mosaic tile blend also included in the "picture framed" custom pattern on the back wall. The shower seat bench and pony wall are topped with Hawaiian Bordeaux granite, which matches the vanity countertops and ledge behind the free-standing tub. The decorative Listello border and inserts were made in Italy. A custom creation like this by Kathy's Kitchen & Bath Design takes about two weeks - and will "take off" decades from your home. 645-2104
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