photography by Ted Dayton
"White will always be a top choice for kitchen cabinets, but there's definitely a move toward color," says Fabian Varela of American Fine Finishing (775-2706). "Shades of light and dark blue; yellow, orange and red; emerald greens and turquoise; even wines and reds; all are increasingly popular," says Varela, who adds that grey and black are also modern choices for kitchen cabinets.
Custom Bath Enclosures
Preferred Glass & Windows (298-2165) is installing new and replacement units with designs that are both framed and frameless. With L-shaped stay-clean tracks, maintenance is easy, too. Tempered glass lets homeowners flex their design muscles; options range from clear or smoked to obscured and etched, painted or carved.
Annie Sloan Chalk Paint
Often described as a "girl's paint" because you can use it to transform a piece of furniture from start to finish in a day, this chalk paint can be applied to furniture, lamps, ironwork, kitchen cabinets, walls... you name it. On walls, you'll get a soft matte effect - or wax it for a polished plaster look. Cabinets can be made to look distressed; if you love the French look, this is the paint for you. Chalk paint was created in England by world-renwned decorative painter Annie Sloan. You can visit www.anniesloan.com to learn more about the product, which is being sold locally by Cindi Rowley Designs
(259-8792), a decorative painter with 20 years of experience.
Custom Work Spaces
You can buy a desk at Ikea, but will it multitask as much as you do? Ambience Furniture (also home to Macc Designs Boutique; 295-7755) creates custom-wood work spaces that serve you well, in style. The pieces can coordinate with your existing furniture, will fit your niche better than anything you'll ever find on a sales floor and can be finished to your exacting specifications. ("Space for the laptop here, mail here, magazines here... with a mahogany finish!")
Here's the Deal
10 Percent Off Sofas & Sectionals
If you've never experienced the joy that is the Suburban Chateau (775-2980) price tag (Seriously... how does Kathy do it?!), here's your excuse. She's knocking an additional 10 percent off the price of her sofa and sectional collection; www.suburbanchateau.com
$300 Credit for Decorative Hardware
Accessorize for free when you select new cabinetry from Woodward Kitchen and Bath (251-3865). Select from top makers, including Amerock, Top Knobs, Siro, Jeffery Alexander and more. The offer is valid through December 31, 2011. You'll also find other seasonal specials on the company's website;
10 Percent Off Moulding & More
Take 10 percent off Hahn Co. Interior Moulding's (810-3832) already low prices on wainscot, crown, case and baseboards. Offer expires October 15, 2011; www.gotmoulding.net
Reduce your Mortgage Payments
When you refinance your home, you're basically paying off your existing mortgage by taking out a new mortgage loan. By doing this, you may be able to benefit in a variety of ways: secure a lower interest rate; reduce your monthly payment; get cash out at closing; build equity faster by choosing a loan with a shorter term; change from an adjustable rate to a predictable fixed rate; fund home improvements and more. Turn to page 29 to learn more about Union Bank's competitive rates and programs; Canyon Country 424-9686 Stevenson Ranch 254-0015 Valencia 799-8531 Newhall 799-8529
Get a $1,200 Rebate, Plus $500 Tax Credit, on Heating & Cooling System
Since your air conditioning and heating unit uses as much as half of your energy costs, it only makes sense to see if it needs replacing. In most cases, the energy savings can help make up the cost of a new unit, especially if yours is over 10 years old. When your air conditioner runs efficiently, you save on energy usage and cost. Carrier's Infinity System is one of the most energy-efficient heating and cooling systems you can buy. For a limited time get up to a $1,200 rebate, and a tax credit of $500, when you purchase qualifying systems. For more information contact GW Richardson Heating and Air Conditioning, Inc. (295-0115) Santa Clarita's local factory authorized dealer of Carrier heating and cooling products; www.gwrichardsonac.com
If you're struggling to make your mortgage payments, are "upside down" in value or just have questions about the short-sale process, calling the certified short-sale agents at Regal Realty of California (295-8715) may be one of the best decisions you've made all year. They offer free consultations - and invaluable experience; www.regalrealtyca.com
The Hard Truth:
You Need a Soft Water Exchange Tank Service in the SCV
Santa Clarita has banned automatic water softeners that utilize potassium chloride pellets or rock salt because the discharge may harm agriculture crops planted downstream from the Santa Clara River. However, the ban doesn't mean that you're forever destined to suffer through spotty dishes and "hard water hair." Guaranteed Water Systems (259-4343) offers the best value in soft-water exchange services in the SCV. And, with the coupon on page 29, you'll get free installation (a $99 value), too. Guaranteed Water Systems is the go-to source for soft-water exchange; they'll answer all of your questions (We know, because they answered ours!)
Tip of the Month
Q: Our new puppy is adorable! But potty training the little guy is easier said than done. What's the best way to clean up after he's tinkled on the carpet?
photography by Andrea Gold
First, blot up as much of the spot as possible. Press firmly with clean white cloth or paper towels. Work from outside of the spot inward so that you don't spread the mess. Then, to neutralize odor, mix a quarter-cup of white vinegar with a quarter-cup of water. Alternately dab a towel that has been dampened with this mixture in the solution, then blot with a dry towel. After he's potty trained, call Truly Dry Carpet Cleaning; 476-7775