Kitchen and Beyond: Stainless Steel & Top Kitchen Trends For 2013

By John Voket, Prudential Network Realty

indoor-kitchen-photoAs I begin the first few tentative steps into my own ‘kitchen and beyond’ remodeling project, we’ll be sharing with you a number of ideas and tips learned along the way. One of the early resources for ideas about kitchen remodeling was Stanton Homes ( in Apex, NC.

Many of the latest homes the company is designing locate kitchens directly off, or open to the home’s large great rooms. These Stanton kitchens now look less “kitcheny” and more often like an inviting place to gather and entertain, with strong decorative elements that include natural finishes like wood and stone complimented by glass, shiny metallics, special attention to lighting details, and even crystal.

Andrea Enns, Stanton Homes’ Interior Design expert also reaffirmed that it is quite “safe” to invest in stainless steel appliances and finishes. Enns says since stainless steel has been used in the best kitchens for over a century due to its universal appeal, its ability to provide a sterile surface, its shiny appearance, as well as its association with luxury.

On another front, the Consumer’s Voice for Kitchen and Bath Remodeling ( is promoting three new kitchen trends for 2013, including:

  • Soft Contemporary – A simpler approach of the modern kitchen, a soft contemporary design doesn’t have as many harsh lines, but more soft accents throughout the space. This look can be achieved through modern accents in a more traditional space such as contemporary bar stools or lighting.
  • New Traditional – Instead of the “transitional” kitchen name, new traditional is much like transitional but has more emphasis on classic touches. Instead of the large, overbearing feel of a traditional kitchen, the new traditional design feels much lighter.
  • Eclectic – This design trend is less of one style as it is a mixture of many. We see a lot of spaces putting together different finishes, patterns and textures to create a space that is truly one of a kind.

Do you have a Kitchen Remodeling project in your future? Would love to hear about it. Call me at 513-207-2899 and we can meet for coffee.

Best Regards,


Create a Mobile Container Garden

Add portable green space to your patio using galvanized metal trash cans and casters.

Contribution By Brian Patrick Flynn, Decor Demon


Create A Mobile Container Garden


















Materials Needed:

  • metal trash cans
  • empty 2-liter plastic bottles
  • casters
  • screws
  • nuts
  • drill
  • drill bit
  • potting soil
  • plants of various sizes and habits (tall, short and cascading)
  • pressure-treated lumber
  • tape measure
  • marker
  • gardening gloves

1. Select Trash Cans

Select a combination of tall, medium and low metal trash bins. Keep in mind that groupings work best in odd numbers.

2. Add Drainage Holes.

Use a drill and drill bit to add about 5 holes in the bottom of the trash can to allow for drainage.

Drill Drainage Holes

Drill Drainage Holes








3. Attach Casters.

Measure proper spacing for casters with tape measure, then add mark with marker. Drill holes, then attach casters with bolts and screws. For reinforcement of extra-large trash cans, attach a strip of pre-cut, pressure-treated lumber to bottom before attaching casters.

Attach Casters

Attach Casters








4. Add an array of plants.

Add a complementary selection of tall, short, and cascading plants.



6 Curb Appeal Ideas to Make You the Star of the Neighborhood

By: Dona DeZube, from

A few hours of exterior home and yard work can add thousands to your home’s value.

house-number-lamp-post-planterApril 21 and 22 marks Nationwide Open House weekend — the unofficial opening day of the spring real estate season. Since curb appeal strongly influences home values, it’s a great weekend to spruce up your own yard, especially if the neighbors are trying to sell their home.

How much value can neighborhood curb appeal add? Having nice landscaping adds $1,777 in home value when you’re selling your home, according to data collected by’s annual survey about how home improvements boost home value.


Curb appeal works in the other direction, too. If a for-sale house down the block is sporting some bad curb appeal, it could sell for less than it might otherwise. And that comparable sale drives down the value of your home.


We couldn’t find any data on how much the average buyer discounts his offer when the neighbors haven’t painted their house since 1979, but we do know nobody pays top dollar to buy next door to a house that looks like the “before” picture in a siding ad.


Here are 6 quick exterior projects you can do in a day or two to add to your home’s value and neighborhood appeal.


  • Landscape for curb appeal by re-sodding bare spots, trimming shrubs, and adding colorful spring flowers to your front yard.
  • Add some outdoor lighting for curb appeal to highlight your beautified yard after dark.
  • Pitch in with the neighbors to rent a power washer for a day to give your sidewalks and deck a little care and maintenance. Be gentle and careful if you decide to use the power washer to clean your home’s exterior; you can easily blast things off your house, like the paint, or get water into siding seams.
  • Clean your siding, whether it’s brick, wood, or vinyl, by using a long-handled, soft-bristled brush, soap (trisodium phosphate), and water.
  • Create a little cool curb appeal with house numbers — that is, dress up your address.
  • Freshen up the look of winter-ravished patio furniture with new pillows, a bright umbrella, or a colorful tablecloth to give the impression to anyone at the open house that the neighbors have fun parties.

Are your neighbors’ yards boosting or detracting from home values on your block 




Early Spring Cleanup


Early spring, just before active growth starts, is ideal for many pruning tasks. Remove dead, damaged and diseased wood from any tree or shrub & all suckers at the base. Garden cleanup can continue, too, as long as soil is not too soggy.



Preparing for the Photographer Checklist

Preparing your home well for the marketing photography is key to showing your home to its best advantage.  Use this checklist to insure your photographer catches your home in its best light:







Throughout the House:

  1. Remove the following:
    • area rugs if hardwood or tile
    • trash cans
    • all pet items (bowls, food, etc.)
    • plug-ins/air fresheners
    • throws/blankets that don’t match décor
  2. Remove humidifiers and standing fans.
  3. Make sure all light bulbs work, including the ones in ceiling fans & bathroom light fixtures.
  4. Sweep everywhere – even hardwood and tile!
  5. Pull back and straighten curtains.
  6. Replace personal photos with generic images.
  7. Tuck-in (hide) all cords for stereo, TV, lamps, etc.


  1. Remove the following:
    • trashcans
    • area rugs
    • anything non-decorative (soap dispensers, toothbrushes, razors, etc.)
    • non-decorative towels
    • if tile shower with glass door – remove all personal items inside shower
    • air fresheners & plug-ins
  2. Display fresh hand towels – fold nicely on towel racks and bars.
  3. Remove all items from behind the bathroom door.

All Bedrooms:

  1. Have all bed linens straightened and sheets and blankets tucked in.
  2. Remove:
    • Plug-ins
    • Trashcans
    • Personal items on dresser
    • Personal items on bedside tables
    • Remove throw/blanket(s), if it doesn’t match bedroom décor
  3. Put away any exercise equipment, bean bags and toys.


  1. Remove the following:
    • Dishtowels
    • cleaning supplies/soap dispensers (clear the sink area)
    • toaster
    • personal items or baskets holding personal items
    • magnets & papers on fridge
    • calendars
    • area rugs
    • any type paperwork
  2. Wipe down everything, esp. appliances.


  1. Clear paperwork and knick-knacks off desk
  2. Remove trashcans

Family Room:

  1. Remove the following:
    • Remotes
    • Tissue boxes
    • Throws/blankets that don’t match décor
  2. Clear off the tables, except for decorative items.
  3. Put away toys and any exercise equipment.


  1. Remove all lawn and garden tools, except for furniture and flowers or other décor.
  2. Clear off the entry, deck/patio and porch.
  3. Sweep sidewalk leading to entry.
  4. Water your flowers.
  5. Mow and trim the lawn
  6. Have all cars removed from driveway when photographer arrives.
  7. Take out the trash, or, if it’s not trash day, put cans in the garage until photo session has ended

Relax. You’ve earned it!

Call Dennis today at: 513-207-2899

Dennis Egan, bringing knowledge & expertise to your home buying experience since 1983.


Take the Guesswork Out of Finding A Realtor

question-markPurchasing a home is one of the largest purchases most people make in a lifetime.   Selecting the right real estate agent to help you buy or sell your home is essential to a smooth transaction. For the best possible experience, you should consider a professional’s background, personality and responsiveness. Take time to find an expert. Look for experience and good chemistry.

Qualities to look for in a Realtor:

  1. Someone you can trust to have your best interest at heart.
  2. Someone who really listens to what you want and need in a home purchase.
  3. Someone who knows the ins and outs of the home buying process. Rely on an expert!
  4. Someone who knows the communities you are considering. Speaking “Cincinnati” is a plus!
  5. Someone who can give you access to all the information you need to help you feel comfortable in your decision. Experience matters!

Get referrals.

A realtor’s business is built upon referrals.  Check out his or her references and testimonials.

Interview at least three agents.

Feel free to “shop” until you find the perfect person for the job!

Questions to ask when interviewing a prospective Realtor:

  1. Ask the real estate agent how he or she would establish a listing price, if selling your home. Request a Comparative Market Analysis, also called a CMA, which shows the market value of similar homes in the area that are for sale or have recently sold.
  2. Ask the agent how he or she would market your property. Understand that some agents may prefer to first tour your home and then put together a customized marketing plan to present at a later meeting. But if he or she can’t suggest a strategy when asked, you might consider interviewing other candidates.
  3. Ask the agent how often you should expect to hear from him or her. Know how and when you will communicate to avoid unrealistic expectations.
  4. Ask how long the agent has been licensed and how many buyers and sellers he or she has helped.
  5. Ask about designations. Interest in continuing education is a strong indicator of motivation and professionalism.
  6. Pay attention to the agent’s listening skills. Does he or she cut you off before you’ve finished a sentence? There’s nothing worse than looking at houses you have no interest in because the real estate agent has not listened carefully to your needs, or having your home on the market too long because it’s priced incorrectly and the wrong buyers are being targeted.
  7. Ask the agent what is his or her fee structure. Does he or she require a percentage of the sales price or work for a flat fee? Will the agent be paid another way?

Take the guesswork out of finding a Realtor.

Call Dennis Egan today at 513-207-2899.

Dennis Egan, bringing knowledge & expertise to your home buying experience since 1983.

Preparing for the Photographer Checklist

Preparing your home well for the marketing photography is key to showing your home to its best advantage. The following checklist will help make certain your house is picture perfect before your photographer arrives! Read more…

Dennis’ Top 10 Home Staging DOs & DON’Ts

Before the first prospective buyer steps through your home, be sure it’s ready to make a great impression!

Read more…

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