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January, 2016 |

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Make a great escape with a specialty room for you


If you find yourself frazzled and need a little threading therapy, creating a crafting space can be the perfect solution. Courtesy photo

TEMECULA – It has been said that distance makes the heart grow fonder. When the demands of life make it tough to get away, you can actually find your escape closer to home – right in your home, even – by carving out a corner to create a retreat just for you.

A room dedicated to you and all of your hobbies or personal interests can serve as a welcome escape from the real world if only for a little while. These tips make it simple to get started planning your big escape with ideas centered on some of the most common specialty rooms, as well as a solution for fitting the ideas into a smaller home.

If you find yourself frazzled and need a little threading therapy, creating a crafting space can be the perfect solution. Courtesy photo
If you find yourself frazzled and need a little threading therapy, creating a crafting space can be the perfect solution. Courtesy photo

Create a space for crafts. If you find your frazzled senses defraying with a little threading therapy, look to create a space that celebrates this pastime. With the rise in popularity of websites such as Pinterest, which feature a plethora of DIY ideas, you’ll have ample opportunity to distract your mind and busy your hands.

A room designed to let you explore your crafty side can help prevent the kitchen or dining room table from becoming a creative center or wrapping station around the holidays, and allows those areas to remain dedicated to family, food and friendship. It doesn’t have to be just for crafts, though. It can also be a place to settle down with a good book and just relax.

Keep your space clutter-free and ready to enjoy with a craft room such as those designed by Wellborn Cabinet, Inc., which can feature spacious storage and expansive countertops, providing ample space to create projects that help decorate both the interior and exterior of the home, or simply to unwind and relieve stress.

With specific spots for tools and lawn care products – or even that car or motorcycle collection – the garage can meet the same needs as a more traditional man cave. Courtesy photo
With specific spots for tools and lawn care products – or even that car or motorcycle collection – the garage can meet the same needs as a more traditional man cave. Courtesy photo

Don’t dismiss cars, bars and sports. If a room free of frou-frou decor where you can just unwind is more your ticket, a man cave may be just the answer. Man caves come in all shapes and sizes, from rowdy dens for sports fanatics to workshops decked out with the tools of your trade.

Even if decorating isn’t your thing, look for ways to make the place your own, whether you display trophies from your hunting excursions or decor emblazoned with the logos of your favorite sports teams. This is the room that allows you to relish in the hobbies you enjoy most.

If there isn’t a spare room or basement available, the garage can serve as a good alternative. With specific spots for tools and lawn care products – or even that car or motorcycle collection – the garage can meet the same needs as a more traditional man cave.

When two rooms become one. Whether space limitations prohibit separate quarters, or you simply prefer to share your hobby time with a partner, you can create a specialty room that accommodates both your interests with a little creativity and planning. Working as a team, you can find the right accessories and storage to design a getaway for two. For example, a creative room from Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. offers more than 600 door styles, wood types and combinations. The result is a chance to combine two rooms, such as the man cave and craft room, for a sanctuary you can build and enjoy together.

With specific spots for tools and lawn care products – or even that car or motorcycle collection – the garage can meet the same needs as a more traditional man cave. Courtesy photo
With specific spots for tools and lawn care products – or even that car or motorcycle collection – the garage can meet the same needs as a more traditional man cave. Courtesy photo

Find more inspiration for personal spaces and tools to maximize your space and storage at www.wellborn.com.

Accessorize Your Personal Space

If creating a space all your own feels like a daunting project, these clever tips from the experts at Wellborn Cabinet, Inc. will help get you closer to a room you can get ready to enjoy.

Charging Solutions: Install a charging station in a drawer for phones or other handheld devices. Power and docking stations can easily hide devices and ports yet keep them readily accessible.

Accessory Racks and Holders: Hooks for tools or coats keep them off of other furniture, including countertops where they can pile up and detract from your workspace. Cubby inserts and baskets help keep your things organized on shelves.

Sliding Shelves: Sliding shelves, drawers and baskets let you organize tools or crafting accessories while providing easy access to the items you’ve tucked away.

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Chicago Street Decorating Center – Quad

This information was submitted by a vendor who will be at the 39th annual Quad Cities Builders Remodelers Association Home Show Feb. 5-7, 2016, at the QCCA Expo Center, 2621 4th Ave., Rock Island. 

— Chicago Street Decorating Center, 1000 S. Chicago St., Geneseo.

309-944-6854 

chicagostreetdecoratingcenter.com

What products and services do you offer?

Kevin Paxton is store owner/manager of Chicago Street Decorating Center, a retail store located at 1000 S. Chicago St., Geneseo, that specializes in interior products for the home.

How did your business get started? 

Chicago Street Decorating Center originated from a small paint store and grew into a full-service design center. We have a full range of floor coverings such as hardwood, ceramic tile, luxury vinyl tile and luxury sheet vinyl, and a wide array of carpet.

What are some of the latest trends in your industry?

One of our most popular requests right now in both new homes and home-remodeling projects is to incorporate a locker system or drop zone. Families seem to be busier, and this allows them to have an area to organize life!

We also are finding more interest in a ceramic tile that is more rectangular in design and that appears to be more of a natural-looking stone. We incorporate these looks in custom tile showers, adding glass accents throughout.

A huge trend in the kitchen area is to use a simple subway tile as a backsplash with a darker grout for contrast.

In addition to our selection of floor coverings, we also offer cabinetry and countertops for any space in the home, from entertainment centers to kitchens to baths and more! Cream-glazed cabinets are on the rise as more customers are finding online inspirations that suggest kitchens should be bright, white and airy.

Chicago Street Decorating Center also is able to provide our customers with a wide variety of custom window treatments, from the full line of Hunter Douglas shades and blinds to custom-made draperies and top treatments. Simplistic window coverings have taken over, doing away with the heavier window treatment valances and draperies.

 After working with our team of design professionals in selecting the flooring, cabinetry and window treatments for your home building or remodeling project, we then are able to provide the finishing touches of selecting paint and wall coverings for any room, as well as accessories and lighting.

Our store is unique in that we have all of these products to offer clients under one roof, which is a great advantage during the selection process as we are bringing all of the elements of the design together. It is a great benefit to our customers to have access to everything at one time, and to have a design professional to help guide them through their project.

What will you be showcasing at the Home Show?

This will be our fourth year back at the Home Show, and we are looking forward to putting together a booth that showcases all we have to offer here at the store. We try to display glimpses of all of our products, as well as using large photos of past projects we have done to help inspire future customers. It is great to gain more exposure in the Quad-Cities since there still are a lot of people who are not aware of all of the products and services we offer.

What about your business makes you most proud?

Chicago Street Decorating Center is a wonderful, full-service design center offering a great selection of products at a variety of price points. I am so proud to work at Chicago Street Decorating with co-workers who enjoy what they do, and I truly believe it shows with every customer we work with and every project we do. Every day offers an opportunity to be creative and work with someone new to create a space that they have been dreaming about. Plain and simple, I love what I do and the people I work with!

— From Mariah Munson, designer at Chicago Street Decorating Center.

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With deer season over, go back to rabbits

Deer hunting has been the big topic for months now, and with muzzleloader season not long over and some deer hunting left for archers, that’s not likely to change. But many hunters have already bagged their deer, 167,000 or so of them, and don’t plan to hunt anymore. What can you do for the next weeks? Remember rabbits?

When the season opened on Nov. 6, everyone who could stomp a brushpile and carry a shotgun was out there looking for cottontails, and most found enough to make some tasty skillets filled with crisp fried rabbit. But few people indeed are looking for them now, and they’re still out there waiting, if you’ll remember that their habits have changed.

Those first of the season bunnies were still enjoying reasonably warm weather and following usual rabbit behavior. Which means they leave their daytime layup spots each night, hop around in the dark feeding on everything from dandelion greens to field clover, then before dawn find a place to sleep for the day. In decent weather, that sleeping spot could be anything from rolled over grass to a tiny brier thicket or just a field of goldenrod and Queen Anne’s lace. Easy to find them and easy to bag some.

But the weather has gone bad now with occasional snows and some bitter cold weather. They’re a lot like people when it comes to temperatures in the teens or less. You wouldn’t sleep out in it and neither will they, which means most will head down woodchuck holes, and join the chuck well below the chill. Or seek out a brush pile that’s nice and thick, and has insulating snow cover to keep it warmer. Or burrow under old farm machinery, or whatever. You get the idea.

But stacking up with a couple of friends in a chuck hole is no bed of roses, and they don’t like their other choices much either, so when temperatures moderate, they look for something more open with breathing space. That’s when you should be hunting. Pick a night with temperatures above freezing and fairly calm weather, and come dawn they’ll be above ground where a person with or without dogs can find them.

They’ll be in heavy cover now most times, those bull-through type brier thickets, cattail thickets along farm ponds, and probably still under farm machinery and brush piles. They won’t want to move, so you’ll need to do serious jumping on the old machinery and brush. I’ve had more than one time when I jumped on a pile of stacked up tree limbs for several minutes before a rabbits nerve broke and out he went.

If you get a really warm night, say one with temperatures well into the 50’s, you might go back to the weed fields again. With luck, some will be there. What about rainy days? I don’t hunt them much anymore, but gunners with limited time might decide to go out in a light drizzle or after a night of rain. Remember again that rabbits are like people, they don’t like to get wet. In such conditions, I’ve found them nestled in hollow logs lying on the ground, under that farm machinery again, high on a hillside burrowed under thick leaves, even beneath the overhang along some little creek.

Here’s a final thought for this late season hunting — walk slow.  They’re cold and stiff if temperatures are fairly low, and not inclined to jump 30 feet away as they often did during the first of the season. Walk fast and impatient hunters will pass far more than they jump. Walk very slowly, even stopping now and again, and they’ll think they’ve been seen. Out they go.

Dick Martin is a retired biology teacher who has been writing outdoor columns for 30 years. You can reach him at richmart@neo.rr.com.

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Right at Home: Bold, black kitchens serve up style

The kitchen is often a room to experiment — with decor, as well as food and drink. Over the years we’ve seen yellow, turquoise, avocado green, greige and white take their turn as favored hues.

But right now, black is back.

“It makes perfect sense, style-wise,” says New York City designer Elaine Griffin. “We began seeing the rise of black appliances as sleek and stylish non-white alternatives to pricier stainless options at the new millennium, and black as the ‘new neutral’ wall color has been gaining popularity over the past decade.”

You can go ultramodern or traditional when bringing black into the kitchen.

High-end, Euro-style lacquered cabinetry from companies like Boffi, Poliform and Bulthap is sleek and sexy. Marble countertops and geometric fixtures can create a glamorous, jewel-box kitchen, great for entertaining.

Put the hue on Shaker-style cabinets, add rustic French tile, smooth quartz counters and hand-rubbed brass fittings, and you’ve got a sophisticated space. Or add a walnut or maple slab island and saddle leather stools for an industrial look.

There are a few things to remember if you’re going to get a black kitchen right.

Contrast is key. Going overboard with black will get you a kitchen that resembles a bad mall hair salon, says Griffin. Use black on the cabinets and a paler hue on counters and floors, or vice versa.

Maria Killam, a color expert and designer in Vancouver, British Columbia, agrees.

“Make sure your floors and countertops are very light to balance and contrast the super-dark cabinets. Working with black is a balancing act and requires some skill,” she advises.

“Simple white tile with black grout is a great way to get some light in the space and give a nod to classic kitchens.”

Killam suggests including wood elements like a butcher-block island countertop. “Wood lower cabinets would work with black countertops and upper shelving, for example. I would keep the wood finishes as natural as possible … and relatively pale so the overall effect isn’t too heavy,” she says.

Ikea offers the Sektion kitchen cabinets in black, and there is a range of coordinating black kitchen fittings there too, including drawer pulls, storage items and trash cans. (www.ikea.com )

You can repaint existing cabinetry if you’re budget-conscious. Consider Benjamin Moore’s Midsummer Night, Sherwin-Williams’ Black Fox, Valspar’s Raven Black or Behr’s Black Suede. Many shades of black pick up other hues in an interesting way — midnight blues, chocolates and sooty grays, for example. Choose the right finish: Save the glossy paint for trim or you’ll be swabbing fingerprints forever.

“Like a little black dress, accessories make a statement in a black kitchen, so choose your hardware and fixtures with care,” advises Griffin. “Polished or antiqued brass and black is a white-hot finish option right now, for both contemporary and traditional looks.”

Add a cool stool; Houzz has a big selection. Recent offerings include stools with chic, slim hairpin legs, as well as comfy-looking upholstered ones, and several stools in snazzy hues like red, orange and blue. (www.houzz.com )

Embossed or painted concrete, sculpted limestone, pressed tin, or wallpaper would be striking complements to black cabinetry and fittings.

Add an Art Deco touch to a black kitchen with Giorbello’s Water Jet glass tiles. Daltile’s Bamboo Forest faux wood tile would be a durable, style-savvy backsplash or floor. Italian ceramic tile maker Fap has a matte-black subway tile in its new Boston collection. (www.wayfair.com ; www.italytile.com )

The right lighting is important in a black kitchen. Killam likes skylights and large windows to take advantage of natural light.

To avoid what Griffin calls “black hole syndrome,” install lights at multiple height levels: ceiling, pendant, under-cabinet and even countertop lamps.

Lamps Plus has forged-iron and rubbed-bronze chandeliers and pendants. Hudson Valley Lighting’s Lydney polished black nickel pendant would work well in any style of kitchen. (www.lampsplus.com; www.hudsonvalleylighting.com )

Those who like the idea of black but are tentative might consider introducing one or two black elements. Chicago design studio KitchenLab has used black accents like islands, lighting, kitchen ladders and window treatments. (www.kitchenlabdesign.com )

Artwork and textiles incorporating black with brights, whites, or subtle neutrals like sage, putty and cream add drama.

Instead of paint, consider black appliances. GE has a slate, French-door refrigerator with a smudge-resistant finish. Ikea offers a black cooktop. Upscale brands like AGA and Le Cornue have black enameled stoves. Jenn-Air’s Obsidian fridge has a black interior, ostensibly making even the humblest leftovers look magazine-worthy.

Wayfair stocks a broad range of black faucets by Moen, Delta and Kohler, in matte or satin finishes. (www.wayfair.com )

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Morningstar Gives "BBB-" Credit Rating to Dollar General Corp. (DG)

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) has received a “BBB-” credit rating from analysts at Morningstar. The firm’s “BBB-” rating indicates that the company is a moderate default risk. They also gave their stock a three star rating.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) opened at 75.06 on Friday. The company’s 50-day moving average price is $71.60 and its 200-day moving average price is $71.61. The stock has a market capitalization of $21.84 billion and a PE ratio of 19.61. Dollar General Corp. has a one year low of $59.75 and a one year high of $81.42.

Dollar General Corp. (NYSE:DG) last posted its earnings results on Thursday, December 3rd. The company reported $0.88 EPS for the quarter, topping the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $0.87 by $0.01. The firm had revenue of $5.07 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $5.09 billion. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 7.3% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm posted $0.79 earnings per share. Equities research analysts predict that Dollar General Corp. will post $3.92 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which was paid on Wednesday, January 6th. Shareholders of record on Wednesday, December 23rd were given a dividend of $0.22 per share. The ex-dividend date of this dividend was Monday, December 21st. This represents a $0.88 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 1.17%.

DG has been the subject of several other reports. Sterne Agee CRT reaffirmed a “buy” rating on shares of Dollar General Corp. in a research note on Saturday, October 17th. BBT Corp. raised Dollar General Corp. from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $78.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Friday, November 20th. Wolfe Research downgraded Dollar General Corp. from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 10th. Deutsche Bank reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $80.00 price objective (down from $84.00) on shares of Dollar General Corp. in a research note on Wednesday, October 7th. Finally, Jefferies Group reduced their price objective on Dollar General Corp. from $89.00 to $83.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research note on Friday, December 4th. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, fourteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. Dollar General Corp. presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $82.22.

Other hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the company. MUFG Americas purchased a new stake in Dollar General Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $11,000. Beacon Financial Group purchased a new stake in Dollar General Corp. during the fourth quarter worth approximately $261,000. TrimTabs Asset Management purchased a new stake in Dollar General Corp. during the third quarter worth approximately $2,053,000. ING Groep boosted its position in Dollar General Corp. by 11.0% in the third quarter. ING Groep now owns 243,559 shares of the company’s stock worth $17,641,000 after buying an additional 24,155 shares during the period. Finally, Janus Capital Management boosted its position in Dollar General Corp. by 978.5% in the third quarter. Janus Capital Management now owns 1,078,052 shares of the company’s stock worth $78,094,000 after buying an additional 978,093 shares during the period.

Dollar General Corporation is the discount retailer in the United States. The Company offers a selection of merchandise, including consumables, seasonal, home products and apparel. Consumables category includes paper and cleaning products; packaged food; perishables; snacks; health and beauty; pet and tobacco products. Seasonal products include decorations, toys, batteries, small electronics, greeting cards, stationery, prepaid phones and accessories, gardening supplies, hardware, automotive and home office supplies. Home products includes kitchen supplies, cookware, small appliances, light bulbs, storage containers, frames, candles, craft supplies and kitchen, bed and bath soft goods. Apparel includes casual everyday apparel for infants, toddlers, girls, boys, women and men, as well as socks, underwear, disposable diapers, shoes and accessories. Its merchandise includes national brands and private brands selections. It operates approximately 11,879 stores located in over 43 states.

12 Month Chart for NYSE:DG

To view more credit ratings from Morningstar, visit www.jdoqocy.comclick-7674909-10651170.

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Didriks Announces Eighth Annual February Fundraiser to Benefit Food For Free

Housewares retailer Didriks to donate 5% of all February sales to Cambridge, MA charity Food For Free. The fundraiser kicks off with in-store party at Didriks on February 4th.

Cambridge MA (PRWEB) January 31, 2016

Didriks, a local retailer of outdoor furniture and home furnishings announced that they will donate five percent of in-store and online sales during the month of February to Cambridge, MA nonprofit Food For Free. This will be Didriks’ eighth annual fundraiser to benefit Food For Free, an organization that rescues and distributes food throughout the emergency food system in the Cambridge community. In the previous 7 years of this campaign, Didriks has donated nearly $35,000 to Food For Free’s food rescue programs.

Didriks and Food For Free invite their customers and the public to an in-store kickoff party for the campaign from 5-8pm on Thursday February 4, 2016. Catering for the event will be provided by Season to Taste Catering.

Food for Free Executive Director, Sasha Purpura, said, “We are excited to partner with Didriks for the eighth year in a row to host this event and month-long campaign. We appreciate the continued support, and really value this relationship, as it helps to bring awareness to our cause and the hunger issues in our local community.”

Jonathan Henke, owner of Didriks, said, “Our team at Didriks is proud to host this event and to continue our support of Food For Free. They are doing great work, and strong partnerships between local business and local outreach help make Cambridge a stronger community.”

About Food For Free

Food For Free rescues fresh food that might otherwise go to waste, and distributes it within the local emergency food system. Through this process, they are able to deliver food to those that need it most. Food For Free programs address not only short-term hunger, but obesity, diet-related disease, and other long-term health effects of food insecurity and poor nutrition. Their use of rescued food also cuts down on food waste. Visit the Food For Free website for more information. http://www.foodforfree.org/

About Didriks

Didriks helps customers create inspired home environments with their collection of home furnishings, accents, and outdoor furniture. Didriks provides attentive, personalized service and offers free shipping throughout the United States. They carry the highest quality teak and stainless steel outdoor furniture, designed and manufactured by Barlow Tyrie. Didriks also carries Belgian linen from Libeco Home, woven vinyl mats by Chilewich, dinnerware, fine pottery and cookware from Simon Pearce, iittala, Match Pewter, Mauviel, Alessi and other fine brands.

For more information, call 617-354-5700, stop into the stores at 190 Concord Ave on Observatory Hill in Cambridge, MA or 2284 Washington St. in Newton Lower falls or visit their web site. http://www.didriks.com/

For the original version on PRWeb visit: http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/01/prweb13191132.htm

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Serve up style with a bold, black kitchen

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The kitchen’s often a room for experimentation — with decor, as well as food and drink. Over the years yellow, turquoise, avocado green, “greige” and white have taken their turn as favored hues.

But right now, black is back.

“It makes perfect sense, style-wise,” says New York City designer Elaine Griffin. “We began seeing the rise of black appliances as sleek and stylish nonwhite alternatives to pricier stainless options at the new millennium, and black as the ‘new neutral’ wall color has been gaining popularity over the past decade.”

You can go ultramodern or traditional when bringing black into the kitchen.

High-end, Euro-style lacquered cabinetry is sleek and sexy. Marble countertops and geometric fixtures can create a glamorous kitchen, great for entertaining.

Put the hue on Shaker-style cabinets, add rustic French tile, smooth quartz counters and hand-rubbed brass fittings, and you’ve got a sophisticated space. Or add a walnut or maple slab island and saddle leather stools for an industrial look.

A few things to remember if you’re going to get a black kitchen right:

Going overboard with black will get you a kitchen that resembles a bad mall hair salon, says Griffin. Use black on the cabinets and a paler hue on counters and floors, or vice versa.

Maria Killam, a color expert and designer in Vancouver, British Columbia, agrees. “Make sure your floors and countertops are very light to balance and contrast the super-dark cabinets. Working with black is a balancing act and requires some skill,” she says.

“Simple white tile with black grout is a great way to get some light in the space and give a nod to classic kitchens.”

Killam suggests including wood elements like a butcher-block island countertop. “Wood lower cabinets would work with black countertops and upper shelving, for example. I would keep the wood finishes as natural as possible … and relatively pale so the overall effect isn’t too heavy,” she says.

You can repaint existing cabinetry if you’re budget-conscious. Many shades of black pick up other hues in an interesting way — midnight blues, chocolates and sooty grays, for example. Choose the right finish: Save the glossy paint for trim or you’ll be swabbing fingerprints forever.

“Like a little black dress, accessories make a statement in a black kitchen, so choose your hardware and fixtures with care,” says Griffin. “Polished or antiqued brass and black is a white-hot finish option right now, for both contemporary and traditional looks.”

The right lighting is important in a black kitchen. Killam likes skylights and large windows to take advantage of natural light.

To avoid what Griffin calls “black hole syndrome,” install lights at multiple height levels: ceiling, pendant, under-cabinet and even countertop.

Those who like the idea of black but are tentative might consider introducing one or two black elements like islands, lighting, kitchen ladders and window treatments.

Artwork and textiles incorporating black with brights, whites or subtle neutrals like sage, putty and cream add drama.

Instead of paint, consider black appliances. GE’s got a slate French-door refrigerator with a smudge-resistant finish. Ikea offers a black cooktop. AGA and Le Cornue have black enameled stoves. Jenn-Air’s Obsidian fridge has a black interior, ostensibly making even the humblest leftovers look magazine-worthy. You can also find a broad range of black faucets in matte or satin finishes.

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