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August 16, 2017 |

Archive for » August 16th, 2017«

Open House to Celebrate Grand Opening of Freedom Design …

KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio at Freedom Design Kitchen  Bath in North Royalton, Ohio

A homeowner and designer collaborate on product selection and design in the KraftMaid Vantage(R) Design Studio in Freedom Design Kitchen Bath’s new showroom in North Royalton, Ohio.

Homeowners love the hands-on experience of the Design Studio. It’s essentially a playground for pulling colors and styles together. The homeowner can quickly make design decisions and keep their renovation project moving forward.

What ambitious homeowner, enthusiastically setting out on a major remodeling project, won’t at some point feel overwhelmed by today’s vast and growing array of fittings and furnishings for the kitchen and bath?

There are so many styles, colors, materials, finishes, and accessories to choose from.

This feeling of “options overload” especially arises when today’s Internet-savvy consumers begin to pre-shop for home improvement products online.

The situation calls for a kitchen and bath showroom that greatly simplifies and builds confidence in the process of selecting products and deciding on the design. But where to find it?

Good news! The Cleveland area’s homeowners now have exactly this kind of “easier, faster, better” kitchen and bath design center. The region’s remodeling professionals and interior decorators are excited to welcome the groundbreaking new showroom’s arrival too.

This Saturday’s grand opening and open house at Freedom Design Kitchen Bath’s newest showroom, in North Royalton, will highlight how this long-preferred resource for the area’s home remodelers has significantly stepped up the product selection and design process with the KraftMaid Vantage® Design Studio.

Freedom Design’s aim with the new showroom, their second in the Cleveland area, is to help homeowners achieve their dream kitchen and bath designs more easily, quickly, and confidently than ever before. The Design Studio is key to making this happen. Within its innovative display and work spaces, the homeowner can see, touch, and compare products, and collaborate with the designer to visualize colors and door styles for their new kitchen or bath.

The Design Studio is centrally located in the showroom to create an ideal environment for engaging homeowners and designers in their collaborative selection and design process.

See and Learn the Way to a Better Design

The grand opening and open house will happen this Saturday, August 19, from 9 am to 4 pm in Freedom Design’s new North Royalton showroom at 6285 Royalton Rd.

Staffers from all of Freedom Design locations will participate in the event. The company has another showroom in Stow, also featuring the KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio, and offices in Hudson. Overall, Freedom Design employs 14 people.

Also on hand for the grand opening and open house will be Sarah Reep, KraftMaid(R) Cabinetry’s Director of Designer Relations and Education. Reep, a Master Certified Kitchen and Bath Designer, will answer attendees’ questions about design trends, how to personalize the kitchen or bath design, and working with the designer for best results. She is an internationally recognized thought leader and consultant in kitchen and bath design and showroom strategy. Reep regularly writes for Kitchen Bath Design News and has served as an expert advisor to ABC-TV’s Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.

Anyone with interest in home remodeling and enthusiasm for design is welcome to attend the new showroom’s grand opening and open house. Light refreshments will be served.

New Strategies for a Shifting Market

Owner and president Bill Staycheff founded Freedom Design in 2002 after nearly a quarter-century of success in sales for window, door, and cabinet manufacturers. “Our new showroom and Design Studio,” he says, “are the natural outgrowths of our evolving business strategy.”

Staycheff explains: “We started out primarily serving home builders and contractors. That’s where we got about 80 percent of our initial business. But we began to see our market shift. Builders were increasingly turning to commodity suppliers. Then came the Great Recession and a near halt to new home construction. Our future clearly pointed to homeowners and remodeling specialists. They’re the people who most value our product lines and personalized services.”

Indeed, the by-category breakout of Freedom Design’s clientele has almost completely inverted over the years. “Today,” says Staycheff, “about 90 percent of our sales come from homeowners and remodeling specialists. They look to us for cabinets, countertops, tiles, fixtures, flooring, and appliances – and, of course, for their custom kitchen and bath designs.”

Along the way, Freedom Design has significantly reformulated their location and merchandising strategies. Per Staycheff, “When we used to focus on builders and contractors, we could afford to be in an industrial park or another out-of-the-way place. People could find us when they needed us. But that doesn’t work with our retail homeowners today.”

Staycheff continues: “Homeowners need to see us and get drawn in. That’s why we moved to our North Royalton and Stow showrooms. They’re in highly trafficked areas, with clear visibility. Homeowners who are looking for us can easily find us, and other homeowners who are passing by may become interested and stop in.”

Dedicated Space for Design Collaboration

Freedom Design’s showrooms, with their KraftMaid Vantage Design Studios, tell a distinctly Northern Ohio story of business success. KraftMaid cabinets are manufactured in Middlefield, Ohio, only an hour’s drive from the Stow and North Royalton stores. “Homeowners love to support the local community,” Staycheff says. “They also like the family feeling here.” Staycheff’s son Mark helps him lead the business, and many employees have been with the company from the start.

From KraftMaid Cabinetry’s perspective, Freedom Design has been practically the perfect test case for the Design Studio concept, which the cabinetry manufacturer recently began rolling out after several years in research and development. KraftMaid offers the Design Studio in a range of sizes and configurations to fit the varying spaces of their KraftMaid Vantage dealers’ showrooms.

The Design Studio puts samples of a strategically selected set of KraftMaid products – the hottest new styles along with the best sellers – at the fingertips of the customer and designer as they collaborate. The display can feature samples of up to 152 colors, 78 door styles, and 93 hardware accessories, depending on which Design Studio configuration is installed.

All product samples are easily removed for comparing and combining in color and design palettes. This lets the homeowner see, touch, and feel – for real – what they have likely already explored online.

At the Design Studio’s center is a collaborative design table with comfortable chairs. From the lowered ceiling panels above, a pendant lamp controls brightness for viewing styles and colors accurately. The ceiling panels also work to muffle distracting sounds from outside the studio. Special flooring in the signature KraftMaid Cabinetry aubergine color helps set the space apart from other showroom activity.

A Kitchen or Bath to Fall in Love With

“Homeowners love the hands-on experience of the Design Studio,” says Karen Brawn, Director of Marketing for KraftMaid Cabinetry. “It’s essentially a playground for pulling colors and styles together. The homeowner can quickly make design decisions and keep their renovation project moving forward.”

The KraftMaid Vantage Design Studio helps Freedom Design deliver on their promise to provide the Cleveland area’s best one-stop shopping resource for the kitchen and bath. The display easily installs as a turnkey solution, and can be easily updated as KraftMaid Cabinetry’s product line changes.

Bill Staycheff says, “We’ve watched as homeowners walk in, engrossed in their smart phones or conversations. They look up at the Design Studio, they like what they see, and they begin engaging with the display and our designers. It’s the right shopping experience. The Design Studio starts the homeowner on their way to a kitchen or bath design they can fall in love with.”

About Freedom Design Kitchen Bath

More information about Freedom Design Kitchen Bath can be obtained by contacting the company’s headquarters at 5115 Hudson Dr., Hudson, Ohio 44236. Phone: 330-342-0584. Email: info(at) Online: To stay up to date on the latest news from Freedom Design, visit the company’s Facebook and Houzz pages.

About KraftMaid

KraftMaid Cabinetry is a leading manufacturer in the semi-custom cabinetry industry, designing and building kitchens for the way that people actually use them. Since 1969, KraftMaid Cabinetry has carefully observed how people live, and has responded with innovative product design that allows any homeowner to create a kitchen that serves as the true “living room” in their home, regardless of their budget or how they live their lives. KraftMaid brand cabinetry is backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

KraftMaid and KraftMaid Vantage are brands and registered trademarks of Masco Cabinetry, LLC. Merillat(R) cabinetry is another brand and registered trademark of Masco Cabinetry.

Learn more from Masco Cabinetry at 4600 Arrowhead Dr., Ann Arbor, Mich. 48105. Phone: (517) 263-0771. Email: info(at) Online:,,

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Homegoods to open Fayetteville store Sept. 7

Home decor retailer HomeGoods said today it plans to open its Fayetteville store in the Freedom Town Center on Sept. 7.

While other stores planning to locate on the 49-acre shopping complex have announced they are hiring, HomeGoods is the first to announce an opening date.

The 21,058-square-foot store will be the sixth in the Raleigh market, company officials said.

“Our shopping experience is unlike any other retailer; our amazing values, designer brands and unique assortment make HomeGoods an exciting destination for shoppers,” John Ricciuti, president of HomeGoods, said in a news release. “Our stores help make houses feel like home. … We are thrilled to provide Fayetteville shoppers with this exhilarating shopping experience.”

HomeGoods will be hiring store management and associates from the area. The Fayetteville store is expected to fill approximately 65 full- and part-time positions, officials said.

HomeGoods features furniture, rugs, lighting, decorative accessories, gourmet kitchen and dining, bedding, bath, kid’s decor and toys, outdoor living, pet accessories, storage, workspace and more.

Its hours are Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. It will have special hours for its grand opening, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.

HomeGoods will serve as an anchor, along with Field Stream, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Hobby Lobby, for Freedom Town Center, which is taking shape at Cliffdale and Skibo roads.

Austin Wilson, a broker and developer with South Carolina-based RealtyLink LLC, the site’s developer, said last month that the following stores will be opening about the same time: Field Stream, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hobby Lobby, World Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Burkes Outlet, Petco Animal Supplies, buybuyBaby, Carter’s and DSW, formerly designer shoe warehouse. HomeGoods also was among that list.

Some of the other businesses and restaurants will include the discount store Five Below, 5 Guys Burgers and Fries, Jason’s Deli, Dale Earnhardt’s Whiskey River, the healthy alternative CoreLife Eatery and BlackFinn Ameripub.

Sprouts Farmers Market, Whiskey River, Five Below and CoreLife Eatery will be new to the area.

Field Stream and Dick’s Sporting Goods have previously said they are hiring for their new stores.

The land, formerly Leisure Living Estates, was cleared and construction started at the end of September. Building got underway in late January.


Deputy editor Lorry Williams can be reached at or 486-3524.


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Secret ‘Diner en Blanc’ pop-up dinner set for September in Pittsburgh – Tribune

Updated 23 minutes ago

In just a few weeks, groups of hungry folks, dressed in crisp white clothing, will gather at several locations throughout the Pittsburgh area as they await directions to the location of a secret dinner.

It is the third Diner en Blanc (“Dinner in White”), organized by Krystal Vangura of Murrysville, Trisha Daniel of Delmont and Lorraine DiNatale of Pittsburgh’s Mt. Washington neighborhood.

It will be Sept. 8, somewhere in Pittsburgh, and diners must bring their own table, dinnerware and linens.

“It is, in true spirit, a pop-up picnic,” Vangura said. “Just a little bit fancier.”

The dinner is part of Diner en Blanc events throughout the world. It began in Paris in 1988 when Francois Pasquier invited some friends to meet up for a secret dinner in the Bois de Boulogne. Guests were told to wear white so they could recognize each other. The event was so much fun, they decided to do it again the next year.

Over 27 years, the dinner has evolved into an event that has been held in 50 cities on six continents and attracts 100,000 guests. In 2014, the Paris dinner attracted 15,000.

The Pittsburgh gathering is significantly smaller.

“The first year we had 996 people,” Vangura said. “Last year it was in the 800s. This year we’re hoping to creep up over 1,000, but we’re trying not to creep up too far.”

It might seem like the logistics of getting 1,000-plus people — and all of their dining accoutrements — to dinner would be the biggest challenge.

Not so, according to Vangura.

“The toughest thing is keeping the location a secret,” she said.

Invitations for previous attendees will go out Aug. 22, and after that, members of the public can sign up on a waiting list for potential newcomers. That sign-up period will run through Aug. 31.

For more, see .

Patrick Varine is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 724-850-2862, or via Twitter @MurrysvilleStar.

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Hughett is Nebraska senior PGA champ





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Woman Struck by Lightning in Her Kitchen

A Georgia woman was just cooking in her kitchen when the whole world went blank—she was struck by a lightning, she said.

Tesia Swearingen, of Gainesville, Georgia, decided to open a door to the outside in her kitchen to listen to a thunderstorm on Monday, Aug. 14.

“We always have the doors open. We love listening to the thunderstorms,” she told WSB-TV.

But suddenly everything turned white.

“I felt this jolt of electricity come out the tips of my fingers and there was a loud pop and spark,” she said. “I was very dizzy and lightheaded and, yeah, I was electrocuted.”

Fortunately, Swearingen regained her faculties. She drove to the North Georgia Medical Center and underwent a series of medical tests.

“They ran an EKG, came back normal. The did blood work to check if the electricity effected my muscles or caused my blood to clot, it all came back fine. Then they took a few x-rays and they came back normal as well. I had a clean bill of health. They gave me some ibuprofen for the little bit of pain in my chest then sent me home,” she said.

She had no physical marks either.

“I don’t have any burns or anything like that where the lightning came out,” she said. “There’s not a lot of people who can make it out completely unharmed and be able to tell their story because that was a lot of electricity.”

Myths and Facts of Lightening Strikes

Swearingen’s case dispels multiple myths about lightning strikes.

“Most people believe they are immune from lightning strikes when inside a building. However, a number of injuries occur to persons who are in their homes or places of employment,” wrote Mary Ann Cooper, emergency physician and a leading expert on lightning injuries and safety, in a 2007 paper.

“Side flashes strike people through plumbing fixtures, telephones, and other appliances attached to the outside of the house by metal conductors,” she explained.

Cellphones, however, do not attract lightnings.

Another myth is that a lightning strike is necessarily fatal or even reduces a person to a pile of ash.

“In reality, lightning often flashes over the outside of a victim, sometimes blowing off the clothes but leaving few external signs of injury and few, if any, burns,” Cooper wrote.

Perhaps as few as 5 percent-10 percent of victims are killed by the strike, she wrote, usually by cardiac arrest. Many, however, suffer injuries like seizures, deafness, blindness, amnesia, and sometimes burns and brain damage.

Sometimes, the effects come later in the form of memory problems, loss of attention, chronic pains, and seizures.

For safety, remember the 30-30 rule: If you hear thunder after seeing a flash before you can count to 30, the storm is closer than about 6 miles and close enough for a lightning strike to reach you.

The only safe places from a lightning strike are buildings with grounded wiring and plumbing that, if hit, leads the current to the ground. Another option is a car with a solid metal roof (not a convertible). One may also somewhat decrease the risk by seeking a valley, as mountaintops experience more frequent strikes. Aside from that, there are no safe places outside, Cooper said.

Golf shelters, bus shelters, and garages might increase the risk of an injury from a lightning strike. A wooded area is just as safe or unsafe as an open one. Removing metal accessories or having rubber soles makes no difference.

Among all places in the country, Florida has the highest concentration of cloud-to-ground lightning strikes—over 28 per square mile a year.

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Heads up, Moscow mule lovers: That copper mug could be poisoning you

The Moscow mule — that Instagram-ready cocktail that has surged in popularity in recent years — has only a few ingredients: vodka, ginger beer, lime and ice. But perhaps the most crucial component of the drink is the copper mug in which it’s almost always served, beverage aficionados say.

Now, public health officials are warning that those mugs could be poisoning you.

An advisory bulletin from Iowa’s Alcoholic Beverages Division notes that, in keeping with Food and Drug Administration guidelines, copper should not come into contact with acidic foods with a pH below 6. That includes vinegar, fruit juice, wine and, yes, a traditional Moscow mule, whose pH is “well below 6.0.” the bulletin says.

“When copper and copper alloy surfaces contact acidic foods, copper may be leached into the food,” the division notes.

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Aerin Lauder Has the Chicest Ceramics for Your End-of-Summer Soirée

In Eastern Long Island, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a more glamorous hostess than Aerin Lauder, the granddaughter of cosmetics mogul Estée Lauder, and founder of her own namesake lifestyle brand. At her Hamptons dinner parties, the table is always dressed with perfectly-arranged flowers, crisp table linens, and, of course, hand-painted dinnerware collected over time. This month, the designer can add another set to her chic lineup, courtesy of New York–based ceramics brand The Setting.

View on Instagram

View on Instagram

After discovering several of the minimalistic designs handcrafted by the small studio on Instagram, Lauder enlisted co-founders Amanda Shine and Billur Kazaz to create a collection of customizable plates and bowls that recall the spirit of summer days on Long Island’s East End. With Lauder choosing the subdued colorways and organic shapes, The Setting designed the pieces completely by hand in Brooklyn, keeping the energy of the Hamptons in mind.

“I decided to choose a blue and white palette for these pieces,” says Lauder. “It brings back memories of my childhood in Long Island with my grandmother, Estée. She always used these colors when entertaining in the Hamptons.”

Upholding her grandmother’s legacy as a domestic doyenne, Lauder purposes the pieces in a way that allows partygoers to feel comfortable in her home. “I love using them as ice cream bowls in the summertime, but you can also put candy or homemade potato chips in them all year around the house,” she says. “It makes guests immediately feel at home.”

That type of effortless ease is what Hamptons living is all about, and The Setting’s collection, naturally-shaped and hand-dipped in blue to create ocean-like bubbles, are the perfect medium. “I think functional simplicity paired with customization is exactly what people love when designing a home at the beach,” says Shine, who grew up in Southampton. “It’s meant to be beautiful but not necessarily precious. Our ceramics are handmade and hearty—a nod to the Hamptons’ dedication to art and nature; two elements so carefully nurtured within the community.”

The Setting’s three-piece customizable collection is available at Aerin Southampton, with prices ranging from $95 to $145. Allow three to six weeks to receive the customized piece, inscribed with a special saying or icon.

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