The juxtaposition of old and new

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I have always been fascinated by the juxtaposition of old and new. In the walled city of Trogir, the play of light and dark in the narrow streets forces me to look up. I noticed the introduction of modern conveniences – heating vents – those stone buildings are great at keeping cool in the summer, but the chill of winter needs some heat. But look – the vents are set in boxes, colored the same as the stone and supported by by stone, carved to match the balcony railing. Old, new and technology all side by side. Lovely.

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Getting Back In The Rhythm Of The Seasons

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Sometimes the best laid plans………. The change of seasons, the start of school – it seems like a good time to get back into posting on my blog. My plan is to post a picture of a remodel of a kitchen or bath, a fascinating building or relay some pertinent information on remodeling daily. But today, I found an outdoors picture that is awesome and majestic.

This picture was taken in September, 2005. My father wanted to see Denali, and so I jumped at the chance to travel with him and maybe get a peek of the peak. We were blessed with a crystal clear view on our day trip from Fairbanks to Anchorage. I learned later that pilots were circumnavigating the mountain two and three times as it was such a rare day in Alaska. I hope you enjoy this view as much as I did.

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Aging-In-Place for all of us

From the NAHB:
“More aging homeowners (age 55 and older) are deciding to Age-In-Place, according to a survey from the National Association of Home Builders’ Remodelers, 70% of remodelers report making universal design modifications, up from 60% in 2006. These homeowners don’t want to move or lose independence so they are increasingly asking for these improvements to make their existing home more comfortable.

According to the NAHB, below are the most frequently asked for modifications.
• Adding grab bars – 78%
• Installing higher toilets – 71%
• Upgrading to a curb-less shower – 60%
• Widening doorways – 57%
• Constructing ramps – 45%
• Enhancing lighting and task lighting – 45%

Remodeled bathThe survey also indicates that 84% of homeowners are aware of universal design solutions and 74% of remodelers note an increase in requests for these options. Universal design projects are often requested by relatives of aging adults in an effort to plan ahead for visits or an elderly relative who may be living with them in the future.”

We are finding that adding simple “aging-in-place” features to bathrooms can make it friendly today for visiting elderly family as well as being ready for our needs. Adding some features can be done as additions to finished bathrooms or incorporated easily into a remodeling project.

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Pick of the week: Aura Paint

This weeks pick of the week is Aura Paint by Benjamin Moore. It has it’s own color deck that is designed for interior houses and makes picking several colors fast and easy. Once on and set, it is practilly bullet proof–even in flat. And the best part is that it has very low VOCs–making it the perfect “green” paint.

Faux Paint Design by Green & Milligan Design
Faux Paint Design by Green & Milligan Design

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Greening your bathroom

HAPPY VALENTINES DAY FROM GREEN AND MILLIGAN DESIGN

Valentines Day is a good day to stop and think about loving our planet. Each of us has the capacity to be more environmentally concerned. But, you might ask: “Where are some guidelines for steps I can take to help the planet?” Today, I found this on The GreenHomeGuide‘s website:
Reduce your environmental impact and cut your utility bills with these tips for the water and energy guzzling bathroom.

* 5 Tips for Choosing a Low-Flow Toilet
* Making Your Bathroom Healthy, Efficient and Comfortable
* 8 Steps to a Water-Wise Bathroom

If each of us used only ONE of their tips, we could make a HUGE impact. Your home, city, state, country, planet will love you for it.

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How Hiring Small Businesses Helps the Economy and the Community

An Opinion Article by Daniel Milligan

Our government is struggling with the economy. It is trying to get people back to work and start the money flowing. The problem is that government can’t do it alone–the economy needs your help too. Wondering what you can do? Spend money on small businesses.

You hear it all the time on the news: Small business drives our economy. It’s true. We are a nation built on small business. The media says this in one breath, and in the next talks about Corporate America and Wall Street, and then we forget all about small businesses. But try not to forget–they provide more jobs and contribute to the flow of money more than anyone else.

I am going to give you an example from my own small business. I help run a small remodeling company that does design/build in Portland, Oregon. When you hire me, this is what you are doing:

First off, you are putting money in my pocket–thank you. Second, when I start putting a job together I go to other small businesses. So for example, lets say you want to remodel your kitchen. I am going to go out and hire someone to do your demo, frame your walls. install your sheetrock, cabinets, flooring, tile, sink, lights, and than paint your new kitchen. That is nine other small business that you just put to work because you hired me.

This means that those companies can support their employees by paying them with your money. Your money becomes their money and their money is than flowing again and your community’s economy is working.

This is true for other small companies as well. Think about the chain of people you effect when you go into your local coffee shop: the baristas, the building owner, the drivers for their deliveries, and their suppliers. And this is just the upfront business, there is more going on behind the scenes.

Small businesses hire other local small businesses to do business with. In my company, we hire graphic designers, print houses, search engine optimizers and a host of other small companies to help with our marketing, insurance, and accounting. In turn they are hiring local people and talent and again the economy is working.

So next time when you have a choice of going to Lowes, Home Depot, Starbucks, or even the Apple Store, look to see if there is a small business to support instead. Go to your local hardware store, or coffee shop or independent computer store. When you support them, they support others in the community and in turn it will help support you too.

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