EP73: Gilda’s Club, Building Your Inspiration, Finding Your Vision

Today’s a little different. We sit down with Jeff Larabel to talk about an event he’s organizing: The Second Annual Ruth Larabel Yahtzee Tournament! It takes place on September 8 and all the proceeds will be donated to the Children’s Grief Counseling Program at Gilda’s Club, a Grand Rapids organization that provides free emotional healthcare to children, adults, families, and friends on any kind of cancer journey or those grieving the death of someone in their life due to any cause. RepcoLite is happy to provide one of the prizes for the auction. More details about the event are below!

We also interview Faye Fredericks, a listener who wrote to us after a segment several weeks ago about Frank Lloyd Wright. Faye has a story about what it takes to get what you want when you tackle a building project, a remodel, or even a repaint! It is a great interview and Faye is a ton of fun! We’ve also got a little bonus story from Faye that didn’t fit into the show. Don’t miss out on that! It’s below in the notes for segments 2 and 3.

Finally, we end the show where we figured we should: giving you some ideas as to how you can create or discover your own vision. Faye makes a point that lots of us don’t know what we really want. How do we find out? We’ve got some tips. And we’ve got a “first-of-its-kind” event coming up this fall that will help you! More info in the notes for segment 4.

Listen here:

SHOW NOTES

SEGMENT 1: GILDA’S CLUB

  • The Yahtzee tournament will be held at GILDA’S Clubhouse 1806 Bridge St. Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
  • It is open to the public there is seating for 120 participants. Raffle tickets will be sold and there will be a raffle after every other game, we will play six games.
  • Top four high scores will win prizes for their placement. Afterwards there will be a drawing for the auction prizes.
  • Snacks and refreshments will be provided for a goodwill offering.

SEGMENT 2 and 3: BUILDING YOUR INSPIRATION

We are so happy Faye and Jim Fredericks took time to share their story with us. Unfortunately, they shared a number of other stories that couldn’t make it into the show. Here are a couple of our favorites!
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SEGMENT 4: FINDING YOUR VISION

Finding your vision can sometimes be easier said that done. But we want to help! Coming up on September 7, at the Sunnybrook Country Club in Grandville, we are hosting an amazing color and design event! Benjamin Moore will unveil the new color of the year, we’ll talk about what it takes to create your vision, and you’ll have the opportunity to talk with experts in the flooring, furniture, design, and paint industry. On top of that, we’ll have some pretty amazing food and wine! CLICK HERE TO GET YOUR TICKETS!

Design and Decor Lessons from Frank Lloyd Wright’s Meyer May House

Trying to discuss and convey the influence, importance, and the style of an architect like Frank Lloyd Wright is the work of biographers, not bloggers. There’s no possible way to do any justice at all to the man in a few short paragraphs. But after a trip to the Meyer May House in Grand Rapids, Michigan, I find myself wanting to give it a try.

The Meyer May House, located at 450 Madison Ave SE in Grand Rapids, was designed by Frank Lloyd Wright for Meyer May and his family in 1908 and construction was completed the following year.

In 1985, a major restoration was begun and by 1987 the home had been meticulously restored to Wright’s original vision. Today, it’s open to the public for free tours and is truly a great experience. Knowledgeable guides lead you through the home, pointing out every detail that Wright incorporated into his design. When the tour ends, you’re left with a better understanding of the architect’s brilliance.

If you’re not familiar, Frank Lloyd Wright’s architectural style was all about horizontal lines, simplicity, and a desire to integrate the home with the environment. His designs are marked by simplicity in design and decoration (yes, he was involved in everything that went into the home). The structures were noted for pronounced horizontal lines and flat or low hip roofs. This style came to be known as Prairie Style Architecture and the Meyer May House is a perfect example.

Recently we toured it and were struck by the foresight and thought and the beautiful design work that went into the project. And while there are literally hundreds of “lessons” or ideas to take from the home, here are a few concepts we came away with that can be applied in any of our homes!

LESSON 1: It’s OK to Buck the Trends!

So often, we want to be “trending”. We want to be right in line with what other people are doing. It’s more comfortable there sometimes. But, Wright completely ignored trends and worries about “what was popular” when he designed his homes. In fact, almost everything about the Meyer May House bucks the trends. It’s completely unique in the neighborhood. The houses around it (many of which were already standing when construction began in 1908) are all ornate, “boxy” homes. Traditional homes. The kind of homes everyone built.

And then there’s the Meyer May House with a style and flair all its own. It’s long horizontal lines, low, flat roofs and modern feel must have seemed strange in that neighborhood all those years ago. Not to mention the way it’s set on a lower grade than the street so that it actually seems to rise from the earth organically! Look for the front door all you want, but you’ll never see it from the street. It’s tucked away along the side of the home. There’s a beautiful veranda that can be seen from the street, but oddly enough, there’s no approach! A line of hedges seals that front porch off from uninvited guests.

The exterior is definitely unique in that neighborhood, but even more interesting (in our opinion) is the interior. Wright designed this home specifically for the Meyer May family. The ceilings are low (Meyer May was 5′ 8.5″ tall) and the furniture (designed by Wright as well) is made for people of that height. The windows are set lower than you might think. In fact, everything about the house is designed specifically for the Meyer May family. We even noticed on our tour that taller people felt much less comfortable there than those of us closer to Meyer May’s “near perfect” height! And that’s perfectly fine! Taller people don’t feel at home there because, in Wright’s estimation, they shouldn’t: it was not their home. This home belonged to Meyer May and his family. And as such, it was built for them specifically–not for anyone else. The main priority was comfort for the family who lived there.

And that’s a great decorating point! So often we choose colors based on trends. We wonder what’s popular, what’s “in”, what’s cool. We worry what other people will say about colors we select. We’ve all been there. We’ve all picked a color for a room and shared it with someone in the family (or a decorating-savvy friend) only to watch that friend wrinkle her nose and make a face of complete distaste. “You can’t use that color! You’ll be stuck in the 70’s forever if you do!” In the end, we often decorate our home to match tastes other than our own!

Taking advice and second guessing our original thoughts isn’t a bad plan. Just remember that the home you’re decorating is your home! Just as Frank Lloyd Wright didn’t think twice about designing a room with low ceilings, neither should you worry too much about choosing colors you love just because they’re not current or popular. If you love them, that’s what matters. It’s not about what designers say or decorators recommend. It’s not about what’s currently trending or popular. It’s not about Benjamin Moore’s Color of the Year. All of that is interesting and helpful, but in the end, it’s all about what colors you like!

So, design and decorate your home first and foremost with you and your family in mind. That’s the first point. We’ll get to the next one tomorrow!

EP43 – January 27, 2018: Selling Your Home In Winter, Extension Cords, Marine Varnish Question, The Perfect Light!

Selling your home in the winter seems counter intuitive. Everyone waits until Spring, right? That’s the perfect time to list, right? Well, if you want to sell the house quickly and for the highest dollar possible, Winter might actually be your best bet! Roger Allan from Keller Williams Lakeshore Realty is with us and he makes a compelling case for listing now!

We’re also joined by Renee Huff from The Lighting Corner and she’s going to talk about the pivotal role lighting plays in our homes and in our decorating!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 043:

The weather is cold and the ground is white...at least in some areas. Now is the perfect time to sell your house, right? We sat down with realtor Roger Allan from Keller Williams Lakeshore Realty in Holland to discuss this. Most people think winter is the worst time to sell a home. But Roger says now is the best time!
Do you have a new power tool? Do you want to ruin it very quickly? Use the wrong extension cord and you are on your way to success! Most people aren't aware that they need different extension cords for different tools. The more power the tool needs and the further from the outlet it is, the bigger your extension cord should be. We walk you through the basics of choosing the best extension cord for every job.  
Need to reach 25' or less14 Gauge Extension CordWill deliver up to 15 amps
Need to reach up to 50'12 Gauge Extension CordWill deliver up to 15 amps
Need to reach up to 100'10 Gauge Extension CordWill deliver up to 15 amps
Because we got such good questions at the Remodeling and New Homes Show a couple weeks ago, we decided to answer a few more. The first question has to do with choosing color. Many people struggle with this because there are so many options and they don't know where to start. We'll give you some tips to put you on the right path to color bliss. The other questions is about using a marine varnish on window sills. We'll tell you if it's a good or bad idea and why.
In the paint industry, we know how important light is to the final color outcome. A light bulb can actually make OR break a color scheme. Renee Huff from The Lighting Corner in Grandville stopped by to talk all things light bulbs. She discussed the differences in bulbs (CFL, LED, etc.), how to choose a bulb according to where it falls on the Kelvin heat scale, and so much more! This is a segment that is absolutely worth the time!

EP35 – December 2, 2017: Kitchen Trends that Last, Head Lice 101, The Perfect Workshop, Dealing with Ice Dams!

Kitchen renovations are expensive. But if they’re done right, they’re worth it. Just make sure you do it right! Today we talk about some kitchen trends that always work! We also dig into the creepy, crawly topic of head lice. Sure, we didn’t want to talk about the, but if you’ve got school-age children, there’s a good chance you’ll be dealing with the stress of head lice in a classroom. When that happens, it’s good to know what you’re up against and how to protect your family! That and more on this episode!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 035:

A kitchen update or renovation is expensive. However, if we do it right, the benefits will outweigh the costs. And if we do it right, we could even recoup nearly 70% of our investment if we'd sell. But...we've got to do it right! And with all the choices and decisions to make, it's easy to make a mistake along the way.

One of the most common mistakes people make in a kitchen is to get drawn into trends and fads--items and colors and styles that are new, unique, interesting...but which have limited staying power over the years!

On this segment, we talk about some tried and true kitchen trends that will never go out of style! Choose these items, these colors, these styles, and you won't be looking back 2 years from now wondering what you were thinking!

Well, this is a topic guaranteed to have you scratching your head. As unappealing as they are, head lice are worth talking about.

On this segment, we bust some common "Lice Myths" and then move on to provide you with a handful of preventative measures--little things you can do to keep your kids lice-free this school year!

Years ago Dan painted the dirty concrete floor of an old basement room. What started as a simple job turned into a full room repaint and resulted in a workroom anyone could be proud of! And, best of all, the new room also brought about a surprising effect: Dan spent a lot more time there, working on projects, learning how to do new things, getting more done. All because the room was enjoyable.

No matter how much work you do with tools, every home needs a good workshop. And the good news is that a great workshop is EASY to create. You just need the right paint and the right stain on the right surfaces!

So, in this segment, we talk about the products you'll need to make the perfect workshop in your own home!

Benjamin Moore's Scuff-X is Magic!

Every winter, ice dams become a problem for many homeowners. In this episode, we talk about why they form and then give you a couple ways to deal with them: solve them, or fix them as they arise. Both approaches have their place depending upon your situation.

Now, there were a lot of things we said we'd link to in these notes. Here it all is:

Insulation

We mentioned a chart to determine the R-Value of the insulation in your attic. We've got it below along with a couple of articles that are worth checking out.
  • Fiberglass (blown): 2.2 – 2.9
  • Fiberglass (batts): 2.9 – 3.8
  • Cellulose (blown): 3.1 – 3.8
  • Rock Wool (loose): 2.2 – 3.3
  • Foam (sprayed): 3.6 – 8.2
Just measure the depth of your insulation, determine the material and the multiplier, and do the math! And here's an article highlighting how much insulation you should have.

Avalanche Roof Rakes

I've used a lot of different roof rakes as a homeowner and this is EASILY my favorite. You push the "rake" up the roof and it rolls on wheels, cutting the snow. Huge pieces then fall off your roof, sliding down the big plastic chute!

Sure, it takes some getting used to and yes, it's still work...but it's significantly better than any other rake I've ever used. And it's easier on the roof at that!

And below, in all it's glory, is the video Betsy referenced in the show.

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EP28 – October 14, 2017: Whole House Surge Protection, Paint Finishes, Color of the Year, and Fall Jobs

 

There is so much stuff on today’s episode! Fun stories about what it’s like to be short, as well as discussions about great fall projects that will help you save money (and keep mice OUT wall winter long!) On top of that, we discuss Benjamin Moore’s big announcement regarding the Color of the Year for 2018. And most importantly, we talk about HOW to use that color in your own decorating!

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 028:

In this segment, we're in the studio with Bill Haveman from Haveman Electric talking about whole house surge protection and backup generators! (And with winter closing in, I've got to be honest, the generator part of the conversation really got my wheels turning!

You can reach Bill and Haveman Electric via their website, or by calling them at 616-396-8213.

We see it all the time at RepcoLite: customers are confused about paint finishes. What do the different names mean? Which is shinier a semi-gloss or a satin sheen? And most importantly, where is each finish best used?

We cover all of that and more in this segment!

Benjamin Moore just announced their pick for Color of the Year 2018 and it's a red! Caliente (AF-290) to be exact. In this segment, we briefly discuss how Benjamin Moore came to pick this color, but we spend the bulk of our time talking about how you can make it work in your own space!

Also, in the course of the segment, Betsy mentioned our "Caliente-Inspired' Pinterest page. You can check that link out by clicking the button below!

"Caliente-Inspired" Decorating!

Fall is moving quickly! And before we know it . . . we're going to be looking at fields of snow outside our windows! Before we get to that point, there are a number of projects we should be tackling right now to make sure that our home is ready for the upcoming cold season! We discuss some of the main ones and throw out a few curve balls you might not have thought of yet!

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