Grilling 101

Grilling 101

Grilling 101 One of the best things about summer is outdoor grilling.  Gathering of friends, food and drinks make for an unforgettable time.  And just imagine all of those healthy dishes you can produce with very little cleanup!  But what if you’ve never cooked on a grill before or had very little luck.  Then what?  Take a look at the following tips on grilling and start planning your summertime gathering. Charcoal vs. Gas One of the age old questions is whether using a charcoal grill or a gas grill is the best option.  Let’s face it; each type of grill has its perks!  While grilling with gas is quick and convenient, nothing produces the smokiness of charcoal.  So how do you choose?  Let’s break it down.         Gas Grills – These grills run on propane and have an ignition setting to help regulate the amount of heat produced.  This makes cooking on a gas grill very convenient as well as much cleaner.         Charcoal Grill – Charcoal is used to produce the heat that your food will cook on and therefore harder to get started and the heat cannot be regulated.  The taste of the food that is produced will be smokier and richer in flavor.  But, carbon monoxide and soot make charcoal grilling messier. Basic Grilling Techniques Some people limit themselves on what they cook on a grill.  But the thing is you can cook almost anything on one.  From grilling meat, to veggies, to fruit and even French toast, you can cook nearly anything on a grill!  Think of it as your outdoor oven.  So here are some basic...
The Glamour of Gray

The Glamour of Gray

Glamorous Gray   When we use to think of the color gray, we would envision dreary days, strict looking clothing or someone having a gloomy outlook on life.  Those days are in the past.  Gray has shaken off its bad rap and has replaced beige as the new “it” neutral.  Now when we think about gray, we visualize sophistication, style and glamour.  So how can you add this new “it” color to your home?  Keep reading!   In the Kitchen Although it’s a bit unconventional, gray is becoming a prominent color in kitchens across the nation.  Gray can give the appearance of being severe and aloof when you compare it to its warmer neutral counterparts beige and tan.  There is a trick to using gray, though.  It should be paired with warm materials (such as wood) and hot, vibrant shades of color (like red, orange and yellow).  Plus, if you live in an area that is overcast more days than not, you should stay away from prominently displaying gray on your kitchen walls.  But, should you live in a hot climate, by all means, flagrantly add gray in your kitchen!  Listed below are eight shades of gray that work fantastically in kitchens: Carriage House by Mythic Paint Horizon Gray by Benjamin Moore Rhino by Behr Online by Sherwin-Williams Martini Shaker by Kelly-Moore Trout by Pratt and Lambert Seal Gray by Glidden Lava Gray by Pittsburgh Paint   Sofa Shopping When shopping for a new sofa, you can quickly become overwhelmed with all of the choices on the market.  From fabric, design, size, shape and so much more…  My head...
Refresh Your Bathroom

Refresh Your Bathroom

Refresh Your Bathroom   The bathroom seems to be the last place that we remodel.  Why is that?  Just because the room seems to be tucked away from everyone does not mean that it should not get some much needed attention!  So how can you turn your bathroom from drab to fab without totally breaking the bank?  Read on!   Paint Paint can be an inexpensive way to update any room.  Whether you tackle the walls, trim or shelving units, you can see big changes almost immediately.  Just make sure that you take a few things into consideration before you begin slathering your walls with a new color. Make sure the walls do not have any moisture issues such as peeling paint and tiles falling off the wall.  If there is a moisture problem, you will need to call in an expert because there may be something going on like plumbing or ventilation issues. If the walls are showing no damage, then you will want to keep it that way by using a water-based primer to keep the water off the drywall and prevent mildew. Remember that painting your walls is not the only thing that can use a coat or two in your bathroom.  Your old vanity can be brought back to life simply by adding a new color to its outer shell. Presto!  A more modern look has been achieved!   Bring on the Light! When the lighting isn’t right, any room can feel drab and dreary.  The best place to start when lightening things up is with any shrubbery outside the window.  This is the least...
Need Curb Appeal?

Need Curb Appeal?

Need Curb Appeal?   Warm weather is upon us and with that comes the upkeep to our homes.  So what do you notice about your home when you are standing out by the street?  Is it attractive?  Has it seen better days?  Should you make some changes for the better?  Tis the season to add curb appeal to your home!   Landscaping The landscape of your home draws in the eye of the passerby.  You want to make sure that what is seen is welcoming and friendly.  Here are a few tips on how to accomplish that: Add a few containers full of plants to your entryway or hang baskets of flowers from your porch ceiling to give a friendly and finished look. Clean up your yard by mowing the lawn, trimming bushes and sweeping the steps.  This is a cheap and efficient way to increase your home’s attractiveness. Plant colorful perennial flowers in a flower bed that wraps itself around the front of the house.  Every year you can choose a color scheme and add beautiful color to your home. If you do not have room for a flower bed, another options to add plants to containers and display near your entryway.  You can still achieve that warming welcome that colorful flowers offer.   Front Door Swag Your home’s front entryway is the largest focal point of its curb appeal.  Everyone who visits your home will see it.  So why not add some color?  Grab some paint and get your home noticed!  Not so sure you want to add a blast of color?  No worries.  Here are a...
Choosing Cabinets

Choosing Cabinets

Choosing Cabinets Are you planning a kitchen renovation in the near future? Then it’s time to start developing a plan! After all, choosing the right cabinets for your kitchen is probably one of the most important decisions you will make for this room. Not only will your cabinet purchase impact your budget, but it will also influence the “feel” of the whole room! Prior to purchasing, you should have a clear vision in mind of the style and material of your new cabinets. Let’s get started with the research needed to develop your plan! Where do I begin? Since cabinets take up nearly half of your kitchen renovating budget, it is important that you set goals on what you want your kitchen to look like and the functionality of it after your project is completed. You should ask yourself a few questions regardless if you are simply replacing the cabinets and keeping the same layout or completely redoing your kitchen layout. Some important questions to ask yourself (and be specific) are: What don’t I like about my current cabinets? How long do I plan to reside in my home? Am I updating my kitchen with the purpose of reselling in mind or do I plan to stay in my home long term? What is the style of my home and kitchen? Am I happy with the amount of storage space I currently have or do I need more? What is more important to me, the way the cabinets look or their functionality and durability? After you have given some thought to these questions, you are ready to begin researching...
Bring the Outside In

Bring the Outside In

Bring the Outside In Mother Nature has finally allowed spring to warm our days! With these warmer days, we will be opening the windows in our home and allowing that fresh, warm breeze to flow inside and chase away those dreary, wintertime blues. As summertime quickly approaches, we begin to look for ways that we can bring the outside in to help make our homes feel fresh and vibrant! The best place to start is to choose a room. Maybe it’s the sunroom, patio, porch or just a room with a great view! This is where you can make the most impact and, in effect, melt away the walls between outside and in.     Wash the Windows and Change Your Curtains This is the most affordable way in making a huge impact on a room. Clean windows make a difference during the day because you can see more of the outdoors, giving you a closer connection. Freshly washed windows are also more reflective at night and act like mirrors. The effect is ethereal when using soft lighting or candles. Adopting a billowy curtain in a sheer or natural fabric will help bridge the indoor-outdoor connection. These materials allow light to filter in, showcasing a beautiful balance between the two worlds. Tips from the pros: When choosing curtains, opt for floor-to-ceiling options even when the windows don’t extend this far. Doing this will make the wall look taller and windows appear bigger.   Blurring Borders Target an entryway, such as a porch or doorway to refresh. Maybe add a new doormat, some fresh plants or a table and chairs....
Fantastic Features

Fantastic Features

Fantastic Features Is storage space a problem in your home? It is for most homeowners. But you can change that by adding a clever built-in feature to your home! Now organization becomes a breeze. Built-ins are custom made to maximize the space in your home and adds usable square footage. Turn that empty, unused space into a home office, a set of drawers, shelves, an entertainment centers or wine storage.   Recessed Built-Ins If you are looking to conserve floor space, a recessed built-in may fit the bill. A recessed built-in requires more planning as well as construction time than those that attach directly to a wall. But, in the long run, they are well worth it.   Homework Alcove An excellent addition to a child’s room is a homework alcove. If you are currently building, then framing in such an area is a cinch. But, if you are renovating, think about using closet space or maybe even steal some space from an adjoining room that you could bump out to form this alcove. In order to help save desk space, think about installing lights. Remember to place the switch within arm’s reach and don’t forget about power outlets for all those electronic gadgets!   Under Window Cabinet The space below a window is often times overrun with houseplants. Why not take that space and turn it into a useful cabinet? The possibilities for storage here are endless. Storage of linens, extra towels or toiletries can find a new home and are out of the way. If you don’t add doors to the cabinet, imagine a new bookcase or...
Which Countertop is Right for Me?

Which Countertop is Right for Me?

Which Countertop is Right for Me? So you have decided to purchase new countertops, but in today’s market the choices are nearly limitless! How do you know what type of countertop is the best option for you and your family? Continue reading to discover pros and cons to the popular countertop options of Cambria Quartz, Marble, Corian and Butcher Block. Cambria Quartz Let’s first take a look at Cambria Quartz which is an engineered countertop. Quartz countertops are fairly new and have a tremendous following because the advantages are numerous. Let’s take a closer look. Strengths To start out with, Cambria Quartz comes in a wider range of colors compared to natural stones due to its manufacturing process. The final appearance of Cambria Quartz is rich and luxurious with a depth that cannot be produced with solid surface materials like Corian. Cambria Quartz has the same durability you will find with concrete and granite, but it’s so much more forgiving and won’t chip or crack easily. Some people find the hardness of a countertop to be unpleasant, but with Cambria Quartz you will be amazed that it doesn’t feel the same way! A Cambria Quartz countertop is non-porous and resists staining much better than granite, marble and concrete. It stands up to juice, oil, wine, tomato, coffee and many other sources of kitchen stains. Its non-porous surface does not harbor bacteria or viruses like porous surfaces. You will always know that your kitchen and bathroom are clean! Weaknesses Cambria Quartz will run approximately $115-$200 per square foot. Don’t let this alarm you because these prices are competitive with that...
Parade of Homes

Parade of Homes

Come see one of our newest homes, Saturday & Sunday, May 9, 10, 16 & 17 from 1-5 PM! Admission is Free!       Located in Larkin Township just north of Midland’s new Alder Woods subdivision, this beautiful craftsman style ranch features 2536 square feet including an in-law suite, a master en suite, 2 additional bedrooms, a large great room with exposed wood trusses, an open dining room and spacious mudroom with built-in cubbies. In addition, the finished basement  includes a large rec room with wet bar, walnut countertop and hickory  cabinets. Other unique touches include: fiber cement siding, carved  mahogany front door, large covered rear porch, three gas fireplaces, walk-in cedar closet, recycled barn beam fireplace mantels and pre-cast insulated concrete walls. Behind the finishing touches, you’ll find high performance, energy saving construction complete with Greystone Homes quality design and workmanship. We invite you to experience this fabulous new home.   This slideshow requires JavaScript. Find the house here: Click here for a pdf version of this page For more information, see the Midland Home Builders Association Parade of Homes Website Greystone Homes & Greystone Kitchen & Bath 6408 W. Wackerly Street Midland, MI 48642 989.835.6965 – kelly@greystonehomes.biz www.greystonehomes.biz –...