NJ Landscape Design & Masonry

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Man Cave Madness?

A Refinished Basement, Porch, Garage or Den can be Renovated into a reclusive male oasis.

"On Thanksgiving Day all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment—halftime." — Unknownman cave

Football is as traditional at Thanksgiving as turkey. Aside from this important spend-time-with-the-family day, the rest of the year the man can retreat to his own private oasis (aka refinished basement). What better secluded area, with a drop ceiling and carpeted flooring installed, that can be made to be virtually soundproof. Here is where the male of the household can manifest his own personal style without impacting the remaining household décor.

I have been so involved envisioning and designing a new bathroom, this hugely popular man cave phenomenon has almost slipped me right by. Men all over the country and world are consulting with contractors and construction experts to help them transform basements, garages, attics, a shed or spare room into their own secluded lair.  Wikipedia describes the man cave as “a metaphor for a room designed as a male sanctuary, a specially equipped garage, spare bedroom, media room, den, or basement designed without female décor or design influence.”

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Home Renovations, Additions, Kitchen & Bathroom Make-Overs bring Family Closer Together

“By the fireplace with family, radio on, channeling the 1930’s by candlelight.”
- Tweet during Hurricane Sandy, Nov. 1, 2012

Even though there are still downed trees and construction repairs happening everywhere, restoration of Morris and Essex County homes in New Jersey after this storm of the century is well under way. But now that families are dispersed and back to their owncurb appeal multi-generational house technological devices, wouldn’t it be nice to recreate that cohesive bonding that occurred during the height of the turmoil? Wouldn’t you like to invite friends and family over for a pot luck or holiday dinner but just do not have the room? Believe it or not, there is a growing trend in the real estate market, either by choice or by financial hardship, to have more than two generations living together. And not just for the holidays!

There happens to already be 4.4 million U.S households with three or more generations living together, accounting for over 50 million of us in this type of living situation. The U.S. Census Bureau indicates that this is a growing trend (up 30% from 2000 census figures).

Read more: Home Renovations, Additions, Kitchen & Bathroom Make-Overs bring Family Closer Together

Dream Kitchen

January 2013, Author: Patricia Mitrano

This morning I awoke as the sun tickled my cheek through the window overlooking South Mountain Reservation. The perfect temperature of the warmed hardwood floors danced through my toes as I gracefully slipped out of bed. I sauntered into my newly renovated, inviting, well-stocked kitchen and fondly reminisced about working with my hero, Mo Soliman of Curb Appeal Designs on our project.

I opened the sub-zero refrigerator to plan my meals for the day. For any menu I contemplated, every single ingredient was available and easily accessed thanks to the universal design ergonomic cabinetry doors and drawers.  For items not cooling, ripening or stored in this epicurean oasis, it was only a short walk outside to my organic garden. Immediately through the eight foot French doors past the breakfast nook, it offered up its succulent, plump flesh to marinate, chop, dice or saute. Curb Appeal Design was spot on for recommending this garden concept to enhance our property.

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The Choice: A Functional Bathroom or a Luxurious Sanctuary?

January 2013, Author: Patricia Mitrano

Almost twenty years ago we had the pleasure of visiting Calistoga, in California’s Napa Valley, known for its hot springs and cool wines and enjoyed the ultimate spa experience. From the natural spring waters, luxurious Turkish towels and enticing scents, our spa treatments were sensory sonatas. I treasure the memory of a perfectly relaxing week.

Fast forward to now, challenged by a stressful working situation and the inability to break away even for a lunch. The abuse I put my body through is unconscionable and I wonder if our next “vacation” will ever take place.

Diane Allen of West Orange’s A Mother’s Touch Massage advises that being kind to yourself is as important as being kind to those around you. We must “breathe deeply and honor the journey.” With her encouragement and my resolve to treat myself better in 2013, I’m not going to wait until my next massage or vacation to de-stress my soul but will do so as a daily ritual right in my own home.

Rethinking the bathroom, and converting it from a functional room into a private, luxurious retreat is a growing trend. The room that claims your most intimate “me” time is also the one that makes the most investment sense to renovate or remodel. Realtors will attest to the fact that it is money well spent.

Read more: The Choice: A Functional Bathroom or a Luxurious Sanctuary?