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Shae Design

In Over My Head: Designer to the Rescue

By Ashleigh Sawdon

This is not my first rodeo, I figured. I got this. See, I’ve renovated three kitchens in the past and designed a new one from scratch. No problem.

I’d bought a little fixer upper in Knoxville with a 1985 kitchen, which was, to say the least, far from a dream kitchen. The entry foyer opened into a solid blank wall (behind which was hidden the dark, old, depressing kitchen – shut off from the rest of the house but with possibilities). It was full of dark wood cabinetry with what I began calling “Rococo meets Byzantine” style hardware. The kitchen shelving all sagged dangerously in the centers of the shelves. There was no saving any cabinetry or appliances.

I’m a cook, so I wanted – no, needed – a fabulous kitchen with massive counter space, storage, and a gas cooktop. None of that existed. No counter space. No gas. And the cherry on top? My house is built on a slab, which means rerouting plumbing and electrical is that much harder.

My original objective was to do this as inexpensively as possible by opening up a few walls but retaining much of the original footprint of the kitchen. I began working to lay out my new kitchen myself. Then I read the fine print. If my measurements were off by even 1/4 inch, I’d end up with $10K in cabinets sitting in my garage, which would have to be shipped back at my expense to resize. Oops. I’m a concept person, not a detail person. Maybe I need help.

I was brand new to Knoxville and didn’t know anyone in the kitchen design field. I saw Shae Designs’ column in this magazine, called to book an appointment, and fell in love the minute they walked into my foreboding little house.

Shae’s energy and enthusiasm coupled with her team’s insights and planning meshed with my creative juices. You might think that three strong-minded, creative people all pitching in on one project would develop friction. Far from it. We thrived on each other’s ideas and the challenges. We were off and running.

Shae came back with three different designs. The first two had significant improvements over my original design. I loved them both and was mentally weighing my odds when they showed me the third design. My concept and my kitchen were about to change dramatically. Why be constrained by the existing footprint? There was so much wasted space and so much that could be done differently. Open your eyes, Ashleigh.

The third layout blew my mind. Entire walls removed, the whole front of the house opened to light and air. A huge island and second countertop/bar big enough for several people to cook and prep. But could I afford it? I mean, we’re talking massive changes here. Turned out the third mind-blowing design was not the most expensive. I could afford it.

Did I mention that their designs were shown in 3-D? As we talked and I asked for some changes, they worked their magic, and everything we discussed appeared on the screen. We worked through cabinetry options, and I got exactly what I wanted. With Shae Design’s cabinetry options, I could afford the look without cost overruns.

But the process didn’t stop there. I already knew what color scheme I wanted, the old brick New York SoHo flooring I’d dreamed of, what countertop options I would search for, etc. And at every step it became a collaborative effort. They took my requests and improved on them. They referred me to contractors, granite and marble suppliers, and even an appliance store who made my dreams come true – without breaking the bank.

I got visits and estimates from their recommended contractors. I could have happily worked with any of the three. Except for one thing. I fell in love again… with Paul Fritts of Ace Home Improvements. On the spot. Then I continued to fall in love with each of his crew. They are true craftsmen and artisans, and they’d worked with Shae so often that they could complete her sentences.

I won’t tell you that the renovation was flawless. Like any renovation, we had hiccups. Some big, some small. But none that could not be modified with a little creative thinking and Paul’s crew innovatively making changes on the fly to make dreams come true.

We added several design elements, additional storage in two other rooms, and storage/display ideas for special pieces that added elegance and grace. These were huge changes, and still we stayed pretty close to budget.

As my new kitchen evolved, I was ecstatic. It was worth eating off a card table, cooking on a baby Weber grill, and washing dishes in the bathtub for seven weeks.

My kitchen is the center of my home, and every room that surrounds flows seamlessly. It is the perfect solution, and if I do say so, a showplace. People are slack-jawed when they see the finished product. So am I. My kitchen and dining are ideal for entertaining, gathering, friends perched at the bar, on the window seat, with wine and laughter and camaraderie.

Thank you Shae and everyone at Shae Designs. Every single one of you has been a delight to work with. In fact, Shae Designs is our go-to favorite. Not just for cabinetry, but furniture, accents, lighting, and advice. We will be friends for a long, long time.

Shae Design Studio
10420 Kingston Pike, Suite C
Knoxville, TN 37922

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Surface Doc

Surface Doc Thanks Knoxville for a Great 10 Years

By John Fitzwilliam

When I recently mentioned to my wife that we have been in business for eight years, she immediately corrected me. We are actually beginning our 10th year! Has it has been that long? Nearly a decade in business? I am overwhelmed and humbled when I think about all the amazing people that have invited us into their homes. I can’t begin to express our gratitude to our clients for giving us an opportunity to earn their trust. Thank you so very much.

We first launched Surface Doc in the fall of 2008 specializing in interior tile and grout cleaning, as well as carpet. Throughout the years, we have expanded to cleaning and sealing most all interior and exterior surfaces, including exotic stone hardscapes, countertops, concrete, re-polishing marble floors and glass shower doors, cleaning/sanding and sealing of brick pavers, as well as epoxy garage coatings. We have also had the privilege of working with some of East Tennessee’s best custom home builders, as well as many thriving businesses. Our company caters to owners with high standards who are looking for specific results done in a professional manner. We gladly accept this challenge from every client, knowing that when we succeed, we have made a new friend.

As we celebrate going into our 10th year, we are proud to announce that we will be offering Soft Washing of roofs and siding. Does your roof have black staining? Is the siding of your home looking a little green? Don’t worry, we can now remove it safely without causing damage to your home or landscaping. This unique process removes the black and green algae growth from delicate surfaces like wood and clay shingles and shakes, as well as stucco, without using damaging pressure.

This autumn, as you prepare your home or business for the upcoming holidays, why not trust the company that thousands of other East Tennesseans have trusted? We can deep clean and seal most any surface inside or out. Give us a call today to receive your free estimate. We are anxiously awaiting your cleaning challenge.

Surface Doc

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Lighthouse Outdoor Lighting

Curb Appeal Isn’t Just for Daylight Hours

By Heath Myrick, Owner of Lighthouse Outdoor Lighting

“Home Sweet Home.” You may not have a framed blue needlepoint of this expression hanging on your wall, but we all feel it. Our homes are where we feel most comfortable. Home is where we are truly ourselves, and we reflect this in how we keep them, how we decorate them, and how we landscape them.
You take great pride in your home, and you want it to be beautiful inside and out. You may think you need to find a landscaper to design pathways and ponds and plants that express who you are and what you want your home to be, but there’s an important part of landscape design that is often overlooked: Landscape lighting design.

The right landscape lighting design can turn your house into a showcase just as quickly as poor lighting design can reduce it to little more than an eyesore. Curb appeal isn’t just for daylight hours. If you spend your entire landscaping budget on plants and flowers, you only have curb appeal for half the time! Good landscape lighting design should draw attention to the architectural details you fell in love with when you purchased your home and highlight features in your landscape design, bringing beauty and drama to your yard, all while increasing the value of your home.

Every home has its own personality and unique features. An experienced landscape lighting designer can show you how to accentuate those features by creating a truly breathtaking panorama that only the nighttime hours provide. A minimalist design uses landscape lighting to highlight your home and walkways in an understated way, whereas a statement approach uses more lights to highlight your home’s features with a more dramatic effect. A balanced approach, on the other hand, focuses on your home’s symmetry and landscape plantings. If your primary interest is safety, you can focus instead on landscape lighting for security.

Today a growing number of homeowners are selecting a more natural approach that uses landscape lighting to duplicate the way in which the natural moonlight dances through the trees and other plantings you may wish to highlight. Regardless of your preference, an experienced professional landscape lighting designer can assist you to achieve the approach that most appeals to your desired nightscape.

If you’re considering outdoor lighting, I invite you to contact Lighthouse Outdoor Lighting, East Tennessee’s first choice in exterior lighting, at 865-484-4011 today. Also, visit to discover your home’s true showcase quality look no matter what the time of day.

Lighthouse Outdoor Lighting

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Solving Common Kitchen Storage and Accessibility Problems – Affordably!

Solving Common Kitchen Storage and Accessibility Problems – Affordably!

Having problems comfortably reaching your under cabinet items? Wishing you could utilize that corner cabinet space? Hoping to get your kitchen more organized before the holidays set in?

We can help! At Shelf Help, we design and install custom roll-out shelving and organizers into your home’s existing kitchen and bath cabinets or pantries, which allows you easy access and maximum use of your available storage space – and at a 50% savings from national brands! With custom built roll-out shelving and organizers, tasks are made simpler with easier access to kitchen and bath items and with the added advantage of optimal usage of storage space – a place for everything and everything in its place! Our clients are so pleased with the results that they say “Why didn’t we do this years ago?”

As experienced Knoxville-area kitchen and bath remodeling consultants, Shelf Help has the understanding and know-how to evaluate, design, measure, and install solutions tailored to your needs.

What our customers are saying about Shelf Help:
“So excited! No more squatting or bending to reach lower cabinet items.” – Susan C., Farragut
“Best improvement we’ve made to our home – hands down.” – Judy F., Tellico Village
“What a huge help! We are much more organized and can now reach everything in our cabinets.” – Patty S., Tellico Village
“Great product – well designed, smooth installation, and a far more efficient kitchen.” – Mark & Susan D., Knoxville

To learn how you can better organize your kitchen, bath, or pantry, call today to request your free, no-obligation, in-home consultation. Mention this article and receive up to $250 off with a minimum purchase. Locally owned and operated, let Shelf Help make the most of your home’s kitchen, bath, or pantry storage space.

Shelf Help

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All Yamaha, Stem to Stern

All Yamaha, Stem to Stern

By Scott Mieloch, Owner of Premier Watersports

Unlike any other jet boat in the industry, Yamaha designs and builds every aspect of each boat and stands behind every component. The Gold Standard in marine propulsion system requires less maintenance and expense than traditional inboard or stern driven boats, making it virtually maintenance-free. With a wide selection of watercraft from 19 to 24 feet, Premier Watersports can help you find just the perfect boat, guaranteeing you and your family a season on the water that you will long remember.

If you’re looking for full-size watersports fun, consider the Yamaha AR240. With a maximum capacity of 12 people and featuring the innovative twin 1.8 liter, high output Yamaha marine engines, this 24-foot boat offers you standard features that are optional on most other boats, including “no wake mode” control, quiet cruise technology, aluminum folding wakeboard tower, and the power to go from 0 to 30 in less than four seconds, just to name a few.

Or how about the Yamaha 242 Limited S? Its 24 feet of luxury features and striking design offer you many of the same features of the AR240 and then some.

Regardless of which Yamaha boat you select, the Yamaha and Premier Watersports team will provide you with an unprecedented level of service designed to exceed your expectations. From Yamaha’s reputation for innovation and design to Premier Watersports’ reputation for superior sales and service, this winning team will provide you with an experience that, up until now, you’ve only dreamed of.

Call or visit Premier Watersports today, and transform your dream into a reality.

Premier Watersports
13137 El Camino Lane
Knoxville, TN 37932

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Gent Heating & Cooling

We Won’t Leave You in the Dark

How does Knoxville’s premier residential and commercial heating and cooling company become even better you might ask? Simple, actually. You combine two decades of Gent Heating & Cooling’s expertise, a passion for quality, and reputation for integrity with the latest technological advancements from Honeywell and its more than 125 year history to offer home and business owners alike the latest innovations in total building automation.

Gent Heating & Cooling not only provides you with state-of-the-art heating and cooling solutions for your home and office, including installation of both residential and commercial HVAC systems of all sizes, makes, and models, but they also now offer a wide selection of backup generators that will automatically detect a power outage and deliver backup power to your home or business within seconds. That means that you’ll have the peace of mind that Gent Heating & Cooling and Honeywell generators provide by keeping your power running for as long as the power is out – whether that’s for two hours or two weeks.

Powered by propane or natural gas, your Honeywell generator automatically turns on when it senses a utility power disruption, restoring power. And, as soon as utility power is restored, your generator returns to the standby mode.

Select from a variety of generator sizes to safeguard your home or business. Protect refrigerated items, provide lighting, and provide power to those other important systems you wish to maintain during a utility power outage. It’s just that simple.

Also, did you know that Gent Heating & Cooling can install the ultimate in home or business comfort control by delivering precise comfort levels to each room in your home or office? From Mitsubishi Electric, these state-of-the-art systems allow you to deliver a level of comfort that’s difficult to achieve with conventional HVAC systems. Totally ductless, this system is both versatile and energy efficient.

So whether you’re searching for a higher level of comfort control, a backup power source to protect your home or business from utility outages, new HVAC installation, maintenance, or repair, why not trust the name trusted by thousands of home and business owners for more than 20 years: Gent Heating & Cooling.

Gent Heating & Cooling

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European Fine Hardwood Floors

Rediscover Old World Craftsmanship

It’s often said that the best compliment you can give a business is a referral. That’s true for every business, and European Fine Hardwood Floors is certainly no exception. Just read what Farragut homeowner, Chris F., has to say about work that was recently performed at his home by European Fine Hardwood Floors:

“The main floor of our home was a mix of red oak hardwood, tile, and carpet. Ever since we purchased this home, we knew that it deserved better, so we decided to have the existing tile and carpet replaced with hardwood with an up-to-date finish. When searching the ratings of ‘hardwood flooring installers and re-finishers,’ European Fine Hardwood Floors was consistently at the top. That meant a lot to me.

European Fine Hardwood Floors was absolutely fantastic. I am an avid do-it-yourselfer, and I am very picky about my work. I’ve installed more than 1,200 square feet of hardwood flooring myself at my previous home, but this time I decided to hire it out. I’m glad I did, because Valera, European Fine Hardwood Floors’ owner, did a great job. They seamlessly blended the new hardwood flooring in with the existing hardwood and finished it all to match beautifully. It all looks like a factory finish, except without the visible seams that prefinished hardwood floors have. It is one consistent, smooth surface, and the satin finish is perfect.

Another important detail for me was that since our entire downstairs was going to be hardwood, I wanted the hardwood to all lay in the same direction. European Fine Hardwood Floors did that, and all the rooms flow together. They gave excellent attention to detail, even on our staircase, which they refinished. Oh, and opt for the custom floor registers… they are a thing of beauty!

I can’t say it enough. Valera is very trustworthy. We were under some deadlines to have this project finished, and they finished ahead of schedule. They show up when they say they are going to and can absolutely be trusted in your home!”

Whether your project is to install new hardwood flooring or to refinish your existing hardwood flooring in your home, discover a new level excellence that only European Fine Hardwood Floors can offer. They have a passion for integrity, honesty, and fairness combined with a level of old world craftsmanship you might have thought no longer existed today. Don’t take our word for it, just check out their customer reviews for yourself.

European Fine Hardwood Floors

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Tailored Living

It’s More Than a Mudroom

Mudroom: While some hate the label “mudroom,” it’s a good description of how we often use the space. It can be a messy catchall for daily items like shoes, coats, bags, dog leaches, and all the things we carry every day to and from work or school. It’s also the area of the home that sees the most traffic. So besides a place to sit as you take on and off your shoes, the mudroom area can be designed to do so much more.

» Include Hooks and Cubbies
Every member of the family needs their own coat hook and cubby space. Kids are more likely to hang their backpack and jackets on a hook, keeping them organized and saving time on school mornings when everything is in its place. Cubbies help everyone keep track of everyday items like a purse or cap. If you have the space, you can add more for guests.

» Add Cabinets
A mudroom is part of your home, so dress up the look of the space by adding cabinet doors over the cubbies. Doors make a mudroom look more stylish rather than a catchall zone. And, let’s be honest, a cabinet door hides any cluttered shelves.

» Put in a Hamper
With a hamper, clothes that are wet, soiled, or muddy have place to go. Otherwise those clothes end up dropped on the floor or left in a kid’s backpack. Nobody wants to discover a smelly, wet t-shirt days later in a backpack!

» Create a Communications Station
Since the mudroom sees daily traffic, make it a place for family communications. Include a chalk or corkboard for reminders such as grocery items or baseball practice. Now the refrigerator won’t be covered with notes, invitations, and pictures. Also, include USB ports to create a place to recharge family cell phones, tablets, and other electronic equipment.

» Install a Sink
A sink helps to cut down on the dirt. So if you have the space, install one to help keep everyone – and your house – clean.

Use the Garage
If you are renovating and you don’t have the space for a mudroom inside your house, many people are using the garage. Placed just outside the garage door, a mudroom serves the same purpose and keeps a lot of the dirt out of the house.

Want to create a mudroom for your house? Tailored Living of Knoxville will work with you to design, select materials that coordinate with the rest of your house, and install the space that best fits your family’s needs. You’ll love your new space and ask yourself, “Why didn’t we do this a long time ago?”

Tailored Living

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Shae Design Studio Expands Showroom

Shae Design Studio is excited to announce that we have expanded our store! We have doubled our showroom space in order to provide even more home décor, in addition to the furniture pieces, lighting fixtures, and cabinetry displays that we already offer! We are eager to show you our new space and unique items that will fit perfectly in your home.

Our expanded showroom features dining rooms, living rooms, wall décor, chandeliers, bedroom displays, and more! We have a wide variety of curated pieces that can fit any style and vibe of a home such as rustic, modern, industrial, and transitional, to name a few. Whatever you are looking for in your space, we can help you find it. In addition to all of these new great finds, we also have an extensive amount of new artwork for you to check out!

Our interior stylists are always available to help you find the perfect piece for your space. They are eager to put the finishing touches on your home and customize your space to fit your needs. Our stylists work hard with a keen eye to find exactly what works for you. This is what makes Shae Design Studio so different from other home improvement and furnishing stores. We take the time to get to know you and your home to make sure that what we recommend for your space is actually what you need! We don’t work to sell you products; we work to improve your space. Our stylists’ expert advice and desire to collaborate with you makes the perfect formula for picking out exactly what is essential for your home!

With all of our new items, it will be hard to leave Shae Design Studio without finding a unique piece you will want to take with you to help make your house a home. Stop by Shae Design Studio today to see what everyone is talking about!

Shae Design Studio
10420 Kingston Pike, Suite C
Knoxville, TN 37922

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Custom Cabinets Without the Custom Cost

By Carleen Head, Owner of N-Hance Wood Renewal

We love our kitchens! No longer just a place to prepare meals, our kitchens have replaced other living spaces in our home to become a focal point and gathering place for friends and family. That’s why we place so much importance on the appearance of our home’s kitchen.

Your kitchen, which features the latest styles and trends, say, from a decade or more ago, however, may be due for an update. But have you seen the costs of replacing a kitchen today? That’s why I launched N-Hance Wood Refinishing here in East Tennessee.

Did you know that N-Hance can help you update your kitchen into the showcase home look that you’ve been hoping for? And what you’ll appreciate even more is that you can update your kitchen for far less than you might have imagined.

Cabinet refacing is a popular alternative to replacing your home’s cabinets. N-Hance can help you renew and refinish your existing kitchen cabinets for two-thirds less than the cost of refacing. Also, our proprietary process offers you hundreds of color options to choose from, offering a near endless array of options. Our design consultants will help you select the finish that perfectly suits your individual styles and tastes, and they can help you further customize your look with a variety of finishing techniques, including glaze, an antique look, or other accenting.

An affordable and innovative option for refinishing your cabinets, why choose the expensive alternative that often requires a week or more to complete, not to mention the dust? N-Hance can transform your existing kitchen into the kitchen of your dreams in just a matter of days, and for 80% less than replacement and 65% less than resurfacing. Hmm… maybe there’s enough savings to update the master bathroom?

N-Hance Wood Renewal

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