Archive | Lifestyle

Meadow View

April in the Garden

Spring is in the air! Well, it is today. Who knows what tomorrow will bring. That is the main thing I want you to remember as we go into April: Mother Nature is very unpredictable! Our last frost can be anywhere from late March to May. The average is April 15th, but please wait on tender plants or be prepared to protect them. We still have Blackberry winter and Dogwood winter to go!

What are things that you can do this month? There is a big list!

• Number one, of course, is the monthly checkup. Take a long walk around your yard and give your plants an up-close-and-personal look. What has freeze damage? What has insect damage? What has started to sprout fungus? What needs to be pruned, divided, moved, or composted? What has changed that will mean a difference in your gardening? Look up, down, and all around, then make your plans. Also, think about what is realistic for you to accomplish by yourself and what you will need help with. Contact lawn services and landscapers soon because they are already getting very busy.

• Let me talk just a little about landscapers. Please do not hire someone unless you have done some checking. Your landscape has a huge impact on the look of your home, so you want to make sure the person you are hiring is reputable. Look at photos and check reviews, but please be careful of Nextdoor and other places where it is easy for a nasty person to ruin the reputation of a good company.

• When you are looking for insects, please remember that not every bug is a bad bug. There are many that can help you out! If you do see damage, however, it is best to start treating before you have an infestation. Call if you have questions, or bag the little critters and bring them in.

• Last year was a fungal nightmare because of all the rain. If you had problems with some of your plants last year, keep an eye on those and start treating if you see fresh signs. Those that are susceptible to black spot, rust, powdery mildew, etc. may benefit from a systemic product.

• You can get your planting beds ready even if you are waiting to plant. Add compost or aged manure to beds to up the nutrient level. Get weeds out, but do not apply a pre-emergent if you are going to plant seeds. I have become a fan of worm castings, so you can also add a thin layer of that to the top of your beds.

• I suggest planting flower beds in stages because some plants are more tolerant of cool temperatures than others. Petunias, geraniums, lantana, and some other annuals will handle a light frost. Begonias and impatiens turn to mush.

• Did you plant containers last year? If so, get those ready to go. If your planters are small, dump the soil out and rinse the pot. If the plants had any fungal problems, mix a tablespoon of bleach into a gallon of water and pour it into the pot, then rinse it out. Refill the container with fresh, good quality soil. I’m a fan of Happy Frog, but any good quality soil will do.

If your containers are large or have permanent occupants (shrubs, perennials, etc.), top dress them with a couple of inches of compost or fresh soil. A 1/4″ to 1/2″ of worm castings or some mycorrhizae will help these, too. After 3-5 years, you really need to take everything out and start all over. Remember to NEVER use ground soil in containers. Potting soil is for pots, garden soil is for gardens. You cannot substitute one for the other!

• How about vegetables? You are safe planting any of the cool season vegetables, but wait until mid-month for tomatoes, peppers, and corn. Super sweet varieties of corn should wait even longer, until the soil is around 70 degrees. This is usually early May.

• Let’s talk a little about pruning. Prune spring blooming shrubs within a couple of weeks after they finish blooming. Older forsythia, quince, weigela, and lilacs can be severely pruned to rejuvenate them if needed. You can prune crepe myrtles as they start to leaf out if you have not already pruned them, but DO NOT commit crepe murder! Don’t cut bulbs back until after the foliage has yellowed so that they can store up nutrients for next year. Please call us with questions. Don’t go out and start whacking!

• This is also the time to fertilize if you haven’t done so already. Acid lovers need an acid type fertilize such as HollyTone. General purpose fertilizers will work on everything else. April 15th is your end date for fertilizing warm season grasses.

• I want to put a quick plug in for the birds and other pollinators before I run out of space. Please plant at least part of your yard with plants that help them survive and lay off the toxic chemicals as much as possible. It is also baby bird season, so keep those feeders clean and full!

We have new loads of plants and garden décor coming in almost every day. Stop by and see what is new!

Meadow View Greenhouses & Garden Center
9885 Highway 11E
Lenoir City, TN 37772
865.986.7229
www.meadowviewgreenhouse.com

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Designer Garages

Your Ultimate Entertainment Space: The Garage!

By Carrie McConkey, www.carriemcconkey.com

As warmer spring weather arrives in East Tennessee, a safe and effortless location for parties of all kinds lies right at your own back door: Your garage. And with exciting new options available for garage décor and storage, after the shindig you may even forget to go back into the house!

Time to Celebrate
The reasons for gatherings are only limited to your imagination: Children’s birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, or watch parties for sports events like the Masters golf tournament or the Kentucky Derby. Pick a theme, or gather family and friends in this hassle-free location “just because.”

Party Prepping
Transforming your garage into a hospitable space yields benefits that you’ll enjoy long after the event. Attractive, stain-resistant Polyaspartic epoxy flooring is easy to clean pre- and post-party. Melamine or powder-coated cabinets hide clutter, and slatwall with hooks and bins allows everything to be hung up neatly and off the floor.

Double Duty Décor
Plan your garage storage renovations and accessories to be post-party practical. Install countertops with electrical strips to plug in crock pots, sound systems, and accent lamps. Add a refrigerator to hold drinks, and mount a bottle opener for easy access. Potted plants and flowers placed around the garage door add color and inviting warmth.

Sprucing up your garage for a soirée guarantees a fun time, as well as upgrades that will be useful for years to come. Stop by Knoxville’s own Designer Garages showroom, and let the party planning begin!

Designer Garages
201 Center Park Drive, #1070
Knoxville, TN 37922
865.268.4868
www.DesignerGarages.com

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Screens of East Tennessee

Make Plans to Really Enjoy Your Home’s Outdoor Living Spaces

Get ready to let the great out-of-doors in! The sun is getting stronger, and the days are getting longer. Before you know it, summer will be here, and with it will come the endless ways to have fun right in your own backyard. But are you really able to enjoy your outdoor living spaces to their full potential?

Homeowners across the country are making significant investments in the design and creation of outdoor “rooms,” including porches and lanais. Even with beautiful lighting, weatherproof artwork, luxurious fireplaces, and kitchens complete with grills and refrigerators, the hot afternoon sun and biting insects can often keep homeowners and their guests from enjoying their outdoor living spaces.

Retractable screens provide the perfect answer to this dilemma. By combining indoor and outdoor spaces, these screen solutions enhance and promote the outdoor living experience, allowing people to enjoy the out-of-doors during hot summer days while extending the amount of time they can spend on patios and decks, where biting insects can become a nuisance in the evenings.

Large, motorized screens are a perfect example of how to blend function with comfort. These screens can be recessed into the beams or walls, thereby staying truly hidden when fully retracted. And the best part about retractable screens is that these screening solutions don’t diminish your views of the outdoors or your home’s esthetics, as the screens are in place only when you need them.

For the ultimate in elegance, Screens of East Tennessee offers custom colors and wood grain finishes that will blend into virtually any architectural style and provide a seamless transition between your interior and exterior color schemes. These remarkable screens can be programmed to come down or retract according to sun and wind sensors, and they can be connected to your home’s general building automation system to have the screens come down at a specific time of day when extra shade or insect protection is most needed.

For more information about retractable screen options that will allow you and your family to fully enjoy your home’s outdoor living spaces this year, visit www.tennesseescreens.com.

Screens of East Tennessee
865.919.1615
www.tennesseescreens.com
www.phantomscreens.com

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Surface Doc

Does Dirty Grout Have You Frustrated?

That sandy strip of grout between your tiles is a very important part of your floor. Without it, anything spilled on your floors would start an ecosystem of its own. Your grout is your first line of defense against soil, dirt, and liquids. A properly sealed grout line will protect the integrity of your floors, but a tile and grout floor that has not been sealed acts like a sponge, soaking up every nasty spill and particle of dirt it encounters. New grout should always be properly sealed, cleaned regularly, and a new application of quality sealer should be applied every 12-24 months thereafter.

Cleaning your grout can be tricky. Scrubbing the grout may remove dirt on the surface of the grout but not eliminate the stain. Stains can then creep back up to the surface again, causing frustration to the homeowner. Bathrooms pose the toughest challenge since this room tends to be damp and provides a breeding ground for bacteria, mold, and mildew. Chemicals can cause discoloration and break down the integrity of your grout, leading to costly repairs. In addition, marble, granite, or high gloss tiles are especially sensitive to some cleaners, which can lead to permanent damage.

The best way to test whether your grout needs resealing is to place a few drops of water on the grout line and see if it remains on top of the grout surface or soaks right in. If it disappears, it’s time to re-seal. High traffic areas will tend to wear more quickly. Once you have determined if it is time to re-seal, first make sure your floor is free of all soil. Remove all the stains possible. You may need help from a professional.

We at Surface Doc get more requests for tile and grout cleaning than any other service we offer. We use a four-step restoration process combining high heat, eco-friendly emulsifiers, adjustable pressure, and contained suction. Once a surface is deep cleaned and sanitized, we recommend a high-quality sealer to keep it looking new.

Surface Doc uses patented tools that get into the deep porous areas of your floor, and the result is remarkable. Give John a call today for a free, no-hassle cleaning demonstration and professional quote for your home or business.

Surface Doc
865.567.1986
www.SurfaceDoc.com

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Tailored Living

Home Offices: Do Your Homework

When you started working from home last March, more than likely you didn’t put much thought into where you did your work. You probably thought it was only temporary. It wasn’t.

Here we are more than year after the Covid pandemic changed so many aspects of our daily lives, especially working from home. The makeshift home offices we created that involved working on the laptop from the bed or flipping through files on the living room sofa are no longer acceptable. That’s why, in 2021 and beyond, home offices will be more important than ever.

Approximately 40% of Americans are now working from home full-time. In fact, many Americans want to continue working from home even after the pandemic ends. So one of today’s top home trends is adding a home office or renovating an existing space in the house to work.

“As people continue to work from home, they don’t want to hold Zoom meetings or answer calls from the kitchen table,” explained Kathryn Norton, co-owner of Tailored Living of Knoxville. “Our customers want to develop a work space that will maximize their concentration, motivation, and productivity. However, having an office at home doesn’t need to be extravagant. With the right design, an extra bedroom, closet, quiet corner, or loft can all be used to fill this need.”

No matter where you choose to put your new home office, there are some important aspects to consider:

Don’t Sacrifice Form for Function
Your desk, shelves, and storage should serve you, not the other way around. Consider your workflow and what items you need at your fingertips. While a basic office desk from a big-box store may be inexpensive, it probably won’t fit your needs. A custom home office doesn’t have to be expensive, just designed for your needs to enhance productivity.

Invest in a Great Chair
You spend hours sitting in your office chair; an ergonomically correct, comfortable seat is worth every dime!

Master Your Technology
Hide unsightly cords. Start by making sure your equipment is close to outlets and easy to access. Feed the cords into a desk grommet that helps guide cords through a hole in the desk and hides them underneath. Tame the cord jungle on the floor with cord winders, tubing, or a wire organizer.

Let There Be Light
Cut down on eyestrain and headaches by making sure you have plenty of light. Also, plan the position of the computer monitor so there’s no glare from a window or overhead light.

No mater the size of your office, call Tailored Living of Knoxville to give you a design that maximizes your storage space and budget!

Tailored Living featuring PremierGarage
865.947.8686
www.TailoredLivingKnoxville.com

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PremierGarage

Inside the Garage: Saying Goodbye to Winter

The aftermath of winter may be a garage with additional mess and clutter, including sports equipment, residue from salted winter roads, and muddy boots. However, rather than closing the door on the chaos, make a plan to clean your garage. And once you’ve cleaned out the winter mess, here are some storage tips for maintaining your garage for maximum efficiency.

  • Use plastic, lidded storage bins instead of cardboard boxes to protect stored items. Cardboard absorbs moisture, attracts pests, and deteriorates over time.
  • Since bags can burst open and spill, transfer contents into plastic containers (pet food, sand, plant food).
  • Create low-level storage with shelves, drawers, or baskets so kids can manage their own things like sports equipment.
  • Store seldom-used items up high; keep what you use most often within easy reach to eliminate constantly shifting things around.
  • Keep the floor clear. Bulky items like camping tents, holiday decorations, and lawn furniture can be stored in overhead storage racks. Garden tools, even a wheelbarrow, can be hung on versatile slatwall.
  • Purge, purge, purge! Get rid of items you no longer need or want. Donate or sell what is in good condition and throw away the rest.

A clean garage contributes to your whole house staying cleaner by eliminating tracked in dirt, oil, pollen, and anything else that could stick to the garage floor or your shoes. An unfinished concrete floor makes it almost impossible to keep your garage clean. Surface cracks and crevices attract and hold dust and dirt, and its porosity retains moisture that can facilitate the growth of mold and bacteria, creating an unhealthy environment. Investing in a low-maintenance floor for your garage is key to maintaining a clean space.

An easy-care custom garage floor from PremierGarage of Knoxville keeps your garage cleaner with surfaces that resist spills and moisture, as well as reduce dust and dirt buildup. Backed by a multi-year warranty, the proprietary polyaspartic flooring provides durable elegance while eliminating stains, cracks, chipping, and peeling. The slip-resistant surface is available in a variety of UV resistant colors, and stands up to years of hot tires, stains, and dropped tools.

With competitive pricing without sacrificing quality, PremierGarage also provides excellent customer service. The company and its employees are committed to customer satisfaction to help you make your garage spring ready!

PremierGarage powered by Tailored Living
865.947.8686
www.TailoredLivingKnoxville.com

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European Fine Hardwood Floors

Spring Cleaning Can’t Restore Your Home’s Hardwood Floors

Springtime is that time of the year for many of us when we engage once again in that annual ritual of spring cleaning. Windows, cabinets, draperies, floors, and carpeting are all thoroughly washed, waxed, and cleaned. Our homes are once again as spotless as the day we moved in.

But there’s one area of your home that all the cleaning and elbow grease in the world can’t restore, and that’s your home’s hardwood floors. Cleaning cannot remove scratches, dents, gouges, fading, and the UV damage that hardwood floors experience. European Fine Hardwood Floors has been helping Knoxville area homeowners rediscover the natural beauty of their home’s hardwood floors using the same expertise learned from highly skilled European craftsmen combined with today’s state-of-the-art technology.

Did you know that your home’s hardwood flooring can be restored to its original, like-new condition without the inconvenience and mess typically associated with conventional hardwood floor refinishing? Thanks to the latest technology from Bona, the world’s leader in innovative hardwood floor finishing and refinishing, your floors can be finished or refinished nearly dust-free and odor-free, with a wide variety of proprietary finishes from Bona.

Valera Tomescu, owner and founder of European Fine Hardwood Floors, first learned his craft in Europe from other experienced craftsmen and then furthered his expertise by earning a Bona Certified Craftsman certification. Valera’s training, experience, and certification represents a skill level in the hardwood floor finishing and refinishing marketplace that is earned by very few individuals.

If this spring is the season that you decide to restore that showcase quality look to your home’s worn, faded, and damaged hardwood floors, you are invited to discover the European Fine Hardwood Floors difference for yourself. Experience a level of craftsmanship that you might have thought no longer existed combined with today’s cutting-edge technology. Nearly dust-free, you can now have the hardwood floors you want without the mess. And while you’re at it, why not ask Valera about updating your hardwood flooring’s stain color?

Call Valera for your free, no-obligation, in-home consultation today.

European Fine Hardwood Floors
865.640.3680
www.knoxvillehardwoodrefinishing.com

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Undercover Systems

 

A Valentine’s Gift the Entire Family Can Enjoy All Year-Round

While most family events have moved indoors for the winter, why not surprise your loved ones this Valentine’s Day with a special gift that will provide unlimited out-of-door events in 2021 that the entire family can enjoy all year-round?

Now is the perfect time to install the totally unique underdeck ceiling system from Undercover Systems under your home’s existing raised decks. This underdeck system will ensure this year’s events will be protected from unexpected and unwanted rain, snow, and the searing summertime sun. You’ll appreciate Undercover Systems’ attention to detail, which comes from years of experience, as they help you craft a seamless transition from your home’s interior to your new out-of-door living spaces. Undeck ceilings are available in a variety of colors and textures – even bead board! – to perfectly complement your existing architecture and landscaping plans.

“It’s a great time to weatherproof all of your out-of-door events,” said Jim Conn, owner of Undercover Systems. “Throughout the entire process, our skilled craftsmen work with you, each step of the way, until your project is completed to your satisfaction. And because your project will be completed this winter, you can begin enjoying your new outdoor living spaces at the first sign of spring.”

As a complaint-free member of the Better Business Bureau, Undercover Systems offers homeowners the peace of mind that they deserve in a building contractor. Your entire Undercover underdeck system will be installed using genuine Undercover components custom designed for your unique project and not the generic, big box store, off-the-shelf components used by the competition.

Why not surprise your family this year with a special Valentine’s gift that your friends and family can enjoy all year long and start creating a lifetime of memories? Undercover’s patented underdecking system helps extend your outdoor season of enjoyment by protecting your family from early spring showers, July and August’s relentless sun, and autumn rains. Call Jim Conn today at 423-267-0091 and make this a Valentine’s Day celebration you and your family will long remember.

Undercover Systems

423.267.0091

www.UndercoverSystems.com

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ShelfGenie

New Year, New Projects for Your Kitchen or Bath!

With the new year comes inspiration to tackle some projects around the house. Although you may have dreams of gutting your kitchen or renovating the bathroom, these big jobs are costly and time-consuming.  Instead, consider taking on smaller projects that will give you the best bang for your buck. Here are some ideas to spark your creativity.

• Declutter and better utilize your pantry. Throughout the year, you probably accumulate all sorts of things in your pantry. By removing the contents and throwing away expired items, you can start with a clean slate. Consider installing pull-out shelving to better access your items. Hard to reach items will be at your fingertips, and you will increase your storage capacity.

• Create usable storage space in your bathroom cabinet. Bath products, hair products, and cleaning solutions may be taking up all the space under your bathroom sink, leaving you no room for essentials like toilet paper and tissues. With a two-tiered pull-out shelving system, you can maximize your storage and easily find what you need.

• Improve organization of your pots and pans. Are you frustrated with the way your pots and pans are stored? Tired of looking for the right size pot and matching lid? With pull-out shelving, you can easily arrange your pots, pans, and lids so you can access them quickly when cooking.

• Make better use of corner cabinets. Most kitchens have a corner cabinet that is hard to access creating dead space. With a unique, pull-out solution for corner cabinets, you can add more storage space in your kitchen. It’s a cost-effective way to use the space you already have without adding to the footprint of your kitchen.

You may not be able to redesign your whole kitchen, bathroom, or pantry at this time, but you can ease your frustration by working on smaller projects that will have lasting impacts throughout the new year!

ShelfGenie®

865.409.1197

www.shelfgenie.com

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Screens of East Tennessee

Block the Sun, Not Your View

Like Sunglasses for Your Windows

With winter now in full swing, the sun is lower on the horizon and the afternoon UV rays, coming in through your windows and glass doors, can be damaging to your home’s furniture, draperies, carpets, and wood flooring. Not to mention the annoyance of a blinding glare, especially when it is reflecting off a nearby lake or pool.

Like sunglasses for your windows, Retractable Sunshades from Screens of East Tennessee can filter the sun rays, eliminating damage to your furnishings and the unwanted glare. You can maintain your views from your living room and kitchen or opt for a complete “black out” effect in a media room. Unlike permanent shade products, Retractable Sunshades are controlled by a wireless remote so they are only there when you need them and retracted out of sight when you don’t.

Exterior mounted Retractable Sunshades provide a clean look from inside your home without affecting your interior window treatments and operate with your windows whether they are opened or closed. A variety of fabric types and styles can filter as much or as little light as you desire, and Screens of East Tennessee offers a wide selection of options to match or complement your home’s décor and color scheme.   

Many homeowners already use Retractable Sunshades to prevent passive heat gain in the summer months by preventing the sun’s rays from reaching windows, doors, and patios, and they are a great way to keep your home cooler and more comfortable while reducing energy costs. Retractable Sunshades also offer UV protection, which safeguards your home’s interior and furnishings all year-round.

Whether preventing the glaring winter sun or protecting your home from the harmful effects of ultraviolet rays, now is a great time to call Screens of East Tennessee to receive your no-cost, no-obligation consultation and estimate for Retractable Sunshades for your home.

Screens of East Tennessee

865.919.1615

www.tennesseescreens.com

www.phantomscreens.com

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