Archive | Lifestyle

Moving is a Good Time to Organize

By Chris McKenry

A new home makes life a little busy and stressful, but staying organized in the process and at the new home sure helps. The “to-do” list becomes more like an activity booklet during a move. You may still need to find a moving company or get everything packed, but work, family responsibilities, and other commitments have not slowed.

A professional organizer can guide you through these tasks. During the packing process, boxes should be labeled to the new house destination. This makes unpacking much easier. Even before the move, take time to think about how to be more organized. Unpack things where they will be used, not necessarily in the same area they were in the old house.

Does the new home storage meet your needs? Unpacking will be much easier if the pantry, closets, even the laundry room and garage have storage systems that work for you. Don’t think of a closet as just a place to keep “stuff” behind a door but as a good storage design and place to showcase your collections in a way that brings you joy.

When unpacking, sort by category in every room and then start placing. In closets, use uniform hangers so everything will hang at the same level and clothes will not be playing hide and seek.

Utilize walls for vertical storage. Open wall space works well for ties and belts in closets or pots and pans in the pantry.

Line a wall with shelves if you need storage in a garage or basement. I love the beauty of stylish design and architecture, and there is something appealing about a wall of modern shelves organized into zones. A slat wall is also a fun way to organize a work space.

The best and most important moving tip is to de-clutter before you pack the old house. There is a lot of junk hiding in our homes that is no longer important. With the clutter gone, all that is left to organize is what will enhance your new home and life.

Chris McKenry provides custom closet design and professional organizing services to unpack your home.

Closets by McKenry

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FML Painting

By Florin Leuciuc

When my wife and I launched FML Painting more than 15 years ago, our goal was to provide homeowners and business owners with a superior customer service experience that is increasingly difficult to find today. In creating this experience, we turned to our experiences in Europe, where skills such as painting were regarded as an art performed by highly skilled craftsmen that invested years learning their craft as apprentices before becoming fully qualified craftsmen.

At FML Painting, our painters progress in their craft as apprentices under the careful supervision of an experienced painter. This commitment to quality is to also offer each of our customers an unconditional guarantee on all work we perform. Also, to provide a completely turn-key customer experience, we also offer pressure washing, drywall repair and finishing, and remodeling. And because all of the work we offer is performed by our own employees, you never have to worry about the challenges that often result from painting contractors who rely almost entirely on subcontractors.

We have earned a reputation of listening carefully to each of our clients before recommending the necessary services to achieve our customers’ objectives. We remain focused on the quality of the work performed. With a close eye on affordability, all work is performed in a safe and efficient manner with as little disruption to your daily routine as possible. And we finish on time.

If you own a home or business and are considering an interior or exterior painting project, I invite you to discover the FML Painting difference. Rediscover the old-world craftsmanship you’re looking for but thought no longer existed today.

There’s no need to accept poor quality workmanship so prevalent today. A complete turn-key experience, no subcontractors, quality materials, highly skilled craftsmen, fully insured, and affordable is your guarantee of the very best customer experience available from FML Painting. Let FML Painting transform your next painting project from ordinary to extraordinary.

FML Painting
245 Long Bow Road
Knoxville, TN 37934

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Closets by McKenry

Designing a Great Laundry Room

Does your laundry room have a “Caution, Do Not Enter” sign on the door? A good, working laundry room should not be closed off from the rest of the home, but open for use.

Laundry rooms should have the same attention to detail as other rooms in the home. After all, work is more pleasant when you enjoy being in the space. A well-organized laundry room also allows family and guests to help themselves when needed.

Just like any organizing project, start by discarding what is no longer needed or wanted. Then send those items that should be elsewhere in the home on their way. Now you are starting with a blank canvas to design a room that is aesthetic and functional.

Create “zones” for various chores. These include guest supplies, house cleaning, laundry, linens, ironing, and even entertaining. When we design spaces, we ask questions to define your needs. Are drawers needed for smaller items? Do some shelves need to be deeper than others? What is going in the space?

A well-designed laundry room makes delegating easy. Kids can help by folding clothes if there is a space dedicated for doing so. A drying rod can handle delicate items after they are removed from the washer, helping decrease the “chore” of laundry.

Staying organized will help you focus on enjoying your family, friends, and fun during the holidays and all seasons of the year. Overnight guests tend to feel more welcomed if they are invited to help themselves when in need of more towels, soap, or tissue. If your area just doesn’t seem to work for you, think about creating a blank canvas to paint an organized home for your family.

Closets by McKenry offers custom-designed spaces to meet your needs. To learn more, call 865-249-6382 or visit

Closets by McKenry

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Fish Window Cleaning

Make This Holiday Season Enjoyable, Not Stressful

By John Randazzo

Are you ready for the holidays? These can be wonderful times to share with friends and family, but it’s also stressful when you are the one who must plan the meals and entertainment, buy the gifts, clean the house, and organize the decorations. Here are a few tips to help you get through the upcoming holidays:

» Begin by making a holiday “to do” list of everything you need to accomplish. Decide which tasks you’ll handle yourself and which ones you can outsource.

» Plan your meals and entertainment. Get out your recipe books, and decide what you’ll serve. Make your grocery list, and place your orders early for turkey, ham, or other special order items. Get your groceries delivered to save you extra time.

» Make your gift list, and see what can be purchased online so you can avoid the rush of holiday shoppers.

» Get out the decorations, and recruit your family to help unpack and hang them.

» Get your home ready to shine when you entertain friends and family – dust furniture, change linens in the guest room, run the vacuum, polish the silver, dust the baseboards, clean the bathrooms. Keep cleaning products handy for fast touch-ups and easy maintenance after deep cleaning.

» Let Fish Window Cleaning add the final touches to make your home sparkle:

  • Clean chandeliers and mirrors.
  • Dust and clean hard-to-reach ceiling fans.
  • Clean skylights and solar panels.
  • Reach and thoroughly clean fixtures in high ceilings or on walls.
  • Clean gutters and downspouts outside your home.
  • Clean awnings.
  • Pressure wash concrete surfaces, siding, gutters, soffits, patios, and decks.
  • Clean all your windows, inside and out. Detail the sills, frames, and tracks and clean screens.
  • Take advantage of our FREE estimate offer and 100% guarantee on all our work.

» Call Fish Window Cleaning early to make an appointment, as our holiday schedule fills up quickly.

» Make time to have a happy and memorable holiday season with your friends and family this year!

Seasons greetings!

Fish Window Cleaning

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Shae Design Studio

Home for the Holidays

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Leaves are falling, temperatures are dropping, and the hustle and bustle of the holidays is right around the corner.

You may be getting ready to pull out all your boxes of decorations to get your home ready for the holidays. It is so exciting to see those favorite pieces again and incorporate them into your home after being packed away for so long. After all, holiday decorations are a huge part of a family tradition.

Adding a few new, meaningful pieces to your collection will be sure to surprise your family and be a wonderful addition to your holiday traditions. As you walk into our showroom, you will see many different setups and displays. Each one has its own distinct style and is designed by one of our own designers. During the holiday season, we incorporate our new seasonal items into each setup to show our customers how to use them to decorate their home.

We offer products to fit every budget and design style. With more than 40 vendors to choose from, finding the perfect piece for your home is easy and affordable. We also carry hundreds of in-stock items that you can take with you!

The holidays are meant for family gatherings and company, and this can sometimes be overwhelming. The designers at Shae Design Studio want to help you get your home ready for this special time! Whether you need a few new pieces to replace some old furniture that you have had for years or if you need help with an entire home project, we can do it all! Having a designer help you get ready for the holidays makes for a stress-free, relaxing time with your family.

Whether it’s a little inspiration you need or help with a project, Shae Design Studio can meet your needs! Our designers are passionate about helping people make the right selections for their home from start to finish. Getting ready for the holidays can be overwhelming, but with the help from Shae Design Studio, you can tackle even the hardest projects.

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

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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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