You are currently browsing the monthly archive for March 2010.

Holly Becker, of decor8, found some great new products for Spring at Z Gallerie. Visit their store at Northlake Mall or for additional information.

  1. Devon Mirror
  2. Boot Umbrella Stand
  3. Bukhara Pillow
  4. Alister Sofa

Green Building means something different to everyone you ask about the subject.  I have listened to a lot of people that perceive themselves as the foremost experts in the field. I have spent countless hours in Green Building classes and Green Builder Council meetings.  I have read a number of books on Green Building and related subjects. I have received my Certified Green Professional certificate. There is now a television station devoted to Green Building on my satellite provider called Planet Green TV.  There are infinite websites on the subject, countless discussion groups on professional networking websites, various companies selling green this and green that. The green buzz has become overwhelming. People are acting as if this is something new. Green Building practices have been utilized since the energy crisis in the 1970’s. Don’t believe me. Have you ever seen an old big bulky solar panel on a small bungalow house? Have you ever heard of a geo-thermal heat pump or double paned low-e windows? We have been using engineered floor systems (wood I-Joists) for over 10 years now in my southeast market. This gets back to Einstein’s theory of relativity. Green building has always been around us. Building science is not new; we just never realized it was there. It was never brought to the forefront until the world was hit with a struggling economy and outrageous fuel prices. Everything is relative. If you were building quality, tight, energy efficient homes you just called it a quality home. Granted this Green Building push has increased the quality of homes built by companies that prior only abided by the local building codes. For the most part quality builders have to change what they are doing very little to get a gold certified green home, besides the additional paperwork, third party inspections and the fees associated with both. To me the most important thing to consider when building a green home is framing the home as tight as possible. This will allow the HVAC contractor to better efficiently control the indoor air quality. After all in the whole scheme of things it is the next fifty years of energy usage after your home is built that matter the most. Energy consumption is the most expensive and can be the sole greenest item in the house.  I’ll take a solar hot water tank over bamboo floors any day of the week. Not to discredit green building materials because there are a plethora of new things on the market today. Technology for building materials only keeps getting better, faster, and more ecological, but being green starts with personal strides to reduce energy consumption.

Think about easy things you can do to save energy. Things that may seem small and trivial will have a snowball effect and accumulate over time. Simple things like unplugging televisions and alarm clocks in rooms that get seldom use or unplugging phone chargers when not in use can lower electrical usage. Changing out all of your light bulbs to compact fluorescent lights will save energy. Turning off lights or installing dimmer switches are good ways to save energy. Walking or riding a bike to the park instead of driving and recycling bottles, cans and paper save energy. Creating compost for organic waste and reducing the amount of garbage you create all save energy in some way. Before you start thinking about green building you need to alter your lifestyle ever so slightly and start thinking about how you can consume less energy and create less waste.

Create a snowball effect. Think about ways to consume less to enhance your green technology. For example, save 10% less water by consciously taking a shorter shower now. When you build your house install a low flow shower head that will reduce 20% of your water usage on top of 10% you are accustomed to saving by taking shorter showers. Being green is a lifestyle change. It’s not just purchasing green technology or building an energy efficient home. The house is a system. The people living in the house are part of the system, consuming energy, using the HVAC, turning on lights, opening doors and windows. Does it make sense to build an air tight house and keep all of the windows and doors open while the air conditioner is running? No. Truly being green means using the new technology, building science and energy systems to the best and most efficient ability possible.

For more information, contact Kevin Holdridge at KDH Residential Designs,  704-909-2755 or visit their website at

Both exhibitions will be on view in our Southend location from April 2nd until May 29th. A ‘meet the artists’ opening reception will be held Friday, April 2nd from 6-9pm.  Magician Michael Casey will also be performing during the opening reception.

A Chorus from the Brain Forest is inspired by humanity’s yearning to stay in tune to the environment. In this series of paintings, Lark & Key co-owner Duy Huynh combines three components that continue to be influential to his thought process:  music, memory and Mother Nature.  Though our ever-changing world may appear more chaotic by the minute, Huynh hopes to highlight the beautiful and mysterious patterns that are orchestrated to create our rhythmical surroundings.  His contemplative acrylic paintings create a mood for the viewer to explore and discover their own interpretations.

Drawn Together features the ceramics of Julie Wiggins and her mentor Suze Lindsay.  The two potters have developed a strong relationship through the years, their first encounter occurring at Suze’s Fork Mountain Pottery studio when Julie was a young, impressionable struggling student. 

The pottery of Charlotte, NC based Julie Wiggins is intended for everyday use that dictates function throughout cultures and time.  Working with high-fired porcelain in a gas fired reduction kiln, Julie manipulates and alters components of wheel thrown and hand-built techniques. History and tradition play an important role in her work.  Inspiration comes from environmental and architectural settings along with the repetition and gestural quality of a line. Julie’s hand drawn imagery, created by using an inlay surface technique, is a reflection of her memories, travels and loves of life. Julie was born in Jacksonville, NC and attended East Carolina University where she received her BFA in Ceramics.  She is currently the studio manager and a studio artist at Clayworks, Inc in Charlotte, NC.

Suze Lindsay lives and works in Bakersville, NC where she and her husband create pottery under the name Fork Mountain Pottery.  Her stoneware pots subtly reference the figure, as she is known for her altered pottery forms that are decorated and fired in a salt kiln.  Her mark making is strongly influenced by the study of historical ceramics with a focus surface decoration used to enhance form by patterning and painting slips and glazes. Suze’s studies include a two-year fellowship at Penland School of Crafts as a “core student”, followed by earning her MFA from Louisiana State University.  She also holds two educational degrees, one in special education and the other in Montessori teaching theory.  Suze has taught at numerous art centers and universities, including Haystack Mountain School of Craft, Penland School of Craft, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts.

Years after their initial meeting, both potters studied at the Jingdezhen Ceramic Institute in Jingdezhen, China where long train rides, interesting food adventures and navigating new cities drew them close and took their mentor/mentee relationship to a new level.

Lark & Key Gallery (Southend) / 128 E. Park Ave, Ste B / Charlotte, NC 28203

For more information contact Sandy Snead at 704.334.4616 or

Mary Stonecypher, of Olivet, posted some of her ideas for sprucing up a sterile kitchen along with some great links to get you started.  Here they are!

  1. Hang colorful, printed dish towels and mitts on hooks or oven doors for extra dimension.
  2. Add little shelves to blank walls to display spices and bottles.
  3. Frame a piece of light weight pegboard and add to the wall for hanging colanders, pots and utensils.
  4. Never underestimate the impact of fresh flowers, they can do wonders for a blank canvas.

For more creative ideas from Mary visit

Local interior designer, Laura Casey, found some great rooms that have prominently used maps as art.  It’s an interesting and, in some cases, inexpensive way to liven up your walls! Laura is a graduate of the New York School of Design and an Allied Member of the American Society of Interior Designers.  To read her blog visit

Michael DiFabion of DiFabion Remodeling has received his EPA Certified Renovator designation from the NAHB of Charlotte. The EPA’s Renovation, Repair and Painting Final Rule requires that any firms working in pre-1978 housing and child-occupied facilities must use lead-safe work practices during renovations, where lead paint will be disturbed. By recognizing the health risks involved with lead paint exposure to children and adults, DiFabion Remodeling continues to demonstrate its commitment to safety, while effectively providing high quality remodeling. 

Space, planning and accessorizing can play a huge role in successfully designing a room. Placing a sofa or even a chair at an angle can add charm and interest to a space. Accessories can also highlight the area if strategically placed.

The design staff at Furniture Marketplace are trained to assist their customers in achieving just that at an affordable price. The stage is set in a beautiful 35,000 square foot showroom which is open to the public. Furniture Marketplace also features a complete website for customers to enjoy in the luxury of their own home.

We welcome you to come visit our relaxed atmosphere and take advantage of the specials that Furniture Marketplace offers.

Furniture Marketplace

1201 Westinghouse Blvd. Charlotte, NC 28273

Creating a kitchen that will last is no easy task so take a look at a few of these tips to make the process a little smoother:

  1. Determine where you should save and splurge by asking yourself how you’re going to live in the space.
  2. Embrace your home’s story by keeping architectural elements that add character and soul.
  3. Make your kitchen more efficient by splurging on custom cabinetry that allows you to customize the layout to fit your needs.

For more kitchen remodeling tips from Southern Accents click here.

Photograph by Dan Chavkin

THE BEST OF GREEN DESIGN: LivingHomes prefabricates houses with nontoxic materials, making for healthy shelters — both outside and in.

1. WALLS Western red cedar paneling by Eco-Lumber Co-op comes from forests that have been certified as responsibly managed.

2. LIGHTING Recessed LED lights by Permlight draw 33 percent less electricity than already thrifty compact fluorescents.

3. REFRIGERATOR Bosch’s Evolution 800 refrigerator is 16 percent more energy-efficient than federal energy-use standards require.

4. HEATING Radiant heating tubes—fed by an Apricus solar water heating collector on the roof—snake through concrete floors, warming the home’s interior.

5. FLOOR Cork planking from Natural Cork is milled from naturally regenerating tree bark and contains no formaldehyde.

For more information on these tips, visit: and

Where Spring Happens First®

You are invited to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Southeast’s largest and most established home and garden show!

Leisurely stroll through 24 magnificently landscaped gardens and celebrate family memories of days-gone-by in our ’60s, ’70’s, and ’80’s themed rooms. Then get up-to date with our inspiring designer rooms from the Interior Design Society along with splendid displays of bonsai, Ikebana, and orchids.

Talk with professionals from more than 400 companies showcasing: the latest and greatest in kitchen and bath, building and home improvement, outdoor living, green living, the green market, decorative arts and crafts, and wineries. Taste, travel and shop the marketplace at your own pace and with your own unique spring plans in mind.

But, best of all, meet the professionals who can help you with information and advice to create your own dream spaces inside and outside your home.

Show features include:

  • Garden & Interiors Showplace
  • Kitchen & Bath Pavillion
  • Outdoor Living Marketplace
  • The Green Market
  • Building and Home Improvement
  • Decorative Arts and Crafts Pavillion
  • Taste and Travel
  • The Green Building Pavilion
 The Park Expo and Conference Center
2500 E. Independence Blvd.
Charlotte NC, 28205


Admission :
At the Door:

  • Adults $10.00
  • Under 15 free with a paying adult
  • Special Days: The Spring for Kids First Night Gala benefiting the Council for Children’s Rights will take place from 7pm to 10pm on March 3. Tickets are $50 and include access to Freedom Hall, food, beverage, and entertainment.
  • Seniors Day (55+) Wednesday $7.00 ( No Coupons)
  • Advance Tickets: $7.50 Harris Teeter (With Your VIC Card)
    Advance tickets will be available at regional Harris Teeter stores two weeks prior to the show.
  • Hours :
    Wednesday & Thursday: 10am-6pm
    Friday & Saturday: 10am-9pm
    Sunday: 10am-6pm
  • Wheelchairs available on a first come first serve basis. Cost is $1 and must leave a valid driver’s license or ID.
    Parking: All Day Parking $6.00
  • For More Information Contact : 
    Mardee Woodward
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