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Until the turbulent US economy stops spiraling and starts rebounding, every dollar counts. When it comes to putting your money where your home is, I want to share some ideal ways to get started recouping the most on your investments – both today and in the future.
Your home is a system that’s really just as good as the sum of its parts. Not unlike an auto made up of interacting components, a house also needs to be in sync and tuned up for efficiency. Potential areas of concern comprise costly energy bills, uneven temperatures from room-to-room, drafts, moisture, mold, mildew, poor indoor air quality, ice dams, pest infestations, seemingly uncontrollable humidity levels, and even premature deterioration of building materials. These can all result from a breakdown in the relationship between the house systems: the actual building, heating and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment, and you, the occupant.
The process-of-elimination approach may wear on your nerves as you try solution after solution, investing more time, money and energy – with undue stress, without resolution.

Properly diagnosing and fixing the root cause requires a house-as-a-system approach based on building science. This is where it pays to call in a certified professional and/or accredited contracting company; these pros are trained to conduct comprehensive, whole-home assessments to find the real problems, then prescribe and prioritize improvements that make the system as a whole function at its best, turning your home into a finely tuned machine. For improved efficiency, an energy assessment is a must to spot a home’s deficiencies.
Getting More for your Money
Most home-performance retrofit projects will pay for themselves over time in reduced energy consumption and lower utility bills. But, remember, to accelerate that return on investment there are numerous incentive programs, including many funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

  • ENERGY STAR is a national flagship initiative from the Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which offers a comprehensive, whole-house approach to improving energy efficiency and comfort at home while helping to protect the environment. BPI is deeply involved in the ongoing development and deployment of this key program.
  • Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) is a comprehensive source of information on state, local, utility, and federal incentives and policies that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency. Established in 1995, DSIRE is an ongoing project of the NC Solar Center and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Again, there are some requirements for the work to be performed by BPI-credentialed professionals.
  • The Weatherization Assistance Programs enables low-income families to permanently reduce energy bills by making their homes more energy efficient. During the last 32 years, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Weatherization Assistance Program has provided services to more than 6.2 million low-income families. Many weatherization assistance programs use the services of BPI certified professionals. Check to find out if you qualify.

Armed with this newfound knowledge, make it worth your while – and dollars – to do some investigating to make your home truly high performance in all areas.

For more information contact Advanced Renovations at 704-799-3999 or visit their website at  Advanced Renovations is located at 3914 Miriam Drive, Charlotte, NC 28205.

Writing collaborated by Duane Johns (Advanced Renovations, Inc.) and Ginger Sprinkle @ nine dots branding & marketing company @ 704.998.8797

In my business I believe a nursery is all about Mom. It’s a room women dream of creating to welcome their new baby. It’s a
beautiful space to soak in some quite time while a baby is being rocked to sleep or a place to simply to gaze at while checking
in on a baby during nap time. Nurseries are an exciting thing to create in anticipation. Nurseries should transition easily into
a little person’s room. Roll in the bed and bide your time.

The teen room is generally the next, well, expense, or should I say long awaited dream – depending on who you ask. By the age of 13, I feel personalities should be expressed and function should rule. Mom appreciates the organization and their daughter’s feel a sense of expression and ownership.

Recently, I was asked to help in the completion of a ten-year-old preteen room. I was handed three things, brown walls, a fuchsia headboard and a bunch of trophies – my starting point. Emma and her mom, Stacy, were enthusiastic clients and every designer’s dream–they had trust in my skills and wanted to be surprised, so I was free to pull it all together.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm located at 1009 East Boulevard in Charlotte. They can be reached at 704-342-6655 or at

1. Looking like it belongs in the office ofDon Draper from Mad Men, this beautiful
coffee table from the Thom Filicia Collection harkens back to a style from a different era.
Available in several colors and wood finishes. The Furniture
Connector. 704-507-9023.

2. Light-weight aluminum stacking chairs by designer Kasper Salto. Available with or
without arms. Backrest and seat in synthetic material or upholstered in fabric or leather.
Available in 9 colors.

3. This richly colored, tall cabinet offers amplestorage while maximizing space efficiency.

The unique combination of both closed cupboard storage and open shelving offers varying

storage styles for varying product demands. Stickley. 704-442-7171.

4. The new David Hicks fabric designs range from punchy geometrics to stylised floral
motifs, in luxurious qualities ranging from sheers and printed linens to cut velvet and
flocked taffeta silk. Stark Carpet.

5. Bright. Versatile. Unique. Floral capiz pendant makes a bold statement in the foyer
but compact enough to illuminate a powder room. Translucent floral available in turquoise,
hot pink, gold or white. Lucy and Company. 704-342-6655.

6. The Crosby Entertainment Console is as lovely for the eyes to behold as it is
functional. The four door cabinet is finished in limed oak, with adjustable hinges, interior
shelf, and pre-cut cord holes on the back. City Supply Co.

7. FireflyTM Original garden art serves many purposes, including a plant stake, garden art
and pathway lighting. When darkness falls, the amber LED light turns itself on automatically

and is beautiful both day and night. Just plant the FireflyTM in your garden and let nature takes

its course. Porches and Yards. 704-987-3544.

8. With a spectrum of designs ranging from formal to casual and bold to understated,
Robert Allen fabrics provide the necessary tools to create the most distinguished of spaces.
Pictured here is the Vintage Blossom in Front Door Fabrics.

I love playrooms today. I don’t remember having one as a kid; we all played in our bedrooms and in the backyard, so how lucky are our kids to have that bonus room, basement or attic conversion found in homes today. I frequently am asked to help with these spaces and the No. 1 need is storage and zones for all the activities and “stuff” that can clutter up a bedroom (and the family living room). It’s a room that should be devoted to imagination, color, fun and a hiding place for all the plastic toys we love to hate. Basically it’s a room for stuff and lots of it.
Depending on a child’s age, interests and activities the one constant is the color and usually a lot of it. There are a rare few that will amp up our family rooms to this extent, so go nuts in the playroom.

Click here to view the entire article or visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to learn more.

Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm
located at 1009 East Boulevard in Charlotte. They can be reached at 704-342-
6655 or at

No matter what the age, some girls just love pink. They can be two or 42, but to that girl, pink never goes out of style. Pink can be soft and sweet with thoughts of spring flowers or bright and bold to energize. Both styles can be very different, but both are all girl. Not long ago the Savage family came to us in search of design help for their three-year-old daughter. While three may seem quite young for a room with such grown up detail, as always our advice—“design to last.”

The inspiration for this room started with a great rug, but we didn’t want the rug, we wanted the design on it…the amazing flower. Ashley Goodwin, an up and coming designer at Lucy and Company, created this look incorporating all the key ingredients: A focal point, quality furniture and cohesive detail. Ashley worked with Keith Keim, our onstaff artist, and Eddie Bass, to implement the hand-painted walls. The stripes around the perimeter were designed to balance the colors and scale of the large floral. The simplicity of the furniture compliments the intricate detail of the wall treatment.

Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm located in the heart of Dilworth at 1009 East Boulevard. They can be reached at 704-342-6655 or at

Visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to view the entire article 

Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm located in the heart of Dilworth at 1009 East Boulevard. They can be reached at 704-342-6655 or at


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

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

Teenage girls, my most frequent clients, are the most challenging of all. Girls reach that age where they are ready to pack up the beenie babies and fairy princess bedding and find their style. Where to start? Bed style and color. To my delight I recently worked with a very mature and laid back young woman named Riley Goodling.

Loved her immediately because she wanted to incorporate my two favorite colors of the moment: yellow and grey, yes I said grey. She also knew what she wanted, a low bed with clean lines. I don’t get that request very often and I was excited to work with such a sophisticated color palette and style…

Beth Keim is the owner of Lucy and Company, a full-service interior design firm located in the heart of Dilworth at 1009 East Boulevard. They can be reached at 704-342-6655 or at

Visit Urban Home Magazine’s website to view the entire article

Plover textiles are produced from the best quality 100% organic cotton, making it better for you and your family, for your home, and for the environment.

The organic cotton in Plover’s linens comes from non-genetically engineered seeds grown in soil that is of pesticides, herbicides or other cytotoxins – keeping poisons away from those you love and out of the echosystem.

To browse their great selection of sheets, duvets, quilts, shams, pillows, pillowcases, crib bedding, fabric, and tabletop collection visit

DwellStudio was born as Dwell Home Furnishings, in 1999. Founder and Creative Director Christiane Lemieux, a veteran of the worlds of fashion and home retail, wanted to offer the discerning customer a range of vibrant and modern textile designs.  She certainly succeeded.  DwellStudio offers a great selection of modern home designs for babies, kids, and people of all ages.

These are just a few of our favorites:

  1. Dots Chocolate Storage Bin
  2. Squares Dove Grey Sheet Set
  3. Cubist Charcoal Throw
  4. Gate Sun Coasters

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