The Record Homescape 04-02-2020 - Page 2
2H ❚ THURSDAY, APRIL 2, 2020 ❚ THE RECORD
HOMESCAPE / ADVERTISING SECTION
YOU CAN BE
We invite our readers to submit
photos and background information
for four of our recurring features:
n “MY HOME PROJECT” — Do
you love tackling home improvement
challenges? Is it your idea of fun to
build shelves, stencil walls or refinish
furniture? Maybe you’ve even reno-
vated a large area on your own! If you
can provide a short write up and high
quality “before” and “after” photos of
one of your projects, we’d like to share
them with our readers.
n “COMFORT ZONE” — Do you
have a “go-to” or unique space in your
home designed to cater to your special
interests? It could be a game room,
fitness center, workshop, audio room,
unique retreat where you indulge
in your favorite hobby or just hang
out with friends. “Scouting shots” are
OK for this feature, because if your
room fits our criteria we’ll have our
photographer photograph the space.
n “COLLECTIONS” or “FAMILY
HEIRLOOMS” — Are you an ardent
collector of interesting items that
fit a theme and are integrated
into your home décor, or have you
discovered a family heirloom that
you’ve restored for display? We’d love
to see your collection or learn
about your heirloom’s special history.
Contact James Emolo
CUSTOM PUB SPECIALISTS
James Emolo and Joseph Ritacco
NORTH JERSEY MEDIA GROUP
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Natural Habitat: Plant native garden
produced from cuttings (asexual propa-
gation) vs. seed (sexual propagation),”
or sidewalk or in any other location. Maybe
explains Bruce Crawford, Rutgers Gardens
most important are your reasons for plant-
ing that tree … what are you hoping to get?”
“When a plant is reproduced by seed,
If you want a tree that will benefit you as
there is genetic diversity that allows the
well as other plants and animals, then plant
plant to adapt to an ever-changing environ-
a species that is native to your area.
ment. In contrast, asexually propagated
cultivars are all geneti-
cally identical but less tol-
erant of environmental
cultivars may not provide
all the benefits of native
plants, they can still be
somewhat beneficial to
Before you start
planning a native garden,
be aware that your plants
may be eaten and your
PHOTO COURTESY OF WILD BIRDS UNLIMITED garden might not look
Birdbaths are a welcome addition to a bird habitat, but it is
“One of the reasons
advised to keep the water no more than two inches deep.
we plant Aesclepias
or Butterfly Weed is to attract Monarch
butterflies, whose larvae in turn feed on the
Planting a native garden brings many
leaves of the plants, often stripping their
benefits, chief among them that native
foliage,” notes Crawford. “Oak trees attract
plants provide food to pollinators such as
over 530 insects that feed on the leaves, so
bees, butterflies and birds. These pollinators it is rare to see one of our native oaks with-
in turn distribute pollen among other plants,
out perforated foliage.”
helping them to produce fertile seeds. And
CRAFTING A BIRD HABITAT
fertile seeds are essential to producing
The first step to creating a bird habitat
much of our food.
is to provide food, water and shelter for our
Non-native plants are often not compatible feathered visitors.
with our pollinators as their nectar or pollen
“Insect eaters such as bluebirds, chicka-
may be inedible to local insects or birds.
dees, cardinals, nuthatches, and woodpeck-
One challenge to going native is that the
ers like to eat live mealworms,” explains
plants are often difficult to find in your local Scott Gunther of Wild Birds Unlimited in
garden store. Instead, you might find “culti-
vars” under the label of “native.”
The best feeders to use with mealworms
“The word cultivar is short for cultivated
are cup-shaped, with smooth sides that are
variety and refers to a plant that is typically
more than 1-inch high to prevent the worms
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1H
from crawling out.
“Suet feeders also attract a large number
of birds; make sure you buy a feeder that
has a tail prop — an extra long piece that
hangs down, allowing the birds to balance
by using their tails,” advises Gunther.
Some birds love fruit, and there are
feeders designed to hold pieces of orange
or apple. Some feeds include dried cranber-
ries, cherries or raisins in the mix.
For ground-feeding birds such as
sparrows, doves, cardinals and blue jays,
Gunther suggests using mixes that include
white millet. “Black oil sunflower seeds
are also favored by cardinals and finches,
among others,” he adds.
According to Gunther, birds who tend
to eat in the mid to upper levels of trees
will prefer feeders with mixes that contain
peanuts, sunflower chips and tree nuts.
“No-mess” blends of seeds discourage
squirrels and other rodents by helping
to minimize the seed mess on the ground.
Bird feeders are a lot of fun to watch
but they also need cleaning in order to
prevent mold and disease from spreading
through the seed. “Wash them with bleach
and water every couple of weeks,” says
The most important thing to remember
when it comes to birdbaths is that they
should be no more than 1.5 - 2 inches deep
so the birds feel safe. Be sure to change the
water once a week.
If you plan to install a birdhouse, make
sure it has ventilation and drainage, and
is easy to clean. “Once a year you need to
remove the old nest so the birds can use it
again,” says Gunther. “And make sure the
house does not have a perch, to make it
harder for predators to get inside and raid
For more information on native plants
log on to the Native Plant Society of New
Jersey at npsnj.org
Spring Cleaning: Attack clutter before you begin cleaning
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1H
It’s also smart to cut your work down
to size by attacking clutter first. “Declutter-
ing before cleaning is essential,” said
Maniscalco. It will make organizing later
more of a breeze than a hassle.
There’s even a science to how to clean
a room. Cohron suggested working from
top to bottom, back to front, and circling
the room from left to right. “You are get-
ting the dust and dirt from the top to come
down before you get to that lower surface.
By being consistent you’ll make sure you
don’t miss spots,” she explained.
Then there are those items in the house
that always seem to escape the weekly
Harris suggests giving special attention
to bedding, which includes vacuuming the
top, bottom and sides of the mattress, along
with washing the comforter. Also, don’t
forget to toss expired products, wipe down
ceiling fan blades, vacuum couch cushions,
and wash or replace the shower curtain, she
STAMP OUT GERMS!
For those anxious about staying safe and
healthy, Cohron finds there is good news
on the home front: “The Coronavirus we
are all fighting is susceptible to household
cleaning products!” And the best product
to kill those germs by almost 100 percent
is a disinfectant, she said, preferring it to a
sanitizing agent, which merely reduces the
germs on a surface.
Disinfecting and spring cleaning go hand
See SPRING CLEANING, Page 4H
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STOCK & CUSTOM CABINETS
Laminate cabinets with faux wood design replicate the look of traditional wood cabinets.
Cabinets: materials matter
CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1H
the kitchen environment,” Fennessy
explains. They are also highly resistant to
stains and moisture, too. “With wood, the
kitchen environment often causes warping
To be sure, high-pressure treated
laminate is strong and durable as opposed
to melamine, another type of laminate that
is less expensive, but also less resistant
to daily wear and tear.
“The kitchen is the most-used room
in the home. Homeowners want to be sure
they are getting the best bang for their
buck and that the materials they choose
will hold up for decades,” says Mayers.
“The laminate materials Kitchen Magic
uses are carefully vetted, with quality and
durability first, ensuring that we offer our
customers only the best possible product.
An added benefit is the fast manufacturing
lead time of the laminate door compared to
its all-wood counterpart.
“Our factory uses a solid, furniture-
grade wood core for our maintenance-free
doors. The decorative, laminate overlay (in
the color, texture and finish the customer
selects) is heat pressed to the core of the
door, using state-of-the-art equipment and
Style-wise, you have a number of choices.
”The laminated door [option] is available
in an endless array of designs. Flat colors
such as whites, grays, or colorful blues or
greens are popular,” says Fennessy. “So
are [faux] wood grains for those seeking
the warm look of traditional wood cabinets.
They are so realistic, people often have a
hard time distinguishing them from the real
GLAMOROUS, GLOSSY ACRYLIC
For a highly sophisticated look that’s
particularly suited to a contemporary kitch-
en, there’s acrylic cabinets. Actually, “acryl-
ic” refers to the finish, which is high-quality
plastic coating or sheet applied over wood
or medium-density fiberboard. The face of
these cabinets is glossy and mirror-like, and
the finish is water-proof; it won’t crack, chip
or stain easily. If you splash something on
the cabinets or notice a mark, just use mild
soap and water and a soft cloth to clean the
surface. Then to maintain acrylic cabinets’
good looks, polish them once a month,
using a plastic polish.
These upscale cabinets come at a
cost, which is usually, although not always,
higher than standard wood or laminate.
According to Lorriane Sterl, of Sterl Kitchens
in North Bergen, “On the high end, these
cabinets come in many colors (including
faux stainless steel); on the low end of the
price range, however, only white is available.
However, the look can be achieved within a
realistic, reasonable price range.”
A COOL CHOICE
As industrial design trends upward,
stainless steel continues to be a popular
material, even for kitchen cabinets. Like
acrylic, stainless steel lends itself to con-
temporary design, but with a commercial
See CABINETS, Page 3H