Thursday, August 26, 2010

Kitchen Upgrades

This article gives more indications of current trends for those considering remodeling.

Counter tops: Stainless steel, antiqued marble, lava stone, wood, concrete, mosaics and flamed granite with a textured, matte finish.

Cabinetry: Fewer overhead cabinets. Lift-up or sliding doors, self-closing drawers, glass-fronted cabinets and glass shelving, tracks inside doors for attaching storage accessories, pantires with multiple storage options. Fresh finishes, from smooth, high-gloss and matte lacquer, to textured, horizontal-grain laminates.

Appliances: Free-standing accent pieces and fully-integrated designs that blend with cabinets. Fridges with more crisper space, less freezer space; combination gas/electric ranges; designer range hoods; super-quiet dishwashers; specialty sink faucets; luxury items such as warmer drawers for coffee mugs.

Lighting: Combinations of soft incandescent, bright halogen and cool, energy-efficient LED bulbs.

Colors: Warm neutrals such as walnut, slate, sand, greige, celadon and magnolia.

Architectural elements: Wall niches and bump-outs for housing coffee machines, juicers, dinnerware, herbs, spices and collectibles.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Upgrades to your home

Some months back in my newsletter, "The Marsoun Report" I commented on how people are seeking more contemporary settings for a potential purchase as opposed to more traditional settings.

I was discussing this with a friend over the weekend, and we kind of surmised that a good rule of thumb is to plan for about a 1% annual contribution for the updating of a home.

Therefore, a house costing $250,000 should plan to reinvest about $2,500 a year in upgrades. That amount in any one year may not seem like alot, but when you consider every 4 years it is a $10,000 improvement, it starts to make sense. Couple that with the ability to enjoy the upgrades while living there and it makes even more sense.

The potential benefit of this reinvestment will be a higher resale value when the home is put back on the market. So sharpen your pencils, and make plans to get on the upgrade train.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Amelie's on Tryon

Amelie's French Bakery, a unique and exceedingly popular NoDa spot open 24 hours a day will be taking the spot formerly held by Dilworth Coffee in the Chamber of Commerce Building located on the corner of MLK Jr. Blvd and South Tryon by the Wells Fargo campus. The lease was signed today.

Work will commence immediately for a planned opening by the end of August, sooner if possible. Because the space is only 800 sq ft, it will not have all the ambiance that the NoDa location has. Also, because of zoning and licensing issues, food will not be prepared on site, but carted from NoDa. Who cares, it is all good.

Hours of Operation are planned to be 6:30 am - 6:30 pm Mon - Fri and 9 to 4 on Sat. Closed Sundays.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Charlotte - Raleigh Rail Traffic Up

The article below was in the Charlotte Business Journal, and should be titled "If you make it more convenient, they will ride!"

The new mid-day trains between Raleigh and Charlotte boosted rail travel on Amtrak’s Piedmont line by more than 200 percent during June.

Ridership on trains between North Carolina’s two largest cities climbed from 5,258 in June 2009, to 15,426 in June 2010. Amtrak officials credit the surge to the new mid-day trains, which started running June 5. The new service added two more trains to the four already running. Three of the trains run from Raleigh to Charlotte; the others run from Charlotte to Raleigh.

“The additional trains in the mid-day have given business travelers, families and college students more options to travel via rail,” said State Transportation Secretary Gene Conti. “Ridership gains show when more trains are offered, more travelers will ride.”

The new service, which takes just over three hours to complete and includes stops in Cary, Durham, Burlington, Greensboro, High Point, Salisbury and Kannapolis, is expected to attract 43,000 riders in its first year.

The news comes as Amtrak’s overall train ridership in North Carolina is climbing. For the period of October through June, ridership overall jumped 26 percent, with 65,956 people riding the rails so far this year compared to 52,347 during the same period a year ago.