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Does your home make you happy?

 I have a question for you. Does your home make you happy?

Several months ago Lloyd and I were able to complete a kitchen remodel for my parents. Since then my parents tell us regularly how much they love their new kitchen. It is their first custom kitchen and it has really made a difference to them. My father is near eighty and spends a lot of time in the kitchen since he retired. Looking back he wishes that he had remodeled the kitchen sooner. He is so thrilled with his new work environment. He told me recently “I find myself surprised by the feelings that this new room evokes in me. The room seems to elevate your spirits immediately.”

Small projects can have a big impact on your home. There are many different ways to change a room that will give it a fresh look or help open up the space. In the past, some of our customers have found that taking out a full wall or even just half of a wall makes an old home feel new. Many times this is done in the kitchen or dining room area to make the space feel larger and more open. This can make the room appear larger and add a better flow for entertaining.

If taking out a wall seems too drastic, consider widening a door way into a room. Often this can accomplish a similar feel as taking part of a wall out. There are a host of other upgrades that can help breathe new life and energy into your home. Consider small things like your fireplace mantle, that dusty space in the corner, or the old dated molding. New mill work, trim or book cases and a fresh coat of paint can change the feel of any room.

Recently I realized even small, non-permanent changes to your home can impact you emotionally. I recently purchased two new lamps for a room in my home. After bringing them home and turning them on I was surprised how the new lamps changed the atmosphere in the room.

Opening up spaces in a home can liven it up, but bringing more light into your home can do more for you than just make it brighter. Studies on the effects of a lack of natural sunlight show that that your mood is influenced by a complex web of relationships. Your exposure to sunlight can affect the levels of melatonin (the sleep hormone) and serotonin (the hormone associated with wakefulness and elevated mood) in your body. Lynda Liu, a columnist for WebMD, suggests that a lack of summer sun can cause Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). She says serotonin levels increase when you’re exposed to bright light and that bright-light therapy can bring quick benefits to people with depression or SAD.

There are several great ways to bring more light into your home. A new sunroom or an addition with a large bank of windows is great if you have the room for it. If not, modifying an existing, south-facing, exterior wall to accept a large bay window can do wonders. Places in your home like this truly help you to stop, relax and enjoy a few moments of the day.

Take a few minutes and think about what you could do to brighten your home. Whether it is a large remodel, a small sunroom or just opening up a doorway, I hope you will give it some consideration. Revitalizing an area in your home can feel like a breath of fresh air and it can be as simple as finding a new lamp or a coat of paint. Whatever it is, my wish for you is that your home makes you happy; and if you’re considering some large changes I hope that you will give Stephens Remodeling a chance to help you with those projects.

Best Wishes,
Debbie Stephens

Relax and Kick Back on your Porch

As the holidays are approaching, I am reminded that many things will be different for our family this year.Our three sons are young men with their own lives. Family time as a whole unit is limited. It is a special time when we can be home altogether.
Over the years, my husband Lloyd, President of Stephens Builder Inc., and I have been fortunate to build two homes for our family. In both houses, we had a screened porch. What we did not know at the time was the value these screened-in rooms would bring. I am not speaking of additional resale value, but the family connections created by gathering on the porch.
I recently heard Naomi Judd, the country singer, say that every night she and her husband sit on their porch after dinner and just enjoy the sounds and scenery offered by nature. Whether it is a front porch or a screened porch, it is a peaceful place to sit and enjoy the quiet moments of life. A porch is meant for relaxing and laying back. After eating a family dinner on our porch, no one is in
a hurry to leave, not even the kids. Everyone just stays. We talk and have fun together. The comfort of this room, the outdoor air and the sounds of nature create the perfect environment for close family connections. It feels like we are on vacation and have all the time in the world. When family comes to visit, the screened porch offers an informal gathering place.
A porch can also provide valuable space for parties or conduct your club meetings. It is a great place to have an informal lunch or a candlelit night with your loved one. It can be the perfect place to spend personal time, play your acoustic guitar, read a book or write a poem. If you have an existing deck and you are considering a screened porch, only a few modifications to the footing might be required to make it happen. Just think about it, a special holiday gift that will keep on giving you joy throughout the year!
My husband Lloyd owes his remodeling success to his diverse background in building and education. Lloyd first graduated from Newport News Apprentice School in 1981and while working full time at the Shipyard, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Business Finance from the College of William & Mary. He never stops learning and continues to get certified in remodeling specialties. He has earned accreditationas a Certified Graduate Remodeler and a Certified Lead Remodeler. Lloyd is also certified in Green Building and is an Aging in Place Specialist. He has the knowledge and credentials to assist homeowners with special remodeling needs.
Whatever your remodeling dreams may be, Lloyd of Stephens Remodeling has the education, experience and the answers to do it.
 Best wishes for the holidays to you and yours,

 Debbie Stephens