Five Ways to Improve Your Home this Summer for Less Than $1,000

 

Making upgrades to your home doesn’t always have to cost a lot of money. In fact, it is quite possible to greatly improve the look, feel, and value of your home for less than $1,000. While summer is busy and money might be tight with summer camps and vacations, City Home Center has a few summer home improvement tips that you can do for less than $1,000 to get your home in tip-top shape before school starts back. Fall will be here before you know it, and we always recommend using the summer months (while it’s too hot to stay outside long) to get some mileage out of being indoors.

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Modernize the Kitchen

For $1,000, you should have no problem modernizing certain aspects of your kitchen. If you're happy with your appliances, you could easily re-tile the backsplash, update the counter tops, repaint walls, or fix a leaky faucet at very low cost if you do it yourself. At City Home Center, we have a great selection of faucets at all price points.

Refresh the Bath

If you're on a shoestring, you can make a bigger difference than you'd think by simply replacing the shower curtain and adding new towel bars and hooks. Or, get a new bright colored paint give the bathroom a totally new look. Pair that with new toilet, faucet or vent, and you’ve gone out with the old and in with the new for just a small investment.

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Lighten Up

It's easy to update old-fashioned lighting fixtures. Swapping out sconces requires little more than a screwdriver. Changing the color of the metal lamp stands needs just newspaper and spray paint. New lamps are inexpensive too, so brighten up that space!

Hose It Down

While you're outside, take a look at your home's exterior. Does it need to be power washed? Nothing improves a property's appearance like a deep cleaning, and, even though this is an indoor task, we think summer is a great time to check this off the list. The job can usually be done for less than $1,000 - including the driveway and walks. 

In Closing

Home improvement projects do not need to cost an arm and a leg. Come see us at City Home Center to see how you can make huge upgrades to your home without breaking the bank.

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As Seen on HGTV Home Town

 

We know there are some of you out there who just have a knack for design. You can dream up something really beautiful in your mind and DIY your way to a masterpiece. We also know there are those of you who need a little help getting the ball rolling and refer to Pinterest, a magazine, television show or blog to update your style without having to come up with all of the ideas on your own.

If this situation applies to you, then keep on reading. Today on the blog, we’re presenting an “As Seen on TV” feature. You’ll also see these products in person on our Instagram IGTV channel, so be sure to follow us here to see that. We have listed some of our favorite products shown on one of our favorite shows, Laurel’s own HGTV Home Town. We are so thankful for what this show and what Erin and Ben Napier have done for our community, and we have been blessed to be a part of it.

Photo credit Erin Napier ( Instagram: @erinapier )

Photo credit Erin Napier (Instagram: @erinapier)

THAT FEATURE WALL THOUGH

Ok. Let’s be honest. Who hasn’t swooned over that beautiful back splash in the Holifield House from Season 3? We can’t begin to tell you the amount of calls and questions we have had over this tile! Tile like this gives your design some real intrigue, and the beautiful neutral can make a painted kitchen cabinet really pop. It’s also an easy way to give depth to a look that might otherwise seem plain if you are using all neutral tones. If you love this tile, but aren’t sure where you should use it in your home, we’d love to assist you in completing your project.

Photo credit: Todd Douglas/Getty Images

Photo credit: Todd Douglas/Getty Images

Subway Tile is Always a Good Idea

Subway tile is always a classic, and we can help you choose the perfect shade for your project! We can also help you choose your layout and design, and coordinate with the look of the rest of your space. The bright, shiny white Cervica Brite Soft Gris tile chosen for the kitchen back splash in the Burcham House in Season 3 was really a standout, and it shows that using subway tile is far from boring.

MORE PATTERN, PLEASE

If you loved the patterned look of the kitchen back splash from Season 3’s Luker House, we have you covered! Having a patterned tile like the Fisher print in the Union Square line of tiles from Interceramic USA shown in the picture below really makes a new kitchen design a stunner. The beautiful patterns in this line of tile have a big time WOW factor. If you’re looking for something in a bolder color, we have plenty of designs in stock for you to choose from.

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LINOLEUM??

Yes. Linoleum. Now, we know you’re probably wrinkling your nose at this suggestion, but linoleum has come a long way from what you remember in grandma’s kitchen! The detailed design alternatives offered in linoleum from Mannington Floors is a stylish and reasonably-priced option. The price point of the product also makes it easy to really stretch your dollars when it comes to completing a complete room reno. We think it’s a great choice for any kitchen or bathroom remodel. Mannington linoleum was also used in the Luker House on Season 3.

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CLEAN AND SIMPLE

If you’re not sold on the linoleum flooring, it’s ok. We understand. And we have an alternative. Beautiful marble-look tile was used in the Johnikin House in Season 3, and it made for a stunning, expensive and clean design. This tile is from one of our favorite vendors, Mannington Floors. Just as we mentioned with the linoleum, this look was achieved without breaking the bank. This luxury vinyl tile stands up to the wear of kitchen traffic (and potential spills) and gives the look of real marble without the huge price tag.

FROM WALL TO FLOOR TO IN BETWEEN

The Alise Mathews House was truly one of our third season favorites! With an all-in budget of $75,000, an amazing transformation was achieved, showing that you don’t have to go broke to achieve a beautifully renovated space. Formica laminate in Silver Travertine was used on the kitchen counter tops, giving a sleek and simple look that will last for years to come.

Photo by Alise Mathews

Photo by Alise Mathews

Have you seen something else on the show that you loved, but it wasn’t mentioned above? Come see us! We are sure we can help you find just what you are looking for to create your own stunning look at home.

 

A Legacy of Great Leadership

 

Father’s Day Spotlight on Dr. James Johnson-Hill

If you live in the Laurel area, chances are you’ve heard the name James Johnson-Hill. As a pastor of Agape Church, a thriving church in the heart of our city, James has always been an outside-of-the-box thinker, leaving everything he touches better than he found it. For example, take the two buildings in Downtown Laurel now occupied by Agape Church. The main building sits at the roundabout in the center of town, and the newly-renovated Agape Midtown campus is just up the street. At both locations, you’ll see examples of how, under his leadership and God’s provision, old, dilapidated buildings became flourishing beautiful spaces where life-change happens.

James was raised in St. Louis, Missouri. At the age of 14, he moved to Los Angeles. With both parents originally from the Jones County area, James remembers spending much of his childhood in Mississippi visiting his grandmother. “Once I got out of school each year, I would come to Ellisville for the summer,” says James. “It was a huge part of my upbringing.”

James and his wife, Nece, met at church in California when she was 17 and he was 21. On her 18th birthday, James asked her on a date. They stayed in touch but Nece soon left for Spelman College in Atlanta while he stayed in California. When she moved back from college, James knew he wanted her in his life forever. “It took the Lord seven years after we met to get her ready for me,” James jokes.

As a married couple, James and Nece continued the tradition of regular visits to Mississippi. In 2009, when they made the drive back from Mississippi, Nece asked James, “Are you happy?”

James was in a time of transition, and it was a question that marked the beginning of a life change for the couple. She told James, “I feel like God’s calling us to build something together, and I think we’re supposed to do it in Laurel.”

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From there, the rest is history. Literally. James and Nece brought a vision to Laurel that has made an impact extending far beyond even what they’ll see in their lifetime. What began as a team from California moving to Mississippi to plant a church has become a place where people of all backgrounds and ethnicities come to know Christ and are discipled.

After a decade in Laurel, Agape Church not only hosts Sunday services but also spearheads events like Downtown Movie Night and the Laurel Farmers Market, which present a great opportunity for people in the church to make a big impact on the entire community. As pastors and Christ-followers, James and Nece have poured out their hearts to meet needs in the community. And sometimes it surfaces in unconventional ways like showing a movie on the back side of a building.  

Downtown Movie Night – Photo by MCE Photography

Downtown Movie Night – Photo by MCE Photography

Leading a Church and Home

Leadership isn’t something James does; it’s who he is. He not only is a pastor, but he also serves as president of the Laurel School District Board of Trustees and in many other local organizations. James believes it is important for his children to see the same father at home that they see speaking at church or leading a meeting. “I lead because I care for them,” he says. “Finding the balance of leading a church and leading in my community comes from the support my wife and my family give.” James sees every accomplishment of his as a way to encourage his children to go higher and accomplish bigger things.

Leaving a Legacy of Leadership

James believes it is also important for his children is to see him modeling how to overcome failure. “I’m the first person to ask them to forgive me,” James says. His desire is to make sure his home is a safe place where his children know forgiveness and where the enemy has no room to bring hostility.

James also prioritizes prayer and believes the most important thing as a father is teach his children to pray. He understands that while they may not always have access to their Bible, they always have access to God. His leadership style overflows into every part of their day-to-day, even the drive to school. James says that from the car, they pray and ask for the Lord’s favor and protection over them for that day, then each child takes their turn doing a faith confession before they step out to start their day.

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A scripture that James keeps top of mind as a parent is Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not provoke your children, lest they become discouraged.” Even when James is upset with his children, he feels it’s important not to provoke them. He ultimately wants them to understand that the Lord charges his children to honor their parents.

An easy way to identify one of the Hill children is by their confidence. “We raised them be confident people who genuinely care for others” says James. “One of my proudest memories as a parent was to see my son, Samuel, work with disabled children when he was young,” James says. “At the end of the week, the director said he was so kind and good with the children that they wanted him back for another week.” James believes it’s the moments in life that show the development of character in his children that are the most important.

And we feel this might just be what the Lord believes of us, too.

 

Kitchen Remodeling: Achieving a Luxe Look for Less

 
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Many people see beautiful kitchens with luxury appliances, backsplashes, countertops, and floors and they think, "That's just too expensive for me." When you find out the price tag for these designer kitchens, it's no wonder some people think it's out of their price range. . . until, that is, you get a little resourceful. Here are a few ways that you can cut costs while also maintaining the luxe look.

Splurge Selectively

There are a few areas of the kitchen that make a huge impact but, because of the amount of materials that are needed, they are relatively cost-effective. Backsplashes are one area that can give your kitchen a high-end look without breaking the bank. The right lighting also transforms a space. Recessed lighting, a popular option, can get expensive, but it might be worth the splurge if your ceilings are low. Another choice is to install strategically-placed pendant or track lighting. Again, at $200-300 per fixture it can get a little pricey, but it can also make a huge impact.

DIY Whenever You Can

If you're not under strict time constraints, you can learn to do many projects just through YouTube videos or by reading the instructions on the package. At City Home Center, we have a selection of backsplash and tile options that are more “DIY” friendly than others, and we can give you advice on what will be easiest to do yourself and which may not. And if you don’t trust yourself for the flooring and tile, consider refinishing existing pieces of furniture, such as a table and chairs. It is a little labor intensive, but it can save you thousands.

Consider the Cabinet Options

Speaking of refinishing, if your cabinets are structurally sound but just not aesthetically pleasing, don't throw them out--repaint or stain them instead. Or, consider replacing cabinet facings only or buying pre-built cabinets rather than doing custom cabinetry. We have a great selection of ready to paint cabinets to choose from at City Home Center. Also, the hardware that you choose goes a long way in sprucing up outdated cabinets.

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Use Products that Effectively Imitate the Real Thing for Less

We've all heard of laminate wood flooring, and the good news is that it’s more realistic looking than ever before. Upon closer inspection, though, you can tell the difference, even with the more expensive ones.

City Home Center also carries peel and stick backsplashes. Many options have an outer side that is real glass, metal, or simulation stone that has the gritty feel of sandstone. An added bonus is that the installation for all of these items is so easy and requires so few tools that you won't need to hire a contractor.

If you look around and are willing to put in a little elbow grease, a beautiful and updated kitchen is more affordable than you think.

 

Employee Spotlight: Cynthia Wiginton

 
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If you’ve been to City Home Center lately, you may have noticed a new face at the store. Cynthia Wiginton has joined our team recently, and she brings with her a decade of experience in kitchen and bathroom design. We’re thrilled to have her expertise at City Home Center because, over the years as a local home improvement store, we’ve learned that nothing is more valuable than having an expert to talk to when it comes to making big home decisions.

Cynthia was born in Louisiana but raised in Laurel. She married her high school sweetheart, and they have been together 29 years. She is a mom to one daughter who lives in Rhode Island. In fact, her daughter moved to Rhode Island for college and has now begun her career in a design-related industry, following in her mom’s footsteps.  

Cynthia began her career in home design at Haverty’s Furniture, selling and setting up their showroom as a visual coordinator. After Haverty’s, Cynthia moved on to become a designer for Lowes and spent eight years as a kitchen designer and an additional two years as a kitchen and bath specialist, working every day on helping her customers get the home of their dreams. “I have managed projects from start to finish – beginning with measuring and helping a customer determine everything from where to move plumbing to what finishes they want on their cabinet hardware,” Cynthia said.

When asked about her favorite part of her job at City Home Center, Cynthia said she loves doing kitchen remodels, “There’s just something about taking an old, outdated space and making it new again.” She helps customers pick out everything from paint colors, flooring, appliances, finishes and more, covering every detail of a renovation. After a decade in the industry, Cynthia understands that home building and renovating can be overwhelming, and her job at City Home Center is to take any worry or anxiety out of the process and make it fun for the customer.

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“One of the greatest features we have in helping our customers visualize our design concepts is our 2020 software,” Cynthia said. “It is a complimentary service that allows me to draft up a few different designs for our customers to see, and it really helps them make better decisions about the layout and structure of their home.” City Home Center takes pride in not only being a local business with friendly service and expertise but also a place for shoppers to find modern design innovations and the latest materials and tools to make sure their home is built with the latest techniques.

Cynthia is available at City Home Center throughout the week and would be thrilled to help you design the kitchen or bathroom of your dreams. To make an appointment, simply call 601-426-2800.

 

Open Your Door to Spring

 
Doors at City Home Center

Doors. We go in and out of them every day, but have you ever taken a second to think about just how important doors are to the look of your home? If you haven’t, we’re here to tell you why you should – and Spring is the perfect time to give yours an update.

THE FIRST IMPRESSION
When trying to choose the style for your new front door, you want to consider the look on display both on the exterior and the interior of your home. The door must be the icing on the design cake, so to speak – both from onlookers outside, and from guests invited in. If your look leans toward the farmhouse trend, an elegant look is not going to make the statement you desire. If you live in a beautiful brick home, a colored wooden selection or a door with an ornate glass insert could be perfect!

DON’T BE COLOR SHY
Sometimes a look feels finished simply with the perfect choice of wood selected for your front door. Other times, you want a splash of color to complete your look. We suggest taking a drive around town and getting some ideas on what other homeowners might have selected as the perfect color for their own front doors. Sometimes seeing a color in true light can really help you decide on what you like – and what you don’t. 

When you think you have your color choice in mind, drop by and see us at City Home Center. We can set you up with a few different shades of paint, and help you choose one that’s just right to achieve your desired look. The color of your front door can really make or break the first impression of your home to passersby and guests alike. We want to help you get it right the first time. 

“FUN”CTIONAL
The fun part of choosing the door, of course, is thinking about how perfect it will fit in with the rest of your design. However, you also want to think about things like whether the door you need will open to the left or the right, what type of door handle and lock you prefer, and whether you will also be pairing your door with a screen or storm door. Knowing these things might help you narrow down your options if you are having trouble making a decision. 

SEASON’S GREETINGS
As if we haven’t given you enough to think about when it comes to selecting a door to lead guests into your entryway, there’s one more thing you might want to consider. If you love to change out your décor for every season, including putting items on display on the exterior of your home, you’ll want to think about how your door will play into that design. If you change out wreaths with the seasons, you might want to stick with a very neutral shade when it comes to paint. Also, if seasonal front door décor is important to you, you might choose a simple front door design, one without any windows or glass inserts that would only be covered up by your holiday display.

Doors at City Home Center

THE SUPPORTING CAST
The front door shouldn’t be the only player when you’re thinking about doorway design. Doors to patios or porches should be considered, too, even if they aren’t the primary door for entering your home. For these doors, you’ll want to think about the “feel” of the space. Is your door leading out to a beautifully bricked portico? You might like a rich brown door with intricately patterned glass inserts. Maybe your door leads out onto a long porch set with several rocking chairs. In that case, something a little more simple in a pretty neutral color will do – and don’t forget to add a classic screen door for full effect!

FINISHING TOUCHES
Door handles aren’t something you generally think about either – unless it gets stuck, leaving you stranded, or it sticks out like a sore thumb and doesn’t seem to match the look of the door at all. We guarantee that once you have your new door selected, you’ll be able to find the handles and/or locks that will work out just right to complete the look and the function you desire. Different shaped knobs or handles in all sorts of colors and finishes are available. 

ASK THE PROFESSIONALS
Installing a new door is probably one of the most difficult projects for a DIY-er. Improper installation can lead to a door that won’t shut properly. An overly tight placement or misalignment can keep a door from being able to lock, or might cause it to swing open on its own if not properly secured. This is a job best left to the professionals! We’ll be glad to get you the help you need to get the job done right. 

Once you have your new door installed, take a step back and admire it for a moment. We know. You probably never really thought about it before – but we’re sure that now you’re glad you did. 

 

 

 

5 Spring Home Maintenance Tasks You Can't Afford to Ignore

 

Winter can be hard on people, but it can be even harder on your home. The extreme temperature changes can make your home a target for the weather's destructive forces. At City Home Center, we recommend homeowners assess their home at the transition of each season and catch problems early. Staying proactive rather than reactive tends to be a better and less expensive solution when it comes to owning a home.

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Doors, Floors and Entryways

Your doors, floors and entryways can take a beating in the wintertime. Boot traffic, opening and shutting doors in cold weather – we recommend checking your entryways between seasons to make sure the floors and doors haven’t been compromised for any reason.

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In the event you find it may be time for a door upgrade, Spring is a great time to update your front door with a new look. A new door means a properly sealed and updated entry to your home – which can help with curb appeal and the air conditioning bill in the summertime. We just received a new shipment of beautiful doors at City Home Center, so be sure to come check out our selection of in-stock doors if you’re in the market for a new one.

Appliances

Appliances and pipes inside your home need spring maintenance, too. Check the hoses on the washing machine to make sure they're in great shape, and if there are any bulges or signs of wear, replace them right away to avoid having them burst later. Then, vinegar through the washing machine to help get rid of any scale or soap scum that may have built up over the winter. It's also the ideal time to clean out the dryer vent with a brush and vacuum cleaner to remove any built-up lint and prevent it from catching fire.

Roof and Gutters

The winter season tends to put a home's roof to the test. That's why it's important to check the condition of everything as soon as it's safe to do so. Plumbing vent boots, for example, tend to crack and break where they join onto the pipe. High winds and ice tend to damage shingles frequently. Even high-quality shingles can give up after fighting off Jack Frost for months. So, take time to fill any holes and replace any shingles that have lost their pebbled coating.

If a roof is going to leak anywhere, it's usually in places where it joins up to a wall, a chimney, or a section of roof that's at a different angle. Therefore, check these areas carefully paying particular attention to the metal flashing. Water will often sneak behind it, so make sure the flashing is tight and in good condition. There should be no rust or holes, and the shingles should lay evenly against it.

While you're on the roof, it's a good time to check out the home's gutters. They should be clean and free of debris.

Check for Leaks

If you have a handy person in your home, have them check out the hot water heater, including the plastic grommets on top.  If you notice anything else unusual, you may  want to call a professional to have it checked out. Also check for leaks in the rest of your home by examining the ceilings and exposed pipes including the ones under the kitchen and bathroom sinks.

There's a lot of work to do at the start of spring, but it's important. Finding problems now could prevent you from waking up to a watery nightmare. Besides, it's the perfect excuse to take advantage of the warmer weather and sunshine.

 

Small Budget, Big Impact: Bathroom Updates

 

Today on the blog, we’re talking all things bathroom. While kitchens and bathrooms traditionally have been known as the most expensive investments when building or remodeling a home, we’re here to tell you that you can make major improvements to your bathrooms with just a little investment.

Countertop
Since bathroom countertops are traditionally much smaller than those in the kitchen, the investment to add a new countertop is typically small. With just a few square feet to cover, you may be surprised to find that a high-end countertop fits in your budget. If you’re looking to DIY the countertop upgrade, tile is a great way to do that yourself! 

If replacing the countertop isn’t an option, painting it might be! We find so many of our customers are stuck with old ceramic tile in a bright of off-putting color. One super simple way to make a change is to paint the tile white or a neutral color for a quick bathroom brightener. In fact, our sister store, Rubies Home Furnishings, featured a local home remodelthat shows a beautiful bathroom that went from green ceramic tile to a painted white, and it completely changed the look of the room.

City Home Center Bathroom

Fixtures
Fixtures – super easy and lots of wow factor! We all know that fixture trends change frequently, so a fixture can make a bathroom look outdated quickly. Since bathrooms are so small, it’s easy for someone’s attention to go straight to fixtures. Why not get a modern fixture or new color to update the look of the room. Sometimes that one change can make all the difference! 

Flooring
Similar to countertops, with such little square footage to cover (in most cases) in a bathroom, a new floor can be much less expensive than you’d think! Plus, at City Home Center, we have received some of the most beautiful laminate flooring options that can take a bathroom from drab to fab at a very reasonable price. We also have fun colorful and neutral tile patterns that are perfect for making a regular old bathroom a stand out spot in your home.

 Mirror
This may seem so simple, but so many people today either have a built in mirror or an old mirror that does nothing for their bathroom. Grabbing a few pieces of trim and some paint to add a frame around an existing mirror can make it stand out and become a beautiful focal point for your bathroom. If your mirror is outdated, maybe it’s time for a quick change out. Sometimes, updates can be just this simple!

City Home Center Bathrooms

 Vanity
Right there alongside the mirror is the vanity.  The vanity may be one of the largest pieces of your bathroom, so an outdated one might stick out like a sore thumb. Whether yours is falling apart or could just stand an update, City Home center offers ready-to-go vanities that you can purchase as they are and replace your old one. Or, if you just want to add a fresh coat of paint to your vanity, we can help you pick out a paint color that will fit perfectly in your bathroom.

 As you can see, your budget doesn’t have to be big for you to make some changes to your bathroom that will impact your home, and your home’s value, in a major way. Stop by City Home Center today and let us help you find some ways to make a big impact on your home without breaking the bank.

 

 

Mark Hathorn: Local Installer, Walking Miracle

 

On October 2, 2017, Mark Hathorn was told he may never be able to walk again. The night before a scheduled an appointment for a routine hernia surgery, Mark experienced a rupture that caused him to be rushed to the emergency room. Mark was in the hospital for several months without much certainty of what recovery would look like. ‘’It was bleak for a long time, and it was only by the grace of God I survived,” Mark said. Miraculously, on January 10, 2018, Mark was back at work.

 
Mark Hathorn City Home Center Installer
 

Mark’s “work” is much more of a passion than a job. As a young boy, Mark spent his summers with his father helping out at the family business, Hathorn’s Carpet Service. Today, after 50 years in business, Mark dutifully follows in his dad’s footsteps, continuing to serve customers throughout Mississippi with beautiful installations of custom showers, countertops, backsplashes and all types of flooring including carpet, wood, vinyl, ceramic, LVT, laminate and more. 

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Throughout his years in the business, Mark has become one of the trusted installers recommended by City Home Center. His commitment to his clients and extremely high-quality work makes Mark one of the best in the business. “I’ve called City Home Center after hours and on weekends more times than I can count,” Mark said. “All it takes is one phone call to let them know a customer is coming by to see them, and I can trust they’ll be taken care of.” Mark says that a having a quality relationship with a local business where he knows he can count on the staff at any time is critical for his line of work.

Mark Hathorn Installer in Laurel, Mississippi
Mark Hathorn Installer in Laurel, Mississippi

Mark remembers some of his first “jobs” as a young boy was laying carpet. “If I had to choose what I enjoy doing the most, it would be laying carpet because that’s what my dad taught me to do,” he said. But Mark also considers any completed project with a happy client is a favorite. “As an installer, your most prized moment is seeing the expression on the face of someone you know is truly happy with the work you’ve done,” he added.

 When he’s not working, Mark is enjoying his three granddaughters who are 11, 6 and 5 months old. He and his wife, Carol, make time with their girls a weekly ritual. “I consider myself a blessed man to be able to enjoy my family and do what I love day in and day out,” Mark said.


  At City Home Center, we are happy to see Mark’s face on a regular basis, and we believe our community is so blessed to have him, and many other installers, help our customers on a daily basis. We always say, “team work makes the dream work,” and we love playing a small part in making “dream homes” come true.  

 

How to Declutter and Minimize Your Carbon Footprint in Your Home

 
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Minimalism and environmentalism have the potential to keep the earth healthy. By consuming fewer products, you produce less trash and harmful waste. You also help preserve resources such as water and help prevent carbon emissions that occur when shipping items to your home. Here are a few ways to minimize your carbon footprint and declutter your home.

Sort

It’s important to sort your possessions by category. This can help you from feeling overwhelmed and needing to do it all at once. Some categories might include food, clothes, bathroom items, entertainment, and other themes in your life. Some people favor the Marie Kondo method when dividing up their things and figuring out what they want. Use boxes to keep track of everything; for the items you keep, put them in more decorative or aesthetically pleasing boxes.

Digitize

While sorting your things, it’s inevitable that you’ll end up with a lot of loose paper, photos, and documents. One way to keep your mementos in your life is to digitize them. You can use a scanner or even your phone to digitize and store old photos. Some phones offer apps to scan your items, but you can also just take pictures of everything. You can place them in some kind of cloud storage that will keep your items safe. Some examples of cloud storage include Google, iCloud, OneDrive, and iDrive, all of which have free options with plenty of space to go around.

Recycle Big and Little Items

After you’re finished with using them, clean and recycle glass, plastic, and paper. Research has shown that some indoor furnishings can negatively impact the quality of the air inside our homes. As such, some of your furniture might be better off donated, sold, or even recycled. You can also recycle older appliances after you’re finished with them, including your oven, microwave, toaster oven, or even your fridge. Your mattress is also something to recycle. Many recycling centers can pick up your items or donate them for you.

Recycle Electronics

According to the EPA. recycling electronics can preserve natural resources and prevent air and water pollution. After your old laptop or cell phone dies, you can take it to a local recycling center or search online for other options. Some retailers such as Best Buy also offer a recycling program for all your used electronics.

Sell

If you’re hoping to make a little extra side money, you might have some perfectly good items you can sell online or at yard sales. As long as your items are clean, in good shape, and are working fine, you can probably find them new homes.

Donate

Many items can be donated to the local charity or thrift shop, but did you know that each item in your home has a place they can be donated? Some charities, for example, will take your old cars. Books, meanwhile, can be donated to troops overseas, relief shelters, or your local library. The Salvation Army will pick up your furniture, and you can also donate to furniture banks for people trying to get back on their feet. These contributions are all tax-deductible.

Clean

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After decluttering, clean your house at least twice a week. If you haven’t already invested in one, now’s the time to get a good quality vacuum. Cordless vacuums, in particular, are generally very easy to store, and you won’t encounter any cords to trip over. They’re light, so you can also get easy spots instead of having to haul it all over the floor.

Also, think about the products you use, as some cleaners are harsh on the environment. According to the Washington Post, cleaners and common chemicals now contribute to air pollution nearly as much as cars. Use natural cleaning agents, such as vinegar, Borax, and baking soda. You can also research environmentally safe cleaners and order them online.

Finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint is important. When decluttering, consider recycling your old electronics, along with your older appliances. Clean with natural ingredients and upload your documents and photos so you don’t ever have to worry about losing them again. You’ll help other people, yourself, and the environment.

A big thank you to Alice Robertson, guest blogger and creator of Tidy Home (tidyhome.info) for your healthy home tips for us!

 

Tax Return Time: Adding Value to Your Home with Extra Cash

 

So, it’s time to wrap up those taxes and put your tax return to work! As you’re filing taxes and awaiting the return, we encourage you to think about the ways that the money will pay you back some day in the future. Home updates can often reap two and three times the investment  dollars when they are spent on the correct things. At City Home Center, we have made a list of several of our favorite ideas for updating your home with your tax return.

 Get in the Zone

The first and most important part of the update happens before you even get started. The best way to determine the maximum return on investment is to keep a “selling” mindset. This means you need an unbiased inspection of your house. We don’t mean a formal inspection – just a second set of eyes from someone who doesn’t live with you to help you determine what changes are most important. This part can be the most fun!

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Step One

Grab a friend and go house hunting this weekend. Check out a few open houses in your area on a Saturday or Sunday. Take notes on the good - what you were drawn to, what had the most “wow” factor, the bad – what things needed updates and the ugly – what was dirty or dingy that was a big turn off. Write these things down and revisit them after step two.

Step Two

After you visit those homes, take a fresh look at your own and compare. Walk into your front door as though you were walking into an open house. Think about the things you noticed in the homes you visited that same weekend – both interior and exterior. Write down the good, the bad and the ugly about your own home as you inspect it. 

Report Your Findings

Our bet is that you’ll find the most “likely” areas for updating in the kitchen or bathrooms. Both areas that just so happen to be City Home Center’s specialties. Let us help you with ideas in those prominent areas of your home.

 Exterior

Sometimes it’s something as simple as yard work around the front of the house, which costs nothing, and sometimes it’s an easy buy like a gallon or two of paint to make the exterior of your home look like new. We recommend that before you do anything, check the exterior of your home for ways you can improve it. For example, sometimes the paint on your exterior is fine, but the door and shutters could use a touch up. Check for areas outside that can use a little TLC.

Backsplash

A new backsplash can take an outdated kitchen and make it look brand new. We’re often surprised to learn how many think that a backsplash is an enormous investment, when in reality, it’s one of the least expensive ways to make a big difference. The investment of a new kitchen backsplash might cost you $1,000 and $5,000 (depending on size of your kitchen, choice of material and labor), but it can easily bring two or three times that in value to the home. 

Cabinets

Cabinet hardware designs straight from the 90s might have been the first thing you noticed on your weekend tour of homes. Even if your tax return isn’t big this year, we assure you that a small investment in new cabinet knobs and pulls can make your kitchen or bathroom look like a million bucks.

Also, if you are still hanging onto traditional oak or stained cabinets, consider a fresh, white coat of paint to brighten things up. Paint can do wonders in turning a drab bathroom or kitchen into a fab one. We also love color when it comes to cabinets, so don’t be scared to turn existing white cabinets into a nice blue, green or grey. Or, maybe you don’t want to go crazy on color, but your existing cabinets are getting chipped or dingy, we are happy to help you find a matching color to freshen them up. 

Countertops

Yes, we said countertops. Not all countertops have to cost a fortune. In fact, one of our favorite countertop materials is laminate preformed countertop. Our customers are often surprised when we suggest it, but we absolutely love the drastic change a new Formica or other type of laminate countertop can make in a kitchen that’s in major need of an update. If you haven’t been shopping for countertops lately, you haven’t seen the latest designs, and we’re confident you’ll be pleasantly surprised. At City Home Center, we keep lots of options in stock that are beautiful and modern – and just in your budget. 

Flooring on a Budget

During your open house extravaganza, you may have put floors in a good, bad or ugly category. Often times, homeowners are scared of a floor change, because they assume a new floor means the budget takes a major hit. This is so far from the truth. We put linoleum in the same category as Formica – both words that used to make us think of grandma and now make us do a double take. This year, we’ve seen some of the most amazing patterns in linoleum that have us dreaming of the perfect laundry room or kitchen. So, before you judge Formica and linoleum based on their names, take a look at some of the latest budget-friendly styles available today.   

Rugs

Maybe you’re not ready to change anything permanently, but you do need to make your home look fresh without any fuss. We have one word – RUGS!  A colorful rug can turn your home from drab to fab. We love rugs in kitchen spaces (nooks or in front of an island), as well as a nice, big colorful rug in a main room that has mostly  neutral furniture. Rugs really do make a house more inviting, and whether you plan to sell or not, you can’t go wrong with a new rug. 

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Now, Get Your Refund On

We’ve done our part, so now it’s time to do yours! Finish your tax paperwork and get your refund on! Remember – Spring is time to sell, so our area has lots of open houses coming up for you to check out. Who knows, maybe one will inspire you enough to consider selling your own!

 

Getting Your Home Ready To Sell

 

Are you thinking about selling your home in the near future? Maybe a job change or transfer has you moving out of town. Or, maybe you’ve been watching tons of home improvement shows lately, and you’re dreaming of a new floor plan entirely, which means you see putting your home on the market on the horizon. 

If any of the situations previously mentioned sound like you, you’re probably going to be thinking about sprucing up your current home. Don’t worry! There are some very simple ways to get your home ready and up to date so it will move quickly and hopefully at your asking price. There’s no better time than now to get your home ready, and we are sharing some ways to do that right here.

OUT WITH THE OLD (PAINT, THAT IS…)

Living in your home from day to day can take a toll on that paint job you spent so much time on when you first moved in. Moving the furniture around can chip the surface from painted walls, reorganizing your wall displays can leave scuffs and holes, and kids in the house definitely leave a mark of their own. Maybe you’ve just looked around and realized that you can’t recall the last time you have seen any décor in stores that matches the color of your walls in much longer than you’d like to admit. Paint is one quick and easy way to update and freshen up your spaces!

When thinking about selling your home, you’ll want to keep your paint choices neutral. A potential buyer will be overwhelmed if they walk into a house with each room painted in a different bold hue. The staff at City Home Center will be happy to help you choose the perfect shades of tan, beige or grey to suit your style, while completing your purchase with the supplies you’ll need to get the job done.

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ATTENTION TO DETAIL

Little details like hardware on cabinetry can make more of an impact than you think. Getting some nice new knobs or handles for drawers and cabinets in kitchens and bathrooms can make a statement if you put proper thought into your choice! You might also need to replace floor molding if it’s in disrepair or faceplates for outlets and switches if they look dull or dated.

And don’t forget about your faucets! From kitchen sink to bathroom shower, you want your look to be cohesive throughout the home. It’s a simple update that could make or break the style of your home for a prospective buyer.

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DON’T FORGET TO LOOK DOWN!

Sometimes, the most noticeable floor is one that is in bad condition. And worn floors don’t sell houses. So, make an investment that will pay off big time when it comes to selling your home. Great flooring can capture the attention of potential buyers and is often known to make the most difference when it comes to choosing a home.

If your flooring (whether tile or carpet) is giving your home a dated look, that’s something you definitely want to replace. And you’d be surprised how inexpensively you can do it! Maybe your threadbare carpet has seen better days. City Home Center will be happy to help you with whatever your heart desires when it comes to flooring choices, and we can show you what options best fit your budget.

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TIDY UP

Last but CERTAINLY not least – don’t forget to DECLUTTER! We talk a lot about great ways to declutter on our blog post here. Decluttering might be the most inexpensive task when it comes to getting your home ready to sell, but it can also be the most complicated. You’re going to want to put your game face on for this part!

Decluttering serves so many purposes. It keeps you from having to move a ton of unnecessary items to a new home, It saves you the time of having to clean out once your house is sold, and it helps prospective buyers see the space as their future home when it is uncluttered.

The process of decluttering will most likely happen in steps. First, you’ll want to remove those items that have been sitting around unused for long periods of time Next, things that are old, worn or not something that you’d like to keep for sentimental reasons, let them go.

Once you have settled on what stays, it may be wise to purchase some storage bins or shelving (Rubies Home Furnishings has some great decorative ones in stock). You might be surprised at how much the appearance of your home can change just from decluttering and reorganizing!

NOW IT’S TIME TO SAY GOODBYE…

Now that your home is looking its finest, you’re sure to have a buyer in no time. The work is done… Well, almost done. First, take the time reminisce about all of the memories and time spent with family and friends. You’ll soon find another home to make new memories in, and if it happens to be in our area, we’ll be happy to help you get the paint, cabinetry and flooring you need to make your new home your dream come true.

 

 

2019 Trends for Your Home

 

We’re just a few weeks into 2019, and we’ve already been seeing hints of all the things we were told to expect to see in terms of home design. Our sister store, Rubies Home Furnishings, covered the décor portion of your home on their blog, so now it’s our turn to spread a little love and some design tips for your home. If you’re planning a move, remodel or a simple DIY project this year, check out our highlights of what’s in right now to stay on trend.

Light Floors
We don’t necessarily think it’s ever really been truly “out,” but light floors are for sure “in” for 2019. If you recall, dark wood had a nice long run. And now, light wood or manufactured flooring is making a comeback. The trending look of an airy, cleanly styled home means that light floors are the choice for many craving a simple look. We have so many options to choose from whether you’re looking for actual hardwoods or trying to accomplish the same look with laminate, luxury vinyl tile (LVT) or ceramic. Come see what we have in stock to get that fresh look in flooring.

Black Bathroom City Home Center

Black Bathrooms
Are you ready for this trend? That’s right. Black bathrooms are IN. Grey was the color of choice for so long, and now black is moving in to take over this year. We are loving it! Black floor tile, countertops, accent walls or even a sleek black sink can really spice up your space. Scared to try it? Consider black hardware as a way to adopt this trend without going too far out of your comfort zone.

Dark Countertops
Black isn’t just in for bathrooms. Black or other dark-colored countertops are taking the place of clean, white subway-tile and white counters. That’s not to say a clean, fresh look is out (we always love subway tile and all its variations), but this is the year to not be afraid of a little color. Go dark with your kitchen or bathroom countertops if you’re building or remodeling.  

Green
Green, green…all things green. We’re TOTALLY loving this trend, and we’ve already seen hints of it scattered throughout episodes of Laurel’s own HGTV Hometown show. Start small by trying it on an old dresser or bedside table, or if you’re ready to go all the way, consider it for an entire room or cabinets in your bathroom or kitchen. If you’re ready to take the plunge, we suggest the color Pine Green from Valspar. It’s just the perfect amount of green to get you started but still somewhat neutral.

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Bold Backsplashes and Flooring
In case you haven’t noticed, this year’s design trend can be boiled down into one short phrase - “Don’t be afraid to go bold.” We’re seeing backsplashes, flooring, accent walls, coffee bars and more with fun and festive designs that are out of this world, and it’s hard to not get excited. Out with the plain and simple and in with the personality. In fact, one of our most popular items toward the end of 2019 was our in-stock linoleum with new designs. This inexpensive flooring option is perfect for a kitchen or mudroom, and we’ll be singing its praises throughout the year.

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Natural Notes
One more trend before we go, and this one is an easy one to work into your existing home right now. Rubies Home Furnishings mentioned in their recent blog post as well that natural textures  are big for design and décor this year. Sustainable materials like jute, rice paper, clay and wood will be in for every area of your home, so start weaving it into your accent walls or even in simple accessories like baskets.

Whatever you’re doing to your home this year, we encourage you to look at the trends and see what fits for your style. We think it’s going to be a BOLD year, and we can’t wait to see you in City Home Center as you make updates and changes home.

 

Operation Declutter 2019

 

Christmas is over, and the theme of the week is ORGANIZATION. By now, you’ve likely loaded up the large bags of paper and taken them to the trash. Family members are heading back to their homes, and you’re left looking around your home identifying those rooms, corners or walls that you’re ready to update and organize to prepare your home for a fresh start to a new year. 

At City Home Center, the beginning of the year is a big time for us to help our customers make changes – big and small – to their homes to make for better living spaces. Spring is also an ideal time to sell your home, so if you’re planning to move, or just want to make it more livable in 2019, we have several suggestions for you. Check out these simple tips to spruce up your home this year. 

 Declutter

We may be stating the obvious here, but decluttering is the very first step to a more organized, cleaner home. Go through each room one by one and look for areas that seem to attract clutter. Consider donating or throwing away anything that doesn’t serve a specific purpose and minimize your decorative items as much as you can to create a more appealing space. 

Add Shelving 

Does it feel like your home is caving in on you sometimes? If so, moving the clutter to shelving is a great way to draw the eyes away from the clutter. While shelving at any level is a great way to create cleaner, brighter spaces, for main areas and larger spaces, we recommend keeping shelves shoulder height and higher to draw the eye up. For laundry room or mud rooms, we love shelving at any level. 

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 Fresh Paint

There’s no better time than the new year to go for that fresh coat of paint. This can be for a room or even kitchen, bathroom or laundry room cabinets. If you’re unsure of color, go for a neutral like Valspar’s Du Jouror Gravity– two of our favorite neutrals that can be used in any space.

City Home Center Cabinets

Light Fixtures

New light fixtures are also a great way to freshen up a space. If you’ve been wanting to make a change to a room but haven’t had a big budget, you’ll find that lightening the room up and giving it some drama with a unique fixture can make a huge difference for a relatively small investment. We also find that new fixtures give us all the warm and fuzzies and make a room feel brand new, which generally inspires us to keep the room cleaner.

City Home Center Declutter and Organize

Add Some Outdoors 

If you don’t want to put in any major leg work but really want to change a space, switching out that decorative rug with warm tones with a neutral jute rug can really give you a lot of bang for your buck. Throw in a plant and some fresh neutral pillows, and you have yourself a makeover without restructuring or painting a space.

No matter what you’re looking to accomplish, we know the word of the week is CLEAN! Let’s get our homes organized together, and let City Home Center help you accomplish what you need to make you feel better about yourself – and your house - in 2019. 

 

Small Budget, Big Impact: Natural Stone

 

With City Home Center’s amazing 50% off deal on all stone in-stock this month, we thought this might be a great time to introduce you to the benefits of stone, as well as give you some ideas on how to best use it. Using stone tile in your bathroom, kitchen or living area remodel, as beautiful new flooring or even a backsplash, can make a BIG visual impact. And this month, you can do it on a SMALL budget!

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If you take a scroll through social media or do a search on Google, you will see more uses for stone in home renovations that you can imagine. There is a stone to fit your style and budget, and we want to help you find it. Natural stone gives a look that is both earthy and neutral, while still being elegant in the right setting.

Stone is extremely versatile and looks great in almost any space – not to mention it gives a timeless look. Flooring, fireplaces and feature walls look great with marble or travertine. Stone is also a great option because of its durability. Our favorite uses for stone are for flooring and fireplace focal points. 

A BORING FLOOR NO MORE
Natural stone is water resistant, meaning spills can be quickly cleaned up with soap and water, leaving no stains behind. This quality of natural stone also makes it an excellent choice for that patio update you’ve had in mind. 

IF THE WEATHER OUTSIDE IS FRIGHTFUL, A FIRE IS SO DELIGHTFUL
One of our favorite makeovers using stone is to give your fireplace an update. In most cases, a fireplace is a centerpiece in a living or entertaining area. It’s here where stories are shared and memories are made. Why not let your fireplace in on the conversation by giving it a facelift? 

You’ll want to consider the style of your room when selecting the color of stone you want to use, and, depending on the current surface of the fireplace that you are trying to update, you may need to call in some reinforcements. We’ll be happy to come to your aid!

“THE LOOK” – DECISION TIME!
Two of the most popular looks of natural stone are marble and travertine. Are you going for a smoother look, typically made of mostly one color, with streaks of another color throughout? You’ll want to choose marble. Or maybe your look calls for a more textured appearance. In this case, travertine may be just right for you! 

Travertine at City Home Center

As far as colors go, travertine tends to be available in warmer shades of beiges and tans, whereas most marble looks lean grey, white or black. If you have your heart set on a specific shade, this may help you determine which stone is going to be a perfect fit for you.

Marble is a harder, more “solid” stone. We love the look of marble tile for floors and countertops, and it is an elegant choice for bathroom walls. It’s highly durable, and will keep its best look with proper maintenance.

Travertine has a more textured appearance, and is a “softer” stone, making it absorbent in a way that marble is not. Because of travertine’s porous nature, you may want to use it in areas of low moisture.

SEAL THE DEAL
Sealing your stone after installation is a necessity, and we can help you choose the right type of sealer for your project. For instance, choosing textured travertine means that you will need to apply several coats of sealant after installation, regardless of where you will be using it. While travertine will take more than one coat of sealer, the sealing job will typically last you several years. Marble will need to be sealed once per year to help protect it from scratching. 

EVERYONE LOVES A GOOD SALE!
With our 50% off sale, now is the time to buy, and tackle the renovation of your dreams! Get all in-stock stone (including travertine and marble) for 50% off! Drop by and see us today, and we’ll send you home with the right products and tools (and assistance) to achieve the look you have in mind. 

 

 

Small Budget, Big Impact: Subway Tile

 
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The timelessness of subway tile works well anywhere – kitchen, bathroom, laundry room – wherever you can imagine. It’s one of our best sellers, and according to all the major design magazines and blogs, subway tile is here to stay. Let’s not forget this was designed for subways in the early 1900s and is still around today, so it’s not exactly a design “trend.”  It’s classic and simple, and you can pair it with any countertop to work in your desired color to achieve the look you want.  

As wonderful as subway tile is, one of the best things about it is that it’s reasonably priced. With so many options under $3 per square foot, you can add this beautiful style to your home with the assurance that your investment will be a long-lasting one.  

Subway tile can help you stay on budget – not only because of the tile itself being reasonable but also because it blends so well with everything else in your home. Plus, it comes in a great variety of colors, so you can customize the look with a colored tile. And depending on your budget, you can consider a porcelain tile or a ceramic, which tends to be more economical. Here are a few key things that make subway the ultimate in versatility.

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 It mixes well with your existing countertops.

Whether you have tile, granite, marble, quartz, wood or even concrete, subway tile can mix really well with a variety of existing countertops.  

You can change the look with dark vs. light grout.

If you choose a clean white subway tile, the grout color can totally change the look it. Whether you’re trying to blend with a wall or countertops, the variety of light-to-dark grout can give the tile a completely different appearance to match other elements of your home. 

You can modify the pattern.

The options really are limitless with subway tile. You can choose a traditional brick pattern, or change the look with a herringbone or basket weave pattern. 

Other Reasons to Love Subway Tile

When our City Home Center customers are looking to make the most out of small room, we always suggest a white or light-colored subway tile. And any kind of subway is perfect not only for small spaces but also for accent walls in kitchens or bathrooms (think coffee bar or vanity).

 So, if you’re looking to update your home on a budget (and if you weren’t before, maybe you are now), look no further than subway tile. No other tile gives you this classic of a look and bang for the buck. Our staff at City Home Center would love to help you pick out the perfect style for your home.

 

Small Budget, Big Impact: Countertops

 

In continuing with our small budget, big impact series, today we’re talking about countertops! While we can all agree that a coat or two of fresh paint in an updated shade can be a simple way to change the feel of an entire space without costing you a fortune, we also believe that replacing your countertops can be a quick and inexpensive way to achieve a new look. Imagine guests walking into your updated space thinking that you have undertaken a complete remodel – only to be amazed when they find out that new countertops are the only change you’ve made!

Now we know you may be thinking, “Didn’t they say SMALL budget?” Yes, we did! These days, a complete replacement of countertops can rack up a bill into the thousands. But it doesn’t have to be that way! Countertops can be an inexpensive part of any renovation – you just have to know the look you’re after, and be willing to remain flexible as you select the material and design that will most closely fit that look while staying within your budget.

 A Look that is Totally You

From bathrooms to kitchens, breakfast areas to laundry rooms, countertops set the stage as a “work area” or a place for displays. You want something that is both beautiful and functional. Because of the wide array of options available for countertop surfaces these days, you are sure to be able to find one that fits the design you have in mind without causing you to break the bank.

Laminate

These days, laminate is available for countertops that replicates the look of marble or granite – but without the expense! We love laminate for an inexpensive yet beautiful look for a kitchen, laundry room or anywhere you want a lot of bang for your buck.

Concrete Overlay

Another affordable way to update your counter surfaces without replacing them is to refinish with a concrete overlay. Get a stylish new look and stay within your budget! Drying time can take a few days, so keep that in mind when you are planning out the schedule for your project. Guests may think you’ve spent a fortune on new stone – but you’ll know the secret. Check out the details on this DIY project from Modern Builds. http://www.modernbuilds.com/diy-overlay-concrete-countertops/

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Reclaimed Wood

Using your current countertops as a template, wood can be sanded, stained and sealed to give your space a classic, but updated, look. Even using wood from an old family home or a worn-out piece of furniture passed down through the generations can make for a design that is unique and thoughtful.

Paint

It won’t last forever, but paint is a quick way to cover up a look you simply don’t adore. There are even painting kits available that can give off the look of a stone finish. Because paint can chip, you’ll want to complete the project with a sealant or top coat. So why not give those freshly baked holiday cookies a beautiful new backdrop to cool upon?

Tile

As you know, City Home Center offers a wide variety of colors, shapes and sizes of tiles. Typically used for back splashes or flooring, what about stepping outside of the box and creating drama through texture, using tiles for countertops? We love the sleek look using subway tiles shown in this photo from abeautifulmess.com. It’s simple, but delivers great impact.

Not quite your style, but you like the idea of using tile to update your counter space? No worries! We’ll be glad to help you choose the tile that reflects your design personality. You might even consider getting a granite look for less by using granite tiles. Whatever look you’re going for, we can help you find exactly what you need to get it.

Not quite your style, but you like the idea of using tile to update your counter space? No worries! We’ll be glad to help you choose the tile that reflects your design personality. You might even consider getting a granite look for less by using granite tiles. Whatever look you’re going for, we can help you find exactly what you need to get it.

A Little Help from Your Friends

Even with a DIY, don’t be afraid to consult a professional for assistance. You want to make sure you are measuring correctly, and that you understand the techniques involved with the surface type you choose. It’s also important to use the proper tools and supplies (glue, grout, sealant, etc.). In addition, you’ll need the right types of products for the job (think food-safe sealants if you are working on kitchen countertops). Beginning a project without knowing what you’re in for can cause you to end up needing to start over again from scratch, essentially negating any cost savings you expected from doing the project yourself.

Saving money on new countertops means you’ll have the funds to spend on other elements of a redesign, like the purchase of a new fridge or bathroom vanity – or maybe just some really pretty décor (which is where our sister business,  Rubies Home Furnishings , can help!). Just think… everything you need for your DIY projects, all located in the same shopping center. Not only can you save money with your DIY project, but you can also achieve a look that is one-of-a-kind.

Saving money on new countertops means you’ll have the funds to spend on other elements of a redesign, like the purchase of a new fridge or bathroom vanity – or maybe just some really pretty décor (which is where our sister business, Rubies Home Furnishings, can help!). Just think… everything you need for your DIY projects, all located in the same shopping center. Not only can you save money with your DIY project, but you can also achieve a look that is one-of-a-kind.

 

A 30-Day Renovation: The Cockrell Home

 

When Kaily and Conner Cockrell said, “I do,” they didn’t quite realize how many other “doers” would be involved in putting the finishing touches on their new home the very next week while they were on their honeymoon. Just a few short weeks prior, the Cockrells purchased a home in a cul-de-sac just minutes away from Kaily’s parents in Soso, where she grew up. They closed on the home April 16th and managed the majority of the renovation - floors, painting, light fixtures and more – prior to the wedding day. And when they returned from their honeymoon, they came home to a wonderful gift - the moving, decorating and heavy lifting had been done for them by their parents and grandparents.

Front door from City Home Center

Front door from City Home Center

 The House Search

After their engagement, Kaily and Conner began the home search, looking for houses throughout Jones County. “We looked for houses inside and outside of Laurel and found something so close to home it was almost too good to be true,” said Kaily. The house was listed by the current home owners, who Kaily’s grandmother knew, so they were confident it had been well kept. The home, though tailored to the style of the previous homeowners, was a well-built house, allowing them to primarily invest in cosmetic upgrades to bring the home up to date. “Although there was a lot I knew I wanted to change, I could definitely see the potential,” Kaily said.

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With a short timeline of one month, Kaily and Conner purchased the home and planned to be in the house by the time they returned from their honeymoon. This was no small feat considering the house was just one of the many life-changing events for their families over the course of that month. Kaily’s brother and his wife had a baby on April 5th, then Conner’s brother and his wife had a baby on April 10th, they closed the house on April 16th and the wedding was on May 5th. Needless to say, it was a busy time for the couple

The Renovation

The first thing Kaily and Conner did after purchasing the house was visit City Home Center, where Deana Stevison and the team helped the couple make the biggest decisions – flooring, carpet, countertops and replacing the front door and fireplace. “We went to City Home Center first, and it made the rest of the process so easy” said Kaily. “Deana measured and measured and made several trips to our house to help us with the perfect plan that would allow us to stay within our budget.”

Painting the interior of entire house, top to bottom, came first.  Going from a dark red dining room and other various bold paint colors to a completely neutral palette was a drastic change.

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“One of the great things that Deana taught us was that you don’t always have to tear up to put down,” Kaily said. There was tile throughout the home with carpet in living room. We were able to place a beautiful laminate wood floor over the existing tile. Also, the new front door from City Home Center was an easy decision that completely changed the look of the home’s exterior.

Laminate wood floor from City Home Center

Laminate wood floor from City Home Center

Kaily’s favorite outcome of the renovation was the fireplace. By simply replacing the covering of the fireplace and keeping the same hearth, the living room focal point took on a whole new look.

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The REALLY Fun Part, Decorating!

As a engaged couple, Kaily and Conner registered at Rubies Home Furnishings. During the home renovation, Kaily found herself walking from City Home Center to Rubies next door to pull all the various components of the home together. “Deana, my mom, my grandmother and I would walk back and forth comparing colors, design elements and décor items to be sure we had everything just right,” Kaily said.

Once the light fixtures were hung, decorating was the one thing that remained, but they didn’t have quite enough time to finish before the wedding. Luckily, Kaily had received a significant amount of home décor items prior to the wedding. And, as with all couples who register at Rubies, Kaily received 10% store credit back from the total spent on her registry. This allowed the two of them to purchase living room furniture.  “Because of the value Rubies offers on gifts and home decor, friends and family could go purchase items at any price range,” Kaily said. “This allowed us to get not only the big items but the small things as well, which really added to the finished look.”

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With everything purchased, the last thing to do was decorate. As Kaily and Conner were enjoining a honeymoon in Punta Cana, their parents and grandparents were working hard placing furniture and adding the finishing touches. One of their favorite accessories today was a bench from Rubies that served as inspiration for the dining room. “I matched some paint from City Home Center to the bench, and it resulted in a DIY project I’m really proud to have accomplished.”

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All in all, the quick turnaround on the renovation allowed the couple to start from day one in their home – perfectly designed within their budget and suited to their needs. While Kaily and Conner are quite happy with their new nest, they have aspirations of updating the exterior of the home next. We’ll be sure to share when they have photos to show us!

 

 

Meet Our Designer: Deana Stevison

 
Deana Stevison at City Home Center

When Deana Stevison studied cost accounting as a student at Jones County Junior College, she never expected to become one of Laurel, Mississippi’s most preferred specialists in home design at a time where the town sits in a national spotlight. Having inherited a hard work ethic from her father, Deana claims that starting her career with a boss who took her under his wing was a major factor in inspiring her to always be eager to learn new things. This has positioned Deana as one of the most knowledgeable and coveted home designers in the community.

Throughout her career, Deana has worked for a fabric manufacturer, a carpet company, a furniture store, a paint and decorating store and, now, at City Home Center. “Looking back, every place I worked through the years seemed like a new opportunity to hone my craft and improve upon my design skills in different ways,” said Deana. In her roles at each company, she felt a consistent thread of ‘outside the box’ learning, even to the point of completing numerous sewing and art projects as the bookkeeper at McLaurin Carpet in Soso. 

 For the last eight years, Deana has been become a fixture as a lead designer at City Home Center. While most schedule appointments to get Deana’s undivided attention, any given day, you will notice people waiting in line outside Deana’s door to pick her brain on their design projects. Perhaps one of Deana’s most coveted skills – the ability to make a project work well for the client rather than simply to look good. “I’m about the pretty, but I’m also about the functional and technical,” said Deana. 

Deana Stevison

After nearly 34 years in the business, Deana has been involved in both commercial and residential projects throughout the state. She is now finding that many of her new clients are often children of couples she helped design homes for decades ago. She has also found that repeat customers become the norm. “I have several clients I’ve done four or more homes or projects for over the years,” Deana said. “My clients are like family."

Her jack-of-all-trades reputation has been especially beneficial for customers of City Home Center. Regardless of the need, customers can expect Deana to play the role of measurer, designer, painter, contractor or just a friend with a knack for what flooring works best for pets. Needless to say, everyone needs a Deana. 

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Deana notes that, after years at City Home Center, she is surprised to find that people underestimate the selection available that is available right here in Laurel. “We not only carry new, unique inventory available, but we carry discontinued lines, which means we can offer really great prices on our products,” she said. “The selection at City Home Center is as good or better than anywhere in the country.”  

As far as her family life, Deana is proud to call Jones County home and have three daughters and three grandchildren who live close to her. “Family is so dear to me, but I often feel like I have little pieces of my heart scattered all over our community,” Deana said of the many projects she has worked on within Jones County. “I drive around town with a grin from ear to ear knowing that I had a hand in helping make so many houses dream homes for my clients.”

 

Low Budget, DIY Tricks to Improve Your Home

 

Are you on a budget but want to spruce up your home? We’ve got some great ideas for easy DIY projects that will bring a lot of BANG for your BUCK. While we sure do love watching entire home renovations in under an hour on HGTV, it’s hard to be realistic about what you can accomplish in your own home on the weekend. But even our very own HGTV stars work with what they have in each episode of HGTV Hometown. There is a lot you can do if you just get creative and are willing to put in a little elbow grease!

DROP [it like it’s] CLOTH CURTAINS
While you’re in the paint aisle grabbing countertop paint for your kitchen, pick up some drop cloths and follow these instructions for easy, no sew, drop-cloth curtains that will soften your windows and give your home lovely neutral tones to play with.

Iron-on hems are a lifesaver... TRUST US. Not all of us know how to sew, and that’s ok! If you have an iron, you can accomplish a lot.   

 
City Home Center DIY
 

RE-USED, RE-CLAIMED, RE-LOVED.
Some of our favorite pieces are used or salvaged items. By giving old furniture just a little bit of love, you can bring a lot of exciting décor into your home. Check out this step-by-step guide to rehab an old dresser. Don’t be afraid to search your garage and see what you can dig up. And don’t be too proud to stop on the side of the road and pick up what looks like junk. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

We’ve seen many a dining room table headed to the dumpster, then picked up and reclaimed and loved by a generation. With a little TLC, you’d never know that it didn’t come off the show room floor. Any local flea market will like have dining room chairs that, with little paint and a few yards of fabric later, you’d think they came out of a catalogue.

Check out goodwill. Check out estate sales. Check out your momma’s attic! No telling what kind of finds you’ll discover up there. And NEVER pass up a yard sale. Hidden gems galore.

YOUR OWN VAN GOGH
Did you know that (many of you) have your own artist right in your home? For less than the cost of finger-paints, you can commission this artist whenever you need something new to hang in your home! That’s right, it’s your kid! What’s more special than something they’ve created?

Pick up a nice frame to add sophistication and design to your home, and it might even cover up that dent in the sheetrock from when you were moving in… Plus, you get to showcase your little artist’s masterpiece!

 
CHC DIY TIps