Turning the House into a Sweeter Home

2065668786_ed9442c8f2_zNo one wants to have the same meal on every weekend, or the same smartphone for years. Then, why live in a same residence for decades. Though you cannot own or switch to new house every years, you can turn your current one better and suitably sweet home. Improving your home is not very difficult and need a little effort on your part, however the result is astounding.  Your home represents you, talks for you, and takes care of you.

Home improvement: part of tradition

Home improvements process includes transposing of the furniture, renovating the rooms, walls, adding some artistic decors and enhancing the overall decoration. This is not radical alteration, with little effort your home becomes complete. Everybody improves his/her homes as per necessity whether they are aware of the theoretical aspect of it.  Before the beginning of human civilization, our ancestors lived in caves. With the evolution, things have changed radically, now construction of homes varies from society to society. Hut and mud house of bucolic areas are being replaced by concrete and steel structures, city residence are kissing the sky.

Why it is must4481300866_1d87273ee6_z

You must improve your home to enjoy the followings:-

  • Comfort living
  • Dear one’s Safety
  • Aesthetics sense
  • Privacy
  • Environment Friendly
  • Save Energy
  • Technological Advantage
  • Ready for future
  • Afford a new member

Novelist Jane Austen wrote, ‘There is nothing like staying at home for real comfort.’ So it’s understood that Home improvement is a must to live in with comfort. Besides this key issue, there are a lot of driving forces behind home modification.  Suppose, your child has become grown up enough to sleep alone and in need of a room of his/her own, then you will definitely need to extend your dwelling facility. Let’s think of a different case, your living room is larger than essential and bedroom is smaller. If they are side by side, you can adjust these by pushing the wall. Sometimes you may need to raise a curtain to ascertain privacy.

4481300862_22176fce02_zThink of a different situation, like your apartment didn’t have wire facility for broadband internet connection; when install it, you must remodel the planning. You will not let the wires droop before your eyes; prefer them to pass through wall. The apartments which are being upgraded with air conditioning facility demand lot of reestablishments.

How to get the perfect home:

Well, this is the burning question in your mind. Improving your residence always does not necessarily require professionals to take part. You can do some of the improvements by yourself which is commonly known as Do It Yourself (DIY) approach. However, In case of major improvements you have no alternative to call in a professional. Otherwise there could be stern damage in your cute living place. Now there are many farms which provide you with home improvement solution. Depending on budget and plan, whether you improve your home by yourself or rely on the professionals; here are some tips:-

  1. Recreate the Foyer.3177681195_1ba038eb72_z

Not all of the neighbors or the onlooker enter your living room; they estimate you by considering your house from outside, especially your foyer. Since your foyer is like your countenance, you must put special focus on it. Replacing the door is not possible always, but you can change the look just changing the handle, knob and lock.  Natural pot plant will impress your guests, even you can utilize artificial shrub and plants. Nowadays those things are almost real.

  1. Clean, clean…… and cleanbbbb

For many houses, simply cleaning can bring revolution on the whole. Even after regular cleaning and washing, walls, carpets and window glass get shabby in a year. Then you must pay special attention to them once a year. This might need professional cleaner.  A holistic approach to cleaning shines the appearance of the complete home. It also keeps the dweller jolly and healthy. Sometimes you might need professional cleaners for this. Because they use high tech tools which are more powerful than tiny domestic vacuum cleaner.

  1. Ornamenting the walls.3082133186_0ff62b3ed4_z

Wallpapers! Yes, this is a very old but always-working method to give your home a new look.  Setting wallpaper is an easy task. You can set natural scene, portrait of a family member, image of a musical instrument as wallpaper. Interesting thing is that large wallpaper can hide the scratch on the walls.

  1. Modify lighting System

4481300864_22176fce02_zA room can look larger and cooler with modern lighting system. Lights are not only for enlightening house, it also can make the house a pleasant living place. Changing chandeliers and pendants in your house will be an extra ordinary change. Install the lights in a method that, as if they cannot contact the dwellers eye directly. Sometimes you can recolor fixture brackets and switch board.

  1. Modernize the bathroom.

5144492148_e62d0063e8_oUsually bathrooms are neglected in many cultures; however it needs to be redecorated to bring luxury in a house. You can change your basin, cock, water tap, bathtub to give a new look.

Global citizens are aware of the need of a nice home, they are also cautious of the tight budget. So there are many businesses to help the client fulfill their demand for home improvement. Now the dwellers are relying on those service provider. For the North American countries the industry values nearly $350 billion. East Asian market is also increasing day by day.

A recent forecast by British Federation of Master Builders (FMB), the UK’s largest trade association in the building industry, shows more than a million of homes will need to improve over the next three years. Their study found 22 per cent of works will be a result of families who need more space but cannot afford to move to bigger property owing to soaring house prices.

Housing experts opine that, in future a family will be allowed smaller space to live in.  So people on tight budget must keep the guideline of the architects and interiors designers in mind. At present the cost of living in every nooks and corner of the globe is rising, and it’s difficult to find a suitable home with the tight budget. That’s why we all want make good use of our existing residence.

Home Recording on a Budget

3410100750_46b7d154d0_zToday’s development in the technology, software and in music industry our expensive reduce several thousand dollars to a few thousand dollars. By this development in technology it becomes more easy and fast.

In past you need more accessories (equipment) in the home studio. A few years later its budget is approximately up to $5000 and if we spend more than it become more useful. But now a day the budget of home recording is about $1000 to $2000. I am showing you a home recording studio whose budget is around about $1500 to $2200.5283516725_85d6cb74aa_zFollowing things are required to build a home recording studio.

  • Computer
  • Audio interface
  • Controller
  • Studio Monitors
  • Headphones
  • Microphones

1. Computers

7157231778_cd87cd8c0b_oNow a day’s all the work is done on the computer. You need a good and powerful computer for this purpose so that by powerful work your time not waste. If you have a laptop then its perfect otherwise you computer specification must be similar which I am going to describe below.

  • Core i3 with 2.0 GHZ processor
  • 4 GB ram
  • 320 GB hard disk

2. Controller

You will flee together with technically built to your sound card; you do not set the production of music and recording. However, you want to set, en direct instruments to record, la want to be an audio interface. Another advantage associated audio interface, you simply not true pair, elves latency you produce music using a controller. On the issue, it is the default budget studio or home studio.

3. Interface

You can technically develop with a sound card on your music when you just leave the production and do not seem to fire. However, if you want to add live instruments, you want an audio interface. Another advantage of the audio interfaces with a range you able to not visit with after creating music with a MIDI controller. It is actually a quality, but for a budget home studio or studio.

4. Studio Monitor9415937332_978f29844b_z

KRK RP5S is a best studio monitors for you home recording. You should always prefer it due to its excellent specifications. Its price is about $135. Click here to get more information: http://studiomonitorshq.com

5. Headphones

The name of headphones everyone can easily understand that what the purpose of it in home is recording. Headphones are not more important in studio like other accessories. They do not, because the main tool for mixing and mastering of your fall from the track.

6. Microphones13777559_79affba6d5_z

If you have extra space, quiet and with a decent sound for your studio, you really do not need a high-quality microphone. There is a base, and a filter for cables, and, finally, a microphone. Cable depends on the audio interface micro degrees. This configuration is crucial for your studio, if you want to record.

Conclusion

In the last now we have to know the idea that how what is the normal budget of home recording. The budget of home recording reached to about $1500 to $1700. From the above accessories now we have now that how can far a budget of home studio. Approximately for better accessories the budget is $1700 to $2500.

Big splash for Steve & Rocky’s; Novi restaurant takes contest in pairing food, wine

In the end, a savory scallop from Steve & Rocky’s of Novi stood above the rest.

Steve & Rocky’s won first place in a competition against 14 other restaurants in a food-and-wine-pairing contest Feb. 8 at Mac & Ray’s Banquet & Conference Center in Harrison Township.

About 600 guests attended 10th annual Michigan Culinary Food & Wine Extravaganza. Proceeds went toward a scholarship fund for aspiring chefs, and the educational efforts of the Blue Water Chefs Association, which is a local chapter of the St. Augustine, Fla.-based American Culinary Federation.

Colombo Beach and CBD

Image by Flickr

Steve & Rocky’s served its pan-seared sea scallops Rockefeller with stone-ground mustard mashed potatoes, paired with Sonoma Cueter wine, to six judges consisting of food reporters from local publications, including myself.

Second place went to Colombo Italia of Mt. Clemens, which served crab cakes in lemon and dill cream sauce, paired with a Toad Hollow Chardonnay 2003. Third place went to Maggiano’s Little Italy of Troy, which served veal and mushroom ravioli and miniature meatballs and chocolate banana cheesecake for dessert paired with 2003 Chianti Classico-Querceto.

In other restaurant news:

DSC_1079

Image by Flickr

* Artie Oliverio is back in action as co-owner of Maria’s in West Bloomfield Township, more than 20 years after he first began working there. Oliverio became co-owner of the restaurant on Jan. 2 in a partnership with Greg Miller, who bought the restaurant more than a year ago.

Oliverio began working at Maria’s in the early 1980s but then went on to open his own fine-dining Italian restaurant called Oliverio’s on Woodward Avenue in Royal Oak in the late 1980s and operated it for about 10 years. He also operated Oliverio’s Chop House in Keego Harbor until 2001.

He went on to open Oliverio’s Wholesale Inc., a manufacturer of Italian specialty goods, but has since sold that business.

Maria’s, now renamed Maria’s by Artie Oliverio, is a 53-seat restaurant at 2080 Walnut Lake Road. The restaurant has entree prices from $18 to $45.

Oliverio also says he and Miller are working on two additional restaurants they plan to open before the end of the year.

* Unique Restaurant Corp. has changed its name to Matt Prentice Restaurant Group. An announcement on the company Web site said, “We wanted to change our identity to a name that all of our guests identify with – our founder and CEO Matt Prentice. Matt’s name better identifies our restaurants and catering venues.”

Prentice owns 11 restaurants in Southeast Michigan and has about 1,000 employees.

* Ferndale-based Zoup! Fresh Soup Co. L.L.C. is now up to 11 locations following November openings in Troy and Pontiac.

The Troy store – owned by Sheila Weithman and Patrick Barrow – occupies 2,300 square feet in North Troy’s Century Plaza at 3672 Rochester Road. Zoup! Square Lake Road is at 3999 Centerpoint Parkway in Pontiac. The 3,030-square-foot restaurant is owned by Terry Kohler.

* Traffic Jam & Snug is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The restaurant, at 511 W. Canfield in Detroit near Wayne State University, is a restaurant as well as a brewery, cheese manufacturer and bread-maker. Traffic Jam was opened by Ben Edwards and was bought in 1999 by Scott Lowell and Carolyn Howard.

 

Lead Hazards at Home

CHARITY AND THOMAS Tremblay began renovating their 10-room farmhouse in historic Concord, Mass., in 1985. They lived on the site, tackling the house room by room. When their daughter, Hawley, was born in January 1987, the Tremblays used plastic sheeting and tape to seal off the work area. Every day, they swept and vacuumed the debris from scraping and sanding old paint.

Because the house was at least 150 years old, the Tremblays were aware that the layers of paint coating the walls and woodwork probably contained lead that could be harmful to their daughter. “Of course we didn’t let Hawley crawl through piles of paint chips,” says Charity.

But a blood test during a routine visit to the pediatrician when Hawley was a year old revealed that she was suffering from serious lead poisoning. “We were shocked,” says Charity.

Lead is a neurotoxin. Although it often does not produce any physical symptoms, it can interfere with the development of a child’s brain. In starker terms, lead is a killer of intelligence.

The metal has been known to be a health hazard since at least Roman times. But it wasn’t until the early 1970’s, when lead poisoning among poor children living in substandard housing made headlines, that the deadly nature of lead became widely appreciated in the United States. In many cases, children who ate chips or flakes of paint suffered convulsions and mental retardation, and some lapsed into comas.

Helen DeVos Children's Hospital Media Tour December 02, 201015

Image by Flickr

Two decades later the problem persists, despite a ban on the residential use of lead paint. Fifty-five percent of poor black children have high enough levels of lead in their blood by the age of 6 to cause adverse effects, according to Dr. Herbert L. Needleman, a professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

But a growing body of evidence indicates that the risk of lead poisoning cuts across all socioeconomic groups. “Being financially comfortable offers no protection,” says Dr. Needleman, who is one of many experts who believe that lead poisoning is the most common preventable serious disease of childhood.

The Federal Government estimates that 57 million houses and apartments — three-quarters of all occupied housing units built before 1980 — contain lead paint. And it doesn’t take home renovations to put people at risk. Peeling, chipping or cracking paint can release lead-contaminated dust — dust that can be ingested by young children, who constantly put their hands and their toys in their mouths. Children as well as adults can also be exposed to lead in soil, drinking water, some canned foods and even some ceramic dishes and cookware.

Many studies now show that lead is potentially harmful to children at much lower levels than previously thought. So experts say that exposure to small amounts of the metal, whether from paint dust or other sources, can pose an unacceptable risk.

“Lead at remarkably low concentrations has an awesome capability to rob children of some of their potential for the rest of their lives,” says Dr. John F. Rosen, a professor of pediatrics at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx.

A person’s lead level is measured in micrograms per deciliter (about a fifth of a pint) of blood. A microgram is a millionth of a gram. Under the current Federal guideline, set by the Centers for Disease Control, a child with a level of 25 micrograms or more is considered to be at risk for neurological problems. (The standard for adults is 40.)

STUDIES OF CHIL- dren have shown that lead at levels below the guideline can lower intelligence, cause memory loss, slow reaction time and shorten attention span. Most ominously, a child can suffer damage even before birth, since a woman can pass the toxin on to her fetus.

Birmingham Children's Hospital (former General Hospital), Birmingham

Image by Flickr

As a result of the new research on the dangers of low lead levels, the C.D.C. will most likely issue a lower Federal guideline — 10 micrograms per deciliter — this summer, says Dr. Sue Binder, chief of the agency’s lead poisoning prevention branch. Many researchers believe that millions of children already exceed that level.

Dr. John W. Graef, chief of a clinic at Children’s Hospital in Boston that treats children suffering from lead poisoning, expects that if the C.D.C. goes ahead with revising its guideline, many parents whose children have mildly elevated lead levels will be alarmed. But he points out that “what we are talking about is a risk of being harmed.” The longer that a slightly elevated level is allowed to persist, the greater the chances that a child will be impaired.

So awareness of the hazard and early detection are critical. Experts recommend that children from the ages of 1 to 6 be tested every year. Several tests are available, but the most accurate method for detecting mildly elevated levels involves analyzing a tube of blood drawn from the child’s arm.

Hawley Tremblay’s blood lead level was so high that she required injections of a chelating agent, which helps the body excrete lead. If her lead level had been any higher, she probably would have been hospitalized.

A child’s lead level will go back up after treatment if she is exposed to the metal again. This is the rationale behind a Massachusetts law that requires removal or containment of all lead in the home when a child has been poisoned.

A state inspector went to the Tremblay’s house to identify sources of lead contamination. “We thought we had finished most of the work, and then in comes the inspector who tells us that three-quarters of the painted surfaces have to be stripped down to the bare wood,” says Charity. She and her husband had scraped away only enough old paint on woodwork to leave a smooth surface for repainting. In some places, many layers of paint remained — paint that could eventually deteriorate and re-expose Hawley to lead.

The Tremblays hired a contractor who specialized in “de-leading” homes. The work took close to four weeks and cost $6,000. During that time, the family lived with friends to avoid further exposure.

LIKE MOST CHILDREN WITH ELEVATED lead levels, Hawley probably ingested dust contaminated with lead, not actual chips or flakes of paint. Large quantities of lead dust can be released during home renovations, and children are not the only victims. Adults too can be poisoned, with symptoms that include headaches, short-term memory loss and abdominal pain.

Even if you’re not doing renovations, significant amounts of lead dust can come from peeling, chipping and cracking paint. The most heavily contaminated areas of many homes are the window wells, which can trap dust created by the simple act of opening and closing the windows.

Because lead paint is so widespread, public health specialists say that people who live in buildings constructed prior to 1980, when the Federal ban on lead paint became fully effective, should have a contractor test their home for lead if they notice areas of deteriorating paint. Testing is also recommended for people considering even minor home renovations. (Check with the local health or housing department for names of qualified contractors.)

Experts are unanimous in saying that people should never do their own renovations if lead is present. The work should be done by a contractor who has experience de-leading homes. “You wouldn’t consider doing your own asbestos removal, would you?” asks Stephanie Pollack, director of the lead poisoning prevention project at the Conservation Law Foundation in Boston.

The sanction against do-it-yourself home renovation does not go over well in some quarters. “For many people, paying someone to do the work is too expensive,” says Patricia Poore, owner and former editor of the Old- House Journal. “Despite warnings, people are going to do their own renovations, so we ought to give them the information they need to reduce the risk.”

She suggests doing one room at a time and adopting the same precautions a qualified contractor would take, such as using a high-efficiency particulate air vacuum for cleanup. If you develop symptoms that you think might be a sign of lead poisoning, stop renovating and have yourself tested, she says. Children should be tested every six weeks.

Poore acknowledges that her opinions are not shared by medical experts. Dr. Rosen of Montefiore Medical Center is a vociferous dissenter: he says her recommendations will lead to “disasters” for children and adults alike.

A DISASTER APPEARS TO have been averted in Hawley’s case. At her most recent visit to the pediatrician, her lead level was 17 micrograms — above the C.D.C.’s proposed guideline, but a major improvement. Hawley, now 4 years old, is “happy and brighter than many kids her age,” says Charity. “She doesn’t seem to have any lingering effects.”

“My feeling is that this was a kid who we picked up early enough,” says Dr. Graef, “and I expect a good prognosis.” But he knows that many children will not be as lucky as Hawley. “Very few people really believe this problem is as bad as it is.”

CAPTION(S):

Table: “HIDDEN SOURCES OF LEAD” * PAINT Peeling and chipping paint can release lead- contaminated dust. The sills, wells and frames of windows are a particular problem because their surfaces deteriorate rapidly. * SOIL Weathering or renovation of a building’s exterior can contaminate soil. Use of leaded fuel, now limited, has also polluted soil. * DRINKING WATER The flow of water through lead pipes, brass faucets, or pipes joined by lead solder can release the metal. * SOLDERED CANS Lead solder is found in cans of some imported products and can leach into food. It is no longer used in most domestic food cans. * CERAMIC GLAZES Some experts advise against using ceramic dishes or cookware because lead in the glaze can leach into food. Imports are said to pose the greatest risk. PAINT: Removal or containment should be left to specialists, and you should move out while the work is being done. Local health or housing departments may be able to provide a list of qualified contractors.

Before hiring someone, ask whether workers will wear protective clothing and respirators. Contractors who protect themselves and their workers are more likely to be fully aware of the risks of lead dust — the major cause of poisoning.

WATER: Jeff Cohen, a lead specialist at the Environmental Protection Agency, recommends that all homeowners and apartment dwellers have their water tested by a laboratory. Local water utilities and health departments can often supply names. The test should cost between $15 and $35.

Water becomes contaminated by lead when it stands in pipes. So if the tap has been turned off for more than two hours, let the water run for 30 seconds before using it for drinking or cooking.

SOIL: State agricultural extension services and local gardening organizations may be able to refer you to a lab that tests soil for lead. Remove the top three inches of soil in contaminated areas or cover the soil with sod.

CERAMICS: According to the Food and Drug Administration, most ceramic products, ranging from crude earthenware to fine bone china, contain lead in the glaze. Dishes and cookware from major domestic producers are generally fired at a high enough temperature to harden the glaze sufficiently to keep the lead from leaching into food. Ceramics made by craftsmen, however, could pose a risk. And ceramics imported from Italy, Mexico and China pose the greatest risk.

CANS: One-piece aluminum cans, like those used for soft drinks, have no seams, thus no lead solder. Cans that are welded together also are lead-free. The welded seam forms a neat, straight line. Soldered seams are readily evident because you can see the spots of solder. But there is no way to distinguish between lead and tin solder. So to be on the safe side, avoid cans that have been soldered.

 

Kitchen Space saving ideas

10133112906_c03854e524_zKitchen spaces saving ideas or tips are given below:

Small appliances

Time again, because the oven here (a vintage O’Keefe and Merritt 21-inch) display devices and vintage look those who love this cooler (Elmira Stove Works) was added in small sizes that do not need to sacrifice fashion be found. High-end manufacturers like Bertazzoni and Viking also measure up models with small house, so even something important chefs that matches home and work arduous review.

Single bowl sink

10133166883_a2e87ff18c_oAccompany a single rather than double sink a foot or a lot of the fight against the house to save money. Small single bowl sink are all models – a fashion house, as shown here still feels spacious.

Under mount sink

If you really need to be avoid wasting taxes accompanying a small bowl in the sink mountain. It consumes a little more room to hide against near-silhouette well, following the sides of the sink are.

Wall mounted storage

Having a trifle thin white wall? Not hang a calendar or work – the simplest of home available with rows mounted on the wall from floor to ceiling shelves. Towel bar hanging, use S-hooks to hang utensils and install a magnetic knife holder.

10133167263_3d6b029cca_zMacGyver Island

Instead of queuing any jam, and open to all the requirements for an all-in-one-island compact. Presented here includes a sink island custom, a stove, a number, a kitchenette, storage for pots and pans, knives, spices and waste. As if that were not enough, the other side of the room for a lot of people sitting on chairs.

Minimalist hardware

There seems little problem, but in a space extremely very thin, it is easy buttons and handles heavy tap. Skinny’s even overlap and feel thin by clean, minimalist options. High gloss and smart lighting cabinets and also away from the thin room here.

Ceiling to the Cabinets

Why have you walking distance, you will be able to take cabinets all approach be? In the upper cabinets, while a small area, it is still worth the storage option with floor to ceiling wardrobes and more help visually expand the house.

Modern Small kitchen Design Ideas | yourhomyhome.comNo door

Remove the door of the room is very simple and allows area a little much broader sense. Better yet have a widened gap or wall away. Gap of the room is very popular – with more leeway to ease May as well, with two counts of lacrosse.

Make paring

Keep out of the simplest and ditch the rest. Keep only the single knife, your favorite glasses, tying kettle, room devices most commonly used game so on. Be disorder ruthless hunting. And it would not hurt to clear glass and acrylic for the product just select continue on the screen clear patterns to create many looks spacious.

Farberware set to flee Bronx; 700 jobs at risk

Brand name’s buyer plans to move production out of costly borough

Farberware Inc., the century-old pot and pan maker, is set to pull out of the Bronx, threatening as many as 700 jobs in the borough’s already fragile employment base.

The move is being triggered by the sale of the ailing company to a joint venture led by East Boston, Mass:, silverware manufacturer Syratech Corp. Syratech is buying the Farberware name, its machinery and the right to make its cookware and electric appliances.

While Syratech Chairman and CEO Leonard Florence declines to say where the company will produce Farberware products, he says there is no way it can make money in the Bronx, given the high cost of doing business there.

Electricity costs take toll

“There are many factors involved,” says Mr. Florence. “The cost of electricity in the Bronx is over 20 cents per kilowatt-hour. We could not operate paying those kinds of rates. (Elsewhere) we can pay 3.5 cents per kilowatt-hour.”

Farberware’s parent, Iselin, N.J.-based conglomerate U.S. Industries Inc., is searching for other uses for the plant, but if nothing is found, layoffs would likely take place.

“We have been exploring alternative avenues for Farberware,” says a U.S. Industries spokeswoman. “Layoffs are possible, but it’s not a conclusion at this point.”

The sale is expected to close by April 15. U.S. Industries will continue to operate the factory for an indeterminate period, possibly two to nine months.

Big bit to manufacturing

The sale of Farberware comes at a time when the Bronx has been gaining jobs, but most of those are in hospitals and social service organizations, which get substantial government money. That makes the potential loss of 700 private-sector jobs – 5% of private manufacturing employment in the Bronx – especially worrisome.

The factory’s closing would further deplete the city’s slim stock of entry-level manufacturing positions and knock a $125 million business off the city’s tax rolls.

The sale of the troubled cookware maker comes as no surprise. Last year, the company turned a scant $1 million operating profit on $125 million in sales, and analysts say it has been marginally profitable or losing money for several years.

Its former parent, British giant Hanson PLC, had been shopping it around as long as 18 months ago. But Hanson scared off buyers, including Syratech, by insisting they take over the labor force and certain liabilities.

Farberware’s current parent, U.S. Industries – a conglomerate of 34 companies spun off by Hanson last June – made no secret of its desire to sell Farberware as soon as possible. In need of cash and eager to unload the ailing company, USI agreed to keep the Bronx manufacturing plant and the company’s receivables and liabilities as part of the $41 million deal. USI says it will break even on the sale.

Blaming the parent

Despite its gold-plated brand name, Farberware has been struggling to make money for several years now. Analysts blame Hanson for giving Farberware little attention and saddling it with high corporate overhead.

But they also say Farberware’s steep manufacturing costs made it uncompetitive as the retail industry consolidated and cheaper imports flooded the U.S. housewares market. At the same time, the company has launched only one successful new product in recent years. While department and discount stores have been backing away from very low-margin stainless steel cookware, that line has remained Farberware’s signature product.

Recently, the company has managed to boost revenues by licensing its name to makers of gadgets, cutlery, glassware and dinnerware. But its desperation was evident when it licensed its name last year to a rival cookware maker, Meyer Corp. – a tactic akin to Calvin Klein’s licensing his name to Donna Karan.

Manufacturing unprofitable

“It showed that the manufacture of its own products was a very poor-profit business,” says industry consultant Ed Beren, president of Manhattan-based Beren Consulting Group. “The brand name showed vitality, whereas the products didn’t.”

Indeed, the Farberware name still carries clout with consumers. After seven years of licensing the Farberware name, Lifetime Hoan Corp., a Westbury, L.I., kitchenware maker, says Farberware-branded products account for 50% of its sales.

A partner in the Syratech joint venture, Lifetime Hoan will acquire 50 Farberware outlet stores around the country and a 99-year, royalty-free license to market gadgets and cutlery under the Farberware name.

Syratech, too, is counting on the Farberware name to catapult it into markets where it has no presence today. If it can lower manufacturing costs and exploit economies of scale in marketing, distribution and administration, it could make a profit, say analysts. Syratech has longstanding relationships with major retailers and a reputation for astute management of its overseas manufacturing.

 

How to clean your house

1 Go Feet First9K194SDred

Get a doormat–stat! A good one soaks up water, scrapes off dirt, and is itself easy to clean. GHRI favorite Water Trapper from Orvis ($29 and up, orvis.com) has all of those areas covered. GHRI tip: To deep-clean, vacuum the top of the mat, then flip it and go over the back. It’ll floor you how much more dirt comes out.

2 Don’t Clean … Yet Find a muddy trail?

Resist the urge to wipe or mop it up right away. Instead, let it dry. The reason: Dirt is simple to sweep up, whereas mud smears all over.

3 OK, Now Clean

But leave the mop in the closet and the sponge by the sink. Our smartcuts:

* Vacuum the dry clumps, or whisk them up with a brush and dustpan

* Spritz a little all-purpose cleaner on a damp paper towel and wipe away smears on walls or floors (no rinsing needed)

* Tackle tough stains on surfaces. Combat road-salt streaks with some vinegar on a towel (paper or otherwise). Zap red clay-based marks with a foam eraser, like Mr. Clean’s.

4 Use What You’ve Got

Be cleaner–and greener-by repurposing:clean2

A natural-bristled scrub brush It makes a cheaper (and less cutesy) alternative to a hedgehog boot brush. Hang one on the doorknob or a hook nearby, and use to sweep mud and debris from the sides and soles of shoes before you even set foot in the house.

Old towels Keep some handy for drying off the dog or soaking up puddles.

A tray or baking pan Anything with low sides works well to corral wet shoes and keep drips from pooling on the floor. Line it with absorbent cork (see goodhousekeeping.com /boottray for instructions).

5 Kick-Out Clutter1335580339thung carton 3 lop (1)

… by not letting the entryway become a dump. How to manage:

Kids’ stuff Put out a laundry basket for each child to stow shoes, sports gear, and/or a schoolbag.

Paper piles Move the recycling bin or even your paper shredder into the mudroom. It’ll let you dispose of junk mail right away, before it lands on your countertop–and put it one step closer to the curb.

6 Swap Smart

When making the seasonal switch, wash coats, hats, etc. Keep solo gloves for now–you never know when a mate might turn up.

mud*room / noun / The concept is as old as the horse-drawn plow: Country homes had a back porch where farmers left soiled duds and washed up before entering the main house. Now, it’s likely wherever your family drops their stuff

Countdown to lift off

Reintroducing a brand is always a risk. But Birds Eye Wall’s has tried to plan the relaunch of Carte d’Or with an almost military precision

This is nail-biting time at Birds Eye Wall’s famous blue, and silver HQ at Walton on Thames. The UK’s dominant ice-cream maker and Unilever subsidiary is ‘restructuring its portfolio’ with the aim, says general marketing manager Mark Lollback, of “maximising big brands in markets where we think there are big opportunities”. Key to its plans is the launch here of French ice-cream brand Carte d’Or.

Apart from the specialist category of ‘complete ice-cream desserts’ such as Vienetta, the UK take-home market has three segments: standard, which amounts to 200 million litres a year; premium (55 million litres a year); and super premium or luxury. Super premium is a seven million-litre battleground where Wall’s Ranieri is currently slogging it out with the likes of Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s.

Carte d’Or fits into the premium sector, where Wall’s claims a 40% share but feels its existing entry Gino Ginelli has limited prospects.

“Gino Ginelli has a big franchise, but its strengths are about fun and about being pseudo-Italian,” notes Lollback. “It is probably not a brand that can fulfil the market’s changing needs, which in part are about being sufficiently ‘adult’.

“So we’re relaunching it on a better-value platform, raising the price by 25% but the volume by 50%, and aiming it at larger families with younger kids. The gap between Gino Ginelli and Ranieri is where Carte d’Or comes in.”

In truth, Carte d’Or was here several years ago, but failed to take off. This time, the market is thought to be ready for it and its introduction has been planned like a military exercise. The recipe, the flavours, the packaging and the advertising have all been thoroughly tested. New advertising and packaging are for international use, but because of the importance of the launch to the UK, this has been the lead market outside France.

If the luxury sector is all about personal indulgence, Carte d’Or’s positioning is ‘shared enjoyment’ and authentic flavours. The pay-off line in the new advertising campaign from Lintas in Paris, to be used in a [pounds]2.5m campaign in the UK, is ‘Tasting is believing’.

The 30-second master commercial focuses on real strawberries for strawberry lovers and tries to create a ‘Renaissance’ feel by featuring lots of gold goblets and flimsily clad people. But it has a close-up section featuring the ingredients, which has been reshot to make ten-second commercials for the chocolate and walnut variants.

Packaging is also a key part of the story. It has been designed by London-based Pearlfisher (see panel), a three-year-old agency founded by ex-Michael Peters personnel.

Lollback says the language of the sector is that small, cardboard cartons equal luxury and large, plastic tubs equal mass market. But he emphasises that Carte d’Or will attempt to change some of those rules. It comes in a gold tub, uniquely oval-shaped because a long shape is thought better for scooping out portions, with a tamper-evident foil seal. But the tub is made from plastic. The gold colour has been chosen to reflect the product’s quality and the brand name, while the plastic allows shape retention bearing in mind that it could be in and out of the fridge many times.

Hill & Knowlton will be running the PR campaign, “trying to establish a quick presence and quick trial through the regional press”. Promotions will include free cooler bags through Asda, Tesco and Iceland and sampling activity at all the major retailers.

Wall’s hired a roller-coaster simulator for its main trade presentations. It later took this to the Good Food Show (Marketing, Exhibitions supplement, March 28), where it gave away a ton of ice-cream. The simulator will be appearing in selected supermarket car parks this summer.

“Remember, the freezer cabinet is probably the most expensive fitment in the supermarket,” says Lollback. “If the retailers are to take a new brand, it must add to category growth. We believe Carte d’Or is doing that. It will be fulfiling a role not met by any existing brand.”

RELATED ARTICLE: The designer’s story

“The Carte d’Or brief came to us from Paris and was very focused,” says Simon Hesketh, client services director at London design consultancy Pearl fisher: “It was simply about conveying true taste – that the ice cream was superb and no brand could match Carte d’Or for flavour.

“Our style is to produce a plethora of initial concepts. These ranged from just showing the ingredients, to showing them surrounding ice cream. The feedback from consumers on the final choice was that they almost felt they were looking through the packaging, into the product.

“We did a lot of crafting on the Carte d’Or logo. The original was in gold, but we made it a more attractive shade and improved the lettering. One difficulty was that the name had to be read against a background of ice cream which could vary in colour from dark chocolate to lemon. We achieved this by giving it a blue key line and drop shadow, so that it really stands out.

Abstract:

Leading UK ice-cream maker Birds Eye Wall’s is re-launching the French ice-cream Carte d’Or as part of its plans to maximize well-known brands in markets where they are likely to succeed. Carte d’Or was introduced to the British market in the past but it failed to capture the attention of consumers. Birds Eye Wall’s believes that market conditions are right for a successful re-launch. It has planned the second introduction with near military precision, carefully testing flavors, packaging and advertising.