HUNTERSVILLE, NC – Eleven of the 16 drivers in NASCAR’s new Chase for the Sprint Cup playoff have a connection to the Lake Norman area. Look around, one of your neighbors could be racing for a championship.
The 10-race, elimination-based Chase will create a Final Four-like showdown heading into the season finale Nov. 16 at Homestead-Miami Speedway. Here are the 16 competing racers, ranked by their seedings:
1. Brad Keselowski (No. 2 Ford) – Mooresville resident who drives for Mooresville-based Team Penske. His four victories lead the Sprint Cup Series this season, including a dominant win last weekend in Richmond, where he led 383 of 400 laps.
2. Jeff Gordon (No. 24 Chevrolet) – His splendid rebound season has included three wins, nine top-fives and 17 top-10 finishes.
3. Dale Earnhardt Jr. (No. 88 Chevrolet) – He lives in Mooresville and drives for Hendrick Motorsports. He’s won three races this season and unofficially leads NASCAR in loyal, rabid fans.
4. Jimmie Johnson (No. 48 Chevrolet) – He knows how to win championships and this year’s slate includes three victories, eight top fives, 16 top 10s and one pole position.
5. Joey Logano (No. 22 Ford) – Lives in Huntersville and drives for Mooresville-based Team Penske. Logano has won three races this season, finished in the top five 10 times and 15 times in the top 10.
6. Kevin Harvick (No. 4 Chevrolet) – He’s won two races and ran well all season, but has struggled with pit-crew issues. Last week, Harvick commented “I can’t fix them.” Ouch !
7. Carl Edwards (No. 99 Ford) – Twice he’s visited the winner’s circle this season. Edwards is one of those drivers who won’t wow you, but look up and he’s in the lead.
8. Kyle Busch (No. 18 Toyota) – The Denver resident drives for Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing. He’s dominated the Nationwide Series, but will that translate into a Sprint Cup title?
9. Denny Hamlin (No. 11 Toyota) – He lives in Cornelius and drives for Joe Gibbs Racing. His one victory cemented a Chase spot, and he’s got six top fives and 11 top 10s.
10. Kurt Busch (No. 41 Chevrolet) – Mooresville resident has one victory and six top fives, but only an average finish of 19th place.
11. Kasey Kahne (No. 5 Chevrolet) – Struggled much of the season, but he’s in the Chase and that’s all you need for a chance. He’s a Mooresville resident.
12. Aric Almirola (No. 43 Ford) – With a average finish of 20th place this season, the Mooresville resident is definitely a longshot. But stranger things have happened.
13. A.J. Allmendinger (No. 47 Chevrolet) – This Huntersville resident has only been in the top five finishers twice this season. Will need a major turnaround to contend.
14. Matt Kenseth (No. 20 Toyota) – His zero victories don’t matter now. He’s in the field and has raced well enough with 10 top fives and 16 top 10s. Mooresville resident who drives for Huntersville-based Joe Gibbs Racing.
15. Greg Biffle (No. 16 Ford) – It’s been an up-and-down season for the Mooresville resident, who has three top fives and 10 top 10s.
16. Ryan Newman (No. 31 Chevrolet) – He, like Biffle, didn’t win any races this season and qualified for the Chase by accumulating enough points.
Remodeling a kitchen is a big job, but if you take it piece by piece and put thought into a few key features, you’ll be well on your way to creating a kitchen that will work for you and your family, according to local interior designer Dee Ann Federico.
Federico, who owns Dee Ann Design in Riverhead, recently sat down with RiverheadLOCAL to talk about the nine most important things to think about when designing a kitchen.
Decide How You Will Use Your Kitchen
“Not everyone is a fabulous cook, so you have to be realistic about what you are going to be doing in your kitchen,” said Federico.
Remember: your kitchen isn’t just for cooking.
“It is the heart of your home and where you will be spending 90 percent of your time,” said Federico.
If you’re the type to do a lot of entertaining, keep in mind that you are going to want to design your kitchen much differently than someone who considers themselves an amateur chef.
Write down a list of what you envision in your kitchen, including every detail you can think of – cabinets, appliances, and even seating.
Break Down the Costs
Once you figured out what your needs are, you will next need to set up a budget and seriously put thought into costs. On average, she said, a new kitchen will cost conservatively $35,000, depending on the size of the kitchen.
But there are things you can do to cut down costs. One cost saving measure is to pay careful attention to plumbing when you’re planning your new kitchen. Giving your kitchen a face-lift while keeping all the pipes under the surface the same will cut down on costs.
“Using a layout that is the same as your old kitchen in terms of plumbing will save you a lot of money,” she said.
Federico stressed that lighting in a kitchen is very important and should be at the top of your list in your re-design.
“You need a mix of lighting,” she said, from utilitarian for performing various tasks, to decorative lighting and under the counter lighting. Pick a Color Scheme
When designing a kitchen, picking a color scheme is very important said Federico,
“There is a trend toward using grays and sand colors,” she said, especially when it comes to cabinetry.
“You also don’t want your kitchen super dark. It really limits you,” she said.
Pick Your Cabinetry –
When renovating your kitchen, its important to remember to update your storage spaces. Whether your dream kitchen is large or small, there are cabinets to meet your needs, said Federico.
“You really don’t need a big kitchen to have great storage anymore,” she said. “It is amazing how they configure cabinets for the max amount of storage now.”
“They have full pantries that are really tall and narrow, roll out drawers and inserts.”
Top off Your Counters
Countertops are very important to a kitchen and can cost a lot of money, especially if you are eying up granite, the most popular countertop material.
If you are not dead-set on granite, Federico suggests looking at other man-made materials, including Caesarstone Quartz Countertops, which are made from recycled materials.
Splash the Back
To tie your kitchen together, Federico highly recommends carefully selecting a backsplash.
“You want to unite your cabinets with your countertops. A backsplash can really set the whole tone of your kitchen,” she said.
Federico said there are a variety of ways to design a backsplash, including using mosaic tiles, which she tends to incorporate in her kitchen designs.
“I like to use the mosaics that feature glass and Mother of Pearl in them so they have a little shine to them,” she said.
Federico said Subway tiles, which provide a clean and classic look, are also very popular.
Educate Yourself on Appliances
If your kitchen re-design calls for new appliances, Federico said the most important thing to do is to educate yourself on the various brands. According to Federico, all the popular brands offer a variety of models, from reasonably-priced ones right up to expensive top of the line models.
But with so many brands and models, it can be hard to make the right choice for such a large investment. To offset this, Federico suggests picking up a copy of Consumers’ Digest.
“They are non-partisan and have honest reviews,” she said.
She also recommended thinking carefully about which type of appliance you buy for your kitchen.
“Most people don’t realize that if they choose a 6-burner stove they are going to also need to think about proper ventilation.”
Madison, Wisconsin, May 1, 2014— Kitchens remain a top remodeling project in 2014, according to the Member Profile Study done by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), in time for
National Home Improvement Month this May. Eighty-two percent of NARI members identify kitchens as their primary service offering.
This year, the association’s 2014 Contractor of the Year Awards program, which recognizes top projects in 25 categories, totaled nearly $73 million worth of remodeling projects and identified national trends,
especially in the areas of kitchen updates.
“Consumers want practical, comfortable kitchens that are efficient to use and easy to live in,” says Kevin Anundson, MCR, CKBR, NARI National President and vice president of Renovations Group Inc. in Elm
Grove, Wis. “Bigger isn’t better, but homeowners still want a feeling of space, and open concept with islands are still a significant part of kitchen trends in 2014.”
Improving the overall look and feel of the kitchen was most often cited in the CotY entries as the main motivating factor by homeowners for remodeling, followed by improving function.
Lighting : See www.wurthwoodgroup.com
The continuing trend of fewer upper cabinets in the kitchen creates more space for decorative task lighting, often on adjustable arms that gives the option to have the light directed where it is needed
most. Decorative fixtures in black, iron and aged brass finishes make a bold statement. Other trends:
Pendant lights over kitchen islands continue to be a great opportunity to bring style into the mix.
Chandeliers in kitchens add an unexpected sparkle and can soften up the hard lines and smooth surfaces of appliances and countertops below.
An oversized light fixture becomes a focal point in an otherwise plain room.
Under-cabinet lights, controlled by a dimmer, provide ambiance.
Built-in cabinetry that looks like furniture : www.wurthwoodgroup.com
Mixing and layering finishes and woods to create a custom look is another emerging trend, along with built-in accent cabinets that act as a framework for the rest of the cabinetry. These cabinets, often
designed tall and narrow with glass fronts, provide the look of a built-in china cabinet to showcase collectables. In general, upper cabinets are less popular in areas that obstruct lines of sight, especially to
outdoor interests or to an adjacent family room.
Appliances are subtly hidden behind the cabinetry for a clean, streamlined appearance.
Colorful kitchen cabinetry has made a big comeback. Palettes using and mixing blues, orange, browns or greens countering neutral white, wood or dark finishes are providing kitchen flair.
Dramatic contrasts of light cabinets and dark countertops provide visual impact.
Wine storage : See www.wurthwoodgroup.com
With the explosion in the wine market over the past few decades, wine is becoming more of a lifestyle choice and factoring into kitchen designs.
Dedicated “butler” areas for entertaining, sampling and sharing wine with guests are very popular, allowing the cook the opportunity to socialize during food preparation.
Integrated wine coolers, an answer to tight kitchen spaces, are nestled into cabinetry along with wine racks to showcase a homeowners’ collection.
If you’re planning a home renovation project this year, consider incorporating some of these trends to update your kitchen. Before construction gets underway, consult with a professional remodeler about
the renovation projects you have planned.
NARI is the source for homeowners seeking to hire a professional remodeling contractor because members are full-time, dedicated remodelers who follow a strict code of ethics, observing high
standards of honesty, integrity and responsibility.
CLEVELAND – Demand for kitchen and bath cabinetry will increase 6.6 % annually to $16 billion by 2018, primarily due to the rebound in the U.S. housing market, says a new study. But another key factor is a consumer desire for more storage space, say trade groups. The largest areas in homes requiring expanded cabinets are kitchens and bathrooms, with builders looking for innovative ways to include more storage space, such as increasing cabinet space in kitchen islands or his and her vanities in bathrooms. Not only will new constructions spur the growth in cabinetry, but the increased demand for kitchen and bathroom remodeling will also play a huge role in the increase. “Cabinets,” a new study from Cleveland-based market research firm The Freedonia Group, Inc., reports kitchen cabinets, which accounted for 81% of demand in 2013, are expected to see the fastest growth of all cabinet types, rising 6.8% annually to $13.1 billion. Gains will be spurred by design trends that call for homes to have larger kitchens with such features as islands and breakfast bars. These kitchens are often equipped with more and larger cabinets to provide ample storage space. Bathroom cabinets will account for $1.9 billion in sales by 2018, according to the report. Advances will be spurred by design trends that call for multiple bathrooms. Demand for other cabinets, such as garage, home office, and home theater cabinets, will be supported by interest in them as attractive storage alternatives to open shelving and free-standing furnishings, the report says.
If you want to make your home more efficient (and look better while you’re at it), you don’t necessarily have to break the bank. Sometimes, the simplest changes can make a world of difference. Take these 30 simple home improvement ideas, for example. You wouldn’t think that moving your outlets or adding an end table could change the flow and cool factor of your house, but it can.
And if you follow these tips, it will!
1. Add outlets to drawers to keep clutter off of the table top.
2. Make the space your fake drawers take up functional.
3. Fake drawers are also a great spot for extra outlets.
4. Save space with collapsible drying racks.
5. Use stainless steel contact paper to make your appliances look more expensive.
6. Use recessed outlets so you can put your furniture against the wall.
7. Install your outlets underneath your cabinets so you don’t ruin your backsplash.
8. Use slide-out drawers in the home for spices and pantry items.
9. Add a small cabinet to extra space in the kitchen for cleaning supply storage.
10. Hide away appliances behind sliding doors.
11. Use kitchen drawers as cutting boards you can hide.
12. Use a slide-away step in your bathroom instead of a step stool.
13. Build drawers in the wasted space between studs in the wall.
Brad Keselowski climbed from 33rd to third in the Miller Lite Ford on Sunday night, in what was by far his most impressive Daytona 500.
Heading into the Daytona 500, ECR Chevrolet engines stole the show in qualifying while Toyota entered the race with three wins in the three NASCAR Sprint Cup non-points preliminary races that make up Speedweeks.
So Ford had almost been lying in the weeds, but Keselowski’s now-white No. 2 Team Penske entry was an absolute rocket on race day.
“I thought our car was really, really, really strong. Best car I ever had here at Daytona,” he said after the race. “I’m proud of it. Got to the lead from the very back twice. Didn’t quite pull it off the third time, but got really close there obviously in the closing laps with some help from a few others.”
Keselowski played himself into position for the final restart after leading four times for 13 laps earlier in the race. As the lanes shifted and movement occurred, he never was able to get that last run to slingshot through to the lead.
Still, had he been able to replay the last two laps, he said he wouldn’t have done anything differently.
“When the 11 (Denny Hamlin) and 18 (Kyle Busch) broke apart, then the 17 (Ricky Stenhouse Jr.) split the 18, that was the end of my night. There was nothing I could do,” he said.
“It was just circumstances outside of my control. I could have blocked the 11 and ran second. That’s all that was going to happen if I would have blocked the 11. But I really wasn’t interested in running second. I took a shot at a different move that would have given me an opportunity to win and finished third. That’s just the way it is.”
It was a great run for the 2012 series champion, who’s seeking a bounce back 2014 after he failed to make the Chase in 2013.
But like Denny Hamlin in second, third here in the biggest race of the year simply wasn’t good enough. And given NASCAR’s new Chase format where winning is everything, Keselowski put to bed the line about having a “good points day.”
“Points days don’t mean anything anymore. That’s the great thing about this format,” he explained. “There is no good points day, as far as I’m concerned. What matters is a win, especially when you come to Daytona.”
During his championship 2012 season, Brad Keselowski and the No. 2 Ford Fusion team welcomed Wurth as an associate sponsor. Now, as BK seeks his second Sprint Cup in 2014, Wurth is stepping up as a primary sponsor.
Wurth will be the primary sponsor on the No. 2 car during four NASCAR Sprint Cup Series races, starting with the March 23 Cup Series race at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, Calif. Wurth will also be an associate sponsor on the No. 2 Team Penske Ford for the balance of the 2014 season.
“We’re pleased to welcome Wurth as a primary sponsor on the No. 2 Ford team,” said Keselowski. “The Wurth Group has done a terrific job of activating their partnership with Team Penske and we’ll work together to take the relationship to a new level this season. We’re all excited to race the red and white Wurth Ford Fusion in 2014.”
The Wurth Group first partnered with Team Penske in 2012 and the leading automotive, industrial and woodworking supply company has served as a primary sponsor for the team in the NASCAR Nationwide Series and an associate partner on the No. 2 Miller Lite Ford Fusion over the last two seasons.
“We are very excited about continuing our relationship with Team Penske and Brad Keselowski,” said Robert Stolz, Wurth North America Chief Executive. “Since our relationship started two years ago, many of our customers and associates have enjoyed the partnership and we look forward to taking this to the next level with the Wurth Car now in the Cup Series. We consider Brad to be a part of our Wurth family of businesses, and we cherish being associated with Roger Penske and his extraordinary organization. This promises to be another fantastic year for Wurth Racing.”
While this season marks just its third season as a partner in North American motorsports, Wurth has been actively involved in European racing for over 30 years supporting teams in various disciplines including Formula One and the DTM Series.
“Wurth is a global leader in the automotive and industrial supply business and we are excited to have them join the No. 2 Ford team as a primary sponsor this season,” said Roger Penske. “Wurth has brought value to our company and to our partners as well. This demonstrates the commitment of Team Penske to building lasting business relationships and we will work together with the Wurth team to continue to grow this partnership.”
For years, cabinets have been a place to tuck away dishes and hide boxes of cereal out of view behind solid doors. But according to the Zillow Digs Home Design Trend Report for 2014, hiding the goods will be a bit more difficult since the latest kitchen trend is glass-front cabinets or open shelving – easily exposing cupboard contents.
If you want to go this route, Kerrie Kelly, the principal designer and owner of Kerrie Kelly Design Lab in Sacramento and a member of ZillowZ +1.43% Digs’ Board of Designers, shares her tips on getting in on this look.
Match your kitchen style
While glass-front cabinets or open shelves may sound like design purely for modern spaces, Kelly believes the look works well in any kitchen style.
“Just be sure to focus on using only one or two materials,” she said. Also, with whatever material you choose, you can be creative in your installation. Painted cabinets with glass fronts and statement knobs would work well in more traditional or country-style kitchen, while sleek, flat-front cabinets will shine in a contemporary space.
Curate displayed items
Just as you pick cabinets or shelving to match your kitchen, select accessories and kitchenware that will go with the overall aesthetic as well.
The open shelving or glass front cabinets are a place to showcase items and, as such, takes time to curate statement pieces or accessories, advised Kelly.
“Let your kitchenware collection grow with you and your space,” she said.
Looking for ideas to fill the space? Try spices, olive oil, cookbooks and glass jars filled with oatmeal or dried fruits as a starting point.
Updating your cabinets to match these trends could be an easy do-it-yourself- weekend project and “provides great versatility,” said Kelly. Remove the doors on one of your cabinets, and paint or wallpaper the back of the cabinet to create an updated look in the kitchen.
Add the look elsewhere
While open shelving and glass-front cabinets are great for the kitchen, they’re also appropriate throughout the entire home.
“Get creative with shelving units,” Kelly says. Try incorporating “vintage pieces with sleek colors for a chic storage solution in any living space.”