How Dreams Come True

I welcome the annual return of Bay Weekly’s Spring Home and Garden Strategies.
    In this guide, home and garden professionals give us just the sort of expert advice we do-it-yourselfers don’t know — and don’t even know we need to know. We’ve designed it in a handy pull-out-and-keep format so you can use if for months to come.
    I’m the guide’s first audience, and as I prepare the tips for publication, I keep thinking how much better my projects would end if I had these experts’ help as well as their advice.
    I didn’t want to know, as Annapolis Painting Services advises, that my exterior paint job is many years past its better days. All I had in mind was a little touch up. Sneade’s Ace Home Center’s Clark+Kensington Paint+Primer in One has held up so well, I thought it would last forever.
    Now that I’ve learned from Ram Construction what Hardie Siding is and how it lasts, I’m going to have to take a look at its color range.
    Belair Engineering has me a little scared, too. As an owner of an old home — worse, a converted beach cottage — do I want to know about all my air leaks?
    Inside, I’m ready to get down to business. The spring sunlight is making it clear how welcome new paint would be to my walls. Maryland Paint & Decorating might be the right place to start because, for one reason, the Duette and Applause shades sold there might dim my view of all that needs to be done.
    I’m dreaming of new kitchen cabinets and counters, so I’m eager to consult with Compass Stone & Tile Studio.
    Those big projects take planning. But I need some instant gratification to banish winter and bring in spring. The dozen or so home décor experts in this guide have encouraged me to make some simpler changes.
    I love the tip from Maria’s Picture Place about brightening up pieces with new mats. There and at Medart Galleries and Wimsey Cove Maps, Framing & Art, I can fall in love with fancy framing possibilities as well as browse new art. I’m speaking from first-hand experience here, as I am about ArtWorks@7th in North Beach, which affords me regular temptation made worse this season by artists Kathleen Addario and Julia Musengo’s Back to the Beach show of summer charms.
    If your inner artist is demanding space, as mine is, you’ll find inspiration, materials and tools at Art Things. Pinned up all over a sunny red wall in my house (yes, it needs repainting; I’ve got a dozen paint chips pinned up) are my student watercolors from my latest art classes, all painted with supplies from Art Things.
    Artists in pottery and fused glass will find inspiration and all they need to get to work at The Clay Bakers. Of course you can’t think pots without a visit to The Annapolis Pottery, which offers some splendid ideas about the pot as life’s perfect vessel.
    Moving from walls to furniture, I’m inspired by Cindy Bateman Antiques and Decoration, Dwell at Home and Parkmoor (a temptation I pass twice daily going to and from work). I love Bateman’s invitation to “look at your room” with new eyes and use old things in new ways. Cottage Chicks and Galesville Crossing Antiques are full of barely resistible old things used in new ways.
    If only I had more storage space, I’d be replacing heavy leather couches and chairs with wicker from Spice Islands Wicker, which is dangerously near my home. Slipcovers from Dwell at Home might be a solution.
    What my spring transformation needs most of all, of course, is a visit from a professional cleaning service. With both The Maids and Cleaning Maid Easy in this issue, which will I choose? Both?
    Without their help, I tell my husband, how will we ever have time for all the outdoor projects begging for our attention?
    I’ve been haunting both Greenstreet and Homestead gardens, for spring plants. But this is a year I need to think big, for the installation of a new septic system has given me nearly a clean slate. I need landscaping. Both gardens plus Ciminelli’s Landscape Service and Custom Cuts Horticulture and Design are resources.
    For now, I’m still dreaming. Do I want big stone of the sort I admire at Tilden Lawn Nursery or a charming tiny fairy garden, a specialty of Willow Oak Flower & Herb Farm? Of course there’ll be room for the birds, with amenities supplied by Wild Bird Center of Annapolis.
    I’m even imagining some light features, installed by K and H Electric. A spotlight on my giant maple trees would be lovely — after their ancient limbs are trimmed by Dunn and Sons and so I won’t have to be an insurance claimant of the sort we learn about from Wayne Shoemaker, State Farm agent.
    After all this, what I really need is a hot tub from Chesapeake Spas to soak my tired muscles. It will be a feature of my new landscaping, along with a Big Green Egg from Bay Stoves and outdoor furniture from Backyard Billy’s.
    That’s where I’ll be lounging, with a glass of wine from WineShop at Home, while Good Deale Gardener maintains my new landscaping.
    Ann Burke, Wells Fargo home mortgage consultant, had better stay away. With all I’ve gained from Bay Weekly’s own Spring Home and Garden Strategies, why would I want to sell?

Sandra Olivetti Martin
Editor and publisher; [email protected]