Sylvestre Construction, Inc.

In This Issue

•  7 Tips for
   What's Trending in
   Home Offices

•  Maintenance Tip

•  Pass It On!

•  What’s the Story?

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Construction, Inc.

7708 5th Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55423

Ph: 612-861-0188
Fx:  612-861-0190

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Member, National Association of the Remodeling Industry

GuildQuality Member

Member of Builders Association of the Twin Cities

Member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association


  Members of our staff hold
  the following industry

• NARI Master Certified
• NARI Certified Remodeler
• NARI Certified Lead
• NARI Certified Kitchen and
  Bath Remodeler
• NKBA Certified Kitchen
• NAHB Certified Aging in
  Place Specialist (CAPS)

April 2014

7 Tips for What's Trending in Home Offices

"Working from home" is a concept that Americans have gotten used to and even enjoy. Surveys show that more and more people work at home at least a few hours a week, but what you need in a home office depends on whether you run a home-based business, bring work home regularly, telecommute a few days a week or simply need a place to put your laptop to pay household bills. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Minnesota is in the Top 10 regions in the country for the percentage of adults working from home. A "trendy" home office is one that works for you while you're working. Here's what we mean...

1. Pocket office. The trend toward smaller homes means less space to devote to an office. What's popular now for many families is the "pocket" office, a workspace carved out near the high-traffic areas of the home, often in a closet with the door removed or in an alcove. It's a hub for home management activities: paying bills, coordinating the family's schedules and keeping everyone organized.

Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint2. The writing's on the wall. If you like to "think big" when you brainstorm, you can turn a whole wall into a whiteboard or a chalkboard with special paint, like IdeaPaint Create dry erase coating or Benjamin Moore's Chalkboard Paint. Take a snapshot of your work with your smartphone, then wipe it clean and start over!

3. Yipes! Skypes! When you work remotely, chances are you do some video conferencing. Remember that what's behind you is what the other person will be looking at. It doesn't need to be a bare wall, but keep the view as simple and neat as possible. (You might be able to still keep the fuzzy slippers if they stay hidden under the desk!)

Home office4. Cut out the bulk. Big desks with giant leather chairs are for big formal offices. A smaller scale writing desk, table, a standing or kneeling desk, or an adjustable-height work surface might be better suited to your work-at-home style. Mesh chairs, like the Herman Miller Aeron, or a desk chair in white or a bright color add a fresh and airy ambiance. Adding built-in cabinets, shelves and bookcases can be a great way to maintain a clean look and provide a place to get papers out of sight when you have a meeting or video conference.

5. Enjoy the view. An efficient office doesn't have to mean a bare, sterile office. Surround yourself with things you love to look at, whether it's art prints, photos, sculpture or plants (which also improve the indoor air quality) and you might even increase your productivity.

Home office

6. Shrinking electronics. Chances are you're not using a big desktop computer. If you're working on an iPad or tablet, extras such as a snap-on keyboard or Bluetooth speakers make your work life easier and more comfortable. The more wireless devices you can include, the less you have to worry about containing cord clutter. Just make sure you've allowed for plenty of handy outlets in the room layout for plugging in everything for recharging.

7. Working "at" home but not "in" the home. If you don't want a commute, but still need a quiet place to think, away from the comings and goings of family life, consider a detached home office. Similar to a guest house, it's your own private work space just steps from your door. It combines the convenience of a home office with the physical (and psychological) separation between "working" and "relaxing" that is often missing when you work from home.

Whether you want to be in the middle of the action or in a quiet nook with a Do Not Disturb sign, we can help you create a home office that suits your style. Just give us a call.

Maintenance Tip: Inspect Your Deck for Wood Rot and Cracks

Wood is highly susceptible to the elements. Water, ice, and sun all affect the wood, leaving it warped and cracked. These cracks create pockets to hold moisture, which leads to rot. Clean, re-stain and re-seal your deck every 1-2 years to prevent cracks and other damage. Also check for loose boards and protruding nails.

If You Like Our E-newsletter, Pass It On!

We would like to thank all our new readers who have signed up for our e-newsletter. If you know someone who you think might like our e-newsletter, please forward them a copy. Unless they then choose to subscribe for themselves, they won't be on our e-newsletter mailing list for future e-mails.(We promise!)

Sunset at the cabin

It won't be long... 

What's the Story?

Spring is "starting" to arrive and I am getting ready to get my bike out to start getting in shape for our 125 mile ride to our cabin this Memorial Day weekend. We have done this 5 times and each year we fine tune the route and see many new things. We do it in 2 days to give our legs a needed rest. It's fun to peddle such a great distance with a number of friends and family members. I will keep you posted on this year's trip. The reason I mention the cabin, is that in the printed Sylvestre Construction newsletter I asked for moose-related stores and received this story from our friend Linda Grabow. With her permission, I am sharing it with you – to get you ready for spring, maintenance projects and animal sightings. I think I can feel the moose's breath as I read the story!

My Moose Encounter

Is this Sneaky Pete?   

Several summers ago, I felt I was ready for my first week alone at our remote cabin which is secluded and off the grid in Northern Minnesota. Of course I had a week long project planned to accomplish – scrape and repaint the deck. The first day alone in the peaceful wilderness I had been hand scraping off the deck paint (no electricity) for about 6 hours. I was off the deck on the ground getting the old paint off the front of the deck boards when I heard & felt heavy warm breathing behind me. I turned around and to my panicked surprise a bull moose was less than 2 feet behind me trying to figure out what I was doing. I was so shocked & surprised I squeezed through the boards and scrambled on to the deck, never knowing my body could manage such a maneuver. The moose ran into the woods – I believe just as frightened as myself. After I caught my breath I grabbed my car keys and had to drive to where I had cell phone reception and call my husband. I needed to hear a human voice.

When I returned to the cabin I noticed the moose still at the edge of the woods. He stood at the edge of the woods and watched the cabin all night. The next day when I felt I needed to return to my deck painting project, I brought a loud playing radio with me hoping to cover up my scraping noise which I'm pretty sure sounded like I was trying to rub felt off my antlers. I named the moose Sneaky Pete, and he stuck around all season. Moose were very common to see at the time but I had never imagined they were so curious!

– Linda Grabow

Until next month,

John Sylvestre