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Spring Home & ­Garden Strategies

    Come spring, it’s time to escape the cave. Throw off the blankets, open the drapes and let the sun shine in. But even the tidiest home looks a little dingy after a winter of hard living.
    It’s time to clean, paint or wallpaper, wash the windows, replace the drapes, rearrange the furniture, bring out the wicker, throw on new pillows, lighten the art and service the air-conditioning. Outdoors, there’s even more to be done to home and garden. Painting, planting and planning for outdoor living are have big plans for your spare time.
    Have we got the guide for you!
    In Bay Weekly’s annual Spring Home and Garden Guide, you’ll find inspiration and tips from the pros. And they’re ready to help with the big jobs so you can spend your time enjoying this paradise we call Chesapeake Country.


A Good Coat of Paint Is Your Home’s Best Protection

    We recommend that a house with wood siding or trim should be painted every five years. Even if you don’t notice peeling paint, the paint film has degraded and is letting moisture penetrate. Obvious signs are mildew and algae growth. Even though most paints contain some form of mildew-cide, they typically remain active for only two to three years. When the paint film allows moisture to penetrate, there is greater expansion and contraction of the siding and wood components. This puts more stress on caulk joints, which can fail and wreak havoc if wind-driven rains blow into open joints. Maintaining a five-year paint cycle is your best insurance against wood rot and other deterioration.
    Homes with Hardie Siding and PVC trim can go 10 years between repaints, but caulk joints need to be addressed at least every five years.
Annapolis Painting Services
410-974-6768; www.annapolispainting.com


Our Pots Can Hold a Thousand Things

    Think about how many times in a day you use something ceramic besides plates. One of the wonderful things about functional pottery is the multitude of ways that you can use a single piece — beyond the mug holding pencils. One day a pitcher is used to serve icy lemonade, the next some flowers from your garden. Have you ever thought that a utensil jar could be used as a wine cooler, vase, planter or something to put your blow dryer and brushes in?
    At The Annapolis Pottery, we have specialized in functional art since 1969, and we recently opened a new location at Westfield Annapolis Mall. We can even make the perfect custom and personalized statement piece for your home or garden. Come visit us to find something special that you can use in so many different ways, every day.
The Annapolis Pottery
40 State Circle, Annapolis, and Westfield Annapolis Mall
410-268-6153; www.annapolispottery.com


Equip Your Imagination with Amazing Tools and Materials

    Do you want to stencil, screen print or hand-paint on fabric? Do you want to touch up a frame or cane a chair seat? How about that mural you envision in your family room? Need gold leaf? How about covering a lampshade with gorgeous handmade paper?
    Art Things, Inc. in West Annapolis has been the area’s hardware store for art since 1966. Everyone who works at Art Things uses the materials they sell, and they love to problem solve. The helpful staff at this family-owned and -operated store has helped generations of creative people find what they need to complete their projects.
    In the amazing kid’s department, quality, affordable and inspiring birthday gifts abound.
    The card selection, many made by local artists, has developed a following.
    You don’t have to be an artist to find interesting and unique things in this shop: browsers are welcome. 
    Come check out the cool pens, journals and mechanical pencils.
Art Things, Inc. Fine Art & Graphic Supplies
2 Annapolis St., West Annapolis; 410-268-3520; www.ArtThingsInc.com


Sweet Summers Past Await You at ArtWorks@7th

    Shopping for artwork, sculpture and jewelry that bring back memories of summers past is as easy as a short drive along the Bay to ArtWorks@7th in North Beach.
    From April 4 to 28, with a grand opening on Saturday, April 6 (1-5pm), Artworks presents Back to the Beach, a new experience of art created by Kathleen Addario and Julia Musengo. Both artists were inspired by black-and-white photos from decades as far back as the 1920s, beach glass, pottery shards, shells, sharks’ teeth and ephemera from the old amusement park at Chesapeake Beach. You’ll find oil paintings, jewelry, 3D collage, summer shrines and even a chess set made out of sharks’ teeth. Meet the artists and discover how all these souvenirs combine to reveal long-lost secrets of summers past.
ArtWorks@7th
9100 Bay Ave., North Beach
410-286-5278; www.artworksat7th.com


The Full Monty for Outdoor Living: Backyard Billy’s Goes All the Way

    Get ready for outdoor living at Backyard Billy’s, where you’ll find all you need for outdoor living from Adirondack and custom-made Amish furniture to grills and gazebos, saunas, sculpture and swing sets, umbrellas, Vietnamese marble and wishing wells.
    You’ll also find the largest collection of polywood furniture in Maryland and Delaware, with more than 20 colors, including Ravens and Redskins color combinations. Prefer your furniture in aluminum and cast aluminum, hard wood, iron, resin and wicker? We have all those, too.
Backyard Billy’s
202 Drummer Drive, Grasonville
410-827-4500; www.backyardbillys.com


Antiques Add Surprise and Interest to Your Decoration

    Give an antique piece a new function or purpose in your home. Many things can be altered in creative ways. Use an armoire as a bar: add a mirror to the back, apply fabric or paper to the inside, add a light or small lamp; stock with all the essentials. Or use a wonderful old chest of drawers turned vanity in a powder room. Add a carrera marble top and painted finish to make it a real treasure. Look for well-made furniture with good bones. Most antiques and vintage furniture are made of solid wood and dovetail construction.
    Look at your room and note the existing elements or lack thereof: iron, wood, upholstery, mirror, glass, plaster, concrete, metal, fabric, color and texture. If there is too much of one element, add a mix of the other elements to make the room more interesting. Antiques or reclaimed architectural elements are a great way to add surprise and interest to a room. Search for something that speaks to you.
    I love adding a few informal antiques to a stiff room full of new furniture, for example, an old farm coffee table or game table. Dad and the kids love it, too. Trade up or down if your taste has changed over the years. If an existing antique is too formal or brown, paint it and give it a second life.
    Most of all, use and enjoy your collected treasures: silver, china and linens!
    One more note: When you buy an item, attach a card with purchase date, place and price for future reference. You might be surprised with your investment. Antiques … they aren’t making them any more.
Cindy Bateman, Antiques and Decoration
554 Baltimore Annapolis Blvd., Severna Park
540-222-4969; follow us on Facebook