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If home repairs and redos are on your list of New Year resolutions, don’t delay. It’s time to show your home some love with the help of Westchester’s home improvement pros. Their recommended solutions not only will help address your issues, but also make your home more desirable when it’s time to sell. So, dive in — one project at a time. Your home will thank you!


Challenge: While I’m renovating my bathroom, are there any approaches or products I can incorporate to help reduce germs?

Solution: “According to Kohler, ‘Homeowners identify cleanliness as a top priority in the bathroom, with 51% characterizing themselves as ‘paranoid’ about germs in the bathroom. Kohler offers a range of solutions that ease cleaning and keep toilets cleaner longer. It’s no secret that a better flush gives you a cleaner bowl, which is why Kohler invented their best flush yet. The Revolution 360 swirl flushing technology sends 360 degrees of water through the bowl for complete coverage that leaves nothing behind. Water is powerfully propelled from our patented AquaPiston flush canister through a single powerful jet that ensures optimal bowl coverage for a clean bowl. Better flush. Cleaner bowl.’”


Kate Piediscalzo, Showroom Merchandising & Marketing Supervisor
Best Plumbing Tile & Stone

49 Rte 138



Challenge: Help! No one in my family can agree on how our extra bedroom should be used. I prefer a guest room for my parents’ visits, my husband wants another room with a second TV, and my children need a homework area. What’s the best solution?

Solution: “The good news is that you have a spare room to argue over. A custom solution is the BEST solution for a space that needs to be multifunctional and needs to meet the needs of a growing family. Custom cabinetry coupled with a dedicated desk area can allow you to purpose the room for your family. On the other wall, you can incorporate a Murphy Bed that will accommodate your parents and any overnight guests and when it’s not in use, it can be tucked away and out of sight! Incorporating custom home storage solutions will not only suit your needs, but also maximize your space to better serve you and your family.”


Brenda MacLeish, Design Consultant
California Closets

Westchester: 16 Saw Mill River Rd, Hawthorne
Rockland & Hudson Valley: 83 S Main St, New City



Challenge: As a seller, is staging my home really all that important?  

Solution: “Staging your home is absolutely important! In real estate, first impressions are lasting impressions. We live in an ‘HGTV generation’, and there is an expectation among buyers that homes should be presented in a way where they can see themselves living there. As a real estate agent, I have seen buyers walk into a staged home and feel instantly inspired and emotionally connected. Whether it’s a particular piece of furniture that caught their eye or a room’s layout, I have seen firsthand the impact staging can have. It’s always unfortunate to see a buyer put-off by a great home solely because of the owner’s personal taste. At Compass, we truly understand the value of staging, and want to make this an accessible and feasible option for our sellers. Our new program, Compass Concierge, covers the upfront cost of select services that can increase your home’s selling price, including staging, organizing, cosmetic renovations, and more.” 


Gregg Goldsholl, The Gregg Goldsholl Team

144 Larchmont Ave



Challenge: What’s the best time of year to begin the process of building a pool?

Solution: “Most homeowners don’t realize that fall and winter are the best times to start the process of building a swimming pool. It takes time for plans to be drawn and submitted to the town. The town can then take weeks to months for approval. By completing this part of the process in the fall and winter months, once the permit is approved, we can jump right in on the project. We also can begin the digging required for a pool any time of year, including during the winter months when we can dig below the frost line. By beginning the project in the winter, we only need to finalize the project in the spring and you’re ready for a full summer of fun! We also specialize in the opening, closing, and weekly maintenance of any pools we construct.”


Anna Torchia, Owner
Coral Sea Pools

518A N State Rd
Briarcliff Manor



Challenge: Ethan Allen is known for its exceptional furnishings. Are you also able to help with designing rooms?

Solution: “Need a little inspiration? Our Design Center is filled with a display of well-crafted furniture designed for modern living and a talented staff of experienced interior designers. With more than 30 years serving our friends and neighbors in Westchester we have also developed a reputation for the art of residential design. Floor plans, color schemes, fabric selection, project planning — that’s what we do. We fabricate and install hand-tailored draperies; give new life to a well-loved sofa; craft custom broadloom solutions for stairway applications; advise on artwork, lighting, and accessories; and share our interior design expertise without charge. And our product pricing proves that lasting quality doesn’t have to be expensive. Browse through our designer bios and portfolios on our website at ethanallen.com/hartsdale.”


Geri Moran, Director, Marketing
Ethan Allen

152 S Central Park Ave



Challenge: I’m trying to decide on a style for my kitchen renovation. What current trends are you noticing in kitchen design?

Solution: “Many homeowners are looking for a simple, but sophisticated and streamlined look in kitchen design, including long lines, soft moldings like Cove crowns, and paneled appliances. Combining family rooms with the kitchen to create a larger entertaining area is among the top wish-list items. While white cabinetry is still the favorite, adding accent colors like navy blue, grays, or specialty woods like Walnut to islands and butler’s pantries helps make a kitchen unique. Brushed brass is the new leading trend for cabinetry hardware, lighting, and plumbing fixtures providing a real personal touch to the design while automated interior drawer and cabinetry lighting is a great convenience feature.  Besides its visual appeal, the modern-clean look, soft lines, smooth textures, and clutter-free environment provide serenity that helps us relax from our hectic lives.”


Rob Stonbely, Vice President
Kitchen and Bath Source

50 Virginia Rd
White Plains




Challenge: I’m considering a kitchen renovation. What trends are you noticing in kitchen design?

Solution: “As specialists in the innovative modern European kitchen, we believe kitchens will always have a direct connection to quality of life. Currently, we’re seeing an increased interest in concrete finishes, such as kitchen islands, which provide a different texture and add earthy elements to the design. Our clients are steering away from high-gloss and moving more toward silk matt finishes. Color is trending toward the gray scale, particularly dark gray that looks almost black. These design elements are integrated with elegant materials, lighting, and our functional systems for tall storage and unique cabinetry that conceal appliances, but can be left open as coffee or toasting stations while entertaining. For more than 80 years, we have been bringing comprehensive custom dream kitchens to life.”  


Kristiann Colassaco, Designer
LEICHT Westchester

200 E Main St
Mount Kisco​



Challenge: I’m renovating my kitchen and would love to find a material for my countertops that has the luxurious look of marble, but is much more durable. What do you recommend?

Solution: “The most popular product has been the quartzite stone that has the look of marble and durability of most granites. Quartzite ranges in color from white to beige or gray, light or dark. And, yes, varied sizes in tile and stone are giving designers more ways to configure the overall look of kitchens and baths. At Marble America in New Rochelle, the possibilities for customizing floors, walls, countertops, fireplaces, and vanities are limitless.” 


Nicole Sirchia, Co-Owner
Marble America

535 Fifth Ave
New Rochelle



Challenge: Is it worthwhile to consider smart technology when updating window treatments?

Solution: “Our designers encourage customers to consider smart technology for their windows early in their renovation. For example, the user-friendly new Hunter Douglas PowerView system makes it easy to operate motorized window coverings from an iPad, iPhone, or Android at home and remotely. The system can be operated from the PowerView App or through two different Pebble controls — a Pebble Remote Control or a Pebble Scene Controller. Simply touching the ‘Good Morning’ scene raises the kitchen and living room shades for a gentle, warm wake-up, while tapping ‘Good Night’ can lower all shades for maximum privacy and security. Or, like clockwork, individual and group window coverings can be programmed for security, energy efficiency, and personal preference.”


Kimberly Scappaticci, Design Director
Wallauer Design Center
30 Virginia Rd
North White Plains



Challenge:  How can I refresh my kitchen with color?

Solution: “One of the fastest, most economical ways to create a new look is using new color on the walls and kitchen accessories. Popular kitchen paint colors include grays, blue, yellow, green, red, and white. Each can do something different to the room yet create a welcoming space. Benjamin Moore’s wide spectrum of sophisticated color hues provides countless examples. Nimbus, a favorite neutral gray, can work wonders in a kitchen. A Lucerne (AF-530) blue adds punch and personality, while a yellow, like Hawthorne Yellow (HC-4), instantly brightens any room and enlarges a small space. Green, such as Healing Aloe, brings the outside in with a jolt of energy, and an extraordinary color, like Ruby Red, really pops and goes with everything. In the white palette, Swiss Coffee (OC-45) enhances other shades of white without appearing cold or stark. When selecting a kitchen color, it’s important to consider your home’s overall design and feeling you’re trying to create.”


Kimberly Scappaticci, Design Director
Wallauer’s Design Center
30 Virginia Rd
North White Plains




Challenge: The bedroom and bathroom above our garage door are so cold during the winter and sweltering during the summer. What can I do?

Solution: Believe it or not, the best way to solve this problem is to install an insulated garage door. Not only will an insulated garage door keep you comfortable, but it can also help you save on energy costs. When the garage door isn’t insulated warm air is allowed to escape in winter and isn’t prevented from coming in during the summer. Unlike the past, when garage doors were an afterthought, they’re now getting the attention of a front door that can make the look of your home more aesthetically appealing. We customize garage doors for each home and homeowner. Our large variety of doors ensures something for everyone — choices that fit every style and every budget.”


Casarra Cover, Owner
Henry B. Whitaker Garage Doors

5 Fallsview Lane



Challenge: Is there a way to heat a home more cost effectively?

Solution: “Every home has its needs when it comes to indoor heating solutions. Wood burning is a great secondary heat source and a way to save money and add warmth to the home.  Wittus has a large selection of wood burning stoves to choose from. The Shaker stove, designed by Antonio Citterio, of Italy is one of our brightest stars. Contemporary and classic, this stove takes its signature style from American Shaker furniture design. Beautiful ceramic Stack stoves from La Castellamonte, of Italy, are handmade to order. They have artisan appeal and can heat up to 1,200 square feet. Wittus wood stoves are tested to meet EPA standards and burn efficiently with minimal ash.“


Alyce Wittus, Vice President
Wittus-Fire by Design
40 Westchester Ave
Pound Ridge



Challenge: What input is most helpful when you begin working with a client on a home renovation?

Solution: “By the time I’m called in to meet with homeowners to discuss their project, I’m usually way behind the curve. They’ve already discussed their needs between themselves, with friends, with other contractors, and possibly even a plumber who may have handled a past repair. And of course, there’s YouTube. When I arrive, inevitably the first question is cost. Their budget will dictate the terms of our ongoing relationship and almost always has to stretch. During our essential information exchange, I listen carefully and respond honestly to ensure our initial bond builds into a strong working relationship. The project may not always be smooth, but in the end, it will turn into something wonderful and beautiful.”


Louise Lidke, Owner
Yes, Dear, Inc.

39 Westmoreland Ave
White Plains