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How To Build A Social Kitchen On Any Budget

by Frank Taglienti

How To Build A Social Kitchen On Any Budget


Consumer Reports Magazine just released a comprehensive kitchen remodeling guide with advice for designing a social kitchen where you can entertain, use your favorite electronics and enjoying cooking.

Here are the magazine’s top tips:

Open Up The Space – With Care

Be judicious when eliminating barriers. Using half-walls or arched openings can create a sense of openness while maintaining traffic flow. Color can be a great connector between the kitchen and the larger living/dining room area.

Bring Back The Eat-In Kitchen

Built-in banquettes are making a comeback. Casual dining is integral to the social kitchen, and it’s good for resale value. It’s also a place to do the bills or help with the homework and its base can provide additional storage.

Add An Island If There’s Room

This central counter will give people a place to sit while the cook prepares the meal. Just don’t let it clog traffic – there should be 42 to 48 inches of clearance on all sides.

Build In Charging Stations

For many people the kitchen is where their electronic devices live. Charging stations can be tucked into a cabinet or drawer that’s fitted with docks and electrical outlets.


These Tricks And Tools Get Rid Of Annoying Backyard Pests

by Frank Taglienti

Try these tools and tricks to get rid of summer's most unwelcome visitors:


You don’t want to kill these guys because they pollinate plants (bees) and kill other insects (wasps). But, you also don’t want them taking up residence too close to your home.

To discourage wasps from building nests in your yard:

  • Keep your trash cans covered.
  • Put up a fake nest. The Original Waspinator looks like a wasp nest and discourages the wasps from creating a nest nearby.

If you don’t have a nesting problem, a Wasp Bag Trap will work for both bees and wasps. Use it only as a last resort because bee populations are declining and bees are needed to pollinate plants and crops.

Honey bees are so in demand that a local beekeeper might be willing to help you relocate your honey bees.

Wasps and bees can be dangerous. Before attacking their hives or nests, check out this description of what can happen.

I can refer you to a pest control professional experienced in dealing with bees and wasps.


For prevention, make sure you don’t have any areas with stagnant water. This is where mosquitoes can breed and lay their eggs.

Shine a light on your outdoor activities and keep mosquitoes at bay with these products:


Ticks can be harmful to both you and your pets because they transmit Lyme and other diseases. You can use chemical repellents, but there are some easier things you can do in your yard to help prevent their presence. 

Keep your grass cut short, and clean up leaf piles and other yard debris. This is where ticks live, and reducing where they hang out will reduce their presence. 

Ticks don’t like to go across gravel or wood chips. Placing a gravel or wood-chip buffer along the edge of your yard (and between grassy and wooded areas) makes it harder for ticks to cross into your lawn.


While flies don’t cause as much trouble as the other insects on our list, they can be bothersome pests. A disposable flytrap will catch flies, but they often smell bad and they'll attract flies from all over into your yard.

You might be better off doing these things in your yard to help reduce numbers:

  • Clean up after your animals and mow the lawn. Flies are attracted to strong odors and high grass.
  • Get rid of stagnant water. Keep water in birdbaths fresh.

While many of us dislike spiders, they are the natural predator of flies. If you allow spiders to make their webs, they'll kill flies. 


7 Smart Ways To Trick Burglars When You're On Vacation

by Frank Taglienti

7 Smart Ways To Trick Burglars When You're On Vacation


Take some time before you leave on vacation to make your home less vulnerable to burglars and you’ll be able to enjoy your trip that much more:

1. Install dead-bolt window and door locks. They make it more difficult for someone to break in. Ask your agent if you can get a homeowners insurance discount for installing them.

2. Burglar alarms are the best way to alert emergency personal that there’s a problem. Installing one could net you a discount of 15 to 20 percent on your homeowners insurance, a savings of $100 to $140 a year for the average homeowner.

3. Make sure all entry doors have the hinges on the inside. Replacing the front door with a steel model boasts a solid 85 percent return on value, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report.

4. Keep your computers off and the Internet disconnected. If someone does break in they won’t be able to access your information and cause more damage.

5. Don’t give burglars the tools to break into your home. Put ladders, crow bars and anything else a burglar could use to break a window in a locked shed.

6. Put a timer on the TV as well as the lights. Nothing says you’re home like the flickering lights of a TV.

7. Install a fake security camera on the outside of your home. sells a dummy camera for about $10. Put it up high so it’s harder to tell it’s fake. 

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3

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Contact Information

Photo of Frank Taglienti Real Estate
Frank Taglienti
Berkshire Hathaway PenFed REALTORS®
565 Benfield Road, Suite 100
Severna Park MD 21146

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