New home information radio show begins on WJR

Chuck Breidenstein and Ken Calverley know a thing or two about home repairs. That happens when you’ve both been in the home business for more than 40 years. Now Breidenstein (on the right in photo above) and Calverley (left) will be sharing their expertise on WJR-AM (760), the same station that used to broadcast Glenn Haege’s home repair show. “The Inside Outside Guys” is now broadcast from 8-10 a.m. Saturdays and 10 a.m.-12 p.m. Sundays. The duo actually started the program 10 years ago on 103.5 FM WMUZ in the Detroit area. Breidenstein is a certified master builder, an aging in place specialist and Michigan Home Energy rating specialist. Calverley has run a masonry and concrete business in the Metro Detroit for the past 30 years. Breidenstein says he and Calverly knew and admired “America’s Master Handyman” Haege for years, but their show is a little different. “We are a DIY program in many ways, but we tend to believe that many home projects should be done by professionals to provide value and safety,” said Breidenstein in an email. “We vet our sponsors and follow up with them and listeners to make sure people are getting what they should.” Go to

Houzz releases results of annual kitchen remodel survey

Move over, granite. Engineered quartz is now the most popular material for kitchen counters, according to the results of’s 2018 Kitchen Trends Study, released Wednesday. The study compiled the findings of 1,700 homeowners all over the country who shared details about their kitchen renovations. It also found that people are moving away from a traditional or iconic modern styles and toward transitional, contemporary and farmhouse styles. It also found:

■ Behind countertops, appliances and cabinets are the most common splurge during a kitchen remodel.

■ Obsessed with decluttering, built-in customized storage is increasingly popular in the kitchen.

■ The national average for a major kitchen remodel is $42,000. The average for a major remodel in Detroit is $39,700, according to

Volunteers set up site to raise funds for Belle Isle garden

Before world-renowned landscape designer Piet Oudolf can install one of his masterpiece gardens near the Nancy Brown Peace Carillon on Belle Isle, volunteers will need to raise more than $2 million to not only install the 1.5-acre garden but maintain it. Supporters, who’ve already raised $150,000 to hire the Dutch designer to design the garden, have set up a website to raise funds for the highly anticipated project — Oudolf is known for designing the Lurie Garden in Chicago’s Millennium Park along with the High Line in New York. He was in Detroit last week to go over his plans for Belle Isle. The Garden Club of Michigan wrote Oudolf a letter in late 2016, asking him to consider designing a garden in Detroit. He visited in the spring of 2017 and agreed. His garden will cost $600,000 to install and $2 million will be needed to create an endowment for maintenance. It will be located near the Carillon and Remick Bandshell.

Students remodel, redesign Dearborn apartments

Interior design students from Henry Ford College and Eastern Michigan University got some real-life experience when they recently renovated and designed three apartments at Dearborn’s Henry Ford Village. The students spent all semester last fall working on three apartments at the senior apartment village and then showed off their work at a student show house in early December. One of the units has already sold but two are still available. In one unit, the students completely redesigned the kitchen, choosing new cabinets and even removing some walls. To make the 700-square-foot home feel larger, they replaced the bedroom door with two French doors containing frosted glass inserts. When open, both the bedroom and living room look more spacious. One apartment was sold, but the other two are still available and can be toured. “They did a first-rate job,” said Denise Sutton, the village’s interior designer and move-in manager, in a press release.

‘Your Old Mansion’ series delves into modernism, Detroit

The “Your Old Mansion” lecture series, organized by the Grosse Pointe Artists Association, returns this month to the Alger House at the Grosse Pointe War Memorial with four talks that will touch on everything from rebuilding Detroit’s neighborhoods to Michigan’s role in the modernism movement. The series begins at 2 p.m. Jan. 21 with a lecture, “Partying through Prohibition,” that will feature local authors and historians who will discuss party rooms and speakeasies during that time. On April 8, state historic preservation officer Brian Conway will discuss his new book (pictured) “Michigan Modern: An Architectural Legacy” (Visual Profile Books). Tickets are $20 per lecture. Guests who commit to all four lectures will be invited to tour the McLucas house, a gem designed by famed designer Alexander Girard. For tickets, go to and click on “Events.” Call (313) 881-3454.

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