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GAZEBO KNOWS And what’s a beautiful outdoor dinner without beautiful outdoor furniture? Gazebo silhouettes by Ethan Allen offer classic Southern hospitality in convenient patio furniture form. Made of hand-crafted, hand-woven wickerlike vinyl, the Gazebo line is durable enough to withstand the elements and beautiful enough to dress up interiors—not to mention patios, poolsides and other […]


GAZEBO KNOWS And what’s a beautiful outdoor dinner without beautiful outdoor furniture? Gazebo silhouettes by Ethan Allen offer classic Southern hospitality in convenient patio furniture form. Made of hand-crafted, hand-woven wickerlike vinyl, the Gazebo line is durable enough to withstand the elements and beautiful enough to dress up interiors—not to mention patios, poolsides and other outdoor entertaining areas. Two finishes—warm Dark Honey and fresh, light Lily—and a wide assortment of styles allow the freedom to create your own personal paradise, from dining areas and sitting areas to reading nooks and spaces for sunbathing. Choose from sofas and loveseats to tempered-glass-top tables to armchairs and even an adjustable chaise lounge.

Gazebo’s foam cushions are crafted of quick-drying, moisture- and mildew-resistant polyurethane and reticulate foam, providing durability and optimal comfort. Twenty-four easy-care outdoor fabrics (and countless more options for indoor use) are available in solids, stripes and patterns. Any cushion can be ordered in any type of fabric.

GET A PIECE OF THE EAST Prospective homebuyers can now reserve their lots in the latest village in Lakewood Ranch, Country Club East. The village is centered on a collection of family-friendly amenities, including an outdoor event pavilion, tennis courts, a resort-style pool with water park features, a café and clubhouse. Plus, a park and a new elementary school sit just outside the community’s gates.

Of course, like the Country Club at Lakewood Ranch before it, Country Club East will have a luxury golf course, which was designed by Rick Robbins and is scheduled to open in early 2008. In fact, neighborhoods in Country Club East—which include newly available Comargo and Royal Valley—all take their names from golf courses. Country Club East homebuilders are Westwater Construction, London Bay Homes, Lee Wetherington Homes, John Cannon Homes, Peregrine Homes and Todd Johnston Homes.

SCUTTLE THE CLUTTER Homeowners consistently ask Barbara Vanderkolk Gardner of Collins Interiors the same question: What are the easiest, least expensive things to do to change the look of a room? “While we’re always tempted to say paint or wallpaper, we’ve found that most people need us to help them work on the clutter first,” says Gardner.

According to the principles of feng shui, clutter can zap your energy and stifle your creativity. It can also interfere with sleep and concentration. “We counsel our clients to go through each room in the house and decide what can be donated, recycled, sold or thrown away,” says Gardner. “We urge them to make decisions based on what they really love or what they really need.”

If you don’t need or use an item, put it in the discard pile. “If an item is broken or stained and can’t be cleaned or repaired, get rid of it. Otherwise it will be a constant source of frustration. If you don’t really like something, get rid of it, even if it was given to you by someone special,” she advises. “If something was given to you by someone you don’t like—get rid of it even faster!”

Ultimately, says Gardner, clearing the clutter will profoundly affect your life. “Surrounding yourself with things you really love or find beautiful and useful is yet another way of taking good care of you,” she explains. “When you’re done, look around and see how your energy level, spirits and productivity soar when you’re free of excess baggage.”

OH, GOODIES Far from flimsy paper plates and unruly barbecue pits, outdoor entertaining in Southwest Florida is now luxurious and practical, thanks to Sarasota’s new Backyard Goodies outlet on South Tamiami Trail. Backyard Goodies specializes in outdoor kitchens and more designed to enhance the culinary skills of even the most seasoned hosts. Products include grills, side burners, refrigerators, ice makers, sinks, wet bars, cocktail stations, ventilation hoods and accessories. They’re sleek, durable and customizable to meet the demands of the summer entertaining season (and the fall, winter and spring entertaining seasons as well). Backyard Goodies provides free in-home estimates, and their contemporary grilling systems can be custom-designed for your home’s specific needs.

PALMS UP Chosen from a pool of more than 64,000 Prudential Real Estate agents nationwide, 39 Prudential Palms Realty agents recently received national recognition from Prudential Real Estate, further cementing the Sarasota company’s status as a leader among Prudential’s network of more than 2,000 U.S. offices.

In addition to 35 Prudential Palms agents who were named to Prudential’s national Honors and Leading Edge societies, as well as the Platinum, Gold and President’s circles, Andrew Bers received Prudential’s Chairman’s Circle Diamond Award, which is granted to the top 1 percent of Prudential agents nationwide. To be eligible for the Diamond Award, Bers had to achieve at least $800,000 in commissions or have sold at least 150 residential units during 2006. Last year, Bers received the Chairman’s Circle Gold Award.

Additionally, Gary Hoskins was honored with the Legends Award, which goes to Prudential agents who have achieved the Chairman’s Circle five times in their careers. Top-producing newcomer Steve Wooster also received the Rookie of the Year award for reaching all of his sales goals.

“Our sales associates never cease to exceed our expectations,” says Scott Sosso, president of Prudential Palms Realty. “The team works hard to produce great results and it is clearly paying off, as is evidenced by the number of associates who are being recognized for meeting the requirements of these national categories. As Prudential Palms continues to grow, so will our position in the Sarasota-Manatee marketplace.”

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