by CLIFF AND NANCY HILL Four years ago, seeking to downsize our living space and simplify our lives, we had a new home built with some 500-square-foot less of finished living area than that of the large condo we previously owned. Yes, we chose to return to a private residence and all of the personal freedoms that one often gives up in a condominium community. Having downsized and loving it, we began to believe we could have gone even smaller, so we were intrigued when we learned that a two-story 1,200-square-foot cottage-style home, including landscaping, was being built inside the cavernous DeVos Place exhibit hall. The home was being built in four whirlwind days to be the featured exhibit for the fourth annual 2010 Cottage & Lakefront Living Show that opened last Friday afternoon. We found ourselves first in line when the show opened its doors for its three-day run. At the far end of the huge exhibit hall, the cottage towered above all of the other exhibits on the floor. Designed by architect Wayne Visbeen, of Visbeen Associates, and built by Falcon Custom Homes and its subcontractors, the completely furnished cottage was built to the exacting standards customers have come to expect from these two premier contractors. Finishes, both interior and exterior, were of the highest quality wherever one looked. Even so, Visbeen told us that the cottage/home in its basic form (without many extras featured on the show home) is extremely affordable. The cottage or home, if you will, is 16 feet wide and 32 feet deep. It was specifically designed for narrow lots such as one might find along the shores of area lakes. From front porch to back porch, including the interior layout, we loved the design. Even though only 1,200 square feet, every inch of the open concept, main level floor space was utilized and efficiently laid out, giving one the feeling they were in a much larger home. An added plus for us was finding Rockford’s award-winning Gallery Interiors as the design contractor for all of the interior spaces, including the kitchen and two bathrooms. Visualizing ourselves one day living in this carefree home on a small maintenance-free lot, we moved on to take in the rest of the […]
by ANA OLVERA Placed outside of Rockford Community Federal Credit Union, at 3 N. Monroe St., are five Cedar Sapiens. They were created by Georgia Donovan, a member at the credit union. Donovan entered the Cedar Sapiens in the Art Prize 2009 contest. Her entry placed in the top 50 out of 1,218 entries. Her artwork, titled “Cedar Sapiens—Dance of the Tree People,” was placed at The B.O.B. “Now they’ve planted their roots in Rockford,” said Cassandra Chartier, a staff member at the credit union. The Cedar Sapiens were moved to Rockford at the end of October. “Rockford is all about uniqueness and we wanted to get people talking around town,” said Josh Fortuna, another staff member. The Cedar Sapiens will keep the public up to date on the upcoming events at the credit union. “We love them. They’re great conversation starters,” said Chartier. One of the Cedar Sapiens, “Pat,” was dressed as a witch for Halloween. Currently she is dressed as a Rockford Ram cheerleader while the marquee sign reads, “Go Rams!” Rockford Community Federal Credit Union will take ideas from the public on how to dress the Cedar Sapiens. The credit union can be contacted through their website, rcfcumember.com, by phone at (616) 866-8570, or one can stop by.