Furniture & Appliances

Lansing Home and Garden Show ~ March 17-20, 2011

Lansing Home & Garden ShowThe 2011 Lansing Home & Garden Show transforms the MSU Pavilion on the campus of Michigan State University with incredible gardens, extensive landscaping projects, a flower show, four free seminar stages and hundreds of exhibits featuring construction, remodeling, kitchens & baths, retail garden centers, pools and spas and home services. Seminar topics are wide-ranging and include the latest trends in energy efficiency, fix-it tips, interior design, cooking & grilling demonstrations and gardening maintenence and design. There are also a dozen demonstration gardens and workshops and activities designed for kids.

Admission is $8 for adults and $4 for kids (under 5 free) and Saturday is Kids Day – 14 & under get in FREE before noon. Discount coupons and more information are available online!

As you start thinking about home improvement & gardening this spring, don’t forget to check Absolute Michigan for great businesses specializing in furniture & appliances, home decor & interior design, home improvement & repair and landscaping & gardens from all over the state who can help you take your home to the next level!

Riding the Green Wave in Michigan

ReEvolving to Green by mdprovost
ReEvolving to Green by mdprovost

It seems as if there’s a wave building, one that could help to float Michigan out of our long economic doldrums. All across the state, businesses that leverage wind, sun and alternative energy are starting or expanding. Adding to the momentum is a recently approved Renewable Energy Package that raises rates but also provides incentives to offset that increase through purchase of compact fluorescents and other energy saving devices.

There is justifiable concern that we’re raising energy prices at a time when we can ill afford it, but this is balanced by concern that we can’t afford to fall any further behind in efforts to attract next-generation businesses to Michigan or to keep exporting our energy dollars out of Michigan. The Michigan Energy Overview from the Michigan Public Service Commission explains that:

Michigan imports 97 percent of its petroleum needs, 80 percent of its natural gas and 100 percent of coal and nuclear fuel from other states and nations. These imports account for about 70 cents of every dollar spent for energy by Michigan’s citizens and businesses. Michigan spent a total of $37 billion on all forms of energy in 2007 and of that amount $26 billion was for the energy resources imported from other states and nations.

Events & Action

Green Jobs Now has designated Saturday (Sep 27) as a national day of action in support of jobs in renewable energy and other green industries. Here’s a list of Green Jobs Now Events in Michigan.

You might also be interested in the Conference on Michigan’s Future which will be held November 14-16, 2008 at Crystal Mountain Resort. It explore how rising oil and energy prices are crippling Michigan’s economy and propose solutions to prepare Michigan for the economy of tomorrow.

Links & Beyond

Michigan Historic Homes: Wing House Museum of Coldwater


Wing House by KatheD

This impressive Second Empire style home with mansard roof sheathed in tin was constructed in 1875 for Jay Chandler (1850-1884) and his young bride Frances. This home has an open, two-bay porch along the front . The brick walls are covered with clapboard siding and a triple-bay porch with a balustrade of turned spindles and finials. The interior of the house features mahogany paneling, carved mantlepieces and period furnishings. The Michigan Historical Marker reads:

Lucius M.Wing (1839-1921), Civil War captain, county sheriff, and prominent businessman, purchased this residence in 1882. That same year he served a term as mayor. Making notable contributions to the industrial, financial and social life if the city, he was the long time president of the local bank, a manufacturer of cigars and the founder of the Bon Ami Social club. The house remained in the family for three generations until acquired by the Branch County Historical Society in 1974 for use as a historical museum.

The Wing House Museum is located at 27 South Jefferson in Coldwater. There is no official web site but you can get directions and other details from the Michigan Historical Markers web site or call them at 517-278-2871.

More Michigan Historic Homes on Absolute Michigan.

Michigan Historic Homes: Voigt House in Grand Rapids


VOIGT HOUSE by GR58

The Voigt House is an elegant and perfectly preserved Victorian mansion was built for Carl G. A. Voigt in 1895. Voigt came to Grand Rapids in 1870 and ran a mill and dry goods store with W. G. Herpolsheimer. In 1902, when the partnership ended, Voigt took over the milling works.

The house was designed by eminent local architect William G. Robinson, was inspired by the chateaux at Chenonceaux, France. The design is pure Victorian, with a warren of rooms, each with its own function and purpose. The interior is furnished opulently with original possessions of the Voigt Family. Features include the cove ceiling with stenciling, some of which had been designed by the youngest Voight daughters.

In 1972, a year after the death of the last occupant, Ralph Voigt, the house became a public museum.

Explore more Michigan Historic Homes on Absolute Michigan.

March is Home Month on Absolute Michigan


Homes along East Ferry Avenue – Detroit MI by pinehurst19475

For the month of March, Absolute Michigan will be featuring Homes with stories about historic Michigan houses, home & home design blogs, green building and other new trends in construction and redevelopment, and some of the great neighborhoods across the state for buying and renting. We’ll also take a look at Michigan’s real estate market and seek some answers for home buyers and sellers in how to get through this difficult time. Where we can, we’ll feature some Michigan businesses who can help you make your home better through home improvements and enhancing your decor and furnishings.

As always, we recognize that there’s so much to know and talk about and we really hope you’ll help us with comments and emailed tips for stories!

Regarding the photo, pinehurst19475 says that the East Ferry Historic District began as an exclusive residential area in the late 1880s, after serving as an experimental seed farm for the Ferry Seed Company. Building continued through the 1920s, and today the area is a mix of well maintained structures used for residential, commercial and institutional purposes. The district is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. It’s part of a great Residential Detroit set of photos.

Home is where…


well red by suesue2

For the whole month of March, we’ll be featuring Homes on Absolute Michigan with features about historic Michigan homes, green building and other new trends in construction and some great neighborhoods across the state. Because you can’t tune in any media without hearing how terrible the housing market is, we’ll also talk to some people about the whys, wherefores and how that can be overcome.

Our Homes & Real Estate section can probably give you some other hints about topics we’ll feature including home improvement and interior decorating. However, if you’re hot to get in the garden, you’ll have to wait for April when we feature gardening & Michigan flora!

Have ideas for topics? All you have to do is post a comment or send an email!

Shop Michigan: Birdseye Maple Photo Albums from Birdseye-Connection

Birdseye Maple Photo AlbumsYou spent the whole summer taking great photos, now it’s time to organize them. The front and back covers of these beautiful photo albums are made of highly polished bird’s eye maple from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, bound together with a walnut binder.

Nature’s Way Woodworking is a small family owned business in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula that creates furniture, maple accessories, kitchen items and gifts out of the distinctly whorled birdseye maple. You have to check out their amazing rocking chairs! Their showroom is located in the small historic town of Alberta which was built by Henry Ford in the mid 1930s. The town is presently owned and operated by the School of Forestry & Wood Products of Michigan Technological University.

More about birdseye maple from Wikipedia.

Annual Michigan Energy Fair in Manistee

NOTE: We’ll have details on the 2008 Michigan Energy Fair here next year! You should also check out this report on the 2007 Michigan Energy Fair (with video) from the Michigan Land Use Institute.

Energy Fair HouseThe annual Michigan Energy Fair will be held June 22-24, 2007 at the Manistee County Fairgrounds in Onekama. Billed as “one of the most comprehensive expositions of renewable energy generating equipment, home and business energy efficiency techniques, and technical workshops in the state” the Fair features over 100 exhibitors and 60 workshops promoting energy efficiency, biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, renewable energy technologies like solar and wind power, and techniques for living sustainably.

The Great Lakes Renewable Energy Association is bringing in several noted speakers including Eric Larsen, William Cooke, Jim Nichols, and Dr. Chris Schilling. Workshops will address topics including making gasoline from waste plastics, creating jobs, reducing pollution through renewable energy and energy efficiency, local government or school district green power project, and energizing Michigan’s economy.

Michigan send $18 billion dollars to other states in energy costs. With activities for kids, food, music and a wide range of exhibitors, the Michigan Energy Fair is a great place to learn about how we can go about reversing this drain on our state’s economy.

Energy Fair Links

The Michigan land Use Institute took a look back at the 2006 Michigan Energy Fair.

The Energy Fair model house pictured above was designed by Image Design, LLC and built by Hybrid Homes LLC and you can see some pictures of the home in process at those sites.

Check Absolute Michigan keyword energy for a gigawatt more related links and articles.

Vol I, No. 1: Introduce Your Michigan Business or Organization!

This is a page where we asked folks to say hello. Lots of them did!

The current version of Introduce Your Michigan Business or Organization is right there.

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