You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.


  • ePAPER

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.


Welcome to

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

breaking news

Sheriff: Suspected West Liberty school shooter wanted to do more harm

Revamping your home? Think young

The area’s up-and-coming pros offer tips and tricks

Although the Miami Valley is known for losing grads to flashier locales, plenty of younger talent is setting up shop in the region. In particular, home design and remodeling is enjoying a renaissance. We talked with five up-and-coming industry professionals to see what they’re up to and get some tips you can use in your home.

Capitalize on region’s feel

Interior designer Jennifer Morris has been doing design work in the area for the past eight years. She’s done work in other states, but enjoys the tone and style that the region offers for decorating. “Moving helped my sense of design by bringing a rustic, Midwestern, but also industrial feel,” Morris said. “I’m strongly attracted to the rustic, arts and crafts design.”

Since the Miami Valley is home to both industrial buildings and historic houses, Morris said, “Tying antiques to industrial work fits Dayton … it’s eclectic.” Her biggest tip? “Work with the outside environment of the house,” she advised. “Dayton has a lot of historic homes and bungalows. Stick with the architecture of the house while designing the inside.”

Recycled, natural materials

Although they started out remodeling homes, the Mehaffie brothers now focus exclusively on custom concrete — but with a twist. We visited their Lorain Avenue studio and chatted with Zack, Ryan and Noah Mehaffie to get the scoop.

If you’ve seen the bar at Pulse Nightclub, then you’re familiar with the Mehaffies’ work — concrete surfaces, including countertops, bars and benches. “We had always done concrete — driveways, sidewalks,” said Zack. “This is more what we want to do, more creative.” Ryan added: “When we remodeled kitchens before, countertops were the only thing we didn’t do. We started doing this and realized we liked it more.”

What do they recommend for your next remodel? “Find recycled or natural materials,” Noah said. “Before going to chain stores (for building materials), go closer to downtown.” “Try First Street Recycling,” Ryan said. “The balance of materials keeps things unique.”

Focus on critical rooms

Perhaps you’re remodeling with a purpose in mind. For many people, the decision to sell a home means finally tackling the to-do list. Design professional-turned-realtor Ashley Morris with HER Realtors — The Rosko Group realized her dream of becoming a realtor this past year. “I decided to just go for it,” she said. “I enjoy sales, the housing industry and design.”

If you need to give your home a buyer-friendly facelift without breaking the bank, Morris recommended: “Focus on updates in the bathrooms and kitchen areas. These are areas buyers are usually the most critical of. You don’t have to go all out — painting cabinets a neutral tone can go a long way.”

Go neutral

Kurt Doll is the owner of Studio i in Dayton. Doll, who studied fine art at Miami University in Oxford, initially worked in construction, but changed his focus to painting, faux finishes, plaster and custom murals.

“I wanted to use more of my creative side and do some work for people as well,” Doll said. Now, “I’ve been doing it for roughly 10 years.”

If your home needs an update, Doll said, “Typically I would suggest people do things that aren’t necessarily trendy … trends fall out of favor with people. Going with a neutral paint and getting style and color from furniture or decoration or art can be a little bit easier to change out.”

If you’re planning to move at some point, neutrals in your decor “are more buyer friendly.”

Seek consignment finds

They may be young — all seven employees are 30 or younger — but the crew at Designer’s Consignment in Dayton has had no trouble making a splash nationwide. “We started in the bottom left corner of our building and expanded from there,” said manager Mike Malloy. “We started out with high-end furniture, but we went more towards anything that was cool … we do a lot of artwork, collectibles, porcelain.”

Malloy joined his childhood friend, Designer’s Consignment owner, Todd Schear, in the business in 2011. Business has boomed with not only local, but regional and national clientele from as far away as Spokane.

If you’re looking to decorate your home with consignment finds, Malloy suggests: “Know your market, and know what things sell for. We do a considerable amount of research, and knowing your product is always helpful.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Home Garden

Teacher’s ‘silly question’ turns out to be a great one

Scott Ervin is an independent facilitator of parenting with Love and Logic and The Nine Essential Skills for the Love and Logic Classroom. He is a parent and behavioral consultant based in the Miami Valley. More information: Q: Dear Kid Whisperer: I teach high school English. I read your column, follow your blog, and I do...
Kellyanne Conway's inauguration outfit sparks criticism
Kellyanne Conway's inauguration outfit sparks criticism

Kellyanne Conway spent her 50th birthday at the inauguration of President Donald Trump. >> Read more trending stories   She attended Friday festivities wearing patriotic colors.  But many people criticized Conway's outfit. Trump's former campaign manager and current senior adviser was dressed in a red, white and blue coat...
Atlanta radio show host's daughter beats cancer
Atlanta radio show host's daughter beats cancer

Then 10-month-old Reese was diagnosed stage 4 sacrococcygeal teratoma in August. Hobby and her husband, Grant Rivera, said they knew something wasn’t right for months. They went to the doctors, where Reese had an MRI of her pelvic region, which revealed a large mass. The family immediately began chemotherapy at Children’s Healthcare...
Things you should not be doing in your garden on a nice winter day
Things you should not be doing in your garden on a nice winter day

It’s really tempting to work outside with this recent break in the weather, but I caution you to choose your outdoor chores wisely. If you are thinking about any lawn and garden work, make sure you keep your feet on dry land if you possibly can. What’s my message you ask? Don’t walk in your flower beds if they are wet. If you are...
Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House
Michelle Obama takes dogs Sunny and Bo on final walk through White House

The Obamas will soon leave the White House for the last time as the president and first lady. Their eight years in the historic house is coming to an end. First lady Michelle Obama took the Obama’s Portuguese water dogs Bo and Sunny on what’s described as a final walk through the building the Obama’s have called home now since 2009...
More Stories