The six DirectBuy franchises of the greater Washington DC/Baltimore area, the leading members-only showroom and home design centers, not only sell “outdoor kitchen” units and other accessories at manufacturer’s low prices, but also offers some helpful pointers on selecting the right equipment and setup for your home.

For starters, when it comes to selecting a grill, DirectBuy recommends considering:

? Stainless steel gas or charcoal grills – outdoor kitchen means just that: outside! Your kitchen will be exposed to sun, rain, wind and even snow. Even covered, your grill will be exposed to the elements to a certain degree and you want a grill made of material that will withstand bad weather and corrosion.

? Free-standing or under-the-counter refrigeration units – help minimize trips to the “other” kitchen and gives you a place to store leftovers for the next cookout.

? Infra-red burners – make sure the grill you do select uses infra-red burners, which heat up faster.

? Storage – choose a grill with plenty of shelving and cabinets

“The beauty of the outdoor kitchen is it reduces trips to the real kitchen to get supplies. This means you can actually spend time with your guests while preparing your meal. That’s why it’s just as important when selecting your outdoor kitchen to not forget the comfort of your guests,” said Lee Brown, co-owner of DirectBuy of Chantilly. “DirectBuy also gives members the opportunity to save a lot of money by buying furniture for their outdoor kitchen, directly from the manufacturer.”

When it comes to selecting furniture for your outdoor “dining room,” there are a number of options in terms of style—sling, metal, cushioned and strapped to name a few–and materials—aluminum, iron, resin, teak, wood, wicker, fabric and vinyl. More choices mean more decisions on materials, fabrics and colors. DirectBuy not only has great outdoor furniture at manufacturer-direct prices, but also designers who can help you make some of those decisions.

“One safe rule of thumb is unless you’re planning to buy an entire set of outdoor furniture at once, stick with neutral colors like white, taupe or sandstone. Even if the shades aren’t a perfect match, it won’t matter if there’s a little distance between items,” said Brown.

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped consumers enjoy enormous savings on home furnishings, home improvement items, entertainment and outdoor products, and accessories, by providing an avenue to purchase directly from the manufacturer. With six convenient locations in the Greater DC/Baltimore area, DirectBuy offers consumers an exclusive, comfortable environment, where they finally have the financial control of buying direct.

For more information on DirectBuy, you can visit www.directbuy.com or www.directbuycares.com.

About DirectBuy

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped hundreds of thousands of families enjoy a better quality of life, enabling them to buy directly from more than 700 manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. Buying direct enables members’ hard-earned money to go much further, while having the selection and choice not available at any retail store. DirectBuy prides itself in providing excellent member service, access to confidential prices, local suppliers and unparalleled selection, all of which help make members’ dream projects a reality. It’s an exclusive, comfortable environment, where you finally have the financial control of buying direct. There are more than 150 franchise locations throughout North America.

Locations of the six DirectBuy showrooms serving greater Washington DC/Baltimore are: DirectBuy of Chantilly, 14231 Willard Road, Chantilly, VA, 703-817-0220; DirectBuy of Woodbridge, 3320 Noble Pond Way, Woodbridge, VA, 571-288-0200; DirectBuy of Columbia, 9515 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD, 443-539-3289; DirectBuy of Metro Washington NW, 202 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD, 301-926-1116; DirectBuy of Baltimore North, 10950 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 410-316-9000; DirectBuy of Southern Maryland, 9700 Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy, Lanham, MD, 301-731-0600.

Consumers interested in becoming members may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by contacting DirectBuy at 1-800-218-5639. To learn more about the superior value and benefits of a DirectBuy membership, visit www.directbuy.com.

By: Steve Dubin

About the Author:

southern maryland

The six DirectBuy franchises serving the greater Washington DC/Baltimore area—DirectBuy of Columbia, DirectBuy of Metro Washington NW (Gaithersburg), DirectBuy of Baltimore North (Hunt Valley), and DirectBuy of Southern Maryland (Lanham), Maryland; DirectBuy of Chantilly and DirectBuy of Woodbridge, Virginia—have developed a “Kids Zone” area in their respective clubs so parents can focus on the task at hand and kids can enjoy the DirectBuy experience, too.

Though not a supervised area, the Kids Zone features a number of things to keep school-age children occupied and entertained: books, puzzles and games. The Kids Zone also includes a flat screen television so children of members can watch movies or play video games.

“Let’s face it, most kids would rather go to the dentist than watch their parents shop for their next home improvement project. By the same token, it’s difficult for members with children to get the most out of the experience and do the research they need to do if they’re concerned about the kids getting fidgety. The Kids Zone gives children of DirectBuy members a place to play games, watch TV or even make new friends with other members’ kids while the grown-ups have their ‘fun’,” said Lee Brown, owner of DirectBuy of Chantilly.

Creating fun things to do for children is nothing new for DirectBuy. DirectBuy franchises across North America regularly donate equipment to youth organizations like the Boys & Girls Clubs, YMCAs and children’s hospitals.

“Because we are entrenched in the local community, we have an even greater incentive to make this a one-of-a-kind, unique shopping experience because many of the members are our friends, neighbors, even relatives,” said Brown. “The Kids Zone and donations to youth groups are just an extension of that philosophy.”

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped consumers enjoy enormous savings on home furnishings, home improvement items, entertainment and outdoor products, and accessories, by providing an avenue to purchase directly from the manufacturer. With six convenient locations in the Greater DC/Baltimore area, DirectBuy offers consumers an exclusive, comfortable environment, where they finally have the financial control of buying direct.

For more information on DirectBuy, you can visit www.directbuy.com or www.directbuycares.com.

About DirectBuy

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped hundreds of thousands of families enjoy a better quality of life, enabling them to buy directly from more than 700 manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. Buying direct enables members’ hard-earned money to go much further, while having the selection and choice not available at any retail store. DirectBuy prides itself in providing excellent member service. Access to confidential prices, local suppliers and unparalleled selection helps make members’ dream projects a reality. It’s an exclusive, comfortable environment, where you finally have the financial control of buying direct. There are more than 150 franchise locations throughout North America.

Locations of the six DirectBuy showrooms serving greater Washington DC/Baltimore are: DirectBuy of Chantilly, 14231 Willard Road, Chantilly, VA, 703-817-0220; DirectBuy of Woodbridge, 3320 Noble Pond Way, Woodbridge, VA, 571-288-0200; DirectBuy of Columbia, 9515 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD, 443-539-3289; DirectBuy of Metro Washington NW, 202 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD, 301-926-1116; DirectBuy of Baltimore North, 10950 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 410-316-9000; DirectBuy of Southern Maryland, 9700 Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy, Lanham, MD, 301-731-0600.

Consumers interested in becoming members may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by contacting DirectBuy at 1-800-218-5639 or e-mailing info@directbuychantilly.com. To learn more about the superior value and benefits of a DirectBuy membership, visit www.directbuy.com.

By: Steve Dubin

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After all, what other room can serve as workshop, potting shed, storage locker, recycling plant, and carport all at once? A garage is also the best place to store many items that are not used on a daily basis such as holiday decorations, gardening supplies, tools and anything else that clutters the home.

Creating effective storage in the garage can be done with a bit of ingenuity and planning. The six DirectBuy franchises of the greater Washington DC/Baltimore area, the leading members-only showroom and home design centers, offer these helpful hints on creating usable working space in your garage.

? When in doubt, throw it out … Clutter can take over a garage – Before you plan your storage solutions, sort through the clutter — have a garage sale, give it to charity or truly just throw it out.

? Get organized … Cut down on clutter and get your garage organized by installing garage cabinets. A new set of cabinets will clear the floor of tools, supplies and athletic equipment and open new space for perhaps a workshop or potting shed. Cabinets also work well for protecting their contents from moisture and dust.

? Maximize your space … Maximize available space in your garage by using narrow storage shelves or wall-mounted racks that can stack up neatly against the walls and leave room for cars.

? Smart labeling … Another smart idea is to mark storage bins so they are easy to find or use clear plastic storage boxes to immediately see what you are looking for. No more wasted time searching through an unorganized mess!

“Installing effective storage solutions in your garage means you have quickly created a new room in your home. In a short amount of time and with little investment, homeowners can create a workshop, athletic storage system, potting shed, or any other working solution they may need or imagine,” said Lee Brown, co-owner of DirectBuy of Chantilly. “DirectBuy also gives members the opportunity to save a lot of money by buying storage solutions for their garage, directly from the manufacturer.”

DirectBuy carries a wide selection of garage cabinets to help you cut-down on clutter and get organized. A one-stop shop for all your home building and home remodeling projects, DirectBuy offers industrial quality and strength garage cabinets that can hold and organize a variety of items that would normally clutter your garage. These garage storage cabinets make a great addition to your home garage or auto shop business storing assorted parts, tools and chemicals, which can pose a threat when simply lying around.

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped consumers enjoy enormous savings on home furnishings, home improvement items, entertainment and outdoor products, and accessories, by providing an avenue to purchase directly from the manufacturer. With six convenient locations in the Greater DC/Baltimore area, DirectBuy offers consumers an exclusive, comfortable environment, where they finally have the financial control of buying direct.

For more information on DirectBuy, you can visit www.directbuy.com or www.directbuycares.com.

About DirectBuy

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped hundreds of thousands of families enjoy a better quality of life, enabling them to buy directly from more than 700 manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. Buying direct enables members’ hard-earned money to go much further, while having the selection and choice not available at any retail store. DirectBuy prides itself in providing excellent member service, access to confidential prices, local suppliers and unparalleled selection, all of which help make members’ dream projects a reality. It’s an exclusive, comfortable environment, where you finally have the financial control of buying direct. There are more than 150 franchise locations throughout North America.

Locations of the six DirectBuy showrooms serving greater Washington DC/Baltimore are: DirectBuy of Chantilly, 14231 Willard Road, Chantilly, VA, 703-817-0220; DirectBuy of Woodbridge, 3320 Noble Pond Way, Woodbridge, VA, 571-288-0200; DirectBuy of Columbia, 9515 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD, 443-539-3289; DirectBuy of Metro Washington NW, 202 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD, 301-926-1116; DirectBuy of Baltimore North, 10950 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 410-316-9000; DirectBuy of Southern Maryland, 9700 Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy, Lanham, MD, 301-731-0600.

Consumers interested in becoming members may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by contacting DirectBuy at 1-800-218-5639. To learn more about the superior value and benefits of a DirectBuy membership, visit www.directbuy.com.

By: Steve Dubin

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With more and more people running businesses out of their home or telecommuting to their “day job” a day or more a week, the home office has had to become every bit as functional and comfortable as the cube or office at work. Even more so. To that end, the six DirectBuy franchises of the greater Washington DC/Baltimore area, the leading members-only showroom and home design centers, have some helpful tips on setting up your home office.

For starters, DirectBuy recommends drawing a floor plan of the room or area where your home office will be. Your floor plan should include markings of where the electrical outlets are and accurate measurements of the heights of the windows, doorways and any closet space to give you additional design options.

“If you’re going to be spending significant time in your home office, from eight to 20 hours a week or more, you’re going to want a space that’s a little more comfortable, functional and aesthetically pleasing than the spare room or corner of a room that’s passed for a home office in years past,” said Lee Brown, owner of DirectBuy of Chantilly. “Many of our members work with our designers to create not only a comfortable workspace for one or more members of the household, but also a room you’ll want to show off to guests.”

Some of the things you may want to consider in planning your office space:

? Ergonomic chairs, desks, and other office pieces.

? Lower shelves so you can reach for books, folders and other items without strain.

? Lighting under workspace shelves to make it easier to read.

? A mount or platform for your computer monitor so you can look at the screen without tilting your head up or down.

? Neutral soothing colors for your walls like teal blues, soft cool grays and warm Tuscan colors to create the work atmosphere you’re looking for.

? How much natural light does the room get and how much do you want? Do you prefer curtains to blinds? There are a wide range of innovative blinds, sheers, louvers and shutters to achieve the look you want.

? The depth of the pieces you’re putting in your office. There’s nothing worse than trying to add a desk to a spot that fits length- and width-wise but leaves no room for the chair.

? Installing additional outlets to give you more layout and design options.

? Avoiding wall-to-wall carpeting if possible; offices are high traffic areas and wear will show on your rugs the more time you work at home. Use carpet tiles for the areas you want carpeting, so that you can replace them if they fade or show stains, and use hardwood or ceramic tile for the rest of the space.

DirectBuy carries a large selection of brand-name office furniture at wholesale prices direct from the manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. In addition, DirectBuy also employs product specialists and designers who can help members create the home office that works best for their individual needs and for family members if it’s a shared workspace.

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped consumers enjoy enormous savings on home furnishings, home improvement items, entertainment and outdoor products, and accessories, by providing an avenue to purchase directly from the manufacturer. With six convenient locations in the Greater DC/Baltimore area, DirectBuy offers consumers an exclusive, comfortable environment, where they finally have the financial control of buying direct.

For more information on DirectBuy, you can visit www.directbuy.com or www.directbuycares.com.

About DirectBuy

Since 1971, DirectBuy has helped hundreds of thousands of families enjoy a better quality of life, enabling them to buy directly from more than 700 manufacturers and their authorized suppliers. Buying direct enables members’ hard-earned money to go much further, while having the selection and choice not available at any retail store. DirectBuy prides itself in providing excellent member service. Access to confidential prices, local suppliers and unparalleled selection helps make members’ dream projects a reality. It’s an exclusive, comfortable environment, where you finally have the financial control of buying direct. There are more than 150 franchise locations throughout North America.

Locations of the six DirectBuy showrooms serving greater Washington DC/Baltimore are: DirectBuy of Chantilly, 14231 Willard Road, Chantilly, VA, 703-817-0220; DirectBuy of Woodbridge, 3320 Noble Pond Way, Woodbridge, VA, 571-288-0200; DirectBuy of Columbia, 9515 Gerwig Lane, Columbia, MD, 443-539-3289; DirectBuy of Metro Washington NW, 202 Perry Parkway, Gaithersburg, MD, 301-926-1116; DirectBuy of Baltimore North, 10950 Gilroy Road, Hunt Valley, MD, 410-316-9000; DirectBuy of Southern Maryland, 9700 Martin Luther King Jr. Hwy, Lanham, MD, 301-731-0600.

Consumers interested in becoming members may obtain a Visitor’s Pass to attend an Open House by contacting DirectBuy at 1-800-218-5639 or e-mailing info@directbuychantilly.com. To learn more about the superior value and benefits of a DirectBuy membership, visit www.directbuy.com.

By: Steve Dubin

About the Author:

southern maryland

Like many artists who use cultural and ethnic heritage as an inspiration for their art, modern African American art often has strong roots in Africa. For many African American artists, the Southern region of the U.S. also represents a huge emphasis on the composition and subject of their work. There is a growing awareness of this unique form of expression and of the artists who create the works. For many years African American art has been tagged as crafts and seriously under appreciated. Fortunately that trend is changing and people from all ethnic backgrounds and lifestyles have more opportunities to view and learn from modern African American art. In order to more fully appreciate these artists, it is important to take a look at some of the African American artists who paved the way.

Henry O. Tanner (1859-1937) is best known for his painting “The Banjo Lesson.” Initially his work reflected the black experience and his impressions of that life. Later in life he added more to modern African American art with his works of religious influence. Mr. Tanner made several trips to the Holy Land to find inspiration for his art.

As can be expected, the American era of slavery often plays a large part in modern African American art. This is certainly true of Claude Clark’s work. A Georgia native, he has styled his work with strong Southern and African themes. His style is direct and the intention of his work is clear. One of his most well known paintings “Slave Lynching” is an obvious commentary of the social climate of the slavery era.

There is unlikely to be an art lover who has never heard of the Harlem Renaissance. Aaron Douglas did some of his finest work in that period. The murals of the Harlem Renaissance are popular and some of Douglas’s work can be seen in libraries and public buildings in this form. His favorite inspirations were important people and significant events in the African American history. Aaron Douglas went on after painting his magnificent murals to inspire others interested in modern African American art at Fisk University. His influence can be felt in the art world even now, 27 years after his death.

One female African American artist who strongly affected the modern African American art scene is Clementine Hunter. She didn’t begin painting until after the age of 40. Her work is simple and two dimensional, depicting Southern life through her eyes. Many consider her to be one of the most important artists to come from the South. Her African American painting was first recognized in the 1950’s and continues to inspire.

Regardless of the media and subject chosen, modern African American art is finally receiving the attention and acclaim it deserves. Thanks to the many exceptional artists who gave the world a picture of the little talked about culture from which they came, young up and coming African American artists have an easier road to follow to receive the recognition they deserve. Great things can come from the lessons of these past artists.

Mr. Moyo Ogundipe has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Fine Art from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria and a Master of Fine Art degree in Painting from The Hoffberger School of Painting, Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, USA.

One of Africa’s most celebrated and renowned contemporary African American artist, Mr. Ogundipe has exhibited extensively in Africa, Europe and the USA. His paintings have been described as hypnotic, colorful and densely patterned.

In 1996, Mr. Ogundipe was awarded the Pollock-Krasner Fellowship. And in 2005 he was invited to become a member of Africobra, an organization founded in the 1960s and whose membership comprises of distinguished African-American artists.

Find and buy art online from Moyo Ogundipe at www.Maigida.com

By: Maigida Africanarts

About the Author:

Mr. Moyo Ogundipe has a Bachelors of Arts degree in Fine Art from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife, Nigeria. He is experienced in Traditional African Art, Modern African American Art . He has done many African Paintings and aftican art.Buy African paintings Online