In Focus 

What does it mean to be "new and improved"?

It's a question that's been on my mind a lot lately in regard to the publication you hold in your hands right now, the Memphis Flyer's Living Spaces. You may notice a few things different about this issue, including new features and sections, making this issue a veritable "new and improved" version of Living Spaces.

But if that phrase isn't a lie, it's also only a half-truth. Because, with Living Spaces, we've tried to be "new and improved" with every issue. Memphis' real estate market and skyline is ever-changing. The furnishings, décor, and decorator businesses in town are continually tapping into or leading the way on new trends and new ways to express old ideas. Technology improvements are altering the way we construct, improve, and find happiness in our homes. Memphis is in a constant state of aspiring to be "new and improved," and if we didn't reflect that in Living Spaces, we'd get left behind soon enough.

With Living Spaces, we strive to be at the leading edge of "new and improved" every month, bringing you not just the latest in real estate market news and ways to make the most of your condo or home lifestyle, as we always have done, but also to report on innovations, new products, and new strategies used by local businesses and our neighbors to help make Memphis "new and improved."

That's reflected in new features such as Neighborhood Network (p. 4), where the focus will be on community and neighborhood news and how individuals, private groups, and public administrations are doing their part to make the Mid-South a better place.

It's reflected in User Friendly, where a product is rigorously tested to see if it's everything it claims to be and to report on any problems we experience with it. This month is the Dyson DC14 vacuum cleaner. Does it make your floors and furniture look new and improved? Check out page 6 for the answer.

It's also reflected in Fine Print, a review of books pertaining to home and garden -- real estate, home improvement, decoration, or related fields. There are a lot of books out there claiming to have all the secrets. We'll try to pull the weeds out and find the good ones.

Our goal is to help you make the most of your own living space, to make it each day a new and improved version of the day before. We'd love your help, of course: If you've got any tips, news or events, suggestions, or comments, please let us know at

Greg Akers



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