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Jan 12,2007
Q: What if we take the walls down between the kitchen and dining room so the space is all one? My wife is cool to the idea. She says we won't be able to entertain "properly," by which she means in a separate dining room. Judging from the new houses several of our friends have bought, "proper" dining rooms are old hat. What's the story here? A: It's a story with two endings, both of ... [full story]
1305 times read - No comment posted

Jan 05,2007
Just ask anyone who still has harvest gold appliances: Color schemes that were once stylish and popular will suddenly lose favor, making rooms look dated. Trend watchers from the Color Marketing Group, an international association of design professionals in a wide variety of industries, meet annually to share observations about what hues are hot. Participants are often responsible for planning the colors used for their company's products for the coming years.   NATURE BLUES - Sky ... [full story]
2454 times read - No comment posted

Jan 05,2007
Q: We are planning an addition to the house that will give us a new Great Room downstairs and a master bedroom-bath suite upstairs. My question is about the Great Room. We'd planned to put the fireplace on the outside wall but then we don't know where to put the entertainment center. If it goes on the opposite wall, how do we arrange the furniture to work in both directions? A: Every room needs one ... [full story]
1079 times read - No comment posted

Jan 05,2007
Professional Advice on how to help Minimize Damage from Harsh Weather The storm devastation that has spread across the U.S. over the past few years has brought with it an alarming reminder: preparation is key to minimizing damage from harsh weather. While severe storms can wreak havoc on a home, even routine storms may cause damage if a home is not properly protected. The smart homeowner is one who takes extra measures to protect a ... [full story]
1422 times read - No comment posted

Jan 05,2007
The green building movement is starting to make serious progress, reports E – The Environmental Magazine in its January/February 2007 cover story (now posted at www.emagazine.com). Eco-friendly construction is on the rise, from single-family houses and planned communities to schools, hospitals and other large built environments. Today, five percent of new commercial construction meets standards set by the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program (LEED), a voluntary, consensus-based standard for developing ... [full story]
1414 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
If you want to reclaim space from the outdoors, open your home to more natural light or create a comfortable place to commune with nature, you may be considering adding a screened-in porch to your home.   MAKE ROOM - A conservatory is a more substantial addition to a home or yard than a porch or a sunroom, and will be custom-designed to blend with period architecture. CNS Photo courtesy of Marston & Langinger.Think again. Although ... [full story]
3077 times read - No comment posted

Dec 29,2006
Q: We plan to remodel the country house we just bought with an eye to eventually retiring there. All the living areas will be on one level, and we want to use materials that are appropriate to the location (mountains), will last, and are easy to maintain. Who wants to retire to more housework? What do you recommend?   VIEW OVER THE KITCHEN COUNTER - Natural materials like brick and hardwoods warm this all-in-one kitchen, dining ... [full story]
1331 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
If you noticed any gaps in your china or silver service when setting your holiday table this year - or maybe you accidentally created a gap or two by dropping a dish or feeding a fork to the garbage disposal - you'll be glad to know that replacing those items is easier than ever.   NEED A MATCH? - Stop serving holiday meals with mismatched china, silver or glassware; matching services can restore incomplete sets, even ... [full story]
1703 times read - No comment posted

Dec 22,2006
With the bitter cold combined with a lack of electricity, many in Washington and Oregon have struggled to stay warm this past week. Vent-free gas appliances, however, provide heat even when power is lost because of severe weather or emergency situations. "In an emergency situation or power outage, people can rely on vent-free gas appliances to provide a safe, reliable and easy to use heating source," said Sue Walker, chairman of the Vent-Free Gas Products ... [full story]
1546 times read - No comment posted

Dec 15,2006
Small, battery-operated wireless cameras are handy for monitoring areas around the house where access to electricity may be limited - such as driveways, attics and near entry doors - but with an average battery life span of just 10 hours, they can run out of power too quickly to be of use.   POWER-SAVING RANGER - With a range of more than 300 feet and a battery life of several months, KwikPeek wireless cameras allow you ... [full story]
1323 times read - No comment posted

Dec 08,2006
No more leaving the dishwasher door wide open after mealtime, hoping your family and guests will take the hint and leave their tableware in it - in-sink models let you load the dishwasher while standing at the basin. And one model, the Briva from KitchenAid, even lets you use the space as a sink when you're not using it as a dishwasher.   VERSATILITY ON TAP - KitchenAid's Briva in-sink dishwasher is the only such model ... [full story]
3258 times read - No comment posted

Dec 01,2006
The words "grandfather clock" probably bring to mind a heavy piece of furniture housing complicated gear work, an ornate face done in Roman numerals and a loud gong that wakes the neighborhood. While that archetype has its place, many of the newer floor clocks from industry leader Howard Miller are fashioned with simplicity in mind to better blend with popular Zen-inspired styles or European themes. Chimes can be turned off during nighttime hours, if desired. ... [full story]
2471 times read - No comment posted

Nov 24,2006
Q: Our family room is all windows on three sides -- one reason we bought this house in the first place. The problem is, I didn't think about that when I planned an all cream-and-white color scheme. I really love the way the room looks -- cool -- yet it's anything but; it faces south and gets the afternoon sun. I have drapes on all the windows, but it hurts me to keep them closed. ... [full story]
1292 times read - No comment posted

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