Home & Garden HEADLINES
Dear Angie: Can I save money by finishing my basement piecemeal rather than hiring a general contractor? — Jennifer M., Alpharetta, Ga.
I’m mad about plaid. This timeless but trendy pattern plays a big role in my home decor every winter because it’s warm and welcoming and creatively classic without being stodgy and stuffy, a perfect part of a winter day, like a hot cup of tea, a warm fire and a dog at your feet. I poured on the plaid when I decorated my home for the holidays this year. But when I box up my holiday decor next week, the plaid will stay in place, an essential part of the wintery mix, until I decorate for spring. Want to add a punch of plaid to your winterscape? Here are 10 perfect spots:
Along cardboard box awaited me on the porch. It could have been lavish silks and exotic spices for the excited anticipation I felt. I scissored through tape and riffled through blank, crisp newsprint to find packet after packet of freshly collected treasures from the Maine woods.
Let’s start the new year off with a test: Do you know how to handle your garden this winter? Here are the most asked and most important questions of the season, with multiple-choice answers. (If you answer them all correctly, your thumb is green.)
They’re versatile. They’re inexpensive. And they’re often handmade, by local artisans to boot.
Q: Is there any way to redo engineered floors? They are 12 years old and are showing wear, with pitting and scratches.
When Tracy Proctor Williamson bought her house in Larchmont, N.Y., a year ago, it was “just a kind of dark and sad-looking building.”
The most universal New Year’s resolutions are to lose weight, eat healthier, get more exercise and save money — all goals that will be accomplished if you plant a vegetable garden.
HOME TIPS Almost as inevitable as the post-holiday-meal nap is that most dreaded dinner party casualty: spilled red wine.
Question: In March 2011, I had my kitchen gutted and redone with new floor, cabinets, “green” furnace and water system, counters — the works. I installed a new Samsung French-door refrigerator, an over-the-stove microwave, and, for the first time, a dishwasher. The washer and dryer are in a mudroom near the kitchen.
The secret to making a perfect gnome? Make sure he doesn’t get too tipsy. For Tammy and Shawn Christensen, that’s the most challenging part of creating garden statues from scratch — and they ought to know. The Tacoma husband-and-wife team has been making garden gnomes, gargoyles, VW Beetles, warty toads and the like for five years now out of their back garage: hauling, mixing, pouring, molding, staining, sealing and finally painting their own concrete. They even make their own molds and sell their own statues as the company Art of Stone.
Mid-December means the celebration of the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year. By the end of the month, the sun will set later each day and bulbs and buds will begin to stir in a slow awakening toward spring. Last week in this column, I wrote about finding a focal point — one you can see from indoors or near the entry — and adding outdoor lighting and plants. This week, it is time to consider some of the best plant material for winter gardens.
When it comes time to put up the family Christmas tree, many Americans skip the corner lot and head straight to the attic. Out comes the plastic tree, looking a little bit more bedraggled than the year before. Meanwhile, the neighbors are creating family traditions by making a trip to the local choose-and-cut farm.
Old Man Winter is making his annual appearance. We love him for the glorious snowscapes and the invigorating winter sports he brings us, but hate him for the chapped lips and high fuel bills he also brings. Let’s all stay friends with this inevitable seasonal visitor by following a few simple steps to make this guest more welcome and less of a nuisance:
Every winter, a few hardy souls embark on the great wild Christmas tree hunt. Cutting trees on National Forest land is both inexpensive and can be a family adventure – provided safety protocols are followed. The U.S. Forest Service carefully regulates the practice as an aid to forest thinning.
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