Top 7 Tree Decorating Mistakes and Their Fixes

December 3, 2018 Let’s be honest. If the last time your holiday tree got a makeover was around the time you were watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” on video cassette, darling, it’s time for some tough-tree love. I know, I know. You like the tradition of using the same decorations year after year. But using […]

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Mom and Daughter Redefine Blended Home — In Two Parts

November 26, 2018 PART ONE: One evening while Rachel and Michael Tidwell were visiting Rachel’s mom, who lived a few blocks away in Midwest City, Okla., one off-hand remark changed their lives. “We were sitting around my kitchen table,” recalls Sherry Lopatic, of that fateful night in January 2016, “bemoaning all the recurring bills we both […]

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A Wreath Revival

November 19, 2018 Sometimes the wheel does need to be reinvented, which is why Laura Dowling wrote “Wreaths,” a gorgeous new book with how-do tutorials due out next month, in time for us to put a fresh twist on an old holiday standby. “Commercial wreaths often seem bland, derivative, unimaginative and tacky,” said Dowling, whose […]

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Trouble Finding a Contractor? Join the Club

November 12, 2018 “We are only taking work for new home construction or complete renovations,” the woman from the contractor’s office tells me when I ask for a bid on a patio renovation project. “That’s it?” I ask. What my job isn’t good enough? I think. “I might be able to send my stucco guy […]

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Homes Are Getting Too Smart for Their Own Hood

October 29, 2018 “Put down the remote and no one gets hurt.” The voice comes from behind me. I set the TV remote down carefully alongside the other two remotes, which allegedly also govern the family room television. I have no earthly notion how they work, what they do, and why we need three. Maybe […]

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Fall Is in the Air and Should Be in Your Home, Too

October 22, 2018 Several years ago, I interviewed Martha Stewart, a career highlight that made me feel the way Neil Armstrong must have felt when he first stepped on the moon. I had a lot of questions for the celebrity TV chef, master gardener, media maven, prolific author, brander of household products, doyenne of decorating, […]

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Sometimes Housecleaning Is an Outside Job

October 15, 2018 When was the last time you cleaned your house? No, not inside. I mean, have you looked at the outside lately? I confess, I had not. In fact, I had been studiously overlooking the black creep that was inconveniently forming on our covered outdoor patio and in other dim, damp recesses around […]

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In With the New Means Out With the Old First

  October 8, 2018 “I better start looking for those twin beds,” I say to my husband, as I crack open my laptop to search. We want to turn the upstairs loft into a children’s guestroom now that we have – blink – four grandkids and counting. “Better sell the daybed that’s in there first,” […]

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Great Design Takes Center Court at US Open

  Watching the U.S. Open last week, my husband fixated on the action, while I turned my attention to the sidelines: the notable spectators, their attire, and, was that new courtside furniture? It all looked so much nicer than I remembered. “Are those new chairs?” I ask DC. “Maybe,” he shrugs, then adds with a […]

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