Cost of the Unknown Helps Cure a Spender Bender

January 21, 2019 As my Scottish mother used to say when the holidays were over: Back tae auld claes and porridge. Translated that’s back to old clothes and porridge, or the fun is over and it’s time to tighten our belts. Indeed, in households across America, two words are currently echoing throughout the freshly undecked […]

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A Look Back at 2018: Lessons Learned — Part 2

January 14, 2018 In my final two columns of the year, I traditionally share highlights from the past 12 months. Last week’s column featured lessons from the first half of 2018. Here’s what I learned in the second half: IN JULY, I made the biggest design decision of my life. Big as in if it’s […]

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A Look Back at 2018: Lessons Learned — Part 1

January 7, 2018 Every year at this time, I review the 50 some columns I have shared with you over the past 12 months, which is a bit like watching a Charlie Chaplin silent film backward. I ferret out one bit of wisdom per month, a lesson learned, often the hard way, and wrap those […]

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In Pursuit of the Perfect Throw Pillow

December 31, 2018 A dozen throw pillow contestants lined the off-white corner sectional as if auditioning for a talent show. I stood back judging. Which would go? Ever since the new family room sectional arrived — a decision that in itself cost me a dozen sleepless nights, two bottles of Excedrin and a pint of […]

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A Living Room Makeover with a Purpose

December 17, 2018 “It doesn’t have much of a living room,” I still remember DC saying, when we looked at the house we ultimately bought and moved into one year ago this weekend. “Don’t let the furniture deceive you,” I said, looking past the décor. The 10 x 12 room with a fireplace and view […]

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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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