Home & Garden

Letter to Meredith Viera results in dream home makeover in Chicago suburb

WAUKEGAN, Ill. - Drew Davis walked up the steps of his Waukegan home with his 9-year-old twins, Hope and Finn, to discover a new door, fresh blue paint on the siding and yellow daffodils and forsythia blooming where old, unkempt bushes once grew. Inside, he found a remodeled interior with an art studio and living room designed to give him the space he needs to paint while his children do their homework.

Home & Garden

On Gardening: In praise of a $5 butterfly and its mistletoe

I remember it like yesterday. I returned from a Rotary Club meeting in Mission, Tex., to see a good sized group with cameras gathered around a patch of flowers at the National Butterfly Center there. I quickly went in and asked what were they seeing? The answer was a Great Purple Hairstreak butterfly. Today when I give a presentation on butterflies I typically call that one a $5 butterfly, in other words it is so showy it's worth the price of admission.

Home & Garden

Home Fix: How to get rid of termites

Q: My home has been inspected every year for termites and pests for the past 10 years and now they tell me it needs to be treated. The seller told me the home was treated years ago with chlorine and that I would never have a problem. What is going on here?

Home & Garden

Style at Home: 6 tips for a stunning spring table

When Dan and I entertain, we each have our assigned roles: He spends hours in the kitchen crafting our cuisine. And I'm out in the dining room, dreaming up an intriguing tablescape. Armed with dishes, table linens and seasonal accents, I play around until lightning strikes and I find a look that lights up my heart.

Home & Garden

Plumber: Hung up on wall-hung toilets

Q: Dear Ed: In our home we still have two original wall-hung toilets from the 1960s. I want to replace them with more efficient toilets to save water. How involved is this job, and where do you even find wall-hung toilets? Also, the toilets seem very low to the floor, would it be very expensive to raise them when we replace them?

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Home & Garden

Hobbies: Pompom centerpiece

Pompoms have always been a favorite embellishment of mine. They are adorable. I have a big jar of them in my studio that has been waiting patiently to be used on this new children's birthday party centerpiece. Pompoms are pure fun, colorful, inexpensive and quite delightful, a must-have for any well-stocked craft closet.

Home & Garden

Yardsmart: Handmade art pots are an emerging art form

At the epicenter of our love affair with succulent plants, there's one hot trend toward the handmade. Those who grow these amazing water conserving species in southern California are no longer satisfied with the same old mass-produced pots for their plants. Maybe it came from a new appreciation for one-of-a-kind creations. Or perhaps it's an offshoot of shows where plantophiles display their most outstanding specimens, often in competition. These gatherings of the succulent-minded are the genesis of a new art form just emerging onto the national scene.

Home & Garden

Creative, tech-savvy couple creates a hip home in arts district

PITTSBURGH - Chris Harrison and his wife, Amy Ogan, honed their creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills while earning doctorates in human computer interaction at Carnegie Mellon University. So when they went looking for a "cool house in a cool neighborhood" in Pittsburgh, they couldn't help but be drawn to an area popular with artists and arts entrepreneurs, Garfield.

Home & Garden

Markham Roberts: Drop dead East Coast chic with a nod to Indianapolis

The way New York designer Markham Roberts sees the world is large, bold, colorful and highly personalized, a sensitivity he attributes to the most influential person in his life - his late grandmother Harriet Greathouse Cain. In her houses in Indianapolis, a city where he grew up, as well as her vacation homes, he observed how to live comfortably and entertain, rather than be surrounded by staid stage sets for show. "I learned so much from the joy of being in those houses, whether I recognized it or it was subconscious," he says.

Home & Garden

On Gardening: Giant leopard plant a spectacular member of the aster family

Members of the aster family can be described by a lot of wonderful adjectives, but "lush" and "tropical" are typically not among them. Yet that is the case with the giant leopard plant. Botanically speaking, I am referring to Farfugium japonicum 'Giganteum,' and though it is found growing on rocky cliffs in Japan, Korea and Taiwan, it is turning some of the squares here in Savannah, Ga., into visions of garden paradise.

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