Real Estate

Jazz Age design shown in textiles, furniture and more

NEW YORK (AP) — A multisensory blockbuster of a show at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum here invites visitors to explore Jazz Age design in all its glittering, decadent and innovative glory. Edgy furniture and tableware; textiles and wallpapers in rich oranges and teals; odes ...

US homebuilder sentiment slips, but overall outlook is positive

By Alex Veiga AP Business Writer U.S. homebuilders are feeling slightly less optimistic about their sales prospects, even as their overall outlook remains favorable. The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index slipped to 68 this month. That’s down three ...

US housing starts fell in March; still stronger than in 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on fewer homes in March, but the pace of construction so far this year remains stronger than in 2016. Housing starts fell 6.8 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.22 million, the Commerce Department said. The setback came ...

Virtual technology can make landscaping easier

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Just as virtual technology has become a common tool for anyone planning to repaint or redecorate a home, a growing array of apps can make landscaping easier too. But know when to use them, and when it would be easier to pull out an old-fashioned pencil ...

Go cordless for lawn care alternative

Dear Jim: I am tired of the maintenance for my old gas lawn mower. I might buy a rechargeable cordless mulching one. Are they powerful enough for a normal yard and what features are best? - Marcia H. Dear Marcia: I have used cordless lawn mowers for many years and I would never switch back to ...

Ask A Designer: The breakfast nook has been updated

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press The term “breakfast nook” sounds hopelessly trapped in the 1970s, but modern homeowners are embracing the style and practicality of built-in seating in the kitchen.† “The idea of the built-in, with the kids piled in it and the pillows” can ...

Fiberglass doors are low-maintenance option

Dear Jim: I like wood front doors, but mine is leaky and needs refinishing. I would like something more maintenance-free. Are stainable fiberglass doors more efficient and durable and do they look like wood? - Sharon G. Dear Sharon: Real wood entry doors are the most attractive, but as you ...

Contracts to buy homes hit highest level in year

WASHINGTON (AP) — More people signed contracts to buy U.S. homes last month as warm weather and rising confidence appeared to encourage consumers to look for houses. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index climbed 5.5 percent in February to 112.3, its highest ...

Fairy gardens captivate kids, adults

By Tracee M. Herbaugh Associated Press A set of little wings. Ceramic fountains. Tiny versions of ornate cottages and brick walkways fit for the English countryside. These are just some of the whimsical decorations that adorn fairy gardens. When such miniature decorations are paired with ...

Outdoor home decor gets free-spirited touch

By Kim Cook Associated Press There are those who prefer perfectly matched furniture and a monochromatic color scheme in decor. But for those who like to shake things up, it’s time to take it outside. There’s a free-spirited attitude now in outdoor decor, with mix-and-match elements and ...

Work on older houses takes extra know-how, flexibility

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Dwain Livengood can save money on his home renovation project by doing the work himself. But he also knows that do-it-yourself projects in historic homes like his 100-year-old farmhouse require extra planning and research, and that mistakes can be ...

Clear favorite: Acrylics a versatile furniture option

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Clear the way for acrylics. Furniture makers are using the see-through material for everything from couch legs and bed posts to tables and footstools. It’s a way to add drama to a room without overloading it, said Sheila Schmitz, an editor ...

New home sales rise despite higher mortgages

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans responded to higher mortgage rates by snapping up new homes in February at the fastest pace since July. New-home sales rose 6.1 percent month-over-month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 592,000, the Commerce Department said. That sales pace is nearly 13 ...

Embraced by Baby Boomers, recliners get makeover

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Including recliners in home decorating projects used to be an interior designer’s nightmare, says Bonnie Lewis, founder of 55+ TLC Interior Design in Scottsdale, Arizona. But the easy chair has gotten a face lift, thanks largely to Baby ...

US housing starts rose in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on new homes at a faster pace in February, a sign that developers expect solid sales growth this year despite higher mortgage rates. Housing starts rose 3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.3 million, the Commerce ...

Getting creative: Rooms and spaces that inspire

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Spaces where creativity happens are utterly unlike other rooms, artists and designers say. Whether at home or elsewhere, these deeply personal spaces often feel like they’re in flux, with interiors more curated than decorated. They often feature natural ...

Raising the ceiling can change a room

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Architects tend to look skyward: The ancient Greeks built coffered ceilings in their temples. Romans introduced the barrel vault. Medieval builders constructed Gothic arches and Renaissance domes to inspire the masses. Centuries later, the impact is the ...

Garage trend? Think versatility, not parking

By Katherine Roth Associated Press The American garage is world famous. But not necessarily for cars. Silicon Valley started in the Palo Alto, California, garage of the Packard family, where Hewlett-Packard was founded, according to the National Register of Historic Places. Steve Jobs ...

Rolling shutters offer protectijavascript:;on

Dear Jim: I want a strong window shutter for security and storms, but I don’t want it to block my outdoor view. Is a rolling shutter strong enough and will it improve the efficiency of a large window? - Celeste N. Dear Celeste: Installing rolling shutters can protect your windows and ...

Comfy, cushioned cubby is an inviting workspace

By Beth J. Harpaz Associated Press It’s a quiet but cozy workspace, designed to promote focus and creativity while providing an alternative to a traditional desk or office. It’s also a bright pink cubby covered in comfy cushions. The pink seating is the brainchild of Karen Bala, Jen ...