Real Estate

Home decorators embrace big, bold wall art

By Kim Cook Associated Press Not long ago, the only homes in which you’d see big, bold art hanging on the walls tended to be those of serious collectors. For everyone else, filling up a blank space meant going with something attractively innocuous that didn’t jangle with the sofa ...

US home construction slips 0.9%

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home construction slipped last month as an uptick in the building of single-family homes was offset by a big drop in apartment construction. The Commerce Department said construction was started at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.25 million in June, down 0.9% ...

Ask a designer: Outdoor kitchens keep evolving

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Since the basic backyard barbecue began evolving into the outdoor kitchen, the trend has only grown. Some of today’s outdoor cooking areas can seem almost like full kitchens, with more appliances and food prep space. Even walls, ceilings and ...

Upbeat hue should be used right

By Kim Cook Associated Press If ever a color were to be associated with an emotion (OK, blue, we see you), it’s got to be yellow. Upbeat and welcoming, it’s a hue that’s easy to love. But it can be tricky to use when decorating. Bold yellows are eye-catching, but color experts advise ...

Squeezing the most out of small outdoor spaces

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press As herb and vegetable gardens, composting and other aspects of green living become more popular, many people with limited outdoor space are looking for ways to squeeze the most out of it. “A client in a modern high-rise in downtown Chicago did not ...

All-green woodland gardens can provide serenity

By Dean Fosdick Associated Press All-green gardens are becoming popular again as the centerpieces of monochromatic landscaping. The designs are appealing and restive, driven as they are by massed ferns, moss, leaves, bark, berries, rock and foliage combinations. They serve some practical ...

So you want a new kitchen? Tips for starting the process

By Katherine Roth Associated Press So you want a new kitchen? Whether you’re considering designing a kitchen using your own architect, a kitchen planner hired through a store like IKEA or Home Depot, or an online planning service, professionals suggest keeping a few things in mind. PLAN ...

Pro-style kitchens for the home cook

By Kim Cook Associated Press Avid home cooks often want to outfit their kitchens with the kind of high-end appliances and gear used by professional chefs. There’s that aspirational notion that somehow having the right equipment will lead to better food. So what’s in a pro kitchen that ...

Home prices have outpaced income growth

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices in 2018 climbed 4.5%, while incomes grew 3.2%, according to CoreLogic real estate figures and government wage data released Friday. The gap suggests that affordability is worsening. Still, this gap appears to be narrowing relative in much of the country as ...

Right At Home: Artistry on the floor

By Kim Cook Associated Press There was a time when designers and decorators considered floor coverings to be background elements in a room. Rugs and tile were meant to be practical, not attention-getting. That’s changed. Now, the floor is often one of the strongest elements in a space. ...

Behind deadline: Home projects suffer from worker shortage

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (AP) — Lynn Osborne has been remodeling two homes. They are different styles, in different states, with different contractors. But there has been one constant: delays due to a shortage of skilled labor. The two-year remodel of her primary home in Fort Collins was to ...

Four simple steps toward a healthier home

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Can your home help you get healthier? Interior designers say clients don’t just want help creating a more beautiful home anymore. They want to create living spaces where they will cook healthier foods, breathe healthier air and improve overall ...

Gray: A ‘sneaky color’ is red-hot for painting interiors

By Katherine Roth Associated Press When it comes to painting rooms, gray is red-hot. Benjamin Moore carries over 150 shades of gray, and Sherwin-Williams says that of their top 50 colors for interiors, 30 are grays. “The trend toward gray started in Scandinavia, became big in the U.S. ...

The stylish and multifunctional garage

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press What if your home had a spare room you’d never noticed before? Your garage, even if it has one or more cars in it, can pull double-duty as a gym, a crafting room and even a place to socialize. Designers and architects tell us that gaining more living ...

Travel’s become a prime inspiration for home decor

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press When Melissa Smuzynski learned that she was expecting, she wanted a nursery that reflected her family’s love of travel. But when she and her husband, Damon Lane, went shopping for appropriate decor a few years ago, they didn’t find much. So ...

Three pros discuss creating an outdoor room

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Designers often talk about the perfect “outdoor living room” — a deck or patio that combines the comfort and style of indoor decorating with the pleasure of relaxing outside. But what separates these outdoor entertaining spaces from more typically ...

Bold color on kitchen cabinets is a thing

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Conventional wisdom says to use neutral colors or simple wood stains for anything as permanent as kitchen cabinets. Homeowners craving a burst of color have generally been advised to bring it in through easily changeable items like curtains or seat ...

New tech is making gardening easier

By Dean Fosdick Associated Press New technology is easing the way we garden, store equipment, monitor watering and re-shape landscapes. And some of those tasks can be done remotely, using phones or tablets. The innovations extend well beyond downloading a few apps. New to the horticultural ...

For spring, window treatments with flair

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Even the simplest window treatments have an important role to play in the look of a room. “They really soften and furnish a space much more than most people imagine,” says interior designer Betsy Burnham of Los Angeles. Yet she often has to reassure ...

US housing starts slumped 8.7 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — The number of homes under construction fell 8.7 percent in February, as ground breakings for single-family houses plunged to their lowest level in nearly two years. The Commerce Department said that builders started construction at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.16 ...