Real Estate

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 ...

Is it art or is it decor?

By Katherine Roth Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — The furniture, drapes, wall coverings, ceramics, textiles and other works by London-based artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz are as cross-disciplinary as they are distinct. They reflect and draw inspiration from the home, but are closer to ...

A little less drama: Kitchen backsplashes get sleeker

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press The kitchen backsplash — that surface behind the stovetop or sink that protects the wall from damage during cooking and dishwashing — has long been used to add color and beauty to an otherwise utilitarian space. But dramatic, ornately patterned ...

Right at Home: Sellers, give every room a role

By Kim Cook Associated Press Many of us have one room in the house that doesn’t really have a job. Maybe we set it up with an air bed once in a while for guests, or shove out-of-season clothing boxes in there, or use it as a holding zone for stuff we’re not sure what to do with. But ...

Construction spending drops 1.7 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending dropped 1.7 percent in March, the biggest setback in 11 months, with weakness in a number of sectors including the biggest plunge in home building in nine years. The March decline was the first monthly drop since last July and the biggest ...

New nursery decor with style

By Kim Cook Associated Press When it comes to creating the perfect sleep space for little ones, there are more fun options than ever. Styles range from haute to homespun, vintage to vanguard. A look at some of the best: ——— BLURRING THE LINES Traditional parameters like ...

Choosing and hanging shutters

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Although glass and screens have eliminated the practical need for shutters, they’re still popular for decoration. “They add another layer of thoughtful detailing to a house,” says Ted Cleary, a landscape architect in Charlotte, N.C. But to ...

Homes that can adapt, change with us

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Most housing is designed for nuclear families, but most U.S. households don’t meet that description. That’s why flexible floor plans — and innovations including moveable walls, smart technology, multifunctional furniture and space-saving features ...

US home building rose slightly in March

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. builders broke ground on more apartment buildings last month, pushing up overall home construction 1.9 percent. The Commerce Department said housing starts rose in March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.32 million, driven by a big 16 percent gain in apartment ...

3 ways parents can help grown kids own a home

By Marilyn Lewis NerdWallet When responsible first-time homebuyers need help buying a home, the family bank sometimes can lend a hand. Younger homebuyers face a mountain of obstacles, including rising home prices and interest rates, too few homes for sale and unpaid college debt. Student ...

Right at Home: Decor that brings luxury outside

By Kim Cook Associated Press Innovations in design, materials and manufacturing have had a big impact on home decor — outdoors as well as in. Besides advances in durability, there’s now an expansive range of styles that designers can tap in to. Luxury is one of them. Think velvet ...

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 ...

Getting creative: Rooms 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 ...

Love that home’s view? See how much you’ll pay

By Marilyn Lewis NerdWallet A house with a fabulous view can be hard for a homebuyer to resist. But seeing the mountains, water or city lights from the comfort of home comes at a price. The hazy part is figuring out what that added cost is — and whether it’s worth it . That’s where ...

Architectural Digest Show: calm, cool, collected decor

By Kim Cook Associated Press NEW YORK (AP) — This month’s Architectural Digest Design Show offered winter-weary attendees a breath of fresh air with many design ideas that were calm, cool and collected. Some highlights: ——— CALM Brooklyn textile design firm Eskayel put ...

‘Genuine leather?’ ‘Real wood?’ How to read furniture labels

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Americans spend billions of dollars a year on furniture, but they’re often not getting what they paid for. A big part of the problem is misleading labels, experts say. Terms like “genuine leather” and “real wood,” which seem straightforward ...

Home decor with outdoor feel gets free-spirited

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 ...

US existing-home sales climbed in February

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. sales of existing homes rebounded in February after declining for the previous two months, a sign that many Americans are still looking to buy despite rising prices and a shrinking number of homes available on the market. The National Association of Realtors said ...

Older houses take extra know-how

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 ...

Using solar power for heating water

Dear Jim: We have teenage daughters who take long showers. Our water heating costs are sky high. We are on a tight budget, but want to use some solar water heating. Is there a system we can make ourselves? - Tim H. Dear Tim: For a typical family of four, heating water can account for about ...