Real Estate

The latest apps for home layouts

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Planning out how to arrange furniture in your home — or plants in your garden — used to involve a pencil, graph paper, a measuring tape and a lot of imagination. The process has gotten easier — and way more streamlined — thanks to a burgeoning ...

Spring 2018 decor: a happy and relaxed refuge at home

By Kim Cook Associated Press The biggest trend in decor may be that there isn’t a big seasonal shift in style any more. In an era of democratic design, there’s a relaxed approach to home decorating that has put the notion of “in” or “out” on a back burner. We can decorate our ...

Dramatic bedtime story: Comforters, duvets get bolder

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Colored, textured and patterned comforters and duvets are telling a dramatic bedtime story these days. “Bedding acts as a narrator to set the tone of the room,” said Anthropologie’s home textiles buyer Brittany Peacock. “As the focal point ...

Low profile, high style: kitchens that go with the flow

By Kim Cook Associated Press Kitchens tend to be designed as star players on the residential stage. Their role is often aspirational — pro chef’s lair, for example, or the country kitchen from that Italian movie you loved. But there’s a different story being played out by some ...

When renting, good credit can open doors

By Claire Tsosie NerdWallet When first-time renter Angelica Fattu-Logan, 20, started applying for apartments, she braced for rejection. But those rejections never came — in part because she had good credit. “I applied to about three or four different apartments, and they all accepted ...

Ask a designer: Rethinking the basement for spring

Basements can be cold and dark, and often get much less decorating attention than the rest of the house. But you can gain new, useful and stylish living space by upgrading that subterranean space. Step one is addressing any risk of flooding or water leakage. Bring in a professional to assess ...

With rooftop decks, sky’s the limit for outdoor entertaining

By Kim Cook Associated Press Backyards and balconies are great places to enjoy an al fresco meal or a sun bath, but to really elevate your outdoor lifestyle, consider going up. To the roof. Rooftop decks were fairly common in early 20th century Craftsman and modernist homes, particularly ...

What are the costs of using a generator?

Dear Jim: It’s inconvenient when the electric goes off during storms. I want to get a generator. Is it expensive to operate a whole-house generator during outages? If not, why not always use one? - Cindy H. Dear Cindy: Many homeowners install large whole-house emergency backup generators ...

How to decorate with antiques and heirlooms

By Katherine Roth Associated Press In this age of minimalism and decluttering, the common response to an offer of a family heirloom or antique might be, “I don’t have space,” ‘’It’s not my taste,” or simply “No thanks.” Well, “pull yourself out of that as fast as you ...

Storage gets creative thanks to changing decor trends

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Storage pieces are not what they used to be. Changes in home design and technology mean that boxy, old-fashioned armoires, dressers and china hutches are being repurposed or are making room for cabinets, shelving and sideboards in a wide variety of ...

US home construction jumps 9.7 percent in January

WASHINGTON (AP) — Groundbreakings on new homes jumped 9.7 percent last month to the highest level since October 2016, welcome news for a housing market struggling with a shortage of homes for sale. The Commerce Department said housing starts came in at an annual pace of 1.33 million in ...

Decor that’s perfectly imperfect

By Kim Cook Associated Press “Perfect imperfection” is a trend in furnishings and decor. “It’s a return to the artisanal and the crafted, with narrative and meaning to objects,” says Caroline Till, co-founder of the London design studio FranklinTill. “Fingerprints of process ...

Whole-house electric surge suppressor tips

Dear Jim: With all the electronic items I have, I thought about installing a whole-house electric surge suppressor. What are the various types, how can I compare the various models and do they save energy? - Ricki J. Dear Ricki: Today’s homes have more sensitive electronic devices than the ...

Ways to cheer up your home in winter

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press During these chilly and gray days of mid-winter, many of us look to our homes as sanctuaries. The standard advice for cheering up your living space is to add a few splashes of bright, happy color, says designer Maxwell Ryan. But while that may seem like ...

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. ...

For the winter doldrums: small design moves with big impact

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Holiday decorating season is long over, yet spring is still far off. It’s cold in much of the country, and still getting dark early. A lot of us could use some kind of visual pick-me-up. Brightening your home can definitely boost your mood, but this ...

Travel becomes inspiration for 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 ...

US home prices post 6.2 percent increase

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose a sharply in November, lifted by a shortage of homes on the market. Standard & Poor’s said its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index increased 6.2 percent in November from a year earlier after climbing 6.1 percent in ...

US new home sales tumble 9.3 percent

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans cut back their purchases of new homes in December as harsh winter weather dampened demand. The Commerce Department said new-home sales skidded 9.3 percent last month to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 625,000. It was the biggest drop since August 2016. ...

New Year’s resolutions for new homeowners

By Beth Buczynski NerdWallet We all make New Year’s resolutions, but let’s be honest: Most are wishful thinking. By February, that “lose 20 pounds” or “learn Spanish” resolution has gone right out the window. But not for you, new homeowner. This year is different. Your first ...