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Real Estate

Rethinking the basement as new living space

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press 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 ...

It’s that ‘70s (and ‘80s) show in home decor

By Kim Cook Associated Press You’ve probably noticed it in clothing stores: racks and shelves full of high-waisted flares, rib-knit turtlenecks, acid green sweatshirts and disco ball metallics. It’s that ‘70s — and ‘80s — show. These two fashion trends have, as usual, worked ...

RIGHT AT HOME: Black walls make a quiet comeback

By Kim Cook Associated Press There was a time when black walls were mostly the purview of goth teens and indie movie theaters. But the color has been quietly cultivating a broader following among designers and homeowners who want a cozy, enveloping ambiance that’s still got theatrical ...

Pending homes sales rebound in November

WASHINGTON (AP) — Americans signed more contracts to purchase homes in November, a rebound from the previous month, indicating that the housing market is still strong. The National Association of Realtors said its pending home sales index, which measures the numbers of purchase contracts ...

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 ...

Adding solar panels to your home

NEW YORK (AP) — Homeowners are clamoring to power through blackouts that have become a regrettably frequent part of life in California. The cost of solar panels and batteries has fallen. And a new California law will require all new homes to produce as much energy as they consume beginning in ...

Small touches create a great master bathroom

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press It’s easy to design a gorgeous master bathroom if you have a huge budget. But with the right choices, says interior designer Gabriel Anderson, you can have an exceptional master bath without overspending. “Having huge expanses of marble is amazing ...

Solutions and help for small-space living

By Kim Cook Associated Press Setting up home in a small apartment poses all sorts of challenges. First, there’s the floorplan: With small rooms come issues like storage, and where to put the bed. Then there’s the furniture: Will it fit up the stairs, and will you need a toolbox and ...

3 things that change when you own a home

By Courtney Jespersen NerdWallet You signed the papers, got the keys and opened the front door. Now, that quaint little place is all yours. But more freedom comes with more responsibility. A lot changes once you’re a homeowner. Here’s how to prepare for a few of the adjustments — ...

What will kitchens of the future look like?

By Kim Cook Associated Press Today’s home kitchen doesn’t look anything like it did a century ago. But for the most part, it doesn’t look a lot different than 50 years ago. Appliances are sleeker, materials are better, color palettes are broader. But the room is still the ...

Ask a designer: Options abound in flooring today

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press A stunning sofa or a beautiful wall color might catch your eye when you enter someone’s home. But flooring is the key to any room, says interior designer Elina Cardet. As the visual base for every other design choice, “flooring is the most important ...

Salvage shops offer sustainable decor with a story

By Katherine Roth Associated Press Two of the hottest trends in home decor are sustainability and authenticity. No wonder architectural salvage shops are busy. Homeowners love features that come with a story, says Rich Ellis, publisher of Architectural Salvage and Antique Lumber ...

`Like theater in tile form’: Tile’s patterns, designs expand

By Kim Cook Associated Press People have been surfacing floors and walls in tile for hundreds of years; it’s one of our oldest materials. But the industry keeps reinventing the product. Digital printing and fabricating advances can now realistically replicate wood, metal, textile, ...

Open and shut case: 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 ...

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 ...

Right at home: Design and decor with British flair

By Kim Cook Associated Press Britain’s political climate may be gloomy, but on the decor front the sun is shining. Young designers and established firms are crafting furniture, lighting and accessory collections that celebrate vintage patterns, tweak the traditional and offer a new take on ...

Rethinking the holiday dining room

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press There’s a lot of home decorating advice out there on how to create the perfect kitchen. But what goes into designing a truly great dining room? As the holiday entertaining season approaches, it’s worth re-examining the dining area. In homes that ...

Biophilic decor: Ways to bring the feel of nature indoors

By Kim Cook Associated Press The term “biophilia,” an affinity for the living world, was coined back in the 1980s by American biologist and author E.O. Wilson. We have an instinctive drive to connect with nature, he said, and the more we connect, the happier we are. That’s why a walk ...

Eyes up: Raising the ceiling can dramatically 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 ...

Drab and boring? Not these laundry rooms

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Doing laundry is a relatively boring task. But it doesn’t have to be done in a drab, boring room. With a few strategic changes, even a small laundry room can become a space that’s appealing to be in and can double as a room for other activities ...