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Real Estate

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 ...

Preparing a swoon-worthy vacation rental

By Kim Cook Associated Press If you’re thinking of listing your home as a vacation rental, have a listen to what travelers say makes a space inviting and welcoming, and what’s a turnoff. For starters, amenities and cleanliness matter. “I would have loved better sheets and towels as ...

Ask a designer: Creating the perfect kitchen island

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Interior designer Abbe Fenimore knew that adding a kitchen island was one of the most important decisions she’d make in remodeling her 1940s-era home in Dallas. A well-designed kitchen island can offer storage space, a work surface, comfortable seating ...

Right at home: Terracotta makes a color comeback

By Kim Cook Associated Press There was a time not that long ago when designers were tearing out anything terracotta-colored, whether it was tile, painted walls or upholstered furniture. A darling hue of the ‘80s, the brownish orange — evocative of terracotta earthenware — was ...

Natural light sets nice mood, builders seek more

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press The first year that Bob Webb Homes used transom windows in the showcase house the company built for a home tour, visitors described the house as bright, warm and inviting. While few mentioned the windows, company representatives said tour ...

5 ways the right lighting can elevate your home

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press When you shop for a new sofa or another piece of furniture, it’s not hard to envision how it might look in your living room. And if you’re considering a new wall color, you can test pretty simply with swatches. But shopping for lighting can be more ...

Moody blues: Inky hues saturate home decor

By Kim Cook Associated Press In fashion, it’s replaced black as the new dress-up color. And it’s riding a wave of popularity into home decor, too. What’s the buzz about? The color blue. And while all blues, from baby to sky, are popular, it’s the deep, inky ones that are exciting ...

Fall decor’s style song: feel-good vibes and personality

By Kim Cook Associated Press For keen serial redecorators, it’s time to start thinking about an autumn refresh. This fall, interior designers say there’s demand for eclectic styles, interesting prints, rich hues and warm textures. STYLE SENSE The trim, tailored lines of midcentury ...

Creative spaces are often works in progress

By Katherine Roth Associated Press How do you create a space conducive to creative thinking? A number of recent books explore the working environments of creative people in search of hints and inspiration. “They’re not highly produced spaces. They are spaces that reflect the real ...

US home sales rose 2.5% in July, aided by low mortgage rates

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home sales increased 2.5% in July, a sign that lower mortgage rates have produced a spurt of home-buying. The National Association of Realtors said Wednesday homes sold last month at a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.42 million units, up from 5.29 million in ...

Creativity, functionality matter in playroom decor

By Kim Cook Associated Press Go bold. Stay practical. Think long-term. These are among the tips offered by interior decorators for creating a fresh, fun — even inspiring — playroom for kids. ——— FOSTER CREATIVITY “I love bold choices in a playroom,” says Mel Bean, a ...

Choosing the right rug for the room

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press A warm, cozy rug can make a room look and feel more appealing on even the chilliest fall night. And the right rug can be a source of comfort year-round. “They’re also great in the summer, if you think about it, because your shoes are off, you’re ...

The ‘good enough’ home may be just perfect

By Barbara Marquand NerdWallet Constructed from aspirational Instagram feeds and reality TV, the dream home floats in the imagination like a castle in the sky but dissolves in the rain of hard numbers. Chasing the dream can lure buyers to overextend themselves financially. Or the high ...

Remember the ceiling when decorating a room

By Sarah Wolfe For The Associated Press Ceilings are the Rodney Dangerfield of homes. They get no respect. But there are plenty of easy ways to make over this oft-overlooked area, from the quirky charm of Victorian-era, pressed-tin tiles and beadboard to a simple splash of ...

From Zen to zany, backyards with style and personality

By Kim Cook Associated Press For some people, backyards aren’t just backyards anymore. “We’re seeing everything from Zen retreats for al fresco yoga to whimsical children’s spaces that go way beyond the typical swing set,” says Jennifer Bringle, editor in chief of Casual Living ...

Designers look skyward for inspiration

By Kim Cook Associated Press Designer Lee Broom was vacationing at a friend’s house in the Cotswolds, an idyllic bit of rural England. “I’m a city boy, brought up in the Midlands and living in London for the past 25 years, so had never really experienced that intense blanket of stars ...