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Real Estate

Smart homes: Not just for tech geeks anymore

NEW YORK (AP) — Internet-connected lights, locks and laundry machines are close to becoming everyday household items, thanks in part to voice-activated speakers such as Amazon’s Echo and Google Home. Market research groups are seeing increased sales of lights that turn off when you say ...

RIGHT AT HOME: 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 ...

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 ...

‘Super pantries’ on many kitchen wish lists

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Teresa Keller used to joke that she was pantry-challenged. She often relied on a flashlight to search the deep, dark cupboard that held her canned goods and other food items. When she and her husband, Dave, decided to build a home in Sunbury, ...

New technology 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 ...

Pool landscaping: pretty with a minimum of debris

By Dean Fosdick Associated Press Landscaping around an outdoor swimming pool requires no-muss, no-fuss plant selections. The pool can be a flowery focal point, but don’t open it to litter from leaves and limbs. “Both in- and above-ground pools offer unique design challenges and ...

Bathroom hardware makes a stylish splash

By Kim Cook Associated Press Step in the bathroom, turn on the tap. Step in the shower, turn on the faucet. Just mundane parts of the daily routine, right? Yet for bathware designers, they’re anything but. These creative minds dive deep into what they call “the water delivery ...

Gray 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. ...

Find inspiration in public spaces’ decor

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Sometimes, sitting in a public place like a hotel lobby, you notice a mix of colors youíd never considered using in your own home — and you realize you absolutely love it. Or you see furniture that’s much more modern than you thought you liked, ...

Spring decor trends: soothing, soft, stylish

By Kim Cook Associated Press If you’re looking for respite from this winter’s weather and news, you’ll find plenty of peace and quiet in the spring offerings beginning to show up at home decor retailers. Two of the biggest trends at home furnishings trade shows have been pop-culture ...

Bold decor, and you still get the security deposit

By Melissa Kossler Dutton Associated Press Noelle Daumeyer and her roommates knew they needed a big, bold art piece to decorate the bland, white walls in the living room of their rented apartment, but they also worried about damaging the paint. They solved the problem by painting their ...

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 ...

Mix-and-match decor: In with the old … and in with the new

By Kim Cook Associated Press An early, painted Swedish sideboard next to a leather sectional. An ornate Italian walnut headboard on a bed dressed in featherweight linen. A collection of colorful 1930s Fiestaware pottery on a Lucite bookshelf. Mixing vintage and modern elements is one of ...

Right at home: Ceilings with something to say

By Kim Cook Associated Press The ceiling — sometimes referred to as a room’s fifth wall — often gets short shrift in decorating schemes. Walls and furnishings take center stage while the acreage overhead receives a coat of neutral white paint, with perhaps a snazzy ceiling ...

Home improvements that may not pay off

By Kate Wood NerdWallet You spent the holidays binging on HGTV, and now visions of shiplap accent walls and freestanding soaking tubs are dancing through your head. Donít let your desire to upgrade your home downgrade your home’s market value. Before you make a renovation fantasy a ...

Til decor do us part? How couples can decorate together

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Sharing a home with someone you love can be wonderful. But decorating together isn’t always easy, especially when your tastes aren’t the same. If one partner loves filling every space with mementos and the other is clutter-averse, who gets their ...

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 ...

Easy ways to brighten rooms in winter

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press When home designer and builder Marnie Oursler talks with clients about building their dream homes along the Delaware coast, their No. 1 request is having bright spaces with lots of natural light. But at this time of year, it can feel like that ...

Small home living: not `downsizing’ but `right-sizing’

By Katherine Roth Associated Press With the current trend toward de-cluttering and downsizing, there are plenty of books about how to winnow down possessions to the few that are truly necessary and loved. This book shows how you can live well once that’s done. In “Downsize: Living ...

US home price gains accelerate amid smaller supply of homes

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. home prices rose at a faster pace in November than the previous month as lower mortgage rates and a sharp drop in available properties have pushed would-be buyers to bid up home values. The S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller 20-city home price index rose 2.6% in November ...