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Real Estate

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 ...

Upgrading your space at home? Get it insured

By Ben Moore of NerdWallet As many Americans face months on end stuck indoors, some are using their time (and money) to create a change of scenery or upgrade their surroundings. Office equipment purchases are on the rise, and people are tackling more renovation projects than usual. But ...

Ask a designer: Rethinking the basement for 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 ...

Home costs don’t stop at a down payment

By Sara Rathner of NerdWallet If you’re saving for your first home, there’s no shortage of advice out there — some of it questionable, even if you do have an avocado toast habit. Still, it’s true that your down payment may be the biggest check you ever write. But once you move in, ...

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: 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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Right at home: Look of hand-drawn art is hot in decor

By Kim Cook Associated Press Hand-crafted is popular these days, and many home decorators are looking for unique textiles and other furnishings that feature the look of hand-drawn art. Items like the eclectic, playful wallpapers of Brooklyn-based artist Aimee Wilder , who designed for ...

Tips on making a room feel bigger

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press As the weather gets colder and we come indoors, it’s easy to wish your indoor space had some of the open, airy feeling of the outdoors. It is possible to make a room feel larger than it really is: Choosing the right colors and finishes and arranging ...

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 ...

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 ...

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 ...

Ask a Designer: Creating closet organization that lasts

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Most people don’t start out with a messy closet. Even when a closet is carefully organized at the beginning, however, it might not take long for order to turn to chaos. “It’s common for clients to struggle with keeping the momentum going,” says ...

Wanderlust woes? Decor ideas for the housebound traveler

By Kim Cook Associated Press If your actual travel plans are on hold, you can soothe your wanderlust with a few home décor change-ups or additions. Whether you’re wishing you were at a wilderness cabin, the beach or an exotic passport destination, designers and retailers are offering ...

Make a home down payment without wrecking your finances

By Barbara Marquand of NerdWallet Maximizing a home down payment can make sense: The bigger the down payment, the lower the monthly mortgage bill and the better the chance of building equity more quickly. But putting too much down could leave you without enough cash for home maintenance ...

Interior doors can add light, personality

By Melissa Rayworth Associated Press Clients are sometimes surprised when home builder and designer Marnie Oursler starts talking about bedroom doors. They expect to discuss things like windows, wall colors and where a built-in bookcase might fit best. But many of Oursler’s clients ...

April construction spending falls 2.9% as virus upends work

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. construction spending fell 2.9% in April, the largest drop in 18 months, with broad declines across all building activity as shutdowns hobbled projects and workers were told to stay home. The Commerce Department said that the April decline was the biggest monthly ...

So you want a new kitchen? Tips for starting

By Katherine Roth Associated Press So you want a new kitchen? Whether you’re considering designing a kitchen using your own architect, a kitchen planner hired through a store like IKEA or Home Depot, or an online planning service, professionals suggest keeping a few things in mind. PLAN ...