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Articles filed under Home & Garden

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  • Camouflage craze finds its way into home decor Nov 8, 2014 6:45 AM
    You can run, but you can't hide ... or can you? The latest trend in fashion, accessories and home decor fabrics are inspired by war. Camouflage is everywhere in the trendy windows of Milan furniture stores. Everything from pants to lampshades to fine cabinetry has adopted the olive, tan and brown patterned prints.

     
  • How clotheshorses can rein in wardrobes Nov 8, 2014 7:00 AM
    Urban life and high fashion seem to go together. But the closet space that typically comes with most city apartments is laughable and calls for creative, outside-the-box solutions.

     
  • Japan’s chrysanthemums: More than symbol of autumn Nov 7, 2014 6:01 AM
    When Americans think of flowers and Japan, we think of cherry blossoms. But to the Japanese, there’s a flower for every time of year, and right now, it’s the chrysanthemum, celebrated in festivals, shows and home displays. Like the cherry blossom, the chrysanthemum, called “kiku” in Japanese, symbolizes the season, but more than that, it’s a symbol of the country itself. The monarchy is referred to as the Chrysanthemum Throne and the imperial crest is a stylized mum blossom. That seal is embossed on Japanese passports. The flower is also a common motif in art, and it’s seen in everyday life depicted on the 50-yen coin.

     
  • Stop and smell the tulips. Some varieties, anyway Nov 7, 2014 6:00 AM
    Tulips are the floral harbingers of spring, providing brilliant bursts of color in otherwise drab surroundings. But a few varieties offer another kind of bouquet, too: They’re fragrant. “Tulips normally are planted in home gardens for color and form, but about 15 percent to 20 percent of all varieties have the added bonus of being fragrant as well,” said Jo-Anne van den Berg-Ohms.

     
  • Ask a designer: Making your clutter into decor Nov 6, 2014 6:25 AM
    Designers often surprise their clients by sharing a secret: You can dramatically change the look of a room simply by changing or rearranging the items on your bookshelves and tabletops. Just as fashion accessories can have a big impact on an outfit, the items you display on shelves and tables can have a powerful effect on the style of any room. Yet we often pay little attention to these spaces.

     
  • The bare brown room Nov 10, 2014 3:05 PM
    This is the room we have guests sit in and I just find it depressing. There is no color. I would love paintings, colored items etc, but it’s just not on the list of things to buy for the family.

     
  • ‘Navitar’ can offer some benefits of native plants, but at what cost? Nov 2, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. I have heard the term “nativar” and was wondering if such plants can replace native plants and still be effective as a producer of food for wildlife?

     
  • Cozy interior design for the colder months Nov 2, 2014 6:45 AM
    For fall and winter decor, pull out the wool, velvet, faux fur and cashmere. These luxurious materials — in drapes, rugs, throws and more — will make a home look warm and elegant.

     
  • Windows, furnishings are quick change artists Nov 2, 2014 6:30 AM
    Home decorators say that you can make surprisingly big changes to your home’s look with new window coverings and with somewhat minor furniture substitutions, rearrangements and even reupholstering.

     
  • In small spaces, how to pull off the mirror trick Nov 1, 2014 12:00 AM
    When designer Colman Riddell and her family moved into a converted 19th-century stable in Georgetown, she inherited a colossal, ornate mirror from the previous owners that stretched more than 8 feet tall. It was, by all accounts, a statement piece. “It’s impossible to ignore,” she said.

     
  • Retiring? Ditch the dark, one piece at a time Nov 1, 2014 12:01 AM
    Q. We are planning to retire at the end of the year and move to the lakeside bungalow we bought eight years ago. Suddenly, I realize our old furniture can’t make the move with us — it’s all dark wood and the upholstery is dark plaid and paisley.

     
  • Looking back at the season Nov 1, 2014 6:01 AM
    As leaves fall from trees and plants are tucked in for their winter’s nap, it is time to reflect on the growing season. Jotting down some notes now — what worked and what didn’t — will guide you to a beautiful and bountiful landscape next year.

     
  • Bring in the terra cotta for winter Oct 31, 2014 4:01 AM
    Terra cotta containers are best stored out of the elements for winter. The clay they are made from absorbs water and the freeze-and-thaw cycles of winter can cause them to crack if they are left outside.

     
  • A look back, and forward, at the evolution of the family room Oct 31, 2014 6:00 AM
    What goes into the makings of a family room? Historically, the first family rooms emerged from the hands of architects into floor plans about 50 or 60 years ago.

     
  • Preparing amaryllis for a Christmastime show Oct 30, 2014 6:00 AM
    Ready, set, go. Just as soon as you have new amaryllis bulbs, pot them up, and in a few months the spectacular, colorful trumpets will unfold. With luck, or if the bulbs were from South Africa, Brazil or greenhouses in Israel, you’ll have blooms by Christmastime. That’s because it’s spring in the southern hemisphere, and effectively so in Israeli greenhouses.

     
  • Right at home: Artistry and artifice in new tiles Oct 30, 2014 6:00 AM
    Tile has a rich and varied history in decor, from Roman floor mosaics to majolica to Delft ceramics to Mexican terracotta. These styles and more continue to inspire artistry. Many of the newest collections of ceramic and porcelain tile were on display this fall at the five-day Cersaie international exhibition in Bologna, Italy.

     
  • Beware the buckthorn; spot it this fall Oct 28, 2014 6:00 AM
    Buckthorn is a small tree or large shrub that is an invasive plant and a common weed in Chicago-area gardens. It is easy to spot in fall because it tends to hold its green leaves later than other deciduous trees and shrubs. Cut buckthorn trees at ground level and quickly treat the stumps with a systemic herbicide to kill the root system. Smaller trees can be dug out with a sharp spade.

     
  • Smart Farm in Barrington proves to be a smart idea Oct 27, 2014 2:34 PM
    Organizers with Smart Farm in Barrington are wrapping up their sixth growing season, and the numbers are staggering. This grass-roots, educational farm project produced more than 7,100 pounds of fresh vegetables — and donated 100 percent of it to food pantries. “We’re winding down now,” says founder Kathy Gabelman of Barrington, “but the garden is still producing and we could use help harvesting and preparing our beds for winter."

     
  • Plant tulips, daffodils for spring color Oct 26, 2014 8:25 AM
    Can you imagine a spring without tulips in a rainbow of colors and dazzling daffodils blooming in the landscape? After a drab and dreary winter, we long for these harbingers of spring to signal the end of winter. They announce the arrival of spring in a way no other plants can.

     
  • Let in the light Oct 30, 2014 12:46 PM
    Lighting “makes” a room. Lighting changes the mood of a room and can alter the perceived size of that space. The type of lighting chosen and the way it is placed within the room work with the wall color, furniture, floor materials, even windows and doors, to determine the character of a given space.

     
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