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Articles filed under Home & Garden

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  • Holiday Lights Contest: A look back Dec 16, 2014 1:22 AM
    As the deadline to enter the 2014 Daily Herald Holiday Lights Contest draws near, we revisit the winners of Christmas past. This year's top prize is a Toro snowblower with an MSRP of $829. You have until 11:59 p.m. Sunday to submit a photo of your home.

  • Images: Past Holiday Lights Contest winners Dec 12, 2014 12:20 AM
    As the deadline to enter the 2014 Daily Herald Holiday Lights Contest draws near, we revisit the winners of Christmas past.

  • Enter our holiday lights contest Dec 12, 2014 9:25 AM
    You worked hard to untangle all those holiday lights. Here's your chance to be rewarded for it -- if you enter our holiday lights contest. Midnight Sunday is the deadline to enter. The grand prize is a Toro snow blower valued at $829.

  • Ignore those ugly rumors about mulch Dec 10, 2014 6:00 AM
    Rumor has it that mulching your garden beds or trees and shrubs could starve your plants. It’s a rumor that has circulated for the past 40 years or so, ever since mulching surged in popularity as a way to quell weeds and conserve water. Is there anything to it? If anything, you’d think that nutrients in mulches would help nourish plants, not starve them.

  • From Japan, the joy of minimalism at home Dec 9, 2014 6:15 AM
    If you haven’t communed with your socks lately, thanked your shoes for their hard work or bowed (at least mentally) to your home in appreciation, maybe it’s time to consider it. “It is very natural for me to say thank you to the goods that support us,” says Marie Kondo, whose method of lovingly connecting with belongings that “spark joy” and bidding a fond but firm farewell to the rest is popular in Japan and now catching on elsewhere.

  • Floor pillows are back! Dec 8, 2014 12:00 AM
    It seems that every generation discovers the simple pleasure of the lowly floor pillow. Not only is it fun to flop on the floor, but also large floor pillows often take the place of more bulky pieces of furniture.

  • New twists on a holiday symbol Dec 8, 2014 6:15 AM
    Say “wreath,” and the beloved evergreen standard comes to mind. Each year, however, brings more and more inventive versions of wreaths. Today’s wreath might be a square, star or rectangle. Traditional holiday colors might cede ground to vibrant limes, deep indigo, pale pink or soft cream.

  • Venus Williams serves up interior design Dec 6, 2014 12:01 AM
    This is what you get when you hire tennis star Venus Williams as your interior decorator: an enthusiastic designer who has traveled the world, drawing inspiration from Moscow to Beijing, but never quite had time to complete formal training.

  • Faux fur, for less hidebound homes Dec 6, 2014 12:01 AM
    What’s that furry thing beneath the dinner plate in the Pottery Barn holiday catalog? It’s a faux-fur place mat, the latest home product to be made of that soft, luxurious fabric.

  • Enjoy water fixtures all year by winterizing Dec 6, 2014 1:01 AM
    For many people with backyard ponds, fountains and other water-garden fixtures, the arrival of cold weather means draining the pipes and pulling the plug.

  • Leave fallen leaves on shrubs, perennials Dec 6, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. With the cold weather upon us, I still have many fallen leaves on my yard and bushes. Is it necessary to remove them?

  • To sleep? Perchance to phone, text and watch TV, too! Dec 5, 2014 6:00 AM
    Q. We spend a lot of time in our bedroom. Before we moved, we had plenty of space for a sofa to watch TV and for my home office. However, the bedroom in our new home is only average size. I need help making it work for our lifestyle.

  • Our holiday lights contest is back for 2014 Dec 16, 2014 1:25 AM
    Is a snowblower on your Christmas list this year? If so, you might not have to rely on Santa to deliver it. The top prize in our 2014 holiday lights contest is a Toro model with an MSRP of $829. All you have to do is snap a photo of your well-lit home and submit it online at dailyherald/contest/holidaylights. For tips on how to take a great photo, check out this video tutorial by one of our experts, Night Photo Editor Patrick Kunzer. Entries will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, Dec. 14. Online voting begins Tuesday, Dec. 15, and we’ll announce the grand prize winner in the Dec. 23 edition. We’ll also select Editor’s Choice winners in DuPage and Lake counties, the Tri-Cities, the upper Fox Valley and the Northwest suburbs who will receive $25 gift certificates from a local restaurant. And one random voter will win a Toro snowblower with an MSRP of $439.

  • It’s fall, and boxelder bugs want in Dec 5, 2014 5:45 AM
    Batten down the hatches. It’s that time of year when boxelder bugs are snooping around looking for a winter home. Your home and mine, that is. You know these bugs. They are about a half-inch long and charcoal gray, with three red stripes on their thorax and red veins on their wings.

  • How to incorporate a collection into your decor Dec 5, 2014 6:01 AM
    In “Collected. Living With the Things You Love,” Fritz Karch and Rebecca Robertson present 250 wide-ranging collections, showing how they can become part of a home’s decor.

  • Consider windbreaks to protect evergreens Dec 4, 2014 1:01 AM
    Q. Last spring I found a lot of brown needles on my evergreens. I think it was a type of “winter burn” due to strong cold winds. How can I prepare my evergreens to avoid that problem this year?

  • Sneak peek: Geneva Christmas House Tour homes Dec 3, 2014 7:01 AM
    Get holiday decorating ideas at the annual Christmas House Tour. Five homes, each with their own distinctive character, will open for self-guided tours from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 5 and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 6. Each home will shine in holiday adornments presented by local decorators and designers.

  • Find holiday spirit at Geneva Christmas Walk and House Tour Dec 2, 2014 7:01 PM
    It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the holiday elves have been busy creating a magical experience in Geneva for its 47th Christmas Walk on Friday, Dec. 5, and House Tour festivities on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 5-6.

  • Visitors see plenty of reds — and whites and pinks — at Cantigny Dec 2, 2014 4:15 PM
    It was a day to see red. Lots and lots of red. Roughly 350 visitors got the chance to visit the Cantigny Park greenhouse Tuesday to check out the Wheaton facility’s one-day-only Shades of Crimson poinsettia display.

  • Art of flower arranging meets holiday decor Dec 2, 2014 6:00 AM
    Holiday decorations in the U.S. are often symmetrical. The ancient Japanese art of ikebana, or flower arranging, can provide festive sparkle and color, too, with a much more modern feel. “The three basic tenets are line, movement and open space,” said Eileen Kay, a retired elementary-school teacher in Boulder, Colorado, who has been studying ikebana for years.

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