Articles filed under Home & Garden

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  • Timing is perfect for starting seeds indoors for annuals Feb 24, 2015 6:00 AM
    It’s not too soon to begin growing seeds of annuals that get off to a slow start, such as pansies, violas, snapdragons and lobelia. While garden centers will offer many favorite flowers as transplants, when you start plants from seed the choices are seemingly endless.

  • Explore the alternatives to granite countertops Feb 23, 2015 6:00 AM
    Granite has long been a popular countertop material for homeowners looking to combine functionality with aesthetic appeal in their kitchens.

  • Designer Sandra Nunnerley: ‘There are no rules. . . . Mix it up.’ Feb 22, 2015 6:00 AM
    Q. My home has a room designated as my husband’s office. We really don’t have any art up. We have an ocean blue wall color. Any suggestions on art pieces to use? How about photos? Black-and-white vs. color?

  • Huge plant waited 80 years to flower, has month to live Feb 22, 2015 4:15 PM
    The unusually old specimen has called Ann Arbor home since 1934. It grew to 28 feet tall after a rapid growth spurt last spring that preceded its flowering, which ended last year. Once it stopped flowering, the agave went into rapid decline, which is normal for the species, said Mike Palmer, horticulture manager at the school’s Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

  • Home electronics must act, and look, the coolest Feb 22, 2015 7:00 AM
    Once upon a time, home technology — alarm systems, vacuums and the like — was pretty much all about function. Then along came Apple, and now consumers demand that their smoke detectors and thermostats look as slick as their laptops and phones. There’s been a “waterfall effect,” says Washington interior designer Anna Matthews.

  • Japan’s Taisho Period inspired urns Feb 22, 2015 5:01 AM
    Q. I am enclosing a photo of two “cookie jars” or urns that have been in my family for over 60 years. I recently read your column featuring Satsuma vases, and mine are similar to those.

  • Finding beauty in the cold light of day Feb 21, 2015 7:00 AM
    For restless gardeners, the next four weeks offer a window for sowing spring peas. Common garden peas, snow peas, snap peas — all will take to the frigid soil like ducklings to water. They also face their own infant perils: Freshly sown peas can prove a delectable snack to squirrels as well as chipmunks perking up from their winter lethargy.

  • Healthier spaces becoming a trend Feb 21, 2015 7:00 AM
    This year a new trend will be launched in the design of homes, other buildings and communities. The objective will be to design and build better and healthier structures.

  • Dual-use furnishings can be elegant, functional Feb 21, 2015 7:00 AM
    When sensible furnishings are discussed, one could get the hint that you might be sacrificing style and panache for function. Gratefully, that is not the case!

  • Humble mudroom a necessity during snowy winters Feb 20, 2015 6:00 AM
    There may not be a room in America more adored at this moment than the humble mudroom. Many older homes in regions where snow falls have been built with at least one such space, either at the back of the house or near a front entry.

  • Tall and handsome dressers for small places Feb 20, 2015 12:01 AM
    Dressers, which are often the catch-all for socks, pajamas and off-duty garb such as jeans and T-shirts, are just as important as closets.

  • Using a table for home projects makes it a candidate for repairs Feb 20, 2015 12:00 AM
    Do you have a workbench, or do you just use your kitchen or dining-room table as one when you are working on projects? Well, you are not alone. It turns out that a lot of our readers do, too. So, how does that table look? Well, again, you are not alone. Here are some fixes for the most common problems.

  • Five steps to a more germ-free kitchen Feb 18, 2015 6:01 AM
    Even the tidiest kitchens might be harboring harmful bacteria, and often where they’re least expected. Paying more attention to a few often-overlooked places can help keep your household safer, experts say. For starters, home cooks should have four watchwords, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: clean, separate, cook and chill. Watch for cross-contamination, particularly with meats and vegetables; cook everything thoroughly; and keep both raw and cooked foods sufficiently cold when needed.

  • Bartlett taking orders for replacement trees Feb 17, 2015 5:05 PM
    The village of Bartlett is taking orders on a first-come, first-served basis for new trees that will replace those removed because of the destructive emerald ash borer. Homeowners and the village split the cost of the replacement program. This year, Bartlett is offering a larger number of trees and more species.

  • Get rid of the clutter Feb 17, 2015 4:19 PM
    “Digging Deep: Opening the Door to More through Decluttering” will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 18, at the Byron Colby Barn at Prairie Crossing, 1561 Jones Point Road, Grayslake.

  • Booster fans could help make up for weak airflow Feb 24, 2015 7:35 PM
    Q. Do you recommend booster fans to push more air to rooms farthest away from the furnace? I’ve tried adjusting the dampers, but that doesn’t seem to solve the problem for the longest runs.

  • Don’t give up on finding replacements for mother’s china Feb 16, 2015 6:00 AM
    Q. I have enclosed a picture of a piece of my mother’s china. Several years ago, my daughter-in-law sent a picture of it to a china replacement firm, and they were not able to identify the pattern.

  • Kitchens double as party hot spots Feb 16, 2015 1:01 AM
    Since prehistoric times, the hearth of a dwelling has been the most important feature in the home. Fire produced warmth for cold climates and also heat so food could be prepared.

  • Lincolnshire tree removal Feb 15, 2015 4:10 PM
    Lincolnshire officials say work is expected to being in the next two weeks to remove dead and potentially hazardous parkway trees infected with the emerald ash borer.

  • Home devices that never turn off cost you a lot of money Feb 15, 2015 7:36 AM
    If your home has a smart meter, here’s an experiment: Log in to your power company’s website, and see how much electricity you use during the hour from 3 to 4 a.m. daily. You’ll likely find a significant amount of power being gobbled up. Meet the problem that energy researchers call MEL — the “miscellaneous electrical load.” Its name says it all: It refers to all the power use from miscellaneous electronics and other objects in your home that are not major appliances, lighting or heating and cooling.

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