Home & Garden - Decorating, Design, Remodeling & Gardening Blog
Home & Garden - Decorating, Design, Remodeling & Gardening Blog
Eco-friendly roofs were once concepts. Not anymore. These days, many savvy homeowners incorporate energy-efficient technologies on their roofs to save energy and money. Here are several energy-efficent DIY options for residential roofs

While it's not as easy as building a birdhouse, the thought of building your own deck need not lead to a panic attack. Here's how to build a deck for summertime fun. Doing it yourself isn't as tough as you think

Depending on where you live and what climate you live in -- not to mention the material from which your home's exterior is crafted -- the time in between exterior home paintings can vary widely. Here are some guidelines

Water features are an attractive addition to your backyard that can improve your mood -- and your home's value. Building one yourself will not only save money, but it's also a great DIY project for the whole family

It's time to get healthy soil back into your yard and garden for spring planting, and compost will give your seeds and seedlings the nutrients they need



  • Is your garage primarily a spot for your car, workshop or storage? Maybe it's a multi-functional space. If so, you might want different flooring in separate areas. Here are some excellent garage flooring choices for each use

  • Keeping your garage organized can feel like an uphill battle. But now that spring has sprung, it's time to restore some much-needed order. Here's a spring cleaning game plan to get your garage into tip-top shape once and for all

  • The sight of a stuffed-to-the-gills garage might cause you to abandon hope. However, organization is easier than you might think. Here's how in one weekend and a little creative thought, your car might once again fit in the garage

  • Fortunately, when it comes to breaking out your springtime supplies, there are ways to make this dismal chore a more pleasant process. Follow these tips to make your transition a highly organized and efficient routine

  • Mowers, blowers and trimmers tend to be out of sorts when awoken from their winter slumber. A bit of TLC and maintenance will soon put them in fine form. A couple hours dedicated to tune-ups also saves time, money and aggravation

  • Now that spring is upon us, it’s time to shed the winter blahs and perk up your home and your outlook on life. Fortunately, there are easy ways to brighten your environment and your state of mind simultaneously

  • You spend about a third of your life sleeping, so it stands to reason that you want to be as comfortable as possible while you do it. Follow this advice for pillow care that will help you get the best rest possible

  • Autumn brings spectacular colors to your landscape, whether it's from trees turning color, plants blooming in familiar fall colors, or ornamental grasses. You can make the most of your fall garden with these inspirational ideas and tips

  • Replacing an old wood floor can be time-consuming and expensive. If you don't have the bandwidth or budget to refinish old wood floors, try updating them with paint. All you need are the right tools and a favorite paint color

  • Today's home appliances are light years better. Their superb energy-efficiency helps create an eco-friendly home and they also save you money. But you'll pay more upfront for most eco-friendly appliances -- so is it worth it to go green? Here's a comparison

  • Layered rugs are a growing trend in the world of interior design. This trend creates a collected, textural feel for a room that satisfies and surprises. But trying to achieve such a look makes for tricky work

  • Potted flowers add interest and life both indoors and out, but you make them pop even more with this easy DIY paint idea. Here's how to paint outdoor pots and add some extra charm to your flower displays

  • Why struggle with houseplants that drop leaves, need constant care or look sickly? Choose houseplants that will thrive in the low-light and low-humidity conditions in most homes. Try one (or more!) of these nearly foolproof plants that anyone can grow

  • Poor, innocent indoor houseplants. Death by brown thumb is never a pretty sight. Here are the top five most common way to commit planticide -- and how to to keep your plants healthy in the future

  • Perennials are an easy way to keep your garden looking lovely year after year. Here's what you need to know before you choose the right perennials for your home

  • Use lighting to make the most of your outdoor landscape, no matter the time of day. Here's what you need to consider when planning your landscape lighting

  • As spring approaches, avid gardeners begin to get that familiar urge to get their green thumbs outside. But if this is your first foray, garden tasks can feel daunting. Ease into it by following these simple spring garden preparation tips

  • The last thing you want is for your air conditioner to conk out on you. Whether you rely on a window unit or central air, easy A/C maintenance tips will keep the cool air flowing when you need it. Here's the pros easy ways to ensure your system keeps running

  • Cutting energy and water use is the best way to save money and make the planet more green in the process. These simple green living tips could save you hundreds of dollars a year on your utility bills -- and they only require a few simple changes to your daily life

  • When the fall and winter seasons hit, green thumbs tend to go into hibernation. But if you feel that horticultural itch year round, you have options beyond the basic perennials' upkeep: You can grow vegetables

  • Can't afford a complete bathroom remodel? Try these small, inexpensive updates to give your bathroom a new feel in no time

  • Love to decorate but short on cash? Make your home festive, without breaking the bank! Here's how

  • Houseplants add interest and an element of the outdoors to any room. Here's how to add these green beauties to your interior decor

  • These expert finds will trick out your man cave with amenities so genius you'll never want to leave

  • An A to Z explanations of the most common lighting terms

  • When magazines, kids' projects and other random papers take over my house, here's how I take charge

  • You can enhance your living space and your inner space. All you need is a little innovation and clarity of vision. Here's what I suggest

  • This summer, thousands of people will get sick because they didn't follow food safety rules. Here's what you need to know so you won't be one of them

  • Whether you have $5 to spend on cleaning products or $50, these simple tips will help you clean house on a very limited budget

  • Get your home ready for spring with an all-over cleaning that's efficient and eco-aware

  • Instead of continuing to guiltily toss my carrot peels and apple cores in with the rest of the garbage, I asked composting expert Deb Martin for some tips on using waste wisely

  • Here are five sneaky coupon strategies, as well as tips on using this knowledge to make smarter purchasing decisions

  • As fall marches on, and mild conditions give way to cooler temperatures, more ample rain and gusty winds, now is the time to get going on your garden to-do list before it becomes less comfortable to work outdoors

  • The colors of autumn are more often associated with falling leaves than they are with colorful blooms. Many fall-blooming plants are triggered into flower when days shorten and temperatures begin to cool

  • On a blazing October day, gardening may be the last thing on your mind. The spring blooming bulbs I ordered have arrived in the mail, and planting them on a nice day makes the job a lot more pleasurable

  • Walls, hedges, arbors, walkways, patios and other conspicuous elements can help structure a garden and transform the spaces within it

  • There was a time in my early gardening career when the fall season made me melancholy. Over the years, I have learned to include a few plants in my garden that provide something to look at as the rest of the garden fades from sight until spring

  • Fall is upon us, and for most of us this means the gardening season is beginning to wind down. But by no means write off the possibility of beautiful blooms. Fortunately, there are a few plants that wait until fall to look their best -- and without them my garden would look tired at this time of year

  • Several years ago the nursery industry came up with a slogan, 'Fall is for planting.' The objectives were to help educate gardeners and to extend the selling season. The advice is sound and for several reasons

  • For many gardeners, August is a tough time. Temperatures usually hit an annual high, rain is infrequent, and daylight begins to shorten. While some may throw in the towel (or trowel, as it were), those of us who have been at it for a while know that this is the time to start sowing seeds for cool-weather crops

  • Nothing beats the taste of berries harvested right from bushes in your own back yard. The bushes are easy to grow and require very little work for the amount of fruit they produce

  • I look for flowering plants that give a lot of bang for the buck but don't require all the deadheading. One of my favorites is agapanthus. These South African natives produce large umbels of beautiful funnel-shaped flowers atop tall sturdy stems

  • Gardening during the heat of summer can be grueling, but it needn't be. With a little common sense and some planning, midsummer gardening can be easy on you while giving your garden the attention it continues to need.

  • Gardening in small spaces is a trend that has taken hold with apartment dwellers, condo owners, and those who either don't have enough space for a large garden or the need for one. Here are several options for small space gardens, and some don't even require ground to plant in

  • Here are four herbs that I constantly use in my dishes for health and therapeutic benefits, and why you should use them too

  • These habits take minimal time while benefiting the environment -- and your wallet

  • Keep your air-conditioning costs down with these strategies

  • Physical places endure while memories and people fade, so homes and neighborhoods become 'memory machines' that help us keep alive some of the strongest sources of what has given our lives meaning, well-being, and happiness

  • The eat-in kitchen, once a standard fixture in many homes, is back in vogue. The comfort and nostalgia of the eat-in kitchen is showing up in new homes and renovations. The eat-in kitchen harkens back to family meals on the table by 6 p.m. and all things warm and homey. But beyond the eat-in kitchen's sentimental appeal is its practicality

  • The vibrancy of spring is not limited simply to plant life in the garden; bird life too is abundant. It seems each day this week I have noticed new birds that have not been here since last fall. Every morning my garden sounds like a symphony warming up! To encourage birds into my garden I have set up a variety of different birdhouses around the property

  • Cultivating a garden with your family can offer a bounty of benefits to you and your kids. Along with fostering your kids' fondness for fresh fruits and veggies, gardening with your children can enhance their eco-consciousness. Even if you've never picked up a trowel, starting a garden can be a snap! Here, four easy ways to build a kid-friendly plot that thrives

  • Yesterday I potted up one of my favorite spring container plantings: violas in a strawberry jar. I have been collecting strawberry planters (often referred to as strawberry jars) for years. These odd shaped, often cylindrical planters have numerous openings in their sides and one large opening at the top

  • Outdoor living spaces are increasingly more popular places to enjoy as summer approaches. Current trends in outdoor living areas feature dining options, fireplaces, water features, lavish gardens, even such high-tech accents as televisions. However you plan to use your outdoor space, to create a setting you can enjoy all year long, try to incorporate these 5 elements

  • April is when I start my annual plant relocation process, and my trusty shovel is frequently pressed into service. Inevitably, there are small trees, shrubs or perennials that have either outgrown their allocated space, crowding their neighbors, or that would look better somewhere else in the garden. Relocating plants in your garden is a relatively simple task

  • The best way to keep a good garden is to anticipate seasonal work and stay ahead of it. It is all about timing, really, and starting early keeps me from playing catch-up later in the season. Staying ahead of garden chores means making lists and prioritizing. It also means paying close attention to the weather

  • A quick trip to your local garden center is the perfect way to get a case of spring fever. A quick tour spring planting stock will get you excited about the warm days ahead

  • With energy costs on the rise, this summer could be sweaty and expensive. But there are some easy ways to trim your cooling costs without suffering through 90-degree evenings, sans air conditioning. In fact, if you start preparing for the coming heat wave now, you can probably save a few hundred dollars. Here's how

  • Moving isn't the end of the world but it can certainly feel like it. It's stressful, frustrating and downright exhausting. In fact, moving is among the top 20 life stressors that include the death of a spouse, getting married, or being fired. But armed with some simple tips, you can make it through unscathed

  • As a busy, penny-wise, green-minded mama, I'm on an ever-present mission to find new uses for things that may otherwise end up as trash. Here's what I discovered

  • If you own a home, you might want to start thinking about the IRS. According to Julian Block's Home Sellers' Guide to Tax Savings, there are ways to lighten your tax load whether you're living in your home or selling it

  • You're not alone in the war against dust. It affects just about everyone, except those who work in laboratories and factories where dust can seriously affect the outcome of tests or the manufacturing of certain items.

  • Fireplace restoration can be an enormous job. I always say that anything is possible if you have enough resources, which sometimes includes lots of money. This job, however, needs abundant skill, time and a deep knowledge of the building code.

  • Colors can generate strong reactions. Some love red rooms, while others couldn't function if their rooms weren't bathed in white. But gray is the one shade that's a color chameleon, blending in wherever you use it

  • Freshening up your house from top to bottom can seem daunting, but if you tackle one room at a time and get the whole family involved, you'll be finished before you hear the first round of 'Are we done yet?' Add a hint of green to your annual spring-cleaning fest with these tips for sprucing up every room in the house

  • Few things are as satisfying as a thorough spring cleaning of your home -- inside and out -- including areas that don't need regular sprucing. Here are some tips to get the job done right

  • If you live in a loft or large, open-concept home, defining your space can be a challenge. Or maybe your apartment and your furniture seem at odds with one another. Fortunately, there's one decorating accent that can unify all these situations -- the humble area rug. But far from being simply something to walk on, area rugs can solve a number of problems. Here's how

  • Although there's nothing we can do about Mother Nature's stubborn grip on winter, we can freshen up our homes for the spring that will eventually arrive -- and help us feel better while we wait

  • When it comes to furniture, there's a distinct difference between cheap and inexpensive. Inexpensive furniture tends to fall apart and not look as good as more costly furniture. But buying quality furniture can take a big bite out of your budget. So how can you get a good value on both price and quality? Savvy shopping is the key

  • In many youngsters' bedrooms, the emphasis is clearly on succeeding in sports, technology or fashion. However, a room designed around making education and learning cool could help make your teen more school-focused -- and a stronger student to boot.

  • Without a doubt, Americans have discovered the joys of wine. The enjoyment of the fruit of the vine has turned many simple sippers into true oenophiles. And if you're short on cellar space to store and enjoy your favorite vintages, a wine closet might just satisfy your needs

  • It's never been easier to go green at home. Simple adjustments to your everyday chores will have your entire family integrating conservation into daily life with nearly no effort. Your crash course in greener living starts here

  • Want to spruce up your home but think it's bound to cost a fortune? Not so, says syndicated home columnist Marni Jameson. 'There are many inexpensive ways to give a room a whole new look with just a bit of effort,' says Jameson. Here are five of her favorites

  • Allergy season is fast approaching. You can't control the outdoors, but there's plenty you can do to purify the indoors. To keep your home and family healthy, focus on these five major trouble areas during your spring-cleaning and beyond

  • On the sustainable-savvy scale, I'd rank myself fairly high. I recycle my empty bottles, love shopping vintage, and eat a plant-based diet -- locally whenever possible, of course. But, even the greenest of us flub up occasionally. In efforts to rectify my most major eco blunders, I turned to conservation expert Sara Snow for advice. Try these easy eco-changes to solve your green problems

  • Decorating a home with an unlimited budget is easy. But the reality is most people have to pick and choose where to invest their money -- and where to save. It helps to have some guidelines on what's worth the investment and what's not

  • From restaurants to vacations, we're all seeking ultimate experiences. The same could be said for contemporary bathrooms. Formerly a strictly utilitarian room, the bathroom of today has been transformed. It's now the preferred retreat for luxury and pampering. And the recipe for a home spa requires only a few essential ingredients