House To Home

Bare-root nursery trees do well with careful planting

I got a look of disbelief when I told a friend I had planted a tree that had been shipped from a nursery 2,000 miles away. As I went on to explain that the tree had been sent "bare-root," I could see him shudder. But then I showed off my robust young plant in its second year of ...

Michigan housing permits up 42 percent in January

LANSING — Michigan’s homebuilding industry started 2018 on a solid upswing, according to a press release from the Home Builders Association of Michigan. Housing permits for single family home construction increased 42.1 percent in Michigan during January. According to the U.S. Census ...

Mortgage Index

High rate 4.500 1 4.000 1 Low rate 4.125 1 3.500 1 Average rate 4.375 1 3.906 1 This graphic represents a Tuesday survey of regional lending institutions. Figures are based on rates at Range Bank, First Bank of Upper Michigan, the Marquette Community Federal Credit Union and mBank.

2017 study highlights home-buying preferences

MARQUETTE — Identifying their preferences for the type of home and neighborhood to live in are typically among the first things potential homebuyers do. Debating between the convenience of a short commute versus the spaciousness of suburban living can be challenging when deciding upon the ...

Decor that’s perfectly imperfect

“Perfect imperfection” is a trend in furnishings and decor. “It’s a return to the artisanal and the crafted, with narrative and meaning to objects,” says Caroline Till, cofounder of the London design studio FranklinTill. “Fingerprints of process and technique are part of the ...

Gardening: Phoenix landscaper brings desert to urban yards

PHOENIX — When I moved to Phoenix last summer, I was bewildered by all the bright green grass I saw smack in the middle of the Sonoran Desert — in residential yards, on golf courses, at community parks. While the temperatures were hitting nearly 120 degrees, these perfect lawns sucked up ...

Storage gets creative thanks to changing decor trends

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 shapes, sizes and styles. Today's decor ...

Artistry on the floor

There was a time when designers and decorators considered floor coverings to be background elements in a room. Rugs and tile were meant to be practical, not attention-getting. That's changed. Now, the floor is often one of the strongest elements in a space. Today's wide range of artistic ...

New Boise company making homes out of shipping containers

BOISE, Idaho (AP) — When people visit IndieDwell's factory in south Boise to see a home made from a steel shipping container, they envision how it will look: Boxy. Unattractive. Filled with low-end improvements. Instead, they find a structure that's hard to imagine was once a pair of ...

Easy, pretty and cool: Terrariums are back in style

BOSTON — At a crowded, downtown bar one recent Saturday night, the lights were dim, hip-hop music played and most everyone had a drink in hand. The bar itself was covered with succulents, and the tabletops with accoutrements like paintbrushes, plastic spoons and planters of potting soil. ...

During cold season, make small design moves for big impact

Holiday decorating season is long over, yet spring is still far off. It's cold in much of the country, and still getting dark early. A lot of us could use some kind of visual pick-me-up. Brightening your home can definitely boost your mood, but this isn't the season for big decorating ...

Plants can thrive with no care at all in Wardian cases

In 1827, a London physician with an interest in caterpillar metamorphosis built small glass boxes to contain the cocoons and emerging butterflies. Peering into the “dirt” in one of the boxes one day, the physician, Dr. Nathanial Ward, noticed that a fern spore had germinated. Ward ...

US home prices post 6.2 percent increase

WASHINGTON — U.S. home prices rose a sharply in November, lifted by a shortage of homes on the market. Standard & Poor's said Tuesday that its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index increased 6.2 percent in November from a year earlier after climbing 6.1 percent in ...

Travel becoming prime inspiration for home decor

When Melissa Smuzynski learned that she was expecting, she wanted a nursery that reflected her family's love of travel. But when she and her husband, Damon Lane, went shopping for appropriate decor a few years ago, they didn't find much. So they improvised, using luggage tags and airmail ...

Time for a cuppa? Teaware steeped in style

Tea lovers are inclined to brew a cuppa any time of year, but especially now, in the dead of winter. Time to put the kettle on and savor the warm, soothing flavor of steeped tea leaves. Luckily, supermarkets and specialized shops are full of the fragrant dried leaves, in both loose and bag ...

US home construction tumbles 8.2 percent

WASHINGTON — Groundbreakings on new homes fell 8.2 percent in December, with builders ending 2017 by slowing down their construction of single-family houses. The Commerce Department said Thursday that the monthly decline put U.S. housing starts at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1.19 ...