House To Home

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 ...

Latest HOME survey shows dip in buying, listing confidence

The start of the new year is a time when many people reflect on their goals and pledge personal resolutions for the next 365 days. Whether optimistic about or hoping for changes in the year to come, switching over the calendar also allows an opportunity to reassess one’s housing situation, ...

Rain gutters cause many home drainage problems

The person who coined the phrase “saving for a rainy day” must have been a property owner with home drainage problems. The financial costs of poor drainage can be substantial, and the human health costs significant too. Prevention is important, and many clues exist for predicting ...

‘Memory books’ can help older loved ones recall their past

Family photo albums can help jog an elderly friend or relative’s memories, but consider taking the photo book idea one step further: Create a “memory book” that combines personal photos with brief family stories and historical information. These can be used to help people struggling ...

Q&A: Samsung’s Alex Hawkinson on smart-home evolution

NEW YORK — Many everyday appliances are connecting to the internet these days, allowing people to control them with apps and voice commands. More homes are embracing this, especially as people get comfortable using smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Google Home. For five years, ...

Start the presses

CASTELBUONO, Sicily — Our first grueling, knee-killing, bumbling and comically great olive season finally feels like it is over. We are rich in a new way: More than 70 liters of dark green, corpulent and peppery olive oil has been produced, and is ready to pour onto salads, bread, pasta, ...

Intel underfoot:

MILWAUKEE — The next phase in data collection is right under your feet. Online clicks give retailers valuable insight into consumer behavior, but what can they learn from footsteps? It’s a question Milwaukee-based startup Scanalytics is helping businesses explore with floor sensors that ...

How to keep evergreens green in winter

Did you notice browned areas on your evergreens at the end of last winter? You may still be able to do something to prevent a repeat performance of this condition, winter burn, which happens when evergreen leaves lose too much water in winter. No need to worry about deciduous trees and shrubs ...

Creative design for the disabled — and everybody else too

NEW YORK — From snazzy canes to tremor-proof spoons to a racing wheelchair, a new exhibit at the Cooper Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum highlights a surge in designs for and by those with a wide range of disabilities. “The show really celebrates this proliferation of designing today for ...

Rooms with ‘good bones’

Edith Wharton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning author famous for novels set in the late 19th century, also wrote an influential book on interior design, long considered a sort of bible of American decorating. “The Decoration of Houses,” written before any of her novels, was radical when ...

Man seeks to preserve pre-Revolutionary War home

HACKENSACK, N.J. — For a month, Henry Kip and his brother Peter stood sentinel, alone. Abandoned by George Washington, whose broken army fled Hackensack for Pennsylvania so quickly that many of his soldiers marched without shoes, the Kips were members of a ragtag militia that walked Polifly ...