Abode



September 2010: Rental Rescue

September 2010: Rental Rescue

 For a lot of renters, a lease does more than simply bind them financially to their landlords for 12 months. Many of us are faced with leases that read like the 10 Commandments of Design: Thou shalt not paint the walls. Thou shalt not tear out the ugly carpet. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s […]

September 2010: Toolbox

September 2010: Toolbox

Invented in the late 19th century, the combination square is one of those tools that modern technology really can’t improve upon. In its basic form, the combo square consists of a 12" metal ruler and a sliding, triangular head with two flat surfaces—one that measures 45 degrees; the other, 90 degrees. Squares can be used […]

August 2010: Toolbox

August 2010: Toolbox

 Though it sounds like a dating device, the stud finder has nothing to do with landing a man, unless you’re planning to hang him on your wall from a picture hook. This small, handheld tool ensures that your trophies, whatever they may be, stay safely in place by identifying where the wooden supports run behind […]

August 2010: Rental Rescue

August 2010: Rental Rescue

 There’s nothing like watching an episode of “Hoarders” to make you feel buried alive, boxed in, and like a slave to your own possessions and space. Cut to me in my front yard with a change box, half of my belongings covered with sale tags, and a poster reading “Everything Must Go.”    In all […]

August 2010: Your Kitchen

August 2010: Your Kitchen

  According to the Ball Blue Book 1974 edition, there are four general classes of pickle—brined, fresh-pack, relishes, and fruit pickles. Fruit pickles often consist of whole fruits (pears, peaches, and watermelon rind, for instance) that are simmered in a spiced, sweetened syrup and stored in the same. Relishes are chopped, seasoned, and cooked vegetables […]

August 2010: Stuff We Love

August 2010: Stuff We Love

  Color us smitten Something about red roof, yellow house always makes us look twice. In the case of this Locust Grove head-turner, we keep on looking because of the classic proportions, inviting ground-level porch and snazzy black shutters. Looks well-loved, and with good reason.                     […]

August 2010: Green Scene

August 2010: Green Scene

  Lock it up   “Easier to put together than IKEA,” proclaims the website for Ecolok Furniture. Actually, there’s a lot more to like about this company than the guarantee of a quick assembly. Ecolok furniture is shipped flat, saving space and increasing its portability. There are no nails, tools, fasteners, hot-glue guns, or duct […]

July 2010: Kids

July 2010: Kids

Sticks and stones Problem: Creating play space in a small backyard “We couldn’t get grass to grow,” says Trisha Willingham of her tiny, shaded backyard, “so we laid down stones instead.” Her home is located in a neighborhood off Rose Hill Drive, and the backyard—in addition to being small—is mostly covered by the overhang of […]

July 2010: Poolhouse rock

July 2010: Poolhouse rock

  It’s great to have a backyard pool, but it’s even greater when there’s a stylin’ poolhouse nearby. Such a structure can be much more than a place to put your skimmer net. We visited three local poolhouses to scope the possibilities—from family hangouts to in-law quarters to storage of fine wine. Come on in; the […]

NEW! July 2010: Your Kitchen

NEW! July 2010: Your Kitchen

There is no fruit more brazenly flavorful, yet unabashedly tender, than the peach. The immature fruit is hard and green, not unlike a raquetball in size and texture. As the season progresses, and the sun shines and the rain falls, the peach plumps up and gets curvy and luscious, ripening to luminous shades of golden […]

NEW! July 2010: Stuff We Love

NEW! July 2010: Stuff We Love

Around the edges The picture’s the main event, but the right frame makes it feel like a party. Besides putting photos and artwork on their best behavior, frames are can’t-miss gifts. Local stores have loads of great options, including these.  $62 at Caspari, 100 W. Main St., 817-7880 $35 at Caspari $78 at Creme de […]

July 2010: Green Scene

July 2010: Green Scene

True colors, including green   How to design your garden by color? You may think you’re beyond color theory, or it’s beyond you. Oh, just let it all froth up in a Monet-like jumble and somehow everything will work out. But a successful impressionist miasma requires room for a whole bunch of different flowers and […]

July 2010: Rental Rescue

July 2010: Rental Rescue

  They always say you only get one chance to make a first impression. This old saying not only applies to awkward first dates, but to our humble abodes as well. For many guests, that split-second judgment of our home happens before we even open the front door. When it comes to rentals and homes […]

June 2010: Green Scene

June 2010: Green Scene

 Hello, summer A bounty of pleasant garden tasks spills out of June’s bosomy embrace. Enjoy it before the hellish days of July have us scurrying for the slightest bit of shade.  Cut grass no shorter than two to three inches so that it can sustain itself without chemical treatments. If you like careful, fussy chores, […]

June 2010: Stuff We Love

June 2010: Stuff We Love

  And acreage, too Nothing like a nice, big front yard to class up the joint. We think this colonial off Ivy Road is plenty nice on its own, but all that lawn—with room for blooms and a very welcoming walk—puts it over the top.                     […]

June 2010: Your Kitchen

June 2010: Your Kitchen

 Greens for the salad days   In the Wide World of Lettuce, there is one major delineation—the one between leaf lettuce and head lettuce. On the Head Lettuce side are Iceburg and Romaine, those thirsty California classics that are famous for bearing creamy dressings while maintaining a satisfying crunch. On the Leaf Lettuce side is […]

June 2010: Rental Rescue

June 2010: Rental Rescue

If renters are lucky enough to inherit some usable outdoor space, be it patio, yard or balcony, many would not think to sink any resources into their not-so-great outdoors. I am fortunate to have a standard square, wooden deck off the back of my house that overlooks the backyard. I crave the first day of […]

June 2010: Toolbox

June 2010: Toolbox

Now that you’ve collected some must-have D.I.Y. home improvement tools from all the good advice you’ve garnered from Toolbox, you need somewhere to put them: a toolbox, of course! As per usual, the hardware store is filled with more options than are necessary. The old standby is the classic wooden tool caddy. With its small, […]

May 2010: Your Kitchen

May 2010: Your Kitchen

What’s in the flour? While any grain can be ground into flour, wheat flour takes the cake in terms of commercial use and availability in the United States. After wheat is sown, grown, harvested and transported, it still takes a beating before it reaches the supermarket shelf. Essentially, commercial milling strips a grain of anything […]

May 2010: Green Scene

May 2010: Green Scene

Running for a cause The EcoMill produces energy instead of using it up. Ever look up from your elliptical at the gym and realize that you were in a sea of energy-guzzling machines? Running outside is the obvious environmentally friendly alternative, but if air conditioning and daytime television shows are more your thing, consider manual […]

May 2010: Stuff We Love

May 2010: Stuff We Love

  Leafin’ fine Need a container that’s as lovely as the plants it will house? We like the classic lines of these urns from Ivy Nursery. They vary in price and size, but they’re all versatile enough to work on the deck of your contemporary cottage or the patio of your historic colonial.     […]

May 2010: Kids

May 2010: Kids

Free-form for all Problem: Integrating kids in every room When architect and mom of two Kendra Guiffre designed her family’s home on Lake Monticello, her struggle was to create a modern structure that would reflect her professional and personal aesthetic, but also respect the more traditional lake community where she was building. But she had […]

May 2010: Rental Rescue

May 2010: Rental Rescue

My mother always told me your hardware is like jewelry for your cabinetry and furniture. And this is from a woman who wouldn’t think about entertaining guests without her best pearls. As always, Mom is right. Your choice of hardware (knobs, pulls, handles) can really dress up your cabinetry, update your space, and create that […]

May 2010: Toolbox

May 2010: Toolbox

The wrench is a crucial implement in your bag of D.I.Y. tricks. It’s what you’ll need for gripping and applying torque to objects that need to be turned, fastened or tightened such as nuts and bolts. As with most tools, there are many different kinds of wrenches designed for specific jobs, but I’m here to […]

April 2010: Stuff We Love

April 2010: Stuff We Love

  Flights of fancy What is home sweet home when you’re a feathered descendent of the dinosaurs? Well, if there are friendly humans in the neighborhood, it might mean one of these charming birdhouses from Wild Birds Unlimited. Move-in condition; great for raising a family. Wren house, $18.99.       One remote to rule […]

April 2010: Your Kitchen

April 2010: Your Kitchen

Mustard greens: The brassiest brassica  The mustard plant is a member of the brassica family—that’s right, brother to broccoli, cousin to cauliflower—and may be the brassiest vegetable that finds its way onto our table. Mustard greens grow in a fashion similar to kale, collards and chard, with thick stems and long, broad leaves that fan […]

April 2010: Kids [with video!]

April 2010: Kids [with video!]

The fashion underground Problem: Finding space and privacy for a maturing teen  When Mary Casell renovated her Woolen Mills home, she bucked the advice of others by making a significant investment in the basement. Choosing to compromise on budget elsewhere, she splurged on reclaimed hardwood floors and gave the semi-subterranean level the same thoughtful fit […]