House & Home

House & Home

Yardsmart: 3 common mulching problems

There is no single panacea to the ravages of drought. The most popular practice for water conservation that protects existing gardens is to mulch. It's adding a layer of organic material around each plant to reduce surface soil evaporation rates. That layer also shades the soil so it and the roots remain cool on the hottest days. Mulches also prevent pernicious grasses and weeds from sprouting where they compete with our landscape plants for irrigation. In times of too little rain, mulching is one of the few measures we have to reduce its effect on our expensive plants.

House & Home

Here's why you shouldn't microwave these 11 things

I learned earlier than most that there are things you should never put in the oven – when I was a pre-teen, I heated a plastic wrap-covered meal in the oven only to watch it burst into flames (shout-out to my older brother who helped me eradicate the mini fire before it spread). After that occasion, my mother sat me down to remind me of the dos and don'ts in the kitchen, including all the things you should never – ever – put in the microwave. At first glance, you'd think this appliance was the least likely to be dangerous because you never actually see its heating mechanism. But just because it's not as obvious doesn't mean that the potential for danger is any less (after all, we can still get a sunburn on a cloudy day).

House & Home

Plumber: The right medicine for your bathroom

Q: Dear Ed: Very often I'm surprised by all the new bathroom technology you mention in your column that's now available in the bathroom. Wile I love my bathroom, I do want to replace the medicine cabinet. Can you please update me on what's new in medicine cabinets?

House & Home

How to plan the perfect outdoor kitchen

Whether you're lounging around the pool or telling stories around the fire pit, you love entertaining outdoors. So why wait to design and build the outdoor kitchen you've been dreaming about? There's no time like the present. And these tips will help you down the path to success.

House & Home

On Gardening: Milkweed feasting more than you realize

As we all strive to get our hands on every native milkweed for our states and to the ultimate benefit of the Monarch butterfly I thought I might plug its use for the other guys. Your first thought might be I'm talking about the Queen or Soldier butterflies that are related to the Monarch and also must have milkweeds as larval host plants.

House & Home

Design Recipes: 9 tips for using mirrors in your space

Mirrors are one of those accessories that tend to be either overused or underused. They come in all shapes and sizes, colors and finishes, and as such serve as the perfect complement to nearly any space. Mirrors can be purposeful in design, and if used thoughtfully, can add considerable value to a space both aesthetically and functionally.

House & Home

Style at Home: The joy of dining: A spring table at my cottage

As the flowers poke out of the ground, and the leaves bud on the trees, another force of nature comes back alive: my desire to entertain. In the winter months, Dan and I don't have folks over as much, preferring to cocoon when we're home. But one of my rites of spring is dressing my table and sending out invites, welcoming friends back to our cottage.

House & Home

How to lay out your entryway, according to a feng shui expert

We all want to come home to a healthy and happy home and leave our place in the morning with a good mindset too. But often, little things we barely notice in our day-to-day routine can alter our mood when we walk through the door. Piles of unopened mail, a lock that gets stuck easily or pairs of shoes that can easily be tripped over can affect our psyche even if we don't realize it. Additionally, things that are virtually impossible to notice can also negatively impact our day-to-day: the placement of a mirror or the type of plants you own, for example.

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