The Latest


Fireplaces, SoCal style

As the deep of winter descends here in Southern California (it’s what today? 70 degrees?), I thought I’d share some distinctly SoCal fireplaces I’ve had the [...]

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Pardon Our Dust: Year in review

It’s been a robust year on the Pardon Our Dust Blog. Here’s a taste of what we’ve shared: Some excellent kitchen remodels . . . A Westwood kitchen in a New [...]


Red and green SoCal kitchens

Here are a few of my favorite kitchens, which happen to be red and green, the colors of the holiday season. Top left: Kathleen Schaaf and her brother Kevin bought a 1923 Long [...]

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Any good contractors in Orange County?

Reader Shaun Rogers sends along this request: “Hello. I’m looking for the names of qualified, trustworthy remodeling contractors who do work in Orange County. Any [...]


Encinitas powder room wins award

This gorgeous (and expensive-looking) powder room in an Encinitas home won a design award from the National Kitchen and Bath Assn. Here’s the design statement for what [...]


Loving my new solar-powered fountain

I’m loving my new solar-powered fountain, which gives me the soothing sounds of water outside my office window without running up my electric bill. And I feel connected [...]


Cures for the open loft

So you got a downtown loft, or you created a loft-like space, and now what? Crave a little privacy? Wish you had a little separation of spaces without all those pesky solid [...]


How much does a remodel cost, anyway?

In my 17 years writing about remodels, I’ve been fairly insistent on one issue: The cost of the remodel must be revealed. After all, what value is a feature on a lovely [...]


The fine art of chair making . . . NOT!

There must be an art to chair and stool making. I say that because some manufacturers seem to have missed that mark. All the chairs and stools on this page (and many more [...]


Aging wood with coffee, dirt and wax

I’m awfully proud of myself and thought I’d take this opportunity to brag a little. The boasting has to do with some 3-inch long wooden corners I wanted to create [...]


Remodeling and indoor air pollution

We hope our remodels will beautify our homes, not pollute them. But that’s exactly what happens when the various glues, paints, fabric finishes, formaldehyde and other [...]


Big challenges in a little bathroom

I’ve often suspected that the house I live in (built in the 1970s?) was made from "found materials." We have ceiling beams of different thicknesses, various [...]


Video: Green Claremont Fire Rebuild

We first met this wonderful couple — Vern and Deb Jahnke — earlier this year when they gave me a tour of their Claremont home. You can see photos of their very [...]


Table makeover

UPDATE: See the finished table I feel like quite the artist as I transform an old workbench destined for the dump pile into a dual-purpose buffet and work table for my patio. [...]

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Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving from me and Seva (a.k.a. Seva Bean), age 4, who is visiting this holiday with her family. And remember . . . home is [...]


Remodeling and the Single Woman

The low-cost remodel of this 1948 Long Beach house has so many things going for it I don’t know where to start. While the hardwood floors were already in pretty good [...]


Want to be a guest blogger?

Do you have a project or remodel you’d like to share with the Pardon Our Dust community? In preparation for my vacation from Nov. 30 to Dec. 9, I’m looking for a [...]


Workshop table transformation underway

I’ve got plans set for transforming the workshop table on my patio. Thanks in part to the suggestions you offered here and here, this table won’t end up in a dump [...]


Affordable green prefabs

When it comes to green building, some professions and industries get it, and some don’t (yet). Those who get it are architects and manufacturers. Those who are playing [...]


Book Report: ‘Affordable Remodel’

Remodeling contractors can be infuriating, especially when they stand in your house and respond to your ideas by saying things such as: "That’s really going to [...]


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