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Design Ideas

Hot or Not Hot? Giant Wall Stencils

The New York Times had a pretty good concept for a series: Remake five rooms around the city for $300 each. In these times of job losses and declining prosperity, $300 is [...]


Fun With IKEA’s $40 Varde Wall Shelf

IKEA sells a pretty nice $40 Varde wall shelf unit. But actually, it’s a little bland. A couple of designers from Los Angeles offer some variations in the L.A. Times. [...]


Miranda Hobbes, I knew ye not

Did I not watch "Sex and the City" reruns for the past four years? Did I not come to feel in some TV-induced mania that I knew Carrie, Miranda, Samantha and [...]


Alternative to a massive stove hood

Here’s an unusual design in a Los Feliz kitchen. Instead of a massive stainless-steel or stucco-looking stove hood over the gigantic range and built-in grill, these [...]

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Dan Gallagher finishes his mural

I’d like to think I played some small part in the fabulous success being enjoyed by Dan Gallagher, a young, hardworking and extremely courteous decorative painter from [...]


And now, a word about color trends

I heard some great advice about getting hip with color trends, and I’ll share that in a moment. But first, you have to get current. As David A. Keeps reported in this [...]


Hot or not hot? Tin can wall covering

This wall covering made from tin can tops, as seen in the New York Times, has a certain appeal. But there’s something a little creepy about it, as well. Or is it just [...]


DIY paintings: Hot or not hot?

For a cool contemporary home, these DIY paintings might be fun and flexible. These look so sophisticated. But actually, they’re simply canvases stretched on wood frames [...]

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Love this green tile

As I’m perusing tile stores to get ideas for my own backsplash, I come across a photo of this gorgeous green glass tile. It’s in a house featured by the L.A. [...]


Tile Artist’s Home Is Her Canvas

Back in the 1980s, Michelle Griffoul chose her home for one reason. “It had forklift access to the backyard,” said Michelle, who bought the home, in the Santa [...]


For HGTV’s Kim Myles, a good start

For Kim Myles fans who were put off by what one commenter here called a “bizarre” color scheme during HGTV’s “Myles of Style” show on Sunday, tonight’s [...]

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A galley-licious kitchen redo

I do some writing for a Better Homes & Gardens magazine and when I present my editor with a great remodel in a galley kitchen she tells me they can’t use galley [...]


The New American Home of 1984

If you were born prior to 1984, you may recall how frightened some of us were of that year on account of George Orwell’s 1949 book, "1984," that foretold a [...]


Tired of the cans in your ceiling?

In the beginning, there was the bare bulb. And then there came to pass the light fixture. Soon upon the land, dropped ceilings and fluorescent lights spread. As humans [...]


Stupid kitchen layout: Can you top this?

Some kitchen layouts are awkward. Some without grace. But this one, in a Corona tract house, was flat-out stupid. You can see, in the top photo, the kitchen after the $7,000 [...]


Enlightened journeys

I’ve been especially enchanted with several house photos in my collection, and I finally realized what they have in common: All of the homes use natural light to make [...]

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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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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 [...]


Contrary about contemporary

This Pacific Palisades house, a rebuild designed by L.A. architect John Sofio, is pretty good-looking, don’t you think? I love the boxy shapes, banks of windows and the [...]


A Bar-height Table Works for Me

You know how everyone likes to sit up high on bar stools? But without having to be in a bar? Steve and Marygrace Carpenter like that feeling so much they got rid of their [...]


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