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Green Remodeling

‘Ruins of the Second Gilded Age’

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Not too long ago, a photo essay was posted on the New York Times website, and then quickly removed.  And that means you probably didn't see it. The title was [...]

Are solar panels ugly?

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In Santa Monica, California, home of the really pretty people, solar panels are fine as long as you hide them from view. That is according to a blog posting at the L.A. [...]

What’s up with the blue wood?

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If you've noticed some houses in your area being built or fixed up with blue- colored framing lumber, roof trusses and sheathing panels, you may think the Smurfs came in [...]

Eco-decorating is suddenly hip

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I guess my friend and co-author Kitty Bartholomew is a visionary. For many years, long before it was eco-hip, she was finding new uses for old things that have served their [...]

The ipe conundrum — green or not green?

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For several years, ipe (pronounced EE-pay) decking from Brazilian hardwood trees has been the darling of green builders. This beautiful wood looks like mahogany, and it does [...]

Rebuilding green in New Orleans

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Last year, New Orleans was the setting for the National Assn. of Home Builders' national green building conference. The conference included a tour of green homes, [...]

Bathroom makeover was due

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My latest Pardon Our Dust feature in the L.A. Times, about a small bathroom in Venice, has the most gorgeous photos ever to accommodate one of my articles.  Check out [...]

Peel-and-stick solar panels

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See a fast-motion video showing 2.25 kilowatts of Lumeta solar panels installed in 34 minutes. These will be featured at the Pacific Coast Builders Conference June 24 to 27 [...]

Stopping the catalogs

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The worst part about ordering a home-improvement item or sample online is that you know you’re going to be receiving catalogs in the mail that you may not want, even if [...]

Dwell on Design conference June 5 to 8

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If you want to stretch your design vocabulary, you might consider attending the Dwell on Design conference this week at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Put on by the San [...]

Keeping cool in Claremont

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Deb and Vern Jahnke, pictured here, are way too nice to brag. So let me do it for them. Even on the hottest days, their home in Claremont stays cool and comfortable without [...]

Cushions you can compost

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Does this bug you, too? You have a pillow, blanket or other textile that is clearly past its prime and too worn for the Goodwill. But you hate to see it take the slow ride to [...]

Seattle houseboat remodel

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Another jewel in a series of amazing small spaces: Here’s what happens when a native of Japan and a native of the Netherlands, both with architecture degrees, remodel [...]

Blend your own glass tile

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Do you ever feel “terminally unique?” I do. And that’s why blending my own glass tile backsplash is so appealing. Oceanside Glasstile of Carlsbad offers an [...]

The Story of Stuff

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I really want to wean myself from impulsive purchases of junky household stuff I don’t really need and that won’t last. One strategy is getting clear on the [...]

Hot or not hot? Tin can wall covering

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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 [...]

The wonderful world of greenwashing

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How many ways are there to greenwash home-improvement products? To make toxic junk sound green? To put lipstick on a pig? So very many! Here are a few: • The packaging is [...]
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