The Latest


Do-it-yourself solar-powered fountain

After countless vain attempts to locate a solar-powered fountain similar to the one I stumbled upon at my local Home Depot, I’ve decided the better way is to find the [...]


Doggie doo doo? Please don’t

Seen while walking . . . here are some ways urbanites try to keep dogs and their droppings off private property. Now if only dogs could learn to read, we’d be all set. [...]


A Cool, Mod Overhang Option

As I asked in an earlier posting, what do you do if your front entrance is without distinction? Or your side or rear entrances, for that matter? Arnie and Lily chose one [...]


Rate This Remodel: New front porch

So what do you do if the front of your house has virtually no character? No charm? No distinction? What if your front porch is little more than a couple of concrete steps and [...]

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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 [...]


Wanted: Engineer for tile roof

Reader Martin L. sends this request: I need to re-roof my wood shake canyon home in Los Angeles. We are considering Japanese ceramic tile, and that requires an engineering [...]

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One, two . . . skip a few . . . 99, 100

I'm looking for a new attitude for this table project and all projects to come. Up until now, my favorite parts of a project have been the moment I decide to do it, and [...]


Should this table be saved?

I'm a hypocrite when it comes to the "dump pile" out behind Bill's workshop. While I've been critical of that pile over the years, and begged Bill to [...]


Everybody’s got an opinion

In the days or weeks between the time you choose your house colors and the day the paint goes on, doubt can creep in. “Oh, man, that’s bright,” the painting [...]


Evil ivy

What’s the deal with ivy? It climbs where it’s not wanted, chokes and kills most other greenery in its path and harbors bugs and spiders. Why would anybody plant [...]


Succulent salvation?

As you think about new landscape choices during this fall planting season, consider the story of Suzy and Rob Schaefer, whose Rancho Santa Fe home (pictured) seems to have [...]


Free trees for L.A. DWP customers

We’ve got to hand it to our ancestors, whose house-cooling strategies we’re only now beginning to appreciate: straw-bale and rammed-earth walls, sod roofs, cool [...]


A Backyard Grotto on a Budget

You know you’re headed for a challenge when your real estate agent says: “I’ll show you this house but I know you’re not going to want it” and [...]


Losing a Garage, Gaining a Workshop

When Chantal Dussouchaud and Harry Dolman bought this Hollywood Hills home, they had one major objection to it: the massive driveway that dominated the entire front of the [...]


Is synthetic grass great? Or gross?

I honestly don’t know about fake grass. In person, it looks terrific. But chewed up tires? Yuck! Here’s how Flower to the People‘s Pamela Berstler, designer [...]


Trex now more wood-like

There’s a lot to like about Trex or other composite decking materials. They don’t splinter, split, rot or need painting or staining. And they’re made from [...]

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In lust with an Austin remodel

I know this house is not in So Cal, but it should be. On my property! What is it about this remodel that has me so enchanted? The limestone pathways? The sustainably grown [...]


Deck envy

Have you seen the “yin yang deck” at the L.A. County Arboretum? If you’re heading to the L.A. Garden Show this weekend, you really should check it out. The [...]


Shop — Solar-powered string lights

 Solar-Powered String Lights These solar-powered string lights are available in green and white. Since they aren't tethered to an outlet, they can be used virtually [...]


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