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Home and Garden

Curb flights of fancy when planning nursery

Few things in life are as exciting as having a baby on the way. When you’re ready to decorate the nursery, though, it’s a good idea to emphasize practicality over thrilling designs and fanciful color schemes. Concentrating on the needs of your infant — especially a first child — will ensure that everything is in place and looks great when your bundle of joy arrives.

Damaged tree trunk may recover on its own

Q: I have a beautiful 10-foot-tall oak that has provided privacy with its wonderfully dense light green foliage. I enclosed a picture of a rapidly expanding bark rot-looking area that seems to be circling the trunk and moving upward at the same time. Can this be stopped or cured, or is it life-threatening to the tree?

Turquoise and coral: A dynamic color duo

Want to chase away the winter glum by bringing some cheery color into your home? Have I got a dynamic duo for you: turquoise and coral. This peppy color combo adds vibrant energy to a space, whether you do it up loud and proud by washing your room in saturated shades or just adding a few subtle touches here and there to spark up neutral spaces.

Outdated serving piece fetches more than $3,000

Some serving pieces used in the 19th century are no longer needed or made. Victorian table settings were very elaborate — lace or other fancy cloths, at least six or seven special dishes for every course, like a service plate, then fish, soup, dinner, salad and butter plate, and a sauce dish.

Multifunctional ottoman adds style and function

My home has long been a part of the Ottoman Empire. I was conquered years ago when I starting dreaming of all the ways I could use these small but mighty pieces of furniture in my home to add style and function. Here are the top three ways you can use an ottoman to enhance your interior spaces.

Follow these do’s and don’ts when buying from catalog

With all those newly delivered, luscious seed catalogs staring us in the face, what are we going to do with them? For many, the answer is not much. They’re nice to look at, but we never get around to buying anything. Yet even if that’s all you do, there’s a wealth of information between the covers.

Van Gogh’s cypresses show beauty of Mediterranean garden style

Of all the trees Vincent van Gogh described in his letters to his brother Theo, the cypresses will always be the most famous because they are a distinguishing factor in the man’s work. In his letter to his brother in the summer of 1889 he describes them: “The cypresses are always occupying my thoughts …” He later explains, “It astonishes me that they have not been done as I see them.”

Recent movies make Hart’s carved penguins popular

Carvings of birds, especially ducks and other wild species, are collected by those who consider the best examples to be art, while other examples are to be used as decoys when hunting. Although both types of decoys can be found at antiques auctions and shops, most are sold in auctions or shows that specialize in decoys, wood carvings and related pieces.