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Home and Garden

Keep records to determine real value of a solar home

Solar energy systems are becoming increasingly popular. Many factors are driving the trend: lower system costs, improved performance, environmental awareness and new options for system acquisition. I’ve received a ton of calls and emails about the issue lately, especially regarding the topic of solar leases.

Prices of antiques still low after recession

What a bargain! Often an authentic antique sells for less than a modern copy. Since the price of antique wooden (“brown”) furniture has dropped in the last few years, the good news is that there are many bargains for a buyer looking for an older style. Fewer home sales mean fewer furnishings sales, and the prices of antiques have suffered.

Mulch, top soil available at research center

The community mulch pile is back by popular demand. This is coarse, organic wood mulch chipped from trees removed in the Las Vegas community. Rather than send this valuable resource to the landfill, the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension Research Center and Demonstration Orchard is making it available to the community, free of charge.

Decorating around your four-legged best friend

Dan and I don’t fight over who is the head of the household. That power position is undisputedly held by Lyric, our golden retriever. We inherited this sweet pooch from some dear friends, and within minutes, she had stolen our hearts — and taken over our home.

Cooler air, warm soil make fall best time to plant trees, shrubs

I am about to take on some significant work as I add many new trees and plants to my landscape. But I’ve been holding off until now to do so. So why have I been waiting? Without a doubt, fall is the very best time to plant trees and shrubs for several reasons. Simply put, the cooler air and warm soil temperatures of autumn make for the best combination for establishment.

Blogs offer design, DIY advice

Are you missing your regular dose of DIY adventures while the Petersiks of the blog Young House Love take a break? Try something new to read with your morning espresso or midafternoon snack break. Here are some suggestions readers sent me after a Twitter call-out.

Metal beds take on whole new vibe

I grew up sleeping in an antique iron bed. My parents still have it and use it in a guest room. Its style is way too “antique-y” for my taste. Perhaps this is why metal beds haven’t been on my design radar for years.

Furniture maker used traditional Japanese methods

George Nakashima created a special type of modern furniture sometimes called “free-edge.” He designed very simple legs and other furniture parts and created the famous tables topped by a slab of wood with original edges that often include the tree’s bark. Parts of the top were held together with butterfly joints.

From the cradle will come rock (or jazz, or hip-hop)

What kind of antiques collector are you? Some collectors search for pieces from a past era; some want pieces with a connection to a famous person or event. But younger collectors today seek useful things from the ’50s era that are colorful, well-designed and in excellent condition.