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Begin 2017 with plans to spruce up your living space

It’s a brand new year — a blank canvas for those hoping to make the upcoming 365 days a year of self-improvement. Instead of the usual resolutions, make plans to spruce up your home to start the new year with a more energy-efficient and pleasant foundation.

Problems with fig trees usually caused by human management

The most frequently asked question asked in 2016 concerned fig trees. Readers wanted to know why their fig trees did not produce good fruit. Either the fruit dropped from the tree when it was small, or the fruit clung to the tree and never became large but remained small, hard and dry.

Fixing roof leak may take professional

Q: The last time it rained, I noticed a small stain on my ceiling. I have an asphalt shingle roof, and I’m guessing that I have a roof leak, but I don’t know quite how to go about fixing it. Please give me some guidance.

Fireplaces, fire pits provide warmth during winter months

While many cities across the country ring in the winter season with extremely cold temperatures and mounds of snow, Las Vegas residents are able to enjoy their backyards year-round. Fire features help Southern Nevadans further enjoy the outdoors during the winter, when nighttime temperatures can dip down into the 30s and 40s.

Mixing metallic finishes is growing trend

The holiday season is the perfect time of year to be singing the praises of mixing metallic finishes in your home’s decor. In fact, mixing metals is actually a growing trend in design from warm gold, brass and copper accents to cool chrome, nickel and the ever-popular stainless steel. From wallpaper to furniture and ornamental cabinetry pulls, the combination of gold and brass is this year’s hot look and likely to remain so.

Change is needed — now more than ever

This year has brought significant changes both in our natural environment and in people and institutions. The end of the year is a time to look back and assess where we are and plan how to move forward.

Natural elements create holiday charm

Holiday traditions and keepsakes bring the most nostalgic feelings of the season back every year, but they can seem a little tired. Add a bit of natural brilliance to your holiday decor with fresh flowers, greenery and reclaimed wood items.

Look at all room elements before choosing paint color

Dear Gail: We’ve been meaning to repaint our home but just never seem to get to it. We put a lot of holiday decorations around the house, so my normal accessories and even artwork have been taken down. Plus we put up three Christmas trees. I know, crazy, but we love it. So we’ll have to move the furniture around again and figure it will be a good time to at least start. We’re not looking for crazy changes but want to freshen it up and be more adventurous with color. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated. — Marjorie

Saturday class covers proper pruning techniques

I am giving a class on pruning fruit trees at the Master Gardener Orchard, 4600 Horse Drive in North Las Vegas, from 9 a.m. until noon Saturday. The class is free and open to the public. For more information call the master gardener help desk at 702-257-5555. More classes will be offered at the orchard on pruning fruit trees every Saturday during the month of January.

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