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Vintage accents make rooms more inviting

A revival of the past is now a trending style in home decor. Home decorators are using inspiration and pieces from the past in color palettes and reimaginings that easily slip into any decor.

Sometimes it’s hard getting started on remodel

“It is easy to see the beginnings of things, and harder to see the ends.” — Joan Didion (1934-), American Journalist and Essayist, “Goodbye to All That”

Study shows mulch is beneficial to fruit trees

Q: Could you provide me with a copy of the mulch trial you conducted on fruit trees several years ago? You randomly applied mulch to different fruit trees and grew some without mulch and had some remarkable results.

Decking is the fundamental foundation of outdoor decor

Decking is more than a surface to set a lawn chair on or to roll out the grill for the weekend barbecue. It’s the fundamental foundation in the exterior decor. Homeowners should take thoughtful consideration when selecting a product — not just the color and finish of the material but also the function, maintenance and durability.

Dripping water traces back to faucet stem, seat

Q: I have an older home that has water dribbling from the bathtub spout. I have separate handles for the hot and cold water, and then a third handle in the middle to turn on the shower. It seems like neither of the faucet handles will completely turn the water off. How can I repair the leak?

Soap sprays leave no residue for returning aphids

Q: During the first year with my apricot tree, I sprayed it with soapy water to control aphids. Every day I check the leaves, but the apids never stop. Is this good a spray to use?

Leaf-footed plant bug not easy to control

Q: I was reading up on controlling the leaf-footed plant bugs on my pistachio and almond trees and came across a recommendation by the University of California to use a pesticide containing bifenthrin. I see some Ortho products for lawn and garden contain bifenthrin. Is this a pyrethrin or something similar like you are recommending? Could this be used to spray the almond and pistachio every two to three weeks until it gets hot?

Transitional, traditional designs can be a perfect blend

For some, modern design may be just a little too sleek. For others, traditional may feel too stuffy. The answer just might be the borderline style of transitional or what I sometimes refer to as “traditional with a twist.” There’s a definite and growing movement to bring traditional design into a fresher and more relaxed state, even though elegance and history are still very much defining elements of this style.