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Welcome Home!

If you live in it but never make it your own, if you never put your personal stamp on it and infuse the space with your signature touches, it's just a house. A home is more personal.

Detailed decanters aren’t worth much

This decanter might fetch $15.
 (The Spokesman-Review)
Dear Collector, I have a total of 12 decanters similar to the one in the enclosed photo. Each soldier is different and they have Arnart Imports Inc. on the underside. I have no idea what the value of these figurines might be; your help would be much appreciated.

Pups get pampered at day care

Sonya Liu says goodbye to her dog Pinot at Alpha Dogs, a doggie day-care center. Pinot spends two to three day a week at the center.
 (Colin Mulvany / The Spokesman-Review)
When Sonya Liu moved to Spokane from dog-friendly Portland last year, she found the Lilac City somewhat lacking in canine culture. Like many large urban centers, Portland offers a host of amenities for dog lovers – off-leash dog parks, doggie day care, and dog-friendly businesses that allow pets to accompany owners while shopping or dining. "The dog culture here is just very different," says Liu, who now lives with her dog, Pinot, and her husband, David, on the South Hill. "But it's starting to change."

Do your homework with mail-order plants

For many gardeners, this is where it all begins: sitting around the table on a winter night surrounded by stacks of catalogs.
 (Associated Press / The Spokesman-Review)
The catalogs are filling our mailboxes and that means that spring can't be too far off. All those pretty pictures and the "you can grow anything" hype makes it sound like our gardens will be so easy to do come spring. Mail-order gardening has grown steadily in the past few years. The advent of reliable, fast shipping services has made it relatively easy to get plants and other garden goodies delivered to your door.

Poem brings past to present

In many houses the refrigerator serves as much as a bulletin board or scrapbook as major appliance. On the door one might find a child's drawing, or the family activities calendar. Often, inspirational items like a favorite quote or poem spend years, even decades, as part of the décor. Laurie Hassell's grandmother's kitchen was no exception.

Paperbark Maple (Acer griseum)

In my continuing quest to both locate and profile plants that provide visual interest during our long winters, I took a recent stroll through Manito Park. I came across several small trees with striking bark in the Joel E. Ferris Perennial Garden and learned that they are Paperbark Maples. After doing some research, I believe one would make a marvelous addition to any garden. Native to central China, this slow-growing, deciduous tree grows to a height of about 20 feet, making it a good choice for a small yard. It has an upright growth habit and averages about 15 feet in width. It prefers sun but will tolerate partial shade.

The Kinder-Pyle family

From left, Sheryl, Ian, Philip and Scott Kinder-Pyle, along with their dog, Pearl, have moved back to Spokane after living on the East Coast.
 (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Sheryl and Scott Kinder-Pyle like adventures, especially those they're called to. As Sheryl sips tea and Scott drinks coffee, they share a pastry and talk about God and church and a move last year that took them all the way across the country.

Welcome Home!

I grew up in the 1960s and 70s. I guess that makes me a midcentury classic. And, in case you haven't noticed, mid-century is popular. Lucky me. I'm in style at last.

Midcentury passion: Couple restoring modern design of 1962 rancher

 (Photos by DAN PELLE / / The Spokesman-Review)
"It's kind of embarrassing," says Valerie Nafé, a passionate enthusiast of midcentury modern design and architecture. "I always liked midcentury modern – I just never knew there was a name for it." Intuitively drawn to the clean, natural shapes of the midcentury period, Nafé and husband Stephen Collette spent years collecting secondhand retro furniture with minimalist lines and a space-age vibe.

Cooking on two fronts

Chef Alexa Wilson, left, is the chef at Wild Sage American Bistro in downtown Spokane. She prides herself on her professional and private cooking skills.
Chefs don't tend to cook much at home, says Alexa Wilson, executive chef at Wild Sage American Bistro, a downtown restaurant known for an innovative and eclectic menu with dishes as beautiful as they are yummy. Wilson, a Spokane native who graduated from Le Cordon Bleu in Portland, works 80-hour weeks and has a busy family with three hungry boys and a husband to feed between their far flung activities, so cooking at home has to be efficient.

Craftsman makes outdoors his business

Paul Shields' eye for home design brings the great outdoors inside. Whether he designs a multitiered antler chandelier or an executive chair with African influences, this Liberty Lake resident uses his talents to create exotic furniture and décor.

Web makes valuable resource

Gardening Web sites will help you keep your property in top condition.
 (File/ / The Spokesman-Review)
It is pretty amazing where you can go in the gardening world with only a few clicks of a mouse. While magazines and books are still a mainstay for gardeners to collect information and ideas, the Internet has transformed how we use that information and exchange it with others. So, with all the Web sites out there, what makes a good one? Where to look

All-white flowers make crisp bouquet

This centerpiece doubles as a bouquet that a guest of honor can take home after a party.
 (Megan Cooley/For / The Spokesman-Review)
Just because there's snow outside, doesn't mean we can't brighten our homes with a hint of spring. In fact, winter's beauty can be complemented with a bouquet of white flowers. The following arrangement was inspired by a bouquet featured a couple of years ago in "Cottage Living" magazine. Enjoy it on the table during a birthday dinner or some other celebration, then send it home with your guest of honor. Or, create it for yourself as a reminder of the cold season's crisp beauty – and as a tease of what's to come. Step by step

Cabinet balances form and function

This cabinet can be assembled using straight-forward construction techniques.
 (U-BILD / The Spokesman-Review)
An elegant balance of form and function, Craftsman-style furniture possesses a refined simplicity that blends well with almost any decor. That simple elegance is what gives this Craftsman-style curio cabinet project its classic appeal. Equally at home in the dining room or the den, the cabinet is perfect for displaying collections ranging from fine china and crystal to antique fishing reels and wooden decoys. As pictured, the project is made from oak (the traditional choice), but other species will work just as well. True to the Craftsman spirit, the project features simple joinery and straightforward construction techniques. Most of the cuts are straight and the curves are traced from full-size patterns.

Green vision becomes reality

Developer Grant Keller talks to a gathering of friends, family and associates about the plan for a six-townhouse development called The Abbey at 1217 E. 15th on Spokane's South Hill.
 (Photos by Jesse Tinsley/ / The Spokesman-Review)
It's been 10 years since Grant Keller tried to convince friends and family that urban living and green building were the wave of the future. "When I was in school I told my parents they should start buying buildings downtown, and I got laughed at," says the 31-year-old developer, whose first major project, the Abbey at 15th and Ivory, incorporates urban and green design.

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Europe Tour 2017: Chapter Five

SARAJEVO, Bosnia Herzegovina - Week four of my four months of travel throughout Europe is now in the books. The official count for my journey without adult supervision is five ...