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Stories tagged: home-garden


Ask the Builder: Installing wallpaper border is simple, but avoid these pitfalls

If you haven’t done the job before, you should know that hanging giant strips of wallpaper is challenging.


Seven deadly sins: Mistakes to avoid when renovating older houses

Digging into your home’s past can be fun, but it can also help you make aesthetic decisions and avoid costly mistakes.


Dishing up politics: Collection brings china from the White House to your house

You can’t buy the official White House china patterns that presidential families use to entertain. But a new line of glass decoupage plates by designer John Derian and artist Katharine …


Ask the Builder: Caulking doesn’t have to be hard

The good news is that crappy caulk jobs can be repaired with relative ease.


Seasonal scents: The do’s and don’ts of fall fragrances

What does your home say about you? What is the first or lasting impression? In many instances, the unseen can make a lasting impression, whether positive or negative. We are …


10 tips to create a great closet

Let’s face it, closets can be messy! One of the main culprits often relates to a lack of proper organization. The key to a well-organized space is for everything to …


Curse of the spider woman: Spokane artist finds the beauty in tarantulas and other large arachnids

When they’re dead, she said, it’s so much easier to share and show off their beauty.


Ask the Builder: Building a shed? Get size and access right

Based on the email that I get, I’d say the biggest mistake you might make when building or buying a pre-built shed is that it’s going to be too small.


Gardening: Frost, fewer daylight hours trigger flora’s fall beauty

We are having a spectacular fall. Just enough frost to turn the leaves. No wind or rain to knock them off yet and bright sunny days to enjoy all the …


Ask the Builder: Both poured and concrete block foundations can last … if they’re built right

No matter which type of concrete foundation you use, make sure it’s reinforced with steel.


4 fall decor tips – that have nothing to do with pumpkins

Designers wisely advise us against trends: “I actually try to steer clear of trends,” says Chicago designer Summer Thornton. “They’re more likely to look dated in a few years.” Still, …


Ask the builder: Deck piers distribute load and prevent frost heave damage

Nonetheless, any contractor who says you need deck piers for your new deck or to expand an existing one is giving you great advice. Deck piers are the foundation for …


In the Garden: Use lessons from harvest to plow into planning for next year’s garden

With the end of the garden season rapidly approaching, it’s time to reflect on how this year’s garden performed. Two challenges were high temperatures and hazardous air quality from regional …


Conquering the clutter: Tips from Marie Kondo for overcoming obstacles to organizing

Her “KonMari” method has six basic rules: Commit yourself to tidying up. Imagine your ideal lifestyle. Finish discarding first. Tidy by category, not by location. Follow the right order. Ask …


Ask the Builder: Smoking fireplace is likely a matter of wrong dimensions

Q. Tim, I need your help. I’ve got a masonry fireplace that puffs smoke into the room when a fire is burning. It gets worse as the fire dies down. …


Altogether unexpected: Spokane man builds Hobbit House in front yard

Ryan Oelrich’s Spokane Hobbit House at Spokane End provides more than a home office and meeting place. The cozy room offers a creative escape, reading nook and conversation starter.


In the Garden: Digging up variety for spring blooms

Warning: while purchasing spring-flowering bulbs is great fun this time of year, remember that you have you dig a hole for every one of them.


Ask the Builder: Reflections on 25 years writing about home improvement

Tuesday is the 25th anniversary of my Ask the Builder syndicated newspaper column. I’m very proud of surviving this long as a writer and publisher, and I thought I’d share …


UPDATED: Fri., Sept. 28, 2018, 4:15 p.m.

This old love story: The Skinner House near Corbin Park anchors Sunday’s Historic Home Tour

When Tammy Arndt purchased the Harry and Ella Skinner House overlooking Corbin Park three decades ago to open a bed and breakfast, she became a steward of history. The Queen …


In the Garden: Master Gardeners features best-selling author Andrea Wulf at banquet

New York Times best-selling authorthe Master Gardener Foundation of Spokane County’s fall banquet on Oct. 11.


Ask the Builder: Retaining wall basics

You may recall that point in high school physics class when a frustrated student demanded, “Give me an example of when I’ll ever use this stuff in real life!” Well, …


Art in Bloom brings art and fundraising opportunity to historic Moore-Turner Heritage Gardens

The fundraiser brings together local artists’ works and floral arrangements inspired by the artwork to benefit the site, which is on both the Spokane and Washington historic registries.


UPDATED: Mon., Sept. 17, 2018, 9:53 a.m.

In the Garden: Artist’s colorful landscape designed to age gracefully

When passers-by slow down time and again to look at a garden, you know it’s special. But what makes this one extra special is that it’s an artist’s garden.


How to pick the perfect sofa

Typically not considered to be an impulse purchase, most seek to make a sofa purchase perhaps only once or twice.


In the Garden: Going vegan helps cultivate a green thumb

Heinz has been “seriously gardening” for about eight years and has mostly learned through trial and error and from a lot of reading.


Ask the Builder: Gutter guard madness

Good gutter guards aren’t worth the high price.


In the Garden: Find hummingbirds’ favorite perennials at Friends of Manito Plant Sale

Watching hummingbirds zip from flower to flower fills us with wonder and admiration. Adding their favorite plants to our gardens is the easiest way to attract them.


Ask the Builder: Do your due diligence before hiring a contractor. Yeah, it’s hard

Based on the number of emails I receive each week, I see a growing and alarming trend of people who are so busy, stressed and discombobulated that all they want …


Gardening: Tree with damaged trunk will seal off injured area to protect healthy bark

It started with squalling tires and a big bang.


Ask the Builder: Solar attic fan not going to be adequate for the job

Q. Can you cut through the fog of confusion about solar attic fans? Do they really work, or are they mostly hype? What does it take to really cool an …