It’s all in How You Finish That Counts

I   don’t know if you’ve noticed, but it’s the wild west out there when it comes to the finishes we find on hardware, bathroom fixtures, and lighting.   Where we used to …
Doug Cook, owner of Gloucester-based Landesign, designed and implemented this interior garden project in Beverly.

Some Top Interior Design Trends to Look Out For in 2024

As we delve into the year 2024, there are dozens of notable interior design trends that Cape Ann experts point to, from color schemes to furniture styles, and even building materials.   Here are three great …

Welcome, Cape Ann Gardeners, to an Early Spring!

woman gardening herbs in her backyard garden

Spring is here, bringing an array of colors and a sense of renewal to Cape Ann’s gardens. Right now, it’s the perfect time to highlight the beauty of your surroundings.   Can you …

Hmmm …. What Can't Paint Do?

Recently while driving, I glanced to my left as a well-loved car was passing. I’m pretty sure that car was painted with house paint and a paintbrush.  It makes me pause, and it’s a …

Gray House is Anything But

Behind its simple exterior lives a visual feast By Kris McGinn L ast month, during a particularly lovely and lively holiday lunch at the Cricket , an unexpected visitor stopped by. …

Designing a Great Room? Make it Great
Great rooms.  There are so many of us that have them.  Perhaps you have one because you own a large older home, with its elegant bones, grand rooms and high ceilings.  Or maybe your …
Some holiday decorating tips
Too much stuff?   Reign it in!   No one likes a room that feels cluttered and chaotic.   So, choose some, and save some others for something different in the years to come. Focus …
A Ghost of Christmas Past
W hen I was a kid, my mother loved Christmas.   I see now it was fitting because Carolyn liked sparkly things all year round, and she kind of lived in this world with fairy sprites and earthen …
YOURS & MINE : Holiday Traditions
There are holiday traditions in aspirational books and television shows. Then, there are the real family traditions to celebrate the holiday season. Here are some good ones shared by local familiar faces. From an annual Christmas Eve date with a book to baking countless pies, locals celebrate this season in their own ways.
Here in New England, Jen Coles writes, spaces and sightlines can be “wonky.” But there are some pro tips to make spaces feel great to live in.
Taking the “Cramp” Out of Your “Camp” 
Almost 20 years ago, my then-husband and I went to a real estate open house where I promptly fell in love with a crazy fixer-upper, writes Manchester-based interior designer Jen Coles. Learn pro tips on how to make tough layouts and spaces work.
<p>Fall Planting</p><p><em>(Courtesy Photo)</em></p>
A Beginner’s Guide to Fall Planting and Maintenance
  Spring and summer are perhaps the busiest times of year for gardeners.  However, fall also is a prime time to tend to gardens. The tree and bare root retailer Bower & Branch advises that …
<p><em>Rockport’s Paper House museum, made of more than 100,000 newspapers in the 1920s by a mechanical engineer from Sweden, still stands and is open to the public.</em></p>
All the News That’s Fit to … Build?
Right up the road, in Rockport, an under-the-radar museum is the enduring marvel of engineering, with newspapers. Visitors and residents alike are familiar with the dramatic perimeter drive around …
<p><em>Signs of BLD include puckered, distorted leaves, with dark striping between the veins. (Courtesy images)</em></p>
Beech Trees Under Threat
One of our favorite properties for a beautiful walk in Manchester-by-the-Sea is Coolidge Reservation. We are awed by this property with its scenic marshy pond and the trail that leads to the vast …
<p><em>(Photos Anna Kasabian)</em></p>
Local Gardens: Turning Your Lawn into a Flower Garden
  Last Spring (2022) we agreed the grass in our backyard needed to go.  The mowing, raking, weeding, no longer were of interest!  The lawnmower was left at the end of our driveway and was …
<p><em>Joseph Solman, Ruth Wintner - Summer Reading, oil on board, 1937, 22x20</em></p>
Joseph Solman: Overlooked Paintings at Mercury Gallery in Rockport
Joseph Solman (1909-2008) was a seminal figure in the modernist art movement that flourished in 20th century Manhattan. He drew critical praise for his expressionist paintings of people, street …
Home improvement coverage from around the web

10 Tips to Make Your Air Conditioner More Energy Efficient and Sustainable

(Family Features) Updating your HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) system to cool your home in a smart and sustainable way involves several steps that not only improve energy efficiency but also reduce environmental impact.

Focus on these 4 areas to protect your home's exterior

(BPT) - While you probably know your deck needs waterproofing, did you know many other materials outside your home like concrete, masonry and fabrics also need protection? To help keep exterior parts …

The future of home water heating: How heat pump technology is changing the game

(BPT) - The Department of Energy (DOE) recently released higher energy-efficiency standards for water heaters that will go into effect in 2029. Focusing on decarbonization, the new standards …

Update your window coverings to increase your safety, style and savings

(BPT) - It's time to welcome the freshness of the warmer months into our homes and embrace the new season. For many of us, this time of year is a chance to renew and re-organize. Spring and summer …

Residential Refresh: Personalized touches for your home

(Family Features) Your home is an expression of you, your personality and your lifestyle. When it comes to personalizing your home's aesthetic, try leaning into your senses to inspire change within your space.

5 Easy, Space-Saving Room Ideas

(BPT) - Looking to update a room that is short on space during this home improvement season? Converting traditional swinging doors into pocket doors is a simple, practical way to increase the amount …

Bring balance and imperfection to the kitchen through Japandi style

(BPT) - Balance and harmony. These are two important principles of design to consider during the initial phases of conceptualizing a space. This is especially true in the kitchen, the heart and soul …

More ideas for your home
Elevate your outdoor retreat with 4 innovative hardscaping designs
(BPT) - As spring and summer approach, it's time to consider how you'll use your outdoor spaces this year. Your backyard, patio, front lawn and garden aren't just for outdoor activities. They are …
7 tips for electrical safety in and around your home
(BPT) - May is Electrical Safety Month! It's a great time to remind yourself of the potential dangers associated with electricity and be proactive about electrical safety in and around your home, …
Building an ADU? Save space and energy by going tankless
(BPT) - Over the past few years, more and more American families have opted for multigenerational living arrangements. A survey by Generations United found that 26% of American adults live in …
High-ROI Spring Home Projects
(Family Features) Whether you're looking to add value for potential sale or simply create a more comfortable living space, you can make the most of the season and breathe new life into your home with projects like these.
5 Home Updates to Provide Peace of Mind for Your Family
(Family Features) Home improvement projects often focus on updating the aesthetic of your house, but upgrades that make your living space more secure and comfortable are sometimes even more important.
More Home Improvement News

Tips to “Yard Your Way” This Spring

Choose plants that support pollinators and wildlife.

(NAPSI)—Homeowners can put their own spin on their personal outdoor space this spring by adopting a “yard your way” attitude, advises the TurfMutt Foundation, which is celebrating 15 years of …

Keep Up with Kitchen Trends

(Family Features) Kitchen upgrades are typically all about making practical updates to meet the needs of a family. Before you dive into a kitchen project, consider these on-trend design recommendations.

Get Ready to Grill: Choosing the right outdoor cooking solution for your needs

(Family Features) Because firing up the grill can make prepping meals quick and easy, it allows you to spend more time with friends and family rather than missing out on the sunshine while stuck in the kitchen.

6 home improvement projects that offer the best return on your investment

Rocket Loans reports that there are large and small home improvements that provide a good return on investment.

Top Tips for Signature Scents and Better-Smelling Laundry

When it comes to laundry, products offering a uniform scent can mean the sweet smell of success for you.

(NAPSI)—You should have a signature scent. Whether fruity or floral, herbal or homey, there’s something about carrying that fragrance with you that makes you feel put-together 24/7.   …

Caring for your home and family

From Kitchen to Curb: Simple Ways to Refresh Your Home

(BPT) - Following historical trends, spring and summer months represent an active time of year for the housing market. For sellers in 2023, homes listed in the first two weeks of June sold for 2.3% …

3 Tips to Improve Indoor Air Quality This Spring

(BPT) - As temperatures rise and flowers begin to bloom, it's more important than ever to make your home a sanctuary — safe from pollen and other allergens. This spring, upgrading your home air …
Home ideas

A Tool to Help Hobbyists and Professionals Get the Job Done

(Family Features) Whether you're into woodworking, metalworking, building models or another craft or hobby, the right tools allow you to work faster, easier and smarter. Consider this capable and versatile project partner for your next DIY job.

Moving Season Security: 6 solutions to safeguard valuables

(Family Features) It's moving season, which means packing up valuables like tech devices, family heirlooms, jewelry and beyond and trusting they'll make it safely to your new space.
Smart isn’t just for technology — welcome to the smart communities of tomorrow
(BPT) - In the ever-changing landscape of urban and suburban living, mixed-use developments have emerged as an example of smart communities. Blending convenience, sustainability, and a vibrant social …
Generac Urges Americans to Prepare for Power Outages Early
Generac Urges Americans to Prepare for Power Outages Early
(NewsUSA) - Recent Generac/Harris Poll survey provides insights into preparedness for widespread power outages*With the 2024 Atlantic hurricane season expected to have the highest activity level in …
Military families can master their next move with support from SmartMove’s online resources.
Moving Resources For Military Families
(NAPSI)—Military families and veterans know that relocating loved ones when PCS orders arrive can be stressful—but there are steps you can take to make things easier.   Keeping Military …
Spray Texture 101
(BPT) - From adding a touch of dimension on ceilings to making a bold statement on accent walls, texture is playing a larger role in home décor. The use of visual texture can help elevate a …
The most affordable way to create your forever home? Above-floor plumbing
(BPT) - Buying a home may not be the wisest idea in today's housing market. If you bought or refinanced your home in early 2022, you likely were able to take advantage of a low interest rate and …