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The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

Chris enlisted her 10-year-old neighbor, Alice Doyle Taylor, to help her make new bathroom curtains. Photo: Chris Bjorklund, 2016

As I mentioned in last month’s newsletter, I’ve been busy having three bedrooms and a bathroom painted, which forced me to clean out my closets. The project was time-consuming, but I’m happy to say I didn’t spend a lot of money. It made our home more aesthetically pleasing and I’m looking forward to having houseguests again.

That got me thinking about other little things my husband and I could do to spruce things up that wouldn’t cost an arm and a leg. Continue reading “The Art of the Tweak: Small Change but Big Home Improvement” »

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Home, Smart Home: Integration, Automation and the Future of Domestic Living

As the “smart home” movement continues to build momentum, more Bay Area homeowners are considering the benefits of home automation. Photo: Lavish Theaters (2016)

As the “smart home” movement continues to build momentum, more Bay Area homeowners are considering the benefits of home automation. Photo: Lavish Theaters (2016)

Thirty years ago, if you conducted a survey about what technological advancements people expected to see in 2016, answers would have likely included flying cars, computer-controlled homes and colonization of other planets. Well…at least one of these futuristic forecasts has come to pass: home automation. The “smart home” is here, and it’s revolutionizing the mode of modern domestic life.

But what exactly is a smart home? According to Micah Brown, owner of Avid Home Theater, a smart home is defined by two key terms: integration (multiple systems are tied together into a single control system) and automation (the systems are programmed to function autonomously of the user). Continue reading “Home, Smart Home: Integration, Automation and the Future of Domestic Living” »

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Turn on the Bright Lights: Exterior and Interior Lighting Basics

When it comes to upgrading your home’s lighting, careful consideration will help you achieve your desired effect. Photo: Knights’ Electric, Inc. (2015)

When it comes to upgrading your home’s lighting, careful consideration will help you achieve your desired effect. Photo: Knights’ Electric, Inc. (2015)

Have you ever been in a seemingly well-lit room and suddenly found yourself straining to see? If so, you know how frustrating bad lighting can be. And yet, many people continue to regard lighting as purely one-dimensional, not realizing there’s a lot more to it than its most basic function. In reality, it’s not merely our ability to see in the dark that counts, but how well we’re able to see, as well as how lighting makes us feel. By comprehending the true complexity involved in achieving good lighting, you can make the most of illumination in both your interior and exterior living spaces. Continue reading “Turn on the Bright Lights: Exterior and Interior Lighting Basics” »

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