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Tips when planting shade trees


Spring decor trends: soothing, soft, sustainable, stylish


DIY projects that conserve energy


Simple ways to prevent dog-related lawn damage






Proper pruning It is all about the right tools

If you are like most homeowners, you need to prune trees, shrubs, bushes and other plants in your yard from time to time. But do you know which tool is best suited for each particular job? Experts say that choosing tools wisely is key to maximizing beauty, and minimizing damage to plants. There are a few things to keep in mind as you go about selecting tools for your pruning jobs, big and small, and landscape designer Doug Scott of Redeem Your Ground in Atlanta, Ga., is sharing a few insights to get you started: • For most basic pruning around the yard, bypass or hand pruners, also known as garden or pruning shears, are go-to tools. Best for making clean cuts through living plants and tree branches, they work much like a set of heavy-duty scissors and are capable of getting into tight spots for close, precise cuts. Scott advises against a common pitfall here: the urge to save money. “Since pruning shears see so much use, it makes sense to buy the best ones you can afford. From my experience, inexpensive models simply don’t last


very long,” he says. “A well-cared for, high-quality set of bypass pruners however can be a lifetime investment for the average homeowner.” • For larger branches, Scott says anvil-style shears can be a good choice, which feature one sharp blade closing against a flat, wide blade and work much like a knife cutting against a cutting board. However, he warns that they should be used selectively, as they crush plant stems more than bypass-style pruners. • When it comes to branches of more than 1/2-inch (12.7 millimeters) in diameter, loppers are the best choice. Like hand pruning tools, there are bypass loppers, which operate much like a large, long-handled set of bypass shears, while anvil-style loppers use just one cutting blade. “Bypass loppers generally cut with more precision, while anvil-style loppers are typically capable of generating more cutting force,” Scott said. Still have questions? New online resources can help. Scott has partnered with Exmark, a leading manufacturer of commercial mowers and equipment on a new video series for DIY homeowners called “Done in a Weekend.” Among the videos is “Cut It Out,” which explains the differences between different pruning tools, as well as provides tips for pruning more effectively with less effort. To view the video, as well as access the other videos in the series, which cover a range of home and garden topics, visit Exmark.com/DIY. Regular pruning is necessary to keep your yard looking beautiful and well-maintained as well as to improve the health of plants. Be sure you’re equipped with the proper tools and knowledge to do so effectively. (StatePoint)

Tips when planting shade trees Beautiful landscaping can add instant curb appeal to a property. But beauty isn’t the only thing that makes idyllic landscaping attractive to homeowners. Some landscaping features, such as shade trees, save homeowners money while adding aesthetic appeal. The U.S. Department of Energy notes that shading is the most cost-effective way to reduce solar heat gain in a home. Shading also cuts air conditioning costs, which tend to be expensive in areas with warm, humid climates. In fact, the DOE notes that well-planned landscapes can reduce unshaded homes’ air conditioning costs by anywhere from 15 to 50 percent. When planting shade trees, one of the first decisions homeowners will need to make is which type of tree, deciduous or evergreen, they want to plant. Deciduous trees are those that seasonally shed their leaves, while evergreens are trees that keep their leaves throughout the year. Deciduous trees can help keep homes cool in the summer by blocking sun, and those same trees can be beneficial in winter after they shed their leaves by letting the sun in and keeping homes warm. But evergreens also can be beneficial in winter by blocking wind, potentially preventing cold air from making its way into a home through cracks in walls or around windows. When planting shade trees, techniques vary depending on which type of tree homeowners ultimately choose to plant.

Planting deciduous trees

ous trees may begin shading the roof within five to 10 years of being planted. When planting deciduous trees, homeowners should keep these tips in mind. • Plant trees to the south of the home. When planted to the south of the home, deciduous trees can screen between 70 and 90 percent of the summer sun while still allowing residents to feel summer breezes. • Consider sun angles. Homeowners who want to shade their homes from low afternoon sun angles should plant trees with crowns that are lower to the ground on the west side of their homes. • Cool air before it reaches your home. Shrubs and groundcover plants can be planted to cool air before it reaches a home.

Evergreen trees Planting evergreens to block wind is known as “windbreaking,” which lowers the wind chill near a home. Wind also can be used to cool a home in summer. But these benefits can only be realized when evergreens are strategically planted. • Location, location, location: The DOE advises planting evergreen trees to the north and northwest of the home to stop wind. In addition, to get the most bang for your windbreaking buck, the distance between the home and windbreak should be two to five times the height of the mature tree. • Plant trees on either side of the house. Planting trees on either side of the house will direct cooling winds toward the home in the summer. Shade trees can help homeowners reduce their energy bills, making them valuable and attractive additions to any landscape.

The DOE says that deciduous trees that are between six and eight feet tall when planted will begin shading the windows of a home within a year of being planted. Depending on the species of the plant and the home, those same decidu-

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Mulching mistakes to AVOID

Landscape features vary significantly from house to house. Some homeowners may prefer water features on their properties, while others focus on flowers that would be the envy of a botanical garden. Regardless of those preferences, lawn and garden enthusiasts who want to make their properties as idyllic as possible may eventually look to mulch to help them accomplish that goal. Mulch helps soil retain moisture, which promotes strong, healthy flowers, plants, trees, and shrubs. And because soil beneath mulch retains more moisture than soil that’s not protected by mulch, homeowners won’t have to spend as much time watering mulched landscapes. That saves time and conserves water, which can be a big benefit in areas prone to drought and/or especially hot summers. Mulch also helps to suppress weed growth, which can ensure all that hard work needed to create an eye-catching garden won’t be compromised by the presence of unsightly, thirsty weeds. Mulching seems like a simple task, and it can be. But that does not mean homeowners cannot make mistakes when mulching. The following are some common mulching mistakes to avoid as lawn and garden season hits full swing.

• Not enough mulch: Mulch is ineffective when spread too thin. The Virginia Cooperative Extension at Virginia Tech and Virginia State University recommends applying mulch no less than two inches in depth. Anything less than that will prove ineffective at preventing weed growth and helping the soil retain moisture, and that means you will need to water more often. • Poorly located mulch: Mulch should not be placed too close to plant stems or tree trunks. When it is, tissue is so wet that it makes for a perfect environment for disease and insect infestation. • Failing to mulch to the drip line: The drip line of a tree refers to the outermost circumference of the tree’s canopy from which water drips onto the ground. The VCE recommends mulching to the drip line of a plant or tree, which ensures the plant or tree will get the most out of the mulch. Mulching to the drip line also minimizes competition from the grass, leading to stronger plants and trees. • Failing to weed before mulching: Weeds should be removed prior to mulching. If they’re not, the mulch can provide the same growing environment for weeds that you’re trying to create for your plants and trees. Mulching benefits a landscape in myriad ways, especially when homeowners avoid some common mulching mistakes.

Spring decor trends: soothing, soft, sustainable, stylish

By KIM COOK The Associated Press If you’re looking for respite from this winter’s weather and news, you’ll find plenty of peace and quiet in the spring offerings beginning to show up at home decor retailers. Two of the biggest trends at home furnishings trade shows have been pop-culture maximalism and modern minimalism. The former is loaded with vibrant imagery and color; the exuberant designs are upbeat and uplifting. The latter, however, is for those who want home to be a sanctuary. This is clean, modern decor with a handcrafted, soul-nourishing approachability, replete with nature references and sublime palettes. “We’re surrounded by the whirring din of contemporary life,” says Jorge S. Arango, a Portland, Maine-based interiors stylist and co-author of seven design books. “It’s no wonder we want things that are simple and real, with hand-hewn textures that reassure us of a connection to our humanity.’’ He’s seeing the trend at all price ranges. “We’re craving products with the authenticity of natural materials, organic forms and warm tones of white,’’ he says. ``Cream, ivory, vanilla rather than starkly antiseptic shades, are plain, honest and uncomplicated.” At this winter’s Ambiente in Frankfurt, Germany, one of the world’s largest consumer goods trade fairs, ``Shaped and Softened” was a trend, with the watchwords ``subtle, restful, coherent and restrained.” The palette evoked melty ice creams, warm earth and hazy summer skies. Look for textiles with soft nap and weave like cashmere or boucle; linen; knitted, crocheted and felted wool; vegan suede; shaggy sheepskin; vegetable-dyed velvet. Items with a sustainability backstory have growing appeal in a marketplace that has often favored the replaceable and throwaway. Leftover alpaca, cotton and wool scraps are re-spun into cream and black camp-style blankets at Blacksaw. These hardworking heritage pieces could also be hung on a wall as artwork. Longevity is part of the plan, says Blacksaw’s founder, Kyle Taylor. “The blankets started out as a vessel for design that had no expiry date, It would be passed on for generations, it would become a meaningful possession. One of the things in your life that was worthy of taking up space,” Taylor says. The interplay of light with decoration is part of the season’s softer side, too. Hammered, buffed metals, like Target’s Linberg brass side table, are soft to touch and have a pleasing glow. Horchow has brass and silver pendant and table fixtures; pierced patterning turns them into magic lamps. Rattan and caning are in every retailer’s

spring furniture lineup. They let light travel through chair backs and room dividers, easing the footprint of these pieces in a room. Woven seagrass or paper rope make for rustic yet featherweight pendants and storage boxes at Target. Matte finishes on ceramics mute the material’s hardness. At Year and Day, find Portuguese clay vessels and plates in hues like midnight, fog, moon and daybreak. Buffing or sanding glass and mineral vessels, plates and objets d’art gives them an ethereal translucence. CB2 has onyx bowls and tea light holders from Bali and Thailand. Siberian-born artist Anastasiya Koshcheeva has her studio, Moya, in Berlin, but harvests birch bark from her home country’s taiga using methods that she says don’t harm the trees. She fashions the bark into little boxes, light fixtures and even lounge chairs; she ships worldwide. And then there’s pattern. If the counterpoint trend this spring is 1980s power prints and blowsy Dutch florals, here we’re looking at discreet, understated illustrations that celebrate the organic. Look for Impressionist, photographic and field study images of flowers at Ballard Designs. Unfussy folk-art embroidery and earthtoned pieced panels are on throw pillows at West Elm and Target. Limpid watery glazes on pottery by Berlin-based Anna Badur evoke frothy waves and tide pools. Finnish artist Teemu Jarvi creates ink-pen illustrations of wild mushrooms, animals, trees and rivers on paper, wool and cotton items. The artist says he was inspired by the Japanese practice of ``forest bathing,’’ retorative walks in the woods. “I want my illustrations to calm you down and make you feel good, happy and grounded,’’ he says. “I think nature has such power to enhance well-being.”






BEFORE ENTERTAINING SEASON Barbecues in the backyard or cocktails on the patio provide some fun ways to enjoy the great outdoors from the comforts of home. While friends and family flock to such entertaining opportunities, some unwanted guests may want to crash the festivities. It’s impossible to ensure a completely bug-free outdoor environment, but there are steps homeowners can take to reduce the amount of pests who want to join the party. Western Exterminator Supply suggests first identifying which kind of insect infiltrations are most common where you live. House flies, fruit flies, mosquitoes, wasps, and bees tend to be abundant in spring and summer. Ants, termites and other bugs also can be prevalent. These insects, however pesky they may seem, often can be kept away without the use of pesticides and other chemicals. • LURE AWAY PESTS. Many insects will be happy to snack on a treat and leave you alone. Put out a dish of sugar water or slices of fruit for insects that feed on sweets and nectar, or a slice of sandwich meat for wasps and yellow jackets. Place these items a fair distance from your gathering. • INSTALL FANS. A patio ceiling fan can blow away mosquitoes and flies relatively easily. And you and your guests will likely enjoy a nice breeze on sultry days. • USE MULCH WISELY. Mulch will add to curb appeal, but having it too close to the house, according to the National Pest Management Association, can present an ideal environment for roaches and ants to nest and find their way into a home. As mulch decomposes, it generates heat and a cozy spot for pests, including mice. Keep mulch 12 inches away from the home’s foundation and entertaining spaces, or use inorganic mulch. • KEEP PATIOS CLEAN. Sweep up and clean away any spilled foods and beverages promptly. Even a tiny nugget of food can attract ants and other insects. • USE NATURAL PEST DETERRENTS. Citronella oils can drive away some insects, as can garlic and rosemary. Lavender, eucalyptus, marigolds, and other pungent aromas will naturally keep mosquitoes and other flying insects at bay. Some people also have luck with mint-flavored mouthwash misted on patios and furniture. • ADDRESS STANDING WATER. Mosquitoes and some other insects lay their eggs in standing water. Routinely drain areas where water collects, including gutters and downspouts • USE LIGHT COLORS. According to HouseLogic, studies show that bugs see dark and bright colors more easily than light colors. Choose lighter shades of paint for outdoor areas and it may make these spaces less attractive to some bugs. • LEAVE THOSE SPIDER WEBS. Many people yell “eek” at the sight of spiders and spider webs. But those arachnids and their sticky webs can do a fine job of capturing many unwanted insects. Resist the temptation to tear down webs and shoo spiders away. Addressing insects means employing various natural strategies to make outdoor entertaining more pleasant.

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The DOE recommends hiring a contractor to seal any leaks on heating and cooling ducts. How much can I save? Homeowners who seal uncontrolled air leaks can save between 10 and 20 percent on their annual heating and cooling bills. —————————————— Project: Plant shade trees. What is it? If you plant a deciduous tree between six and eight feel tall near your home, it will begin to shade your windows within a year of being planted. Depending on the species of the tree and the home, the shade tree will begin shading the roof within five to 10 years. The DOE notes that shading is the most cost-effective way to reduce air conditioning costs. How much can I save? Properly planted shade trees can reduce air conditioning costs by anywhere from 15 to 50 percent. —————————————— Project: Insulate the water heater tank What is it? New water tanks are likely already insulated. But homeowners with older hot water tanks can insulate their tanks with a water heater insulating blanket kit. How much can I save? Insulating a water heater tank can save homeowners as much as 16 percent on their annual water heating bills.

that conserve energy


DID YOU KNOW? When planning spring landscapes, homeowners should always group plants with similar water needs together. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, grouping plants with similar water needs together helps to conserve water, which can be an especially useful strategy if or when drought restrictions go into effect in summer. Homeowners also can embrace additional strategies to landscape with water conservation in mind. For example, aerating soil helps to improve water flow to plants’ roots and reduces water runoff, helping to ensure that plants get all of the water they need while reducing the likelihood that homeowners will have to use excessive amounts of water to keep plants healthy. In addition, using low-water-using types of grass can help homeowners who live in areas prone to drought conserve water while still maintaining lush, green lawns.

Home renovation projects can pay numerous dividends. Renovations can have a positive effect on resale value, make homes more livable for residents and, in some ways, make homes more affordable. Renovation projects that aim to conserve energy can save homeowners substantial amounts of money. Such projects don’t often require considerable effort or even sizable financial investments, which can make homeowners skeptical as to just how much they can save after completing the project. But the scale of a project may have little to do with how much homeowners will save. For example, the U.S. Department of Energy notes that a relatively effortless task like turning back a thermostat between 7° and 10° F for eight hours per day can save homeowners as much as $83 per year. A more labor-intensive task like planting shade trees saves homeowners an average of between $35 and $119 per year. When looking for ways to conserve energy around the house and save money, homeowners need not necessarily commit to expensive projects. The DOE notes that the following are some energy-saving projects and details what homeowners can expect to save after completing them. While each individual project may not result in jaw-dropping savings, homeowners who follow many of these recommendations may end up saving more than $1,000 per year. Project: Install exterior low-e storm windows. What is it? Low-e windows reflect infrared heat back into a home. Such windows are coated with an ultra-thin layer of metal that improves the window’s insulation ability. How much can I save? Homeowners who install low-e windows can save between 12 and 33 percent on their annual heating and cooling costs. ——————————————————— Project: Seal uncontrolled air leaks. What is it? Air leaks let cool air in during winter and warm air in during summer. Caulking, sealing and weather stripping all cracks and large openings can cut back on air leaks that are costing you money.

5 outdoor projects that add value Exterior renovations can enhance the appearance of a property and make it more enjoyable for homeowners. Certain renovations have the potential to add value to a home, while others may do the opposite. Learning which one have the largest return on investment can help homeowners select features that will have the most positive impact. Curb appeal goes a long way toward attracting potential buyers. According to the National Association of Realtors, first impressions of a property have a strong influence on buyers. Landscaping and external features can do much to influence such impressions. • Lawn care program: Investing in a lawn care program that consists of fertilizer and weed control application and can be transferred over to a subsequent home owner is an attractive feature. NAR says such a care program can recover $1,000 in value of the $330 average cost, or a 303 percent ROI. • Low-maintenance lifestyle: When choosing materials

Even the smallest DIY projects can produce big savings. More information about energy-saving home improvement projects can be found at www. energy.gov.

for projects, those that offer low-maintenance benefits can be preferential. These include low-maintenance patio materials, composite decking, vinyl fencing, and inorganic mulched beds. • Fire pit: A fire pit can be used for much of the year. In the spring and summer, the firepit is a great place to congregate to roast marshmallows or sip wine and gaze into the fire. In the fall, the fire pit can make for a cozy retreat. A fire pit that has a gas burner is low-maintenance, and the National Association of Landscape Professionals says that most can recoup about $4,000 of their $6,000 average price tag. • Softscaping: Hardscaping refers to structures like outdoor kitchens or decks. Softscaping involves the living elements of the landscape. Hiring a landscape designer to install trees, shrubs, natural edging, and rock elements can do wonders toward improving the look and value of a home. • Pool or water feature: In certain markets, particularly hot climates, a pool or another water feature is a musthave. However, in other areas where outdoor time is limited, a pool or water feature can actually lower the value of a home. Speaking with a real estate professional can give homeowners an idea of how a pool will fare in a given neighborhood. Outdoor improvements can improve the marketability of a home, as well as enhance its appearance and function.

Flowers and floral design are By KATHERINE ROTH Associated Press In lighting fixtures, wallpapers, bedding and wall art, flowers are coming up all over in 2020. Along with floral design in furnishings, there’s also renewed interest in actual flowers: floral arranging and floral-inspired table settings. “Flowers have always made people feel happy. They can be feminine but they can also be used in a maximalist style,’’ says Christin Geall, author of the new “Cultivated: The Elements of Floral Style” (Princeton Architectural Press). ``As we move away from beige interiors, flowers are a great way to liven things up.” Aimee Lagos, co-founder of Hygge & West, which sells a range of wallpapers and home goods, concurs: “Floral decor is having a major moment in 2020, especially wallpaper.” Floral patterns bring a touch of nature and an organic element into a room, she says, noting the popularity this spring of bold, large-scale floral murals. “While floral patterns are nothing new, we’re seeing modernized versions that appeal to people who in the past may have shied away from florals as being too fussy or old-fashioned,” Lagos says.

At Hudson Valley Lighting, floral offerings include chandeliers with bouquets of crystal flowers, a wall fixture with lights surrounded by delicate petal shapes, and a variety of ceiling lamps and sconces reminiscent of leaves, buds and blossoming flowers. Ben Marshall, Hudson Valley Lighting Group’s creative director, says florals create “a lively energy in the home which is both beautiful and powerful.’’ “Florals are about nature, but they’re also about culture, and bringing plants and plant imagery into the domestic sphere,” says Geall. In her book, she offers practical advice on flower arranging, as well as floral style. “Somewhere along the line, floral design got divorced from the idea of home gardening,’’ says Geall. “My focus is on the basics. And understanding the principles will help you adapt to what’s around you.” Foraged branches, twigs, invasive species, and even fruits and vegeta-

bles can be made into stunning arrangements, she says. Some of the arrangements featured in her book include tiny yellow tomatoes mixed with flowers. Grapes and berries are also fair game. “Just because it’s edible doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful,” she says. In their new “Gathering: Setting the Natural Table” (Rizzoli International Publications), authors Kristen Caissie and Jessica Hundley explore ways to marry flowers and handmade objects into table designs. Photographed by Gemma and Andrew Ingalls, the table settings include ceramics with floral patterns, colors and designs inspired by nature, and natural-looking floral arrangements. “When life gets overwhelming, I try to find my way back to


my original love of flowers,” says Caissie, a floral designer at Moon Canyon, in Los Angeles.






Simple ways to prevent dog-related lawn damage Keep your lawn green and your dog happy

Dogs love spending time outdoors. Dog owners with yards know that dogs benefit greatly from some exercise in the backyard. While that time might be great for dogs, it can take its toll on lawns. Dog urine and feces can adversely affect the look and health of a lush green lawn. Nitrogen is essential to healthy soil, but only at certain levels. When those levels are exceeded, the result can be lawn damage. According to The Spruce Pets, an advisory site that offers practical tips and training advices to pet owners, this is what happens when pets frequently urinate on grass. Urine is naturally high in nitrogen, so when pets urinate on lawns, the grass might turn yellow or brown due to the excess nitrogen content. Nitrogen also is present in lawn fertilizers,

further exacerbating the problem for pet owners who fertilize their lawns. In addition to urine damage, dogs can trample frosted grass, contributing to problems that may not become evident until spring, and get into areas like gardens where they wreak additional havoc. Pet owners who want to let their dogs run free in the yard but don’t want damaged grass may be tempted to put their pooches in diapers or confine them to crates when letting them outside. But such an approach isn’t necessary. In fact, some simple strategies can be highly effective at preventing dog-related lawn damage. • Speak with a landscaper about planting new grass. Certain types of grass, such as Bermuda grass, can withstand dog damage better than others. Local climate will dictate

which types of grass are likely to thrive in a given area, so speak with a professional landscaper about the viability of planting new grass. • Install fencing. Pet owners with expansive yards can install fencing that allows dogs to spend time exercising outdoors without granting them access to the entire property. Large dogs will need more room than small ones, but try to build fenced-in areas that allow dogs to run freely and get the exercise they need to stay healthy. • Work with a dog trainer. Dog trainers might be able to work with dogs so they only urinate in certain areas of the yard, greatly reducing the damage they can cause to a lawn. Trainers also might help curb digging and clawing behaviors that can damage lawns as well as gardens.

• Consider hardscaping. Hardscaping might be most effective for pet owners with small properties. Hardscaping does not include grass and can add visual appeal to a property while saving pet owners the headaches of dealing with dog-related lawn damage. Dogs need time outdoors, and homeowners can take various steps to protect their lawns from dog-related damage.

Mix-and-match decor:


An early, painted Swedish sideboard next to a leather sectional. An ornate Italian walnut headboard on a bed dressed in featherweight linen. A collection of colorful 1930s Fiestaware pottery on a Lucite bookshelf. Mixing vintage and modern elements is one of the easier decorating techniques to employ. A little research can help with sourcing quality antiques, but combining old and new is mostly a matter of making sure the fun ``found” pieces or family heirlooms get along with the contemporary components. That introduction may take some tweaking so your room doesn’t end up looking like a catchall of random furniture, but that’s part of the fun. Introduce the furnishings to each other. See who gets along. And rearrange where everybody sits if you need to. Tamara Rosenthal, Sotheby’s Home marketing vice-president, says the mix-and-match trend is on the rise. “People aren’t as interested in spaces that look like they came entirely from a showroom,” she says. “They want to create a space with a unique point of view, infusing a variety of pieces, eras, textures and more to create a cohesive but unique look and feel.”


in an otherwise modern room. Elizabeth Sesser, a designer at the New York firm Ike Kligerman Barkley, mentions a recent project that blended vintage and modern furniture into an elegant whole. The new: a blue and gray wool and silk carpet, and creamy boucle sofas. The old: “Pairs of smaller, bolder pieces — 1920s Swedish black lacquer side chairs, and 1930s mahogany slipper chairs,” she says.

WATCH YOUR COMBINATIONS Some vintage styles don’t complement each other as well as others, Seldon points out. For instance, the ornate embellishments and jewel tones of Victorian furnishings don’t work harmoniously with the Arts and Crafts movement, whose hallmarks are simpler craftsmanship and muted, nature-inspired hues. If you do want to blend eras, consider Victorian with other formal European eras like Georgian, Edwardian and French. If you’ve got a few exceptional Arts and Crafts pieces, play them up with clean-lined country styles and modern upholstery. “One of my favorite ways to mix design styles is with midcentury pieces,” says Rosenthal. “They’re truly transitional, because they can sway traditional or modern without looking out of place.”

Katie Watson-Smyth, who lives in London and writes the design blog Mad About the House, agrees about midcentury modern: “You will never go wrong with a chair from this period. It’s friends with everyone.” She notes that midmod chairs can be re-upholstered in a range of fabrics to suit any design vibe. She also recommends looking for common threads among your found pieces — rounded edges; wood and color tones; surface materials like marble.

NEW, INSPIRED BY OLD If you don’t have true antiques, there are interesting new pieces that harken to the past. For example, at this spring’s Architectural Digest Design Fair in New York, Brooklyn-based Rhyme Studio is debuting a collection of wool rugs inspired by a 1,600-year-old Irish alphabet, known as Ogham, or the tree alphabet. Its folk history may tie it to druids and secretive scholars, but the designs look as current and chic as anything dreamed up today. And at Kathy Kuo, find an array of new seating, lighting and casegoods referencing popular eras like Hollywood Regency, French Country and Art Deco.

Interior design maven Kimberley Seldon, whose business is based in Toronto and Los Angeles, follows this formula when mixing styles: “As long as 80% of an interior is cohesive — same style, same period, same L AWN & G ARDEN E QUIPMENT S ALES & S ERVICE philosophy — the other 20% can deviate. In 20 years, I’ve never seen this rule of thumb fail.” 1000 Myrtle Beach Hwy., Sumter, SC 29153 Rosenthal recommends Parts & Service Center Senior Citizen & Military Discount layering old and new items, Mon-Fri 8:00-5:00 | Sat 8:00 - 12:00 like hanging an antique rug

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SHOP SMART Rosenthal advises planning in advance before hunting for specific pieces, since the internet and antiques shops and fairs can be overwhelming. Be specific when you key in search terms. Knowing what you’re after helps, but be open to surprise finds. “We always recommend starting with smaller items like mirrors, artwork, accessories and other accents,” she says. “You can find a wide range of styles in mirrors in good shape that add a touch of history. And you can often find standout light fixtures that no one else will have,” she says. “Shopping at a reputable site, antique dealer or well-regarded secondhand store is key,” she warns. “They’ll be able to provide all the information you need on the specific details of the piece.” Pieces on the Sotheby’s Home site, for example, have been vetted by a team that assesses condition, authenticity, etc. Besides Sotheby’s, check out the ever-changing lineup of furnishings and collectibles at Chairish, 1stDibs, Etsy, eBay, One King’s Lane and Jayson Home, where new pieces include a 19th century French wood and marble patisserie table, and a train bench salvaged from an old British colonial train in northern Thailand.

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