Your walls may hold the secret to a cozy space

July 1st, 2015

While the summer temperatures heat up, I am doing the opposite of what one might think: I’m turning inward with my decorating and choosing this time to make our family room warmer and cozier. Our family room, as in most homes, is where my husband, children and I spend much of our time. The sofa and chairs are our most comfortable, and it is the location of our only television. The room is where we congregate to read, work, watch movies and listen to music. Yet even though we gravitate to the room, I have always been dissatisfied with its decor. In an effort to make the room more inviting, I have tried painting the walls a darker color, swapping out the rug for one with a plusher pile, reupholstering the sofa from a cotton to a velvet, and replacing the overhead light with dimmable ambient fixtures — all without fully achieving the cozy effect I desired. Finally, this summer, I have decided to do what I wanted to do all along: I am having the walls upholstered. Read full article >>



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Accessories for every kind of picnic

July 1st, 2015

Seize the summer. It’s a sentiment we feel with some urgency as we cram in trips to the pool and rush around packing for vacations. Marnie Hanel, a writer in Portland, Ore., suggests, though, that the best way to enjoy sunny, warm days is to slow down, sit down and have a picnic. Read full article >>



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Obama legacy includes a new look for White House’s State Dining Room

June 26th, 2015

The White House’s State Dining Room, a grand and historic space that has hosted kings and queens, Nobel Prize-winners, military families and George Clooney, is not a room whose redecoration is taken lightly. Yet it gets a lot of wear and tear, with all those Manolo heels digging into the rug and martinis accidentally spilling onto the curtains.Read full article >>





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Get the look: Loi Thai’s shopping list

June 24th, 2015

Loi Thai and Tom Troeschel renovated and furnished their Northwest Washington basement by shopping big-box and chain stores, as well as hunting sales and close-outs at higher-end stores and outlets. Here are some of their sources. Read full article >>





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Can a basement really be beautiful?

June 24th, 2015

Bethesda antiques dealer Loi Thai isn’t someone you would ever associate with the term “bargain basement.”His shop, Tone on Tone, is the go-to source for interior designers and stylish collectors. They love his 19th-century Swedish painted chests, mid-century Danish tables and gilded Venetian mirrors. Readers of Thai’s blog and his 17,500 Instagram followers savor and share the photos of Thai’s jaunts to Paris and Maine. They have followed the tale of the restoration of the 1916 Spanish Colonial revival house where he lives with husband Tom Troeschel. Read full article >>





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To find a tool, first you must hide it

June 23rd, 2015

Garden tools don’t just run away and hide, but often it seems that way. Where’s the trowel I was using before lunch? And the weed bucket? For that matter, where’s that phone? When you’re moving around the yard it’s easy to forget where you set something down in order to pick up something else.Read full article >>





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Four savvy design tips from D.C. designer Joe Ireland

June 19th, 2015

Washington designer Joe Ireland, who recently staged a pop-up shop at Union Market, knows how to mix traditional design with hip style. Ireland joined our Home Front Web chat this week. Here are four of his best design tips from the chat.Read full article >>





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Release of encyclical reveals pope’s deep dive into climate science

June 18th, 2015

VATICAN CITY — He warns of “synthetic agrotoxins” harming birds and insects and “bioaccumulation” from industrial waste. He calls for renewable fuel subsidies and “maximum energy efficiency.” And although he offers prayers at the beginning and end of his heavily anticipated missive on the environment, Pope Francis unmasks himself not only as a very green pontiff, but also as a total policy wonk.Read full article >>





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Rewriting the language of abortion

June 18th, 2015

Abortion-rights proponents’ desire to see abortion-rights rhetoric purged of its euphemistic language is laudable; however, it is not likely to happen. Indeed, the June 14 Outlook essay “Reclaiming abortion” included many standard pro-choice euphemisms: procedure, women who terminate pregnancies, reproductive health, reproductive rights, reproductive freedom — all common code for abortion or for access to abortion.Read full article >>





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How to incorporate a large television, without it taking over your living room

June 17th, 2015

THE CHALLENGEThe living room of Alexis and Brian Horan’s Mount Pleasant rowhouse has two parts: one area at the foot of the stairs and another by the fireplace. She wants to unify the spaces and create an inviting place for relaxing, entertaining and watching television, but she doesn’t want the TV to be the focal point of the room.Read full article >>





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