Designer banished dark wood from grand Tudor with Tuscan touch

| |Friday, Sep. 19, 2014

PITTSBURGH - A large lot and warm red brick contrasting with creamy terra cotta trim prompted James Spencer to purchase a Tudor-style house in the Shadyside neighborhood of Pittsburgh in 2012.

Living Smart: How to deal confidently with contractor upselling

| |Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014

Upselling is a fact of consumer life, from "will you have fries with that?" at the drive-thru to the credit card promotion at the department store cash register.

Your Place: Necessary to redo attic spray foam after 4 years?

| |Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014

Question: I had our attic spray-foamed in 2010. Our HVAC contractor recently did a semiannual service. The technician came down from the attic, where he was checking the air handler, and he was wringing wet with sweat.

On Gardening: Surprise! Red spider lilies are a late-summer treat

| |Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014

The red spider lily is among the showiest bulbs we can grow, and a group of a 100 plus could border on the spectacular. I've always wondered if anyone had ever planted so boldly, and then on a recent weekend there they were for me to see, and I couldn't stop the car fast enough.

Diggin' In: Fall brings yellow crownbeard and its loyal soldier beetle

| |Thursday, Sep. 18, 2014

Yellow crownbeard is easy to spot in the autumn sun - just look for flower clusters that look like ragged yellow mops.

Ask Angie: Who fixes a wall after plumbing or electrical work?

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Dear Angie: When you have electrical, plumbing or certain other kinds of work done that may require a hole in a wall, who's responsible for repairing it? The plumber or electrician? Or do I need to hire someone else?

For Your Home: How to get a fresh look on a budget

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Stop putting roadblocks between you and the decor you'd love to have. Instead of thinking about a project as a major undertaking, try breaking it up into doable phases that won't stress you or your budget. If you'd love a new kitchen but can't afford it, you can still get a running start on a new look by starting small.

Faucets can be hands off at home

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

We're a culture accustomed to the idea of hands-free faucets in public places. In the restrooms of airports, restaurants and malls, we know the routine: We place our hands under the faucet, waiting for the water to flow out of the spigot. So it's easy to imagine no-touch faucets in the bathroom and kitchen, given how more manufacturers - from Delta to Hansgrohe to Kohler - have been adapting the hands-free technology for commercial-grade faucets to the home.

Home Fix: Roofing warranties negated when shingles are improperly nailed

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Q: I called a roofer because I had a leak in my replaced roof. The roof is only 2 years old but the roofer told me the shingles were not nailed correctly and that my warranty would not be any good. He gave me a price to replace all the shingles and to get a new warranty. Is this something that happens often? Should I replace a 2 year old roof?

1914-built Tudor Revival house has a colorful history

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

When the ancient wallpaper in Jill Harmon's foyer started to deteriorate, she didn't tear it down; she hired a pro to touch it up. This wasn't just any old wallpaper. It was a silk-screened Zuber mural dating back to the 1930s when a previous owner received it as a wedding gift.

Style at Home: Five fall door looks you'll love

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Your front door is a decorating bull's-eye that snags the attention of everyone who passes by your home every day. Wow them this fall with one of these five simple but stunning front door treatments we created to inspire you:

Treasures: 'Mongrel' sideboards a useful, attractive find

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Dear Helaine and Joe:

Hobbies: Go to school in style with a personalized drawstring backpack

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

It's that time of year again! The school season is upon us and we have a fun and easy way to liven up your back-to-school look. By adding a bright trim or a few pompoms to an old backpack, you can update your look and make a splash in the new school year. This is a great project to do after school, or throw a slumber party and embellish your backpack with your friends.

Design Recipes: For new singles, how to reinvent your life and your decor

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

When one door closes, another one opens. The end of a relationship can be a time to not only reevaluate one's life, but also one's decor.

Yardsmart: Naturalizing narcissus

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Throughout rural America, one exotic plant manages to survive and flower in the dawn of spring. It's often seen in graveyards, first planted by the hands of grieving survivors a century ago. They crop up in the wilderness, too, as living remnants of pioneer homes lone gone. These are the early flowering clan of daffodil, or narcissus, that manages to survive the rigors of a dozen different climate zones from Texas to Canada.

Why your next great home accessory might come from the sea

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Under-the-sea themes are a constant of coastal design. But one marine motif especially transcends styles, as a rich boost to almost any kind of decor, and that is coral.

Plumber: Relax with your favorite bathing style

| |Monday, Sep. 15, 2014

Q: Dear Ed, we have a large shower area in our bathroom and I want to convert that space into a beautiful bathing area. I have chosen the style and size of the new tub, but need choices as the hydrotherapy options. Can you please give me some basic bathing choices with some of your thoughts on each?

Hot Property: Jensen Ackles' Malibu retreat charms a buyer

| |Sunday, Sep. 14, 2014

Jensen Ackles of "Supernatural" and his actress wife, Danneel Harris, put their gated home in Malibu up for sale at $6.995 million and in four days they had a buyer.

Hot Property, Athletes Edition: Hit king out in Sherman Oaks

| |Friday, Sep. 12, 2014

Pete Rose of Big Red Machine fame has hustled a deal in L.A.'s Sherman Oaks neighborhood, selling his longtime residence for $1.96 million.

Your Place: What to do if you smell gas in your home

| |Thursday, Sep. 11, 2014

Art is imitating life here.