Getting Serious with Sycamore

January 27, 2010

We are seriously entranced the skills of one of the bloggers behind Lumberjocks, who built a great-looking saw box out of some English Sycamore he picked up at Schutte Lumber. To quote the blogger, “Schutte was like a walk through a woodcrafter’s nirvana. I have never worked with Sycamore before but was entranced by the

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The Anatomy of Fine Outdoor Living

January 26, 2010

We may still be in the thick of winter, but that doesn’t keep us from dreaming about entertaining outdoors in a few short weeks. And we won’t have to look too far for inspiration. Last summer, we partnered with Kansas City Homes & Gardens and the Arts & Recreation Foundation of Overland Park to showcase

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Industry News: 2010 International Builders Show

January 21, 2010

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, right? Well, not so fast. Below, we wanted to share a few insights from the International Builders Show (IBS), taking place in Sin City this week, courtesy of two industry reporters. Green is still king, as sustainability stays on the forefront of professional home builders’ minds.  Environmentally-friendly products

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Improving Fireplace Efficiency

January 15, 2010

How effective is your fireplace as a heater in your home? If your fireplace is 15 years older or more, it may “actually waste more energy than it creates throughout the season,” according to “How to Make Your Fireplace More Efficient” by Mother Earth News. Of course, replacing your fireplace with a newer, more energy-efficient

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A Shift in the Landscape: 10 Trends in Home & Garden Worth Taking into the Next Decade

January 6, 2010

Just 10 years ago, when we began a new millennium, “‘carbon footprint’ wasn’t a household term, ‘paper or plastic’ hadn’t become a moral dilemma, and reduce, reuse and recycle didn’t yet come to mind as the three R’s,” writes San Francisco Chronicle Home & Garden Editor Deb Wandell. Wow. Our homes and gardens have come

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Green Living: Using Recycled Materials in the Kitchen

January 5, 2010

Fact: 40 billion glass bottles are made every year; 75 percent of which are tossed into the trash. With dismal odds like that, you may find yourself wanting to incorporate recycled glass into your kitchen countertop if only to keep from being a statistic. And with countertop options ranging from Vetrazzo (pictured) to Icestone and

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Blowing Smoke vs. Clearing the Air: On Burn Bans

January 3, 2010

From San Francisco and Olympia, Washington, to Keene, New Hampshire, municipal governments have begun instating “burn bans” for its residents this winter, and to much ado. Citing air quality–specifically, the fine-particle pollution smoke can create–state governments are seeking to clear the air, literally, by restricting the use of wood-burning devices, including fireplaces, pellet stoves and

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