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Furniture and Fixtures as Art

Wood sanders buzz and power tools whir wildly as the USS Hornet hulks in the distance and a vision of the San Francisco skyline shimmers outside a warehouse on Alameda’s former Navy base. Inside, furniture maker and designer Florian Roeper casts the mold for the bronze metal legs of a commanding dining table, his latest commission.

5 Lighting Tips From the Pros

Most of us probably take lighting for granted. Flip on the switch, and as long as you can see what you’re doing, you’re good. But lighting can be magical. It can change the mood in a room and illuminate everyday tasks. So to add that little glow to your home, here are five quick tips from the experts.

Take It Outside

Summer comes late to us here in the East Bay. That’s good news. It means there’s still time to prep your backyard for the next two months of typically warm weather.

Simple Redo Versus Major Overhaul

Interior designers are asked this question a lot, especially when it comes to kitchens: "How much can I change it without changing everything?" After all, the renovation of no other room wreaks quite as much havoc on daily life as redoing a kitchen. Thus many people try to avoid a total gut job-to protect their sanity and their wallets.

Bold, Monochromatic, and Patterned

For years, white kitchens have reigned supreme. It’s easy to see why. They’re clean, bright, and tasteful; they’ll always be classic. But there’s a new kind of style on the block, and it’s closing in on the standing champ. We’re talking big and bold. Rich color and vibrant pattern, affecting nearly surface in the space, from cabinets and backsplashes to walls and floors. This trend is rising fast, and it’s bringing a whole new level of excitement to the hardest working room in the house.

Tis the Season for Heirloom Charentais Cantaloupes

Cantaloupes are still met with skepticism, even at farmers’ markets, perhaps due to years of eating insipid supermarket specimens. But at many market stalls, skepticism fades after a bite of Charentais melon, an heirloom cantaloupe.

How to Make a Statement with Your Front Door

As we roll into summer here in the East Bay, one thing is certain: We’ll all be spending lots of time outdoors. That makes this the perfect time to update your home’s exterior. No need to undertake a major renovation, though. Just concentrate your efforts on the entrance. A few quick changes there are enough to make the whole place feel refreshed.

Housing Boom Is No Bubble

Anytime a blog post or news story appears that cites the skyrocketing cost of Bay Area real estate, some readers in the online comments section point to signs of a housing bubble such as the one that burst in late 2008. What are the chances that the current run-up in prices will end in another crash, sending prices in many parts of the Bay Area plummeting, with some values in outlying areas dropping by one-half or more?

Nectarines In Season Now

Poems to peaches are common enough. Google “ode to a peach” and there are plenty of hits. But odes to nectarines, their smoother-skinned cousins? They’re fewer and farther between. But they are just as deserving of elevated praise, especially ones from organic orchards like Blossom Bluff, a family farm in Parlier.

Pollinate Farm & Garden Thrives

Ethnic and cultural diversity prevail in Oakland. Take the Fruitvale and Dimond districts, where hip apparel store Oaklandish recently opened next to an old-fashioned butcher shop that’s been there for decades. In the same vicinity, an authentic Filipino restaurant operates near a grocery store that sells almost exclusively imported Mexican goods. That’s Oakland.