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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.
September 03, 2014

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.
September 03, 2014

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.
September 03, 2014

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.
July 03, 2014

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?
July 03, 2014

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.
July 03, 2014

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.
July 03, 2014

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.
July 02, 2014

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.
July 02, 2014

Popular Powder Rooms

Does this sound familiar? Years ago you bought a great house. It has a sunny living room, a sizable yard, and enough bedrooms to fit your family. There’s just one problem: It could really use another bathroom. You’d consider moving to a bigger place, but with the market the way it is, that’s not an option. And you just can’t stomach the thought of a major renovation. So what to do? One solution will make your day-to-day much easier and substantially increase your home’s value: adding a powder room.
May 01, 2014