Author Archives: Lauren Cabral

House Envy: Modern Colonial in MA

HOUSE STYLE: Modern Colonial

LOCATION: Brookline, MA

PRICE: $4,999,900

HOUSE STATS: 5,786 sq. ft., 6 bedrooms, 6 baths

Modern Colonial

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DIY Deals: St. Patrick’s Day Savings

DIY Deals

St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and with it have come some very lucky deals. Whether you’re going green, adding green to your decor or just looking to spend your green wisely, these are some weekend deals sure to please.

Bloomingdale’s is having their online and in-store Home Sale this weekend, so a visit to the department store (virtually or physically) should be on your to-do list. Save 20-50% on select home items through Sunday, 3/18.

Take advantage of K-Mart’s online St. Patrick’s Day Sale for additional savings on items already reduced as part of the retailer’s Think Spring Sale. Save an extra 10% on patio furniture (already 20% off), an extra 5% on swing sets and trampolines (already 40% off), and an extra 10% on living room and bedroom furniture (already 40% off). Basketball fans will also find great savings on large-screen TVs; perfectly timed for March Madness viewing. Sale ends at midnight 3/17.

Kmart Seiki 32" LCD HDTV

Seiki 32" LCD HDTV on sale at KMart for $229.99 (reg. $279.99)

Don’t let Easter (Sunday, April 8th) sneak up on you! Shop for décor now at Williams–Sonoma and get free shipping on all holiday items.

If you’re looking for a new phone, look no further than Verizon. The cellular service provider is having a St. Patrick’s Day Sale that includes a free HTC Rhyme Android Smartphone with accessories (tangle-free headphones, charging docking station and charm call indicator), a 2-year activation fee, and data package. But hurry, this sale ends when its namesake holiday does (3/17).

Target Belmont Wicker Patio Chair Set

Target Belmont Patio Chair Set on sale for $261 (reg. $374)

Target is offering up to 30% off select patio and garden furniture, including gazebos, outdoor furniture, umbrellas, cushions and fire pits. Free shipping is included with purchases of $50 or more (on eligible items) and always when you use your REDcard. Sale ends at midnight 3/17.

If you’re going green, visit the online environmental store this weekend to save 25% on six bottles of non-toxic, vegetable-based enzyme cleaners. Good for you, your home, the environment and your pocketbook. Offer ends 3/19.

Shop at Lowe’s this weekend and save 10% on all major appliances priced at $299 or more. Sale ends 3/19.

Visit to save up to 50% on computers, cameras, phones and other electronics. Plus, get free shipping on most items. Sale ends 3/19.

House Envy: Victorian-Era Home in GA Victorian-Era House For Sale in Millen, Georgia


HOUSE STYLE: Folk Victorian


PRICE: $148,000

HOUSE STATS: 3,200 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, sitting room, dining room, office, front and back porch, detached garage

WHY WE LOVE IT: Improbably, this 1890s Folk Victorian home in Millen, GA, manages to be both rustic and refined at once. That’s the view from the curb, at least. The interiors are, if not lavish, then generously proportioned and finely detailed. The original tongue-and-groove pine floors have been completely refinished and a grand staircase greets visitors upon entrance. Enhancing the home’s period appeal are elegant light fixtures, high ceilings (10-14′), and five (count ‘em!) fireplaces.

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DIY Deals: Early Spring Weekend Sales Watch

Spring is the season of renewal—especially for your home, so take advantage of some of the amazing sales this weekend.  Here are just a few to get you started:

Hayneedle is holding The Elevent this weekend. Take an extra 11% off of dining, patio, and conversation sets, cushions and covers at checkout with special promo code “ELEVENT”. Sale ends 3/11/12

Wayfair is offering big savings on mattresses—up to 50% off—plus 20% off select bed and bath items. Limited time only

Ace Hardware is hosting a FREE Paint Saturday tomorrow (March 10, while supplies last). Print out a coupon from the website and take it to your local store for a free quart of Clark+Kensington flat enamel paint. If the store has met their quota on free paint, you can always take advantage of “Red Hot Buys” on everything from shop-vacs to garden tools.

Crate and Barrel is having a sectional sofa sale all month—take 15% off! Sale ends 4/1/12

Macy’s Weekend Sale is happening now. Take 20-60% off designer bed and bath products, plus an extra 15% off already-reduced items, and an extra 10% off select departments. You’ll also get free shipping with orders of $99 or more. Want the same deals in-store? Visit Macy’s online to print out a coupon before you hit the bricks-and-mortar location. Sale ends 3/12/12 is helping you kick off your spring cleaning. All month long, save 20% off any one single cleaning item. For bigger savings, click on the “Sales” tab, where you’ll find great items on for up to 75 % off. Sale ends 4/1/12

Preventing Home Accidents

Preventing Home Accidents

Photo: Shutterstock

It’s easy to overlook the obvious, especially when you’re busy, distracted or anxious to get something done. But oversights when tackling home improvements, and even routine chores, can have serious consequences, particularly when it comes to personal safety.

In Preventing Home Accidents (Hunter House, 2012), author and certified safety professional Dan Hannan, serves up a comprehensive guide for raising home-saftey awareness. As an experienced safety educator and trainer, Hannan acknowledges that, while safety isn’t the most thrilling topic, it is an important one; especially since 46 percent of all accidental deaths each year occur in the home, outpacing automobile and workplace fatalities combined (according to the National Safety Council).

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Win a Toro TimeMaster in Bob Vila’s Spring Give-Away!

Bob Vila's Spring Give-Away Toro TimeMaster Lawnmower

Spring is just around the corner and with it warmer temperatures, planting and gardening, and lawn care.  That’s why we reached out to our good friends at Toro for this month’s Bob Vila Spring Give-Away. Starting today—and every day during March—you can enter to win the new Toro® TimeMaster walk-behind mower, valued at $1,049.99 (MSRP).

The Toro® TimeMaster’s extra-wide, yet lightweight, 30-inch cutting deck allows you to mow your lawn up to 40% faster than if you were using a typical 21-inch walk-behind mower. Featuring self-propelled maneuverability, the mower includes an innovative Personal Pace automatic drive that adjusts easily to different mowing speeds, while a traction-assist handle helps tame uneven terrain. The mower’s Spin-Stop function also allows you to stop the cutting blades without shutting off the engine—ideal for removing obstacles from your mowing path without having to restart the engine.

Toro TimeMaster LawnmowerAdditional features include a twin-blade cutting system, a two-point height-of-cut adjustment that gives you professional looking results, a 12-gauge steel deck, a cast aluminum frame and a Briggs & Stratton® 190cc OHV engine to provide durability you can count on. When you’re done mowing, the Quick Stow lever allows you to conveniently change handle height positions for easy, compact storing.

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Bob Vila’s “Love Your Laundry Room” Sweepstakes

Bob Vila's "Love Your Laundry Room" Sweepstakes

Finding it hard to believe that you could “Love your Laundry Room”?  Well, this Maytag duo featuring the new Bravos XL High Efficiency washer and dryer could change your way of thinking.  And, all you need to do to bring the pair home is enter for a chance to win the February Bob Vila “Love Your Laundry Room” Sweepstakes, starting today.

The Maytag Bravos XL High Efficiency washer and dryer are each valued at $1,199 (MSRP) and come in either white or granite, shown. The large capacity 7.3 cu. ft. dryer features an advanced moisture sensing system that helps evenly dry large, heavy loads and reduce the risk of shrinking. An Auto Refresh cycle aids in relaxing wrinkles and uses steam to refresh clothes.
Maytag Bravos XL High Efficiency
The companion 4.6 cu. ft. Maytag Bravos XL washer has an allergen removal cycle that helps eliminate 95 percent of common household allergens, and boasts a PowerWash system that tackles even the toughest of stains.

In addition to their sleek, modern design and advanced cleaning and drying features, the Maytag Bravos XL products are designed for savings. The dryer uses 40 percent less energy than standard models when used with the washer uses 76 percent less water and 78 percent less energy.

For official rules and entry, click here.  And, enter daily—until midnight EST, February 29—to be eligible to win this American-designed, American-made washer and dryer from Maytag.

To learn more about the Bravos XL and complete line of company products, visit Maytag.

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color


While I’d always been interested in history, it wasn’t until I got to college that I fell in love with it. A special course on the 20th century actually led me to make the subject my second major.

That course was taught by one of the top professors at the university I attended. What made him different was that he didn’t focus on dates, names, or places. Those were all essential to learn, but even more important, the professor told us, was to see the big picture. To trace how different things came together to push movements and people forward. To understand where we’re at today, you’ve got to understand the ways in which we’ve evolved.

This seems to be the shared goal of Leatrice Eiseman and Keith Recker, the color-connoisseur authors of Pantone: The 20th Century in Color (Chronicle Books, 2011). The Pantone Color Institute is considered one of the highest authorities on color; Recker is a trend consultant there and Eisemen is the executive director. Together, the pair has compiled 208 pages of vibrant photos and rich narrative, detailing how color thrived and developed from 1900 to 2000. It’s a fascinating progression to follow.

Pantone: The 20th Century in Color breaks down the hallmarks of each decade and matches them with 80 different official Pantone color palettes. Trends in fashion, travel, art, furniture, technology and films are accompanied by explanations of their significance, making it simple to grasp each trend’s relationship to the colors associated with it, and to the relevant social and political history playing out in the background.

From the jewel-toned lamps of the 1900s, decked in Chinese violet and Victoria blue hues, to the bright purple, red and orange colors that technology giants like Apple began using for their products in the 1990s, Eiseman and Recker have done an exemplary job of painting a vivid big picture of the role color has played in all aspects of culture throughout the decades.

For more on color, consider:

Guide to Historic Paint Colors
Color Trends 2012: Top Forecasters Weigh In
Eve Ashcraft’s 6 Inspirations for Choosing a Color Palette

Dissecting Friday the 13th and Other Household Superstitions

House Superstitions


For centuries, people have viewed Fridays and the number 13 as omens of bad luck. And when the two combine on the calendar, it’s double the trouble.

Of course, I’ve never bought into this idea; after all, I was born on a Friday the 13th (during a full moon at that!) and I think I turned out all right. Still, it’s worth examining the Friday-the-13th legend, along with a few other household superstitions that may interest all you handypeople and homeowners.

Friday has been considered unlucky since at least the 14th century, when Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales associated the date with bad fortune. Old wives’ tales mark Friday as a day of inauspicious beginnings—some sailors are still reluctant to begin voyages on this weekday. Then there are the religious beliefs: that Jesus was crucified on Friday, the same day of the week Abel was slain by Cain and Adam was urged by Eve to eat the forbidden fruit.

An ancient Norse myth may be responsible for the bad rap the number 13 gets. According to the story, the 13th guest at a dinner party arranged for the blind god of darkness to shoot the god of joy and gladness. Another dinner party of mythical status also featured a troublesome 13th guest—the Last Supper, where the guest was Judas.

According to numerologists, the prejudice against 13 might be due to its relationship with 12—a “complete” number. There are 12 months in a year, 12 zodiac signs, and, according to some, 12 apostles of Jesus. The addition of one, supposedly, throws off the balance of 12. That’s when, in some people’s minds, bad things happen.

While many claim they don’t buy into the notion of Friday the 13th being unlucky, it’s obvious many out there would rather be safe than sorry. Numerous high-rises lack a 13th floor, airports skip the 13th gate, and hotels don’t have a Room 13.

But while the bad-luck connotation of Friday the 13th is prevalent today, other superstitions have been forgotten. Before you begin your next project, take a look at this list of omens people used to take quite seriously:

- Carrying a hoe into the house is bad luck. If you do so, undo your mistake by carrying it out again walking backward.

- The space beneath a ladder is Satan’s terrain. If you must walk there, cross your fingers.

- Never pound a nail after sundown, or you risk waking the tree gods.

- If you give a steel blade to a friend, make him or her pay you a penny to avoid cutting the friendship.

- Nail an evergreen branch or horseshoe (points-up) onto new rafters to bring good luck.

- If you give a knife as a housewarming present, that neighbor will become your enemy.

- When first moving into a new house, enter with a loaf of bread and a new broom. Never bring an old broom into the house, or you’ll bring your past in with you.

Just an FYI for all of you DIYers. Best of luck on your future projects—if you buy into that luck stuff, anyway.

Bob Vila’s $1,000-A-Week New Year’s Give-Away

Bob Vila's $1,000-A-Week-New Year's Give-Away

We know that some of your 2012 resolutions have to include a home improvement project or two.  That’s why we teamed with InComm—the nation’s largest provider of gift cards—to launch Bob Vila’s $1,000-A-Week New Year’s Give-Away.

Every week in January, starting today and running through February 1, you can enter to win $1,000 in InComm Do It Yourself Home Improvement gift cards, redeemable at some of your favorite retailers, among them: The Home Depot, True Value, Sears, Restoration Hardware, Sherwin Williams, and Menards.  Think of the DIY projects you can tackle with gift cards redeemable at multiple retailers and thousands of locations around the country.

To enter this week’s drawing and see official rules, click here.  And, remember you can enter once a day, every day throughout the contest period to increase your chances of winning.

To learn more about InComm’s Do it Yourself Home Improvement Gift Card, and a complete list of retailers where card is redeemable, visit the company’s website.