927 Lee Road 268, Valley, AL (706) 773-9274

Sneak Peek: Brookline floating fireplace

To keep things toasty in cold New England weather, the Brookline homeowners wanted a fireplace—but one that would complement the open-plan layout and expanses of glass in their mid-century modern house.Solution: an artisan-crafted, black-steel Paxfocus fireplace that creates an iconic modern look and is seemingly suspended in midair. To work the magic, the TOH team had to prepare the living room wall with special framing materials—partly for fire code and partly to handle the weight of the 200-pound bell-shaped fireplace, which would be attached to a wall bracket 20 inches above floor level. Contractor Charlie Silva’s crew had built the…

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Behind the Scenes: Jamestown mudroom

With winter boots, coats, and hats strewn all over the house at this time of year, many homeowners dream of an organized mudroom. Don and Dana Powers created one in their Jamestown Net-Zero house, using the same flat-panel, Shaker-style quartersawn oak cabinets that fill the kitchen—at least, the oak cabinets were the starting point.They then customized to create cubbies, shelves, drawers, and hooks to optimize every square foot of the 9-by-14-foot space, turning a narrow corridor that runs from the back door to the powder room into a super-functional area. Another plus: The mudroom is totally hidden from view once the…

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Why the Offshore Wind Industry Is About to Take Off

The Middelgruden wind farm in Denmark includes only 20 wind turbines. That's not many, but it's four four times the current total of U.S. offshore turbines. Offshore projects now in the works for the U.S. will substantially change the picture. (Image credit: United Nations / CC BY-NC-ND / Flickr) There are only five wind turbines operating in U.S. waters today. But that will likely soon change, partly because of states with ambitious offshore wind targets. Off the Massachusetts coastline, for example, Vineyard Wind aims to build one of the nation’s first commercial-scale offshore wind farms. This planned 800-megawatt offshore wind…

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Kitchen of the Week: How the Creators of Cereal Magazine Made the Most of Their Compact Galley Kitchen

If Cereal, the travel and style, magazine were an actual cereal, it would be an exquisitely simple concoction—the result of an around-the-world exploration of flavors and textures, arrestingly packaged in shades of pale. Aesthetics matter a lot to Rosa Park and Rich Stapleton, the publication’s founders who spend half the year on the road in search of their particular brand of minimalist cool. The success of the indie magazine has led to Cereal city guides, a consulting agency, and an about-to-launch art gallery called Francis. Rosa oversees the company’s editorial direction, Rich, an accomplished photographer, sets the visual identity, and everything they…

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Nitrate Taints Drinking Water of Millions, Study Finds

Levels of nitrate that could cause illness and birth defects are in the drinking water of 5.6 million Americans and is a particular problem for Hispanic communities. (Image credit: Kamil Kaczor / CC / Flickr) Drinking water for more than 5 million Americans contains nitrate levels that may be high enough to increase the risk of cancer and birth defects, a study published earlier this month said. The problem is especially acute with community water systems that serve Hispanic residents, the report in Environmental Health said. In the wake of the 2015 water crisis in Flint, Michigan, the authors said…

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7 Rules For Organizing Your Work Van

Over the course of my career as a remodeling contractor I’ve owned a few different work truck setups. I called an old van my “work truck” for a while, and upfitted it with a customized pullout tool storage rig. It did a sufficient job at hauling our tools around, but materials were always a hassle. I then hauled a trailer behind a traditional pickup for several years, but I learned over time that this isn’t a great option for the narrow roads and heavy traffic we contend with daily. As my company grew, my needs for tool storage did too, so…

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