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The Case for Cozy: Designer Lonika Chande’s Family Cottage in West London

London interior designer Lonika Chande’s Queen’s Park family home had been stripped of its history by the time she and her husband, Theo Hall, came along. Located in an enclave of Victorian affordable housing not all of which survived the Blitz, the 1876 brick structure was built for a railway worker. Many occupants later, it had an interior that flowed well but felt 21st century sanitized. A fan of layering rooms with art, books, and patterns, Lonika stepped in to celebrate it as the urban rarity it is: a historic cottage in the thick of things, just north of Notting…

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Rehab Diary: A Dated Kitchen Gets a Modern Upgrade in Maplewood, NJ

After 15 years of renting apartments in Brooklyn and living with other people’s design decisions, it was a dream come true when my husband and I bought a 1,000-square-foot home in Maplewood, New Jersey—a suburb thirty miles outside of New York City. Our home, we jokingly say, is the smallest house in Maplewood—it might be close! It is a three-bedroom, one-bathroom colonial with a tiny yard. That said, there was something very attractive about the small space: after all, we were used to making the most of little apartments, and this time, we’d actually be able to remodel it to…

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Cities Confront Climate Challenge

This post was originally published at Yale Environment 360. In 1836, Philadelphians mostly used whale oil and candles to light their homes and businesses. That year, the newly formed Philadelphia Gas Works caused a stir when it lit 46 downtown street lamps with gas made from coal in its plant on the Schuylkill River. By the end of the Civil War, public thoroughfares and private dwellings in the core of most large Eastern cities were illuminated by gas, supplied through cast iron pipes buried beneath the busy streets—and the whale oil lighting industry was nearly dead. Philadelphia’s own pipe network…

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10 Easy Pieces: Simple Round Mirrors

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How to Drain a Pool

There are several times during the life of a pool where it might need a fresh start. Whether you need to drain it because of repairs or maintenance that can’t be done underwater or because the water quality has diminished beyond resolution, as pool draining is often necessary roughly every five years. And while draining a pool may seem like a simple concept, some pools — like fiberglass and vinyl — aren’t meant to be drained, so they require special consideration. There is a lot to know before you start. Consult Your Local Water Authority First If you just start…

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How to Hang a TV on Brick Wall

One of the greatest benefits of modern, slim TVs is that you can mount them on a wall. Unlike old, bulky TVs that required an entire living room corner or an entertainment center, today’s televisions can hang like artwork. But if you have brick walls in your home you may feel the wall-mounted TV ship has sailed. Luckily that’s not the case. We’ll go over the tools you’ll need and how to drill into your brick wall to mount your TV securely. Supplies for Mounting a TV on a Brick Wall Hanging a TV on a brick wall is well…

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