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

Sneak Peek: Brookline snow guard

The rubber, nearly flat roof of the Brookline mid-century-modern house suits the architectural style of the home, but Tom Silva had other concerns in mind after installing it.“After a New England snowstorm, you just might have the right conditions for a snow or ice avalanche coming off that roof,” says Tom. To address the issue, he installed pipe-style snow guards in the area of the roof near the main entrances to the home. Made of a length of metal pipe with regularly spaced brackets, the snow guards create a barricade; they’re designed to hold the snow in place so that…

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Bread Bar: An Old-Time Cocktail Bar in an 1800s Bakery in the Mountains

Bread Bar is an unlikely cocktail bar in an unlikely place: an 1800s-era bakery at the base of the Rocky Mountains, in the old mining town of Silver Plume, Colorado. We recently spotted this “fine mountainside drinking establishment” on Instagram; here’s a look at its old-time alpine style. Photography courtesy of Bread Bar, except where noted. Above: The original bakery entryway, at an angle. Photograph by Lauren DeFilippo. Above: Inside, tall windows look out at the town and let in light, even in winter. “We kept it very close to the original design,” says Sam Alviani, one of four young…

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New Orleans High School Students Build Homes to Learn Skills for Work and Life

Most teenagers spend their Saturdays sleeping in, going to the mall, or maybe doing their homework. But for these teens down in New Orleans, they roll up their sleeves and get to work building houses. Founded in 2015, unCommon Construction (uCC) is a non-profit that teaches high school students both construction and work skills. According to Aaron Frumin, the executive director of uCC, the students meet up for a few hours after school each week, and all day on Saturdays to work toward  building skills, and a new home.uCC apprentices learn leadership skills, work on a house project that the organization builds each…

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Better Home Theater

This may be the year to go for a home theater upgrade. TV makers have been pushing 3-D and curved-screen gimmicks for years, but TV tech just went through a meaningful growth spurt. For $650 you can now get a better 55-inch picture than could be had for $5,000 five years ago. And despite some lingering rivalries among competing video standards, most popular current movies are now conveniently available in the latest formats that show off bigger, brighter colors and more-detailed shadows in the latest 4K resolution (also known as “Ultra HD,” compared with 720p and 1080p “HD”). Movie night…

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Best Kitchen & Bath Before and Afters of 2018

Best Kitchen & Bath Before and Afters of 2018 1 × BEFORE | Busy Cookspace BEFORE | Busy Cookspace Busy patterns wrapped the room; old maple cabinets felt dreary. Lining one wall with all the appliances wasn’t the smartest use of space. 2 × AFTER | Open Efficiency AFTER | Open Efficiency Photo by Laura Moss With a functional work triangle, a breakfast bar, and a coffee station, the room is more open and efficient. Bold brass accents create a warm contrast with clean white and soft gray cabinets. See more photos from this remodel here. 4 × AFTER | Island…

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DIY: A Trio of Gift Wrapping Master Classes from the Doyenne of Presentation

Claudia Schwartz, the proprietress of Bell’occhio, a whimsical boutique on a tiny lane off Market Street in San Francisco, is a bona fide expert on the presentation of the gift. She teaches gift-wrapping classes several times a year ($125 for a three-hour class, sparkling wine and worldly treats included), and in the back room of her shop come mid-December, baskets full of gifts are stacked high, all awaiting Claudia’s touch before decamping by post (often to the famous and the fabulous). She comes by the skill honestly: As a child, her father taught her to make boxes by hand, “sometimes in beautiful…

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