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Clever Breakfast Bar Ideas

Breakfast bars make great additions to kitchens of any size. They’re the perfect place to eat a bowl of cereal before work each morning. They’re handy for kids to get homework help while mom or dad cooks supper. And when friends and family come for a meal, a breakfast bar is the perfect location to lay out the spread, buffet style. Ways to Add a Breakfast Bar to Your Kitchen If you think a breakfast bar would be a bonus in your kitchen, check out these creative ways to add one to your home. Hang a shelf If you have…

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Low-Light Plants Great for Any Home

There’s no better, or less expensive, way to do get closer to nature than to incorporate houseplants into your home. If your space lacks natural light, though, that can be tricky. But not impossible. To up the green in your life, try growing a few of these low-light houseplants in your home. Best Low-Light Plants Cast-iron plant—aspidistra elatior Native to China and a member of the lily family, the cast-iron plant is as strong as, well, cast iron. Robust, with dark green leaves and small purple flowers, the cast-iron plant thrives in low indoor light and doesn’t require regular watering.…

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End-of-Summer Yard and Garden Cleanup Tips

This article appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of This Old House Magazine. Click here to learn how to subscribe. As sultry August gives way to the cooler months of September and October, fall’s lower temperatures and shorter days signal it’s time to get busy in the yard and garden. “Fall’s cool weather makes it a great time to work outside,” says TOH landscape contractor Jenn Nawada. “Giving plants some attention then sets you up for a healthier landscape come spring.” TOH ’s Jenn Nawada trims back a thick strand of coneflowers as she prepares to divide them. Colleen McQuaid Start…

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Urbanara: Natural, Timeless Textiles for All Over the House (Without the Markup)

Sustainable, high-quality, made-to-last homewares that don’t cost a fortune? A new homewares brand is offering what sounded too good to be true not long ago: well-made textiles for every room in the house at a reasonable price point. Urbanara’s timeless, trend-resistant rugs, bedding, towels, blankets, and table linens alike are made from the world’s finest eco-friendly, natural materials (like European linen, pure New Zealand lambswool, and 100 percent organic cotton) and made to last, sure to become heirlooms. The brand works directly with their manufacturers—in Portugal, Turkey, India, and Lithuania—to ensure quality and fair practices, and the direct-to-consumer structure ensures…

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A Tribute to Alan Heller and His Iconic Heller Dinnerware

Above: Massimo designed the signature box for Heller in his beloved Helvetica (and later explained his affinity for the typeface in the documentary Helvetica). In 2015, Alan Heller told us how his company came to be synonymous with the design: “I met Massimo and Lella in the late sixties and we all fell in love. In one of our conversations, the dinnerware design came up. I was excited, even though the Italian manufacturer had gone bankrupt. I decided that I’d fly to Italy and find out what had happened to the bankrupt company. The assets had been sold to another…

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10 Easy Pieces: Stovetop Espresso Makers

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