Regional Feature: Sperling Construction

Both Visbeen and Sperling credit the homeowner with being instrumental in the design of the house as well as its interior finishes. From the crisscross brass inserts from the UK to the curved corners wrapped in tall wainscoting that soften the edges of a narrow passageway to the lamps and other décor, she brought it all together.

A Design Element with Purpose: Pergolas

Pergolas with louvered ceilings and retractable shades are increasingly popular. These structures can be freestanding or attached to a deck or building and are engineered to operate by wireless remote or cell phone. Some use patented smart technology to respond to weather changes automatically.

Going Up: Why Residential Elevators Are Becoming More Popular

Once reserved for elite, luxury homes, elevators in residential settings have become more mainstream as affordability and finance options improve. Plus, most homes can be retrofitted, so elevators are not only for new construction.

Keeping Your Appliances in Tip-Top Shape

Following the instructions that come with your appliance is key to optimal performance and appliance life, but Richards has additional advice for the most commonly repaired and replaced items. The refrigerator, washer, and dryer are most likely to need repair, and they are costly to replace, but a lot of that can be avoided by cleaning them properly once or twice per year.

Human Behavior and Animals: The Animals & Society Institute

An entire field of degree-earning study is devoted to the human-animal relationship, with more than a century of research (especially findings within the last 20 years) indicating a direct link between exposure to animal cruelty and an increased likelihood of future violent or criminal tendencies in humans.

Retaining Beauty and Function in Your Landscape

A properly designed and built retaining wall can be multifunctional and have a pleasing aesthetic. Its main purpose is to provide stability to soil at risk of erosion and to protect structures from water runoff that could lead to foundation issues.

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