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Centerpieces stem from nature


Akron Beacon Journal

Florist Edle Catharina Norman believes you can find beauty outdoors.

She uses materials found in nature to create the holiday floral designs featured in her new book, Beautiful Winter: Holiday Wreaths, Garlands & Decorations for Your Home & Table (Sellers Publishing, $15.95 in softcover). Some are enhanced by flowers and greenery available at florist shops.

Norman provides instructions for wreaths, garlands, Christmas tree decorations, centerpieces and other seasonal accents. Most are simple to create, so you’ll still have time for all that shopping and baking.


Rust-Oleum’s new Tile Transformations kit lets you update the look of outdated bathroom and kitchen tile.

The kit contains an epoxy coating that creates a stone look. The process involves three steps — preparing the surface, applying a texturized bond coat and then applying a stone-like finish.

The finish is durable enough for use in areas with prolonged water exposure, such as showers, tubs, kitchen backsplashes and ceramic tile countertops.

Each kit covers 50 square feet and contains most of the necessary supplies.

The product is available at Home Depot for $119.99.


Q. I have two windows that had a black substance on them. I treated them with a water/bleach mixture, then sanded, restained and revarnished. A year later both windows have more mold on them. How do I find a reputable company to test and clean this for me?

Unless someone in your household is sensitive to mold, professional remediation might not be required.

I urge you to investigate why mold is growing on those windows in the first place. Most likely the windows aren’t sealed properly, causing condensation to form on the glass. Water from the condensation can promote growth of mold on the wood.

It’s also possible your house isn’t ventilated well enough or the humidity is too high. But if either of those were the case, you’d probably have problems with all your windows, not just two of them.

Before you call in a mold expert, have an energy audit done on the house to pinpoint air leaks and other energy-wasting issues. Many utilities off low-cost energy audits.

Read more Home & Garden stories from the Miami Herald

Trays are a great and stylish way to keep your home organized and beautiful.


    Style at Home: 5 terrific ways to use trays

    If you went on a scavenger hunt for a tray in my home, you’d find one in every room. In the 33 years I’ve worked in interior design, some of the decorating foot soldiers I use to style my home have come and gone (anyone remember tassels?). But trays are here to stay.

 <span class="cutline_leadin">BUTTERED UP: </span>The glass dome on this Victorian butter dish is known as ‘Rubina.’


    Unusual Victorian butter dish still valuable

    Q: This butter dish was given to my grandmother over 50 years ago. It is 5 inches in diameter. The markings on the bottom part of the metal are “Rogers Smith & Co.” with “Meriden Ct, Quadruple, 7, USA.” Are you able to give us any information on this piece?

  • Washington Report

    Is spring the time to list your home?

    It’s common knowledge verging on holy writ in real estate: Spring is the absolute best time of the year to sell a house.

Miami Herald

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