Front Porch a Shady Retreat

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Although two acronyms nearly killed the front porch in the 1950s — TV and AC — it is enjoying a Renaissance, thanks to the New Urbanism movement and a renewed appreciation for all-things-Grandma.

More than a collection of square feet, the front porch is the architectural version of a hug, the hyphen between our indoor and outdoor spaces, the green room that separates our public and private lives.

In 2007, 62 percent ...

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Defining Your Space

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floors.jpgBuyers want a smaller house, according to a designer featured in the Chicago Tribune. Many defining features have made their way down the price ladder from custom homes to semicustom and production homes.

Here are some tips for defining spaces:

Start at the Top

For a minimal investment, ceiling details set rooms apart. Decorative ceiling tiles and planks, or even a faux treatment with paint textures and stencils, add interest and definition. The ceiling is ...

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Bye-Bye Big Kitchens

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It’s not just the size of the new American home that’s shrinking — down to 2,377 square feet last year from 2,438 square feet the year before. According to NAHB, the stuff that goes in it is shrinking, too.

It makes sense that a smaller home with a smaller kitchen is going to need smaller appliances.

“If you go down to a 18-inch range instead of one 24 inches, to a 33-inch refrigerator from a 36-inch one, and to an 18-inch dishwasher ...

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