The Tree's Gone, How do I Cover the Hole in my Yard?

by Bruno Bornsztein

Last year I had a giant (56-inch diameter) Elm tree in my backyard cut down:


The giant elm that was felled by Dutch elm disease
me with my dead elm tree (tear..)

That sucked. I cried (almost). But here's the real problem; now what do I do about the giant dirt and mulch hole it left behind?

I'd like to do something simple and cheap. Any ideas? Would it be hard to do a little brick patio? Or should I do something simpler like a flower bed? 

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Dear John; Or Saying Goodbye to an Old Toilet

by DIY Maven

Replacing an old toilet isn’t as hard as you may think. All toilets come with do-it-yourself instructions, but here is a primer to remove a typical two-piece toilet to let you know what you’re really in for. Warning: crude material forthcoming.

Tank Withdrawal

First you’ll need to turn off the water at the supply line and the flush the toilet. Because the water is turned off, the tank will not fill up and the...

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Up Yours: The Magic of Up-Lights

by DIY Maven

Let’s face it; the human face lit from below looks creepy. So, if you don’t want to look like a character from a John Carpenter movie or an aging starlet minus the pancake foundation, save the up-lighting for your abode.

Negative Space, Man

Positioning can up-lighters on the floor at the base of large houseplants create drama as light filters through leaves and casts interesting shadows on walls and ceilings. Taking this one step further, GE has...

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Complex Order

by Benmoore


After reviewing, peril, prospect, refuge, and enticement, there is one more pleasurable architectural characteristic highlighted in Winifred Gallagher's House Thinking. Grant Hildebrand called it "complex order."

Complex order explains why older suburbs have more charm than new subdivisions:

"This is because our big brains love to take in lots of information from the world and sort it according to fine distinctions. Thus we're bored by overly...

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Enticement & Architectural Pleasure

by Benmoore
House Thinking, by Winifred Gallagher, discusses the five notions of architectural pleasure. So far, we've covered peril, prospect, and refuge. Today, I'll share what I have learned about enticement.

Gallagher says, "everyone loves a surprise, and the quality of enticement gives a home some innately appealing frisson." (I had to look up frisson: a sudden strong feeling of excitement or fear, pronounced: free-SOHN.)

To create a feeling of...

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A womb with a view

by Benmoore

In my first post about the 5 characteristics of pleasing architecture that I gleaned from Gallaghers book, "House Thinking," I discussed the characteristic of peril and how it can add feelings of exhiliration to a house. Today, I'll write a little about refuge and prospect.

This is a picture of Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West. Notice how low the ceilings are in this Frank Lloyd Wright-esque bedroom? Notice the big, bright view?


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Is Your Home Dangerous Enough?

by Benmoore

I've been reading Winifred Gallagher's book, "House Thinking: A Room-by-Room Look at How We Live."

In it, she highlights the work of Grant Hildebrand and his quest to discover the characteristics of "innately appealing architecture."

He began his research by asking why homo sapiens might be drawn to some places and repelled by others. With colleagues in the fields of biology, psychology, geography, he came up with five characteristics of an...

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Our Living Room

by Alicia Lacy

The living room began with faded wood panelling, had a brief stint with cream, an even more brief stint with yellow, and finally settled upon "November Sky". The relationship survived its first year, which says a lot.

When we moved in, the windows were lined with fluorescent panels and heavy wool drapes. I bought simple, cheap cotton fabric buy the bundle from a local fabric shop and sewed like mad (I am a true novice with the machine of sewing)...

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