Wade likes inexpensive pine furniture, like these Adirondack chairs, for outdoors. Maintenance is surprisingly easy: keep a good coat of a high-end UV protectant, high-enamel paint or finish including a primer and two top coats on your furniture to help even inexpensive materials last longer.
"Today's homeowners want a mix of hardware on their cabinetry" says Abbi Williams, an Atlanta-based designer. "Both knobs and various length pulls. After your cabinetry has arrived, grab a glass of wine and a roll of painter's tape to lay out your hardware. Do you want two knobs or one on those long drawers? Cabinet pulls come in 5 inch-14 inch lengths. Tear off tape representing the length you want and put it on the cabinets as a reminder of what hardware was ordered to go where. I can't tell you how many times the hardware showed up and we can't remember what we ordered for where."
If paint is peeling on the exterior of your house, sun and water can damage the wood underneath. Frank Lesh, owner of Home Sweet Home Inspection Company in Indian Head Park, Ill., recommends scraping down to bare wood, priming and allowing the primer to dry before applying new paint. “Paint at the right time of day, which is after the sun has faded away from the area you’re painting,” he says, “because sun evaporates the paint material too quickly.”
Peeling interior paint is an issue if it’s peeling off in rough squares, like an alligator’s skin. That’s a sign that lead-based paint is underneath, so if the area is large or if you have small children (who are very susceptible to damage from lead poisoning), consult a professional about removal.
New York-based realist painter Dina Brodsky paints stunningly small landscapes and cityscapes often inspired by her travels via bicycle. The classically-trained artist features an astounding degree of detail in her works.
The artwork nestled in the tiny wall niche next to the bed was chosen not just for its coordinating colors and geometric patterns, but also for its perfect size and shape. Local Truckee, Calif. painter Carole Sesko, who also did the artwork in the adjacent guest bathroom, created this piece using acrylic paint and mixed media.