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Downsizing to Downtown

Downsizing to Downtown

Moving from a “very nice” 2,400-square-foot house in the Catalina Foothills to a brand new, leased, 1,200-square-foot modern flat high above Broadway and Stone Avenue was more than downsizing for Kate McMillan and Bill Krauss. It changed their lives.

May 18, 2014 12:00 am Photos

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Convert space into useful, attractive landscape features

Not long ago, Tucsonans wanted pools the way Southern Californians wanted convertibles and surfboards.

March 26, 2014 5:23 pmLoading…
Raise the Roof

Raise the Roof

John and Connie Dennis spent $350,000 remodeling their 1980s west-side home. For that they got a truly great “great room,” a top-to-bottom new kitchen, energy-efficient windows, heating and cooling, and even moved the front entrance and gave it a classy alcove.

November 03, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Seeing green this winter

Seeing green this winter

True, there usually are no tomatoes, the stars of most spring and summer gardens. But fall and winter vegetable gardens offer their own joys.

October 06, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Hazards of home repair: know when to call an expert

If you want to know how handymen get hurt around the house, just ask the paramedics and the emergency room crews who patch us — er, them — up.

August 18, 2013 12:00 amLoading…

For grout, elbow grease is the only answer

We love tile. We hate grout. (If not yet, soon.)

July 21, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
The comeback Coverup

The comeback Coverup

Drapes are making a comeback as window treatments after a few decades of being pushed aside for mini-blinds and vertical blinds.

June 09, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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A movie theater in your own backyard

A movie theater in your own backyard

To some of us, watching a movie outdoors is like cooking on a barbecue grill: It might be an average movie or a cheap cut of meat, but some things are just better under the sky.

May 12, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Driveways with elegance

Driveways with elegance

Short of a bronze front door and a uniformed doorman, few things class up the front of a house more than a circular brick driveway.

April 28, 2013 12:02 am Photos

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New uses for old swimming pools

New uses for old swimming pools

Not long ago, Tucsonans wanted pools the way Southern Californians wanted convertibles and surfboards.

April 07, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Inside the frame

Inside the frame

Doesn't everyone have a growing pile or rubber-banded roll of art prints, photographs, posters - maybe even a painting or two - that are intended for framing?

March 17, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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joesler home plays lead role in indie film

joesler home plays lead role in indie film

Editors note: This is the first in an occasional series on local homes that have taken a star turn on the big screen.

March 03, 2013 12:00 amLoading…
No Kokopelli in this home

No Kokopelli in this home

Just as sure as "You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger" there will be no flute-playing Kokopellis, neckerchiefed coyotes nor stick ladders-to-nowhere in Julie and Jeff Albiniak's midtown home.

February 17, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Real wood furniture Needs a bit of care

Real wood furniture Needs a bit of care

Owning real wood furniture is like having a fine car: For the higher price you get a more exclusive look and maybe even improved function, when compared with furniture made of cheaper material. But to make it last and sustain its value, it should be maintained. For the most part, that comes …

February 03, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Real Cavemen Need HD, cable, amps

Real Cavemen Need HD, cable, amps

"Man cave" is a relatively new name for an old concept. Then again, "garage," "workshop" and "den" just don't fully describe some of the latest takes on the modern version of these mainly male domains.

January 20, 2013 12:01 am Photos

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Your wine needs a home

Your wine needs a home

There are a lot of ways to store wine, from simple racks in a cool room and little glass-door refrigerators in the kitchen, to purpose-built room-sized storage areas, including variations on the traditional wine cellar. You don't need to dig a cellar or move into a cave.

January 06, 2013 12:00 am Photos

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Faux-finish techniques

Faux-finish techniques

We've finally caught up with the Mesopotamians, who are credited with giving up on plain walls and inventing faux finishes - about 5,000 years ago. To modern faux finishers, amateurs and professionals, a monochrome drywall or plastered wall is an easel. Using paint and a variety of other mat…

December 23, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Top it off: Coating can save roof, energy

Top it off: Coating can save roof, energy

Other than servicing a swamp cooler, coating your flat (built-up) roof is probably the most fundamental task for an Arizona homeowner - and the one with the greatest payback. If done right, and in time, it will extend the life of a flat roof and prevent dreaded leaks.

December 09, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Steal these ideas That's how design pros do it

Steal these ideas That's how design pros do it

You may not know Gary Patch or Darren Clark, but you've probably seen their work.

November 04, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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home-task checklist

home-task checklist

Hints of fall are a reminder to do some house-maintenance tasks that either should be done because our version of winter will be here soon, or just because it will be cool enough to work outside without extreme suffering.

October 21, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Ready rentals for Tucson visitors

Ready rentals for Tucson visitors

Hundreds of Tucson-area homes are available as short-term furnished rentals by owners trying to get income from second properties, houses they couldn't sell or picked up at a bargain price during the real estate crash. Some owners vacate their primary residences to cash in on winter visitor …

October 07, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Furniture all their own

Dan Hostetler calls his business Tempus Fugit Woodworks. The Latin title sounds impressive, but he doesn't fool himself that he's ever going to get rich turning trees to his will. Tempus Fugit Woodworks is only Hostetler, 57.

September 16, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Stereo Hospital sees growing demand for old analog units

Stereo Hospital sees growing demand for old analog units

Vintage stereo isn't exactly a booming business, but it's growing, says Jeff Brucker, owner of Tucson's Stereo Hospital. Nine years ago he moved from working out of his home, strictly repairing old gear, to a space inside Metrognome Music where he and fellow vintage-audio fan and tech Tom Hi…

September 02, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
At long last, say adios to grimy grout

At long last, say adios to grimy grout

Solid hardwood is the residential flooring gold standard, unless you're in a McMansion, where marble might rule. But in Tucson, where tile has been the class act for so long, increasingly hardwood floors have the look for high-end homes. And more modern products that capture the look of hard…

August 19, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Refacing an option to replacing cabinets

Refacing an option to replacing cabinets

The rule of thumb in kitchen cabinet refacing is that you can get existing cabinets refaced - with new doors and drawer fronts and matching exterior surfaces - for about half of what new cabinets would cost.

July 29, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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When you've lost your taste for popcorn ceilings

When you've lost your taste for popcorn ceilings

When it comes to houses built from the 1960s to late '80s, nothing says "needs updating" quite like popcorn (aka "acoustic" or "cottage cheese") ceilings.

July 15, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Have color, will paint

Have color, will paint

Like most professional painters, Tim Bosveld knows a dozen or so easy- to-learn tricks that an amateur can use to make the difference between a regrettable mess and what could pass for a pro job. But, despite years spent as a professional painter, Bosveld insists the most valuable tip he has…

June 17, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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... Home-repair crisis averted

If you can't prevent a home repair crisis, the best you can do in advance is to know the tradesmen you can trust, or at least how to find one. The Better Business Bureau of Southern Arizona maintains a free list of accredited businesses. The rating is based on the number of complaints and ho…

June 03, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
LED bulbs: The latest bright idea for lighting

LED bulbs: The latest bright idea for lighting

The light bulb aisle at home improvement stores is an overwhelming display of options - CFLs, LEDs, incandescents, lumens and watts, warm light and cool light. That's not even getting into price variation.

May 20, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Sound improvement

Sound improvement

It may be called "multimedia" or "home entertainment," but for the last 10 years home entertainment technology has been mostly about video, ever-larger screens and, now, 3-D video.

May 06, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Decorating is a sn-app

That honey-do project doesn't have to be a complex, research-heavy job. Not with the apps now available. For many of the decorating apps, you can use the iPad's camera to take a picture of the room in question and follow the instructions to see what the room would look like with new furnishi…

April 22, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Bisbee musicians on a path less traveled

Bisbee musicians on a path less traveled

Old Bisbee Records, both the business and the musicians on its roster, is loaded with contradictions.

March 29, 2012 12:01 am Photos

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Preventing remodel remorse

Preventing remodel remorse

If you've been glaring at your home's outdated kitchen or bathroom for years, you may have a very clear idea of what you want from a remodeling project. You may think you have no use for an architect.

March 25, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Time-worn appliances pose tough decisions

As possessions go, home appliances don't get much respect. They don't have the sex appeal of a slinky car with a powerful engine or even a computer with a big glossy screen and a fast processor.

March 11, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
Marine author explores battlefield bond with IED spotter dog

Marine author explores battlefield bond with IED spotter dog

Large-caliber machine gun slugs slammed into their Humvee as their 60-vehicle Marine convoy was ambushed approaching Fallujah, the bloody center of insurgence in Iraq.

March 08, 2012 12:00 amLoading…
'Rin Tin Tin' a challenge for productive Susan Orlean

'Rin Tin Tin' a challenge for productive Susan Orlean

Pigeons, dogs, chickens, whales, tigers. Animals pop up frequently in author Susan Orlean's magazine credits, books, blogging and life.

March 08, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Raise the sun sails, heading to shade

Raise the sun sails, heading to shade

Shade has always been a precious thing in the desert, but with increased energy costs and heightened environmental concerns, it's more valuable than ever. And there's a relatively new way to beat the heat that's faster than foliage, and can be artful, too.

February 26, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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Picking the right tree

Picking the right tree

Choosing a tree in a nursery is a little like picking out a puppy without seeing its parents. It may be cute now, but there could be trouble down the road.

February 12, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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A modern house that fits right in

A modern house that fits right in

A stark, modern house might not sound at home on the range, but Connie Ayres and Jeff Webster's home in the rolling high-desert ranch land 30 miles east of Tucson looks like it belongs there.

January 01, 2012 12:00 am Photos

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