TIP OF THE WEEK

Fall is a popular time for home improvement as people think about impressing their guests during the holidays. It is also a time for change, which makes the current trends in home decor so unique.

Simply put, what’s old is new again. Homeowners are gravitating to classic and timeworn elements to give their home a traditional feel.

Character is not something with which every home is born. Newer construction often sacrifices some of the charm or detail of older home styles that can be incorporated with strategic use of materials and furnishings.

Imagination is the limit for homeowners, but here is a sampling of what can be done.

Build from the ground up. Install new flooring that’s inspired by the charm of vintage floors. Retailers like Lumber Liquidators sell an array of flooring styles that mimic the look and feel of vintage woodwork - wide planks that echo farmhouse floors, distressed finishes and much more. By replicating techniques such as wire brushing and hand scraping, distressed flooring achieves the look of vintage craftsmanship.

Rustic charm of wall accents. Adding a wood accent wall can create the feel of a farmhouse or even an industrial loft. Wood can add an artistic element or focal point to backsplashes and ceilings. Whatever your goal, accent wood makes a statement.

Small touches: Fixtures and surfaces. Don’t forget the little details: a glass doorknob, an oil-rubbed light fixture or a stained glass panel in the window. These touches go a long way to convey the look of another era in a newer home.

Mixing eras with furniture. Antiques and classic period pieces mix well with more contemporary furnishings to create an eclectic style in a newer home. Mid-century modern elements - from architecture to furniture — weave their way into home décor again this season, proving their staying power.

— Brandpoint

HOME-SELLING TIP

Selling your house on your own

Nearly 20 percent of all homes sold in the U.S. are “For Sale By Owner,” which can save home owners the 6 to 7 1/2 percent commission a real estate agent will receive once a home is sold. But just because you’ve chosen to sell your house on your own, it doesn’t mean you can’t get help. With the rise of FSBO transactions, a niche industry has grown to help FSBO sellers with the details of selling a house without a real estate agent. Some of the services that are offered are advertising in magazines and web sites, real-estate lawyers’ services, disclosure and contract forms and other sales documents, yard signs, weatherproof information boxes and flyers, seminars, and informational booklets and materials. For a listing of services provided nationwide, visit www.fsbonetwork.com or www.homesbyowner.com.

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DECORATING TIP

How to create a photo gallery

It might seem like hanging up a bunch of photos in your home would be an easy task, but without prior planning, a collection of photos can look haphazard or busy. First decide on where you want to put your photos. Design experts say a private space such as a hallway or a bedroom are the best places for a gallery. Once you have your spot picked out, then you need to decide if you prefer a grid design or an asymmetrical display. Be sure to unite your pictures with a common element like a specific collection of photos, photos of a similar color, the color of your frames or the size of your images. After selecting the space and the theme, plan out your display by arranging the photos on a large sheet of paper and tracing the frames. Then simply tape the paper to the wall and use a nail to mark where the pictures will hang. Remove the paper and hang your pictures.

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GARDEN GUIDE

Prepare perennials for cold weather

One of the biggest advantages of planting perennials is that once they are established, you don’t have to spend time re-planting seeds every season. Although perennials can provide a food source or can make your garden eye-catching for years, once the temperatures begin to fall and winter sets in, it is important to keep your plants safe while they are dormant. To keep your perennials healthy, be sure to cut back dry stems to the soil lever after the first frost, compost dead plant debris to create an organic soil conditioner, cut off diseased foliage and mulch the beds with pine needles or chopped leaves to protect the roots and soil from extreme temperature changes.

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