Author Archive
Mark your calendars!

Mark your calendars!

Mark Twain House marks anniversary On September 19, 1874 — 140 years ago — Samuel L. Clemens (“Mark Twain”) and his family moved into their newly constructed home on Farmington Avenue in Hartford. The house, restored to its former glory, still stands looming over the avenue and welcoming visitors. On Wednesday, October 8, The Mark...
Making a house a home

Making a house a home

If you’ve ever watched an episode of virtually any renovation show on HGTV, it’s likely you’ve seen a family similar to the Edwardses. The couple, who have three kids and a dog, started out in a small New York City fourth floor walk-up with no elevator, and moved, after the birth of their first child,...
Constant cravings: Hunger for the latest kitchen appliances drives trends

Constant cravings: Hunger for the latest kitchen appliances drives trends

Outdoor grilling and dining are two of the best things about summertime. However, once vegetable gardens die down and the evening air feels chillier, it’s time to leave even the most lavish of outdoor rooms and seek the warmth of our indoor kitchens. So, what’s cooking indoors? The continued evolution of kitchen design has made...
Make every day a spa day: Remodeling tips from the experts

Make every day a spa day: Remodeling tips from the experts

A lovely aesthetic with optimum function is the key to a fabulous bathroom makeover. “It should be full of natural light, easy to clean, with ample room,” says Mark Mosolino, owner, Mosolino Development (www.mosolinodevelopment.com), New Canaan. “Think beyond basics. Design to totally love it! Make it a room to spend a little more time in...
Building My Passive House - Part 7

Building My Passive House – Part 7

This is the seventh entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers certification programs for highly energy efficient homes, and the home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org). Let me answer the rhetorical question I asked at...
Measuring up

Measuring up

It is said that when you arrive in heaven, all the socks you have lost in your life will be waiting there for you. I don’t know if that’s true, but if I got to heaven I am pretty sure that all the measuring devices I have lost over time would be waiting for me...
Diamond dilemma — Part II

Diamond dilemma — Part II

I hate to bring this up, but as long as we’ve been on the subject of making choices when buying diamonds (please see last month’s column, thehomemonthly.com), there are also diamonds that have been man-created, and I’m not just talking about synthetics. One of the two methods for doing this involves the same process (HTHP) that may be used to color-enhance an existing diamond, and this particular...
Down to earth: Tips for green living

Down to earth: Tips for green living

Kermit was wrong … it is easy being green I’ve been giving a lot of thought lately to ways I can live more sustainably. With two young children, it’s really important for me to set a good example. We are primarily a vegetarian household.  We recycle (my 3-year old is a master in her own...
Unforgettable

Unforgettable

When interior designer Olga Adler and her husband, William, decided to purchase a dated 1960s beach house on Westport’s Saugatuck Island in 2012, a stone’s throw from the ocean, they had several goals in mind. First and foremost, they wanted a year-round vacation home, a simple beach house with a pool, and they strategically chose...
Launch pads

Launch pads

If sofas could talk, imagine what they’ve witnessed! One of the most lived-in pieces of furniture you can own, a sofa fosters family closeness, guest hospitality, reading, napping, cuddling, snacking, and pet naps, and is the center of attention and style-setter of any room it’s in. The Darien Design Center (dariendesigncenter.com) is one of the...
The heat is on!

The heat is on!

Cookouts with friends, family barbeques, and picnics by the water are as classic this time of year as the rise in temperature and the lengthening of days. The soft sizzling of flames and drifts of smoke epitomize these summer traditions. Grilling and the corresponding equipment, accessories, and various techniques can be found at the heart...
Building My Passive House - Part 6

Building My Passive House – Part 6

This is the sixth entry in a series of columns about the design and construction of my newly certified Passive House. Passive House Institute US (PHIUS) offers a certification program for highly energy efficient homes and separate certification programs for home design and building professionals seeking to build them (www.phaus.org for more information). The Passive...

Moving on

1968 was a turbulent year. I am not an historian, nor is this the venue to review the past. I moved some junk this week. In 1968, amid the mayhem and hijinx of the world, voters were given the option of selecting Richard Nixon, Eugene McCarthy or George Wallace. Mainstream, peacenik or racist. Over at...
Diamond dilemma, Part I

Diamond dilemma, Part I

Anyone considering the purchase of a diamond these days is faced with a multitude of choices, not only those concerning the “4 C’s”, which are Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut. (“Cut”, by the way, is the least understood, and can have a 40% — or greater — impact on the overall value, all other factors being equal; your jeweler can...