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Sunday, March 1, 2015 |  Madison, WI: 25.0° F  A Few Clouds
The Daily


Rage, rage against the boring garage

The garage door is often a forgotten design element to the home. The door is shunted off to the side of the house in some layouts, so as not to break the dwelling's facade with the home for the automobile. The mid-century ranch was having none of that and saw the garage door as a blank canvas for geometric doodling. >More
 The climes, they are a-changin'

The Farmers' Almanac promised a "wet, wild, very cold" winter for the upper Midwest. Instead, snowdrops appeared at Olbrich Gardens before the holidays. Daffodils emerged in late February. Where are we? Atlanta? Not quite. Try Chicago. According to the recently released USDA 2012 Hardiness Zone Map, Madison is no longer in Zone 4. We are now in Zone 5, along with Chicago. >More
 Emphasis: Spring 2012

Madison artist Ben Floeter has enlivened the ordinary key holder with his 1890s-inspired, mustache-shaped version made out of recycled wood. As Floeter notes at his Etsy shop, no two are alike - made of cedar or pine, in natural or stained dark brown or painted matte black or glossy red. >More
 Create a farm in your own yard

I built a small, raised garden bed on the terrace in front of my near-west-side house last spring. I was pretty proud of the few tomatoes, peppers, green beans and herbs I raised, but I'm a total amateur compared with the growing population of serious backyard farmers in Madison. >More
 The end of the lawn (as we know it)

"Lawn" is said to come from the Middle English word laune, meaning a glade or clearing in the woods. In Tudor times, large swaths of grass, scythed by laborers, signaled a landowner's wealth. Over the centuries, a lush expanse of mowed grass became a symbol of tranquility and beauty. >More
 Give your walls a makeover with thrifted art

Thrift stores, garage sales and auction sites like eBay can be great places to find affordable artwork for your home. Some of my favorite art pieces were thrift store finds, including a 40x40 signed abstract painting for $7.99 at St. Vincent de Paul, a large red vintage glass vase for $10 at Savers, a signed woodcut titled "Village of Ecuador" for $1 at Carousel Consignments in Janesville, and three vintage Tiki-style dessert plates for 69 cents each that I repurposed as wall art to fill an oddly shaped niche in our living room. >More
 Make your desk a destination

Most weeks, I spend about as many waking hours at work as I do at home. I took three solid months decorating my house, but was in my cube for two years before I so much as tacked up a photo. Spending 40 hours of your life in a windowless office or a gray-walled cubicle isn't anyone's idea of style, but there are ways to spruce up your space without breaking the bank -- or your company's HR policies. >More
 18 favorite kitchen hacks

While certain gadgets are useful, sometimes you need to make do in a pinch, or just get more benefits from the gadgets you do have. Here are some of our shortcuts. Your mileage may vary. >More
 Emphasis: Fall 2011

While bamboo has been the catchphrase in sustainable flooring, there's another route to go. Local trees, harvested sustainably and installed in your house by Wisconsin residents, is a buy-local option that makes sense on many levels. You can know your floor the way some people know their farmer and their vegetables. >More
 Replace the plates

If my husband had given me paper, the Emily Post-sanctioned gift for a first wedding anniversary, there may not have been a second one to celebrate. I think I'd have felt much the same way about the traditional gift of tin or aluminum to honor our 10th. As much as I love a good Diet Coke, it is just not as romantic as jewelry. >More
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