May 24, 2015 |
A few weeks back, I replied to a reader's question about "ghost shadows" on his ceiling. It isn't as spooky as it sounds. The reader was asking about paint he could use to hide the lines, which reappeared after he had painted the ceiling three years ago. Of course, I responded to his request for a paint recommendation by suggesting a shellac-based product that I have used to cover water stains from leaks that have been repaired and to keep...
February 22, 2015 |
Perhaps it's the bitter memory of last winter's polar vortex, or maybe it's just the volatile price of fuel, but homeowners are warming to fireplaces. Contractors and architects say their home-renovation and new-construction customers are eager to include fireplaces of all kinds in their projects - gas inserts, wood-burning, electric units that double as house heaters, even outdoor fireplaces. Ed Barnhart, principal at Always by Design architects and designers in Center City, recently contracted with two buyers of new houses.
January 11, 2015 |
I've never been interested in animal husbandry, so it was with great interest that I recently learned that deer - which don't actually qualify as domestic animals, even though they live in our neighborhoods - mate in cold weather. That information is courtesy of Bobbex, maker of what it describes as natural deer repellents. Mating makes deer more active and aggressive, and a greater threat to humans, pets, and suburban landscapes, the company says. Moving to the city won't help - in Chestnut Hill, Mount Airy, and Andorra, there seem to be more deer than people on some mornings.
March 17, 2014 |
The trio of Colonials in Queen Village is as charming as a storybook illustration. Indeed, the transformation of the once-tumbledown dwellings is a family saga. Ann Foringer now lives in one of the end houses with husband Scott and daughter, Mai, 17. Previously, the structure was occupied by Ann's parents, Homer and Helen Rhule, who bought it in the mid-1980s. "My father was offered a job in Center City, and my parents decided to relocate" from Westfield, N.J., Ann said. "Mother wanted to restore a house - the older the better.
February 10, 2014 |
Samy Badawy and wife Toby Shawe were expecting their third child in 1994 and living in a small house in Roxborough. They needed more space, and each had priorities for a new home. "Samy wanted light," Shawe said, "and I wanted our bedroom to be separate from the kids' bedrooms. " The couple found a light-filled, mid-century-modern house with separate sleeping wings and much more in the nearby Wissahickon section of Roxborough. Arthur M. Tofani Jr. had designed the futuristic home on a sloping lot in 1949, just two years after he earned a degree in architecture from the University of Pennsylvania.
November 17, 2013 |
Q uestion: Our house was built in 1898. I am told we cannot use our fireplace unless we install a sleeve that would cost $3,000 to $6,000. As an alternative, is there such a thing as a gas-fired Franklin stove-type insert that could be put in without venting or, perhaps, with an exhaust pipe up the chimney? Since the fireplace is smack in the middle of the house, an insert could provide a true heat benefit. But I would prefer not to risk asphyxiation. Your guidance will be greatly appreciated.
March 31, 2013 |
Andrew Wyeth died four years ago at 91; in another four years, the centennial of his birth will bring forth a major retrospective exhibition at the Brandywine River Museum, designed not only to commemorate his remarkable career, but also to reevaluate it. The museum has set in motion a five-year sequence of events to set the stage for the centennial celebration in 2017. It wants these events to accomplish two things - introduce Wyeth and the other artists in his family to a new, younger audience, and encourage art historians to reconsider what the Wyeth artists accomplished.
December 18, 2012 |
Lila Stephens was 11 months old when she suffered third-degree burns to her hands from touching the glass front of a fireplace at a resort in Wisconsin. To stave off regulation and lawsuits over severe burns to toddlers, manufacturers will provide protective screens as standard equipment with new gas fireplaces over the next two years. The industry has revised its voluntary guidelines to call for mesh screens to be attached to new fireplaces to prevent contact with the scorching glass fronts, which get hot enough to melt skin.
October 14, 2012 |
The house sits almost hidden and comes slowly into view after a turn off Bordentown's main street. Still faithful to its 1750 farmhouse roots and surrounded by towering trees, this is a dwelling that is welcoming rather than grand, friendly rather than fancy. The home that Bonnie Goldman, presiding judge of the Municipal Courts of Burlington County, and her husband, cardiologist Steven Lederman, bought in 1999 needed more than a little updating. But an engineer had declared it sound, and they took the plunge.
January 27, 2012 |
What happens when two architects marry and buy a home? "They change it!" say Claudia Cueto and Tim Kearney. These marriage and professional partners knew the Swarthmore home they purchased back in 1996 was not their dream house. But while others might have walked away, Cueto and Kearney decided that the home's location, in a neighborhood of tidy stone and brick houses on a quiet street, was motivation enough. They would dig in and transform the home into the one they wanted.