February 23, 2015 |
Last week, I talked about trends associated with the winners of the National Association of Home Builders' Best in American Living Awards. Today's topic: the results of Better Homes & Gardens' annual survey of its readership, which I have been writing about, seriously or tongue-in-cheek, for the last seven years, although its informal version was part of a panel discussion at the builders group's annual trade shows for much longer than that....
May 7, 2014 |
IT'S A KNOWN fact among kids that grandma never visits you empty-handed: Tykes get showered with candy, money and high-grade narcotics. Well, that's allegedly the case for one Chester County granny. Pauline Bilinski-Munion, 56, was charged yesterday with endangering the welfare of children, drug charges and related offenses after her 7-year-old grandson allegedly pocketed her heroin and took it to school, authorities said. Staff at Caln Elementary School in Thorndale confronted the boy Friday about the drugs after other pupils reported them to a teacher, Chester County District Attorney Tom Hogan said yesterday.
December 29, 2013 |
It was a long stretch of disappointing monthly billings reports from the American Institute of Architects, reflecting the prolonged housing downturn and the reluctance of homeowners and, indeed, builders, to commit to spending great sums as prices continued to fall. Reflecting the general flattening of the market over the last few months, the most recent billings index (for October) saw lower numbers, though it remained above the score of 50, indicating a rise. The big positive, however, was an uptick in inquiries about projects somewhere down the line - meaning that while Americans remain insecure about the economy, they expect it to improve.
December 1, 2012
These days shopping for anything - a whisk, a play kitchen, an electric toothbrush . . . really, anything - involves wrestling with a tyranny of choices. As associate director of the Integral Product Design program at the University of Pennsylvania, Sarah Rottenberg teaches budding designers how to ensure their inventions aren't among the 90 percent of new products that enter this bloated marketplace and fail. For starters, there are lots of questions a designer needs to ask of both the potential users and of himself, including: How can you make it familiar and still enhance the user's experience?
November 18, 2012 |
A Rutgers-Camden dormitory complex that houses more than 500 people was evacuated Saturday afternoon after a fire started in the first-floor laundry room of a 10-story tower. There were no injuries from the two-alarm "heavy smoke event," said Michael Sepanic, the university's spokesman. He said the extent of the smoke damage was unclear. "We're still determining if we will need to relocate students," he said. Contact Andrew Maykuth at 215-854-2771 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
October 20, 2012 |
Glennda Howe stood where her kitchen used to be. Everything was gone - the cabinets, appliances, table, chairs, antique hutch. This 11-by-14-foot room, which for 21 years had been the hub of Howe's life, was undergoing a metamorphosis. In a few weeks, this would become her dining room. Her new kitchen would be part of an 800-square-foot addition. "I still can't believe it," said Howe, 51, of the changes coming to her West Chester ranch. "I look at this, I still can't decide what I am more excited about - the kitchen, the dining room, the fireplace or the laundry room ... " But she and husband Don, 57, have other reasons to grin.
June 11, 2012 |
Since 2000, 50,306 additional people between the ages of 20 and 34 moved into the city of Philadelphia, according to the 2010 Census. Meet two of them: David and Jackie Zavitz. This young couple, who met in Washington, where they were both living at the time, chose to move to Philadelphia when they married in 2003. "We wanted to put down roots," says Jackie, 34, a search professional with Korn/Ferry International. Philadelphia is "very accessible. I love city living. It's been a joy that way. " They bought, and renovated, their first home in Queen Village, and in 2007 hoped to buy a bigger place in the neighborhood but prices were too high.
May 1, 2012 |
Good thing my clothes can't feel anything or talk. If they could, they'd surely berate me. I used to bathe them in nice warm water. These days, they're thrashing about in cold. From my viewpoint, it's all good. Cold water means they don't shrink, they don't fade, I save money by not using hot water, and — more to the point of this column — I'm helping the environment by not using as much electricity. According to most estimates, heating the water accounts for about 80 to 85 percent of the energy consumed by a typical batch of laundry.
April 17, 2012 |
The fire that badly damaged a famous turn-of-the century mansion in Villanova has an undetermined cause, but there is no evidence to suggest it was "incendiary or suspicious in any way," according to the Radnor Township Fire Marshal. "The cause is undetermined at this time," Fire Marshall Don Wood said, reading from a written statement. "But an electrical failure in the area of origin could not be ruled out. " The April 4 blaze destroyed part of the 22-room mansion, which is known as Bloomfield and was built in 1885 but redesigned in the early 1920s by famed Philadelphia architect Horace Trumbauer in the style of a French chateau.
February 17, 2012 |
I was going to write about Raise, a stain remover, but the suggestions for designing an efficient laundry room were so good that I thought I'd share some of them with you. I haven't thought about this for a few years, because our laundry-room setup works well, and the front-loading washer and dryer that we bought in 2006 to replace the 22-year-old models we inherited have given us little trouble. Even when I had considered replacing the clunky old sink into which the washer drains with one of those white plastic tubs, the plumbing changes would have been pricey and the drainage is all that we ask it to do anyway.