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Steve and Nancy Siegel pose the question: What do empty nesters do when they’ve already downsized from the ’burbs, moved into a loft apartment in downtown Buffalo, and enjoyed carefree rental living for 13 years? Of course, buy another house, they say, albeit one with about 1,350 square feet of manageable living space and a small city lot to maintain. Part of the app…

Columns

For years, when our daughter was younger, I enjoyed leaving out a large jigsaw puzzle for people to work on. Sometimes I would set it up on the library table in the living room. Other times, I would bring out the card table and place it by the front window. Family members and friends couldn’t resist taking a seat – trying this piece, then that piece – and often five min…

Gardening

Last week I attended the Tropical Plants Industry Expo in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. It isn’t just for Southern gardeners. The vendors and exhibitors are mostly wholesalers (just a few retailers) including 6,000 attendees from 45 states and 34 countries. They influence and sell to stores all over the United States where most people buy plants and plant-related products. I lu…

Gusto

Cornell Cooperative Extension of Erie County Master Gardener Program will hold two “Communities in Bloom” gardening classes – one on Feb. 17 at Unitarian Universalist Church, 695 Elmwood Ave., and another Feb. 24 at the Cornell Cooperative Extension office (located in the Print Shop Building on the Roycroft campus), 21 S. Grove St., East Aurora. Registration begins at 8:30…

Gusto

Mark and Eileen Buckley have lived in their Village of Kenmore home since 1998. In an email, Eileen Buckley, senior reporter at WBFO, explained how she and Mark, an electrician, have remodeled the home while remaining true to its Dutch Colonial style: Here's what she wrote for our Home of the Week online feature: “2018 will mark the 20th year in our beloved Village o…

Gusto

Is your bedroom nicely 'layered? Are you thinking about building a 'microshelter'? Here is an A-Z guide of words you should know from the fashion, decorating and gardening worlds. Accent wall: A wall that is different than the other walls in the room, to add drama, help define a space, etc. It might be painted a different color or covered in wallpaper. Burnout: A …

Gardening

How quickly we forget. Only two weeks ago, there were 2 feet of snow on many of our driveways and porches. My house had a 2-by-2-foot ice dam column, roof to deck. Cars and sidewalks were buried, and people – many who shouldn’t be shoveling – put hours into uncovering them. Then it melted and typically everybody moved on and forgot the stresses (until the next time). …

Gusto

I recently had one of those weird moments when I wondered if something was happening for real or if I dreamed it. In this case it’s for real. I did not wake up one morning and say, “Wow. I had the strangest dream last night. People are putting their books on their bookshelves backward.” Turns out, they are turning their books around. It’s been going on for some time …

Gusto

On frosty days, local interior designer Mark Taylor dreams of decorating a sun room. It would be big and bright – and very uplifting. “I would love to use yellow right now because I’m already sick of winter. I would love to do a sun room with oranges, yellows and greens to remind us that spring is coming,” he said. When asked what colors she would choose when decorat…

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Beth and Craig Downing bought their Buffalo townhouse in January 2016 and moved in nine months later. It was a challenge but Beth Downing's sister, Lynn Hayes, and niece, Kelly Zimmerman, stepped in to help with everything from choosing the materials to decorating. In an email, Beth Downing, senior director of finance and administration for Buffalo Olmsted Parks Cons…

Gusto

It’s going to be a fashionable year for your porch, patio and garden. Some of the trends appear to have crossed over from the runways and maybe even your own closet. Dotted foliage? Very chic. Velvet? It goes beyond holiday parties (and sofa upholstery). The Proven Winners website shows a petunia called ‘Royal Velvet’ and a begonia named ‘Velvet Red.’ And who can res…

Gusto

Gardeners and homeowners are asking about the effect of this deep freeze, especially if they invested in new trees and shrubs recently. I spoke with a Spectrum customer service rep in North Carolina this week (who solved my problem very well by the way) and even she was worried about her plants – just different ones. Which plants will be damaged depends upon the spec…

Gusto

Federated Holland Garden Club will meet at 11 a.m Jan. 17 at the Brink Memorial Community Center, Legion Drive, Holland. Following the business meeting and luncheon, members will discuss and plan for their 2018-2019 yearbook as well as the club’s May flower show. New members welcome. Call 537-9710. Western New York Rose Society will meet at 7 p.m. Jan. 17 at St. Stephen…

Gusto

Martin and Janeen Burruano moved from their home in North Tonawanda, where they raised three children, to a ranch in Wheatfield that has a main house and an apartment. In an email, Janeen Burruano described what motivated them to move and offered additional details for our online Home of the Week feature: “I feel our home is unique in that it offers hope to families …