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This photo provided by West Elm shows throw blankets for fall.  If you're looking for an easy, low-commitment and cozy way to change the look of your home for fall, consider stocking up on throw blankets. (West Elm via AP)

It’s a wrap: decorating with throws and blankets

Thursday, September 3, 2015

If you’re not up for big projects like repainting the walls or adding insulation to the attic this fall, consider stocking up on throw blankets for an easy, low-commitment way to change the look of your rooms — and keep cozy. Whether turned out in luxurious cashmere or a soft synthetic, a throw is a snuggly alternative to zipping up another sweatshirt or cranking up the thermostat when the temperature dips. “People just love that soft, extra-cozy feeling to wrap up in them,” said Jami Supsic, style director for Country Living magazine. “Nothing would be better on a winter night than having a chunky throw …

Surrounded by beauty: Belchertown artist’s yard is filled with gardens of all kinds

Thursday, September 3, 2015

From the beginning, when she built her contemporary house in Belchertown 17 years ago, Karen Chrisman knew she wanted to surround her home with gardens. “I had the plan in my head, I knew what it would look like and it is pretty close,” she said in a recent interview. Her gardens were …

Get Growing: Time to bring the houseplants back inside

Thursday, September 3, 2015

September is the month for new beginnings. Even though it may be 90 degrees this week, fall is in the air and it’s time to prepare houseplants for the journey inside. It’s important to bring them indoors in September before there is any need to turn on the furnace. They need to acclimate …

Get growing: Leave the snow behind and savor the orchids

Thursday, February 12, 2015

What could be more uplifting than looking at tropical plants in the midst of all this infernal snow and cold? The annual Orchid Show staged by the Amherst Orchid Society is Feb. 21 and 22 at Smith Vocational …

Get Growing: Childhood experience inspires gardeners

Monday, January 19, 2015

Childhood memories provide inspiration for many of the gardeners whom I interview for my column. They recall their parents or grandparents, a beloved aunt or an elderly neighbor who introduced them to gardening. Or they recall a visit …

Parkour training: Hurdling fences, hopping benches — getting around with gymnastic grace

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

They’re into video games, role-playing, comics and superheroes. And they may be some of the most athletic kids around. They’re “traceurs,” practitioners of a relatively new activity called parkour. They don’t just take the stairs, they leap down …

Robert Floyd Gallery in Southampton celebrates its anniversary

Friday, December 19, 2014

SOUTHAMPTON — The Robert Floyd Photo Gallery and Learning Center, 2 East St., is throwing a party Sunday, from 2 to 5 p.m., to celebrate the beginning of its 14th year. The gallery exhibits photo artwork from local to international artists. Parking is available in the adjacent Old …

Obama on safe legal ground with turkey pardon

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama has issued an executive action that some of his Republican opponents may be hard-pressed to disagree with — sparing Thanksgiving turkeys from the dinner table. In the spirit of the holiday, Obama on …

When son knows best A Belchertown couple turns to their eldest to design their modern home

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Architect Uwe Brandes has designed everything from a military museum in Buffalo, New York, to an elementary school in Berlin, Germany. Currently the founding executive director of Georgetown University’s Master of Professional Studies in Urban Planning in Urban …

Your Place: Anti-slip tape may save full additive solution

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Q: We have a common California style balcony in front of our condo building, with a coat of epoxy that was put on by the contractor last year. The finish is very slippery. Is there anything we can apply on top of the epoxy coating that will make …

Living Smart To fully winterize, look outside the home

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

It’s wise, before the snow flies (or as soon as possible if flakes have already flown), to take the time to prep your home and property for winter. We hear often about emergency service calls that could have been avoided if homeowners had taken time to winterize or …

Get Growing: Holiday wreaths are simple to make

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The holiday season is upon us and many people will be hanging wreaths on their doors. They are simple to make — or you can just create a swag with a few greens, a red bow and perhaps …