Cigar room, open concept kitchen and two-story foyer make this Louisville house pop

Dave and Debbie Weinstein moved around the country a dozen times throughout Dave’s 40-year automanufacturing career. “Eight of those times,” Dave said, “we bought a house. So, this is number nine.”

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The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society turned a Manayunk parking lot into an awesome Pop Up Beer Garden paradise

MANAYUNK (WPVI) — Travel just a half block off Main Street in Manayunk and you’ll find a lot filled with more than 22-hundred plants, many getting a second life after this year’s PHS Philadelphia Flower Show

It’s a space perfect for COVID-19 with 20,000 square feet of open space that can hold up to 150 socially-distanced people.

The cocktails use herbs from the garden and there’s a menu of bar food and a backdrop of urban grit.

The site holds a community garden, part of the PHS Harvest 2020 program to help feed families in need. Harvests are being donated to Manayunk’s Northlight Community Center. To volunteer in the garden, email Cristina Tessaro: [email protected]

PHS Pop Up Garden | Beer Garden Menu
106 Jamestown Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19127

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Right pop of color makes big impact for small price

When you’ve been writing about home design for as long as I have, certain expressions really begin to wear — like “bring the outdoors in.” Please, living in the tropics with three dogs, I spend a good amount of time taking the outdoors back out, sticks, mud, mosquitoes, frogs. Another worn expression is “then just add a pop of color.”

Next time I hear a designer say, “just add a pop of color,” I’m afraid I’ll say right back, “I’ll give you a pop of color. Where would you like it?”

I’m sorry, but the words “just” and “color” don’t belong in the same sentence. First of all, picking a background wall color is already triple-black-diamond difficult, but selecting a look-at-me accent color,
that perfect-pitch purple pillow, is way harder. And would someone please define ‘pop’? I picture the living room after a game of paintball.

So when a design friend of mine recently introduced me to Minneapolis designer Lucy Penfield and said her specialty was “living in color,” I thought maybe she could help me with my pop predicament. So I called her up. In under three minutes, words like azalea, parrot green, peacock, mango and jalapeño were punctuating our conversation. The woman can talk color, all right.

“Color is experiential,” Penfield said. “It’s about energy and the feelings it brings to your soul. It can lift the spirt, calm the mind, sweep you away or ground you. It can evoke a mood or change one.”

“I want some of that,” I said.

We talked about her new collection of exuberant throw pillows for Missio Home, which is designed to add, you guessed it, pops of color to a room. Then I peppered her with my pressing color questions:

Q: I get so tired of hearing designers tell me to add a pop of color. It sounds so easy, but it’s definitely an art. Can you offer some guidelines?

A: Be brave. Realize that rooms come alive when they have a color surprise. The pop can be small, like a red bowl, or large, like a turquoise accent wall. The idea is to add something unexpected that introduces a
little whimsy. Start with a baby step. If that resonates, go bigger and bolder.

Q: What makes you wince when you walk into a home?

A: An expressionless home that is void of color. The rooms feel so lifeless and sad. Many people have homes like this because they feel safe. My heart drops, and I just want to say, “Honey, you can do it. Try it. It’s just a throw pillow or a vase on the table.”

I also feel sad when I see homes where the owners felt compelled to do their whole house in gray, because that’s what was in style, though it never felt right to them because they didn’t go with the green they loved. I wish more people would use their own rudder to steer them to the colors they love, not
what’s in.

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Mom and Pop Home Improvement Verses Big Box Stores

Ever since the first English settlements in Jamestown in 1607, entrepreneurs were using their home improvement skills to help build a better life. These specialized skills will always be needed, no matter how they are utilized and / or distributed. From plumbing to window installation, these trade services are practiced within all areas of civilized life.

Up until the end of the late 19th century, most home improvement services were worked by individuals or smaller mom and pop type businesses. Not until stores like Lowe's started popping up in the early 20th century did we start seeing larger entities become highly competitive against the smaller mom and pop type home improvement businesses. The fact of the matter is, these large businesses could provide services for cheaper, but not necessarily better.

So, why do big box chains like Home Depot and Lowe's provide home improvement services? Why don't they just sell improvement goods? Isn't the whole idea behind these large hardware stores to provide goods to do-it-yourselfers? Well, the problem is … more and more consumer do-it-yourselfers are buying their goods online. It saves time and allows the consumer to be more flexible when it comes to getting their job done. These big hardware stores are trying to send a message to these consumers. They want these people to not only buy their products, but also allow them to install it for them at minimal costs. By doing this, it could draw in consumers that need a job done, but can't necessarily afford a mom and pop business. Not realizing, that these stores often do a poor job, because they use, in most cases, inexperienced staff.

The fact of the matter is … mom and pop home improvement businesses are usually family owned and operated. They pass down their many years of experience in their trade to their workers. They often use the best quality products and provide top notch warranties. We're not saying that the big box stores can't provide quality, we're just saying that your chances are better with smaller service providers.

As these larger, big box home improvement companies grow … will they expand and improve their services or will they return to their roots and only sell goods? Chances are, these big businesses will look to improve quality of service and offer a broader range of these services. The three largest stores, Home Depot, Lowe's Companies, and Lumber Liquidators are not going away any time soon. Small mom and pops know that. They also know that they do it better and a majority of the public knows it.

So, before you choose who is going to install your replacement windows, replace your kitchen counter or repair that leaking pipe, do your research. Compare experience, quality of products used, warranties and most important of all … customer service. Who are you going to want inside your home? Someone who has been doing the job their whole life or someone from a big box store with no credentials. The …

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