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There's simply nothing better than a custom-built piece, whether it be a desk or a kitchen cabinet. In a world that mandates near-constant compromise, a custom addition is many a homeowner's way of declaring, "Yes! I, too, deserve something in my life that is the exact size, shape and color I desire!" Of course, we all have to "make it work" some of the time. But here are four examples, courtesy of Dave West - owner of David Bryan Woodworks - that show how "custom" is the only way to go.
My youngest is only 2 and I am certain I've already destined her to a senseless, soul-killing, life-long quest for unobtainable perfection. "Do it right or not at all, Olive," I tisk. And then I realize my mistake. "Actually, Olive, it's best to 'leave well enough alone.'" I should leave it there, but I don't. "You know, Olive, maybe Mommy will help you separate the Legos from the Lincoln Logs, just this once." Sigh. My perfection-seeking, order-craving, Type-A side won out again.
These finishing touches will have you well on your way to an updated look in no time at all!
"The flooring in a room accounts for as much as 50 PERCENT of the room's impact. It has the ability to transform the look and feel of a home. Since many types of flooring are relatively permanent, the flooring you choose should be tailored to HOW YOU WILL USE THE ROOM and how practical it needs to be,"
Home decor treasures that save you money!
Maximize Storage Space, Great New Countertops and Quick Changes to make Major Impact.
Four local professionals share thier favorite quick tips for adding drama to your space
Eight home improvement specialists share their tips on how to get the most for your money...
See beyond the dirt and grime and give new life to your home with these quick fixes!
Just like people, no two granites are exactly alike. With the enormous variety of color combinations and veining patterns available, choosing the right granite for your home can be a bit overwhelming. So how do you decide which color, pattern, or finish will best suit your unique personality, theme or style?
photography by Ted Dayton

The experts chime in on energy and money saving tips on getting your home ready for Summer - inside and out!
The weather is warm and the real estate market is cold. A bigger house might not be in your future, but a few low-cost improvements to your backyard will make you feel "right" at home.
Maybe your sofa or sectional is on its last legs, or perhaps you're just desperate for a change. Before you invest time and money in the "perfect sofa" search, peruse this list of must-ask questions.
Now that holiday shopping has started in earnest, we're on a mission. We're like drug-sniffing dogs, an elite pack of bargain hunters who leave no store unturned on hot pursuit of red tags, slash marks, percentage signs and clearance sections.
Nothing lifts a neighborhood's communal spirit more than festively-decorated homes. This year, gift your neighbors and guests with a lighting display that energizes spirits and inspires smiles. Let the pros do the dangerous ladder climbing; just relax and take in the (bright) sights.
Because sometimes all you need is a good idea.
In the entryway of my last home lay what I considered a great aesthetic offence: dramatically cracked and chipped tile flooring. Being clever (and cheap), I covered it with a throw rug - that never stayed put. Like Edgar Allan Poe's Telltale Heart, those marred pieces of porcelain refused to remain silent, loudly announcing their ugliness anew every time a guest strolled through the door.
Unless you're considering a "for sale" sign as your newest front-yard decor, you may wonder why "curb appeal" matters to you. Yes, the outside of your home may be the first thing everyone else sees when they check out your digs, but it's also the first thing you see when pulling into your driveway. The exterior of your home sets the tone for how you feel about where you live. If you aren't "going anywhere" any time soon, it's time to fall back in love with your space. Here's how.
Summer heat always reminds us we live in a desert and we need water. Experts all agree - your green lawn drinks a lot of it. If conservation is at the top of your list these days (and who wouldn't like lower water bills?), saving the lawn in this climate can sometimes be just a matter of readjusting, reusing and conserving.
Just like any long-term romance, the relationship between you and your home requires a little effort now and then. Banish boredom with accents that are sure to put the "spark" back where it belongs.
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