The upside of Man Caves!

My husband hates HGTV and most aspects of home design bore him to tears.  The one exception is entertainment electronics.  He's been grumbling about a noisy fan in our master bedroom for almost a year, and hasn't called anyone to fix it yet, but when the big screen TV went fuzzy recently, he was on the phone within an hour to find a repair tech!  ...more

Counter Intelligence

Are you looking at your 20-year-old countertops wondering why their raggedy selves are still there?  Do you pine for the handsome stones you see in kitchen mags?  Have you ever seen recycled glass or concrete counters?  In my current blog posting, I "Pro" and "Con" different countertop options, and feature many different types in a StyleFile feature.  Enjoy!  ...more

"Laundry Lust"

This posting isn't about sitting atop vibrating spin cycles or meeting Mr. ...more

HGTV vs. Real Life

Any HGTV fans on BlogHer?  Since I'm a professional kitchen and bath designer, prospective clients mention the Home & Garden Television channel all the time, and I often enjoy watching it myself.  There are so many terrific projects shown.  At the same time, the actual process of bringing those projects to life is so fundamentally different than what you see on television, I feel compelled to share some of the differences between real life and HGTV that ...more

My Olympic Dream

So Dara Torres isn't the only 40-something American female with high hopes for these games.   Check out my weekly blog posting to see what this hopelessly non-athletic designing woman's Olympic dreams look like. ...more

Healthier Kitchens - Countertops, Cabinets and Flooring

I bought a catalog cabinet to hold our cook books and some cookware last year that made me sick.  Whenever I walked into the kitchen or family room -- where we spend most of our time! -- I would get headaches.  It didn't take me long to finger the low-budget import as the off-gassing culprit.  I'll never again buy another cabinet or furniture piece from a country without environmental controls.  Nor should you, if you want to keep yourself and your family safe! ...more

Granite countertops, radon and cancer -- media hype or major problem!

The New York Times, Fox Business News and numerous other well-known media outlets are carrying headlines about the link between granite countertops, radon and cancer.  Lawyers are advertising for granite buyers to join lawsuits.  (Who are they going after, Mother Nature?)  Several friends and relatives sent me the articles this past week, knowing that I help clients choose materials for their building and remodeling projects.  ...more

Does your kitchen or bath need some style or storage help?

I've added a "Help My Home" feature to my blog recently and am looking for submissions from folks with kitchen or bath design/storage problems to solve or questions they want answered on improving those spaces.  It's free, of course.   Go to my blog home page at for submission details. ...more

Kitchen Tools that Multi-Task - Great for Holiday Entertaining and Year-round Efficiency!

I've come up with some strategies to beef up your kitchen storage, improve its efficiency, add cooking and party power -- all without a major remodel.  These four tools can make your holidays less crazy and turbo-charge your kitchen.  ...more

Aging-in-Place Design: Making your parents safe and comfortable in their home or yours

Many Americans are helping parents cope with aging issues.  If you’re one of them, here are some ways to improve their comfort and safety in accident-prone bathrooms:  Replace knob-style faucets with lever-handled f ...more

Barbara's home in the world! ...more