Home Front: Tankless Water Heaters, Getting Kids to Do Chores, Bathroom Lighting and more

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Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza
Washington Post Home Staff
Thursday, November 6, 2008; 11:00 AM

Home Front is an online conversation between two Washington Post Home Section writers and their readers about the best way to feather the nest. Every week, Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza help you in your quest to achieve domestic bliss. They were online Thursday, November 6.

A transcript follows.

You may also browse an archive of previous Home Front discussions.

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Jura Koncius: Hey guys. Welcome. We want to tell you about a new paint line from Ralph Lauren. It's called Modern Light. All the colors are pales and they have wonderful pinks and lavenders, which seem to be colors on your minds lately. Love Violet Fields and Gardenia. Can give you more specifics in pale blues, greens or tan if you need it. Well, let's get going.

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Silver Spring, Md.: There's free help available at the Benjamin Moore paint kiosk in White Flint Mall starting this coming Sunday through January 2009. Bring your fabric samples, carpet samples and photographs to get the most out of your complimentary color consultation with author and designer Debbie Wiener. Call in advance to reserve your time slot at 301-230-0083.

Jura Koncius: Wow. This is great news. Can you tell us more about it? Will there be a series of designers doing this?

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McLean, Va.: When painting do you always have to paint the baseboards in the living room and hallway a different color than the wall? I am painting the walls BM rich cream and really don't want white baseboards. Thanks

Terri Sapienza: You shouldn't feel as if you "have" to do anything you don't want to in your home. Lots of people prefer to paint the trim a contrasting color to accentuate the architectural detail. But if you'd rather that it be less noticeable and fade into the wall, then painting it the same as the wall color is the way to go.

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Oven rack update: Hi Ladies! In early September I wrote to you asking where to get new oven racks. I had thrown mine out because they were covered in mold. Well, I finally took care of this last week and wanted to let you and the chatters know where to get oven racks:

Home Depot has a special phone number and Web site to get parts for all your appliances. I called the number, 877-650-2121 and it was answered by a real person, who was so helpful. I looked in the side of the oven for the sticker with the model number. I gave it to the woman on the phone, and the correct oven racks showed up in her computer. I ordered them last Tuesday and they arrived with the 2-day shipping exactly on time, last Thursday. They fit perfectly. It's exactly the right thing.

The Web site is www.homedepot.com/ApplianceRepair. It looked like they can get parts for almost any appliance. Obviously I do not work there or have any interest in them. Just a very happy customer. It cost about $25 for each rack. With the fast shipping fee the total was $56. It was totally worth the price.

Now I just have to cook something in there but that's a whole other chat!

Jura Koncius: Thank you so much for sharing this. Great information. It is so annoying when some part on an appliance breaks. Even the lightbulb inside your stove is a pain.

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Dupont Circle, D.C.: Aside from cost differences, are there any downsides to getting a tankless water heater for my home (condo, electric)?

Jura Koncius: This is a great question. Do any of you out there own these tankless heaters? Do you have complaints about them? Please chime in. Also everyone should know about the Green Festival this weekend at the Washington Convention Center. It is on Nov 8 and 9. 350 exhibits including green teen, organic food and beer, green shopping, responsible investing, kids zone, etc. Go to www.greenfestivals.org.

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Washington, D.C. - bathroom follow-up: Hi ladies - I wrote in a month or two ago looking for advice for a color to paint my black and white tile bathroom. The floor is black and white. The sink, toilet and tub/shower are white, and there is black tile going about halfway up the walls.

I was thinking of painting it red, and you gave me a few specific paint colors along with the advice to paint a bit on the wall and live with it. A chatter wrote in saying that the red may make the room too dark since I had mentioned that there is only one small window and suggesting your favorite Palladian Blue.

Well, we took all of the advice above. We painted a patch of Million Dollar Red and Palladian Blue and lived with it. The red was too dark, and the blue actually ended up being a bit too green, but we loved the idea of blue. We ended up with Crystal Springs, which was a BM color featured in a Pottery Barn catalogue in a living room with black and white furniture. Anyway, it looks wonderful: calming, clean, fresh. I just wanted to follow up and thank you and the chatter for your great advice!

Jura Koncius: Calming, clean and fresh is the way to go. Sounds really nice and thank you for the follow-up!!!

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Portland, Ore.: Good Morning!!!

Relying on your good advice again -- am thinking about doing a subway tile backsplash in the kitchen. Any drawbacks that I should consider?

Thank you for your ideas.

Terri Sapienza: I assume you are considering white subway tile? Nice choice - it's a clean and classic look that I don't think will ever go out of style. Don't forget that you also have to pick out the grout color (I think some people forget they have to consider that, too). If you want the tiles and their pattern on the wall to stand out, then you'll want to choose a darker grout, like a light gray. If you're going for a cleaner, seamless look, then you'll want a color close to the tiles so they blend together. An off-white grout can appear yellow (and therefore almost dirty) next to super white tiles, so keep that in mind. You can choose a bright white grout, but make sure to have it sealed after it's installed in order to keep it looking clean.

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Anonymous: Another option for McLean - go one shade darker than Rich Cream. Great subtle contrast and no white!

Terri Sapienza: advice for trim color. Thanks!

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Washington, D.C.: Good Morning,

I appreciated the article on chores for children. I think that children want to be helpful around the house and parents should encourage that behavior. Our daughter is 6 and since she was about 2 1/2, she has cleared her plate from the table and placed the dishes on the counter. She makes her bed in the morning, and she sorts her clothes on the weekends prior to them being washed. Before she goes to bed we make sure that her clothes are laid out for the next day, and that the clothes she wore that day are in the hamper and shoes are in the closet. We started off with a reward chart, but quietly phased that out. I tell parents of toddlers not to underestimate what children can do. Thanks.

washingtonpost.com: The ABCs of C-H-O-R-E-S (Post Home Section, Nov. 6)

Jura Koncius: The article on chores really resonated with a lot of us. Now that my son has gone off to college, I hope he will continue to make his bed and keep his dirty clothes in the hamper. I must admit, I regret not teaching him to iron, although his father taught him how to fold his clothes when they come out of the dryer! Do any of you want to share any ideas on how to get kids to do chores?

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Alexandria: Good Morning, Ladies. Here's hoping you can steer me in the right direction! I'm looking for a pair of cast iron urn planters to flank the front door... Any recommendations for where to look locally (I'd love to pick them up and save the shipping expense on them)?

Terri Sapienza: You should check out Luckett's Old Antique store in Leesburg. They usually have lots of outdoor and garden pieces (including urns) at great prices. www.luckettstore.com.

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Falls Church, Va.: Hi Jura and Terri! I love all of your advice and was hoping you could give me a "color selection" hand.

I'm looking to paint my dining room a neutral, yellowy-green. I'm currently choosing between four Sherwin-Williams colors: Celery, Rice Paddy, Lucent Yellow and Ancestral Gold. The dining room itself is kind of Zen/contemporary and gets lots of natural light. I was wondering if you have had any experience with any of these colors and/or whether you had any general guidance.

Thanks so much!!

Jura Koncius: I like Rice Paddy. I must say in these new Ralph Lauren Modern Light colors, there is a very intriguing shade of yellowy-green called Chamomile.

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Silver Spring, Md.: It's being done in conjunction with my new book, "Slob Proof! Real Life Design Solutions." I will be showing how to choose color and where to use it in your home. My chapter on color includes a full range of colors that complement each other and tells you where you need to use color for camouflage.

Jura Koncius: Oh - this must be the Benjamin Moore kiosk thing, right?

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washingtonpost.com: Redesigning The White House: A New President Means a New Look for the Oval Office and Beyond (Post Home Section, Oct. 23)

Jura Koncius: Lots of talk about the new style coming to Washington. And the private quarters of the White House and the Oval Office will be in for some redecorating. Elizabeth has thoughtfully posted an article I recently did on recent presidential administrations and what they did inside the executive mansion. Do you all have any advice for the Obamas about moving to DC with kids and where to shop for stuff for their rooms?

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Astoria, New York: I'm moving into a basement studio apartment that, unfortunately, only has those small, basement-style windows. Any tips on making it feel brighter? Also, any houseplant recommendations that can survive on very little natural light?

Terri Sapienza: I lived in a basement apartment in Georgetown for years and though it was completely charming (and a great location), I struggled with the lighting issue as well. My solutions were: painting with light colors, furniture with light-colored fabrics, a liberal use of the color white (bedding, linens, furniture) and lots of task lighting. Keeping furnishings spare and clutter-free will also help the space feel larger and lighter, too. I'm terrible with plants, unfortunately, so I can't help you out there, but someone at a local nursery should be able to point you in the right direction.

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Re: Tankless Water Heaters: My daughter is a real estate agent in the south and has worked with builders on numerous new home construction projects where they used tankless water heaters. Her quick summary: tankless heaters have a 30-year life expectancy versus 10 years for regular water heaters; instant hot water with tankless heaters; tankless obviously takes less space; and you can change the water temperature on a touch pad located somewhere in the house -- bathroom is a logical place to put it, I guess! She has only worked with gas models, but assumes they come in electric versions also. Hope that helps!

Jura Koncius: This is great info. Thanks a lot.

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No. Va.: Just a comment - I liked the article on kids' chores. I have three kids under 6. Only the oldest has any ability to tidy up, honestly. The middle child makes up cute songs about cleaning but doesn't actually do it, and the youngest just makes messes.

It's hard when we are so, so busy and it's so much quicker to just do the job myself. But it was a good reminder that they do need to learn at some point, so I should slow down and give them a chance. Thanks.

Jura Koncius: Cute songs about cleaning. Love it! It is totally a good reminder- just remember, after they leave it's too late and they will have a lifetime of not knowing how to keep house.

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Austin, Tex.: I want to get a new slipcover for my IKEA sofa from Bemz (has anyone used them?). They send you free samples, and I got a few, including a golden wheat, a mineral blue and a cream with a green pattern. I have a dark red chenille chair that sits in the living room too. I love green, but I think that might be too Christmas-y. What do you think would be the best pairing with the red chair? I have a Zapotec rug under the coffee table that has dark red, dark yellow, dark blue, cream, and green in it.

Terri Sapienza: I think I might go for a cream slipcover (color pulled from the rug) and adding a pillow that has some red in it.

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washingtonpost.com: In High Point, N.C., Designers Gamble on the Next Big Thing (Post Home Section, Nov. 6)

Jura Koncius: In the midst of this economic uncertainty, there is something to be excited about in the furniture business. If you are looking for some new ideas, check out my article in today's HOME section on what was hot in High Point as furniture makers rolled out their designs for Spring 2009. Some of the big names coming out next year are Calvin Klein, Pierre Deux and Annie Selke.

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No. Va.: We recently painted our kitchen a color I love, Radiate by C2. It is gorgeous with our cabinets and granite. I'd like to paint the dining room the same color or something a bit lighter maybe. Right now it's a rather bright ambery-yellow but after seven years of that color - I'm sick of it.

We do have some leftover paint from the kitchen, but shouldn't we use flat paint for the dining room? And what do you think of Radiate for a dining room anyway? I vote yes, my husband votes no. Our living room is a pale yellow that is okay, nothing special. It is next on the painting list. Thank you.

Terri Sapienza: How about mixing your leftover paint with a little of the dining room trim color (if it's white) for a lighter version of what you have in the kitchen?

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Arlington, Va.: Re: appliance parts - there are also lots of places online where you can order parts for appliances, such as this one: http://www.easyapplianceparts.com/Appliance-Parts.htm or this one for small appliances: http://www.nelsonappliance.com/default.asp

Jura Koncius: Fantastic.

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RE: Tankless Water Heater: We looked at installing one down here in Florida, because our water never gets that cold anyway.

The guy told me that it would cost about $1700 to install, and would save about $15/month on our electric bill. Not bad, but the ads are misleading. You're saving 30% of the amount you're spending to heat water, but the ads make it sound like you'll save 30% off your total electric bill.

You'd need more than one unit for a large home, but in a condo it should be fine. Just make sure the connections are tight!!!

Jura Koncius: More great stuff here...

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Washington, D.C.: Hi there, This isn't exactly a decorating question but I hope you can help. I recently moved to a new apartment (renting) where I now pay water and was stunned at how high my last bill was. I am doing some things to save water, but what I really want to find is an inexpensive low-flow or aerating showerhead. Is there a brand and/or store you can point me to where I could find one that is $20-$30 or so?

THANKS!

Jura Koncius: Good idea. Go to www.greatergoods.com or go to the neat shop Greater Goods at 1626 U St. NW. They have a great selection of low-flow shower heads and give great DIY advice. It's a nice small store with other fun things to help you save energy.

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Chicago, Ill.: So white leather is the next big thing? Ick!

Jura Koncius: Would you prefer black leather?

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Arlington, Va.: Did you ladies watch Top Design this season? If so, what did you think of some of the designs and what did you think about the finale? Do you think it's a show that ought to come back again? I thought season two was better than season one, but it lacks the zing of Project Runway and Top Chef. Also, Kelly Wurtzler is the freakiest dresser ever.

Terri Sapienza: I watched Top Design all season. I also thought it was much better than last season, but agree that it doesn't have the same fun and excitement as Top Chef.

As for the finale, I thought it was a little boring, but I think the right person won. Preston seems like a good designer, but his rooms had no personality or color (and this is coming from someone who loves a neutral palette). His rooms were always just too perfect and, I thought, lacked life. Nathan's designs are much too crazy for me personally (and I thought his bedroom was pretty bad), but his spaces are always interesting and have have lots of personality.

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Laurel, Md.: Did you see much in the way of Mission-style furniture at the High Point show? I've heard that it's easy to find down there.

Jura Koncius: The Stickley company always has new reissues of old Stickley pieces. They did have some new items. Check it out at www.stickley.com Mission seems to be one type of furniture that is still selling fairly well. It's sturdy and it goes with a lot of architecture. Men like it too.

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Upperville, Va.: Tankless hot water -- how close is the tank to the kitchen and bathrooms?

Are we talking gas or electric? Gas has very specific venting requirements which may make it difficult to use. Gas is cheaper than electric.

Sorry ladies, green only works if you can afford the initial cash outlay. And can wait for the payback. Solar, geothermal, windmills, and other green techniques cost me over $125k over comparable non green alternatives on the farm. Because of the herding dogs we went with hard rock maple for flooring and linoleum floors.

But I still have a large carbon footprint with 400+ sheep passing gas on my organic farm.

Green doesn't work well for the middle class.

Jura Koncius: Gulp. 400 sheep.

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Falls Church, Va. - living in the same house as today's column: Wow - where to begin? The designer took away a window in an already dark bedroom. She suggested painting the ceiling and walls the same color - but apparently it was such a bad idea that the artist didn't even do it in the drawing for publication. The TV is placed where you can't see it from any of the seating in the room (unless you sit sideways in the bed, which, of course, so many of us do as we are getting ready to sleep). Aside from placing some reading space near the stairwell and lighting the color of the walls, this design really seems worse than what they already have. Granted, the room looks pretty in the drawing, but it wouldn't be much fun to live in it. Can we ask the designers to imagine themselves living in one of their rooms before it gets published? I love this feature, but so many of the rooms featured seem unworkable that I'm really concerned about hiring a designer at all.

washingtonpost.com: House Calls: Tucked Away at the Top (Post Home Section, Nov. 6)

Jura Koncius: Dear Falls Church. Everyone has their own opinion. And there is definitely a designer for everyone. Do not despair.

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Reston, Va.: Hi! I need some bathroom lighting help. I found a vintage Venetian mirror for my basement powder room, but I'm having a hard time finding lighting that won't compete with it or isn't outrageously expensive. (I'm limited to wall-mounted lighting above the mirror, can't do side sconces.) Any suggestions? Thanks.

Terri Sapienza: I, too, have been in search of a wall-mounted light fixture for my powder room, and it's a much more difficult task than I anticipated (I've been searching for months).

Have you checked Lamps Plus (www.lampsplus.com)? They have a wide selection and their prices aren't bad. Let me know what you ultimately end up with - I'm still searching!

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when my kids were little: I had "five minute marathons" to do pick-up-and-put-away stuff. I'd set the timer, and after five minutes it was over. The ones that did a good job -- no throwing stuff around or stuffing it in the closet -- got some sort of reward -- a story, bubbles in their bath, that sort of thing. They also started learning to do laundry when they were 5.

Jura Koncius: You rock.

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No. Va.: Follow-up on the kitchen/DR paint question. I did think about mixing in some off-white to just lighten it a bit but can you mix different formulations, e.g., eggshell plus flat? Or is that going to affect how the paint wears?

Terri Sapienza: Yes, I would mix the same paint finishes together. As far as using a flat finish in the dining room, I think that choice is just a personal preference.

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Sofa slipcover: We have an L-shaped couch in our family room. Can't afford a custom slipcover or to have re-covered. Do you know anywhere that would have reasonable slipcovers for something like this?

Jura Koncius: Do you know where you purchased the sofa? Some companies offer slip-covers for some of their standards upholstery shapes. I could not find any ready made L-shaped sofa slipcovers at www.surefit.com. Sometimes upholstery can almost be cheaper than slipcovering. You might want to take a photo of your sofa and take it around to some reupholstery shops and get an estimate. Make sure the cushions are still worth reinvesting in.

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Burke, Va.: For the apt-dweller w/water issues: Your bills shouldn't be that outrageous, assuming you don't take hour-long showers and do laundry for a family of 5. You might want to have a plumber/trusted handyperson take a look and make sure you don't have a slow leak somewhere or other issues (before they surface in even more unpleasant ways than numbers on paper).

Jura Koncius: Good thought, Burke.

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Washington, D.C.: Re tankless hot water heaters - I looked into one for my home last year and decided against it because we do not have gas. They do make electric heaters, but they are much less efficient than the gas ones and in this climate, with such big differences between the outdoor temp and the temp you'd want your water at, it would actually cost MORE to use a tankless than a regular and there was a pretty good chance in the winter the water might not really get hot enough. If you have access to gas, I think they are worth looking in to.

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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Olney, Md.: Hi there. Thanks for taking my question. The back wall of my family room is two sets of French doors (each set is 5 ft wide with just 6 inches in between), which open onto a large patio. While it is very pretty, it also lets a lot of light into the family room and offers no privacy. As the family room is really where we live, watch TV, etc., we need some light blocking and privacy. I was thinking about having curtains installed on a center traverse rod, but the look of pleated curtains seems too traditional for my tastes (the house is very modern). What other options do I have for large curtains (double wide - not something you can buy off the rack) that open and close easily and look nice opened and closed to fit into a modern-ish house?

Terri Sapienza: How about curtains without pleats? In a recent story I did about designer secrets, DC designer Annie Elliott said: Ring-top curtains without pleats is a modern, unfussy look. The bonus is that they require less fabric and labor to make, which means less cost.

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Cleveland, Ohio: I have a 1930s bathroom with original black and white tile. I want to accessorize with a black and white shower curtain (Marimekko, maybe) and white towels (and possibly paint the small wall space a fun color in the future). But, I'm worried that the new bright white towels and shower curtain will make the tile look dingy (it's defintely not bright white anymore). Or, do you think the fresh white additions will just help lift and brighten everything in general?

Jura Koncius: Love the idea of a Marimekko shower curtain. Actually, I have a 1937 main bathroom myself with black and white tile. Recently, a friend told me about a wonderful linen factory store outlet in Fall River, Mass. It is the Matouk Factory Store. Check it out at www.matouk.com. Really luxurious quality stuff. I snagged an amazing white matelasse shower curtain with a black/brown border. Although the white in my bathroom isn't the brightest, this new white shower curtain made the whole room look fresher and more polished. And it was $24 which was a steal. Anyway, if you are driving up north over the holidays do check out this place.

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30% off!: Discount Fabrics USA in Thurmont is having a 30% off sale on all in-stock fabric, trim and leather from November 5 through November 23. Their postcard says it's the largest discount in their history.

Jura Koncius: Hmmm. I did not get my postcard!! I need to sign up again. Thanks - this outlet is amazing.

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Burke Va.: One more apt. water thought -- you might see if your neighbors' bills are comparable.

Jura Koncius: Very good idea.

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Chicago, Ill.: Re: White House refurnishing. Do you have Room and Board in DC? When I bought some furniture from them in 2006, I asked the delivery guys what VIPs they'd delivered furniture to, and they started listing Bears players and Oprah staffers, and the Obamas. I asked them what the Obamas had bought, thinking they'd never tell me, but they started naming different pieces of furniture. But who knows, maybe in the White House they'll have more traditional, or more expensive tastes.

Jura Koncius: Fascinating! We do not have one close by. According to their website, the closest one to here is in SoHo. Their stuff is very nice looking. Please email me the location of this store! konciusj@washpost.com.

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Couch help: Hi Ladies,

I'm in the market for a couch. My first - YAY!. Given the current economy I'm not in any hurry because I believe retail prices will drop/sales increase. That said I'm not in a hurry but with to be prepared to spend should the opportunity arise. I could really use some suggestions about where to look in the Baltimore (where I live) or DC areas. I've looked at C&B, Macy's, Basset, and your other typical large box/chain stores. Do you have any other recommendations that offer a more modern look that might be single stores or small local chains? Thanks bunches!!

Terri Sapienza: Some shops in Baltimore I recommend checking out are: Bluehouse (www.bluehouselife.com), Red Tree (www.redtreebaltimore.com), The House Downtown (www.thehousedowntown.com) and Su Casa (www.esucasa.com).

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Tankless in Alexandria: We have an electric tankless water heater. It was too hard to put a gas one in, it was too long to vent the vent pipe to the back of the house. But the electric is great, we love it. We live in an old house in Old Town, so space is at a premium. Couldn't be happier. You get a tax break too for installing one, they usually qualify for a home efficiency credit.

Jura Koncius: Love tax breaks.

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bathroom lighting: I know you said you're limited to above mirror wall lighting, but have you considered recessed ceiling lights? That's the route we went when we remodeled. It's great - plus we had dimmers put in. The extra space on the wall went to a bigger medicine cabinet mirror, which makes the room look larger.

Terri Sapienza: good idea. thanks!

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Anonymous: I am about to paint my bedroom Palladian Blue on your suggestion. (It still looks green to me but everyone I've mentioned this color to says it's great so I'm crossing my fingers!) The painter wants to do the door, closet, and trim white. Does that sound right to you? We have a long closet that takes up almost one whole wall so it seemed weird to me. Thanks!

Terri Sapienza: I think white for the door, closet and trim is the right choice. As for the color, Palladian Blue is a great color, but it didn't work in my house either - I thought it was too green, too. Must be the lighting in the room you're using it in.

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Alexandria, Va.: If you like mission or arts and crafts style furniture then you should check out Creative Classics in Old Town. We went there looking for a couch after weeks of shopping and were practically ready to furnish our whole house after walking in. Even better -most of their stuff is made by small U.S. furniture makers.

Jura Koncius: Made in the USA is great. Thanks for this tip.

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Washington, D.C.: You may have already had someone point this out, but I had to write to that person who threw out her over racks because they were MOLDY! And the first time she wrote to you and this time she's acting like this was a totally normal and non-idiotic thing to do given the circumstances. Ummmm, these are metal racks designed to last for ages! They weren't broken! They were moldy!! Put them in the bathtub with hot water and bleach for a while. Don't throw them out!! There was a reason why it was semi-difficult to find replacements -- because throwing them out in the case of mold is totally inappropriate!! Now they will sit in a landfill for ever, because you didn't want to deal with mold! OMG it makes me so mad to think that someone could think of the world in such a disposable way... Just venting and asking your readers to consider the very basic environmental consequences of their actions...

Jura Koncius: Venting here...

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Painting baseboards: Same color, different texture paint is also nice. I often do flat on the walls and eggshell on the baseboard.

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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Arlington, Va.: Anyone have experience with adding radiant floor heat (hydronic, not electric mat) during a remodel?

Jura Koncius: Anyone?

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Arlington: Regarding urns, we got a pair at Luckett's just as Terri suggested - they were a little rusty but priced right - a little rust-proof spray paint, and they are stunning. Great suggestion!

Terri Sapienza: yes, their selection can be a little rusty, but some people like that. And spray paint is easy and an inexpensive fix if you don't.

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Maryland: Hello, can you recommend a pink paint for bedroom walls that's light and pure but not too princessy? I am thinking of the feeling of pink and yellow wildflowers, so something that wouldn't look ridiculous with yellow. If the bedspread were a Benjamin Moore color, it would be Sunburst.

Jura Koncius: Natural Berry by Ralph Lauren. I'm stuck on the Modern Light colors today. It's beautiful.

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Herndon, Va.: Last week you talked about prepasted wallpaper vs, non-prepasted wallpaper, and removal of both. What was never mentioned is the wall prep before any paper is put up. If the wall is sized, which means sealed, the paste will not absorb into the drywall or plaster and then any type of paper will be much easier to strip. Never skip this prep stage or you will be very sorry later. We prefer to paste ourselves because it stays wet and will slip along the wall longer giving you a chance to match your pattern. Vertical stripes are the easiest to put up. No horizontal matching.

Jura Koncius: Herndon, you obviously know what you are doing and thanks for sharing.

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HELP! Paint Emergency!: I've submitted this question before to no avail, but now its dire as we are all prepped and ready to paint our dining room THIS weekend! Our dining room is at the center of our home, and one wall has an opening to the living room (BM Desert Twilight), one wall has an opening to the kitchen (Glidden Sage Green), one wall has an opening to the den (BM Lighthouse) and the last wall has a large picture window. I am leaning toward a nice soft orange in the dining room, but is that going to be too much contrast with the rest of the room colors? Please help!!! Prefer BM paints. Thanks ladies!

Jura Koncius: That is an awful lot of color. I would keep it a melon color. What about BM's Melon Popsicle?

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Dallas: We are stripping the wallpaper from a small powder room and painting instead. The bathroom is off of a foyer painted BM's Manchester Tan and next to a living room painted SW's Autumnal. Somehow, I think this new paint should be in that family, but the floor tile is tan and I can't bear the thought of painting another tan room, although the spouse sees nothing wrong with that. Help!

Terri Sapienza: A powder room is a perfect place to do something fun because it's small and used less than other rooms in the house. I say go bold - so something different from the rest of the house. It will be a treat for you and for guests.

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House Calls -- New approach to an old problem: I thought the solution was rather interesting... rather than a long narrow room, the designer came up with a short square room. Rather than fight the size limitations, the design embraces them. I agree the TV set needs to be wall-mounted with a swivel, but locating the window in the walk-in closet is kind of neat... I would NOT have thought of more walls rather than fewer, but the concept is intriguing.

Jura Koncius: More... on House Calls...

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Small Bathroom Lighting: How about a small chandelier? I insisted in putting one in my powder room - over husband's objections - but he did come around and everyone loves it!

Jura Koncius: Good idea.

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Jura Koncius: Hi. We're out of time. Nice lively and informative chat today. Thanks to everyone.

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