Home Front: Thrifty Homemade Holiday Gifts, Collapsible Guest Beds, Energy Saving Ideas, Dish Racks and more

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Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza
Washington Post Home Staff
Thursday, November 13, 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. Jura was online Thursday, November 13.

A transcript follows.

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

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Jura Koncius: Good morning. Ready to chat about paints, etc. And to start off, I have a little statement from Benjamin Moore about Palladian Blue, which was a topic on our last discussion and many others. Is that popular color green or blue? Stay tuned and I'll post what they said. Meanwhile let's get going. Terri is on her way but stuck in the rainy traffic.

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Jura Koncius: From Carl Minchew, director of color technology at Benjamin Moore. "Palladian Blue HC-144 is one of the 174 colors from our Historic Color Collection which was introduced in 1976 for the countgy's bi-centennial. While all color will shift somewhat depending on lighting and the surrounding elements, Palladian Blue is a blue green color meaning it has green in its composition. However, if you compare Palladian Blue to a green, such as Van Alen Green HC 120, you will definitely say it is blue. Other Historic Colors that contain green while carrying blue in their names are Stratton Blue and Wythe Blue.

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Upstate NY: I have a really nice sari that I'd like to display in my living room. Would a shadow box be the best way to accomplish this? I don't want to just hang it because of a dust allergy.

Jura Koncius: Protecting it in a shadow box would be a good idea due to your allergy and to protect the sari. You could also frame it flat. It would make a nice focal point.

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DC: This is not a decorating idea, but maybe someone can help me: our shower is lined in natural marble and I am unable to get any sort of suction cup to stick. Any ideas? Thanks.

Jura Koncius: Wow. This is a first. Any ideas out there? I wonder why the suction cups won't stick to marble?

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Jura Koncius: By the way, I'm giving an energy saving speech tonight to a group of condo owners in Bethesda who need to lower their building's energy costs so they won't get an increase in their condo fee. Any ideas for them I might not have on my list? Even small things - let's hear about them. We could all use savings of money and saving or our resources.

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NW DC: Is there a good lamp repair shop nearby? My main reading lamp has just died and I'd like to have it repaired, rather than buy a new one at this time.

Thanks.

Jura Koncius: Gaylord's is a long time repair shop. Gaylord's Lamps and Shades is at 4620 Leland St., Chevy Chase, Md. 301 986-9680.

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20006: Good Morning Ladies! This may be a question to throw out to the crowd: I unexpectedly did some demo on my bathroom this weekend and now have new sheet rock walls that I'm getting ready to apply joint compound to at the seams. Does anyone have advice on whether or not to use the compound alone, or to apply the compound in concert with joint compound tape? thanks so much!

Jura Koncius: This question is not in my repertoire!!! Can anyone help 20006?

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Cheap gifts?: I love to buy homey things as Christmas gifts. Unfortunately the economy has hit us hard this year. My husband's firm instituted pay cuts.

Any ideas for cheap or home-made gifts for the home? Something to bring to the in-laws, aunts and uncles?

Jura Koncius: Yeah. We are all on the lookout for thrifty gifts. I know that Terri is putting together a fabulous holiday gift guide with price in mind. Baking cookies or brownies and packaging them up nicely is always appreciated. Scour places like TJ Maxx and Marshall's for good buys on designer soaps and candles. I have a friend who buys pecans in bulk at Costco and spices them and puts them in cellophane bags with a bow. What about the great orchids that are $12.99 at places like Trader Joe's? An amaryllis bulb - which can cost as little as $6 - is also a nice gift. More out there?? Let us hear from you.

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Germantown, MD: Would it be "proper" to place a potted plant on the table during Thanksgiving dinner in lieu of cut flowers?

Jura Koncius: Absolutely. If you can, put it in a nice cachepot or terracotta pot. Totally appropriate and it will last a long time.

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IKEA Kitchen: Good morning! Does anybody have experience with Ikea cabinets?

We're thinking about a remodel in a kind-of-groovy old house, and the selections from the big box stores aren't very inspiring.

On the other hand, we don't want oatmeal-quality cabinets that are going to rot away or crumble like those '80's bookcases.

Thanks!

Jura Koncius: Love the concept of crumbling 1980s bookcases - we all have some of those cheap models sagging in our garages or basements - Anyway Ikea cabinets have gotten high marks in our chats before. I recently finished a story for the Washington Post At Home magazine - out in December - on an architect to uses Ikea cabinets as a base and adds interesting doors on them. Do any of you want to give your two cents on Ikea kitchen stuff?

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Condo Energy Savings: The condo owners could install CFL or LED lights in public areas. They could ask their local energy provider to do an energy audit (many do this for free) to see where they can improve energy efficiencies. Windows/doors in public areas could be caulked.

Hope this helps!

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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for 20006: Use the joint tape with the compound. It is easier and provides additional support. Some of the tapes are sticky and look like gauze. They are much easier to use than the older paper tape. Remember, thin coats work best too!

I assume you are talking cement board versus drywall (regular gypsum board) though if the sheet rock is anywhere close to water. Otherwise you may have a mess on your hands later.

Jura Koncius: Fabulous. Thanks.

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Clogged Dra, IN: I have a clogged drain in my bathroom and I was reading the suggestions given in the chat about a month ago. Most people advocated unclogging by using a drain snake or something similar, which I was planning on doing. Unfortunately, I can't get the little drain stopper thing out. I've tried pulling and twisting, but it's not moving. Does anyone know how I can get this out?

Jura Koncius: Hmmm. Are there any plumbers online today?

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Any ideas for cheap or home-made gifts for the home? : make pomander balls to hang as scented decorations or put in lingerie drawers. Push whole cloves into oranges, spinkle with cinnamon, dry for 2 hours in 200 degree oven. Can wrap ribbon or lace around for decoration and as hanger. Makes a unique gift that lasts years. I have a pile of them in a wooden bowl, much more special than potpourri.

Jura Koncius: Oh yes. Great idea. Also reminds me of lavender sachets you can make yourself.

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Drywall taping: Drywall joints ALWAYS have to be taped. You can find "how to" instructions on the web, just Google "drywall finishing". Fiberglass mesh tape is easier for beginners to use, compared to paper tape, because it sticks to the wall and holds the joint compound better.

Jura Koncius: Always.

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Glen Allen, VA: Power-saving: don't leave cellphone, PDA, iPod, etc chargers plugged in unless you're actually charging something. Unplug them when the device is fully charged. All those little transformers plugged in just generate (non-useful) heat.

CFLs, of course. Timers, photo-electric controls or motion sensors for outside lights. Or solar lights.

Jura Koncius: Super ideas. Thanks.

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Dupont Circle: About energy savings in condos. In Spain, the apartment buildings have temporary lighting installed in the hallways. When you open your door or the main door you press a switch and you have lights in the hallway for some minutes. It really saves energy and light pollution. I don't know how expensive it would be to install, but it would be a great idea for the US to adapt.

Jura Koncius: Yes. I've noticed those when I've traveled in Europe as well. They are a bit disconcerting when you don't know what is happening at first, but they definitely make sense.

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Houston, TX: I would like to paint my daughter's (she's two) room green. Her furniture is dark wood and the room doesn't get much outdoor light. What would be a nice pastel shade?

Jura Koncius: Green is a lovely color for a child's room. What about Behr's Water Sprout?

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near Chicago: Any good ideas on a sturdy but collapsible bed frame to support a good quality air mattress at a regular-bed height? We ditched our futon a few years ago, and need to get a good bed solution for a houseguest this Christmas. (older person -- flopping on the floor works for teens, not people in their late 70s).

We do not want to establish a permanent "guest room" but would be happy to have a bed frame/bed set up that can be stored in the garage rafters/basement and pulled out when needed. Some assembly is OK. Major carpentry, not so much. Aesthetics less important than stability and practicality. (We can dress it up.)

Thanks a million.

Jura Koncius: I have not seen anything like this - unless it has been custom made - anyway - do you all have any ideas? Everyone is going to be having a lot more house guests these days.

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Helena, MT: For Clogged Drain: Mine has a shaft or rod down near the trap that has to be unscrewed and pulled out. The rod goes through a loop in the bottom end of the plug. As long as you line it up right when you put it back in, it's easy to reassemble.

Jura Koncius: A suggestion...

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Glen Allen, VA: Frugal gift: buy a six-pack of glasses at IKEA. Buy some glass-etching cream and stencils at Michaels. Or forego the store-bought stencils and make your own from blue tape or contact paper. Etch glasses (so easy, a caveman can do it). Drop a tea light or votive in each. Voila.

Jura Koncius: Caveman chic.

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Alexandria, VA: My husband and I are hosting Thanksgiving in our tiny rowhouse. Other than settling the table beautifully, I'm at a loss for how to festively decorate the rest of the main floor, which is a small area that comprises the living and dining areas and has few horizontal surafces. Any ideas?

Jura Koncius: You don't have to do too much, especially in a small space. You could hang some Indian corn on your front door. You might buy a few small white pumpkins and stack them up on a shelf or put a bowl of them on the floor. Other seasonal elements could include dried maple leaves in beautiful colors.

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Fairfax, VA: Any ideas on where to get better quality dish racks for drying dishes? My current one is black, sleek and modern but in need of replacing. Also any suggestions where to get unique fireplace tools - prefer NOVA area. Thanks

Jura Koncius: Fireplace tools are always a challenge. Mine are old brass ones and are falling apart and every year I swear I'm going to get some new ones. Look at www.plowhearth.com. As for dish racks, at Home Rule, 1807 14th St. NW, there are two styles by Simple Human - one is $49.99 and is made out of plastic and stainless steel 21 inches by 15 inches and the other is smaller and is $29.99 - it is 16 by 13 inches - and this is also made of plastic and stainless steel.

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Frugal gifts: If you are thinking about crafting something, you might consider trading off your skill for a skill that friends of yours may have. If I give one more knitted afghan to my kin, they are going to scream. By trading off with someone else who has different skills (carpentry? glasswork? beading? scrapbooking? sewing? crocheting? floral arranging... the list goes on), you may still be frugal but have something your family hasn't seen 10 times before.

Jura Koncius: Nice idea. Thanks.

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Drywall and other mysteries: Not to steal y'all ladies's thunders, but the HGTV and HGTVPro sites have all kinds of answers for serious DIYers.

Jura Koncius: I must tune in to these. Thanks.

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Fairfax: With all the pretty table settings for the holidays(placemats, centerpieces, candles, several glasses and plates for each guest), how do I find room for food on the table? Is a separate buffet table my only option, any other way without having the guests get up to go that table to get their food? Thanks!

Jura Koncius: That is very funny you say that. Last night I had a girls dinner for five. I had a giant blue Cinderella pumpkin as my centerpiece- frugal and gorgeous! But there was no room for the bowls of food - I didn't want to do a buffet for so few people - Anyway, after everyone sat down, I just removed the pumpkin and we put the food on the table. Having a buffet is probably the only way to avoid having to do this, if you are doing wine glasses, water goblets, napkins, flatware, plates and centerpiece!

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Drain Snake: Don't go through the drain. Go through the spillover hole. If it's an old tub like ours you use a screwdriver to remove the plate over the spillover catch then feed the snake through there.

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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DC: Energy cutting ideas:

Change all lightbulbs to energy saving ones. Also, install motion sensor lights in common areas.

Make sure all windows/doors are properly sealed allowing no drafts to creep in.

Get in the habit of not running water while brushing teeth/washing dishes/etc. When waiting for hot water to come through tap, collect the cold water in some sort of container to be used for watering plants, etc. Install water saving shower heads/toilets.

Underscore the importance of proper thermostat settings. Suggest timed thermostats so while not at home temps can be lower in winter/higher in summer.

Have a place in the common area for "unwanted items" where neighbors can peruse and re-use things. If items remain unclaimed, donate them to local shelters/goodwill.

Jura Koncius: All great suggestions.

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Washington, DC: Have you or any chatters heard much about the Ethan Allen warehouse sale this weekend? I'm looking to pick up dining room furniture in their Maison collection and I'm wondering whether the prices and selection are worth the trip to Dulles.

Jura Koncius: We don't have more information on this... do you?

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I unexpectedly did some demo on my bathroom this weekend : Unexpectedly? I'm wondering what happened...

Jura Koncius: Good question! Will you share?

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holiday gifts: It might be too late in the year for this but I love to collect beautiful fall leaves. I then preserve them by putting them between wax paper and ironing them with a low iron.

The leaves then laminate beautifully. They last years. I cut them into coasters, placemats ... anyway - you get the idea.

Jura Koncius: I have some leaves I dried like 12 years ago and I keep them in a box - I take them out every Thanksgiving - I actually put a coat of Minwax on them back then.

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For Near Chicago: My mother-in-law has an Aero bed that expands out to a full size bed and is a bed height. It can be dressed up and it's pleasant to sleep on. She can store easily too.

Jura Koncius: Oh yes - that is a great suggestion - the double height Aero bed. My dear former colleague and chatter Annie has one of those and swears by it for her guests.

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Energy Savings: Programmable thermostats, Energy Star appliances, insulate hot water heaters and pipes, motion-detecting light switches (where it makes sense, like common-area restrooms, stairwells).

Also, there are Energy Service Companies (ESCOs) that will basically pay for energy-saving improvemnts (such as a new boiler) in return for you sharing you energy savings with them over the years. A very cost effective way to upgrade building systems. (I know of this from commerical bldg applications, but condo or apartment complexes would count in that category.)

Is water also an issue? If so, low-flow or dual flush toilets, water-savings fixtures.

Jura Koncius: Great thoughts.

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fireplace tools: Look in downmarket antique/junk places - such as Ruff and Ready at 14th and T. They often have them.

Jura Koncius: True. Make sure you test them before you take them home.

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Burke, VA: For lamp repair, also try The Lamplighter, an easy shot via Parkway to King St. in Old Town Alex. They do fab work and let's just say it's an experience too -- a family-owned business whose matriarch on occasion has been known to refuse to sell the "wrong" replacement shade for a lamp.

Jura Koncius: Love it. Love family owned businesses like that.

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Ohio: Air mattress: Aero-Bed makes an air-bed that has a base which makes it as high as a regular bed. It is all one-piece, some even have inflated headboards. They deflate and store in a bag. Maybe this would help.

Jura Koncius: Thanks OHIO.

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Cheap Giftage: Given that the holidays are always such a baked-goodstravaganza anyway, my fabulous wife likes to make cookie dough and freeze individual spoonsful on wax paper.

You're pretty sick of cookies by the time Christmas gets here, but there's nothing like being able to go to the freezer in the middle of February and bake a couple of cookies. Sure, you can do the repackaged ones, but, why?

Jura Koncius: Love that!

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Richmond, Va: god bless those who are blessed, but FIFTY dollars for a dish rack???

Jura Koncius: We catch your drift...

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washingtonpost.com: Change of Hearth (Post Home Section, Dec. 20, 2007)

Jura Koncius: Fireplace ideas.

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Washington DC: Does anyone have experience with Fresh Wave odor neutralizing candles? My condo has terrible ventilation and food odors linger for days after cooking despite opening windows and running fans. Any tips on anything that might help get rid of food odors would be most appreciated! Thanks!

Jura Koncius: I have not used Fresh Wave, but scented candles of any kind are a great way to bring sweet smelling air back to your home. You should of course not leave them burning unattended. Boiling spices and cinnamon sticks on your stove is another idea.

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Temporary Stable Bed: Get the metal rails that are (or used to be) standard use and can be folded and stored. Set them on top of plastic risers (which are surprisingly sturdy - I didn't think they would be) to raise the height of the bed. Place plywood on top of the rails. Place the air mattress on top of the plywood. Put a bed skirt between the plyood and air mattress to hide the rails and risers.

Jura Koncius: You make it sound easy.

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Omaha, Nebraska: Re. those looking for homemade type Christmas gift items- SewMamaSew is doing a month of homemade gift ideas for all of November- each broken out the recipient type. Great ideas that don't all involve sewing- and most aren't that hard either. Fabulous new ideas every day- 2 of the ideas solved my mother-in-law gift conundrum! http://www.sewmamasew.com/blog2/

Jura Koncius: Lovely.

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Pigtown: For little presents, I make hand-made journals and personalize them for the recipient and their interests. It sounds like it's hard, but you use photos printed from your printer as the covers, and either scrap paper and some of those nice handmade (by someone else!) papers for the insides. I learned how to do it here and you can see some samples of ones I made here. There are a lot of good DIY ideas on Photojojo using photography.

Jura Koncius: Thank you Pigtown. Loved the English tidbits you had recently.

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For Marble Shower User: Maybe try something that is designed to hang off the faucet or on a tension rod instead?

Jura Koncius: Yes!

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Arlington, VA: My boyfriend and I just moved in together into a rental house. We need furniture! Specifically, a bedroom set and maybe some new dining room furniture. Any recommendations (besides IKEA and Craigslist) for inexpensive furniture? Everything seems really expensive, though we're willing to pay a bit more for good quality.

Jura Koncius: There are sales galore these days, unfortunately, due to the meltdown in the economy and consumer spending. So keep checking out ads and also the Salestalk column in the Washington Post HOME section. YOu also might try consignment shops like Upscale Resale and used furniture places - even Salvation Army and Goodwill.

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Dish Rack: The Grundtal system from Ikea is the best. Hangs on the wall and clears up counter space.

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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Omaha, Nebraska: Paint question - types of good low-VOC paints that are widely available (don't even bother with Mythic, etc - they just aren't available in enough locations and we're not buying paint over the internet!). BM Aura paint - is it really washable and durable for a house with kids/pets? How about Home Depot's Freshaire? Any other ideas? How well do the paints cover? Easy to use? Any experience?

Jura Koncius: We have heard great things about Aura. I haven't used it myself, but plan to in my next paint job. Anyone out there want to chime in?

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Condo Savings: Not to rain on your parade or anything, but it sounds like the condo owners are trying to save money today -- and many of the suggestions will require an immediate investment.

It's easy to say putting motion sensor or CFL lighting will save money -- and it's a really good idea -- but the savings will be with a longer-term ROI than they're probably looking for right now.

Jura Koncius: True.

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no placemats!: If you're trying to squeeze as many as possible around the Thanksgiving table, use round chargers instead. They look nice and are inexpensive at Home Goods, TJ Maxx, Bed Bath and Beyond, etc.

Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza: That is a good suggestion. By the way, it's just me still but I got disconnected so I'm signed on as me and Terri now! Poor Terri - awful day to be on the road... she is working hard at getting those great, affordable Gift Guide items for our holiday presents issue...

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Low-VOC paints: We have not used Aura but have used the Duron and C2 low-VOC formulations. Really liked them, especially the C2 - gorgeous depth of color. Went with eggshell or satin finish in both, and they seem to be scrubbable so far.

Avoiding that "just painted" odor is a really good thing, IMO.

Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza: Thanks.

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Regarding Dishracks: Not an answer but another question. Years ago I found a collapsible dish rack, plastic over metal. It is all one piece and the racks fold down into the tray. It has taken some hits and the plastic is crack so the metal underneath is rusting in places. I've looked in stores and online to try to find a replacement. The collapsible over the sink just doesn't compare. Anyone seen something like this anywhere?

Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza: Anyone?

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Washington, DC: I just moved a couple of months ago and have been putting together my very first apartment. I'd spent a year trolling design websites and catalogs, creating a file of pictures for inspiration. I ended up deciding I liked a charcoal/white/white oak or other light wood palette, but it's not really working in my white apartment walls/beige carpeting environment--my charcoal sofa looks like a giant dark blob in an otherwise very light room. I still need additional seating (like a slipper chair), so that could probably add some color, but I just don't know what to do--Any thoughts??

Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza: Check out the International Assocation of Home Stagers. There is a Washington chapter.

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Arlington, VA: Loved the red dining rooms! I don't think we are ready for red (it would clash with our rugs) but can you recommend a nice shade of pumpkin? Not apricot (too pink), not gold, not too loud, something that would work in dining room and adjacent living room. BM or C2 paints preferred. Thanks.

washingtonpost.com: Want a Lively Dining Room? You Don't Have to See Red. (Post Home Section, Nov. 13)

Jura Koncius and Terri Sapienza: I like C2 Amontillado

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Ashton MD: Aura paint: Fabulous stuff... no odor, intensely rich color with 2 coats, had professional painters for kitchen/dining room and one gallon was plenty.

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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Ashburn, VA: What do you think about the Ralph Lauren color Barn Owl White for a little boys room? I have navy blue curtains, dark wood furniture, and navy, tan and white bedding. I am hoping to do something sophisticated and bright, but the last color I tried (one of the Behr Disney colors) was way too peachy. Would Barn Owl White be too boring?

Jura Koncius: No. I think it's perfect with navy. Very classic.

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Annapolis, MD: My husband and I are finally redoing our bedroom. The one item that we want to keep is a very large, deep red, oriental rug. Can you suggest a paint color to complement the rug? The room does not get much light and the ceilings are not that high. Any suggestions?

Jura Koncius: That is a very rich backdrop for the room. I would suggest using a khaki color - maybe something in the rug's design. Something rich like Yosemite Sand by Benjamin Moore.

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Washington, DC: I love Baby Girl Fenty's room. Looks like Mrs. Fenty went all out on the pink. Do we get to guess her name since we now know the initials are AF? I'll go with Adrianna Fenty.

washingtonpost.com: A Pink Paradise (A Pink Paradise)

Jura Koncius: We were all wondering about the name. Alexandra? Amy? She would not tell us!

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Falls Church, VA: Aura by BM is awesome! It goes on well and it cleans easily! Compares to C2 in ease of application.

Jura Koncius: Another fan.

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Glen Allen, VA: For the person with the plastic on metal dishrack - most hardware/home improvement stores should have something that is made to coat the handles of tools in a similar type of plastic. It might be possible to recoat the cracked parts of the dishrack.

Jura Koncius: Good idea.

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For new renting couple: Definitely try consignment shops. You can pay IKEA prices for good quality furniture. There are some good ones in Bethesda, but I don't know Arlington. A google search should turn some up. It's best to stop by frequently, because they get new stuff all the time.

Jura Koncius: Yes.

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Arlington, Va.: Paint again! I had decided for the exterior of a bungalow to do BM Historical Colors Sherwood Green with Cromwell Gray trim. Well, I painted a sample patch on three sides of my house and I don't like it. The green is much too light/bright, and the gray is too light and brown. Any other suggestions for a green that is good for an exterior - not too blue, not too dark, not too light? I feel like Goldilocks!

Jura Koncius: If Sherwood Green is too much, what about the next color down on the Benjamin Moore fan deck, which is Hancock Green. How about Litchfield Gray instead of Cromwell?

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Falls Church: Used C2 Mango in Dining room and it looks great with soft white molding and dark wood furniture.

Jura Koncius: Love that color too.

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Fayetteville, NC: I have a hall bath with the original 1950s baby blue tile that goes halfway up the way. It's a rental house, so I can only do so much with it. My landlord has told me that I can take down the current wallpaper (white with blue ribbons) and paint if I want to change it up. It's the kids' bath and it's also the guest bath (ranch style house, a North Arlington-esque neighborhood). The floor is a white tile and the fixtures are all white. Any ideas to make it look not so dated? Thanks in advance. I cringe every time I go in there.

washingtonpost.com: Triage for Dated Tile (Post Home Section, Jan. 25, 2007)

Jura Koncius: Try this great article for ideas. We feel your pain.

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Catonsville, MD: We recently moved and I am at a loss as to what color to paint our kitchen. It is currently painted orange and we have cherry cabinets (including a paneled refrigerator and dishwasher), creme and tan tile floor and a backsplash with tiles that vary from creme to tannish brown with some tiles having a picture of ship with a splash of blue-gray. Also there is a chair rail around those walls without cabinets. I don't know whether to keep it neutral in the cremes and tans or paint it a color. Any suggestions would be helpful. Thanks.

Jura Koncius: I'm trying to imagine this all including the splashing ship! Sounds like you have a lot of wood in there. What about a peachy color like Duron's Warming Peach???

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Arlington, Va.: DISH RACK SUGGESTION: The Zojila brand has gotten good reviews - it's stainless steel: http://www.amazon.com/Drainer-Utensil-holder-Stainless-Draining/dp/B000E7RRYG

Jura Koncius: Thank you Arlington.

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Arlington: Re: C2 paints, thanks for the pointers to Amontillado and Mango. Both sound just perfectly appetizing for our dining room, can't wait to visit the paint store and see them!!

Jura Koncius: Love satisfied chatters! Thanks for writing in.

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Dallas: If it's not too late, a good pumpkin color is SW's Autumnal. We used it in a small living room. But I'm thinking two rooms might be a bit much.

Jura Koncius: That is a lovely color. Thanks.

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Ethan Allen?: Does anyone know the location of the warehouse sale this weekend?

Jura Koncius: I just called Ethan Allen. They are having a sale in their Dulles warehouse. Up to 50 percent off. As-is merchandise. It is everything from upholstery to wood pieces to case goods to rugs, accessories. Address is 22705 Commerce Center Court, Sterling, Va. 20166 - Sale is this Saturday and Sunday.

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Nashville, Tenn.: probably more of a cooking question -- but will you tell me what makes Trader Joe's special? We now have one in Music City!!

thanks

washingtonpost.com: So much! Cheeses, tortillas, wines, yogurts, olive oil, frozen meatballs, on and on and on. My pantry is stocked! - Elizabeth

Jura Koncius: Also orchids, hummus, pet products, nuts and frozen risotto from Italy!

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Adrianna Fenty: No! Too "Sopranos."

Aria Fenty.

Jura Koncius: Ha!

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charcoal/white/white oak or other light wood palette: Get a chair in a neutral, but spruce up the place with kilim pillows and some other brick red accents, like wall art.

Jura Koncius: Thanks.

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Jura Koncius: Wow. Great response today from you guys. Thanks so much and see you next week with Terri back from the shopping wars!

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