Entries by Mark

A Breath of Fresh Air

I grew up at a time in which our parents were perfectly comfortable saying, “Go out and play. Just be home for supper.” I was an enterprising kid, and I made it my job to make the outdoors my everything. I was very accustomed to finding a place to meet my friends, to explore, to […]

Life Imitates Art

One of the programs I most enjoy watching on TV is Home Town. Erin Napier, who hosts the program with her husband, Ben — simple but talented and passionate young people from Laurel, Mississippi — always starts with painted renderings showing the after versions of the houses they’re going to renovate for their clients. So, […]

Hotel Home

It’s yet another indication of the profound effects of the coronavirus pandemic that, well, as this article put it: “Commercial designers are coming for the home.” As any angler will tell you, ya gotta fish where the fish are. And given COVID-19, the fish aren’t filling hotels. Neither are people. I love this, from the […]

The COVID Effect

Recent announcements of the ostensible availability of coronavirus vaccines had a predictable knee-jerk effect on everything, including the stock market: Shares of anything that smacked of work from home (WFH), stay at home (SAH), or work through fiascos (WTF) sold like proverbial hot cakes, including but by no means limited to home furnishings from Wayfair; […]

Thriving in Place

The Harris Poll conducted an online survey, the “Window to Well-Being”, in August of this year on behalf of Marvin, the family owned and operated cedar and lumber company (and manufacturer of doors and windows). Harris polled more 1,300 people in the United States, including homeowners, builders, architects, and designers. In addition, Harris had also conducted […]

One Man’s Prison is Another Man’s Escape

I recently came across an article on the website, Business of Home — “Inside a Nashville prison, a hardwood flooring factory thrives” — about a gentleman named Don Finkell, CEO of American OEM Wood Floors. In 1996, Finkell began a program to employ prison inmates to make his flooring products. That article reminded me of two things. […]

Living in the Box

A long time ago, I came to realize and accept the fact that there are some things I’ll just never understand. I was reminded of that fact recently when I saw a promotion for this product. It got me wondering: If we’re all willing to pay lip service to thinking outside the box, why do we […]

Community Is as Community Does

I grew up in a small town south of Hartford. My most prevalent aspiration, or so I thought, was, “I gotta get out of this place.” Other towns and cities seemed as if they had so much more to do, so many more places to go. But I stayed. And I never thought I’d be writing […]

You Only Live Twice

I’m of Italian descent. I was brought up in an Italian household with parents and grandparents who endured hard lives in Italy, came here to make better lives for themselves, only to have to live through the Great Depression. For them, wasting was not part of the program. Almost everything that came into their possession […]

Homes and Castles

One morning over coffee (one of our favorite times of the day), I was sharing some of my design thoughts with my husband, Mark. In particular, I shared with him an article from Business of Home entitled, “Is rental furniture the next big thing?” He was so taken — and conflicted — by the very idea, he […]