More columns by Dennis Hockman, editor of Chesapeake Home + Living

Share your design secrets by showing us your favorite space

2:11 PM EDT, October 7, 2011

Share your design secrets by showing us your favorite space

We all have that one room at home that we close the door on when friends come to visit. Whatever space that is, you're probably right to keep it hidden.

4:33 PM EDT, October 26, 2011

It's trite and true: home is where the heart is

For the last year and a half, this column has focused on a wide variety of home and garden stories—how to pick the best flooring for your needs, and what colors are going to be trendy next year, a behind-the-front-door glimpse into some of Baltimore's most intriguing residences.

Furnishings feeling brassy — again

12:47 PM EDT, September 29, 2011

Furnishings feeling brassy — again

Home style trends follow fashion. Similarly, the metallic finishes of hardware, lighting, plumbing fixtures and some furniture follow trends in jewelry.

Lens crafters: Exhibit salutes architectural photography

4:38 PM EDT, September 13, 2011

Lens crafters: Exhibit salutes architectural photography

Ever wonder what goes on behind the scenes to create the stunning images of houses that grace fine design magazines, newspapers, and websites?

Leaving room for a bold statement

1:04 PM EDT, September 21, 2011

Leaving room for a bold statement

The 2012 color trend forecasts are already being released and, for the most part, what's predicted to be popular next year is a fairly boring cast of neutrals and muted natural hues — dusty sky blue, washed-out green, stone gray and earthy brown.

Comfort is key to making guests feel welcome

12:31 AM EDT, July 29, 2011

Comfort is key to making guests feel welcome

Late July is the height of vacation season, but instead of a week at the beach or a trip to Europe this year, many Americans are still opting for the staycation or choosing to visit friends or relatives for a long weekend.

For flooring, it's good to be wood wise

2:14 PM EDT, September 2, 2011

For flooring, it's good to be wood wise

Wood is, without a doubt, one of most desirable residential flooring materials around.

Home accessories are crawling with crabs

7:18 AM EDT, July 22, 2011

Home accessories are crawling with crabs

For millions of years, crabs have been scuttling about the bottom of the world's oceans and bays, but few regions have embraced the mean-spirited, omnivorous crustacean with as much vigor as we have here in Maryland.

Tips for choosing outdoor lighting

2:15 PM EDT, June 17, 2011

Tips for choosing outdoor lighting

Sometimes, shedding new light on a situation is all that's needed to completely change your outlook. This can be true of life, a job or, for that matter, a front porch.

Home design right at hand

11:49 PM EDT, August 25, 2011

Home design right at hand

When I started covering architecture and interior design back in the late 1990s, interviews with homeowners and designers about their projects inevitably turned to manila folders or three-ring binders thick with fabric swatches, torn-out magazine pages, measurements, calculations, paint chips and sketches.

Home fashions

8:51 PM EDT, June 9, 2011

Home fashions

In the tradition of the old-fashioned trunk show, home furnishings vendors often stage events to present new fabrics, wallpapers, finishes and more to interior designers hungry for new ideas.

Dennis Hockman: Home ownership as an act of pride and community-building

2:48 PM EDT, July 1, 2011

Dennis Hockman: Home ownership as an act of pride and community-building

A decade ago, it was wildly popular for real estate experts, elected government officials and professional opinionists to claim that homeownership was patriotic. Today, post-housing bubble, claims that renting a place to live is the smarter value have become just as popular.

David Wiesand's design odyssey in Mt. Vernon

4:43 PM EDT, April 29, 2011

David Wiesand's design odyssey in Mt. Vernon

What's it like to live in a design laboratory?

Shore boutiques offer laid-back looks for home

12:41 AM EDT, June 24, 2011

Shore boutiques offer laid-back looks for home

It's beach season! Time for a week, if you are lucky, on the coast to enjoy all that the Maryland and Delaware shores have to offer — including some really great shopping.

High on green and bling

6:44 PM EDT, May 13, 2011

High on green and bling

Home furnishings and interior design industry pros and savvy consumers alike know High Point because of the many furniture manufacturing companies concentrated in and around the North Carolina town and the semi-annual High Point Market that attracts on average 80,000 exhibitors and buyers from more than 100 countries around the globe.

DC Design House shows its potential

3:15 PM EDT, April 22, 2011

DC Design House shows its potential

Even in today's real estate market, you pay a premium for houses that don't need at least a little bit of fixing up. Houses with "potential" can often be had at bargain prices.

Refund redos

2:54 PM EDT, April 8, 2011

Refund redos

Tax season is upon us, and if you're like me, you still haven't crunched the numbers but are hoping for a nice refund. Good news, the odds are in your favor. According to stats posted on the IRS website, 76 percent of Americans filing individual income tax returns get refunds, and the average refund is around $3,000.

Trees in containers can liven up a patio, so long as you know the basics

June 4, 2011

Trees in containers can liven up a patio, so long as you know the basics

Inside Westminster Abbey, eight 20-foot-tall live trees lined the center aisle during the wedding of Kate Middleton and Prince William. The trees transformed the space, doing what even the most elaborate floral arrangement could not — providing a natural, living sense of permanence and an air of drama. The move was unexpected, unpretentious and bold.

Custom furniture provides the perfect fit for homeowners

July 17, 2010

Custom furniture provides the perfect fit for homeowners

Beautiful interior spaces are products of time, thought and variety — time to acquire the right pieces and pull it all together, and thought to determine what a space can be, how it should look, the mood it should evoke. Variety, though, is tough to get right.

Directing a winning arrangement

2:36 PM EST, March 11, 2011

Directing a winning arrangement

Harbinger of spring, the Maryland Home and Garden Show has once again taken over the Timonium Fairgrounds. A highlight of the show, for me, is always the group of live display gardens featuring flowering bulbs, perennials, and shrubs, stone patios and walkways, outdoor kitchens, pergolas, arbors, and water features.

Tile styles are moving miles ahead

12:30 AM EST, February 4, 2011

Tile styles are moving miles ahead

When it comes to doors, knobs, floors, molding and such for the home, discussions typically focus on the history of styles. But when it comes to tile, the conversation is about what's happening now.

Selecting the perfect fabric for your life

2:49 PM EDT, April 1, 2011

Selecting the perfect fabric for your life

Thousands of years of textile manufacturing have resulted in limitless options for personalizing your home with custom upholstery, window treatments, pillows, and bedding.

Home design shifts focus to roofs, ceilings, storage

July 24, 2010

Home design shifts focus to roofs, ceilings, storage

Few architects and builders today are recommending trendy architectural elements to clients. Instead, house pros are mining the history of residential design to extract elements and styles that have worked and keep working, hoping to construct timeless residences that don't fall out of fashion.

Harford students' green house may be golden

July 31, 2010

Harford students' green house may be golden

The recent "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition" trip to Baltimore drew attention from every major news outlet in town. As the cameras rolled, hip celebrity carpenters and throngs of local volunteers showed up to work long hours in the Maryland heat.

Finding inspiration in the conservatory

3:36 PM EDT, March 18, 2011

Finding inspiration in the conservatory

If you've been to the Maryland Zoo in Baltimore, you've probably seen the Howard Peters Rawlings Conservatory — that big glass building with a curvilinear roof and cupola. So has Alan Stein.

Frame of mind

July 10, 2010

Frame of mind

I love art. When I was growing up, my friends would hang Michael Jordan posters on their walls while I tended more toward Salvador Dali. When I was in high school, I happened upon a small vintage poster and pinned it to my wall. After I graduated college, I had it framed. Cheaply. No conservation glass, archival mounting or acid-free mat.

Refinish, restore or conserve?

4:08 PM EST, February 25, 2011

Refinish, restore or conserve?

Aunt Tilly finally decided to give you that old dining room set you always loved, but countless family get-togethers have taken their toll. Or maybe you spotted a great antique credenza at a secondhand store, and its worn-out, scratched finish has you thinking twice. There are many reasons for refinishing older and antique furnishings.

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