With more and more people staying put in their homes, homeowners have realized the importance of creating a space that is meaningful to them and their families. Heirlooms and vacation tchotchkes are no longer hidden in closets and cupboards, but rather displayed to tell a story.

Do you love the look of concrete countertops, which is the hottest trend in kitchen and bath design, but the cost of professional installation puts them beyond your budget, and you’re not sure if you’re up to the task of doing it yourself? Don’t despair. With planning, practice and a new crop of DIY-friendly materials, you can install your own concrete countertops.

As the economy stabilizes, homeowners are expected to begin investing more money into their homes. Colors that provide hope and affirmation are at the forefront of decor for 2010.

Homeowners are still forging ahead with improvements, but they’re allocating hard-earned dollars to smaller projects -- ones that not only boost their home’s overall appeal, but also provide other added benefits in the long run. Being budget-conscious doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice quality and performance.

Years ago, the kitchen served a very utilitarian function – a place to prepare food and clean the dishes. Today, it's truly the nerve center of the house where families eat meals, discuss the day's happenings, plan calendars, check e-mail and even entertain. As a result, more homeowners than ever seek ways to make their kitchens work harder so they can re-focus their energy away from cooking and cleaning, and put it more on their family and friends who have gathered.

Temperatures are on the rise, more kids are playing outside, and before you know it, gardens will be flourishing. All these signs point to one glorious time of year -- spring. For people living in predominantly southern regions of the United States, spring also means that fire ants are back in force.

One way to avoid winter doldrums is to brighten up your home’s interior. Brighter surroundings help keep the blues at bay and make your house warm and inviting. And, don't worry - you can do it on even the tightest budget. Creating a cozy space doesn't require major construction or costs. Just a few small changes can make a big difference.

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