Your Home

Staying organized can help for disaster preparation

Courtesy of Amanda Kuzak
Storing nonperishable essentials on a shelf in the garage can help in case of an emergency.

As a professional organizer, I look inside dozens of homes every week, and it always shocks me when I don’t find an emergency kit.


New book unlocks the key to identifying manzanitas

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Santa Cruz Manzanita boasts boat-shaped leaves and sticky, depressed- globose fruit. In general, you can find a few fruit year-round on most manzanitas, even though the fruit is seasonally abundant and eaten by lots of wildlife.

Plant nerds, rejoice! Gardeners who hike and who favor local natives will welcome a new book devoted to “nature’s shrubby rock stars.”


Architectural anomaly: Modern home stands out among cottages on Orange Avenue

Photos Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
The one-and-a-half story stucco home on Orange Avenue, above, uses, clockwise from below right, submerged courtyards and stairs traversing multiple levels to add living space to its ground floor kitchen and living room. White decor and clean lines are interior design elements seen throughout the rooms in the home.

Anyone would be “cowed” writing about this house on Orange Avenue in Los Altos.

To begin with, there’s a life-size fiberglass cow in the newly landscaped, drought-tolerant front yard.


Orange decor galore: Two Los Altos neighborhoods bring Halloween to life

Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
A family on University Avenue, above, prepares for Halloween with a scary skeleton hanging from their porch, left. Homes in the Orange and University avenues neighborhood have been decorating their homes for trick- or-treaters for decades.

This is a tale of two Los Altos neighborhoods that attract hordes of trick-or-treaters on Halloween. One is old, the other fairly new.

The oldie but goodie is Orange and University avenues in old Los Altos, where orange decor and pumpkins galore herald the advent of All Hallows’ Eve.


There oughta be a law about water-wise landscaping

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Use rocks around succulents and other plants that naturally grow in rocky areas. Never put rocks at the base of trees and shrubs – they are too heavy and get too hot for the roots.

Julie Montanari switched careers from banking to landscape design because of water. She said she wanted to promote landscaping “in a way that’s more sensible for the California climate.”

In a recent presentation before a Gardening with Natives group, she discussed the dire water situation in California and how to landscape in a way that’s compatible with the climate.


Filoli hosts annual Holiday Traditions fundraising boutique

The historic Filoli estate in Woodside transforms into a “Holiday Jewel” for its annual Holiday Traditions fundraising boutique, scheduled Nov. 27 through Dec. 5.

Filoli’s annual nine-day Holiday Traditions fundraising event is scheduled Nov. 27 through Dec. 5.

With this year’s theme, “Filoli – A Holiday Jewel,” the rooms on the first floor of the historic house and Visitor & Education Center will be transformed into a seasonal showcase with unique decorations, festive music and the Holiday Boutique. Local choral and performing groups and musicians will add ambience throughout the event.


High-tech house: Los Altos Hills showplace boasts innovative features

Sana Khader/Town Crier
Simon Yiu and his family built a house in Los Altos Hills, above, with family gatherings in mind.

Filial piety, the core value of China’s ancient sage Confucius, led to a modern masterpiece on Elena Road in Los Altos Hills.


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