Prioritize emergency preparedness at home in the new year

At the end of the year, families and friends often gather for meals and holiday celebrations. Show them your love by helping them stay safe and prepare for the new year.

The following safety tips emphasize the importance of prevention and planning.

How native gardens are different from nature


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
A graceful toyon at a botanic garden may have developed a cascading form on its own, planted under oak trees, but it has probably been aesthetically pruned to accentuate its shape.

Whenever I’m describing various garden tasks or techniques to beginners or nongardeners, inevitably someone asks, “Why go to all that trouble?” They suggest that in nature, seeds sprout and no one is paying attention to how deeply they’re planted, or what time of year, or whether they’re watered or protected.

The difference is that a garden is a relatively small, controlled environment. People impose limits and expect plants to perform in a predictable way. For example, if you let California poppies go to seed in a garden, you’d probably want to edit the profusion of poppy seedlings the next fall before they had a chance to crowd out everything else in your garden. You’d also cut back the poppies once the blooms had faded, rather than letting the dry foliage remain. You might also want to water them to prolong the bloom, especially if rains were few and far apart in winter and spring.

Clean it up: How to make a small bathroom feel luxurious

bathroom remodel
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A newly remodeled bathroom features two sinks, “floating” cabinets and a mosaic wall of tiles in the shower. The shower is wheelchair accessible because it’s curbless, and the clear glass makes the room feel bright and spacious.

When Caryn Wiseman steps into the master bath in the Mountain View home she shares with husband Ben, she said she feels like she’s in a “high-end hotel.”

This is thanks to the expertise of Los Altos interior designer Sherry Scott, Cassalto’s vice president of design, who’s responsible for the bathroom’s new look.

The ephemeral beauty of bulbs


Courtesy of Tanya Kucak
Bulbs can have a dramatic but ephemeral garden presence – whether one clusters them to fill a large area or gets a delightful surprise when forgotten bulbs suddenly re-emerge.

Growing up in New Jersey, I knew one diligent gardener: my Aunt Betty. Much of her acre or two had dappled shade from enormous beech and tulip trees, but in the spring, a carpet of flowers filled an area almost the size of a typical suburban California yard. Starting with a few bulbs, she had divided and spread them out until the entire area began to be “painted” with color as the snow melted.

Preparing your home for hosting the holidays

With the holidays here, it’s time to prepare your home for hosting friends and family.

Los Altos Hills home intrigues with sculptural dwellings


Courtesy of Cheng Design
The concrete and redwood home of Sudnya Shroff, an artist and fashion designer, and Nickhil Jakatdar, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, features roofs slanted so that rainwater will collect in cisterns.

Masterpiece: a work of outstanding artistry, skill or workmanship.

This definition perfectly describes the Los Altos Hills home built by Sudnya Shroff, an artist and fashion designer, and husband Nickhil Jakatdar, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur.


Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos