By Design: Modernism allows design form to flow from functionality

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Courtesy of Celeste Randolph
Palm Springs homeowners Les and Betsy Roy found their 1958 home benefited from airy updates including white walls, slide-to-open windows accessing the backyard and limestone flooring.

“Architecture should speak of its time and place, but yearn for timelessness.” – Frank Gehry

Every February, some of the world’s most renowned designers and architects gather at Palm Springs’ Modernism Week to admire the desert city’s mid-century homes – many of which were once owned by Old Hollywood stars.

Los Altos couple transforms a home deserving of preserving

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Matt Levine and Diane Duerr-Levine’s English cottage-inspired home in Woodland Acres in Los Altos is the fifth home they have transformed.

Diane Duerr-Levine and Matt Levine of Los Altos could be called serial home renovators.

By Design: Making small decor updates can usher in sense of winter renewal

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Lauren Edith Anderson/Santa Cruz Green Builders
Research shows that a tidy space has psychological benefits, so taking just a few moments to declutter a desk can make a world of difference.

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer.” – Albert Camus

Native plants: Botanical fireworks light up the garden

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Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Light bounces dramatically off the finely textured flowering stems of purple three-awn.

For the most part, ornamental grasses are the introverts of the gardening world. It’s easy to overlook their quiet presence, but at certain times, in certain lights, they command attention.

By Design: Interior designer highlights decorating trends for 2020

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Lauren Edith Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
According to interior designer Celeste Randolph, blue was especially hot in all forms, in fashion, home design and elsewhere last year, and it is here to stay in 2020. But the trend is toward a moodier, muddier, darker blue.

As we start a new year, I like to explore and study current decorating and design trends. We like a timeless home, but we also want it to feel fresh. Adopting some of these trends can be a fun way to make your home feel renewed and bring fresh energy for 2020.

Native Plants: How to re-oak your neighborhood

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Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
This mature coast live oak at a botanic garden in Southern California shows the sculptural branching patterns.

California’s native oaks have always evoked the feeling of “home” for me, even though I spent my first quarter-century well east of the Sierra Nevada. From afar, I appreciate the muscular, sculptural beauty of coast live oaks. Up close, I love the multitude of birds and other critters that are drawn to the trees.

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