POSTS WITH TAG: renovating

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    The Duchess of Cambridge may have her hands full with being a royal mum, public appearances, her charities, and preparing for the big royal tour Down Under next month, but that hasn't stopped her from pursuing a project that seems to be increasingly close to her heart: Interior design, of course! Specifically, the design -- and renovation! -- of the royal couple's 10-bedroom country home, Anmer Hall, which sits on the Norfolk property of the Queen's 20,000-acre country estate Sandringham.

    We tend to think royalty can just hire people to handle all the details of an undertaking like this for them, but Kate, whose eye for design was honed during her years studying art history, is a different story. She is reportedly now sourcing all the interior details herself -- and loving every second of it!

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    Whenever I see a room with a bounty of thrift store and vintage finds, I cheer that someone lucked out at a tag sale or on Craig's List! And then they go and put it all together beautifully! Take this little girl's bedroom done by Abbey for her daughter (nicknamed Kicky), for example. It looks like it was supposed to be that way all along. You'll want to see more of this homey space, so be sure to scroll through below!

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    Kate Middleton's renovation of the royal couple's Kensington Palace home has been making headlines for months. No doubt because the job came to the tune of about £1 million, aka $1.6 mil.! But despite the hefty price tag, there's now a bit of trouble in paradise.

    Apparently, the Duchess is "dissatisfied" with the color of the walls in one of the rooms. Sebastian Shakespeare at the Daily Mail was told, "She tried to do the revamp cheaply with the builders who did the kitchen, and she got Dulux paints to match the Farrow & Ball color palette to save money. But she wasn’t happy with the result, and one room came out with a horrible, unexpected purple tinge. She’s blaming it on her hormones before [Prince George's] birth." Oh man!

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    It seems like Kate Middleton and Prince William only just moved from Anglesey to Kensington Palace in London and have been devoting time to making it feel like home. But now Vanity Fair is reporting that the royal couple is busy making another place home: Anmer Hall, in Norfolk, which is located on the Queen's 20,000-acre country estate Sandringham (the very same where the royal family spent Christmas) and was gifted to Wills for his 30th birthday. Apparently, the Duke, Duchess, and little Prince George plan to split their time between Kensington and Anmer. Who knew?!

    The couple reportedly went there last week "to relax and have some time out from London and see how the property is coming along,” a VF mole says. Kate has been hunting for pretty antiques in the nearby village of Holt (obviously), while William has been busying himself with another priority ...

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    The following post comes from our sponsor HGTV.

    They’re the heroes whose good deeds don’t make front-page news, but make huge differences in the lives of those around them. And now those friends, family members, and neighbors want to surprise deserving local heroes with home transformations courtesy of cousins Anthony Carrino and John Colaneri.

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    Every time I hear a story about someone getting screwed out of their hard earned cash by a contractor, it makes me more and more leery of doing any sort of renovation to my house.

    Take Michelle Beutler, for example -- a woman who saved up her money for 10 years in order to have a flagstone patio put into her backyard. As you will hear in this video, she hired a landscaper and he completed the job -- but after he cashed her almost $5,500 check, things went into the crapper pretty quickly.

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    So many beach-front homes were destroyed during Hurricane Sandy last year. Some were so badly damaged, owners just had to walk away. But if you decided to stay put, clean up, and repair, you faced a hideously expensive and daunting task. Marian Lizzi's weekend cottage in Breezy Point, New York was left a "filthy and smelly" wreck, but she didn't qualify for financial assistance. So she sent photos to the magazine Country Living and was thrilled when they chose her house for a renovation. That's how Lizzi's Sandy-ravaged house was transformed into Country Living's House of the Year.

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    Fighting fire with fire doesn't work; neither does fighting hate with hate. Fighting hate with humor, on the other hand, is brilliantly effective -- especially when you add a touch of brightly colored paint. Just ask Aaron Jackson, otherwise known as My New Hero. Jackson, a co-founder of the charity organization Planting Peace, didn't know anything about the Westboro Baptist Church until he heard the story of 10-year-old Josef Miles' profound solo protest (Miles stood opposite a line of Westboro members picketing with their usual array of "God Hates F*gs" signs holding a sign of his own making, which read "God Hates No One"). Naturally, Jackson was inspired by Miles (and appalled by Westboro) and wanted to help, but couldn't think of a way how ... until he noticed that a house across the street from the Westboro Baptist Church was for sale.

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    Man. If the new rumor about Jason Hoppy planning on tearing down Bethenny Frankel's walk-in closet and turning it into a man cave are true -- their divorce is a whole heck of a lot uglier than we initially thought.

    I mean, it's already bad enough that Jason has supposedly refused to move out of the lavish $5 million Tribeca loft he once shared with Bethenny, but demolishing her beloved closet? Yeah, that's a pretty low blow, all right.

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    Any smaller and it would be a toy.We bought my little apartment 14 years ago, and it's so sweet and perfect I've never been able to leave -- even though it's way too small. A couple years ago we renovated our bathroom and now it's a gorgeous, sparkling temple to hygiene. But the kitchen? That's a different story.

    I love to cook. But I hate my kitchen with a deep and abiding passion matched only by my passion for cooking. Yeah, it's like that. So my home improvement wish? Well, let me tell you about my dream kitchen.

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