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Topics such as interior design, home landscaping, gardening.

Smart Design With Suzette: Deck Design Ideas

on May 8, 2016 - 10:23am
Tiered deck. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

You may think of your deck as just a bland wooden platform jutting out to your backyard, but with a little planning and good design, that space can become a fabulous alfresco family room and entertainment center.

Plan for the Way You Live

Start with general ideas of what the deck can do to enhance your life. What will you use the deck for? Maybe you want to emphasize intimate gathering and dining areas. If you love to grill, design an outdoor kitchen.

Women Volunteers Help Qualify For $5K From Lowe’s

on May 7, 2016 - 11:57pm
Volunteers gather today to work on the Habitat For Humanity home under construction at 3564 Questa in Los Alamos. Courtesy Photo
New home recipient Ivette Jimenez, left, and local Habitat For Humanity Board Treasurer Nicole Brown in front of the new home under construction today at 3564 Questa St. Photo By KayLinda Crawford/
Los Alamos Daily Post

Women flocked to the Habitat For Humanity home under construction today at 3564 Questa St., to participate in the National Women Build Week.

Arborist Laural Hardin Gives Pruning Workshop May 15

on May 7, 2016 - 11:05am
Arborist Laural Hardin. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

Tree pruning can keep trees healthy and beautiful, but improper pruning can leave a tree weak and detract from the landscape. Join Laural Hardin at the Los Alamos Nature Center 1:30 p.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, May 15, to learn the basics of pruning ornamental and fruit trees. She also will cover important questions to ask professionals before they prune one's trees.

Laural Hardin is a certified arborist and integrated pest management specialist who specializes in diagnosing and solving tree and garden problems.

Tips For Pruning Weather Damaged Trees

on April 25, 2016 - 8:18am
Los Alamos Extension Horticulturist

For moderate pruning repair jobs of weather damaged trees close to ground level, homeowners should follow these guidelines:

  • Smaller branches should be pruned back to the point where they join larger ones. Make the cut at a slant next to a bud that can produce new growth. Do not leave branch stubs as they encourage rot and decay.
  • Large branches that are broken should be cut back to either the trunk or main limb. Do not cut the branch flush with the trunk. Instead, cut outside the  branch collar at the base of the branch.
  • Take all necessary

Pajarito Greenhouse Opens For Season Wednesday

on April 24, 2016 - 8:16am
The tomatoes are getting tall at Pajarito Greenhouse. From left, James Liberty, Dave Fox and Tim Morrison show off some prime specimens at Pajarito Greenhouse. Many plants are already in stock and more are arriving daily, Fox said. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/
Los Alamos Daily Post

In Los Alamos, spring can be iffy, but we know it’s just around the corner when Pajarito Greenhouse is once again open for business.

This year, the greenhouse will open at 9 a.m. sharp Wednesday, April 27.

Pajarito Greenhouse is a department of CB FOX Department Store, but

UNM-LA Offers Class On Staging Your Home For Sale

on April 24, 2016 - 7:46am
Before and after photos of a bathroom that has been readied for showing by Alana Light. Courtesy photo

UNM-LA News:

The University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) Community Education Department is offering the class “Stage Your Home for Sale” 12:30-4:40 p.m., Saturday, April 30.

Join Alana Light to learn about the most important things to do to the home before listing it on the market. Light’s business, A La Carte Design, is based in Santa Fe and serves clients throughout northern New Mexico.

“Buyers and appraisers agree that staging a property for sale makes a difference," Light said.

Smart Design With Suzette: Entertaining Essentials – Home Bar Ideas

on April 24, 2016 - 7:40am
Home bar. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Hospitality is about sharing. A hospitable home welcomes visitors and draws them into the warm family circle as treasured guests.

The first thing that guests are offered is a beverage. What better way to offer hospitality then to lead them to your perfectly designed and stocked bar.

I’m not sure it’s because of hit series like “Mad Men,” but there’s a definite return of the home bar. It seems everyone wants one.

Summit Garden Club Meets May 2

on April 23, 2016 - 8:43am

SGC News:

The Summit Garden Club hosts its May meeting at 1:30 p.m. Monday, May 2 at the home of Laurie Hixson, 307 Potrillo Dr., in Pajarito Acres in White Rock.

The meeting will start with a short talk on gophers by “Gopher Andy,” Andy Espinoza. In addition, each May the club meets to assess its activities during the past year and to discuss its projects for the coming year. 

Included among the Club's many projects are refurbishing and maintaining gardens at the Bandelier National Monument and the creation of the White Rock Community Garden (across the highway from the Visitors Center).

Arborist Laural Hardin Talks About Trees Sunday

on April 23, 2016 - 8:22am
Arborist Laural Hardin answer tree questions at PEEC Sunday. Courtesy photo

PEEC News:

Selecting the right tree for one's yard and the best location to plant it has more impact on the landscape than one might realize. Understanding what the tree needs to thrive and whether it may cause future plumbing problems can save home owners time, stress, and money down the road.

Join Laural Hardin 1:30-3 p.m. Sunday, April 24 at the Los Alamos Nature Center to discover the important questions to ask when shopping for a tree and learn how to select the right tree for the right place.

Hardin is a

Zia Realty Group’s Featured Homes & Properties

on April 10, 2016 - 9:55am

Today's Featured Home

15 Tesuque

Los Alamos, NM 87544



Smart Design With Suzette: Laundry Room Design

on April 10, 2016 - 8:22am
Laundrey room with colored appliances. Courtesy photo
Smart Design With Suzette
Laundry Room Design

A laundry room is a space that exists to get a big job done. It surprises me that laundry room design doesn't receive more attention. This column talks about smart laundry room design and how these design elements support the activities that go into doing the laundry.

Design Layout

A well-designed laundry room layout should....

  • Be designed so that it’s easy to get laundry in and out of the washer and dryer, or have easy access to a clothes hanger (inside or outside).
  • Be

Living Well Los Alamos: Summer Barbeque Safety

on April 4, 2016 - 2:45pm
Los Alamos Extension Home Economist and 4-H Agent

With our warm weather this winter it’s not uncommon to catch a whiff of dinner cooking on a barbeque grill somewhere in your neighborhood. The aroma conjures up spending time in the yard with family and friends while eating potato salad, coleslaw and corn on the cob. This summer keep your friends and families safe by following a few basic barbeque safety rules. 

Proper barbeque safety begins with an annual inspection of the grill. Clear the grill of any debris and grease.

Smart Design With Suzette: Designing A Simple Life – The Art Of Less

on March 27, 2016 - 8:36am
Courtesy photo
Smart Design With Suzette
Designing A Simple Life – The Art Of Less

It’s been a rough month. Our community has lost some very good people. It’s times like these, I reflect on life’s big questions. Am I making a difference in my community, to my family? What more can I do to educate others that their choices make a difference and effect our world in either a positive or negative way?

I have realized that the sustainable lifestyles concepts about which I often write are relative.

Smart Design With Suzette: Prepping Your Home For Spring

on March 13, 2016 - 7:48am

Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Spring is right around the corner. From the interior of your home to the exterior, getting your home ready for spring will ensure you’ll be ready to enjoy the warmer weather. Many new homeowners don’t know where to begin. Here are some guidelines to get started.

Start On Your Exterior

The outside of your home has taken wear and tear from the winter. Walk around your home and examine caulking around windows and doors, as well as open windows and doors and look at weather stripping. Replace old or cracking caulk and replace weather stripping.

Living Well Los Alamos: Free Application For Federal Student Aid

on March 10, 2016 - 8:08am
County Extension Service

Graduation is a mere four months away. Whether you are a high school senior preparing to enter college next fall or a non-traditional student who is planning to return to school as an adult learner, many people will be completing their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

The FAFSA determines eligibility for student loans, grants, need-based student employment and other forms of aid.

Smart Design With Suzette: Tips For Updating Lighting Fixtures

on February 28, 2016 - 10:38am
Mark the Electrician, right, and staff person Virgil install paper flowers on an oversized Ikea light fixture. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Good lighting can literally light up your life. It can make the difference between "nice place" and "wow, love your pad." But, in most homes, the lighting is too complicated and too dim. Before you do anything else to your home, consider changing your lighting.

Whether you live in an apartment or own a house, we’ve all had that moment where we realize it’s time to switch things up.

Study Names Los Alamos County Top Place To Get Mortgages In New Mexico

on February 22, 2016 - 11:43am



SmartAsset, a New York financial technology company, recently released its second annual study on the Best Places to Get a Mortgage.

The study determines the top markets by comparing the likelihood of mortgage approval by county, in addition to mortgage rates, average five-year borrowing costs, and property taxes.

Los Alamos County cracked the list at number 1 in New Mexico, up from its rank of 4 in 2015.

How Los Alamos County compares to other counties in New Mexico:

Homewise Launches Online Interactive Storybook

on February 20, 2016 - 7:33am
SANTA FE  In celebration of its 30th anniversary, Homewise is launching an interactive storybook online.
This new online feature will include a timeline of client stories and milestones as well as a “then and now” comparison of life in New Mexico in 1986 to today.
Clients will also be invited to share their own stories of their journey to homeownership as well as personal anecdotes and experiences as Homewise owners.
Homewise will be celebrating with special events throughout the year, including a community event in June at the La Fonda Hotel in Santa Fe.

Barclay: A Good Home Investment Trend

on February 17, 2016 - 9:32am
RE/MAX of Los Alamos
People often ask me what are good investments to make in their home.
One of the fastest growing trends I'm seeing is the installation of ductless, mini-split heat pumps. They’re quick and easy to install, offer room-by-room temperature control, good air filtration and are very quiet. They’re also energy-efficient. Compared to large, single-zone, ducted AC, these units are zoned so every room has a thermostat.

These systems are called ‘split systems’ because they consist of two components: an indoor unit and an outdoor unit.

Food On The Hill: Sauced Burritos

on February 14, 2016 - 8:43am

A pan of sauced burritos after baking. Photo by Felicia Orth

Sauced Burritos

This is another of my “best intentions” recipes; I set out to make chicken enchiladas and wound up with chicken and vegetable burritos drenched in enchilada sauce. The homemade red chile (chile colorado) sauce is the only critical element of the dish; everything else can be changed or made simpler by shortcut. Do not be tempted to save time by using canned enchilada sauce; this homemade sauce can be made quickly with items typically found in a New Mexican pantry and it is well worth the effort.

Smart Design With Suzette: Cool Stuff

on February 14, 2016 - 7:56am
Cell phone charging pads and tables make life easier. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

While researching the latest trends, I came upon technology items being brought to market that are the coolest things I have seen in a while. I thought I would share them before I move on to other design stories.

Transparent TV. Courtesy photo


The first thing to catch my eye was a transparent television. The transparent TV designed by Michael Friebe is a marvelous piece of technology that combines conventional LCD and the latest TOLED display technology.

Smart Design With Suzette: Highlights Of 2016 International Builders Show

on January 31, 2016 - 8:49am
White kitchen with wood accents. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

The last column I wrote indicated design trends for 2016. Let’s continue the conversation and take a look at some residential design trends that judges of the Best in American Living Awards (BASA) at last week’s International Builders' Show (IBS) in Las Vegas, predicted would be this year's most prominent.

High on the list were intimate outdoor spaces, intricate stairwells, and Mid-Century Modern detailing.

Smart Design With Suzette: Organizing Your Kitchen

on January 17, 2016 - 10:53am
Store lids with containers. Courtesy photo
Los Alamos

Although January is nearing its close and many a New Year’s resolutions have fallen by the wayside, I’ve decided to let my neat-freak flag fly and get down ‘n dirty with home organization.

If you’ve been bitten by a similar clean-up bug and are looking to organize your own home—I’ve got you covered in the kitchen! These tips, tricks, and techniques will have you in the organizing groove well into the new year!

The kitchen is an area of your home that gets used more often than most other areas.

Los Alamos 4th Quarter 2015 Housing Data Released

on January 14, 2016 - 8:01am
Single Family home sales in Los Alamos rose from 44 in the 4th Quarter of 2014 to 57 this Quarter, according to the Los Alamos Association of REALTORS® (LAAOR).
LAAOR President David Horpedahl
Single Family home sales volumes also jumped from $12.4 million in 2014 to $16.7 million for the 4th Quarter of 2015. Condo and Townhome sales noted an increase in the 4th Quarter of 2015 to 16 units compared to 10 units sold in the same Quarter of 2014.
The median price of Single Family Home sales saw an uptick in Los Alamos when compared to the 4th Quarter of 2014 or $260,500 to

Los Alamos Among Affordable Cities For Renters Insurance

on January 13, 2016 - 7:23am
New Mexico is the fifth largest state but has little more than 2 million residents. It was inhabited by indigenous peoples until European exploration and today the state has the second highest number of Native Americans. Sante Fe is the capital but Albuquerque is the most populous and both have a lot of renters.
To see who has the cheapest and most expensive renters insurance rates, we evaluated quotes for a sample property (a rental property with roughly 1,000 square feet of living space and $100,000 in liability coverage).
The results showed that the most expensive renters