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Marnie Hayutin


The Fix: Six Renovation Revelations from Serious Rehabbers

On the renovation continuum, there’s upgrading the appliances, there’s taking the kitchen down to the studs, and then there’s what the Chacóns did.

Seven Secrets to Great Design

Ever wonder why a room just doesn’t feel right?

Designer Mary Cook experienced it countless times when she was called in to fix spaces that, for reasons the clients couldn’t put their fingers on, just weren’t working.

6 Really Easy Ways to Create a Spa Bathroom

Forget the orchid and the basket of massage stones. And you don’t have to remodel, either. These really easy steps will have you relaxing in your own spa retreat by the end of a weekend.

Get the Look: Winter Color

Purple is a mainstay in all of Dennis Buttelwerth's winter arrangements. He first saw the color used when he was on the staff that decorated the White House for Christmas during the Reagan era.

It's in the same color family as the evergreens," he says. "It's just a wonderful color."

Here, the purple ornamental kale is the show-stealer, with red-twigged dogwood, toyon berries and winterberry (deciduous holly) as supporting actors. They provide pops of color against a textural backdrop that includes Western cedar, incense cedar, German boxwood, juniper boughs, mountain hemlock, white pine, and Southern magnolia leaves.

My Holiday Playlist

How many times can we listen to Carol of the Bells? It totally depends on who's performing it. Here's what's on my iPod right now. What's on yours?

Top 5 Halloween Costumes, Part 2

Here's my final list of this year's top Halloween costumes, now taking the evening Trick-or-Treaters into account:

Top 5 Halloween Costumes Seen So Far Today…

It was a rainy morning for school parades, but the weather didn't dampen the creativity. Here are the best costumes I've seen so far. (Sadly, my own "soccer player of doom" did not make the list—costumes were never my best thing.)

Let me know your favorites today!

To Seat or Not To Seat?

That is my question.

In a few weeks, I'll be entertaining about 60 family members in my home as part of a weekend of festivities. This party is intended to be casual—we're wearing jeans and eating a take-out Italian buffet. Here's my dilemma: Do I provide tables and formal seating, or do I allow people gather where they may and be, well, casual?

Advice from friends and family so far has been mixed. On the one hand, nobody is comfortable with the mental image of our less-coordinated relatives trying to juggle platefuls of pasta and a glasses of red wine. On the other hand, my home dates back to a no-Great Room era, so there are lots of small rooms and absolutely no space to set up large rented tables.

Get the Look: Harvest Bounty

Pumpkins and corn stalks may be a no-brainer, but achieving success with this seasonal style is actually much tougher than it looks. The trick is to create a look of abundance without overdoing it.

Easier said than done. You've got more to work with in this season than in any other—Indian corn, straw bales, fancy gourds, mums of all color, and the entire squash family—so it's easy to get carried away.

You can keep your landscaping from looking like the pumpkin truck dropped its load in your yard by creating depth. Select pumpkins, straw bales and other accessories in three distinct sizes, which in addition to depth also gives the display a sense of order.

Then, balance the design with some less-predictable fall folilage: English ivy, dusty millers, flowering kale, and pansies. The fall watering schedule is two to three times a week, moving to once or twice a week as the weather gets cooler. A good rule of thumb: Keep it moist but not soggy, and don't let it dry out.

Photos by Lemos Photography, design by Steve Lichtenberg and Vanessa Back, Lichtenberg Gardens.

Ready For Their Close-Ups

One of the perks of working for a magazine is that we occasionally have the opportunity to…shall we say, “contribute” to photo shoots.
Yes, over the years, our pets have been Cincinnati Magazine cover models. Our children have appeared as ring bearers and flower girls in Cincinnati Wedding. We’ve ridden motor scooters and tandem bicycles for the sake