HGTV Dream Home giveaway

A top-to-bottom renovation of a 3,200-square-foot home in St. Simons Island, Ga., is this year’s HGTV Dream Home, the grand prize in the annual HGTV sweepstakes.

The fresh interpretation of a Southern-style coastal getaway is fully furnished by Wayfair, and boasts dramatic, soaring pecky cypress ceilings and walls of sliding-glass doors facing the water. The open kitchen is painted in a woodsy palette of brown, gray and forest green. In addition to three bedrooms and three bathrooms, the house includes a well-equipped home gym and an indoor-outdoor funky pool lounge with a wet bar. With Georgia’s warm climate, the designers maximized backyard entertaining potential with a fire pit, pool and outdoor kitchen.

Enter daily, once at and once at, until Feb. 17, for a chance to win the waterfront retreat. The grand prize package is valued at more than $1.7 million and includes a new Honda Pilot. Go to to view dozens of photos and videos of the 2017 Dream Home.

Plotting an edible garden

Is a summer garden packed with veggies one of your goals for 2017? The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is offering “The Edible Garden Year” on five Saturdays starting Jan. 14. Arb experts will talk about choosing produce, ordering and starting seeds, soil composition, transplanting, water conservation, weed control and finally, harvesting. The class will meet 1 to 3:30 p.m. Jan. 14, Feb. 4, May 13, June 24 and Aug. 19. Cost is $200; $150 for members; includes Arboretum admission, 3675 Arboretum Dr., Chaska. Register at or call 612-301-1210.

Home interior help

Are you planning a room redo or hunting for the perfect area rug? Stop by Gabberts for coffee, treats and conversation with interior designers. Bring photos, fabric samples, magazine tearsheets and iPad with Pinterest boards and pages from Houzz. Rug experts also will explain ancient techniques and materials in hand-woven rugs and how to pick the right size for your room.

The free events are at 10 a.m. Jan. 14 at Gabberts, the Galleria, 69th St. and France Av. S., Edina, and at 3201 Country Dr., Little Canada. To register, call 952-927-1500 or go to

Eco-friendly attics

Learn all the nuts and bolts involved in converting your attic into functional, livable space at a free Green Attic Remodeling class, 10 to 11:30 a.m. Jan 14, at Natural Built Home, 4020 Minnehaha Av. S., Mpls. Topics include design, incorporating sustainable features and products, budgeting and cost-saving ideas. Bring photos and measurements of your space. Register at; click on “Education.”


Time to buy a rug?

Maybe you’re tired of looking at the grubby rug on your living room floor. Or maybe you’re tired of looking at the rug-less floor. Either way, buying a rug can seem intimidating. If you’re gathering your strength, we talked to experts, who shared their tips:

Size: First, assess the dimensions. For an elegant feel, match the exact measurements of a room. Most experts suggest a foot away from the wall, depending on the room.

For a rug beneath a dining table, make sure it’s big enough to fit all chairs and table, said Ashley Turner, co-founder of Shanty 2 Chic design blog.

New York designer Alexa Hampton says that if she likes the floor of a room, she prefers to leave uncovered space around the edge. In smaller spaces, Hampton suggests keeping 6 inches to a foot between rug and floor.

Johanna Mele counsels clients at West Elm to have all of the seating pieces’ front legs, at least, hitting the rug.

Pattern and design: If the rug should be the focal point, buy it before everything else. Or match the rug to your furnishings.

Trust your own preferences. “Don’t let the rug salesman tell you what color rug,” said New York interior designer Robin Wilson. You can have a white rug, for example, especially if the room is rarely used.

Turner added that a lighter rug can nicely stand out on a dark floor. She and Whitney Gainer, her sister and co-founder, prefer a neutral rug, bringing out color and prints with pillows and curtains.

“If you get tired of a certain color, it’s simple to make a definitive difference by changing out these items,” added Michael Poczkalski, owner and principal designer of Michael P. Design in Buffalo, N.Y.

Use: “Where is the rug going?” asked Mele, West Elm’s lead home stylist. Is it a high-traffic area, for example, or by the bed?

She suggests a “low-pile” rug for areas with a lot of foot traffic. Low piles tend to be more durable, Mele said, and trap less dirt.

Higher-pile rugs might work well for less-used places like the bedroom or a reading nook.

Beyond your budget, Wilson said, “be honest about how clean you are.”

For example, if pets or children are running around, perhaps you don’t opt for the highest-end rug.

Wilson prefers wool, not synthetics. “It lasts a long time if you keep it clean,” she said.

ALISON BOWEN, Chicago Tribune