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This archived news story is available only for your personal, non-commercial use. Information in the story may be outdated or superseded by additional information. Reading or replaying the story in its archived form does not constitute a republication of the story.

The AP "Spring Homes" Special Edition is moving today on the Lifestyles wire for use anytime. Slugs begin BC-US-SPE--Spring Homes-.

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The yin and yang of spring make it such an interesting season. After the brutal bite of winter, even a gloomy spring day welcomes us with warmer breezes and an emerging palette of delicate hues. We welcome both the pale, early buds and the saucy bursts of color that follow. That's also the dual nature of spring 2014 décor, a mix of the restful and rambunctious. By Kim Cook. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m. Tuesday, photos.


Every so often a revolution transforms something truly basic, rendering the status quo somewhat, well, primitive. First came covered sewers, then indoor plumbing and flush toilets. Now, one bathroom at a time, another major shift in toilet hygiene is quietly underway. A new generation of toilets may one day make toilet paper — and the need to put one's hands anywhere near the unspeakable — seem like chamber pots and outhouses: outdated and somewhat messy throwbacks reserved for camping trips. By Katherine Roth. UPCOMING: 850 words by 3 p.m. Tuesday, photos.


About this time of year, Dr. Lee Neiman walks outside to his backyard every morning and impatiently counts the days. It's usually around late March, early April when the backyard paradise at his Pittsburgh home returns to life. The cascading waterfall starts running again and the pond catching it thaws. The fish swim back into view after have gone dormant below a sheet of ice during the winter. Backyard ponds have a loyal following; some tips on starting one. By Michelle Spitzer. UPCOMING: 900 words by 3 p.m. Tuesday, photos.


Mandy Rose faced a problem many parents do: what to do with the steady flow of drawing, paintings, collages and more that her children were bringing home from school and camp? "They caught me throwing some away, and they were not happy about it," says Rose, of Carterville, Ill. Displaying kids' artwork can warm up and personalize a home, but not everything is a keeper. Some tips on what to save and how to display it. By Melissa Kossler Dutton. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m. Tuesday, photos.


It's convenient to pick up laundry detergent at the store, but it's not difficult to make your own. Soap and water are a time-tested duo against dirt and germs, and homemade cleaners work without added chemicals or perfumes. All it takes are a few, simple ingredients to make laundry detergent — liquid or powder — and fabric softener. Then cut down on drying time and static cling with homemade dryer balls. By Jennifer Forker. UPCOMING: 800 words by 3 p.m. Tuesday, photos.

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