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Need some tips for decorating with neutrals? TikTok user @amelias_living shares her favorite tips including mixing lighter color tones of wood, adding texture to the space with chunky textiles, and incorporating greenery.

HICKORY — The Rev. Kathy H. Wood, executive director of Greater Hickory Cooperative Christian Ministry (GHCCM), announces her plan to transiti…

Q: Tim, my neighbor discovered that many of his outdoor deck floor joists are rotting. The rot is along the top where the decking attaches to them. It’s treated lumber rated for outdoor exposure. How can this be possible? I thought treated lumber was rot-proof and would last for a lifetime. What’s going on and are there ways to prevent treated lumber from rotting in the event something’s wrong? —Andy D., Lexington, Ky.

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West Elm’s reclaimed wood floating shelves might be pretty, but they aren’t cheap at $120 for just one 3-foot shelf. TikTok creator @malmadness knew she could do better and created three dupes for her girlfriend bringing the cost down from $320 to $40.

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Popular DIYer Drew Scott (also known as @lonefoxhome) made this boho chic light fixture from wooden mixing bowls, wood beads, and an Ikea cord. The result is an expensive looking light fixture for a total cost of around $20.

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If you’ve been coveting the Gleaming Primrose Mirror from Anthropologie, this dupe from @homemakinghomebody is for you. The Anthro mirror will run you from $500 to $1,500 depending on the size, but you can get the same look using a Target mirror, some wood appliques from Amazon, glue, and some gold leaf paint.

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If you’re dying to try the tile furniture trend, this simple Ikea hack from @lonefoxhome will help you do it on a budget. To make your own, you’ll need an Ikea Besta unit, some extra wood boards to fill out the back, a tile of your choice, and grout.

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In artist @teresa_jack’s quest to turn free and found furniture into $100,000 in sales, she stumbled upon this water damaged mid-century dresser for free on Facebook Marketplace. Using a $50 sander and wood stain, she transforms the dresser into a gorgeous classic piece of furniture that’s received an inbox full of offers for her asking price of $200.

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To reduce fleas in your yard without chemicals, diligent raking and mowing keep the yard from becoming a natural haven for them. Add soft mulch or wood chips to flower beds and your pets’ favorite nesting spots.

Q: Help me, Tim! I’m so darned frustrated! The paint on the outside of my home and shed keeps peeling. Both have wood siding. Every few years I’m out there scraping and starting over. What am I doing wrong? I follow the directions on the label of the paint can to the letter. Is it the paint? Is it something I’m doing wrong? Is it just the weather where I live? I’m beginning to think an evil hex was cast upon my house by an enemy of a former owner. Please help me because I don’t want to put up vinyl siding to eliminate the paint issue. —Debbie S., Waterloo, Iowa

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Kids’ outdoor furniture like playhouses should be cleaned and inspected before it’s time to play. Plastic playhouses and furniture can be hosed down with water, or you can use a pressure washer. For wood playhouses, you may need to use a wood-safe solvent and a soft brush. If you’re concerned about critters finding their way into the playhouse, ward them off by planting mint around it.

Q: The grout line between my kitchen granite countertop and the tile backsplash has cracked for the umpteenth time. Each winter the crack appears, and each year I re-grout it hoping it will be the final time. Am I using the wrong grout? How would you repair this, and why does the crack disappear on its own in the summer? I have the same issue with other cracks around my home that mysteriously open and close depending on the time of year. --Gary K., Columbus, Oio

Q: Tim, I’ve got a challenge for you. I live in a 100-year-old Craftsman house with gorgeous wood trim around the windows and doors. The trim is wide, and there’s a stunning head piece across the top of all windows and doors.

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On one hand, rustic painted wood looks at home in farmhouse decor. But on the other hand, painted wood furniture is also a feature of farmhouse style. So try to balance the two. If you have any wooden furniture that has an unfashionably dark stain or that you just don’t like the look of as it is now, consider painting it. Chalk paint, such as The Spruce Best Home Chalky Finish Paint, is excellent to get started with if you’ve never painted furniture before.

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