A few years ago, I came home to find my wife disconsolate in the living room.

“What’s wrong?” I asked, taking in the full drama of the scene.

“She said the ‘f’ word to me,” my wife sobbed, rushing to my arms and pointing wildly about the room.

“Who?” I asked, glancing around the empty room. “Who said the ‘f’ word to you?”

“The interior decorator,” my wife said, letting out a huge sigh.

I probably don’t have to tell you the situation teetered on humor. Why, I wondered silently (emphasis on “silently”) would an interior designer have said the “f” word to my wife, and even if it had been said, why would this particular use of the “f” word cause such grief.

“So what?” I counseled sympathetically. “You’ve heard that word before.”

Then it was my wife’s turn to look disgusted.

“The decorator didn’t say that ‘f’ word,” my wife said. “She said ‘flow’. She said the paint colors in our house don’t flow!”

And so it began, that first in a series of long, expensive years dealing with the after-effects of an interior designer launching an “f”-bomb in our house.

You would think that two interior paint jobs — not to mention a kitchen remodel and later a home addition — would have banished the “f” word to another dimension, along with the interior designer, who presumably moved on to terrorize another family with room left on their home equity line of credit.

Of course, there are lots of buzzwords associated with remodeling, and this annual Home Design 2007 magazine is filled with great ideas for your projects and great neighborhood advertisers eager to help.

For starters, check out our story about remodeling your kitchen: Learn what to do with yours by reading about what three neighborhood families have done with theirs.

Or maybe you’re starting a family, and you need ideas for a nursery: Our story clues you in on the latest trends in spaces for the little ones.

And if plants are your passion, check out our stories on hanging baskets and mini-terrariums: Even if you don’t have much space for a backyard garden, our experts offer ways to bring the garden indoors.

If you’re planning to sell your home instead of remodeling, you’ll want to read our experts’ tips to sell quickly and for top dollar.

And after you’ve read our stories, analyzed your home, borrowed the money you’ll need, hired the contractor and endured the construction process, you’re ready to sit back, take a load off, and ponder the flow of your home, you’ll be longing to utter just one more “f” word: finished.





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