Home-related tips, trends, and tidbits.
Artist Edward Duff was inspired by this view from Bonobo Winery in Traverse City when he created this painting, “Bonobo Sky.”

Kitchen Must-Have: Sixty percent of designers and industry professionals cited a working pantry as being on their list of the top five emerging kitchen ideas, reports kitchen sink/faucet company Blanco. Located just off the kitchen, a pantry offers a bonus workstation for prep, provides additional storage, and hides dirty dishes. Plus, butler pantries serve as a swoon-worthy spot for trendy coffee bars.

Green-Thumb Trends: We’re officially in the throes of spring and gardening season! Experts from OnBuy Garden Furniture Sets say the three most up-and-coming gardening trends are balcony gardens, a great way to elevate and maximize smaller outdoor spaces; garden recycling that features greener habits like upcycling, old-furniture repurposing, and creating tree-branch plant supporters; and wild gardens, which are super low-maintenance and attract butterflies and bees.

Stay Safe:  Ellie Krieger, dietician, nutritionist, and host of the Food Network’s “Healthy Appetite” and PBS’ “Ellie’s Real Good Food” offers tips on making your cookouts the best. Avoid food-borne illnesses by not basting meat with the same marinade it’s been sitting in. Also, don’t use the same cooking utensils for all food. Using the same tongs to move a raw steak onto the grill as you do to remove the cooked steak from the grill is a recipe for a foodborne illness, she says. Set out plates for snacks and put a serving utensil in every bowl to encourage guests to serve themselves and eat away from the table, rather than hovering over the chip bowl. And don’t let food sit out too long. Set a timer for either one or two hours, depending on how hot it is outside, as a reminder to refrigerate food.

— Compiled by Megan Swoyer

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