While they haven’t supplanted the traditional orange jack-o’-lanterns, the specialty gourds and pumpkins, which come in all shapes, sizes and colors, have been gaining in popularity with each Halloween.

People are looking for more than functionality when it comes to their closets. They want style, too. Home buyers are looking for that little extra when they visit a home. And even if you’re not in the market to sell your home, a well-designed, well-thought-out closet space for your favorite clothes, shoes and accessories can save time every day.

Rainy weather this week is supplying the perfect conditions for lawn aeration. A downpour also can provide the answer for whether the job is required.

Shane Connolly, who did the flowers for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s 2011 wedding, is all about using seasonal items in arrangements. Nothing was off limits, from the branches of apple trees found at the home of Sheila Fitzgerald to roadside wildflowers.

Is your house-hunting venture beginning to feel like an episode of Love It or List It? You want a home that’s move-in ready. Your spouse wants a fixer-upper. You want a cozy home in the suburbs. Your spouse wants a modern condo in the city.

Kathleen Cue thinks gardeners have it backward. They should be planting flowers, trees and shrubs now, instead of dreaming of what they’ll grow next spring.

A quilting stop in Atlantic, Iowa, has been awarded a Nation of Neighbors grant for expansion of its small business and community outreach.

As fall nights turn chilly, all kinds of creepy-crawlies are looking for a warm place to spend the next few months. Your job is to make sure you aren’t a good host.

Sara Connell loves decorating her two-story bungalow in Dundee. “My house is cute on the inside,’’ she said. But picking an exterior paint? That was different.

It was the lone Nebraska project selected for Interior Design magazine’s latest “Best of Residential” collection.

The next few weeks are prime time to harvest those vegetables bursting from your garden. The plants let you know they’re ready.

A 60-pound stuffed beaver isn’t your usual living room décor. But for outdoorsman Daron Smith, it fits. His 3,700-square-foot home southwest of Beaver Lake, Nebraska, is a blend of his lifelong passion for the outdoors and his fondness for mementos from his family’s past.

My first job out of college was with the newspaper in Red Oak, Iowa. I spent four terrific years there before an opportunity with The World-Herald lured me away.

Shane Connolly’s work as a floral designer has taken him all over the world, propelled by two royal weddings to his credit. In mid-September, the Northern Ireland-born Connolly will travel from London to speak at the Lauritzen Gardens Antique & Garden Show. In a phone interview from his studio in North Kensington, he chats about seasonal harmony in his designs, cow parsley and a vow of silence when it comes to his work for the British royals.

For three months each year, Beth Crichton’s life sounds like a tale best told in an exotic novel. A biologist doing groundbreaking research might not sound so colorful. But throw in a desert kingdom with sheiks and wealth beyond imagination ...

Jay Burdic has watched a renaissance outside the windows of his Malvern Bank office. Five to seven years ago, the southwestern Iowa town was at a tipping point. Empty storefronts dotted a two-block stretch.

The main criteria for this trip was for mother and daughter to go somewhere with mountains, water, wildlife and a cityscape – all within a 45-minute radius.

We’re on one of our wandering weekend drives when a little directional sign, partially hidden in roadside grasses, catches our eye on the outskirts of Malvern, Iowa. Intrigued, we leave the paved highway and zigzag along a country road to our unplanned destination: Pierce Crossing, a country-fresh guest house on aptly named Little Lane about a mile southwest of town.

A trip to a salvage yard for angle iron 12 years ago turned out to be a stroke of luck for an attorney with a knack for creating things.

The row of tomatoes on the counter keeps expanding, and that bowl of apples you impulsively purchased during a family trip to the local orchard needs attention.

Fashion that is thrifted, handcrafted and curated. A little different by design. Art Direction Heidi Thorson; Photography Heather and Jameson; Merchandise styling Jessica Luna, Hair + makeup styling Kali Rahder; Victor Victoria Salon & Spa; Model Michala, Develop Model Management; Locati…

I grew up in central Pennsylvania. And though it’s perhaps the northern end of the Bible Belt, it is arguably the very buckle of the Chip Belt. Or perhaps it’s more metaphorically accurate to say the extra extender hole punched into the Chip Belt.

We don’t have the gardens of Windsor Castle or Buckingham Palace at our disposal, but inspiration can be as close as our own backyard.

Your pets love to spend time outside in the yard, but your garden might not be the friendliest place for them to explore. There are hazards in those gardens, such as poisonous and thorny plants, deep-water areas and a garden that’s sprayed in pesticides.

“People who come here for parties are blown away because it’s so different,” Gerry Sullivan offers. “It’s funky and unique and very ‘Bob.’ He’s an artist, and this is just a continuation of his art.”

Interior designer Susan Hollertz bought the former Huntley schoolhouse in 1997 and has spent 20 years renovating it. This spring she decided to put it up for sale, and the asking price is $229,000. 

Kansas natives Steve and Annette Huff have a lifelong connection to the vibrant college town and the scenic Flint Hills that surround it. The tiny house – in lieu of a hotel room – has allowed them not only to economize on lodging but also truly feel at home when they visit.

I recently talked with an adventurous forty-something husband and father who routinely explores exotic and sometimes dangerous parts of the world. When I asked why, he told me: “Travel is what I do now to broaden my horizons. Vacation is what I will do when I retire.”

Traveling is one of life’s greatest pleasures, but deciding where to go can be challenging. Leading cities of the world like London and Paris certainly are worth discovering, but smaller cities should beckon, too.

Last March, I landed with 13 other University of Pennsylvania photography students in Havana, Cuba.

About the magazine

Inspired Living Omaha is a premium publication of the Omaha World-Herald, delivering to Sunday subscribers. Spotlighting home, design, fashion, food, entertaining, design, travel + more. To start your subscription, call 402-346-3363 or e-mail us at customerservice@owh.com