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special advertising section Home Improvement By Nancy E. Berry With many of us holding onto our homes longer than we used to, it's time to look at making changes—both great and small—that will create more functional, beautiful, and greener dwellings. Whether it's a sustainable move by adding insulation, a design move such as updating an out-of-date kitchen, or an aesthetic move such as decorating with antiques and artwork to personalize your interiors, we turned to the experts for advice on how to create welcoming, comfortable living spaces that are easy on the environment on the North Shore. PhotograPh courtesy of sue adams interiors Going Once, Going Twice Have you ever fantasized about attending an auction, but thought you would be outbid on every piece that comes to the block? Think again. Sure, there is the one-of-a-kind Tiffany lamp or John Singer Sargent that might sell for millions, but there's also loads of reasonably priced furnishings and decora- tive accessories that are sold at auction. We spoke to expert Diane Riva, mar- keting director of Kaminski Fine Art, Auctions, and Appraisals, as well as some of the folks at Boston's famed Skinner auction house and PBS's "Antiques Road Show" to lend us advice on buying at auction. Q: Can you debunk some of the myths surrounding the idea of buying at auction? A: Auctions are available to anyone—they are free and open to the public. You need not be a professional dealer or an expert to participate. Many fine art and antique items have sold at very affordable prices at auction. We regularly sell things for a few hundred dollars all the way up to millions of dollars. Bargain-hunters don't necessarily know about the opportunities avail- able to them at auction. You don't have to attend a sale in person; you may par- ticipate in the bidding online or by phone. —Stephen Fletcher, executive vice president and director of American Furniture & Decorative Arts at Skinner and Antiques Road Show appraiser bright ideas begin at lucía visit our 8,000 square-foot showroom today to see new england's largest selection of lighting lighting & design lucía 311 western avenue (rt-107), lynn, ma 888-595-0026 / 781-595-0026 store hours:mon-sat 9am-5pmwed 9am-8pm canoe chandelier by Lighting 2011 · 2010 Lighting

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