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With trees in homes, many in Lake Charles living in questionable conditions a month after Hurricane Laura

“Carefully. Praying we don’t fall through the floor in the bathroom,” Veronica Thomas said.

LAKE CHARLES, La. — It’s been more than a month since Hurricane Laura made landfall in Southwest Louisiana. Many have moved back to homes in pieces as they work to rebuild. 

“It’s actually in the roof,” said Lake Charles resident Veronica Thomas about the tree in her home. “So it’s a big gaping hole, a turbine fell out the house, big gaping hole there. My bedroom was flooded, my bathroom was flooded, the living room was flooded, kitchen was flooded.”

She’s still living there now. 

“Carefully. Praying we don’t fall through the floor in the bathroom,” she said.

Even as she waits to hear from insurance, she’s relieved to see workers taking the tree off her roof one month after the storm. 

“Right now it’s coming out of my pocket, which is not a lot,” she said about the expenses for the work. 

Trees also fell through Doris Lee’s home.   

“Puncturing my house, we have leaks everywhere. I’m not the only one, but it was startling to see something like that,” Lee said. 

The smell of mold fills one of her bedrooms, but she and her family are still living there. 

“We just had to give up two bedrooms and we gave up the front part of the house so we’re fine,” Lee said. 

They’re cleaning up and see progress everyday, while living in these tree filled homes

While some homes are still unlivable, many people have returned home. Now 99 percent of Lake Charles has power restored and drinkable water. They’ve seen progress over the last month, but there is clearly a long way to go. 

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Sprawling outdoor living at sought-after coastal address

Designed by architect Peter Doggett, this Watermans Bay home combines the best of high-quality finishings, expert craftsmanship and attention to detail to create a stunning beachside abode.

The four-bedroom, three-bathroom home sits on a tranquil 808sqm corner block and exudes a timeless Hamptons style, which fits in perfectly with the laid-back coastal lifestyle the suburb offers.

Exuding a classic and timeless Hamptons style, this home embodies everything life on the coast should be.
Camera IconExuding a classic and timeless Hamptons style, this home embodies everything life on the coast should be. Credit: @Who_Is_Alex/Realmark Coastal.

“The design of the home is fantastic,” Realmark Coastal Director and Sales Associate Sean Hughes said. “Peter Doggett, who is an award-winning architect, did the design – and Peter never misses a button, he does an extremely good job.

“The natural light, the airflow in the home and the configuration and layout are exceptional.

“The way you would live in the home has really been thought out with a great deal of detail. The level of finish is phenomenal, as are the products that have been used inside the home.”

The outdoor setting is really the headline aspect of the abode, with a spacious alfresco and a built-in bar and barbecue looking over the gorgeous below-ground pool and its neighbouring gazebo deck, all raising the bar for outdoor living.

“It is a fantastic entertaining area, nice and protected from the wind, whole lot of northern sun and it flows and connects to the inside of the house quite well,” Mr Hughes said.

Entertain with ease outdoors, with a stunning alfresco, sparkling below-ground pool and gazebo deck.
Camera IconEntertain with ease outdoors, with a stunning alfresco, sparkling below-ground pool and gazebo deck. Credit: @Who_Is_Alex/Realmark Coastal.

Another standout feature of the home is the wine cellar, which is right next to a commodious downstairs games room with ample space and its own built-in bar.

The lower level of the home has a stunning

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Inspired Living – SW Interior Design

SW Interior Design principal Sue Williams recently shared her wealth of architectural and design knowledge on the Jamaica Observer’s Inspired Living: The New Aesthetic For Extraordinary Homes And Retreats webinar. SO churns over a few of those gems prior to sipping Champagne at Villa Rosa:

“… Jamaica does inspire people. It’s very much an island of personalities who’ve started a love affair with Jamaica. Our clients do remain the main influencing factor within all of our projects. They’ve become invested in Jamaica as it’s struck a chord; it fills the need, it stills their souls and this immediately gives us a connection and an understanding. A reinterpretation of the elements that have caught their attention together with the appreciation of their needs add character, soul and individuality to each property we complete…

…Jamaica has benefited for decades from the development of luxury winter and holiday homes like those of Tryall and Round Hill; Content, Rose Hall, Jamaica Inn, Frenchman’s Cove, San San Port Antonio offered in the ’50s and ’60s a simple island elegance. A heyday where luxury was exploring seas by canoe, hills with binoculars, dancing downtown to live bands like Yellow Bird and Banana Boat, and purchases at local craft markets. With this island infatuation design and designer were influenced by locally produced island elements… Carved and turned furniture, forged brass, straw rugs, art and hand-printed fabrics became slip covers, curtains, bikini cover-ups, and evening caftans. It was a creative mix of design…

…Local knowledge guides architects to capture the island breezes, avoiding direct sun, ensuring privacy. Property lots were larger, villa designs smaller, louvred windows with wide verandahs and fanciful peaked shingled roofs, Caribbean-style…

… It is very important to us to recognise and reinterpret and develop this history. Understanding the foundation is important to the

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Condo Life: Remodeling adds personal touch for condo living

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Remodeling your home can either be a smooth transition or a rocky one, but knowing the specifics of remodeling a condominium is incredibly important, as homeowners have different hurdles to face.

In the 2018 report by Livable.com, 10 Things You Absolutely Need to Know Before Renovating a Condo, the top item on the list is to consult your condo board well in advance. The reason for this is every condo building is different regarding rules and regulations about construction in the building. The condo HOA or board will then inform you of the basic guidelines for what can and can’t be done for renovations, it stated.


Addressed in the report as well are things to be aware of, such as newly constructed buildings may not yet have rules in place for renovations, and you have to be ready to find a contractor who is actually willing to work in a condo, as this is a different setting.



In addition, you may need to offer up your parking space or be willing to pay. Lastly, it stated to expect the worst and hope for the best.

Amy Bernstein with Bernstein Realty purchased a condominium in a building she loved with breathtaking views in April 2020, but though the basic floor plan worked, she still wanted to put her personal touches on it.


The property will not be complete and ready for move-in until next spring.

“After hiring an architect and designer, there were so many opportunities to enhance the floor plan and design, that I decided to start from new and tore almost everything out to the walls,” Bernstein said.


The next was getting approval for the remodel.

“Because of the extent of the project, and the raising

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Australian writer reveals the strange culture shocks she faced while living in America

An Australian writer who has spent months living in the United States has shared the noticeable differences between the two countries, including how you pay for petrol, use public bathrooms and buy alcohol.

Madolline Gourley, 30, from Brisbane, Queensland, runs an online blog called One Cat At A Time, and prior to the coronavirus lockdown, spent more than two years cat sitting for families in the States.

During those lengthy stays she became acutely aware of the way Americans live their day-to-day lives and how it differs from the Australian lifestyle, from road rules to adding tax to every purchase you make.

So what are the main variances? 

Madolline Gourley runs an online blog called One Cat At A Time , and prior to the coronavirus lockdown, spent more than two years cat sitting for families in the States

Madolline Gourley runs an online blog called One Cat At A Time , and prior to the coronavirus lockdown, spent more than two years cat sitting for families in the States

1. Pay for petrol before filling up 

In Madolline’s experience Australians will always put petrol in the car first before paying at the counter, so the station attendant knows how much gas they’ve taken.  

But in the US customers swipe their EFTPOS card, enter their postcode – also called a ZIP code – and then start to fill the car up.  

‘Or you can walk into the service station and pay cash, but you still have to pay before you can fill up,’ she told FEMAIL.

‘You can also select $50 when doing the EFTPOS transaction, but if your car only takes $33, $25, or $41.90, you only get billed for that. Not the $50. 

‘This confused me a lot to begin with because I was concerned I was being billed for the full amount.’

In Madolline's experience Australians will always put petrol in the car first before paying at the counter, so the station attendant knows how much gas they've taken (stock image)

In Madolline’s experience Australians will always put petrol in the car first before paying at the counter, so the station attendant knows how much gas they’ve

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