• Local photographer Ralph Smith is an expert at the difficult art of shootingfood as this gallery shows.
  • Courtesy photo

Houston's Food Photography Ace

Shooting your food: It's tougher than you think

  • Don't let toys take over your home.
  • Take back over your house before it's too late.
  • Oriental rugs — and all those colorful, complicated patterns — can hide a lot ofkid sins.
  • Remember, he's not the boss of you. Say no.

Containing the multiplying toys

Parents need to stylishly reclaim their homes from the kids

  • The wall decals now include sophisticated art looks.
  • It's not just about sports decals anymore.
  • Funky tea towels can revitalize a window.
  • Wicker chairs are a great accessory.

From wall decals to funky tea towels

High style on a low budget: Easy, cheap room revamps

  • Building your own herb garden is easier than you'd think.
  • Those herbs can go on a homemade pizza.
  • Or in a basil martini.

  • From Sherwin-Williams' ColorMix 2011, "Restless Nomad." Colors wander all overthe palette, from dusky darks, to hot vibrant pinks and reds, to earthyfood-influenced hues that evoke eggplants and cabbages.
  • The name of this color: Rice Paddy
  • ColorMix 2011, "Purely Refined." Pared down is the new upscale, and its colorpalette demonstrates similar restraint, filled with understated neutrals, yetwith nuances and undertones that interact in intriguing ways.
  • ColorMix 2011, "Gentle Medley," with hues innocent without being sweet; flirty,yet not feminine. They reflect not just a yearning for youthful innocence andgentler times, but also a refreshing honesty and lack of pretension that arethoroughly modern.
  • ColorMix 2011, "Bold Intervention." Neon-bright, graffiti-bold and digitallyenhanced to 3-D luminosity, they’re the colors of technology, of avant-garde artand of the entrepreneurial spirit.