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On Trend: Holiday House Tours, Zen Painting and the Joy of Cookies

Here's what buzzing in the Pittsburgh home and lifestyle industry.

Home for the Holidays

There's no place like these homes for the holidays. We rounded up some of the area's best festive house tours

Lawrenceville Hospitality House Tour
Kick off the fall season by nosing around Lawrenceville. The annual Hospitality House Tour takes place from 12 to 5 p.m., Oct. 7. Hosted by the Lawrenceville Hospitality Association since 2002, the event includes treats at each stop along with acoustic music performed by local artists. (lha15201.org)

Symphony Splendor Tour
Enjoy the sounds of the season with the Symphony Splendor Tour. Taking place Nov. 18, the tour of homes across the South Hills features carolers and live holiday music. Now in its fifth year, the event benefits the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. (psa75.org)

Old Allegheny Victorian Christmas House Tour
Travel back in time and experience Christmas in the 19th century as you tour six restored Victorian homes in the Allegheny West neighborhood on the North Side. Taking place Dec. 7-8, the tour also includes an opportunity to see the Louis Tiffany stained glass windows at Calvary United Methodist Church. (alleghenywest.org/tour)

Norwin Historical Society Annual Holiday House Tour
Sponsored by the Norwin Historical Society for more than 20 years, the “Home for the Holidays” tour Dec. 1 in Westmoreland County features homes that range from historic to contemporary. (norwinhistoricalsociety.org)

The Joy of Cookies, Cookie Tour
Indulge your sweet tooth at the Joy of Cookies, Cookie Tour in Lawrenceville taking place Nov. 30 - Dec. 2. This self-guided tour allows you to browse shops in Lawrenceville’s business district — and eat free cookies at each stop. (lvpgh.com)

Zelienople Historical Society Annual Christmas House Tour
The Zelienople Historical Society’s annual Christmas House Tour takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Dec. 1. Celebrating its 26th year, the tour consists of homes decorated in a variety of styles. (visitbutlercounty.com)

photo courtesy ppg paints

Painting Made Easy

Looking to paint your home without any hassle? Paintzen allows customers to choose colors, generate a quote, get matched with vetted painters and book professional painting services for their home or business — all through the Paintzen website. The company, partnering with PPG Paints, expanded its services to Pittsburgh this summer. Following a series of simple questions online, Paintzen also matches users with professional painters. Jobs typically begin within a few days of booking. (paintzen.com)

Get Crafty
Handmade Arcade returns to the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, Downtown, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Dec. 8. Known as Pittsburgh’s largest independent craft fair, the free event features artists and designers from all over the country showcasing their work. This year’s event is expected to be the largest to date: It will feature more than 66 first-time vendors with 190 total. (handmadearcade.org)

photo by ryan howard photography

Sleep Beautifully

AURATEK Textiles’ bedding claims to do more than keep you comfortable when you sleep, it aims to improve your skin. Founded in 2016 by Pittsburgh-native Allison Howard, the company began selling its bedsheets and pillowcases to the public with a month-long pre-order in July. AURATEK’s fabric is made from a combination of natural and synthetic yarns that balance moisture, friction and temperature conditions for healthier skin and a better night’s sleep. While the company is focusing on selling products to hotels, spas and wellness resorts, Howard says the products will be available again to the public in the future. (auratektextiles.com)

photo courtesy Lily & Val

Ready to Party

The latest book from local online shop owner Valerie McKeehan features more than 100 hand-drawn, tear-out paper crafts. “Life of the Party Papercrafting,” which went on sale in September, has everything you need to host the perfect party, including cards, coasters and menus, as well as double-sided scrapbook paper. McKeehan owns online shop Lily & Val, which specializes in illustrated chalk-art designs. Her book retails for $19.99 through Amazon. (lilyandval.com)

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