Top Stories

  • Repurpose Wood Fencing as Home Décor

    Updated: Tue, Jul 22, 2014

    What’s old is new these days in the home décor field, where used wooden fencing is in high demand. The rugged, weathered look of reclaimed wood fits perfectly with today’s popular shabby chic and country farmhouse decorating styles. Designers and DIYers alike love the look of salvaged fence wood, which is popping up in all kinds of clever repurposed roles. Here are some of the best. Bedroom Furnishings In the bedroom, a roughhewn and handsome appearance is always a plus, especially if we’re talking about a unique headboard crafted from a section of old wooden fence. Another decorating possibility is installing Houston fence wood shelving which will give you a touch of the  atmosphere of a Texas cattle ranch while

  • Eco-Friendly Garden Flower Arrangement

    Updated: Mon, Jul 21, 2014

    Summer is peak season for gorgeous fresh flowers. What a pleasure to walk through fragrant, lushly blooming gardens in backyards and parks! And what a temptation it is to bring the outdoors inside with lovely floral arrangements from your garden. Just be sure to create your displays in an eco-friendly way. Making Cut Blooms Last Longer Long-lasting indoor arrangements mean more flowers will remain outside for all to enjoy – including environmentally essential bees and butterflies. Extend the life of blossoms you pick by following a few simple steps. Select perfect buds which are newly opening, early in the morning before they have a chance to wilt. Cut stems on the diagonal to encourage water absorption.

  • 12 Things to Do with Your Old Shoes

    Updated: Sun, Jul 20, 2014

    Outworn, outgrown or out of style, old shoes are a fact of life. And unlike easily recycled or repurposed items such as secondhand clothing or empty plastic bottles, no-longer-new footgear poses a dilemma. What exactly is a green-thinking person supposed to do with leftover loafers or rundown runners? Well, depending on their condition, you can take your pick. Restore down-at-heel shoes to a reusable state with a little TLC. Recycle by donating to a good cause. Or, as a last resort, repurpose. Restore 1. To keep your shoes feeling comfortable longer, rotate several pairs. This allows them to dry out between wearings and extends their life. Store in a place with some ventilation - a closet floor or shelf is fine, but a shoe bo

  • Curb Appeal: Simple Fixes to Boost Your Home’s Value

    Updated: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    Curb appeal is that essential “it” factor which makes your home stand out from its neighbors – in a good way. If you are looking to sell your home but lack a huge amount of time or cash to invest in exterior remodeling, there’s no need to despair. These relatively quick, cheap fixes will make a surprising improvement in your home’s appearance, increasing both its salability and its value. Deal with obvious signs of neglect first. Take care of any rotten spots in your home’s exterior, clear out clogged gutters, repair crumbling steps or patch and reseal a cracked driveway as an urgent priority … that is, if you want potential buyers to stick around long enough to notice all the other attractive improvements you’ve ma

  • Transform Your Home without Buying a Thing

    Updated: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    Are you depressed by the blah look of your personal space when you come home at the end of the day? Maybe you have a stack of old clothes, unfiled paperwork and cassette tapes un-listened to since 1989 that you just can’t find the wherewithal to deal with. You’re usually too embarrassed to invite people over to your place and on the rare occasions when you do, you run off at the mouth describing how awesome your place could be someday, if you had the time to take care of it. Instead of avoiding or daydreaming, how about actually tackling the task of making your place awesome … one small step at a time? Here’s a practical guide. 1. Work with a buddy or two.

  • What Color Should Your Kitchen Cabinets Be?

    Updated: Mon, Jul 14, 2014

    The kitchen is the heart of your living space, and an excellent place to express your personality. Today's kitchen cabinets come in a vast array of colors. Which to choose for your home? The key word here is "your" - pick a color you love that will make your family feel at home. Here's a guide to six of today's most popular cabinet colors, their advantages, disadvantages and how to handle them. 1. WHITE + Plus White is classic, cool and clean-looking. It looks right in every type of kitchen, from ultra-modern to country farmhouse style. - Minus An all-white color scheme can give a cold impression. White cabinets, particularly those with a high-gloss finish, show the dirt readily. Some folks find this color -

  • Beautiful Built-In Benches for Your Deck

    Updated: Wed, Jul 9, 2014

    Whether your home already features an exterior deck or you are planning to build one, a built-in bench or two will add immensely to its beauty and usefulness. A built-in bench is a décor focal point that encourages family and guests to gather round. It gives off the message: “Sit down, relax and enjoy the summertime.” Here's the lowdown on built-in benches for your outdoor space. Beauty Built-in benches create a classy custom appearance for your deck that will complement its original design. To enhance their good looks, use your Denver carpentry skills and incorporate handsome planters for flowers (or perhaps fresh herbs) into the design of the benches, whether as part of the seat back, the edges or an overhanging arbor.

  • What’s Your Ironing Personality? A Quiz

    Updated: Mon, Jul 7, 2014

    Ironing is a subject that brings up an enormous split in attitudes. Some folks achieve a Zen-like state of tranquility at the ironing board steaming their wrinkles away. Others would rather crouch on hands and knees scrubbing the bathroom floor with a toothbrush. How do you relate to this household chore? Take our tongue-in-cheek Ironing Personality Quiz and find out. 1. Which statement sums up your ironing philosophy? A)     I press neckties, underwear and microfiber cleaning cloths. B)      I give a quick touch-up to cotton or linen outfits once in a while. C)      What’s an iron? 2. Do you iron your bed sheets? A)  &nb

  • 9 DIY Accent Wall Updates

    Updated: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    Back in that misty time between the era of avocado refrigerators and Corian countertops, the accent wall was born. When showing up at work wearing mismatched earrings was trendy rather than a sign that you'd overslept and gotten dressed in a tearing hurry, it was considered the height of style to paint one wall of a room an intense, dramatic color like rust or deepest mauve. In fact many of those who did it may have been motivated more by fear than fashion - fear of painting the whole room or, in the case of renters, fear of what their landlord would say to a total immersion hunter green paint job. Well, what goes around comes around ... and in the second decade of the 21st century, accent walls are back. But they have a modern twi

  • Should You Swap Your Tub for a Shower?

    Updated: Sun, Jul 6, 2014

    Showers are big bathroom news right now. Up-to-the-minute features such as stone wall tiles, pebble floors, rain showerheads, body sprayers or no-threshold showers are making this often-neglected little room into an exciting décor statement. Decorators recommend imbuing the bathroom with a relaxing spa-like feeling. As part of the process, switching out the traditional tub for a shower-only bathroom is becoming more and more popular. Is this trend right for you and your home? Your Motivation If you’re itching to throw the tub out with the bathwater, first consider why you want to make the move. You may be motivated plain and simple by the current dilapidated state of your bathtub.

  • Cast Iron Cookware Questions and Answers

    Updated: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

    Cast iron cookware has long been appreciated by professional chefs and home cooks alike for its excellent heat retention properties. It’s also hard wearing and long lasting, with no fiddly bits to break or get lost. Add classic good looks to those qualities and you’ll see that there’s a lot to like about cast iron. It does come with a couple of problems and call for some special handling, though. Here are the facts you're looking for. Q. How do I season cast iron cookware? A. All cast iron pots and pans need to be seasoned to build up a protective coating before their first use, unless they are specifically sold as “pre-seasoned.

  • Natural Sources of Nitrogen for Your Garden

    Updated: Thu, Jul 3, 2014

    Recently, the leaves of my beautiful geranium plants started to look a lot less beautiful. In fact they were downright yellow at the edges. And with the dry spell we’ve been having, the “off” color definitely was not due to overwatering. When I checked the Internet for answers, it seemed the problem with my posies might be lack of nitrogen. This mineral is one of the most important nutrients for plants, necessary for their production of proteins, amino acids and DNA. So I called the savviest gardening expert I know – my mother – for advice on how to naturally supplement my geraniums’ diet and give them the nitrogen they crave. Her immediate response: “Coffee grounds.” Coffee Grounds Mom was right.

  • 5 Sweeping Statements about Brooms

    Updated: Wed, Jul 2, 2014

    Much as we might want to deny it, housework is a basic fact of adult life. And because everyone needs at least a rudimentary path to their doorway, you can’t get much more basic than cleaning the floor. Brooms have been doing faithful floor duty for centuries and you most likely have one in your home right now. But how much do you know about this humble household implement? Choose “True” or “False” about the following five statements to find out. 1. The first machine-made brooms appeared in the early 1800s. True. Up until the turn of the 19th century, all brooms were made by hand. The general procedure consisted of lashing twigs or strands of fibrous material together with twine and attaching the bundle to some kind

  • 8 Top Home Renovation Planning Mistakes to Avoid

    Updated: Tue, Jul 1, 2014

    Folk wisdom says that remodeling your home is hell while it’s in progress and heaven when it’s done. To make sure you end up with that heavenly feeling at your project’s completion, plan ahead carefully and avoid these eight common home remodel planning mistakes. 1. Neglecting to do your homework. Another useful saying here is: “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” Do your research, discuss your ideas with your partner and other family members, and be sure of what you want and why you want it before you hire a Long Beach remodeling contractor. If you need help, consult a designer. Looking for California home fashion inspiration online or in glossy design magazines is free (if you borrow those mags from the library!) an

  • Home Energy Audit: DIY and Save Money

    Updated: Mon, Jun 30, 2014

    Lower your energy bills and keep your family more comfortable. If that sounds good to you, it may well be time to perform a home energy audit. This procedure tracks power consumption and seeks out areas where energy is being wasted. While a professional energy audit with high tech equipment will give you the most comprehensive results, doing it yourself is free and will give you a good general picture of your home's performance. Here’s what to do. Online Tools For Home Energy Consumption Analysis You may be all excited about climbing your roof to check for leaks and crawling around the basement inspecting insulation. However, the best place to start your DIY home energy audit is actually sitting at a desk.

  • 5 Simple Solutions to De-Stink Your Towels

    Updated: Thu, Jun 26, 2014

    Do you ever take a load of just-washed towels out of the dryer, only to find that they have … well … an odor, and not a pleasant one? In fact, they may smell downright musty. It could well be that, instead of getting your towels really clean, laundering is leaving them less than fresh due to detergent and fabric softener buildup. Here are five inexpensive, green and effective antidotes. Vinegar. Pour a cup or two of distilled white vinegar or half that amount of cleaning vinegar in with the towels just prior to starting the washing machine. Alternatively, replace your commercial fabric softener with plain white vinegar.

  • 10 Things to Do with a Lidless Teapot

    Updated: Wed, Jun 25, 2014

    A teapot is a pretty sad sight without a lid, whether lost, stolen or smashed. There is a certain element of frustration - the pot itself is perfectly sound, yet perfectly useless without its topper. Or is it? Take a look at these 10 things to do with a lidless teapot. 1. Teapot Rehab If the lid is broken, you can start by trying to glue the pieces back together. (Duh!) The lid is not as structurally essential as the handle, meaning it's less likely to re-break while you're pouring and leave you with a hot mess ... literally. 2. Stuff Holder Failing a repair, the best way to repurpose a vessel that used to hold tea is as a holder of other things - like pencils (does anyone even use those