Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Get organized! (link)

Here are some great tips on the HGTV website: Guide to Keeping Organized : Organizing : Home & Garden Television

Tips include choosing containers and spaces and making efficient use of your time. Often starting small is smart. If you feel overwhelmed, you aren't likely to even try...

Monday, December 29, 2008

Home ideas

In the June 2008 issue of Southern Living is an interesting idea for partially enclosing a porch; the home owner bought two small French doors at a home improvement store and installed them on the side between a column and the house and then a larger French door at the front and attached it to the corner column; she had to add extra trim to make them fit and more trim for looks and then painted the wood. It looks beautiful.

Another interesting idea is decorating sloped ceilings with murals or decals. I think that glowing stars would be fun too or stencilling. And in an outdoor kitchen, the ceiling was enhanced with strips of bamboo.

Btw, here's an idea for making your garden more interesting at night. Get one or more of those solar-powered lights that change color. I have a sphere in my front garden (I got it for Christmas from Gardener's Supply Co.) that I enjoy looking at from the house or the porch or walking out to the garden. A neighbor noticed it the other night and enjoyed watching the colors change. (Red to green to blue). I've seen a similar idea in another gardening catalog recently.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Log homes

The 2009 Annual Buyer's Guide of Log Home Living is full of useful information and advice on building your log home. For instance, your cost depends on square footage, design, materials, location, and your property's layout. Flat is good. There are articles on financing, choosing a home site, types of logs [I prefer the hand-hewn look to round] and wood, and maintenance. There are illustrations of log profiles, more articles, and stories from people who've built--and, of course, lots of pictures. This issue helps you with the choices you'll need to make.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Architecture of the imagination

"[She] took us in through a door that could accomodate a family of giraffes..We stood in a foyer that would have accomodated the Serengeti Plain, at the foot of a vast curving staircase that probably went to heaven.
... We went past the staircase and down the corridor, which narrowed to maybe thirty feet behind the stairs. There was a pair of huge French doors at the far end, and the light poured in happily. On the wall were well-framed oil paintings of people who were almost certainly rich, and pleased about it.
... [In our suite] we explored. It took a while. It is not inaccurate to say simply that there was a living room, two bedrooms, two baths, and a kitchenette. It is also not inaccurate to say that Niagara is a waterfall. The living room was a sufficient size for basketball. ... The room itself was sand-colored: ceiling, rugs, sofas, upholstered chairs. The wood was mahogany. The accent colors were mahogany and black."

From Rough Weather by Robert B. Parker

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Storage solutions

The January 2009 issue of Country Living has some good ideas for storage. The Grassy Toothbrush Organizer by Umbra is certainly different. You stick your toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. in the "grass." A small secretary desk is good for a laptop. An umbrella stand is good for rolls of wrapping paper. [My rolls are standing on the floor in the linen closet at the moment.] Hall trees are useful wherever you put them.

You can hang kitchen utensils and accessories on hooks in fabric bags, but I'd prefer them in a crock or where I could see them, but if you're short of room... And you can hang sponges, gloves, and plastic bags on clothespins with magnets on cupboard doors. (See page 28 on how to do that.)

There's an article on recipe booklet collecting in this issue too. I've always liked those old booklets--interesting graphics and colors. There're also articles on collecting presidential china, which is expensive, and recycling sweaters into felted totes. [That happened to one of my wool sweaters many years ago, but I didn't know what it was called or what I could do about it.]

And I have to mention the colorful, flowered, folding watering can. If it weren't identified, I never would have guessed what it is. I have no idea what the material is. (See unicahome.com.) There are more articles on silhouettes, food, makeovers, etc.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Have a green Christmas (link)

This list gives you suggestions on how to recycle and save money; and I liked the warning at the end: "...please get the decorations down by January 15. After that, the neighbors start whispering about you behind your back." Link: Dreaming of a Green Christmas - Manage My Home

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Organic products catalog

I got Janice's Natural Comfort Collection catalog in the mail recently. It includes mattresses, pillows, bed linens, towels, organic cleaning products, etc. and organic/natural cotton feminine products that I haven't seen before. Of course, most natural/organic products are expensive, and I don't think I've ever ordered from them, but here's the link if you want to check them out: http://www.janices.com/

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Paving materials

I recently read an interesting article on brick walks in the Winter 2008 issue of Early Homes from Old-House Interiors. It includes photos, patterns, and sources, such as Historical Bricks ( historicalbricks.com), Old Carolina Brick (handmadebrick.com), and Sheldon Slate Products (sheldonslate.com). And the article mentions a hardcover monograph, Brick Pavement and Fence Walls (2000), that covers bond patterns, designs, etc. [I like brick paths and patios, but not roads! Our town has some, and they are rough to drive on!!]

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Countertop products (discussion link)

Here's an interesting discussion about granite, concrete, and other countertop products. Apparently some materials do better in different areas: Granite still topping lists? - Topic Powered by eve community (HGTVPro.com)

And here's a look at a study on radon in granite countertops: News : Materials : No Radon Health Risks Uncovered in Granite Countertop Study : HGTVPro.com

Monday, December 8, 2008

Architecture of the Imagination

"Harry looked around her kitchen as though seeing it for the first time. Free of unnecessary adornment, her home reflected her in so many ways. She noticed the pegs by the door, coats hanging, a long bench with a lid underneath, boots within. A sturdy farmer's table sat in the center of the room, and there was random-width heart pine on the floor, worn thin in places of high traffic by close to two hundred years of feet and paws."

From Santa Clawed by Rita Mae Brown & Sneaky Pie Brown

Friday, December 5, 2008

Holiday safety (link)

This is a list that covers tree and light safety, among other things. Be careful with candles, of course, and don't use electric lights on a metallic tree!

Link: HouseMaster eNewsletter

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Eco-friendly flooring (link)

I came across a flooring company's website recently, and they have a list of things they're doing to help the environment, including different ways to recycle and using sustainable flooring: SK Flooring Inc. Appleton, WI > Eco-Friendly Company

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Toilet styles gallery (link)

Some pretty potties here, but I wouldn't take a chance with fish! Link: Slideshow : Photo Gallery: Toilets : HGTVPro.com