Category: Eclectic Homes

Get It Done: Organize the Toilet for Well-Earned Bliss

This weekend we’re going to jump into a space which can be wholly organized in a couple of hours: the toilet. This project will satisfy those who prefer to jump from room to room as well those who prefer to finish one room all at one time.

We’re going to strike all those drawers, medicine cabinets and loose baskets floating in your own bathroom. Even the most well-organized neatnik probably has a couple of ancient resort shampoo bottle samples or drugs out of several years back still floating about. After all, these drawers can be long and deep, and are often quite full of things.

Wear your comfy shoes and your cleaning clothing, and let’s go for this toilet.

De Meza + Architecture

Inspiration

Don’t let this picture make you feel too terrible — it was staged for a show house. It will provide great inspiration though; I especially like the glowing yellow drawer interiors.

Note: Beware of using pretty ceramic boxes, planters or bowls to keep your bits and bobs organized. They often chip and break due to knocking into one another each time you open and shut the drawer. If you are simply dying to use them, you can glue the bowls and small trays to the base of the drawer.

AMI Designs

I love a clean counter top. It makes your bathroom seem bigger and makes it a more relaxing spot to invest some time in. That is our objective.

Michelle Hinckley

Organize Your Bathroom Products

Approximate time:
You to 3 hours; it actually depends upon how big your toilet is and just how much stuff you have

Materials required:
• Wastebasket
• Recycling box
• Donation box
• Container for old drugs
• A few boxes or baskets for organizing the items which you’ll be keeping
• Cleaning wipes
• Drawer organizers (optional)
• Contact newspaper (optional)

Hint: Take a before shot of the messiest drawer or cupboard so that you can feel extra fulfilled when this is all over.

Jordan Parnass Digital Architecture

We’re going to start little to get some confidence going. Head for the shower and eliminate any item that is used less than once every week. Every person should require only one sort of shampoo and conditioner (better yet, use the same manufacturer), soap or bodywash, razor and maybe a facial cleanser and shaving lotion.

Get this deep-conditioning hair remedy and mud mask from there. You may keep one exfoliator. Odds are, that loofah issue is encouraging its ecosystem. Toss it.

Throw everything that you will use within the next few months but less than a week at the “store” basket.

Pat yourself on the back; you’ve already finished an organizing job.

Evaluate

Eliminate all of the goods and other items in your drawers, baskets and cabinets and on shelves. Odds are, there’s a mud mask you got at a swag bag in a party five years back, a rusty razor, expired sunscreen (that is harmful; yours actually got a serious burn thanks to a old SPF 30 that had lost its electricity this summer), a crusty old bottle of cream and old drugs.

Clean

Give all the drawers and shelves a good wipe-down. Insert contact paper or skidproof liner if you prefer.

Type

This is the largest aspect of the task. You wish to group like items together. A few tips:

1. Everyday items. Group that the items that you use daily. Including your moisturizer, cosmetics, face lotion, shaving items and whatever else is within your daily routine. You will want to keep these close at hand. As a consequence, that you should designate a drawer, a basket, or perhaps a box with a lid in reach of this mirror.

House & Hold

Harry Allen Pill Box 8 – $18

2. Medications. If you are utilized to taking vitamins and medications as part of your morning or evening routine, locate a handy spot for them in here. I highly recommend a days-of-the-week pillbox; I never believed I’d need one but now I can not live without it. Keep it in a place protected from small ones.

A note about old drugs: Just tossing them in the trash or flushing them is not always prudent; check the FDA’s updates on the best way to dispose of them property. Most physicians will accept the bottles for recycling.

The Furniture Guild

3. Hair products and appliances. Should you use a good deal of tools to your hair on a daily basis, you’ll want those within an easy-to-find spot, in addition to a means to manage their strings. Among the most recent trends has been rectified from salons: custom cabinets which hold hair appliances and also have a place to plug them in. We will not be accomplishing this now, but it’s something to consider for your dream-house wish list.

Atypical Type A

4. The remainder. I like to group similar items together as you see: first aid items; dental-related goods; over-the-counter drugs; cosmetics; hair-related items; glasses, contacts and saline; toilet cleaning products; cotton balls, cotton swabs, facial wipes and toner; kid-related materials; beach-related stuff … you get the idea.

Rebekah Zaveloff | KitchenLab

Put Everything Off

Now that you have everything sorted, how you keep it organized is dependent upon the size of your toilet, the storage you have and what you like.

In a bathroom with a pedestal sink and not much storage space, maintain a tidy shelf of things you need in the sink, like soap, and a pretty basket to corral everyday items. You might also want to put money into a mirrored medicine cabinet to store your toothpaste and toothbrush, hairbrush and other items.

I like to use small baskets to around up cleaning supplies, washcloths, lotions and all of the other items mentioned. I use a cute enamel bucket bathside for the items I’d like to have about during a boil. You would be amazed how great some of the smaller items seem in mason jars; I use them to corral soaps, cotton swabs and cotton balls and create a cute arrangement of them in my medicine cabinet.

Design Solutions

MagnaPods Makeup Organizers

Insert Storage Capacity

Once you set things away, you’ll realize immediately if your storage area is lacking. Think about where you might have some wasted space, like the back of a door (watch the shoe organizer employed for goods in a previous photo), the inside of a medicine cupboard door, some floor area (for baskets) or over the commode, where you might fit a rack.

Geneva Cabinet Company, LLC

The backs of cupboard doors can benefit from storage racks.

FRONTGATE

simplehuman Triple Shower Dispenser – $69.50

You may be prepared to take the shower dispenser leap. A good deal of people I know swear by these things, especially for households; you wind up taking smaller dollops of shampoo, conditioner and body wash than you would from the bottle (did you realize that you really need only about a quarter-size dollop of shampoo?) . They also tame those unwieldy megabottles you drag home from Costco.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Roll-Out Under-Sink Drawer – $74.99

Reaching the rear of a bottom vanity cupboard can be just like an archeological dig occasionally. A rolling cupboard makes the most of the space to both sides of your sink pipes.

Organize

Neatnix Finishing Tray, 2-Section Clear Cosmetics Stax – $11.49

In case your drawers make it impossible to locate anything, invest in certain organizers. You do not need to buy a glamorous Lucite one; you can create your own by cutting up cardboard box bottoms (like cereal boxes) or arranging tin lids from jars.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

I love this organizer, since it makes keeping the drawer tidy a pleasure. It can also display jewelry or office supplies beautifully.

Organize-It

Wall-Mount Flat Iron and Hair Dryer Holder – $12.99

You might have to create use of a blank wall, whether with racks for certain appliances …

… or with some catchall baskets, open shelves or an excess medication cabinet. If you go for the baskets, then hang them in a perfectly coordinated arrangement. This will make them seem less cluttered.

Reward Yourself

Evaluate your before picture for your beautifully organized accomplishment. Now that you know where your fancy bath salts are, fill up the tub and have a nice long soak.

Prove us Share your best toilet organizing trick at the Comments section below!

More weekend projects

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Contemporary Beauty Within an Ontario Home

Monica Brown and Mike Levy knew exactly what they wanted in a new property. For Brown, it was performance; for Levy, details and aesthetics. Together they communicated their dreams to Bayview Design and Cedar Hill Custom Homes to make a home that would feel and look exactly right for their family. The result is a contemporary and updated home with sleek finishes, durable stuff, clean-lined furniture and a beautiful backyard oasis.

in a Glance
Who lives here: Monica Brown, Mike Levy, son Grayson and Weimaraner Luca
Location: Sarnia, Ontario, Canada
Size: 2,000 square feet; 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms on the main level; 2 bedrooms, 1 bathroom on the lower level

The living room’s cathedral ceiling attracts visitors in at the entry. The fireplace, flanked by shuttered windows, is clad in ledge stone rock. A pair of dark leather sofas have adjustable backs for added comfort. Two white Barcelona chairs round out the seating area.

Laurie Christopher and Susan Oliver out of urbanescape helped with the property’s color palette. “Gray is complicated and beautiful, it will not go out of fashion, and you can add color for it,” says Brown.

In the dining area, three oversized wall mirrors visually expand the space. Charcoal gray upholstered linen chairs match the marble tabletop. “I enjoy the fact that the kitchen is not visible from this distance,” Brown says.

A rectangular sheer-fabric ceiling fixture out of Twin Bridge Lighting adds ambience, plus a contemporary white sideboard offers display and storage space. Dark hardwood floors from Palazzi Flooring runs throughout the primary floor of the home.

The kitchen cabinets have a warm, rich glow that works beautifully with all the granite counters. Stainless Appliances, hardware and contemporary backless bar stools add shine. The couple worked with Mylen to design their distance.

Two sinks and a huge island increase the kitchen’s performance. French doors with a transom open to the yard.

Interior doors: Home Hardware

The couple wanted the indoor-outdoor flow of their home to be eloquent. “We needed a home where we’d never have to leave,” says Brown. Adam Allison of Leaf Garden Design helped them create this relaxing outdoor space.

A seating area near the gas fireplace is where the household cozies up and relaxes together on warmer evenings. Beech trees add soft color over the fence line.

A graceful waterfall flows to the pool. The sound makes the family feel like they’re on vacation in their own backyard. Washington Pools installed the rectangular clean-lined concrete pool with a bullnose finish.

Removable, flexible fencing to the pool out of Guardian Pool Fencing is now saved. When needed, it’s installed by slipping the fence posts to sunken stainless cups in the concrete surround.

Rocks and pebbles keep the indoor shade palette. Water flows from a massive rock placed across the fence in this arrangement.

Concrete slabs laid in pebbles form a path from the storage area in the side of the house to the pool area. Lighting is subtly installed in the pathway and throughout the backyard to highlight plantings.

Back indoors, the master bedroom brings the outside in with colorful greenery in the art over the bed. The home has a split bedroom design — that the master suite is located on one side of the living area, while the third and second bedrooms and bathroom are located on the opposite side.

The master bathroom features a clean-lined tub under the shuttered window along with a walk-in cupboard.

Two Ikea mirrored medicine cabinets are hung side by side over the floating vanity to get a clutter-free cosmetic. Brown and Levy prefer to mix investment pieces with budget-friendly things for an affordable but luxury appearance.

Ieteke

In Grayson’s area, lively patterned bedding and accessories are added to brighten up the soft gray walls and drapery. Ikea cabinets provide storage, and stickers match the car-patterned bedding.

This main floor full bathroom is located between the second and third bedrooms. Similar to the other bathrooms, the aesthetic is kept minimal and contemporary. The heavy burden of the stone tiling made installation challenging in this toilet. Each of the toilet tiling is out of Toronto’s Tile Shoppe.

The downstairs lounge is a comfortably carpeted space utilized to amuse friends. “We love to come home to our little harbor. It reflects us and what we prefer to perform,” says Brown. The doorway leads to two guest bedrooms and a third bathroom.

An extra-wide sliding door, arranged from The Sliding Door Company, provides entry to Levy’s sports space from the couch. The couple plans to install a large-screen TV in this area.

Another broad sliding door in the lounge leads into a playroom for Grayson. A third sliding door leads to the weight and exercise room, once more allowing the household to be at home for a lot of their activities.

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Guest Picks: 20 Gifts to Tickle Your Funny Bone

I wouldn’t always use the word”tacky” to describe my handpicked choice of that is gift-able. Wait . Yes, I would. They are tacky. Delightfully tacky and tasteless and campy, and you also know someone whose home will be better . — Ellen from Nouveau Stitch

Mookie Gifts

‘A Christmas Story’ 40-Inch Leg Lamp

We’ve got these in our home. You ought to have seen the faces of those five exchange students we had here last week. They eventually relaxed once they understood that the leg wasn’t real. It is impossible to explain to those who don’t know a”major award” when they see one.

Fred Flare

Buddha Butter Dish – $26

You’ll no longer have to remind hubby it is time to hit the treadmill. Just set this butter dish in front of him and silently gaze back and forth between the him and dish. He’ll find the message.

Fred Flare

Fred & Friends Wine Monkey – $15

What greater way is there to introduce a bottle of the best 2-Buck Chuck than put in the hollowed stomach and brain cavity of a sock monkey? Both were made for one another.

Amazon

The Jesus Toaster – $27

Perfect toast each time. Every time.

ThinkGeek

The OCD Cutting Board – $24.99

When Martha says to make those carrot strips two inches, by gosh, they had better not be 2.1 inches!

Fred Flare

Cardboard Buck Jr.. Trophy – $32

No live animals were hurt in the creation of the piece. Deer-cardboardery, while previously known as a lost art, is alive and well and kitsching it up from the den.

MoMA Store

Wine Glass Lampshades – $16

They’re glasses — no, they’re lamps! They’re glamps!

Etsy

IPad two Cat Felt Sleeve by Boutique ID

Hissssss, I said it is my iPad. If your good arm means anything to you, I would suggest you move along.

Fred Flare

IMM-Living Aphrodite USB Hub – $46

Aphrodite, greek goddess of love, beauty, joy, procreation and the million digital gadgets in my desk.

Mookie Gifts

A Fragile Dog Funny Doormat – $18.99

Therefore it would behoove you to slowly back away from the door, unless you have something especially meaty in that present bag.

UncommonGoods

Hand-Embroidered Region Pillow – $149

Have you got a relative who won’t get with it and use a GPS? Bring them into the 19th Century for this GPS pillow. That is right, a global positioning system that not only gets them within 500 miles of the destination, but also supports the spine while they’re sleeping in the rest stop.

Mookie Gifts

High Heel Cake Server – $16.99

Shoes and pie — just two things I never believed should be used together. Better the kitten heel than the penny loafer.

Fishs Eddy

Rush in Grease Spoon Rest – $11.95

The squeaky wheel, or in this case the spoon rest, gets the grease.

UncommonGoods

Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag – $16.25

Why invest in Baccarat crystal when a faux-baggie is going to do?

UncommonGoods

Paper Pots – $39

These pots are for when the toilet paper absolutely, positively shouldn’t be viewed with the naked eye.

UncommonGoods

Face Mug – $18

Oh dear, Mrs. Fields was reading those cross-marketing books again. What’s next? Cookie dough antacids.

Fishs Eddy

Strip Tea Glasses 13.5ounce, Set of 4 – $22

I really don’t think this is what the Victorians had in mind when they talked bringing a Pole to tea.

MoMA Store

Tim Burton’s Playing Cards – $5

Add these to your weekly Texas Hold’Em marathons and introduce some melancholy into the mix. Your visitors will be too depressed to ante.

Fred Flare

Kit Kat Clock – $60

This is a funky and retro clock with cattitude. It was likely invented by cats whose caretakers had missed one a lot of 6 a.m. feedings.

Lamps Plus

Pinguino Black And Yellow Accent Lamp – $89.91

Penguins mate for life, meaning you’ll need a set of these lamps.

Next: Fantastic Stocking Stuffers Under $15

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Guest Groups: Versatile White Serveware

‘Tis your season to party! If you are planning on hosting a holiday gathering, do not miss your serveware. White serving pieces are as versatile as they are practical, and will be the base of any well-styled party table. They work with any decor and every event, so you’ll be sure to bring out them over and over again during the year. Beth in The Modern Home

CB2

Cuatro Platters – $1.95

Cuatro platters are entertaining all-stars, and apparently I’m not the only person who thinks so. Great for serving and dining, these puppies scored an impressive five stars out of 177 testimonials on CB2.

CB2

White Curve Server – $3.95

Purchased in multiples, this server lets you design any tablescape you can imagine.

UncommonGoods

Rainbow Hors D’oeuvres Establish – $44

These arches readily add style and interest to the buffet table.

CB2

Dome Bowls – $3.95

I really like how slick and minimal these bowls really are. They’d look fantastic holding only about anything.

Amazon

Ceramic Soup Spoons – $9.50

Ceramic soup spoons are perfect for individual appetizers and result in a nice screen.

Bed Bath & Beyond

Libbey® Only Tasting Round Tasting Bowl – $19.99

Here is another wonderful piece for individual appetizers. These mini bowls are slick and contemporary.

Crate&Barrel

Footed Serving Bowl – $39.95

This footed base is a versatile bit. Use it for serving or for a centerpiece screen.

Crate&Barrel

Rectangle Rim Platters – $9.95

Rectangle rim platters are a timeless piece for entertaining. Simple and flexible, they maintain anything from appetizers to main dishes and work well with any style. I certainly have these in my arsenal.

CB2

Nagoya 3-Part Server – $14.95

This fun collection includes two plates and one bowl that fit together like a puzzle.

Bed Bath & Beyond

BIA Cordon Bleu Swirl Dish – $5.99

This swirl dish could result in an intriguing food screen.

Bed Bath & Beyond

BIA Cordon Bleu 5″ Divided Dish – $4.99

This 1 kinda looks like a dog bowl. However, in the event that you’re able to get past that, it could be great for serving condiments.

Crate&Barrel

Cheese Markers, Set of Six $9.95

Like cheese? I do! These markers make it easy to identify different cheeses — or any cuisine — at the table. They’d make a fantastic hostess gift.

Beth Young

7-Piece Finger Food Set – $39.51

I’d omit the steel tray in a buffet setting, but otherwise I really dig this set from Blomus.

Crate&Barrel

Cheese & Cracker Server – $24.95

The raised center of this dish makes for easy access to cheese, etc..

Emmo Home

Alessi La Stanza dello Scirocco Fruit Bowl, White – $70

Set your rolls into this artsy ultra-mod bowl, and you are bound to begin a few conversations over it.

Crate&Barrel

Swoop Bowls – $4.95

These bowls are just another Crate & Barrel favored you are bound to find lots of applications for.

IKEA

SKYN Serving Plate – $19.99

This serving plate from IKEA has fitting bowls that are almost identical to the bowls listed above. Surprisingly, the purchase price of the bowls is significantly less expensive at Crate & Barrel.

ASPLUND

Cookie Tray – $151.88

The cookie cutter tray by Stina Sandwall is perfect for serving up all sorts of fairly treats.

IKEA

IKEA 365+ Serving Bowl – $4.99

It’s hard to beat the purchase price of this serving bowl from the IKEA 365+ series — or the design for this issue!

Roselli Design

Square Porcelain Display Riser

Roselli has, without a doubt, the best looking cake racks on the market. The square is my favorite, but the round and coupe risers are simply as sweet.

Next: More versatile serveware thoughts

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The way to Fix a Loose Oven Handle to a Frigidaire FES367ABG

A loose oven handle can be both annoying and potentially dangerous when it prevents you from functioning the door reliably. The handle in your Frigidaire FES367ABG oven is attached to the door via a pair of screws located on the interior of the unit. In order to access and tighten the screws you have to get rid of the door and take off its interior panel.

Turn off power to the Frigidaire oven at your house’s circuit breaker panel. If you’re unsure which breaker controls your oven, turn off power to your whole home. When power is off, unplug the oven in the wall outlet to which it is linked.

Open the oven’s door to reveal its hinges. Support the doorway with a seat or your elbow, if needed, then slide the hinge locks outward to unlock them. Each hinge has its own lock.

Lift up the door and off in the oven and then lay it face-down on a flat, level surface. A table or the ground will suffice. Think about having a friend help you lift the doorway if you find it too heavy to transfer safely on your own.

Unfasten the screws around the inside edge of the doorway and place them apart. When all the screws are removed, gently lift the internal panel out of the doorway.

Examine the two door-handle screws located in the upper edge of the doorway. Look for corrosion, rust and other damage and, even if present, remove the screws and then replace them. If there is absolutely no damage, tighten the screws by turning them clockwise with a screwdriver until the handle is no longer loose.

Reseat the internal panel in the doorway and refasten the screws before the panel is tight. Lift the door back into position, refasten the hinges and then slide the hinge locks back into position.

Test the handle to make sure it is still tight, verify that the door opens and closes properly and then plug the oven back into the wall outlet and turn the power back on at the circuit breaker.

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What kind of Paint Can I Utilize Bathroom Wainscoting?

If you’re planning on lining bathroom walls using wainscoting, you need to protect it from moisture. You don’t have to utilize oil-based or exterior paint, though; inside latex paint works well while aiding the paneling look its best.

Mildewcide and Primer

The walls in a bathroom, especially those around the tub and tub, are subjected to condensation and humidity, and many semi-gloss latex paints can defy that. They will better withstand the mold that can grow in such circumstances, however, if you include a mildewcide into the top coat. Since wainscoting is made from wood or fiberboard, you can’t get away with a self-priming paint. A shellac- or latex-based wood tip is critical to seal the grain and improve adhesion. Tinting the primer can help avoid the need for multiple top coats.

Finish With Latex Paint or Polyurethane

Generally, semi-gloss wall paint is durable enough to handle the requirements in a regular bathroom, however not all bathrooms are average. If yours has poor ventilation or you have had previous difficulties with peeling paint and mold, your wainscoting may require a coat of full-gloss latex enamel to correctly protect it. You may prefer to stain the wainscoting as opposed to painting it. If so, safeguard the stain with clear polyurethane; water- and solvent-based products are equally acceptable.

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Sustainable Living in 196 Square Feet

Chris and Malissa Tack did not believe they had been living in surplus. Content in their 800-square-foot apartment they had everything that they wanted. However, a spontaneous crash course in small living changed their minds. Turns out, they could want less.

Following weeks of planning and more than 800 hours of building, the couple had a new residence, with 133 square feet of living area plus a 63-square-foot sleeping loft above the kitchen. Set to a 20- by 81/2-foot trailer, the house feels comfy, comfortable and anything but cramped. “We believe that small living boosts living within your means,” says Chris. “That may be a great option for many men and women.”

in a Glance
Who lives here: Chris and Malissa Tack
Location: Snohomish, Washington
Size: 133 square feet of living area plus a 63-square-foot sleeping attic

The Very Small Tack House

The Tacks installed solar panels to power the home, although they can connect into the local grid if necessary. As a result of the panels along with the couple’s low electricity requirements, the solar array meets most (if not all) of the couple’s power needs during the summer. In the winter they spend only $1 per day on electricity.

The home sits on a 5-acre home with a different home and a studio apartment. The couple pays the owner of this parcel to the right to park their home here and also to utilize the washer, dryer and a nearby toilet.

The Very Small Tack House

Since the few employs another toilet on the property, the only water that leaves their home is graywater in the sink and shower. “We are very conscientious of these goods we use for cleaning and bathing,” says Chris. “That which we use is biodegradable”

The Very Small Tack House

The front door opens to a joint live-work space. Malissa, who works in 3-D design, planned the entire home herself. “When building such a small area, particularly on a trailer where you have fairly set measurements, you’ve got a certain amount of creative freedom,” says Chris.

The Tacks did everything they could to decrease power use and help save space. Each the lights use LED bulbs. Malissa’s computer monitor doubles as a television, cutting back on accessories, power and unnecessary space. Her desk folds down when not being used.

The Very Small Tack House

A 9- by 7-foot sleeping attic sits above the kitchen and bathroom on the other side of the home. The attic fits the couple’s queen mattress perfectly, using a floor-to-ceiling height of just 41 inches in the peak. Dormers provide a little extra headroom on the sides.

The Very Small Tack House

The residence is filled with smart storage options, such as this storage seat in the living room. Chris designed it so it may be taken away entirely, if necessary. “Since we had never lived in such a small space before, we didn’t know what unforeseen factors could prompt us need to utilize the space differently,” he says.

The Very Small Tack House

Natural materials keep the home safe and ecofriendly. Wool insulation in the walls and subfloor keep a consistent temperature, while a tung oil coating protects the pine walls without the risk of off-gassing.

The Very Small Tack House

Of course, moving from an 800-square-foot apartment to less than 200 square feet meant the Tacks had to radically decrease their possessions. “It was not as hard as we thought it would be,” Chris says. “There were books and magazines of mine that we’d moved into Michigan, to New York City and then across the nation to Washington. It seemed quite silly, if you consider it.”

The few hung on to their favorites and must-haves, and then donated nearly everything else to Goodwill, simply selling a few bigger items on Craigslist.

The Very Small Tack House

The kitchen was the toughest part of the home to design. Initially the couple wanted to fit an oven to the space, however they installed a simple two-burner propane cooktop, very similar to what is used on ships, rather.

The Very Small Tack House

Because the kitchen is really near the toilet, the Tacks installed only one sink in the kitchen to the entire home.

The Very Small Tack House

The owner of the property is a licensed plumber and electrician; he also helped Chris and Malissa determine the installation for their own kitchen and toilet. They built a special spot for their cat’s litter box to the left of this composting toilet.

The Very Small Tack House

The shower is a classic oak wine barrel, sawed in half. After each shower, they carefully rinse it out with fresh water and remove any extra water using a sponge to keep the unsealed wood in good shape.

The tiny house gets its water supply in the habit 38-gallon steel water tank. An electric water heater can be wired into a switch, so the few can turn it on just when they need hot water.

The Very Small Tack House

An integrated cabinet retains all their hanging clothes and Chris’ camera gear.

The Very Small Tack House

The couple left a very simple but enchanting outdoor dining set from pallets.

Know more about making furniture out of pallets

The Very Small Tack House

Chris and Malissa would be the first to admit that living in a tiny house is not for everybody, but they are pleased to dedicate to their living situation for the time being. They plan to stay in the tiny home for at least another three to five decades and then will build something a little larger — around 300 square feet.

More: A Tiny, Joyful, Ecofriendly Home

Read more innovative small homes

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Find Patio Party Style

When the weather is fine, it is time to take the party outside. Whether you love planning elaborate menus and decor, or prefer simple last-minute cocktails with friends, the important thing is finding the fete to suit your style. Get inspired by these eight outdoor party ideas, from beachy cocktails into just desserts.

McGuire Furniture Company

1. Chill in an outdoor living area. Make your patio cozier by attracting a few home comforts outside. Roll out a rug, plump up the sofa with additional pillows and maintain a gentle toss within reach.

If you’re short on outdoor furniture, then haul a few pieces out from your living room briefly — sitting real furniture outside feels luxurious.

Molly Wood Garden Design

2. Sun bleached and beachy. Conjure a summery mood with pale tones of sand and white. Hang white drapes or suspend fabric overhead to give coverage from sunlight. Decorate the table with white shells, hurricanes filled with sand and miniature tea lights.

Scot Eckley, Inc..

3. Italian or French style, outdoor dining. Draw inspiration in the Italian and French customs for long, leisurely lunches al fresco. Set out large platters of simple, seasonal foods household fashion, along with wine from glass carafes.

Maintaining a basket of essentials (shades, straw hats, sunscreen) available for guests to grab as required is a thoughtful touch.

The Cousins

Tip: Make the celebration budget friendly. Hit budget-friendly stores such as Ikea and Target to stock up on party supplies in goes-with-everything white. Paper lanterns, string lights and candles set the mood, along with an inexpensive set of dishes and unbreakable cups will see you through several parties. Give a basic picnic table a DIY upgrade by stenciling words onto the surface.

APLD, Susan Cohan

4. Tropical takeout. Who says you have to cook to throw an awesome party? Purchase from your favorite neighborhood restaurant instead and concentrate your effort on the decoration.

A coffee table placed on vibrant outdoor mats and surrounded with floor cushions creates a fun spot for a small dinner party to congregate at. Set out brilliant parasols, lanterns, potted succulents and sculptures or other artwork borrowed from inside.

Margie Grace – Grace Design Associates

5. Homegrown-edibles swap. Get with garden-loving friends for a party that celebrates the bounty of the year. Invite guests to bring something they’ve grown, picked or made from scratch — by a basket of ideal juicy tomatoes from their garden to jars of homemade jam or pickles, or even home-brewed beer.

MTLA- Mark Tessier Landscape Architecture

6. Australian cinema. With a small projector (either bought or leased) and a notebook, it is possible to display a movie right on your backyard. For a classy evening, set up tables outdoors and show a foreign movie along with dinner.

For a twist spin, show an independent children’ picture and also follow up with s’mores around the fire pit. Check out the DVD listing in the New York International Children’s Film Festival for ideas.

7. Just desserts. When you’d really prefer to have people over, but dinner sounds like a lot of, host a dinner party instead. Invite friends to appear after dinner and then surprise them with an elegant dessert table set up on the terrace.

A few desserts, perhaps a cheese plate, plus tea and coffee are all you want. Finish off the day with a unique dessert wine if you like.

Katie Leede & Company Studio

Tip: Create mood lighting. Beautiful lighting is the key to hosting an outdoor party that really wows guests. And the wonderful thing is, it doesn’t need to be expensive! Line up hurricane lamps or tiki torches across a route, scatter tea lights on tables and hang lanterns and series lights overhead. If you’re worried about fire, stick with battery-powered candles rather than the real thing.

Spinnaker Development

8. Cocktails at dusk. Ask guests to arrive just as the sun is beginning to set for cocktails and small bites on the terrace. Since the sun dips lower, turn on the landscape clusters and lighting of candles on every surface.

Tell us What was the very best outdoor party you have ever had?

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Performed Through Special Occasions With Gracious Home, a Ready

It is simple (and not very pleasant) to get caught unprepared when guests stop by, or even to do nothing to bring to a wedding or housewarming. But with a little additional effort today, you can sail through all your spring and summer occasions easily.

From cleansing shortcuts and long-lasting flower structures to ideas for stocking the ideal gift cabinet, these 13 tips will help make you ready for casting parties, giving presents, writing thank-you notes, hosting unexpected guests and more.

Tres McKinney Design

1. Make an easy-clean entry with considerable storage. A chest of drawers or storage bench from the entry makes last-second tidying up simple. In a smaller space, try stashing stuff in lidded boxes beneath a slender console table or in French marketplace baskets hung on hooks.

Make a habit of keeping the surface of your own storage bit clear, aside from fresh blossoms or a blooming orchid, stowing everything else at the drawers beneath — that way it will always seem new when guests pop by.

Alice Lane Home Collection

2. Keep one cabinet devoted to parties. Never be stuck with no birthday candles again! Pick one place for all things party related: cake plates, fancy teacups, candles and matches, serving trays, the works.

Extra credit:
Learn one fancy fold technique and keep a pile of freshly laundered and folded cloth napkins in the ready.

3. Stock a cart with entertaining essentials. A cart is excellent for holding everything from glassware and paper napkins to bottles of wine and boxes of cheese straws. Keep yours stocked with a couple of favorite things, and it’s going to be simple to create snacks and beverages for buddies in a moment.

Extra credit: learn to make a signature drink, and keep the recipe card tucked off on your own cart.

4. Stow additional seating under a console. An easy way to squeeze in a couple of extra seats in the living space is by tucking a set of poufs or stools beneath a console desk — close at hand when you want them but readily tucked away.

Lux Decor

5. Create long-lasting (or perhaps faux) arrangements. Fresh flowers and greenery can go a long way toward making a room feel festive. Master a couple of simple arrangements which just look like they took ages to collect. Try lining up a series of little square containers down the middle of your dining table, filled with short-cut blossoms stuck into floral foam for strength.

Or, for everlasting green, pick up some high-quality faux topiaries and place them on your buffet.

Kerrisdale Design Inc

6. Get in the habit of picking up flowers in the market. If making fussy arrangements worries you vow instead to keep things clean and simple. Pick up single-color blossoms (white is always posh) in the grocery store or farmer’s market and plunk them at any vase or pitcher you have got. Large flowers (such as hydrangeas) and booming branches offer you a lot of bang for the dollar.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

7. Keep a stash of elaborate hand towels and soap at a bathroom cabinet. Toilet a mess when guests arrive? Duck in for a moment and pull the shower curtain closed, wipe out the faucet and mirror, and then put out fresh towels and soap.

Su Casa Designs

8. Bypass the mess and host last-minute guests outdoors. When the weather is good, entertaining outdoors can be a wonderful alternative. To keep outside cushions from becoming damp and filthy, try storing them at a bench outdoors where they’re still handy but secure.

Frederick + Frederick Architects

9. Make your kitchen attractive, guests will want to hang out while you cook. We might not all be able to have a dream kitchen such as the one shown here, but there is obviously a way to take advantage of what you have. Consider rolling out a true rug on the ground, pull up a few cute stools into the island and be sure speakers are useful for turning on some music while you cook.

Martha O’Hara Interiors

10. Always be ready with presents and wrapping supplies. Instead of picking themed gift wrap, try picking up an assortment of solid colors, together with an enjoyable variety of ribbons and trims. That way you can produce a number of different appearances for any occasion, all with the very same supplies.

Extra credit: Store a couple of go-to presents together with your wrapping supplies, for all those times when you are caught by surprise. Attempt to have something appropriate for baby, child, housewarming and wedding.

Christina Marie Interiors

11. Stock up on stationery for all occasions. Thank-you notes, clean cards and birthday cards must see you through almost any note-writing crisis.

Extra credit: Order personalized stationery with your name or monogram, and use it for all.

Tim Barber Ltd Architecture

12. Decide on a single place to note important dates and to-dos. Write down birthdays and special occasions, and notice presents you have received, so you will remember to thank the giver.

Extra credit: Store a book of quotes or famous toasts together with your calendar — if you’re asked to talk at a wedding, then you may at least know where to start.

Chandos Interiors

13. Get your guest room ready in minutes. First of all, keep the mattress made so that you do not need to worry about that. Next, dedicate a shelf in your linen closet to storing guest room essentials, so that you just have to catch the whole stack and go. Consider adding: a new set of towels, slippers, a robe and a little basket of toiletries that are spare.

Bonus: Stock the bedside table with intriguing books, books, chocolates and a carafe of water.

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A Modern Renovation at a Colonial-Era Town

English colonists came in Hingham, Massachusetts, in 1633; hence, the majority of the town’s housing inventory is anything but modern. When these homeowners, who lived in a very traditional home in Hingham, adored their preferred town, the wife longed for a modern house. So when this midcentury house went on the market for a teardown using a water view, the household snapped it up.

“The house was in such poor shape that we can not even show several before films,” says architect Don DiRocco of Hammer Architects. (Though see below for just one.) But, his group’s design saved a huge part of the home while they tore down the darkened and dark parts which didn’t get the job done. Both the new and old segments were designed to create a light, bright atmosphere that took complete advantage of their harbor views. The new home has an awareness of entrance; an easy, open stream; and a fresh kitchen hub for gathering cooking, holding cooking classes and doing homework.

at a Glance
Who lives here: A household with 4 children in high school and school
Location: Hingham, Massachusetts
Size: 5 bedrooms, 4 baths
Year built: Original house, 1950s; renovation, 2010

Hammer Architects

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They tore down the old garage and built a new one, along with a brand new breezeway that connects it to the new principal doorway and helps specify an entrance courtyard. “Before, the entrance to the home was tucked around the back of the home and was hard to locate,” DiRocco says. Now “there is not any longer any confusion regarding where to enter the home.” The door on the right is a second entrance that contributes to a large mudroom with cabinets to your kids’ sports gear, coats and shoes.

Before Photo

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“The original home had a set of strange intersecting gable roofs which caused escapes,” says DiRocco. “They had a small spiral stairs into the roof set up, because they had to move up there and repair it so often.” The house’s problems gave the architects good ideas about what to do. It had been “quite dark and dreary; it had a great water view that it was not taking advantage of,” DiRocco says.

Hammer Architects

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The architects added a new kitchen, a brand new garage and entrance courtyard, along with a brand new master suite, and reconfigured existing spaces (view the programs at the end to get a precise idea of these modifications). The attached greenhouse found in the previous photo was donated and carted away. On the right side of the photo you can see the brand new screened-in porch and master suite.

Hammer Architects

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“Occasionally negative existing aspects such as these inspire the new design. We added glass wherever we could, and the home is now filled with natural light from large windows and clerestories,” DiRocco says. This corner is your master bedroom, in which 6- by 3-foot windows take full advantage of the view of Hingham Harbor.

Hammer Architects

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Around the corner from the garage, big windows make the most of the water views. Exterior doors from the office/fifth bedroom and the living room link to the patio.

Hammer Architects

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Translucent glass on the garage doors expands the Japanese lantern–such as glow of the house at night.

Garage doors: Clopay Avante

Hammer Architects

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Red cedar tongue and groove clapboard siding has a natural stain that may stand up to the sea air and harsh winter climate. The house is well insulated and works nicely in summer, too. “This home can really breathe,” DiRocco says. “They’ve air-conditioning, but they seldom need to turn it on.”

Hammer Architects

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Wood beams and a tongue and groove ceiling are original to the home.

While the clients desired stairs down to a basement family room to be a part of their space, they desired to partly hide them. “We did not have much wall space on the first floor, because we wanted to depart the views as open as possible, so this was a good opportunity to include shelves,” DiRocco says.

Floors: stained walnut

Hammer Architects

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The kitchen is a completely new part of the home and serves as the heart of the house. The wife was a well-known chef in Boston and had a large, workable kitchen in which she could do some serious cooking and also have enough room to hold courses. The household also desired a multipurpose space for spending time together.

Appliances: Thermador; counter stools: Ikea; cabinets: custom, Ted Franklin, Welfleet, Massachusetts

Hammer Architects

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“The kitchen serves as a fantastic hub in the house; all these corridors meet here, and it’s a significant gathering spot. The family is quite tight-knit, and the children do their homework at this table,” DiRocco says.

“The kitchen has a high volume which pops up 14 feet and has wonderful natural light all day,” he says. Clerestory windows bring in light from three sides.

Pendant lighting: Ikea; faucet: Grohe Minta; counters: Surrell solid design in Arctic White, Formica; ceiling: tongue and groove fir

Hammer Architects

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The kitchen glows like a lantern at night.

Hammer Architects

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The long dining/living room goes all of the way into a sitting/TV viewing area which leads out into the patio. This component of the home was spared from the initial structure. All the windows are fresh and are larger than the originals.

Hammer Architects

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The architects also rescued the original large chimney and hearth found on the left. While dreaming of moving out of their traditional home for their new modern house, the owners knew they’d be starting fresh with new minimalist decor and furnishings.

The doors at the end of the room result in a screened-in porch, with the master suite beyond it.

Before Photo

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BEFORE: This is the plan of the existing home when the architects were hired. While the neighborhood was an enclave of quite small midcentury modern homes, most of the original homes have been torn down and replaced with big homes on account of the prime views.

Hammer Architects

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AFTER: This is the brand new plan of this home as it is today. “This home is a anomaly in Hingham,” says DiRocco. “The kids’ friends absolutely love hanging out here, the family loves the design, they continue to be within walking distance from downtown Hingham and live near their schools.”

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