Category: Eclectic Homes

Go for the Glow: Mother-of-Pearl Shines Around the House

Mother-of-pearl was utilized since ancient times to produce individuals and their homes more beautiful, but today’s production techniques have produced this product even more accessible and economical. “Mother-of-pearl” is the frequent name for iridescent nacre, a mix of minerals secreted by oysters and other mollusks and hauled inside their shells; it coatings and protects them from parasites and foreign items.

Now we can utilize this superb material in our homes in a vast range of products. Mother-of-pearl tiles, background and countertops can adorn a space with the same elegance that a pearl necklace adds into an ensemble. It’s not cheap (mother-of-pearl tile starts at about $30 a square foot), but it may be exactly the splurge you want to set your project apart from the crowd.

Mosaic tile. Available in a vast range of organic colors, mother-of-pearl tile and mosaic blends are produced from the nacre on shells such as capiz, black lip, brown lip, paua and violet oyster.

White mother-of-pearl appears iridescent obviously, but it may be artifically tinted to any (sometimes shocking) colour.

Rina Magen

This is a gorgeous instance of mother-of-pearl on a kitchen backsplash. This casing tile is often thin, unless it is mounted into a thicker substrate, so if it’s combined with another tile, then it’ll have to be built up to look flush.

If you’re not sold on a casing product but love the iridescent appearance, start looking for manufacturers that make iridescent glass mosaics. White iridescent glass may look quite like mother-of-pearl tiles.

Europa Stone

Flooring. What a elegant mix of natural stone and mother-of-pearl! This program is a great example of layering textures within an white-on-white program. Notice how the simple act of producing a border around a well-proportioned floor tile reinforces the grid layout.

Mother-of-pearl may be used for walls, floor surfaces (make sure that you check with the maker) and sometimes outdoor applications.

Melissa Lenox Design

Accents. If you’re craving the glow but do not have the budget for a full iridescent wall, utilize mother-of-pearl mosaic tile to add a bit of sparkle to an accent. Mirror frames, side tables and table lamps may all shine with mother-of-pearl tile.

Jalan Jalan Collection

Inlay. Mother of pearl is a very suitable product to be cut into shapes. The cut shapes, known as tesserae, are often used as inlay on furniture and other decorative home accessories.

Julie Mifsud Interior Design

Sinks. Shown here as a semivessel version, a mother-of-pearl mosaic sink, such as those from LinkaSink, may be cleaned with mild household cleaner or soap and water. The grout can be cleaned using grout cleaner; it should be sealed a couple of times a year for maintenance.

Lisa Silverman/ Decorator Guru

Furnishings. Mother-of-pearl cabinetry faces use shell panels, rather than tile. These panels are laminated shell tiles also come in many different shell types, colours and dimensions.

Nusa Furniture


Nusa Furniture often uses mother-of-pearl in combination with coconut on its own furniture. The dark chocolate of the coarse textured coconut and mother-of-pearl’s creamy iridescence make for a delicious mix on this storage cupboard!

Kendall Wilkinson Design

Wall caps. Maya Romanoff, that specializes in luxurious wall products, supplies a flexible tile that may be implemented like a background. The tile is a lean capiz shell veneer used to backing paper using a topcoat for simple maintenance. York Wallcoverings and Franco Ferrucci offer similar products.

Maya Romanoff’s wallpaper starts at $45 per square foot (plus setup). Candice Olson’s mother-of-pearl wallpaper starts at about $110 per double roll (about 60 feet of background).


IceStone Palette

Countertops. Icestone uses mother-of-pearl as one ingredient in its own counter products. A cementitious base product mixed with recycled glass shards and mother-of-pearl creates beautiful color combinations.

Mother-of-pearl accents bring a great glow to Icestone countertops, enlivening a space in a calm way. Using little pieces of glass doesn’t feel as competitive as in some other products.

From personal experience, I suggest using Icestone just in areas where there’s no danger of staining the surface. I have used Icestone in laundry areas and baths.

Icestone countertops are similar to mid- to high-end granite in price. Permit for about $150 per square foot (including setup) into your budget.

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How to Plan the Layout of Your Kitchen

U, I, C, G or L — figuring out what design to use for the own kitchen is almost like learning how to speak a new language. Luckily, ‘s kitchen design guides can help you discover the right translation for your own kitchen remodel, or perhaps help you learn how to create your present design work just a little bit better.

Check out these seven guides to see which design might suit your home and how you prefer to cook.

Steven Miller Design Studio, Inc..

L-Shaped Kitchens

Among today’s more popular kitchen designs, the L shape with a central island is fantastic for today’s multipurpose kitchens. Although this design works best with lots of space, its variations makes it an easy fit for virtually any style.

Read the manual: Suggestions for L-Shaped KItchens

Jason Arnold Interiors

I-Shaped Kitchens

So easy that it is often forgotten, the only galley kitchen (also known as the I-shaped kitchen) is a great solution for small spaces. For open lofts and small flats, this design is frequently the only available alternative. Other folks love this single-wall setup for its affordability and simplicity.

Read the manual: Single-Wall Kitchens Catch the ‘I’

Moroso Construction

U-Shaped Kitchens

Best for busy cooks, the kitchen keeps everything in easy reach. Also called the C-shaped kitchen, this design involves a peninsula. Many times these kitchens also have the refrigerator on a wall outside the U, maintaining it within the work triangle but from any potential counter space.

Read the manual: Suggestions for U-Shaped Kitchens

Contemporary home architects

Galley Kitchens

Most galley kitchens adhere to a very simple and efficient pattern — the sink, prep and stove stand in a single line, together with the prep area equidistant from cleaning and cooking spaces. But, now’s galley can be more flexible for contemporary lifestyles. Including a kitchen table, taking out walls and incorporating seating can make this style work for today’s houses.

Read the manual: A Vote for the Good Old Galley

Soorikian Architecture

Island or Peninsula?

Although some desire an island off the bat, even sometimes a peninsula is a better option — and occasionally you want both. Learn what setup makes the most sense for the kitchen.

Read the manual: Island or even a Peninsula?


Appliance Design

The kitchen work triangle is frequently touted as the supreme design consideration for kitchen designs. But while it is important to reference the work triangle in a kitchen remodel, it isn’t the solution to each design problem. Rather, focus on what works best for you and making certain the path between your work centers — cooking, prep and cleaning — is immediate.

Read the manual: Determining the Right Appliance Layout For The Kitchen

Marlene Wangenheim AKBD, CAPS, Allied Member ASID

Universal Design Kitchen Layouts

The guiding principle of international design is simple — a space ought to be comfortable and easy to use for everybody, regardless of age or ability. This is particularly true in a high-traffic area such as the kitchen. Taking easy things such as counter height and door dimensions and types into consideration may make a dramatic difference in who will be able to access and use your kitchen.

Read the manual: Best Space Planning for Universal Design in the Kitchen

More: ‘s Kitchen

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Home Tech: There Is an Easier

Home automation has been around for years, but the programs are expensive and hard to set up and use.

They need an integration builder, and also then, installation frequently causes a complex, confusing system which either does not work directly or that nobody can work out how to utilize. These programs also generally charge thousands of dollars or for fancy systems, thousands of thousands or perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Why so complicated and expensive? As there are so many components that go into a house automation program. First you have to decide what things to control: home entertainment, security, heating and cooling appliances and lighting. Then you have to decide on a platform. Decisions have to be made about what the interfaces will be — including remote controls, touch tablets or proprietary keypads — and what the connectivity is going to be, like wireless, wired or a mix. And finally, everything has to be connected and programmed with some nontrivial, custom-written applications.

Of course, expensive and complicated custom-installed house automation systems will always exist. Nevertheless, the future promises a lot better: simple, inexpensive home automation products to the masses.


The Nest Learning Thermostat

Clunky, proprietary and complicated home automation solutions will be superseded during the next few years by low-cost, smart, easy-to-use and programmable goods.

Instead of needing custom programming, programs will learn. Instead of utilizing proprietary user interfaces such as keypads or special tablets, they will rather use smart-phone programs and voice commands. They will use standard link interfaces, such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth.

And rather than a smart core commanding dumb appliances by a centralized computer hub, the devices themselves will have all the intelligence they need, thus eliminating the need for a hub.

An excellent first illustration of the future of all home automation is your Nest thermostat. Nest installs in your wall just like any additional thermostat (although it looks way cooler) but uses sensors, algorithms, machine learning and cloud computing to determine what you want. It looks at the time, the temperature, the day of the week along with other factors. It notices what time you get up, go to work and come home, what temperature you would like and when you prefer it.

It’s smart configurations for when you are away. And you can override the automatic controls with an app on your phone.

If Nest supported voice command, it might be an ideal illustration of what’s coming for the whole future of home automation. One by one, home entertainment systems, washer-dryers, heaters, air heaters, lighting, colors and much more will become available with intellect, accurate automation, wireless connectivity and mobile phone control.

The whole home automation scene will evolve from being a technical pursuit to being a capability which accompanies the electrically powered materials you buy for your home.

WeMo Home Electronics Controllers – $49.99

Yes someday everything electrical will also have a digital mind and a wireless link, controllable from your cell phone. And do not think the consumer electronics business will wait for the appliances and home entertainment market.

A firm called Belkin, which creates a variety of small, inexpensive electronics accessories, recently announced a line of home automation products beneath the WeMo brand. In a nutshell, WeMo products comprise all the electronics which appliances of the future is going to have. They feature tiny computers and motion sensors, and have wireless connectivity. You plug them in to outlets, then plug in lamps, audio players etc. into the WeMo unit.

All the WeMo goods do is turn things on or off. But this can happen from motion, on a timer or controlled in the cell phone.

You can also use a favorite online service called IFTTT (which stands for “if this then that”), which enables you to get creative with control. As an example, you can use it to turn on your TV if CNN’s Twitter feed uses the words “breaking news” or have a thousand other imaginative customizations that can incorporate “occasions” on Facebook, email, the phone, weather programs and others.

Best of all, it is inexpensive and simple to use. As soon as you’ve paid for your hardware — every connected wall plug is roughly $50, and every motion-sensor ones is roughly $100 — you are finished paying. The program and the IFTTT service are all free, and no contractor, service provider or programmer is needed.

SmartThings Bundle – $174

A little company called SmartThings is raising cash on Kickstarter.

The SmartThings product line includes an program, a heart, a cloud assistance, a development environment (for software makers to create applications) and most interestingly, a “maker’s toolkit” that enables engineering-minded folks to “hack” their apparatus, connecting a wireless smart chip to everyday things which were never designed to be controllable by phone.

Inevitably, some hobbyists will use the toolkit to personalize their own appliances. However, others are going to use it to invent goods, which can be marketed to other SmartThings customers.

The organization plans to market a vast selection of sensors, such as motion sensors, moisture sensors and so forth, which can be employed by the system to determine what’s happening and empower a specific action. By way of example, a very simple sensor on the door combined with motion sensors can tell the system nobody is home, tripping a shutoff of all lights and cooling and heating appliances, and setting the security alarm.

Ubi – $189

Another Kickstarter project, the Ubi, is a very simple box that plugs directly into a socket. It is an Internet-connected minicomputer that listens for voice commands. By plugging these into many rooms in your house, you can control home appliances, send email and perform Internet searches by simply talking.

Like the inventors of SmartThings, the creators of Ubi intend to create a “platform” upon which other companies can invent and build features and functions.

And, needless to say, that the Ubi is going to be usable with SmartThings devices, enabling voice command management of appliances connected to the SmartThings system.

More: Switch On the Phone-Controlled Home

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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


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.


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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


The Jesus Toaster – $27

Perfect toast each time. Every time.


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!


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.


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.


Unzipped Glass Zipper Bag – $16.25

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


Paper Pots – $39

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


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


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.


White Curve Server – $3.95

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


Rainbow Hors D’oeuvres Establish – $44

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


Dome Bowls – $3.95

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


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.


Footed Serving Bowl – $39.95

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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Swoop Bowls – $4.95

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


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.


Cookie Tray – $151.88

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


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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