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Archive for August, 2013

Three Wet & Dry Floor Cleaners. Three price points.

Let’s take a look at a trio of floor cleaners designed to multi task.
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Dyson Hard DC56 Cordless Floor Cleaner

Making its debut on September 2, the latest offering from Dyson promises to vacuum dirt and wipe grime — in one swipe. This 2-in-1 hard floor cleaning solution offers powerful Dyson suction and a double-edge cleaner head that inhales dirt before and after the wet wipe. Designed to easily fit under furniture, the Dyson Hard conveniently converts to a hand-held vacuum and cleans wood, tile and other hard, sealed surfaces. Available at Dyson.com, Best Buy and Macy’s.
Priced at $329.99.

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Shark Sonic Duo Cleaning System

This latest entry from Shark cleans hard surfaces as well as carpets, including area rugs, by spraying pet-and-child-friendly cleaning solutions onto the floors, in front of the machine, then using a scrubbing action. The starter kit includes no-rinse carpet cleaner concentrate, stain and odor remover, various reuseable cleaning …

Continue reading Three Wet & Dry Floor Cleaners. Three price points. »

Quick Tips to Dress Up Your Outdoor Walls

If you’re planning a bang-up Labor Day bash this weekend, you’ve probably decked out your outdoor space by manicuring the lawn, arranging comfy patio furniture and giving the grill a good cleaning. But if your patio or deck looks a little bare, you might consider dressing up your exterior walls.

There’s no reason not to treat that blank outside wall as you would an interior wall — keeping in mind the weather, naturally.

Outdoor wall

To perk up this dull stucco, I took a wire window box planter that I found at HomeGoods, removed the fiber basket, turned it upside down and screwed the flat side against the house. I needed a fairly wide surface to hold the large iron lantern (on sale at Hobby Lobby), which is why I had to turn the wire basket upside down. I cut a piece of plywood slightly larger than the opening and painted it black to match the iron. The plywood is just sitting in place.

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See? It makes the perfect outdoor shelf and fills up some drab space, giving the area a open-air …

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A Bunch of Lovely Coconut

Sure, we’re all acutely aware of the health benefits of the latest trendy tropical oil — coconut. Not only are we frying with it, but we’re also slathering it on our bodies at record speed. I even know someone — swear — who swishes it in her mouth for 20 minutes each morning as a teeth whitener and general dental health regimen. It’s called oil pulling. Benefits aside, I can’t think of a more unappealing name.
Outside of your kitchen and bathroom, coconut, or coir, can easily be found in many areas of your home, including your yard and even your car, but you’d never know just by looking.
Coir is made from the fibers found around the hard coconut shell. These versatile fibers have been used for fishing nets, ropes and upholstery stuffing for centuries.
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This heavy duty entrance mat, Courtly Check by MacKenzie-Childs, is made of 100-percent coir. And because it’s biodegradable, when it’s time to toss the mat, simply bury it in the yard. Locally, …

Continue reading A Bunch of Lovely Coconut »

It’s Almost Time for the Color of the Year to Vanish

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I hate to say it, but 2013 is sliding downhill. Fast. The autumnal equinox hits on September 22 and, let’s face it, once you enter the “er” months, before you know it, you’re wearing a funny hat, hoisting a glass of bubbly and kissing this year bubye. What I want to know is did you let 2013 slip away without embracing this year’s “it” color according to Pantone, the Big Kahuna of color trend forecasters?

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It’s Emerald. From fashion runways to living room walls, the bold green is still in for a few more months. Last year was Tangerine Tango. Next year’s is still a mystery. There are rumblings about a blue, but also a coppery tint and maybe a yellow.

Oh, and if you’re loving the Pantone Emerald shade and want it for your walls, it’s available exclusively at Lowe’s via Valspar Paint.

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Are you glad Emerald is on its way out? Did you use it in your home? And what color are you rooting for in 2014? Send your photographs to socialmedia@ajc.com or post them on Instagram …

Continue reading It’s Almost Time for the Color of the Year to Vanish »

Quench Your Weekend Thirst

It’s the weekend. Time for fun with friends and family, and I’ve got some hassle-free ideas on how to keep everyone cool and hydrated. There’s a little something for the adults-only crowd as well.
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Keurig Brew Over Ice
I ran into a fellow at the store the other day who had just acquired a Keurig, and he had no idea that the single-serve brewer made more than just coffee. Really? How is that possible? Today, there are almost as many K-Cup choices as lipstick colors. And the Brew Over Ice selections are varied enough to keep a houseful of finicky guests happily sipping away throughout the weekend. For instance, ice tea flavors run the gamut from peach and raspberry, to sweetened, unsweetened and half-and-half, meaning tea mixed with lemonade. Iced coffees are just as varied. Looking for a healthy iced drink? Consider Vitamin Burst acai-berry or strawberry-pomegranate K-Cups. And the list goes on.
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Invite SodaStream to the Party
I’m new to the

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Three Outdoor Speakers That Go Beyond the Rock

You know the rock I’m talking about. It’s a lump in the yard that’s disguised as a rock but it’s really a speaker. And while it was clever enough back then, today’s outdoor speakers work via Bluetooth, and they’re discreet enough to stay out of the way, yet portable enough to follow the party, no matter where it ends up. That rock? Well, it’s pretty much relegated to the yard. If you’re looking for music that can move to the deck, the front, side or back yards, check out this trio of powerful Bluetooth indoor/outdoor speakers.

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Outdoor Tech’s Turtle Shell Boombox is designed to be the life of the party anywhere you go. Dust proof, shock proof and water resistant, this tough shell is completely wireless and connects with your computer, smartphone, tablet or any other Bluetooth-enabled device. It streams clear sound from a 30-foot range, and a charge lasts up to 9 hours. And when the dust clears and the guests have gone home, Turtle Shell is ready to get to work on that …

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Look What the French Are Doing With Noir et Blanc

Get inspired and lose the color with this dramatic French bedroom. I’m so doing this to my dull guest room. You could replicate the crisp look with trips to IKEA and HomeGoods. And don’t forget cans of black and white paint. Plus some good painter’s tape for those stripes. Here’s a video tutorial on painting perfect stripes on a wall.

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Have you gone wild with stripes? We’d love to see them. Send your photographs to socialmedia@ajc.com or post them on Instagram with the hashtag #AJCdiy.

Continue reading Look What the French Are Doing With Noir et Blanc »

Get Creative With Your Floors!

For centuries, floor coverings such as carpets and rugs have always been associated with royalty and the privileged. Western culture adopted this idea as a symbol of status and today, floor coverings such as low-pile carpets are virtually a must-have based on their practicality and low cost for installation!

Same Floor…New Concept:
Looking for a budget-friendly, creative, and colorful way to spruce up those old hardwoods? Check out FLOR, an innovative carpet system composed of carpet squares which allow you to design your own masterpiece of custom rugs, runners… any color and any size!

Vintage Vibe FLORug

Vintage Vibe FLORug

Oh, the Possibilities:
Whether you are looking for whimsical design characteristics to liven up your kitchen or muffle noise from a teenager’s room (PlayStation, television, speakers just to name a few)…you are sure to find what you are looking for here!

Hither + Yon-Orange-$18.00 per square

Hither + Yon-Orange-$18.00 per square

Did I mention easy to clean?

Kid friendly with a little soap and water!

Kid friendly with a little soap and water!

This …

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French Modern Designs for Fall

If your taste in design leans to modern with a good dose of luxury and artistic flair, then take a look at what Ligne Roset has waiting for you in its showroom this fall. All of the pieces come from France, and note that many of the upholstered selections are available in nearly 30 different fabrics and two leathers.

Ligne Roset is located at 805 Peachtree Street at 5th, Atlanta, 404-541-1212.

 Originally designed for the Megu restaurant in the Alpina Hotel, Gstaadt, Japanese-inspired Torii chairs by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance have been slightly redesigned for the home. Depending on fabric or leather, prices range from $1675 to $2445.

Originally designed for the Megu restaurant in the Alpina Hotel, Gstaadt, Japanese-inspired Torii chairs by Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance have been slightly redesigned for the home. Depending on fabric or leather, prices range from $1675 to $2445.

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Elizabeth by Nathan Yong collection includes a club chair, ranging from $2385 to $3500, and a love seat, $3780 to $5705.

Elizabeth by Nathan Yong collection includes a club chair, ranging from $2385 to $3500, and a love seat, $3780 to $5705.

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The Et Cetera cabinetry system, designed by Pagnon & Pélhaître, offers functionality and customizable options. Prices start at $7500.

The Et Cetera cabinetry system, designed by Pagnon & Pélhaître, offers functionality and customizable options. Prices start at $7500.

Modern or contemporary furniture — love it or hate it? Show us your favorite …

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Three Ways to Chill While Snoozing

Waking in the middle of the night because it’s too hot to sleep is a big pain. And while you can go out and spend thousands of dollars on a fancy schmancy mattress with remote controlled cooling (and heating), I’ve got a few ideas that won’t break the bank. Oh, and there’s even a little something to keep the family pet from overheating.

Amerisleep ChiliPad

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Offers thermostat control in a pad that’s removable and portable.

Available in single zone with one control for the entire surface, or dual zone with a control for each side of the bed. Comes with wireless remote.

Cools and heats with water, not air.

Available sizes range from single and extra-long twin to California king and standard king.

Available from www.amerisleep.com (free shipping), Brookstone.com and Amazon.com.

Price starts at $399.

Chillow

A gel pillow pad, surrounded by medical grade material, slides into your pillow case, over your pillow, to keep you cool.

You add water to the Chillow, which circulates …

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