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Archive for September, 2013

New Purpose For Those Old Mirrored Closet Doors


Maybe you love those sliding mirrored closet doors. But, in case you don’t, and want to change them out, there’s no need to ditch them completely.
mirror door

Here’s what I did with my old mirrored closet doors. The ones above have metal frames, mine have wood, so I didn’t have to remove the frames.

The idea came after removing them from the bedroom, then leaning the three doors against the dining room wall to keep them out of the way. Well, they never left. But the mirrors did get some additional trim from ornate crown molding and several coats of paint that matched the wall. You can get more information on how it’s done here.

The wall of mirrors opens up a small room, adding depth while transforming it from a fairly basic dining room to one that sparkles. And, best of all, the original doors were allowed to remain in the house for another turn at life rather than ending up in the trash.
Have you recycled a door or mirror and used it as …

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Five Umbrella Stands Keeping It Dry


By now, you’re all too familiar with rain and the mess it can make, especially when you’re coming into the house with a drenched and dripping umbrella and no landing gear. You can lean it against the front porch, or you can cradle it until you reach the bathtub, hoping you haven’t left a river-like trail in your wake.

What? You don’t open your wet umbrella and leave it to dry out in the tub or shower?
More practical than the tub is an umbrella stand; one that can hold those soggy umbrellas while dressing up your entry or front porch. They’re available in styles to suit all tastes  — from traditional to whimsical.
Umbrella stand Container store

This contemporary Belmont umbrella stand ($39.99) is available from The Container Store. It comes with a removable drip tray and is covered in a linen-like fabric.
umbrella stand crate and barrel

The good looking, handwoven Kensington umbrella stand ($139.95) is made of iron and comes from India via Crate and Barrel.
umbrella stand orange

No one said umbrella stands can’t …

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Four Kitchens Without Uppers

Sometimes you can end up with a kitchen sans upper cabinets by design. Maybe you have spectacular views that trump storage space. Or, more likely, you simply don’t have enough wall space to hang cabinets. And, too many upper cabinets can make a Lilliputian kitchen seem downright claustrophobic.

Large or small, you can still have a killer kitchen without uppers. Take a look.

Obviously, this grand kitchen is spacious enough that it can spare the space and allow for the dreamy view. Plus, there’s added space in the brilliant island. Note the microwave built in the island. Total island envy.
House French

This small French kitchen desperately needs the light coming in from the large window. Cleverly arranged shelves and monochromatic dishware add a little punch and storage to the walls, without closing in the space.
Kitchen sink

No upper cabinets also means a more open feel, and if you can afford the space, that’s a nice trade off as in this sink area that would feel …

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Celebrate National Coffee Day This Sunday & A Giveaway

I don’t need a designated day to get me excited over a cup of joe. However, since Sunday, September 29, is National Coffee Day, let’s talk java.

First, a moment to appreciate the work of Japanese latte artist, Kazuki Yamamoto, who creates whimsical 3-D art with a bit of froth and a bucket-load of talent, ending up with cups of coffee almost too precious to drink. Almost.


According to a recent national survey conducted by Keurig, the leaders in single-serve coffee brewers, 58 percent of Americans surveyed said that they can’t start their day without coffee. And they found a cup of joe more important than a morning shower. Clearly, we’re coffee crazy – I’ll joyfully include myself in the mix.
So, on National Coffee Day, you can load up on freebies at various coffee establishments — a gratis taste here, a complimentary mug there. But, armed with the right information, you can indulge in your idea of the ideal cup of coffee without ever …

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Would You Switch From Stainless to White Ice?

A year or so ago, I heard about Whirlpool’s new White Ice Collection, but I didn’t see it in person until last week when the shiny kitchen appliances caught my eye at a Costco store.
If you find plain white appliances too bland (I don’t in the right kitchen), or if you’re tired of spending precious time keeping stainless appliances free of smears and fingerprints, then you might take a look at White Ice.


This contemporary collection, which includes built-in appliances as well as free-standing, features a smooth, glassy finish with brushed stainless accents.

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Four Tips For Young Travelers

Let’s face it, summer took flight only hours ago, but many of us are already gearing up for the hectic holiday season. And today’s kids are nearly as mobile as adults, so you’re either going to entertain a young house guest or send a child off for a holiday visit. Either way, there are special considerations to keep in mind. Get these safety related items on your radar before you get distracted with the scramble that accompanies the impending holiday crunch.

1. Keep a temporal thermometer handy.

Temporal Therm

When kids travel, it’s not unusual for them to catch a bug. If your little house guest isn’t feeling well, the Exergen Temporal Scanner will quickly and easily take a temperature with a gentle stroke to the forehead. No more probing into the ear canal or under the tongue — and no stress. These are available at most drugstores and mass merchandisers for about $30.

2. Endevr MyID emergency identification bracelet.


Ideal for the young traveler with a medical …

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Four Quick Gardening Chores To Usher in Fall

On Sunday, we celebrate the first day of autumn, and here are four tips to get your tired summer garden and lawn in order so that it looks fabulous for fall, survives through winter and blooms beautifully next spring.
1. Feed and weed your lawn. Look for a product like Scotts Super Turf Builder WinterGuard Fall Weed and Feed, but pay attention to what kind of grass you have and buy a product that is formulated for your specific turf. Also, keep small children and pets away from these products.
2. Plant your veggies. This is a good time to plant those seedlings so that you end up with a bounty of winter vegetables. Consider beets, broccoli and cabbage. Oh, and don’t forget the greens — collards and kale.
3. Pop with color. Time to get rid of those faded summer blooms and replace them with vivid pansies, ornamental cabbages and mums. The lacy cabbages look beautiful in the ground or in pots on the front porch.
4. Control those bugs. If …

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My Single Biggest Kitchen Makeover Regret

What’s really sad is that I knew better. This was not my first kitchen design, far from it. But I made the fatal mistake that separates the pros from the rookies – choosing beauty over function. In my case, it was selecting the worst countertop material for a busy kitchen.
Looks like marble, doesn’t it? I wish it were. Instead, it’s onyx. Yes, my kitchen counter, which is in a space that sees a lot of activity, is made from a gemstone — one considered fragile.
Onyx counter 049

And while you note the translucent nature of the semi-precious stone, a relative of agate, notice the chipped edges in the foreground of the sink photo below.
The slightest bang from a pot, and there goes a piece of onyx.
This stone is far too expensive to end up down the drain. Literally.

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Vintage Jewels For Your Home In Chamblee

Do you know that you have an invaluable resource in your midst that offers what is, essentially, antique jewelry for your home?

Whether you’re seeking vintage clear or milk glass door knobs, wall sconces, light fixtures or intricate antique door hinges, Eugenia’s Antique Hardware and Accessories in Chamblee is the place that offers a dizzying array to dress up older or new construction.

The family owned establishment also offers a slew of embellishments like these furniture pulls that instantly personalize a dresser or bath cabinets.

And if you’re looking for elaborate door plates that range from ornate to sleek Deco, then Eugenia’s won’t disappoint.

It might take you days to make up your mind, though.
If you don’t see what you want, chances are pretty good that, if you ask, someone will track it down for you. And you can look for items and order online.
Have you used vintage hardware in your home? Let us know, and send your …

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Knock, Don’t Pull To Open Miele’s Dishwasher From IFA 2013

Making its debut at last week’s IFA 2013 trade show in Berlin, which showcases the latest in electronics and home appliances, the Miele Knock2Open dishwasher received a lot of attention.

The designers at Miele wanted to come up with a dishwasher that wouldn’t have a handle or external controls to distract from the design aesthetics.

Simply knock twice on a designated spot on the front of the Miele dishwasher to automatically open the door.
See the demonstration video here.
So, just how safe is that feature with children or curious dogs in the house? I ask because a while back, I installed a new built-in KitchenAid oven with touchpad controls on the front. And, a few days later, Dexter, one of my German shepherds, touched the panel with his nose, and turned on the oven. It was then that I learned about the safety lock. And so it goes with Miele Knock2Open; there’s a key that turns off the knock to open feature.
When it comes to looks, what you get …

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