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  • 02/01/11--05:46: Organize a Kitchen
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    Bunny Williams shows us how to organize a kitchen.






    TKtkthis is the video and it is really good and we love it and everyone will log on to this video.

    Want more on organization? Check out this great piece: Closet Organization Tips Video: Interior Design

     

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  • 02/01/11--05:46: Sleep Design



  • The key to a better life is a good night's sleep. With mattresses in a variety of sizes, materials and support options it's important to find the right fit. IKEA's SULTAN FLOKENES memory foam mattress contains 5 comfort zones which provide support where you need it the most, throughout the shoulders and hips. For softer comfort combined with responsive support, IKEA's SULTAN HJARTDAL mattress offers a spring mattress base with memory foam pillowtop. Constructed to allow air to flow freely, this pillowtop option molds to your body's shape, improving blood circulation to muscles and skin, an all around perfect fit!

    You deserve a good night's sleep. IKEA can help you get it.

    For more IKEA product information, click here.

     

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    And guess what? It cost less than $350. Here's how to make your own bathroom luxe for less.

    Check out this great story from our friends at CasaSugar!



    Bathroom and kitchen renovations are often the most expensive kind. But with dated cabinetry and tiling plaguing homes across the country, they're also often the most crucial! One homeowner took the matter into her own hands, showing us that you don't need a contractor or a loan to take your bathroom from simple to swanky.



    For well under her initial budget of $350, she transformed a spare bathroom into something that looks straight out of the pages of House Beautiful. You can do the same to your overlooked bathroom with just a few simple and affordable steps.

    Tip 1: Choose a cool and sophisticated paint color to liven up white walls, like Valspar's Misty Morning Dew used here. Then, for a dramatic change, pick up MirrEdge (available at Lowe's and Home Depot for $38), a do-it-yourself mirror framing system to bring architecture to a plain mirror and hide deterioration.

    bathroom-makeoverPhoto: Casa Sugar

    Tip 2. Give dated, worn cabinet doors a face-lift by removing hardware, priming them, and painting them in a clean white. For an extra luxe factor, go with high-gloss white paint.

    Tip 3. Using paint or leftover black velvet ribbon like that used here, outline the façade of your cabinetry with black trim to create a tailored, traditional look. Check out your local hardware store, eBay, or Anthropologie for ornate door knobs to add a little glitz.

    bathroom-makeoverPhoto: CasaSugar



    Tip 4. Set a mirrored tray or even a small mirror on your countertop to house crystal perfume bottles and elegant jars of soap and lotion.


    bathroom-makeoverPhoto: CasaSugar



    Tip 5. Even a petite bathroom could fit a small table. Accessorize your table with candles, a hurricane filled with potpourri and a basket to hold guest towels. For an industrial-chic look, use basic tin cans as vases for bouquets of flowers.

    For more great tips, see the rest of the story on CasaSugar.

     

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    Get style inspiration from this colorful Dutch bed and breakfast.

    Many people dream of buying an old farmhouse, fixing it up and turning it into a bed and breakfast. Floriene Bosch and her husband actually did it -- sight unseen, no less! More than a decade ago, the Dutch couple was living in the U.S. looking for property back in the Netherlands. A realtor faxed them a listing for a farmhouse in the countryside near the village of Beuningen, and the photos were so charming that the Bosch's bought it from thousands of miles away.

    However, despite its charms, the property was in need of some TLC.

    color-for-houseBosch loves paintings of flowers -- in fact, some of them are her own! Photos: Bed of Flowers


    Thirteen years later Bosch has completely renovated the farmhouse, outbuildings and surrounding grounds and turned it into Bed of Flowers, a small bed and breakfast. Looking around the perfectly styled retreat, you might guess that Bosch was a stylist-turned-innkeeper, but her knack for decor is merely the result of a personal passion; prior to opening Bed of Flowers, Bosch worked as a nurse.

    Bosch's style is like shabby chic with a kick: She loves bright, bold colors and floral patterns. While you may not be as brave as Bosch is, you can steal some style inspiration from her cheerfully decorated home. Here's how:

    color-for-houseVintage porcelain is used as decor. Photos: Bed of Flowers

    Collect what you love - and display it. Bosch loves flowers and collects them in many forms, including paintings of flowers (see top photo) and porcelain pieces with floral motifs. Rather than let her china hide in a closed cabinet Bosch has displayed hers on the walls and on open shelves.

    color-for-houseDare to think beyond pastels. Photos: Bed of Flowers

    Be bold with paint, but not too bold. Bosch isn't afraid to experiment with color: Bright turquoise, pink, yellow and green all figure into her decor. However, Bosch knows to balance her daringly-painted walls with crisp white trim and neutral floors. In the bedrooms Bosch has painted the walls behind the headboards bold colors but left the remaining walls white for a more tranquil effect.

    color-for-houseGo ahead, upholster it with confidence. Photos: Bed of Flowers

    Have fun with upholstery. Many people who embrace the chipped-paint-and-vintage-chandelier aesthetic opt for white upholstery -- on everything. Bosch knows that white isn't the only option, using white for some of her sofas and playing with upholstery on others. An armchair becomes a focal point when covered in a pretty cabbage rose and antique dining chairs pop with acid green upholstery.

    color-for-houseBosch is a sucker for a vintage chandelier. Photos: Bed of Flowers

    Embrace chandeliers. The many vintage chandeliers throughout Bed of Flowers give the casual, feminine furnishings a little bit of glamor. If dripping crystal fixtures seem too serious to you, follow Bosch's lead and place little fake birds on top for fun!

    For more Cheap Chic Ideas, don't miss:
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Jane Fonda's House
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Gwyneth Paltrow's Bedroom
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Jimmy Choo's Founder -- Tamara Mellon's House

     

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    Extra seating can be tricky -- you don't want to splurge, but you also don't want to settle for plain old folding chairs. Here, 12 stylish and affordable alternatives.

    With both January and the NFL football season drawing to a close, it can only mean one thing: Superbowl time! If you've decided to host a party but are finding yourself short on seating, tune in: we've found great chairs, stools and cushions that are easy to stow away post-game, and (best of all!) they are all $50 and under.

    extra-seatClockwise from top left: IKEA, Urban Outfitters, Crate & Barrel, World Market, IKEA, Walmart.


    Clockwise from top left:

    Nisse Folding Chair, $13, IKEA

    We realize that a pink chair at a sports party may raise a few eyebrows, but we doubt anyone will mind taking a seat once the game begins. As an added bonus, this folding chair can be hung on a wall-mounted hook for storage.

    Corduroy Floor Pillows, $28, Urban Outfitters
    Give guests thick floor pillows, like these corduroy ones, to lounge on. They can be neatly stacked up for storing.

    Flamingo Green Stool, $16, Crate & Barrel
    Made of sturdy polypropylene, the Flamingo Green Stool (a steal at $16 at Crate & Barrel) pops together for a quick seat.

    Round Suzani Pouff, $40, World Market
    This multifunctional pouf works as a cozy game seat now and as a vibrant footrest later.

    Malte Barstool, $40, IKEA
    Its wide sides and low footrests make this barstool an especially comfortable seat. With handles for easy maneuvering, this narrow stool is easy to store or can be used as a tall side table.

    Classic Twill Bean Bag, $30, Walmart
    Though it's technically made for kids, this denim twill beanbag chair isn't as space-hogging as its larger version, making it the perfect game-time perch for adults.

    extra-seatClockwise from top left: Everywhere Chair, Target, Target, IKEA, Gaiam, Pier 1.

    Clockwise from top left:

    Folding Stool, $33, Everywhere Chair
    For a truly crowded gathering, this folding stool pops open to take up minimal floor space.

    Beechwood Folding Chair Set, $150 for 4, Target
    More attractive than the metal alternatives, these beechwood folding chairs will seat a crowd and easily tuck into a closet.

    Kitchen Stripe Floor Pillow by Simply Shabby Chic, $23, Target
    A tufted floor pillow, like this cotton ticking striped version, makes sitting on the floor much more relaxing.

    Laver Chair, $10, IKEA
    As inexpensive as they come, the Laver chair is also easy to store away. It stacks up on others when not in use.

    Rush Ottoman Set, $89 for 3, Gaiam
    We think this rush ottoman set is genius: the hollow woven ottomans are substantial enough to serve as seats, and the two smaller ones stack inside the largest size to stay concealed when they're no longer needed.

    Director's Chair, $50, Pier 1
    Treat guests to a comfortable seat with this black director's chair, which folds up lengthwise for storage.

    On the hunt for something else? Check out our past columns!
    On the Hunt: Kid-Friendly Coffee Tables
    On the Hunt: Eco-Friendly Lighting

    On the Hunt: Smart Storage Beds

     

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    Comedian Mike Birbiglia spent a week in the window of one of the largest department stores in the world. We joined him for 15 minutes to talk about living in public.


    I've never worn pajamas in public. But when Macy's gave ShelterPop the green light to interview comedian Mike Birbiglia in the window of their Herald Square store, I figured it was only polite to make Birbiglia feel at home. He has, after all, been wearing his own pajamas for the seven days he's living in the window to promote Downy's Clean Sheet Week. And I'd hate to make him feel underdressed in front of a crowd.

    Of course, by now he's used to the attention. For the seven days that he ate, slept and entertained in the window, he's received his share of raps on the glass, bewildered looks and many, many facebook messages. But why the fishbowl treatment? Downy and Macy's recruited Birbiglia -- his sleep disorder inspired his book and one-man show, Sleepwalk With Me -- to prove that comfy Macy's sheets combined with freshness of Downy-washed sheets could soothe even the most notoriously bad sleeper...even in an chaotic environment.

    Because Downy claims that their detergent keeps that clean-sheet-smell for seven days, the sheets in the public bed were never washed (unlike Birbiglia, who, for the record, took breaks from his display to shower).

    mike-birbiglia-macys-windowJohnathan Fernandez


    While I was there, I got a taste of the attention -- the curious faces, the camera flashes and the awkward feeling of being watched at all times. Because I know how it feels to move into a new, impersonal space, I brought him some presents from my own home to warm up his: A candy dish with my favorite mix (gummy bears and dark chocolate M&Ms) and a multi-photo frame with shots of his wife, his celebrity friends and brother. And because I can't resist a good sleepover game, we played a quick round of truth or dare (kindly excuse my singing).

    Since he's been in the window, he's also hosted guests like chef Katie Lee, comedians Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter, filmmaker Lena Dunham and yes, his family. I'm proud to say I was the only one who wore pajamas -- granted, a stunning bed jacket lent from my friends at Zinke).

    While I didn't actually get in the bed and smell the sheets to test the freshness -- I could only go so far in invadaing his space -- I did get a sample of Downy detergent while I was waiting outside. So maybe I'll do my own clean sheet challenge. But definitely in the privacy of my own home.

    If this made you think about washing your own sheets, find out how to wash sheets the right way, get unusual uses for dryer sheets and see our newest favorite laundry product!

     

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    The superstar's California home is glamorous, sophisticated and surprisingly understated.

    We're happy to report that Veranda magazine, now overseen by the ever-talented Dara Caponigro, keeps getting better and better. Case in point: Veranda shared a sneak peek of their January/February issue with ShelterPop and boy, were we wowed. The issue's coverline "American Glamour Now!" is a nod to all the homes in the issue, but the highlight is the stunning story on Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony's California home.

    jennifer-lopez-homeJ. Lo's glam style doesn't stop on the red carpet; Veranda magazine tours her home in their Jan./Feb. issue. Photos: Veranda (left), Jeffrey Mayer/WireImage (right)


    While J. Lo's personal style often errs towards the sparkling and synthetic, her home is an oasis of low-key, natural charm -- with a few hints of sparkle. Designed by interior designer Michelle Workman, the space is sophisticated and glamorous without being showy.

    "It's sort of Jennifer in a nutshell," says Workman. "She has a romantic streak. Jennifer wanted to go modern and streamlined but retain the sophistication and stylishness. It's tastefully glamorous, like Jennifer herself."

    Here's a peek at some of what you'll find in Veranda:

    jennifer-lopez-homeThis polished space is a glamorous spot for J. Lo to entertain. Photo: Laura Resen/Veranda

    Soft gray-blue walls are the perfect backdrop for feminine furnishings in Lopez's living room. We love how Workman and Lopez have mixed varying neutral tones with metallic finishes for a fresh look.


    jennifer-lopez-homeThis corner of Jennifer Lopez's kitchen is as elegant as her living room. Photo: Laura Resen/Veranda

    The cool toned palette continues in the kitchen area where built-in cabinets are painted to match the walls. Elegantly upholstered dining chairs surround a black pedestal table for a chic place to eat a quick bite -- though with her svelte figure, we doubt Lopez is eating too many of those gigantic red velvet cupcakes on the table.


    jennifer-lopez-homeJennifer Lopez's bedroom is a sweet retreat. Photo: Laura Resen/Veranda

    Cast in soft, feminine tones of peaches and cream, the bedroom looks more J. Lo than Marc Anthony to us. Designer Michelle Workman says, "We wanted it to be graceful, with just enough sparkle."

    Want to see more of this gorgeous home? Pick up a copy of the Jan/Feb issue of Veranda, which features additional photos of J.Lo's home.

    Go inside more celebrity homes:
    - Bristol Palin's Arizona home
    - Celebrity Bedrooms Have Us Drooling
    - Cheap Chic Ideas From Gwyneth's House

     

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    Skip the blue or pink paint. Here are ten of our favorite wall coverings for kids rooms.

    Decorating kids' rooms is a chance to have some fun with decor, especially when it comes to the walls. While most of the rooms of your house probably maintain a certain degree of seriousness, a child's room can be purely playful. That's not to say that you should turn your daughter's room into a floor-to-ceiling Disney theme park. It does mean that you can take some risks you might not normally take in, say, the dining room or the living room.

    Children's wallpapers are a wonderland of whimsy, some of it good and some it very, very bad. The key to picking a wallpaper pattern for your child is to choose something that both of you like. Avoid cartoon characters or any over-the-top themes, but don't be afraid of fun: A robot or a sailboat motif are among our picks.

    kids wallpaperPhotos: Farrow & Ball

    Say Stripes
    You can't go wrong with a classic stripe in a child's room. Stripes will remain age-appropriate as your child grows older and most stripe patterns are fairly gender-neutral, so you won't have to worry if the paper will work for another child down the line. Farrow & Ball's Broad Stripe is a handsome 5¼"-wide pattern available in 37 combinations of the company's signature hues.


    Photos: Aimée Wilder

    Hipster Cartoons
    Skip the expected cartoons like Dora the Explorer and opt for the infinitely chicer Robot pattern ($156 per roll) by Aimée Wilder. Your child will love it simply for the robots, and you'll appreciate the quirky pattern for its surprising colorways and adorable details.


    kids  wallpaper jonathan adlerPhotos: Jonathan Adler

    Happy, Happy Walls
    We first spotted Jonathan Adler's wallpaper for kids when he revealed his Jonathan Adler Junior line at last year's New York International Gift Fair. Now you can purchase the papers for your own home. The retro-feeling Junior Sun Wallpaper ($195 for a jumbo roll) is covered with sun-like images and cheerful faces in both a cool, masculine and a warm, feminine palettes.


    kids    wallpaperPhotos: Urban Outfitters

    A Lesson in Fun
    A world map mural is a classic choice for a child's room -- plus, it does double duty as a tool for geography lessons. Urban Outfitters is offering an easy-to-install, 8-foot by 13-foot World Map Wall Mural ($140) that's sure to be the focal point of any space you choose to hang it.

    kids  wallpaperPhotos: Ralph Lauren/CreativeWallcovering.com

    Daydreams Encouraged
    Leave it to Ralph Lauren to create preppy-chic wallpapers that feel timeless. The Northern Hemisphere - Midnight Blue pattern (left, $52 per roll) and the Maritime - Lake pattern (right, $52 per roll) both look like they could have been used in a 1950s summer house, but still feel fresh today.


    kids wallpaperPhotos: Blonder Home/Sherwin-Williams

    Pink, But Not Too Pink
    Little girls like pink. Period. Indulge your daughter's love of rosy hues with a delicate pattern that isn't too pink. If you opt for a simple repeat on a neutral background like these two patterns from Blonder Home, Alphabet Soup #SW1BR9101 (left, $58.50 for two rolls) and Animal Crackers #SW4RF9501 (right, $54.00 for two rolls), you can mix and match different patterns with the print. (To purchase, go to Sherwin-Williams and search by pattern number.)

    kids wallpaperPhotos: Jenny Wilkinson/2Jane

    Paint Your Own Wallpaper
    For something unique, splurge on one of the patterns from Jenny Wilkinson's 'Wallpaper-By-Number' collection. The papers are printed with a pattern that is numbered just like a traditional paint-by-number painting -- you (or your child) gets to paint the pattern in. The Pineapple pattern (left, $120 per roll) has been partially painted, while the Tilly the Flying Dog pattern (right, $120 per roll) shows the papers as they come.

    For more on kids rooms, don't miss:
    Best Paint Colors for Kids Rooms
    Kids Room, Nothing Kid-Like About It
    Posh Tots: Over the Top Beds for Kids

     

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    Ashton Kutcher remodeled this home with his father to suit his personal taste -- and now he's selling for more than twice what he paid.

    When Ashton Kutcher met Demi Moore, he fell for the actress so hard that he was forced to put a big project on the back burner -- the renovation of his sweet new bachelor pad. He bought the 4 bedroom, 4.5 bath home in 2004 for $1 million. Yesterday he put the house on the market for $2.6 million.

    As serial house flipper Jeff Lewis learned, this isn't really the market to make money in real estate. Will the actor get his price? Let's check out the house.

    `

    Ashton Kutcher home, bachelor pad, house, celebrity home, salePhoto: Courtesy of Zillow | Getty Images


    According to Zillow, the actor and his father remodeled the Hollywood Hills home together: they added 1,200 square feet, a home theater and recycled Redwood, Mahogancy and Brazilian woods throughout.

    But here's the kicker: Kutcher is putting his "showhouse" up for sale on Gilt, the group buying discount site -- only he's not selling the house itself on Gilt; he's selling walking tours of the house. Really! A few designers will give the tours, pointing out the home's unique renovation and features. Some profits from the house sale as well as money earned from the auction of furnishings and decor will be donated to the Kutcher and Moore's charitable foundation.

    The kitchen isn't grand but perfectly nice with its sleek modern cabinetry, double ovens and restaurant-grade cooktop. Oversize sliding glass doors open up the kitchen to a simple patio surrounded by lush tropical greenery. We wouldn't mind sipping a cup of coffee out there.

    The bathroom's unusual vanity is spa-like in its clean, white simplicty.

    We love the home theater room, but we don't get the chairs. If you were going to watch a movie in here, wouldn't you want to snuggle up with your sweetie?


    The home's serene quality extends outdoors where the water from a hot tub cascades into an infinity-edged pool. From here, the water tumbles into a waterfall.


    A view of the waterfall.


    The wine room can hold up to 210 bottles of vino. Warm woods can be found throughout the home; they help to soften more modern architectual elements, like the stairs shown above.

    The home's living room features a modern fireplace as a focal point, a wood-beamed ceiling and lots of light.


    For more celebrity home stories, don't miss:
    Where Celebs Live: Bedford, NY
    J. Lo's House is More Elegant than We Expected
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Gwyneth's Bedroom
    Million Dollar Listing Star Dishes Dirt

     

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    Take a look at the photo and read through the clues. Can you figure out who lives here?

    What lovable and sometimes crass Emmy-winning comedian and bona fide movie star paddles around in this swimming pool tucked into the lush backyard of his A-list, celebrity-style compound in Los Angeles' Hollywood Hills?

    ben stiller home celebrity-homePhoto: Elle Decor


    Hints

    He once hosted the MTV Movie Awards.

    He is the son of a famous comedy couple who summer on Martha's Vineyard.

    He worked as an intern on Alan Thicke's show "Thicke of the Night" in the 1980s.

    He was once engaged to -- but did not marry -- "Big Love" star Jeanne Tripplehorn.

    His lifetime gross film receipts exceed $2 billion.


    What do you think?


    Want the answer? Get it here!

     

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    The 20-year-old winner of the ShelterPop & SCAD Design Challenge takes to the floor of the New York International Gift Fair for the first time and shares his favorite pieces.

    I am like a kid in a candy store here at the 2011 NYIGF. It makes sense: It's basically the equivilent for any design-obsessed adult. I want to write about everything, but let's be realistic, you don't want a novel on design. So let's focus on what products I want for my own home -- these pieces are so much fun, I have a feeling you might want them, too.

    nyigf-2011SCAD/ Corey Green



    I kept an eye out for the important elements: An attraction -- do I like the product? A connection -- does it fit in with my lifestyle? And yes, that little something extra. That pinch of magic that makes a product stand out and rise above the rest.

    As an Industrial Design student at SCAD, I'm constantly learning to weed out the weak designs and hone in on the good ones. So this was a great real-world experience.

    NYIGF 2011 Product Pick 1: Drinking glasses by William Bounds

    nyigf-2011Corey Green



    I recently got my own apartment and have been on the lookout for drinking glasses -- but something a little different. And different can be hard to find. But my search ended with these pieces. The only problem is figuring out what style I like the best. I'm leaning towards the Gloww, which has the green liquid in it. Perfect for wow-ing guests at your next dinner party.

    NYIGF 2011 Product Pick 2: Lunchbox by Black + Blum

    nyigf-2011Corey Green



    This is a necessity for anyone who is constantly on the go. I balance work and college so I'm obviously drawn to its convenience! My pick is the round lunchbox which would be great for soups or salads. The item is brand spankin' new, so it won't be available until April. Can't wait? Their rectangle and square lunchboxes are a great alternative. Bonus: If you always forget the fork like I do, no need to fret. The utensil is integrated into the design.

    NYIGF 2011 Product Pick 3: Mr. + Mrs. Muse Bottle Stoppers/ Salt & Pepper Shakers by Jonathan Adler

    nyigf-2011Corey Green



    These salt and pepper shakers (and bottle stoppers) by Jonathan Adler are a play on typical tabletop design. Out with the boring salt shaker and in with this chic couple! Mr. and Mrs. Muse will become an extension of your family -- but don't worry, they keep to themselves. While these may not be the most colorful items out there, they are drenched with personality. It's that "extra" factor I mentioned earlier that caught my eye here.

    Product #4: Balloon Vases by Working Class Studio

    nyigf-2011Corey Green



    Yes, yes, I know it is shameless self-promotion. In my defense, the balloon vases are the reason why I am here blogging for your reading enjoyment. They are the result of SCAD and Shelterpop's Design Challenge that I was fortunate to be a part of during the fall quarter during my internship with Working Class Studio, SCAD's pre-professional product venture. They come in three different sizes and are completely customizable (that's a standard party balloon so you can switch out the one it comes with!) They will be available in August from Working Class Studio line, so if you like them, keep an eye out.

    As a first-timer at the New York International Gift Fair, I was impressed by all the functional designs. They're not just beautiful -- they're easy to use. It's easy to buy too much, but if you use the guidelines, you can buy smart. Plus, you never know -- the next product you consider for your home might be designed by me.

    Don't miss the rest of our NYIGF coverage.

     

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  • 02/08/11--13:06: Sleep Style



  • Getting a good night's sleep can directly influence your well being. Whatever your daily routine demands, a good night's sleep starts with the right mattress and pillows. Whether you're a stomach, back or side sleeper, support is what matters the most. The right mattress should accommodate the body's natural curves and provide ample support in the back and hips while simultaneously offering cushioned comfort. For maximum comfort choose a pillow specific to your sleeping preference. The perfect pillow will ensure you awake feeling refreshed and without any soreness. You can find pillows in a variety of different materials to ensure a restful night.

    Design a better life starting with a good nights sleep from IKEA.

    For more IKEA product information, click here.

     

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  • 02/08/11--13:06: How to Choose a Lampshade
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    Follow these tips for picking the perfect shade for your lamp.

    Anyone who has ever gone shopping for a lampshade can tell you that choosing a shade can be surprisingly difficult. There are seemingly endless variations of colors, size and style, not to mention the various pieces of hardware you can adjust to hold the shade. Some websites will give you complicated equations for measuring base height to shade height, but there isn't really a magic formula to determine the size and shape of your shade. In the end, it's really a matter of taste. Here are some tips and tricks to get the right shade for your lamp:

    how-to-choose-a-lampshadeThese lamps from Shade of Lights show some of the common shade choices available. Photo: Shades of Light


    Find a specialty store. Shopping for lampshades in a store like Target or Bed Bath & Beyond severely limits your options. Instead seek out a shop that specializes in lamps and shades where you'll have more choices and an expert on-hand to give you advice.

    Bring your lamp to the store. Shopping for shades is like looking for a new outfit, you want to try it on to see how it fits. Bringing the old shade isn't a good substitute for the lamp itself.

    Pair like with like. "Repeat the shape in the lamp body in the shade shape," suggests Harrison, president of Shades of Light. "Square lamps look best with square shades and round lamps look best with round shades, likewise a shapely lamp can take a shapely shade."

    Use the current harp as your guide. When determining shade height, you can use the lamp's existing harp as a guide (the harp is the wire frame that holds the shade onto the lamp base). The shade should be at least as high as the harp. However, you can also change the harp size to accommodate a larger (or smaller) shade to suit your tastes.

    Make sure the harp fits. If you change the shade, there's a good chance you'll have to change the harp, especially with flared shades. "The more flared the shade, the shorter the harp you need," notes Harrison.

    Fine-tune the height. If your current harp is a close fit, but not exact, add an extender, which is called a shade riser. The extender will raise the height that the shade sits on.

    how-to-choose-a-lampshadeSpitzmiller's classic designs are topped with simple, tapered drum shades and not one spec of hardware shows beneath them. Photos: Christopher Spitzmiller

    Don't let the hardware show! "Absolutely no hardware, except for the finial should show," cautions Spitzmiller. Make sure you don't end up with a shade that's too short - the saddle and socket are meant to be hidden!

    Tapered drums are fresh. "Regarding style, I'm happier to see boxier shades being used more," says lamp designer Christopher Spitzmiller of the trend towards tapered drum shade (like the two shown on Spitzmiller's lamps above). "They look really modern now, and they're a really great timeless shape."

    Have fun with simple bases. "The more basic the shape of the body of the lamp, the more varied styles of shades it can take," says Harrison.

    Keep things in proportion. According to Harrison, the height of a shade should be approximately 2/3 to 4/5 the height of the lamp's base, and the diameter shouldn't exceed the height of the base and should be within two inches of this dimension.

    Go with your gut. When it comes to the exact size and style, it's your own tastes that count. For example, while you might prefer a bell-shaped shade, your sister might like a wider straight-sided drum shade -- neither style is "right" or "wrong." "It's a matter of personal preference, there's no real answer," says Spitzmiller, "Trust your instincts on proportion or size."

    how-to-choose-a-lampshadeMottega's Sophia lamp base can coordinate with a variety of shade styles. Photos: Mottega

    In the market for a new lamp? Read on:
    - On the Hunt: Floor Lamps
    - On the Hunt: Eco-Friendly Lighting

     

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    Pick a room, take a few minutes -- that's all you need! -- and tackle the clutter.

    It's early February and many resolutions have already fallen by the wayside, but that doesn't mean you can't meet your goals to get organized in 2011. One of the key steps to achieving organization at home is to tackle you clutter. Don't worry, you don't need to address the whole mess all at once, just pick a room, take ten minutes and weed out some excess stuff.


    Get a head start to your de-cluttering: Gather every member of your household for an initial sweep through the house. Set a timer for ten minutes and tell everyone to go through the house looking for items that aren't in the appropriate rooms. Toys go back to children's rooms, the stack of cookbooks on the coffee table go back to the kitchen, etc. In just a short amount of focused time, you'll have everything back into its designated room and you'll be better able to sort through clutter with this done.

    ENTRYWAY/MUDROOM:

    Remove the non-essentials. If you don't need an item to get out the door, find another place to store it.

    Hang small hooks next to the door, and hang up your keys every time you come inside. Once you get in the habit, you'll never waste ten minutes searching for lost keys again.

    Store seasonal items. If field hockey is over until next September, there's no reason your daughter's shin guards and stick should be in the entryway.

    Create an inbox. Place a bin or a letterbox near your entry for incoming mail and place mail there until you have time to sort through it.


    LIVING ROOM:

    clean-fast
    Alamy

    Recycle every old magazine or newspaper -- if you haven't read it yet, you're probably not going to. Trust us, you won't miss them.

    Buy a bin or basket to hold new magazines. As soon as the bin fills up, it's time to do another purge.

    Lose the CD and DVD cases. The packaging for CDs and DVDs takes up a ton of space, especially if you have a large media library. Toss all the plastic cases and put the disc into CD sleeves in a binder. Say hello to your newly cleared shelf space.

    Designate a home for all of your remotes -- a basket or even a small bucket -- and train your family to put them there!

    Donate excess toys. This one is hard -- we know. Explain to your child that he'll be giving his old toys to a child who is in need; it may help him part with that Lego set he never liked anyway.


    KITCHEN:

    clean-fast
    Alamy


    Eat through your pantry. Intentionally run your pantry "dry" by eating everything -- even dry items like pancake mix and pasta. It's a great way to give your cupboards a fresh start. Plus, you'll save money in the weeks you are creatively eating what you have on-hand.

    Toss the plastic bags -- once and for all. Everyone has it: The bag of bags. Get rid of all those plastic bags you have been "saving" and start a new stash, but limit it to just a half a dozen plastic bags at a time.

    Eliminate duplicates. Yes, kitchenware is always useful, but there's no need for two vegetable peelers or four paring knives. Narrow down your tools to one of each item to get your drawers in check.

    Store rarely-used items. If you only use your food processor once in a blue moon and you're short on counter space, consider storing it elsewhere to free up space. Ditto the bread maker and the panini press.

    BEDROOM:

    Remove non-sleep-related items. The bedroom is for sleeping. Clear out anything that doesn't relate to your nocturnal life. Give it a try. You'll probably sleep better once you do.

    Give yourself a hook (or two or three). If you're guilty of throwing your clothes on the floor (or over the Nordic Track machine, chair, etc.), hang a few over-the door hooks to catch your garments instead.

    Optimize your bedside storage. If you don't have drawers or shelves on your bedside table, consider placing an attractive, covered box beneath it to hold books and magazines.

    BATHROOM:

    clean-fast
    Alamy


    Get rid of products you don't use. All of them. Most people have dozens of skin care and beauty products that never get used. Toss them or find a friend who might want to try the lotion you weren't crazy about.

    Streamline the formulations you do use. There's no reason each family member needs to have his or her own set of shampoos, conditioners and washes: Get your brood to agree on no more than two types of each item, and don't buy any new ones until the old ones run out.

    Invest in organizers. Makeup, hair clips and other small items can easily get disorganized, invest in small bins, dividers and or containers so that every item you are planing to keep has a designated spot.


    Hungry for more advice? Take a peek at ShelterPop's Storage & Cleaning archive!



    For more help on organizing your clutter check out this video!

     

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  • 02/08/11--13:06: Painting a Mural
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    This DIY wall mural is a great way to wake up an otherwise boring room (or complement one with tons of personality!). Here's how to make it happen.

     

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    Think celebs are only obsessed with designer shoes and botox? We found ten that cannot get enough of...cleaning. Really.

    We always giggle when we see magazine spreads about how stars are just like us. Yes, they may have been caught by the paparazzi whie pumping gas or buying a gallon of milk but what about how they really act the rest of the time?

    Turns out, some of them are just like us. Well, those of us who are obsessed with cleaning. When we heard Johnny Weir proclaim on "The Today Show" that vacuuming is his favorite activity, we started snooping around. Who else in Hollywood is a clean freak? Read on for ten of our favorite cleaning-obsessed celebrities.

    cleaning-obsessed-celebritiesGetty Images/WireImage/X17online.com


    Cameron Diaz
    " ...not only does she open doors with her elbows to avoid touching germ-infested knobs - doorknobs, that is - she also admits to scrubbing her Hollywood home scrupulously and washing her hands 'many times' each day. 'I'm not scared of germs,' she explains, 'I'm just not into other people's fluids....' ''
    (Time, 1997)

    Britney Spears
    "...I get mad if the maid does all the work. If she takes it all into her own hands, well, what's there for me to do? I'm a cleaning fanatic. Dusting is my favorite, and Windex-ing."
    (The Insider, 2008)

    Christina Aguilera, on her son Max Liron
    "Vacuum was one of his first words! He has a cleaning fetish and he loves to run around with a rag and dust and clean, and he loves to clean his high chair after he's done eating. It's so cute! I'll lift him down and the first thing he does is to take a rag and clean off his chair. He's mommy's little helper."
    (Boston.com, 2009)

    Johnny Weir
    "I'm from the country, I love to work hard. I love vacuuming. That's my favorite pastime."
    (The Today Show, 2011)

    Gisele Bundchen
    "I love it. Cleaning the house is actually very therapeutic for me," she said. "Becoming a parent has given me a whole new perspective on life. I can't put into words how much I love it."
    (Celebrity-mania.com, 2010)


    cleaning-obsessed-celebritiesGetty Images/jpstudios.com


    Kirstie Alley
    "My favorite room to clean in the house, believe it or not, is the bathroom, because I like it to be spotless. Do you know, when I'm in airplanes, I always get a bottle of vodka, and I go into the nasty bathrooms, and I wipe it down. I clean everything before I go to the bathroom. So if you are ever on an airplane with me, always go into the restroom AFTER I've been in there, because it will be immaculate. "
    (Oprah.com, 2009)

    Lee Ann Womack
    "I thought once I had a record deal, everything would be done for me," she says. "I was weeding the flower bed last week and I never saw myself doing that or cleaning the house or doing dishes." Lee Ann recently shared those thoughts with friend and fellow artist Amy Grant. "I told her I love to clean the house and she said, 'Of course you do. That's because you don't have to do it all the time!'" she says with a laugh.
    (The Boot, 2010)

    Randy Jackson
    "I'm crazy about using the SpotBot [a hands-free, battery powered cleaner]. We have two dogs, Buckwheat and Yoshi. Between the dogs and the kids, the little machine is my best friend."
    (Good Housekeeping)

    Helena Bonham Carter
    "I've discovered the therapy of cleaning. I used to be retarded domestically but now I understand that if you put your house in order, it gets your head in order as well. I know all about (cleaning product) Cillit Bang, which I use on the cooker. I've done therapy and it was helpful, but with acting I dream every day, scream and get the tensions out. And you're paid for that rather than paying for a therapist."
    (Cinemablend.com, 2010)

    Alec Baldwin, actor
    "I'm very OCD, I find. I'm ashamed to say that. I come home and I'm like, 'Did somebody move that book?' I just notice everything. I'm very kind of observant. I'll have to catch a plane, like I'm in a hurry to go somewhere, and I'm in my kitchen rinsing out the glasses. I have a housekeeper that can do that and I'm sitting there cleaning the glass."
    (IMDB, 2004)


    Want to clean like a celeb (or, OK, a professional cleaner?) Check out this video!

     

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    Actress Rachel Bilson is putting her design skills on the table with a new line of dinnerware.

    Check out this great story from our friends at CasaSugar!




    Back in 2008, actress Rachel Bilson made her foray into the celebrity designer ring with a junior sportswear line for DKNY called Edie Rose. The youthful, wearable, mix and match collection has been such a success that she's decided to delve into the home décor arena with a new Edie Rose dinnerware collection, available exclusively at Macy's.

    rachel-bilson-edie-rosePhoto: CasaSugar


    Featuring hand-inked florals, butterflies, watercolor motifs and fanciful peacocks, the feminine pieces bear modern silhouettes and are designed to be mixed and matched. From bluebird salt and pepper shakers ($15) to flower petal measuring cups ($20) to a cute-as-can-be sugar and creamer set ($25), the ceramic line includes everything, short of pots and pans, that you need for cooking and serving.

    But it's also got plenty to offer in the decorative department, from a blue and white pitcher ($30) that begs to be filled with flowers to an earthenware peacock lidded box ($15) that can store delicate jewelry to a painted peacock plate ($10) that would add charm to a wall. Better yet, the already affordable line is on sale. So run along and go feather your nest!

    rachel-bilson-edie-rosePhoto: Getty

    For more celebrity home stories, don't miss:
    Where Celebs Live: Bedford, NY
    J. Lo's House is More Elegant than We Expected
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Gwyneth's Bedroom
    Million Dollar Listing Star Dishes Dirt

     

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    Shane Reilly of Decorati shares her new video series "Shane's Studio" and give us a behind-the-scenes look at the studios of our favorite designers. Ready for some major design envy via Skype? Come on in...




    Join me on a visit with New York interior designer Robin Wilson in her design studio. Robin tells us about her latest projects: a surprise transformation from nursery to boy's room for one lucky youngster and a sweet "mancave" the whole family can enjoy. Special treat -- meet Robin's office pet, who represents her life's mission to implement sustainable design.



    Shane Reilly, the Founder and CEO of Decorati.com is sharing the wealth of information imparted to her by the country's top manufacturers, artisans, and designers in her new video series Shane's Studio. Check out the website or check back on ShelterPop for more of Shane's great interviews!

     

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  • 02/08/11--13:06: Best Beds for Sex
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    Want more and better sex? We've got the solution. Hint: A good romp starts with the right bed and mattress.

    Last spring, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that one-third of adults surveyed would buy a new mattress if they thought it would improve their sex life.

    "A good mattress can not only make sex more enjoyable and comfortable, but it also helps you get a better night's sleep," says sex therapist and "Book of Love" author Dr. Laura Berman. "This translates into energy, rest and, hence, an improved sex drive."

    Photo: Getty


    With all the types of beds and mattresses on the market, it can be hard to narrow down which one will hit the spot. But after a little research, we've figured out the best beds for sex.

    Foam May Kill the Mood
    The biggest complaint about memory foam is that it gets hot, and it responds to heat by softening. This creates almost a dough-like feeling, which easily kills the mood.

    The advantage of a foam mattress for sleeping could be a major disadvantage for getting frisky: There's virtually no bounce. You've all seen the commercial where a person rolls around on a foam mattress while a glass of wine is sits on the bed next to them not moving at all. That's the point. Foam molds around your body and absorbs your movements. Therefore it's tough to maneuver quickly on it and it will sink when pressure is put on it.

    For Better Bounce, Try...
    A standard (and less expensive) coil mattress will bounce back during the sexy fun, helping to create a rhythm and allowing for more acrobatic movements. There is a disadvantage to coils: Some of your energy will be absorbed in the bounce and you'll have to exert more energy to keep up with the passion (maybe an argument for older folks to favor memory foam). Also as a coil mattress ages, it runs the risk of becoming squeaky, a problem you won't have with foam.

    Photo: Getty



    For Better Leverage, Reconsider...
    Foam. Since foam mattresses mold to your body, they also mold to your partner's, keeping he or she in place. Your partner won't have to brace himself to keep from slipping or moving. This allows you to get into some creative positions without worrying that a limb will go numb.

    Beware the Tired Bedframe
    Of course the mattress is only one part of the equation for a sexy bed. A good bedframe is equally important in setting the mood. A friend of mine inherited an antique sleigh bed from his grandmother. He thought it would impress the ladies, but it tends to squeak. "Very unsexy," he says. Also, when a bed is mentioned in the same sentence as "grandmother", it loses some romance. But you already knew that.

    New beds sometimes can be no better. A disgruntled shopper at a popular furnishings store wrote a long diatribe on Apartment Therapy when he discovered the wooden support slats under his platform bed had broken after a particularly wild night.

    Cecile and Gigi, founders of the popular sex and dating blog It's Not Okay to Look, have taken note of various guys' beds over the years, and they have a few ideas about which kinds of beds are best for getting busy. Cecile is a girl who likes comfort. Her lush bed has one of the softest mattresses on the market; it's topped with no less than 12 pillows. But regardless of her bed's comfort -- which in fact, she says is a bit too soft for sex -- Cecile has another problem: Wheels. Her bedframe has, on occasion, cruised around the room during sex.

    "Lock them," she advises. "My own bed moves so much, there was one night that I definitely hit all four walls -- it was a good night."

    Tips for a Sexier Bed
    Cecile's boyfriend sleeps on a futon. When she first met him, it was on the floor. But in the year they've been together, she's been adamant about the need for a frame. It doesn't have to be fancy, she says, but some elevation is necessary and can add to the fun. An elevated bed introduces a whole new set of creative coital positions, including standing ones.

    Cecile says that placement is imporant as well. She doesn't like that her boyfriend's futon is floating in the middle of a room. "Make sure that the bed is against at least one wall," she says. "Sometimes a lady needs to lean against something."

    Cecile's co-founder Gigi has her own rules: Twin mattresses are no-no's, and a guy better have more than one pillow. She says that a sturdy, firm mattress and bedframe are essential. "I don't want to hear your headboard slamming against the wall repeatedly and I guarantee your roommates/neighbors/landlord don't want to hear it either," she says.

    While the ideal surface and setting are all well and good, sex therapist Brenda Lewis cautions against becoming dependent on external factors to create great intimacy. A couple who already has a great relationship is likely to enjoy themselves no matter the setting. "Sex is not confined to a perfect mattress or lighting," she says, but "creating a setting for intimacy can add to the experience, absolutely."

    So light some candles, break out the scented oil, but don't count on your bed alone to improve your sex life.

    For more sexy house tips, don't miss:
    House Tips to Jumpstart Your Sex Life
    10 Feng Shui Tips to Improve Your Romance and Love Life
    Sexy Burlesque Home Video Workout

     

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    With Lucky magazine set to launch Lucky Home next year, we imagine what the pages will look like. Hint: Don't expect a Domino wannabe.

    When Domino and Blueprint magazines folded, it was like the world came crashing down around me. And I wasn't alone. My design-savvy friends were also devastated -- in fact, anyone I ask these days prays for them to come back from the dead. Despite the rise of internet magazines such as Lonny and Rue, there's still a void each month in my mailbox that makes me pine for print. And I don't think I'm alone in that sentiment.


    A mock-up of what we think the new Lucky Home might look like. Photo on both covers: Brigitte Sire. Photo illustration: Jolie Novak.



    So I got pretty excited when newly-appointed Lucky mag editor Brandon Holley told the New York Times that she plans on launching a spinoff mag, Lucky Home. (A second spinoff, Lucky Kids, is rumored to debut this March.) But I had to wonder: Will it be as good as Domino?

    Maybe, maybe not. But we do think it will succeed since it's decidedly different from the much loved shuttered magazine.

    As I flipped through my February 2011 Lucky, I felt like Holley was giving us a taste of what Lucky Home might look like: There were a spattering of home-related objects on its glossy pages and a few good design ideas, such as the "Inspiration Board" section, which reminded me that whimsy and color are in.

    Even if Conde Nast hasn't officially announced what will fill the pages of Lucky Home, we think we can make some pretty safe predictions -- and yes, hopes:

    lucky-homePhotos: Lucky magazine, February 2011


    Lucky Home Prediction 1: Celebrities.
    I remember reading once that Lucky decided to start putting more celebrities on its cover because -- let's be real -- celebs sell more magazines, which equates to more $$. Since then, I'm not sure that one cover has hit newsstands without a celebrity style icon. I bet they'll go in the same direction with Lucky Home. Would you be interested in a peek inside Brangelina's pad? Maybe, but that's the kind of editorial I can get elsewhere. The editors at Lucky do a stellar job of taking their magazine off the beaten path so it will be a treat to see how they can spin home coverage differently.

    If celebrities are a part of Lucky Home, I'm crossing my fingers it's unlike anything we've ever seen -- I don't want to see just another house tour of perfectly placed and styled items. What if we could peek inside Natalie Portman's kitchen and get the look sourced for us or head over to Katy Perry's studio to see where she gets inspired. The more intimate and closer I can get to really understanding the celeb and their style, the better.

    Lucky Home Prediction 2: Shopping, shopping and more shopping.
    Lucky is a magazine about shopping and style -- Lucky Home will be the home magazine about decor shopping and style. Domino was slightly more on the style side than the shopping side, but if Lucky Home is a magazine completely chock full of products and shops -- I'm sold. Expect profiles of funky design shop owners and their wares, and roundups of the latest home trends. I'd like to see them recreate the Lucky "City Guide" section, which whisks me away to a new place and shows me what the best shops are.

    lucky-homePhotos: Lucky magazine, February 2011


    Lucky Home Prediction 3: Trends.
    Lucky's "What I Want Now!" is one of my favorite columns. Not only does it showcase trends, but it stays relevant by using a style icon or fashion trendsetter as inspiration. In the February issue of Lucky, editor Jenny Jang names graphic prints as her obsession for this month. This column can easily be adapted for the home, even this particular trend -- chevron and stripes are everywhere right now.

    One column in particular I am dying to see again is the Domino column "Turn this Outfit into a Room." It's the perfect mashup of Lucky and Lucky Home.

    Lucky Home Prediction 4: Deals.
    Lucky Breaks is one of my favorite sections in the magazine. It's where a handful of companies offer discounts to readers on specific items featured in the magazine. I'm always on the hunt for a bargain, especially when it comes to trendy items. I'd be lying if I said that the deals cheapen the magazine. I want to say that, but I can't. I like deals. I like bargains. I like the feeling I get after getting a good deal. I bet Lucky Home pairs up with some of our favorite design retailers for deep discounts!

    Lucky Home Prediction 1: How To.
    You can't talk about fashion or decor without a little education. We all have a hard time making things work. The "How To" section of Lucky shows you how to take certain things and work them into your wardrobe. We bet they recreate this section for Lucky Home with room makeovers and fun DIY projects -- maybe it will feel similar to Domino's "Renovator's Notebook."

    Lucky Home Prediction 1: Real people's homes.
    This month's Lucky column "Lucky Life" takes a look inside interior designer Tamara Kaye Honey's 65-square-foot global-inspired garage-turned-retreat. The premise of this column is to share a reader's favorite room. If this is any indication of what we plan on seeing in the debut issue of Lucky Home, we're the lucky ones.

    I could go on and on about what I want to see in Lucky Home. But if they were to take Lucky, clone it and replace the fashion with home decor, I'd be happier than a rabbit with a carrot.

    One final thought: Brandon's shoutout to fashion blogs in her "Editor's Letter" was fantastic -- she seems to understand the need to collaborate. We can only hope she'll be just as open to working with design blogs.

    For more great design stories, don't miss:
    High Gloss Mag Debuts
    Cheap Chic Ideas From the House of Color
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Jane Fonda's House
    Cheap Chic Ideas From Gwyneth Paltrow's Bedroom

     

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