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    "Oedipus", inspired by Freud's theory on the Greek legend. Photo: ABC Carpet & Home

    50 patchwork Egg chairs by Republic of Fritz Hansen make their U.S. debut.

    To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Danish artist Tal R has re-imagined the iconic Egg chair -- Arne Jacobsen's cozy mid-century masterpiece and symbol of fertility. The results of his musings are a 50-piece collection, now on display at ABC Carpet & Home in New York City.

    Tal R's "Wolfsmand" and "26 July 1914" (left) and "Abriss" and "Therapy" Egg chairs (right). Photos: ABC Carpet & Home

    The exhibition, which run through May 31st, has toured the world, with stops in Seoul, Sydney, Melbourne, Tokyo, Paris, Helsinki, Oslo and Copenhagen, before making its U.S. debut this month. The collection features 50 designs, manufactured by Republic of Fritz Hansen, rendered in a patchwork of fabrics collected from destinations as far afield as Istanbul and Berlin, as well as washed out work clothes from a kibbutz in Israel (the artist's birthplace).

    Combining his patchwork design with his love for Sigmund Freud, Tal R gave the chairs names like "Martha" (Freud's wife), "Abriss" (Freud's noted outline on psychoanalysis) and "Wolfsman" (Freud's famous client). To see these chairs-turned-art in person, hurry to ABC Carpet & Home before the exhibit closes this Sunday.

    The Republic of Fritz Hansen[TM] Egg Tour:
    A Tribute to Arne Jacobsen's Egg Chair by Artist Tal R

    ABC Carpet & Home - 2nd floor
    888 Broadway
    New York, NY 10003

     

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    The ins and out of upside down gardening. Photos: Gardener's Supply Co.


    You don't need to flip your plants to get the benefits of this fad -- hanging them right-side up delivers the same results.

    Since the New York Times brought the world of upside down gardening to the front lines (and front porches) of the planting community, everyone seems to be buzzing about growing their veggies in this non-traditional way.

    But how exactly does it work? With The Gardener's Supply Co.'s upside down model (pictured above, $19) you place your plant in the cage, cradle it with soil, zip up the breathable lining and close the the cage. Sounds easy enough, right? And because it's up in the air, you don't need to stake or weed the plant or worry about pests. Worried about appropriate water distribution? Gravity does the hard work for you. Nervous about your plants getting enough air and sun? By hanging them up high, you'll put them in a prime spot to get all those goodies.

    Now, before you get flip-happy and start digging out all your plants in favor of higher pastures, take note: While the Times' article does confirm that crops in the air are less susceptible to pests and blight, horticulturists, agronomists and plant scientists still have no proof as to whether the upside-down part of the equation offers any more benefits. Which is to say that simply hanging plants right-side up could achieve the same results.

    Charlotte Germane, of the blog Daffodil Planter: Gardening with a Sense of Humor, poked fun at the excitement, posting a photo of an upside down chair and asking if devotees of the fad would also seek the health benefits of "upside downing" for themselves. Hey, if plants live a better life with their bottoms up, why shouldn't we?

    But when reached by email, Germane was more supportive. "Gardening should be fun," she explained. "If this planter seems like fun to people -- hooray! Although it's an oddball plant fad, it has its roots (ha!) in fundamental issues of health and even survival. Growing some of your own food is one of the most important things people can do, and it can make a significant difference in a family's diet."

    Rosalind Creasy, author of 18 books on edible gardens, including the 1982 classic Edible Landscaping -- and the upcoming second edition of the book, out November 1, 2010 -- is on the same page. "If it gets people growing tomatoes, that's good. Then we have them hooked!"

    But she was also quick to clear up the actual benefits of the trend. "When plants are hanging five to six feet above the ground, you're not going to have a problem with the fungal spores in the soil splashing up onto the plant leaves when it rains," she explained. And the higher up your plants are, the better air circulation they'll get. "At ground-level, wind runs into foliage, leaves, and the lawn. It gets slowed down on the way to the plants. If they're hanging, there's better access." But it's important to note that these advantages apply equally to regular hanging right-side up plants, as well as the trendier upside-down versions.

    Does that mean that Creasy, a 40-year veteran of edible gardening, would consider the method for her own landscape? "I have hanging baskets, over the years I've grown strawberries in them and it keeps the snails, slugs, even the birds away. But upside-down planters? Well, I don't think they're very attractive. I think it's kind of a jumble of leaves with a green plastic bag just hanging there. It just doesn't ring my chimes."

    As for the downsides of this method, Creasy stressed the environmental-unfriendliness: upside down planters require more water, more fertilizer and lead to more waste -- who recycles those plastic containers anyways? She also reminded us that plastics can only be recycled so many times, so even if the planter itself is made from recycled plastic, it may not have much of a future once it leaves your garden.

    The bottom line here -- upside-down gardening itself is not going to change anybody's life. But if it's the gateway process that brings so-called black-thumbers into the world of gardening, it's worth the hype. "People have no idea how much fresh delicious food they can produce," says Creasy.

    But let us know what you think!


    Fab or Fad?



    Craving more unique gardening ideas?
    Growing Up: Vertical Gardens
    Plant Shelf Decor: Build a Botanical Wonderland
    Far-Flung Friday: London's Living Wall
    Weedrobes Art

     

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    In addition to racking up ten multi-platinum albums, Kenny Rogers also enjoys scooping up -- and flipping -- high priced houses.

    In 2006, the legendary country crooner paid $2.8M for a 1.5-acre estate in the swanky Buckhead area of Atlanta, GA. He and his wife Wanda spent the next few years and several million dollars working over every inch of the mansion. But, like so many famous folks, Rogers caught a case of the real estate fickle and just 17 months after moving in to his colossal customized crib he heaved the property on the market at $7.95M, a price that included every stick of furniture.

    What happened next? See our slideshow.


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    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    Alas, there were no takers for the $7.95M pricetag. After disappearing from the market, the Rogers residence recently popped back up with a new, improved and much lower asking price of $5.9M, a figure that does not, according to listing information, include the furniture.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    The approximately 9,000 sq. ft. home -- a kind of kooky and not entirely comfortable collision between Second Empire and Renaissance Revival architecture -- sits atop a exuberantly landscaped knoll and, according to listing information, includes a total of six bedrooms and six and a half bathrooms.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    The extraordinary detail and eclectic opulence of the exterior is continued into the interior spaces where Rogers' predilection for high drama, rich earth tones and decorative eccentricity is revealed in décor that bends towards themed rooms such as a Chinese influenced formal living room with a glammy mirrored wall and an African themed guest suite complete with zebra skin rug.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    The decorative drama goes full tilt in Rogers' study where the deep set paneling and wedding cake-esque coffered ceiling are painted a shiny ebony that stands in stark contrast to the deep peach carpeting and curtains. On the wall are multiple framed platinum records and along the back wall, floor to ceiling glass-fronted built-in cabinetry holds scads of Rogers' many awards, a testament to his screaming success and long career.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    The family's more private quarters include a colossal eat-in kitchen with black marble tile flooring, thick, bullnose black granite counter tops, a built-in dining banquette wrapped in huge windows, high-grade appliances and the grand-daddy of all pot racks, a vine laced and Mercedes sized situation that hangs over the entire length of the massive work island and breakfast bar. An adjacent family room has a double height ceiling, buff colored leather couches and a flat screen television hangs above a carved stone fireplace.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    Some of the additional celebrity style amenities of the Rogers' residence include a home gym and a marble floored media room in the basement with 8 over-stuffed leather chairs that swivel, swaddle and recline for maximum movie watching comfort.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    In the master suite, a glitzy platinum encrusted extravaganza with a multi-level tray ceiling, one wall is entirely covered in mirrored tiles, a white shag rug lays on the marble floor, a flat screen television is mounted above the fireplace and the elaborately carved four posted bed is dressed in shiny linens and covered head to foot in decorative pillows.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    A wide terrace off the back of the house has a stone balustrade and looks over the swimming pool and spa. A columned and covered terrace off the lower level allows for shady and cool indoor/outdoor living during the sizzling and humid summer months in Atlanta.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

    Reports from when the Rogers' estate was first listed in 2008 indicate the family was planning to move to a 150-acre spread in Nicholson, GA just outside of Athens. Interestingly, that property (pictured here), a quasi-Polynesian number with five bedrooms, five and a half bathrooms and an eight-acre private lake, is also on the market with an asking price of $3,200,000, reduced from its much higher original asking price of $5,250,000.

    Kenny Rogers Mansion Back on the Market

     

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    One artist recycles Trader Joe's bags into livable art.

    Artist Kim Smith has a question: What's better for the environment? Cloth, paper or plastic? As she ponders recycling, she picks up scissors and glue and incorporates recycling into her artwork. She loves the color, texture, dirt and wrinkles of the vintage paper she uses in her work, one of her favorite materials isn't vintage at all. "I love working with paper grocery bags. The paper blends well with all of my vintage materials and unlike vintage paper, I can replenish my supply as needed," she quips. "My favorite grocery bag is from Trader Joe's with the red print, the text, the big circle in their logo." Check out how she brown-bags it.

    trader bags turned art "Orange" reproduction (left), and "A Fine Mess We've Gotten Ourselves Into" reproduction, both $124-150.

    "Orange Envelope" started out as an envelope full of images that she mailed to a new gallery in New York. She mailed it too early though because the gallery location was still a construction site and there was no mail receptacle. The envelope was returned, perfectly tattered and torn, with a big "Undeliverable" stamp across the front. A great canvas for a collage. The Trader Joe's colors worked perfectly with the orange while vintage stamps replaced postage stamps, and a swirl of circles was created on the front. "A Fine Mess We've Gotten Ourselves Into", at right, features rings cut out from Trader Joe's bags and placed in haphazard fashion.

    Trader Joe's paper bags turned into art.
    Photos: Kim Smith

    "Trader Joe's Bubbles on a Book Cover" was created when the artist had been away from her studio for an extended period. Reproduction, $124-150. "Juni. Erste Excursion" uses a page from an 1860s German botany book. Reproduction, $124-150.

    A grocery bag letter to Dwell magazine.
    "Grocery Bag" was a creative "letter" to Dwell magazine. Reproduction, $124-150. Photo: Kim Smith

    Now, back to Kim's original question. The "Grocery Bag", seen above, was created in response to an article in Dwell magazine about cloth shopping bags. However, the question of what was really better for the environment -- cloth, paper, or plastic wasn't addressed. After submitting an image of her collage to the magazine, Dwell went on to publish it, but the question still remains.

    "I've decided that this question may not have a definitive answer. We need grocery bags, as well as garbage bags," says Smith. "Paper comes from trees, is heavy and bulky to transport to stores but it breaks down and decomposes. Plastic is cheaper and lighter weight to transport to stores, and easier to use as garbage bags. Reusable cloth bags are better than grocery bags, but they don't solve the garbage bag problem. It goes on."

    While the debate could go on an do, we want to know: what do you use? Paper, plastic or cloth? Weigh in below in our comments section or share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

     

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    Kitting out your new place? Re-doing your current one? There's an app for that.

    We scoured Apple's iTunes store and distilled hundreds (upon hundreds) of useful apps into six of our latest faves for decorating, all under $5. Warning: Proceed with caution; there's some high addiction potential here.

    Mark Lewison

    BEST FOR: PLANNING A REDESIGN
    Home Interior Layout Designer:
    Mark On Call by Mark Lewison

    $3
    (at left)

    Upload photos of your space, and execute your next project with the help of a detailed visual plan. Customizable elements (generic, architectural, living, dining, bed, bath, kitchen) can be moved from room to room, and layouts can be saved for later use. Out shopping? Take a photo of your favorite finish, fabric, rug or flooring material and "skin" it onto any surface to preview before buying.


    BEST FOR: CREATING A PALETTE
    ColorSnap by Sherwin-Williams
    Free
    (not shown)

    See a color you love? Capture it with your camera; this app will sort through its 1,500-color library and select the shade of paint that's the closest match. Develop a custom palette, get suggestions on complementary hues and fine-tune brightness and saturation.


    Black Mana Studios

    BEST FOR: PLAYING HOUSE
    Home 3D by Black Mana Studios
    $5
    (at left)

    Everything you need to build your dream home-from the initial floor plan to furnishings. Insert rooms, furniture, fixtures and appliances, and see everything in three dimensions. Mix and match wallpaper, paint and flooring materials: Literally anything can be switched, flipped and modified.


    BEST FOR: FURNISHING YOUR SPACE
    ShopStyle
    Free
    (not shown)

    Features a wealth of bed and bath products, tableware, furniture and home decor-all searchable by brand, size, color and price. Peruse items from hundreds of retailers, including Design Within Reach, Pottery Barn, Room & Board and Williams-Sonoma. Save favorites, then share via email or Twitter.






    HGTV

    BEST FOR: SEEKING EXPERT ADVICE
    HGTV's Staging & Property
    Free
    (at left)

    Get complimentary advice and learn valuable tricks of the trade, straight from the network's seasoned pros. Before-and-after slideshows and video clips from hit programs like Designed to Sell, Curb Appeal, and My First Place help you fabricate your ideal space, keep up with trends and identify your own personal style.


    BEST FOR: HUNTING FOR TREASURES
    Christie's
    Free
    (not shown)

    Browse through the renowned auctioneer's 450-plus sales in more than 80 departments, including fine and decorative arts, photographs and collectibles. Looking to figure out what something's worth? Try finding comparable, recently sold offerings by ogling the company's extensive results listings.




    Get more of our favorite design apps then tell us!
    Are there smart phone apps you use for your cell phone? Comment below to let us know which ones you love.

     

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    A report on the biggest trends from the 2010 ICFF.

    Last week, some of us ShelterPoppers headed to the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) at the Javits Center in New York. If you're going to spot the latest trends in modern design, it's going to happen here -- and this year's show didn't disappoint. However, I felt like something other than fashion and aesthetics was driving the trends this year -- rather it was the state of our environment and how designers are struggling with creating beautiful pieces yet still being socially responsible. Actually, by the end of the show, I think that the most popular words I heard over the course of four days were "re-purposed", "recycled" and "reclaimed".

    Eco, eco, eco!
    As I mentioned, most of the products I viewed were made from recycled materials or recyclable, re-purposed or reclaimed -- and really, what did I expect from a show that featured was a mini-exhibit called "Materials Matter"? It was all about the materials used to create the products.

    The ecologically-minded trend has permeated just about every aspect of design this year, forcing designers to get even more creative with both design and materials. I enjoyed seeing that recycled plastics could do what new plastic can do. I also found that reclaimed wood and non-wood products could be just as beautiful as real wood. For example, these ceramic tiles from Nemo Tile (below), which are made to resemble wood but are actually porcelain tiles. I had to go up and touch them to make sure.

    nemo porcelain tilePhotos: Nemo Tile

    No tools required
    This year, many exhibitors were interested in telling you about the assembly and packaging of their product. The design of the packaging and assembly process became a part of the overall design this year. There was a definite emphasis on minimizing wasteful materials in both design and packaging as well as making assembly easy without the use of tools or glues.

    For example, Ben Huggin's Little Star table (below left) and Graypants' new Steplight (below right) both come flat packed with minimal waste and each assembles with no glue or screws.

    easy to assemblePhotos: Jaime Derringer/Graypants

    Tree trunks
    Despite the emphasis on not using as many trees, tree trunks also happen be a hot trend. I've seen this trend before, but it seemed more prevalent this year than in the past. JSPR had a storage console (below) that was made from an old tree trunk and then covered with a rubbery finish.

    tree trunk trendsPhoto: Jaime Derringer

    David Stine's tree trunk tables (below left) were covered in oils and lacquers yet the natural beauty of the tree was the focus. Also, Sandback (below middle) showed these small stools or side tables made from little tree trunks as did Rotsen Design (below right) who paired them with a metal tulip base.

    tree trunk trendsPhotos: Jaime Derringer

    Make it from one sheet
    I saw two brilliant examples of designs that were created using just one sheet of wood. I'm sure that there were more examples of this ingenuity, but these two, in particular, stood out for me. The Sheetseat by Ufuk Keskin (below left) and the eDesk by D. E. Sellers (below right) are both created from a single sheet of plywood.

    one sheet of plywoodPhotos: Jaime Derringer

    Safety orange
    Nothing says caution like safety orange, except in this show the color wasn't yielding. Now, don't go out and start decorating your garden with orange cones or buying an orange jumpsuit -- the best way to use safety orange in your own home is adding it as a small pop of accent color. It's also a hot color for outdoor furniture or accessories.

    From top left, clockwise: The German Design exhibit, Tom Dixon's "factory workers" making lamps on site, Snug Furniture, and Anglepoise's ginormous lamp.

    safety orangePhotos: Jaime Derringer

     

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  • 05/26/10--14:00: Getting Over Green Guilt
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    Getty Images | Aol photo illustration


    The latest cross to bear? Not going green (enough). Forget that broken diet, this is serious business.


    It happened again last night. In the midst of washing the dishes, a wave of green guilt washed over me.

    I had filled the sink with piping hot water and soap that was not phosphate-free, and turned on the garbage disposal and rinsed some non-organic greens down the sink. The back door was open and the air conditioning was on.

    I started to think about all of the eco sins I'd committed in the past hour, the past week, the past month -- about all the times I had used paper napkins at dinner, tossed an aluminum can in the trash and driven 10 blocks to a restaurant when I could have walked. Rather than focusing on all of the actions I do take in an attempt to be a good steward of the environment, I obsess over what I could be doing. It's called green guilt.

    Green guilt is a new phenomenon. It doesn't affect devotees of SUVs, chlorine bleach, bottled water and paper napkins. Instead, it strikes consumers who are the most eco aware -- those who work hard to make smart environmental choices but sometimes slip, making decisions based on price or convenience instead of the welfare of the planet.

    "Green guilt happens when we know we should be making different eco choices," explains Jen Pleasants, author of Bag Green Guilt: 5 Easy Steps to Turn Eco-Anxiety into Constructive Energy. "We all deal with green guilt sometimes."

    A report produced by the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation offers proof. In 2009, 12 percent of Americans admitted to suffering from some degree of green guilt. (I felt a wave of green guilt just reading the report, which reminded me that I don't own rechargeable batteries).

    A Reader's Digest poll found that not recycling is the number one reason for green guilt. I feel the most guilt over wasting water and not composting. Even though I attempt to be responsible about water use and food waste, I know I could do more.

    For me, the bouts of green guilt became more intense when I began specializing in writing about sustainable living. I used to write about fitness and nutrition, which led to pangs of guilt when I didn't spend 30 minutes on the treadmill or fell short of eating six servings of fruits and veggies a day. Now that I make a living talking about how important it is to go green, I feel even more pressure to walk the talk.

    Think about it: It would be career suicide if Al Gore bought a Hummer or Alicia Silverstone was caught biting into a hamburger. I might not be a former vice president with an Oscar-winning film or a famous actress and author but I still think it's important to practice what I preach. If I tell readers to steer clear of bottled water, I shouldn't have a case of Evian in the refrigerator -- it would be hypocritical to advocate for the use of canvas bags only to leave the supermarket toting a week's worth of groceries stuffed into plastic sacks.

    I'll be the first to admit that green guilt has led me to make some questionable decisions: I have gone months without washing the dog beds (and the dogs) in an attempt to save water; I have carried an armload of loose purchases to the car because I forgot to bring canvas bags to the supermarket; and I have collected small loose bits of soap and tried to mold them into a single, bigger bar to avoid wasting the scraps.

    Most of the time, I am the sole witness to these odd behaviors (a good thing or I might be writing this from a padded room) but there are times when I have embarrassed friends while on a green crusade.

    My most embarrassing green moment happened when I was on a date. I put two empty beer bottles in my purse because I found out that the cantina where we met for drinks didn't recycle. I still cringe at the thought of making off with a pair of Corona bottles to save them from the trash. I haven't returned to the cantina since that afternoon because I hate the green guilt that comes with knowing I'm supporting a business that doesn't care enough to recycle.

    I realize that focusing on all of my little eco sins -- like the fact that I'm wearing a t-shirt that was manufactured in China from pesticide-laden cotton while eating a bowl of non-organic cherries that were imported from Chile -- is not productive. I must learn to let go of the guilt. The good news for the green guilt-ridden: Help is available.

    I could travel to England to meet with a priest who specializes in taking green confessions at environmental festivals or, I could, as Pleasants suggests, just move on.

    "You have to stop feeling bad about it," she notes. "We all share the responsibility for doing the right thing -- we can't shirk it but we can't fret over it either. Just do the best you can."

    It's good advice.

    I'm going to continue using the cold water setting on the washing machine, choosing organic produce when it's an option, turning off the computer when I leave the house and steering clear of paper napkins and bottled water. When I feel those inevitable twinges of green guilt, I'll take a deep breath and let them pass.

    Jodi Helmer is the author of The Green Year: 365 Small Things You Can Do to Make a Big Difference.


     

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    What's more wild -- the sets or the outfits? Stills: New Line Productions, Inc.


    We tracked down our favorite pieces from the SATC 2 sets.

    Whether you love them or hate them, there is one thing you simply can't deny about the cast of Sex and the City 2: They've got style. From their heads to their toes, from their table lamps to their rugs.

    But let's be serious-- behind the awesome foursome is a bevy of top-notch designers and stylists whose sole job is to create these eye-catching looks -- on their bods, in their homes and most recently, in the movie's sequel on location in Morocco.

    If you liked Carrie's cozy Upper East Side studio or Charlotte's Park Avenue classic six, we've got news: You ain't seen nothing yet. While those apartments were nothing to sneeze at -- particularly in terms of New York City real estate -- the set design of SATC2 is downright phenomenal. Holy design envy! So if you get more excited about Marni for The Rug Company than Marni for, well, you, then gear up for some serious eye candy.

    In an effort to help you, dear readers, bring this style to life, we did some digging to help you recreate the looks from the new movie. There are some exact pieces, some look-a-likes, and a lot -- LOT -- of sparkle. But what else would you expect?



    Want more Sex (and the City)?
    Silver Screen Bedrooms
    Bradshaw's Bedroom on a Budget
    Casa Sugar's got their fingers on the SATC 2 pulse -- check it out!
    Prefer dresses over decor? Check out the amazing SATC 2 fashion coverage from our friends at StyleList.

     

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    Induce (or suppress) your appetite, encourage creativity or calm your nerves all with the right paint hue.

    Everyone knows how daunting selecting the perfect paint color can be. What color works best where? What's the perfect shade for natural light? Do I stick with warmer or cooler tones? Once you've finally nailed down your preferred hue, what in turn does that hue say about you? Or, more importantly, what does it do to you?

    Getty Images



    Typically when we select paint colors, we're searching for ones that will look best in a particular space -- and we neglect to think about how that final color will make those who enter the space feel. Many experts will agree that every color we encounter has some sort of psychological impact, whether it's soothing our mood, exciting our appetite or rejuvenating our spirit.

    A mistake in color choice can definitely have a drastic impact: the wrong peach hue turns dreary and depressing, a mistake in yellow can be headache inducing, and an error in pink can be Pepto-Bismol-required nauseating. But just as the wrong hue can wreck the feel of a space, it can also be detrimental to our moods. "Studies indicate that babies cry more in a yellow room than any color tested," says Andrea Piontek, senior color stylist for Olympic Interior Paints. "Despite its happy demeanor, yellow can provoke anxiety."

    Of course, we're all individuals, so color impact will vary from person to person.

    "Research studies show that color-mood association differs widely among individuals depending on cultural, learned and individual preferences," says Jody Simons, color expert for Valspar paints. For instance, in China and India, white (not black) is the color most commonly associated with death. "One conclusive finding, however, is that the saturation or intensity of color can have significant impact over a neutral color," Simons adds.

    So next time you're staring with overwhelmed eyes at a wall of paint swatches, don't just think about what looks pretty -- think of your space as a psychological tool, and paint accordingly. Here's a breakdown of basic color groups to help guide you through the process.

    Behr's California Poppy, S-G-160 seen here. Photo: BEHR

    Reds
    In the presence of red, time seems to slow down, says Andrea Piontek of Olympic. This is why the color is often used in bars, casinos and restaurants, to remove a feeling of being rushed and entice visitors to stay longer. Another factor for the common appearance in restaurants is the consensus that red stimulates the appetite. This is why Mary Lawlor, color stylist for Kelly-Moore Paints, recommends leaving red for the dining room. Opt for brighter, orange-based reds for a true appetite-inducing impact. Blue-based reds should be used for a more sophisticated, intimate feel.

    Try these hues:
    To energize... BEHR, Bijou Red, UL110-16
    To set a sexy tone... Benjamin Moore, Merlot Red, 2006-10
    To induce the appetite... Valspar, La Fonda Fireberry, 1010-1



    Cerulean 560B-7 (left) energizes a space while Mosaic Blue UL240-21 (right) warms a bedroom. Both paints from Behr Paints. Photo: Behr Paints

    Blues
    Most commonly connected to sky and water, blues tend to have a cooling effect. "They can also be associated with clear thinking, sharpness or calm and meditative environments," says Jody Simons of Valspar. Stick to pale blues for a cooling effect, brighter turquoise-level blues for sharpness and clear thinking (great for offices) and deep, dark blues for a calming, meditative environment.

    One of the most successful ways to use blue is in the darker or more saturated variations, says Erika Woelfel, director of color marketing for BEHR Paints. "Darker blues, such as navy Mosaic Blue UL240-21 (seen above), get warmer as they go deeper," she says. "It is a terrific color to use in a bedroom or bathroom." Blues with higher chroma, like Cerulean 560B-7, she adds, energize a space, making it feel more inventive and engaging.

    And for all those calorie-counters, here's a fun theory: "Blue is a color rarely found in food and so it's a color that suppresses the appetite," says Mary Lawlor of Kelly-Moore Paints.

    Try these hues:
    To introduce the feeling of a clear sky... Benjamin Moore, Fantasy Blue, 716
    To create an intimate setting... Benjamin Moore, Hale Navy, HC-154
    To encourage meditation... Olympic, Brilliant Blue, B52-6


    In an area where you have your morning coffee, try painting an invigorating, energizing shade of green, like Valspar's Herb Cornucopia (6005-5C). Photo: Valspar

    Greens
    Perhaps because it surrounds us in nature, green is said to make us feel tended and secure. Though depending on the shade, green can be both tranquil and invigorating, says Jody Simons of Valspar. "Soft mossy greens can emote tranquility and serve as great neutrals," she says. "While citric greens that contain more yellow can invigorate and feel fresh."

    Try these hues:
    To calm... BEHR, Grass Cloth, 400D-5
    To de-stress... BEHR, Moss Print, UL210-14
    To invigorate... Benjamin Moore, Agave, AF-420

    Browns
    Similar to green, brown (also in nature) prompts comfort and security. Andrea Piontek of Olympic cautions the use of dark browns in small rooms because it can feel enclosing and claustrophobic. "Very light browns reflect most light and are kind to the eye in much as they contribute very little to eye fatigue," she says, "making that shade family ideal for rooms where you read, like a study or home office."

    Try these hues:
    To feel secure... Valspar, Churchill Hotel Brown, 3010-9
    To encourage novel reading... Valspar, Light Raffia, 3008-10B

    Yellows
    Yes, it's true: Studies have shown that babies cry more in a yellow room than any other color tested. The studies also show that with more than one child in a room they are even more likely to cry "in concert" in yellow spaces, alluding to the theory that yellow creates anxiety.

    Because of its initial impression of cheeriness, the color is most often selected for kitchens. But Andrea Piontek of Olympic advises against this. "Kitchens are the hub of the home, where everything happens and is discussed, so they're naturally high anxiety rooms even without the presence of yellow," she says. Instead, she recommends using the color in transitional areas, such as a hallway or laundry room where the color can have a more invigorating impact.

    Or, opt for richer honey tones -- perfect for making a large room feel more cozy and inviting, says Erika Woelfel of BEHR Paints. Deep, richer tones also allude to an air of elegance (think gold).

    Try these hues:
    To create the feeling of a sunset... Benjamin Moore, Roasted Sesame Seed, 2160-40
    To establish elegance... Olympic, Yukon Gold, B13-3

    Kelly-Moore's color stylist Mary Lawlor loves the use of terra cotta and apricot oranges in living and family rooms because of their warm, cheery vibe. Photo: Kelly-Moore Paints

    Oranges
    We often use color subconsciously as a status indicator, says Andrea Piontek of Olympic. "Orange is a great example of a declassifying color," she says. "Declassifying colors denote casual informality, while classifying colors suggest formality, expense and status."

    If orange is a favorite color, Piontek suggests leaning toward the terra-cotta end of the spectrum. "Terra-cotta colors are an upgraded version of orange," she says. "Terra-cotta's shade range varies from very near orange (approaching the illusion of inexpensiveness) to very deep red-brown (expensive), giving you quite a wide opportunity to use the friendliness of orange without compromising the apparent quality."

    Oranges are also known to stimulate creativity when clean, bright hues are used, says Jody Simons of Valspar. Tone them down and they become cozy and comforting.

    Try these hues:
    To stimulate creativity... Valspar, Sunset Glow, 3009-2
    To comfort... Kelly-Moore Paints, Mandarin Grove, KM3576-5 (shown above)

     

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  • 05/27/10--09:01: Eco-Lingo: Global Warming
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    True, more sunny days means more beach balls. But is that really good news? Photo: timcammett00, Getty RF.

    Eco-lingo is being tossed around left and right these days. We're demystifying common terms to help you figure out which words are the real deal... and which are just green jargon.

    Today's word: Global Warming

    Definition: No pun intended, but global warming is one of the hottest topics out there. Scientists and environmentalists believe that the continuing rise in the earth's temperature is due to the enormous amount of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and the like) that we humans are putting into the air. The term has been buzzing around since 1975, but the discussion has ramped up in the past few years thanks to awareness-raising by movies like An Inconvenient Truth.

    That doesn't mean everyone is convinced: Many people are skeptical, saying that temperature changes are natural and inevitable. While the last decade has been the warmest ten years on Earth, according to NASA, some believe that the statistics are incorrect or irrelevant.

    Whatever you believe, it doesn't hurt to read up on what we can do to stop global warming -- or just be more conscious of our actions towards the environment. Stop Global Warming has plenty of tips, ranging from the ones you probably already know and obey (CFLs! Shorter showers! Buy local!) to those that you could use some refreshing on. (Are we the only ones that forgot about changing the AC filter?)

    Verdict: We're voting for the real deal on this one. Don't agree? Not sure? Read up below.

    External Resources:
    Natural Resources Defense Council
    GlobalWarming.org
    The New York Times

     

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    You asked: "It's spring. How can I give my living room a quick warm-weather makeover?"

    ....Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams answer:

    Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams


    Now you're talking our language. Our design philosophy is "evolution, not revolution," and your goal fits right in with that. We love updating rooms with the seasons.

    We've found that the key to doing so easily and affordably starts with how you decorate the room in the first place. We begin by choosing classic clean-lined furnishings and keeping the number of colors in a room to three or four, with two of those being accent colors. If you decorate that way, you give yourself a lot of chances to create new looks without major cost. For example, here are five quick fixes that offer a lot of impact:

    1. Switch your pillows and throws. Spring and summer are perfect for brightening a room with accents in happy colors -- you know, the ones that make you feel good just looking at them. For us, that might be apple green or sky blue or raspberry. We use only one per room and pair them with a mostly neutral beige or white setting. Or, another soothing and sophisticated option is to keep a room tonal but interesting by incorporating different fabric textures and a tonal pattern.

    Color, color everywhere! These lamps from MGBW add pops a color to a room without overwhelming it. Nola table lamp in tangerine (left) and raspberry (right) with the Rubix table lamp in Ocean (center. Photo: MGBW



    2. Alternate accessories. Take them all out and rearrange them. Or exchange them with items in other rooms or those that are packed away. It's also a good time to try one of Bob's favorite "green" pursuits: repurposing. Think of new uses and locations for favorite objects. And while you're at it, pare down! Keep organized by designating a spot in your house -- from a closet if you're space-rich to boxes under a bed -- to store extra accessories until next season. And definitely consider lamps accessories; Put one in the closet and get one with a happy-colored base for spring (like those seen above). Another option, replace just your lampshades.

    3. Welcome nature. Fresh flowers or greenery from your yard placed in a jar make beautiful seasonal focal points. There's something so graceful and serene about one type of flower in one color in a simple container. If you're unsure of what color, white's always a good choice. Another thing we do: Invest in "pretend" flowers. There are some great-quality faux ones today. For instance, we have faux versions of beautiful hard-to-grow orchids. They give us the look without needing the horticultural expertise.

    4. Roll up the rug...or put one down...and change the drapes. These warm-weather traditions make such a difference. Maybe you like the look of bare wood floors for part of the year. Or perhaps it's a classic combination of sisal rugs and wicker accessories that say spring to you. Also, reframing windows with a lighter material instantly gives a lift.

    5. Change your slipcovers. We're not fans of "one-size-doesn't-fit-all" slipcovers, so this suggestion requires advanced planning. When picking upholstery, consider how much fun slipcovered pieces can be (as well as easy care). A second set for the warmer months really changes the look. What better than crisp white denim slipcovers to signal the start of long, sun-filled summer days?

     

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  • 05/27/10--10:01: Decor By Mood: Gloomy
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    A gloomy roomGo gloom or go home. Photo: House to Home

    In "Decor By Mood," we tell you how to attain a feeling in your home. Here's how to decorate when your outlook is gloomy.

    Gloomy decor can be a beautiful sight and it doesn't have to mean dreary. In fact, it can look quite striking when done right.


    Lonng mag roomsForget glam -- get gloom! Photos: Lonny/Tom Scheerer

    To set the tone for your dismal decor, go for dark and hauntingly deep hues of your favorite color. If you love shades of brown, plum or avocado, go for the darkest tone available and don't be afraid of the darker results. A dark room can be incredibly romantic when done right.

    To avoid a dungeon-like appearance, be sure to invest in some bold lighting, or opt for dark paint in a room with a bright window. The combination of bright light and dark colors will produce a fantastically moody (and glamorous!) space.

    Green can work wonders in a bedroom. Photos: DecorPad

    When it comes to the bedroom, avoid black. It can be jarring in an intimate space. Instead, opt for a simple shade of green, which pairs well with somber tones of tan, beige and rust. Lighten the look with soft, light bedding and a few accent pillows to keep the room bright and welcoming.

    Michael Smith roomsBooks and wood can be gloomy, too! Photos: Michael Smith

    You don't necessarily have to go dark to get the gloom factor. Built-in bookshelves filled to the brim with your favorite novels can appear gloomy -- even when placed near bright windows, the heavy pages and spines from a book can weigh down the lightest of rooms -- helping you achieve the perfect amount of gloominess. Opt for with antique and vintage wood furnishings and leave floors bare.

    Who knows? Maybe gloomy decor will give you the opposite result -- a cheery outlook!

    For more Decor By Mood features, check out the below posts:
    - Decor By Mood: Charming
    - Decor By Mood: Charismatic

     

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    Inspired by summertime picnics and outdoor dining, our designers have decided to re-purpose outdoor decor into a rustic, indoor setting. Follow along as Maria and Suzanne as they transform both a dining room and a living room -- using nothing more than an average picnic table.



    To get the look, follow a few rules:
    1. Accessories are king. An empty picnic table will look more like a hand-me-down than a statement piece, so feel free to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!
    2. Mix and match. To highlight the rustic charm of an old picnic table, add plenty of pattern and texture, whether in the form of books, china or even additional outdoor accessories.

    Don't have an old picnic table to use in your own home? Try allpicnictables.com for a new model or pick up a vintage piece on eBay to enjoy your picnic... without the ants!

    Our experts Maria Greenlaw and Suzanne Caldwell are partners in Design House, a personalized design service that's been a feature in Southampton, New York for over 23 years. Maria is a Cornell University graduate with a BS in Interior and Product Design, and Suzanne, an Allied Member of ASID, has a design degree from Harrington Institute in Chicago.

     

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  • 05/27/10--11:01: How to Clean A Gas Grill
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    Corbis Images

    Don't get caught in the beginning of BBQ season with a burnt-out grill.

    Click, click, click... no flames. Avoid this common barbecue catastrophe by giving your gas grill a thorough cleaning to start off the season. According to the annual Weber GrillWatch Survey, 38 percent of grill owners say they clean their grill only once to a few times a year. Says Weber spokesperson Sherry Bale, "Six percent admit they have never cleaned their grill... yikes!"

    Today's gas grills have so many bells, whistles and BTUs that most people are overwhelmed with the task. Just ask David Thiele. He started his own mobile grill cleaning business this year in Colorado Springs to help people handle the dirty deed. If you aren't lucky enough to have Thiele in your neighborhood, take a look at these tips to start your grill off to a good start this season:

    Check For Leaks
    One of the best collection of tips we've seen on cleaning up a gas grill comes from Lowe's. According to Lowe's home improvement expert, Mike Kraft, your grill is only as good as its parts. In a Lowe's video, Kraft suggests checking for leaking gas lines by coating the fuel line and connections with soapy water, turn the gas on, coat the lines again, then watch for tiny bubbles.

    Gauge Your Gas
    If you don't have a gas gauge, and don't remember if you have any left in your tank, Kraft suggests pouring warm water over the side of the tank and slide your hand down its side. The spot where you can feel the surface temperature change from warm to cold indicates how much gas you have in the tank.

    Clean Up Last Year's Mess
    If you didn't clean your grates before putting away your grill last year, it won't be fun to clean them this year. But, there's hope in the form of a homemade remedy. Simply put the caked-on grates in a black or dark color plastic bag, pour a cup of ammonia into the bag, leave the bag in the sun for a day, then open it up and the crud will easily hose off the grills, thanks to solar action. For the inside areas of your grill, Bale suggests using a putty knife to scrape away old residue.

    Make Cleaning A Habit
    Going forward through the season, clean your grill after each use. Follow tips from the website Gas Grills Now, which suggests this easy cleaning method: Remove cooked food, turn flame to low, brush the grates with a grill brush for a few seconds, turn off burners, let them cool, and only then spray the surface with vegetable oil, which loosens more food from the grates.

    Shine Your Stainless

    According to the blog, Stainless Steel Grills, there are a lot of do's and don'ts that go along with owning a stainless steel grill. To get that initial shine, it's best to turn to ready-made cleaners you'll find in home improvement and garden stores. For the rest of the season, heed the advice of Stainless Steel Grills' blog: Rinse or clean the surface after each use, then always towel dry. Although the material is durable, it scratches, so never cut food directly on the stainless surface. For more in depth information on maintaining stainless grills, read more on the Stainless Steel Grills blog.

    Give It A Paint Job
    Bring painted grills back to life by refinishing yours with special high heat paint, according to Lowe's video. Remember to prep the surface first (scrape off loose flakes, then sand) like you would do with any painting project.

    There's more to a grill than meets the rib-eye, so when in doubt, always check the owner's manual. If you're lucky enough to own a Weber, you can always call the toll free number (1-800-GRILLOUT) where there are people on call to help you through the mess. With a little bit of early-season elbow grease, you'll be able to keep your grill and guests well fed this summer.

     

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  • 05/28/10--22:06: Native Perennials for Shade
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    Thinking beyond hostas: These six native perennials offer natural beauty in your garden.

    A walk in the woods can be very inspiring, offering beautiful shade-loving blooms for the garden. Many native American plants perform well in cultivation and are readily available at nurseries. Adapted to the shady and dappled conditions of woodlands, these perennials will respond nicely to well-drained, humus-rich soil (think compost) in your garden.

    Dicentra eximia. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    1. Fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia) is native to the Eastern United States and blooms from mid-spring through summer. It may go dormant in very hot weather, sometimes re-blooming in early fall. Its feathery leaves persist through the growing season and are attractive in their own right. It self seeds when it is happy, so expect more plants than you started with.

    Erythronium americanum. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    2. Known as Trout or Fawn Lilies because of their spotted leaves, Erythronium americanum are delightful spring ephemerals (meaning their season is brief), one of the spring jewels of shady gardens and a must-have for plant geeks. They are also native to the Eastern United States. Grown from corms in slightly acidic soil they will bloom in mid-spring and become dormant in summer, disappearing entirely. It is a good idea to plant them with a companion whose blooms are timed for later in the summer. I like to pair them with (non-native) Begonia grandis (Hardy Begonia).

    Geranium maculatum. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    3. Geranium maculatum (Cranesbill, Spotted Geranium) occurs naturally in the Northeastern United States and flourishes in both sun and semi-shade. The characteristic, beaked seed capsules that give these flowers their common name form in summer and can be deadheaded before they open and spread seed.

    Packera aurea. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    4. Native from Missouri through Texas where it occurs near streams, Golden ragwort (Packera aurea) sparkles with life in shade and will grow in some sun, too. The yellow daisy-like flowers appear for about four weeks in spring. The finely-toothed, round leaves provide a good groundcover for the rest of the season as long as the soil does not dry out. This is another plant that will spread naturally, so if you want it to stay put, deadhead after flowering.

    Trillium grandiflorum. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    5. Wake Robin (Trillium grandiflorum) is an aristocrat native to the Midwest and Eastern United States. Its graceful white flowers are very distinctive and elegant. This plant hates full sun and is best situated in bright shade under high, deciduous trees or in an area with morning sun and afternoon shade. Humus-rich soil is essential as is good drainage.

    Podophyllum peltatum. Photo: Marie Viljoen


    6. Anyone who knows me knows that if a plant is both beautiful and edible it gets five stars in my book. Enter the May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum). This unusual Eastern native bears one flower per stalk, and that flower is a perfect white beauty. Each stalk has one or two umbrella-like leaves held over the flower. May apples, en masse, make a wonderful shade groundcover through summer, when they become dormant. If pollination takes place, each flower will become a fruit, which is sweet and edible when ripe and is delicious in jellies. Note: The leaves and roots are poisonous.

    Contact your local nurseries to see which native wildflowers they stock, and always ask for local recommendations you may like.

    If we can't go to the woods, we can always bring the woods home to us.

     

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  • 05/28/10--22:06: Eco-Lingo: Deconstruction
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    Wait, don't swing! Photo: ptkphoto, Getty RF.


    Eco-lingo is being tossed around left and right these days. We're demystifying common terms to help you figure out which words are the real deal... and which are just green jargon.

    Today's word: Deconstruction

    Definition: Also known as "green demolition", deconstruction means taking a soon-to-be demolished house apart, piece by piece, and saving the remains, from the ceiling fans to the floorboards. Those items are then saved from a fate in a landfill and can instead be donated or sold to someone who really digs those stained glass windows, or is in desperate need of some cabinets.

    Think of it as refusing to throw out the baby with the bathwater when it comes to bulldozing a house. Instead of knocking it down in a few hits and trashing all the remains, you're saving resources that have the potential to provide use (and joy!) to others. All while shrinking your footprint.

    So what's the downside here? Well, if you've gone through the process -- or can imagine it -- it's pretty obvious that time is an issue. This Old House reminds us that deconstruction can take up to two or three times longer than regular demolition. Wow! But consider the good you'll be doing by taking that extra time: According to the Deconstruction Institute US companies generate 136 million tons of building related construction and demolition waste per year.

    Verdict:
    The Real Deal. Anything that involved reusing -- or upcycling -- old materials is a safe bet.

     

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  • 05/28/10--22:06: Giveaways Galore
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    We're giving away these lovely baskets -- see what our friends are giving away this week! Photo: Coco Company.



    Get an optimistic start to your weekend! Enter these great contests across the AOL Living sites:


    ShelterPop: Spring Spruce-Up Giveaway #7: Coco Company Baskets
    Deadline to enter: Monday, May 31, 2010

    Aisledash:
    Vanessa Noel Shoes $500 Gift Certificate Giveaway
    Deadline to enter: Friday, May 28, 2010

    Holidash:
    Ionic Clean Washing System Giveaway!
    Deadline to enter: Friday, May 28, 2010

    That's Fit: 'The Biggest Loser' Giveaway
    Deadline to enter: Friday, May 28, 2010

    Paw Nation: Giveaway: Shape Up With The Shabby Dog Pupercise Kit
    Deadline to enter: Friday, May 28, 2010

    AOL Health: General Mills Grocery Store Giftcard Giveaway
    Deadline to enter: Monday, May 31, 2010

    Lemondrop: Thames & Hudson Fashion Books Giveaway!
    Deadline to enter: Wednesday, June 2, 2010


    Feeling lucky? Enter them all!

     

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  • 05/28/10--22:06: Trend Alert: Ruffles
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    In fashion and in home decor, ruffles are having their moment.

    No, we're not talking about the potato chips, we mean the frilly, girlie kind of ruffles! This past weekend I went clothes shopping and in every single store there were ruffled shirts, skirts and tank tops -- more ruffles than a pirate convention. Kidding aside, decor trends are often taken directly from the runway and this trend is no exception.

    Let's look at some fun pieces you can add to your current space to give it a punch of interest and some feminine frills.

    LIVING ROOM
    First, try adding some spice to the sofa with throw pillows, like these Ruffles Pillows, $30 to $38, from Pier 1 Imports or this neutral Ruffle Accent Pillow, $58, from Nordstrom (the neutral color is great if you want a less daring approach).


    BEDROOM
    Follow it up with a bedroom makeover, beginning with your bedding. If you still have winter covers on your bed, grab yourself a Waterfall Ruffle Duvet Cover, $148 at Urban Outfitters or these modern Ruffle Circle Quilt and Shams, $24 to $149, from West Elm.


    Don't forget about curtains! First, check out this beautiful, understated ruffle Bella Notte Curtain Panel, a splurge at $242 from Layla Grace. Or, you can opt for Urban Outfitters' Waterfall curtains for $78.


    BATHROOM
    Don't overlook another very important curtain -- the shower curtain! Target has this great Ruffles Shower Curtain for just $30, to make the whole look complete, while Anthropologie offers a bright, bold version for the very brave.

    One word of caution with this trend: Choose one or two pieces because you can easily overdo it with this one. And, as you know trends come and go, so you don't want to be stuck with a house full of ruffles!

    Be sure to check out another big trend: Exposed light bulbs.

     

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    ant invasion at homeIt's the season for insect invasions in the home, get ready to get rid of them with natural remedies. Photo: DavidDennisPhotos, Flickr

    Gentle ways to repel or get rid of bothersome insects.

    Even though movie studios have tried make us fall in love with ants and other insects, most of us aren't thrilled to find ants and spiders crawling around in our cupboards -- no matter how cute they are. Unfortunately, canned, chemical sprays may be deadly in more ways than one (recent studies linked them to Parkinson's disease). Plus, the odor of traditional bug repellents is less than savory. Luckily, there are tried-and-true natural bug repellents and killers that will get the job done without harsh chemicals.

    We got some tips for repelling bugs naturally from our favorite bug man, Richard Fagerlund, an entomologist and author of numerous books, including The Bugman on Bugs: Understanding Household Pests and the Environment and his latest on his website about the misuse of pesticides, Deliberate Acts of Madness. To find out about some of his best bug tips, read on:

    Ants
    Fagerlund says that most ants can be controlled with homemade bait made from peanut butter (two tablespoons), jelly (two tablespoons) and boric acid (one teaspoon). Put the bait in a small disposable container. To eliminate ant mounds outside, try this trick: Dampen the mounds with water, then pour on baking soda and a bit of white vinegar -- the mixture will bubble and kill off the ants.

    Mosquitoes

    Planting basil outside is known to repel flies and mosquitoes, but Fagerlund says that he is excited about a new natural repellent with the main ingredient of catnip from Preventive Pest Control, a bug control service with locations nationwide. "But, don't try to use catnip alone to repel mosquitoes," Fagerlund explains. The new recipe will be available for consumer purchase on Preventive Pest Control's website, says Greg Hunt, owner, who is feverishly working to have the product available this season.

    Spiders

    Spiders can easily be killed with a mixture of water (40 percent), alcohol (40 percent) and dish soap (20 percent). Put the mixture in an inexpensive sprayer and spray on the spider, advises Fagerlund.

    Flies

    To repel flies, fill a one gallon clear plastic zip top bag less than halfway with water, then hang it near the top of your door, on your railings or from your eaves (you can do this by using duct tape, or, by gathering together and tying the top of the bag with rope, rubber bands or tape and then hooking it gently onto a nail without making a hole in the bag). "Flies have compound vision so when they see the water, they will think there are hundreds of flies nearby and they won't be interested in coming around anymore," Fagerlund says of this proven method.

    Cockroaches
    To control cockroaches, Fagerlund recommends Niban Bait, made from boric acid (it is available only online at Professional Pest Control Products).

    Want more natural bug repellent advice?
    For a list of other natural ways to knock off bugs, take a look at The Dollar Stretcher website, where readers wrote in with their best ideas. Fagerlund says he is also a fan of Green Advantage Organics, a new source of organic bug killers that he says work well. If you are an insect-lover, at least you know that you got rid of them the green way.

     

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    Nate Berkus is ready for his close-up! Photo: Neilson Barnard/Getty Images

    The home and design news for the week of May 24 to 28.

    There's a lot of international intrigue going on in the home and design world these days. Plus, Martha Stewart steaks? It's all part of the headlines this week:

    Target looks for its own summer blockbuster
    with an exclusive line of licensed Toy Story 3 products, including bedding.

    Hunter Douglas hopes the "sheer" scale of its new promotion pays off
    with deals designed to help its product sellers.

    Nate expectations: Interior designer Berkus leaves the Oprah nest to prepare for his own show.

    Designer Trina Turk is back for more with Peking Handicraft as the company is launching her bedding collection after the success of her home textiles accessories.

    A viral marketing campaign on YouTube helps Red House Furniture exceed expectations.

    Who says you can't sit at the office and do some good for the environment at the same time? Workplace furnishings maker Kimball Office is adding sustainable textiles to the mix.

    This summer's Gift & Home Textiles Market Week in NYC will feature some new events, such as a look at pop-up retailing.

    Were you one of the first 5,000 to register for Home Depot's giveaway promotion? If not, that floor runner could've been yours!

    Taiwan is after ShelterPop's heart: The government there has declared 2011 will be the "year of design"!

    Andy Warhol's self-portrait screen print on wallpaper will adorn the first floor gallery of the Brooklyn Museum.

    Office Depot's ready for more with designer Christopher Lowell as it launches the new Christopher Lowell Office Collections.

    Diamonds can be anyone's best friend, and mattress maker Sealy Posturepedic is proving that to be true with giveaways in its 60th anniversary celebration.

    Want to know who's going to be on the fifth season of HGTV's Design Star? The cast is revealed.

    Coming to a grocery store near you--wait for it--it's Martha! A new line of grocery store items--from sustainably raised meats to all-natural baking mixes--is on the way from Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia.

    Harrods department store--yes, THE Harrods--is setting up a gallery featuring finely crafted Jonathan Charles furniture.








     

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