Articles on this Page
- 04/08/11--11:01: _From Lazy Husband t...
- 04/08/11--11:01: _Edible Garden: Grow...
- 04/08/11--11:01: _24 Hours to Chic
- 04/10/11--20:26: _Weekend Table Ideas
- 04/10/11--20:26: _A Fashionable Room:...
- 04/10/11--20:26: _Home Myth: You Need...
- 04/10/11--20:26: _Decor Don't: Extrem...
- 04/11/11--03:59: _Gayle King Lived He...
- 04/11/11--03:59: _Family Kitchen Make...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _Men Only Clean When...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _Monogramming Ideas ...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _Tori Spelling's Cal...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _A Romantic Bedroom ...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _Target & Calypso Ho...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _Home Decorating Tre...
- 04/12/11--07:45: _Concrete Decor: 5 S...
- 04/13/11--00:09: _"Up in the Air" Dir...
- 04/13/11--05:17: _Sleeping on the Couch
- 04/13/11--05:17: _Best Cleaning and O...
- 04/14/11--03:49: _Make Napkin Rings F...
- 04/08/11--11:01: From Lazy Husband to Handyman
- 04/08/11--11:01: Edible Garden: Grow Your Lunch!
- 04/08/11--11:01: 24 Hours to Chic
- 04/10/11--20:26: Weekend Table Ideas
- 04/10/11--20:26: A Fashionable Room: Inspired by Jennifer Garner
- 04/10/11--20:26: Home Myth: You Need to Change Your Sheets Every Two Weeks
- 04/10/11--20:26: Decor Don't: Extreme Decluttering
- 04/11/11--03:59: Gayle King Lived Here, Now You Can Too!
- 04/11/11--03:59: Family Kitchen Makeover: From "Ugliest" to Unbelievable
- 04/12/11--07:45: Men Only Clean When It...Smells?
- 04/12/11--07:45: Monogramming Ideas For Every Room
- 04/12/11--07:45: Tori Spelling's California House For Sale
- 04/12/11--07:45: A Romantic Bedroom Makeover
- 04/12/11--07:45: Target & Calypso Home: Collaboration Alert!
- 04/12/11--07:45: Home Decorating Trends: Tech Decor
- 04/12/11--07:45: Concrete Decor: 5 Solid Decorating Ideas
- 04/13/11--00:09: "Up in the Air" Director's House for Sale
- 04/13/11--05:17: Sleeping on the Couch
- 04/13/11--05:17: Best Cleaning and Organizing Apps
- 04/14/11--03:49: Make Napkin Rings From Your Favorite Bracelets
Growing up, your dad could fix anything. Broken toilet? With a wrench, a string of curse words and a few hours, dad could make it good as new. So when you started living with a man, you expected him to have the same penchant for do-it-yourself repairs, right? Not so much. "It's amazing today how many guys -- even my friends -- don't know how to do things around the house," says Carter Oosterhouse, the television carpenter (and total hottie) best known for his HGTV series Carter Can. " I always find myself saying, 'You really you don't' know how to do that?' And all because they're so used to picking up the phone and calling somebody."
No, this article doesn't tell you how to get your husband to look like Carter. Sorry. Photo: Ketchum.
"Guys love tools," says Oosterhouse. "Giving tools as gifts is a great way to get them interested in working with their hands. But work slow. Start out with a tape measure and maybe a hammer... then work your way up to a power drill or a saw. "
Lazy Husband-to-Handyman Step 2: Watch DIY Shows Together
They're not only inspirational, but they make home repair look fun, and take the intimidation aspect out of it. "I've been watching Bob Vila forever," he says. "It's such a simple way to learn different tips and tricks -- and so fast, too."
Lazy Husband-to-Handyman Step Step 3: Bribe Him
Cook his favorite meal or offer up a back rub for when he's done working. "lf my girlfriend's cooking me food, it goes a long way," says Oosterhouse. Reciprocation is everything.
Lazy Husband-to-Handyman Step 4: Do It Yourself
Women are just as capable as guys of home improvement. "It's fun to empower a woman to take on a project that she may have not done otherwise," he says. Not to mention there are a ton of tools on the market that are ergonomically correct and better form-fitting for females than males. "They're easier to use because they're typically lightweight, and not as big and bulky," he says. So grab your hammer and demo a wall, while your man cooks you dinner.
Now: For all the men out there, check out what Carter has to say about
For more great home repair and do-it-yourself tips, check out Carter's latest Green-It-Yourself webisodes.
And for more DIY stories check out:
DIY Solar Projects You Can Do Today
Renewing Butcher Block Countertop
A year after starting my own 6-pot roof "farm" as an extension of my tiny terrace in New York City, I have learned that even in this minimal space I was able to grow an edible garden. As long as I used my imagination and thought outside the, er, lunchbox, summer delivered a bounty of meal time ingredients -- and ideas.
For the next few minutes let's throw out the tuna salad and see what easy-to-grow ingredients can go into healthy lunchtime sandwiches and salads, straight from the garden. In planning your garden, plant these seeds indoors now and outside after the last frost date in your USDA Zone. Enter your zip code at the Farmer's Almanac to see the best time to to start seeds in your area.
My roof farm cherry tomato crop. Photo: Marie Viljoen
Easy to grow as long as you keep them in full sun (six hours plus, a day). Even after my plants lost many leaves to blight they continued to produce until the first real cold snap. Halved cherry tomatoes, salt and pepper and some torn purple basil leaves beneath a drizzle of olive oil? Heaven.
Edible nasturtium flowers and leaves. Photo: Marie Viljoen
Pretty flowers, yes, but also edible leaves with a distinctly spicy bite. Fresh nasturtium leaves shredded onto a sandwich and topped with a sprinkle of sharp cheddar are memorably delicious. The young seeds can be pickled or eaten raw, like capers. Sow outdoors and in full sun or partial shade.
Chive flowers. Photo: Marie Viljoen
It took a trip to a German beerhall to taste this lunchtime treat: A snipping of chives on seedy brown bread that has been schmeared with a thin layer of good butter or cream cheese. Don't go light on the chives, either. Several twists of the pepper mill, some salt and you have an unexpectedly satisfying sandwich. The flower buds are also very good added to a salad. Chives practically grow themselves. They prefer full sun but will tolerate some shade.
Curly-leafed parsley. Photo: Marie Viljoen
If you are worried about chive breath, add a handful of parsley leaves to your sandwich to sweeten the mix. I toss them first in a bowl with slivers of paper-thin raw red onion, a little good olive oil, a squeeze of lemon and a pinch of salt. This is one herb that will take some partial shade, though its flavor will be milder as a result.
A bowlful of spicy microgreens. Photo: Marie Viljoen
Spicy micro greens
Sow crops in narrow troughs, at intervals of a month from early spring to frost. They appreciate cold weather so they can be sown now. The leaves are ready for harvest after about two weeks and are snipped with scissors when needed. Dressed lightly with sherry vinegar, walnut oil and a pinch of salt, this leafy, peppery sandwich filler is addictive.
Rooftop-grown pickling cucumbers. Photo: Marie Viljoen
Grow pickling cucumbers in full sun, water them deeply every day, and soon you will have more fruit than you know how to handle. While you still crave their juicy coolness, eat them like this: Peeled, sliced thin and layered on buttered white bread with the crusts cut off. Chill them, cut into chunks and add them to cubes of creamy feta with shreds of fresh mint. Whiz chunked cucumbers in a blender with a cup of yogurt, a clove of garlic, a pinch of salt and eat as a cold soup.
Plan that lunch garden now. Warm weather will be here sooner than you think.
For more great ShelterPop gardening ideas, don't miss:
Replicate the White House Garden
Time to Grow Up: Arbor Gardens
Say Yes to Fake Plants
The thought of redecorating is a daunting one: The money, the time, the stress, everything. However, that shouldn't prevent you from trying to make your home as stylish as possible. In fact, with just a few simple changes, you can take your home from ho-hum to so-chic in just 24 hours. Here are tips and tricks from the pros that will make a big impact with just a small investment of time and money.
1. Invest in matching lampshades. "Simple white or black paper versions are inexpensive and go a long way to unify a bunch of mismatched lamps," says interior decorator Nick Olsen. "Ditch the ugly synthetic fabric shades that came with them!"
2. Paint your doors. "It takes so little time, but a black or chocolate brown door takes only a small can of high-gloss paint and makes such a graphic impact, especially in a neutral room," says Olsen.
3. Replace your towels. "Fresh towels in a powder room or bath are always a nice treat," says interior decorator Tracie Butler, who notes that they add a crisp vibe for little cost. "It's fun to get an old tray or basket and roll your hand towels and place them on the counter for your guests," she adds.
West Elm's new Washed Linen/Cotton Pillow Covers are just $19 each. Photo: West Elm
4. Add throw pillows. "Throw pillows are a fun way to make your place look lively and fresh, since you can find them with so many different colors and patterns," says Butler, noting that there are pillows to match every style. "It's great to mix them up and have them not be too 'match-y' -- that gives a chic, eclectic look," she advises.
5. Remove ugly window coverings. If you're still living with the landlord-grade Venetian blinds on your windows, it's time to break out the screwdriver and take them down. Leave windows bare for a minimalist look or opt for affordable, off-the-shelf matchstick blinds instead.
Pops of orange make this interior sing. Photo: Libby Langdon
7. Improve your lighting. While CFLs are earth-friendly, Olsen notes, they "cast a hideous green light." He suggests 60-watt or less incandescent bulbs in place of Extra Soft White; Langdon also suggests homeowners "bring in lots of candles in various sizes and shapes" for a natural glow.
Matching shades, like these simple models from Pottery Barn, make mismatched lamps feel coordinated. Photo: Pottery Barn
8. Add vintage style. Butler suggests incorporating vintage or antique accents into a room. "Throwing a vintage scarf in an antique lace, animal print or silk over a lampshade or window can look chic and be a great conversation piece," says Butler. "I've also been known to use a vintage champagne bucket as a trash can in a powder room - it's fun and unexpected!"
9. Bring the outdoors in. "Fresh flowers are always chic," says Olsen. If you're lucky enough to have a garden, snip some blossoms from your own yard. For an affordable fix from the florist, Olsen says that little bunches of solid-color carnations placed in a bud vase instantly freshen up any room.
10. Clean. The simplest and most effective way to achieve a state of chic is to clean up. Ditching clutter and cleaning every nook and cranny can have a surprisingly stylizing effect on any home. So, stop making excuses and finally tackle cleaning the grout in your bathroom - trust us, the results are priceless.
For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:
A Dramatic Modern Kitchen Makeover
Moving In Together: My Girlfriend Took Over My Apartment
Conflict at Home: How to Talk Bad Habits
At DIFFA's DINING BY DESIGN events, designers create 3-D dining installations that push boundaries, inspire guests and set the stage for fundraising. Yes, these tables are, by definition, extravagant. But that doesn't me they aren't filled with small, simple take-home tips that you can put in place for tonight!
Today's table: Arpad Baksa's table is not for the faint of heart -- from the bright red stairs to green lights and, uh, naked mannequins, it's much more showpiece than realistic setting. But we still found some ideas that'll work in your home.
Table Idea #1: Be Bold
Choose colors that are vivid and can command attention at the table. A staple like black and white is reinvigorated with crimson red in Baksa's design. Other combinations to try: The old favorite, blue and white or sunny yellow and grey. Incorporate a burst of color into your existing tableware set by buying new dessert plates or napkins. No need for a total overhaul.
Table Idea #2: Separate Tables
Guest list got out of hand? Don't fret if you don't have the space to fit everyone at one huge table. A more intimate option is seating guests at several smaller tables. That way, everyone gets involved in the conversation and you can place parties throughout your living space. This table idea is useful at outdoor events and formal settings.
Table idea #3: Go Geometric
Try something different. Ditch the flowers and opt for an out-of-the-box centerpiece. The long rectangular boxes in this table setting work well as a table runner -- like seen on the table in the back -- or as a smaller, centered arrangement. Fill a vase or box with items like feathers or pebbles.
One thing we're not copying from this table? The guests. We much prefer humans to mannequins.
For more table ideas, take a look at Architectural Digest's flowery setting and New York Design Center's stunning table.
Look of the Day." We're obsessed with decor. So why not put them together in a shop-able, fashion-fueled room?
This Weekend's Pick: Jennifer Garner
Garner worked the red carpet at the premiere of her newest movie "Arthur" wearing Oscar de la Renta. The seemingly-simple gray sweater was actually a reverse cardigan, complete with a button-up and scoop back. The shimmery silver lace and black skirt looked tastefully old Hollywood and added just the right amount of embellishment. Garner finished the look with black satin pumps and chic Cartier earrings, rings, and bangles.
Now: Get this look at home...
Garner's chic ensemble got us thinking of a just-as-elegant, smokey gray living room. To start the room, we chose a gray sofa with silver nailhead detail ($3,399, Horchow). The rich gray and sparkly embellishment mimic the reverse cardigan buttons on Garner's back. We imagined a couple of these silver throw pillows ($32, Urban Outfitters) tossed on the velvet sofa to emulate the silver lace embellishment of her skirt.
This twister table lamp in smoke ($378, Y Lighting) reminds us of Garner's smokey eyes and tousled brown locks. And the satin shade matches her glam-gray color palette. Next up: The Braiden coffee table ($399, Crate & Barrel) inspired by her thin, black waistband. And one last detail to finish off this elegant living room -- a scented candle in a shiny black holder ($45, Ralph Lauren) as a nod to Garner's platform pumps.
Check in every Saturday for another fashionable room. And see the rooms from the last few weeks:
Evan Rachel Wood
I was peeling a set of my favorite flannel sheets off my bed this morning when I realized it had been not two -- but three! -- weeks since I last changed them. Eww.
I did change the pillowcases earlier, just as Good Housekeeping recommends.
But here's the rub: You're actually supposed to change your sheets every week, even two weeks is pushing it. According to Martha Stewart Living, "In general, it's a good idea to launder them weekly to remove dirt and dust." And prevent the development of dust mites.
Does anyone else think that's a bit overkill? I mean, we sleep in so many layers of clothes in winter that we barely even touch the sheets. I change the pillowcases more frequently since my face touches them directly every night.
I know what the experts say, but I'm going to make two weeks my goal. If I had to change all of the sheets in my house every week, I'd spend my life doing laundry. No thanks!
For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:
Brighten Up Your Hallway
Rescue Your Recycling Area
How to Organize a Closet: The Fun Way
Does your room look THIS clean? We're sorry. Photo: Monalyn Gracia, Corbis
We turned to interior designer and stylist Patrick Hamilton of Ask Patrick -- a guy who not only knows great style but is well versed in the difference between tidy and barren.
"Knowing when to say when applies to Michelob Ultra, tequila shots... and even decluttering. Don't strip all the life out of your rooms in the pursuit of a more minimal lifestyle," Hamilton tells us, adding that anyone who wants to spend time in a stark white box should stick with a museum membership -- not a hyper-bare home.
The key is to have a strategy for the items that you leave out. Don't just start decluttering and give up halfway with items left out (which could be even worse). Go through your items and figure out what decorative items should stay out all the time. "A room stripped of all 'finishing layer' stuff doesn't say much about you... and makes it look like you just got robbed," Hamilton explains.
But which items warrant a place out in the open? Probably more than you think. "Tighter groupings of more items work better than one lonely item on each and every horizontal or vertical surface," he says. It might feel counterintuitive, trying to declutter while still leaving groupings out in different spots, but Hamilton is right: The groupings will complement the clean space, giving guests both focal points and a place to rest their eyes.
Want more Decor Don'ts?
Decor Don't: Too Much Lighting
Decor Don't: The Toilet Seat Cover
Decor Don't: Matchmaker, Matchmaker
Gayle King -- Oprah's bbf -- used to live in this Greenwich, Connecticut house, but now the residence is on the market to rent. For just $24,500 a month, you can stay in this 6-bedroom, 8.5-bathroom. But that's not all you get. Along with over 10,000 square feet of house to roam, you get the over 4 acre lot it sits on. Sounds like you need a month to just explore the property!
Thanks to our friends at Realtor.com, we have a few photos to share. The Greenwich mega-house is owned by Oprah's company Overground Railroad LLC. So wait, doesn't that make Oprah... Gayle's landlord?
This Georgian-style house was built in 2000, so it's fairly new. Its New England location is far from the hustle and bustle of big-city Chicago. Just from the outside, you can tell this is a grand house -- the french front doors, the huge driveway and even bigger yard.
This kitchen is immaculate. Granite countertops, a huge island and a view to the backyard while you're cooking. We wonder what King has whipped up in this kitchen. It would certainly see a lot of use if we stayed there!
An eat-in kitchen takes full advantage of the bay windows and natural light. There's plenty of seating and plenty of room to pull up more chairs. The vaulted ceiling has several skylights which further brightens up the space.
Talk about a formal dining room. The heavy drapes, ornate mirrors and dark wood detailing create a traditional formal area. And the ornate ceiling doesn't hurt at all. With a fireplace on the far wall, we can easily see this room hosting winter holiday dinners.
Want more celebrity homes? Virtually tour the house Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem have on the market. And take a look at Jack Nicholson's beach front (and mountain front) home.
This Michigan home has been in the same family since the 1930's. And even though it changed hands over the years, the kitchen pretty much stayed the same.
But after winning the Inman Company's "Ugliest Kitchen" contest, this family kitchen finally got the love and attention it needed.
Before the renovation, the kitchen was stark and sterile. We love antique sinks, but this one looks better suited for the garage. The ceiling fan and wood door stick out like sore thumbs. And, um, is that a pink countertop? Seems to be the only color in this white kitchen.
The freestanding dishwasher is more of a nuisance than an upgrade as it's plopped next to the door and is too close to the fridge. The oven, also freestanding, is without counterspace on either side.
Would you want to cook in here? We wouldn't.
Ugly kitchen no more! Yes, that is the same space, and now it's a family kitchen to be proud of. The homeowners knocked down the wall where the oven once rested and replaced it with a breakfast nook.
Forget the pink countertops and aging white cabinets. Dark, rich cabinetry instantly transforms the space, and the taupe paint creates a warm inviting atmosphere. Looks like that awkward dishwasher was trashed. In it's place -- a stainless steel refrigerator and additional cabinets.
An island provides more counter space and fills the center of the kitchen. And check out the back door: It's been painted a glossy white.
This side-by-side photo is a tell-all. Instead of the fridge, this wall is now home to the cooktop and microwave. And no more patterned linoleum flooring -- It's now a neutral tile. The in-cabinet and under-cabinet lighting illuminates the counters, and the multi-toned backsplash finishes off this family kitchen for an updated look.
Now what's for dinner? Because we're ready to cook!
Want more "ugliest?" Don't miss these best of the ugly ShelterPop stories:
The Ugliest Couches
If you think you care more about cleaning than your boyfriend or husband, you're probably right. According to the American Cleaning Institute's 2011 Spring Cleaning Survey, women ages 18 to 29 are more likely to wipe down and disinfect the kitchen counters daily and vacuum, mop or sweep the floors compared to men of the same age group.
And while 82 percent of respondents said they would do some pretty serious spring cleaning this year, men had some fairly interesting motivating factors. "When it comes to doing the 'dirty work,'" reports the ACI, "30 percent of Generation Y men agree that if it wasn't for spring cleaning, they probably would never clean."
Women said they tend to clean when their space begins to look messy or when they're expecting company. Men, on the other hand, clean when their home starts to smell.
If you're thinking about where you're going to start your spring cleaning, use the cleaning survey as your guide: 73 percent said they would start in the bedroom, then 65 percent would head to the kitchen and bathroom.
If you're feeling inspired by Generation Y men's slovenly ways, here are some stories to get your spring cleaning on track.
Spring Cleaning: Tips From a Pro
Spring Cleaning For Allergy Sufferers
Cleaning With Vinegar: Spring Cleaning Guide
Brooke Lea Foster is an editor at ShelterPop. Get more of her at MommyMoi!
We've all seen monogrammed towels and monogrammed coasters. But we figured there had to be more to personalize than terrycloth and cork, so we compiled monogramming ideas that you might want to consider next time a wedding invitation finds its way to your mailbox.
So often monogramming is monotone -- whether it's the engraving or in the embroidery. So you can understand our obsession with La Plates. The vivid colors, varied lettering and eye-popping patterns give you endless options for personalization. La Plates, $22 each, will brighten up any kitchen -- or dinner party. The melamine plates are great for outdoor use too. Bring on the barbecues!
This next monogramming idea is one you'll want to keep for yourself! Ralph Lauren's super soft, cashmere fringe throw, $495, is the ultimate cozy accessory for any bedroom. And thanks to a ton of color options, this is one you can get away with giving again and again. True, the price tag is high but if you're looking to splurge, this is a real keepsake.
Here's one for the dining room. We like this Williams-Sonoma stainless steel wine cooler, $65. It makes the perfect gift for your vino-loving friends. The sleek finish and personalized lettering looks elegant in any dining space.
For a fresh -- and clean -- bathroom monogramming idea, why not order some soap? We like Carved Solutions bar soaps. (And so does Oprah!) You can buy individual bars, $15, or box sets of three or six, $30-$45, and choose your font. This is a great housewarming or hostess gift.
Any living space can be instantly warmed with candles. So here's a monogramming idea for your living room, family room or den: Candles! But instead of choosing an engraved wax candle, we decided on these Pottery Barn candle pots, $19-24, so your lovely monogramming doesn't melt away.
For other personalize home ideas, check out Custom Decor Featuring...Your Face!
Actress-turned-author-turned-realty-star Tori Selling and her family are on the move. Which means you can grab her California home...for $3.199 million that is. The villa style house -- built in 2001 -- was recently put on the market. With 6 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, there's no waiting for the shower in this house.
Thanks to our friends at Realtor.com, we can get past the community' gates and take a peek at Spelling's place.
Welcome to Tori Spelling's. Looks like there's plenty of parking, so pull right up. We love the red roofing and villa architecture of this home. (Take note of the balcony, off of a the master bedroom, perhaps?) The blue door and matching planters give you a bright welcome. And so does that super green lawn!
This is a dream kitchen. The black countertops and white cabinetry is a clean look that will always be classic. The extravagant parquet flooring adds visual interest and brings in warmth. Divine!
First, let us tell you -- this is just one of three living spaces we've seen so far in this house. This sophisticated tan and blue room is our favorite. The mirrored tables and velvet banquette are just enough glam to make this room grand. Speaking of grand, we wonder who plays that piano...
If the ample living space of the first floor still isn't enough for you, there's yet another option. Just walk up to the master bedroom -- complete with sofa, chairs and table. It's a private living area with the convenience of a bedroom. We like the soft blue and metallic decor. Topped off with a crystal chandelier, this room has an elegant yet relaxing atmosphere.
This bathroom looks fit for a king and queen with the chandelier and huge tub. But in case the soaking tub isn't big enough for you...
...you can relax in this gigantic in-ground pool. If the California sun is shining (like it usually is) there is plenty of space to lounge poolside. And thanks to the underwater lighting, it looks like this pool never closes.
Don't miss any of our daily celebrity homes! Check out yesterday's listing: Gayle King's Connecticut House for Rent.
Interior designer Emily A. Clark came to the rescue for one newlywed couple in need of a serious bedroom makeover. The couple's eggplant and lavender master bedroom looked like a little girl's room -- no surprise, since they were using her childhood furniture.
The couple wanted a room that felt more grown up. How'd they fare? You be the judge.
BEFORE: With little light from their table lamps and heavy dark drapes shutting out natural light, this master bedroom was dark and uninviting. The cluster of purple throw pillows only burdens the space, while the night stands look straight out of a college dorm room.
Emily A. Clark
AFTER: Light and bright. Clark replaced the couple's fuddy-duddy bedframe with a bold black (and extra romantic!) canopy bed. She had fun with patterns too, choosing bedding in an elegant, not-too-feminine print. Pillows were custom ordered in Dwell Studio fabric and a monogrammed throw pillow adds just a bit of just-married cheer. A black and white rug breaks up the room without having to change the carpeting entirely.
Even though there was little space for a sitting area, Clark made room for a salvaged thrift store bench. We love that she snuck in extra drawer space by using small bureaus as nightstands. Add in a grown-up lamp and a pop of color thanks to red flowers and this space looks like a mature bedroom.
Recognize the armoire? It's the same one in the first photo but refinished in the same color as the bench. Clark hung a fun, geometric mirror over the dresser to add a little glam moment, while a few framed photos from the couples' wedding are on the dresser.
Ready for another amazing makeover? Check out
Family Kitchen Makeover: From "Ugliest" to Unbelievable
How to Reupholster a Chair (and Give Your Kitchen a New Look)
A snapshot of the home collection. Photos: Target
Looking for more collaboration news?
Sneak Peek: Crate & Barrel Gets Marimekko Flair
Shabby Chic and Michaels: Collaboration Alert
Converse & Marimekko: Collaboration Alert!
First we found pillows inspired by the IPhone. Then we came across welcome mats and coasters, and pretty soon we realized we'd hit on a full blown home decorating trend.
And you thought your gadgets were fun. These tech decor items will plug you in to what's hot at home.
Here's a home you'll want to slide into, thanks to this creative doormat, $69, Meninos. All gadget lovers will recognize the famous slide tab from their iPhones. Don't worry, it doesn't actually open the door. Although that would be cool!
Pixels aren't just for your TV or computer screen. Thanks to tech decor, you can pixelate your pillows! We like this one from CB2, $49. It's much more comfortable than falling asleep on your laptop.
PBteen has these awesome computer key boxes, $19 each, perfect for accessorizing any home office. Not only do they store desk supplies, they act as giant sticky notes! You can write reminders on them without shuffling around for paper.
What fun: Takes a traditional item -- like nesting dolls -- and give it an up-to-date makeover. These six nesting dolls at Art. Lebedev Studio, not available for purchase, are labeled in order of byte-size, starting with bit and ending with terabyte. The tech twist to a Russian staple has us impressed!
Okay, we don't necessarily endorse buying this iPod coffee table, price on request -- aka iTable -- but we had to include it. This table is built to order by designer Mirko Ginepro in white, black or yellow. The over-sized hollow iPod is perfect for magazine and book storage. And the "screen" is transparent glass, so you can see your reading collection.
Want a slightly more subtle tech decor idea? What about this sleek, modern table that is in the shape of a cursor? If the orange is still a bit too show-y for you, the table, $94, Mod Nest, also comes in black and white.
What would a printer be without ink cartridges? Not much. What would ink cartridges be without a printer? A chandelier. (At least that's what Etsy store Lowell and Louise, $120, makes with them.) Add some color to any room with their cartridge lighting.
For an interesting electronic combo, check out this printer toaster by Othmar Muelebach. Or would it be toaster printer? However it goes, this is a toaster that looks like a printer. The award-winning gadget -- that toasts in the fashion of a printer -- was created by a Swiss designer. We wonder if we will ever see this on the retail shelves...
Cristian Zuzunaga, a London artist, has taken tech decor to another level through his numerous collaborations. All have incorporated pixel designs into sofas, bedding and runway looks! Some have been displayed in showrooms and some are available for a special, limited edition period. His latest work is pixel rugs, available through the website, about $4,855, 3,318 euros. He also has pixel cushions and scarves.
For more tech decor, check out iPhone-inspired pillows!
So what's your favorite app you want to turn into tech decor?
Check out this story about decorating with concrete from our friends at CasaSugar!
If you played my Guess Who about this gray Chesterfield sofa earlier this week, then you probably figured out that it's actually made of concrete! Now the seat has me seriously intrigued by all of the unusual things that you can do with concrete. A material that's made from broken stone, sand, cement, and water and poured into molds of any shape and size, there's basically no limit to what you can build with concrete. It can even be colored or mixed with glass for a much prettier, less industrial effect.
Check out these 10 ways you can decorate with concrete in your home.
Check out the concrete Chesterfield sofa above. It may not be comfy to sit on, but it sure is fun to look at.
2. Redo your steps.
Mix wet concrete with bits of colored glass to DIY your own gorgeously sparkly garden steps.
3. Tile your floors with it.
Who knew concrete could be so beautiful? Hungarian company Iamart makes these colorful, patterned tiles which will liven up your indoor or outdoor floors, walls, or counters.
4. Add concrete accent lamps.
Bug out with Ron Arad's Tree Light ($997), which has feeler-esque lamp arms and a concrete base.
5. Add an industrial edge to a classic kitchen.
Take a cue from this hip pink Tribeca home designed by interior designer Ghislaine Viñas and have concrete countertops cast for your kitchen. The material will lend an industrial vibe, it's easy to clean, and it's super durable.
For more great concrete decor ideas, check out the rest of CasaSugar's story.
Here are a few other CasaSugar faves:
Cheap Outdoor Chairs for Your Patio
A Tiny Bathroom Renovation: Before & After
Closet Decorating Ideas: Sleep in it?
Jason Reitman -- director of Juno, Up in the Air, and Thank You for Smoking -- has his Beverly Hills home for sale. The 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom is on the market for $1.595 million. We were interested to see inside of this celebrity director's home, especially after learning it was built in 1962.
Ready for retro and prepared for pink appliances, we tour Reitman's house. But first we want to thank our friends at Realtor.com for the peak inside!
The front of this house looks a bit Brady Bunch, especially with the open garage overhang. But for some reason, we don't mind and actually like the retro feel.
The living room is spacious and has a lovely view of the pool area. The slanted ceiling gives this room -- and others in this house -- a unique shape. A bit of style advice to new buyers- you might want to do something with that dark paneled wall.
The kitchen has a sleek line. Stainless steel appliances confirm at a post-1962 renovation, but the dark cabinetry leave us a bit unsure. Either way, the lay-out and size of this kitchen is perfect for cooking. And the long window let's a ton of natural light spill in.
The open kitchen/dining area is a cool feature of this first floor. A granite counter divides the two spaces -- leaving plenty of room to socialize with guests while preparing dinner -- and creates a breakfast area. The wall of windows provides light and a view of the pool.
The windows and track curtain reminds us a bit of a hotel. But the view of the backyard is definitely better than one. The hardwood flooring is a nice detail of this spacious bedroom.
This bathroom looks straight out of a resort. The sleek wooden vanity and wall-mounted faucets create a modern, spa-like bathroom. And don't think we didn't notice the huge glass shower! This is surely our favorite room on this house.
The landscaping and fence makes this backyard super secluded. There's plenty of sunny space to tan, and the huge pool looks great for parties!
Did you see this week's other celebrity homes? Take tours of Gayle King's Connecticut House (available to rent) and Tori Spelling's California Home for sale.
I yawn, rest my head on my pillow, roll on my side and close my eyes. "Knee," I say to my husband. He flutters his eyes open and grunts an "I'm sleeping" noise. "Your knee, my love, is jabbing into my back. Can you move it?" As he readjusts his position, he rests his arm on my feet -- Oy, this is even more uncomfortable. I tap my feet against his bicep to get his attention. "Your arm," I tell him. "It's resting on my feet."
"Where else can I put it?" he asks.
The writer and her husband asleep on their couch. Photo: John Vargas
It's a good question. You see, my husband and I sleep head to toe on our sofa. No, not a pull out sofa. We sleep on Crate and Barrel's Petrie mid-century modern style couch, which is pretty much like sleeping in a twin size bed. And it's awful. Every night around 10pm, we take the pillows off the couch, lay down a sheet, put bed pillows at both ends and drape a down comforter over us, which my husband quickly tosses off of him because "it's so hot." (Which makes me too hot because now I have two layers of a down comforter on me.)
Here's the rub: We have a bedroom and a bed with a thousand dollar mattress and super soft flannel sheets. And we never use it. Never.
Because we also have a baby. And he's taken over everything -- our food cabinets are lined with jars of Earths Best pureed carrots, peaches and squash to the point that I can't fit our cereals, pastas and rice. Our living room is cluttered with toys, a Jumperoo, a high chair, an activity table, and many other big, loud, talking and blinking airplanes and choo-choo trains. I even have a Pack N' Play in the middle of my living room -- the sight of which drives me crazy, but it's become a necessity since my 12-month-old is crawling and nearly walking, and sometimes I just need to put him on lock down. (I also store the couch pillows there at night; my husband drapes his clothes on it.)
The writer stores the pillows from her couch in the baby's Pack N' Play. Photo: John Vargas
That's why the baby has gotten the bedroom in our one bedroom apartment. He needs his sleep. We used to sleep next to him, sneaking in the room around eleven each night. But we noticed that he started waking up when we'd come in. He was also needlessly waking us up in the middle of the night -- babies make noise when they sleep: they cough, cry out, toss and turn, or talk to themselves before falling back asleep. But the moment of truth came when Harper learned to stand and peak his almond eyes over the crib railing; he could see us in the bed right next to him. "Da-da-da-da," he'd sing to us before the sun was up.
"I can't do this anymore," my husband declared. "I'm going to start sleeping on the couch."
For awhile I continued to sleep in the bedroom. I'd kiss my husband good night and mournfully head back to the bedroom. But I started to feel like I was married to the baby, not my husband, and it made me kind of depressed. "Just sleep next to me," my husband begged one night, as I got weepy about leaving him on the couch to go to sleep by myself in our bedroom. He reminded me that we slept in a twin bed for a few years in college. "You loved that," he said. "You said it always made us closer."
He was right. I did love sleeping in a twin bed. Still today, we're sometimes forced to share a twin guest bed at a friend or family member's house, and I'll squeal with delight. It means that we get to spoon all night. It always seems that we kiss a little more, just because. A bigger bed can give you so much space that sometimes you can go through a night without touching at all. Many couples don't want to touch each other while they're sleeping, but I actually like it. It makes us feel closer.
While I certainly don't want to sleep on a couch forever, I have to say it's not that awful. It's kind of cute. It kind of feels like we're having a marital sleepover party every night -- we snuggle, we snack, we watch movies and our favorite TV shows, we constantly check the baby monitor, we read our e-readers. We're together.
Photo: John Vargas
"It's time to get out of that apartment," my dad will tell me.
"Why not invest in a pull-out couch?" a friend recently asked.
We're trying. We think we found a house, and if all goes well, we'll be living there in a month. If not, then we'll buy that pull-out couch we've been eyeing at Pottery Barn.
But until then, I'll consider these nights sleeping on the couch together a gift, even if I get a foot in the face more times than I like to admit.
Brooke Lea Foster is an editor at ShelterPop. Get more of her at MommyMoi!
For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:
Should Little Boys Play With Kitchens?
The Case Against Cleaning
Moving In Together: My Girlfriend Took Over My Space!
There are thousands of free apps in the iTunes "Productivity" store, but finding one that works for you -- now that's priceless. Here's a guide to some of the most fun and effective cleaning and organizing apps out there. A few will cost you.
Custom Hypnosis: House Cleaning Edition, $1.99
Now this is an app we all could use. Custom Hypnosis: House Cleaning Edition uses suggestive music to allegedly hypnotize you into cleaning the bathroom, doing your laundry and dusting. Zachary Taylor, who created the app, has several "hypnosis" apps available for download; his theory is that if you're relaxed, you'll clean more. Surprising, since if I'm relaxed, the last thing I want to do is scrub a toilet. Still, at least one user on MacWorld claims it works, saying that she got caught up on her laundry just listening to the app.
To help you keep up with your cleaning and organizing to-do list, HomeRoutines allows you to type in a list of chores and rewards you with gold stars as you complete them. You can separate them into morning and evening tasks, create reoccurring to-do lists and create custom daily lists. To motivate you to clean more efficiently, the app also offers a cleaning plan for your home. One week it will tell you to focus on decluttering the living room, another you'll be disinfecting the bathroom. Best of all, it offers a 15-minute timer to encourage you to get the chore done faster!
Photo: Clean Freak
Clean Freak Cleaning Schedule, $.99
This cleaning app, designed by busy working parents, feels a bit less sophisticated than others I've seen, but for 99 cents you will get a basic helpful to-do list. The app breaks down cleaning projects into small tasks, and you commit to doing at least one everyday. My favorite part: It tells you the last time you, say, wiped down your fridge or washed your sheets.
Green Shine, $1.99
Green Shine may be the coolest app we found. It offers green cleaning solutions for everything from polishing the furniture to mopping the floors. Not only will it tell you how to make a product that is as effective as a commercial cleaner, it also spells out how to clean with it and offers warnings, like "Test this method on a small part of your furniture first."It's a really neat idea, and the app itself seems easy to use. If you don't want to pay two bucks for it, Green Shine offers a "lite" version for free.
Photo: Chore Hero
Chore Hero, $2.99
Chore Hero tries to make cleaning fun through a little friendly competition. Rather than offering up a list of chores to check off your to-do list, the app allows you to assign different tasks to different people in your home. When they finish, say, making their bed, they get "points," and you figure out what those points can be redeemed for. If you're winning, you'll be deemed the "Chore Hero," while those who don't keep up with their cleaning jobs will be "Delinquent." Not sure if it will inspire extra cleaning, but it's worth a shot; the interface is fun enough to engage kids.
Good Housekeeping @ Home, Free
The popular women's magazine offers an A to Z guide to stains and spills. You type in what spilled -- maybe there's avocado mashed in your rug -- and it will tell you how to remove it. There's also a thorough guide to cleaning every surface and space in your home with expert tips from the Good Housekeeping Institute.
Photo: 100 Uses for Baking Soda and Household Vinegar Tips
100 Uses for Baking Soda and Household Vinegar Tips, $.99 cents each
Made by the same developer, these two handy little apps offer dozens of tips for using baking soda and vinegar to make your own cleaning solutions. The 100 Uses for Baking Soda app offers more than cleaning ideas; expect health uses as well. Household Vinegar Tips has over 270 ways to use vinegar at home.
Photo: J's Job Jar
J's Job Jar, $.99 cents
This may be the least helpful of all of the apps I found, but it's certainly the most fun. You can write your cleaning to-do list on sheets of paper in a virtual jar. When you have a few minutes of time, shake your iPhone and the app will randomly select one of your tasks. You can click "OK," "Later," or "Never!" It's kind of a procrastinator's dream.
For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:
Creative Centerpiece in a Cinch
Decor Don't: Extreme Decluttering
Decor Don't: Too Much Lighting
Accessories go a long way when it comes to jazzing up an ensemble. We found the same to be true for tabletop decor. Look at the fun we're having with bracelets!
Photo: Urban Country Style
Using bracelets and bangles as napkin rings is easy when decorating for a special occasion table. Plus, it's a clever way to re-purpose old baubles (or an excuse to buy new ones).
Gather a set with some seasonal association -- and not much else has to match. Here are some of the pieces we've been eyeing to give our spring tables some fashionable flair.
Photo: Etsy, Etsy, Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Let It Bee Jewelry, Lulus
Clockwise from center: StayGoldMaryRose's Teacup Bracelet, $49, etsy.com; Mixed Fabric Button bracelet, $25, etsy.com; Lilly Pulitzer Ric Rac Bangle set, $58, lillypulitzer.com; Kate Spade "Make a Day of It," Idiom Bangle, $98, Kate Spade; Let It Bee's Apiary bracelet, price not listed, letitbeejewelry.com; StLulu's Icelandic Heritage Bangle, $16, lulus.com.
Check out more clever decorating ideas on ShelterPop:
Sunday Table Ideas
Decorate With Food: The Most Delicious Way to Makeover Your Kitchen
DIY Sofa Idea: Clawfoot Tub As Comfy Couch