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Shelterpop

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    This week's issue of New York focuses on extreme design...and we're extremely excited. Check out our five favorite spaces.

    Dean Kaufman for New York Magazine

    33-year-old artist Olek just. can't. stop. crocheting. And we can't stop looking at her weirdly wonderful (or is that wonderfully weird?) work.

    Dean Kaufman for New York Magazine

    One more shot of Olek's bathroom and then a peek into Amy Sedaris' crafting corner. Love that her passion for the space comes across in what she affectionatly calls it: "The baby's room."

    Dean Kaufman for New York Magazine

    Pattern matching? Pshaw. The living room of Jason Oliver Nixon and John Loecke leaves no color, motif or flair untouched.

    Dean Kaufman for New York Magazine

    Lastly, a perfectly pink room would be too cliche for a little girl's room but we love how surprising and bold it is for two men. Bravo to Benjamin Noriega-Ortiz and Steven Wine. (And an extra bravo for that chandelier.)

    Want a closer look? Pick up the new issue of check out all the design goodies at New York Magazine's site.

     

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    Sound impossible? For some people, it just might be. But that doesn't mean these easy-to-follow tips aren't worth a try.

    Clutter is one of those incredibly annoying problems that we know the solution to but still can't quite kick it. It's like weight loss: Yes, everyone knows diet and exercise are the key but that doesn't mean there aren't a million programs that package it in different ways. So here's my take: Follow these simple tips for inspiration and remember: Even if you just try it for a week, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised.

    declutterAh, a lovely, clutter-free home. Wonder how long it will stay this way... Photo: Getty Images


    Decluttering Tip #1: Take 5
    Getting rid of clutter may seem like a mammoth task, so break it down. Five minutes a day spent de-cluttering an area is surprisingly effective.

    Decluttering Tip #2: Two For One Don't allow things into the house in the first place. If something new does make it's way in, make it a rule to give two things away in it's place.

    Decluttering Tip #3: Donate Choose a local charity to donate all the items that you decide you no longer need, but would hate to throw away. Go a step further and sign up to volunteer at a shelter or a food pantry, seeing how much need there is in your town, may inspire you to pare down your belongings.

    Decluttering Tip #4: Box It Up For all the items that you resist giving away, consider putting them in a box. Seal and date the box for six months or one year in the future. If at that time you haven't needed to break the seal, give the entire box away.

    Decluttering Tip #5: Start With The Kitchen Sink A clean sink goes a long way in making your home feel more organized. Decide that you will always have a dish-free sink and that clean feeling will spill over to the rest of the house.

    Decluttering Tip #6: Corner First Tackle a room by starting in the corner and working your way around. Taking two trips through each room will do wonders for the overall appearance. The first pass is for gathering up all the items that don't belong in that room. Place in a laundry basket for now, if you start returning each to the proper place there is a distinct possibility of getting distracted. The second time through wipe down surfaces and touch up the floor with a vacuum or broom.

    Decluttering Tip #7: Less Storage That may seem like a backwards tip, but it's true: Having less baskets and bins and special storage containers reduces the amount of stuff in your home. Of course that will happen only if you let it.

    Decluttering Tip #8: Old Is Not Always Gold Be realistic about the stuff you have been saving because it might be worth something someday. If that is the only reason you are hanging on to something -- meaning you don't love it or need it -- give it away. You can also find out exactly what something is worth with a little research. Check on ebay.com or ask a local antique dealer.

    Decluttering Tip #9: Use The Buddy System An excellent way to spend time with your best friend is to bond over your clutter. Ask a friend if they would be willing to help de-clutter and organize your home one weekend, and then return the favor. Cleaning together eliminates distraction and helps keep you from saving ridiculous items.

    Decluttering Tip #10: File don't Pile Be ruthless with paper clutter. Clear out the existing paper by simply tossing what you don't need and filing the rest. Taking a few minutes each day to contain this monster is the only way to control it.

    Follow these ten tips for just a couple of minutes each and your home will soon have a lot more clean, clutter-free spaces.

     

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    We see a lot of kitchen makeovers that go from wood-to-white. But this one retains its rustic charm with the help of some surprisingly chic, graphic roosters.

    Our friends at Realtor.com sent us a California listing like we've never seen. The $4.5 million Beverly Hills home has been for sale for eight months, but it looks entirely different today, than it did several months ago. When it first went on the market, the 1976 home looked, well, a lot like it probably did in the '70s.

    home makeoverRealtor.com


    BEFORE: Brown cabinets, orange tiles, mismatched countertops -- this kitchen was overdue for a makeover. The appliances look dated, the windows' shutter-style blinds block natural light and make the kitchen feel dark...and that floor is not doing any favors for the space. We'd like to see some contrast besides the stark white dishwasher squeezed in there.


    AFTER: What a transformation! This remodeled kitchen has zero brown in sight. Instead, you'll see sleek black flooring and shiny, onyx countertops. Cabinets are a a fresh white which helps brighten the space. Thanks to now-unobstructed windows, tons of natural light flows in. The sink and appliances were upgraded to stainless steel models. And yes, we like the wall of roosters. It's a kooky, off-beat addition to an otherwise clean-cut kitchen.


    Ample counter and cabinet space extends around the whole kitchen. A stainless steel hood and range creates an ideal cooking area. A nice extra for any kitchen -- a built-in wine cooler -- completes this drastic kitchen makeover. Potential buyers are in for a treat with this nearly renovated home.

    Like this home makeover and want more? Check out these before and afters:
    A Romantic Bedroom Makeover
    A Modern Kitchen Makeover

     

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    Jennifer Aniston finally, officially lists her Los Angeles home, saying she needs to "simplify." Jen, why didn't you tell us earlier? We could have saved you the trouble of listing. Here's how:

    Dear Jennifer,

    Hey girl! Loving your hair. Really. Rachel who? OK, so seriously. I hear you've officially listed your house for $42 million over at AOL Real Estate. Kind of a lot, don't you think? I mean, I know you told People that you needed to simplify your life and clear our the clutter...but did you really have to throw the baby out with the bathwater? I mean, your house is pretty amazing. Remember when it was on the cover of Architectural Digest? I do.



    But oh, Jen, selling your house isn't the only way to simplify after living in a gigantic Zen-inspired house. You should have come to me! I could help you go through, room-by-room, making things a little easier. Let's start with the exterior. This is easy. You could have just cut down all that stunning landscaping. Super simple.



    Right when you walk in, you've got those gigantic mirrors. And right in those gigantic mirrors? Your perfect face. Too much perfect, right? Let's take those guys down. No need to compete with the massive glass chandelier and stone walls.


    As for this gigantic powder room, the answer is so clear: Take those lightbulbs off of the mirrors. It looks like a talk show dressing room (or at least what they look like on TV). Everything else here is pretty calm so as soon as those movie star bulbs are out of there, you'll feel totally at ease.


    A 24-person dining table? Come on, now. let's get you something a little smaller. And while we're at it, get those pool lights out so that the backyard is dark at night -- not glowing, like fairies are splashing around.



    Jen, no wonder you couldn't sleep. This kitchen looks like it belongs in a restaurant, not your lovely home. I can imagine how stressful it must have felt having this kind of pressure in your house. Just close the door to this room and only go out to eat from now on.

    Phew! See, all better. You don't have to sell to get simplicity in your life. But hey, if you still want to sell, I'm totally happy to take this off your hands for a, um, smaller price than $42 million. Think about it?

    xox
    ShelterPop

    And check out AOL Real Estate for more Jennifer Aniston comings-and-goings
    Look Inside Jennifer Aniston's Home
    Jennifer Aniston Buys Pair of Posh New York Condos
    :

     

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    Is your couch red? Then you're probably confident. Yellow? You like to have fun. We wade through the sofa rainbow to find out what your sofa color says about you.

    The sofa is the star of most living spaces. But it can be particularly hard to pick since it often speaks to our individual style -- and personality.

    But even after you find a style sofa you like, you have to choose a color. What does your sofa color say about you? We consulted the color gurus at Sensational Color to find out what each shade represents, and what the color choice says about you and your home.


    Yellow
    Yellow is said to be the happiest color, since it represents optimism and energy. Give your room a burst of sunshine by decorating with a yellow sofa, a surefire way to keep you shining.

    It also encourages conversation -- Yellow encourages communication and stimulates mental thought.

    And if your living room is dark, yellow will instantly brighten it up. One caveat: You might find it difficult to unwind on a glowing sofa.


    Orange
    Orange is a controversial color in the living room. People tend to love it or hate it. If you love it, you probably appreciate decor that is warm, energetic and fun. If you don't, it may be just a bit too commanding. An orange sofa will conquer the room, so you have to be sure to keep everything else neutral.




    Red
    Red makes a statement in the living room, but it doesn't feel as overwhelming as orange. The color encourages action and confidence and sets a bold, bright tone. Red is also directly related to energy. If you want a fire-y, vibrant room, then red is for you.



    Purple
    Purple is uplifting and calming, and it invokes spirituality and creativity. While choosing a purple couch is a risk, it can also add just the right touch if chosen in the right hue.

    There are many shades of purple -- from lavenders to plums -- that you can tailor the color to fit your living room decor. It can be styled as warm and cozy or cool and soothing. So while it is an out of the box color choice, it's more versatile than you might think.




    Pink
    Pink is a fun, playful color, and a pink sofa will bring an element of whimsy into your home. If used sparingly, in an accent chair or settee, pink can be especially pretty. It can soften up heavy browns, or provide a boho-chic contrast with royal blue or lime greens.

    Be careful not to use too much pink, however. The lighthearted, happy color can come across as too playful and girly (or even grandma-ish) if you overdose. And make sure your husband is on board with your pink sofa choice; some men would feel emasculated watching a football game on a pink couch!



    Blue
    Blue is hugely popular in home decor. If you're drawn to blue sofas, it's because the color is known to calm. It also feels more classic, less of a design risk, so traditionalists probably love it most. Men and women are both drawn to blue, so the choice may also create harmony in your home.

    Be careful not to use too much blue. It can feel cold. Incorporate several shades -- maybe some patterned throw pillows -- to create a comfortable living space.





    Green

    Due to its overarching presence in nature, green appeals to those with an appreciation of the natural world, making it an ideal color to bring into your home. Not only is it soothing, but it also promotes harmony.

    Try decorating a living room with a green sofa with natural elements, bring in bamboo and wood tones. Just be aware of the overall style you're aiming for -- green can easily turn your room into an earthy hang-out or a 70s Brady Bunch-style family room.

    sofa color$3,499, Crate & Barrel


    White
    White evokes feelings of cleanliness and purity. If you're drawn to a white sofa, you may be ready for a fresh start, since a white couch is all about new beginnings.

    While some may avoid white due to staining, it's easier to clean than you think -- You can bleach out stains without worrying about discoloration! Use white as a decor neutral and throw in any accent colors you wish. Then you won't have to worry about clashing.

    sofa colorPhoto: Roche Bobois



    Black
    The power and command of black is undeniable. If you like black, you are probably drawn to elegance and tradition. In the living room, a black sofa can anchor a room, giving it a strong, classic impression.

    Too much black in your space, and you'll feel like you fell into a hole. Be sure to infuse the room with brights and patterns to balance the black.

    For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:

    Declutter Today: 10 Quick Tips to Get You Started
    Room Inspired by Sarah Jessica Parker's Latest Outfit
    Dear Olivia Wilde: I Want Your House



    Here's a video on how to choose colors for your home.


     

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    Actress Kate Hudson is pregnant with her second child and the mom-to-be is decorating the baby's nursery. Here's what we think it should look like.

    kate-hudson-nurseryHudson has reportedly painted the nursery a gender-neutral yellow. All product suggestions are ours. Photos: Charles Sykes, AP; Courtesy photos


    According to OK! Magazine, actress Kate Hudson has converted an extra room in her home into a nursery. The expecting mom is pregnant with her new rocker fiancer Matthew Bellamy's baby; she was recently seen with her 7 -year-old son, Ryder, in New York City while promoting her new film "Something Borrowed."

    "All's good," she told QMI Agency. "It's different this time. With Ryder, I didn't have a nursery. I didn't even have a house until I was seven months pregnant. This time I actually got to paint a nursery."

    What color did she choose? Yellow, of course, since it's gender neutral. The 32-year-old mom doesn't know if she's having a girl or a boy.

    "I'm going with neutral colours," she says. "I don't know what (gender) it is. Yellow's a good sunny color for kids."

    We think Hudson should extend the theme with soft browns, greys and baby blues. While the colors are more masculine, the floral pattern and cute elephants balance things out should Hudson welcome a girl. Pieces like this Oeuf crib, SurfaceInspired decal, the Land of Nod curtain panels and this DwellStudio for Target chair emphasize the warm and inviting yellow.

    In a 2007 interview with People magazine, Hudson said: "You realize after you have had children that you'll never love anything more than your child."

    Hudson is due with baby number two this summer.

    Crib: http://www.oeufnyc.com/sparrowcrib.aspx
    http://www.etsy.com/listing/62812741/elephants-with-water-birds-wall-decals
    http://www.landofnod.com/kids-curtains/kids-room-decor/lattice-curtain-panels/f5287






     

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    Author Jen Lancaster celebrates her new novel (out today!) by giving us a peek into her writing space -- and sharing the story of how she finally got there.

    I'm one of those people trouble instinctively finds.

    Nowhere in my life has this been more evident than my writing space.

    Courtesy of Jen Lancaster


    When I wrote my first memoir "Bitter Is the New Black," the bulk of it was penned at the temp job I landed after having been laid off from an executive position two years previous. My boss was a lovely man who didn't care how I spent my time in the provisional cubicle as long as I was there to make the occasional lunch reservation or grab him a coffee. I had an Aeron chair, a panoramic view of the Chicago River, unlimited access to Post-it Notes, and almost eight solid hours a day to concentrate. Until now, that was the most productive and peaceful writing environment I ever had.

    By the time I sold my third memoir, it became clear that my future lay in writing copy and not making copies. I quit my temp job and we set up a home office in the spare bedroom of our tiny rental row house in the unfashionable triangle between Chicago's Bucktown and Logan Square neighborhoods. The room was sunny without being too bright and cozy without feeling cramped. Crisp white crown molding complimented the pale sea foam green walls and the old scrubbed pine floors glowed from the liberal application of Murphy's Oil Soap. A majestic elm blocked the view of the alley and gave the whole room an urban tree house vibe. This room was a little slice of paradise.

    That is, until the neighbors bought a purse dog and left him outside for anywhere from 10 to 16 hours a day, where he punctuated every second with an ear-splitting yip.

    Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog person and I've loved them all my life. I currently have two pit bulls and one German shepherd and they're my best friends/constant companions. I've spent many adult years working for various dog rescue organizations and written many donation checks. And yet I still found myself entertaining dark thoughts about that yappy little bastard. He taunted me with every bark, as though he were saying, "Deadline! Deadline! Deadline!" each time he drew breath.

    I moved my office to part of the walk-in closet in the master and finished my third memoir in what was essentially a cave. By the time I started to write "Pretty in Plaid," the annoying little dog was gone (not of my doing) and I moved back into my sunny office. But a leaking shower pan morphed in a contractor gutting a bathroom and, having no other place to store fixtures, moving everything into my office. Suddenly, I found myself sharing desk space with a toilet, so I moved the operation to the partially finished sun porch downstairs.

    For two months, I worked on my book while the contractor strolled through my workspace a thousand times a day in order to cut tiles on the wet saw in the backyard. Worth noting is the job was supposed to take a week. Had I known the duration of the project, I would have worked with my landlords to procure office space nearby, yet every time I asked the contractor how much longer, he promised me it wouldn't take but a few more days.

    Only now have I come to understand that "a few more days" in contractor-speak is among the world's greatest lies in the fashion of "No, I mean it, I really love you, baby" and "the check is in the mail."

    Once the bathroom odyssey ended, I spent two blissful weeks working at my desk while I watched summer turn to fall on the other side of the old picture windows. That's when a record rainfall caused so much damage that porch separated from the back of the house and the walls filled with mold.

    Ironically, I did some of my best work in that environment, having convinced myself that the stuff of the walls was a kind of magical brain-penicillin and it was making me extra-creative. Turns out it was slowly killing us, so we moved to a different rental property a mile away.
    Despite the questionable neighborhood, the new house was nothing short of spectacular, my office in particular. I had cathedral ceilings, a wall of triple-hung Pella windows, and gleaming Brazilian cherry wood floors. I knew I'd be able to take my writing to a whole new level in this space. I bought a hand-woven garnet Persian rug and heavy black lacquered office furniture and I shaded the generous windows with striking bamboo blinds. The room was large enough to accommodate seating for guests and I arranged a comfortable area full of Asian-inspired pillows on which dogs could lounge. I even had enough space to set up a small love seat and television. No more working in a closet for me!

    At no point during the leasing process did I notice the illegal daycare across the street, nor was I aware that at least three times a day, tiny children would be herded into was essentially an elaborate dog run, where they'd shove and shriek at each other for a hour before returning back indoors. This wasn't an issue when it was cold and I didn't have a book deadline, but as soon as it warmed up and my pages came due, the neighborhood volume went up to eleven. Between the day care, thumping car stereos, and an endless parade of gang members fighting at the bus stop in front of my house, I never had a single quiet moment.

    For the longest time I fought the idea of moving away from the city, but last spring after reading on the crime blotter how two dead goats were found sacrificed near my alley, my husband and I decided it was probably time to go.

    We bought our first home in Lake Forest, Illinois, a sleepy little suburb about thirty miles north of Chicago. Lake Forest is one of the bucolic North Shore towns I'd always seen featured in John Hughes movies. In fact, this is where Mr. Hughes called home before he passed away.

    The town is full of nature preserves and it's bordered by Lake Michigan. The greatest crime to ever take place up here happened in the '80s when Mr. T. chopped down all the old oaks on his property. The New York Times even ran a story about this event, calling it "The Lake Forest Chain Saw Massacre."

    When we moved in, I turned one of the upstairs bedrooms into my writing space. I love how the room provides a view of the thicket of trees separating my property from the rest of the neighborhood. From my desk, I can see the pair of boxwood mazes flanking the front door and the bluestone pathway. Our driveway - long and winding and covered in crushed stone - is also visible from my perch. The only noise I ever hear is that of birds singing or the infrequent, but soothing sound of tires rolling across the rocks.

    When we first moved in, I was cruising down the drive a bit too fast and I almost hit a family of deer. For the record? Almost plowing into wildlife provides the exact same rush of panic-adrenaline as almost running over the teens tagging the garage door. Occasionally our garbage cans still get knocked over up here, but there's a certain comfort in knowing the raccoons aren't plotting identity theft.

    I can't imagine being happier than I am in this house. Structurally, it's sound as can be and we'd need something a lot stronger than rain to sink the back porch. Granted, some of the finishes appear to have come directly out of a 1985 John Hughes film, but we've had a great time systematically updating the rooms to better suit our style. Every weekend I comb local antiques malls looking for just the right pieces and slowly the house is coming together.

    As for my writing room, I've been afforded the kind of peace and quiet I used to dream about. I can't get over how much easier it is to work when I don't have to get out of my seat and glower at someone every ten minutes. My only distractions are the occasional deer eyeing my boxwood hedges. I'm told deer will wreck these bushes, but so far the sight of three dogs' snouts pressed up against the glass ensures the deer do nothing but window shop.

    My new office is where I wrote my first novel "If You Were Here," which is fiction... of sorts. The story entails a couple who grow so sick of the city that they buy and renovate a house in the suburbs. While I was working on it, we had a team of painters stripping wallpaper downstairs and they were so quick and efficient that their presence didn't even register. At one point I was struggling to create conflict in the novel, so I asked them if they could please screw something up, but they declined.

    But like I said, trouble seems to follow me.

    Or maybe it's just that I create it for myself sometimes because chaos is great memoir fodder?

    You see, I recently decided we should try and renovate one of our Reagan-era bathrooms ourselves. My idea was that while doing press for the new book, I'd speak about rehabbing a house with more authority. So now my peaceful, quiet office is a disaster zone and I've got a toilet riding side saddle with my desk again, because, of course, I have another looming deadline.

    The good news is I didn't have to move into a closet. I simply relocated across the hall to the media room. I love this space because it's got a southern exposure and affords an unbroken view of all the budding fruit trees in the backyard. I can't see the driveway, but I do have the perfect vantage point to the pool where, in a few weeks, the dogs will be swimming.

    Whereas my usual writing area is terribly girly and self-indulgent, filled with esoteric items like Twilight and Mad Men Barbie collections, this shared space is gender neutral. My husband and I had the idea to decorate it like a fraternity house circa 1940, so we're perpetually hitting estate sales and consignment shops on the lookout for sporting equipment and loving cups. We went so far as to buy an ancient pickup truck as part of our quest to find old treasures! And I'm counting the days until the Delta Tau Delta bowling trophy from 1913 I found on eBay arrives.

    I've been working to create little vignettes in the built-ins. I want each display to tell a story. I adore the shelves with the horseback riding motif because they bring me back to the fictional time of when I starred in National Velvet, and they take me away from my real past of sinking houses and chasing thugs away from my garage.

    Overall, what we've done in this house is to instill a sense of peace and serenity and the hope is that my work will benefit from the quiet of my current writing space.

    Wait a minute, did I just hear a leaf blower?

    Jen Lancaster if you were hereAuthor photo: Jeremy Lawson



    Thanks for the peek inside, Jen!

    Jen Lancaster is the New York Times bestselling author of five memoirs. This is her first novel. "If You Were Here," is out now. A nationally syndicated monthly humor columnist, Jen lives outside Chicago. Find her online at Jennsylvania.

     

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    Missed the Oprah house tour -- well, garden teahouse tour -- on Nate Berkus today? Let us walk you through.

    oprah-house-nate-berkusBest friends forever. Photo: Harpo Studios 2011/George Burns


    Every single day, people all over the country turn no their televisions and let Oprah into their homes. Today, she finally returns the favor and opens the doors to her Montecito, California home...outside of her house. Yes, Oprah has a garden teahouse that is bigger, more beautiful and generally superior to most people's primary houses.

    But it's Oprah, so no surprise there. She takes Nate Berkus through the house and its outstanding garden. Take a look:
    http://xml.channel.aol.com/xmlpublisher/fetch.v2.xml?option=expand_relative_urls&dataUrlNodes=uiConfig,feedConfig,localizationConfig,entry&id=998641&pid=998640&uts=1304459389
    http://www.aolcdn.com/ke/media_gallery/v1/ke_media_gallery_wrapper.swf

    The Oprah House Tour

    ...Except now they're in comfy wicker chairs instead of Oprah's posh studio.

    The Oprah House Tour

    And Nate looks on, dutifully. We'd comment on the fact that Oprah's compound is so large it must be traveled by golf cart but come on, it's Oprah. Are you surprised?

    The Oprah House Tour

    Rustic, understated wood and stone mixed with over-the-top lush greenery makes for the perfect picture of low-key elegance.

    The Oprah House Tour

    In a book that she calls her "greatest gift." Nate smartly notices that all the dogs are posed for the photo. Again, the things you get when you're Oprah.

    The Oprah House Tour

    Starfish decor, urn lamps and a pressed flower frame: So beachy, so breezy. We'd never guess this look for Oprah but we're not fighting it.

    The Oprah House Tour

    ...But we're too busy contemplating O's green and beige color scheme. Too plain? Just perfect?

    The Oprah House Tour

    Oprah tells Nate: "I have to see the color of the grout going in between the stone."

    The Oprah House Tour

    OK, we take back any criticism of the green and beige color combo. It's winning here. And the beach photos look just heavenly.

    The Oprah House Tour

    If Oprah pays attention to the color of grout, can you imagine the scrutiny of the rose color? Luckily, these are stunning.

    The Oprah House Tour



    She also made time to talk about her decorating philosophy and what her life was missing when she lived in a penthouse on the water with "lots of pretty things."




    Want more Oprah? (Of course you do)
    Kirstie Alley and Oprah Team Up to Redecorate Your Home
    Is Oprah Getting a New House For the Holiday?
    Gayle King Lived Here, Now You Can Too!

     

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    Sally Field's house just wouldn't sell in 2009. But after two years and a million-dollar price drop, we think this $5.9 Malibu mansion will go fast.


    Dear Sally,

    Why didn't you tell me you were listing your house again? I mean, you knew I'd find out -- I just saw it on AOL Real Estate. Friends shouldn't let friends find out about their real estate news online, Sally. Pick up the phone!

    Anyways. So you're finally giving up that 6,000-square-foot home. Juuust like Olivia Newton-John did with the place before. Which is fine -- I understand, you need to move on. Maybe you want something smaller. Maybe you want to go all Oprah and live somewhere where you can have a separate, beautiful garden teahouse. But Sally, before you go, can you do me one favor? I really want to have dinner at your place.


    Your kitchen is really too much. See your island? The smallest one? That's basically the size of my kitchen. So please, if you don't mind, just take a seat at your bar and I'll whip something up for us. Do you like orzo? I thought so.

    sally field houseRealtor.com

    Oh good, yes, let's sit in your dining room. Of course I'll sit next to you! And yes, we should both face those ridiculous windows. Sally, are you sure you want to get rid of this place?


    sally field houseRealtor.com

    Oh wait, you want to sit in the other dining area? The lighting's better? OK sure. But please Sally, we're not animals. Grab some placemats.


    You're right, tennis is the perfect way to burn off the meal. And that's so nice of you to lend me your tennis skirt. Listen, Sal, promise me that your new house will have at least a little court for us to play on next time, OK?

    Big thanks -- and good luck with the sale.

    xox
    ShelterPop

    Want more celeb home fun? Check out:
    The Oprah House Tour With Nate Berkus (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
    Kate Hudson Decorates the Nursery
    Dear Jennifer Aniston: I'll Help You Simplify Your Life


     

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    Welcome the warm weather with a burst of spring green in the home.

    Spring is here! The leaves on the trees have popped, the spring flowers are opening -- and all the world is blanketed in green. So why not bring these same spring shades into your home?

    green-decoratingPhotos: Courtesy Photos


    While a completely "spring green" color palette isn't for the faint of heart, incorporating a few refreshing pieces can bring new life and energy into an area, explains Anna Starmer, author of The Color Scheme Bible. She suggests using a spring green hue (like a pea, celery or apple color) on the walls in a high traffic area, like a hall or stairwell.

    On the other hand, it's easy to add just a touch of green through the spring-inspired decor that is popping up everywhere today. If you want a burst of green, choose an area rug, which is usually less expensive than other sizable furniture items. Plus, you can move it around as you like. You can also bring green in through simple accessories, like a table runner, dishware or framed prints on your walls.

    Here are a few of our favorite items that are perfect for welcoming the spring season into your home.

    In the montage above, we're featuring...

    (Clockwise from top left)

    1990_214:Creative Concepts Bramble Rug, Capel Rugs, Call for pricing
    1994_235: Creative Concepts Bramble Rug, Capel Rugs, Call for pricing
    Casablanca Lanterns, Z Gallerie, from $7.95
    Stuva Storage Combination, IKEA, $110
    Lykta Table Lamp, IKEA, $14.99

    We're also loving these great pieces:

    green-decoratingPhoto: Courtesy Photos


    (Clockwise from top left)

    Regatta Big Leaf Pillow, Crate & Barrel, $25
    Greta Pillow, Crate & Barrel, $37
    Tempo Green Apple Pillow, Crate & Barrel, $40
    Maddox Jade Pillow, Crate & Barrel, $30
    Eames Molded Plastic Chairs, Herman Miller, Call for pricing
    Chelsea Sofa, Company C, $3,595
    For a list of other colors that are popular this season, check out Pantone's Color Forecast for Spring.

    For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:

    A Traditional Kitchen Goes Modern
    Crazy Rooms We're Crazy About
    How Eva Mendes Will Spend This Spring


    Here's a video on decorating with color at home:


     

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    In our new series, we peek into the lives of people living without standard (and non-standard) home luxuries. First up: My year without a dishwasher.

    I was nine months pregnant when we went apartment hunting for a larger place. My husband and I had been crammed into a one bedroom Manhattan rental apartment for a year, but when I got pregnant it became clear that we couldn't fit a crib or a sweet mobile, let alone a baby. So we went looking for a bigger space.

    "Let's make a list of what's important to us," my husband, John, suggested. I listed: Close to Whole Foods, walking distance to parks, dog-friendly, quiet, charming, lots of light.



    "We probably want an elevator," John said. "And a dishwasher, and a washing machine and dryer, right?"

    I shrugged. "I just want to find a place that feels homey," I said.

    We looked at over a dozen apartments on the Upper West Side of New York City, no small feat for someone who is 9 months pregnant. And when we walked up two flights of stairs to apartment 3R in a brownstone on West 92nd Street, I knew we'd found our new home. While it was only a one bedroom, the living space was enormous by city standards. It had beautiful hardwood floors, an oversize fireplace, crown molding, a renovated bathroom and kitchen, and a big Bay window and second fireplace in the bedroom. There were plenty of closets -- and more importantly, there was plenty of extra space for a crib, changing table and rocking chair.

    "But there's no dishwasher," John reminded me. "And there's no elevator. You really want to carry a baby up all these stairs?"



    "We don't need a dishwasher," I told him. As for the elevator, I had a theory: If I could walk up and down the stairs with 30 extra pounds of weight on my body, why couldn't I do it with a 25 pound baby?

    So we took the apartment.

    After our baby was born, we walked him gingerly up the stairs. We put him in a baby carrier to sleep while we did dinner dishes or washed his bottles. As our baby grew from 3 months to 6 months to a year old, we found ourselves spending quite a bit of time washing dishes. And since he was more mobile, we often waited until he was asleep to tackle the dishes. There were his bottles, then his bowls, cups and spoon, then his food-encrusted high chair tray, which is "dishwasher safe," but I always had to scrub it with a sponge.

    The other day I counted how much time I've spent washing dishes in the last six months, and this is what I've come up with: 3 meals per day plus baby bottles @ 30 minutes each = 90 minutes per day. Multiply that times 7 days a week for 52 weeks, and I've washed dishes for 546 hours this year.

    Which is one of the reasons why we bought a house. We needed a dishwasher. (We also needed a bed, but that's another story.)

    On our first night in our new house, I loaded the dishwasher for the first time. It cut the dish washing job in half -- Pinch me! But I also, surprisingly, found myself longing to wash the dishes myself. Washing the dishes is cathartic. I often spend the time thinking about the day's events, coming up with story ideas for my blog, or brainstorming meal ideas for my baby -- it's chill time. So I stopped loading, picked up the sponge and scrubbed.

    And you know what? It made me feel more at home. Weird, huh?

    For more from Brooke Lea Foster, see her writings on MommyMoi.

    For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:
    Spring Trend: We're Seeing Stripes
    Curbed Taken Over By a 13 Year Old
    Crazy Rooms We're Crazy About

     

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    True design lovers can't limit their aesthetic crushes to furniture and patterns. So we're spotlighting the designers that make us blush.

    We were smitten as soon as we spotted Evan and Oliver in the J. Crew catalog, with those scruffy beards trying to toughen up their soulful eyes. And as it turns out, these guys only model in their time off: They're the designers behind Brooklyn-based design partnership hOmE.


    While the brothers Haslegrave primarily focus on restaurant and shop design, they've posted some of their custom furniture to their site, including this staircase/bookshelf. Every inch of this piece is functional but the different lengths of the shelves lends it enough whimsy to keep it from looking too stiff.

    And their commercial spaces are no less charming. Again, they maintain a beautiful look while keeping things no-frills. Here's the Manhattan shop Against Nature with the signature hOmE look: A little bit of taxidermy, mixed woods and an industrial-meets-cozy vibe.


    Have a designer to nominate for the next Design Pin-Up? Let us know on Twitter!

     

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    The "Gossip Girl" actress lists her home and tacks on the option of renting it fully furnished. For a quite unfair cost.

    kelly-rutherford-houseCharles Eshelman, Getty; AOL Real Estate


    Dear Kelly,

    How are you? I know you don't get a ton of press in relation to your Gossip Girl castmates (who can compete with shocking red hair?) so I'm glad to see your face on AOL Real Estate. I mean, congratulations on listing your West Hollywood home for sale or rent -- it's a lovely place in a great neighborhood so I'm assuming that the jump only means you're headed to greener pastures (or in LA-speak, an even better zip code).

    But Kell, I have one issue. While I have no gripes about the house's $1.29 million price tag or $4,995 rent (it is a two-bedroom Spanish bungalow, after all), I am a little confused at the price of the "furnished" option. $5,995. A full grand more.

    Now, I don't mean to diss your (or let's be honest, your home stager's) taste. Its a perfectly nice place. But that "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster, your wrinkled slipcovers and boho curtains do not justify a rent hike of that magnitude. Perhaps you're getting your real-life home confused with the one you live in on TV. Now that place, with its millions of dollars in art and over-the-top decor, would warrant the extra cost for renting it furnished. But when it comes to fairly standard decor like you've got here, someone could easily furnish the place on their own for the cost of two months of the extra rent. Or three months. Or four months. (Depending on how expensive their taste is.)

    kelly-rutherford-houseA peek at the best parts of the house. Photos: AOL Real Estate


    Kelly, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings. The house really does look lovely. But the best features -- that dining room skylight, the kitchen's limestone countertops and stainless steel farmhouse sink or backyard barbeque -- are the ones you already had built into the house. Smart thinking, my friend. And until you can figure out a way to charge renters for using those utilities (a backyard fee?) I'd advise going a little easier on the furnished cost. Just a thought.

    Xoxo
    ShelterPop

    Want more celeb home fun? Check out:
    Dear Sally Field: Can I Have Dinner at Your House?
    The Oprah House Tour With Nate Berkus (VIDEO, PHOTOS)
    Kate Hudson Decorates the Nursery
    Dear Jennifer Aniston: I'll Help You Simplify Your Life

     

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    Everyone's excited about the clothes from the upcoming Missoni-for-Target collection. But we should really be anticipating the decor. Here's why.

    target-missoni-homeVenturelli, Getty Images


    I was in a meeting when I heard that Target's next designer collaboration was with Missoni -- and would include over 400 pieces that spanned from women's to men's to home. So I did what any normal design-phile on a budget would do: High-fived my coworker. Professional, no. But necessary? Yes. Some things just deserve celebration, even mid-meeting.

    And while I'm as excited as anyone to score some Missoni-for-Target frocks come September 13th, I'm certain that the homewares will be the absolute best part of the collection. There will be bedding, dinnerware and if the past Target collaborations offer any clues, melamine servingware and perhaps a spectacular seating option. (Perhaps something to rival the Calypso pouf?)

    Looking for proof that the MIssoni home decor will put even the best dresses to shame? Here's my take:

    1. They'll be Less Expensive
    Not because they're worse quality but because they require less material. And in the case of melamine tabletop, they'll only require that the signature prints are screened on. In the past, designer melamine has gone for as cheap as $1.99 a piece. The current collection has a set of 4 plates for $16. Genius.

    2. They'll be More Approachable
    Let's be honest -- not everyone wants to wear Missoni. The brand's bread and butter (delicious bread and butter, I'll add) is horizontal stripes and flamestitch...which just doesn't look great on everyone. But know what it does look great on? Lampshades.

    3. They'll Last Longer
    No disrespect to Target's past clothing collections -- I still have perfectly in-tact pieces that I bought five years ago. But there's no denying that clothes get dinged-up, ripped, washed and ruined way easier than decor. Coffee spill on a knit dress? You bet there will be tears. Coffee spill on a ceramic mug? Par for the course.

    Looking for more collaboration news?
    Sneak Peek: Crate & Barrel Gets Marimekko Flair

    Shabby Chic and Michaels: Collaboration Alert
    Converse & Marimekko: Collaboration Alert!

     

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    Even if you don't have a backyard or patio, you can air-dry your laundry. Here's how.

    Check out this story about air-drying your laundry from our friends at CasaSugar!

    organize-shoes

    clotheslinePhoto: CasaSugar


    Yesterday, surrealist artist Andrew Baines staged an art installation consisting of eight clotheslines accompanied by eight "moms" hanging the wash on Bondi Beach in Sydney, Australia. The project was meant to highlight the loss of backyard space that many families experience due to high-density living - but for me, it also highlighted the need to review some tips for air drying our laundry. Even though it's not as common in the United States, many families across the world air-dry their clothes. You don't need a backyard to air-dry your laundry, or even patio space. See how it's done with these tips.

    If you do have outdoor space . . .

    1. Invest in a clothesline that you'll use. This may mean simply stringing rope between trees or a fenceline, or going for something more compact and cute, like this Deluxe Bamboo Collapsible Clothesline ($95).

    2. Plastic clothespins will survive wear and tear (and rainstorms, if you forget the pins on the line) better than wooden ones. That said, I prefer the look and feel of wooden clothespins for line drying; just like your clothesline, pick pins that you'll actually use. Look for either kind at your local hardware store.

    3. If you're not a fan of stiff towels, transfer your almost-dry terrycloth towels to the dryer for the last five minutes of drying time. This will effectively fluff your towels.

    4. In the past, I've had a few clothing items fade in direct (and harsh) sunlight. To avoid this possibility, turn clothing inside out before placing it on the clothesline on an extremely sunny day.

    5. Take a few seconds to organize your clothes before hanging them. For instance, try to clothespin your socks in pairs. This way, when you take your clothes off the line, you can immediately roll them into pairs, cutting down on the amount of time you spend folding and organizing your fresh, sunshine-dried laundry

    6. Since dust and debris can build up on your clothesline, clean it every few months by running a damp cloth over it from end to end.

    Don't have an outdoor space for air-drying? Keep reading for tips on drying your clothes in the great indoors.

    1. Live in a smaller home? Invest in a drying rack that can easily fold up and get stashed in a closet.

    2. If you don't like the look of a drying rack in your home's living space, either hang clothes to dry just before going to bed or just before leaving for work. That way your clothes can dry when you don't have to be in the same space. By the time you wake up or return home from work, the clothes should be dry, and the drying rack can be tucked back into the closet.

    3. If you have a shower bar, use it to hang clothes from plastic hangers.

    4. Save dollars at the drycleaner by handwashing wool or cashmere sweaters at home. To initially dry them, tuck each sweater into a folded towel, then roll the towel gently, applying even pressure. Then, lay the sweater flat on a drying rack or on a dry towel.

    Thanks to CasaSugar for this great story!

     

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    It's more than questioning someone's decor: Housesnarking is a nasty way to cut someone down by hitting them where it hurts: Their home.

    home decorOMG I have been meaning to tell you: Your window seat is the worst. Photo: Age Fotostock



    I'll admit: I ended a friendship based on their comments about a chair cushion.

    It was my housewarming party: 15 people swirling through my new apartment among perfectly-fluffed throw pillows and newly painted lavender walls. I'd pulled things together in two weeks, just before my birthday so that I could celebrate the new place and my new age together.

    housesnarkingThe chair that ended the friendship. Photo: Amy Preiser.

    My friend walked in, gave me a hug and as she looked over my shoulder towards the apartment she whispered: "It's cute! But so small." She grabbed some wine and plopped onto one of my newly upholstered seats. "Can you believe Amy reupholstered those herself?" asked my lovely friend Katie. "Um, yes," said the friend. "They're pr-etty light on padding. I'm guessing it was a rush job."

    She then went on to pick apart every detail of the apartment from the rug's pile to the dust on the glass table (we're right by the window! What do you want from me?). And by the end of the night, she'd managed to trash-talk my apartment to just about everyone there. Including me.

    Back in 2008, the Wall Street Journal turned its gaze to bodysnarking, the practice of women cutting down other women by attacking their looks. It's obviously extremely hurtful -- most people have a hard time separating their inner selves from their appearances. But I'd argue that the growing practice of housesnarking -- yes, I'm coining it now -- is just as hurtful. We curate our homes to be a reflection of ourselves: Our tastes, our obsessions, even our financial situations. It takes a thick skin to listen to a friend talk about the size of your house without hearing it as an attack on the size of your paycheck.

    Even when it comes from the most unlikely sources. When my coworker brought her toddler niece to her new house, the sweet girl piped up from her wagon. "Why isn't your house bigger?" she asked, no doubt parroting the housesnarking she'd overheard from her parents earlier. My coworker laughed it off but felt a little betrayed.

    And it's no easier when it comes to the items we choose to display: Brie Dyas of DIY Life recently grinned-and-beared it while house guests insulted her library of vintage classics. "What, have you not read a book since high school?" a guest asked, holding up a copy of Catcher in the Rye. It's a small bookshelf, people!

    Some might argue that it's a product of the changing voice of design blogs. Sites like Catalog Living and Unhappy Hipsters poke fun at the perfect interiors of mail order catalogs and magazines, parodying the over-the-top displays and neat-to-a-T rooms. "In spite of his expertly honed tantrum-throwing skills, she remained transfixed by her slick new kitchen appliances," reads one Unhappy Hipsters post on a beyond-stark room inhabited by a single baby. But I think these sites actually encourage the opposite: Rather than celebrating the picture-perfect homes, they pull back the curtain and expose the prop stylist's bizarre touch or the too-extravagant look. Insulting a person's house -- especially while you're a guest in their house -- is an entirely different thing. One that I'd like to see an end to.

    See, not only is housesnarking extremely rude, but it's quite telling of the housesnarker's own self esteem issues. My ex-friend who couldn't stop cutting down my apartment was clearly working on her own house issues, having just moved out of her boyfriend's apartment. And the times that I've caught myself on the verge of housesnarking -- for example, rolling my eyes at the flights of stairs to a new friend's apartment -- it's because there's something else I'm extremely jealous of. (In this instance, my friend lived in my dream neighborhood!)

    The fact is that our homes, like our bodies, like our lives, are a series of trade-offs. Have a huge kitchen? You probably have a leaky ceiling. Gorgeous backyard? Perhaps your pipes are old. But no matter what virtues your home does or doesn't have, just remember this: Complaining about someone else's will not make yours any better.

    Just remember this, ahen, ammended, Audrey Hepburn quote: "For beautiful eyes, look for the good in others; for beautiful lips, speak only words of kindness; and for a beautiful home, don't talk smack about your friends' houses."

     

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    Forget the flowers. Here's the best last minute Mother's Day gift you could give: Sit mom in her favorite chair, grab a sponge and clean her house.

    On Mother's Day I typically go to a local farmstand to buy my mom a flat of pansies or a hanging plant spilling over with colorful flowers. My mother loves flowers, and she loves spending Mother's Day planting whatever flowers my sisters and I bring her. At least I think she does.

    According to the National Retail Federation, two-thirds of Americans will buy their mother flowers this Mother's Day.


    But here's the rub: Now that I'm the mother of a 14-month-old baby boy, I think the last thing I'd want on Mother's Day is flowers. A flat of morning glories, while thoughtful and pretty, is only going to give me one more thing to do on a day when I'm supposed to do nothing but relax. Gardening is a chore, no matter how enjoyable or rewarding it may be.

    Plus, there's a double standard when it comes to gifting. While fathers get to spend Father's Day golfing, sailing or attending a ball game, mothers are encouraged to do more housework. How is that fair?

    If you really want to give your mother a gift this year, here's what you can do: Take on some of her most dreaded chores.

    You'll make any mother's day by taking on one of these gross-out housework tasks on her "to do" list. Besides cleaning won't cost you a dime, just some elbow grease. (One caveat: If you already bought your mom a plant, don't fret -- Insist on planting it for her!)

    5 Chores You Can Cross Off Your Mother's To Do List This Weekend:


    1. Scrub your mom's tub, toilet and bathroom sink. Who enjoys chipping away at soap scum in the tub? Absolutely no one, including your mom. Here's the best way to remove soap scum, a guide to the dos and dont's of cleaning the tub and how to clean your tub the non-toxic way.

    Short on time, but want to give your mom the gift of a clean bathroom? Here's how to do it in 15 minutes.

    2. Clean out her fridge. Then stock it with gourmet goodies. Pull your mom up a chair, and she can direct you as to what in the fridge should be tossed. You can catch up while she watches you wipe away the syrup drips and onion peel shavings, and then disinfect the drawers and freezer. Here's tips on how to clean out your fridge in less than an hour. And don't just make the inside shine -- Use a sponge and cleaning spray to wipe down the top of the fridge, the coils and behind it.

    When you're done, stock a few of her favorite treats inside. Then she'll get two gifts next she opens the fridge.

    3. Do her laundry.
    Every mom spends a ton of time washing, drying and folding clothes. Some moms keep up with it on a daily basis, but many of us fall behind, and within a few days a mountain of laundry can appear. Tell mom you've got it covered. Spend the afternoon emptying all of the hampers, and play her personal laundry service for the day. If you've got extra time, air-dry her clothes so they smell fresh and spring-like.

    Earn brownie points by putting the clothes away, returning hampers to their proper place, and wiping down the washer and cleaning lint from the dryer.

    4. Disinfect the kitchen trash can. No matter how clean your mom is, chances are her kitchen trash can has a bit of an odor. It's normal -- All it takes is one tiny leak, a small scrap of food, and the trash can releases an icky smell when you open it. This is a job I often put off for weeks until it gets worse and worse. Here's how to do it: Empty the trash, and take the can outside. Dump any contents in the outdoor trash receptacles; you may have to scrape off any old crusty food bits. Then get out the hose and wash it out. You can add a small bit of spray cleaner to help disinfect. The job will take only a few minutes, but your mom will appreciate it in a big way.

    5. Pull out the stove and clean behind it. Then tackle the greasy backsplash. Stoves are heavy, so this is hard for older moms to pull off on their own. Here's what you can do: Pull the oven out from the wall as much as you can without disrupting any gas lines, then reach a vacuum down and suck up as many crumbs and food particles as possible. Then spray the backsplash down and scrub.

    If you're feeling ambitious and (particularly giving), move out the bookshelves, couch and any other pieces of furniture from the walls of your mother's house. Go around and vacuum all of the dustbunnies. A full deep cleaning is dreaded by all -- Your mother will breathe easy knowing she didn't have to do it!

    For more great ShelterPop stories, don't miss:
    Are You Guilty of House Snarking?
    Will the Decor Trump the Clothes in the Target -- Missoni collaboration? We Say Yes!
    Celebrity Home Coverage: From Jennifer Aniston to Sally Field

     

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    Do you have a green thumb? I don't. I have succeeded in killing everything I've ever planted whether it be flower, herb or vegetable. But I just found some inspiration in an unlikely source: Gwyneth Paltrow.

    mini-greenhousePhoto: Age Fotostock


    I would love to have a vegetable garden, but living in the city makes it even more difficult to learn. Not only do I have very little outdoor space, but it happens to be five flights down from my apartment. Obviously, that does not help much in the motivation department.

    But I am a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow's GOOP and when I saw that yesterday's newsletter included a how-to lesson from her friend (and garden expert) José Marqués, it gave me the confidence to give it another shot. I'm used to gardening looking beautiful but this actually looked easy.

    José received a set of 10 Heirloom Vegetables from D. Landreth Seed Co. from Beekman Farm and planted some in a mini-greenhouse to help the seeds germinate. Perhaps the mini-greenhouse can save plants from my black thumbs? Here is how they did it (and what I'll be doing this weekend!)

    mini-greenhouse Photo: Goop.com


    It looks like all I need are seed trays, moist, nutrient-rich soil, gloves and a mister. You can see how José filled 3/4 of the trays with soil, removing rocks and big chunks, then poured in about 4-5 seeds per pod with bigger seeds going in bigger pods.

    mini-greenhousePhoto: Goop.com


    To oxygenate the soil, José brought in worms. And to section off the larger trays, he used bamboo sticks to divvy things up.

    mini-greenhousePhoto: Goop.com



    Misting the plants generously twice a week then closing the mini-greenhouse (available at hardware stores) makes for a moist and warm climate for the seeds to grow. But will it be enough to reverse my terrible gardening luck? Stay tuned...

    For more gardening tips, check out:
    A Beginner's Guide to Succulents, The Plants You Just Can't Kill
    America's Most Fascinating Public Gardens
    5 Great Garden Apps

     

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    Planning a kitchen remodel (Or just dreaming of one)? Look to famous moms like Tori Spelling, Christina Aguilera and Penelope Cruz for ideas.

    No matter your style, everyone has a soft spot for their mom's kitchen. Maybe it's the food, maybe it's the fact that every creaky floorboard or nicked tile holds a memory, or maybe it's because you inherited your design sense from your dear mom (I certainly have a heightened appreciation for blue and white thanks to my mom's kitchen).

    So in honor of Mother's Day, we're spotlighting our favorite celebrity mom's kitchens and pointing out some takeaways that you can try at home. Here comes the motherly advice...

    celebrity-moms-kitchenWireImage; Realtor.com

    The best part about Tori Spelling's chic black and white kitchen? The fact that the look is warmed up by rich wood flooring. If you feel like you've gone overboard in making your kitchen look too cool, add in some wood pieces (even small items, like bowls and accessories) to balance the look.

    You'd think that diva Christina Aguilera's kitchen would be a toy-free-zone. But instead of fighting the inevitable, she cleverly made sure that her son's toys are cute and color-coordinated. We're not advising that the kid-free bring in a toy zebra but if you have children, only let the most adorable toys into your kitchen.

    celebrity-moms-kitchenBauerGriffin; Realtor.com




    Oh hey, Sharon Osbourne. Way to take stainless steel beyond the appliances! If you want your cabinets to look this sleek, try grabbing some stainless steel paint and turning your plain cabinets into modern wonders.

    celebrity-moms-kitchenJPI; Realtor.com

    When most people think kitchen makeovers, they think white. Ashlee Simpson proves that when you want to make a serious impact, black is the way to go. Note how her light countertops and white tiles in the backsplash keep things from getting too dark.


    celebrity-moms-kitchenGetty, Realtor.com


    I'll be honest -- I'm not crazy about Penelope Cruz's kitchen. But the best kitchen makeover I can think of involves bringing Javier Bardem into the room. Maybe he's a fan of the monotone look?

    Looking for more celebrity homes? Check out...
    Dear Kelly Rutherford: Is Your Decor Really Worth an Extra $1,000 a Month?
    Dear Sally Field: Can I Have Dinner at Your House?
    The Oprah House Tour With Nate Berkus (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

     

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    We're obsessed with StyleList's "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: Demi Moore

    Who doesn't want to look like Demi Moore? The actress stepped out at the A&E Television Upfront Presentation on May 4 in bright red trousers and a low-key white top, topped with a black jacket. Could a normal woman pull off the look? Probably. But could she look anywhere near as smashing? Well, that's a little more difficult.

    Luckily, the look can be translated into an effortlessly cool entryway that will look just as terrific in the homes of 48-year-olds (like Demi) or 84-year-olds. Here's how we did it.

    fashion room demi mooreGilbert Carrasquillo/FilmMagic; Courtesy photos


    Let's start with the ground up: The sharp points of her heels lend themselves perfectly towards a less severe look: A cheerful chevron rug ($69, Urban Outfitters). Next up, we translated those show-stopping red pants into an equally bright and daring seat ($660 for two, Unica Home) that's offset with a cozy white throw ($169, Crate & Barrel) that'll drape over and complement the chair with the same ease as Demi's top. The gold belt and bangles inspired this gold side table ($569, Horchow) while her black jacket reminds us of this sleek and sculptural floor lamp ($1,962, YLighting). The finishing touch for this entryway: A sparkling nude wallpaper ($75 a roll, Graham & Brown). Because no matter how much we love the clothes, it's Demi's dewy skin that makes this look a true 10.

    Check in every weekend for another fashionable room. Take a look at last week's Sarah Jessica Parker-inspired room and past rooms that pay tribute to...
    Helen Mirren
    Jennifer Garner
    Diane Kruger
    Evan Rachel Wood

     

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