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Shelterpop

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    On a yet-to-be-aired episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, the First Lady makes her way back to Fayetteville, North Carolina, to support a new community house for homeless female veterans.

    For an Extreme Makeover: Home Edition episode slated to air in October, Barbara Marshall is a 15-year Navy veteran who has built the Jubilee House, a space that offers housing and services to homeless female veterans. With help from the Extreme Makeover team and volunteers in the community, Jubilee House undergoes the ultimate renovation that would turn it into the go-to resource center for female veterans and allow it to house several families.

    Michelle Obama showed up at the moment of the renovation reveal as a surprise guest. Here are some behind-the-scene sneak peeks.

    michelle obama extreme makeover home editionMichelle Obama arrives at the reveal site. DOD Photo by Elaine Sanchez.

    michelle obama extreme makeover home editionTy Pennington with Barbara Marshall (center) and another Jubilee House resident. Photo: Rachel Ray-Webb.

    michelle obama extreme makeover home editionMichelle Obama, Ty Pennington, and Barbara Marshall's family and Jubilee House residents at moment of reveal. Photo: Charles Howard

    michelle obama extreme makeover home editionThe completed Jubilee House for homeless female veterans. Photo: Rachel Ray-Webb.


     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick: Floral jugs ($35 each) and tumblers ($35/set of 4) from Karma Living, One Kings Lane.



    Bring nature indoors with these bright and colorful hand-painted floral jugs and tumblers that evoke the awe-inspiring beauty and wild flowers of the Himalayas. Mix and match the different colors at your next summer luncheon. They'll surely wow guests on the spot.

    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Saturday, 11am EDT. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Switching out your winter clothes and heavy duvets for the summer and vice versa is a given. But take that up another notch and give priority to your most-used, everyday items and supplies.

    This means while your favorite special occasion dishware set may look great on display, they are probably better stashed behind your microwavable bowls and plates on a daily basis. Make sure your essential daily-use objects like bath towels and coffee mugs get prime real estate in your closets and cupboards. And when it's time to take out the guest bedding, you'll be organized and know exactly where to go.


    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    Getty; Corbis

     

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    A lack of functional space leaves one family to less conventional kitchen storage solutions. But pots and pans in the oven? Oh, we can do better than that.




    If we could only get our hands on the contractor behind the Cartegena kitchen, we would let him have some of our building and organizing tips. Many of us move into homes with poorly laid out, wasted spaces that we can't seem to do much about. But one thing to remember is you can always take a step back and improvise and maximize. For the Cartegena' kitchen, it was important to look up and consider the vertical space, which was perfectly suited for a pot rack. And always consider compact solutions like drop-leaf tables and built-in wall storage--they're space-saving and -expanding.



    Looking for more Minute Makeovers? See our how to baby-proof the kitchen -- stylishly, organize your cabinets and have fun with changing up your pillowscape.

     

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    In the most recent New Yorker, Alec Wilkinson illuminates the "tiny house movement," profiling people who seek out small spaces -- typically 100-130 square feet -- for either financial or socially conscious reasons.

    "The occupants of tiny houses tend to be committed, and slightly self-regarding, citizens, who cook on little stoves and have refrigerators like wall safes," he observes. "They shed years of possessions and keepsakes to get by with two shirts and two pairs of pants and two mugs and two forks, in order to occupy what amounts to a monk's cell, for the sake of simplicity, frugality, or upright environmental living."

    One proponent of the tiny house movement is Jay Shafer, owner of Tumbleweed Tiny House Company, who has constructed 16 tiny homes. We took a closer look at some of Shafer's diminutive designs and their cozy interiors.

    tiny house movement 65 square feetCourtesy of Tumbleweed


    The "XS-House" is just 65 square feet and costs $38,997. Its living room features a built-in desk and couch.


    tiny house movementCourtesy of Tumbleweed


    You can snooze snugly in a lofted bed.


    tiny house movementCourtesy of Tumbleweed


    And hang your cutlery in a compact kitchen.


    tiny house movementCourtesy of Tumbleweed


    Another of Shafer's creations, the "Epu," is similarly small -- 89 square feet -- and easy on the wallet, at $45,997.


    tiny house movementCourtesy of Tumbleweed


    A low-flush RV toilet helps conserve water.


    tiny house movementCourtesy of Tumbleweed


    And built-in shelves mean you don't have to sacrifice a library.


    What do you think -- would you live in a tiny house?



    For more information, click here to read the Tiny House Blog and here for more on Tumbleweed.


     

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    From cooking ingredients to reading material, the five best tools for cleaning windows are already in your home.

    unusual tips sparkling clean wndowsjessamyn, Flickr


    1. Cornstarch. It's a surefire (and budget-friendly) way to sparkling-clean windows. Mix one teaspoon of cornstarch and one teaspoon of liquid dish soap into a gallon of water. Be sure that it's all mixed well together, soak a clean sponge in it, and wipe down the windows.

    2. Phone Book Pages. Swap out your paper towels for phone book pages. They'll clean away dirt and residue without leaving a mess on the window.

    3. Newspaper. Who needs expensive micro-fiber towels? Instead, grab a newspaper. Simply crumple up a few pages and buff the window for a streak-free shine.

    4. Coffee Filters. If you've gone digital and no longer receive your news in paper form, use coffee filters instead. You'll get similar streak- and lint-free results.

    5. Old T-shirts. A well-washed cotton t-shirt is the secret to glass so clean, you'll think the window was open. Simply buff the window with a t-shirt after you've finished the cleaning job.

    Looking for more cleaning guidance? Check out our Daily Clean-Up tips.

     

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    Design Eye is a look at the inspiring things seen, heard, and talked about in the world of design.

    Our friends at CasaSugar reported that the Minneapolis-based modern furniture company known for their über-cool home designs have launched their first rug collection. Among the new creations are three rugs made from recycled newspaper (yes, it's true) that are wrapped in cotton. They're available in three sizes and colors, including punchy purple, and cost $149-$499 at bludot.com.

    blu dot recycled newspaper rugsCourtesy of Blu Dot

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick:
    From left: Skyline To Go Mug, including Paris, New York City, San Francisco, London, and Seattle, by Rust Design, $16 each, Fab.com.

    Bright lights, beautiful cups! With these quirky yet elegant mugs, you can be a jet-setter without leaving the comfort of your desk--each porcelain mug has an urban skyline etched on its surface. Sip your favorite brew, and take in the City of Lights. Or, treat yourself to a view of Seattle's Space Needle. Your morning joe just got a little more street-savvy.


    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Sunday, 11am. Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    It seems odd at first but when you put mouthwash and cleaning together, it makes complete logical sense. The best use of mouthwash as a cleaner? The toilet bowl.

    As unsettling as it seems, the disinfecting and germ-killing purpose of mouthwash makes it a natural cleaner to eliminate bathroom bacteria in the toilet. Just like any toilet cleaner, pour two lid-cups into the toilet bowl and let it sit for 15-30 minutes. Then scrub with a toilet brush and simply flush.


    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    mouthwash cleanerGetty; Corbis

     

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    Clean a pool without lifting a finger...where do we sign up?

    clean-a-poolstu_wp, flickr


    We almost couldn't believe this one, but it's true! If you want a cleaner pool, just throw in a tennis ball. Its velvety surface will absorb the oils left behind on the surface of the water from visitors coming and going. (Which explains why our pool smells of sunscreen sometimes.)

     

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  • 07/29/11--09:43: Amazing Homes With A View
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    Let your mind wander and be enticed by these stunning homes with breathtaking vistas along the coasts and high atop mountains.


    Check out these amazing homes from our friends at Sunset Magazine.


    Browse homes with breathtaking views through floor-to-ceiling windows and walls of glass.

    Mountain views

    Gorgeous views of the Santa Ynez Mountains are provided by this glass-walled Montecito home. As wildfires often ravage this part of the Santa Barbara coast, the architects chose fire-resistant materials (steel, concrete) for the construction.



    Amazing Homes With A ViewSunset Magazine

    Double exposure

    Each floor of this Santa Monica home offers a great view. Open up the master bedroom's awning windows or slide open the ground-floor doors for even more exposure.


    Amazing Homes With A ViewSunset Magazine

    Vineyard retreat

    This Sonoma County home capitalizes on its vineyard views. Three levels of windows give every room a gorgeous view-even the master closet.

    Amazing Homes With A ViewSunset Magazine

    Modern duplex

    Designed by Richard Neutra, one of America's foremost modern architects, this duplex in San Francisco glows from its floor-to-ceiling steel-framed windows.


    Amazing Homes With A ViewSunset Magazine

    Coastal getaway

    A huge dining bay gives dinnertime guests an unobstructed view of the Sonoma coast.


    Amazing Homes With A ViewSunset Magazine

    Elegant warehouse

    Although it looks like this house has no walls or windows, it's due to the garage-like doors of glass and steel that can be rolled up to embrace the outdoors. A band of clerestory windows runs along the northern, neighbor-facing side of the house to provide privacy.



    For more homes with awe-inspiring views, head over to Sunset Magazine.



    And take a look at other inspiring stories such as:
    Choosing energy-efficient windows
    Small homes with flair
    25 creative home offices

     

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    A big empty wall can be intimidating. And the endless selection of photographs, drawings, and screenprints can be overwhelming. We're making easier by zeroing in on our favorites.

    The terms contemporary art and collector can often seem elitist and off-putting. Demystifying all that is Exhibition A, a hip contemporary art-selling site launched by the owner of Manhattan's Half Gallery Bill Powers, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, and budding gallerist Laura Martin.

    Simply put, we're hooked. The well-curated site focuses on contemporary works by both established and emerging artists. All the prints are signed limited-edition pieces and every Monday a new artist is introduced. But the best part? All the prints are marked at affordable prices so you won't be breaking the bank.

    Exhibition A contemporary artCourtesy of Exhibition A: Left: From Most Wanted Series by Richard Phillips; right: Rene Ricard


    Exhibition A contemporary artCourtesy of Exhibition A: Mondrian Pug by Jessica Craig-Martin


    Exhibition A contemporary artCourtesy of Exhibition A: Left: Francesca DiMattio; right: FriendsWithYou


    Exhibition A also just started up an online bookshop, which is stocked with some must-read art tomes. And if you're the "Invite Only" aspect is giving you pause, don't worry, the site is opening to the public in August.

    I'm currently resisting the urge to buy a wonderful graphic print by Francesca DiMattio...among others, and to distract myself (not really) I've been obsessively reading through their Collectors Q&A on their blog. My favorite: A Tauba Auerbach screen-print is one of Christie's VP Joe Carlucci's prized possesions.

     

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    Don't have time to browse all the online sample sales everyday? You're in luck: We searched them all and brought back the best.

    Editor's Pick:
    From Left: Jayes Sunscreen Tub, in Newport Blue. Jayes Mail Tub in Blue Pineapple, and Jayes Sunscreen Tub in Newport Green. $24 each, One Kings Lane.



    Don't these bold buckets look like they belong in someone's Charleston beach house? We love how Jayes takes organizing from mundane to magnificent with these bold tubs! Dare we say it? Sorting through mail seems a little more fun with a "blue pineapple" bucket. And if you're like us and always misplace your sunscreen, these hand-painted creations may help you be a little less forgetful. Stack these up in your front room, and treat yourself to a Piña Colada!

    Want to snap this up? Move quickly. Sale ends Sunday, 11am.

    Check back tomorrow for the next Daily Sampling!

     

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    Design Eye is a look at the inspiring things seen, heard, and talked about in the world of design.

    The Core77 Design Awards, which honored the best in design across 15 categories, were announced on July 27th. The winners were spectacular, but what really got us talking was this "Notable" entry in the DIY/Hack/Mod category. These solar lights are actually made from...soda cups. Amazing. For more information, visit the Core77 Design Awards.

     

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    This week, a senior curator at the Baltimore Museum of Art discusses the allure of blue-tinted purple.

    Purple is the unofficial color of Baltimore, Maryland, if you didn't know. Given that, we figured it only right to end our conversation on the color purple with David Curry, senior curator of American painting, sculpture and decorative arts at the Baltimore Museum of Art. Speaking with Curry, we realized that there's a lot that we didn't know about purple, especially how it always seems to play a subtle role in landscape paintings. Scroll through to see our talk with David and his thoughts about purple and his favorite time of day for a Martini.

    baltimore museum of artVase: c. 1878. Designer: Frederick S. Shirley. Manufacturer: Mount Washington Glass Co., New Bedford, MA. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Albert H. Cousins Memorial Fund. BMA 2002.207. Painting: Walter Ufer. Luzanna and Her Sisters. 1920. The Baltimore Museum of Art: Gift of the Friends of Art. BMA 1931.5.1.


    1. Do you have a favorite shade of purple?
    I think purple is a wonderful color. My favorite is almost bordering on periwinkle to blue. It's the color of my favorite hour of the day, which is called "L'heure bleu." It's a brief time of the day when there isn't any red in the sunlight right before it goes into the purple shadows. It always seemed more purple than blue to me.

    2. Why do you like this shade of purple?
    If you're in a garden at that hour at the ed of the day, the flowers look different and it's a great time to sit outside to look at them; it's also a great time for a Martini.

    3. What does this shade remind you of?
    19th-century and early 20th-century landscape paintings...Impressionist and Realist paintings. I see a lot of this purple in the museum everyday.

    4. Do you have a personal possession or a favorite object that is in this specific shade of purple? Is it possible for us to get an image of it?
    I often buy flowers in this shade. But I did find a large early-20th-century painting by Walter Ufer in storage when I first moved here and brought it out for folks to enjoy in the galleries. Ufer uses a range of sharp purples in the clothing of the girls and the sheen of the black San Ildefonso pot-and he uses acid green and canary splendidly to set off the purples. In the background are the mountains around Taos-rendered in that dusky purple that is so hard to define as it shifts minute by minute. L'heure bleu in Taos and Santa Fe is a splendid time for seeing evanescent color effects in nature.

    5. How do you see this shade of purple used in a home?
    I'm a fan of cut flowers. Purple goes with everything. It's always been an extremely fashionable color and it has a history for royal interiors. We forget how valuable color has been and what a differentiator it is, and purple has long been a noble color. Purple in small things or in the details of something is nice.

    6. What are three colors that you think go well with this shade of purple?
    Acid green, and any reds and blues.

    7. If you could give this shade of purple a name, what would it be?
    L'heure bleu.



    And if you haven't already, see our previous chats on the color purple with textile designer and illustrator Lena Corwin and artist Kimberly Brooks.

     

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    Combining our obsession with interiors with our love of fashion into a shoppable room.

    This Weekend's Pick: Freida Pinto

    Freida Pinto of Slumdog Millionaire fame stepped out on to the red carpet at last week's Comic-Con 2011 decked out in stylishly simple deep-yellow one-piece dress. We took Freida's effortlessly chic look and used it as inspiration for a yellow-infused lounging area.

    John Shearer/Getty Images


    And you can get the look in your home with these products:

    Clockwise from top left:
    Scoop-back chair in tumeric, $99, West Elm.
    Skojig pendant lamp, $25, IKEA.
    Capellini Ribbon stool, $871, ABC Carpet & Home.
    Imperial coffee table, $1,395, Jayson Home & Garden.


    And if you haven't yet, head over to see this week's Well-Suited Room inspired by our favorite best dressed men.

     

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    You've seen our Fashionable Room column where we look to some of the best-dressed starlets for decor inspiration. Now we're turning to the best-groomed men for some pointers.

    This Weekend's Pick: Chris Evans

    Everyone's new favorite superhero Chris Evans arrived at the Captain America premiere looking geek chic and dapper all at once-nerdy yellow-tinted glasses, tie clip, pocket square. We pulled together a gentlemanly living room that has hints of red, white, and blue inspired by his outfit and...because we thought it would be an appropriate homage to his heroic on-screen performance.

    Chris Evans Captain America Style RoomGetty Images



    And you can get the look in your home with these products:

    Clockwise from top left:
    Jas pendant light, $138, YLighting.
    Bella mirror, $390, Room & Board.
    Brockton leather sofa, $4,500, Horchow.
    Americana tray, $99, Wisteria.

     

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    Getting to know the faces and stories behind our favorite gardens. Today: British garden author Alex Mitchell.

    Alex Mitchell in her London garden. Photo: Paul Debois.


    British garden writer and urban gardener Alex Mitchell's new book The Edible Balcony-about small spaces and what you can grow in them-will be released by Rodale later this year in the United States. (Full disclosure: this writer's Brooklyn terrace appears in it.) In the meantime you can get to know Alex at her website, The Edible Gardener.

    1. Why do you garden?
    I garden for some space from my little kids (though they usually follow me outside within minutes and start shooting each other with water pistols) from London and from work pressures. Mainly though-and it's so hard to express this without sounding pretentious so I'm not even going to try not to-it's for self-expression, to create my own little world that's beautiful to me.

    2. Who or what inspired you to garden?
    My nursery school was a hut at the end of a long woodland garden in the Kent countryside run by a very eccentric old lady.On the way to the hut you walked down a stepping stone path past perfect little clearings of lawn surrounded by foxgloves and honesty, like magical woodland glades. I thought fairies lived in there. We weren't allowed to step off the path and go into them-she probably wanted to protect her lawns. Maybe that's what made gardening so appealing to me-I can finally walk on the grass.

    3. What was the first plant you grew?
    A miniature yellow patio rose I planted in the front garden at my shared house in Bristol when I was at university. Looking back, it was quite hideous, but I loved it because it survived a street party that got rather out of hand. The morning after it looked like a dead twig trampled into the mud by the trainered feet of a few hundred students, but a week later it had recovered and was putting out green shoots. How can you not respect something that plucky?

    4. How often do you garden?
    Whenever I have a spare moment. But also whenever I have a work deadline and that cosmia just suddenly needs deadheading.

    5. What is your gardening climate zone?
    I was born in Kent which I think is equivalent to your USDA Zone 8. This is only 25 miles away from London where I live now, which is equivalent to your Zone 9, due to the urban heat island effect. Winter temperatures rarely dip below minus 5 Celsius [41' F] and summer temperatures often reach 30 Celsius [86' F].

    6. What size is your garden?
    About 50 foot long and 15 foot wide

    7. What plant has most disappointed you?
    My cocktail kiwi planted with great excitement and expectation of bunches of grape-sized sweet kiwi fruit hardy enough to survive our winter. Apparently. For two years I've watched it put out
    fresh green shoots full of promise. And for two years I've watched helplessly as they are munched right back to the base - probably by snails. Never seen a bud, let alone a kiwi.

    8. What plant has made you happiest?
    There's something about nasturtiums that makes me deliriously happy. They're so uncomplicatedly cheerful. And they cover awkward bare spaces and clamber up ugly fences. Of course, you can also eat them so they're a win-win plant really. Californian poppies come a close second - I must have a thing about orange.

    9. What do you love about your garden right now?
    Watching the bees buzzing like crazy over the lavender and the thornless blackberry, eating apricots and peaches straight from the tree with the kids, snipping off globe artichokes and throwing them straight into boiling water to be eating with plenty of mayonnaise, and rooting strawberry runners from the plants which had the tastiest fruit. I like making new plants without having to go and buy them.

    10. What do you feed your garden?
    Garden compost and worm compost as a soil conditioner, diluted liquid seaweed feed and worm tea for growing plants.

    11. What would you like to grow, that you can't?
    Pomegranates - heaven in a fruit.

    12. Food, flowers, native or ornamental?
    Ornamental food.

    13. Most inspiring garden writer, thinker, blogger, personality?
    I love reading anything by Anna Pavord and Monty Don - they make gardening sound vital, exciting, essential, like it's about more than just plants. Which, of course, it is. As a designer, I love everything Andy Sturgeon does.

    14. What plants do you dislike?
    I don't think there's really ever any excuse for spotted laurel.

    15. Would you like more sun or more shade?
    I live in London. Of course I want more sun!

    16. Where is your favorite public garden?
    Sissinghurst in Kent. A cliché I know, but I've never seen such glorious, jumbly, colourful planting as here last summer. A perfect mix of formality and exuberant wildness. And it's fun climbing up the tower and pretending you're Vita for a moment - tweed jacket optional.

    Visit Alex Mitchell's London garden via this video.

     

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    Beyond dental hygiene, toothbrushes can serve you well as a cost-effective, cleaning tool. Here, the best ways to tackle your bathroom with a toothbrush.

    1. Shower door and tub lining. Certainly we've all seen how quickly mold and grime can build up under those sliding glass doors and around the tub. Dip the bristles of a toothbrush in some vinegar and scrub the hard-to-clean areas along the runners and tub perimeter. The grime will come right off.

    2. Drains. Like it or not, gunk gathers fast in your bathroom and kitchen drains. The bristles on a toothbrush will help you reach every small inch of it. First, pour some vinegar down the drain, and then scrub the grime away with a toothbrush.

    3. Sink and faucets. Mildew can collect fast in sink edges and around the faucet base, and it's difficult to remove all of it with a sponge or even a disinfecting wipe. Bring in a toothbrush to get into small areas behind and around the sink and faucet. The dirt will come right out.

    4. Toilet seat. Save this one for last...for obvious reasons. But a toothbrush works wonders around the hinges and the edges under the seat.


    Have a cleaning tip to share? Let us know at Twitter.com/ShelterPop.

    mouthwash cleanerGetty; Corbis

     

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