Archives for September 2013

How to Work With a High Ceiling

Great-2If you want your high-ceiling room to have a cozy feel, bring some elements down into the volume to break up the cavernous space. This approach, together with added attention to the walls, will help it better relate to human scale. Here’s how to do it.

First of all, consider yourself lucky. Many homeowners would be thrilled to have a decorating dilemma like high ceilings. But I get it. Rooms with enough headroom for an ogre require special attention (as if they didn’t already get enough).

Sure, monuments, cathedrals and statues work on a grand scale to create a sense of awe and respect. But in our homes, overly high ceilings can make us feel dwarfed. And if not treated properly, they can create anything but a cozy feeling.

Kitchen ideas, bathroom ideas, and more ∨Browse bedroom ideas, from loft beds to decorative duvet covers, and dream in style.
Select outdoor patio furniture to match your style, garden sheds or even a backyard greenhouse to personalize your landscape.

A Smart Smoke Detector?

Nest-Learning-Thermostat-iPhone-appNest, the “learning thermostat” maker founded by former Apple’s senior vice president of its iPod division, is reportedly working on a smart smoke detector, according to former Wall Street Journal reporter Jessica Lessin.

Kara Swisher of AllThingsD adds that it will be called Protect, and be part of a series of smart devices, including the original thermostat.

Nest’s thermostat does more than turn your furnace and your air conditioning on and off. Nest’s product learns your schedule – when you’re home, when you’re away, how you like the temperature set when you’re there – and figures out how to set itself. It also takes commands from a smartphone, and connects to the household Wi-Fi. A built-in LCD display shows you temperature and current operations, all built into a rotary interface that’s familiar to most people who have used dial-based thermostats.

Read the rest on iMore

Emerald City: Urban Planning for Seattle

Seattle-Beautiful-View_1600x1200_6029.jpgThe population of Seattle in 2010 was 608,660, up from 563,375 in 2000, and it’s still growing. According to the Seattle Department of Planning and Development, that number could increase by 70,000 over the next 20 years. Lawrence W. Cheek’s article in The Seattle Times, “Small-scale solutions to Seattle’s huge urban-housing needs,” highlights the demand for more city housing.

How do developers meet housing needs in densely populated areas? Small-scale solutions are one focal point for Seattle architects and builders. Bill Parks, a longtime developer, works to create multi-residential housing options that offer a real sense of community. His current Ballard project at 24th Avenue and 65th Street is a five-story apartment complex that feels neighborly. “Its three buildings will surround a courtyard with a fountain, and the public — the larger neighborhood — won’t be locked out of the courtyard, at least not during the day. It’s a modest and cautious gesture toward openness, but in a rapidly densifying Seattle it stakes out a principle that’s increasingly rare.”

As Seattle developers and architects work to keep pace with population growth, they might take some cues from the successful strategies used by other big cities. Brent Toderian, President of Toderian UrbanWorks in Vancouver, Canada, suggests three necessary components for density done well in

  1. Multi-modal transportation
  2. High architectural standards
  3. Amenities that support public life
Vancouver, one of the most densely populated cities in North America after New York City and San Francisco, is considered a very livable metropolitan area. The city’s urban planning has focused on high-rise residential and mixed-use development rather than urban sprawl. As a result, the city has been able to maintain both a large population and lots of open space, and these priorities certainly resonate with those who reside in and around the Emerald City.

– See more at:

Five Renovations That Add Value to Your Home


Evolution of the Electric Guitar


NeverWet: Paint seen only when it rains

sun tomorrowYou may have heard of NeverWet (I posted about it back in July), but have you heard of using it as invisible paint for wood, concrete, or stone surfaces? Add rain, and your message or art becomes visible!

Housing Recovery According To DIY Giants

Both Home Depot and Lowe’s, the nation’s largest DIY home improvement stores, have outperformed the broader market in sales earnings. CNNMoney’s Paul R. La Monica says the retailers’ positive gains clearly point to the recovery of housing as fact, not fiction.

How Often Do People Clean Their House?

How Often Do People Clean Their Homes

What Goes Around – Keeps Coming Around: Vinyl to Vinyl

There’s something about the sound of a vinyl record that can’t be beat. Today’s infographic informs us that vinyl sales have increased 17.7% since 2011. And I have to say, I don’t really know people who buy CDs anymore, what everybody really wants is records. There’s something ritualistic about putting on a record that might satisfy people as much as the actual music does. In high school I practically lived at my best friend’s house, who also happened to be my neighbor, and every time it rained we would put on Bridge over Troubled Water, by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, and listened to all of its vinyl-ly goodness, paired with raindrops. If we had done this with a CD, I don’t think the end result would have been the same.

There’s quite a bit of novelty and nostalgia wrapped up in record players themselves, and I think a lot of people are catching onto this. Whether it’s their sound–a kind gravelly and familiar heaviness in many cases–that makes us happy, or the attractiveness of the record player itself. What’s old is cool again–we’ve expressed this with vintage clothes, styles, and interests, and we’re now expressing this in the way we listen to music.

Check out today’s infographic for the low-down on vinyl records. I will leave you now with a quote from the great book High Fidelity, by Nick Hornby. “What came first – the music or the misery? Did I listen to the music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to the music? Do all those records turn you into a melancholy person?” [Via]