Archives for July 2015

Iconic TV Living Rooms



10 Ways to Make Your Place Feel More Spacious

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 4.02.19 PMIs your living room on the small or narrow side? Use these design tricks to open it up

In a compact living room, there are various ways to create the feeling of more space. Furniture configuration is No. 1, but color palette, furnishings and other elements can really lift the impact in a tiny social zone. But how much furniture and knickknacks to put in your space? And what should you leave out to make the room appear bigger? These ideas will help you rethink your living room, so it can become a space you truly want to spend your time living in.

How to Clean Marble Countertops and Tile

Screen Shot 2015-07-22 at 3.59.06 PMAcidic solutions can damage your precious marble surfaces. Here’s what you need to know to keep marble clean and looking amazing

“Nothing moves like marble,” says Stephanie Laney, lead designer for Surfaces USA, referring to the impression of movement created by the veining inherent in the carbonate stone. “We love the movement.”

What most people don’t love, however, is the concern that comes with cleaning and caring for the popular, porous surface famously susceptible to etching and staining, especially in the kitchen.

Luckily, according to marble experts, where there’s a will, there’s a way, and caring for the classic beauty of a marble surface may be easier than you think. Here’s how to clean marble countertops.

8 Ways to Create a Neighborly Front Yard

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.59.19 AMFoster community spirit by setting up your front porch, paths and yard for social interaction

Many of us find ourselves living in communities defined not by common acquaintances, knowledge and culture, but by geography or economics. Rather than knowing our neighbors from childhood, we may not know our neighbors at all. To create a sense of community, it’s often necessary to bring people together so that they can get to know one another. By creating spaces where members of a neighborhood can mix naturally, communities can become communities in the true meaning of the word — places where people not only live together, but care about and watch out for one another.

Encompassing the sidewalk, the front yard and walk, and the front porch, here are some ideas to help foster interaction with your neighbors.

9 Exit Strategies for Your Clutter

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.56.26 AMHow to efficiently — and regularly — rid your home of the things you don’t want

Many of us have a problem with clutter. It can be so hard to get rid of things. Often the difficulty comes down to deciding whether something really is clutter. The struggle can be internal (“I could use this some day”), or with various family members (“Are you kidding me? That was my Aunt Agatha’s!”)

If you are desperate to clear things out of your house, a good place to start is the stuff everyone can agree needs to go. In our family no one wants to hold on to outgrown clothing, dead batteries, returnable bottles and cans, and books we’ve read but don’t love enough to keep. So why can’t we get them out of the house? Why are they piled by the door or on the end of the table, stashed in the back of the pantry or moldering in bags in the garage? Why!

I was thinking about this as we cleaned the garage last week, and then again when I unloaded a table outside our laundry room and noted the various bags of things I had carefully gathered and sorted and then forgot about for weeks on end. I realized we need to come up with a few systems for getting this stuff out of the house. We need some exit strategies.

Kitchen Details: Out-of-Sight Paper Towel Holder

Screen Shot 2015-07-14 at 7.52.55 AMSee how some homeowners are clearing the counter of clutter while keeping this necessity close at hand

I recently wrote about a house that has a great kitchen. As the homeowner described what she loved about her cooking space, she casually mentioned the paper towel holder. Stop the presses. “The paper towel holder is one of your favorite things about your kitchen?” I (incredulously) asked. “Oh yes!” she replied. “I spent a lot of time thinking about the paper towel holder!” Readers, this is how stories are born.

I wrote about that kitchen, complete with a shot of the paper towel holder provided by the homeowner. It turns out she’s not alone in her consideration of this workaday detail.

Your Hassle Free Moving Guide


When Does a House Become a Home?

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.42.37 AMGetting settled can take more than arranging all your stuff. Discover how to make a real connection with where you live

Why is it that certain places feel like home right away, but others may take months or even yearsbefore they feel like yours? Is it the location, something about the home itself or something else?Here we’ll explore these questions and some ways to get settled at home. Please add your own experiences in the Comments!

6 Ways to Cool Off Without Air Conditioning

Screen Shot 2015-07-07 at 7.39.53 AMTurn off that cash-guzzling, energy-hogging A/C — these methods of cooling your home and your body are cheaper and kinder to the planet

Having an air conditioner is a near-must in climates where months-long heat waves are a summer norm. (We’re fanning our faces with you, Houston and Atlanta!) And with that comes an equally scorching energy bill. Even in regions with gentler climates, homeowners can still experience enough hot days in a row to nearly go mad.

It doesn’t have to be so hard. Whether you want to save money by running your air conditioner less or brave the heat without one, here are six steps that will help you stay cool.