Archives for June 2017


We walk all over them every day. Backwards and forwards. Up and down. Our floors are probably the most used areas of our homes and yet they’re often neglected.

Stains are a big deal, especially if you have pets and/or children. And if you’ve just spent a lot of money on a carpet or rug, you absolutely want to be armed with the knowledge of how to remove the most likely stains. Because accidents happen, no matter how careful you are.

Then you’ve got laminate flooring, wood, tiles…and you may have all of these, in one house! Phew! How do you know what’s best in caring for each one?

With this Ultimate Floor Cleaning Guide, that’s how! With advice on everyday care and stain removal for different types of flooring, this guide will be your one stop shop for ensuring all your floors live long, and prosper!


The Case for 2 Kitchen Sinks

Screen Shot 2017-03-27 at 7.37.57 AMHere’s why you may want to have a prep and a cleanup sink — and the surprising reality about which is more important

While the majority of American kitchens have only one sink, the trend toward two is growing quickly in new construction and major remodels. Why would you possibly need two kitchen sinks — that is, if you are in the fortunate position to be able to afford this luxury? In a nutshell, for better kitchen workflow.

There’s a lot to think about when planning a kitchen layout. This story will first make the case for having two sinks, and then address considerations for the all-important prep sink — the place where you’ll likely spend most of your kitchen time.

7 ways to make your home look impressive

7 ways to make your home look impressive- Infographic


A different way to visualize rhythm

rhythmIn standard notation, rhythm is indicated on a musical bar line. But there are other ways to visualize rhythm that can be more intuitive. John Varney describes the ‘wheel method’ of tracing rhythm and uses it to take us on a musical journey around the world.

Bono on How U2 Began Inside Larry Mullen Jr.’s Kitchen

“Kids started coming from all around the place,” frontman tells Jann Wenner in 2005 interview about band’s teenaged origins in Dublin.

Here’s a link to the Roling Stone article.

Music Review: Jacob Collier – In My Room

So, I found this musical phenom on YouTube a little while ago. The 22-year-old jazz composer and multi-instrumentalist, originally from London, shot to fame as a music-making teenager on YouTube. Then, he got the attention of Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock. Many music experts have called him a prodigy or even a genius. These adjectives about Collier are not unwarranted. His music holds a particular appeal for jazz aficionados, who hear his brilliance in the technical minutiae.

Collier possesses immense talent. His soulful baritone contradicts his slight frame and youthful age. On his debut CD, In My Room, he employs a myriad of layers of vocal harmonies and instrumentation, each intricately arranged into place. Ideas stack on top of ideas, multitudes of melodies intertwined, the twists, turns and modulations are all carefully calculated and backed up by an unfathomable understanding of music theory. I’ve never heard anything “homemade” that approaches this level of production! In My Room exudes the allure of a record lovingly pieced together by one man over countless hours…in his room.

All of the songs are great ideas with intelligent and thoughtful key concepts, but Collier, being a composer, singer, instrumentalist, and producer of great ability. Collier’s use of reharmonization, particularly with regards to the multi-track vocals, provide a constant sense of motion that is somewhat reminiscent of the piano playing of the late John Taylor.

Woke Up Today, opens the album, epitomizing the hyper-eclectic sound of Collier and his music, with a raggedy-funk rhythm consisting of miscellaneous sounds sampled into virtual percussion instruments, with Collier creating his vocal chorus.

The Beach Boys’ In My Room is a little on the nose, so it had to be included in this album. It’s a unique version with the densely layered vocals, and various percussion sounds, more so than even a Beach Boys record.

Along the same lyrical lines is Hideaway, done with a sparse but atmospheric instrumental backup including some acoustic guitar.

Sounding a bit like a more standard jazz ballad with outstanding vocal arranging is Collier’s arrangement of a tune by one of his biggest influences- Stevie Wonder, You and I.

However, the Stevie Wonder influence really comes to the forefront on an original called Saviour (British spelling, remember Jacob is from the UK). A mixture of vocal acrobatics with grooves constructed with combinations of unconventional sounds.

One of the most musically interesting pieces on the album is an original called Hajanga, in which Collier says he wanted to convey the effect of spinning in circles.

The most straight-out fun track on the album and also one of the most impressive is one of the covers. Collier does an amazing mostly a cappella version of the theme from The Flintstones. In the middle of the tune, Collier throws in a solo on a melodica, a kind of keyboard harmonica.

With all the layered vocal parts that dominate this album, Collier does a very attractive ballad called In The Real Early Morning, which is mainly just keyboard and his solo vocal.

There are a lot of musicians out there plying their trade, many of them very good, some of them innovative. And then there are those who are one of a kind, seeming to emerge fully formed at a young age. We have such a rare bird this week. It’s Jacob Collier’s In My Room is a wild mix of multiple layered vocals and jazz influence along the lines of Bobby McFerrin, the funk of Stevie Wonder and a quirky collection of instrumentation, which manifests itself as must listen to album.

Homes Are Gettin Smarter as Technology Accelerates [INFOGRAPHIC]

Technology continues to advance at an extremely rapid rate. The tech we interact with on a daily basis is constantly getting better, faster, and cheaper thanks to Moore’s Law.

Moore’s Law, originally coined by Gordon Moore (founder of Intel), states that the speed and power of microchips will double every 24 months. This has been true for over 50 years and continues to be the case.

Because the technology around us is getting smaller and more powerful, the uses of new and improved technologies are continuing to develop and expand as well. Enter smart home.

A smart home is created when items around the house become connected in one way or another. For example, connected thermostats, light bulbs, and security systems are just a few of the many smart home applications.


The Making of a Bass Guitar

serek bassesSerek Basses are handmade here in Chicago. They feel, sound and look amazing! Another quality product being made in Chicago.


How to Achieve a Minimalist Home