Dish-Drying Racks That Don’t Hog Counter Space

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 12.35.00 PMCleverly concealed in cabinets or mounted in or above the sink, these racks cut kitchen cleanup time without creating clutter

Drying dishes can be a drag. So why not let Mother Nature do the work for you? A dish-drying rack can save time and doesn’t even need to take up counter space, so it can make your kitchen look cleaner, faster. Air drying may result in a water spot or two on your dishes or glassware, but because you’re handling the pieces much less than you would if you hand dried them, they (and your cupboards) actually stay cleaner. With health and convenience in mind, here are eight ingenious solutions for drying your dishes without creating clutter.

9 Ways to Make Your Home Office Fabulous

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 12.31.59 PMWhen your workspace is as unusually beautiful as these, inspiration and motivation are never placed on hol

There’s no rule that says your home office has to be a fun-free, functional space kitted out with a standard desk and run-of-the-mill swivel chair, and that’s your lot. In fact, how thoroughly rewarding would it be to head to work and step into a color-packed, glamorous room bursting with personality and pizzazz? There would still be a place for your computer, printer and files, natch, but the room itself could be just as much a part of the decorating jigsaw as the rest of your interior. Who knows? Your daily 9-to-5 might suddenly look very inviting…

Rio House Will Blow Your Mind

al-house-studio-arthur-casas-10This spectacular residence was designed by Brazilian Architectural studio Arthur Casas. Located in Rio de Janeiro, the 5,200-square-foot dream house is set around lush vegetation and over the iconic landscape clinging to a slope of the Pedra da Gavea dome. The house features floor-to-ceiling sliding glass panels that open onto an amazing infinity pool with breathtaking views of the dramatic scenery. 

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All About Engineered Hardwood Flooring

all-about-engineered-hardwood-flooring

10 Smart Ideas for Your Laundry Room Remodel

laundryMake washing and drying easier and more comfortable by considering ergonomics, storage and special features

While kitchens command prime real estate and design attention in a home, the laundry room, if you’re lucky to have one, is often carved out of awkward, leftover room. Most laundry rooms seem like large closets just for a washer and dryer and rarely take into account a workspace, storage, sinks for prerinsing or ergonomics. Don’t despair. Here are 10 ways to make your laundry room work better for you.

10 Tips for a More Peaceful Home

peacefulTurn your everyday living space into a serene retreat by clearing visual distractions, softening your lighting and more

Maintaining a Zen-like space is about much more than style. It’s about cultivating a peaceful place where each object has a reason for being present, whether for its beauty, utility or both. Here are 10 ways to bring a peaceful, balanced feeling to your home.

New Construction Will Soon Be New Competition For Sellers

For the last several years, home sellers had to compete with huge inventories of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). The great news is that the supply of these properties is falling like a rock in the vast majority of housing markets. Many homeowners are now thinking of selling as the impact of this substantially discounted competition has disappeared.

However, every seller of an existing residential property must realize that there is a new form of competition about to hit the market: newly constructed homes.

As the economy improves, builders will again be bringing their housing developments to the market. Trulia recently reported that the purchaser, given a choice, actually prefers new construction. Here are two charts showing the results of the Trulia survey:

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8 Beautiful Ideas for Floating Shelves

Screen Shot 2014-07-18 at 12.56.08 PMGet clean-lined storage and display on walls, over windows and in nooks using versatile floating shelving

Floating shelves — those that attach to the wall without visible brackets — are sleek, chic and so versatile. From filling a tricky nook to customizing a workspace, floating shelves are an underrated workhorse all around the house. Here are eight ways to use floating shelves, plus key tips for when it comes time to hang them.

Get the Look of Wood Cabinets for Less

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 1.14.40 PMNo need to snub plastic laminate as wood’s inferior cousin. Today’s options are stylish and durable — not to mention money saving

While plastic laminate cabinets might seem like a relic of another era, they actually are a practical, affordable, and — dare we say it? — stylish alternative to conventional wood cabinetry. “The general public doesn’t have an understanding about the durability, flexibility and options that laminate offers,” says Julie Cavanaugh, the owner of Design Matters, an interior design firm in Los Gatos, California.

Cavanaugh estimates that only about 15 percent of her clients request laminate cabinet faces, and a good chunk of those are for rooms other than kitchens. But the material doesn’t deserve to be neglected, she believes. It’s usually a cost-effective option and more environmentally stable and easier to care for than wood.

Wood-patterned laminate can emulate exotic materials and graining without the limitations and scarcity of the real thing. “You can make beautiful lengths of book-matched cabinetry, because the cabinetmaker is in control of the patterning and the repeat,” Cavanaugh says. The price is another incentive: Cavanaugh estimates that laminate cabinets can save homeowners an average of 15 to 30 percent over wood versions.