five things we learned last week

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1) Vintage Singer turned into a sink? You’ll take it. Our commenters and Twitter followers loved reader Matthew’s  vintage Singer sewing table turned sink project. Melissa says: “That is just beautiful. I’ve been looking for vintage/antique sewing tables lately for use as a table in my office, but would never have thought to make one into a vanity. Gorgeous!” Got a great design idea or completed reno project to share? Email us at letters (at) shelterrific dot com!

2) You may have solved Mary’s mys-tree! Turns out our readers are real garden gumshoes, and many of you agree that Mary’s mystery tree is in the plum family. Naomi says: “You have some type of purple leafed plum tree. There are hundreds of varieties of flowering plums, in addition to the fruiting variety. Some flowering plums do yield a small amount of fruit. This tree may bring you nice fall color as well, so kudos on the freebie. Take a picture of the leaves, branches and fruit, or better yet bring a sample to a nursery or master gardener to ID.” Care to weigh in on this mys-tree?

3) You’ll find a place for Cat Studio’s place pillows. Shannon says: “I have seen the Canada one before at our local Roots store and wanted it so bad!! I may have to save up because they are just so darn cute!” See the New York International Gift Fair find here.

4) For many of you, expensive espresso machines are worth their weight in incredible java. We know our readers have their coffee rituals, and Megan shared the main event in hers: her Rancilio Silvia espresso machine. And she’s not alone in her love. Julie says: “We have a Silva (w/ a Rocky) and love it. Several years later, it is still going strong and pumping out some lovely shots each morning.”

5) Surprisingly, sometimes custom work is the cheapest option. Sarah L. shared her livingroom makeover and her custom built-ins beat their Ikea counterparts any day. Ellie says: “have to love custom built-ins cheaper than IKEA.” See the transformation here.

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