I’m of the opinion that all dwellings should have a landing strip — that counter/table/shelf/nook where you throw your keys and the mail when you walk in the door. If I remember to take my keys out of the door (This isn’t always the case!) then I always know where to find them. I love Hector Serrano’s take on the landing strip. His “do not lose me” key hook design is based on the classic “do not disturb” signs from hotels across the globe. With the addition of just a couple of hooks, this design becomes a genius key caddy. This was definitely a “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment. –Erica P.
My boyfriend and I share a computer desk. We’ve hooked up both computers, an external hard drive, a printer, an external disk drive and a set of speakers. I’m dealing with the cord situation, but constantly switching out my usb plugs is an annoyance I’d love to avoid. With Fred Flare’s USB tulip hub I could do that with added style! Each bright red flower is a high speed USB port that connects to the computer through one common USB cable. Pick one up here for $22. — Erica P.
I have a great appreciation for puns and, therefore, have great appreciation for Urban Outfitters’ Writing on the Wall coat rack, $24. The block of bright red text can transform a plain white wall and give a witty shot of personality to an otherwise boring entryway. I use mine to organize my scarves with sassy panache. The Writing on the Wall coat rack is available only online. For those who like their coat racks a little more cynical, an alternate version reads, â€œblah blah blahâ€. –Katie D.
I need some of these CableDrop cable clips from Bluelounge. I thread all the cords for my computer through the small space between the back of my desk and the wall, which takes all my patience and a bit of contortionist skill. Inevitably, every time I take my computer to the couch, the unplugged cords practically dive back down into the space behind my desk. I would happily stick a couple of these to the desktop (they come in packages of six for just $9.95) to hold my cords and save me this frustration. Has anyone used these, or any other similar product? Is there a quick-fix DIY version someone can suggest? –Erica P.
Click here for another cool laptop fix.
This year, instead of spending our tax return on things like paintings and fancy dinners out, we’ve decided to put some money into our new home — we’re springing for double paned windows. Not only will we be seeing savings on our energy bills, but the government has added some extra incentive. They’re offering a 30% return on the retail cost of certain eligible energy-efficient upgrades to your home. Eligible improvements like tankless water heaters, roofing, Energy Star-rated windows, and insulation could net you a tax credit of up to $1,500. And it’s not just for this year — the credit is extended for 2010 as well. To get the full $1,500 credit you’ve got to spend $6,000 (which was easy for us with the windows). You can find more detailed specifics about the rebates here. –Megan B.