steal this idea: walls covered with trim mouldings


We spent a lovely day in Charleston, SC last week, admiring its historic churchyards, cobble stoned streets and shuttered row houses. Little did we expect to find such a mod decor idea there. At Kaminsky‘s downtown, the smell of wafting french roast mixed with baking cupcakes, while our eyes soaked in the these clever wall coverings. From across the dining room, they had a undulating texture that cast soft shadows in the morning sun glow. On closer inspection, we realized that this expensive looking treatment was really just rows of wall trim. The moulding that most homes use around the base or in decorative accents was glued onto the walls row after row, in creating a texture that was both organic and organized. Replicating the same effect in your home would not be too difficult; the hard part might be deciding your level of commitment. If you glued them on, it would be impossible to remove without destroying the wall. Another option would be to drill them on, and then spackle over the holes before painting. We’re thinking it’d be fun in a small room (like a half bath) or perhaps on just an accent wall. The white color used in Kaminsky’s allowed the shadows to take center stage, but it also might be interesting in a pale clay or grey. If you’re ever in Charleston, but sure to stop by 78 N. Market Street for a piece of red velvet cake and a look around. – Angela M.

From our partners

how to avoid a moldy pumpkin


If you’re like us, you spent a glorious fall weekend leaping around pumpkin patches and picking apples right off the tree. Divine! But before we start carving our jack-o-lantern masterpieces, we thought it’d be a good idea to remind ourselves what we learned last year. As you may recall, our 2010 porch pumpkins had a tough time. First, they got nibbled on by some squirrels. Then, they got moldy and basically caved in.

1. Don’t put your pumpkins out too soon. Rainy damp days can be deadly. Take them inside when it’s moist out!
2. After you carve it, soak it in cold water for a bit.
3. Smear some Vaseline on the carved, exposed edges.
4. If you’re worried about hungry critters taking a bite, mist it with a diluted cayenne pepper mix or try some Bitter Apple.

Got any other tips? Tell us here — and send us photos of your carved pumpkins! We’ll be sharing ours soon.

From our partners

steal this idea: garden plant organizer


Hey, what do you do with those little tag they put in nursery plants once you get them home? Perhaps you throw them away. Or maybe you have a system like mine: throw them in an old flowerpot in the shed until a year later when you’re trying to remember the name of what was planted where and how tall it might eventually be. Well, how about this idea from one of my neighbors: grab a simple binder, organize it by area of the yard, and just staple the tags in there along with any notes about plant care. Such a simple idea, but I admit, I was impressed! — Mary T.

From our partners

are bookshelves becoming a thing of the past?

This week I saw two stories about bookshelves suggesting they are going the way of the record player and rotary telephones. It seems that in the dawning era of electronic books (and I am the first to confess: I LOVE my Kindle) that bookshelves are becoming obsolete. Both and The Economist wrote about Ikea’s plans to remake its famous Billy bookcases to contain all sorts things besides books. The shelves are becoming deeper and they’re getting optional doors – all the better to hold things that aren’t books, like tsotchkes (and I am the first to confess: I LOVE tsotchkes).

In our house, we still have a lot of novels and other assorted paper products, like magazines, kids books, cookbooks, photography books. But it’s true that they are not the only objects that live on our shelves. When we staged our apartment to sell, in the photo above, we cleaned up the bookshelves so they contained very few books. Our realtor thought this would be more appealing.

These days, I find myself drawn more and more to old books and first editions. Is it the nagging sense that classic printed matter is becoming more precious? On our mantel is a first edition of EB White’s This is New York, a must have and read. I’m not buying fewer books now that I own a Kindle. Rather, now I am buying books that I truly treasure and want to have and hold and display. And for those, I need bookshelves.

What about your home’s future? Will bookshelves still have a place there? — Angela M.

From our partners

end of summer craft ideas: what to do with popsicle sticks?


As you know from previous posts, it’s been a summer filled with popsicles. And as the last long weekend approaches, I feel the need to suck every sweet drop from the end of the popsicle stick. Then, I’m gonna take a pile of those popsicle sticks and do something crafty with them and a bottle of glue. Of course, Martha Stewart has some serious suggestions. I love the little house, above, from their site, and suspect our daughter will, too. But there are some grown up ideas out there as well (after all, not just the little ones like popsicles). On Etsy, I spotted this adorable cutlery holder. (The lazy can buy one for $10.) And Reader’s Digest offers these ingenious uses for popsicle sticks. Be warned though. There are some heated debates on gardening forums about how using the leftover wooden planks for plant labels is a bad idea. Apparently, they get moldy? Yuck.

What about you? Got any fun projects to keep us busy over the long weekend? I sense rain in the forecast. — Angela M.

From our partners