I was recently gifted the gorgeous Irish linen tablecloth that my great-great grandmother hand stitched. It’s flawless — no stains, no tears, no fraying in any bit of the meticulous handiwork. Though honored with the heirloom, I was hesitant to accept it, especially after my mom’s conditions for possession: I had to use it. I was dizzy envisioning the inevitable accidental splash of a latte or merlot, until my mom shared her secret for removing stains out of delicate vintage linens: denture tablets. Simply dissolve 5-10 tablets (depending on the size of the item) in a warm bath and soak your delicate fabrics until they are white and stain free. Rinse gently, air dry, and press, and it should be as good as new! It should be noted that this only works on white fabrics, please don’t try this with colors! I’m proud to report I’m enjoying the tablecloth and won’t let any fear of stains keep it hidden away anymore! — Megan B.
My husband and I have this rule: no more IKEA furniture. We are adults now; and are tired of bickering while wrestling a gigantic flat-pack MDF monster and attempting to decipher the modern hieroglyphic instructions. We’ve had enough of it already. I’ll admit, though, to always having a soft spot for the Expedit series — the design is just so smart and simple. When we finally stepped into the 21st century and upgraded to a flat-screen TV, we quickly realized the old IKEA bookshelf we were using was not right for our living room. We needed more storage space, something that would brighten up our room and wouldn’t break the bank. I scoured Craigslist and looked at some of my favorite local vintage shops, but just couldn’t find the right piece for our large space & tiny budget. That is, until my husband surprised me with a radical, and perfect solution…
Click to see what we ended up with, after the jump! (more…)
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
We firmly believe in being your own handyman. Whether it’s installing our own back splash tile in the kitchen, renovating our backyard deck or giving a staircase a ombre hue, we regularly roll-up our sleeves and tackle little projects all over our homes. Sometimes things go wrong. Paints drip on the floor. Tiles dry crookedly. Equipment gets rusty. We pull our hair out. No one is happy.
Luckily, there’s a little help to be found via Vine and these handy D.I.Y. videos produced by Lowe’s. The wonderful thing about Vine is that the videos are super short — 6 seconds! — and loop over and over. So if you miss something the first time, don’t sweat it, you can catch the second or third time around. Here are six cool tricks we learned from watching these Vines — though if you start playing around on the social network’s app you’ll find many, many more.
Six Handy Tricks We Learned From Lowe’s Vine Videos:
1. Potatoes aren’t just for dinner — or making crafty stamps! The next time you are dealing with a broken lightbulb in lamp, use a potato to unscrew it without risking a finger cut.
2. Rubber bands have many uses (besides being woven into colorful bracelets for grade-schoolers). You can use them to catch paint drips from a can, or twist out a stripped down screw.
3. For your next colorful paint project, don’t mess with a new paint tray for each color. Simply line your old ones in aluminum foil and reuse.
4. Take the guesswork out of picture hanging. A piece of tape can help measure the distance between holes and get things picture perfect.
5. You don’t need luck to make your tiles line up perfectly. Pennies placed in between the rows of tiles will do the trick until they dry nicely.
6. What could be more dull than a rusty knife? Dip your cutters in some lemon juice for 15 minutes and see how they shine.
Have you discovered any great DIY Vine videos? Let us know and we’ll feature them on Shelterrific!
This is a sponsored post.
Even though our team is no longer in the running, it’s still fun to keep up with what’s going on in the Re-Energized By Design competition. This week, the remaining three teams made over their laundry rooms.
In addition to $500 and energy efficient lighting from GE, the homeowners each received an brand new set of Frigidaire Affinity laundry equipment. These are not your average high-efficiency washers & dryers — this is serious technology in action here. The Affinity dryer will dry a full load in less than 30 minutes, and the washer features allergen reduction and sanitizing features along with having the highest energy star rating. And aesthetically they please, too (though I have to wonder why no one picked the red option).
Love what those scrappy Sayers did in their space with that upcycled laundry drum light fixture. Their creative approach is always surprising, and will be tough to beat in the final round. In the end, the Mendes family’s pastel laundry room didn’t make the cut — that leaves the Sayers and the Reillys to duke it out in the kitchen challenge! who do you think will win?!
This is a sponsored post.
What is Re-Energized by Design, you ask? Well, it is an awesome web series that Shelterrific is excited to be participating in — produced by Puget Sound Energy, it’s all about incorporating energy efficiency into home design. The challenge is this: six teams of homeowners are paired with design coaches and together they compete to re-design 5 rooms with a focus on saving energy with a small budget. Cameras are documenting each leg of the challenge, and with every room one team gets the boot! The prizes are great: a home full of new LED and CFL lightbulbs from GE, a full suite of kitchen and laundry appliances from Frigidaire, and $5000.
I was fortunate to be paired with the Bedford family, who are just delightful. Kristen and her husband Slade have a great contemporary house, fun design aesthetic, and are really willing to completely put themselves into every challenge. This experience for me has literally been re-energizing to me as well, ending a year-long creative rut and getting me back into blogging and crafting and having fun again. I can’t wait to share what we’ve created together.
But as of today, I won’t have to wait much longer, as the first webisode is available at 6am PST at the Re-Energized By Design site — this week’s is an introduction to all the contestants. And stay tuned each week as we reveal another webisode. Also be sure to go to the Re-Energized page on Facebook, where you can enter to win a new Frigidaire appliance like those featured in the challenge!
I had a moment of clarity yesterday that struck me as sort of funny. For the past few years Iâ€™ve been covering the drip pans underneath my stove burners with aluminum foil so, when liquid boils over or drips from a spoon, it lands on the foil and the burnt mess easy to clean up. What I discovered, though, is that because I know in my head I can just recycle the foil later, Iâ€™m less likely to thoroughly clean up the drips after they happen. I just wait until the foil is sufficiently dirty, take it off and put new foil on. Uh, thatâ€™s just laziness! Itâ€™s not like my burner pans are not doing the jobâ€¦ I just donâ€™t want to clean them! Itâ€™s time to stop that nonsense and do a better job picking up after myself. Funny that in my effort to reduce cleaning effort, I just got lazy! Do you have neatness tips that have backfired on you too? — Rebecca F.
Photo credit: Rebecca Firlik
Hereâ€™s the story: Youâ€™re working on a huge project at work and have been traveling more than usual. Those side projects are moving along as scheduled but your nights and weekends are suddenly mystifyingly busy and by the end of the week you open the fridge and the lay of the land is tipping the scales strongly in favor of condiments. Sound familiar? Well, this is my story right now, and in the ebb and flow of a busy period itâ€™s easy to feel like your life, and by default, your home, is a mess. That feeling is amplified in my tiny bedroom, where lifeâ€™s residuals seem to pile up even faster. And every time I have a week that has me crawling over a pile of stuff just to get into bed, I think of the many articles Iâ€™ve seen touting the benefits of going to sleep, and thus waking up, in a clean bedroom. An article over at Apartment Therapy served the latest reminder, and I have to ask: Do you make a point of going to bed in a clean room? Do you make making your bed a ritual? Sound off! â€“ Sarah C.
In this photo: A gorgeous bedscape from the old but invaluable Apartment Therapy post 8 Tricks to Make Making The Bed a Habit.
Given the cost of a kitchen remodel â€” even if it’s a modest one â€” the idea of creating something timeless appeals to me. The picture above is circa 1990 and is Martha Stewart’s former kitchen. Switch out the hardware, and it seems like 20 years on, it still works. Well, at least if you’re not going the sleek and modern route. Soapstone or marble countertops. Painted cabinets. Glass doors. Big farm sinks. To me, they seem like they have achieved a certain timeless quality without sacrificing style. The question that’s plaguing me is will they age well through another 20 years? Or will they smack of 2005-2015 kitchen design? â€” Sarah L.