You may remember the Walker Rock Garden, the house with the amazing backyard that I wrote about in 2009. Recent repainting and replanting at the house, which is just a couple blocks from my own, got me wondering, and now my suspicions are confirmed: the homeâ€™s owners, grandchildren of the original owners, can no longer keep the place up and are looking to sell. But hereâ€™s the good news: they are going to do everything they can to sell to someone who will not only agree to keep up the rock garden, but who will be enthusiastic about doing so and will still open the garden to the public on occasion. To that end, they have not yet listed the house but are doing some initial PR to generate interest and feel out potential buyers. You know who wants this house? Badly? So badly she can taste it? Me, me, ME. I walk by that house almost every day, and nearly every time think something to myself like, â€œI wish I owned that place and could prune those rhododendrons,â€ or â€œImagine hosting a garden party on that incredible petrified-wood patio,â€ or â€œIf I owned that place, I would replace that fence, and fix the fountains, and invite people to have their weddings there!â€ Alas, real estate is expensive, we already own one house, and for me, this may remain a pipe dream. But for you, perhapsâ€¦? Learn more about the Walker Rock Garden and how to contact the sellers right here. â€“ Mary T.
This “ceiling fan upgrade” DIY at House*Tweaking really has fans, so to speak — I first saw it when an enthusiastic friend posted it to Facebook. I can certainly understand wanting to hide a fan you don’t like, and her ceiling fan isn’t the kind I’d choose, but it looked new and is fairly inoffensive — a lot better than the 1970s version currently hanging above my bed. (And we own our house so we have no excuse; we should have replaced ours by now.) I also worried that the chandelier would make noise when the fan is on (or at least distracting movement), but Dana at House*Tweaking says that it’s not an issue as long as the speed doesn’t go above medium. (And just in case Dana sees this post, I do just love lots of what’s on her site — this mini mudroom for instance! Genius!) What do you think of the fan fix, and have you come up with any other quick fixes for unattractive fixtures in your space? — Mary T.
P.S. Speaking of Facebook, just a reminder that you can canoodle with Shelterrific on our Facebook page!
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!
For those of us who decide not to leave up the lights…
I finally got around to taking my holiday decorations down this weekend â€¦ my little fake Christmas tree gets stuffed back into its garbage bag, and my holiday wreath into its box. I also had several strings of holiday lights up on my porch that need to be tucked away. I got to thinking — every year I spend 20 minutes untangling lights, no matter how neatly I think I wind them up the year before. Next year will be different though! I did a little brainstorming and came up with a storage trick that I think will help â€“ I wrapped my lights around a cardboard paper towel tube, cutting a slit in one end to keep the cord and plug from unraveling. I think this will make putting up my lights a snap next year! What storage tricks do you have? â€“- Rebecca F.
Dishes are my business. Really. I feel like they are ALL I DO sometimes. And at work, where I do the bulk of them, I have to manually wash everything with the “three sink system”, an effective, albeit labor-intensive method. Thankfully, we had the budget to put in a dishwasher when we bought our house two years ago. It helps to alleviate my day to day dish workload immensely, and I can’t even imagine a time where I lived without one, though I did for many years. I know people, though, who own dishwashers and don’t use them, preferring to hand wash everything. As crazy as that sounds to me, there are obviously two schools of thought on this one. So where do you stand? Do you scrub it up with good old-fashioned elbow grease, or do you let technology do the work? — Megan B.
photo courtesy of flickr user Avrene.
The closest thing I have to color in my garden right now is Nandina berries, but that hasnâ€™t stopped me from dreaming of spring plantings. After a quick seplace online, I found plenty to get excited about. Four new Coreopsis varieties, which require less water than a lot of perennials; a chartreuse-leaved Bleeding Heart; almost a dozen new Helleborus (Lenten Rose), which although slow to get going, are a great solution for shade beds; and eight new Heuchera (Coral Bells), another old-fashioned shade plant. You can find photos and info on the varietals I mentioned on Perennial Resource, as well as the rest of their new for 2011 list. â€” Sarah L.