strangely appealing: alligator feet pot stand

Anthro alligator feet

Straight from the garden of Dr. Moreau, Anthropologie’s Alligator Feet Pot Stand ($78) is my current obsession! The iron planter is deliciously gothic and would add a little Halloween to your home year round. The creepy claws-and-scales feet look so lifelike, that they seem just seconds away from slithering away with your leafy friend. The best part? Any plant accessorized with the Alligator Feet Pot Stand looks completely purposeful. Plant pretty petunias in it for an ironic contrast or, for those of us not blessed with green thumbs, a wilting flower looks oh-so-appropriate. –- Katie D.

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own a piece of roadside america: seattle’s walker rock garden house is for sale


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 home’s owners, grandchildren of the original owners, can no longer keep the place up and are looking to sell. But here’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, “I wish I owned that place and could prune those rhododendrons,” or “Imagine hosting a garden party on that incredible petrified-wood patio,” or “If I owned that place, I would replace that fence, and fix the fountains, and invite people to have their weddings there!” Alas, real estate is expensive, we already own one house, and for me, this may remain a pipe dream. But for you, perhaps…? Learn more about the Walker Rock Garden and how to contact the sellers right here. – Mary T.

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this ceiling fan fix: what do you think?


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!

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holiday wrap up: store your holiday lights on paper tubes


For those of us who decide not to leave up the lights

I finally got around to taking my holiday decorations down this weekend … 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 – 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? –- Rebecca F.

From our partners

post off: dishwasher or hand wash?


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.

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