Sometimes something hits your inbox at just the right time. Such was the case when Real Simple magazine alerted us that they’re not only are they promoting organization, they’re now making it simpler (of course) with a line of closet and drawer organizers for Bed Bath & Beyond. This was perfect timing for me, who has finally decided that the ridiculous setup of our two closets — too narrow, too dark, poorly situated — must be tackled. I am eyeing the sweater organizer (with a nifty vertical or side-by-side option) and I love the idea of the closet drawers! Click to see all the new organizers from Real Simple. — Mary T.
When was the last time you even looked at a Lillian Vernon catalog? I know — it’s been years! But my mom has been absolutely raving about these black and yellow lint balls that reduce the amount of lint and pet hair on your clothes. You just toss them in your washing machine, and the nylon micro-brushes catch and hold the fuzz, rather than having it redeposit on your clothes. Since I’m constantly plagued by cat hair (two white cats will do that) I decided to take the plunge and get some, testing them first on my dark brown flannel sheets (which are a cat hair magnet). Lo and behold, they seemed to help — and I even noticed my towels produced less lint in the dryer. I’ll admit, I was pleasantly surprised! — Megan B.
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 stumbled across these handcrafted soaps at Seattle Sundries and am desperate to try one. My fave? Gender Neutral. The ingredients â€” cocoa powder, vanilla and sweet birch essentials oils â€” add up to a scent described as â€œslightly reminiscent of root beer.â€ Just $9.50 for a tin, although, on second thought, I better order two. The tins are definitely fight-worthy! — Sarah L.
Around here, we’ve got spring on the brain — despite the winter weather predictions of a certain clairvoyant groundhog — and it turns out our timing is perfect. On March 5, the folks over at Woolly Pocket are set to add five new additions to the modular gardening family: four standalone pockets and an updated “Wally” vertical planter to offer a sleek design alternative to their utilitarian counterparts.
All Woolly Pocket planters are made from a breathable felt derived from 100% recycled plastic bottles, but the new planters are made from updated version that is twice as thick and three times as dense — in other words, sturdier. And were that not enough to ponder as we tick off the days until spring, new colors will be available in April, and by May, the Woolly Pocket site will include new features so that gardeners of all levels can discuss their passion and progress.
Woolly Pocket is doing good beyond their goods, too. Last summer, the company launched their Woolly School Garden program — learn more in Dwell’s interview with founder Miguel Nelson — to teach children in K-12 schools about gardening and nutrition. Such developments may just provide the inspiration we need to keep us busy dreaming, planning and indoor planting until the thaw. (And course if all else fails, you can carry a little garden with you in the Woolly Pocket handbag.)
Okay, so it’s robot vacuum day on Shelterrific! The table-top robot butler got us thinking about the Roomba. Even though they’ve made a splash (or vroom, if you will) on the domestic landscape, I donâ€™t actually know of anyone who uses one. iRobot not only has the Roomba to vacuum your floors but they also make a Scooba to wash them, a Dirt Dog to sweep your garage, a Verro to clean your pool, and a Looj to clean your gutters. Do you have your own household cleaning robot? How well does it work? And, more importantly, how long before they become sentient and try to take over the world from their human masters? — Katie D.