Iâ€™ve never invested in any sort of kitchen timer and, now that Iâ€™m doing heavier cooking than box macaroni and cheese, itâ€™s about time I start using one that isnâ€™t attached to the microwave. Iâ€™ve been Googling like crazy and have found several very worthy kitchen timer upgrades. For the traditionalist, thereâ€™s Crate & Barrelâ€™s retro 60-minute timer, $10.95. For the multi-tasker, Martha Stewart has a fits-in-the-palm-of-your-hand option that can be clipped onto your apron as you dash around the kitchen in a culinary fervor ($13). The Black Cat Timer, $30 from Sur la Table, is equal parts practical and cute. But my personal favorite is Jozeph Forakisâ€™ design, $20 at the MoMA Store. Chefs can pull the ring and set the time for up to an hour. The tape descends as the minutes tick by and youâ€™re left with a chic little silver box when timeâ€™s up. — Katie D.
Related: LEGO timer
I donâ€™t need these retro chic metal flower tubes from Plow and Hearth, but I oh, do I want them! Made of iron and painted in vibrant colors, they remind me of the old aluminum tumblers my grandma kept at the summer cottage. A set of four would be perfect for hanging on the back of our deck chairs or across the gate at the bottom of the yard. — Sarah L.
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!
Balcony season will be here before you know it (promise). You donâ€™t have to settle for cold concrete floors and overhead porch lights! Itâ€™s easy and relatively inexpensive to add warmth, charm and style to your small outdoor space and turn it into more of an outdoor room.
Start with the floors! Try these simple suggestions:
Â· Tile “rug”: Interlocking tiles can look like wood or ceramic, and they interlock or stay put with a light adhesive. An added plus is that they can be made out of recycled materials.
Â· Weather-resistant rugs: Made of polypropylene, they can look like more expensive oriental or floral area rugs, and they come in many sizes and colors, like these Terra Mats spotted at ThisNext.
Â· Reed mats: For a more organic feel, anchor these lightweight mats with carpet tape. These should be used in more protected areas, but they’re also available in woven plastic for those preferring the organic look but need a more durable material.
Lighting is an often overlooked feature, both inside the house and out, but itâ€™s one of the quickest ways to add ambience and warmth to any space. If you have a balcony or patio, one of these ideas could do the trick for you:
Â· Chiminea: Perfect for small spaces. If you arenâ€™t allowed to have open flame on your balcony, add a string of white Christmas lights for a beautiful glow.
Â· Lanterns & Lamps: Hang colorful and inexpensive Chinese lanterns from your ceiling, or add a lamp on a small table. Floor lamps also work well in tight corners. Check out this DIY for the great-looking dotted tissue paper lantern at The Swell Life. For plug-in lighting, look for an IP rating of x3-x5 for maximum safety.
Â· Solar Lights: Place inexpensive solar lights in your planters for added subtle lighting.
Paying attention to a variety of lighting sources can really add a finishing touch to your outdoor decorating and create coziness to your seating area. And trust me, itâ€™s easy, quick and inexpensive! — Jenny P.
Today is the kickoff of the annual Great Backyard Bird Count. If you havenâ€™t participated yet, itâ€™s pretty painless. Download the checklist, then simply watch and count the birds you see for a 15-minute span on at least one of the four days of the count, February 12-15. Last year, more than 94,000 people turned in checklists, giving reseplaceers a better idea of the health of bird populations. (Happy to know I am not alone in my bird love geekdom.) If youâ€™re not sure of the identity of a bird, there are two iPhone/iTouch apps for birding and just enough time left to run to your bookstore and pick up a Petersonâ€™s. Of course, the great thing about the GBBC is that you really donâ€™t need anything other than time and a good view. The GBBC site has a link to the Cornell Lab of Ornithologyâ€™s All About Birds page. — Sarah L.
No, it’s not a Topsy Turvy…but then, what is? If you, like us, prefer your hanging planters without the sickly green vine print, you’ll also like these Boskke planters. We have to thank mirrormirror for spotting them first, and now we’re dreaming of buying a whole collection of them, $25-75 from Velocity Art and Design.