Sarah K. O’Brien designed an amazing bowl that not only looks nifty, it helps keep fruit fresh. We’ll let the New York Times tell the story:
“Her Elizabowl is more honeycomb than basin, its shape-shifting white plastic folds resembling an Elizabethan ruff. The bowlâ€™s petals expand to yield more than a dozen flexible, fist-sized compartments. Each holds one round fruit, keeping it visible and away from the other fruitsâ€™ discharge of ethylene gas, which speeds spoilage. When folded, the collar design can cradle one or two grapefruits.”
O’Brien has a patent for the Elizabowl, which won the 2008 International Home Housewares Student Design Competition. Now she’s competing for a James Dyson Award, and you can vote in the competition here. Here’s to seeing the Elizabowl in stores sooner rather than later!
I’m a huge fan of the magical powers of microfiber cloths when it comes to cleaning: I use them as dish scrubbies, floor cleaners, stainless steel polishers, etc. So when I recently spotted these sweet microfiber slippers designed for cleaning floors, I just about lost it. Cleaning my hardwood floors while I scuff about the house in slippers? Imagine how easy it would be to tackle the pet hair tumbleweeds if you had these — immediately swished away with a flick of the toe! The chenille microfiber soles are removable and machine washable so you can get rid of the nasty stuff that you just picked up (thank goodness). Find them at Bed Bath & Beyond for $9.99. –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!
My mission this summer has been to transform my tiny breadth of a patio into a backyard retreat by any means possible. The most successful element that Iâ€™ve added to my urban terrace has been these hanging jar chandeliers. It was an easy project that only took a little bit of time and less than $30.
I collected a handful of jars (some purchased for a dollar or two at thrift stores and some from chips-and-salsa marathons) and wrapped 20 gauge wires snugly around the lip of each jar with needle nose pliers. Then I attached a U-shaped hanging wire around the top of the jar. I straightened out a few paper clips to use to hang the jars. I bought a length of chain from a hardware store and attached it between two posts to hang the jars from. Drop a votive candle inside each jar and, as the sun sets in your backyard, enjoy the romantic glow. â€“Katie D.
Remember the Color-Helper contest? We just heard back from one of our winners. You may recall that Carrie J. submitted her jumble of bad bathroom and guest room wallpaper, saying, “We need to repaint, lest our friends quit visiting us.” Well, Carrie put the Color-Helper to work, and her results are great! Thanks for sharing your photos with us, Carrie.
Guest room, before:
Guest room, after:
Both rooms still have a little room for improvement — we need to hang a shelf above the toilet in the bathroom, and we need some artwork and a bookcase and a chair in the guest room — but they are leaps and bounds better than they used to be! You can see we also had a new vanity made for the bathroom (had to have it made because it is a much narrower space than pre-made cabinetry accommodates) — that alone was a huge improvement.
I used the Color-Helper to help me select a shade of white that matched the existing white trim we had in most of our upstairs (except for the bathroom). Not only did we use it to touch up trim in the guest room, we also used that color to paint out the wooden trim in the bathroom. The Color-Helper made it much, much easier to choose one of the thousands of shades of white!
I also used the Color-Helper to help me analyze all the shades of gray I considered. I used the feature where you can compare two shades, and the Color-Helper tells you that the second one is more yellow (or blue or red or purple or whatever) than the first. I wanted a very clean, true gray without beige or purple or yellow undertones, and the Color-Helper really helped me narrow my choices down.
Feeling inspired? Learn more about the Color-Helper here.
I’m of the opinion that all dwellings should have a landing strip — that counter/table/shelf/nook where you throw your keys and the mail when you walk in the door. If I remember to take my keys out of the door (This isn’t always the case!) then I always know where to find them. I love Hector Serrano’s take on the landing strip. His “do not lose me” key hook design is based on the classic “do not disturb” signs from hotels across the globe. With the addition of just a couple of hooks, this design becomes a genius key caddy. This was definitely a “Why didn’t I think of that?” moment. –Erica P.