the ins and outs of a sears kit house


We always hear about the wonders of Sears Kit Houses, affordable single family homes that were ordered from a catalog and delivered in thousands of pieces for assembly in the early 1900s. This month’s Cottage Living magazine has a great feature on the renovation of one in Pennsylvania. There are great before and after shots on the mag’s web site — be sure to check out the chalkboard wall and the lovely photo mural in the bedroom. If only we could place an order of one now! We’re sold!

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UPDATE: THE SURVEY IS CLOSED! We hit our number goal so quicky in just one day. Thanks to all who participated, and if you didn’t get a chance to parttake, we’ll do another one soon.


One of our New Year’s resolutions? To get to know you a little better. We’d like to start growing Shelterrific into an even more dynamic, useful site. But before we do that we need to know a few basic things about you, dear readers. Do you own your home? Have kids? Pets? If you could take just a minute of your time to answer ten easy questions, we’d be sooo grateful. How grateful? Three luckily survey-takers will win one of our favorite books Click Here to take survey. Thank you!

(Prizes include: Humble Masterpieces by Paola Antonelli. Help! It’s Broken: A Fix-It Bible for the Repair-Impaired by Arianne Cohen, and Jamie’s Dinners by Jamie Oliver. Winners will be chosen at random by Shelterrific editors and notified via email.).

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post off: do you work from your home?


This week’s House & Home section in the New York Times was dedicated to the concept of home offices. This article — Home Office Life and Its Discontents — covers the pitfalls such as loneliness (colleagues can help the day go by quicker), lack of motivation (your tv/dirty bathroom/fridge is so close!) and distractions (kids, spouses). But we know that many of you work from home and love it. How do you do it? What are the key ingredients to make it work? Do you miss “the office?” or do you think working from home is the only way to go?

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entertaining with the classics


Last Thursday there was a really great story in the New York Times that I almost missed (it being Thanksgiving and me being in Ohio): With the Grace of Liberace Go I by Jancee Dunn, who normally writes about rock-n-roll but here is touching on something that pulls at my kitschy, seventies-child heartstrings. Dunn collects “gracious living” books from decades gone by, like Liberace Cooks! and My Way of Life by Joan Crawford and muses romantically about a time when hosts entertained with gusto, injecting their personalities into every aspect of a party, rather than creating a manufactured Martha-Stewart-esque perfection. Click here to read the story, and browse eBay it start your own classic living book collection.

Photo above, of Jancee’s collection, by Lars Klove for The New York Times.

From our partners

a commode-shaped house?


When I was in college, my freshman year was spent living in a dorm that was commonally referred to as “the toilet bowl.” It was a curved min-highrise that cradled a round main floor and cafeteria. Of course, no one told me this when I was still in highschool, picking out my housing. If they had, I may have made another choice. But imagine building yourself a home that intentionally looks like a commode? That’s what this man in South Korean has done, and he’s getting a tone of attention for it. The building’s unveiling is a part of the World Toilet Association‘s World Toilet Summit next month, which is hoping to improve worldwide hygiene. Now that’s a conference I can definitely skip… though at least you’ll always know where the ladies room is! — Angela M.

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