Category: Other Rooms

Bob Vila Radio: Sunrooms

What better home improvement to consider on the darkest day of the year than a sunroom addition?



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Bob Vila Radio: Mudrooms

Experts in feng shui—that ancient Chinese art of healthy interior design—say that the most important places in the home to keep clear and ordered are the entry and exit. If yours are not, a mudroom project might improve the situation.

Mudroom Organization


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8 Ways to Make the Most of Your Dining Room

Space Planning Dining Room Thanksgiving


With so many dishes and serving utensils, not to mention the number of guests, Thanksgiving puts your dining room to the true test. Here are eight ways to get more out of the space, maximizing your enjoyment of the meal and the day’s family joys.

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12 Daring Doormats

A new welcome mat may be the easiest way to spruce up your front door area and add instant curb appeal. With so many options available—and at such affordable prices—there’s no reason not to toss the boring mats aside.

Whether it’s a funny message, a neon color, or an interesting shape, make your mat as distinctive as the rest of your home. One rule of thumb: make sure your mat is as wide as your door (anything less will appear too small).

Looking for some inspiration? Start here!


Pretty Pattern

Outdoor Doormats - Wisteria


Give your front stoop a hit of global design with this Suzani motif. Suzani Doormat, $34 at



Outdoor Doormats - Flip Flops


Made from recycled scrap foam rubber (from flip flops!), this mat will not only wear well underfoot, but serve the earth as well. Flip Flop Mats, $30 at


Seasonal Switch

Outdoor Doormats - Penguins


Now that the temperature is dipping and holidays are around the corner, add something seasonally appropriate mat to your entry. Penguin Doormat, $29 at


Animal Magnetism

Outdoor Doormats - Hippo


Make a true statement with an oversized animal-shaped doormat, like this hippo design by Ed Annink. Droog Hippo Mat, $156 at


The Key

Outdoor Doormats - Keys


No need to hide it under the mat with this skeleton key-patterned design. Locksmith Welcome Mat, $34 at



Outdoor Doormats - Colorblock Marine


If it’s good enough for boats, buoys, and lobster traps, you can bet it will serve foot traffic well. Recycled Marine Rope Rug, $52 at


More Faux Bois

Outdoor Doormats - Faux Bois

Photo: Pottery Barn

To mark the transition from the great outdoors to indoors, consider a doormat with a faux bois, or “false wood”, design. Faux Bois Printed Doormat, $29 at (no longer available)


Stay in the Lines

Striped Doormat


The best thing about colored multi-stripes—they go with everything. Multistripe Door Mat, $29 at


The Doormat Says It All

Outdoor Doormats - Funny

Photo: eBay

Let your doormat say it for you. One of many amusing doormats available on, $33.32


Garden Hose

Outdoor Doormats - Hose


Make your own doormat by turning an old garden hose into a distinctive mat. You can learn how at Mark Kintzel Design.



Outdoor Doormats - Personalized


A bold chevron pattern in navy and white makes a stunning statement, particularly when personalized with a name or monogram. Personalized Door Mat, $35 at


Classic with a Twist

Outdoor Doormats - Classic


No one says the mat has to be rectangular! Consider something like this half-round design to welcome guests. Monogrammed Half-Round Door Mat,  $79,


For more on exterior decor, consider:

11 Hot House Numbers to Add Curb Appeal
10 Simple “Under 60″ Updates to Boost Curb Appeal
It’s All in the Details– House Numbers

Rock the Job Site with ION’s Tailgater Bluetooth

Ion Tailgater Bluetooth

Tailgater Bluetooth from ION Audio

Truly, this is the golden age of job-site music. There are a multitude of devices, some very sophisticated, to fill the gaps between hammer reports and circular-saw screams.

As a rag-man electrician (the lowest rung of the union ladder), I noted how each trade had its own half-crushed radio tuned to a different station in its supply area. That tinny music was a relief valve and a pacesetter, but it wasn’t pleasant.

Now there’s the ION Tailgater Bluetooth music player and amp, which retails online for $140 and up. The Tailgater looks like a very small musician’s amp—black, boxy, metal front grille, aluminum bumpers on all eight corners and small control knobs.

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6 DIY Standing Desk Projects to Keep You Healthy While You Work

It turns out that sitting is bad for you. Like really, really awful. It’s no surprise that a sedentary lifestyle isn’t healthy, but some are now arguing that sitting down is a harmful way to structure the body for extended periods of time.

The solution is simply to stop being so lazy and move around, right? Yeah, sure—if we had hours and hours of free time and non-stop amazing weather. The real solution might this: Get out of your chair by creating one of these great DIY standing desk projects.


DIY Standing Desk

Photo: Mint Design Blog

This super-simple and straightforward design is built with supplies you can find at the home improvement center. Since the structure depends on basic 2x4s and sawhorse brackets, the desk height can be adjusted to preference.


DIY Standing Desks - Table Height

Photo: I Am Not a Programmer

Colin Nederkoorn researched the ideal height for a standing desk, assuming a typical workday and variables such as monitor size. He then constructed his desk for less than $22 using miscellaneous parts from IKEA!


DIY Standing Desks - ManMade DIY

Photo: ManMade DIY

Here’s my own personal solution for a convertible standing desk: I simply place my laptop atop a sturdy box that otherwise serves as office supply storage. I bust it out at least three days a week, more when I remember (I should set an alert on my calendar).

DIY Standing Desks - OpenSoul

Photo: OpenSoul

In small spaces, consider the easy option of pairing a pre-made desk top (available at office furniture outlets) with simple shelving brackets. For a project of this kind, it’s essential to screw your brackets into the wall studs to get a sturdy result.


Photo: Offbeat Home

This modest bookcase hack from Offbeat Home cuts right to the chase. Converting a bookcase shelf into a home office work surface is a simple, no-cost solution. Perhaps best of it all, it takes up no more space than you’ve already allowed for your bookshelf.


Photo: Eric Wilhelm

Last, if you really want to pull double duty while you work, build a treadmill desk.


Or if you just want to keep moving while browsing the web or watching your new favorite series on Netflix, here’s a technique I came up with for mounting your laptop to an exercise bike:

DIY Standing Desks - Laptop/Treadmill - ManMade DIY

Photo: ManMade DIY


For more on home office design, consider:

Bob Vila Radio: Home Office Storage
Buy ‘Em or Build ‘Em: 10 Desks We Love
10 Smart Cord Management Solutions Under $50

What’s New in Outdoor Sound? Plenty.

Music is one of our greatest pleasures, and thanks to today’s technology we can listen to it wherever and whenever we choose. And that definitely includes the backyard, where innovative options in weather-resistant speakers and wireless technology have made music a natural outdoor feature. Here are some of the latest contenders:

Backyard Speakers

Acclaim 5 Outdoor Speakers from Russound

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Bob Vila Radio: Home Office Storage

If you’re part of the rapidly growing home-based workforce or you’d just like a designated place to pay the bills, here are some simple ways to create a home office on a budget.

Home Office

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Make Any Room a Bedroom with a Murphy Bed

Shopping for a Murphy Bed


There’s a room off our kitchen dedicated as a playroom for our daughters (ages 2 and 4). Originally, the house plan designated this space to be an office or bedroom. Since it’s on the first floor, I’d love to utilize it as a spare bedroom for my folks when they visit. Rather than moving my kids (and their stuff) to another level of the house, which would be less convenient and surely imprudent (note ages!), I’m considering installing the space-saving standard of my NYC roots—a Murphy Bed.

Slideshow: Murphy Beds: 9 Hide-Away Sleepers

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Bob Vila Radio: Kid’s Stuff Storage

Kids grow so fast, it doesn’t take long before their rooms can feel pretty small… but before you plan an addition, here are some simple solutions that might help.


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