St. Patrick’s Day is upon us and with it have come some very lucky deals. Whether you’re going green, adding green to your decor or just looking to spend your green wisely, these are some weekend deals sure to please.
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There once was a time when homeowners tried to keep their range hoods concealed—attached to a microwave, tucked underneath a cabinet, or in my case even now, within the actual range itself (but where the fumes and smoke are not). But times have changed. Today, everyone knows that you have to have one, so why not embrace it? Instead of hiding it away, make your range hood a focal point.
A well-chosen one can totally define the feel, and set the tone for, your entire kitchen. While some of the wall-mounted varieties and under-cabinet installations can be tackled by a competent DIYer, more elaborate range hoods are best left in the hands of a professional. Below, a few eye-catching examples of range hoods for all kitchen styles.
Final countdown to spring! Time to park the parka and whip out the windbreaker. Don’t have one or looking to buy something fresh? Check out the Loop Jacket, a lightweight, stylish, and eco-friendly windbreaker from Mio Culture. The Loop Jacket is made of Tyvek, DuPont’s high performance weather-resistant plastic sheeting, most commonly seen wrapped around buildings. Mio Culture’s creative director Jaime Salm figured that if Tyvek could protect a home from the elements, then it could do the same for those who dwell within.
HOUSE STYLE: Folk Victorian
LOCATION: Millen, GA
HOUSE STATS: 3,200 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, sitting room, dining room, office, front and back porch, detached garage
WHY WE LOVE IT: Improbably, this 1890s Folk Victorian home in Millen, GA, manages to be both rustic and refined at once. That’s the view from the curb, at least. The interiors are, if not lavish, then generously proportioned and finely detailed. The original tongue-and-groove pine floors have been completely refinished and a grand staircase greets visitors upon entrance. Enhancing the home’s period appeal are elegant light fixtures, high ceilings (10-14′), and five (count ‘em!) fireplaces.
No one likes cleaning up after a storm. But when the storm causes structural damage to your home, the cleanup process is even more distressing. Sometimes, however, you can find a silver lining in those dark clouds.
A case in point came several years ago, when we found ourselves in the unfortunate position of having to replace a brick wall that had been ruined by a hurricane. Once we repaired the wall, we were left with a large supply of used bricks. Rather than pay to have them hauled away, we decided to repurpose the bricks and construct a decorative walkway between a flower bed and the front lawn.
Spring is the season of renewal—especially for your home, so take advantage of some of the amazing sales this weekend. Here are just a few to get you started:
When we were weighing options for our home, a new construction, I was almost certain we wouldn’t elect to put in a central vac system. The price tag was high—we could buy 5-10 amazing vacuums for what the system would cost to install. Besides, what did I care? I’d always hated vacuuming and left most of it for my husband. But when I saw the way his eyes lit up at the salesman’s pitch during our selections appointment, I decided we should splurge. It would make him immensely happy, I knew.
It’s easy to overlook the obvious, especially when you’re busy, distracted or anxious to get something done. But oversights when tackling home improvements, and even routine chores, can have serious consequences, particularly when it comes to personal safety.
In Preventing Home Accidents (Hunter House, 2012), author and certified safety professional Dan Hannan, serves up a comprehensive guide for raising home-saftey awareness. As an experienced safety educator and trainer, Hannan acknowledges that, while safety isn’t the most thrilling topic, it is an important one; especially since 46 percent of all accidental deaths each year occur in the home, outpacing automobile and workplace fatalities combined (according to the National Safety Council).
With the last frost imminent in most parts of the country, you can begin working on your garden today. Instead of buying young plants this year, try to start seeds indoors. It’s cheaper than the alternative (particularly for plants you might choose to grow in great quantities) and accommodates a larger variety than your local nursery does. Seed sources like Burpee.com and SelectSeeds.com specialize in high-quality heirloom seeds and make available a wide range of species.
Of course, buying the seeds is only the beginning. When it comes to successfully growing seeds indoors, Chelsey Fields, Vegetable Product Manager at Burpee.com, has four expert pointers.
1. Seeds with a long growing season that are tolerant of root disturbances are the best seeds to sow indoors. “Tomatoes, basil and petunias are all great candidates,” says Chelsey. Most seeds need to be started 4-8 weeks in advance of the last frost; check individual packages for specifics.
Our 20-year-old cabinets were showing their age. The lacquer finish had gummed up around the handles and pulls, and the cabinet rails and drawer fronts were worn and dinged. In addition, my wife and I were tired of the dark stain and the dated, discolored hardware. The cabinets were well built, though, with solid wood doors, drawer fronts, and frames. It would have been a shame to tear them out, and replacing them with a similar grade cabinet would have cost thousands of dollars.
Having painted the cabinets in previous homes, I knew the pitfalls associated with applying enamel paint. Getting the look of a factory finish is not easy for the average homeowner. Nevertheless, a do-it-yourselfer can achieve a near-perfect finish by following these tips.
1. Choose a week when temperatures are moderate. Avoid hot weather because it will cause the paint to dry before it can completely level itself, leaving ridges caused by brush bristles.
2. Empty your cabinets and drawers, as well as the countertop and shelves. Take advantage of the opportunity to get rid of duplicates and stuff you never use. Put everything in moving boxes and store them in a nearby room.