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  • As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Usually before cold weather sets in.
  • read all shaktoids!
    February 10, 2015
    Building an In Home Bar

    While it may not pay off if you are selling your home, an in-home bar is a lot of fun. If you entertain a lot, and have friends that like having a drink and hanging out at your house, a bar might be the perfect project for you. They’re great for sports buffs, TV and movie nights, and other get-togethers. If you are interested in creating your own home bar, check out this post by Gordon at Milligan’s Gander Hill Farm for a full tutorial. The post has an extremely detailed, photo-centric tutorial, so I don’t think that pasting any of it here will do it justice. Be sure to check it out.

    Photo Credit: Matt Scott 


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    February 2, 2015
    Saggy Sofa? How To Update It!

    I feel like everyone has it: the 10+ year old, beige, microfiber sofa. It has stains of indeterminate origin, maybe some kind of sticky black mark (gum??), and saggy, deflated-looking cushions. If you don’t have one, you know someone who does. If it IS your couch, never fear! Making them like-new again is actually fairly easy. Instead of spending hundreds on a new sofa, you can simply perk yours up for less than $30. Check out this tutorial by Tonya at Love Of Family And Home if your sofa is looking slouchy:

    -The first thing I did for this makeover was wash all of our couch cushion & throw pillow covers! Let me just tell you, I had NO IDEA how filthy those things were until I washed them!  It was unbelievable!   

    - I bought a 10lb box of Poly-Fil at our local Walmart store for $20.00 and used it to add more stuffing to the back cushions and throw pillows. I just unzipped the cushions & stuffed! Easy peasy!! 

    -As far as the seat cushions go, I perked them up a bit using some Poly-Fil Quilt Batting ($9).

    Photo Credit: kishisaka 


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    January 30, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: Secret Doors Galore!
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2g74sp

    Ever since I was a little kid, I’ve always wanted secret passages and hidden doors in my house. I kind of still do!


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    January 27, 2015
    Closet Organization Ideas

    Over the past few years, I have worked very hard to change myself for the better. I don’t want to say that I used to be a hoarder- but I was extremely messy, and I just had too much stuff. Maybe “lazy” is a closer word. I’m still not a neat freak, but I work every day to clean and get rid of things I don’t need. My house just looks lived-in now, instead of like a tornado went through it. However, one area still escapes my cleaning and tends to accumulate all my crap- the closet. That’s why I love this post by Leonora Epstein at Buzzfeed! It has several creative and inspiring ways to organize your closet and get your home in tip-top shape:

    -Make the most of dead space with mini storage bins and hooks.

    -If you have metal shelving, a few hooks creates a hanging space for accessories.

    -Use old CD racks for shoe storage.

    Photo Credit: Rubbermaid Products Flickr 


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    January 23, 2015
    Friday Fun Video: IKEA Struggles
    http://www.dailymotion.com/videox2fkvp3

    If you’ve ever been to IKEA for a new home project, you know how it is.


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    January 22, 2015
    Home Features We Don’t Use Anymore…But Should

    I love old homes- I feel like they just have more character than newer ones built in the last 30 years or so. Part of it is in the history- you wonder who lived there before, and what their lives were like. Part of it is the craftsmanship- while homes today are built faster, there’s nothing like an older home made of brick or stone. Another part of the character of older homes is the features that modern homes have deemed obsolete. You know what I mean- laundry chutes, mail slots, dumbwaiters, etc. But why? I’d much rather toss my laundry into a chute in my room instead of lugging it all the way downstairs and across the entire house. For more old home features that are due for a comeback, check out this post at Bobvila.com:

    -Sleeping porches- for sleeping in the fresh air

    -Transom windows- They admitted natural light to front hallways and interior rooms before the advent of electricity

    -Intercoms-  If you’d prefer to avoid any hardwiring, opt instead for a phone system with built-in intercom functionality.

    Check out the full slide show here!

    Photo Credit: Henderer Design + Build 


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    January 21, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Built In Linen Closet

    Photo from Low Country Living


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    January 12, 2015
    Upcycling Idea: Ladder Shelf

    I absolutely love the whole “shabby chic” design trend. I think it just makes the home look cozy and lived in. But, my favorite décor style is bohemian! Flowy fabrics, rich colors, plants living in the house, mismatched throw pillows and rugs- it’s the absolute epitome of maximalism! Which I am all about. That’s why I love this project by Donna at Funky Junk. It incorporates the best of both worlds, while also upcycling an old piece. Check out her stepladder shelf tutorial here:

    -Select boards for shelves, wall supports, and something to connect the ladder to the wall.

    -Lean the full ladder against the wall at the desired angle. Attach ladder to the wall with top brackets. 

    -Mark how long you desire the boards to be, then cut to size.

    -Paint or stain boards if desired

    -Attach supports to wall, add boards.

    Photo Credit: My Latest Obesession 


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    January 6, 2015
    Don’t (Over)Do It! Home Improvements That Will Cost You

    First of all, if you are doing home improvements just because they make you happy and you want them, go right ahead. Living in your home and don’t plan to ever move? Install a water slide from your top floor to your swimming pool. Drill holes all over the walls. Cut out trap doors between rooms. Paint every room a different neon color. Spend millions on intricate landscaping and fountains. If you have the money, go crazy! But, if you are doing home improvements simply to add value to your home…some of those options might not pay off. Ok, all of them are terrible ideas. Most of the time, bigger (more expensive) is not always better. For the home improvements that will actually cost you in the long run, check out this post by Lindsey Schroeder at House Hunt:

    -Swimming pools-  Experts across the real estate industry agree that pools almost never add to a home’s value, and sometimes they actually decrease home prices.

    -Go with minor improvements over upscale remodels every time- It’s always a good idea to remodel a room that hasn’t seen attention in decades-add some new carpet and fresh paint. Research suggests, however, that you’ll lose big on additions and high-end remodels.

    -Don’t overdo the landscaping- A minor amount of landscaping is one of the best ways to increase your home’s value, especially if it adds a touch of much-needed curb appeal.

    Photo Credit: Prayitno 


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    December 31, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Gem Mirror In Bathroom

    Photo from Washingtonian 


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