Where do you get the siler leaf and how is it applied? What is under the silver leaf? Like 2 Comments PRO Amy Noel Design Under the silver leaf is a mdf...it was primed and pained then silver leaf was applied by Gretchen Kyle ( firstname.lastname@example.org) 2 Likes Bookmark February 23, 2012 at 6:21PM whatagem Silver leaf can be bought from suppliers online. I used it on a chandelier and it turned out beautiful. The leaf (aluminum) comes in very fine sheets seperated by tissue paper. The process is to have item clean, primed with a grey color paint (the kit I purchased had oil based paint), leaf adheasive which is clear liquid that has to dry to a workable 'tacky to the feel' dryness, apply the leaf sheets using a brush, then a sealer to protect and prevent tarnishing. It is a messy and slow process but very worth it. I probably used 10- 6"x6" sheets for a small chandelier. I remember it being very expensive compared to faux silver leaf painting. Hope this helps.
Other spots. So now you've stopped the leaks at your doors and windows, and you're looking for a new challenge. There are many other places where air leaks into and out of your house, and this doesn't affect just the temperature of your home. Warm air is moist, and that moisture condenses when it hits cold air, bringing moisture into parts of your house that can create mold. Recessed lights, outlet covers, fireplace dampers and pretty much any place where a hole was made can become a problem spot. Once you start looking, you'll find air leaks all over. These small leaks can be plugged with spray foam, silicone, mortar — it all depends on how big and where they are. My advice is to take care of the big air leaks — around doors and windows — first, to make your home happier and healthier.
Around windows. Double-hung windows have two sashes that move up and down. Leaks can happen around the sides, where the sashes meet each other and where they hit the sill. You won't be able to use the light trick for windows. However, a wet hand can work, since it makes it easier to feel a slight draft, especially if you turn on bath fans and the kitchen hood to depressurize the house. You can also move an incense stick around the edge of your windows and watch for the smoke to waver. The copper strip above will work for the sash-sill and sash-sash contact; the nylon brush type is good for where the sashes slide against the jamb. Once you've upgraded the weather stripping on your windows, consider adding storm windows to the exterior if you have single-pane windows.
kilianhardware.com SaveEmail Spring Bronze Weather Strip, 1¾ inches by 100 feet - $156 If you have an older door with no groove, I recommend a classic weather seal. This copper piece gets nailed into the door jamb along the small bent edge, making the large piece flare out. When the door closes, the flap compresses, sealing itself against the door. It doesn't have the insulating characteristics of a silicone weather seal, but it will last forever. Because doors get a lot of abuse, a quality weather seal means you won't be redoing this every year. If you do use the peel-and-stick variety, make sure to clean the door and jamb well before applying, both where the piece will attach and where it will hit the door.
Where to Check for Drafts Under doors. The underside of the door is a notorious spot for air and water leaks, since the rubber sweeps that form the seal at the threshold wear down over time from rubbing. If your threshold has large visible screws, you may be able to turn them to adjust part of the threshold upward to get a tight seal. If not, slide on a U-shaped metal sweep, adjust it so the door closes easily but seals well, then screw it into the face of the door to attach it. These sweeps can often be installed without your having to remove the door.
How to Check for Drafts If it's already getting cold at night where you live, you may be able to put your hand at different spots around your front door to see where there are drafts. If not, darken the interior of the house during the day and look for light around doors and windows. If you see light coming through spaces around the door, you need to improve your door's weather stripping. You'll also want to check the compression abilities of existing weather stripping. Go outside and close and latch each door. See if the weather seal compresses. The tan strip in this photo is the weather seal. You should see the seal compress about halfway when the door closes. Sometimes the seal is there but does not compress enough to be effective. You can tell that weather-stripping is compressed enough when you no longer see light coming in around the perimeter. If you see light, you'll need to either enlarge the weather seal or adjust the strike plate on your door to get the door to close tighter. If you replace the weather stripping and your door has a groove, get the type that fits into the groove, since it will last much longer than the peel-and-stick type.
Hang both garlands from your mantel as shown, and add white pumpkins as an accent. I painted the stems gold and stacked the small pumpkins on a cake stand to add height and variety. Using some papier-mâché letters from a crafts store, spell out "Boo" or other seasonal phrase, and paint it in your accent color with a flat bristle brush.
3. Ghostly white garland. I used a few fallen branches from a backyard tree for this garland, but any similar leaf will work fine. You can also change up this DIY project with a different color or foliage. Measure the width of your mantel, including how far you'd like the garland to drop on both sides. Gather branches from outside and wash and dry them. Cut some grapevine wire according to your measurements and begin securing branches to it. After your garland is complete, move your project outside and coat the branches in white spray paint. Once the branches are dry, flip them over and spray the remaining leaves. Repeat until your garland is covered. And of course, you can always use the foliage unpainted. Note: Lock the end of the branch to the grapevine wire first for a more natural look and sturdiness. Each item displayed can easily be adjusted to match your home's color scheme.
2. Gold scallop garland. Cut 4-inch strips of gold duct tape. Line up the tape pieces about 2 inches apart, sticky side up, and lay twine down the center. Fold the tape over, pressing the sticky sides together evenly, and cut an arch from corner to corner. Then cut out semicircles to create a half-moon banner. Tip: Trace a circle on a piece of paper, cut it out and fold it over each piece of folded duct tape. Trace the outline with a pen, then cut out the piece.
1. Upcycled magazine bookend. Find a stack of old magazines and tape them together. Using a flat paintbrush, paint the sides of the pages with an acrylic shimmery gold. Allow the pages to dry, then add a pattern. I chose a simple chevron-like pattern. Tip: Make sure to use issues of the same magazine for a consistent, flat surface. This DIY project can be repurposed later on in another part of your home.
Variation: Ghost Garland Use the same idea to make a ghost garland. Cut 6-inch strips of white duct tape and lay them down about 3 inches apart. Add string to the center and fold the tape down to stick both sides together. Cut slightly into the rectangle near the rope, adding a curved detail to the top. Cut waves at the bottom and add eyes with a black permanent marker. You're done!
There should be no sticky sides remaining now. Fold the sides together and trace the outline of one half of a simple bat design. Cut along the lines through both sides of the tape. Unfold to reveal complete bat shapes. Continue the process until you reach the desired length. Then hang the garland from your mantel or banister.
Project: Bat Garland A handmade garland of bats crafted from black duct tape, gathered twigs and white accents offers a twist on traditional Halloween colors. I painted some tin cans with matte black paint, then added some white roses, a big faux spider and some old paperbacks with the spines facing the wall. Sticks gathered from outside and painted black provide something to hang the garland from. Cheesecloth covers the mantel itself, adding ghostly texture.
8. Clean your office keyboard. The keyboard is a vital part of your computer, but it’s notorious as a breeding ground for bacteria. Before you start cleaning and disinfecting your keyboard, ensure that everything is switched off. Next, dust it with a soft brush before wiping it gently with a clean, slightly damp cloth. Tip: Spray the cloth with a mixture of ¼ teaspoon eucalyptus oil and ½ cup water. It’ll do the trick.
Pavers 2. Poured concrete walls. For these retaining (and climbing) walls, rough-cut 2-by-4s used to form the poured concrete have left their imprints on the surface. For walls like this, the concrete adopts the grain of the wood, so after it dries and the boards come down, there is an intermingling of elements — a natural wood grain set in solid concrete.
3. Paint the tiles. It won’t last as long as replacing the tile, but if you really can’t stand the color of your existing tiles, you can paint them. You’ll need a very good primer — typically oil based, not water based, according to Dana Waldecker, a professional painter in the Boston area. Even if you end up doing some of the work yourself, you should consult a professional painter to review the materials you’re planning to use and your specific wall conditions. Every project is different, and there’s no eraser when it comes to painting tile. The bathroom shown here originally featured a checkerboard of white and mint-green tiles. The homeowner applied a high-adhesion primer over the tiles, then topped it with a white satin latex paint. If you don’t want to paint all your tile, just paint accent tiles — such as the crown — in a contrasting color.
If you're considering adding a fiddle leaf ficus to your home, think about investing in two. A pair of plants that flank the fireplace certainly works well in this Rancho Santa Fe, California, home. When introducing green plants into a neutral environment, you might want to consider also adding another shade of green (or yellow-green) in a lighter value to ease the contrast between the dark green leaves and the light walls and furnishings. The curtains here do the trick and create a look that's sophisticated, elegant and welcoming while maintaining a very contemporary feel. How to care for fiddle leaf fig: ◦Light: Moderate to bright. The plant needs more light if it appears to be reaching toward the light, has dropping leaves or has new growth that is limited or smaller than older growth. Too much direct sunlight can result in bleaching, browning or discoloration of leaves. ◦Temperature: Prefers indoor temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees. ◦Water: Water moderately and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering can cause root rot. Browning on the edges of the leaves is very likely a sign of overwatering. Drooping or yellow leaves that begin falling are v...
To finish your bench, cut a piece of scrap fabric or dust cover (cambric) 1-inch larger than the bottom of your bench top. Fold the edges under ½ inch and staple in place all the way around. Be sure to keep the dust cover at least ¼ inch back from the edge of the bench top so that it won’t be seen when turned right side up. When you’re finished, poke holes in the dust cover to screw the legs back into the corner plates, making sure the bench is stable and doesn’t wobble.
Center the fabric on the bench top. Begin on one long side in the center and secure the fabric on the bottom edge with a few “set” staples to hold the fabric in place, as shown here. Move to the other side and do the same thing. If the fabric is nice and smooth and snug across the top, begin attaching the fabric on one side by smoothing it out toward the corners with your hand but also at a diagonal toward the corner, making sure the fabric and padding are smooth and even. Secure the fabric on the bottom with your stapler when you’re satisfied with how it looks and feels, but stop 4 to 5 inches short of each corner to leave enough room to work on the corners. While you’re smoothing and stapling, keep checking to make sure the fabric stays centered and aligned on top of the bench. There’s nothing wrong with removing staples and restapling, as long as you don’t tear or snag your fabric.
For the Dacron, use a tape measure starting at the short side of the table up and over the padding to the other end. Then do the same for the longer sides. I used two scrap pieces of batting for a nice, smooth surface on the bench top. Because this is a hallway bench and won’t get a ton of use as a seat, I’m fairly confident the two pieces won’t come loose. If you’re creating a bench that will see more action, I recommend using one full piece of Dacron instead. Spray the foam on your table and the underside of the Dacron piece with spray adhesive. Secure the Dacron evenly on top of the foam and press down. Trim any Dacron that hangs below the edges of the table.
Using egg crate foam as the base padding will save you money.
A plain thrift store table likes this will be your starting point. Low-slung coffee tables are great candidates. If the top is ruined, even better; then you won’t feel guilty about upholstering over it. Be sure it’s sturdy enough for someone to sit on it. Tip: Find something with legs that are easily detachable.
The neutral bench fabric neutral allows for flexibility with bright pillows or wall art. Materials and tools: •Sturdy thrifted plywood table. Test it to be sure it will stand up to its planned use. (I sat on my table, then had my six-foot-five-inch tall husband sit on it to be sure.) •Egg crate foam (I had some left over from a padded headboard I made a while back) •Spray adhesive (I used Elmer’s, but you can use any adhesive that will hold foam together) •Scrap pieces of Dacron batting (I used leftovers; a roll at a fabric store is about $13) •A piece of fabric (mine was a miscut piece from a student in one of my classes) •Yardstick •Measuring tape •Marker •Scissors •Electric stapler and staples (⅜-inch long with a ⅜-inch crown) •Flat-head screwdriver •Small pliers (to remove staples) •Hammer (to pound in staples) •Scrap fabric or upholsterer’s cambric (dust cover)
hen it’s time to refresh any space in my home, I first take an inventory of furniture, materials and fabric that I have on hand. Even if you don’t have a stockpile of these things to work with, it’s still fairly easy to create stunning pieces from a few easily obtainable materials. I’ve even walked around my house and decided to take apart unspectacular pieces to “harvest” valuable materials (or innards, as I call them). Once you realize how many different pieces of furniture you can create from things you already have, watch out — it can be habit forming. One of my latest pieces is an upholstered bench I created for about $35 to jazz up my entryway. I made it completely from recycled materials (besides some of my tools and the spray adhesive). Here’s how you can make one too. Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer Save to Ideabook Email Photo Made for about $35, the new upholstered bench and a rich red pillow brings my entryway to life.
Day 7 and beyond: Make your kitchen a place you want to be in. Decluttering tasks: Today is the day to give your kitchen hangout zone some love. Remove the piles of paper, laptops, random cords, bags of cat food or anything else that has accumulated here. Make a list of anything this area could use to make it more comfortable. Cleaning tasks: Have cushion covers professionally cleaned. Spot clean upholstered pieces. Note which areas gave you the most trouble this week and schedule time at least once a month to tackle the problem areas. Commit to clearing the decks each evening by putting away all dishes and taking out items that belong elsewhere. Tell us: What is the biggest cleaning or decluttering problem you face in the kitchen?
Day 6: Wash the windows, walls and floors. Cleaning tasks: •Starting at the top, vacuum the ceiling, walls and, finally, the floor. •Use an all-purpose cleaning spray to spritz and wipe the walls and cupboard exteriors. •Launder window treatments, or vacuum if they cannot be laundered. •Take area rugs to be professionally cleaned.
Day 5: Clear the counters and open shelves. Decluttering tasks: Remove and sort through everything on your open shelving and counters; be ruthless about what you choose to put back and why. Cluttered, overcrowded counters and open shelves will only make being in your kitchen a drag, and now is your chance to make a change. If there are items here you want to keep but not look at daily, move them to a closed cupboard — you should have more room in those by now. Cleaning tasks: Give your counters and open shelves a thorough cleaning while they are empty, paying special attention to corners. Use tile and grout cleaner or a paste of baking soda or natural scouring powder and scrub tile grout with a stiff, narrow brush.
Day 4: Handle the sink, garbage and drain. Cleaning tasks: •Pour white vinegar down the drain and let it sit for at least 10 minutes; rinse with boiling water. •Clean the garbage can and recycling containers, inside and out. •Scrub your sink and around faucets, paying special attention to crevices and joints where grime can build up.
Day 3: Take care of the pantry. Decluttering tasks: •Working one section at a time, take everything out of your pantry and go through it. •Toss out expired food. Set aside items that are still good but that you know you will not use. •Transfer bulk items into airtight containers to keep them fresh and keep pests out. •Sort what you are keeping into categories based on when you use the items — for instance, all breakfast foods could go together on one shelf, and all baking supplies on another. Cleaning tasks: Wipe down pantry shelves and containers as you declutter. Replace shelf paper. Get It Done: How to Clean Out the Pantry
Day 2: Tackle cupboards and drawers. Decluttering tasks: This is the day to get the most frequently used spaces in your kitchen decluttered and primed for easy cooking. Get rid of things you never use (be honest!) and move things you rarely use (like once or twice a year) to a nonprime position. •Take everything out of your cupboards (you can do this in two or more stages if you need to) and look over each item. Remove unnecessary duplicates, broken items and things you do not use or like. •Repeat the process with drawers and counters. •When it’s time to put back the keepers, be sure to put things near where they will be used (knives near prep area, spatulas near the stove etc.) Cleaning tasks: •Wipe down drawers and shelves. •Inspect pots and pans, and remove cooked-on spots and stains. •Have knives sharpened. The Great Kitchen Cabinet Cleanup
Cleaning tasks: •Wipe the shelves of the fridge; wash crisper drawers with warm, soapy water. •Degrease the stovetop. •Clean out the microwave. •Clear the crumb tray under the toaster oven. •Pull your fridge away from the wall and vacuum the space behind it and the coils. •Run your oven’s self-cleaning function (be sure to consult the manual for instructions first). •Run the dishwasher without anything in it.
Day 1: Deal with appliances. Decluttering tasks: Take everything out of the fridge and freezer, one shelf at a time, and toss anything that has gone bad or that you know you won’t eat. There is no reason to let that salad dressing you tried and hated sit there for another year.
Set goals that make sense for you. Setting a goal that relates to how you want your kitchen to function better is more helpful than blindly tackling a long list of cleaning and decluttering jobs, so consider what you personally want to get out of this week. Want help getting through hectic mornings? You may want to focus on clearing the kitchen cabinet and pantry clutter. Wish your evenings felt more peaceful? Getting the fridge and surfaces clean and clear so you are ready to cook could help. Dream of hanging out in the kitchen more? Focus on the social areas of your kitchen by sprucing up the island and breakfast table.
7-Day Plan: Get a Spotless, Beautifully Organized Kitchen ave you noticed that the state of your kitchen can make a huge difference in how your entire home feels? When things aren’t running as they should, the smallest tasks (making breakfast, putting away groceries) can feel like a hassle. Messiness can sneak up on you — the corners get a little grungy, the papers pile up on the edge of the counter, and after a while everything adds up. But since the kitchen is a natural gathering place, a ship-shape one is essential in keeping the day-to-day flow of a busy household running smoothly. When your kitchen needs a reboot, turn to this weeklong plan to get things back on track and better than ever. Make a plan of attack. Of course there are certain things you already do each day and week to help keep your kitchen running smoothly, although the specifics differ from person to person. Make a quick mental list of the tasks you’re on top of already and focus instead on the jobs you haven’t done for a while. Plan to spend more time cleaning and decluttering during the first two days (plan these for a weekend or days off) to get a jump-start on the week; smaller tasks can be squeezed in on...
Hardening Off About 10 days to two weeks before you want to plant your seedlings outdoors, start acclimating the plants to the conditions outside, a process called hardening off. When you’re ready to do this, stop weekly fertilizing and cut back a bit on water. Set the plants outside for a just a few hours each day — even just one hour to start is enough — then gradually increase the time outside. Bring them inside at night or if temperatures drop. As well as limiting the time spent outside at the start of this process, also limit the amount of sun and wind the plants receive at first. Choose a spot with filtered sunlight and minimal wind, then gradually move the plants into brighter spots until the plants are in direct sunlight all day. Once the plants have spent several nights outdoors, they’re ready for transplanting to the garden or their permanent containers. Tip: Cover the seedlings with bird netting when you set them out. Birds and other critters find those tender seedlings very tasty. Amy Renea Save to Ideabook Email Photo Alternatives You can start seedlings inside your home, but outdoor cold frames, cloches and greenhouses offer alternatives for all or par...
Planting Plant 2 seeds per small starting pot, or scatter seeds across the top of the mix in a seed tray. Lightly tamp them in place and cover them with more mix to the recommended depth given on the seed packet. Moisten the soil on top but don’t overwater it. Label the container or tray with the plant name and planting date. You can find plant labels at nurseries and home stores, but popsicle sticks also work well. Just be sure to use permanent ink that won't fade or run if it gets wet. At this point you may want to cover the seeds with plastic wrap or a plastic cover to help keep the soil damp and warm, which will speed germination. Keep the soil temperature above 75 degrees Fahrenheit (24 degrees Celsius) for heat-loving warm-season plants by setting them on a heating mat or on top of a water heater or refrigerator. Don’t let the surface get too hot, though; above 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) is too high. Cool-season plants will be fine with average home temperatures. Watering from a tray placed under the seedling containers is good way to keep the soil moist but not overly wet. Caring for Seedlings Once the seedlings start emerging, remove the plastic co...
arden catalogs have a lot to answer for. They arrive during the doldrums of January and offer glimpses of spring and summer gardens full of bright flowers and luscious vegetables. Unfortunately, when you look outside, it seems like gardening weather is still a long way away. There is hope. You may not be able to hasten the arrival of warm weather, but you can at least get going on a summer flower or vegetable garden by starting the seeds for one. Not only will you save money (a packet of seeds is far less expensive than a flat of seedlings), but you'll be able grow the exact plants you want, whether exotic perennials or your family’s favorite tomato variety, and fill your home with summery greens even when it’s cold outside. When to plant outside? Check the ideal outdoor transplanting date for each plant, then count backward to determine how early to start the seeds. Cool-season edibles and other plants can go outside when the soil is considerably cooler than heat lovers can, but even so, most plants should not be set outside before the last expected frost. If you start your seedlings too early, you may find yourself with plants that are ready to go outside before the garden is r...
Harvest: Though you usually see heads of lettuce for sale in groceries and at markets, you can harvest individual leaves of leaf, romaine and Batavian lettuces. In fact, a common method is to sow a mix of these seeds, allow them to grow, then cut leaves off about 1/2 inch above the crown. They’ll quickly regenerate, and you’ll have an ongoing source for lettuce. You can also eat the thinnings and young leaves of butterhead and iceberg lettuce, then wait until the entire head forms and harvest the entire plant.
When to plant: For spring crops, sow seeds or set out seedlings in early spring. (See thinning recommendations for spacing.) Continue to sow or transplant every couple of weeks so you’ll have a continuous crop, keeping in mind that unless the garden is shaded, temperatures above about 75 degrees will cause lettuce plants to bolt (flower and set seed). Start up again in late summer or fall, once the soil temperature has cooled. In cold-winter climates, plan your harvest so you’ll have lettuce until the first frost. In mild-winter climates, you can continue to sow or transplant through the winter. Days to maturity: 30 to 90 Light requirement: Sun to partial shade; to prevent it from bolting early, plant where other plants can shade it. Water requirement: Provide regular, consistent water; the soil should stay moist. Favorites: •Batavian: Cherokee, Nevada, Sierra •Butterhead: Bibb, Buttercrunch, Deer' s Tongue, Marvel of Four Seasons, Rouge d’Hiver, Sangria, Tom Thumb, Winter Marvel •Cos: Blushed Butter Cos, Crisp Mint, Little Gem (a dwarf variety), Parris Island, Parris White •Crisphead: Great Lakes, Red Iceberg, Reine de Glace, Summertime •Leaf: Australian Yellow, Black Seeded ...
ettuce is more than the iceberg variety of diner dinner salads. In fact, even iceberg lettuce (also known as crisphead) is no longer that familiar. The lettuce family is huge and rapidly growing. Lettuce itself is still a standard for salads, but it can also be added to sandwiches, used as a wrap for a filling or cooked. (Look for darker leaves to get the most nutrition out of the leaves.) And despite its prevalence in summer salads, it is a true cool-season crop. Lettuces are generally divided into four different types: •Leaf lettuces are easy to grow and quick to mature; you may have greens as early as a month after planting. They’re also pretty in the garden, with leaves ranging in color from bronze to red to dark green. •Butterhead lettuces are small and cream colored, with a delicate flavor. •Romaine or cos lettuce varieties are upright rather than round and spreading. •Crisphead lettuces are the familiar iceberg varieties and Batavian lettuces, which resemble a blend of iceberg and leaf lettuces. They tolerate heat the best, but iceberg varieties in particular can bolt quickly. Within all of these groups, there are different rates of maturity and levels of heat toleranc...
AFTER: “I really wanted to make sure that every space in the house felt special,” says Pelletier, who added floor-to-ceiling bookcases in the living room to maximize storage space.
You can find Santa Rita prickly pear in many nurseries that carry desert cacti. However, you can easily propagate it by planting one to three pads from a plant. To do this: 1.Cut the pads off at the joint where they attach. 2.Place the newly cut pads in a dry, shady spot for one to two weeks to allow the cut ends to dry, which will prevent rotting after they’re planted. 3.Plant the new pads so that the bottom one-third is buried, and care for them as you would a new plant from the nursery. Shown: A single pad, ready to be planted
A pair of Bauhaus chairs the couple owned had seen better days, but rather than reupholster, Ford took the unconventional repainting route. “The canvas seats and back were worn and dirty,” Ford says. “A couple of coats of white canvas paint not only cleaned them up; it created a much more interesting texture.”
Classic Homeworks Save to Ideabook Email Photo 6. Clean the fabric softener dispenser. Follow the product manual instructions for cleaning the fabric softener dispenser. Avoid using detergent to clean the dispenser. 7. Keep an eye on the hoses connected to your washing machine. You want to be sure they don't become bent. If your washing machine is older, it may be time to replace those hoses (which should be replaced every five years.) A leak in your washing machine hose can cause a flood in your home.
WL INTERIORS Save to Ideabook Email Photo 5. Wipe it down — inside and out. I've been rather neglectful of my washing machine and noticed that it's getting a sticky residue from small detergent spills. It's important to wipe down the outside of your washing machine about once a week, just as you would any other surface in your home. The best solution is a mild dishwashing liquid (which can cut grease) and water. Don't forget the inside of your washer! You should periodically wipe down the inside drum of the machine with a damp cloth. It's easy for lint, dirt or soapy residue to build up inside.
Oakley Home Builders Save to Ideabook Email Photo 3. Clean spills. I've been guilty of this mistake. If you spill anything on your washer, you should wipe it away with a damp soft cloth right away — don't let the spill sit for long. What's the problem (besides a dried spill being harder to clean)? Most washer tops are made of porcelain enamel or a synthetic enamel. This finish can be damaged by exposure to solutions like ammonia, chlorine bleach or any abrasive cleaners. 4. Protect the finish. If you use the top of your washing machine as a work surface, lay a folded towel on top to protect its finish.This is especially helpful when you treat stains, since stain removers can make the top of the washing machine sticky. The baked enamel finish on washers can also scratch easily. Keep any sharp tools (such as scissors) safely away. Keep any liquids away from the control panel. Liquid detergents and stain removers can damage the finish.
2. Keep the door open. Here's a big one you may not know. You're supposed to leave the lid or door to the washing machine open after every load. Why? Keeping the door open allows the moisture inside the drum of the washing machine to evaporate.
1. Deep cleaning. Do you feel like your clothes are not coming out as clean as they should? Or do you detect an odor inside your washing machine? Then it's time for a deep clean. I like to use The Laundress Machine Cleaner once a month to clean out my washer — and I've noticed it cleans better when I do. You'll want to run an empty cycle on hot wash with your machine cleaner — or simply laundry detergent. You can make your own DIY washing-machine cleaner. If you feel like your washing machine needs sanitizing, make a solution of 3/4 cup of bleach and 1 tablespoon of powdered laundry detergent. Let the solution run through a soak cycle of your machine, and then run a rinse cycle to remove the bleach and clear it out.
7. Invite plants to the table. Don’t push houseplants out of the way for gatherings when you can put them to good use as centerpieces. This Angelina Sedum (Sedum ‘Angelina’, zones 7 to 11) is ideal for tabletops with its low-spreading growth habit and durability, not to mention the fact that its tightly packed succulent leaves resemble the needles of evergreen conifers. Other great houseplants for the winter tabletop include ferns, orchids, bromeliads, Tillandsia and the red- and green-patterned nerve plant (Fittonia argyroneura
4. Just add paint. I happen to think that branches are interesting enough without a fresh coat of paint, but there’s no denying that a little bit of white spray paint or acrylic craft paint can really elevate a dead branch into a work of art. It can turn all of the browns and grays into a delicate study in negative space reminiscent of a wintry scene. Don’t stop at branches, though. Anything from seedpods to pinecones and stones can be painted a single color and grouped on a tabletop or glued to a wreath. However varied the subjects, a single color of paint will unify them all and call attention to their unique forms.
Keep it simple. Even if lavishly designed arrangements of evergreens are beyond your skill set and time frame, it doesn’t take much to give a boring tabletop or mantel some natural flair. Pinecones are probably the most conveniently available decorations that nature has to offer, and they can be loosely arranged in baskets or glass hurricane lanterns or on trays. For an edible centerpiece, display an arrangement of pecans, walnuts, chestnuts and hazelnuts along with a nutcracker and plates to keep guests busy until the appetizers are served. For a more exotic theme, make a fragrant arrangement of woody spices like star anise, cloves, nutmeg, cardamom, cassia and cinnamon, placed in a glass vase or a deep bowl to discourage guests from messing with the potent arrangement.
Spruce up your entry, inside and out. It's the first things guests see, so make sure it sets the right tone. In a cold climate, safety should be priority No. 1, so check that the porch lights are working and roll out a slip-proof doormat outside. Indoors, an extra-large rug will feel more generous than the typical postage-stamp-size version, and it can handle big groups who arrive (and stamp feet) at once. A place to perch on, a few plump cushions and a mirror are gracious touches to consider adding.
Find extra space for overnight guests. Don't have a separate guest room? Or need more than one? There are tons of options for squeezing in a comfortable extra bed. Store an air mattress in the closet and pull it out as needed. Or, for a more permanent option that blends with your decor, try a daybed or a sleek, modern sofa bed, like the one shown here.
Prep guest rooms. Fresh sheets and extra towels, a mirror, working bedside lights, curtains on the windows, a place to put a suitcase — check the basics off your list now so you won't have to scramble when a guest is due to arrive. If your guest room shares space with a home office, now is also a good time to clear out the clutter ... guests shouldn't feel like they're sleeping in an office.
Take care of music and drinks. Choosing music for your party can be surprisingly time consuming — put together a few playlists now, and you won't have to worry about it later. Or pull out the vinyl collection and let your guests take turns playing DJ. Same goes for drinks: It's not like they will go bad, so stock up now and that's one less thing you'll need to shop for later. Plus, when you're not in a rush, you can take the time to shop around for the best deal ... win-win!
What to Serve Make it easy on yourself! For most gatherings, simple appetizers and snacks should suffice. Take an extra moment to remove packaging and put dips and snacks into bowls, and toast up wedges of pita bread or slices of baguette — small details make all the difference. Make it a potluck or BYOB. Want to do even less work? Enlist your friends to help out with food or drinks. Send around a sign-up email in advance or call on your friends individually with specific requests. If you don't mind providing food, consider at least asking guests to each bring something to drink — then you know all your guests will have something they like. David Giral PhotographySave to IdeabookEmail Photo When you want to cook. Make it ahead and stick with something crowd-pleasing and portable. Think a big pot of homemade chili with a bunch of toppings, or soup, salad and great bread. Set out big mugs along with a few trays to make transporting from kitchen to game room easier. Moore Architects, PCSave to IdeabookEmail Photo Setting Up Your Space Depending on the group size and type of games, you may want to either have all of the game playing in one area or set up several smaller zo...
What to Play There are card games, board games, games of chance or skill, team games, interactive games — and the list goes on! The easiest choice is what you know and love ... and what is already in your cupboard. Unless you are committing to a single game that takes up an entire evening (for instance, poker), choose three to five options and allow your guests to help decide what to play. Or ask each guest to bring along a favorite game and add it to the mix. Know the rules. It sounds so simple, you may be tempted to skip this step ... but please don't! As the host, it is your job to know the rules of the game and clearly explain them to others before beginning. Don't assume others know the rules, even if you've played it hundreds of times — someone might not know and be too embarrassed to ask. Amy Troute Inspired Interior DesignSave to IdeabookEmail Photo Try a parlor game. Looking for something a little different? Try a really old-school game, like the surrealist favorite Exquisite Corpse — one person begins either a story or a drawing (the game works either way), then folds the paper and hands it to the next person, who continues ... without knowing what came before. On...
Mold and mildew: •½ cup rubbing alcohol •½ cup water For mold and mildew, mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a small bowl, dampen a clean cloth and gently the area. Wipe off with another clean cloth dampened with water, then dry. Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer I used this solution when I noticed some suspicious-looking black grime inside my car. Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer The black mess came off with a bit of robust rubbing. It looks better, and I feel better knowing there's no lurking gunk in a hard-to-see area. Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer Once I got started, I decided to give my leather car upholstery a good once-over with the basic recipe of olive oil, vinegar and lemon oil. Now it looks good and smells fresh. Tell us: What are your tricks for keeping your home's leather products looking shiny and new?
Mold and mildew: •½ cup rubbing alcohol •½ cup water For mold and mildew, mix equal parts rubbing alcohol and water in a small bowl, dampen a clean cloth and gently the area. Wipe off with another clean cloth dampened with water, then dry.
Ballpoint pen: Rubbing alcohol, hairspray, nonacetone nail polish remover or cuticle remover For ink and pen stains on leather furniture, auto upholstery or handbags, dab on rubbing alcohol or any of the other substances listed. Let it soak in for a few minutes, then wipe it off with a clean cloth. Rinse with water and gentle soap, then dry. For stubborn ink stains, repeat until the ink has dissolved.
Protein-based spot or stain: •¼ cup lemon juice •¼ cup cream of tartar A paste of equal parts lemon juice and cream of tartar will remove protein stains like blood, mud, food and more. Make a paste, rub it on the stain, let it sit 10 minutes, then wash it off with dampened cloth (I use Castile soap and water for this step) and dry the piece with a clean cloth. Be sure to test a spot to make sure the lemon will not bleach the leather.
Caution: Always be sure to do a sample test on an inconspicuous area of the leather. And do not use these cleansers on unfinished leather or suede. Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer Basic cleanser and conditioner: •¼ cup olive oil •½ cup white vinegar •10 drops lemon or eucalyptus essential oil (optional) Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer The leather sofa at my brother's house gets lots of wear and tear. This basic all-over cleanser left it polished and rich looking again. Upholstery Club's Shelly Leer Mix the olive oil and white vinegar in a clean jar and shake, add scented oil for a fresh smell if you like. Dampen a clean cloth in the mixture and clean the entire piece of furniture. Use another clean cloth to dry off the remaining oil and cleanser. Don't saturate the leather; you're just cleaning the surface and reconditioning the leather.
That's it! Isn't she lovely? The finished upholstered ottoman adds softness to an industrial studio space, and can be completed by anyone with a few extra bucks and a basic knowledge of sewing and woodworking (and I mean basic).
This dressmaker detail on the corners adds a bump of sophistication to this dressed-up wooden pallet.