Maintaining a mantra of "go big or go home," Antonio Ballatore, former HGTV Design Star contestant and host of HGTV's The Antonio Project, takes ordinary rooms and makes them wow-worthy. Case in point: this Japanese-inspired master bedroom that features a 3D painted wall mural and a three-panel Asian screen design. The peaceful blue wall color and grass-cloth wallpaper with Japanese waves bring a beach theme to the space. The bed has drawers underneath for extra storage.
In the master bedroom, the wall on which the bed rests is covered in a gorgeous, metallic silver grass cloth that conceals the hidden door to the closet. Above the mirrored, four-poster bed, a brass chain link chandelier makes a bold statement, while rich texture was added with black faux fur pillow shams and blanket at the food of the bed. To personalize the space even further, designers had a modern, monogram printed on metallic linen.
If you want to clean your microwave without chemicals, take a cup of water and put it inside your microwave and heat for two minutes. This creates steam inside, so you can use a clean microfiber cloth to wipe the appliance down and remove any residue or stuck-on bits of food.
Create a soft and swirly serpent wreath with yarn and bendable toy snakes. First, cover a foam wreath form entirely with black yarn. Next, gather three to five bendable, cloth-covered toy snakes (plastic and rubber snakes work too), wrapping them tightly around the form. Be sure to position their heads in different directions to give the wreath a sense of motion.
British-African artist Yinka Shonibare decorated the interior of his Victorian dollhouse with Dutch wax print cloth and used furniture in various woods and styles to fill the rooms of this home that comments upon his dual identity as an African and Brit. Along with reproductions of paintings by Shonibare and French artist Jean-Honore Fragonard, the two-story dollhouse also includes cabinets, chairs, tables, fireplaces and a canopy bed.
Mint is a workhorse in the garden when it comes to giving insects the brush off. To release the strong mint oils in leaves, brush against plants or crush leaves and rub on skin or clothing. Try tucking lightly bruised leaves (still attached to stems) into pockets or bouquets on your porch or patio to confuse and repel mosquitoes. This minty beauty (foreground) is variegated pineapple mint, but you can also use any mint, including spearmint, lemon mint or peppermint. Mints spread aggressively in the garden. Always plant it in containers, even in beds, keeping the edge of pots elevated at least an inch above soil. When mint flowers, the blooms attract beneficial insects, including ones that sting, like wasps. If you don’t want these insects near seating areas, keep plants trimmed so blooms don’t form.
Reclaim the outdoor focal point with upcycled brick and barn doors. The biggest trick is to look for old barns, buildings and chimneys that aren't being used, suggests Tyler Davis, owner of Athens Building Co., which worked with designer Tami Ramsey of Cloth & Kind on this project. Sometimes you can spot them from country roads. Approach the owner and offer to remove them if they will let you keep the material. You can get free materials and help someone remove a potential hazard from their property.
“I tried to make it feel as daring as the rest of the house, but also like a pretty getaway,” Sonal says. For resort vibes, she chose a wicker headboard from World Market, a basket-y light from Serena & Lily, and grass cloth wallpaper by Phillip Jeffries. “My mom stays here a lot and she always asks, “Are you ever going to get tired of the blue?” Sonal says. “I tell her no! There’s so much to look at in our house, I never get tired of any of it.”
Who knew how nasty your keyboard could be? This non-toxic, biodegradable cleaning slime from Cyber Clean can reach into crevices that a normal microfiber cloth can't. It's great for just about any surface including keyboards, camera gear, laptops and speakers. Simply fold the dirt and grime into the slime and knead before picking up more dirt. Replace once the slime turns a darker color that matches the swatch displayed on the container.
Create a mobile s'mores station by outfitting a serving tray with all of the necessary ingredients. Keep marshmallows in a tall, cylindrical vessel along with graham crackers and chocolate spread out on a platter. Mix things up a bit by adding extra options such as pretzels and also help control messes with color-coordinated cloth napkins.
“The black glasses were my grandmother's and the inspiration to go with more non-traditional colors,” says Corey Willis of Hey There, Home. The clever design uses houndstooth wrapping paper in place of a table cloth, keeping cost—and laundry!—to a minimum. “The black-and-white paper made for the perfect backdrop for the pops of color I added by simply filling vases with inexpensive ball ornaments in fun colors.”
As the primary gathering space, a tablescape sets the tone of a get-together—so making it memorable is a must. Jenny Reimold, tabletop guru and HomeGoods style expert (you can check out her tips and tricks on Instagram) suggests getting creative: “Set the stage with several table runners placed vertically along the table, or consider draping a blanket or Turkish towel diagonally across a larger surface as an alternative to a table cloth,” she says.
One of my favorite people and repeat clients came to me with a brimming-with-potential-blank-slate of a room that she wanted to use as her creative workspace. We wanted a feature wall inspired by graffiti. After some brainstorming, my client decided that the focal points of the mural would be a singular fist and kente cloth, signifying power, empowerment, and culture. We wanted a feature wall inspired by graffiti. After some brainstorming, my client decided that the focal points of the mural would be a singular fist and kente cloth, signifying power, empowerment, and culture. We worked with the extremely talented CHARMAINE MINNIEFIELD. If you’ve popped over to her website already, you know that she “draws from indigenous traditions as seen throughout Africa and the Diaspora by exploring African and African-American ritual from a feminist perspective.” She was the perfect fit for this project. As you can see, the results are stunning.
One of the ways interior designers add sophistication and timelessness to rooms is by accessorizing with books. Since coffee table books can be pricey, an excellent way to use books as decoration without breaking the bank is to pair high-end books with vintage books found at flea markets, like is done on this table. To maximize an old book’s charm, remove its book jacket to expose the canvas, cloth or paper surface.
As fresh foliage disappears from the winter landscape, rabbits and other creatures start feasting on plants they don’t normally touch. Protect the crowns of plants that fit this category, like coral bells, with chicken wire or hardware cloth. Netting won’t outsmart creatures at this point in the season. Deer will paw it off; rabbits will sit on it and reach through to leaves.
Rabbits, voles and field mice nibble bark along the base of shrubs and young trees. Their handiwork is especially difficult to detect on brushy shrubs that give them cover while they chew. Protect the trunks of woody plants by encircling them with commercial tree guards or homemade versions crafted from corrugated drainage pipe (shown), hardware cloth or small mesh poultry wire.