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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.”
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.
This wallpaper was a game/room changer! A boring space was transformed with great texture when that went up. The rustic table and the tray and indigo African textiles we framed, give it a relaxed feel but the damask curtains make us a little Southern. African textiles and mud cloth from the flea market made great art and we made pillows in the leather chairs in the living room out of it too! These custom, casual and bohemian touches made all the difference!
Apple cider vinegar (ACV) helps neutralize the formic acid in bee venom (that’s what causes the stinging, burning sensation). Simply soak the stung body part in ACV, or soak a cloth with ACV and place it over the sting. Repeat every 15 minutes as necessary. With honey bee stings, remember to remove the stinger before applying ACV. Grab ACV for treating all kinds of bug bites beyond bee stings, as well as poison ivy rash. ACV helps relieve swelling and reduce itching thanks to potassium it contains.
Start with a 120-grit pad on your sander; if it doesn’t get through the grayed surface of the wood immediately, change to 80. 80 grit will sand off a lot of material, so err on the safer side and start with 120. Make sure to sand with the grain as best you can. Once you have finished sanding all surfaces, wipe the piece clean with a damp cloth to get all of the dust off.
Reduce body temperature by wiping skin down with apple cider vinegar diluted in water (adjust the ratio as needed up to 50 percent water and ACV). Apply the water-ACV blend to arms, legs and torso to bring down fevers fast. ACV also helps cool sunburns. Apply ACV with a cool cloth to red skin, or fill a lukewarm bath with 1 cup ACV and ¼ cup coconut oil for a cooling soak.
Shiplap gives a fresh spin on a farmhouse-style bathroom, like this one by design firm Cloth & Kind. These walls use 1-by-8 primed spruce, but you can use almost any species, and the thinner the wood, the cheaper per board, says Tyler Davis, owner of Athens Building Co. To further trim costs, he suggests cutting thin ⅛-inch sheets of finished plywood into strips and hanging them on the wall. Although those transoms were added, he says you can purchase fixed sidelights or transoms from a builder surplus store, or better yet from an old house or charity thrift shop, and add hinges and a chain to make them operable.
Twenty six floors above the Las Vegas strip, these homeowners were interested in a space that is relaxing and rejuvenating after a long day, so designers incorporated elements of Zen and relaxation to give the couple a spa feel to their master suite. Color rich textiles and multifaceted textures cover every surface in this master retreat. Heavy weight window coverings help to keep out light and noise. The tēte-á-tēte sofa is covered in high style jade iridescent fabric and is accented with silk and velvet throw pillows. A globally sourced custom mural originating from Thailand was made into a headboard, while metallic grass cloth wallpaper accents the space.
Also called landscape fabric or weed cloth, this type of mulch is usually woven polypropylene fabric. It suppresses weeds while allowing water and air to pass. It’s often used under inorganic mulches, such as stone or landscape glass, but also under shredded hardwood bark to help extend its lifespan. Landscape fabric comes in different grades; the label should state how long it will last. This is a commercial grade fabric that’s woven and needle punched with a 20-year warranty. The colored lines are 12 inches apart, which helps with spacing plants, especially in vegetable gardens.
To be safe, test your stain on an area that isn’t visible on the furniture to make sure it’s the color you really want. Then apply the stain all over with an old (but clean) T-shirt or cloth. Wear latex gloves so you don’t stain your skin. Be generous with the stain, just whipping away the excess when you’ve covered the whole area. Depending on how long the item has been outside, it may drink up that stain and require a second coat. Let it dry for an hour or so before deciding on a second coat.