MILDEWY VINYL SHOWER-CURTAIN LINER
Fix it: Wash in the machine (on a short cycle) with some old towels, using hot water and bleach.
Keep it longer: Leave the bathroom door or a window open — and/or a ventilation fan turned on — for 20 minutes post-shower.
KNIFE WITH KNICKED BLADE
Fix it: Check stores like Williams-Sonoma or Sur La Table to see when a knife expert who can grind down the edge will visit.
Keep it longer: Use a block, a drawer insert, or a blade sheath to protect it. Our favorite brands, Bisbell (bisbellusa.com) and Lamson & Goodnow (lamsonsharp.com), sell options for from $5 to $25.
SAGGY SEAT CUSHION
Fix it: If the upholstery is still in good shape, remove the foam insert and take it to a Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Store to have a replacement cut to fit; a three-square-foot, five-inch-thick cushion will cost about $70.
Keep it longer:Flip cushions every few months to help them wear evenly.
WORN AND WOBBLY WOOD FURNITURE
Fix it: The easiest way to save a wiggly wooden chair leg: Stick in a toothpick where the leg meets the seat, then simply break it off. For scratches, try GHRI-tested Guardsman wood touch-up markers ($5, guardsman.com).
Keep it longer: Whether with a toothpick or with nails, support a loose chair leg sooner rather than later; if you keep the piece in use as is, you risk breaking it.
ONE THING YOU REALLY SHOULD REPLACE
A literal pain in the neck — that's what a worn-out pillow can give you. To tell whether to toss yours, give it the "break test": For a fiberfill or down- or feather-filled pillow, fold it in half with a heavy book on top. If the pillow pops back so it's flat, keep it. If it stays folded in half, it's "broken" — either use the filling to stuff smaller pillows or chuck it.
Before You Throw It Out -- These businesses will repurpose well-used items:
Sure, they take old towels and blankets, but did you know most need pillows, pillowcases, bathroom rugs, and T-shirts, too?
They accept used household items like pillows, shower curtains, linens, and furniture, which are resold to fund job-training programs.
HABITAT FOR HUMANITY(habitat.org)
Donate extra paint, tile, and lumber as well as used furniture, cabinets, and fixtures to help a family in need of housing.
SMART(Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles; smartasn.org)
This trade association refers you to local members that accept most textiles (including rugs and towels), which can be recycled into, say, home insulation or carpet padding.
décor: transform your home with fabulous ideas
More and more brides are giving their special day a personal touch with DIY wedding decorations. According to American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, 70 percent of newlyweds said they opted for a DIY approach to save on wedding costs. Couples got crafty assembling their own guest favors, creating their own centerpieces and ditching the DJ in favor of a homemade playlist. A few brave brides even made their own wedding dress or baked their own cake! The good news: You don’t have to be overly ambitious or possess amazing crafting skills to tackle most of these DIY wedding decor projects. (We do want to make your life easier, after all!)
Repurpose found objects into unique pieces of furniture, like the funky tables featured here. These handmade tables will add a nice touch of modern design to your home décor -- even though they're made with upcycled items.
Odds are your mother and your mother's mother used these cleaners — and we're still stocking our cleaning cabinet with them today!
Get your backyard ready for a summer filled with fun, food and friends! Read on for 20 of the stylish outdoor décor essentials that will help make your backyard bash the highlight of the season.
What happens when designer couples clash? With two designers in a family, there's bound to be the occasional decorating dustup. Eight couples share their design battles — and compromises.
Think of it as a piece of furniture — if you ever move, you can take it with you. And it doesn't have to perfectly match your cabinets.
It’s easier than ever to shop for chic new pieces online or by mail. Here are 10 designer favorites.
Want your place to feel fresh in a flash? Tackle all of your cleaning problems with these 24 quick and easy solutions to some of your biggest tasks. Whether you’re hoping to get that spot out of your favorite rug, clean up those spills and splashes in the oven or speed-shine your wood floors before guests arrive, we’ve got everything you need to get started.
Whether you live in a condo or a castle, chances are, you can make more efficient use of your countertops and storage spaces. That's why we rounded up eight space-efficient items featured at the 2013 International Home and Housewares Show.
Tour the lavish and luxurious sets from director Baz Luhrmann's film adaptation of the F. Scott Fitzgerald classic, "The Great Gatsby."
Mad Men fans may love the storylines and characters, but we're partial to the 1960s set design. Here, we take a look back at last season's Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce offices.