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.
house decorating & home décor ideas
Chairs are hospitable and versatile. Adding a couple of great chairs is an easy and affordable way to give a space a new look—plus, chairs are a cinch to reposition and move around as needed. This friendly adaptability is perhaps what motivates DIYers to habitually pick them up at thrift shops, auctions, and flea markets, or to resurrect them from the trash. In the hands of our 10 featured aesthetes, artists, and chair visionaries, this collection of broken and antiquated seats have been fortified and revamped with paint, fabric, trim, and a helping of TLC. Witness how, thanks to the patience and skill of these wonder-workers, each piece has been transformed into a better version of its former self.
It's often those details that are invisible to all but the most acute observers that make an interior exceptional. This is particularly true in the bedroom, where one of this space's key features typically lies behind closed doors—closet doors, to be specific. A well-planned, impeccably finished closet is the trick to keeping the bedroom serene and clutter-free. With a little thought and a modicum of effort, the bedroom closet can become an orderly, luxurious sanctuary. While it helps to have a closet with plenty of space, how you use that space is more important. Organization is crucial, but so are design details that make the closet both easy to use and easy on the eyes. With care and consideration, even modestly sized closets can become positively dreamy. Click through our online gallery of meticulously designed closets to be transported to sheer storage bliss.
Life as a renter is a mix of pros and cons. While you don't have to fix the leaky faucet yourself, you don't have the option to change it either. Sure, you have less responsibility, but you have less control as well. Whether you just want to put your own stamp on your living space or are a certified home improvement junkie, DIY projects in a rental can be tricky. Most landlords won't allow you to make any changes, structural or decorative, to your apartment. And you certainly don't want to invest good money in a space you don't own. So, what's a DIYer to do? Here are 10 not-so-permanent solutions that will make your rental feel more like "your" home.
The most amazing room makeovers we've ever seen.
Before Pinterest, teens on TV expressed personal style through their bedroom decor. These 10 rad rooms are responsible for inciting massive design envy in ‘90s kids.
Rest assured that you can create an inviting front veranda without breaking the bank. Here are 10 inspiring front porches that prove that it’s possible to design a welcoming front veranda on a budget.
Good color palettes start with a feeling. Before choosing a color palette for your room, decide how you want the room to feel. Once you have targeted that feeling it will be easier to choose a color palette using simple color theory. Start with the color that evokes that feeling for you and then choose from one of these three palettes.
We know you're busy, which makes keeping the house spotless a bit overwhelming. Instead of spending hours and hours scrubbing, here are smart cleaning hacks that will save you precious time.
Color has the ability to instantly transform the entire personality of a room. It’s the reason designers spend so much time flipping through paint wheels and swatch books. Pinpointing the perfect hue and finding the right combination can be tricky, but when you nail the ideal palette, the results are guaranteed to be dazzling. AD asked some of the top talents in design to share their personal tips for mastering the art of color—from deploying punchy brights to creating golden glows.
A small space doesn’t mean you have to be cramped. Try these nine easy room-expanding tricks to help you maximize your square footage.
There's nothing more annoying than having your summertime fun ruined by the buzzing and biting of the season's peskiest foes—mosquitoes. Before they breed, congregate, bite, and drive you indoors, consider some natural ways to keep them at bay. Start by eliminating standing water wherever you discover it—from gutter spouts to birdbaths—and consider herbs like rosemary and thyme that are known for their insect-repellant scents. What about installing a bat house? We've included that and more in our 10 natural ways to keep you bug-free this summer
The French have a way with just about everything, but we love their effortless ability to decorate their home. Here are nine tips that will help you beautify your space—just like a Parisian—on a budget.