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
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.
Busy lives call for easy tricks to organizing the craziness around us. To help make your life a little bit easier, we found 10 stylish ways to keep your home neat and tidy.
Let your individuality shine with stunning personalized paper lantern projects that will add a pop of fun in your home.
Because the bathroom isn’t the first thing visitors see, it often falls to the bottom of the DIY to-do list. But a bathroom shouldn’t stay out of sight and out of mind, because it is one of the most-used areas of any home. With a little tender love and care, even the most shameful space can be transformed into a spa-like retreat. Upgrades can be as easy as changing the paint color or switching up mirrors or other accents, or as complex as replacing vanities and renovating showers. We’ve found 7 before-and-after bathroom makeovers sure to inspire you to take the plunge with your own project.
Closets are built with doors for a reason: They’re meant to hide stuff. Still, these essential storage spots are some of the most-used spaces in any home—so why not make them as appealing and user-friendly as possible? Outfitted with colorful fixtures and smart tools, an organized closet, dresser, or craft room can be a thing of beauty. Even better, it can be pulled together on the tightest of budgets. Here are 10 ways to conquer clutter by repurposing items you may already have on hand, such as cardboard boxes and coat hangers. Put these simple no-cost DIY tricks to work in storage spaces from the front hall to the master bedroom—then go ahead and leave the doors wide open!
At their magnificent 1,600-acre Crawford retreat, once known as the Western White House, Laura and George W. Bush live the green life in a house that is tailored for easygoing indoor-outdoor enjoyment
With the lines blurring between outdoor and indoor decor, now's the time to get creative with your boundaries. By using your outdoor pieces indoors, you can add unique and unexpected style. Even better, you'll get your money's worth using these items year-round! Keep reading to see and shop a dozen of our favorites.