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9 Easy Tips For Making More Counter Space In The Kitchen

Food Prep:
- Buy small appliances such as toasters, microwaves, and can openers that can be mounted underneath cabinets. 
- Swap a knife blick for a magnetic strip on the wall. 
- Instead of storing utensils in a canister, install a stainless steel rod with matching S hooks on the backsplash and hang utensils out of the way but still within arm’s reach. Read more…

Check Out These Get-Ready-For-Fall Cleaning Tips

It’s almost that time again! Leaves change colors, sweaters come out of hiding and your home is begging for a good clean. We asked readers and friends to share their best cleaning and organizing ideas for fall. We’ve got a baker’s dozen of our favorites.

1. Watch what you wear: “It sounds silly, but wear a dark color when you are cleaning your mirrors. Not only do you look chic and slimmer, but it’s easier to see all the shmutz that’s still left on the mirror.” — Patrick J Hamilton, Ask Patrick

2. Make it sweeter: “Add a drop or two of a spicy or vanilla essential oil to your furniture polish, and the whole house will smell like a pie baking!” — Deb Kennedy, Retreat Style Read more… Keep reading »

What The Location Of Your Mess Says About You (And How To Fix It)

We’ve learned what a mess says about you, but have you considered the impact of where that mess is located? Author and environmental psychologist Sally Augustin, PhD, sheds some light on this surprising revelation. (And yes, we’ve learned lots from this!)
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The Most Ridiculous Home-Related Fights

Over at The Nest, they’re collecting their users’ most ridiculous fights. And what I noticed (aside from a serious trend of couple’s food issues): So many of these are caused by everyday home occurences. Not that I can’t relate. I’d be lying if I didn’t admit to fighting over the TV volume, folding the laundry, locking the door — oh, sadly, I could go on. Instead, I gathered my favorite house-caused tiffs from the post and comments — plus some new ones from our Facebook friends:

“We fought about how many times a toilet should be flushed in a day. This was a serious, ridiculous, give-the-silent-treatment kind of argument.” –LOISSA

“We got into a fight while assembling the furniture in our new house. If we made it through that, we’ll make it through anything!” –AUBREYDUB

Read more… Keep reading »

Our Picks: Top 5 Flea Markets In The Country

Those of us with a soft spot for nostalgia or a pirate’s-level enthusiasm for buried treasures know there are few greater joys than whiling away a Sunday at an overstuffed flea market. If it weren’t for these indoor and outdoor bazaars brimming with vintage finds, my sister and I would have a lot less to brag about. (Her most recent gem: a collection of 50s-era table lighters found at the Long Beach Antique and Collectibles Market. Mine: A faux-Victorian nightstand made in the 70s, scored at New York City’s Chelsea Flea Market.)

From the coast of California to the borough of Brooklyn, these are the best places to find your new favorite things. Read more… Keep reading »

Would You Decorate With Your Own Face?

There’s even a name for it: Autodecorating. And Gawker’s calling out the worst offenders: Along with Lindsay and Paris, Kanye West, Padma Lakshmi and “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”‘s Kim Zolciak are guilty of filling their houses with paintings, photos and — most notoriously — pillows with their likenesses. Now, I kind of understand celebrities’ motivation here: These are people who are accustomed to seeing their faces on billboards and in magazines. They’re desensitized to it. Right? Or maybe because they make their living off of their faces they’re just excited to pay tribute to their moneymaker. In any case, it’s hardly surprising.

I’m more interested in the rules of face-centric decorating for us normal, non-famous people. So I turned to two friends who own self-portraits. Hear them out! Read more… Keep reading »

Are You Guilty Of Housesnarking?

I’ll admit: I ended a friendship based on their comments about a chair cushion.

It was my housewarming party: 15 people swirling through my new apartment among perfectly-fluffed throw pillows and newly painted lavender walls. I’d pulled things together in two weeks, just before my birthday so that I could celebrate the new place and my new age together.

My friend walked in, gave me a hug and as she looked over my shoulder towards the apartment she whispered: “It’s cute! But so small.” She grabbed some wine and plopped onto one of my newly upholstered seats. “Can you believe Amy reupholstered those herself?” asked my lovely friend Katie. “Um, yes,” said the friend. “They’re pretty light on padding. I’m guessing it was a rush job.” Read more… Keep reading »

Sleeping On The Couch

I yawn, rest my head on my pillow, roll on my side and close my eyes. “Knee,” I say to my husband. He flutters his eyes open and grunts an “I’m sleeping” noise. “Your knee, my love, is jabbing into my back. Can you move it?” As he readjusts his position, he rests his arm on my feet — Oy, this is even more uncomfortable. I tap my feet against his bicep to get his attention. “Your arm,” I tell him. “It’s resting on my feet.”

“Where else can I put it?” he asks. Keep reading »

I Love My Boyfriend. His Stuff? Not So Much.

I should have been satisfied when my boyfriend agreed to get rid of his forest-green pleather couch — with matching love seat! — before we started living together. But I wasn’t. I’d finally gotten my apartment just the way I wanted it. It was a carefully curated nest of thrifted furniture and vintage Pyrex. Every room was perfect. For me.

But I loved my boyfriend, so I knew that if we were going to be living together, I’d have to at least pretend to love his stuff (save for those hideous couches). I just wasn’t prepared for how much of it he’d have.

The night before he moved in, he drove some things over: seven African masks of varying sizes, at least 30 nearly-empty condiments for the fridge and concert posters. So many concert posters. The posters weren’t framed, but the Coors Light mirror he brought was. Read more… Keep reading »

How Moving (And Redecorating!) Changed My Life

It began, as so many great New York love stories do, with an ad on Craigslist. I wasn’t seeking a man, but an apartment, and this one sounded ideal: A charming studio in a former carriage house located in the heart of Chelsea. And then, two words that can stop any city girl’s heart: Courtyard garden.

“It’s like living in Europe,” the ad promised. I clicked on the photos and swooned at the sight of exposed brick and hardwood floors. After e-mailing the realtor, I announced to my friends with great solemnity. “I found the place where I am going to live.”

The last time I’d had that feeling was when I glimpsed my old apartment, a roomy one-bedroom in Astoria, Queens. I saw sweet black-and-white checkered kitchen tile, six large windows, abundant sunlight. “This is it,” I said and it was, for a while. Read more… Keep reading »

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