This story category covers home decor, home maintenance, garden design and garden maintenance.

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Shine Your Silver To Perfection Quickly Without Commercial Polish

This homemade concoction will put a shine on your silver with minimal cost and effort. (VIDEO)

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THIS STUFF WORKS | Until recently, I have polished my wee cache of silver—both sterling and plate, everything from jewellery to flatware—with pricey silver polish from a local jewellery store. “Why do you use that stuff?” my friend and Frugalbits contributor Brendan Power asked one evening after I complained about the bits of pink paste that had become lodged in the nooks of my newly cleaned Tiffany bracelet. I could avoid this residue, and polish up everything nicely, he explained, “using tin foil, soda and salt.” Read more

Vine Maple Trees - iStock

The Surprising Things Trees Can Do For Your Garden

In honour of Earth Day, we look at a few of the magic tricks trees can perform in your garden.


Vine Maple Trees - iStock

 

MONEY WELL SPENT | In the landscape of memory, trees define the countryside. As the most prominent and long-lived of all vegetation (think giant sequoia), they are the one green symbol guaranteed to represent place. Mention Italy and Italian cypress come to mind. Images of southern France always include olive trees. The English landscape, that great affectation, is symbolized by large-scale deciduous varieties planted in “clumps” (by Capability Brown) that look from a distance like a single stylized tree. In the Pacific Northwest, iconic evergreens—Douglas fir, Western red cedar and hemlock—colour much of the landscape black-green, a situation that both pleases and perturbs me. Read more

Starck Happy D.2 BATHTUB

Magic Eraser Really Does Remove The Most Stubborn Stains

The stain was so stubborn I thought I would have to replace my bathtub. Turns out all I needed was a small miracle.

Starck Happy D.2 BATHTUB

 

THIS THING WORKS | Shortly after we moved into our house, the acrylic tub in the master bathroom became stained. It looked as though something had spattered the finish and damaged it, but whatever the cause, the problem was finding a solution. Read more

drops Collage Frame - IKEA

You Will Love The Drops Frame From IKEA

How to get family snapshots out of Cyberland and into your living room.

drops Collage Frame - IKEA

 

CHEAP & AWESOME | Although they did not confirm this number themselves, Buzzfeed reported last year that humans take 380 billion photos a year. To that figure I would like to add my own unsubstantiated statistic: 99.99 percent of these photographs will forever reside out of view, most of them in Cyberland.

And maybe that’s a good thing, but displaying some printed photos in your home does keep good times and good people visually at hand without logging into a computer or staring at a digital flip screen. My new favourite way to display snapshots on paper is in an inexpensive Drops collage frame from IKEA. Read more

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4 Ways To Dress Up Plain Paper Lanterns

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Tissue Paper Stars
Kate Daudy - NYTimes
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Peel and Stick Letters - The Swell Life


DIY | While inexpensive paper lanterns used en masse contribute enormously to the festive mood in a room (try imagining the space pictured above without them), a plain pendant lantern used on its own can easily look like an uninspired afterthought.

Of course a single Noguchi Araki light sculpture would be beautiful, but shades like these, which are fashioned from handmade washi paper and authentic bamboo ribbing, are anything but cheap.

If you are going to use a cheap Chinese paper lantern alone in a room, why not personalize it in a way that makes it distinctive? Here are four of our favourite eye-catching ways to embellish paper lanterns, plus a how-to video from Martha Stewart that covers some of the basics. Read more

Dan Pearson's Posy - Howard Sooley

Why Gardeners Should Make A Bouquet Every Day

Superstar designer and planstman Dan Pearson explains why you should make a garden posy every day.

Dan Pearson's Posy - Howard Sooley

 

WHAT THE PROS KNOW | There’s plenty of great how-to in Home Ground: Sanctuary In The City, British designer and writer Dan Pearson’s 2011 gardening book that will surely become a classic, but the author’s suggestion that keeners make a daily bouquet from whatever’s in bloom in their garden seems like a particularly good idea. Could there be an easier way to become more observant outdoors or to study the blooming habits and idiosyncrasies of the plants that grow right under your nose? Read more

deluxe-down-pillow- Linens N Things

The Best Way To Care For Bed Pillows

Most of us are fastidious about changing bed linens, but pillows often fall by the wayside. Here’s how to keep them fresh.

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HOME SCHOOL | Is there anything more ewww inspiring than a big perspiration stain on your bed pillow? Or knowing that in the time it took for the stain to materialize, entire nations of allergy-inducing dust mites have taken up residence inside the cushion where you lay your sweet head every night?

While most of us are fastidious about keeping sheets and pillowcases clean, pillows often fall by the wayside. Here’s what we know about keeping bed pillows fresh and in tiptop shape. Read more

Kraft paper tablecloth - Vicky Tang

Make A Great Kraft Paper Tablecloth

In the right hands, cheap Kraft paper can be the thing that turns a dinner table from plain to poetic.
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DO IT YOURSELF | If you want to host a long table dinner this summer but don’t have enough matching tablecloths (or matching tables for that matter) to create an attractive, cohesive setting, Kraft paper can be a lifesaver. Read more

Puddle of olive oil

How To Remove Oil Stains From Clothes

Here is a dead easy way to remove any cooking oil stain from clothing.

Puddle of olive oil

 

THIS STUFF WORKS | Quick, which home cleaning product has grease-cutting properties as a big part of its raison d’être? Anyone who has ever watched daytime television even once knows the answer is dishwashing liquid. What I didn’t know until this past weekend is that the grease-cutting effectiveness of liquid detergent on pots and pans can also be applied to clothing. I learned this the hard way, of course, when I dropped a big glob of salad dressing containing olive oil on my A&F Bermuda shorts. Read more

Dirty Towels- 123rf

Yes, You Can Get Your Kids To Pick Up Their Dirty Towels

How to get your messy kids to stop leaving soggy bath towels in a pile in their room.

Dirty Towels- 123rf

 

NAG LESS| Have you ever experienced Disappearing Towel Phenomenon? This occurrence is not to be confused with Disappearing Object Phenomenon, a documented paranormal event where random objects mysteriously disappear and then inexplicably turn up later. In the case of Disappearing Towel Phenomenon, the objects are neither random nor their whereabouts unknown. Parents of teenagers know precisely where to look for their vanished bath towels: in multiple, soggy piles on the floor in their offspring’s bedrooms. Read more