This story category covers design and home decor, home maintenance and easy organizing tips.

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.

deluxe-down-pillow- Linens N Things

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.
2 plate

 

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

IKEA Sink, Moen Faucet-C. Rule

Tips To Make Tiny Bathrooms Feel Larger

Tips and tricks to make even the tiniest bathroom feel much larger.

IKEA Kitchen Uppers In the Bathroom - C. Rule

 

GAINING SPACE | How do you make a dinky five-foot-square powder room feel larger? Mirror is one obvious solution, which is why I installed a giant, counter-to-ceiling sheet of it in my recently renovated loo. Another is to replace a traditional, space-hogging vanity with shallow cabinets. I gained a valuable nine inches on the floor across the width of my tiny room by replacing the boxy 21-inch-deep vanity with five linear feet of plain-Jane IKEA kitchen wall cabinets that are a mere 12 inches deep. Not only did I maximize the amount of open floor area, but I gained infinitely more—and more useful—storage as well. Read more

Stack Of Cloth Napkins shutte

Why You Need To Use Cloth Napkins Daily

Here’s why you should use cloth napkins every day—and how (and where) to sew beautiful mitered-corner ones for yourself. (VIDEO)

Stack Of Cloth Napkins shutte

 

MONEY WELL SPENT | You should be using cloth napkins every day not only because doing so will save you money by cutting down on paper waste but also because you deserve nice things, and cloth napkins are nice all around: better next to the skin than paper ones, generally larger and more absorbent. Read more

Eurow Microfiber Kitchen Towels

Finally, Attractive Microfiber Dishtowels

These microfiber dishtowels look stylish in the way that linen ones do—and function superbly, too.

Eurow Microfiber Kitchen Towels

 

GET THIS | I can’t help but think that if for some mysterious reason Fog Linen Work, a Japanese company that produces an exquisite line of linen products coveted by design devotees everywhere, were to suddenly go rogue and use microfiber rather than Lithuanian linen to make their kitchen towels, they might make a waffle-weave product like the one pictured here from the American company Eurow & O’Reilly. “Yes, aren’t these towels awesome,” my designer friend Margo concurred when I enthused about how attractive and effective hers were as we stood hand-drying dishes after dinner at her place awhile back. Read more

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power - Clinton Hussey

How To Paint A Canvas Slingback Patio Chair

Transform this plain canvas beachside staple into a chair with style and presence.

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power -  Clinton Hussey

 

THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Being fashionably dressed is expensive enough, but imagine the financial damage you can do creating the “latest look” for your home—which is why most of us play it safe with our furniture by sticking to classics. The trouble with this approach is that sometimes safe can mean boring. Fortunately there are ways to be current without taking a vow of poverty.

I suggest using quick changing accent pieces to modify your décor. Here I put my DIY skills to work transforming a classic—and already attractive—slingback patio chair—into something more topical and unique. Read more