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

Adobe Kuler

How Cool Is Kuler, Adobe’s Colour App?

Damn cool. Adobe’s new point-and-shoot app for the iPhone allows you to instantly pull a color palette from whatever image your camera snaps.

Adobe Kuler

 

FREE & AWESOME | Have you seen Adobe’s new Kuler app?” my friend Giorgio Verzoletto of vanhit.com asked when we met up for coffee last Monday. “Watch this,” he said, waving his iPhone camera at the Frugalbits website displayed on the laptop screen in front of us. As G gestured with his phone, five circles on its screen bounced around like metal balls in one of those old-fashioned handheld puzzles, changing colour repeatedly depending on where the phone was directed.

When he snapped a shot, the circles turned into rectangles forming a band of the dominant colours in the image and creating what Kuler calls a colour theme on his phone screen. “These themes can be used, modified and shared in so many ways,” G said. “Anyone who works with colour is going to love this.” Or anyone who loves to play with colour, I added. Read more

Beadboard wallpaper Graham & Brown

Get The Beadboard Look For Less

How to get a fantastic beadboard look for your walls without hard labour or a super high price.

Beadboard wallpaper Graham & Brown

 

THE LOOK FOR LESS | As much as I try to squeeze it in, my sunny dream cottage by the sea just won’t fit my budget.  But the fresh, cottagelike look of a bright wainscoted room can be achieved without using high-end, labour-intensive classic tongue and groove boards. Read more

Duncraft Black Hawk Decal

Give Birds A Chance: Use Window Clings

Each year thousands of birds are killed when they crash into windows and glass doors. Here’s how to put an end to the slaughter.

Baby Bird

 

HOW TO SAVE A LIFE | I’d been meaning to do it for a few years, but it wasn’t until I experienced three horrible deaths in a single week, each one the result of a small bird crashing into the picture window in my home office and then dropping into the reflective pool directly below it and drowning, that I decided to make a preemptive move. Read more

Glimma-tealights- IKEA

Which Tea Lights Burn Longest? Read This.

When using tea lights to illuminate a special event, you need to know exactly how long they will burn. Here’s what we discovered.

Glimma-tealights- IKEA

 

BUY RIGHT | One thing I know for sure about tea lights is that the burn time listed on the package never lives up to its promise. I have only my own experience to back up this claim, but over the past few weeks, I have been testing tea light burn times for an upcoming wedding reception, and, without exception, every wee candle came up at least one hour short. It may be possible for tea lights to burn for as long as the manufacturers contend, though I can only imagine that to do so, they would need to be in a place where the air is still. Read more

Top Dressed Narcissus -Martin Tessler

How To Top Dress Floral Arrangements

Turn ordinary potted plants into miniature landscapes by choosing a soil cover that matches their look. There are lots of toppings to choose from, including aquarium stones, beach glass and even rosebuds.

Top Dressed Narcissus -Martin Tessler

 

CREATIVE SOLUTION | Plants potted up for the house are more than just leaves, stems and blossoms. They’re landscapes in miniature, with every aspect of their situation—the pot, the soil cover, the setting—adding to or detracting from the presentation. When I want my indoor plants to look all of a piece, I start by making associations. Read more

nonwoven garmet bags

Keep Your Best Clothes In Nonwoven Poly Bags

Who knew that nonwoven polypropylene could actually protect your best garments from evil clothes-eating moths?

nonwoven garmet bags

 

THE FIX | I’ve done a lot of things to rid my home of casemaking clothes moths (CLICK HERE for our Frugalbits how to) but, until recently when I read about it on goop, I didn’t know that a particular material used to make clothing storage containers might actually ward off these hungry insects. According to Gwynnie and, as it turns out, a gaggle of other Internet home-keeping pundits, breathable nonwoven polypropylene, the material found in those ubiquitous grocery shopping bags, may do just that. Read more

Schmutz Haken Broom

Pusher Broom Love: Meet The Schmutz

Swept away by a funny looking broom with the funny sounding name Schmutz Haken. (VIDEO)

Schmutz Haken Broom

 

BUY RIGHT | When it comes to sweeping indoors, I prefer an angled broom with a dirt-catching split-fibre tip that can wiggle into corners (Vileda makes a good one). Outdoors, I want a broad brush that can cover more ground and sweep away heavy debris so I always go for a pusher, though I had no idea how inefficient most push brooms are until I tried a Schmutz Haken, the silly looking sweeper pictured here. Read more

1 dog-pulling-leash

Is This The Best Dog Leash Or What?

There is more to a dog leash than the choice between leather or nylon. The best leashes have useful bonus features like a quick hitch buckle.

1 dog-pulling-leash

 

BUY RIGHT | There are plenty of dog owners who think that a leather leash is the only way to go, but I’m not one of them. A friend gave us an expensive harness leather lead for our pooch when he was a pup, and beautiful as it is, I’ve used it only once because I found it stiff and unwieldy. Yes, I know that leather put to work will soften over time, but nylon-webbing leashes are pliable from the get-go. They work perfectly fine for my needs, particularly the inexpensive brand I use that has a helpful feature no good dog leash should be without. Read more

Concrete on Old Planters - Clinton Hussey

Give Old Planters A New Cement Overcoat

Turn old pots and planters from blah to beautiful with a concrete overcoat.

Concrete on Old Planters - Clinton Hussey

 

DO IT YOURSELF | Do you have a hodge-podge of unattractive garden pots and vases collecting dust in the recesses of your storage area, containers you’ve been thinking about shipping off to the Sally Ann? Well, if you like the look of concrete, a binding agent the late, great Canadian architect Arthur Erickson called “precious …. the marble of the 20th century,” you could mix up a batch of the material and paint it on your old planters the way I did on mine. It made me want to keep them. Read more