Adirondack FireStone FireLighter Kit

Friday, October 07th, 2011

With winter months approaching, it’s time to think about a warm crackling fire in the fireplace or stove. If you don’t have the convenience of a gas-powered fireplace, then you should check out the original Adirondack Firestone FireLighter Kit.

With this handy firestarter kit you’ll no longer have to worry about gathering newspaper and kindling to get your fire going. The kit consists of the ceramic vessel shown above, two bottles of Candle & Lamp Oil and a FireStone attached to a steel rod. Fill the vessel with oil, soak the FireStone in the vessel, roll it in fireplace ashes and then place it beneath your firewood. The FireStone will burn for 15 to 20 minutes, long enough to ignite your fire.

Find out more about this useful fireplace product at the official Adirondack FireStone website.

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Tiny Camping Trailer Doubles as a Boat

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

We’ve written here before about tiny houses so we wanted to share information about a tiny camping trailer with our readers.

The Sealander Amphibious Camping Trailer is a German-designed trailer that double as a water-worthy vessel.  This compact trailer can be towed by almost any vehicle and easily launched into a lake or river.  A small electric motor provides power while afloat. 

The Sealander’s interior features a table that seats four, a kitchenette and a sleeping area.  It will be available starting in 2012 for about $24,000.

Read more about the Sealander on Engadget.  Don’t miss seeing it in action in this YouTube video.

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Wait Until Spring to Clean your Grill

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

Now that summer is over, you may be thinking about putting your barbecue into storage.  If you usually clean your grill before storing it, you may want to consider leaving the baked-on crust in place until next spring.  The reason?  To keep your grill from rusting.

Go ahead and wipe down your grill before storing your barbecue.  When you take it out again next spring, give it a deep cleaning by applying heat from an open flame for about 10 minutes.  You should then be able to scrub the crust off without too much effort.

This suggestion is courtesy of Lifehacker.

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Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

You can maximize your closet storage space by installing a closet organizational system.  The best systems take into account the size of your closet and the type of things you will be storing.  The coat closet organizer pictured here is from the Martha Stewart Living website.  It uses the space beneath hanging coats for shelving that keeps shoes neatly sorted.  Individual bins hold scarves and hats for each family member and a bucket is used for umbrellas.  Even the closet door plays a part with hooks for purses and tote bags.

Martha Stewart has a variety of online tools to help you design your perfect closet storage system.  Design your dream closet organizational system at MarthaStewartClosets.com.

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Top 5 Home Improvements with Greatest ROI

Wednesday, September 07th, 2011

Each year, HomeGain.com conducts a Home Sale Maximizer survey.  The 2011 survey questioned 600 real estate agents to determine which home improvement projects deliver the biggest resale bang for the buck.  Here are the top 5 home improvements that realtors recommend for homeowners who are planning on putting their homes on the market.

  • Decluttering and cleaning
  • Lighting and brightening
  • Home staging
  • Landscaping
  • Repair plumbing and electrical problems

  • Decluttering and cleaning tops the list and was recommended by 99% of survey participants.  With an average cost of about $300, this improvement has a return value of $2,000.  That’s a 586% return on investment (ROI).

    Read more details about this survey on HomeGain.com.

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    IKEA Bedroom Designs

    Saturday, August 27th, 2011

    When a young person makes the transition from teenager to adulthood, it’s great if their bedroom can transition along with them.  This is especially important for college students who stay at home and don’t live on campus.  An updated décor will help them create a new adult identity.  During the remodel process, years of childhood and adolescent clutter can be cleared out and a dedicated space for studying can be created.

    Many young people like the clean lines and simplicity of IKEA furniture.  You can browse through the IKEA catalog online, then visit the IKEA website for interactive tools that will help you become your own interior designer.

    For some great ideas on how IKEA furniture and accessories can be used to remodel a young man’s room, see this YouTube video.

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    Making Over a Small Kitchen

    Saturday, August 20th, 2011

    small kitchen makeover

    You can make big changes in a small kitchen without tearing down any walls. Inexpensive modification like redoing cabinet doors and adding colorful touches like a tile backsplash will add character and create eye-catching focal points. In the photo above, the wall behind the range has been lined with small decorative tiles that are available in easy-to-install mesh sheets. Frosted doors on the cabinets contribute to a modern, streamlined look.

    See more ideas for enhancing a small kitchen on the Better Homes and Gardens website.

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    The End of the Foreclosure Era?

    Monday, August 15th, 2011

    Since 2006, more than 6.5 million American families have faced home foreclosure and hundreds of thousands more are currently on the brink. According to Equifax, the global financial information company, there are signs that the era of foreclosure is coming to an end:

    • There has been a steady decline in delinquent mortgages over 90 days (down 18% from a year ago).
    • New foreclosures are down 29% from a year ago.
    • June was the ninth straight month with decreased foreclosure activity on a year-over-year basis.

    These are hopeful signs that the foreclosure era is drawing to a close. However, any new economic disaster that returns the U.S. to double-digit unemployment could drive up the foreclosure rate again.

    Read more about the signs that the foreclosure era is ending on the Equifax Real Estate blog.

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    Retro Bargello Pillows from Jonathan Adler

    Sunday, August 07th, 2011

    Fashion designers have been channeling the 1970s this season, and now home décor designer Jonathan Adler is bringing a 70s retro touch to the living room. His handcrafted Bargello needlepoint pillows feature psychedelic designs in rainbow hues as well as earth tones. Each pillow features a feather/down insert, hidden zipper and soft velvet backing. They range in price from $120 to $175. A bit pricey for a pillows, but they’ll be the focal point of any room.

    See more pillow designs on the Jonathan Adler website.

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    Designer Dog Houses and Barkitecture

    Saturday, July 30th, 2011

    The simple wooden dog house used to be a staple of the suburban home.  As houses have grown, so have dog houses.  Now there are dog houses that resemble architectural landmarks or are designed with almost any type of architectural style from Mexican hacienda to Colonial  mansion.

    La Petite Maison is one of the top custom dog house companies.  The dog house shown in the picture above was designed by La Petite Maison to match the owner’s home.  Their unique dog houses including heat, air conditioning, wallpaper, crown moldling, windows, doors and landscaping.

    See some amazing designer dog houses and examples of barkitecture in this YouTube video from the CBS Sunday Morning show.

     

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