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Which Renovations Have the Best Resale Value?

From eLocal comes this top to bottom, inside to outside infographic outlining which “Renovations Have the Best Resale Value?”

What Home Additions Will Net You The Most?

Curbly offers a financial comparison infographic on a similar topic, “What Home Additions Will Net You The Most?”

The Kitchen Remodeling Process: Start to Finish

From making sure you’re remodeling for the right reason to finding the right resources to your final walk-through, Palatin Remodeling’s kitchen remodel infographic has got it covered.

Reduce, Reuse, Remodel: Eco-Friendly Home Upgrades that Pay You Back

Eco-friendly can be economically friendly too — check out this “Reduce, Reuse, Remodel: Eco-Friendly Home Upgrades that Pay You Back” infographic from Column 5 Media.

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1. Sliding shelves and drawers

More and more common in today’s kitchens, pull out drawers instead of cabinets beneath counter-tops are easier to access and allow more efficient use of available space.

2. Island workspace

Islands have been popular for years in kitchen design, but more thought is going into their design than ever. Don’t be limited to a countertop perched on a block of cabinets — think about how the island can add not only workspace but visual interest and clever storage. Open space beneath an island can keep your kitchen feeling spacious, shelves can provide accessible space for cookbooks, and open cubes can be outfitted with hooks to hang bulky utensils that otherwise end up hidden and forgotten in the back of a cabinet.

 

3. Dress up the hardware

Small things can make a big difference — new handles on your cabinets can transform the look of your kitchen in a few dollars and an hour or two. For even bigger impact, consider painting or replacing your cabinet doors.

4. Clear up the doors

Consider replacing some cabinet doors with glass panes or mullioned doors — glass fronted cabinets for dishes, glasses and serving ware are an easy and pretty way to break up a “wall of cabinetry” and add sparkle and light to any kitchen. For added oomph, install lights inside the cabinets.

5. Dress up the details

If you want to update your kitchen without a total remodel, consider replacing or changing just one element— new granite countertops for instance, or adding glass or patterned tile to your backsplash.

For more ideas on ways to make the most of your kitchen, check out these resources:

Turn up the pressure…

…with the Nelson Fireman’s Spray Nozzle for your hose. It transforms your ordinary garden hose into a powerful water spray with up to 300% more water flow than a standard nozzle — for washing down the deck, the car, the bike, the whatever, this is the ticket.

Available at Amazon ($17 to $20).

Even a handyman sits at a desk sometimes…

…and when he does, he’s sure to get a kick from this nifty desk organizer made from recycled steel and salvaged tool parts.

Available at Uncommon Goods ($58).

Because he knows a lot, but not everything…

…there are books for that! Check out the Black & Decker Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair — it covers projects and uses more than 2000 photos to illustrate those projects, tips and safety measures. Available at Amazon ($23).

Sometimes you need to shed some light on the situation…

…and you don’t have an extra hand. That’s when Joby’s Gorillatorch Adjustable and Flexible Tripod Flashlight comes in handy. With enough battery life to last 20 continuous hours at its full 65 lumens brightness (and up to 80 hours when set in economy mode), this is the Spiderman of lights — it can cling to just about any surface at any angle. Available at Amazon ($22).

Whether he’s eco-conscious or energy bill conscious…

…a light switch that turns off when no one is in the room will warm the cockles of his heart. Leviton, Lutron and Enerlites all make light switches with occupancy sensors. This Leviton model is available on Amazon for about $17.

Because opening gifts should be fun, not work…

…there’s the OpenX blister pack opener. Designed specifically to easily and harmlessly (no more nasty plastic cuts) open those frustrating plastic clam shells and packages, the OpenX will be a welcome addition to any handyman’s tool box. Available at OpenX ($10).

Whether it’s getting out your summer dishware, freshening up your patio or porch furniture with a coat of summer bright paint, checking to see if your bug zappers are zapping, changing out your heavy winter curtains or finally putting that lattice roof in place — it only takes a few small changes to make your home shout “hurray, summer” instead “oooh, winter!”

1. Transform the ordinary into extraordinary

When it comes to decorating for the summer, you’re sure to find something inspirational in one of Martha Stewart’s 60 Summer Decorating Ideas, including this idea for making outdoor eating a little extra special:

As the long summer days melt into balmy nights, ease the transition — and extend the pleasure — by dining outdoors under a private starry dome of twinkling candles.

2. Bring the tropics to you

From Better Homes and Gardens come these ideas (and instructions) to bring “Summer Fresh Tropical Style” to your home, such as this pretty — and summery — headboard:

A wall hanging reminiscent of beach chaise canopies is a charming headboard alternative.

3. Make the outdoors an extension of your home

House Beautiful has a nearly endless gallery of outdoor room ideas, from an elegant patio to a casual, thatch covered porch. Get inspired to create your outdoor room by paging through the entire gallery, here.

4. Stay safe

Summer brings its own hazards to your home — MSN Real Estate lists the top 13 summer dangers and offers tips on how to avoid them, including this information on your ladder:

A clear summer day may seem like the perfect time to climb a ladder to fix that loose shingle on the roof or to trim that eyesore of a tree. But a fall from that height can cause serious injury or death.

The CPSC says that 164,000 ladder-related injuries are treated in emergency rooms in the U.S. each year.

  •  Be sure your ladder has slip-resistant feet.
  •  Be sure the ground under the ladder is level and firm.
  • Keep your body centered on the rails at all times; do not lean to the side while working.
  • Do not step on the top step of the ladder.

5 Tips and Ideas For Outdoor Lighting

1. It doesn’t have to be fancy

Hang inexpensive pendant lights — or make your own, like HGTV’s designer Jamie Durie did here out of candle holders and basic pendant lights on a cord.

HGTV Outdoor-Dining-Room-Pendant-Lighting.jpg

(photo from HGTV.com)

2. Light the way

Nothing’s more romantic than softly lit pathways winding their way through the night, whether you tuck lights above in the branches or nestle them low to the ground.

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3. Mix it up

Different areas call for different light — although you’ll need plenty of strong task lighting around your grill area, dimmable lighting, or even a chandelier with real candles, will provide light and ambience for your dining area.

chandelier candles dripping wax.jpg

4. One if by land, two if by sea

Lanterns are lovely to look at and quite practical. Enclosed in glass or metal, their light is protected from wind and rain. They can be hung, placed on tables, or on the ground near pathways and steps.

lanterns candle in a row.jpg

5. Use your holiday lights all year round

Holiday string lights (make sure they are rated safe for both indoor and outdoor use) are perfect for your summer backyard — they can be strung across the top of your patio, around trees, along fences — the possibilities are endless.

string lights on trellis.jpg

For more outdoor lighting design ideas and installation tips, visit these resources:

Whether you’re looking for inspiration, innovation, or procrastination — you’ll find it on Pinterest.

1. home & furniture

Nearly three million users follow this board full of design ideas and products for the home.

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2. Storage Solutions

“So many things, so little space. Imagine the perfect storage solutions for every room in the house and even outside in the garden.”

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3. Small things that work very well

“This is about utility and function, the small workhorses that smooth out the bumps of daily life.”

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4. closet love

From fantasy two-story closets to simple ways to dress up an ordinary closet, this board has a closet-ful of ideas to offer.

pinterest board closet love.jpg  pinterest closet love 2 story.jpg

5. Creative Storage

From the bathroom to the kitchen, books to art supplies, baskets to armoires, this board has storage on the brain.

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6. home goods

One of the most popular home décor boards, Jonathan Lo pins photos of Tom Ford’s London house, gorgeous furniture, color trends, and nifty products.

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7. Outdoor Yard Inspirations

Ideas for outdoor spaces and style from Japanese serenity to English cottage romance and more.

8. Garages

Storage ideas, nifty gadgets and handy projects to make the most of your garage space.

pinterest board garages.jpg

9. Home Remodeling

Tips, resources, videos and design advice to “make the most difference” in your home.

pinterest board home remodeling.jpg

10. cleaning tips + tricks

Gathering cleaning tips — like a no-scrub cleaning method for your microwave — cleaning tips sites and resources and must-have cleaning products, this board helps you keep your home spic and span.

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3 Reasons It’s Easier Than You Think to Grow Your Own Produce

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1. You don’t need as much space as you think

Square foot gardening is an alternative to traditional “row gardening” that offers more produce from less space, time and effort. A gardening method tailor-made for beginners, it is also great for experienced gardeners.

  • An area just four feet by four feet can hold about 130 plants and yield enough produce to feed one person all summer long.
  • Square foot gardens use about 20 percent of the space and 10 percent of the water to produce the same amount of vegetables as traditional gardens.
  • Spend less money on tools, supplies and seeds — the only tool you’ll need is a hand trowel and rather than sprinkling seeds widely, you plant them according to precise formulas.
  • To learn more about square foot gardening, check out Building a square foot garden on Journey To Forever, Square Foot Gardening, the non-profit organization and 9 Reasons You Should Try Square Foot Gardening on HouseLogic.

 

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2. You don’t even need a yard – you can garden in containers

Perfect for beginners, container gardening is one of the easiest ways to grow your own vegetables. If you don’t have space in your yard (or you don’t have a yard), you’ve never grown vegetables before, or you’re put off by weeding and watering, container gardening might be just your ticket.

 

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3. You can be better at it than you think

With the nearly infinite resources available at your local home store and online, it’s easier than ever to get your garden right.

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